Time to get disruptive?

For the last, almost 20 years, I’ve had the honour of working with people from all backgrounds, diverse businesses and charities to nurture people with barriers into work.

In addition to my employment work, I also deliver accredited mental health first aider courses and proactive wellbeing courses.

I’ve been commissioned to design a variety of workshops from self and team empowerment to finding your purpose, managing fears, building resilience, identifying and creating your future path, elevator pitch, your personal branding and many more.

Throughout, I’ve used the thread of inclusivity, respect and humour to give ownership to delegates on their learning journey.

This week, I’ve dropped into various workshops on the Playful Creative Summit. Some speakers have been more inspiring than others. I’ve learned something new everyday.

The summit runs until Friday this week. Many of the speakers videos are free. Take a look if you are interested – http://www.playfulcreativesummit.com.

I composed the image below to provoke employers to consider how vibrant their learning and development platforms are and how better they could be.

There is no reason why the same tool could not be used for our personal lives.

What do you think? Time for us all to become a little more disruptive in how we do things?

One of the speakers used the term ‘become more pirate’ explaining pirates were ordinary people who had to be resourceful to make a life for themselves and take on the might of the world’s navy’s. Of course some tales of pirates are unlawful but all are resourceful. So I might just think of myself as a ‘disruptive pirate’ in my training programmes now!

Learning together….virtually!

It’s strange how Coronavirus has managed to change my mind completely on virtual training. I know some remote locations globally have used virtual methods to deliver skills, training and education in all areas for many years.

Up until March this year when the Coronavirus curve ball hit us all, I didn’t feel I personally could deliver valuable training online. How wrong was I?

Having done nothing but virtual training over the last six months I see how much more inclusive and nurturing it is. It gives a much wider reach enabling people based throughout the UK and beyond to join from the comfort of their home sharing their knowledge and experiences.

I know see 90% of my business going forward will be on a virtual platform rather than classroom environment. So many more advantages to the virtual stage. All being there is good internet access of course!

At the start of the pandemic I made the decision to find an exact product to replace MHFAEngland’s three courses I’m licensed to deliver. Their half day awareness course, one day champion course and two day adult First Aider course. None of which are accredited.

I discovered http://www.nucotraining.com which recently added three accredited courses which match what I was looking for. Nuco has a solid reputation in the first aid, H&S and associated environments.

However, there was a few steps first! I had to apply and be screened against Nuco’s criteria. I also had to do a L3 formal Education and Training course with CTC before I could be accepted for Instructor training. I was a little deflated as I’m pretty impatient when it comes to me getting things done! CTC’s website showed the L3 qualification took unto a year. I really didn’t want to wait that long!!!

Thankfully with the curve ball of Coronavirus and home working, I managed to complete the L3 in under three months! Once I had this qualification I was able to get accepted by Nuco on their last virtual training session for Mental Health First Aid planned for 2020.

Everything fell into place beautifully!

Level 1 is a four hour workshop to raise awareness which a written paper at the end to prove knowledge and attain the Level 3 qualification.

Level 2 is six hours with a written paper and practical session to gain the

Level 3 qualifies someone to be the First Aider and is 12 hours long with 2 papers to complete and a practical session.

The beauty of virtual training is illustrated by people on the Instructor’s course with me. Based throughout the UK as well as Guernsey and in Afghanistan!

Martin, the Nuco Instructor, shared techniques and resources. Engaging, challenging and robust.

An exhausting but strangely energising experience.

Now I have a 5 accredited courses on mental health and wellbeing to add to my portfolio of workshops available for clients wishing to ensure the wellbeing of their staff.

Opportunity presents itself in the most unexpected ways.

Doing things differently – Carpe Diem!

When life throws you a curve ball, you can either crumple or run with it.  With the lockdown continuing and people’s strange new life continuing it seemed apt to change person-to-person training to virtual where possible.

 

A little sceptical of how good it could be, I was astonished how well received my first course was.  An informal discussion on coping with lockdown, the new challenges faced, new skills learned.  Working with 16 team members at all levels of management from ISS in London, the conversation, ideas and laughter flowed.  So what was the outcome?  You can see some of their feedback below – and they’ve booked more courses kicking off with the key steps to starting a conversation, managing it if dark thoughts emerge and self care – critical to building resilience

‘Jane is a first class facilitator, she makes each session impactful and enjoyable which is a really difficult balance to achieve, I would wholeheartedly recommend.’ Andy Ingham, National Operations Manager – This is great feedback for me as Andy was the client and is a facilitator himself.

