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.
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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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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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Are Your Core-Ners Aligned?

Uncategorized Apr 21, 2021
At the end of March I wrote about the Four Core-Ners and how through the lens of these Core-Ners of Self, Relationships, Work and World we can live and lead with more alignment, integrity, authenticity, awareness, understanding, compassion and empathy.
As I mentioned in the previous article, Your four core-ners are what make you a successful leader.
Leadership is a privilege, it’s about lifting people up, trust, respect, seeing the person in front of us and recognising that their unique skills and talents are what makes them unique. When we lead from our core and recognise that our own four core-ners are what makes us unique as leaders, we not only see, but we appreciate and value the uniqueness of the people we lead, and it’s through this that we change the world of work.
When you know who your true self is, you make decisions that are right. Your true self and your core values become your true North. No longer can you lead in a way that...
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A New World Of Work Needs A New Type Of Leader

leadership Apr 06, 2021
The last year has seen changes in businesses around the world in ways we couldn’t have foreseen. The high street will look very different when the world reopens, what was once a normal daily commute for many may now be a thing of the past and whilst there have sadly been many business closures, many other organisations have seen significant growth and investment.
Since the start of lockdown, I’ve remained optimistic and hopeful that changes in the world of work that leaders once thought were impossible, could in fact be here to stay. And in doing so, we create People First workplaces where our people are much more than just numbers on a spreadsheet, but the lifeline of our businesses.
Now more than ever, the leaders who put their people first, will be the ones who thrive as we enter into a new look and new shape future. Our people will be looking to maintain a greater life balance whilst still delivering and progressing in their roles and with...
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The Four Core-Ners

Uncategorized Mar 30, 2021
Throughout my school years, I was labelled as a natural leader and a role model. In sports, I was a captain, in class and other activities I was the team leader. My rebellious streak was seen as a strength, my curiosity and need to get the root of a problem were seen to add value and my different perspective was thought to be of interest and in providing great insight.
As I started my management career as a Trainee Manager, I still remember the coloured folders I was tasked with working through. As each task was demonstrated and signed off by my boss, my competence as a manager was highlighted by the signatures in the boxes. At times though, the leadership strengths that had been appreciated so much whilst I was in school, curiosity, perspective, searching for the root cause and rebellious streak were ‘not the way we do things around here'. I was appreciated and valued, but my intuitive nature now needed data to back up my gut feel, my curiosity was quashed, and...
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Change - Who's Job Is It Anyway?

leadership Mar 24, 2021
A year ago when the pandemic and lockdown first hit, we saw many ways of working change overnight and what was once thought to be 'impossible' for many organisations, very quickly became the norm. I was hopeful and optimistic that lockdown was a time for real change, an opportunity to take stock of what the 'workplace' really meant and how new ways of working, communicating, leading, managing and engaging our people could really change.
I'm still hopeful and optimistic, and yet at the same time, I'm disappointed and disheartened at how some leaders still think a one size fits all approach is the best way to return to 'normal'. Have we really not learned that we can be putting our people first and still running profitable organisations? Have we not learned that speaking to and listening to our people is a much better approach than endless surveys? Have we not looked at the last 12 months as an opportunity for real change and to do what's right for our people, our...
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Rules, Hierarchy and Institutions

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2021
Watching Prince Harry with James Corden and the interview that Meghan and Harry did with Oprah left me with some mouth wide open moments, moments of sadness, moments of frustration and moments of joy. However you feel about the Royals and the departure of Meghan and Harry, I couldn't help but draw comparisons of what it means to work in organisations and institutions that have many rules, written and unspoken and problems with communication when it comes to hierarchy.
Firstly, let's talk about titles. Meghan said she'd been a Princess and many a royal correspondent and expert in matters of titles will say that Meghan was never a princess. This was explained all over the media at the time of the wedding and the reasons behind this, it seems though Meghan didn't get that memo. When it comes to the title of Prince for Archie, the same experts, news correspondents and experts will say that at the time that Charles becomes King, Archie would then receive the title. I can...
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