5 Ways to Keep Your Team Laser Focused (even through growth and change)

At the beginning regular conversations and ad-hoc discussions shape the future vision.  Everyone has absolute clarity, they know what the future will look like, feel like and sound like.

The team got down to the hard work of translating the vision into processes, standards and values. And above all, meeting customer needs and outshining the competition.

Then the organisation grows, or moves into becoming sustainable rather than a start-up and change happens. Committed people become burnt out, or disengaged. They lose their mojo.

The Founder isn’t quite so hands on. There’s a need for more structure to enable growth. Work becomes ‘business as usual’, there seems to be confusion about where priorities lie and accountability is weak.

Here are 5 ways you can keep the team laser focused and on track:

1. Do they understand ‘why’ they do what they do? 

Remember those constant conversations, those late nights working it all out, the excitement of feeling you were crafting something unique? 

The vision becomes diluted as time passes.

When was the last time the existing team was involved in exploring and understanding the future vision?

Have they imagined what it looks like, feels like and sounds like?

Change may mean your vision or the means to get there becomes foggy.

Unless everyone fully understands and can articulate the ‘why’ of your organisation, they won’t really feel part of the overall picture.

They will just do their job, rather than consider how their role contributes to the purpose of the company. 

2. Do they have crystal clear clarity on what needs to be delivered and by when? 

Does the team understand what’s really important in terms of the organisational aims and objectives and how this filters into their specific objectives?

Good objectives are not a list of initiatives and things that need to get done.

They are a clear description of what is to be achieved which will enable the strategy to be delivered.

Initiatives enable the achievement of objectives.

John Doerrs book, Measure What Matters provides some great examples of strategically led objective setting. It’s adopted by the likes of Google and they call them OKR’s (Objectives and Key Results).

Objectives should be transparent and shared across roles and departments, so there are no conflicts of interest, which drive silo thinking and working.

3. Can they take small steps toward achieving their objectives every day? 

Setting objectives is often the reserve of the annual appraisal, which is quickly becoming as unfashionable as it is useless. 

In fact things often change so quickly that within a few months the objectives set at the annual appraisal are out of date or irrelevant. 

Agree a timescale that enables individuals to keep their objectives in mind and take small steps toward them each day.  Scope out broader long-term objectives and then break down into monthly, or quarterly objectives to be achieved sooner.

Review progress frequently – ideally monthly or quarterly. Use the review to check whether the objectives are still relevant:

  • Has information emerged that wasn’t available earlier?
  • Has something been learned which sheds new light on what is needed?
  • Has a change happened within the company, economy, or customer needs?

Redefine the objectives as information emerges, this means actions remain agile and the real priorities are addressed.

It also means people feel motivated, because they review and evidence progress.

4. Do they know what standard is expected? 

Standards are what is expected of individuals in their day to day tasks.  Whether you need to discuss this may depend upon the level of experience of the person being managed, it may also be necessary where a new role, or work task is added.

A standard is a very specific expected outcome and can be described in terms of quantity and quality.  “Produce X number of widgets, within Y number of minutes, which are all perfectly round and smooth”.  “Welcome all customers with a genuine smile as soon as they enter the restaurant and show them to their table.”  “Produce this report in the X format, by Y time every Tuesday.”

5. Do they have weekly support and check-ins?

This might seem excessive, but this isn’t about checking-up, or micro-managing.

It’s about providing a sounding board, being a coach and mentor, rather than a decision maker and director.

It means you support your team to solve issues, before they become issues. You are aware of team conflicts and challenges, coaching individuals to find the resources to handle, rather than having to step in to solve it for them.

Frequent check-ins and support will develop your teams resilience, focus and motivation.

Communication ‘with’ rather than ‘to’ your people

During times of change or growth, communication is seen as essential – but it’s often done ‘to’ people, rather than ‘with’.

By doing the 5 things suggested and consistently discussing strategy, aims and vision. Constantly revisiting how this translates to objectives, standards and things to do, you will have a team who deeply understand what is needed. They will be more capable of accountability and decision making, freeing you to focus upon evolving your organisation further.

Lyn has over 20 years of developing leaders and facilitating conversations to help teams to become clearer on what strategy means to them day to day. To discuss how she can support you and your organisation contact her: lyn@evolveyou.co.uk, 07950 914328.

Time management – don’t work harder, stop instead

We’re all under pressure to not only deliver more, but to develop ourselves and our business, keep up to date with technology, consumer demands and legislation and motivate others to do the same.

