Transformational Neuro-Linguistic Programming (tNLP) with Jennie Yang
Hannah Hermanson: Welcome back, everyone. This is Hannah and today I am hanging out with the amazing Jennie Yang. Jennie is a Leadership Coach and Facilitator who helps unlocks the potential of individuals, teams and organizations. Certified as a master practitioner of Transformational Neuro-Linguistic Programming which we will call TNLP from here on out. Jennie runs her own coaching business to serve women in leadership roles. So by integrating meditation, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and TNLP, she helps her client shift their inner experience and discover their joy of being. She also leads the customer success team at 15Five which is an employee engagement and performance company focused on helping employees become their greatest selves. Welcome, Jennie.
Jennie: Hi, Hannah. Such a pleasure to be here.
Hannah: It’s great to have you and I always love to ask, where in the world are you coming to us from today?
Jennie: I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hannah: That’s right and we actually met in real life not too long ago. So, it’s great to have you on the show. I’m really excited to dive into pieces of your story and your expertise. Specifically, around the fact that you have been always been talking about emotional intelligence and mindfulness. So can you tell us a little bit about where you’re at before these opportunities just start transforming, brains and lifestyles, where you were at?
Jennie: Yes. Absolutely. So, what a journey, right? Life. So sharing a bit of my story, I’ve always been a self-help nerd [laughs] ever since that first book my friend gifted me in high school called “There Is Nothing Wrong With You.” And, as I embarked on my professional journey right out of college, starting in Washington DC, whenever I was out on the road for work, I would gift myself professional development books and personal development books when I was in airports and really developed a passion for my own development and growth and so having always had ingrained a growth mindset, I immediately latch on to these concepts of my mindfulness as well emotional intelligence to help with not only my professional development but also my personal growth.
Hannah: Awesome. So did you step right into being a life coach, spiritual healer right out of school or did you take other paths in the corporate world?
Jennie: Oh definitely took many paths, it’s a past life [laughs] I guess, say already. So in terms of how I started my career, right after I graduated from undergrad in Atlanta, Georgia, MRA I moved up to Washington, DC. This is starting the economic down turn in 2008 and it was really challenging at that time to land a full time role. So, I actually started out as an intern in the public relations guild and segued into healthcare consulting and started my career in healthcare consulting in Washington DC at a couple of healthcare management companies including Deloitte and the Advisory Board and really it was an incredible place to start my career surrounded by so many young professionals. Right after, spending five years in that field, I reflected– I would love to really understand who I am when I’m my best self. There was a turning point where I realized I didn’t want to be a consultant forever at a managing consulting firm. So yes, I did a lot of self reflection. What are my passions? At that time it was big data. I was a big data nerd and technology and where was that? That was in San Francisco, Bay Area so that’s when it sparked my interest in moving out to the West Coast which I consider the best coast.
Hannah: Yes. I can’t argue with that.
Jennie: Landed my first role at a tech company and landed my first customer success role. So that was almost five years ago and my career has evolved since then, really starting out in tech customer success for a few years and then moving into leadership roles. Most recently before 15Five was in a business operations leadership role and that’s when I really started to realize too that I want to get out of healthcare, because of just this deep desire to help people flourish and meet their potential and so starting to realize that my growth edges was really around my own passion of leadership development, personal and professional development and even though healthcare is such an incredibly honorable fields, I just felt this calling to leave and so I took this leap of faith and quit my job last July and started on this sabbatical, this inner journey to really dive deep into who I am, what are my core values and that allowed me to unfold to what I consider to be my dream roles not only as a leadership coach, as a side hustle but also working for this company 15Five that enables people to be their greatest selves at work and in life.
Hannah: So incredible. Yes. Right. A common theme that I hear in the show, in folks that I work with is this need to take a leap of faith at some point in the journey and so I’m curious what that was like, that experience of saying, okay, I know this isn’t right but I’m not exactly sure what’s going to come next and how did you navigate that sabbatical with that transition?
Jennie: Great question. I was scared shitless. [laughter] On the record, I can’t tell you, how much fear was evoked the fact that I had built a nine-year career path in healthcare consulting, management and tech and the fact that I just wanted to shut that door and begin again was so scary. It took me awhile to really make that firm decision and it took at least a few months to take a stand and just realize that I needed to put myself first and that meaning to close the door to a profession that had served me well, but really to create the space for whatever is next, whatever my purpose is to unfold.
Hannah: Create the space. It’s so powerful. I love that because so many of us can negotiate or convince ourselves like, “No, working on this team is meaningful and I’m just fine. I don’t know what I’m going to do next,” and so I love that you let yourself be uncomfortable for a few months.
