Coaching Blog 2017

Flower 2Each month I write a coaching blog with topics varying from coaching tips, ideas on learning & leadership, to random thoughts on things generally. 

Scroll down to see the blogs for this year.

In each blog I also give away a photo that can be used as a reflection tool. Click here to see all of the coaching reflection photos in one place

See blogs from previous years 

The Singing Bin Man

#ThinkDifferent

As education consultants we often ask the questions  ‘do you do what everyone else does?’ and ‘do you do what you’ve always done?’. These questions aim to get teachers to reflect on how they make decisions and whether these decisions are informed. The first question encourages reflection on whether decisions are influenced by factors that aren’t always relevant to the individuals own situation and where they are simply following the lead of others. The second question encourages reflection on whether the same choices are always being made without them achieving the desired outcome, in which case a different approach may be better. We often use these two questions with the hashtag #ThinkDifferent as a way of summarising this approach and encouraging constant reflection. 

Singing bin man 4322

The idea of #ThinkDifferent came to mind on a trip to Cambridge recently where we saw this Cambridge busker’s singing in a bin! His approach was humorous, quirky and very different attracting a lot of interest from tourists. A simple #ThinkDifferent idea that made him stand out from the crowd.


Next time you are making a decision reflect on:

Do you do what you always do?

Do you do what everyone else does?

How can you #ThinkDifferent?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L gate arrow IMG 5395

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk



To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar

Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Against the Odds

Dave Wottle 1972 Olympic 800m final

After fitness issues leading up to the 1972 Olympics, American runner Dave Wottle quickly fell to the back of the field when the race started. Despite this he persisted with the race, setting himself smaller targets such as catching up with the pack, and then as he achieved this, coming in third, before realising he could actually win the race. His ‘never give up' spirit saw him take first place against the odds.


How does Dave Wottle’s race make you reflect on the things you want to achieve?

What are the small steps towards your personal target?

What barriers do you predict along the way?

How can you motivate yourself when you find yourself at the back of the pack?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

IMG 4312

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Going Round in Circles

Watching this robotic arm and train is both mesmerising and amusing. You can even watch the 5 minute version of the video  which will drive you even crazier! 

The video seems to sum up my working life at the moment as with big changes in the curriculum at GCSE and A level I feel like I’m on an endless loop just like this train. 

Watching the video made me ask myself:

  • What can I do to slow things down?
  • What can I do to break the cycle?
  • What am I gaining from staying in the loop?


What do you think of when you watch the train?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L tape measure IMG 3354

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Turning Anxiety into Excitement

The original link for this video is featured on the Learning Scientists website  in a blog about maths anxiety

The video talks about a research based strategy based focused on the idea that anxiety and excitement are physiologically linked (i.e. the body’s reaction), but that psychologically they can have different effects (excitement puts people in a positive frame of mind, where opportunities are seen, whereas anxiety leads to the opposite closed down mindset, which in turn prevents focused problem solving and a balance response to a situation). 

The suggestion is that the normal advice of trying to remain calm may not be always be the best response and that focusing on feelings of excitement might be better even though this may feel illogical at the time. The suggestion is that a threat mindset allows distractions based on all the things that could go wrong to overwhelm the situation whereas excitement allows a more opportunity mindset focusing on the things that could go right. It is also suggested that it is easier to go from an anxious state to an excited one rather than to a state of calmness. 

This doesn’t mean the individual is any less anxious just that their ability to do better in the situation is improved if they have a more ‘excited’ approach.

L Believe 9257

Many years ago I remember someone telling me that when I am in a situation where I am very nervous that I should try and imagine myself really looking forward to it instead, even though this seems illogical. She told me at the time that the two emotions were similar and that reframing the feelings would be a big help. This is a strategy I have regularly used since, often successfully and it was therefore really interesting to come across this video and concept and to hear it is a real researched based strategy. 

Whilst it might not work in every situation, it has got to be worth a try next time you are facing a situation that makes you anxious. 


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Connect 4 IMG 2638

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk


To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Little Life Survival Kit

I recently bought this Little Life Survival Kit for a friend. It stood out to me as it was both something with a little bit of humour to lighten the day, as well as having a more serious message of support during a challenging time. 

L IMG 7080

As well as being a nice way of showing support, from my perspective as a coach, the kit reminded me that even simple objects around us can generate humour, thinking and discussion, all of which are useful in coaching. 

Some coaching conversations can be challenging; the coachee can get ‘stuck’ in a loop with a particular type of thinking that can be hard to move beyond, or the coach themselves can lose focus on what questions might be the best ones to ask next.

On these occasions something random and slightly off the wall can work better than something meaningful and planned. Sometimes this can also lead to humour that lightens the moment and which is just the thing the coachee and coach needs to help them move forward. 

Next time you are in a coaching conversation and you are stuck for what to say next, try being a little off the wall and get the coachee to look around them.:

  • What do they see? How does it relate to their current situation? What if seeing that particular object somehow could lead to a way forward, what might that be? 
  • What would they put in their Little Life Survival Kit?
  • What would they put in their Little Life Survival Kit to give to someone else


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Book doorway 1396

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Welcome to 2017!

new-year-1929847_960_720

As the new year starts lots of people will begin 2017 with at least one new year’s resolution. I personally don’t tend to see the new year as a big time for change and prefer instead to reflect and change throughout the whole year. Indeed since I have been involved in coaching I have been far less likely to have a new year’s resolution for this reason. 

