Doing it all

Doing it all

I get asked at least once a week – ‘how do you do it all?’

And every time I get asked this question, I always stumble on the answer. I start to mutter something along the lines of how I don’t have kids yet, then start making excuses for my success and mention that doing things virtually has made things easier…

Then it hit me, why am I apologising?

I do, do a lot. And I do it darn well. Yes zoom has been a huge enabler, but that isn’t why or even how I do it all.

In this blog post I am going to let you in on how I do it all and how you can too.

Insiders secrets

⚡️ Since reading Robin Sharma’s book – The 5am Club, I have embraced the key learnings. The creative in me designed my own version on elevating my leadership and coaching:

No, I don’t get up at 5am.

And No, I don’t always stick to the rules.

But I do follow the leadership empires. I am huge believer in being self-aware and taking care of myself. For me to be the best for my clients so they can achieve their results, I need to make sure I am healthy, emotionally stable, educated and my inner spirit in nurtured.

⚡️ Who you have in your tribe matters. And gosh, don’t I know it. My partner is incredibly supportive when it comes to my career, ambition and needs. In our household there is no such thing as pink jobs and blue jobs. Just a balance of support, ambition and love.

Someone said to me last week – ‘if you can’t solve a problem with your 5 closest friends, you need to get new ones.’ This is true, over the last 3 to 5 years I have surrounded myself with the right people who I know can help and support me. And, I have parted ways with those who no longer support my growth.

⚡️ I manage my time well: I have a full time job, I coach between 2 to 3 clients a week, I am involved in speaking engagements, I prep/record/edit a podcast, attend or lead networking events, I read lots of books and I write a blog… etc.

How?

I don’t waste time scrolling through Instagram (anymore). I don’t binge watch Netflix. I pre-plan most evening activities e.g. 7pm networking hubs. And, I pick and choose what I do. I no longer feel obligated to attend every single damn networking call. I only attend ones where I can provide value and/or go there with a specific purpose.

Side note: I recommend reviewing this sense of obligation. We are always striving to do more, be more and say more because society is telling us to. But, is that what you want to be doing?

Are you a bad mum because you didn’t bake cookies for the school bake sale? – NO, who doesn’t love M&S buckets?

Are you a bad friend because you rescheduled dinner plans? – Nope.

Are you a bad leader because you didn’t work a 12 hour day? – Hell no, and if you do normally – we need to talk.

➡️ When I start to feel overwhelmed or burnout creeping in (because I have worked on my triggers and I know what to look out for) … I take a break, go for a massage or a walk or journal.

Why I do it all

Someone asked this week – ‘What is your why?’ And wow, what a questions.

The reason I work so hard is because I want to empower, encourage and grow other people. I want to enable others to be the best of versions of themselves. Because I know we all have the potential to be in that top 5% of leadership and the human race.

Oh and whilst I am on the subject of leadership, I am still on a mission to change the face of it.

So my why: Empower and enable others to progress whilst changing the face of leadership.

When I asked the question back, I was blown away with her response: ‘Everyone is welcomed at my table.’ Backed up with a strong story of female empowerment.

Now over to you

We have all seen that saying: ‘You have the same amount of hours as Beyoncé’

I have the same amount of hours in the day as Oprah. And, hell yes I make them count.

What will you start to do with your hours in the day?

Change is more than just a word.

Change is more than just a word.

Last year, became a year of change. From new routines, altered shopping habits and different ways of socialising. We were all forced to embrace change and still continue to ride a change wave in 2021…

In this article, I explore how change can impact organisations, people and provide knowledge to those who are interested in this subject or are going through an organisational change or even a career change.

What is change?

In simple terms, change is to make or become different. Or replace/exchange something. Change is the situation such as to move house, to wear something different or to do a different job. It is about doing things differently, seeing things in a new way, as well as adjusting and adapting to ideas.

There key factors to take into consideration when it comes to change are:

  • Change affects everyone differently; there is no “normal.”
  • Change is an essential element of the world and it must be accepted. (Even a Pandemic World type-of-change)
  • Adapting to change is about the attitudes we have.
  • We have to grieve for what we are letting go of.
  • Change is an opportunity for self-motivation and innovation.
  • We can identify strategies for accepting and implementing our changes

How does change impact organisations and its people?

When applying change to an organisation, a quote from William Bridges springs to mind: ‘It isn’t the change that do you in. It’s the transition’

Let’s look at a really simple example to explain change to an organisation: Change is a new mobile phone (say from basic phone to a smartphone). Transition is learning how to use it.

