Inspiration, Thoughts

A learn from SIMCITY

Can any of you remember Sim City?

It was a PC game where you spent hours in building up a city – ensuring that you had the best road infrastructure, rail network, schooling, housing, relationships, industry, factories, airports, and emergency services. These were then mapped and controlled by the ‘spend budget’ that you created. Things went really well until a ‘disaster’ happened – be that a typhoon, a flood, a dinosaur attack or an invasion of extraterrestrials. It didn’t matter how you ran the ‘budget’ you knew it was going to hurt and the imaginary newspapers told you that! Seemed like a harmless excursion.

Fast forward 20 or so years and we have COVID. It doesn’t matter what political colour you are, it doesn’t matter what infrastructure you have built – COVID hurts. Be it a loss of a loved one, a loss of a business or job, the collapse of a local economy, the anxiety that social distancing and isolation brings, the uncertainty about what 2021 holds for us or other as yet unknown – the message is clear.

We need to pull together as a community.

We need to do our ‘bit’ and we need to start to rebuild.

  • Cherish the ones we love,
  • Celebrate the small steps of achievement,
  • Encourage and support those in strife,
  • Let the pessimism (the wobble) co-exist with optimism.
  • Keep celebrating the small steps and party (metaphorically) on the big achievements.

Life will be tough, life will be different – but we need to pull together – period.

Blog, Thoughts

Challenging your own bias and thought process.

Our own experiences and learnings carve out our understanding and acceptance of the world around us. As we experience happiness, we reinforce the things that happen around us at that time. As we experience pain, we build a coping strategy to help protect ourselves from this in the future.Read more

Inspiration, Thoughts

A cycle, a hill and metaphor.

On Sunday, I went for a cycle ride. I had a couple of objectives – firstly to get to Weatheroak Hill and secondly to explore some of the Lickey Hills in Worcestershire. I knew the way to the first objective as I had been on that journey before. I understood the roads, the hills, and the obstacles. When reached, I pondered my plan aheadRead more


The Ins and Outs of Life

It is all a matter of balance so quite a simple thought today.

We eat and we exercise.

  • If we put in more than we use then we will retain the extra.
  • If we use more than we put in then we will lose the extra.

Simplistic and not considering calorific content, nutrients, and other stuff that also needs to be in balance depending on your own physique but worth remembering.

Profound? No

Reminder? Possibly

Worth remembering? Yep, especially late at night as we reach for that snack that we really do not need.


Can you be too over prepared for the modern world?

There is a nice tension between being prepared and being too prepared and each of us has a different ‘comfort’ level. It could be that you are about to run a workshop, an intervention, or meeting someone for the first time, or perhaps completing a task in your home. In his book “The Checklist Manifesto“, Atul Gawande takes on a journey through complexity where the use of checklists work to effect striking and immediate improvements (a fascinating book if you have not yet read it). And yet, thinking about what we do as professional coach and supervisor, we need to understand where the ‘checklist’ stops and intuition and clients agenda starts. Some of this is born out of our own security, and need for structure and I find that when supervising people this structure is the thing that sometimes gets in the way from incredible moments.

Being able to understand your own barometer of your unique need for structure then is important. Thinking about the task is important. For example, being equipped and ready in the mind for a coaching session is completely different from painting a living room … or is it?

The task of painting a living room requires you to think about the process of painting and the order for the application of sealer, primer and final coats. Similarly, in a coaching conversation, one needs to explore some of basic contracting first – “what is it that you want to think about today” or “where do you want to be at the end of the session” being two typical openers leading to a foray into wherever the coachee wishes to go. In painting a wall, we do this with a system – usually starting at one end and systematically moving through the wall length until complete. In coaching, we adopt models and adapt them to suit situations moving adeptly through various stages (think GROW, think RADAR etc…). We endeavour to challenge and hold a space for our clients to explore reflections to move ahead with improvement. So we have similarities.

The difference then between coaching and great coaching then I would argue is the ability to stray off piste and be comfortable about holding the clients agenda, utilising an eclectic range of constructions that can help the coachee get to their desired or freshly discovered outcome. To do this, there needs to be some structure to act as a framework, but perhaps a visible discovery in getting to the outcome. Building discovery is hard, it requires us to concentrate exponentially on the client, listening to body language and acting on nuances uttered. Each client is different and each situation presents fresh challenges for us to practice our craft. It needs us to work, it needs us to practice and be prepared. Finding the right level though, is a personal dilemma.