Empowering Women Leaders: Jane Reason’s Transformational Coaching Journey

by Brooke Young

Jane Reason holds space for women leaders and entrepreneurs who want to explore new possibilities and new ways of being.

Through her 1:1 program, each session is tailored to what is your most pressing problem at the time whilst keeping in mind your longer-term goals and unblocking thinking that is keeping you stuck.

Through co-created experiments and actions between sessions, you build new habits and new ways of being that lead to transformational mindset shifts, creating beautiful moments and masterful action.

An accomplished leader, educator, and coach with nearly two decades of executive leadership under my belt, Jane has unshakeable faith in the power of coaching.

Name: Jane Reason
Company: Jane Reason Coaching

Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here

Table of Contents

Share your origin story with us. What got you started on your current path?

Jane Reason: I’m changing the world through my business, or at least that’s the aim! I was a teacher, senior leader, and executive leader in schools for over 27 years.

For most of this time, I was exploring coaching and honing my skills, using coaching as a strategy to get the best from my staff and students. I was also exposed to supervision – a well-being coaching space for professionals – and became addicted to this experience.

I loved my job. It was a large part of my identity. I was good at it. Until I wasn’t. I probably began experiencing the effects of perimenopause in my late 30s (having started teaching at 30 years of age).

The stress of my job increased also as I took on increasingly more senior positions within the school. My likely neurodivergent brain was also having an impact. I would create stress points to build urgency criteria to ‘get things done’.

I would procrastinate. I would take on too much myself as I could see the future of it, and it took too long to get others to see what I could. I am a superfast thinker (and talker).

I believe I had my first experience of, what I now know is, burnout while at my second school. From then on there was a pattern of every 3 to 4 years I would experience another ‘burnout’ episode. These showed themselves as significant physical health issues and always landed me in the hospital. This gave my body and brain the break it desired and I could ‘go again’.

Perimenopause began to have a more significant impact during my last two senior roles in education. I began to forget things and struggle with vasomotor symptoms and other challenges. I had no idea how stress can impact how we experience menopause, despite my GP asking me to consider reducing my stress, so I carried on. How could I not? People depended on me. My job depended on it (or so I believed).

As the impact of stress and menopause really took effect, I went into burnout, but I didn’t stop piling stress on myself. I didn’t take a break. I knew that the physical pain I was feeling wasn’t a serious illness (as had previously been thought on hospital admissions) so I carried on. I was craving a hospital admission but had no illness to require it so no excuse to stop.

Then COVID added another level of stress. My new role in the Trust Executive Leadership structure added further responsibilities.

Eventually, my brain said ‘this is enough’ and stopped working. I could not think. But still I believed I had to work. But I was no longer the excellent headteacher. Leading was a chore and a challenge and I carried on. Until I couldn’t face it anymore. I chose to leave.

Over the next 5 or 6 months I formulated an idea of what I wanted to do. The first step was to create a Facebook group to educate women on menopause and on how our mindset affects our experience.

I created ‘Embracing your Second Spring Menopause Support Group’ on Facebook. Here I use my science and educator background to share knowledge about menopause. Information women can use to make personal choices. Information I didn’t know myself before. I bring in guest experts too.

The rebirth from menopause into your second spring is a key part of my approach. Mindset plays a huge role in our experience of menopause. If we believe menopause is a positive life stage and look forward to the freedom it creates, our experience is different.

I also knew I loved coaching, was good at it, and could do this as an entrepreneur so I began building this business.

For me, coaching is also about sharing the beauty that is ‘anything is possible.’ I create ‘intelligent mirror’ conversations where clients have this amazing conversation with their own thoughts, seeing them through the lens of my reflections and questions.

The wonder of knowing that magic happens in the transformational spaces I create is awesome. What a privilege to witness and be a part of the process. That’s why I love my job!

It has recently become clear that my passion is more than ‘changing the world’ through sharing menopause knowledge and coaching around this. It’s about ridding the world of a mantra that keeps us hustling, that makes burnout something increasing numbers of people are suffering in the belief they have no choice. It’s about ensuring I can impact others so that they take note of the signs and slow down.

Burnout is created by the choices we make (in all innocence). Through changing the pattern of choices we make, providing more information, creating insights through coaching, and building a movement and encouragement to ‘lead with love’, and be present (a gift) in the now (be more toddler), burnout will be a thing of the past.

I’m building a movement. I’m writing a book. Who knows what’s next? It’s time to enjoy the ride.

Share a specific moment or experience in your early career as an education leader that highlighted the transformative power of coaching and personal betterment for you.

Jane Reason: Without the coaching I had I would never have become a headteacher. It allowed me to realise my dreams.

A key moment, that has changed how I’ve approached so many things in my life and work, was the comment from my coach ‘stop and feel’.

I was stuck in my head. I was disconnected from emotion, from how my body felt, the sensations, the tensions. Every bit of my approach was in my head.

As such I was also disconnected from the power of feelings for myself and others.This bit of advice was transformative and is one I use with my clients to this day.

You mention the importance of compassionate inquiry in your coaching. Can you explain what this process looks like in practice and how it helps uncover hidden beliefs?

Jane Reason: By ‘compassionate inquiry’ I mean exploring the deeply hidden beliefs and thinking that we have that we hold dear to us within our definition of self and, where appropriate, holding a challenge to this in the safe space that I create with my clients.

The space allows my clients to ‘let go’ of these beliefs and ‘truths’ about themselves and create themselves from a new place. It is freeing but it is also challenging, sometimes physically.

There may be tears, shaking, anger at this point of release but this is all within the safe space. Clients know they are safe to experience the transformation. It’s where the magic happens.

Jane Reason

How do you tailor your coaching sessions to address both immediate concerns and long-term goals for your clients? Can you provide an example of how you’ve successfully balanced these in the past?

