Talking yourself out of doing what you know you’ve got to do.

Our minds naturally amplify the negativity of what we fear. Trouble is, what we fear is what we care most about. We end up doing nothing, never move forward and beat ourselves up on our ‘failure’ to act.

Try this simple exercise next time you face the procrastination fog….

Let me know what you think………..

Be the master of your mind and stop your mind being the master of you!

Sign of the Times?

I found myself walking down a road of high-end victorian/edwardian houses today and come across the sign shown in the feature photo.

We’ve heard a lot recently about the lack of crafts people learning bespoke trades to maintain our heritage – museums, manor houses, historic buildings.

Apprenticeships in these areas are long and low paid – but the rewards once qualified – knowing you have played a part in conserving history- must feel powerful.

There’s little interest, it seems, in apprenticeships for stone masonry, stained glass construction etc – meaning a bleak future for these amazing buildings built WITHOUT power tools – let that blow your mind for a moment.

How could buildings be constructed with elaborate stone carvings without the use of drills etc hundreds of years ago? Here’s another thought, if one of these buildings was being constructed today – would it last as long?

The sign gave me a few emotions:

  1. How proud must Bryan be of his daughters?
  2. How proud do Bryan’s daughters feel to have completed that bespoke studying and form the family firm?
  3. How amazing that girls are getting into these bespoke areas of conservation and restoration?

Maybe there is a future for our heritage after all!

Kindness – the essential human ingredient – what about business? Are the sands shifting?

Within the space of less than a year, two legends of the acting world have passed.  Dame Barbara Windsor in December 2020 and Una Stubbs just recently.  They have a catalogue of diverse roles they made their own over the decades which will live on for years to come – thanks to the power of TV repeats and videos.  Many will have favourite roles that resonated with them at particular points in their life.

Reflecting on their achievements and the outpouring of tributes online and in the press, something about their behaviour struck me.  The overall consensus of tributes for both spoke of their overriding kindness.  Each had time for fans, gave encouragement to upcoming talent, were kind and respectful to everyone they worked with – not just those who might benefit their careers – were always positive – even when things didn’t go as expected.

With no social media, reality tv and therefore no opportunity for ‘instant fame’ when Barbara and Una started their careers, they had to work their way up over years to the stardom they eventually reached.  This journey made them adaptable, resilient and positive enabling them to deal with knockbacks.

Can we honestly say we always: 

  • make time for everyone? 
  • we listen respectfully to all – even if we don’t agree with them? 
  • show everyone kindness? 
  • remain positive no matter what the situation?

How much better would we, our family, our friends, our community and our businesses be if we thought consciously about how we “turn up”, our behaviours and the impact they have? 

There is strong evidence how we turn up impacts others’ behaviours #EmotionalIntelligence. This is why CEO’s are terming themselves Chief Empathy Officers aware how their teams feel and behave impact their business. It’s also why switched-on businesses are starting to roll out Emotional Intelligent Assessments for all the staff.  Mapping where employees feel they are, where their peers and line management feel they are, where they fit on a global scale, identification of any gaps and development tools to close these gaps is becoming a more requested service.

Just think, where do you sit?  What impact do you make? How will you be remembered?

Every business needs emotionally intelligent people to thrive – so do humans.

It seems to me kindness is the essential ingredient full stop.

What about you? Is kindness an essential ingredient for you?

Always training but always learning too!

Running Growing Talent ( – both classroom and virtual versions, as well as delivering bespoke workshops and accredited mental health/wellbeing training I know the importance of making sure I stay fresh and current through education.

I’ve written blogs previously on the short courses I’ve undertaken online during the journey of Covid 19. Now more than ever it feels critical to ensure all workplaces and their people have the tools to thrive not just survive.

With this in mind, I’ve invested in the renowned global programme – Genos – Emotional Intelligence Practitioner Certification. I love their strapeline ‘ Game changing for business. Life changing for people’.

This is an eight week programme with a robust material and audit process as you can see below!

Maya Angelou said “people will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.

This is so true. We can all remember how we felt – how people made us feel a strong emotion – years later. Whether the emotion was a positive or negative one, we remember how we were made to feel.

The power of communication is critical yet not taught at school, college, university or the home.

Communication is a fundamental building block of all the training I deliver from Growing Talent to Finding Your Why and other bespoke workshops. It’s also a key component in the style I deliver accredited programmes to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all taking part.

I’ve always believed it critical to think what I am going to say, how and where I’m going to say it, who am I going to say it too. Will they receive it as I intended?

There is so much to communication, it’s a gift we never master. But we can strive to continually learn.

HMOs – coming to a house near you?

HMOs = House of Multiple Occupancy are springing up more and more. They are becoming a lucrative way for property developers to increase revenue opportunities.

Instead of renting out one house to one family, one house can be rented out to five or less people without the need for a licence. None have to be related and each can have their own car – which impacts on local parking. This is more of a serious impact where parking restrictions already exist – one way system, narrow bending road etc. 

Previous residential houses can be changed into a HMO under building regulations with little consideration of the impact on existing residents, local services etc. Planning permission is not required. Nor is neighbourhood consultation. The stress and anxiety for all parties can be intense – including those moving into HMOs.

Covid has seen many businesses go from the High Streets nationally. Big chains and small independents have gone out of business leaving behind an empty shell. Retail will likely never return to normal. So, why not build on the infrastructure left behind and use these empty plots for housing?

These empty plots have the infrastructure for housing – water, sewage, power, external windows. We have the technology to ensure people thrive long-term on submarines, in space, surely we can marry the two to increase housing stock for quality homes for those in need and at the same time revitalise our High Streets nationally?

The best ideas are born from thinking outside the norm. One core thing Covid has taught us all is to think outside the norm. 

Let’s do so now and find a way for some of the most vulnerable in our communities to thrive rather than just survive. Simultaneously, our High Streets will jump back to life and thrive too.