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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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Bandwidth and Headspace

Uncategorized Nov 10, 2020
Bandwidth = Internet access and WiFi
 
Headspace = The time to think, reflect and be
 
The 10th March was when I and the rest of my team started working at home, following the ‘work from home if you can’ statement from the government. At first, I didn’t think it would be much different from my usual working pattern. As a team, we usually only spent a day or two together in the office and the rest of the time we were making the most of our four day week, with clients or working from home.
 
Little did I know that just one week later, my entire household would be in the house, all of us fighting for what was already limited and slow(ish) Wifi. In the early days, we quickly became frustrated by the issues with all of us being on video calls at the same time, and so we had to create an understanding, and better communication about the times we all needed the internet connection for video calls, which calls needed to be done by phone, and for...
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Let's Get Visible

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2020
It's hard to see someone that's hidden. It's hard to know they're there, it's hard to know they exist.
 
Think about the brands you know and love, where do they show up for you? Where do they jump into your life to let you know about their latest product or service? How do they keep you informed? How do they communicate with you? What makes you keep buying from them again and again? How do they build and maintain your trust?
 
For many of our people, they didn't choose us to lead them. They found us somehow, even because they'd heard great things, or saw the job advert, or fell in love with the brand, or the service, or the work that you do. But they didn't choose you. They didn't select you as the leader to drive them and the business forward, that decision was already made. But if they could choose you, would they choose you?
 
Lack of visible leadership is still an ongoing issue in many businesses, and of varying sizes. And that doesn't mean that you...
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When It's Time To Let Go

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2020
Sometimes we hold on so much to what could be that we could be at risk of letting something amazing pass us by.
 
My relationship with my ex-husband lasted for 17 years, we had our two wonderful sons but our relationship and our marriage was built on a lot on 'what if's' and we both spent a long time thinking that when this changed, or that stopped then we'd be happy. Instead, I made the decision that I would be happy, and within a few months my marriage ended horribly.
 
After the sale of our family home I moved into a beautiful town-house, it was everything I hoped it would be and after some time my now partner moved in bringing with him his two sons. A couple of years later and we moved into a Windmill, determined and hopeful that this would be our forever home. Having invested all of our money into our businesses we moved into the windmill as a rental, the landlord promising he'd sell in a couple of years, perfect timing for us.
 
The property is...
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Back to Basics

Uncategorized Sep 16, 2020
2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year for us all in one way or another and we still have three months to go. Are we in for more twists and turns? Who knows, but one thing I do know is that it's time to go back to basics.
 
Ever since I've started my career we seem to have been overcomplicating our relationships, the way we communicate, the way we manage and the way we lead. We're adding more and more complexity to everything we do and it's been past the point of overwhelm for a lot of us for years.
 
Leadership has somehow moved away from leading from the front and become a term we use for the most senior people in the business. Management is no longer about people but performance, measures and stats. Work is no longer something you do 9-5 Monday to Friday but an all encompassing thing that we carry around in our pockets, and have constantly in our hands.
 
Our wellbeing is being impacted more and more each and every day. We're sleeping less, working...
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