In order to reach amazing heights and achieve greatness, we all need an extra push through words of encouragement and overall support. It is so easy to give up before you get the chance to succeed, which is why it is extremely important to always have someone in your corner, motivating you to keep on going. As a Business Coach, Yasmina’s goal is to ensure that women have the essential keys they need to become confident and courageous entrepreneurs, with no limits. She shares tips and advice from knowledge and expertise she has garnered from over 30 years of industrial experience.
“Being grateful for what you already have elevates your vibrations, enabling you to receive positive experiences in return. ”
What is your fondest memory growing up in Geneva?
Growing up in Geneva in the 70s and 80s was really an amazing experience! My parents’ house was close to a big park and a lake. We were free to come and go as we pleased, as the area was so safe. My mother was the United Nations correspondent of a newspaper, which gave us great exposure to the international community in Geneva. These influences led to me being open to the unknown, living an “adventurous” life with many moves to many different countries over the years.
You have lived in various countries, from Brazil to Belgium. How did each cultural environment impact or influence you?
I have always felt that I was a citizen of the world, not just a Swiss national. Discovering different cultures has been a real gift, and it has made me increasingly interested in understanding people, whatever their origin. My best memories are still from my days living in NYC, the city that never sleeps and where you can dream BIG as you learn that the sky is the limit!
With over 25 years of trading and shipping experience, what made you decide to go into coaching?
Dealing with so many glass ceilings and closed doors made me realise there was something to be done to increase support for women in the workplace. I never felt like I was a woman among men, as I always got along with everyone, whatever their gender. I only realised that it was not the same game plan when it was a question of gaining a promotion or getting an opportunity. I had to work harder to prove myself and then still accept a lower salary. As I was always determined to succeed, I wanted to mentor and coach women so they can feel equal amongst men when an opportunity presented itself. I have been the President of an association for women in trading and shipping (WISTA CH) for six years, and I am still on its board. I also managed an office of women only for more than ten years, so becoming a coach and a corporate trainer was a logical step to better support young women in male-dominated work environments.
As a certified Life and Business Coach, what would you advise women to do in order to better themselves and their career?
I believe in being self-confident, first and foremost. To support this, you need to make sure you have the know-how to fulfil your tasks and position. With these assets in place, you will make it up the ladder, get a seat at the table, and take part in discussions where your voice will be heard. However, if you do not feel like you deserve the position, promotion, or project and you do not show your true self-confidence, you might not be sufficiently at ease to ask for it. People may sense your ambivalence, which could send very mixed signals and slow down your progression in your career path. You also need a clear vision with defined goals and to always think positively. Being grateful for what you already have elevates your vibrations, enabling you to receive positive experiences in return.
You have your own Women in Leadership programme where you train 500 women. Why do you think it is important to empower and educate female leaders?
We are still a long way from reaching parity in the upper levels of management. It has been proven, repeatedly by numerous studies, that having more women at top managerial levels improves the company’s results. Unfortunately, not everything is set up for women to climb the career ladder, especially once they have children – many women stop working in the middle of their careers. I believe it is very important for women to understand that they are supported by others, and that they are not alone in these difficult times. Through my programme, they can learn how to have a better equilibrium with their family and work life, gain more self-confidence so they are heard in meetings, and best manage a team so that they are respected and trusted. I think nowadays, more than ever, a manager needs to be authentic and to be an example to their teams, and this is what I teach them.
Why is business coaching so important for success?
Whatever position we find ourselves in, at whatever level, we always need someone to talk to who understands us and what we are experiencing – someone who can make us realise which way is the best way for us. Although, no one knows us as well as ourselves, sometimes we get lost, depressed and start to procrastinate. Our attention is so focused on one specific direction or goal that we forget to see all the other opportunities that are out there. This is where a business coach is truly helpful. The business coach will help you see your actual situation with a broader view which will allow you to understand the right actions to take at that moment.
What would you say to someone who is considering getting a business coach?
It is the best investment you can make for yourself. You will get the accountability needed to go forward, you will have the necessary support to reach your goals in the best possible way, saving you lots of time, energy and usually money. Thanks to the support of a coach, you will stop procrastinating. You will be able to overcome any fear or doubt, you will improve your time management and be able to focus on how to reach the goals you have set for yourself, one at a time.
What have you learned about yourself while coaching others?
Accountability is key. Being open and honest with yourself and with your coach is a prerequisite. A coach is not there to put his or her story forward, they are there to support and guide the client. Our perception can sometimes be different on a specific topic, however, that does not mean that one is right or the other is wrong. Being coached really helped me understand myself much better and see where I still needed some improvement myself. I have been very lucky to be able to work with amazing clients who have seen stunning results.
How has your career helped you to coach?
Having over 35 years of experience in various industries, up to board level, has helped me tremendously in understanding how women in the workplace can feel. As I had to struggle to climb the ladder myself, I am so happy today to be able to help all these professional women succeed in their careers, by giving them the necessary tools to get their seat at the table, all while juggling house chores, kids and being the agreeable wife and mother they want to be.
Why should someone seek help from a coach and take their business to the next level?
Very often, we will have the desire to achieve something new. However, there is also a downturn after the first stumbling block where we give up. We think, “Who do I think I am to believe I can do this or that?”, “Why would I think that I can achieve anything special?”, “So far, I have not reached the results I want”. Only those who have pursued their dreams and goals unconditionally have succeeded. Let us take the very famous example of J.K. Rowling. It took her 12 publishing houses – and the money to have her manuscript photocopied – to get her first Harry Potter book published. Having a business coach means having someone who will support you, trust you, listen to you and encourage you so that you do not give up. The sky is the limit! Always think about your next step, and the one after that, and never stop. Never listen to your own inner critic, but only to your inner cheerleader: “Yes, you can!” This is where having a coach is so important. The coach will always be your cheerleader, helping you to trust your abilities to get where you want to go on your journey towards success.