Serena–take 2

The recent, and much anticipated, interview on ‘The Project’ with Lisa Wilkinson showed an up close and personal side of Serena Williams, coping with the pressures of being the most talked about sportsperson on earth these days.

Serena didn’t back out of the interview, as many sports professionals might have. Instead the 37-year-old dug deep and reflected on the craziness of the past several weeks.

The winner of 23 Grand Slams—10 after the age of 30—knew she would cause controversy when she ‘let it all out’ that she believes there are double standards in tennis, with men getting away with so much more than women. She did it anyway. She did it based on her self-belief and self-confidence, traits her parents taught her from a young age, and traits she has fully developed over the years, in part through one-on-one coaching.

Coaching. It’s not just for elite performers, whether musicians, sports people or actors. Coaching is for everyone.

When Dr Kim Vella, accredited executive career coach, works with clients, she spends a great deal of time discussing inner voice and how to eliminate the self-limiting beliefs that hold so many of us back, on both personal and work fronts.

‘In the work world, coaching provides the tools needed to improve performance, secure a promotion, navigate roadblocks, increase self-awareness and work with your core values,’ says Kim. ‘Coaching is valuable at any stage of a career or life.’

Many are confused over what a coach does. A quality executive career coach plays a unique role and isn’t there to dictate or issue instructions on what to do. They’re there to have a meaningful, two-way conversation to find a way forward.

‘Coaches help you dig deep, develop your own insights and strengthen your ability to make top-notch decisions with confidence,’ says Kim. ‘They help develop your capability, so you become a high performer. They use open questioning and help facilitate your thinking. They apply a holistic approach and are future focused. They teach you a “way of being”.’

As Bill Gates once said in a TED Talk: ‘Everyone needs a coach.’ Eric Schmidt, a former CEO of Google, says the best advice he ever got was to get a coach.

One-on-one executive career coaching can be invaluable at any time, but definitely when you’re:

  • wanting a long-term strategy for career development
  • returning to work and need transition support
  • desperate to achieve that elusive work-life balance
  • having to deal with change and wanting to define your next career chapter
  • starting a new business.

Tips for selecting the right coach

  1. Only choose a qualified and accredited executive coach who is expert at asking great questions, genuinely listening and giving considered feedback.
  2. Make sure you feel comfortable with your coach. You don’t necessarily have to get along like a house on fire, but you want your sessions to be rewarding and motivating, not painful.
  3. Only select a coach who follows a set of ethics and invests in their personal development. Not everyone knows it, but coaching is not a regulated industry, so beware.

See how important ethics are to Kim.

Options for coaching

  1. Take five and check out the one-on-one executive coaching options available through Kim Vella Coaching. Then make it happen.
  2. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching session.
  3. Recommend that your work set up a coaching pool for staff, which they can confidentially access at any time.
  4. Recommend your workplace set up coaching guilds—one-hour monthly meetings with a professional coach focusing on sharing experiences, testing ideas and approaches and building coaching leadership practice. Participants are invited to share their own case studies for discussion. This will build organisational leadership capacity.

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