Stopping may seem counter-intuitive, but perpetuating the hamster wheel of ‘do, do, do’ reduces creative thinking. It affects team relationships and morale and leads to a feeling of ‘we’re not getting anywhere’. At it’s worst it can lead to overwhelm and low productivity, despite the desire to get things done. 

Weekly Personal Review

Put time aside for a weekly personal review and you will find it hugely beneficial.  Do this for yourself and encourage your team to adopt this practice too.

Review frequently and you will meet the need for recognition and structure. We all have 3 needs to be met – recognition, structure and belonging (TA Today, Ian Stewart and Vann Joines).

Recognition develops from acknowledging what happened in the past week.   Although self-generated, it’s equally as valuable as external recognition. It will make you and your team more resilient and motivated.

Structure is achieved through developing the habit of reflection, which creates clarity and focus. Instead of constantly running on half empty, structure provides the opportunity to top up your resources.

Great performance is more than just tasks completed

Using a visual key, helps to categorise review, recognising more than just the ‘to do’s’

An ideal review celebrates not only what has been ticked off the ‘to do’ list, it includes achievements, learning and the ‘warmer’ stuff.  For example, this week I included the enjoyment of spending an evening with my son who has recently left home for Uni.  To me, that’s part of having a healthy, balanced life.

A visual review ‘key’ will encourage the inclusion of more than tasks ticked off.  The key can be adapted to each individual. An effective, rounded performance isn’t about outcome alone, it also focuses upon how it was achieved. Learning, achievement and the ‘warm’ stuff contributes to the ‘how’. This is what evolves you as an individual and is as important to acknowledge.

Refer to diaries etc. to remind yourself what happened, it’s surprisingly easy to forget – even the little things are important.  Make a note as things happen. For instance, a great, productive conversation with a prospective client, or a colleague.

Priorities for the coming week come into focus

As you review, priorities for the following week will come into focus. As well as what will be carried forward – items to make note of which aren’t an immediate priority.

In this example, priorities are broken into themes:

  • Tasks,
  • Research & Learning,
  • Marketing/Social Media,
  • Business Development & Relationships,
  • Accounts,
  • Other.  

Adapt these to suit the work you do.

Headings break priorities into themes. Review uses a key. Future considerations are carried forward. Can be typed, hand-written, or completed on suitable app.

Make it a habit

Make it a habit to carry out the review, at the end or beginning of each week and meet that need for beneficial structure.

  • Review using visual key.
  • Priorities for the following week are naturally flagged. 
  • Note these as they occur, using the ‘Priorities’ headings. 
  • Move backwards and forwards between Review and Priorities until everything is captured. 
  • Hand-write, type, or note in a suitable app, whichever method works for you.
  • Make notes throughout the week as tasks are completed.
  • Note follow up actions for the next week and achievements, learning and ‘warm’ stuff as it happens.

What has been achieved is acknowledged and what needs to be done is captured, ready to be focused upon again on Monday (or whichever day you consider to be the start of your week).

An additional column for noting completion, or further actions is helpful, it’s a place to note priorities and items for review for the following week.

Are you focusing upon what’s really important?

Do your priorities link back clearly to your objectives?

Ideally objectives are developed in line with strategy. By checking that your priorities are delivering your objectives, you’re checking your work is in line with strategy, or business aims.

If priorities are skewed away from objectives, either you need to re-focus your tasks, or review your objectives.  Environment, economy, competition, people and consumer demands change so quickly, good practice is therefore to review objectives quarterly.   Have you learned, or has something new emerged since agreeing the original objectives, if this is the case an adjustment is needed to re-align.

Regular review will evolve you, your team and your business

In a busy world which demands outcomes and achievements, it can seem counter-intuitive to take time out to stop and review.  However, it’s an essential factor in evolving yourself and your business – it’s how we learn and apply our learning. 

Consider allocating a slice of time each week to review and prioritise.  I guarantee it will make you more efficient.

Lyn is an experienced facilitator and leadership skills trainer, with over 20 years experience. She helps teams to celebrate their successes and create clarity around their future vision with the Team Pause. Contact her to find out how this will benefit your team: lyn@evolveyou.co.uk or 07950 914328

Ping Pong Tables and Funky Furniture

Ping pong tables, funky furniture and advanced ways to share work and communicate, may be seen as indicators of an innovative workplace and a high-performance culture.  However, the ‘window dressing’ often doesn’t deliver the desired results.

