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Feb 1, 2021

The EMEA Recruitment podcast was proud to welcome Afsheen Ismail-Wey, the CEO, HR Advisor and Leadership Coach at The Phoenix Coaching Co. 

“I absolutely believe in the potential of the human spirit to expand their skillsets to manage whatever may come their way.”

Our Founder, Paul Toms, spoke to Afsheen via Zoom from her home in Switzerland. Afsheen enjoys the view from her bedroom window so much that she’s chosen it as her Zoom background for calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Before Afsheen became a leadership coach, she worked in the corporate Human Resources arena. After looking after leadership effectiveness in large multi-national businesses, Afsheen decided to assimilate the best of the work she’d done and her passions for what she wanted to do going forward. That’s when, five years ago now, she set up as an entrepreneur. Afsheen now works with multi-national organisations to define, design and deliver learning initiatives.

She explains to Paul the most challenging parts of her work and how she helps individuals to overcome personal obstacles. Having been a leader herself, Afsheen understands the experiences and journeys of her clients, as well as the pressures to deliver short-term business results and have a long-term impact. She has methods that she believes strike the right balance. 

We also discussed the work and self-reflection needed for a successful corporate career – if this is the route that you’ve decided to go down, take a listen to Afsheen’s advice for businesses.

We found out Afsheen’s approach to coaching and the first task that she gives to clients. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the International Coach Federation (ICF) - which Afsheen sits on the board of in Switzerland – has launched a healthcare initiative, Healthcare Heroes, to respond to the crisis. Afsheen explains how coaches are supporting frontline workers who’ve experienced trauma. She uses this example to discuss the science, art and research behind coaching.

We found out Afsheen’s top piece of advice in life – although they’re “not profound words”, they’ve had a huge impact on her.

Paul finds out whether Afsheen believes we’re all born with resilience and the superpower that Afsheen feels she has. 

Use the timestamps below to find the part of the episode that you’re most interested in:

00:50: Living in Switzerland (and its sunsets)
02:29: Afsheen’s background in corporate
05:48: The hardest part of Afsheen’s work
08:19: Finding the right balance as a leader
10:09: The responsibility of businesses to invest in people
14:50: Afsheen’s essential task for all new clients
17:50: What motivated Afsheen to start coaching
21:41: The Healthcare Heroes initiative & the science of coaching
23:10: The art of coaching
23:50: The research of coaching
25:32: The advice that’s had a huge impact on Afsheen
28:01: Can you learn to be resilient?
31:55: Afsheen’s superpower
34:06: How to reach out to Afsheen


If you would like to learn more about the Healthcare Heroes initiative, visit the website here:

You can also contact Afsheen through her website:


Thank you to our partner, Operation Smile, for working with us on the EMEA Recruitment podcast. We’re committed to raising awareness and vital funds for the work that they do in delivering life-changing surgery to children and adults with cleft lip and palate. We’d appreciate any support that you can offer:


The EMEA Recruitment podcast is hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Jenny Callum, Associate Director.

To find out more about us, visit our website: 

Alternatively, you can follow us on LinkedIn: 

To connect with Paul, click here: 

And Jenny at: 


We hope you enjoyed this episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast. If you have any topics you’d like to suggest, please let us know via LinkedIn


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