After a 2 year gap(ish) I have gone back to studying. A correspondence course this time via Brighton School of Business and Management and the Chartered Management Institute. You guessed it, it is another coaching course.
Over Christmas I was looking round for a coaching course that was the next level up, that would benefit me day to day work as coaching lead and compliment my private coaching work. So I asked myself, what makes me feel the most uncomfortable, what do I find the most difficult, what do I avoid if I can. The answer is simple really, it is the strategic side of coaching and mentoring. In essence the embedding of coaching and mentoring within an organisation. How do I make a service that is robust enough, and simple enough to become second nature in an organisation. I want to create a service that makes a difference and continues to evolve. As well as creating a fantastic coaching and mentoring service and culture in my own organisation I want to be able to support other organisations, big and small create their own coaching and mentoring culture. So that was the aim I set myself.
I found this Level 7 Strategic Coaching and Mentoring Diploma via the CMI and went for it. Each module answers the questions that worry me. It is going to push me, but looking at my first assignment and the materials on offer it is going to do more than help me strategically, it will help me see my coaching practice through a new set of eyes. I am already thinking about how I can support Executives and business owners, to help them develop an excellence mindset. In fact I have already started to adapt my coaching offer to reflect this. So if you are an Exec or a business owner that wants to try out something new to flex your performance, send me an email, it would be great to explore it’s benefits.
You may notice though that as deadlines for assignments gets closer there may be fewer blogs. It will also slow down the book progress (which to be fair is quite slow anyway). I may however share as many nuggets of wisdom as I find.
Just a short blog today as I am still at my Mum’s and I need to get ready to travel back to Hull.
Like many people I suffer occasionally from a version impostor syndrome. How dare I call myself a coach, what do I know. How dare I presume that I have the skills and knowledge to put myself into the lofty position of being someone’s coach. This was something we were talking about at my last coaching session. We talked about where these feelings come from and how ridiculous these thoughts were. My coach offered a suggestion of writing my time line of significant events. The events that have contributed to me becoming a coach, coaching lead and clinical nurse educator. The idea is to debunk these feelings of inadequacy that I feel from time to time and give potential clients and stakeholders an insight into my background and how that influences the way I coach. So I thought I would do a little potted history of my adult life, highlighting events that I think have had an influence on me. So here we are.
This was the year I became an adult, the year I failed my A Levels, left home in Chester and started my Nurse Training in Hull. This was the year I started my love affair with my Hull (there is no better City for me). The 2nd October 1989 was the first day of the rest of my life, the day my own journey began, the day I started to write my story.
1990 was the year I discovered Spiders nightclub and the wonders the ‘wiggly worm’. This was the year I ate my first Rogan Josh (that was a revelation) at the Khyber Restaurant. I saved my first life in 1990, performing cardiac massage on a patient. In fact I ended up being involved with a number of medical emergencies in my first year of nursing. I had some exciting ward placements in my first year (medical elderly, acute medical and vascular surgery). I spent my first Christmas away from home in 1990 looking after elderly patients, and drinking Vodka whilst watching Ghost on my own. I met my future Best Man in March 1990 (cheers Ju).
If you don’t mind I will be skipping a year or two as we continue otherwise this could take some time.
I met Lisa in 1992 on 10th April (8 years later Ben was born on this day). I turned 21, whilst on placement on 130 West (a Ward I would eventually manage 9 years later). Whilst on placement I decided that I wanted to become a Children’s Nurse.
I qualified as a General Nurse (RGN) and started work on Ward 12 (Children’s ENT)
I started to train to be a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse
I qualified as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse, and started work on Ward 130 East (Children’s Surgery). Ward 130 east cared for children with a wide range of surgical conditions including trauma patients and patients undergoing neurosurgery. It was an incredibly ward and we cared for a lot of very sick children. The next 3 years were extremely challenging. There were a number of shifts when I had never felt so tired, stressed and even scared. Looking back they were traumatic times, that were made bearable by teamwork. We bought our first house and started on the mortgage gravy train.
I married Lisa. We had booked a holiday to Greece and then decided to get married and make the holiday a honeymoon. We had a wonderful day with our friends and family. The holiday was alright but we both had a cold for the whole 2 weeks.
