Coach Interview Series: Glyndora Condon

by Brandon

Glyndora Condon

Owner, Heal and Hope Counseling Services

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Glyndora Condon. Glyndora is a Licensed Professional Counselor & Family Therapist based in Cleveland, Tennessee.

NCA: Can you describe your practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Glyndora: You would consider me more of a general practitioner when it comes to mental health. We (our agency) do mental health, emotional health, parenting, family and child problems, relationships, transitioning of stages as well as alcohol and drug prevention, domestic violence prevention, and anger management coaching. We reach out to many different people and populations and provide many different services to the community.

NCA: What initially got you interested in counseling and how did you arrive in this field?

Glyndora: As a young child and growing up into adolescence, I was in a family that was very strict, negative, and not very empowering. I grew up with low self-esteem even though I was very intelligent. I tended to lower my standards and therefore, I got into a relationship that was abusive at the age of 17. I was then forced into a marriage with that particular person so that they would not hurt my parents or hurt their properties. I was in this abusive relationship for five months along with his infidelity, which really hurt me and drove mistrust and fear.

I saw a Christian counselor and that Christian counselor was able to show me that God loves me and that I was not to blame for what had occurred in my life. I had such a huge dark cloud lifted off of me. Because of the realization and the freedom of knowing that I was loved and I was good enough; as I learned to discern my own thoughts and feelings; and this is exactly what I wanted to teach someone else. I chose to go into counseling.

I wanted to be married in a Christian family and have lots of children, but then I endured being unable to even become pregnant. I was so depressed that I chose to enter into college in order to start my journey and education in counseling. I had experienced a total of 13 years of infertility and was in a loveless and cold marriage. We were trying to adopt from four different adoption agencies through seven years. You can imagine the amount of stress and pull on my heart as I was wanting children and to not have children; as I jumped to each phone call with hopes that this was the long-awaited for-call. Childlessness ended when I chose to go through six surgeries to have children.

During all of this, I was extremely depressed and discovered that my husband was again unfaithful. Counseling also was beneficial to help me through that process. In my life, I was born with a birth defect, felt rejected by my mother; I have been raped, then suffered through divorces, then remarried and in a blended family, was childless, became a mother, lost my father, experienced the trauma of when the towers were hit by terrorists, owned and operated my businesses, was in a car accident, then watched my mother suffer with Parkinson’s disease, as well as learned that by daughter and granddaughter were involved in a horrific car accident which critically injured and changed my granddaughter’s and our lives; experienced the empty nest syndrome, and was blessed to work with countless families in 9 counties, helping them with counseling.

Coaching is like leading: you are the best coach when you can walk alongside and lead through your example.

I went through college and I got two Associate Degrees and a Bachelor’s Degree with Highest Honors then two decades later, I earned my Master’s Degree. One might think that I was persistent. I have 17 years of nutrition and exercise underneath my belt, and was a CNA, Office manager, Rental property Landlord, Hotel owner, and now a licensed professional counselor. These experiences, I have persevered through were my teachers and helped mold me to be insightful and more empathetic, as I walk alongside my clients.

I think that a lot of people would feel much more at home and safe to be with someone who actually did go through the story. They can find meaning in their journey and they are able to use that pain to help other people. That’s exactly what I intended to do and still intend to do. Here I am in my 60s and I don’t intend to retire until my brain no longer functions. I just love working with the individuals and seeing when these lights come on as I’m beginning to reach in and pull these individuals out of those dark areas. And I don’t do it by myself. I am a Christian counselor. I know that God has given me wisdom and is helping me through each of these lives.

NCA: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. One of the most inspiring aspects of learning a coach’s story is hearing the first-hand challenges that shaped them into the people and coaches they are today.

Lastly, I want to ask you about what I’ve found to be one of the most common challenges new coaches face: self-doubt. Some coaches call it Imposter Syndrome, where early on they feel somehow inadequate to take on the role of coach. What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is in the beginning stage of their coaching career and dealing with these doubts in their mind?

Glyndora: If an individual has not experienced many of those life things to be able to give them that insight and that confidence, they might want to yoke themselves with a colleague or a superior that has been through a lot of things. To have a really good supervisor who actually will sit down with them and coach them and teach them the basic foundational tools that will help reach in and then to help these individuals is going to be very prudent.

Be a very good listener and listen to these individuals’ stories. Start where they are and walk alongside them as you are then utilizing these tools that we are taught as we’re going through the educational process. That colleague is going to be very beneficial for that person to take them by the hand and to share with them some of the more foundational tools that will help encourage that person to lead.

Coaching is like leading: you are the best coach when you can walk alongside and lead through your example. Otherwise, sitting there and dictating and telling them, “This is what you need to do…” — no. That’s not good coaching. That’s not good counseling. We have to help them, encourage them to reach deep inside themselves, and utilize what they already have — their skill sets and their strengths — and be able to utilize these to lift themselves out of this darkness. I think those adjuncts would be very helpful.

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