Member Spotlight | Sharmin Prince
Ambassador of WomenH2H, Therapeutic Coach and Moral Injury Consultant
I enjoy fishing with a rod in a small pond or in the river, it is one of the most liberating activities and it provides me with a level of peace that nothing else provides.
I enjoy playing with my grandnephew and taking him out to the beach.
I love to cook and make my own recipes, some days I look forward to creating a lacto-vegetarian meal that no one else will eat.
I created curried peas and rice that tastes delicious but I have to work on the eye appeal.
I have a very diverse academic background with a Diploma in Social work from the University of Guyana, a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from CUNY York College, Master of Science on Organizational Leadership from NYACK College and I need to complete my dissertation for my PhD in General Psychology from Grand Canyon University. I spent 9 months in the United States Army and 19 years working in New York Social Service Sector. I became a life coach in 2014 and began annual Women Empowerment Conferences. I am the founder of Sharmin Prince Life Coaching, Royalty Coaching and Consultancy and Eagles Empowered to Soar in Guyana and New York.
When it comes to the role of women at work today, what inspires you? I am inspired by women’s ability to thrive in male-dominated environments which, was not created for them even when modified. Nevertheless...
Women cross the hurdles placed in their paths and rise to unexpected heights. The most fascinating aspect of their ascend is it is done while maintaining their traditional roles of mother and wife.
Most importantly, women’s incomparable resilience that cannot be denied.
What keeps you up at night? What keeps me up at nights is my limitations to share the message of healing from childhood experiences including trauma. I want to share this message with women all over the world.
What’s your goal around that and why is it important to you? My goal is two-fold. My personal goal is to one day sit in an audience and witness women from all over the world sharing their experience of The Self-Discovery Program. My professional goal is to offer The Self-Discovery Program through my non-profit organization Eagles Empowered to Soar INC. Currently, we are in serving a small group of women in South and North Americas. The goal is to serve women on every continent by helping them understand
the roots of their current struggles are imbedded in primary and secondary socialization.
The tools that worked in childhood are outdated and can be removed from their personal toolkit.
Some of the societal labels can be reversed.
Why is that a priority for you right now? I am working with women from age 21 – 54 using the techniques and practices that I’ve developed. Some of which helped with my transformation.
Parents and authority figures lack the understanding of the impact of their negative messages communicated to us as children and adolescents.
These negative messages become our self-talk and are one of the most challenging processes to confront, accept and overcome.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve personally had as a woman at work?
I must admit, this was a challenging question to answer after spending 18 years with the same company. Because I did not accept a position they offered me, when I left, they did not give me a gift or farewell as they did for many of my predecessors. This is the first time I am forced to confront this since leaving the agency in October 2019. I worked in five different positions and upon being hired, I overheard my then supervisor saying “this is a garden of bitter weeds”. I did not understand what it meant but I soon found out. I endured and experienced racism, classism, colorism and discrimination. I was never given credit and recognition for the work I did. I felt muzzled and could not speak my truth and I wore my authenticity on my face. If I did not like something, since I could not speak I showed it and acted like a rebellious slave. There are times, I spoke up and was prepared for the punishment and consequences. This caused many to become quiet and turn to gossip with their peers. Employment abuse is common, your supervisor forcing you to create a plan to terminate someone whose personality clashes with theirs but clearly can do the job. Working in the fields and all of the front-line workers are minorities and the executive leadership and the board of directors do not represent them or the people we serve. How did you try to overcome them?
I learnt that I could not change a culture that is systemic, so I began to change the lens which I view the world.
This is where I learnt the fundamental truth of “the only person I can change is me”. This is after having serious medical illnesses. Instead, I used that time to find me and become a teacher to those I was able to lead. I turned it into the self-discovery program.
I used my minority within a minority status to influence
I began to serve the staff and protect them from the impact of the isms from upper management
I created my own culture of support
I developed coping mechanisms to remain resilient
I became a master problem solver and developed problems solving tools for myself and others
I built strong community relations and external support.
I strengthen my personal value system and remain true to myself.
I separated my professional life from my personal life.