I moved wards to the children’s medical ward (130 West) before getting a job in Intensive Care. I worked there for just over a year, before I returned to 130 West and took part in a rotational programme between 130 West and ICU.
Ben was born on 10th April, the day I became a father and my life changed forever. Being a father of my 2 boys is the most important role I have. The joy I feel in my heart when I think of my boys is beyond words. I think of my life in terms of pre and post children. Other stuff happened this year like getting promoted to senior staff nurse, but that is insignificant really.
I lost my father this year, it broke my heart. Foggy took over my life for a long time after that awful day in September. I started work on the newly opened Paediatric High Dependency Unit.
Jack was born on the 29th May. Obviously this and 10th April are the best days of my life. I got promotion again to Charge Nurse of 130 West a job I did for 11 years with Foggy right beside me all the way. I remember my first day as Charge Nurse, I was terrified, I didn’t have a clue what to do, and what a roller coaster ride it was.
Those 11 years were an adventure, where I learned an awful lot about myself, as a Nurse, a Leader and a Man. I would like to say I loved it, but I didn’t really. I wrote a blog sometime ago about compassionate leadership, where I talked about my experience as a leader at the turn of this century. Now I wonder if my time came 10 years to early, then I think my experience will help me be make sure that leaders of the future do not have to experience what me and many others went through as Charge Nurses and Sisters. There is a better way to lead and that is with compassion not just to those around you but to yourself. In 2012 I met my lovely friend Janis, who taught me how to be a Clinical Supervisor, and helped my realise I was worth something and did have a talent. 4 years later that helped me kick start my passion for coaching.
I left 130 West and became the Interim Teacher Practitioner. My boss at the time asked me to work with the Safeguarding Children Named Nurse to train nurses as Safeguarding Supervisors. For the next year I adapted and rolled out Safeguarding Supervision Training and co-wrote the safeguarding supervision guidelines. I loved doing the training as it played to my strengths of compassion and communication. Foggy however was still knocking about and making me feel miserable.
I spent a lot of time struggling with Foggy. By 2016 I had an angle on the little fella. He still there but now I have an appreciation of him and I know to manage him. During this time I was seconded to the University for a day a week as a lecturer for a year. Those days were a ray of sunshine working with some wonderful people and spending time with the future of nursing.This relationship with the University continues to this day, working with 2 lecturers on a meta-analysis research into the care of young people with eating disorders. In 2016 I also started to work with a local 6th form college as a mentor and since then I have mentored 5 students who have gone on to start their nurse training.
In 2016 I started the coaching course and found my tribe, I met another good friend of mine Anthony (the tutor) and my future boss Lucy. Lucy is the lady that saw my passion for coaching and gave me the opportunity to turn it into a job, I will be forever grateful to this wonderful lady. Thank you Lucy.
In the past 2 years I have coached inside and outside the hospital. I have coached managers, nurses,midwives, teenagers, charity workers, housewives, designers, artists, doctors and business owners. I have loved coaching every single one of them. I have learned so much from everyone of them. In 2017 Lucy asked my Matron (Vanessa) if she could borrow me for 2 days a week. Thank you Vanessa for saying yes. So for 2 days a week for a year I was borrowed to start a coaching and mentoring network. I worked with Anthony to train more coaches, arranged coaching supervision and connected people up with coaches. In December 2018 I became Coaching Lead permanently (still only 2 days a week). We have trained over 20 coaches, and over the past year coached over 70 people. I have revamped manager as coach training. In April 2017 I connected back up with Janis and started to help her train clinical supervisors. We are on a mission to train 300 supervisors over 3 years. Outside of the trust I have started writing a book on my approach to coaching called Connected Living. I have written a masterclass for self management based on the concept of the book. Connected Living comes from my experience as a ward manager and how my self-neglect and lack of personal management led to my lack of resilience when I was swimming against the tide.
What is next
To finish writing my book. Start a level 7 coaching diploma. Further develop the coaching and mentoring network, embedding it into the organisation. Expand my coaching practice, and delivering the Connected Living Masterclass to a wider audience.
So that was my timeline. I am not sure if I did it the way my coach expected by I found it quite useful. I feel much more comfortable with where I am in my career.
