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Empowering Female Entrepreneurs and Managers: Insights from Executive Coach Monica Barnes!

Her Expat Life had the pleasure of speaking with Monica Barnes, an Executive Coach specialising in supporting female entrepreneurs and managers. Read on to learn more about her insights and expertise in the field.

1: Monica, you are an Executive Coach for Female Entrepreneurs & Managers! Tell us what you do as a coach and how you got started in the coaching industry?

My name is Monica Barnes. I am an Executive ICF ACC Coach, founder of DARE.TO. SHINE. and creator of CoachingInFeminine and CoachingInSilver, my exclusive coaching programs for female entrepreneurs & managers with grit who want to succeed. But this wasn’t always the case! For more than 10 years I held management positions, represented multinational companies, and in the end, I forgot about myself. I stopped dreaming, stopped being me, and lost the desire to smile. This

marked my path. I know what it takes to be you and achieve your dreams. In 2012 I left a successful

job and jumped into the void. I decided to listen to myself, become a mother, and walk towards my dream: to be a coach for women. I started from scratch, pregnant and with the fear of never being enough. I trained in coaching, self-leadership, neuroscience, neuro-coaching, emotional intelligence, NLP, personal growth and created my project: CoachingInFeminine. A coaching program for women around the world who want to shine. I can already tell you that it has not been easy for me. After becoming a mother, I didn't know who I was or what I wanted. I made many mistakes and walked alone, but eventually I ended up finding my way; myself. Now after making my way, I accompany very powerful women in different life stages from all over the world so that they can find their own path, in their own way, with focus and passion. This is how they break the seams and transform their

businesses and world with a powerful feminine touch.

2: What makes you unique from other coaches? You have a lot of attributes like +10 year-long International Corporate Experience and with Lead in Feminine with Agency & Grit! Tell us more...

I am engaging, loyal, dutiful, and hardworking. My clients like my work ethic, perseverance, devotion, and steadfastness. I strive to practice what I preach and hold true to my commitments and convictions. I take my work, family, and social roles seriously. I have strong interpersonal skills, capable of quickly establishing rapport with others. I am a natural reader of people, a trait which allows me to quickly relate to people. I know it is important to establish and maintain an environment that is positive, tolerant, and supportive for all coaching clients. This optimistic and inclusive atmosphere provides them with a base for meeting their full potential. I have 12 years of multinational business experience and have worked with coaching clients in more than 40 countries.


1. I don’t tell you what to do, but support you to find your answers and

solutions to the issues you bring to your sessions.

2. I see the person behind the character.

3: You have traveled extensively and speak several languages! How did you cultivate such a global mindset in business? What tips do you have for other females looking to enhance their global career?

I was born in a very tiny village near the Mediterranean Sea and soon I came out of my bubble. At the age of 16, I travelled alone to London, and everything changed: English brought me closer to the world. Since then, I think big, international, and without borders. I love to see women shine, be themselves, and lead their careers and lives without asking for permission. That is why I now accompany women from all over the world so they can grow their projects, lives and be themselves.

Courageous, confident, and leaders. The two tips I would share with other women when wanting to enhance their global career are to be themselves and look for some female mentors and network.

Be yourself, with your virtues and your defects. There is no point in copying certain (typically male) behaviours, it is too tiring and unsustainable over time to be playing the role of someone you are not all day long. Women can have a different leadership style, a different way of doing business and interacting with customers than men. More and more companies are valuing diversity in their teams. Hiding these feminine traits under a masculinised shield does not seem the best way to bring out the best in you. It is also vital to look for your female mentors, those people within your company or network who will be able to help you. Women are sometimes too humble to sell themselves, but at the same time too proud to ask for help. Let them get to know you, let them discover your skills, help others and make them trust you when opportunities arise.

4: You support YOUR CLIENTS with Brain-Friendly Language Coaching to help THEM build, grow and maintain the language skills that matter in THEIR new digital normal - tell us more!

