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Labels and Boxes

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2021
During a coaching conversation last week my client told me they weren’t a creative person. The room I could see behind them during our video chat said differently. I could see a guitar, beautiful prints, bright colours, books, albums and more. I asked why they didn’t feel they were a creative person and they described how when they were at school they were useless at art and music. We explored where in their life they are creative and they came up with some brilliant examples of how they are creative in their work, their relationships, problem-solving and communication.
 
I remember having this same feeling of not being creative for years, and how I felt when I realised that creativity is much more than art and music. I’m a creative thinker, learner, person.
 
All too often, the labels we give to ourselves and others and the labels that other people give us throughout our lives, don’t truly reflect who we are. They can hold us back,...
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Listen

Uncategorized Feb 23, 2021
“Listen to silence, it has so much to say” – RUMI
 
This was the quote in my journal this morning, my moment of reflection and silence after my yoga and meditation practice, I like to start my days quietly before the conversations of the day begin. This time at the start and end of each day gives me time to really listen to what I need, to what I want, to how I want to be and what I want to do on any given day. It’s my creative time, my thinking time, my planning time and my being time.
 
Over the last week, two of my Coaching clients have mentioned silence and listening. One made a comment that she finds silence awkward so always fills it, and yet she knows that when she’s calm and listening she can consider the best solutions to problems. The other mentioned that she’d be unable to listen for long periods of time as she likes to give her opinion and debate topics.
 
Back in 2017 when I first designed The Listening...
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What Got Us Here Won't Get Us There

Uncategorized Feb 10, 2021
During yesterday’s YouTube live with Emmy Rousseau as we were talking about self-care practices, we discussed how something that may have worked for us in the past may not work now. As times and pressures and stresses change and manifest, we may need to try something different to help us back to a place of calm.
 
The same is true in HR and for all People Leaders.
 
What got us to where we are now, will not work as we progress and move forward. The things we used to talk about as nice to have’s such as home, flexible and four-day working, may now be necessities. And with this, we need a new way of leading, a new way of managing and a new way of transforming the world of work.
 
Throughout 2020 I saw many HR Professionals reach and in some cases pass breaking point. In addition to the ‘day job’ we, along with the rest of the world, found ourselves engulfed in this thing called furlough, in some cases entire workforces working from...
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Leading From The Core

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2021
Values driven leadership, heart led-leadership, leading from your core, leading with purpose, leading from within, whatever you call it we need much more of this inner led leadership in the world right now and much more of it if we are to change the world of work.
 
I’ve written and spoken many times about my burnout back in 2013 and how one of the steps I took to bring me back from this was realigning to my values. Whilst I had loved the work I was doing, more and more of the work hadn’t been about creating great places to work, it had been increasingly about down-sizing companies and pushing people to do more for less, this was not why I joined the world of HR. The environment, and the seemingly mis-aligned values of the leadership team, created a toxic environment for many, and the illness of me and the two HRD’s before me. Sadly, the HRD to replace me passed away in her sleep whilst away on a leadership retreat with the rest of the Exec.
 
...
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Who Are You?

Uncategorized Jan 20, 2021
Who Are You?
 
This was one of the first questions I had to answer on the first day of my Executive Coaching Training Programme back in 2011. I remember feeling uncomfortable, awkward, vulnerable and a bit out of my depth and I also remember the lightbulb moment I had when I first heard myself say that I wanted to set up my own coaching and consultancy practice.
 
To be clear, I’d never wanted to, or ever thought about setting up my own business. I was set, or so I thought, on continuing to grow in my role of HRD, moving to a Global role with a large global company and being more able to travel as my son’s got older. So, to hear myself say I wanted my own company was a total surprise and something I reflected on, and then forgot about until I was asked the same question two years later and came up with the same answer – within three months I’d left my HRD role and started my own consultancy.
 
I also realise how naïve I was...
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What If?