If after reading this you feel inspired and want to know more about my coaching service, please feel free to email or message me.
I normally avoid current affairs and politics on my blog, but I feel I need to write about what is happening in the UK right now.
Every time I turn on the news, open my phone or computer, I am bombarded with anger, accusations, mistrust and disconnection, and worst of all I am drawn into it and find myself getting angry about people’s choices and starting to hate people for their political views. This cannot be right. This attacks all my values of care, inclusion, and generosity. If I am not living up to these values I do not feel courageous and useful, which are my core values. If work against my core values, I feel lost, sad and anxious.
I am noticing that there are a lot of people that are struggling with their well-being at the moment. They are either more angry and short tempered than normal., or quieter and less buoyant than they are normally. I wonder if they are feeling like me, and are not living up to their core values.
The country feels so sad and so angry at the moment. It feels like the anger comes from, something I always considered a strength of this country. We have always been able to agree to disagree. The people of these islands from my view have always accepted difference (they might not like it, but you would often hear the phrase “each to their own”). That seems to have left us, decency and fair play have left us. It is OK now to attack people because they are different, have a difference of opinion.
Don’t get me wrong I know there has always been bigots, thugs and racists in our society, but there has always been the sensible, kind, inclusive voice that on the whole has shouted louder. That voice recently seems quieter, the reasonable majority has either fallen silent or has become the unreasonable majority.
There is a very real prospect that over the next few weeks, these differences are going to get worse. Either we will leave Europe with or without a deal or we will stay in Europe for a little while longer, no matter what happens one group will feel aggrieved. I am really worried that this will boil over and worst damage could be inflicted on our country.
I know I may be, being a little dramatic, but maybe it is important that we all take a pause, try to understand each other and make a plan that is good for all of us. We all need to rediscover what unites us. If you are a remain supporter, have you spoken to a leave supporter and listened to understand why they believe leaving Europe is the best thing for the country and vice versa. Please lets listen each other and find out…“What matters to us…”
What a fantastic morning it is this morning in East Yorkshire. After such a stormy few days, wondered to myself when I was taking the the dog out, is Spring in the air?
The daffodils are blooming, there are buds on the trees, there is birdsong in the air and the sun is shining.
There is something so restorative about springtime, it signifies new life, all the trees and flowers come back to life, hibernating animals wake up, the birds start building nests and laying eggs. We all get out in the garden and start tidying, and planting, we throw open our doors and windows and start our spring clean.
Maybe we need to harness this positivity, and start making a difference in other parts of our life? Is it time to spring clean our professional life’s, or is time to start a new project?
For me spring brings new possibilities with starting my strategic coaching diploma, being halfway through my coaching supervision course, delivering clinical supervision training to nurses across the trust, and delivering my new manager as a coach programme to managers in the trust. Incidentally I have developed a a non-NHS manager as coach three day programme, that can be delivered to small groups of managers and leaders in small to medium businesses and voluntary groups. I also rolling out my connected coaching product outside of the NHS. This includes one to one coaching, workshops, short presentations, and a book. Bloody hell I am going to be busy this spring. The work outside the NHS is a little more challenging as I have spent my whole working life in the NHS. Therefore marketing is something I have never had to think about before. I am however enjoying the journey and discovering skills I didn’t know I had. So watch this space this spring both inside and outside the NHS. if you are thinking of a project and think you might benefit from a coaching critical companion approach, get in touch. If you would like me to deliver manager as a coach training, then get in touch, or if you just want a chat to exchange a few ideas then again just get in touch.
Let’s make this spring special, with all that is going on around us, we certainly need it.
Since my blog last week I have been pondering the worries, and anxieties we experience when we are growing up.
Exams, deciding on our careers, the pressure of succeeding, coming to terms with our identity, forming relationships, grappling with our sexuality and whether we are getting enough of it, and learning how to be an adult.
However when I explored all these themes I started to recognise and remember the tremendous fun that can be had growing up, and finding your way in life.
The thing is the build up to this early adulthood can be full of fear, and trepidation for what comes next. Am I going to pass my GCSE’s? Will I get the apprenticeship I want? Will I get to do the course I want to do in sixth form? Will I get enough points for the University I want to go to? Will I fit in? Does he/she fancy me?
