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Sep 26, 2022

To make real progress in equitable employee development, coaching needs to become a more inclusive space. This episode is an in-depth conversation about real-life examples and techniques for supporting minority-background clients with issues ranging from prejudice, identity crises and belonging in a majority-dominated workplace.

Salma Shah is the CEO of coaching and leadership development platform Mastering Your Power and the author of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Coaching: A Practical Guide. Salma has worked with the UK's largest FTSE100 companies, and as a regular contributor to Psychologies Magazine she has been published in The Guardian, Independent and The Telegraph.


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Episode Highlights

3:36 Why lack of coach diversity is a problem

5:18 Common coaching needs of minorities who work in majority spaces

7:45 Differences in behavior change expectations: HR and coaching client

10:18 "You're not like me, so how could you possibly coach me?"

11:40 Helping clients feel safe opening up

15:43 Why it's essential to take coaching clients' systems into account.

19:42 Minority women caught between work and family systems conflict

21:17 The RISEN model

24:34 Pitfalls in coaching minorities on the topic of belonging

26:08 The journey of cultivating a greater sense of belonging

29:04 The difference between healthy and dysfunctional resilience

31:00 Making teams more inclusive for minorities

32:59 The case for more diversity in coaching


Salma’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"People are tired and wired, burnt out. We've just had a pandemic. And people are just so emotionally and physically tired and wired. And I feel we need to create a culture of [being able to] switch technology off [and] push people toward having conversations face to face, [adopt] rules such as no work after 5pm on a Friday."


What “working with humans” means to Salma

“Connection. It's all about connection. Connecting with each other at a human level. There's always always a place of connection. And it's looking for that and coming from that place.”



Follow: Salma on LinkedIn.

Visit: Mastering Your Power

Read: Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Coaching: A Practical Guide