A visit with a Personal Coach
When there are lots of cars parked in a neighborhood--some jammed into driveways, others lining curbs for entire blocks--one thing can usually be derived: There’s a big party going on somewhere nearby. This is what happens every time Judith Baily Wilmot comes to town; however it’s not a party she and the others are attending, it’s one of her popular personal coaching seminars--an extension class, of sorts, in which she takes a number of her advanced clients way beyond what they’ve already learned through their private sessions with her; she’s determined it’s just the right time for them to move on to a deeper, direct, much more thorough examination of their innermost selves. She personally facilitates these seminars--held over a several-day period--in a client’s home. She is assisted by her husband Richard, a retired Army Brigadier General, currently an active consultant to the federal government as well as Judith’s right hand. Judith is there to advance the knowledge of those attending as to how to define what it is they want from life, not to just accept the cards circumstance has dealt them; then how to go about getting what they want without destroying their emotional, mental and physical bodies in the process.
It’s surprising just how many of those who attend Wilmot’s seminars are professionals; though some are clearly not: civic leaders, attorneys, physicians, parents, college students, business owners, homemakers. It is during these intense sessions that challenges (business and personal) are discussed one at a time, openly, with input from everyone--still retaining a certain sense of confidentiality. Judith will take it a step or two further, adding spirituality and morality into the mix, asking each client questions concerning the ethics relevant to their situation, while advising them, at specific times, to just use some good common sense. Everyone attending has a personal belief in God--though they are not required to adhere to any particular religious dogma. Using Judith’s charts and diagrams from the prepared notebooks they have been given, the clients follow along as Wilmot sketches out certain steps that she believes the client might need to take to best understand their decisions--right or wrong--and how to anticipate and prevent mistakes for the future.
When she’s not facilitating these advanced classes, Judith Wilmot assists these same people privately as their personal coach. “Many people think having a personal coach is a modern phenomenon;” says Wilmot, “personal coaching is an age-old concept, it’s been around for eons, only under different names: mentor, counselor, guru, consultant, clergymember, trusted advisor. When people achieved a certain wisdom--maybe it was your grandfather, or some seasoned individual in the community who’s now retired yet still highly capable of sharing some of their experience--they wanted to give back a little and decided to help others understand more fully what life is all about or might lie ahead for them. There have always been people coaching other people--presidents, royalty, and other world leaders continue to have kitchen-cabinet advisors; different CEOs retain a certain key group of people whom they trust for advice. It’s nothing new, many simply call it: coaching. It’s obviously a system that works.”
Judith Wilmot is a very confident woman with a Master of Science degree from Indiana University; also a graduate of the Arizona Valley Leadership Program; and she’s had additional training with the Political Campaign Strategy Institute, where she organized seminars, classes, courses and workshops dealing with a broad range of topics including human potential, empowerment, human resources, personal development, minority relationships, fund-raising, contract management, computer/budget/office and financial administrative management.
Judith admits she became a personal coach for the joy it brings her. Several years ago she was in the mind-boggling midst of following her own career as CEO/President of Judy Baily Design Consultants, Inc. of Mesa, Arizona and Vice President/Partner of Triangle Investment Group, a development group for commercial, residential and industrial project development; she relinquished that ambition when she experienced a life-threatening health problem that at the same time proved to be life-edifying. After a complete recovery, she resolved to change her life. Instead of pursuing the individualistic path she had set just for herself, she realized she had the ability to guide others toward their goals in life, supporting them in their personal quest toward the accomplishment of extraordinary things, and to do it with passion, definiteness, and commitment, led by a sense of serenity and peace of mind--not the customary chaos.
Having always been interested in the entire broad-based picture, she tries to bring that very perspective to the people who ask for her expertise help. It works very well because she looks not only at her client’s business and professional problems, but at their personal lives, their spiritual lives, as well as their relationships with their children, God and their connections to the community. Judith bases a lot of what she does on old-fashioned values: integrity, mutual respect, faith, honesty, ongoing learning, sense of family, hard work, and commitment. She coaches all her clients in decision-making skills and sees herself very much as teacher.