With the new smartphone, you will be excited by the newness, the style, things you can do, the apps and pictures as well as the productivity.

However you are also a little anxious and uncertain – what if you don’t know how to use it properly? What if all your contacts are not there? What if I download the wrong app?

It is about addressing how that change will affect you. When applying change at an organisation, like the new mobile phone example, it is about covering all bases and knowing whatever the change you put in place, you will need a transition period to ensure maximum results.

Three phases of the change

There are three phases, which was established by William Bridges who believes, that changes isn’t necessarily the problem; the change is the situation. People have difficulty with the transition.

The transition isn’t optional and we must all go through the three stages to accommodate ourselves to any change:

Endings

All change begins with an ending. This first phase of change transition begins when people identify what they are losing something and then to learn how to manage these losses. They determine what is over and being left behind, and what they will keep. These may include relationships, processes, team members or locations.

What do you need let go of? What will you be keeping?

Neutral Zone

This is a time to complete endings and begin new patterns. The second step comes after letting go: the neutral zone. People go through an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully operational. It is a time to support others. It is the very core of the change transition process. This is the time between the old reality and sense of identity and the new one. People are creating new processes and learning what the new roles will be, but it’s in a state of change and doesn’t feel comfortable yet. To perhaps plant the seed for the new beginning.

What new habits or processes are you putting into place?

Beginnings

It has been said that organisations think about beginnings long before people do. There is often conflict between the companies motivation and the critical mass/ people to make it happen, so it is essential to get people involved, especially those who are leaders and can of course influence. At this stage, Beginnings involve new understandings, new values and attitudes. Beginnings are marked by a release of energy in a new direction – they are an expression of a fresh identity. Well-managed transition allows people to establish in new roles with an understanding of their purpose, the part they play, and how to contribute and participate most effectively. They are reoriented and renewed.

How is your new beginning better than before?

Let’s look at the Change curve model

The Kubler-Ross Change Curve, something you have probably seen before. It is used across businesses globally showing the 5 stages of emotional response to change, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This model was introduced by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in a book called ‘Death and Dying’ – After publication the model was widely accepted and it was found that it was valid in a majority of cases and situations relating to change.

Where Are You On The Change Curve? - Growing Organisations Ltd

What it means

In the times we live in right now this change curve seems more than applicable. The entire world are on it and at different points on any given day.

Here is an example of how we are all currently going through the change curve:

  • Shock – “OMG, Are we really living through a global pandemic??”
  • Denial – “We will back in the office in no-time”
  • Frustration – “I am so over lockdowns. I want to go back into work. I want to go out and socialise.”
  • Depression – “I’m so upset, I just want to be back at work, I am so stressed there is so much to do and my company have invoked a recruitment freeze, so I can’t get support for my team.”
  • Experiment – “Working from home is still happening for the foreseeable future, let’s think about what’s not working and try out new approaches. Instead of working on the sofa, I will buy a desk and set up a mini office in my spare room.”
  • Decision – “With my new desk and attitude, I got a lot more done today!”
  • Integration – “After lockdown I may now even ask to work from home more often!”

Does any of this resonate with you? Where are you in the change curve?

Did you know that you could be on one change curve or several. Here are the most common changes we are experiencing:

  • Remote working
  • Home schooling
  • Job insecurity
  • Furlough
  • Financial insecurity 
  • Role change 

Feelings of shock, denial, and frustration are all natural responses as we seek to resist change. This is normal since change means loss. But as we begin to acknowledge what we have lost and begin to feel sadness or depression about it we are then moving closer to acceptance.

What next?

Well that is up to you. If you are going through change now or the next time you go through change both personally and professionally, here is an exercise that you can use to help understand where you are and support yourself on the journey:

  1. Write out your change “problem” statement.
  2. Draw your curve(s) and ask yourself , where am I on the curve right now?
  3. Ask yourself, the 5 whys around your feelings (there is no wrong answer).
  4. Next, think about support: who can I talk to about where I am on it?
  5. When you are ready, start to put steps in place to help you move along your change curve.

For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future. – JFK

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Work related stress and how to manage it

Work related stress and how to manage it

It was reported that 73% of British workers took time out of work because of stress in the work place… and 19% quit on the spot!

From Lack of support and excessive workload. To poor company culture and incompetent colleagues. There are many factors that lead to stress. I explore how work related stress impacts your and how we can implement some remedies to alleviate the excessive pressures.

HSE’s formal definition of work-related stress is: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.”

Stress V Stretch

Although stress is a state more than an illness, however, it is worth noting that if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged – mental and physical illness may develop.

