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2021: January Reset, Refresh, Reboot: Kick-start 2021 with a 90 day plan!

January’s meeting (during lockdown) was a great time of the year to press pause and focus some quality time on our businesses.  With everything else we have going on, we often get caught up in working in our businesses and struggle to see the wood for the trees. 

Our speaker Louise Gordon helped us look back at some of our resourceful discoveries from 2020 (amazing since we spent it mainly in lockdown!) as well as looking forward to where we want to be by the end of 2021. This was a really interactive session with triads in zoom break-out rooms where we had time to chat about our own businesses and identify our priorities for the next 90 days. Louise gave us some great ways in which we can hold ourselves accountable and track our progress. What a great session to start the year!

Speaker’s Bio: Louise Gordon

Louise Gordon set up her business, Louise Gordon Consultancy Limited, in 2013 and during this time has supported a number of large corporate acquisition and transformation programmes.  Louise decided to change the focus of her business in 2020 to move to more of a portfolio business model and offers a bespoke range of consultancy, change support, coaching and workshops with a common thread of people and change. 

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October’s Meeting: Systems in your Business

How efficient is your coaching business?

October’s session was content-rich in terms of tools and systems you can use in your coaching business to make things work more efficiently. Led by our guest speaker, Natalie-Claire Luwisha, we looked at our calendars, social media, client management and time management.

Natalie-Claire had loads of hints and tips about how to create systems that really work. She also helped us to understand how to create frameworks for your own systems: 1) plan the process 2) schedule the steps into your calendar 3) track how long it takes to complete. If you track an activity, it helps you to schedule the right amount of time for it next time – rather than assuming you might need an hour or two (which often leads to procrastination!)

“What gets scheduled gets done”

Speaker’s Bio: Natalie-Claire Luwisha

Engineer to Entrepreneur 

Natalie-Claire’s professional career began in the STEM industry as a Civil and Structural Engineer.

She now brings the analytical elements of her engineering experience to her coaching business and in her speaking sessions.

In her coaching, Natalie helps women manage their time and gain the confidence to build their businesses. She empowers and encourages her clients to achieve their goals by helping them gain the clarity, confidence and courage to change their lives.

Her specialist areas are:

Time Management – Scheduling, planning, creating habits & routines

Goal Setting – Life & Business goals, long & short term goals

Courage & Confidence – Having the confidence to take action

Health & Happiness – Self-Care, health & fitness

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July’s Coaching Central

Staying the Course: what coaches can do in the time of Covid-19

July’s meeting gave us an opportunity to look at the role of coaches during the Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless of our coaching niche or experience, Covid-19 has presented us all with challenges. Some of us are business owners, others are employed as coaches, and for some of us it’s somewhere in between. Our coaching businesses may be well established, in their infancy or still a germ of an idea.  

Led by one of our amazing coaches, June Hogan from Wildwood Coaching, in October’s session we looked at what’s currently happening for both people and organisations, and how as coaches we are in a position to help. We explored themes around our coaching niches and what we can do to be visible, available and valuable to our clients.

This session was based around themes from an ICF recorded webinar which you can find here.

Speaker’s Bio: June Hogan – Wildwood Coaching

June is an ICF accredited coach and Director of Wildwood Coaching.

Wildwood Coaching provides outplacement services to values led businesses who want to support their employees after redundancy. Prior to establishing her business, June enjoyed a 20 year career in corporate HR working in a variety of roles in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

During her career June managed many redundancy programmes and she also has personal experience of redundancy. June brings her personal and professional experience along with her coaching skills to help individuals build new futures after redundancy.

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June 2020: Transformational Coaching: adding value by connecting with our values

We had a very engaging and informative session in June on “Transformational Coaching”, led by Fiona Anderson from valuingYou Ltd. Fiona helped us to identify our own core values and understand how these affect our lives and how we can live more in line with them. 

