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What I learned about online learning this year.

What I learned about online learning this year.

When everything moved online this past year, I thought it would be easy. My one-to-one coaching conversations have been on video for over five years and are as impactful as when in person. Now, I deliver leadership learning online. A year on, I may just be getting the hang of it (kinda). Technology aside, (most applications are pretty-user friendly and intuitive these days and I learn by trying things out), my real learning is to make an online group session as 'human' an experience as I can. My key insights so far are: To stop 'trying' so...

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Take Time to Pee

Take Time to Pee

Are you taking time to pee? I ask it all the time. Now, more than ever, I hear constantly "my day is jammed", "I'm in back-to-back meetings all day", "and my days are getting longer". For everyone's sake, could we just STOP IT? Just STOP IT please! Talking this situation through with a client recently who, as a conscientious and caring leader, was expressing her real concern for her team's health. She recognised it's neither efficient or effective for people to sit at their screens all day, clicking from one zoom meeting to the next with...

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Question your Assumptions

Question your Assumptions

I'm writing on a pretty momentous day. This week, the UK registered over 100,000 deaths due to Coronavirus. I'm listening to the lunchtime talk show and just heard an interesting piece in response to the question: was the UK prepared for such a pandemic. I've watched through a leadership lens as the world has struggled to navigate this past year. Today I heard a key insight from a Senior UK Government Minister. He said the UK and USA had invested heavily in pandemic response - BUT they were prepared for a flu pandemic and not a SARS type...

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Being Human – even while the world goes digital

Being Human – even while the world goes digital

I'm getting ready to publish the third of a series of three books. Talking with a dear friend and colleague, I found myself pondering what role these books might play in the world. The content is not that unique. The ideas and concepts have all been written about elsewhere, albeit without 'my spin' on them. So why create and publish them? I'm not into pursuing (or paying for) a huge marketing campaign to get the books out there. What, asked my friend, was my intention with these books? It was a good question. And she answered it for me:...

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You are not your Job Title

You are not your Job Title

It's a common question on first meeting someone: What do you do? More often than not the answer you get is someone's job title. Yet that doesn't really tell me what you do, create, experience or bring to the world. The same job title in different companies can mean different things. Or the assumption I make about your job title might be based on my perception of how that 'job' role was done years ago and not reflective of how it works in today's environment. In other words it can end up a quite meaningless conversation. I was inspired by this...

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When you get things wrong!

When you get things wrong!

"You're right, Aileen". I like to joke a little whenever anyone says that to me in conversation. After all, it's usually just a throw away comment. A verbal tic. It's not meant as a deeply considered judgement of what I've said or what I think or even who I am. So my light-hearted response is "I'm always right." Of course, I know I'm not. Yet it's easier to say I'm right, than it is to say "I'm wrong". Much easier. As the early years of my sixtieth decade fly past (and they do), I often find myself contemplating all the times in my life when...

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It’s not really about time.

It’s not really about time.

One of the most common comments I hear in coaching conversations is "I don't have time" or "when I get time". We've all said it at some point. It's a habit. It's easy to convince ourselves it's about time we don't have. I've been pondering this all week. What if it's more about your choice of priorities and focus? Time isn't in control of your choices. You are in charge of how you use your time. So in a way it's about ownership of what you say is important to you. It's about how much effort and focus you put into what's going to make the...

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Do you want to fly?

Do you want to fly?

What better to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon that tidy out my office. I started with my books and made slow progress as I found book after book that I wanted to read (some for the first time). One such gem I came across was the fable of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I remember getting it from my first coach.I sat down and got absorbed in it for the thirty minutes it takes to fly through this lovely story. I appreciated the many layers of insight it offers - if the reader choses to hear them. Yes it's about a seagull who wants to live a...

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The next small thing?

The next small thing?

There's an underlying assumption that we need things to continue to make leaps and bounds of change in order to be successful. Thinking of the 'next big thing' can be exciting and inspiring. A grand vision. And indeed, especially in this world of technological and scientific advances there are indeed many big things that surprise and excite us. In my lifetime these have included the laptop computer (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and made copies on double backed carbon paper which I had to manually roll around a drum), the...

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Employed or Engaged?

Employed or Engaged?

For some time now I notice a physical reaction in my body whenever I hear the term "to get the best out of our people". It's been bugging me for a while so I was contemplating it on my walk this morning. I think it goes to the heart of the employer/employee relationship - and I might be being a bit provocative here - and to the psychological foundation for that relationship. I believe the words we use are really important and for a long time, I've realised that the alternative meaning of the word 'employed' is something that is 'used'. This...

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Our conversation is quality time you likely don’t get anywhere else. It’s for you to reflect, re-energise and refocus. It’s for you to challenge yourself and shift what’s not working for you. To move forward and create life on your terms. It’s a conversation where you uncover your next steps — small starts or exciting leaps — towards the future you truly want. You get unstuck. You find freedom. It starts with questions and listening. It turns to action. You live and lead inspired.