Coaching Blog 2018

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 

Home Town

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I was born in Nottingham and lived there until I was about 10, after which my family moved around quite a bit because of my dad’s work. We still visited Nottingham a lot because of family, and when I was at College my parents moved back, although I my studies and then a job in Birmingham, meant it remained somewhere I visited rather than being somewhere I spent long periods of time. After a few years working in Birmingham I moved back to Nottingham, partly because of ill health, but also because I was in need of a change. 

Once my health improved after an operation (gall bladder problems, which at 24 I was apparently very young to have, but boy, was it painful!) I got reacquainted with my home town, and even bought my first house in the area, and got a job in a local school that I have fond memories of. After living back in Nottingham for a few years I met my husband to be and off I went on my travels again, this time to live in London, where I spent the next eleven years, loving the fast pace of London life. 

As much of my life has been spent moving around I often get a bit restless - it seems to work out around every 7 years! In London I managed to combat this with a major redecoration of our flat but eventually we moved to Hinckley (for 7 years) and then to Shepshed (you guessed it, for 7 years). Throughout all of these years Nottingham remained the constant, and eventually we decided to take the plunge and move here, although the decision was more to do with it being convenient for work rather than it being a conscious desire to move back to my home town.

Although I sort of ended up back in Nottingham by accident it’s something we’ve never regretted. One of the things we love is the sense of community, something we experienced before but not quite to the same level as where we currently live. In particular, the fact that we are very close to a big town means there’s lots going on which we particularly like. Ironically, there’s more happens in Nottingham than when we were in  London, simply because the size of London means things are often quite a way away or a bit of a pain to get to (no just popping into town in your car!). 

Although I love living in Nottingham for personal reasons, one of the big differences is the impact it’s had on my work. I’m self employed and often have to travel so it’s central position makes this easier. In between travelling I also work a lot from home, and perhaps this has been one of the reasons why the sense of community and being close to what is happening is important to me. I also find there’s a lot to inspire me in the creative work I do, despite the fact that London has lots more galleries and places to visit. Maybe it’s because things are more accessible because I can just pop in the car, or even walk into town because we live just under 2 miles from the city. Getting ideas and being inspired is an important part of my job and I consider my workplace to be both my home office and the city and streets around me. On a bad day a quick walk to some of the places on my doorstep can really clear the cobwebs and help me come up with ideas to move a current problem forward. 

Night light

A ‘Night Light’ event reminded me of how much this easy access to community events means to me both personally and from a work perspective. In particular, Sneinton Market, an area I remember well from my childhood, has been redeveloped as a area where lots of creative things take place, after many years of looking very much worse for wear. Although the Night Light celebrations were relatively small I came away have enjoyed the event personally and feeling inspired with ideas for work. 

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As someone who is self employed the definition of my place of work is different to what it has been in the past, and to what it is for many other people. I consider myself fortunate that I have both a home office I enjoy working in, as well as a wider local area that inspires me and supports the work I do. Who knows if we will stay in Nottingham or if I’ll get the 7 year itch again (it’s 6 years as I write!) but for now I love my inside-outside office! 

What area, town or city inspires you?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L Doll 0070

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

 

Jar of Fleas

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The video below is a famous one about fleas whose behaviour can be changed to limit their behaviours. I’m not sure how true the claims in the video are but it’s an interesting starting point for coaching discussions around habits and behaviours, and how environments and mind sets can limit what we aim for and prevent us from changing or seeing things differently. 


What habits and behaviours are ingrained without you really thinking about them?

How does your environment limit what you do?

What imaginary ceiling do you put on your goals and ambitions?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Man with flowers IMG 5069

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

Action for Happiness

Happiness is a difficult concept to pin down, meaning different things to different people. The Action for Happiness website defines happiness within the context of our lives as a whole, rather than in terms of individual moments. This therefore includes the ups and downs of the daily human experience, along with how we deal with them, in order to have an overall sense of satisfaction with life.

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The website identifies 10 ‘keys’ to a happier life and these can be seen in the image on the right. This image can be downloaded as a poster here. There are also a range of other free to download posters for some of the individual areas. The website also has ideas on how each key skill can be focused on whether it be as an individual, in a work environment, with family and friends, as part of a local community, or on a broader national and international scale. 