Work related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as mistakes and errors.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business. From looking into this topic further as well as discussing this at my networking group, it was found that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries.

Pressures at work compared to stress caused because of work has a clear difference: Pressure can be positive, motivating factor in someone’s career, and is often essential. It can help us achieve our goals as well as perform better.

Stress occurs when this pressure becomes excessive.

Stress affects people in different ways and what one person finds stressful can be normal to another. With each new situation a person will decide what the challenge is and whether they have the resources to cope. If they decide they don’t have the resources, they will begin to feel stressed. How they appraise the situation will depend on various factors, including:

  • Background and culture
  • Skills and experience
  • Personality
  • Personal circumstances
  • Health status
  • Ethnicity, gender, age or disability

Just like how people are affected by stress, the ways of managing can be different for each individual. It is all well and good to talk about a work life balance, however what people really need are tools and techniques to help them.

How to alleviate work related stress can be managed by:

At Work:

  • Talking to your manager, colleague or HR. There is no shame in saying that the current pressures that are on you are causes you to feel stressed. It is always best to take some examples with you that include situation when you have felt stressed or document you current work load to show your manager. By talking, you are highlighting the problem. You never know, you might be able to recruit a junior to support you.
  • Get a priority list together. Have you ever used a Kanban board? Such a great way to visually see what you need to do and what you have achieved. (also GREAT for reporting) You can use Trello which is a free online tool.
  • Be part of a culture change. Do you have an idea to help improve team performance? an Idea on how to feel calmer at work? Maybe introduce a well-being Wednesday? Be the change you want to see.

For Yourself:

  • Change your job or career direction. This one will take more time and planning. However, if you really are struggling this might be the option.
  • Have a break. Stop, put down your work phone and be present with your family and friends.
  • Exercise! Make time to go for a walk/run. Go to that gym class. Getting out helps clear the mind, looking after yourself will help with all aspects of your life and your mental health.

Do you have a story of stressed caused by work? Or do you have any suggestions of remedies? Comment below to share.

Evolution of humankind, means people can actually change.

Evolution of humankind, means people can actually change.

People evolve thus people can change. We have a personality foundation which starts to develop the day we are born. Our environments, education, childhood, peer groups as well as our hobbies, shape the human being that we are today.

The Psychology Today wrote: “Can we change people? It depends what we mean by change. First, can people change? Well, obviously. For example, we get older. Can we change in every respect? Obviously not. We change in some respects and not in others. “

I recognise in myself that I still have the core personality foundations that I had when I was in my teens. For example, I talk with my hands, I am fiercely independent and super ambitious… I also care a lot about people and wrongly, what they think about me.

However the way I now conduct myself has evolved. And the way I think, feel and listen is different. The way I approach an activity or situation is tailored from lessons learnt throughout my life where I have been successful and of course when I have also failed.

Image result for women evolve

To understand more about changes in people, I did some research for this post and of course, that research means googling. I found that the results were more for answers for someone who is seeking some kind of clarity or explanation for behaviour that has caused them pain. Such as and mainly: cheating. It was surprising that with no clear answers. Using my platform, I wanted to start this post by addressing the leopard in the room.

Image result for leopard spots

Certain common phrases such as – “A leopard never changes its spots” and “Once a cheat, always a cheat” – might stick for a while, but if we decide that someone is set on their own path whether positive or negative, are we not doing so because, on some level, creating a barrier between their bad behaviour or success and the pain or jealousy they caused to protect ourselves?

Whilst it can be comforting to sometimes decide someone is bad, it can also be rewarding to perhaps ask why do they behaviour in such ways? Perhaps you are the one who is inflicting pain on others, have you ever stopped and wondered why you are doing this? Perhaps it is jealously? A childhood trauma that is unresolved? Or perhaps you are just so unhappy in yourself, you are making others around you unhappy?

Everyone has the ability to behave selfishly and be disruptive. We mess up and cause unbelievable pain to one another. Often repeat certain behaviours if the root cause isn’t addressed or time is spent on healing our previous wounds.

I am not saying if your partner has cheated on you to forgive them or even give an excuse, what I am merely suggesting is perhaps start by asking why. Ask why 5 times and see what could be rebuilt from opening up. Sadly, on the flip side of the coin, you will come across those who are content with inflicting pain on others. These people are not worthy of your time, efforts and loyalty. If you have recognised that change is needed, sometime that means leaving a person, environment and/or life to create a new path.

If we are seeking some kind of change in how we exist in relation to other people in this world the real question, is how much time, work and effort we will spend on ourselves?

This brings me onto my purpose of this post. I believe in change and that people can evolve, grow and transform.