Perks and environment don’t drive performance – they support it.  It is delivered through behaviours and relationships.  People who are crystal clear on what they need to deliver for their organisation and how they deliver it to their customers.  People who understand how to continuously improve – together.

Business leaders often focus upon structure, process, environment, sexy marketing.  New systems are implemented, processes redefined. A ‘ra ra’ launch for the new product or branding to get people excited – and they are – in that moment.

When the shiny newness wears off people fall back into the status quo – where it feels comfortable and familiar.  Back into their ‘to do’ lists and work silos – particularly if there is a heavy workload.  There isn’t time to consider the bigger picture, to worry about whether their outputs are aligned with those of their colleagues.  With the best of intentions, they believe that as long as they do a good job, the customer will be happy.

Business leaders become frustrated, because despite their investment, the front-line people who can make a difference are not delivering their highest performance levels.  Continuous improvement is seen as a project, not a day to day norm.

The counter-intuitive solution to continually engaging people with the organisational strategy, with continually finding ways to be better, to look outside of the ‘to do’ list and day to day tasks is to STOP!

  • To facilitate conversations which create openness, constructive review, understanding of others challenges
  • To build and endorse collaborative behaviours
  • To create solutions together, which everyone buys into
  • To remind of the bigger picture the silo of their work hangs upon
  • To make the links between their list of tasks and the purpose of why they are doing it.

This is not internal comms, an update, or a team build.

It’s about considering simple, key questions on a regular basis, which will facilitate the above, such as:

  • What’s going well, what’s not going so well and what could we be doing differently?
  • Are we keeping our promises to our customers?
  • Where are we dropping the ball and why?
  • Do our ‘sales pitch’ promises match what we deliver further into the relationship?
  • What projects, what specific tasks, would require collaboration to deliver the best results?  (Carlos Valdes-Dapena used this question when improving collaborative working at Mars)

Culture is something that needs to become part of the material of a team – the invisible ingredients that everyone consumes without realising, but getting there and keeping it alive needs focus, attention, time and space.  Time to STOP!

An experienced facilitator can be extremely beneficial in enabling constructive conversations, honest dialogue and the building of trust and collaboration.

Lyn Paxman has over 20 years experience of facilitation, working with corporate leaders and teams. She helps teams to have better conversations, which lead to better decisions and better results.

Her facilitated Customer Journey Review is a powerful way of exploring whether promises to your customers are being kept further down the line. Contact Lyn on 07950 914328, lyn@evolveyou.co.uk 

8 Tips for what to do when you don’t achieve your heartfelt vision/goals

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You start the year with a crystal clear vision and you’re excited by your full intention to make it happen – and then -it doesn’t.

You feel disappointed, de-motivated, sad even.

You wonder what went wrong.

Maybe you wish you hadn’t bothered having hopes and dreams.

Each year I run a vision boarding workshop, where people set their intentions for the year ahead, using collage to create a visual reminder.

It’s a powerful and therapeutic approach and very satisfying to look back at the end of the year, realising how much you have achieved from your vision board.

However, occasionally creating a visual reminder of what you haven’t done, can feel like extra disappointment.

Here are my tips for making sure this doesn’t happen:

  1. Align your vision with your values and what’s really important to you:

I’d love to have a job which involves working nationally, or internationally, coaching blue chip corporate clients.  However, this clashes with my current value of wanting to be around to support my teenage children.  I’ve chosen a vision for work and business which aligns with my values.  Consider all the areas in your life – business/career, family, social/friendships, home/environment, exercise & physical wellbeing, play/fun & recreation, finance, personal growth & learning, romance and relationships, what are your priorities, where do you want to spend the most time/energy, where do you have to spend the most time/energy, what’s the gap between the two?  Is bridging that gap within your control?

  1. Focus on feeling, rather than doing.

How do you want to feel, or what you want to experience in each of the areas mentioned in number 1.  For example – business/career; I want to have flexibility, to work with people who are authentic, so I can be relaxed and authentic, to have creative freedom, make new connections and feel stimulated by what I’m learning.  Can you see the difference here – it’s all about what I want to experience, rather than saying I want to do X job, for Y pay for Z company etc.  This comes later – your vision starts from a broader perspective.  If for example you want to increase the amount you travel, going to more exotic locations – what is the feeling or experience behind this?  Is it learning about new cultures, the visual stimulation of new landscapes, connecting with new people, adventure, exploring etc.

