Is Spring in The Air?

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.

Trying to find inspiration

I have spent most of today and yesterday trying to find some inspiration for chapter 5 of my book. This morning I had books out all over the sofa highlighting quotes and thinking about where I could put them and hoping they would spark something inside of me, just to get the chapter started without being wedded to one particular writer. I kept telling myself and keep telling myself it has to come from me. It has to be my story of how I connect with myself, how I fail to connect with myself, how I connect with others and how I disconnect from others. The title of the chapter is ‘Are you driven by your emotions?’ There is so much written on this subject that it is so hard not to end up just writing what they have said about it. Then my imposter syndrome kicks in and I start thinking emotionally, my armour comes up and I get stuck. I started telling myself that no one will want to read it. Who do you think you are? You don’t know enough.

So these have been my anxieties today. I set myself really, I told myself I was going to spend this week writing. Then when it started I felt this pressure to write. Then I started writing and Foggy popped up to tell me that people like me don’t do this sort of thing. This is why I am writing this, to put Foggy back in his box. I know he is only trying to protect me, but what he forgets is, that I am 48 on Sunday. I am a big boy now, I have an identity and a self worth and none of that is dependent on whether I write a modern classic or a book that never sees the light of day.

Foggy after all is how I describe aspects of my limbic system. I cannot fight him I have to let him have his say, sometimes what he says is helpful, other times he encourages me to wear armour I don’t want or need. Now I have let him have his say and I have shown him that I will not die if I write a book about personal leadership, I can get back to writing about my experience of emotional thinking, which is essentially what I have just done.

You may have noticed that I use this blog to work stuff out, to get things straight in my head, There is something about sharing what is in my head with people, that does not feel like I am bearing my soul. It helps me immensely and I hope that a lot of you find it helpful. The realisation that the anxieties that you have are shared by others is so reassuring.

So thank you for being there and reading this. I now have something to write about in my chapter tomorrow. I now have that personal angle.

One more week of being 47

Next Sunday I turn 48. Yeah I know! I find it difficult to believe too. Clean living and a sunny disposition is the answer.

Anyway I am going to miss being 47, there is something about the number 47 that resonates with me. We used live at No. 47 Springbank (for the older reader from Hull, the site of the original Silhouette Nightclub). That may have a bearing on why it is so important to me. If you look up the number on wikipedia there is nothing outstanding other than it was used widely in numerous Star Trek spin-offs, of which I have zero interest. So my conclusion is, that I just like the number.

More importantly though my 47th year on earth has been one of my best. I have been more awake than I have been for a long time. I would even go as far to say that I am the most awake I have ever been. This year I came into my own as a coach, and learned to not be ruled by my self critic.

About 3 years ago when I started on my journey as a coach, I had quite a profound experience, when I realised how full of self-loathing I was. I was talking to a client about a book she had been reading, for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the book, as I was so traumatised by my reaction to our conversation. The profound moment came when she was describing one of the premises of the book which was to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say the following words with meaning; “I love you”. Well that was it, I realised that there was no way I could do that. I didn’t love myself. I felt ashamed of myself, I wouldn’t go as far to say I hated myself, but I was not far off. There was no way I could tell myself I loved myself. Hasten to add that coaching relationship did not survive my existential crisis. When your client is concerned for your well-being it is probably best terminate the agreement. I am however forever grateful for that moment. That started me on my personal journey to fall back in love with myself. Most of this rekindling of my love for myself has occurred on the pages of this blog. It was a long journey but now I am happy to look at myself in the mirror and say out loud ” I LOVE YOU!!”

It is so powerful, being able to appraise yourself and come to the conclusion that you are enough, you are not perfect, you are in some areas quite rubbish, but on the whole you are rocking it.

The secret to falling in love with myself again, was reconnecting with my values, and always trying to work with them instead of against them. I don’t always manage it but I always try. I have also made room in my mind for the difficult unpleasant things in life. And then there is Foggy who dominated my life for so long. He is still there and if you are a regular reader you will know that he still does cause me issues from time to time, but his impact is a lot less. This is because I make room for him and accept him as part of my psyche. When I look in the mirror I see me and foggy and love them both equally. I realise now that the happy and sad times in my life are both important and deserve equal space in my mind. I know I will feel really fed up, sad, even distraught in the future, I also know that I will laugh so hard that I will cry, I know I will so proud and happy that my heart will swell, and I am looking forward to all the times I have in front of me, whatever they are. As long as I am courageous and useful I will be content.