Jennie: And really, to be quite candid, I was uncomfortable for most of those nine years. I would often reflect every six months, like, “Okay, what’s next? What’s the next step? What’s the next company? What’s the next role?” It just wasn’t necessarily, you know, roles or the field that really lit me up. One of the greatest key takeaways and life skill sets that I commend that, those nine years for was allowing me to step into my zone of genius of being able to build deep trusted relationships with others, being client basing and working with customer success and however, it just wasn’t in the right fields.
Hannah: Right. So stepping out of that field you realize, okay, I’ve been reflecting, I do have this common theme of personal development, the self help books that you were accustomed to reading for so long, so talk to us a little bit about this Transformational Neuro-Linguistic Programming, TNLP and how you came to become a master practitioner in that?
Jennie: Thank you for asking it. TNLP has a warm place in my heart. So this was nearly a year ago when I had heard some buzz about TNLP through some of my friends here in the Bay Area. I’m part of this community called Consciousness Hacking.
Hannah: So San Francisco, [laughs] I love it.
Jennie: Exactly and what it is it’s a TNLP rather, is the study of the structure of the human experience. So that said about a year ago I went to a free workshop held in Marin, the school that I side with is called NLP Marin and I was floored by the three-hour workshop and the demo of this work because really what it is a blend of neuro-science plus language plus the way we as humans experience life and a beautiful therapeutic modality in exploring what it is that we would like, what’s our desire state and what’s holding us back from getting there. So the work I have been part of the school of was not only their core program but also their masters program so that took on from a stand of June through March where I was learning the tool kit of neuro-linguistic programming TNLP, but also was getting the work done on me by my classmates. So there was so much transformation that occurred from being immersed in that classroom setting and it was not an easy road. [laughs] It can bring up a lot of deeply rooted programming as we call it from our conditioning from society as well as our family structures and so a lot of memories from childhood were brought back up but the beauty of it was that the work of TNLP is a frame to bring resources to those childhood states and to be able to allow us to recognize, “Hey, this is the fear that’s coming up,” and integrating that into our current states with also future states so that allowing an integration of it does, enable us to get us to a point of achieving what we want.
Hannah: Okay, I’m loving this. And I would love to just like dive into what it really looks like and for those of us who aren’t in the master’s program are going through the school of TNLP, are there ways that we can access these tools on our own?
Jennie: Absolutely. So I do, again, highly recommend looking up NLP Marin, M-A-R-I-N and the other resource I recommend is Carl Buchheit’s book called “Transformational NLP.” He is the leader of NLP Marin and he also essentially created this modality TNLP, so there are right nuggets on not only the history but also different frameworks that you can use in your own practice.
Hannah: Amazing. So what might it look like or could you give an example working with a client or with a student that you’ll allow them to start practicing this or tapping into some of those histories that you mentioned. What does it look like?
Jennie: Definitely. So let’s say that we are going through a client or coaching session right now and what I would work with you on Hannah is getting an understanding of what your present and current state is so what’s going on for you and really doing an exploration of what’s going on and bumping that against what you would like. So often times, spending a bulk of the session really diving into “Hey, Hannah, what is it that you would like? What is your vision for the future?” Diving a little bit deeper and what will having that do for you and just essentially getting you to a place where– well, not even getting you but it’s allowing you to explore what you would like and recognizing that there’s already resources, that it is a achievable within your own system and if you’re really having a challenging time even getting to what it is that you would like, then that’s when we start to do an exploration of what’s holding you back.
So there are specific tools that I have that allow me to do a bit of a search back into your history, what was the earliest imprint or time where you experience this anxiety or if you experience this nervousness and that’s holding you back to what you would like and so, when we explore there, it’s a matter of adding resources to that imprint and being able to grow that being up, that child like experience back up to the present and into the future and incurring those resources as you step into your future self.
Hannah: Yes, it’s great. One of my mentors talks a lot about acting as if and in order to act as if your dream life is your real life or you’re a millionaire or you’re happily married or whatever your goals are, you need to know where your goals are and so I love how intricate this process is and first, how do you want it to be? How do you want to feel? And then using what sounds like I mean scientific tools to kind of rewire the brain in ways that we can change our state like you said.
Jennie: That’s exactly it and into your point, there so many aspects to ourselves. There so many parts of us and with every single part of us that has a different desire or a different fear, there’s intention behind it. There’s a positive intent behind every single part of us and so it’s just a matter of allowing that part of us to show itself and to state, “Hey, what are you keeping me safe from? Or what is your intention and having a conversation with that part of ourselves.”
Hannah: Yes. I feel like we could – it sounds extremely intricate and I know that we could dive into this and dissect it even more and so I’m so glad you offered those resources and we’re definitely going to give folks a chance to connect with you because this seems like something you do want a master practitioner kind of holding your hand through as you allow yourself to open up to your current state and your future states, really incredible work.
