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How have you changed?

Arriving home, fighting my tiredness, my bed was screaming my name… “get in Daryl, you’re exhausted!” It was only 8.35pm!
Last week, I was back on the road for the first time in forever.
After 16 months of being in my own bed every night, it felt a little strange to be in a hotel for a couple of evenings once again.

Things have changed…

After a very long drive on the motorway for hours on end, the relief of the services and ultimate arrival at the hotel were eagerly anticipated. However, COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions made the whole experience a very different one from times gone by.
Everywhere was busy, and everywhere we stopped was clearly understaffed and heavily bounded by limiting restrictions. This in turned placed a heavy burden on those who were working to fill a multitude of different roles. They were doing their best, yet it was clearly difficult.
All that said, it was just good to have change of scenery, meet people again, enjoy new experiences and be with family and friends.
Be that as it may, I was never so glad to climb into my own bed on Saturday evening and fall into a deep slumber once more. It was bliss!
I am certainly out of my old routines for sure. Driving that far and staying in hotels again for a couple of sleepless nights in a strange bed wasn’t as appealing as it used to be. Maybe it’s just old age creeping in!?
Perhaps, after years of travel, I’m changing too.
Are you?

“Its as easy as ABC”

“Oh yes” I thought, “its as easy as ABC.”
At extremely short notice recently, I was asked to design and deliver a virtual workshop primarily on change. After a discussion with the client, I got down to the tricky matter of bespoke design. Never easy at the best of times and now the time pressures were on too!
It meant some last minute personal changes in my own schedule and working all day on a Saturday. Sometimes when in design mode, thoughts come very slowly. However, that day, inspiration flowed freely, I was in the zone! I loved it! Job done!
Then it hit me, I forgot one key aspect, the client also wanted to understand a little more about building resilience for the leadership team. Scratching my head, contemplating a few different models on the topic, a favourite popped into my mind, from cognitive behavioural theory – “its as easy as ABC!” Eureka!
In short, Albert Ellis developed the ABC model to help us understand the connection between adversity or an activating event (A). How we think about this creates beliefs (B). These beliefs then influence what we do next, so they become consequences (C) – our emotional and behavioural responses.
By challenging our ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’‡๐’” we can build our resilience and bounce back.
How do you bounce back from adversity?

Deep Change

“What is your favourite book on change?” asked a course participant.

I’ve spent the last week talking and facilitating workshops all about change (again).

It is likely you are aware of a few change models, including the Kubler Ross Change Curve, Kotterโ€™s 8 stage model, Bridges Transition model, Prosci’s ADKAR model (lots of models) et cetera.

But if you want to really change in your personal life or in your organisation, consider this thought from Deep Change โ€“ Discovering the Leader Within from Robert E.Quinn –ย “Deep change differs from incremental change in that it requires new ways of thinking and behaving. It is change that is major in scope, discontinuous with the past and generally irreversible. The deep change effort distorts existing patterns of action and involves taking risks. Deep change means surrendering control.”……

This is an introspective journey that will challenge your thinking, you’ll need a reflective journal, in Bob’s words it’ll be like “walking naked into the land of uncertainty”.

You will be introduced to new ideas, new ways of thinking, new ways of behaving and can put an end to the slow death dilemma forever.

Consider this book a masterpiece!

Deep Change reveals the remarkable capacity each of us holds to change ourselves and ultimately our organisations.

Do you think I enjoyed it!?

You will too.

Relevance

As I sat at a breakfast table in London 16 months ago, a question was posed about a pressing matter…”Is it relevant to their challenges of today?”
The discussions that morning were entirely devoid of the current events of that day unfolding in China thousands of miles away.
Relevance – “the degree to which something is related or useful to what is happening or being talked about.”
The issue of relevance is an important matter for all of us to consider.
Relevance comes in lots of different ways. Conveying the right message or experience is critical. It is about giving attention to, being connected with and becoming acutely aware of people and current goings on all around you.
I have found that all around us, things are always changing.ย  In order to maintain your relevance you will have to change some aspects of of what you do, or how you do it.
If you want to be relevant, then you must be open to change.
In the last 12 months, I have learned that anyone who resists change will be swept out of the way faster than someone who is willing to try something new. Resist the longing to cling to the old ways of doing things.
To be relevant, be open, be agile and be flexible and ready to adapt what you want to say.