As with any change at any time of the year, maintaining a resolution or change is the real key. I spotted this pad recently and it reminded me of the coaching process as it breaks down individual goals into smaller targets which is a great way to help ourselves to stick to a resolution or promise of change. It is often the process of regular reflection and review that helps us recognise why we want to make the change in the first place, as well reflection this that allows us a few slip ups along with way without us just giving up at the first hurdle. 

What’s your new year resolution?

What will you do to help you review your progress and help you to stick to it?

L IMG 7198


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Girls brick set 1245

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

DNA Journey

As a coach one of the things we should be constantly challenging are our own preconceptions about situations a coachee is talking about. We must avoid jumping to conclusions; avoid thinking we have the answers, and importantly avoid focusing on things from our own experience and preferences. 

Challenging preconceptions is also something the coach must encourage the coachee to do. What are they assuming about their own situation that they may have no evidence for? What are the other ways of thinking about things? 

This short video by Momondo, an independent global travel search website, has a powerful message about preconceptions. Sixty seven people from all over the world took a DNA test to find out about their heritage with lots of surprises they weren’t expecting. It is an interesting and emotional reminder about the importance of challenging preconceptions. 

What preconceptions do you have about something that you should challenge? 


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Energy rating 0338

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk



To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Failure: the Road to Success?

L Fail again 9193

The term ‘grit’ is in the news a lot at the moment, particularly in relation to education, where it is seen as an important skill for young people to develop to help them cope with life’s stresses and strains, and to help them have staying power to aim for what they want in life.   

In particular a key part of ‘grit’ is giving students the opportunity to fail at something, along with the ability to recognise failure as a positive thing. Failure is a natural part of life and it isn't something we can totally avoid so the ability to embrace and learn from it it can help us become stronger and give us clearer direction. 

Within coaching scenarios failure is also an important barrier to overcome, either because a coachee is finding a recent failure hard to deal with, or because a fear of failure is holding them back on doing something. Coaching questions around the idea of what failure is, how a coachee handles it, how failure can be a positive and negative thing, along with ‘what would happen if…’ questions are useful. 

It can also be useful to think about famous failures and how for many people failure was in reality what ultimately made them a success. Dyson even use their failures as a marketing strategy as can be seen in the image at the top of the page. 

Famous failures include:

  • Michael Jordan, the basketball player was dropped from his High School basketball team
  • John Wayne, the Hollywood actor, was rejected from the United States Naval Academy
  • Beethoven's music teacher told him he was a useless composer
  • Henry Ford first two businesses failed before his Henry Ford Motor Company was set up
  • Steven Spielberg, the film director, dropped out of school which meant he was rejected from 3 film schools because of poor grades
  • Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, did badly in school and had a speech impediment when he was young
  • Walt Disney was fired by the editor of a newspaper as he didn't have enough good ideas
  • Albert Einstein learnt to speak late and performed poorly in school
  • The Beatles were rejected by the Decca record label as they said didn't like their sound and didn't have a future


This short video might be also be a useful as a prompt for discussion.


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L Incy Wincy Spider story 7227

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Things we can learn from a dog

Someone gave me this picture some years ago and I have always found it both humorous as well as something to learn from. The sentiments remind you not to take yourself too seriously and to take pleasure in some of the simple things in life. 

What life lessons could you learn from your pet?

L IMG 2559

 

This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

train times 8834

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.


Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk


To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk
You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar

Outdoor office

I am lucky enough to have 2 office spaces to work in, one that is a practical space with all of my machines and equipment set up ready to use, and another as a more traditional office for computer and more general work. When not out running training or doing in school support I spend most of my days in these two spaces. As with many self employed businesses my hours can be long so how these spaces are set up is important to me and to how productive I am. 

office

With the recent warm weather it has been hard to focus on work, with the temptation of the outdoors being strong! Added to this is the fact that the high temperatures have made the rooms difficult to keep cool making working uncomfortable. I am currently working on a couple of very challenging projects and this, combined with the heat and the temptation of the outdoors, meant I was finding it hard to motivate myself. 

L IMG 7313

On these types of days I set up an office outside. It takes a bit of planning and organising but it is worth the effort. I find that being outdoors gives a sense of well being that it is hard to get when you are inside. Even though our garden is small and in an inner city we have lots of greenery that attracts a lot of wildlife and it is easy to forget you aren’t somewhere else more exotic. 

L IMG 9759

For colder days we have a summer house which provides an alternative workspace. It sounds glamorous but it is basically just an old shed that was in the garden when we bought it and we just emptied it and painted it white. 

L IMG 2853

Whilst it isn’t possible to use my outdoor office every day in the summer, both because of the British weather and also because of the type of work I am doing and resources I need to hand, it is always a welcome treat when I am able to get outside and work in the open air. These types of days always remind me of the importance of paying attention to your own well being and how something small can make a big difference. It is also a reminder of how being outside can boost feelings of well being and that it is important not to be cooped up inside all of the time.  

What’s your work environment like? What little changes could you make to make it a more productive space?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L IMG 6662

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

To view other blogs I write for D&T teachers & those interested in textiles follow the links in the side bar


Contact:     Tel 01159 607061    Mob 07972 749240   Email julie@julieboyd.co.uk

You can also find a contact form under 'About'  on the top menu bar


© Julie Boyd 2012  All  text, images & ideas on this website are the copyright of Julie Boyd & may not be copied or reproduced without permission.. All rights Reserved.