Jennie: Yes. I like to joke that my consulting days, fly me to [laughs] I’m a coach because of the whole modeling of really assessing the current state, outlining the future state and what’s the gap? How do we get you from gap to goal? So—[laughs]
Hannah: Yes, this really feels like a next level goal setting tool. I love it.
Jennie: Absolutely and you totally bring up a great point in that human experience of feeling. It’s such a unique privilege to not only be a human but to also feel and have emotions and so something else that I have worked on not only through my mindfulness practice but also meditation and emotional intelligence is presence which is such a key human skill and leadership skill is to really tuning into presence not only with yourself but with others around you because that is one of the greatest gifts that you can share with the world is your own presence when you’re truly there in the moment 110% with yourself or the other beings.
Hannah: Yes and we have opportunity to practice that anytime and anywhere. [laughs] So, great. I think that brings us to the sort of our final few questions here. I always like to give guests a little pop quiz, but I’m an easy grader so we’ve got just a couple of quick questions left for you.
Hannah: The first one, Jennie, I would love to know and you kind of – you might have spoken to this already but what is one exercise or resource that listeners could tap into today to make their dream life a little bit closer to their real life?
Jennie: Yes, absolutely. So, what I would like you to do is close your eyes and just pull up a picture of that dream life and when you have that picture of your dream life, actually, turn it into a video and just notice what you’re experiencing, notice who else is there, notice what’s in the background, what’s the environment? What’s the inner experience? Also just notice what you’re saying to yourself. What are you thinking? And once you actually take note of that in that video, step into that future version of you, step into that dream life and breathe with those lungs, breathe with the heart and putting your heart where that future version of yourself heart is and really just soak in that dream, soak in that glory and notice what that’s like. Once you’ve had a moment to soak that all in, just take a step out of there and open up your eyes.
Hannah: Whoo! That is some powerful quantum physics we just practiced. [laughter] Incredible.
Jennie: Yes, it’s a quick visualization exercise that you can just load up anytime of the day that you are inspired to.
Hannah: Anytime of the day. Like we said, these are practices that you have at your fingertips within you all the time. Thank you for that. So my second question you touched on a couple of books and a couple of schools already but are there resources other than that exercise that you just shared but like resources, listeners always love tangible things they can pick up and read or websites they can go to, to help them on their transformational neuro-linguistic programming path or just their path to improving their life?
Jennie: Yes. So NLPMarin.com and transformational NLP and –
Hannah: Can I just have a quick question? The Marin school is that online? Could folks who aren’t in the Bay Area access that school?
Jennie: That’s a great question. So yes, there are people who do lie in to Marin for the trainings and they have virtual options as well.
Hannah: Amazing. Great to know.
Jennie: Yes, definitely. But the transformational NLP book is on Amazon.com and I would also have to say, another book that I have been tapping into for my own spiritual journey is Jenn’s case [?]. It is a methodology that blends the ancient Chinese wisdom of the itching [?] with genetic DNA and so I’ll leave it at that, discovering and it’s just something that I just started to tap into so I’m really excited to go on that path.
Hannah: Interesting. Yes, I’ll make sure that we have some information about those things you just mentioned on the show page at the end. But my last question, you’re doing great so far. You got a solid A going on this pop quiz. The last question is, where can we stay connected with you and learn more about the work you’re doing?
Jennie: Absolutely. So you can stay connected with me by visiting my website www.jenniemaeyang.com. That’s J-E-N-N-I-E M-A-E Y-A-N-G and also my e-mail is the same firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have all the social media handles @jenniemaeyang so that’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well on I’m Jennie Yang on LinkedIn. [laughs]
Hannah: Jennie Mae Yang, that’s so catchy and again we will make sure that there is an opportunity for folks who are listening to this online to access her handles and website but I know a lot of you are listening in your ear buds, in between dream life exercises for yourself. So thank you so much, Jennie. Do you have any other final nuggets of wisdom or inspiration you would like to share with the audience to them?
Jennie: Yes. Just a piece of encouragement I like to offer is that anything is possible when you shift your mindset and your heart set, your soul set and it’s really just a beautiful inner journey to truly understand who you are so kudos to anyone who’s embarked on that journey and kudos to those who are beginning on their journey and those who have yet to begin and so just the fact that you are really tuning in to your dreams to become your real life, vice versa, kudos, huge. You are doing the work that the Earth needs. So really appreciate your courage and I so appreciate you Hannah, inviting me on the podcast today.
