Celebrating Shermeena: CEO and a Mum Specialist Health Sector

“I was always playing catch-up; at home, with the children, at work. I was always distracted. I didn’t have clear boundaries. Life was chaotic. I’m more at peace with myself now. I’m able now to separate emotions from decisions making. I have better boundaries between life and work. I see myself more clearly! I have become more curious which has an impact on; my productivity, as a leader, as a mum. I loved the group program, it gave me the courage to open up more, it gave me a sense of belonging and community. I’ve gone from suspicious and cynical to resilient. Have the courage to honour your dreams!”

Shermeena

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Hello, it’s good Gitanjali again here from High Definition you and I am thrilled to be joined today by Shermeena who is going to share with us her story of success over the last three months. Welcome, Sharmeena.

Hi, Geeta, can you tell us all a little bit about your story? Who are you professionally and personally in the world?

Shermeena

Sure. And so, I’m Shermeena, I am the founder of undocking language, we provide independence, speech, and language therapy across London to adults and children. And, you know, I’m pleased to say it’s a successful business. And we’ve got about 28 therapists that work to unlock language. And I started it about seven years ago.

And in that time, I also had two little boys, a two-year-old and a four-year-old. And the husband is now fully involved in the business as well. And so you know, it’s a bit of a couple of ventures now. But yeah, no one, but I thoroughly enjoy it. And, you know, it’s got a social impact, which I love. And I love the challenges of the business. And also in that time, we’ve sort of moved out of London, and onto the outskirts

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

So lots going on, when we came across each other, you know, you’ve got a big business, you’re the founder, you’re the CEO, there are now 28 people working for you, you’ve got a young family. What were you struggling with? Before we started that coaching programme? What was it that you felt like you needed help with?

Shermeena

I’m very grateful for the life I have, my home, my family, and my business. And I’m very lucky that I have my family in my life. But I think when I met you, Gita, I felt that I was always playing catch up with everything, catching up at home, catching up with the children and catching up at work. And when you’re in catch up mode, there’s just a natural tension that doesn’t leave you, your mind constantly distracted. And that’s how I felt I was always distracted.

So even when I’m having quality time in the park with the children, there’s part of me that’s thinking about work and about the contract and the client or what’s going on with my team. What do I have to cook when I get home? Lots of things are going on in my mind. And I just felt I hadn’t. I didn’t have very clear boundaries between work and home.

And I know that’s quite difficult in general to have when you’re running a business. Work can never stop working, you’re working all day, all night, you have emails, phone calls, and I felt with two young children I, I, I didn’t, I wanted to have better boundaries. So it wasn’t as distracting. I could really give them my time. So I felt life was quite chaotic. At times, I was trying to do a lot of things. And I wasn’t always in control. And there was some strain that was naturally impacting my personal life.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

That level of tension, as you say, was there kind of consistently, isn’t it, it just became the new norm in a way, when you were making the decision to invest in the coaching programme. What went through your head, you know, what kept you from saying yes, straightaway, if anything?

Sheermeena

Well, I needed to learn how to quiet my inner critic and protect myself, care time, and protect my family time so that I could develop a more resilient entrepreneurial mindset. And when I spoke to you, I felt that was what I was going to achieve. After I engaged in the coaching programme, and so, so yeah, that’s what kind of sort of.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Going through your mind. Was there any resistance where you liked it? We don’t have enough time, you know, how much is it? Was there anything where you sort of thought about it all? Is this right for me?

Sheermena

Yeah, absolutely. So time was a big factor. Because I think if you’re going to engage in coaching, you want to be able to have time, not only to do the session but to implement what you’re learning in the session or what’s being discussed. And I suppose because it was just the beginning of lockdown, it was good timing for me and I had that time to self reflect and think I really want to make a change in my life.

So definitely time was a factor. And also I think having the opportunity to implement what you learn in coaching so you learn the strategies and tools that you’ve provided us with but if we’re not really implementing it, then it’s there’s no point to the coaching you’ve got to sort of being coached to be ready coached into to carry out the strategies and end up with the sort of behaviour that you want or the consequences you’re looking for. So yeah.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

So what did change then, what does your life look and feel like now professionally, you know, as a leader and then you know, possibly personally as well what’s changed?

Sheermena

I’m more at peace with myself, which is huge, because as you said There’s a lot of BMW going and a lot of rabbits talking in my mind. And now I’m at peace throughout the day, whether I’m at work or whether I’m at home. And that’s made me better at managing my emotions. And I’m able to separate emotion from decision making, which is really important when you’re a CEO of a company, and you’ve got to make quick decisions or decisions that can make an impact on so many things.

And I feel I can make that decision more level headed now, rather than using all my emotions. And I’ve also definitely got a better boundary between life and, and work. So for example, now I can actually leave my phone upstairs for three hours, which was one of the goals that I wanted to work on half that time between five and seven. And on a Saturday when my battery’s low, I’m actually glad and oh, yeah, that’s good. And I’m not going to charge it because I want to spend that quality time with my family and not be interrupted or be tempted to pick up my phone or check the emails.