A new chapter

As one chapter in life draws to a close, another is set to begin…

One morning earlier this week, I was about to head outside to post a birthday card, when our youngest daughter Cristi was also just departing for school.ย  I asked if I could join her on her walk to school and she agreed that I could.

All at once, memories flooded back of the many times over the last 20 years of walking to school with our children. Walking through the rain, wind, snow and sunshine have all been experiences we’ve shared together.ย  The days of holding each of their hands have long since gone.ย  Tiny steps, eventually grew into strides together.

Walking with Cristi, I recognised quickly that this was likely to be the very last time I walked with her on part of her journey to school.ย  Her school days are swiftly drawing to a close, with only a few days left to go.ย  We talked, we laughed and to be honest, I did get a little emotional. Just for a moment there was a little tear in my eye.ย  I realised that the school days of our children chapter of our life together, was now rapidly drawing to an end.ย  As we reached Dot, the lollipop lady, we wished each other well.

Our Book of Life

Like a book, life has a beginning, and end, and a lot of chapters in between that push us forward from one event to another.ย  Each of us will begin many new chapters in our own book of life.ย  Some chapters are challenging and difficult, others are fun and exciting.ย  Momentarily, a little bit of sentimentality also played into my own book, with this little walk for sure.ย  Another sweet memory was added into my own book of life.

Ultimately change happens for each of us.

Accepting change can be hard and exciting too, as we turn the page of a new chapter in life.ย  For us, there are a whole new set of adventures ahead, Belgium/Netherlands beckons!!

What changes and new chapters are you set to write about in your very own book of life?

The Speed of Change

Events happen that create change.

Being change agile has been critical for all of us this last year, life has changed significantly.

World War II

Cast your mind back a few generations.ย  At the outbreak of WWII,ย  the massive change of war impacted every household across the nation.ย  There were repercussions for everyone.

One consequence was that the UK government embarked upon a scrap drive with households all over the nation donating their iron railings and gates to the war effort. It was quite an initiative, creating a feeling ofย  altruistic sacrifice amongst the people of the country.ย  Indeed it was a feel good factor, boosting morale, we were all in this together!

The recycled iron collected was used to create steel for all kinds of uses during the war, ships, tanks, planes, tools etc.

Subsequently mile after mile of iron railings vanished from our streets.ย  Even after all these years, our neighbourhood still has lots of evidence to suggest that great sacrifice was made for the war effort.

Whilst out walking yesterday, we noticed that one of the larger houses in our area had new iron railings installed.ย  They looked great!ย  As we continued our walk, we observed just how many other homes in our community had never replaced the railings.ย  Despite the fact that 80+ years have passed by!

Somehow yesterday, the fact that one home had new iron railings, accentuated the issue, namely there were so many homes that hadn’t done anything in all those years.

So – why is that?

  • Our initial thought was perhaps people didn’t have the money to replace the railings?ย  Would that be the case even after 80+ years?
  • Perhaps people just aren’t interested in beautifying their homes and replacing the iron railings, its unimportant?
  • Could it be that people are just lazy and can’t be bothered?
  • Perhaps they like the little iron stubs protruding out of their walls?ย  – No that’s just daft we thought!
  • It could be that despite 80+ years passing, it is something that generations of homeowners have never gotten around too?
  • Maybe folks like the constant reminder that the iron stubs are an important part of the social history of the area?
  • Or after all of those ideas, could it be something completely different – that as yet we haven’t thought of?

What do we learn about the speed of change?

The speed of change at the start of WWII was incredibly fast.ย  The demand for steel accelerated quickly to meet the needs of the war effort.ย  There was a huge need, driving the change.

Post war it seems, the issue of replacement railings has only ever been addressed by a few.

There is nothing now driving the need for change.

It is simply a matter of personal motivation and a few of the factors outlined above.ย  The speed factor, the big event driving the change – has disappeared!ย  Aside from an occasional comment or passing remark, no one is driving the change.ย  Perhaps that it the biggest lesson of all.