As mentioned before we are hardwired for pessimism. We look for what goes wrong to protect ourselves. When we are adolescents our rational brain is still developing and our emotional brain is in full swing. So fitting in and succeeding as a tribe member are more important than anything else. We push our boundaries with our parents as we prepare to leave the nest, whilst still needing to be looked after and nurtured.
It is very easy for young people to get caught up in this desire to succeed and fit in, that they can forget to appreciate all the great things that are happening around them. The picture above illustrates that there are plenty of young people having a great time. There are also plenty that struggle through their adolescents, and then there are the majority who fall in the middle, who if they were a little more mindful would have so much more fun than they are having.
If you are between 16-21 years and spend a lot of time worrying about succeeding and fitting in, or if you have a child who worries about their success and fitting in, then it is possible to re-frame how you or they look at the world around you or them.
The connected coaching approach of getting to know and understand yourself and how you view your world. Once you appreciate what makes you tick and what triggers you, you are then able to challenge yourself and offer yourself an alternative viewpoint. Now this takes a bit of practice and will not happen over night. If you are prepared to spend some time going practicing these techniques you will change the way you view your world and get so much more from it.
If you are interested in finding out more then please get in touch.
Connected Living is an approach to personal leadership that draws on established research and theories from well respected academics such as Jung, Selligman, Brown, Peters, Csikszentmihalyi, Covey, Whitmore and Gallwey.
You are first invited to understand and connect with yourself and once you have connected with yourself, you will then be able to connect more effectively with those around you, by presenting the best version of yourself.
When connecting with yourself, we will explore what makes you you and why you respond in certain ways. We will explore the following;
Well-being: We will use Selligman’s PERMA model to give your well-being a health check and discuss areas you may want to work on to improve your well-being.
View of the world: we will explore why you view the world the way you do, by discussing your upbringing, where you have lived, your work experience and your friendship groups.
Assumptions: we will explore the assumptions we make based on our view of the world and fact check them. Aiming to create a paradigm shift in how you see the world, and start to practice critical thinking
Introvert or extrovert/thinker or feeler: using Jung’s theories we will explore your preferred attitudes and how you prefer to make decisions
Sensation or intuition: how you describe the world around you can help you when you are creating action plans, whether you prefer to be future or present focused.
Are you a slave to your emotions? We will explore in it is and when it is not useful to react to your emotions rather than respond to your objective view of your world.
Connecting with Others:
Once you you have connected with yourself you can now use that greater understanding to connect more effectively with others.
Communicate with those around you: do you communicate to understand and learn or do you communicate to advise and teach?
Impact of culture and society: how you and others view the world, does that impact on how you communicate?
The effect of emotions on your connections: using the knowledge of how your emotional thought processes work, we will explore who you prefer to connect with, why you struggle to connect with others and how you could challenge your assumptions.
A commitment to action: using your new knowledge and understanding of your preferences for behaviour and decision making, we will work together to create an action plan.
So today I spent the day at The Source in Sheffield on a NHS Leadership Academy Masterclass by Paul McGee the SUMO guy. If you have not heard of Paul he is an author and public speaker, who wrote among other things SUMO (Shut Up Move On). A book on personal management.
His masterclass was all about SUMO and how personal management can help leaders in the NHS. If you are like me and many others, you might think that telling your audience to shut up off the bat is a little aggressive, and Paul appreciates this, and does explain it another way for us more sensitive souls in the audience, which is Stop, Understand Move On.
I will not go into detail of the content of the day or his book, and that is because Paul explains it so much better, check out his website to find out more http://www.thesumoguy.com/
What a truly inspirational and energising day. As you know I have been having a present action centred week and this has continued today. Everything he talked about resonated with me. I am not going to spend long writing tonight, as I am so exhausted, but I wanted to come home and write this blog, just to highlight his work with you, and spread the word of personal management.
As you know I am writing a book and spending the day in Paul’s presence has spurred me on to get the first draft finished, and to get going with the level 7 coaching course I was talking about last night. His has also reignited the idea of pursuing the idea of public speaking, and spreading the word about Connected Living. So if you do run a company or a voluntary group and are interested in learning more about Connected Living and how it can change your life then email me and we can make some arrangements.