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Maha Al-Fayyad

I still remember that day at high school when a teacher made fun of a girl who she did not consider bright enough as she said. She abused her and laughed with girls who were considered bright enough!  then she said: “ who wants to answer the question that this girl failed to answer?”

I raised my hand up, instead of answering the question I said: “ who gave you the right to abuse her?”

I remember the shock on everyone’s face, I said: “ even if you believe she is not clever enough and she fails to answer your questions, you still have to respect her, and on top of that you are encouraging other students to bully her, sorry but this is something I can’t tolerate or agree with”

The teacher did not like me since ever, but the other students apologized to the girl that I was trying to defend, and she thanked me for it.

Since then I was called by students as the lawyer of the classroom even though I wanted to study psychology or brain surgery at that time.

That was when I realized my true passion and strength, to help creating a world full of compassion, justice and tolerance to help individuals thrive and be happy.

Strange enough, I was enrolled in law school by the system when a total of 89% at high schools national exam was not enough to get me in medicine school.

Since then, Life took me to places very far away from what I wanted or planned, every time I stood up again, adapted, then planned again with full appreciation to what I had learnt – well, this is very easy to say, but!

Having spent six years practicing commercial and employment law in Jordan after graduating from the University of Jordan in 2000, it was a natural progression for me to move towards exploring the issues around conflict and hidden politic in workplace, and the real motives behind humans behaviour, what makes businesses fail and shut down, what are the factors that lead businesses to unexpected directions?

During my work as a lawyer, I was very passionate about preventing conflict and focusing on growth and positive cultures rather than trying to win the conflict when the damage has already been made.

In 2006 my family and I immigrated to New Zealand and while my husband had a job waiting for him, as a new migrant, I found it very difficult to find a suitable position so when I was offered a position as a grocery assistant in a large retail business I  accepted the challenge and put my skills and expertise to work,.

The progression was very fast for me as after only a few weeks I was the grocery lead buyer within the retail business, which proved to me that it is not about years of experience, it is more about attitude and willingness to learn new skills and give back in a win-win formula.

I wanted to drill down further and find answers to the essential factors needed to grow both the business and the people working for the business. How do you retain staff and value staff so they attain maximum work satisfaction and are therefore more productive? What are the avenues for ensuring employees “buy in” to the business? How to grow businesses in a holistic, sustainable yet highly productive way for both the business owner(s) and the employees

The owner then offered me troubleshooting journey in the business where I investigate issues and suggest solutions to business systems, and how to increase effectiveness, efficiency, accuracy and employees productivity.

Thankful for the opportunity and determined to be a party to guiding this business to be a great place to work in and find opportunities to expand the business

During this time I invested in further education around business management, human resources and leadership as I have finished NZ Diploma in Management and Certificate in Business.

I consider my journey in the retail industry a huge achievement, as I progressed in a very short time from an entry position to leadership role and was about to get trained for the general manager role.

However there was something missing, something very deep in my heart where my true passion to help as many people as I can to work and live better, to help businesses to grow and to improve a very happy culture where everyone works productively and happily, I wanted to achieve that on a larger scale without being limited by the industry or the position I am in. I, therefore, studied Diploma in Professional Coaching.

All these experiences, skills and knowledge led me to my current career as a business coach.