  1. Keep your vision broad for now.

Life is made up of many aspects we’re constantly balancing – all areas identified in number 1. By putting all your eggs in one basket your vision will be unrealistic as there will always be other things demanding your time, energy and focus.  You don’t need to have a vision with all aspects of your life – some bits will just bob along, so it’s right to focus on what you want to change – what you aspire to, but it has to take into account the reality of your whole life.

This enables you to consider how you can achieve the feeling/experience element of your vision, without excluding other elements of your life.  Take the travel example in number 2 – if you want adventure and connection with new people what other ways could you do this? If travel isn’t possible, then perhaps building more adventure into your life is, as well as meeting new people.

  1. Review what you achieved last year

This will give you insight into what you feel is important.  Write down all the key things you have done throughout the year; memorable activities, achievements, successes, things you’re proud of and what you have learned personally as a result.  As well as a great opportunity to celebrate all the things you packed into the year, this review will give you an insight into where you chose to focus – maybe this is what was actually important to you – as opposed to what you thought was important?  Sometimes when things are mis-aligned there’s some learning there for us about our values.  For example, maybe you chose spending time with the family, focused upon learning a new skill or put your energies into your career, instead of getting fit/travelling/completing your masterpiece of art/writing etc.  Give yourself credit for the choices you have made and use this insight to guide your choices for the year ahead.

  1. Assess your priorities and identify what you might need to sacrifice

If the above review threw up some insights for you, maybe there’s an opportunity for you to make different choices this year?  This might mean some sacrifices, for instance last year I put some time and effort into developing my business, networking, spending time on social media.  This meant that my hopes of getting really fit and losing some weight was lower down my priorities.  I chose to spend time at my desk, instead of in the gym!  This year, I have chosen a fitness activity that will take minimal time and commitment, allowing me to continue developing my business, whilst placing some focus back upon my physical fitness.

  1. Assess your blocks

Is your block to achieving your vision/goal, time, money, or is it your personal confidence?  As with point 5, it’s a good idea to assess your priorities.  If it’s money, where are you spending currently, can you make some changes, spending less on some things, so you have more for your goal?  It’s the same with time – where are you using it currently?  For instance if you have a fitness goal, are you choosing to spend time watching TV, or cleaning, shopping, making meals etc.  Could you redirect this time into fitness?  I cut corners with having freezer food on the days I want to get to the gym.  If it’s personal confidence, what can you do to develop your confidence, for example attend a course, or get some coaching or mentoring support.

  1. Consider what’s realistic

What can you actually achieve to deliver your vision, given your current reality?  When I was a single mum, with both kids under 5 and I wanted to exercise I started running around the green outside my house with the kids on their bicycles following me!  We must have been a funny sight, especially when my little one kept toppling over on her bike stabilisers and I had to turn back to rescue her!  But this started a commitment habit, that meant I felt happy investing in a babysitter once a week when I wanted to go on a longer run.

  1. Decide the first small steps that will get you closer

In the example in number 7, I started with an easy, no money option of running around the green – a small first step and built up to larger steps; a babysitter once a week, then twice a week.  Then running on weekends when the kids went to their Dads, to running at lunchtime when I was at work, until eventually I’d built up to 10k.  Taking small steps means our goal is less daunting and more doable.  What small steps can you take toward your goal?  This could be saving money, researching an action, making an enquiry, attending an introductory course, or taking a small trip, instead of a long holiday.

 

I believe in dreaming, fulfilling your potential, believing you can, rather than feeling you can’t.  I also believe in thriving, rather than striving.  Creating a wonderful life is about exploring and understanding your current reality and then building in the steps to get from where you are to where you aspire to be.  Creating a vision board is an ingredient of the magic of facilitating change, it acts as a reminder to take small actions toward your vision each day/week/month – without those or a magic wand change is unlikely to happen!

What I learned about resilience when my husband left me

My daughter was just 14 months old and my son 4 years old, when my husband left for another partner. Ask anyone what it’s like managing two young children and they will tell you it’s challenging. Doing it on your own, when at times your on your knees with grief?

Painful.

I had to find my grit. I had to discover my resilience. And I did. Here’s how.

Let go

This took me a while and actually the person I blamed the most was myself. There was a turning point when I admitted to a wise and supportive person that I was tired of being angry. She told me that first I needed to forgive myself.

