Meet one of WellWork’s favourite experts, Sydney Emotional Fitness Psychologist, Counselling and Coaching Services. The team, Scott Wright, Principal Psychologist, and Kelly Segat, Chief Coach, founded the business in 2008 and immediately started working with emerging leaders in the market.
Their value right from the start was to offer best-in-class evidence-based psychologist, counselling and coaching services enabling their clients to develop insight, tools, and skills for lasting emotional fitness.
We caught up with Kelly to talk more about their mission, the impact of social media and how they’re helping senior management, emerging leaders and high performers exceed their own expectations.
+ We love your mission, talk us through what it means to you?
Our mission is about empowering people’s lives. For us, this means working with individuals to ensure they have the tools and strategies to live a fulfilled life. Not just to increase their performance in the workplace, but also be the best person they can be in all areas of their life - home, relationships, community, etc.
+ Who does Sydney Emotional Fitness typically work with?
We work with a range of organisations from start-ups to large corporations spanning multiple levels and functions across these businesses. Our customers are generally looking to optimise the effectiveness and performance of their sales team, high potential programs, senior management or emerging leaders. Particularly as Diversity and Women in Leadership programs are becoming more visible, we have developed tailored solutions that focus on foundations like confidence and resilience/resourcefulness for future women leaders.
Our role when working with any of these individuals is to develop solutions & programs that get the best out of them and, in turn, build a better, thriving workplace.
+ Are there specific individuals or groups that you work with where you’ve seen some great results?
Our experience covers many verticals and functions however if we were to shine a light on a few, they would be high potential/performance programs encompassing emerging leaders, senior executives and, in the Legal industry, we've had some great wins preparing senior lawyers for partner opportunities.
Working with high potentials and emerging leaders is really exciting as there is so much that can be done with raw talent. If you can identify these individuals and nurture them to navigate corporate landscapes and relationships the outcomes are so rewarding. By identifying hidden talents they didn’t know they had or enabling confidence they didn’t understand they could use, you see people flourish through the process. My role is really to keep them on point as to what is their authentic vision moving forward. To help give them the courage to be vulnerable in the workplace and or work on specific opportunities - whether it’s their next manager role, a new specialisation or even to change their path or what they do considerably. Our role is to be their #1 cheerleader and put some strategy and rigour around the steps needed to get there.
+ Talk us through your Corporate journey?
I began my corporate career many years ago in the recruitment space. I started coaching and mentoring back in my agency days, spending time with both candidates and clients helping both to expand their thinking and performance.
A few lateral career moves later, I moved into an Organisational Design leadership role in finance where it was my job to enhance the capability of our workforce, This role gave me the opportunity to take on a large leadership role and lead key strategic change management and transformation programs with the core focus of enhancing and enabling talent.
I have been lucky to have worked for some really innovative executives who took chances and gave me the opportunities that were outside the box, for them and me.
One particular role meant jumping in completely blind, it was terrifying and imposter syndrome reigned supreme. It was, however, the best thing I could have done. It gave me experience in stepping outside my comfort zone to lead the Customer Strategy team in the Marketing function ultimately allowing me to collect the experience that enabled me to take on my last position at LinkedIn as the Head of Customer Success for APAC.
+ You & Scott together have a wonderful set of complementary skills. What benefit does that bring to your clients?
I think you’ve hit on one our key value props. Through Scott’s clinical background and my coaching expertise, we can move our clients from a therapeutic to performance coaching elements and back again as required by individual needs.
+ Wellbeing and wellness, they mean very different things to us here at WellWork. What's your point of view on this?
Often I hear people talk about wellness as supplements and the latest eating trend, and wellbeing as how tired or mentally stressed they are. I believe the body and mind move as one. You need to fuel yourself appropriately, when I refer to fuel I refer not only to wholesome nutrition that gives your body what it needs to operate optimally but also to what you feed your mind.
Do you surround yourself with people who care for you, do you care for others, do you believe in contribution to others and to yourself. Do you practice mindfulness and/or gratitude? I believe that once you start to feed the mind you make room for the person you really want to be and wellbeing ensues.
+ What role do you believe mindfulness plays in the workplace?
Mindfulness gives us the ability to regulate our behaviour and transcend our emotional challenges. It’s a purposeful focusing of attention enabling more clarity, perspective and discernment. By practicing mindfulness on regular basis throughout the workday allows individuals to perform at their best. A nice bi-product is that the individuals feel calmer, more able, this has a ripple effect on both the immediate team and greater business.
+ Wellbeing success can be measured in many ways, can you share a few ways you measure this?
Our clients come to us with a range of needs, and part of what makes us different from other counselling or coaching organisations is that we 100% tailor our solutions - interactions, interventions and treatment plans - bespoke to the individual’s goals and desired outcomes. What success looks like varies from person to person. If we look at an emerging leader coming through, by enabling them to set a vision that they didn’t know, immediately we kick goal one. Then through our structured plans, they start doing things they haven’t done before, growing in confidence, receiving better performance reviews or 360 feedback that indicates the changes in their engagement, collaboration or output. That for us is where success starts.
What has been quite subjective or controversial over time, is a measure of happiness. Are your workers happy, is there an element of happiness in the workplace? Organisations have started to measure it through absenteeism, cohesive teams and employee engagement but you can’t apply business metrics to human behaviour. Happiness and energy are engendered in culture, so we need to start looking at this from the top down, building energy & happiness as considerations and indicators into organisation design and function. By prioritising and organising infrastructure to support a wellbeing culture in the workplace, we will enable people to have the best possible chance to be happy and energetic.
"I believe in business; we are always very metric driven - looking for the data, the insights or directional patterns to indicate the company is and will be successful. There doesn’t need any more focus on this, we need to start shifting the same energy into measuring how our people are doing".
+ We love sharing #WellHacks, any tips you can share that may enhance an individual’s or corporation’s wellbeing?
One thing I can share that’s fairly simple. Stop this journey of comparison most of us are on, and slightly more controversial, switch off from social media. There’s always someone better, fitter and more successful at work or on Instagram, people need to stop feeding their insecurities and instead really work on their self-worth, identify things that are important to you on your own path, not someone else’s. What this does is it brings you back to your authentic self and enables you to be more vulnerable in the workplace. We know emotionally intelligent leaders make better leaders. They connect with their people and managers and empower them to work in a way that is much more intrinsic to themselves
+ Kelly you've been a rockstar and we can't wait to share your expertise with our customers. Two final questions for you.
1) Taking all of the skills & tools you have now as a Coach, is there anything you would have done differently in your own Corporate career?
I would take more risks, I wouldn’t wait so long to put up my hand and step up. We all suffer from imposter syndrome in varying degrees. What I have realised is, being uncomfortable is where we grow. We learn what we really like and don’t like, rather than what we fear and then allow ourselves to be dictated to by the fear. I look back on times and decisions in my life and think I wish that I had allowed myself to recognise the fear and done it anyway.
2) What activities or practices do you consistently undertake to live and maintain a mindful and/or thriving life?
Healthy eating is paramount. If we put rubbish into our bodies it has an effect on not only the way we feel but the way we think. Exercise is another non negotiable, even when I don't feel like it I will move in some way, even just a Yin Yoga class to get everything working on a cellular level and to clear the mind.
You also can’t underestimate the power of just 'being' - no phones, no Netflix, no Spotify, just you and the moment (and an occasional glass of red.:)