The serenity of a farming town near Ottawa may seem a world away from the bustle of downtown Toronto, but that’s exactly where Bryn, corporate trainer and coach, grew up. She was raised on 100 acres of pasture that’s home to mostly sheep, some chickens, and the occasional aggressive llama. Things tend to get really hectic in May (when all the lambs were born.) “We could get about 500 lambs in three weeks,” says Bryn. “To say the least, there was a lot of bottle feeding to do…”
Rural Comraderies and Going the Distance
“In a farming community, you develop a sense of self-reliance,” she says. “And there seems to be less in the way of ego, with no one needing to be a better farmer than another.” In a smaller population area, there are close connections among people including those of different ages. “After all, when you meet someone on the street, they could be your friend’s aunt.”
The rural life also got her interested in fitness. “I found I had plenty of time for other activities, so I’d run on weekends—typically an 18 km route,” she explains. Of course, the Ottawa area was also great for winter traditions such as cross-country skiing in Gatineau and skating on the Rideau canal. “In university, I also got involved in competitive rowing. But hiking and camping are probably my favourite activities.” A highlight for Bryn was hiking the Camino de Santiago—on two occasions actually—a scenic 800 km pilgrimage that traverses into northwest Spain, starting near the French border.
A Literary Romantic
Bryn is also an avid reader, having studied English Lit during her undergrad. Her favourites are still the classics. “For me, it’s the romantics, like Jane Austen,” she admits, “because they were writing during the industrial revolution and you could feel how the characters were disheartened by changes happening around them. It’s poetic—I love that stuff.” Given the time, she would actually read more and perhaps even try her hand at writing to indulge that creative side.
Moving From One to Many
Prior to joining Farber in early 2018, Bryn was in private practice as a psychotherapist. “I liked being able to access that rich and beautiful stuff about individuals. It’s deep and meaningful work,” she confirms, “but you’re only working with one person. I wanted an opportunity to apply that to personal interactions on a larger scale, which is what I’m doing now. We are like the therapists of the business world.”
Squaring the Circle
Bryn finds that the working dynamic within Farber embodies the same training and coaching concepts they promote within their Circle & Square practice. “It’s wonderful to know that your colleagues care about you as a person, and within Farber, there is a genuine attitude of helping each other across the many different business groups we have here.”
In reflecting on Farber’s 40 years in business, Bryn takes the analytical perspective (no big surprise here). “It’s interesting to think of all the iterations you would have to go through in that period to stay on course and be successful. It’s impressive—we work with some start-ups and many stumble. For Farber, there may have been some luck involved, but many decisions had to have been right.”
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