Do you relate well to others?

Do you relate well to others personally and at work? Do you inspire, lead and motivate them well, or do you struggle in the “people” aspect of your job? It’s common for people to minimise this part but it’s crucial to things going well. Business leaders have finally woken up to the fact that “soft skills” make a big difference to the bottom line, after years in which people have denied its importance and minimised the value of such training and coaching. Many in the Learning and Development industry will of course be thinking “told you so”, but it must … Read more

Are we losing our ability to have empathy and to connect?

We must have all done it, a family gathering at Christmas and at a quiet moment you come into the room and everybody is on their phones or tablets, with snippets of conversation in between. Perfectly normal, you might think: everybody is wishing friends a Happy Christmas. Except that that is what occurs a lot right through the year where people are together or alone. This world is now getting brilliantly connected. Yet do we notice any disconnect with others we’re with? Being a big user myself but also a coach of relationship and interpersonal dynamics, I’m frequently observing what … Read more

Have you had enough of being dissatisfied with your job?

Feeling dissatisfied with your job can reach a peak for people around Christmas and the New Year. The time off work that many of us have gives us space to reflect on where we’re going, what we want and what’s perhaps missing for us. Problems at work Problems at work and maybe signs on the wall that you had better move on before you get moved is one factor. We may not be getting on all that well with our work and it’s registering somewhere in the system, like with your boss, the results you’re getting, or the feedback. This … Read more

Are you not feeling fulfilled in life?

Has it dawned on you at some point that you are not feeling fulfilled in life? It happens, to more of us than I think many of us realise. It is in relation to work that this can most show up, but it can also affect us more generally. Yet another survey tells us in the UK that around one third of us are not feeling fulfilled in our work, particularly those in their late 30’s to mid-40’s. For those in that age range, and others, it would come as no surprise since some form of self-searching about their direction … Read more

Are you living your life in a way that really serves you?

In these holiday months it might be customary for some of us lounging by the pool in some sun-drenched beautiful location to reflect on the pace of life, and ask why do we put up with it and why can’t we do things differently. The lazy discussion on living your life as you really want, after say some complaints about the sharing of tasks, might result in some intentions to make changes. Yet like lambs to the slaughter we go back to our driven, city-centred life-styles and very quickly all the relaxation and sense of wellbeing has vanished and we’re … Read more

How hard it is to balance job and family

After decades of feminism it’s saddening to read, and have confirmed what I hear from my coachees, just how hard it is for women in particular to balance job and family. This can apply at all levels in work. I come across senior woman managers who find they cannot really go for top jobs and balance that with meaningful family time. Something has to give. Equally less senior people get by either on masses of childcare costs or the help of their parents and the extended family, for those who can access that. It’s often given as the major reason … Read more

Time to have those change conversations

It’s holiday season and many of us are now headed to nice places on long-anticipated breaks. Despite the desire to de-stress and get some leisure and family time it can often also be time to think and reflect on where you’re going in life too. We might seemingly need to leave work well behind us, and yet for those for whom work hasn’t been so good recently, or that simply the change signals are cropping up, we might have some questions to ponder on. That long-needed break can be when we can just allow our minds to wonder more creatively … Read more

Do you really only live to work or work to live?

This is a very well-used phrase but I think a false dichotomy, “you live to work or work to live”. It puts two contrasting scenarios together as if they are alternative choices. It reminds me of that old hackneyed interview question, “Are you a small fish in a big pond, or a big one in a little pond?” leaving no way out for a third option, like a middle way, unless you choose of course not to play by the implied rules. Yet you could change it a bit and, as with Josephine Fairely, simply have a passion for what … Read more

To define who you are by your work or relationship has its dangers

To define who you are by work or relationship risks a loss of a sense of self We’re reaching that time of year when the winter is almost but not quite over, we’re feeling bedraggled and we need a holiday.  Easter time is nigh! Thus lots of us are now heading off to various climes with a good book or a well-stocked Kindle, miscellaneous bits of kit for activity long missed, plans for conquering distant hills and vistas, and with maps, guides and packets of tea. The sense of adventure and new horizons stimulates a tired brain and brings new … Read more

Consistency in how we treat others

There is a well-known expression, “practice what you preach”, in other words be a good role model. Except that organisations don’t practice internally what they attempt to present to their customers. Under pressure in today’s environment, this inconsistency in how we treat others seems more evident. As the recession grinds on in the UK (they are calling it “flatlining”, but growth has not recovered to pre-crash levels), there are more reports of the atmosphere within many organisations, which in one media source was described as “seething resentment”. It’s difficult changing jobs and in a sense the power balance is more … Read more