Episode #31 – Steffany Hanlen, The Champions Journey

“For me, and the success of what I’ve done, whether its financially, business-wise, turning a business around, taking couples to the podium, taking business owners through their own journey [the key] is mindset. It doesn’t mean you have to be super strong or mentally tough, that’s not it. It’s [being] truly committed and having the courage that it takes to do things that other people aren’t willing to do and be willing to be misunderstood.” – Steffany Hanlen-Francey

Steffany Hanlen-Francey is a business owner, international speaker, coach, mentor, innovator, pioneer and path-finder for entrepreneurs and leaders. She is known and trusted as a performance coach internationally in both the figure skating and ice hockey world.

Starting over 30 years ago, Steffany has built a reputation for results as a skilled and impactful personal and professional development workshop leader and facilitator. Her Personal Performance Coaching program is known for providing a foundation for her clients to plan and create their next level future.

Steffany has been a Master Coach and Course Conductor for Skate Canada and an NHL Strength and Conditioning Coach and Skating Coach for the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, and 100’s of NHL players from across the league. She worked with the Hockey Canada-U22 female skating program and since 2012 has been Hockey Canada’s master skating instructor.

Currently she is the managing partner and CEO for SKATETECH Group of Companies, a strategic partner in the Montreal training school EPMISS (École de Patinage Montréal International Skating School), a performance coach for business owners and a world and Olympic class coach in the space of mental performance, most recently working the top three placing medalists in ice dance in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

In all the accomplishments Steffany has created in her life, she centers herself in personal integrity and contribution, living life in a joyful, meaningful way including the space she creates to enjoy her family, her husband (TEDM host Patrick Francey), their daughter, and son-in-law and their amazing grandchildren.

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Show Notes

  • [02:20] Patrick introduces his next guest who is near and dear to his heart {which also induces some nerves}, his wife Steffany Hanlen-Francey.
  • [03:44] With Steffany’s impressive, extensive and broad accomplishments, Patrick slows down and takes his time sharing Steffany’s bio.
  • [06:53] Patrick and Steffany get rolling!
  • [07:40] What has Steffany been up to most recently?
  • [08:57] With such diversity in her work and depending on what arena she’s showing up in {sometimes figuratively, sometime literally}, Steffany delves more into “what she does”.
  • [10:33] Going back to where Steffany began, working with a business coach to connect her two gifts of “skating and talking” with a passion for teaching. Plus, a blown-out knee provides a little guidance.
  • [13:03] An interview with the Edmonton Oilers Coach Glen Sather throws Steffany for a small loop but his guidance and coaching prove to be invaluable to Steffany’s journey with the NHL team.
  • [15:17] Being female in a male dominated sport was always secondary to Steffany’s purpose and passion for the results she wanted for the players.
  • [17:36] How Steffany showed up in her confidence and commitment, with no expectations other than the players’ enduring improvement, marked a difference for the players in the male-female dynamic.
  • [19:36] What was Steffany’s mindset back then? Was she aware of how she was showing up and occurred for the players?
  • [22:54] Patrick and Steffany recall the story of how Steffany was offered an opportunity to work with the St. Louis Blues organization.
  • [27:00] The upheaval and aftermath of 9/11 gives Steffany an opportunity to work with the St. Louis farm team and she quickly realizes this is where she can have the most impact; for upcoming players.
  • [30:17] When Steffany realizes the players’ off-the-ice challenges correlate to their on-the-ice performance, she enhances her coaching repertoire to more intentionally work on their mental game, with remarkable results.
  • [34:06] Steffany’s unconventional work with high performance athletes; meeting them where they’re at and working first from a place of compassion, makes a huge impact.
  • [39:10] How did these young hockey players respond to Steffany and the work that they did together?
  • [42:23] The thought processes and training processes that provide a real difference to the athletes, their strong team dynamics and their families in the world of sport.
  • [46:07] Hold up! Steffany goes from working with hockey players to going to the Olympics with world champion ice dancers. What is the journey in between?
  • [48:01] A “what’s next” conversation leads Steffany and Patrick to REIN in 2001 and Steffany sees her real estate training connecting with her performance training and experience.
  • [49:45] A conversation with a young figure skater, Ben Ferreira, provides a fork in the road for Steffany to see her work shift. The world of figure skating and greater awareness of career longevity for athletes opens a new set of doors.
  • [54:20] Listening and saying yes first, gives Steffany the foundation for many of the significant moments in her life and truly sets the stage for The Champions Journey.
  • [56:04] Steffany’s first path to the Olympics with Canadian ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.
  • [57:02] The approach Steffany brought beyond technical coaching to get to the heart and centre of where athletes could perform from with excellence was different. This didn’t come without push-back.
  • [59:00] As dedicated listeners of TEDM, you know how important the conversation is around your vision and anchoring to your “why”. In elite sport, this purpose is no different.
  • [60:10] Was Steffany always able to park her ego in her work? And was it an intentional choice or was it a natural understanding the work couldn’t be about her?
  • [63:25] What does Steffany view as the overlap between world class sport and high performance in career and business?
  • [66:56] The Champions Journey. Regardless of the vehicle you choose for the journey, sport, business or otherwise, being the best you can be, and making a contribution in the world is rooted in the same conversation.
  • [68:00] Steffany shares a powerful story of how she worked with an athlete to help him get out of his own way and get grounded in his authenticity first.
  • [77:43] What Steffany taught that athlete, is relevant and fundamental to the work she does with all her clients from sport to business.
  • [78:12] Steffany shares her family history and the lessons she gathered from her parents in partnership and contribution.
  • [82:42] In the afterglow of the 2018 Winter Olympics and the medal success (bronze, silver AND gold) of the athletes she works with, how is Steffany feeling about it?
  • [84:51] Steffany touches on the equipment failure at the Olympics for the French ice dance team (Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron). How their inherent commitment, mental strength and support as a team allowed them to rise to the challenge and overcome adversity.
  • [87:27] In the evolution and unfolding of Steffany’s life, how does she achieve these significant outcomes and how does she goal set? [Hint: she doesn’t] And how does she apply this when working with clients?
  • [90:40] The message Steffany views as the key to personal success: mindset.
  • [92:33] What is Steffany’s personal routine and practice?
  • [94:43] The four aspects of the Quadrinity: intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical.
  • [95:23] What is Steffany’s definition of success?
  • [97:05] And what does contentment mean to Steffany?
  • [97:41] Steffany explains a tipping point in her journey and the importance of doing what’s right.
  • [99:02] As a child Steffany struggled with the way she read and saw words, and now is a voracious reader. What kind of books does she enjoy?
  • [101:10] Winding down to ramp up! Rapid Fire time: what is Steffany reading? Great spin on a favourite swear word, favourite quote, no alternate professions here, message at the pearly gates, weirdness scale, what she’s not good at and cleaning: room, desk or car? Current music she’s listening to and favourite movie.
  • [104:04] Steffany’s gratitude.

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