Jane Reason: When we co-create our coaching agreement, we explore the long term goals the client brings and begin to explore where the challenges are for them in creating this.

However, in each session, it is what is coming up for them at the moment, what will serve them most at that time, to address. Within this, I am also holding their long-term goals.

It is interesting how the long-term goals are not uppermost in the minds of the client but will either change because of the magical transformations coaching creates, which means goals become more expansive or become an outcome of addressing the things coming up for them that day.

The client is always in charge. It is their space. My role is to serve them. My role is to create the space from which they can create miracles.

One example coming to mind is a client whose long-term goal was to be a better parent, wife, and teacher.

It needed greater clarity as a goal so I asked question to clarify – how would you be as a parent, wife, and teacher if this was your reality now? We went from there.

Each session explores something different, but when we explored midway through the contract where we were against the goals, the client could see that she was being the person she desired to be. The stress of ‘being better’ had evaporated.

From this point, we began to create more magic. The client I work with today is a different person from the one I began with, and they have the same name and bank details.

What are some common obstacles or ‘truths’ that you find women leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs struggle with? How do you help women leaders overcome these barriers?

Jane Reason:

  • You have to be better than the man or show up in ‘masculine energy’ to succeed. That you can’t lead with love.
  • You have to put others before yourself.
    Stuck in a hustle mentality. All work and managing home, caring for parents, children, etc
  • They need to ….(there is always a need to) … in order to gain promotion, be noticed, be taken seriously, get ‘enough’ money …
  • They haven’t got time to …..
  • They create expectations from others (which are really their own thoughts)
  • That they can do everything (and better than everyone else)
  • No is a taboo word
  • Self care – if only!
  • Control (of everything) is important (not an illusion)
  • When the (whatever the self-created thought here – eg kids leave home) then I will be … (able to stop and make time for myself/ retire/ start the business I have always wanted to/ apply for promotion/ change career/ etc.

Control is a big one. We get stuck in planning ahead, organising every last detail. We don’t want to be side-swiped by the unexpected.

When clients realise that the control illusion takes up valuable head space and keeps them forever in the future not the present, and they explore the calmness of being in the now, the reality that life is not controllable. There is always an outcome that you hadn’t thought of and planned for.

Then time appears available to them. Self-care becomes a priority. Hustle becomes being effective not all consuming and stopping deliberately and completely, self-compassion, compassion for others, freedom, possibilities, and all of the above ‘truths’ melt away.

How do I do this? It differs for everyone. The mirror I hold reflects their own thoughts. When they can see the thought as a creation, not a truth and its power over them evaporates, clarity happens.

The questions I ask. The pauses I hold. The challenges I create. They come from being fully immersed in the presence of the client. They are not planned. I listen for them. They create the magic.

You’ve spoken about the impact of menopause on your mindset and purpose. How do you support other women navigating similar life transitions in their professional and personal lives?

Jane Reason: Menopause matters. It is a single moment. Perimenopause is a time of change. Of our bodies adapting to the new hormonal landscape. This changes the way our brain works.

Our motivations change. We start to see ourselves as separate from our roles of mother, daughter, leader, and partner.

It’s a time for a new beginning, yet we are conditioned to see it as a point that marks the beginning of the end. It’s a land of opportunity and anything is possible from this place.

I’ve run two marathons, swum several marathon and ultra-marathon events outdoors, and I’ve started a new business and chapter in my life – all in the last 10 years.

Yet perimenopause was one of the factors that led to my burnout, the state I found myself in that I want no one else to ever experience.

And this was because I lacked knowledge and my mindset was one of ignore, deny, refuse acceptance of as I feared ‘getting older’. We don’t need to crave staying young. Let’s embrace our second spring and create our world as we want it.

I support women in several ways. I have a Facebook Group: Embracing your Second Spring (Menopause Support Group) where I do regular live events, including guest experts on key topics): https://www.facebook.com/share/iXqYvxbvxrvn2wEn/

I have a YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@JaneReasonCoaching/videos

I offer 1:1 and group coaching and have a menopause mindset self-learning toolkit (www.janereasoncoaching.me.uk )

How do you integrate mind-body connection practices into your coaching sessions?

Jane Reason: As I spoke about earlier, connecting to my body was a transformational point in my own experience of coaching.

When I’m with a client, I’m not only listening, I’m attuned to every part of their being – how they speak, how they hold their body, their skin (flushed, pale, sweating..), their eyes.

Everything is within my observation – again this is not conscious, but I notice changes, and these grab my attention. I can reflect this back to my client and draw their attention to it. Often, they are unaware, but this reflection allows them to feel this change and be curious about what it means.

By practising this within the session and taking it beyond the sessions, they tune into the keys for them and can use them to create the transformations they seek.

Essentially, I build the mind-body connection in my clients.

What is next for you and your company?

Jane Reason: I’m writing a book. It’s a self-help tool built around the telling of my story. It forms part of my toolkit to change the world.

I want to offer further group coaching programs, with a specific focus on those seeking a change in their life, less stress, and more me in the picture.

I’m creating a couple of retreats. A 24-hour outdoor experience with woodland, nature, open water, and a bonfire as the focus for conversation, and a 3-day coaching escape to reset, recharge, and reconnect with you. These are both collaborations with other amazing coaches.

I want to grow my 1:1 practice, because here is where the deep magical world changing transformations occur. It’s beautiful.

Above all, I’m focused on being in the ride, enjoying it, and savouring every moment. I get to create magic and I love it.

Brooke Young, VIP Contributor to WellnessVoice and the host of this interview would like to thank Jane Reason for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.

If you would like to get in touch with Jane Reason or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page

Disclaimer: The WellnessVoice Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Related Articles