Values – questions

“How do I figure out my personal values?” asked a course delegate. “There are lots of ways” I responded , “but you need to ask yourself the right questions, here is one to start with – are there things I keep feeling inner promptings to do?”


Have you considered the many different roles you have in life?

Our roles are the relationships and responsibilities that we have in life. Each of us holds various roles at the same time.  Subsequently, each of us will face times when the various roles we play may compete with each other, forcing us to consider who we are and consequently what role should take precedence in a particular moment.  There may be days when you feel torn and unsure if you’re doing the right thing and making the right choices. When those moments come (and they will), pause, take a deep breath and remind yourself what matters most- you are simply one person!

Each of us can make our own list of the roles we have.  For example here are a few of my own: Husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, coach, facilitator, trainer, writer, blogger, friend, volunteer, learner, steward, provider and so the list goes on.

Have you ever thought about your own roles recently?  Your roles will change in priority day to day, for example through the week, you may be more focused on career and work goals, trying to balance a few others in between.  Whilst at the weekend you may focus on a parental role, or a hobby, volunteering or serving others.  Creating a list and putting each of these roles into a priority ranking will really help you to figure out what matters most.  In amongst all of these roles – remember the most important role in life is being you!  So frequently ask yourself:

  • What do I need physically – rest, exercise, less food, more food?
  • What do I need mentally – stimulation, meditation?
  • What do I need emotionally – solitude, support, security, a pick up treat?
  • What do I need socially – interactions with friends, new connections?

Get into the habit of asking yourself these questions often, then pick the thing you need to do and do it for yourself that day.

As you consider each of your roles in life and figure out what matters most, the question will almost certainly arise “how well do I fill these roles?”  Or for that matter “what kind of performance have I been giving of late?” Or even “what kind of feedback  have I been getting in some of the roles I fill?”  Recently, I have been challenged to consider my own performance in a few of those roles.  In some areas I have rated myself doing well, in others I have some real areas that need attention.  Frankly, its a bit of a mixed bag.


Every now and again it’s good to reflect on your roles and visit them one by one.  Maybe it’s time for a bit of a spring clean and as you prioritise your own, perhaps there are one or two lower down the list that could be eliminated, especially if time is an issue and you have too many roles.  As we journey through life the roles themselves and our own priorities will change.  As our children are growing, I recognise how little time I have left with them in our own family home, subsequently in my own list of priorities it is ranking near the top.

Stop, pause and reflect on your roles, determine to do better and focus on what really matters most.  What will you do differently today?


I have lost count of the number of learning & development days, coaching sessions, leadership workshops both face to face and virtual I have facilitated this year….. Lots!   Perhaps, (wishful thinking maybe) I have had the opportunity to impact 1000’s of individuals lives for good?

In addition, I have posted regularly about the importance of living your personal values – almost daily! In a like manner, I have endeavoured to live them every day – sometimes succeeding and other times failing miserably.  I recall one post from a few months ago, whilst travelling on a train to Aberdeen, when I figured out that I was a “work in progress”.  As I paused to reflect this morning – three words were impressed upon my mind over and over again.

– Learning – Living – Becoming

What am I learning?

How am I living?

Who am I becoming?


What are you learning?

How are you living?

Who are you becoming?

Learning can be a source of great personal insight to create growth, change and improvement – in order to reach our true potential.

Live those action plans, lengthen your stride, dream big, look up, elevate your thoughts, determine to move ahead and achieve more!


Sadly, our dog, Fawn died last week.  However, I was a little unprepared for the compassion shown to our family.

Fawn was only approaching 3 years old. Diagnosed with a serious heart condition at a young age, her life was filled with visits to the vets, lots of medication, with lots of love she touched many peoples lives. Throughout her short life, the support we received from the Kennel Club Insurance was outstanding, in fact it was consistently world class. We’d simply taken up an offer from the breeder and it was only shortly thereafter Fawn was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Dysplasia.

It was probably one of the wisest decisions that we made, as the vet bills soon started to rocket. Claims submissions, calls for guidance and all other communications with the Kennel Club were always helpful and extremely courteous. Yesterday, was my final call, informing them of Fawn’s passing. The call handler I spoke to, Kerry, was so understanding and compassionate. I thanked her for showing so much empathy and then she explained that all those who work at the Kennel Club, are pet lovers too, who understand the situation. After the call, I realised that I have never before in all of my life been treated with so much respect, love and care. I am grateful for compassionate organisations.

A couple of days ago, we also received a lovely compassionate hand written card from Kerry at the Kennel Club.  It is great to see an organisation living up to its values.

Thank you Kennel Club.


Something wasn’t quite right, and I knew it. Intuition – “a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning”

Travelling home from London last Friday, after passing through Airport security, I stopped for a bite to eat. Faced with lots of choices, I made my selection, opting for a Cornish pasty!

I placed my order with the one member of staff who was on duty and she was very helpful, but I immediately sensed something wasn’t quite right. As she was bagging up my pasty, I asked how her day was going, she responded “fine, but I still have 3 hours to go”. There was no-one behind me and we spoke further. It turns out we’d both had a very long day, then I explored further and asked where she came from, “Venezuela” she replied. She shared the story of her last 4 days, which was filled with deep anxiety and worry for her family, especially her mother back home.

