Chit Chat With . . .
She has an abundance of experience and well respected within the Corporate world for her skill, a hit with the youth and teenagers and their parents. Her approach is holistic and no case is the same, she helps individuals to enhance on their values. This month our Chit Chat is with Shruti Shah, Life Coach, who talks about life coaching, life during the pandemic and pro-bono work.
What does Life Coaching mean to you?
Life coaching for me is all about looking inward to find that connection with yourself. We look outward to find answers and meaning yet all the answers lie within.
When I explain Life Coaching to clients who haven’t heard of this before – I describe it as follows:
We go to a hairdresser to sort our hair out, we go for annual medical checkup to a doctor that we trust, we have a regular dentist that we visit. But what do we do for our personal growth and our mental health. A Life coach helps you with the mental aspect of your life and I feel that everyone should see a life coach when needed or regularly to support their inward and mental growth.
Whether you are a C-suite executive, a parent or a child, once you connect to yourself, you can maximize your full potential to reach your desired results so that you can be the best version of yourself.
What qualification do you require to be a qualified Life Coach?
Just like any other profession like an engineer or programmer, a life coach must undergo extensive training to be able to assist individuals and organizations reach their full potential.
The human mind is very complex and to be able to assist people, one has to understand the inner workings of the mind and heart before they can coach. There are many different coaching schools all teaching different tools of Life Coaching – with different qualifications. They prepare you to deal with any situation that you may come across. In addition, there are also specialized courses which one can take if they would like to focus on a particular area/field.
What type of Life Coaching do you specialise in?
I coach adults, teens, adolescents (youth) and kids from the age of 6 plus. I would define myself as a performance Life Coach.
How long have you been a Life Coach for?
I am a Banker by profession, I have over 20 years experience in working with people. My last role within the banking industry was working with people – where my work touched on leadership coaching and training. I changed my career into Life Coaching about 6 years ago when I went back to study various Life Coaching certifications – and I continue to develop myself further. I have had my Life Coaching business for three years now – All Round Performance Coaching.
Among corporate, parents, youth which one is your favourite? And Why?
I love what I do and enjoy working with all people. However, if I were to pick one, then I would say my forte lies in coaching teens, youth and adolescents. I believe that I connect with this age group – I have had great feedback from my clients. I feel that this is the age group that we really need to help and support through coaching – with the right life skills we can support them not to take the baggage on to the next phase of their lives – after all, they are our future!
What inspired you to become a life coach?
I quit my banking job in Kenya when I moved to Singapore for a few years. When I returned, I wasn’t sure if the corporate world was where I wanted to be. I considered a few things that can take me back to my passion with working with people and Life Coaching seemed to be a natural progression. I have always been good at working with people. I have always been a sounding board or confidante – be it with colleagues at work, family or friends. I work with intuition and say what’s on my mind. I am not worried about sugar coating my message. These skills make me a natural coach.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
I have been influenced by the work of many people and not just one. The main ones include Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins, Maya Angelou, Bren Brown, Louise Hay and the insightful philosophy and poetry of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi.
What is involved in a coaching session?
In my experience no two coaching sessions have ever been the same. However, if we were to look at the structure of a coaching session, I usually start by grounding my clients into the coaching space with a mindfulness activity. One of the most important aspects of any coaching session is the rapport and trust you build with a client. We then set the scene for the session with goal setting and coming up with a “contract” on what will be worked on in that session. This is then followed by powerful questioning coupled with other coaching skills and an intervention (using a coaching tool to help the client get deeper insights into solutions). This finaly leads into the end of a session where the coachee leaves with an action plan of what to work on before the next session.
How many sessions does one require?
This is the million dollar question. I would like to start by saying that Life Coaching is like an alternative therapy – when you’re trying to change a mindset or work on goals which takes time to work on, it doesn't happen in one session. Sometimes people get breakthrough results from one session. I usually recommend a set of 5 sessions to start with (usually to be completed within 6 months) – from this point the client can choose.
What do you like most about being a life coach?
I love it when my Life Coaching is the catalyst for people making progress and taking positive steps to change their lives – I always say it’s about the little steps you take every day that make the bigger difference.
Do you have a reading habit? If yes, what books do you like to read?
I love to read. I love motivational books and podcasts. I also love audible. I am currently listening to Mel Robbins’ - The High 5 Habit.
What is the one word that you want people to associate with you?
Hmmm this is a tricky one. There are many words that I can think of. If I had to pick just one, it would be Nurturing I think.
How has the pandemic affected you?
From a work perspective, I am busier than I have ever been. I do see people are looking more inward and mental health has been a challenge for many people during the pandemic. Counsellors, psychologists, other mental health therapists have all been busy and have long waiting lists. Apart from the Life Coaching clients, I have also been an "incubator" or stepping stone to help and support people through Life Coaching as they are waiting to see a therapist.
The pandemic has given people time to think about themselves and their well being. From referrals, I have had many international clients. Technology has made this possible.
How do you contribute to the community?
I do a lot of pro-bono work by giving coaching and motivational sessions. I have recently supported a girls home in Malindi and Nairobi. (Cannot disclose names due to confidentiality).
If you were not a life coach what would you be?
I would probably be a Child/Teen Psychologist or be in the business of flowers.
How can people contact you?
I can be reached through email on firstname.lastname@example.org, my website www.shruti-shah.com or on the following social media platforms: facebook; instagram; twitter and linkedIn as @coachshrutishah. I would welcome anyone interested to get in touch for a free 30 minute discovery call.
Photos by Harman Singh Heer