And I’ve not been able to do that before. So that’s huge. impacts everyone in my family. And, and I think I’ve also got to see myself more clearly, you’ve given me the skills to be able, to question my assumptions that I made about myself, and I’ve become more curious. And I’ve learned that I can, I’ve sort of grown in different ways, and I’ve learned new ways to respond. So that’s been huge. And then that has an impact on my productivity and my leadership in being a mom. Yeah.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

Amazing. And tell me a little bit we talk a lot through the programme, but aha moments, and it’s been wonderful to see them in you, as you’ve developed, can you take us maybe to one of those aha moments, or to a moment show me when you knew that the coaching was

Shermeena

I think it was, I think there were a few moments when I realised I’ve behaved differently. And I’m not feeling I’m not having a physical manifestation. So sometimes when you’re stressed and really tense, you feel your heart pounding, you can feel your blood rushing, you’re sweating, you know, we all have this sort of symptoms because we didn’t want to say what we didn’t want to say that or I wanted to say something else.

And as a CEO, the pressures are even huger. And so I started noticing that I wasn’t having those physical manifestations that were making me really nervous when a meeting had taken place. Or I’d said no, to one of my employees, and didn’t feel like I needed to explain myself any further. And that’s when I realised I physically feel better. And that’s they’re not allowing me to think about it constantly. So that was huge for me because that has happened quite a lot in the past.

And then I end up thinking about it all evening. And it ends up being a dinner discussion. And I didn’t want that anymore. So for me, that was a huge aha moment.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

What is it then, about the way that I work and with the High Definition method that really has allowed you to get those results?

Sheermeena

Those results? You, you get it, you use strategies that are really practical, and you work on the mindset. And that’s really important because even before we can start implementing things, it’s the mindset that we need to work on. And we need to prioritise, you’ve helped me to prioritise myself, and to see who I am.

And to accept these are my weaknesses, what can I do? And these are my strengths. And you know, we’re always going to have weaknesses, but what can we do to make that? What can we do to have the best possible outcome, the BPO? And that’s, that’s huge because I can now write sorry, Gita I’ve totally lost my

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

BPO like, that’s the thing that is prioritising a bit, which is true, which is that thing of actually, what am I focusing on here? What’s the best possible outcome before you even think about the strategies? Right? It’s, where’s my, where’s my mind going? I think it is fun, yeah.

Shermeena

Do I need to say more? Or do you feel that? I can?

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

No, no, we could talk for hours. No, no, that’s really good. I think that’s really crucial, isn’t it that is fundamental to the way that we work is the mindset bit past the strategies piece.

You were also part of that group coaching programme. And some people do one to one. Some people do group what really surprised you or delighted you about that particular aspect of the way that we work together.

Shermeena

I loved the group programme. I thought it was a brilliant way to undergo the coaching because this was the first time that I had had coaching. And for many years, I’ve been thinking about it. But I suppose I haven’t had the courage to do it, or I’ve always made up excuses. And so I feel that being in a group, there were so many things that people would say that would resonate with me. And I think it also gave me courage to be able to open up more.

And to be more honest about how I was feeling because everyone else was doing it. So felt like a very safe forum, it gave you a sense of belonging to a community where, where you know that no one’s perfect, everyone, you know, everyone has things that they need to work on, and lots of other people are having the same thoughts as you, you’re not the only one.

And so I think knowing that others share that sense of insecurities at times and, you know, doubt was, what was it? No, it was nice, in a sense that I realised it’s just not me. and I could talk about it out loud because so many of us have so many thoughts, but we don’t, there’s no one that you can really speak about it with.

So that was lovely having the group format. And also sometimes, when you’re in a group setting, if you’re having a one to one, you might not, you might forget to mention a few things. But then someone else has mentioned it, and it resonates with you. And also, if someone has gone through that experience, then they’ve spoken about how they went through it. And that’s quite nice.

Because having you there to facilitate that discussion is great. But it’s good to see what people have practically done, and have gone through the same situation. And then share, share, share the journey, and then share what works and what doesn’t work the following week. So being able to sort of work with each other on a weekly basis was great.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

And you were great, actually, in terms of the accountability piece as well, I know that you and your accountability, buddy, you became really structured about it, which was great to see. Because it really accelerated your success that I could see that transformation happening because you were really dedicated to each other, and stuck to that structure, which I know will continue as well.

What would you summarise then to kind of bring it, you know, to a close around where you were at the beginning of this process? And where you would say you are now you know, in one or two words,

Shermeena

I think I was, dare I say it but cynical, and with many things, and also suspicious. And when I use the word suspicious, it’s because I’m questioning things quite a lot. And not perhaps seeing the positive, scientific or the negative side of it. So yes, suspicious and cynical. And now, my number one word from coaching has been resilience because I feel I’ve developed a sense of resilience that I use.

Throughout my day, both as a mom, as a CEO, as a team leader, was a leader of a company. And I’m so pleased that I’ve developed a sense of resilience because this is something I can pass on or develop with my children with my team. It’s such a wonderful attribute to feel.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

So as someone’s being inspired by listening to you, moving from that kind of suspiciousness around other people to really resilient in your relationships. And they’re thinking about investing in coaching for themselves. What advice would you give them?

Shermeena

Well if you’re considering taking the step? I would just say Yes, first, and then think about it. And I think everyone has the right and the courage to honour their dreams.

And I feel High Definition has allowed me to do that. And you know that there’s so much now that I’ll be able to achieve and I aspire to, because I feel I’m equipped better than I was six months ago. Yeah, I had the courage to honour your dreams and go for the coaching in high definition.

Gitanjali – High Definition You Coach

I love that. Thank you. And I am so thrilled to have seen the epic transformation from as you say, that kind of palpable stress at the beginning to really seeing you really drop into that amazing leadership that you now are exhibiting and all of the changes that you make, it has truly been my privilege to be a catalyst for that transformation.

And we’re going to continue on in the community anyway, but I just wanted to say thank you. I’m grateful for you and thank you for sharing your story today. Thank you