She was so right.

I needed to forgive myself for feeling as though I had failed, for not being a different person, for not providing the 2.4 happy parenting picture I’d imagined for my children.

Let go of failure, identify what you have learned and move on.

Imagine a new future

That picture of your future you painted so clearly will never happen now.

Grief is often about letting go of the future we imagined for ourselves.

One morning I woke up sobbing from a dream where my estranged husband was living in a beautiful, roses round the door house with his new partner. That day I decided I needed to create a new future.

I began to experiment with new ways of shaping my vision.

Decide what you’re willing to give up

I considered creating the future I’d imagined with him, but on my own. Big house, lovely garden – a library room. I’ve always wanted a library room! I could do this if I worked really hard, ambitiously, earned lots, progressed etc. This would mean less time with the kids, more time away from home, less energy. I decided this wasn’t a sacrifice I was willing to make.

Consider balance within your life and all the elements that are important to you. That way one particular goal won’t overwhelm other important aspects of your life.

Compelling and realistic

I created a vision of a happy, creative home, kids pictures stuck on the walls, a place where friends could come and go, time spent together outdoors and a camper van – I’d always dreamed of having a camper van!

I thought about what my future would look like, sound like and feel like, I made it multi-sensory.

I wrote in my journal about a day in my life, as if it was happening that day, to make it more more compelling. And it was realistic, something I felt I could achieve.

Find aspirational role models

I found it incredibly difficult to be around families. I just felt so different, unfinished, half a family.

They would laugh between themselves and share spontaneous anecdotes about their kids.

They weren’t trying to exclude me, far from it, but I felt in the wrong place, whilst really needing their company.

I had to find other ways. So I went on a single-parents holiday.

This was a great experience and I had role models of others who were thriving. I started to understand how I could do this and be happy!

It’s important to have role models to aspire to – not to compare to and find yourself lacking.

Find your defiance

Having an ‘I’ll show you mentality’ can be a strong driver. My mum, although wanting to be supportive was so worried about the effect of a ‘broken marriage’ on the kids and myself that she expected wayward, psychologically damaged prodigy and for me to be living on the breadline for the rest of my life. I wanted to prove that being a single parent could be a positive experience. This gave me the energy to drive myself forward when I was feeling exhausted and despondent.

Get coaching and personal support.

I was extraordinarly lucky that during one of the worst times I was working with a team who were all coaches and people developers. This meant they were fantastic listeners, brilliant at reflecting my world back to me from a different angle and tireless encourages, who insisted I saw my skills and talents at a time when my self esteem was at rock bottom. I am truly and forever grateful for their support.

If you are not surrounded by wise people, find them, pay for them if necessary (and possible) and seek them out.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone

When you find yourself single after years of being in married people circles you find you don’t have single friends. Things like holidays suddenly become a challenge. I was afraid to go on my own, so I went Couch Surfing in New York. It was amazing! I came back feeling more confident.

It was another turning point for me. If I could do that, I could do anything! Do what feels a little uncomfortable and you will increase what you feel is possible.

In case you’re curious – I got the camper van. We have some great camping stories to tell – rain, win, tables collapsing, squirrels stealing bread rolls (convinced that was a rat!). All recounted with fondness. I remarried and have 2 older steps kids, which means our house often feels more youth club than quiet retreat. Both sets of kids have demonstrated their own resilience in coping with huge change and due to their own positive attitudes have thrived and created a wonderful blended family life together.

Whether it’s personal change, or organisational change, having a process to understand what is happening and to dip into our resources and resilience is important. Lyn at EvolveYou works with leaders and teams to help them to navigate from where they are to where they want to be. Contact her: lyn@evolveyou.co.uk. 07950 914328

Want better results from your team? Be more tortoise!

rabbit and  turtle  on a white background

Want Better Results from your Team?  – Be more tortoise.

The hamster wheel of corporate life. So much to do, deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, projects to deliver. The hare thought speed was the secret to his success, but he lost the race.

Instead, be more tortoise. Follow your hare like sprints with time out for reflection – this is what gets the best results.

On the hamster wheel you will keep on doing what you’ve always done, eventually leading to poor, stagnant results.

Taking time out to reflect develops understanding – of what’s working, what’s not and what we could do differently. It builds our resources to innovate, create, collaborate and continuously improve.

The actions you then take are more considered, focused, specific – your sprints speed up. Less firefighting – more problem solving.