What drives change in your own life and in your own community?

Curiosity

“Tell me, on a scale from 1 to 10, where are you right now?” I asked curiously…

Since my earliest childhood memories, I’ve been curious about things, people, nature, places, history, travel and culture to name a few. I have always been eager to know or learn something new and understand “why?” That probably explains one of the seemingly insatiable penchant’s of mine…..reading books!

One vivid memory from my childhood involved filling a jam jar with some foliage and then capturing a bumble bee. I’d already had some help to put some holes in the lid of the jar, so that any bee’s I captured could breath. I recall observing and listening to the bee for no more than a day, studying it, feeling sad about keeping it in a jar and then setting it free again.

Curiosity is often seen as the driving force behind not only human development, but developments in science, language, and industry. I know too that it is a vital component in coaching and mentoring

My experience is that questions driven by the curiosity of a coach can be the catalyst and driving force for change. I have come to understand that curiosity is the key to learning. It can help to expand our empathy too by helping us understand life experiences different than our own.

What are you curious about?

My world has turned upside down

In the last 12 months my work has literally turned upside down. Let me explain.
I’ve just submitted my year end financial records to my accountant (๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป Lauren – Hello Accountancy- she is great by the way) for the creation of my annual 20-21 management accounts. But I noticed some startling facts I’d like to share.
As an executive coach, facilitator and leadership trainer, my business model is simple. I have several associate relationships and direct clients of my own – thanks everyone! I travel around the UK, Europe and occasionally further afield, meeting lots of people and amass rewards points staying in hotels! Oh, and I love what I do!
Then the pandemic hit.
On 23rd March 2020, with the exception of 1 virtual delivery, my entire face to face workload disappeared overnight.
Now what I thought?
Quickly, with speed and agility, I changed my business model. I upskilled on a wide range of virtual platforms and work mostly from home.
Here are the startling facts on revenues which have remained similar….
  • 2019-2020 – 95% of my revenue is face to face, with 5% virtual.
  • 2020-2021 – 95% of my revenue is virtual, with 5% face to face.
My 100,000+ annual hotel points are now zero and my travel is mostly gone.ย  I haven’t been on a plane for over a year.
There have been a few other challenges along the way, but I recognise that I am very fortunate too.
How have you had to adapt? How has your world changed?

Milestones

The last few weeks, several milestone birthdays have popped up on my social media alerts. 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 & 80 years old.

A milestone usually indicates a significant event in your life, that marks a momentous change of some sort. I have noticed that these milestone events can consequently impact upon us in all kinds of meaningful, exciting and challenging ways!

For starters, photos, videos, congratulations are shared ten fold, with a few embarrassing ones thrown in for good measure! From, my observations however, it has also seemed to stop a few friends in their tracks, as individually they seriously consider just what really matters most of all. Perhaps even more so for those who are hitting the higher numbers now!

I remember when I hit the big 50 a few years back. All of a sudden I became acutely aware of my mortality! I figured out in respect to time that I had much less to go on the earth, than I had already had! It is strange how that put things into perspective for me. Yes #timeflies!

Whatย #milestonesย are approaching on the horizon for you?

And as the wings of time flutter on by, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”? – Mary Oliver

Small steps everyday

Stuck in a rut? Feeling a bit flat? Every day just feels the same? Not getting anywhere? Is it Thursday or Friday? Life feels dull & boring?

I’m certain many of us are feeling like that right now. I know, because its been confirmed in many recent coaching conversations!

Yesterday, whilst out on a walk with my daughter, trudging laboriously through the snow to Tesco (a highlight of the day), the underfoot conditions made it very difficult just to even put one foot in front of another at times. Yes, it can be tough! Yet, small steps helped.

So, what can we do about it?

I know there is a great power in establishing good ๐ก๐š๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ and ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฌ. However, right now lets change things around a bit!

There is great power in the old phrase “๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž.”

Start by looking for ways to add different experiences to your day and take that first small step and then a few more.

Make some new plans, have some fun, help others, try something new, be spontaneous, call friends, take that walk, volunteer, exercise, journal! Above all – take action! Go and do!

What variety of ideas have you tried recently?

Take a few small steps today!