How to have a nourishing performance conversation


Tis the season .. for annual performance reviews. Are you the kind of person who gets anxious leading up to going in for your own annual performance review? Or perhaps you are a manager who wants to find a better way to make the most of your time with your team member at this time of year?

Either way, this blog aims to provide you with a few tips to take the fear out of performance conversations and enable them to be a positive experience for manager and team member. (more…)

Leading your life and career – learning from footprints

I’ve recently been fortunate to enjoy a holiday on the coast. As I was walking on the beach at low tide, one day I noticed the variety of footprints (and pawprints) forming patterns and tracing the paths that people had taken earlier that day. I started to consider the word footprint and recognised that reflecting on its meaning can help us to positively impact how we lead our lives and careers.

Exploring a number of definitions from various dictionaries has revealed a number of points that you may find interesting to consider – let’s look at three of them: (more…)

The Alchemy of Successful Relationships

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This month it was my Mum and Dad’s 59th Wedding Anniversary. I am hugely proud of them both and the way in which their relationship has stood the test of time and the challenges that life throws at us all.

As I looked through their wedding album with them at those young, smiling faces, I reflected on how much we can learn from thinking about what it takes to build strong personal relationships over time and apply this in our working lives too.

And why alchemy? Alchemy aimed to purify, mature, and perfect certain objects (most famously converting substances to gold) and was sometimes connected to magic. What’s the magic that enables two people to form a relationship that endures as they change and grow both individually and together? (more…)

Giving yourself the best chance … achieving your next career step

Have you been in your current role for a few years, grown in role, and feel that you are ready for the next step? Are you wondering why it hasn’t happened yet? How actively are you setting yourself up for future career success? If your answers to the above are ‘Yes’, ‘yes’ and ‘what does that mean?’ (or similar!) then read on.

While there is a form of mutuality between an organisation’s needs in terms of successors for key roles and an employee’s need for career progression (i.e both need the other), it is not enough as an employee to sit and wait to be noticed by those who make choices on career progression.

Ultimately, we are responsible for our own careers; we may get help from mentors, coaches, line managers and others but we need to help make our career progression easy for others to facilitate.

How can we give ourselves the best chance of success?  (more…)

Feel you have to keep proving yourself? There is another way.

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” So said Maya Angelou, American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist.

So why is it that many of us feel we have to keep proving ourselves and cannot believe that we are enough, particularly women it seems? Why instead is there a pattern of self-criticism with a risk of anxiety and overwhelm, and what can we do about it?

Rachel Simmons has studied young women for 20 years and her research shows that competence does not automatically equate to confidence. Instead, patterns of behaviour can include over thinking setbacks, feeling like a fraud, and avoiding healthy risks for fear of failure.

If these patterns seem familiar to you, read on for ideas on things to try to help build confidence and to start to believe that you really are enough.

Want to live without regrets in future life? Three factors that could help

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

None of us have a crystal ball that can tell us how to live our lives now to ensure we don’t look back with regret later. That being said, knowing what others have regretted when reaching the end of their lives can be food for thought and a prompt to consider success in a different way. In my May blog, I asked you what success meant to you and recommended that you start with the end in mind, addressing two of Bronnie Ware’s ‘Top 5 regrets of the dying’. This month, I’m focusing on the other 3. These include:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  2. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
  3. I wish I had let myself be happier

Reflecting on and addressing these potential regrets can help us to create a pathway to success, where success is related to living a life that we can be happy with when we look back on it. Let’s look at these in turn: (more…)

Do you know how to be successful? It might not be how you think…

In recent months, I’m seeing some patterns with my coaching clients – intelligent, driven, responsible leaders who have worked hard for a long time, find themselves increasingly needing to do more with less time and resources in ever changing, complex environments. In addition, most have challenges that cause tension for them in how to best use their time that relate to their non-work commitments such as child care or elder care. Perhaps not surprisingly, several are asking themselves some big questions. Is this what I want? Can I do things differently? Where is this leading?


Loneliness – how to ensure the workplace isn’t a factor

We live in an age where loneliness has been described as a social epidemic with a study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross stating that over 9 million people in the UK across all adult ages – more than the population of London – are either always or often lonely. This isn’t just an issue for the elderly. It can affect any of us throughout our lives.

While there are national measures and bodies tackling the issue of loneliness, the focus below is on what we can do as leaders and managers in the workplace, to ensure that while at work, at least, our colleagues are included, feel a sense of belonging and are confident. (more…)

Sleeping your way to productivity.. and good health

How much sleep do you get a night? Is it something you are aware of?

It seems more and more of us are becoming aware of our sleep patterns as we recognise the impact of sleep on our daily lives. If this is not something you’ve thought much about and you want to give yourself the best chance of being at your best, not only at work, but for your health and family, read on for some tips. (more…)

Thinking about a career change? Lessons from sport can help


Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash

Are you at a point in your career where you feel you are facing a wall and are perhaps not enjoying what you do?
Do you ever wonder what you could do to breakthrough to find something more fulfilling that you can excel at? One way to do it is through a combination of stepping out of our comfort zones to face new horizons, adopting a mind-set that says we can rather than we can’t, and using and growing current skills and capabilities to launch into a new direction (transferable skills).

My awareness of such a 3-pronged approach has been triggered as a result of seeing parallels in sport. Let’s explore each of the 3 in turn. (more…)