Feed the Hope – Starve the Fear

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

John C Maxwell, internationally renowned thought leader and author, says that what you pay attention to, expands. This week as we all very tentatively and gradually emerge from the ‘lockdown life’, what do you want to expand in your future? Hope, opportunity, a safe future, health, reconnection with others? If you focus on the negatives, the losses and challenges – they will expand in your life.  Do you want that? How about instead focusing on what you want to feature more in your future life.  Then keep turning towards that. How? Put a picture of it somewhere you spend a lot of time. Put a reminder of it on your phone in an alarm or a screensaver or wallpaper. Write it down, with a pen and paper. Say it out loud, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  ‘I will….‘ Promise it to yourself. ‘I promise…’ When we […]

Are you ‘drink-driving’ through life?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

Drink driving has become so socially unacceptable now that I’ll bet you bristled when you saw the headline here. The vast majority of us don’t do it.  Most people judge those who do – silently or vocally, culturally and criminally. Yet, 1 in 3 of us operate our lives (and sometimes our cars) under the same conditions as a drunk driver, because that’s the number of people it’s estimated are sleep deprived. Scientific research tells us that after being awake for 18 hours or more, an individual’s performance equals that of someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.1% (the benchmark for drunk driving in many countries).  Some studies say that losing 2 hours of sleep is equivalent to having 3 beers.  The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates fatigue-related crashes that result in injury or death cost $109 billion annually, not including property damage.  Sleep deprivation was a factor in […]

A privilege, not a nuisance

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching

Last week I wrote about recognising any increase in demand for your input and opinions from the people around you – as being in fact a transition into being a ‘leader’ or indeed moving up a leadership level.  I suggested how you might manage these additional demands to make sure you don’t burn out.  I also suggested having a think about what kind of leader you would like to be. Another important reflection is to decide what kind of leader you don’t want to be. On LinkedIn a few years ago I saw someone in a senior role complaining about new graduates asking her to connect.  She said it was a nuisance and she hadn’t worked so hard and come this far to have a circle of connections at graduate level. I loved some of the responses she got from her peers, mainly pointing out that this was happening because […]

Why always me?

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching

Do you sometimes feel like the Grand Central Station of all queries and problems? Are you the ‘Encyclopedia of Everything’ for everyone in your world? If you have found yourself at the end of the day with mental overload, brain whizzing, unable to take in another single detail, and hoping that the next person you encounter doesn’t have too much to load on to your pile, you are definitely not alone. Here’s something to think about though… What does this mean? What does it mean when everyone comes to you for your opinion, advice, solutions, a sympathetic ear or another perspective? I’ve left a space here to prompt you to stop scrolling to the answer until you come up with it yourself! – – – – – It means you are their leader. If people gravitate to you and require – or even demand – your input, it’s because they respect […]

When cocooning hides procrastination

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

‘If this lockdown was completely lifted tomorrow, what would you be sorry you hadn’t done?’ A common question, even a challenge. I delight in hearing how others are forgiving themselves more now for stopping to smell the roses, noticing the Earth breathing, getting out in the fresh air more than usual.  Notwithstanding the real heartbreak of missing contact with family members outside our own home, it’s a nice way to live. Personally, I’m going to focus on what I did do: walked more, appreciated every day having both children home from college and school, the occasional lie-ins because there’s no travel, spending less.  I have breathed more than usual. But what about when, if we’re really honest with ourselves, this becomes an excuse not to do something that could be really impactful for our work, business or future life?  Comfort zones are perfectly named – it’s soooo comfortable for most […]

The Upper Hand

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

It may feel as is this virus has changed our lives utterly and in many ways it has.  Feeling that we have no control flags our stress response and we humans don’t like it! Each generation has endured major and catastrophic events that have changed lives and punctuated the decades.  Each one is ‘new’ and shocking at the time – airplane hijackings in the 1980s were new; flying passenger airplanes into buildings in 2001 was new; Foot and Mouth disease was new (ish).  H1N1, SARS and the spread of Ebola in recent years were new – or seemed new because we were experiencing them for the first time, maybe even first-hand.  Each of those events changed the way we behaved, operated and travelled.  Each challenged us to re-evaluate our mindset and values. The extent, speed and reach of this pandemic is new to our generation.  We’re astonished that something can take […]

Healing Hands in a Restricted World

Posted Posted in Coaching, Parenting, Resilience

If you weren’t a ‘germ-phobe’ or ‘touch-phobe’ before, you surely must be on your way now.  This pandemic has changed human behaviour faster than any Change Management Consultant could have achieved in a series of intensive workshops. Conversational small talk online or across a street now follows the same agenda; how scary it is for those who are ill, how tragic for those who have died and how desperately sad for families deprived of centuries old rituals around grief.  Chit-chat about the inconvenience for a generally well and productive workforce is always quickly validated by our common goal; to save lives on a global scale, immediately. The life or death options are easy to see.  What’s less visible is the impact, now gathering attention, on our mental wellbeing. I see worrying signs already, with a general sadness underneath the stoicism.  I know one ritual that could prevent much of it, […]

Who is in charge?

Posted Posted in Business Coaching

This week saw a prominent leader admitted to ICU.  This followed a 2 week period that saw him first diagnosed with Covid-19 and then self-isolate.  Explaining that his ‘only’ symptom was a fever, he continued to work. After his symptoms did not improve he was admitted to hospital.  He continued to work. Still his condition did not improve and he was transferred to ICU. We’re told he didn’t need to be ventilated.  There is less information about whether he was still working or not! The latest word is that he has been transferred back to the ward which hopefully signifies an improvement in his condition, finally. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.  However, as a leadership coach watching from afar, I think if I was his coach I would have worried that he didn’t prepare two things. In my opinion: He should have taken sick leave from the outset. Graveyards […]

Lost your structure? Regain it here

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching

In ‘peace times’ I help busy people build their confidence, leadership skills and resilience so they can achieve success without burning out. I’m expecting a lot of burnout over the coming weeks and months. I’m hearing about the difficulties for managers who are stuck at home, still have to work and be productive, and are home-schooling and caring for children as well. I have been working from home for over 18 years; I’ve managed two of my own businesses, several other businesses and a charity group, all while raising children.  Not only do I now have the coaching skills to help people find their best solutions in time management, but I guarantee I have all the t-shirts from every challenge people are currently facing! There was ONE core habit that made working from home a success, and to this day when I find I’m losing control of my days and […]

Resilient Leadership in a Crisis

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching, Resilience

I’ve written before that all of us are leaders in one way or another.  We are leaders in our workplaces, within our family and in our communities.  The seismic shock of recent weeks has left many (who were previously strong, confident leaders) feeling lost, under-confident and still finding their feet in quicksand. My coaching practice has now moved totally online, and the issues presented to me by clients have moved from a wide variety to one common theme:  ‘How do I lead myself and others through this crisis?‘ This week I thought I’d best serve you by summarising some nuggets of wisdom from an article published in the New York Times this week.  It was written by a former Army General and a former Navy Seal based on their experiences of leading through 9/11. They suggest four behaviours you can focus on.  They are easy to do and applicable for all who lead others (staff, […]