The worst ‘leader’ in a crisis

Posted Posted in Clinical Leadership, Coaching, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Resilience

When I was a student midwife, I found myself one day in a room with seven other healthcare professionals, working furiously to save the life of a woman who had just given birth, but was now haemorrhaging. Everyone was working quietly (to reassure the woman and her husband) but fast.  There was perfect teamwork; each had their own role in the emergency.  My role was to prepare an IV solution of the drug that was our best hope for regaining control, Syntometrine.  The seconds were flying by and I didn’t want to cause any delay.  The atmosphere in the room was soaked in the urgency of the moment. My hands started to shake so I focused more on what I was doing; consciously, intentionally and carefully drawing on the needle to produce the perfect solution with no air in the syringe. What happened then was possibly the worst example of […]

Actively listening to enrich your life

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, exams, Online Training, Resilience

I often speak about the difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’, usually in relation to conversations in a leadership context, but this week I am focusing on how to listen, really listen, (and what to listen to!) as a simple form of mindfulness to help relieve stress. Listening is sometimes called an art and a science.  (In fact, I counted once – coaches are trained to listen in 11 different ways!). It is really important for our mental health to actively listen sometimes because it encourages our brain to work the way it’s supposed to.  Listening tunes our brain to the patterns of our environment faster than any other sense, and paying special attention to sounds, the non-visual parts of our world, feeds everything from our intellectual performance to our motor skills and coordination. Listening to the sounds around us, particularly sounds of nature, soothes an overactive mind and can alleviate […]

Switch!

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, exams, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

One of the biggest challenges we face in building our confidence and resilience is… ourselves! Our negative self-talk is possibly the most disempowering aspect of our mind.  It’s an extension of our survival instinct, honed over millions of years of evolution. Our mind is always watching out for danger.  In today’s world actual life and death situations thankfully rarely occur, so when it can’t identify a danger easily, it looks harder. When it still can’t find anything to be properly scared of, it makes stuff up, exaggerates small things and remains on high alert because it doesn’t like having nothing to focus on. The part of the brain that does this is the amygdala.  It serves us sometimes (like when we jump out of the way of an oncoming car before we consciously realise what’s happening).  But it needs to be trained and reassured. With practice we can teach our highly […]

Do you need to reassure yourself?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

Last week I had a coffee and lovely chat with a business colleague who is also a nurse and now runs her own business.  We were joking about the first aid kits we carry around – like most nurses we carry around band-aids and other bits and bobs – not in case we need it but in case someone else does! It’s something we identified as a symptom of nurses, teachers and others who are in caring professions or who have responsibility for others. These are people who often burn out because they look after everyone else before themselves, and it got me thinking about first aid kits because I often recommend to my coaching clients that they have an emotional first aid kit which is a set of go-to things or people to lean on when we are feeling emotionally hurt, overwhelmed or stressed. I’ve created a video about […]

No-one can give you confidence – they cannot take it either

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, Event, Nurses, Resilience, Workshop

Confidence is a soft skill that is transferable to every part of our lives. When we don’t feel confident we lose out on opportunities for business development and/or personal growth. The only person who has ultimate control over your confidence is you.  Just as no-one can give it to you, no-one can take it away from you either, unless you let them. Our inner critic is usually the one thing that affects our confidence the most. We all need to learn to silence our inner critic, or ignore it. We think we have competition from other people, but there is a wonderful reminder doing the rounds on social media that says: “Your competition isn’t other people.  Your competition is: Your procrastination. Your Ego. Unhealthy food you’re consuming. The knowledge you neglect to learn. Negative behaviour you’re nurturing. Your lack of creativity.” Confidence would eliminate most of these toxic blocks. My […]

When you take on too much

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, exams, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

Busy people often don’t think they have time for coaching. But there’s coaching principle called ‘Pausing for Performance’… …and the best example of how it works is think how you’d feel if you worked all day and through the night.  How productive would you be the following day? If you have ever woken up refreshed after sleep or a nap or if you have ever had a great idea in the shower or at traffic lights – that’s because actually your brain has been allowed to pause for performance and you can see how that has given you new motivation, commitment, new insights/ideas and vision, clarity and renewed energy. I usually try to practise what I preach – usually! – but a few weeks ago I had a lot on my plate, I took on more and said yes to too many things. Then something of reasonable importance fell out of my […]

A guided tour of your body during stress

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, exams, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

We all know that stress doesn’t feel good, but did you know what effects it has on your individual organs? Here is a tour of your body in the minutes after a stressful trigger… SKIN: pales as blood diverted to vital organs. HEART: begins to pound, sending blood around body carrying sugar (energy) and hormones (eg. adrenalin) MUSCLES: tense in readiness for action. LUNGS: air passage dilates, breathing becomes more intense to provide more oxygen to feed increase blood supply. LIVER: glycogen is converted to blood sugar to give ‘short distance’ energy. DIGESTION: processes shut down as blood is diverted elsewhere. Mouth goes dry to avoid adding extra fluids to stomach. BLOOD: thickens to help it carry more oxygen, fight infection & stop bleeding. SWEAT GLANDS: start up to cool the underlying and overheated muscles. BLADDER & RECTUM: Muscles relax to release any excess load. BRAIN: Executive function and solution […]

How effective are your conversations?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

How effective are your conversations? Or a more direct question would be…how often do you listen – really listen – to someone who is trying to convey their feelings to you? There are plenty of quotes about the subject such as “You aren’t learning when you are speaking” and “We have two ears and one mouth.  Use accordingly” and – this one is on the button! – “Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand” One way to practise this is when you are thinking about your answer while someone is speaking, or even trying to interrupt someone, stop yourself.  Wait a minute.  Ask another question.  Wait until the other person has finished articulating their point. Also, listen with more than your ears. Listen with your eyes, your heart, and with your brain engaged and focused on them, not you. One of my favourite coaching models is […]

Let’s visit the zoo! (or are you already there?)

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

If we visited the zoo today, went to the chimp enclosure and popped a balloon, what might happen? You can imagine the scene.  The noise.  The screeching.  Chimpanzees running around wildly.  Some inconsolable.  Youngsters huddling under the big arms of their parents.  Parents rushing to scoop up their youngsters and carry them away from danger. They would be fraught with worry.  Needing reassurance but unable to hear it. Sometimes this scene is borne out within our own minds when we feel threatened. Our mind screeching.  Irrational and excessive reactions.  Unable to reassure ourselves.  Panic. The way our minds and bodies react to stress triggers has been honed and developed over hundreds of thousands of years, but our response is often out of proportion to the level of the trigger in today’s world. So what can we do?  There are lots of ways to teach ourselves how to reassure the chimp […]

How to avoid being ‘hooked’

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Clinical Leadership, Coaching, Nurse Leadership, Nurses, Online Training, Parenting, Resilience

Have you ever been ‘hooked’? Being ‘hooked’ is when you are listening to someone telling a story and something they say brings back a memory of your own.  You tune out of what they are saying because you are now watching the movie of that memory in your head. It reduces your ability to concentrate or focus on what they are saying.  You definitely will miss the subtle cues as they continue to speak – their tone, body language, facial expressions, choice of words. If your memory is negative it may cloud your judgment and even cause you to become defensive in your interaction with this person. Listening deeply is a skill most of us don’t use a lot because we don’t need to in day to day interactions.  But leaders, healthcare professionals and coaches (among others) need to develop this skill and use it regularly in the course of […]