Can you say “I LOVE YOU”…. to yourself?

You are enough, warts and all!

Finally thank you my 47th Year, you have been amazing, I wouldn’t have missed you for the world.

Morning Rise

I found this poem in the back of my notebook. I cannot remember writing it. I did but I don’t know when. I know it is about foggy. It is a positive poem. If your foggy is troubling you, take heart you can rise.

Morning Rise

When the noise gets too much I rise,

When the poking and prodding gets too much I rise,

When the darkness gets to much I rise,

I rise,

I rise,

To escape his judgement,

I rise,

To escape his sneering,

I rise,

To escape his laughter,

I RISE!

My writing progress

So I have been struggling writing chapter 5 for the best part of a month. Today I had spent the whole morning writing, no matter how much I tried I just could not get it to fit as a chapter on it’s own. I was writing about the different personas we employ. However when I finished writing it, it just did not have enough detail. When I looked at the previous chapter I realised that the subject matter fitted perfectly with the chapter, so I have made it a section of chapter 4 and not chapter 5, which will now centre on our emotions and how they can rule our lives. So which this space for Chapter 5. Below is a sneak peek of Chapter 4 in it’s raw form, it will be refined again but if you have any thoughts please feel free to message me.

 Chapter 4

How do you prefer to behave?

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Are you most comfortable as an extrovert or as an introvert, or does it depend on what you are doing and who you are with?

  • Are you chatty or more the quiet type?
  • Do you prefer to watch from the sidelines or are you more comfortable in the thick of it getting stuck in?
  • Do you look within yourself for inspiration or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends or colleagues to find your creativity?
  • Do you relish those intimate one to one moments with friends or do you love those occasions with all your friends and family present?
  • Do you see like to blend in to the background or do you love to stand out in the crowd?
  • Do you think to speak or do you speak to think?
  • Do you like to reflect before you act or are you more prone to rushing in to action?

Now if you are anything like me you will relate to some of the introvert traits and some of the extrovert traits. For some of the statements you might not have an opinion either way. We are afterall complex and interesting human beings, none of us can be put in a box. Saying that you may notice that you answered more one way than the other.

In all parts of my life I have a tendency towards introversion. I prefer to email someone rather than speak to them on the phone, especially when I do not know them very well. If I am in a shop and I cannot find what I have gone in for I would rather walk out of the shop empty handed rather than ask a shop assistant. When I have difficult problem I need to solve, I will prefer to do this alone and work through my problem carefully, I will then share my plan once I am happy with it. On the flip side I love teaching groups of people and I love talking in large groups, I often relish being the centre of attention on some occasions and hate the thought of it on others. When I worked on the wards I had no problem talking to complete strangers and striking up a rapport with them. When I am teaching and talking to large groups of people I am Matt Smith the Clinical Nurse Educator or Matt Smith the Coaching Lead. When I am blending into the background I am being Matt Smith, just plain old Matt Smith, the father, husband, son, blogger and coach. Saying that my extroverted traits do you show up in my latter persona as well as my professional persona, and the same is true for my introversion. Jung described humans as have different personas for different occasions. So crudely speaking I have my Professional persona as a Nurse Educator and Coaching Lead and a persona as a Father, a persona as a Husband, Son, Coach, Blogger and Friend. Most of these persona’s no doubt are very similar as yours will be, otherwise it would could get very confusing trying to work out what version of a person we are speaking to, let alone how exhausting it would be to keep up all these multiple characters all of the time.

How do you make decisions?

As well describing your attitude (introversion and extroversion) Carl Jung, suggests there are 2 aspects of our decision making. He proposed that we either make decisions based on our thinking or our feelings. As with our attitude they are not mutually exclusive, therefore we can and do use both traits, but not at the same time. We do however prefer to make decisions either one way or another. Again to help you understand you preferred behaviour I have put together a series of questions below:

  • Do you consider yourself to be formal in your interactions with people or are you much more informal when greeting people?
  • Do you remember facts and figures more easily than names and faces or do facts and figures leave you cold?
  • Do you like to analyse a problem before you plan to correct it, or do you get stuck in and use a kind of trial and error approach?
  • When faced with an issue do you look at it with a subjective or objective eye?
  • Once you have decided on a direction of travel do you stick to that route or do you see where road takes you?
  • Do you relish competition and strive to come out top, or are you more interesting in taking part and helping others to succeed?
  • Is it important to you to have a tidy desk, is it important that everything has its place and is in it, or do you not really care whether you desk is tidy or not, or where things are kept?
  • Do you choose your work or task above spending time with friends or family, or do you insist on finishing work on time to ensure you spend quality time with your friends and family?

