I am delighted to welcome and introduce our seventh Diverse Minds’ associate, Raksha Bhalsod. A calm and compassionate coach with a grounding in cultural awareness.
Raksha Bhalsod is the founder of RBCoaching. She believes passionately in the potential for coaching within the workplace as a way of facilitating shifts in mindset that allow for a more compassionate and resilient environment to flourish.
Raksha has over 20 years’ experience f leading and managing diverse teams within complex organisations and working with senior leaders. She has led teams through numerous changes and challenges including organisational restructuring, a merger and the London bombings which were just a street away. Raksha successfully advocated for a Global Majority (BAME) staff development programme, as well as serving on an Athena Swan committee. Having trained as a transformational coach with a MSc in Occupational Psychology she is the perfect person to explore workplace culture. In addition, she is also a Master Practitioner in workplace resilience and wellbeing. Raksha brings an empathetic, holistic, constructive, calm and safe space to enable deep exploration.
Areas of Raksha’s expertise
I support emerging leaders to clarify their thoughts through their career journey by helping them to identify their goals. We work together to see how these align with their strengths, values, and purpose; what sort of leader they want to be and what culture they want to develop for their people. I want to put the human back into leadership and support people in creating inclusive and safe environments.
What’s one fact about yourself you would like to share?
I am a qualified Sports Massage Therapist and was a volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics. (Wow Raksha!)
What inspired you to join Diverse Minds as an Associate in 2021?
In one word, Leyla! Our paths crossed a few years ago when a colleague and I had been advocating for a new programme for global majority staff. I had a long conversation with Leyla during this time and was in awe of her knowledge and expertise on wellbeing and race. Most importantly her ability to support organisations in making real changes rather than just talking about them. She represents for me the type of compassionate and supportive leadership that I would like to see more of. (Again, we didn’t pay her to say this! )
What is the one book that has greatly impacted what you do and why?
Ah now one book is never enough!
1. Jhumpa Lahiri’s the Interpreter of Maladies is a book that has stayed with me. It was the first book that I read, many years ago now, which talked about the Indian immigrant experience. For me it goes deeper into how experiences shape our identities, how we see ourselves and how others see us. Taking this into the workplace I am intrigued as to how workplaces are navigated.
2. Dr Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score is a book I have come across recently. While the book is about trauma and the impact on the body, it led me to thinking about the importance of creating a psychological safe work environment.
How has not getting what you want immediately helped you to reach your career goals?
The word which comes up for me is resilience and how there is not just one path. It has taught me that what you think you want might not be what you want at all! It also taught me to be open to opportunities and the importance of getting to know your own values, passions, and strengths. Finally, you sometimes just need to make the brave decision to pivot into the unknown and know that you will find a way.
What are your top three tips for looking after your mental health and wellbeing?
1.Reach out to people for support, advice, and a laugh. It is easy to become isolate when things are going badly. Connecting with others helps us to contextualize our thoughts and gain support (often from those we least expect it).
2. Take time to recharge your batteries. If, like me, you are an introvert, being on group calls, meetings etc., can be draining. Find what works for you, it might be mindfulness, meditation or it might be going for that run or a gentle walk.
3. Do just one thing. We can feel overwhelmed when there is a lot to do. I often ask my clients ‘what’s the one small think you can do?’. Sometimes the smallest actions can make the biggest difference.
We are truly delighted to have Raksha as part of the Diverse Minds Team and we look forward to you meeting her and the rest of the wider team. You can find more information about Diverse Minds Associates here.