News

coaching, leadership, school

Coaching school leaders

When I’m talking to school leaders about coaching they sometimes ask me what would be a good objective for a series of coaching sessions.

I know that some school leaders have had limited experience of coaching.  So I thought it might be helpful to share some objectives which other leaders have explored and resolved through their work with me.

  • Developing and sharing their vision and personal leadership style
  • Creating alliances within the school and beyond
  • Hitting the ground running in a new leadership role
  • Working with staff who aren’t making a positive contribution
  • Tackling issues which are holding them back or keeping them awake at night
Uncategorized

In a gentle way, you can shake the world (Gandhi)

earth-11008_1920I’ve been thinking about our beautiful planet recently – perhaps prompted by the UK’s current heatwave and drought (climate change?). It can be all too easy to feel overwhelmed and despairing about what we can do as individuals in the face of environmental problems on such a huge scale.

All that many of us can do is take individual responsibility for our own actions. So I’ve made the decision to make small incremental changes in my day to day living to lessen my impact.

Here’s this month’s list:

  • No more clingfilm in my house (a plate on top of a bowl works perfectly)
  • Disposable face wipes and cotton wool are banished in favour of a fully washable flannel
  • I’m proud owner of a lovely metal water bottle which keeps drinks cool even in a hot car
  • I filled a bag with discarded plastic on a recent dog walk along the beach

As I’ve started making these changes, I’ve been thinking a lot about my great aunt and my grandparents.  They recycled, upcycled and picked up litter as a matter of course.

What have you been doing to lessen your impact on our beautiful planet?

business, collaboration, leadership

Powerful collaborations

depositphotos_118526894-stock-photo-handshake-of-many-business-people

Today I’m thinking about collaboration –  part three of my simple triad of business success:

⭐️  Mindset

⭐️  Marketing

⭐️  Collaboration

When I set up my one-woman business I knew it would be really important to create strong collaborative relationships to support me and help my business to thrive.

Collaboration for me comes in many shapes and sizes – I’d like to share just three.

COLLABORATION # 1

🐝 Support and coaching from a critical friend. Sandra Norval, Managing Director of Catalicity has been my coach for the past year, and I’ve been Sandra’s coach – a win-win collaboration of mutual support.

COLLABORATION # 2

🐝  Sharing complementary skills. I have just started to work with Jane Midwinter, ex-headteacher and coach.  We’ll be delivering some training together next week and we’re talking about future projects too.

COLLABORATION # 3

🐝  Developing large-scale projects. Sometimes turning a big idea into reality means bringing a team together. I’m doing just that with some other associates from always possible – watch this space for more on this in the come months.

business, marketing, Uncategorized

Marketing tips

mobile-phone-1087845_1920

This post explores marketing – part two of my simple triad of business success:

⭐️ Mindset

⭐️ Marketing

⭐️ Collaboration

Marketing was one of my biggest unknowns when I set up my coaching business.  Week after week, month after month, my to do list had the words “do marketing” on it, and week after week, there was no tick beside these words.  It took some time, but eventually I realised that I had no idea how to “do marketing”.  I know I’m not alone in this, so here are some tips of what’s working for me.

MARKETING TIP 1

💡 I found an expert to help me learn the basics.  You don’t have to blow the budget on expensive training courses, there are lots of good value marketing workshops, webinars and programmes out of there. I’ve used Brighton Chamber of Commerce, Kim Arnold and Claire Mitchell of The Girls Mean Business.

MARKETING TIP 2

💡 In the early months I agonised about writing  the ‘perfect’ marketing words for my ideal customer.  It was such a relief when the penny dropped and I realised that what I want to say isn’t a fixed thing – it continually evolves.  This meant I didn’t have to get it ‘right’ first time – it was more important for me to write some clear and simple messages and then to start using the words and ideas I had developed.  It was soon clear which bits were working and which were falling flat.

MARKETING TIP 3

💡 Know what you want your marketing to achieve. This might seem obvious – more sales and income right?  Yes, but that will take time (several months probably).  This year my marketing goals include establishing my reputation and credibility, building collaborations and telling my story – thank you Susan Payton.

 

Next time – collaboration!

business, change, mindset, self employment

The importance of mindset

yes-3407433_1920

Approaching the three-year anniversary of setting up my own business, I’ve been reflecting on the differences between me as business owner and me as employee. From leading a team of experts to owner of a one-woman business doing pretty much everything myself.

I have a simple triad of business success:

⭐️ Mindset

⭐️ Marketing

⭐️ Collaboration

First, mindset.  As a coach, I know how powerful it can be to tackle those nagging fears head on and to believe that change is possible.

MINDSET SHIFT 1

😨 from being terrified by everything I didn’t know

😃 to learning from experts and outsourcing the bits I don’t want to get good at (thanks to the lovely people at @Keepers Accountancy)

MINDSET SHIFT 2

😨 from being reluctant to praise my own work

😃 to separating ‘me’ from my services and happily promoting those

MINDSET SHIFT 3

😨 from worrying about where the next piece of work will come from

😃 to picking up the phone and telling people I’m here and I can help

Next time – marketing!

business, leadership

Business lessons from dog training

Chica

An unlikely title for a blog perhaps, but a recent training session with my anxious German Shepherd has got me thinking.  Chica is a gentle giant, but gets scared around other dogs – especially small ones.  Her anxiety manifests in apparently aggressive growls, snarls and fierce body language.  However, when challenged she either runs away or hides behind me for protection.  I’ve been at a loss about how to help her.