Michelle McLaughlin, of McLaughlin Communications, a flourishing Palm Desert marketing firm, agrees. She has been a client of Judith Wilmot for three years. Besides being Michelle’s teacher, Wilmot has been an example to her, a mentor. Because Judith has such strong leadership qualities, a wisdom derived from her own life-experience, she’s helped McLaughlin examine her own ego. Michelle had an unnecessarily bigger office before she met Judith; she had several employees. “I had all this stuff going on,” McLaughlin says, “and Judith helped me to take a broader, yet more-focused look at everything. ‘Do you really need this?’ ‘What about your quality of life?’ Judith asked me a lot of questions. I have a family, a five-year-old daughter. Judith would continually ask, ‘Where are your priorities?’ ”
It took Wilmot a while to convince Michelle to downsize. McLaughlin was a single woman running an entire business with more employees than she needed. When she downsized she saw that she could more effectively subcontract much of the work, bring in certain needed expertise, offer even better service to her clients, and have more time to bring in new business.
Two of Wilmot’s other clients, Melanie Fesmire and George Williams, partners in Fesmire & Williams, a prestigious Indio law firm, shared their absolute delight in having hired Judith as their personal coach. Fesmire first heard Wilmot speaking on local radio,
“She was talking all about the effect that energy has on emotions and how people create their reality through their emotional energy; how thoughts and actions create what happens around you.” Fesmire decided then and there that she needed to meet and learn something from this woman. “It intrigued me how learning to master your emotions and your reactions could have such direct and positive impact.” Fesmire was running for the Indio city council at the time, she knew she was “going to be in for it in terms of emotional reactions to things. Judith taught me some very useful tools, gave me some positive ideas, taught me techniques to use so that when I went into a situation I would be able to access the most confident, efficient and adequate part of me to deal with whatever came up.” Fesmire went on to say that she was elected to the council seat with the highest vote yet on record.
George Williams had been encouraged by Fesmire to attend Judith’s classes for nearly a year. During that time, he said he couldn’t help but witness the great changes his partner had made with Wilmot’s help. “Mainly that Melanie’s stress-related problems had disappeared.” When Williams eventually did join one of Judith’s classes, he was immediately impressed with the intimacy shown by everyone involved. While first-time students studied, listened and took notes on Judith’s lectures, the more seasoned members assisted the beginners with their many assignments, in addition they cooked and served meals during breaks; many clients repeat the courses just for this service-oriented association. Williams said he wondered why in his past he “was always having the same response” to every event that came down the road that bothered him. He found, with Judith’s help, that those responses were almost pre-ordained. “I learned from Judith why I had buttons that were always reacting, and I reached an understanding of why I had responded the way had been in the past.” Williams views his enlightenment as “one more step” toward mastering his irrational emotions.
Judith works personally with her clients, doing advance preparation, occasionally by phone, but primarily in one-on-one confrontations spread over a contracted three-month period. During these individual, in-depth sessions, she asks the client numerous, motivating questions relating to their specific challenges; then she comes up with many useful, as well as agreeable suggestions--ideas that the client has, more than likely, never even perceived as possible. Then, utilizing tape recordings of the one-on-ones with Wilmot, the client is better prepared, and much more confident when searching their most intimate selves for the answers. Almost always, after the initial three months, clients want to explore even deeper. Wilmot tells them to let her know when they need help. She doesn’t hold her clients to a strict, “You’ve got to do this, and you’ve got to do it in a 30-day format!” When they need additional assistance, Judith is available for them.
To enrich their understanding and commitment to their own objectives and better monitor their follow-through growth and progress, subsequent to the three-month period Judith asks that her clients join one of her advanced classes. Previously she used to continue--after the contracted three months--with the personal one-on-ones, but when she perceived that she was repeating certain parts of her program to each client individually, she decided to initiate the classes, realizing they could all benefit from the progress of each other.
Judith talks a lot about whole-brain thinking. This is the primary concept she uses when guiding others. She knows that they, too, will learn to benefit from it. Whole-brain thinking is using both lobes of the brain, helping to learn to analyze things very, very quickly by seeing the broad picture along with the details. You can derive and synthesize certain facts out of a lot of information; distill it down to the very simple; draw a conclusion; then be able to develop a formula to go forward utilizing the facts and strategy at hand.
“Sometimes while running a business, a household, supervising a community organization, or holding political office, it’s tough to see the big picture, because you’re just being bombarded every day with the tiny things, and you’ll say, ‘How in the heck am I going to get some perspective on this thing?’ That’s where I come in,” grins Judith Baily Wilmot. “With the aid of my navigation, you can eventually find yourself on course--the right course--for yourself and where you want to be.”
* * *