Again if you are anything like me you will be able to relate to some traits for both thinking and feeling decision making. I must admit my preferred route to making decisions is based on what I feel rather than thinking things through. However when I need to make important decisions I will think things through and weigh up the odds. Sometimes that tasks I am doing at work keep me there when I should be going home. When I am writing or reviewing guidelines I will spend time collecting data and make sure I have all the information I need before I start writing, sometimes to the point where it takes me such a long time to get things done. However in every other aspect of my life I make decisions based on how they make me feel and how they may make others feel. I will often base my decision making on my values, if they are congruent with my values, for me it is the right decision. To be honest even when I am working late or when I am researching guidelines I have made a decision that is in line with my core values which are courage and usefulness. So even decisions that appear to be based on thought, actually are based on my feelings. You may think that you base decisions on either analysis of data or on what you feel, but they may have their basis in the opposite. To examine where your decision making is routed it is worth exploring your values. What you value will unearth your preference.

In  her book Dare to Lead, Brene Brown offers an exercise to help you explore what your core values are, in fact that is why I discovered my 2 core values (courage and usefulness). It is an exercise worth even if you think you know what you core values are, as you might be surprised that another value lies behind the values you hold as important. Brene offers a long list of values and invites you to find 2 core values, this is quite u get a daunting task, therefore she suggests you come up with 10 initially and then try to group them together, in themes and ask yourself what value do they collectively represent until you get down to one or 2 core values. To help you try this out I have provided a list below, I do however implore you to read Dare to Lead if you are a leader it will change the way you view your leadership, and if you are not it will change the way you interact with your leader. Any way below is a list of values to help get you started with discovering what your core values are. Once you have 10 values that relate to you (please try not to choose values that you would like to have or what you think are admirable, choose those that really mean something to you). Then can you group any of them together, do they represent an overarching value. Take your time, really think about what you value, if you cannot find your value add it. Have some fun with it, be creative and thoughtful and you will be able to come up with 2 core values. You can find a list of all the values that you can print out via Brene Brown’s website;  https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/workbook-art-pics-glossary/

Accountability
Achievement
Adaptability
Adventure
Altruism
Ambition
Authenticity
Balance
Beauty
Being the best
Belonging
Career
Caring
Collaboration
Commitment
Community
Compassion
Competence
Confidence
Connection
Contentment
Contribution
Cooperation
Courage
Creativity
Curiosity
Dignity
Diversity
Environment
Efficiency
Equality
Ethics
Excellence
Fairness
Faith
Family
Financial stability
Forgiveness
Freedom
Friendship
Fun
Future generations
Generosity
Giving back
Grace
Gratitude
Growth
Harmony
Health
Home
Honesty
Hope
Humility
Humour
Inclusion
Independence

Interdependence
Initiative
Integrity
Intuition
Job security
Joy
Justice
Kindness
Knowledge
Leadership
Learning
Legacy
Leisure
Love
Loyalty
Making a difference
Nature
Openness
Optimism
Order
Parenting
Patience
Patriotism
Peace
Perseverance
Personal fulfillment
Power
Pride
Recognition
Reliability
Resourcefulness
Respect
Responsibility
Risk -taking
Safety
Security
Self-discipline
Self-expression
Self-respect
Serenity
Service
Simplicity
Spirituality
Sportsmanship
Stewardship
Success
Teamwork
Thrift
Time
Tradition
Travel
Trust
Truth
Understanding
Uniqueness
Usefulness
Vision
Vulnerability
Wealth
Well-being
Wisdom

Brene then invites you to operationalise your core values and the values of the organisation you work in. Read Dare to Lead and visit her website https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/ to discover more.

For me this is a useful exercise to discover why you prefer to behave and make decisions. It also helps to explain why we are so complicated and not easy to put in a box.

How do you perceive the world around you?

Below is a picture, I would like to invite you to write down what is there for you in this picture.