‘Good, not too formal, interactive and encouraged all team to participate throughout.’ Alison

‘I got a lot from the session just by listening.’ Leon

‘Jane was very open, calm and keep the session flowing easily.  Jane felt like one of our team.’ Loraine

‘The information given on the session was perfect and it gave me the knowledge to look for signs and how to deal with difficult conversations especially where personal circumstances are concerned.’ Mark

 

So, if you are presented with an opportunity to do something different – don’t overthink it.  Definitely don’t let self-doubt in.  Tell yourself it will be a great experience and you will learn more about yourself doing it.  What’s the worse that can happen?

 

Courses coming up include:

 

  • It’s Not About The Nail – don’t try to fix what you think is the obvious
  • Create Your role in The Future
  • Creating Empowerment In Your Teams
  • Personal Empowerment

 

From June, the licensed global Mental Health First Aid full Adult course can be run online following MHFAEngland’s intensive collaboration with global partners to develop the new virtual programme.

 

As a Crisis Volunteer with Shout for the past year, I’ve seen how dealing with crisis via text messaging has literally saved lives.  Who would have thought texting could have such a positive impact?  Nancy Lublin the founder of Crisis Text Line in USA helped set-up Give us a Shout in the UK.  Along with HRH Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Nancy spoke about why she started the text line.

    

 

Using text instead of phone lines enables people to gather their thoughts and reflect on what they are ‘writing’ in their texts.  They can also reflect back later on the empathetic responses from the crisis volunteer.  What Nancy discovered was those in fear of their lives from others could get help without being heard using a phone.  There are now crisis text lines springing up in more countries.  Mobile carriers waive the costs of texting to Shout in the UK so it’s accessible to all.  If you are in trouble – text Shout to 85258.

 

As an Associate Tutor with British Safety Council, many of their  courses including Start the Conversation, Management the Conversation, Train the Facilitator could be delivered online – something they are looking into.

 

We all need to think of how to do things differently.  This could be a fantastic opportunity.  We just need to not let doubt in.

 

Carpe Diem – Seize the day!

 

 

 

 

Great Expectations!

As we move through the strange times of Coronavirus and the new way of home working, it’s struck me how grabbing the unknown and just going for it is likely the best way of getting through.  A bit like gazing into the Milky Way depicted in the feature photo.  Wonder, possibilities, great expectations for what could be something fabulous.

 

I’ve spent decades travelling into London during rush hour with a journey time on average of an hour at the start and end of the day without ever considering if there was a better way of doing things.

 

Enter Coronavirus and Zoom!  Forced to work from home and think of new ways of doing my job using a medium like Zoom to deliver training/coaching with it’s virtual breakout rooms, whiteboards, team chats etc terrified me!  What if it all went wrong.  Well it did at the start.  I forgot to alter my speakers so there was no sound – ouch.  A temp issue which was quickly resolved giving those present a life.  A great little unintentional ice breaker!

 

Approached by Andy of ISS at PwC to run a session on managing teams during lockdown as well as considering any fears that may be in place in the slow return, I devised content to cover:

 

  • Dealing with anxiety and overthinking – work, home, travel, what is the new ’normal’ going to be?
  • Key signs that may indicate someone is struggling
  • How to start a conversation – preparation, environment, time, language, empathy not sympathy, virtual/in person
  • Our role – are we trained counsellors? Drawing the line
  • Dealing with difficult to hear subjects – suicide, self harm, FGM, abuse, eating disorders etc
  • What fears do you have in approaching someone? What if you do and they don’t want to engage?
  • What support signposting do you already know of?
  • What’s in your self care toolkit?

 

 

Using Zoom’s white boards we ended up with hysterical graffiti walls depicting what new skills we discovered about ourselves during lockdown.  We also managed to do a short poll which showed 100% positivity.

 

From surveys in so far it seems the course and handouts were well received.  Andy’s requested some more sessions.

 

So, the lesson of this experience is don’t overthink trying new ways of doing things.  Just do it – as Nike would say.  If anything goes wrong, we learn from it.  Like my first experience with Zoom yesterday, you may find it works really well.  Take a breath and just go with it.

“Jane is a first class facilitator, she makes each session impactful and enjoyable which is a really difficult balance to achieve, I would wholeheartedly recommend. ” Andy Ingham, National Operations Manager for ISS

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