In a competitive world it’s essential that teams are agile in the face of change. This stems from their ability to learn. Learning happens in both the doing and the understanding. To understand, you must reflect. John Dewey (psychologist) said, “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Reflection isn’t just about understanding what went wrong and how you could do better, it’s about understanding what went well, so you can do more of what works. It’s honestly and non-judgmentally examining our contributions.

When you’re contained within your work environment and the pressures it presents you’re not always in the right frame of mind to pause, step back and examine with an open mind.

The work environment demands (sometimes covertly) that we demonstrate our competence, our ability to be in control and deliver. This is what is recognised and rewarded, however, this doesn’t facilitate openness.

The most effective reflection happens in a safe environment.  It’s important to set the conditions for judgement and criticism to be suspended, so it’s possible to examine a situation openly and honestly. James Zull (author, the Art of Changing the Brain) said, “Even if we experience something that has happened to us before, it is hard to make meaning of it unless it engages our emotions.” He also points out that reflection is a search for connections and suggests that we have to seriously consider the role of emotion if we want to foster deep learning. Environment is an important factor in creating the conditions for connecting to emotion.

Setting the boundaries around open and honest review is essential to productive conversations – a facilitator can help to hold a space for this to happen. Some reflective conversations may get intense (in a good way), so take time to have fun together too – reinforcing trust and positive relationships to take back into the workplace.

Most importantly time for review and reflection should be built into the fabric of a teams culture, to be something which happens with regularity. This enforces the habit and builds the skill of review, so improvement becomes – continuous.

Sprints of hare like activity will get things done, but balancing this with regularly slowing down to reflect and review will ensure that the next sprint is well aligned and delivering the best result possible.

Lyn Paxman has over 20 years experience of facilitation, working with corporate leaders and teams. Her mission is to help teams to work in an environment where they thrive not strive. The ‘Team Pause’ day is an experiential and fun process, where teams reflect and understand, before considering their future shared vision. Insights are developed and experienced facilitation creates better conversations, which leads to better decisions and better results.
Contact on 07950 914328, lyn@evolveyou.co.uk

The secret ingredient for everything you ever wanted..

What’s the secret to fulfilling, angst free relationships?

Natural, easy, bouncing out of bed every morning motivation?

Laser clear sense of direction?

Amazing focus, effectiveness and resilience?

Maybe some people just have ‘it’, an ingredient they were born with?  A silver spoon, or endless luck?

Maybe, but for most of us the essential ingredient is learning to learning – about yourself.

It’s about knowing who you are.  Your strengths, your weaknesses, your core desires and values.

This develops with reflection and attention.

It develops through exploring your interactions with others, failure, success, change.

It develops through being prepared to be challenged about your beliefs about how you see the world and the way you operate within it.

It evolves as your next action and interaction is influenced by what you now understand about yourself, with a new perspective.

It’s a journey which never ends, which leads to greater wisdom and satisfaction with life.

It enables you to fulfil aspirations, enhance your quality of life and satisfy your potential.

I guess this is why I’ve become a personal and corporate coach.  We live in a world which is constantly evolving, it’s in our DNA, it’s about making the process of self development conscious.  Becoming more aware of who we are and what we personally need to live a contented life.

For me this drive used to be to about wanting to progress in my career, impress my bosses, gain recognition.  Lately, it’s been about wanting smoother interactions with others, to deepen my understanding of myself, so I can create a life which meets my core desires and values.  Less about achievement and more about contentment.

Whatever the motivation I truly believe in the power of self-reflection and awareness.  It also helps to gain a different perspective and get some external input.  Otherwise we can end up gazing at our own navels and starting a loop of self-criticism.  I regularly attend courses, read a lot of ‘self-help’ and organisational development books, follow all sorts of different coaches on social media, watch films which challenge my opinions and have a variety of friends, who introduce me to new ways of thinking.

I see a therapist as I’m training to become a psychotherapist.  I talk through stuff that’s bugging me, patterns I’m noticing and frustrations.  I always gain a fresh perspective and new motivation to tackle a situation.  A coach is also a great sounding board, the difference being that a coach doesn’t ‘dig around’ in the deeper emotional stuff that will have developed our view of the world.  A coach will help you to re-frame a situation and then work with you to identify strategies for addressing.

Self reflection and increased self awareness, may not be the magic formula for the endless riches of our fantasies, but I believe it is the key to a richer, more fulfilling life.