The words you have written may well help you understand whether you prefer to perceive the world using sensation or intuition. If you use sensation you may well have written;

  • 2 girls
  • Grass
  • Dresses
  • Bridge
  • Leaves
  • Pink shoes
  • Turquoise shoes

If you use intuition you may well have written;

  • Friendship
  • Summer
  • Adventure
  • Kindness
  • Happiness
  • Warm

Again as with all the other preferences you may well have written a mixture of the 2, however it may have come easier to come up with words for either sensation or intuition. So we can perceive the world using both preferences but find it more comfortable using one or the other. I will normally want to go straight for intuitive descriptions of the world around me and have to concentrate on seeing what is really there.

If you prefer to use intuition you are more likely to be future focussed and feel comfortable projecting and predicting what is coming next. You feel at ease when planning for the future. You are happy using your imagination and when you are with others that like to use intuition you can get carried away. Using intuition is very useful when planning for the future and creating a compelling vision.

If you prefer to use sensation you are more grounded in the here and now and feel much more comfortable describing the current state. You are comfortable highlighting what is right and wrong with the current environment. Sensation is vital to ensure that any future plans are routed in the reality of what is really happening.

It is important to remember again that you can use both intuition and sensation and that you don’t hide behind your preference when things do not work out as planned. I keep repeating this, but it is so important, we are complex and are full of contradictions. We can be introverted and extroverted, a thinker and a feeling, a sensor and intuitive. We may prefer to behave differently in different situations. It is vital to recognise this and embrace our own complexity and that of others.

What do you want people to see?

Now you have explored whether you prefer to be an introvert or an extrovert, whether you make decisions based on thinking or feeling and whether you prefer to use sensation or intuition to make sense of your world. We are all a complex mix of these traits and the subtle mix that makes up our personas are different for different situations.

The question is I suppose are your persona’s you show to the world the ones you really want to show.

When I say personas I am not suggesting that we all have multiple personalities. We do show up as the same person wherever we are, however we will accentuate certain traits in different situations. It is not something that we always consciously do, and sometimes if we think about how we turn up it is not always the most helpful. I know I often become quite self deprecating and flippant when I am in the presence of people more senior than me. Over the years this has caused me a few problems with people seeing me as being disrespectful and unprofessional. With people that I consider to be my equal, but I do not know very well, I can on occasions be a little condescending and free with my opinions and advice, not taking into consideration their experience and knoweldege. When I think about these less than helpful personas of mine, I understand what I am trying to do when I employ them, I am trying to be liked, unfortunatley this is not what I get (most of the time). What I get is irritation and disconnection from the person at the recieving end of me. These personas are not congruent with my core values of courage and usefulness.

When I take time and ease into my values I start to connect with people and people want to spend time with me. So lets delve into that a little bit more. When I spend some time to quietly listen to people, and seek to understand them, I am able to dig deep into my courage and support people in a useful way. What is courageous about listening to people you may ask. As with many people my righting reflex is strong, and I am always wanting to provide people with solutions. In addition to this most people are quite keen for me to give them a solution. This however rarely ends well and it can often feel quite flat and we would end up with a situation described earlier. What really helps them is to be listened to without obvious judgement, and be given the space to work things out. This takes courage not to provide the answer, but to allow them to come up with their own solution. It feels comfortable to offer solutions and impart advice (something we will discuss later in the book), but what you are doing is saying that any thoughts they have are inferior to yours. Therefore it takes courage to not respond to your own ego, and respond to what the person in front of you is telling you. As a coach I will ask myself who am I in the service of, myself or my client. Using my righting reflex will always serve my ego, but rarely helps my client.

If I show courage and resist my righting reflex with my clients, I can help them explore thier potential. If they then can create an action plan to achieve their goal, I have been useful, and they view me in a positive light.By aligning your behaviours and attitudes to your values you feel more positive towards yourself and are generally projected in a positive light, rather than working against your values.

So why do we show our less than helpful personas? One explaination maybe that we try to live up to values that we think we should have. Values that maybe prescribed to us by the society with live in, because of who we are, or what we percieve our society values, such as financial stability, power, responsibility, patriotism or anything else you can think of, that you see as having value in the world around you.