I am fully bilingual Spanish and Catalan native speaker. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and I speak English, German and some Italian. While at University I was awarded a two-year grant to study in Great Britain and Germany. I went deep into European Studies, Politics, Philosophy, English writing, German Language and Comparative Grammar. These educational experiences were very influential for me in the development of my approach towards both life and work. I am also an accredited ICF Neurolanguage Coach and I use this methodology in my sessions. This approach combines Coaching with Neuroscience (brain-friendly learning) and turns out to be more effective and more durable than other language learning methods. The focus is above all on the learners, motivation, interests, needs and language-professional goals. My clients are international entrepreneurs, top corporate professionals and international language learners who want to gain the confidence needed to improve and master their conversations, presentations, emails. Above all, they want to communicate clearly and confidently in both Spanish and Catalan so they can make a greater impact on their audiences and fulfil both their language and ultimate goals, among others:


✔ Improve employment potential

✔ Expand study, live and work abroad options

✔ Increase language ability

✔ Create a brighter future for you and your loved ones

✔ Make travel more feasible and enjoyable

My primary areas of expertise are:

• Spanish and Catalan pronunciation

• International business communication

• Presentation Skills

• Interpersonal Skills

Part of my passion for helping my clients’ learn to communicate in Spanish and Catalan with confidence comes from my own struggles learning and speaking foreign languages. I always want my clients to know that they are valued and that any differences we have will have no bearing on how they will be respected or treated. I know that a person is not the same as their behaviour, so I never label nor judge my clients.

5: How can women tap into our feminine power and use it to our advantage in entrepreneurship and leadership roles?

As women, we know that we can do so much with our presence, without fighting, by being focused and connected. We are creators of life. Women lead differently. We tend to have a more emotional outlook, we can empathise better, reach out and move people. We know how to give everything a touch that is lived, felt & moved. It is a more natural, organic, ethical, conscious, collaborative leadership that integrates the most human part of organisations. It is a biodynamic leadership that takes into account our feminine energy and nature: a leadership that also evolves and integrates the cycles of life. Furthermore, hiding our cyclical nature is counterproductive, and in doing so, many women are missing out on what could be their most precious business tool, as it would allow them not only to compete with their male counterparts, but also to run our own business in a uniquely feminine way and stand out.

6: What advice would you give a woman looking to advance their career to management or leadership roles?

It is premature to talk about development when you have just started your career in a new company or position: first you will have to test the waters, find your niche and discover who is who. However, it is important to work step-by-step, with clear ideas, focus and determination. It is not an easy road, neither for men nor for women, but it is true that as women, we must overcome several obstacles, the first of which is ourselves. Set yourself objectives. Without setting a goal and a strategy, it is difficult to get to the right place. What resources do you have, what are your strengths, what will you have to work harder on? I repeat, you have just started, and it is time to observe, research and be cautious, but start outlining your plan of action to be outlined as soon as you are more established in your position. No one will give you anything for free and you will have to work very hard, but it is important that you do it with an objective in your head and without getting distracted. Volunteer when new projects arise. Take advantage of opportunities to gain visibility by doing good work. Women sometimes, because we are especially cautious, expect to be extremely prepared to undertake something. We want to control all the variables, and this can slow us down at the moment of action. Think that the train only passes once and in the professional world, at certain times, you

must get on the wagon when it is moving at full speed. And the most important thing: Always surround yourself with other women and men (why not) who make you grow. It is important that you feel that all the relationships you have are win-win. Be aware that the people you are closest to

always want your growth and to share a win-win relationship.

7: What can women expect from a coaching session with you?

I work with women who are interested in leading their lives and careers in meaningful, soulful, and conscious ways. This often includes mid-level managers, entrepreneurs, aspiring leaders, and soulful executive women who are looking to make a real impact in their career. My clients are open to exploring their lives and paths. If this is your case, I accompany you on the most important journey of your life: discovering your best self. Only if you first transform your way of BEING (thinking and feeling) can you DO more with less and HAVE different results. I guide you to learn and change while connecting to your best positive vision and to an inspiring goal you have.

