Blog

Alignment!

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2021
I speak and write a lot about leading from your core, and alignment plays a big part in this.
 
When I hit Burnout in 2013, I was not aligned with my values. I'd been working in a toxic environment that was causing me to be much less of the real me, and it was shaping me into something and someone that I didn't recognise. Determined to fix the issues in the workplace and to do what I knew I was capable of doing, I kept on pushing, kept on trying to fit, and I kept on fighting.
 
I had seven months going in and out of hospital, working from my hospital bed, refusing to be defeated, refusing to give in and refusing to rest. I had work to do and change to create and I was damn well going to make it work.
 
Fast forward to today, and I'm aligned to my core, to my values, and to my work in ways I would only have been able to imagine back in 2013. And yet it hasn't been easy to get here.
Burnout caused me to question everything. Who I was, what I wanted, what I...
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Two Weeks To Go!

Uncategorized Aug 23, 2021
With just two weeks to go until the Be Your Own VIP community launches, what do you need to know?
 
What is the VIP Community? It's a membership community for Professional Women that focuses on whole wellbeing: mental, emotional, physical, financial and spiritual wellbeing, because you are a whole person.
 
Why am I starting it? Last year during the pandemic I took a closer look at my coaching clients and knew I needed to make some changes. I stepped away from the HR Community and HRDs that I'd been supporting for the last 8 years and focused on Professional Women. I've never been busier, and I know there is a limit to the number of women I can support on a one-to-one basis, so I needed another way, a different way to help women on a larger scale to drive more change and provide more support.
 
Why is it needed? Women face very different obstacles and challenges when it comes to being our best selves in the workplace. Self-doubt, protecting our boundaries,...
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It's Not All Netflix and Chill - 7 Types of Rest

burnout Aug 17, 2021
This week I’m away with my partner and our dog on the East Coast, a break away and just what we needed to recharge our batteries. We’ve walked a lot, mostly in the rain – British Summertime in full swing – we’ve talked a lot, we’ve explored and yesterday we found a beautiful Chinese garden and walks through the trees and by the streams and waterfalls, I found my Zen.
 
In 2015 whilst still recovering from my burnout, everyone was telling me to rest. To stop and to rest, to do nothing. And I spent some time doing nothing, and resting, and getting sleep, and nothing changed – I still felt exhausted.
 
We’re told that sleep and resting is good for us and something that we should do to benefit our health, but what if time out and sleep aren’t working for you? Did you know that sleep and rest are not the same thing and that many of us confuse the two?
 
We go through life thinking we’ve rested because we...
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Rabbits, Pheasants and Bravery

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2021
As I opened the door to sit in my garden this morning with my usual cup of peppermint tea, the rabbits fled, as they do every time the door is opened, back towards the bushes on the other side of the garden and they are yet to reappear.
 
This is a usual occurrence, they'll sit for hours in the grass, the sounds of the birds and traffic in the distance not bothering them at all, but the second they hear the door open, their fluffy white tails running away from you are all you are faced with, and it's the same with the pheasants too.
Mummy pheasant and her six babies live in the hedges just the other side of our fence on the opposite side of the garden to the rabbits. Sometimes they make it onto our driveway during their morning walk, sometimes in the field opposite, and lately, under our large tree, tucking into whatever they can find to eat. And as the door opens, the mum calls her children, and they fly together back over the fence.
 
And yet the sounds of...
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Reignited - How Do We Smash The Ceiling If We Can't Get Off The Floor

coaching leadership Jun 22, 2021

 The latest Deloitte Global report “Women @ Work: A global outlook” that represents 5000 women across 10 countries reveals a stark reality for women in the workplace. The report finds that these increased responsibilities are having devastating effects on working women as 51% of those surveyed are less optimistic about their career prospects today.

Additionally, women surveyed reported a 35-point drop in mental health and a 29-point drop in motivation at work compared to before the pandemic.

The report states that equality has regressed during the pandemic, stifling years of slow, but steady progress. Increased responsibilities at work and at home during the pandemic, coupled with non-inclusive workplace cultures, are resulting in diminishing job satisfaction and employer loyalty for women.

