My beautiful but messy journey began years ago when my
professional and personal lives began to collide.
Neurodevelopmental disability in my children directed my attention.
It started back in 2002, when I began my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. For many years, I worked individually with clients to improve their communication skills, as well as their ability to interact effectively with others.
However, the birth of our two children, Logan in 2010, and Chloé in 2011, brought a completely unexpected twist to my life and, ultimately, to my career. Both of our children have neurodevelopmental disabilities and have had significant and persistent behavioural and social interaction challenges from a very young age. As their challenges emerged, professionally, I became increasingly specialized in the interplay between human behaviour and interpersonal communication, so that I could support my children in their challenges.
The work that I’ve done since – in all areas of my life – guided me to working with others on their own journeys. I do this in my consulting and coaching practice and through national speaking engagements.
In working with my children through their challenges, I started seeing parallels between what I was learning to support them, and my own ability to communicate my needs, and to keep myself feeling calm and grounded. My kids’ frequent behaviour was often triggered by their nervous system becoming overwhelmed. They went from being able to communicate their needs with full sentences, to massive two hour meltdowns in an instant. My kids could shift from a calm, receptive state to an explosive, reactive state, in a split second.
And although my own end points were less extreme, I started noticing how I too could quickly shift from being in a receptive state, to a reactive state. I became aware of the impact that this had on my ability to engage in collaborative conversations that ended with both parties feeling satisfied. I noticed how in meetings, certain communication styles quickly triggered me into a reactive state. I realized that the same strategies that worked for my own children were also the basis to me remaining a receptive communication partner, whether as a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, an employee or a boss.
The nervous system is made up of all the neurons in your body and it is through the nervous system that we communicate with the outside world.
I started applying what I was learning to my own life and was astonished to see how seamlessly the strategies that are used to support children with disabilities were beneficial to myself. After all, a lot of the work that I did in the disability world related to keeping the nervous system in a receptive communication zone, and out of fight-or-flight mode, as this is the basis of supporting clients to communicate effectively. And since a nervous system is a nervous system, the same principles apply to the general population of adults. The only difference is that the impact on the disabled child may be greater than for an average adult.
Understanding the relationship between the nervous system and how we communicate is how we learn to sustainably improve interpersonal interactions.
My professional focus has evolved from working with individuals who have communication impairments to working with leaders and teams who want to unlock the secrets to stress-free communication. This new perspective became the basis for my unique expertise and offerings as a speaker, coach and consultant. I began consulting regularly to various Cree organizations in James Bay several years ago, which I continue to enjoy to this day. I share knowledge about the underlying factors that influence successful and unsuccessful interactions so that professionals can better understand how to better listen to, and meet the needs of their clients. I also help others learn how to navigate challenging communication dynamics, as we all know how frustrating it can be to speak with someone who will not listen to what we have to say!
If we never analyze our own behaviour and decisions, we continue making the same mistakes, thinking the same thoughts and feeling the same kind of way.
The strategies that I teach are the strategies I used to carry me through sudden life-shattering grief.
After my mother and uncle were killed in a car accident in 2014, followed by the sudden death of my father in 2016, this realization came to me: Never underestimate the power of a strong mind-body connection, as this is the foundation to responding receptively, rather than reactively, in any conversation or interaction. These deaths were life-shattering events for me. I had yet to turn 40, and suddenly found myself with no parents, and with a future that no longer looked anything like the one I had imagined. I knew so many strategies around engaging in successful interactions (heck, I’d been teaching this stuff for years!), but suddenly found myself struggling to implement them consistently. I needed to take a step back and focus on self-care and being mindful of my constantly shifting emotions as I walked through my deep grief, to be in a space where the strategies I teach would be effective.
Are you ready to develop the insight and habits needed to finally set yourself free from frustrating communication patterns ?
As a Human Behaviour & Interpersonal Communication Specialist, I help leaders and their teams unlock the secrets to stress-free communication at work. I share this message through consultations, keynotes and workshops. I am passionate about providing you with the knowledge and strategies that are needed to free yourself from stressful interactions, along with guidance to develop the mindfulness that is necessary to use them. Clients who work with me adapt how they view situations, how they listen to themselves, and how they interact with others, which leads to radically different outcomes in their lives. When we do things differently, we are set free from frustrating patterns.
I am not only passionate about supporting others to free themselves from interactions and behavioural patterns that cause stress – I am as equally passionate about relentlessly pursuing these same goals in my own life. The discovery of Essentrics, a full-body workout that places high emphasis on mindful movement, has been one way that I have incorporated mindfulness into my own life, and it contributes significantly to my overall well-being. Through a desire to share this mindful movement with others, I became a Certified Essentrics instructor in 2018. I have also attended a mindfulness based stress reduction course and am working towards becoming a trained MBSR facilitator.
In addition to Essentrics, camping, hiking, paddleboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing and cooking are amongst some of my favourite ways to stay connected to myself. I also devour Audiobooks and podcasts and frequently text myself quotes that I never get around to writing down anywhere. Travel and immersing myself in other cultures is another huge passion for both myself and my husband. This has worn off on my children, who, at 7 and 9, are already planning out year long itineraries across the globe, in the hopes that they can twist our arms.
My clinical background and outstanding analytical skills, combined with a client-centered, holistic approach, enable me to identify the subtle factors that influence human behaviour and interpersonal communication. I am exceptionally skilled at making deep connections with others, understanding others’ needs and identifying the barriers that are stopping you from getting to where you want to be in your interactions with others. My excellent communication skills facilitate the transfer of knowledge to training participants, who can then immediately incorporate elements from my trainings into their everyday lives.
Lindsay Lapaquette – Human Behaviour & Interpersonal Communication Specialist. Masters degree from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University, Professional member of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers), Certified Human Behaviour Consultant and DISC Personality Styles Trainer, Certified Essentrics Instructor, Former Speech-Language Pathologist.