Feedback: how to turn towards the sunshine

Feedback: how to turn towards the sunshine

As an associate coach with Bowland Solutions, I am pleased to share a recent guest blog post I wrote for them.  Bowland Solutions work with businesses to provide everything you need to ensure your 360 Degree Feedback and Performance Appraisal processes are efficient and effective.

Feedback:  how to turn towards the sunshine

Feedback: how to turn towards the sunshine

When I was a child I had an autograph book.  Apart from once queuing (with some trepidation) to get Darth Vader’s signature, it was mainly full of messages from friends and family.  My Grandma’s message to me was this (apparently an old Maori proverb):

“Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you”.

I was struck by its optimism and ever since then the idea of having a positive outlook has always stayed with me.   I have come to see how the more you focus your attention on the positive things, the more likely you are to notice them.  I also recognise how appreciating these can help you to see further positive possibilities and even create more ‘sunshine’.

I am interested in how people apply this concept in their working lives; how we use the idea of focusing on the positive in order to develop performance (in individuals, teams and businesses) and how we use it to guide our decision making.

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Choosing to tolerate or to change

 Choosing to tolerate or to change

By Emily Taylor, February 2015

To tolerate or to change?

To tolerate or to change?

According to a recent CIPD poll on work related New Year resolutions, 37% of respondents planned to look for a new job in 2015.  30% said they would focus on professional development.  26% wanted to achieve a better work life balance and only 7% said ‘none of the above’.  That’s a lot of change and development being planned this year!

As we hurtle towards the end of February and the New Year becomes less new, I wonder how many people will have taken steps towards achieving their plans?  And conversely, how many of those who wanted a change are still tolerating their New Year Blues in the hope that things will ‘just get better’ as the year progresses?

For all the intolerance in the world, my sense is people will often tolerate a lot they don’t like in their life and at work.   Think of those things that frustrate or irritate you, the ones that drain or tire you or somehow hold you back from the happier place you’d rather be.  Try writing down 10 things that you personally tolerate in your life – I’ll come back to this later.

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How can ‘taking us out of ourselves’ create a happier work life?

How can ‘taking us out of ourselves’ create a happier work life?

By Emily Taylor, January 2015

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Inspiring discovery in an old book

My Aunt recently gave me an old book of hers.  Inside we discovered a bookmark she had collected in the 1940’s with this quote on it: “Whatever takes us out of ourselves lets us in to real happiness”.  I instantly loved it and keep coming back to the idea.

Firstly, what does taking ‘us out of ourselves’ really mean?  Secondly, how aware are we when it is happening and how often do we create these opportunities?  And finally, how do we apply this in our working lives?

I asked around a few friends and clients to get an (unscientific but immediate) idea of what it means to different people; these are a selection of answers they gave to my first question:

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Finding the Courage to Change Career

Finding the Courage to Change Career

By Emily Taylor, December 2014

When the fear of staying in my job finally outweighed the fear of leaving, I knew I had the courage to leap……

Finding the courage to change

Finding the courage to change

Dreaming about leaving your job and doing something different is a thing many people do.  But actually making the decision to leave a secure(ish), good(ish) and well paid(ish) job in order to jump into the unknown is a tricky one.

Feeling brave enough to take a risk often decreases as our life responsibilities increase, especially if it may jeopardise the things we hold dear like supporting a family, paying for our home or maintaining the lifestyle we enjoy. These are valid and genuine reasons to sit still and accept the career we are in.

But what if you were to carry on describing your career as “actually, it’s not that great”, or worse, “it’s totally soul destroying” for the next 10, 20 or 30 years?

What would your future-self advise you to do?

Finding the trigger point to help you make the decision…..

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