I stood and simply listened. Then listened some more. Then listened a while longer. I don’t understand all that is going on in Venezuela, but I do understand the pain that it was causing the young lady who served me that day.

I’m glad I listened to the still small voice, trusted my intuition, stopped and tuned into the conversation that followed.

Intuition is real! Stop, listen and follow yours!


England and Scotland’s remarkable match on Saturday was a game of two halves, each filled with momentum – “the force that keeps an object moving or keeps an event developing after it has started”. England had it in bucket-loads in the first half and Scotland, oodles of it in the second.

Watching the match I went through a rollercoaster of emotions from despair to elation and then (yes) disappointment with a draw!

What happened? How could England giveaway a 31 point lead?

Momentum built for England, try after try in the first half, and then a tiny opportunity – a chink of light, appeared at the end of the half for Scotland.

Half time. Reflection time for both teams. For England, I found this quote, which resonated with me – “Sometimes thinking too much can destroy your momentum” -Tom Watson. For the Scots, pause, build some respect in the second and with a bit of luck, maybe give the Scots fans something to sing about by winning the half?

A quick try, English confidence collapses, momentum builds for the Scots, try, and another, and another – unbelievable! And yet, somehow, England dig deep, and come up with a try in the closing seconds.

Momentum in your life, in your family, in your team and your organisation is whatever your attitude determines it to be.

What action can you take to build momentum toward success in your own life or in your organisation?
#belief #attitude


Are you committed to succeed?

As a young salesman in 1989, I had to cover a huge territory – Scotland, down to Leeds & Manchester, plus every 6 weeks, I headed over to Ireland.  Leaving Dunfermline early morning at the start of the week, I drove to Stranraer and caught the ferry to Larne.  Then I drove all the way to Cork, always arriving late on Monday evening, to work my way home that week.  It was always a long day and a long week – yet, I was committed to succeed. It wasn’t long before sales in Ireland literally took off.

We cannot accomplish anything, without commitment. “Work will win when wishy washy wishing won’t” – Thomas S. Monson.

Commitment as a word cannot stand alone. We must always ask, “Committed to what?”  Dale Carnegie once said, “If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.”  Our journey through life is dotted with a series of commitments, interwoven with discipline – that can bring success – if we will consistently do what we have agreed to do.  A commitment to excellence will ensure that you obtain the success you seek.

What are you committed to?



My parents taught me to be respectful of others.  It is a lesson I’ve never forgotten.

Sadly, in our day, far too often respect for others seems to be a value long forgotten.

I was taken with the words of the Queen yesterday whilst speaking at the WI in Norfolk, she said: “The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community focus, and considering the needs of others, are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago.

“Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities.

“As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture.”

She said these approaches were “timeless, and I commend them to everyone”

Respect is a gift to be given freely and generously around the dinner table, the canteen table or the boardroom table. Please choose to be more respectful, more selfless, more tolerant, more kind, more friendly.

“When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.” – Thomas S. Monson


I love this story I learned about again at the weekend..

“Two axemen who held a contest to determine who could cut down more trees in a day. At sunrise the contest commenced. Every hour the smaller man wandered off into the forest for 10 minutes or so. Each time he did this, his opponent smiled and nodded, assured that he was forging ahead. The larger man never left his post, never stopped cutting, never took a break.

When the day ended, the larger man was shocked to learn that his opponent, who seemingly wasted so much time, had cut many more trees than he. “How did you do it when you took so many breaks?” he asked.

The winner replied, “Oh, I was sharpening my axe.” – as shared by Tad R. Callister

Stephen Covey shares a similar story about sharpening your saw.

I believe this story is so relevant to many of us isn’t it?

We can get frustrated, debilitated even by the challenges of so many aspects of life and our inability to cope.  Far too frequently however, instead of developing ourselves and taking the time to become more effective, we keep struggling with a blunt axe..

So – don’t do it anymore. Choose to stop, slow down, sharpen your axe and become much more effective.

The key to learning is continuous development.

What will you stop to sharpen today?


“Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing.” – Steve Jobs

We need to talk about what we’re learning.  Continuous learning is one of the keys to success in life, no matter what you do.  A phrase I have heard a lot recently during many coaching conversations is that “sharing is caring”.   For children, sharing can be a difficult challenge to master, but an important one to learn and carry into adulthood.

As a coach and learning facilitator, frequently I share thoughts, ideas and insights to help others meet some of their challenges in the workplace or in their own life, one by one or in a workshop.  The knowledge comes from my own experiences, personal learning & study, but also what has been shared with me.

In our technology savvy world, we live in an age of sharing. Mark Zuckerberg wrote when setting up Facebook –  “I wanted to create an environment where people could share whatever information they wanted, but also have control over whom they shared that information with.”

Sharing – “to give a portion of (something) to another or others”.  There are some real benefits to sharing:

  1. It builds trust
  2. You feel good
  3. It brings things to life
  4. It creates understanding
  5. It makes things real

Show you care today and share.