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Using ‘Ershad Coaching’ to Empower Women Leaders

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Author: Claire Hewitt, Head of Learning Design, Henley Business School

Edited by: Gilan Choubachy, Mona Timor Shehata

Publisher: Amira Haytham

 

Worldwide, women are finding their places and their voices and are changing the course of business and politics. Strong female voices are impacting organisations, professions and social norms in both the East and the West.

 

Women in leadership roles bring a different dimension to organisations; there is strong evidence that companies with good gender diversity show higher organisational effectiveness. McKinsey’s report ‘GCC: Women in Leadership’, which interviewed women in senior leadership roles across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, found that companies with women in the workforce demonstrated  a better climate and culture, a stronger sense of direction, better co-ordination and control and stronger leadership than companies without.

 

Given such consistent evidence in both the East and West, a more diverse workforce -particularly with women in leadership roles- creates greater success. So why do many women sabotage their chances? Research of over 20 years has shown that women suffer disproportionately from three key syndromes: low self-confidence, self-critique and ‘imposter syndrome’.

 

Psychology Professor Patricia Riddell, a coaching tutor at Henley Business School, explains how self-criticism comes about:  “Men will attribute it to the situation, whereas women, we attribute it to ourselves; a personal attribution. If we don’t get a job, women think ‘It must be me, I mustn’t be good enough.’” She suggests that women should ask themselves, “What are three other ways that I might interpret this?” By the time you finish, you realise that you have invented your own guilt!

 

One approach to working with these syndromes is the newly developed Ershad (‘guidance’ in Arabic) coaching model, created by Henley Business School. It brings together the performance enhancement capability of coaching with the principles and values of Middle Eastern culture. Co-developed by Raja’a Allaho, an experienced executive coach operating in the region, the model is based around Muslim principles for living a good life, and emphasises ‘alignment’ of a person’s values and beliefs with their work, family and social relationships. This applies particularly to women who find themselves caught between family and working commitments. 

 

Ershad Coaching consists of three components:

  1. The Partnership Conditions: to establish a sense of mutual trust and respect.
  2. The Conversational Process: where the facilitator demonstrates their coaching skills and way of being which, in Ershad Coaching, is characterised by patience, humanity, humility and positivity.
  3. The Alignment Wheel: to support learners to make choices and decisions aligned with their own beliefs and values, reflecting on how a decision might affect their relationship with their beliefs, their selves, and the important people in their lives.

 

One of the most often cited reasons for leaders feeling ill-at-ease with their roles is when they eventually discover their job or work is not aligned with how they see themselves in their world. The Ershad model allows people to find and align their work and life relationships with their individual purpose and style. An Ershad coach will work with her trainee to facilitate her development with an attitude of humanity and positivity. This will gradually grow her self-confidence and begin to silence her self-critic, enabling her to become a competent and powerful leader.

 

As the GCC countries strive towards their individual and collective ambitions to increase the nationalisation of their workforces, the number of working women will inevitably increase. The average rate of tertiary education for women in the region is 28% – disproportionately high by global standards. However the proportion of working women, and particularly those who hold leadership positions, is disproportionately low.

 

There is an unprecedented opportunity for women in the GCC countries to succeed and to run the biggest corporations in the world. There will need to be some changes in working and social practices, HR policies and gender bias, which are already happening with some speed – but the most important shift needs to come from within women themselves.  Conquering self-doubt and aligning loyalties and personal purpose would develop confident, competent and powerful female leaders, in whose safe hands we can entrust the future of the region.

 

Henley Business School runs Ershad Coaching Programmes in the GCC region, as well as Customised Leadership Programmes which incorporate the Ershad approach.  For more information contact Claire Hewitt on claire.hewitt@henley.ac.uk.

Articles

Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma

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Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here: https://fowinsights.com/

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021

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The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

www.decodinghrevent.com

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers: www.decodinghrevent.com/speakers

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings: www.decodinghrevent.com        Contact:
marketing@wisdom.events   #WSDM_BI
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