Dr Robina Shah MBE is the current High Sheriff for Greater Manchester and we caught up with her on her career journey so far.
1- What motivated you towards your career in Psychology?
My father studied psychology as a subsidiary subject to his degree and often spoke about its diversity in relation to how we see the world. I always listened with interest and was fascinated by his passion for the subject, it was against this background that I decided to study psychology and it was the best decision I have ever taken. Thank you daddy!
2- What do you think is your greatest strength and greatest weakness?
My strengths are my faith, my family and being grounded in my approach to life. My weakness is my inability to say no.
3- What do you find most challenging about psychology?
People’s perceptions of psychology and their fear that every psychologist is a psychoanalyst!
4- Do you think the approach to Psychology has already changed or should change to meet the needs of our multi-cultural society?
Psychology is becoming more diverse and inclusive in its approach and will continue to change in response to meeting the needs of a diverse and multi-cultural society.
5- What is the key to success when communicating with people?
Always listen carefully, show compassion and treat others with dignity and humility. Your conversation should be person centred, flexible and grounded in the lived experience of the person you are speaking too.
6- You have worked with the NHS for over 20 years, where would you like to see it in the next 10 years?
Resourced appropriately with the right skills, caring environment and professional workforce that can meet the demand of an ageing population with increasing complex health needs.
7- What drew you towards the learning disability and the carer sector?
I enjoy working with vulnerable people and giving them a voice. In our society there are too many people such as children and adults with learning disability or family carers who are hidden in plain sight with their needs ignored or neglected. I have always been passionate about addressing this area proactively through research, education, training and professional practice.
8- What would you be doing if you were not a psychologist?
I would write children stories.
9- What are the three important attributes someone needs to pursue in this line of work?
Resilience, compassion, innovation.