The reason I believe this, is because I have changed. (Alex, I know you are laughing if you are reading this line!). The people I have met have shaped me, CBT and Counselling healed me, Coaching is evolving me and networking as well as blogging is expanding my connections.

Changing is a choice. Choice is the art of possibilities. And possibilities are endless.

Related image

Personal development is something most people associate with their jobs. Completing objectives and smashing targets to enable them to achieve their bonuses. But what if I told that personal development isn’t just something you do in your job, that actually this can aid an individual to change as well as enrich their potential?

There are so amazing tools, forums and people out there, right at your finger tips to get you started! Here are 5 areas to start your journey:

1: Of course, there is this blog

A Platform that is focused on female empowerment with the goal to enable women to be successful, strong and sassy. I write articles across a number of pillars: Personal Branding. Wellbeing. Female Empowerment. Life Style. Career Building. And… sometimes I might go off topic, like I did in this post, but roll with me.

The blog was created to connect others, provide empowerment, share knowledge, inspire the soul and give a sense of belonging.

2: Coaching!

Coaching is a process that aims to improve personal performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future.

As a Professional Development Coach, I specialise in: Helping you to cultivate and implement your personal brand. Building personal & career confidence. Overcoming limited beliefs and amplifying your voice. Moreover, I also work with you to shift your fixed mindset into a growth mindset. You will finish your career coaching programme with a clear, concise career plan that will enable you to level up. Whether that is asking for more responsibility or finally applying for a leadership role.

3: Asking for professional help – CBT, Counselling and Therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.

It combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do).

Counselling is the process by which a counsellor helps an individual understand and solve problems to help him or her cope with mental or emotional triggers. Where as Therapy usually involves talking about your situation in order to gain more understanding about issues such as mood, feelings, behaviour, and ways of thinking.

Ask your GP for advice on which treatment they would recommend.

4: Networking, attending industry related conferences/expos and connecting with others. I am part of the All Bright Academy that offer events throughout the year to attend. Women in Business Expo, Best You Expo and browsing through Meetup and Eventbrite to find local groups to attend.

5: Mentoring – Is there someone who you admire? Perhaps even aspire to follow in their footsteps! Never be afraid to reach out and offer to buy them a coffee. Mentoring is different to coaching. Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise.

Working on yourself can start today…. Let it be DAY ONE, not one day.

So the question is, what are you prepared to do to grow, evolve and change?

Enhancing your career in unprecedented times

Enhancing your career in unprecedented times

At the start of 2020, you probably stepped into the year bright eyed and bushy tailed. You had planned to upskill and take time off to do a face-to-face course. You had strategically thought about your career and prepared to apply for a promotion, that next level in your job and career. Or maybe, you had decided to switch careers, as scary as it might have been.

But your course was cancelled. The next level job role was made redundant and it was just safer to stay put than to jump ship.

Your 2020 plans to work on your career was stifled, locked down, then tiered… then locked down again.

Frustrated, you gave up and continued to the ride the wave of the disaster movie of 2020. But where did that get you?

Does the above resonate with you? If you are nodding your head in agreement, then read on to find out how you can work on your career during zombie apocalyptic times.

Continue reading this piece on LinkedIn – Every month I write a new article covering a number of topics, so don’t miss it!

How to overcome the career slump

How to overcome the career slump

Do you get that MONDAY MORNING FEELING?

I am talking about the ‘urgh ‘😖 as you roll over to turn off your alarm. The lack of motivation, something I like to call the ‘can’t evens’ 😞 and, perhaps worst of all, the ‘I hate my job’ is turning into ‘FMLs’ and ‘I hate my life’

… and, did I mention, it is Wednesday?

In fact, you have the MONDAY MORNING DREAD daily, Monday to Friday and then the Sunday BLUES!

The truth is, you spend most of your life working. So, don’t you deserve to be in a career that fulfils your values, abilities and aspirations? Have a mindset that propels you, instead of hinders you?

Now for some harsh truths – being unhappy, unfulfilled and underpaid in your career will over time manifest itself into something pretty ugly.  It will start to impact other aspects of your life, from your relationships to your mental wellbeing to the ability to step up in other areas, such as travel and buying a house.

I get it. You bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. But where does that get you?

In this article I take you through the areas that you can explore to pull yourself out of the CAREER SLUMP, so you can propel yourself forward – turning the CAREER SLUMP into a CAREER SLAY! (Well it is December after all…)

Overcome the career slump

We’ve identified what a career slump is – it’s that lack of motivation, struggling to get up in the morning and having that constant nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right. You feel down in the dumps and stuck in the mud.