In your sessions, you:

1. Explore what is getting in your way to achieve what you want to excel in.

2. Focus on the future you want. Not the problem.

In normal life, we try to solve problems, & fix people, or decide what we think is best for others. Unfortunately, this doesn't inspire sustained positive change. There's a much better and more powerful way, and this is through coaching. Coaching with me is for you if you want to make a change and are willing to put in the effort to make it happen. It’s for you if you are looking for a big shift, personal growth, and results. It’s not for you if you are looking for a quick fix. You will find

your coaching sessions with me are an amazing tool for reflection, building self-

awareness and achieving your goals.

8: Tell us about CoachingInFeminine: Coaching Soulful Women Worldwide to Thrive & Shine with Agency & Grit!

CoachingInFeminine is a very respectful, deeply challenging coaching method that taps into your great power as a woman: your feminine nature. With my method you empower yourself, connect with your feminine gifts and draw a turning point in your life. This way you break free, transform yourself and succeed. This is non-directive coaching with a powerful feminine touch. With non-directive I

mean that I do not tell you what to do, but I ask you the right questions at the right time, so you end up knowing by yourself what you want to do, how you want to do it, and achieve what you want. It is also a coaching model that follows the code of ethics and competencies of the International Coaching Federation as I am an ICF Global Member and ICF Coach. With “InFeminine” I am referring to the holistic natural capabilities, inner power, and hidden confidence that every woman has and sometimes is not aware of. In this sense, CoachingInFeminine draws special attention and creates awareness about the different patterns and flowing states of emotions, feelings, and body sensations that you as a woman usually experience every month thanks to your feminine nature (your monthly cycle). So in CoachingInFeminine in addition to using all the resources of professional coaching, you are also aware of your neuro hormonality , feminine skills, strengths and changing cognitive abilities. This is the greatest difference between CoachingInFeminine and a conventional coaching program. This program is for you if you feel you have sometimes struggled, worked hard, and lived experiences that you are now starting to value in their rightful measure. You understand that you have a unique value as a woman, and you are ready to take the leap and awaken the powerful and inner resourceful woman you have always been and you might have not realised or discovered until now. You want to feel fulfilled. You want to have the self-esteem you have always

wanted but have not yet been able to find in yourself. You want to get out of the fog (sometimes known as the & fear, obligation & guilt concept) and find the inner clarity to know who you are and create the life, business, and financial freedom you deserve.

9: You have a busy life - how do you maintain balance and make sure to create space for hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?

I live in northern Spain (between Barcelona and my nature retreat) with my family and two cats. When I am not accompanying amazing women to grow all aspects of their persona and business, I cycle, practice yin yoga, walk the foothills and enjoy Mediterranean lunches with people I love.

I am an ex half-marathon and trail runner, always eager to embrace nature. I get up at 6am every morning to do some sport and start the day with good vibes. I love meditating, learning languages, learning by doing, working with people from all around the world, succeeding in what I do, travelling, and relaxing with a good book in front of the fire place and letting time go by. Above all I enjoy spending time with my closest family, relatives, friends, and people I care about and love. Weekends are sacred for me – they’re my time to relax.

10: Lastly, where have you lived/worked/traveled that really inspired you and why?

I remember with special fondness a trip I made to China with my husband. We spent two weeks touring the whole country. We started in the most rural areas and ended up visiting the two most important cities in the country: Beijing and Shanghái. I thought it was a country to be developed in terms of languages and I was not wrong. In 2011 Fútbol Club Barcelona won the Champions League and I saw a report of many Chinese people wearing Barça shirts and singing the club's anthem. This gave me the idea to create my first Online and International Language Coaching project. To this day I have had the privilege to work with clients from more than 40 countries through both Life Coaching and Language Coaching.

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