Hannah: Yes. Thank you so much, Jennie. I know you offered tons of great insight and just that exercise of literally taking that step into the dream and realizing how close it is. I know people listening in needed to hear something that you shared with us today. So thank you and we will be back next week with another inspiring guest. Hoping you take a few more steps maybe even growing your dream bigger now that Jennie has clocked us right into it with the power of our mindset. So thanks again, Jennie and we will talk to you all soon.
Jennie: Thank you.
ife. And I was very uncomfortable.
Hannah: Absolutely. What’s so neat about it too is that, we are inundated as humans right now with technology when we think about all the work that we do and all of these tools and apps that enable us to do our work but when you think about humans as our own technology, often times we’re outdated. We need to update our own programming. And now there’s an app for that. [laughter] It’s TNLP and it even has an acronym.
Jennie: Exactly. [laughs]
Hannah: Speaking to that comment you just made about, you know, my days in consulting and operations is really supporting the dream roles that you have nearly to shift gears a little bit and I think people listening to this podcast are going to be really curious, how you have become a master in TNLP? You have manifested and stepped into a really dreamy role, I mean 9 to 5 corporate typesetting and you’re building a business. So talk to us a little bit about, what your real life looks like right now and how you balance all of these aspects of yourself?
Jennie: [laughs] That’s a great question. Balance is completely a key value in my life and so right now I was just figuring it out because I’m currently going through a relatively large transition on boarding into this new role at 15Five. Meanwhile, maintaining my business on the side and also keeping my coaching tool kit, up to date and maintaining my client relationships and so to that end really, what my current state looks like is coming into the 15Five office in San Francisco, Monday through Friday, it is the most incredible culture I could ever ask for and I realize that the culture we’re like and now I’m in, is one of psychological safety, is one where employees operate in their zone of genius. They are using their strengths every day. They are open. They are able to shout out their ideas and be heard and so that’s what I come to every day and also everyone showing up as their full selves as well, their whole self so that is just to pin a picture of the environment that I have immersed myself in which was a dream and now is reality and I feel very grateful and lucky to have this because having been in such cutthroat environments in the past, it’s just such a breath of fresh air and so that’s what the day looks like.
So, in the evening and weekends that’s when I, maintain not only myself. I consider myself the spiritual CEO of my life and so any activity or person that is in my life is an extension of my spiritual CEO-ness and so 15Five is an extension of my spiritual CEO. My company, coaching company is the extension of my spiritual CEO-ness as well self care all of the relationships in my life and so those evening and weekends are primarily dedicated to my own spiritual growth, personal growth to the other relationships in my life with my partner Josh, with other close friends, my family and also different events to meet others who are in these field and also carving out that time for clients and being able to build any creative workshop that I would like to share with the world. So I think another part of that balance piece as I mentioned is the self care aspect and self love and really being able to honor that space that I need to recharge and reset my mind and body and to be able to show up as my best whole self on a daily basis.
Jennie: Yes, absolutely. My mission is really not only helping women but any person that comes into my life who is ready for it to unlock their potential and to allow them to unfold their joy. I think really, we are granted this one lifetime right now here in the present moment and so how do we activate our innate true nature of joy and being and so that’s really the mission that I’m on and I hope to inspire others.
Hannah: Yes and what I love about what you’re doing, we talk to a lot of entrepreneurs and you are an entrepreneur yet you still are working 9 to 5 and what you just said made me think about the ability that every person at every level of working or living or pursuing a passion has to impact the people around them. So often and I do this in my own life where it’s like, “I am the impact to my clients and the people who are paying me are the people I pour into.” When I was just at the coffee shop today, truly, and a woman was sitting next to me and I just said asking her, “What are you working on?” She’s there often and so I finally decided, kind of like what you said, if this coffee house is part of my life experience, I want this person who’s just within my vicinity to be feeling like, “Yes, I’m interested,” and I can’t remember quite how you phrased it but bringing them into the feelings of I want to have in the world that I want to experience and so starting just a conversation with the people on the street or in the coffee shop can be advancing your mission and your work as a CEO.
Hannah: Yes, be the CEO of your entire life, listeners. I adore that visualization that just like when we’re operating tasks for our job or for our company or for our family, every piece of your life is an extension of you as an empire, as a corporation and if there are aspects of your life like the work environment you’re in or the relationship that you’re in, you have to be willing to make decisions that are in alignment to you as a spiritual being and I think a lot of people are listening to this and they’re like I’m a spiritual being and I’m a CEO and I’m a go getter and I love thinking about that. Those decisions we make and schedules that we hold are completely within our ownership and we can make decisions once we know our mission, right? We have that core of like, yes, myself care and my social journey for you, Jennie and those are the things that seem like are the center are the mission that you’re on.