So how can you overcome the slump?

Time to do some self-reflection

Start by thinking about your current situation – but first take yourself away to a neutral place with no distractions. I’m thinking a Coffee Shop, your bedroom or even your garden. Grab yourself a pen & paper and answer the following questions:

  • What aspects of my job do I enjoy?
  • What aspects of my role, do I just HATE? (Be honest)
  • What needs to change?
  • Who can help me?
  • How could I approach this with my manager?
  • Is there a specific individual that is causing me issues?
  • How do I actually feel about the job?
  • Am I happy with my benefit package?
  • Do I feel fulfilled?
  • How did you feel in other job roles?

It may take you a few days to answer the above, so don’t be put off. Similar to when you journal – let the first words that come to you, flow onto the page. And if you can, once you have gone through the questions, ask a friend or a relative to hear what you have to say – talking about your thoughts and feelings will help clarify the current situation.

Tip: Do you see any themes? Is there something missing? Is there something you can do?

What do you value?

Your values are the things that you believe are important. Both with your personal and professional life. They ideally should determine your priorities and they also act as a good measure to help understand where your life is going. As an insight, when the things that you do and the way you behave matches your values, life is usually great, meaning you’re satisfied and happy. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things just don’t feel right and you may feel dissatisfied and unhappy.

To find your values start by answering the below questions:

Think about a time when something bothered you. What was it exactly? And Why?

Think about a time when you have been fulfilled and happy. What was the situation? How did you feel?

Think about a time when you have been proud. When was it? What feedback did you receive?

Now start to pull out value words or find value words from answers. (Theses could be: compassion, community, family and independence, see the table below) You ideally should find around 8 to hit the sweet spot.

Values | Personal Mastery
This image was taken from Google.

A little something extra to consider: How do your values match up with your managers? Or even organisation? Do they align?

What’s your personality type?

Something else I like to explore with clients, is looking at personality types. Now it is important to not get too hung up on the results however it can be interesting to explore and establish…

I like to use 16 PERSONALITIES The Myers Briggs test consists of 16 possible personality types, and even lists the career you’re suited for based on your type. It is free. It is informative. And results will give you options to do a little deep dive further, if you so wish to.

Fun fact: The 16 personality types were created by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, developers of the MBTI® assessment. Myers and Briggs created their personality typology to help people discover their own strengths and gain a better understanding of how people are different.

Dribbble - 16-personalities-meyers-brigg-characters.jpg by Quinn Zeda ✈ |  Personality psychology, Personality types, Mbti

If you are manager of a team or even just work as part of a close collaborative workforce – this will be a great team exercise – as you will be able to understand all your different personality types, how you all like to work and what strengths are in the team.

So how will all this, help you to overcome the career slump?

Doing the exercises above, is a great place to establish who are, how you feel and what you value.

Perhaps you have uncovered that you actually really love your job, the company culture and actually you just need something more challenging. So the action here, well is simple – schedule a 1:1 with your manager and let them know. If this is the case, make sure you go to your boss with an idea of what you could do and how you would approach it.

Maybe you figured out, you are feeling undervalued. You work so hard but there is no recognition. My question to you is, WHAT DOES RECOGNITION MEAN TO YOU? It isn’t always money or time off – it could be a simple ‘well done.’ Once you have figured out the meaning to you, speak with your manager … Now, if you don’t get it from them – it is worth thinking where else you can get it from.

After completing the exercises, you have a ‘OMG’ moment. You realise, oh goodness, you are not in the right job/career/company…

If it is career/job – before you jump ship make sure you explore your options. Is there an opportunity for you to do a different role in your current organisation? Is there someone who can reach out to? How about someone in HR? A different team? A different manager?

If it is everything and the company… and you are not too sure on which direction to go or you might have an idea but not sure how to take it forward – then career coaching is a great option.

And you’re in luck! Because I am a Career & Mindset Coach.

The aim of Career Coaching is to help you understand what you want, the skills you need and how you can develop. As your career coach, I will support you in making these initial step as well as:

  • I will look and focus on the current situation and create action goals to help you move forward.
  • I will assess where you are and encourage and challenge you.
  • Together, we will define outcomes, results and accomplishments.
  • I will never tell you what to do, but will support you through decision making, and give you the time and space to talk about how you’re feelings and establishing your goals.

If you would like to find out more, you can visits the CAREER COACHING page and/or send me an email: coaching@lucygrimwade.com

From SLUMP to SLAY. I hope you have gained some inspiration from this post and found your own way forward.