In just one training session I have learnt to distract Chica so that she forgets to feel anxious.  I have discovered that I’ve been confusing her by talking too much and that she is eager to give the behaviour I’m looking for when she understands what I want.  And I also now know that she’ll do anything for cooked turkey!

This experience has provided some useful learning to apply to some current business challenges.  Rather than sharing what I have learnt, I’d be interested to know whether this story resonates with you.

decision making, Uncategorized

Brave decisions – and their consequences

Rosita

15 years ago this month my then partner (now husband) asked me a question.  As I considered my answer, I realised I had to make a brave decision.  What I didn’t know was that my decision would still be impacting on my life today.

The question?  He asked me to leave my job as a teacher and sail away to the Caribbean on his yacht.  Many people might see this as a no-brainer, but for me it wasn’t a far from easy decision.

I loved my job, I was financially secure and I had a good life in Sussex.  I had always taken the safe options in life – good job, work hard, save for the future – you know the routine.  But, the idea of sharing in his great adventure made this offer too good to refuse, so I said yes!

After months of hard graft and preparation we sailed away, crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, sailing around the islands and returning to the UK three years later.

When I said yes, I could hardly have guessed the long-term consequences of my decision.  I had intended to return to teaching once the adventure was over.  I never did that.  My career journey took a very different route, which ultimately led to me establishing my own business.

The old risk-averse me would never have taken the risk of self-employment.  The me who had sailed across oceans and learned so much about myself in the process knew that risks can bring great rewards, and after all – “what is the worst that can happen?”

Uncategorized

Calling people in, or near Worthing

Next week I will be part of always possible’s takeover of Colonnade House, in Worthing from 12-17 March. If you are interested in creative thinking, problem solving or decision making, we have workshops, debates, lunchtime picnics, 1:1 coaching, business surgeries and drinks – all free, or ‘pay what you can’.

Very special guests include:

– Alex Bailey – CEO, Adur & Worthing Council
– Jo Sullivan – Superstar Arts
– Ben Clench – Author, ‘Ben Again’
– Josie Kelly – Chair, (first ever) Worthing Pride
– Alison Rendle – leadership coach
– Emma Turner – social enterprise guru
– Hesan Yousif – IT, cyber security & data wizard
– Cat Rose – The Creative Introvert
– Leo Sedgley – founder of DailyDo
– Dan Flanagan – writer of the ‘dadifesto’ and founder of Tot Rockin’ Beats
– Davina Sambath – Customer Journey Strategist and Designer 

 

and many many more. Please book tickets, pop down and say hello and spread the word.

www.alwayspossible.co.uk/worthing

mentoring, Uncategorized

“Everyone should have a mentor”

This is what I was told when I asked a student why he had signed up for the University of Brighton’s Momentum mentoring programme.  I enjoyed the time I spent last year mentoring that student.  And I’m delighted to now be working with another student as she completes her studies and carves out a new career path.

Momentum is a programme which matches volunteer mentors with students to help them to build confidence and develop their employability skills.  I get so much enjoyment mentoring students through the programme – it’s a true partnership with benefits and learning flowing in both directions.

In the words of the great Oprah Winfrey:

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

coaching

How to get added value from your coach

Coaching represents a significant financial investment for you or for your company.  This means you need to make sure that you get the maximum benefit from your coach.

So, how can you do this?

  1. Choose the right coach for you

There are so many coaches out there.  With so many different approaches, qualifications and ways of working.  So how can you be sure that you’re choosing the one who is right for you?

Here are a few golden rules:

  • Ask people for recommendations. But be careful – what works for a colleague or friend may not suit you.
  • Ask the coach how they work, check out their qualifications and request client references.
  • Book a free ‘chemistry’ session to see if you would like to work with this coach.  If they don’t offer a free session, keep looking.
  • Trust your intuition – are you excited about working with this coach?
  • If not, don’t be afraid to say no, and keep searching for your perfect coach.
  1. Be open and honest

You will gain most from coaching if you are open and honest with your coach from the word go.  Some people don’t find it easy to open up to a stranger, but you won’t get very far if you keep the important stuff to yourself.

Tell your coach what does and doesn’t work for you.  Give them feedback as you go along, and they will tailor their coaching to your needs and preferences.

  1. Take responsibility for your own progress

Coaching can bring about powerful development and change … when people take responsibility for their own progress.

This means taking time before sessions to prepare and clear your mind of the day’s clutter.  Also find time soon after each session to download the learning.  This can soon get lost as you go back into your busy life.

Take responsibility for completing any actions you have identified, and take time to reflect on your learning. For example, if you committed to having a difficult conversation with your boss, consider afterwards what went well, what could have been better, how you felt, and what has happened as a result.

Put these golden rules into action and you really will get added value from working with your coach.

To find out more about the power of coaching, have a look at my article: How I built a successful business, working with a coach.