‘My clients often base their self-worth and identity on the expectations of others. It’s an outdated story that holds them back from realising their vision’.
Getting to know you
Tammy: We met via Vivian Acquah’s AmplifyDEI Summit in 2021 when we were both speakers, and we hit it off. You spoke about ‘How to Talk about Race in the Workplace’ and I know that you continue to champion issues around DEI as a Professional Coach.
You describe yourself as an intersectional woman and an Executive Coach. What’s your story?
Uzma: First of all it’s great to have an ally – that’s a true Wonder Woman. Someone who is able to lift up other women is great, and one who can see that being both a woman and a woman of colour, conscious of intersectionality, is a bonus. So thank you Tammy.
I’d describe myself as an Intuitive Executive Coach with multi-industry experience in B2B Coaching. I’m certified as a Professional Co-Active Coach and most recently in debriefing The Leadership Circle Profile™.
I’ve successfully combined a therapeutic education in Speech & Language Therapy, 20 years of corporate and leadership communication experience with executive coaching to create Reflect to Act Coaching.
I’m highly entrepreneurial and have a proven track record of success in human behaviour change across several industries from professional and financial services to biotech and Pharma. There’s nothing I love better than ideation with my clients. And to make those new habits stick.
I’m passionate about creating more equality in the world and I believe that change starts with us – through deep understanding of ourselves as leaders and then relationally with others. That’s where my work as a facilitator comes in, working with large corporates who want to take their leaders from a place of unconscious incompetence to conscious competence.
Getting to this place
Tammy: That sounds very much needed! Were you always so conscious?
Uzma: I wasn’t always like this.
I thought I’d achieved my goals well before reaching 40. Despite a six-figure salary, an international move and much more, I still felt inauthentic and incomplete. Until I had the courage to examine my internal world through coaching, I was living a ‘superficial life’. Crippled by low self-esteem and buffeted by what others thought of me. Now I’m grounded.
Leadership and collaboration
Tammy: You lead with vulnerability. And that grounded sense comes across. What does it allow you to do?
Uzma: Thanks, one of my values is authenticity.
In my capacity as an Executive Coach, I have developed compassionate awareness of both myself and my clients. Most of them are director level and above working for some of the most well-recognised companies in the world — who in turn will service other well known brands. Often they will be responsible for transforming their culture internally and externally.
I help them to identify where they could improve their leadership, often in the space of sharing leadership and creating collaboration to achieve the results they desire.
Tammy: And what do you offer for anyone reading this who might want an Executive Coach of colour? What sorts of issues might you lend clarity to?
Uzma: The types of issues that my clients bring are often around basing their self worth and identity on expectations of others. It’s an outdated story that holds them back from realising their vision.
For example they might be pleasing others too much therefore need the courage to create boundaries. For example, being able to say no to ‘going to that pitch’ so they can create what’s important. Or developing more humanity through relating better to their team — allowing more autonomy. All of this is a journey towards deeper self awareness.
Directing vs. Being Directive
Tammy: In one of our conversations you said something poetic that connected our work: “Clients are not ‘like a loose button, to be fixed’!”
Uzma: Yes being a director doesn’t mean you have to be directive in the traditional sense. My coaching is based on the premise that the client is naturally, creative, resourceful and whole. Sometimes our glory gets covered up with our self-judgements. Or we forget that we have a powerful reason to be here on earth.
In fact coaching is a leadership competency. When my clients start to see — to experience that journey of self-acceptance — something new emerges. It is an evolution.
Sports and Coaching
Tammy: Living near the French-Swiss border, you’re able to incorporate skiing into your coaching. Can you tell me more about that? What can sports add to the coaching experience?
Uzma: Outside of work I love to get out of my comfort zone. I truly feel like a Wonder Woman when I’m on two planks. I’m now a downhill alpine skier with 3 stars from the Federation Francaise de Ski. I believe that learning how to fail is as important as success. So watch this space next season!
About Uzma Mohamedali
Uzma’s superpower: Challenging the stories that clients tell themselves
Uzma’s specialities are: B2B coaching; Leadership Circle Profile 360 Leadership Assessment tool, 1:1 Executive Coaching; Bespoke Group Coaching Workshop design & delivery on business topics, Presentations and Workshops on DEI, Cross-Cultural relationships, Public speaking on DEI and Global Communications Consultancy,
B2C Coaching: 1:1 Private Coaching, SOS coaching and mentoring.
To learn more and hear how Uzma can help your leadership lead authentically, visit her website, email her or connect on LinkedIn:
Uzma offers committed learners a free 30-minute trial for 1:1 Private coaching. To book a taster session visit her website.