Zelah Senior

Zelah Senior

“I’m a catalyst. Change happens when I‘m around. I’m fascinated by how to lead and collaborate across different cultures, sectors, disciplines and power dynamics to create a better world. My work is grounded in the concept of Ubuntu – that our interconnectedness is the essence of being human. This is the driving force behind everything I do. Inclusion lies at the centre of my leadership. I’m deeply committed to figuring out how to hear and learn from everyone’s voices and opinions and explore things from different angles. And I’m also pragmatic: when everyone has been heard, decisions need to be made and action taken.”


After starting her career as a corporate lawyer, Zelah quickly developed a passion for leadership, collaboration and transformation whilst working in Cape Town in the mid 90’s. Since then, Zelah has spent over 20 years living and working in countries recovering from conflict and upheaval  – including Sri Lanka and Bosnia and Herzegovina – and the last 9 years in the UK.  During that time, she led large scale organisational and sectoral change initiatives, involving cross-cultural teams and collaboration across different disciplines, sectors, ethnicities and faiths. Through this work, she learned that sustainable change happens when we put humanity right at the centre of leadership, so that we lead ourselves and others in a way that is conscious, inclusive and empowers everyone to reach their full potential.


Zelah is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach® and Executive Coach, trained by the Coaches Training Institute. She’s also an Organisational and Relationship Systems Coach, trained by CRR Global and an End of Life Doula, trained by Living Well, Dying Well.

Facilitation approach

Zelah is known for her powerful, grounded energy and the professionalism, warmth and playfulness she brings to her work.  She cares deeply about others and the world we live in and makes space for everyone to be heard; bringing care, clarity and structure to conversations.  Zelah has an outstanding ability to be with things that are edgy and challenging and reveal their potential for growth and change.   She’s in her element:

  • helping people find the courage to live and lead in a way that is fully aligned with who they are 
  • supporting  leaders to bring out the best in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams
  • building trust in teams, particularly in times of change and uncertainty
  • building  partnerships across sectors and cultures strategically and with generosity
  • developing emerging talent, and
  • supporting people and organisations through loss.

Examples of recent work

  • Facilitating leadership development programmes and coaching  for emerging leaders and senior leadership in global companies, including M&S , L’Oréal and Activision Blizzard King 
  • Facilitating team development events for international organisations, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • Providing resilience coaching and training for not-for-profit Chief Executives and their teams 
  • Coaching small business owners
Waverley Learning are very vested in what they’re doing, very committed. They’re dynamic individually and collectively, they are 100% invested to the learners when they go into a program, it really is a sense of ownership of the experience that I don’t necessarily always see with every other vendor or learning partner that we use.
Lisa Smisek - Director of Learning, Kearney
There’s a credibility and a humility that you just sense when you’re engaging with Waverley Learning. I’m personally very drawn to that.
Karen Brown - Director of People and Talent, Tearfund
It is the extent to which Waverley Learning understood all the requirements, the innovation that they brought, the talent they brought. Their whole style takes the frantic pace at which we work out of the equation, the messages comes through really clearly. They’ve tuned into the challenges of our organization and made observations that have given us added value. It’s always based on our needs.
Alison Maher - Head of Learning, GWR
Their Developing Skills course consistently gets the best feedback of any standard developmental course that we offer. They’re clearly doing something right in terms of engagement, for those individuals to realise their own development within that situation. Waverley Learning listen to what’s going on, the chats that they’re having with my colleagues. They’re able to play that back, this is what’s going on in your business. As an organization, they provide great insight into to us.
John Probert - Director, Mercer
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