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Jody Michael: Personal Bio

When you hire Jody Michael Associates, many of you will personally work with me. Having a sense of who I am and the life experiences, choices and environments that have shaped me may help you, as a potential client, determine whether or not we may be a “good fit.”

Core Experiences

  • Being exposed, at a young age, to mental illness in my family. As a result, I became fascinated with the brain and how it works. As I observed the suffering that a dysfunctional brain can produce though states of anxiety and depression, I learned empathy and compassion. Inevitably, it brought me to the field of coaching and psychology. Today, I have a passionate focus for helping people maximize their personal and professional potential without traditional “shrinking.”
  • Being a three-sport college athlete. Driven, competitive and blessed with above-average hand-eye coordination, I played college basketball, volleyball and fast-pitch softball. I learned leadership, teamwork and the eventual payoff of discipline and hard work.
  • Being one of the first women floor traders. In the robust financial markets of the early 1980s, I had the opportunity to become one of the first female floor traders on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. My comfort and confidence in the trading pits came from spending a dozen years competing against neighborhood boys in sports. That, coupled with being in the “men’s locker room” of the trading floor, provided me with an intimate understanding of and connection with the psyche of powerful, successful men. It also taught me that the application of strategy, focus and competitiveness works not only in athletics, but in business as well.
  • Practicing meditation for years. I spent 15 years immersed in the practice while I was a trader on the trading floor. I continue the practice today. A WSJ quote stated, “Meditation is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” New brain technologies have confirmed that this is, in fact, true: Meditation changes your brain and allows it to function optimally. Meditation also opened my mind to challenge many cultural paradigms that I held and exposed me to new, holistic, mind-body perspectives.

Core Beliefs

  • People can change. In fact, sometimes, people change dramatically. I make this statement with confidence, simply because I have had the honor of partnering with thousands of individuals – just like you – for well over 20 years. In the process, I have been humbled, astonished and deeply moved by what the intimate partnership of coaching can yield. 

    Coaching can be the catalyst to profoundly shift the trajectory of one’s life, enabling people to do things they never dreamed of. I have watched people reach goals they had coveted for decades. I’ve watched people change their world perspective dramatically. Like compounding interest, a small change over the course of years can yield huge results.
  • People overestimate obstacles and underestimate themselves. People often become a “deer in headlights” when a sizeable obstacle surfaces. They tend to remain focused on the obstacle at hand instead of seizing the growth opportunity in front of them that will lead to new learning, growth and a stronger constitution.
  • Cultivating self-awareness and recalibrating one’s observational perspectives result in huge personal and professional dividends. Most of us merely succumb to experiencing life through a rigid lens that our family, our religion, our ethnicity and our sociological cultural “soup” have shaped. Without deep reflection and ontological analysis, we are trapped in our limited world – often without even knowing it. This lack of awareness causes people much unnecessary pain and suffering. A quote by Anaïs Nin sums it up best: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
  • Thoughts precede manifestation. Thoughts create reality. Language is the building block of all human action and creation. I learned early in life from powerful personal experiences that the overused adage rings true: What you think is possible, is possible and what you think is not possible, isn’t.

    Life is less about finding yourself; it’s more about creating yourself. Through repetitive thoughts, beliefs and corresponding action (or lack thereof), one builds oneself and one’s future slowly over a lifetime. That’s the power of thoughts. I have coached hundreds of people who held a predominant limiting belief that had negatively impacted the trajectory of their future possibilities.

    I have coached people who thought they weren’t smart enough and couldn’t get into University of Chicago’s or Northwestern’s business school, only to be accepted after rigorously challenging them to assess the validity of their self-deprecating, inaccurate appraisals. Awareness of our thinking patterns, in-the-moment observation of our thoughts, and engagement in more effective word choice shape our future and the possibilities that lie ahead. Thoughts create reality. It’s imperative to choose them carefully.

If you’re ready to achieve your greatest goals, I encourage you to contact us


Up front, Jody focused on getting to know the professional environment in which I am immersed daily, as well as me personally. We then engaged in a coaching process that was transformational. Remarkable results, personal satisfaction, and a sense of harmony followed in an effortless manner.”

-- Frank Pacholec, VP of Research & Development, Corporate Sustainability Officer, Stepan Company
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