Here are some of her insightful questions:

·      Can you describe what makes you who you are?
·      When you are uncomfortable about something or someone, do you understand why?
·      Have you ever wondered why your reactions to daily and life events differ from others’?
·      Have you offended someone when your intention was the opposite?
·      Have you been deeply upset by someone you think should have known you better?
·      Have you made decisions that you really were not comfortable with?

The answers to these questions helped us all to explore our core values. For more information, check out Fiona’s blog on values.

In the session, Fiona helped us to explore the role of values in our life and at work and also to reflect on the impact that lockdown/Covid-19 may have had on our personal values. The results were very interesting and varied! We also looked at how we can incorporate our values more into our lives and into our coaching practices. 

I for one learnt lots and I found Fiona’s passion for the topic very infectious indeed. It’s given me lots of food for reflection about my own values, how they show up and what happens when one of my values is being ‘wobbled’. 

I’d like to say a very big THANK YOU! to Fiona Anderson for delivering such a valuable and informative talk!

Speaker’s Bio

Fiona is a Change Consultant, Facilitator,  Trainer and Executive & Team Coach.

Fiona established valuingYOU in 2004 and in 2019 introduced My Change Expert. Fiona has lead and successfully delivered substantial change programmes. 
Her expertise is proven across a variety of sectors from micro SMEs to Global Corporations, Voluntary and NGO including: IT; Legal Firms, Recycling; Precision Engineering, PR, Sub Post Masters; Logistics, Universities.

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May 2020: Positive Psychology – grey area or blue sky thinking?

May’s session was prompted by Ray Charlton reading an article entitled ‘Toxic Positivity’ in the Style section of the Sunday Times. Aware of the profound challenges of the COVID 19 crisis, Ray explored what positive psychology can offer for coaches and our clients. We looked at:

  • what advocates of positive psychology claim for it
  • what critics say about it
  • evidence
  • how it relates to resilience, mindfulness and happiness
  • when and how Ray uses it – being present, noticing, empathy, example, congruence, challenge

Ray talked about how we get on with ourselves and with others and noted how our thoughts and feelings influence our mood, motivation and outcomes. We looked at Martin Seligman’s work and PERMA : Positive Emotions, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment as well as Emotional Intelligence and Covey’s Circle of Influence and Concern.

This session was hugely informative and full of content. Thank you Ray for inspiring and challenging us and for giving us a huge reading list for further exploration! Here’s the reading list, if you want to follow up yourself:

  • Are you suffering from toxic positivity? Sunday Times – Style Wellness
  • Authentic Happiness, Martin E.P. Seligman – see also Learned Optimismo
  • Brilliant Positive Psychology, Charlotte Style
  • Coaching – Evoking Excellence in Others, James Flaherty
  • Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us, Daniel H. Pink
  • Flow – the Psychology of Happiness, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • I’m OK, You’re OK, Thomas Harris
  • Mindful Coaching, Liz Hall
  • Negaholics, Cherie Carter-Scott
  • Neuroscience for Coaches, Amy Brann
  • Positive Psychology Coaching in Practice, ed. Suzy Green and Stephen Palmer
  • Positive Psychology, Ilona Boniwell and Aneta D. Tunariu
  • The Art of the Good Life, Rolf Dobelli 
  • The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor
  • The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
  • The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, Julie K. Norem
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
Ray is an Association for Coaching (AC) Master Executive Coach, a coaching supervisor and trainer, an AC accreditation assessor, and a member of ICF. He is an action learning facilitator, a certified NLP trainer and recently qualified as a practitioner of Generative Coaching.

He is an organisation development consultant, and teaches, tutors and mentors in motivation, leadership development, systems thinking, quality, innovation and collaboration.
Ray is the founder and director of Creativity and Commitment at Work Limited; was a founder of and consultant with Transition Partnerships; and is a founder director of Alchemy of Coaching Limited. Alchemy of Coaching publishes Base Metal, a monthly discussion paper on coaching.

Ray’s work reflects his values of partnership, inquiry, curiosity, creativity, enjoyment, personal and corporate responsibility, and life-long learning.