Pressure on?

Work, family, friends, community, Government, politics, world events – there are multiple, never ending sources of pressure, which if we are not careful to recognise, face and deal with, can turn into a much worse situation for us, our family and friends.

The stress investigation bucket is a tool I’ve been teaching for many years. It remains as effective today as it was back then.

Watch the film to find out more…….

….. and let me know what you think!


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.

Roller Coasters come in all shapes….

19 July saw the start of the first Growing Talent hybrid for ten fantastically talented, currently unemployed people keen to work.

Selected by one of the ‘Big 4’ organisations for permanent roles in their growing virtual business support teams, they commenced step one – the orientation and holistic week – virtual of course!

So what did we cover over this week?

Mondaycommunication – a vital area to get right in all areas of our lives – no matter what our social status is nor our seniority in the workplace. But how much time do we put into making sure we get this right? Have you considered the following?

  • Speaking – what is the aim of the conversation? what content will you cover? where and how are you going to hold this conversation? what are the possible outcomes of this conversation? have you considered your tone, clarity, volume and pace?
  • Listening – do you automatically listen without judgement? do you ensure there will be no interruptions nor distractions? Do you listen with empathy or sympathy – do you know the difference?
  • Reflect back – paraphrasing is essential to ensure you have understood what you have heard – get the evidence, don’t just assume.
  • Body Language – did you know non verbal cues make up the biggest part of communication?
  • What method is appropriate for the conversation you are going to have?
  • What types of conflict might you encounter?
  • What’s your conflict style? accommodating, avoidance, collaboration, competitive, compromise
  • You statements – also known as the communication destroyer. Do you know why?

There is more to communication than most think!

Tuesday – invest in yourself. Critical – not selfish. Airline safety talks ‘state put the oxygen mask on you BEFORE helping others’ That makes sense, so why not scheduling in some self care windows throughout the day? This section covered:

  • Stop avoiding fear
  • Mantra and personal values
  • Overcoming negative thoughts
  • Control your brain – stop letting it control you
  • Self care toolkit
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • Nurture your soul

Wednesday – nurturing your body – a car only runs on the right fuel. So does your body. Fuel it mindfully!

  • Food fads – the power of marketing vs facts
  • Superfoods – really
  • Understanding sugar – in all it’s forms
  • Exercise
  • Social media – good, bad and ugly

ThursdayMoney talks! Sharing basic financial tips together. 3 little bottles – waste and recycling, why is it so important. Moving on. Encompassing…..

  • Managing debt
  • How to increase savings
  • Ways to increase income
  • Considering credit cards, debit cards and cash
  • Money mantras
  • How to apply for new roles uniquely

Friday – I-act – Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing

How to look after yourself and those around you. This accredited course delivers a solid understanding of what mental health and wellbeing is, over 50 tools for self care and evaluation, robust evidence reporting – amongst a whole lot more.

So what did the fabulous 10 participants feel about the week? Below are some of the feedback – anonymous in line with GDPR:

“The content was exciting and engaging – which surprised me. I was expecting it to be a bit boring because it’s delivered by Zoom”

“The journey book which accompanied the week was clear and helped me understand the course. I can refer to it ongoing.”

“This week was so worthwhile – it’s taught me how to be more professional”

“I’ve been implementing things I learned in my personal life such as delaying my response in conversations until I understand what’s been said. It’s easy to misunderstand people if you jump in too soon.”

“The contents of the week were fantastic, very informative and engaging with loads of tools to assist me going forward”

The accompanying book was significantly relevant”

“I found everything insightful and enlightening. There were a lot of topics. I especially liked mental health and how to engage with someone who might be struggling. I feel I can now demonstrate a lot more empathy. I also really enjoyed finance considering how much I wasn’t taught much about the topic at school.”

“I’m glad to have the accompanying book as I can go back and refresh my knowledge anytime.

“This is probably the best training course I have every attended. T/he contents cover life inside and outside work”

“The book will be extremely useful going forward. On the course it enabled everyone to read at their own pace.”

What were the thoughts on the trainer?

“I loved how Jane had everyone engaged and included in all of the topic areas. She allowed us to digress within reason, which helped explore the topic further but she was also able to control anything that was not relevant to our learning.”

“Jane’s style was inclusive, warm and welcoming. Everything was clear.”

“Jane is very interactive and gives off a very positive vibe. I really felt like my opinion was relevant when she asked questions and she’s always very impartial so we didn’t feel like we were being judged. It was a pleasure doing my training with her”

“Jane’s compassionate and a very good listener”

“”Jane’s style was nice and precise, she knows what she is talking about and is a confident lady who taught us in a respectful professional manner.”

For me, the week was a mutually positive experienced. When we see each other as humans, we can learn so much together. Essential for work and life – don’t you agree?

EI – Just a fad or a key business tool?

Businesses have undergone a a sea change – unforeseen and unplanned – due to the pandemic. The same sea change has happened to their employees.

What can help both business and employees flourish? – Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Wikipedia’s definition:

“EI is the ability to perceive, use, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and others. The term first appeared in 1964 but gained popularity in Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman in 1995 – a best seller. Goleman defined EI as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership and performance”

Let’s think about that for a minute ‘an array of characteristics that drive leadership and performance’ – so how can we ignore EI. Isn’t now, more than ever, the time we need strong leadership and performance to ensure our businesses and employees flourish?

So, what can businesses do right now to grow the EI of their teams and ultimately businesses?

Adapt, change what you’ve done traditionally. Recognise EI as a real tool for your business’s survival and growth.

ISO45003 is the new international standards guidelines issued this summer. Global agreement focussing on EI. Everyone can’t be wrong!

We don’t know what the coming months will bring with the twists and turns of the pandemic but we do know from reflecting back over this time, we’re adaptable. With the aid of technology we can build EI virtually.

Empowering our employees to be as resilient, adaptable and strong for whatever the coming months bring and beyond.

Is now the right time for your business to consider EI training with accredited EI course and/or bespoke workshops on empowerment, resilience etc?

Take a look at the virtual workshops and courses I deliver on the home page of this website.

Can you afford not to take Emotional Intelligence seriously?