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 

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!

L owl frog solar powered 3780

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:

L no horses horseshoe 0446

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. 

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


© 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.