biography 2017-05-26T09:18:56+00:00

Shirley Smith

Shirley Smith : : there for me coach


Being born in Scotland taught me how to dance in the rain! I spent the first 40 years of my life there. University in Edinburgh and then gaining experience and know-how north, south, east and west of the country – in big cities like Glasgow and in small rural communities like Kelso. In high tech start-ups to low tech wynd-downs. From International operations to local obligations. My life centred around people and putting the human at the centre of human resources.

Leaving my homeland in 2002, I have since lived and worked increasingly internationally and globally. Roles as European HR Director, Global Head of Learning and Development and Global Head of Performance focussed on developing and transitioning the HR function, leadership development and change management processes. I partnered with people from all cultures and backgrounds based in Asia, across Europe and the Americas.

My role has been and continues to be to support and inspire people to be the best version of themselves that they can be at work.

One process at a time.

One person at a time.


In 2002 I moved with 2 young children from Scotland to the Bodensee in Germany, from there to Luxembourg, then Upper Austria and eventually ending up in Vienna, Austria.

I have found my new home.

Creativity is a big part of who I am. I love to cook and am learning how to adapt and try out new recipes in the land of vegan and vegetarian cooking. I love to paint. Inspired by the places and emotions invoked by different life experiences.

My own learning at the moment is centred on advanced coaching and coaching supervision, feldenkrais technique, somatic intelligence & leadership embodiment.

what others are saying

dionneCoaching supervision with Shirley was very rewarding. I really enjoyed the creative and intuitive ways of working. She tapped into my creativity and helped me clarify my direction as an artist and coach. It was good to feel supported and challenged at the same time as Shirley often empowered me to answer my own questions.

I discovered new ways of working with the body and what it can tell us in order to get in touch with blocks and to develop alignment and authenticity. Shirley was generous in recommending some great training and networks, which are helping to take me in the direction of my goals and develop myself as and artist and coach. I always looked forward to our sessions as Shirley has a positive and non-judgemental style and can work creatively with whatever comes up in the coaching session. I valued her flexibility and the space it opened up for me.

Life’s work in progress

  • now

    Further personal professional development as an independent coach & coach supervisor establishing in October 2016

  • 1 year 

    Plexus Inc, Wisconsin – Senior HR role supporting the Senior VP Global Manufacturing Operations & VP Quality

  • 6 years 

    Lenzing AG, Upper Austria – Global Head of People Development as head of new Global Expert Centre

  • 5 years

    Masco Corporation Sarl – HR Director Europe within European HQ of NYSE listed organisation

  • 2 years

    Bio-Medical Research GmbH, Bodensee as European HR Manager – parent company based in Ireland

  • 8 years

    Steinbeck Resources Ltd – Director – HR Consultancy supporting international inward investment companies in greenfield situations and supporting companies move towards achieving Investors In People Accreditation

  • 8 years

    Avex Electronics Ltd – Director HR – greenfield high volume electronics – part of leadership team that grew site from 0 – 1000 people in 4 years incorporating many leading edge approaches at the time