The website also has a calendar each month with actions for each day that might contribute to both personal and community happiness. The one for March shown below can be downloaded here

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What makes you happy in the workplace?

What makes you happy at home?

Download the action calendar for March and make a difference to yourself and others.


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

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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




Job Applications

If you are looking for a new job and need to top up your CV and application and interview skills these links might be of some use.

Applying for jobs: general information


Interview tips

Tips for D&T interviews from John Donnelly’s blog

Example interview questions teachers are asked

Pivotal Education podcast on interview techniques

34 general interview questions


Leadership roles 

Example interview questions for leadership

50 leadership interview questions - example interview questions

Video on going for a senior leadership post

Video on going for a middle leadership post

Video on going for a middle leader post




This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L sewing thread 9082

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

Tim Minchin's Life Lessons

I saw this clip of a speech given by the comedian Tim Minchin to a group of graduates at their degree ceremony. With the start of the new year, and this traditionally being a time for reflection, the theme from the speech focusing on the lessons we learn from life seems particularly relevant as we welcome in 2018. 

What did you learn from 2017?

If you had to share one life lesson to a group of graduates at the start of their careers, what would it be?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L IMG 9331

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

A Change is as Good as a Rest

A recent working holiday in Portugal. Even work is bearable with views like these as you work! 

What do you do to treat yourself and make the more boring bits of life more bearable?

portugal


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Monarch infographic IMG 7850 2

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

Sounds of the Sea

As someone with a hearing problems sound is particularly important to me. We all value our hearing but most of us often don’t notice the everyday sounds constantly around us. Many of us use headphones to listen to our music on a daily basis, or have the radio or t.v. and enjoy listening to the music or chat. We might also enjoy talking and listening to others. We might enjoy the sound of silence at times celebrating the peace it can bring.  Certain sounds can conjure up particular feelings or thoughts, whether it be the sound of the sea, bird song or a busy urban environment. 

Sounds in the workplace are often something that we have less control over than those at home and they can be a forgotten factor when reflecting on our workplace practices. 

What sounds are the most dominant in your work place?

How do the dominant sounds in your work place impact on you?

How does sound in your work place improve your environment?

What sounds do you notice around you now?

What sounds are important to you?

Which would you like to hear more of?

Which sounds reflect your changing mood?

How do you use sounds …. 

  • To relax
  • To learn
  • To think
  • To work
  • To socialise
  • To challenge yourself
  • To understand others and yourself
  • To reflect


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

straws 7838

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

Let’s Dance

Sometimes life is just about not taking ourselves too seriously!

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What can you do today that is just for fun?

How can you show the quirky side of your character?

How can you get others to dance with you today (literally and metaphorically)?



This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

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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

Wellbeing & Creativity

It is often said that doing something creative keeps people active and helps them relax. Being someone who teaches a creative subject I am bound to agree with this! Any kind of interest or hobby, creative or not, is something that helps people address the work life balance many of us feel constantly challenges us. Many coaching sessions often focus on coachees trying to get this balance and questions about hobbies and interests are a natural starting point.

Knit for peace

This year the Knit for Peace charity produced a research report on the health benefits of knitting, something that was of particular interest to me as a teacher of a subject that includes this skill. The report found that there are significant health benefits of knitting, including lowering blood pressure, increasing sense of well being and purpose, encouraging activity, offering opportunities for social interaction as well as much more. The report also identified that the benefits increased when knitters had a reason to knit beyond the obvious family and friends. 

These findings were of interest to me both as a textiles specialist, and someone who has been interested in knitting for as long as I can remember, as well as in my role as a coach. From the perspective of coaching I’m interested in how I might use questions about how coachees use their leisure time, and how this might focus on a variety of creative areas, not just knitting. 

I’m also interested in the idea that the benefits of a creative hobby might be increased when there is a wider purpose. The aim of the Knit for Peace organisation is to support those in need, whether it be refugees from Syria, street children in India or for hospitals in the UK, along with giving knitters a purpose for their work. 

What interests do you have outside of work that helps give a work life balance?

In what ways does this benefit you?

Do your interests benefit others in any way?

Find out more about Knit for Peace including seeing the the Knit for Peace report on the benefits of knitting


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L Ferrari 6024

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


Look in the side bar to view other blogs I write on textiles and D&T 

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

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. 

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:

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


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