I'm Arjanna van der Plas, a formerly Silicon Valley-based Dutchie, who has recently settled in Zurich (for now at least;)).
In the past 10 years, I’ve helped many leaders, entrepreneurs, and students to design the life they want to live, overcome mental barriers, and achieve their professional and personal goals.
Moreover, I’m trained as a yoga and meditation teacher (Yoga Tree, RYT200), which inspires me to incorporate mindfulness and somatic exercises in my coaching practice. I also draw from my background in industrial design engineering to find creative solutions for my clients’ challenges.
I've worked with people at among others Google, Uber, IDEO, Deloitte, McKinsey, UC Berkeley, World Bank, UCSF and many startups.
This is what they say about me:
What are your dreams, your passion, your unique life purpose? It's often surprisingly hard to come up with the answer on your own, but when you do know, making big life decisions becomes a lot easier.
Let's explore together what a fulfilling life looks like for you.
Achieve your goals
So you know that you want to quit your job, or find the love of your life, or have a healthy lifestyle. You've actually known that for years, but how to turn that intention into action?
Let me be your sparring partner, accountability buddy, and cheerleader to make your dreams happen.
Overcome inner critics
Your mindset makes a big difference in achieving goals. We all have little voices in our head that tell us that we're not smart, strong or worthy enough.
Let's get to know these inner critics and explain to them that they don't have to fear your success.
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How I work
You're unique, and so is your coaching trajectory. However, there are a few things that I can say about my approach to coaching.
I'm a coach. Not a mentor, and not a consultant. That means that I believe that you have the answers, and I'm simply here to mirror, champion and challenge you, and provide you with tools and exercises that might benefit you. Your coaching trajectory might be action-oriented or introspective, down-to-earth or deeply spiritual, based on what is beneficial for you in the moment.
With most of my coachees, I do bi-weekly 60-minute coaching sessions via Zoom, for 3-6 months.
And if you're a nature lover like me, you might enjoy a walking coaching session!
Questions? Comments? Ideas?
Let me know!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is coaching?
That’s a good and surprisingly difficult to answer question. Here’s my take on it: as a coach, I’m basically here to help you find your own answers. I’m not here to give you advice on what I think you should do, and I’m not going to dig into your history and find out why things are a certain way. I basically serve as your guide in the forest of your dreams, fears, emotions, thoughts and questions, exploring what’s there and pointing my flashlight at things that seem to be important to you.
I often refer to the Disney movie Inside Out to explain what that might look like. In the movie, the main character is Riley, an 11-year old girl who moves to San Francisco. Most of the movie actually takes place inside her head, showing her emotions as actual characters that steer her decisions and behavior. This is an image that you might recognize yourself: when you’re facing a difficult decision, there seem to be many voices in your head that have different ideas about what’s best for you. One voice might tell you to follow your dream, while the other thinks it’s best to avoid conflict, and yet another keeps emphasizing the fact that you’re a useless, talentless being. Making distinctions between these different voices, and deciding which voice you want to listen to, can be immensely helpful in defining your vision, achieving goals and changing habits. Depending on what works for you, I have different tools and methods for how to do that.
Who needs coaching?
Nobody ‘needs’ coaching, and yet everybody can benefit from it. Coaching can help you get clarity on what you really want and need, set goals and achieve them, and overcome your inner critics. I find that coaching can be especially beneficial when you’re considering of facing a big life transition, such as changing jobs, moving to a new country, starting a family or losing a loved one. While these times can often be overwhelming and stressful, coaching can help make the transitions a more fulfilling experience, even if they’re painful.
What are good coaching topics?
Coaching generally focuses on where you want to make change in your life. It can be about finding a new job, or about becoming a better leader in your current job. It can be about finding a romantic partner, or about thriving in your current relationship, friendships or family relations. I often use the Wheel of Life in my free sample coaching sessions to show what kind of areas we can explore in coaching. At the start of a coaching trajectory, I ask my clients to define up to three goals that they have with the coaching, and they are usually in different areas of their life.
What we often find out is that the coaching goals are often related. For example, someone who is looking for a new job and a romantic partner might struggle with an very judgmental inner critic voice that tells him that he is not good enough for the dream job he really wants, and that no romantic partner will ever find him attractive. Him and I are likely to work on his self-esteem, from both the career and the romantic perspective.
What does a coaching trajectory look like?
All my coaching trajectories are custom-made, but with most of my clients I have biweekly 60-minute video conference sessions, and most trajectories are 3-6 months.
What are the costs of a coaching trajectory?
For private clients I charge $175 | E145 | 155CHF per coaching session, payable through Paypal. I also offer walking coaching sessions of ~2 hours for people in the Zurich area for $350 | E290 | 310CHF per session. For corporate coaching I offer different packages based on the size and mission of the organization.
With most of my clients I have biweekly 60-minute video conference sessions, and most trajectories are 3-6 months.
It's also possible to sign up for Thrive, the group coaching program I lead with Nele Clüver.
Often employees can spend their personal education/training budget on coaching - just ask your manager what the policy for your company is.
Can I get a free sample coaching session to see if coaching is for me?
Yes, you can book it here. It's an open conversation, no strings attached. And if you decide you want to work with a coach, but I might not be a good fit for you I'm happy to refer you to other coaches in my network.
Can I ask my boss to pay for the coaching?
Absolutely! Many employees can spend their personal education/training budget on coaching - just ask your manager what the policy for your company is.
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