Communication, Compassion and Common Sense

hr leadership Jul 18, 2020

With the news that workers in the UK can start to return to offices from 1st August there has, not surprisingly been some concern and worry along with a number of companies giving reassurance to their people that returns will be phased, and in come cases won't take place until 2021.

Over recent weeks I've seen more and more questions in HR groups from HR teams and HR Independents asking what action can be taken against employees who have so far refused to come back to work when the manager has told them to return, and my plea is that we need communication, compassion and common sense before forcing anyone to return.

I've seen and heard some of the following conversations (and iterations of them):

Company A wants employee A to return to the office but has told them they can use a separate entrance, use a separate kitchen and won't have to come into contact with any other people throughout the day. Employee A has refused and the manager wants to know what to do about it - seriously!...

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Under The Table

Uncategorized Jul 14, 2020
Twice in my life I have sat and hidden under a table and cried.
The first time, I was six years old. We had just moved to Peterborough, and I was starting a new school with a new teacher and a class full of students that I didn't know. It want my first day at my new school and we were all sat on the carpet, I remember moving further and further back as more kids arrived in class and sat on the carpet, and I found myself under a table. Once there, I cried until the teacher noticed where I was hidden and came to rescue me and introduce me to the class. Miss Durwood didn't mention I was under the table, nor my tears, she just introduced me, found me a friend and that was that, no biggie.
The second time, I was 17 years old, yes really. I was 17 years old, I was completing my A levels and I had to stand up and give a presentation to the class. I'd spoken in front of groups before, but I avoided anything where I had to follow a script. I just couldn't do it. I'd...
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HR, What's Your Value?

hr leadership Jun 30, 2020

Before lockdown, I was hearing from and speaking to a lot of HR pros who felt undervalued and unappreciated with very little recognition from their peers and colleagues for a job well done. One particular client had gone over and above in some project work and yet the Customer Service, the IT and the Procurement teams were the ones praised publicly for their work on the project and HR didn't get a look in.

This isn't uncommon, this isn't a one off, this isn't an isolated event, so what's the issue?

Since lockdown, I have seen HR work tirelessly, waiting until the Friday updates to then set to work at 5:30pm to have calls, write comms, and change policies and working practices for their people. The hours are longer, the stress is increased, and still many feel undervalued and unappreciated.

And I wonder if this is in anyway linked to how we see ourselves.

Back in 2011 I was asked if I would take on a new role, the salary was between £70k and £90k. I said yes. My boss...

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Does Coaching Always Help?

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2020
I'll always say that coaching can help, and I believe it can help anyone, but I think there are some caveats to this. Two of the coaches I've worked with over the years didn't help me, at all. These two coaches had been given to me by my CEO's as coaches that 'work with all of our leaders', but the relationships weren't the right fit for me.
Firstly, the coaching relationship must be a good fit if coaching is going to help. And this doesn't mean that your coach has to be your new best friend, but it helps if you can trust them, feel that they will give you the right amount of stretch, support and challenge and that they get you.
Many companies fall into the trap of assigning the same coach to everyone, someone they've worked with for years and who might be offended if someone else was brought it, but if the relationship isn't right, the coaching isn't going to help. Whenever I've been asked to work with whole teams, I still always insist on discovery calls...
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"I Am Enough"

Uncategorized Jun 23, 2020
An extremely high performing client and I were speaking this morning about everything they would like to achieve. When we started our coaching relationship a few weeks ago, they had come to me to develop better time management, we quickly knew that time wasn't the issue and they've been making great progress.
Today we talked about their competitive nature, where this has stemmed from and how they feel currently now they aren't in competition with others as they were through school and education. They are highly respected in their field and get great feedback from everyone they work with, but they no longer feel they are achieving and are beating themselves up daily and feeling like a failure.
The reality is there is no failing, but what's missing is the validity of grades and scores and tick boxes that demonstrate a job well done. The praise isn't as forthcoming as it used to be but when asked for and when received it's always glowing.
What we...
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Try vs Do

