LinkedIn, Skills for Recovery: getting to know Barbara Reverberi
A mentor for freelancers, training coach and consultant, LinkedIn Top Voice labour 2022, Journalist. This is the professional description shared on LinkedIn by Barbara Reverberi, the protagonist of the upcoming "LinkedIn: Skills for Recovery" session on October 25 (5-6 pm). Here is an interview with Onelia Onorati that will reveal why this meeting with Barbara is so precious, especially for those who work independently or plan to do so.
A gentle mentor … what does that mean? What characterizes a gentle mentoring style?
Thanks for having asked me this question that sets both the perspective and point of departure. I define myself a mentor because I share my personal experience. This is what makes my courses unique. Each one of us has a goal and explaining it to others introduces listeners into a common dimension in which we share a part of the road and our experiences. I added the word gentle because I’m convinced that gentleness is a style of life, a mindset that must be trained to smile at life even when we face an upgrade. A gentle mentor listens to others and helps them develop a shared growth strategy without judgement, but only delicate curiosity, to work heart to heart towards the objective.
Were you “born” as a coach or was there a professional evolution, a change in your personal and professional priorities?
I’ll reveal a secret: I was professionally born as a journalist. I started working on communications when I was still at university on a foreign languages programme. You can imagine the reason: being able to communicate worldwide. When I became a freelance, I wish someone had told me what and how to do it. Instead, I did everything on my own, making mistakes, and starting again each time. Today, I’m wiser, but I still have a lot to learn! In fact, that is how my priorities changed. I started studying. I looked for other colleagues with whom to collaborate and share experiences and I founded Freelance Network Italia. Today, I define myself as a mentor with the tools of a coach. And I’d do it all again, because learning by experimenting is an altogether different story.
You have worked with many different clients in communications and as a mentor you are constantly introduced to new stories. Do you miss continuity, a single large organisation in which to work? Or do you believe that the future is made of many different meetings and lifelong working conditions are a thing of the past?
Experiences are enrichened by different stories. Freelance Network Italia is a shared reality, but I need more. I love to meet people at events and speak with them to understand their life philosophy and needs. It’s the starting point for my daily research. I believe that everyone – yes, everyone – should understand themselves better and discover their own resources, so to be able, at any point in life, to reinvent themselves. I’m 52. Steady jobs, as they were defined by my parents, no longer exist. I teach my children about passion and the desire to reach beyond uncertainty. Believing in ourselves always leads us ahead. And this is why I firmly believe that high schools should introduce awareness and self-enterprise as a subject.
Can anyone become a freelance? What talents are indispensable?
Not everyone is cut out to be a freelance, a lot of it depends on one’s values, which need to be discovered, recognized and cultivated. My experience has taught me that moving away from one’s values causes sufferance. So, I grew professionally and as a person, but what a waste of energy! As one grows, the dots connect if one has set a gentle route, one on which we can persevere or drift away from. Therefore, indispensable talents include passion, curiosity, proactivity (things will not rain from the sky, they must be pursued), self-efficiency, responsibility, irony, humility, and awareness of one’s value.
What three requisites can be learned or improved to achieve full professional satisfaction?
We can learn anything if we want to and have someone to help us understand it rapidly. I say this especially to young people who can develop a better relation to time. As this is fundamental to learn how to organise and prioritize things. There is a time for learning and one for acting and making mistakes. Three indispensable talents? Developing a dynamic and open mindset, cultivating our imagination and learning to collaborate with others.
What about the innate characteristics necessary to be happy in life?
I don’t really believe in innate characteristics. I believe in change and the concept of “mindset flux” introduced by April Rinne to grasp the invisible, learn to get lost to find oneself and begin any private or professional relation with trust and fun. We are always learning.
Life is like a mirror. It begins smiling at us when we smile. There certainly are difficulties, but every day can teach us to create something new to overcome our issues. At times, it’s better to do this with others, while sometimes silence is the best teacher. And listening always helps us to reflect.
What would you recommend to someone who wishes to requalify or is about to join the working world?
Be yourselves. There no longer is a private life to defend from the working world. In a world that provides new opportunities for growth, day after day, the winner is the person capable of gazing inwards, understanding their emotions and moving forward, step after step. What is important is having a destination and asking a lot of questions. What do I like? What energizes me? What tires me? What am I great at? What could I do better? Who could help me? What do I need to reach this objective? Asking the right questions helps open our minds and improves our interior dialogue. This will allow our inner voice to become an ally and drive us to be truly unique. And you know what? When we feel unique, we have something different and new to tell. And others will notice this.