I used to turn the job into a classroom and as a stepping stone for a bigger platform
Who or what would have made it easier?
An HR department that is not influenced by the executives where they are unable to do what is right according to the policies and procedures. Some executives who are not driven by selfish ambitions but understood that everything rises and falls on leadership. The most important qualities of leaders are credibility/ integrity and leadership take responsibility for every area of the job. Most of all, embrace the Pareto principle and learn their leadership style.
What do you wish you would have done then?
I wish I was bold as I am today, to invite the union for the staff that are underpaid and treated like indentured laborers. I wish I could tell those executives; they were lied to during their socialization and introduce them to “thought clouding”. This would help them to trace their belief systems of racism, biases, disproportion patterns … to its roots and understand their learned behaviors.
Many women are overwhelmed by the constant changes at work, frustrated with conflicts or disheartened by office politics, drama and draining emotions. What have you done in the past to help you get through such moments?
Understanding that I cannot change the environment outside of me, but I can change what I allow to manifest inside of me.
I created the narrative of “if I die today the drama, office politics, conflict … will continue”. So, I began focusing on me and those whom I could have influenced by sharing coping mechanisms that were working for me. One of the best tools was, identifying the office politicians and their political agenda and avoid it, develop problem-solving tools for every problem. Ask yourself if this is a job, and if it is, decide if you want it to become a career.
Jobs come and go. Careers evolve.
Additionally, one must be compatible with some office environments
Who do you follow on these subjects? Are there authors, influencers, leaders, sites, blogs you follow?
FISH by Stephen Lundin taught me how to boost staff morale. Women in Leadership help me with understanding leadership and its influence. Dr. John Maxwell books on leadership forced me to look inwards Dr. Bessel van der Kolk taught me to focus on my childhood trauma and not the adult labels. Susie Orback taught me self-love Melody Beattie was my inspiration to be vulnerable and make the best of my current situation
Do you participate in other women groups or communities? What have you seen work in such communities and what was missing for you?
I am a part of a few women groups and communities. It was through one of those connections I was invited to a group of powerfully influential women. What works is their ability to attract women to a forum, a table and or community but they lacked the ability to sustain them.
We need to:
Develop systematic ways to build trust and vulnerability.
Create programs to utilize the skills and experiences of the women involved.
Create a space for shared leadership.
Why is it important for women to be surrounded by other women and what is the role we play in each other’s lives?
Women were created to help and support each other. However, we were thought through modelling in our primary and secondary socialization not to trust each other.
So, we all have a sense of mistrust and insecurity of other women.
When we decide to lower our defences and surround ourselves with like-minded, we thrive in ways that is impossible to occur in isolation or in a co-ed group.
Women know how to encourage, inspire, motivate, and empower each other. We can empathize in ways that are indescribable, yet we shun away from this role because of fear of the unknown of how the other sister will receive the support and love.
Other mammals navigate their environments in groups and we should follow their lead to enjoy the benefits of the same.
What activities could we do so that we master together how to get back our zest, thrive on change, lead with grace and confidence and co-create the beautiful workplaces we all long for?
We have to process our own experiences to avoid overloading others because of it. Take time to understand our why’s. Why do we act, think and feel the way we do and understand that our response to the human experience is a direct result of our foundational values acquired in childhood.
Upon processing the aforementioned, we can then begin to lead with our followers in mind and help them to do the same while understanding their needs and desires of us.
Understanding and articulating our needs to everyone we enter a relationship with is tantamount in fostering our tribe.
When we enter relationships, we have expectations of others and hold them accountable without making them aware of them. This creates bonding in relationships and safe spaces for us to thrive.
How do you see your role in building this community?
I will share my knowledge, time, and experience to ensure this community is expanded.
I realized that not everyone can handle the depth of this community. One becomes intimidated when they enter the app or website. However, that intimidation is soothed with Natalia’ and other ambassadors warm welcome.
My goal is to utilize some of the women to provide mentorship to me, so I can develop other aspects of myself.
And is there anything else you want to add that you think would be helpful for us to know as we are building this community?
Please utilize the strengths of women to help others.