Uncategorized Jun 23, 2020
A few months ago I experienced my first 'nothingness' in a meditation and it felt amazing, yet since then I've found myself trying to recreate the moment and failing, until last Thursday. I've been practising meditation now for years and this 'nothingness' is what the teachers and text books will tell you is the thing to aspire to with meditation, but for now, just focusing on your breath is enough to start with.
And so I've found myself for years trying to find nothingness and thinking I was there with it, until I realised I wasn't. The first time I found this complete silence and stillness I felt elated, and it's taken several months to get back to it. And on Thursday night when it happened again, I realised that the difference was that I totally let go. I stopped trying, and in stopping the trying, it happened again.
That same evening as my partner and I lay in bed I asked him what time he would be home the following day, he leaves at 4am so we don't see...
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I Am Not Your Guru

coaching Jun 23, 2020

On Monday night and sat and watched I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix, the behind the scenes filming on Tony Robbins six day event. It's been coming up on my account as one I might like for months, but I've never entertained it, until now.

Over the past few months I've been pushing forward to do the things that make me uncomfortable. I've always believed we grow on the other side of our comfort zone, but I've also realised that I have times when I'd just rather avoid things. Tony Robbins was one of the things I've been trying to avoid, and I never really knew why.

Tony Robbins is a name that you can't really avoid. His programmes, talks, seminars and photo are pretty much everywhere in the world of self development. My fire walking instructor worked with Tony Robbins, it was the image of Tony on the marketing material that made me put off the training. I've trained in Breathwork with Dan Brulé, Tony Robbins breath work coach, and I've had conversations with Tolly Burkan, Tony's...

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When You're All Out Of BS Excuses (magic happens)

hr wellbeing Jun 16, 2020

We've all come up with an excuse, or many excuses as to why we shouldn't do things in life. Time is usually one of them and for me often the biggest, but I've realised over the last year or so, that every excuse I have for not doing something is met with even more reasons as to why I should. And then I make the time to make things happen.

Last week I launched and I can tell you it was scary. It was scary, mixed with a lot of excitement, a lot of apprehension, and no excuses as to why I shouldn't do it, I had no more left.

I left internal HR in 2013 to start The Chrysalis Crew at the beginning on 2014 and in 2015 I had this niggle that I also needed something that was me, so I bought the domain, and did nothing with it. Over the years this niggle has gotten bigger and bigger and I've continued to ignore it. I told myself I didn't have the time. I told myself it would detract from Chrysalis, I told myself it would be too much hard work, I...

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Start Your Day Right

Uncategorized Jun 14, 2020
For years my morning routine, well there was no routine. I'd wake, get ready, sort my sons ready for school, leave the house in a rush, get stuck in traffic, arrive at work frazzled and the rest of the day would pretty much follow in the same way.
As my sons got older the mornings got a little easier, but I'd fool myself into thinking I had more time, I didn't, and so I'd still leave the house and get to work frazzled.
It was when I started commuting to London that I started my morning yoga routine, nothing major, just a lovely 20 minute routine that I'd do straight off of bed before jumping in the shower and then leaving the house ready to catch my train. At this point, I wasn't the one getting my sons up and out so all I had to do was make sure I was on the 7:20 train each morning, and I never missed it - I do remember many mornings stood on the platform cursing the train delays and wishing I'd have an extra 20 minutes or more in bed catching up on sleep.
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Uncategorized Jun 12, 2020
As another week draws to an end, the conversations I've had with HR leaders have been mixed, but one theme remains, none of them are doing enough (or anything at all) for themselves.
Self-care isn't all about yoga and the latest diet or a long soak in the bath, although if that works for you then please don't let me stop you. My daily non-negotiable include morning yoga, journalling, visualisation and meditation along with lots of water throughout the day, a walk with the dog and then my evening routine of no tech, a book and more yoga and meditation. For others it's weights or running, for some it's doing something creative, dancing round the house with kids or chilling with Netflix and chocolate.
But it's also important to remember that self-care isn't just tasks or time out. It's the way we speak to ourselves, our self-talk, our relationships and the environments we put ourselves in.
It breaks my heart to hear of more and more HR leaders who...
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