Coaching, Facebook Groups, Work-Life Balance, and The RSPB Birdwatch. 30/01/22

It has been a busy week this week, lots going on in my head and some different activities. I will start on the coaching front, as you will know (or not) I coach as part of my day job in the NHS, and I also offer coaching in my spare time. The idea was that I could gradually increase my external coaching practice and as time goes by reduce the number of hours I work in the NHS. The external coaching practice has been quiet for some time. Now there are a few reasons for that. It is not my main job so time to spend on thinking about it is limited to when I am not at work, and that is also true for seeing clients. We have had a global pandemic, so everyone’s focus has been elsewhere and for some money was tight. Conversely my prices were too low, they screamed bargain basement, and did not reflect my knowledge and skill as a coach. Lastly I was very much a generalist in my approach to coaching. Everything interested me, career, well-being, life, executive, only problem is none of you knew what I was coaching. Now when I coach in the NHS it is fairly general however most of the time is spent with professional development. Recently I have coached for well-being for obvious reasons. I have however noticed a lot of my coaching conversations during my day job are focusing more and more on how to create the right balance between home and work. People are driven to do a good job and succeed, however at the same time they have a family that requires their attention. A lot of health professionals and senior managers in the NHS have sacrificed family life for work life, sometimes to protect their family. Which in the short term acute phase is painful but reconcilable because there was a feeling it was temporary and there would be reward of personal success and satisfaction at the end of the journey. As we start the 3rd year of the pandemic (it was 2 years ago when the first UK patients were admitted to our hospital) it feels like we a moving into a move chronic stage, where it is not as devastating and we do have work structures in place, but the pressure on people’s workload is still extremely challenging. People are burning out now. That got me thinking that it is not just NHS and Social Care workers that are feeling this. Every sector is having to juggle staff absences, due to illness and isolation, as well as try to build in recovery plans to adapt to a future that we all find increasingly difficult to predict. If you have school age children, you are still trying to catch up with getting their education both formal and social back on track, at the same time have some quality time with your family. There are an awful lot of people out their that are doing their best, getting by, just about keeping their heads above water, but if they do not pay attention to themselves very soon will start to burnout. So that is why I thought I would focus on Work-Life Balance for working parents as my coaching focus. So I have renamed my Facebook and Twitter pages and started to concentrate on how we start to look at how we create a balance between work and family that does not sacrifice what we value, and allows us to start flourishing. I have also set up Facebook group that offers free support and guidance, giving people the space to passively engage with useful content, add their own and discuss their experiences. This is a safe closed space I will not try to sell my coaching offers within that space, it is there for anyone. If people want to make and investment in developing and improving the balance they need to flourish at home and at work then I do offer 1:1 coaching, and webinars, they can access through a subscription or on a stand alone pay as you go offer. I have adjusted my prices to reflect the quality of the coaching I provide. Being coached requires commitment, so you really have to want to make a difference, so a moderate investment financially as well as an investment of your time is reasonable.

So let me get back to the Facebook Group. I opened it this weekend, and if you are interested in joining the link is below. Please come along and share the link with your friends.

To add a bit of my own work life balance, I have had quite a relaxing weekend. It started with a visit to a local restaurant on Friday evening, called Bella Rosa ( where we had a lovely meal courtesy of Lisa’s Auntie Barbara who had given us a voucher on for our Wedding Anniversary back in August. I know we got the voucher back in August and it took us this long to use it! We really do need to get out more. We did say that as part of our work-life balance we should commit to doing something like this a little more frequently than we do now. The pandemic has got us out of the habit of having evenings out. On the way home we thought we might pop into the local pub and have a drink. We walked home and when we got near the pub we both looked at each other and unanimously decided to give the pub a miss, go home, put our pjs on and watch netflix for the rest of the evening. To be fair the Calzone I had had at the restaurant had expanded my belly somewhat and my jeans we beginning to cut off circulation to my legs. So we went home and watch Safe by Harlan Corben on Netflix. On Saturday we got up and did the RSPB national birdwatch from our back bedroom. The results were disappointing due to the wind, so we decided to try again on Sunday before we submitted our results. We went into Hull City Centre in the afternoon to go to a craft fair at Hull Minster. It was a very pleasant if not a little expensive experience. It cost £2:50 each to get in, I think we spent around 10 minutes there and bought a couple of artisan sausage rolls for £6! We then went to the market and got some cheesecake from the polish bakery, that was so much nicer. After a brief visit to the Salvation Army charity shop where I got some cassette tapes for Jack (he uses them for sampling)we can home to scoff cake and lounge. This morning we completed the birdwatch, it confirmed what we already knew that our garden is dominated by Pigeons and Starlings, with a resident Robin. Lisa bought a security camera to put in the garden so she can see what wildlife we get in the garden. Now I am doing what I love writing this blog and thinking about all things coaching. It does feel like this week we have got the balance right. That is the point I suppose, we can get it right one time and not so the next time, and if we are curious and kind to ourselves we can tweak our lives to constantly improve how we live our lives.

Please join the group or get in touch if you want to start making a difference to what you are experiencing.


Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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