Since the pandemic began, 77% of women surveyed say that their workloads have increased – the most frequently-cited change in their lives brought on by the pandemic. Women...

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Animal Instincts and Primitive Brains

hr leadership Jun 04, 2021
A change is announced at work: a merger, an acquisition, or employee cuts for efficiencies or cost-saving. At first, although shocked (maybe), you deal with it and feel OK. Then the jungle drums start thudding and you notice panic setting in. Behaviours change, gossip starts and you too start to change the way you feel about the change and about your ability.
 
Ordinarily, you know you are good at your job and you hope you will be OK. You’ll wait and see what happens and if you do have to leave, you can do so with some money in your pocket and find a new job, start your own business or take the opportunity to learn some new skills and start a new career path. You are still feeling quite calm.
 
And then it starts.
 
People around you are starting to belittle each other, ‘I’m better than you'. In meetings or during work people are stamping all over each other, shouting loudly, ‘pick me, pick me; you need me, you know you do’. You...
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The Glass Ceiling

leadership May 20, 2021
ollowing my LinkedIn Live on Tuesday where I talked about knowing your worth and the differences between men and women when it comes to salary negotiations and setting prices in business, I've received some heartfelt, sad, and difficult messages from women talking about experiences in their current workplaces that are impacting their confidence levels and their ability to stay in the role.
 
We must do better!
 
Glass Ceiling: – noun: an unacknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities.
 
The first time I was asked to deliver an address at a women’s network, it was on the topic of Glass Ceilings and the issues I had faced throughout my career in competing with men. I explained that I had never encountered this issue (that changed years later) but I could give my opinion on the differences between men and women when seeking a new role or a promotion from an HR perspective.
 
Typically,...
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Time Out

wellbeing May 10, 2021
For those that have followed me for a while, you’ll know that self-care and wellbeing are important to me. Since my burnout in 2013 I’ve created better boundaries in all areas of my life and that my ‘me time’ and daily practices are non-negotiable. I don’t and won’t compromise my time out, I know it’s needed, I know I need it and I know that if I’m not looking after myself then I can’t be my best self for my family, for my team, or for my clients.
 
When my sons were at school, scheduling holidays out of the office were fairly easy, I just needed to work around the holidays and with my husband and parents, we ensured that we had every school holiday covered and on the whole, I was off work for a week or two every six weeks, or every 12 weeks. My sons’ birthday is 18th December and so my Christmas break always starts then. This wasn’t possible when I worked in retail, but it has been every year since 2004.
...
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Unlearning

Uncategorized May 06, 2021
unlearn verb gerund or present participle: unlearning 
  1. discard (something learned, especially a bad habit or false or outdated information) from one's memory.
"teachers are being asked to unlearn rigid rules for labelling and placing children"
Earlier this week a friend and ex-colleague of mine Dan Hardaker, wrote about how he is unlearning things about himself and has started to enjoy running, something that the opinions of others had stopped him from doing for years.
 
My good friend Laura Mazullo and I speak almost weekly about the things that we have been unlearning since the start of the pandemic. Unlearning the need to hustle. Unlearning many views and opinions that have both helped and hindered the progression of our businesses, our relationships, and the views of ourselves.
 
And when I saw the post from Dan, I was immediately reminded of one of my very first coaching clients, an FD for a Global Charity, who had been labelled a...
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Who Are You?

Uncategorized May 04, 2021
Who would have known that three, three-letter words could be so powerful and so life-changing?
 
10 years ago, I was working as an HR Director in London, commuting daily from my hometown of Peterborough and with plans to keep progressing in my HR career with the dream of being a Global HR Director by the time my sons finished their A levels so that I had more freedom to travel with my role and develop teams all over the world.
 
I was already coaching some of the senior managers in the business having completed a number of training skills workshops when I began my Executive Coaching qualification, and this was the first time I was asked repeatedly the three little words of ‘who are you?’. This was our introduction to everyone in the room during the first day of our coaching programme.
 
We asked each other this question, in pairs for 15 minutes, and then we swapped partners and we kept swapping until we’d each spoken to one another and...
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