Are you trying to live up to somebody you think you should be. It all goes back to our paradigm, our view of the world. As we discovered earlier our paradigms constructed slowly overtime from a complex mixture of our experiences and cultural references. Therefore it is very easy to fall into trying to be the person that your circumstances dictate, rather than the person who encompasses your core values. This may explain why I turn up as a bit of a know it all, who tries to solve people’s problems instead of listening. This no doubt is a result of a combination of my role as nurse and clinical educator, a leader, and a man. The societal view of nurses are that they will rescue people from thier predicaments, educators obviously provide information to help people improve, leaders are looked up to and direct their followers, and males protect. These are clearly very 1 dimensional views of each of those roles but something we all do everyday, becuase it is easy just to work on simple assumptions when we lead busy lives. However if I take time to challenge my paradigms and examine the roles I undertake and then apply them to my core values my paradigm shifts and how I turn up changes. I turn up more consistently and in line with my values. Now don’t get me wrong, I still turn up as an annoying git (ask my wife) from time to time. It is very easy to slip back in to a lazy one dimensional view of our world without applying a critical eye on why we see things the way we do. We are often aware that we have one dimensional views of other people, but rarely do we apply that principle to ourselves. If we critically analyse our view of ourselves we can check if the person we are showing the world is the person that represents who we really are. It takes practice to challenge your paradigms and the assumptions you make about how you should act.

Earlier in the book you were invited to test the assumptions you make about the world around you. It would be useful to use a version of this exercise to examine your view of the roles you fulfil in life.

  • What are the facts about the role I fulfil?/What do I really do to fulfil this role?
  • How do I describe my role?
  • Where do the sources that inform my description come from?
  • Are the sources stories I have been told by others (inlcuding first hand story telling and stories past down)?
  • Do the stories hold up to scrutiny (are they reflected in the actual activity)?
  • Are the sources first hand experiences (based on actual activity and events witnessed by you)?

At this point it is useful to have pinpointed what your core values are, if you have not done it so far. Ideally having one or two core values is the aim.

Once you have identified your core values, you can examine the roles you fulfil in the context of what you value. This exercise is pinched and adapted from an exercise that Brene Brown uses to operationalise you values. I however want you to examine whether you work in harmony with your values or not and the effect that has on the persona you show the world.

For each role you fulfil think of 3 occassions when you have lived up to your values.

  • What were you doing?
  • What were you saying?
  • What are the other people doing?
  • How did you feel at the time and after?

Then for each role think of 3 occassions when you have not lived up to your values. Ask yourself the same questions.

  • What were you doing?
  • What were you saying?
  • What are the other people doing?
  • How did you feel at the time and after?

This is not an easy exercise, I find it really difficult to be reflective, but what it does is open your eyes to all your behaviours and personas helping you examine when you are showing the best version of yourself rather than a version that does not represent you best characteristics.The art is to keep practicing, keep checking in that you are not creating a lazy one dimensional version of yourself and are turning up in full complex, multicoloured 3 dimensions. As I keep saying this requires work, however all things wonderful require effort.

Preparing For The Next Round of Clinical Supervision and Rumbling With Rumbles

This week has been a week has been a week of creating visions for the future and laying down some plans for making those visions a reality.

The week started with an afternoon meeting with the inspirational Janis to discuss plans for training Nurses in Compassionate Clinical Supervision. This year we are introducing new trainers so we thrashed out how that would look. We then planned the content for our refresher sessions for existing Clinical Supervisors. This is when me and Janis are at our best, when we start being creative. We came up with some great work, none of which I can share (Janis would kill me if I let the cat out of the bag). I will share it once we have delivered it. We also finally came up with a working title for the textbook on Clinical Supervision we plan to edit. For the first time we managed to get some ideas for chapters written down. As usual it was a brilliant meeting, so inspirational and really productive.

