Hi, there! My name is Johannes Traa and I’m an engineer and life coach living in the Boston area. My practice focuses mainly on young professionals in their 20s and 30s who want to gain clarity on their path forward, either personally or professionally.
Some of my clients are working on a transition from school to a new job or from academia to industry. Others are navigating the complexities of their workplace as they develop themselves as leaders. Then there are times when clients just want to feel better in their own skin. Whatever the focus, I’m here to support their growth.
So if you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re looking for answers to important questions. Trying to make decisions in the face of a complex set of challenges. Maybe you’re just curious about coaching. In any event, welcome!
Below, you’ll find descriptions of what coaching is and isn’t, why you might choose to work with me, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch (contact info below). I’m excited to be a part of your journey!
What it is
Coaching is a multifaceted approach to reaching one’s personal and professional potential. On the surface, it’s about setting goals and pursuing them in a structured way. But there’s much more to it than that.
During a session, I focus on holding a space where you can creatively explore what really drives you. We work together to understand your motivations, hopes, and dreams and carve out a path to get you there.
It’s important to note that there are many specializations within the field beyond general life coaching including health and wellness, leadership, and relationship coaching. In practice, we draw from multiple areas of experience to deliver maximum value to our clients.
I would describe myself as a life coach who focuses on leadership and relationships at the personal and organizational levels with a focus on empowerment.
What it isn’t
It’s important to clarify that coaching is neither therapy nor mentoring. Therapy often looks to the past to identify patterns and heal deeper wounds. And in mentoring, you get advice from a subject-matter expert who has experience in a particular field. Although both are powerful modalities and there is some overlap, they are distinct from coaching.
I’m passionate about personal development
I have a passion for helping others achieve their potential. That’s in part because I know what it’s like to struggle to find one’s voice. When I was a kid in school, I dealt with anxiety, depression, low self-worth, emotionally unsafe relationships, and overthinking.
Over the years, I figured out what work I needed to do to feel grounded in my true self. Who I needed to surround myself with. All the elements of a self-affirming mindset and lifestyle.
So I’m keenly aware of what that journey can look like and how empowering it can be to make progress with it. Enabling you to follow your path in life brings me joy!
I use a mix of coaching styles
I believe that a balance between thinking and feeling is important for a healthy life. My analytical half comes from a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, while my intuition comes from experiences with community organizing, compassion training, multiple forms of therapy (individual, couple’s, group), and education in psychology (individual and organizational).
I’m also passionate about leadership and how power dynamics play into organizational behavior. My experiences in tech inform my perspective on how business hierarchies work in practice. So if you’re working on navigating a corporate environment, I might be your guy.
I am a highly sensitive person (HSP), which is a term coined by Dr. Elaine Aron in the late 90s to describe a temperament trait found in 20% of the population. HSPs have heightened intuition, stronger emotions, and a need for deeper processing of their experiences. So believe me when I tell you that it’s been a journey to understand what HSP means for me and how I can use it as a strength.
You don’t necessarily need to be an HSP yourself to work well with me, but if you are, I will most likely be able to understand this aspect of your experience in a way others can’t. I’ve been the main organizer of Boston’s HSP meetup since 2017 and I’ve had the privilege of hearing many stories and facilitating our collective self-development.
Designing a coaching plan
In our first session, we will work together to understand your needs and design a coaching plan around them. This helps us to focus on your goals and translates into an agreement to meet for a predetermined number of sessions. That could mean pursuing batches of 3, 6, or 12 sessions at a time. And we can mix-and-match as we go. It all depends on your needs.
Between groups of sessions, we reflect on the progress you’ve made and plan for the next batch of sessions. I follow this flexible and iterative approach because it ensures that we keep track of where we’re going. It also encourages us to appreciate all the progress you’ve made along the way. After all, gratitude is an important part of the coaching process!
Pricing: $30-$80 / hour
Online or in-person
I live in the Boston area, so if you live nearby and prefer to meet in-person, that’s a possibility. But the majority of my sessions are by video call. I find that this works out well for most people. By phone also works.
I started a blog in late 2022 to organize and share my thoughts from over the years with a wider audience. It touches on a variety of topics having to do with organizational culture and human connection. If any of it resonates with you, we can explore what that means in our sessions.
“Rolling the Dice on Trust” blog: http://www.rollingthediceontrust.com
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns you might have. If you’ve never worked with a life coach before, it can be hard to know what to make of it all. I’m happy to jump on a discovery call with you to chat about it.