Uncategorized Jan 15, 2021

Last week I wrote about my focus for 2021 and wanting to be more aware of when I’m not living my values, particularly when it comes to integrity and doing the right thing even when nobody is watching, and this week I want to take this a step further and talk about 10 principles.

I’m a keen yogi, I have a daily practice and at the end of last year, after five years of putting it off, I started my Yoga Teacher Training, quite what I’ll do with it when I’m qualified I have no idea yet, but I come alive when I’m on the mat and I wanted to take my learning deeper.
 
One of things I love about the yoga practice that I have, is not just the movement and practice on the mat, but the lessons it teaches when I’m off the mat. Back in 2019 I wrote about 5 things that yoga and HR have in common, and today I want to take this a step further.
 
At the start of every new year, the first 10 weeks of the new yoga term are always focused on these...
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Values Alignment in 2021

Uncategorized Jan 05, 2021
I don't think I know anyone who found 2020 particularly easy and I found the festive season much tougher than I thought I would do. This was the first time in my life where I haven't spent Christmas with my entire family, and whilst it was lovely to be with my partner and our sons, the emotional rollercoaster of 2020 continued.
 
I wanted to hug my parents, to see everyone with their own little quirks at the dinner table. To hear my Dad snoring in his favourite armchair at our house and to hear my mum laugh whilst playing family games. I don't take any of this for granted, ever. And whilst recognising that amongst my partner and our four sons that I'm the only one whose parents are still together and that I don't have to worry about 'choosing' where to spend my time or not having to worry about upsetting anyone, I'm very lucky.
 
I did however, find moments of ease this Christmas and throughout last year. I didn't miss the commute in the way I thought I would, I've...
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Boundaries Instead Of Goals

Uncategorized Dec 15, 2020
This is my last People Perspective of the year. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling knackered and exhausted and I am absolutely ready for some time off with my family and pooch for the next few weeks before getting back to work in the New Year. Any downtime I have in between clients and conversations this week I'm taking as downtime. I'm full of a head cold and feeling a bit crappy, I'm also keeping the conversations going that I want and need to have before I switch off on Friday.
 
Yesterday in between finishing the Queen's Gambit I did take some time to really think about this year and where I'd like to be next year. All of the goals and plans I set at the end of last year have either vanished completely, be partially met or totally failed. I found myself with new thoughts, a new focus and new things to focus my energy and attention on, like getting through to the end of 2020 with my wellbeing still in tact and a happy and healthy family instead of smashing income...
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The Value In Learning

Uncategorized Dec 01, 2020
This last weekend I started yet another formal qualification, it’s a subject that I love and I know it will add value to my clients, and even though the timing wasn’t quite right, six months too early really, I’ve jumped in with both feet, shuffled my diary and my life around a bit and I’m making it happen.
 
My Dad, now 75, is a lifelong learner and I’ve definitely got the bug from him. When I’m not involved in formal training, and that’s actually quite rare, especially over the last five years, because, well PhD, I’ve got my head in a book, I’m watching videos and listening to podcasts, I’m learning about other people, I’m attending workshops or I’m doing something as simple, or so it sounds, as learning a new recipe. Although we’ve learnt that when disaster bakes or meals occur in the kitchen that we just call them an experiment and move on.
 
Whilst enjoying some downtime over the...
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Mind The Gap

Uncategorized Nov 22, 2020
After my burnout in 2013 I spent months reflecting on why I had gotten to the point of burnout, brain fog and exhaustion and one of the things that became apparent was the integrity gap.
 
This gap was between my actions and my values, and I surprised by just how big this gap had become. It wasn’t an intentional gap, but one that had appeared over time, slowly chipping away inside of me until I couldn’t continue anymore.
 
I’d started my career in HR because I truly wanted to change the world of work. I wanted the world of work to be somewhere were people felt able to contribute positively, where they could thrive, be happy and stop the Monday to Friday dying syndrome that so many people I knew went through weekly experience.
 
The last eight years of my in-house career however hadn’t been about changing the world of work, but more about cost savings, holding people to account, working with toxic leadership and executive teams and...
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