Wednesday saw me meeting up with another inspirational woman Nicola (one of our Practice Development Matrons). I help Nicola with the post induction support program she runs for our new registrants. This currently consists of 2 catch up days offered to our new Nurse registrants. During these days we combine, personal and professional reflection along with practical skill acquisition. We have done this for 2 years now and we are starting to plan what we will be doing for our next cohort of graduates and more importantly the first cohort of our Nurse Associates who will be graduating in May. Now what we are doing essentially is useful, however there are a few issues that still need resolving. One of them being that with the ever increasing complexity of healthcare and the demands put on the new registrants, by themselves, their colleagues and the public we felt that we needed to offer them something else that helped them recharge their resilience. This was where my mind started to tick over and I managed to summon the marvelous Janis into the room. Now Janis, Janis’s boss, Tony (the coolest, kindest, Chaplain I know) have recently been playing with an idea coined by Janis as Rumbling for Resilience (nod to Brene, but this is all Janis, she even has a dance for it…don’t ask, I am still rumbling with that). This idea was at the request of Janis’ boss to address the stress she was seeing amongst the nursing staff within their Health Group. A germ of an idea began with Janis and was added to by Tony who had done something very similar in his previous job, where he would open up the Chapel for people to drop in during the afternoon, have a drink and a cake and talk to people about how they felt, or what was happening to them. As we know sharing your shame and discomfort diminishes those feelings and can restore your self esteem. So we have been playing with this idea mixing it with some structure with the informality of a drop in session. It hasn’t got off the ground yet but we are doing some work on that.

Anyway lets get back to my meeting with Nicola, so Janis and her rumbles entered my head when thinking about what additional offers we can put into our package for new registrants. My idea was that we could offer a resilience rumble (drop-in) once a month for new registrants where they could talk about their experiences with people going through the same thing in a protected environment with a very light facilitation. We would then offer 1 to 1 Clinical Supervision to any of those that needed it. It needs some work to get this up and running for May but I can feel exciting times ahead, rising to the challenges modern healthcare throw at us. During our discussion we touched on something I want to explore further, and that is one to one support of our new leaders, something that is mentioned a lot but due to the workload always seems to drop off. So I have been thinking about what an offer for supporting new and emerging leaders that is realistic and workable would look like. That is the challenge, to develop coaching and supervision programs that are responsive and become part of the fabric of the work place. Funnily enough I am looking at a course that focuses on the strategic element of coaching and how to embed it into the culture of an organisation.

On Thursday I met Steve our new colleague (Senior OD Practitioner) a thoroughly agreeable chap, as I mentioned earlier exciting times are ahead. I also had a lovely catch up with my friend Becky. We discussed all things, coaching, supervision, parenthood, getting older and blogging. We all need a comfortable chat to replenish our soul, and Becky certainly provided that on Thursday.

Well Friday, I am not sure what went on, on Friday. I spent most of the day being late for meetings. A lot of restorative discussions with some coaching. A great day but a bit of a blur.

So that was one of those positive weeks, where you can see all that needs to be done, but instead of filling you with dread, fills you with excitement for the challenges and adventures ahead. Bring on next work.

So What Happened To January?

Most years January is torture. It goes on forever, it is cold, dark and miserable and everyone is skint after being paid in the middle of December. This year however I blinked and missed it. Now the weather has not been great, it was as dark as any other January, and there was definitely too much month left at the end of the money, so why did it pass by faster than my 46 previous January’s?

Basically I didn’t stop to think this year. I have been so busy, I have been delivering content 2 or 3 times a week, and then writing, and preparing content on the other days or going to meetings about delivering content and coaching. I have never had a January like it, it has been brilliant. A little bit overwhelming at times but brilliant just the same. It is starting to feel like coaching in such a busy and challenging environment is having an effect. Despite it the hospital being really busy (as you would expect in January) people were coming along to the insights sessions, and manager as a coach sessions and were really engaged in what I had to say. I also spent some time with our Nurse Apprentices and our Trainee Nurse Associates teaching them all about Human Factors and how to manage the inherent risks we take to work. They were engaged and charming and made feel so proud to be working for the NHS. A couple of them have even taken up the opportunity to be coached, in fact I have been getting at least 1 coaching referral per session this January, which for a bunch of cynical health professionals is quite something.

I have also spent a significant amount of personal time working through my personal action plans of developing my own private coaching service, by putting things in place, and thinking about my business plan. There is still a lot of work to be done but I do now have a clear plan and direction. So with this, my ever busy role in the NHS and me still doing battle with my book (which is a little problematic at the moment), no wonder January came and went. I have noticed my blogs have been shorter recently no doubt as a result of the amount of other work I have been doing. This afternoon I am going to spend some time staring at a blank page thinking of something interesting to write for my book. So wish me luck.

If you are thinking about your action plans this year and are not sure they are right for you or they are not progressing as you expected drop me a line we can have a chat and start to discover the direction you need to be going in. If you haven’t already take a look at my subscription offers on my price plans and services page.