Coaching Blog

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Scroll down to see the blogs for this year.

In each blog we 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 

Thank you for reading about my coaching journey

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I have written a regular coaching blog since 2012 and this is something I have enjoyed doing. It has given me opportunities to reflect on my own practice and has often prompted me to do reading and research to investigate new ideas further. I hope it has also supported others who are at different stages of learning about coaching. 

It has, however, become increasingly challenging to maintain the coaching blog amongst other work we do. The situation with Covid has made me reflect on lots of things, including how I work, particularly as Covid has accelerated changes that we were already planning, but which are happening quicker than we anticipated. 

It is through being coached that I’ve identified that the right move at the moment is stop writing a regular coaching blog. In many of the coaching sessions where I have worked with others a regular theme is the challenges of workload and I often use questions around ‘smart’ working. How is time being used? Is time used effectively? Do results justifying the amount of time committed? How can systems be improved in simple ways to reduce workload? When I’ve applied these questions to myself it’s clear that, at least for now, it’s the right time to stop the blog. It also feels rather apt that it’s the start of a new year, signifying new beginnings. Whilst I don’t really do new year resolutions, it does feel like an opportunity for renewal and change.

I won’t be writing a regular coaching blog but my coaching journey continues, and I know that this is a strategy that I will continue to use every day, both in my own work and in my work with others. 

At some point it may be relevant to reinstate the coaching blog, but for now, thank you for reading about my coaching journey and I wish you lots of luck in yours. 


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

Weekend Elf

Well, what a year 2020 has been! This time last year who would have thought the year would have been so different to any other and that, certainly for us, all future years will also probably be a little different because of this year. 

For us 2020 has turned so many of our plans on their head. We moved house a few weeks before the first lockdown full of ideas and plans for our new home, along with what we thought was a clear idea of how the year would go, both on the work and personal front. This included lots of trips back to my family in Nottingham, as well as lots of exploring our new home on the Wirral, plus a busy diary full of work. 

Literally overnight everything changed and just like most other people it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. I’ve hardly seen my family and friends at all since mid February, and we’ve seen very little of the new area we live in. Most of the plans for our new house went out of the window almost immediately along with our main source of income. Whilst we picked up some bits of work from home, both the amount and type of work were very different to what we were used to. It also looks unlikely that the way we’ve worked in the past will ever return in quite the same way, which takes some getting used to.  

We have, however, learnt new skills along the way and have learnt to see opportunities in amongst the challenges, along with counting our blessings that we haven’t faced some of the challenges we know others have. 

At the moment we take nothing for granted and plan for the short term because there’s too much uncertainty to think any further ahead. I remember when I first started working for myself a colleague who was already self employed said ‘sometimes you look at the diary and panic as there’s not much in it, but then you remind yourself something always turns up’. I’ve returned to that comment many times over the last 10 years of being self employed and no more so than this year. 

Whilst the challenges look set to remain for a while yet, I’m looking forward to eventually being able to see family and friends again and to exploring where we live. We already love it even without seeing the fantastic things we’ve not yet been able to visit so they will just be the icing on the cake. Work looks like it will be different but there are lots of potential positives and benefits to that. The plans for the house will never be what we wanted but we’ve learnt to love the new much smaller plans we’ve made. Funnily enough the different way of living and working we’re likely to have because of the changes Covid has brought actually means the original plans for the house wouldn’t be quite right now anyway.

Seeing the advert in the photo for a ‘weekend elf’ made me smile. This year has been so full of the unexpected that dressing up as an elf and helping Santa for the next few weekends would seem quite normal. 


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Taking time out

During the renovation work we are doing on our new house we found a fire fighter toy figure stuck behind a radiator. He had clearly been there for a very long time with only an odd sock and a lot of dust for company! Many weeks of tier 3 Covid-19 lockdown followed by an announcement of a national lockdown had sent us a little stir crazy so we decided to take our new housemate on a tour of the local sights. This was a very silly bit of fun but we had a great time looking for photo opportunities. For a little while we forgot our everyday problems, as well as the unfinished pile of work we had left at home, and just had some fun. We got some funny looks but it was a great reminder that sometimes you need to take time out for yourself and be just a little crazy. Not only does it add some fun to the day but it can be a great way to revitalise your energy and thinking. 

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What do you and your team do to take time out and revitalise your energy and creative thinking?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Different Perspectives

What do you see in the image? A sunset? The beauty of nature? The passing of time? The end of a day? The opportunities the next day may bring? 

How we view something varies from person to person depending on many variables including the situation itself, our mood and our experiences. In many situations there is no ‘right’ view or interpretation and the only thing that is important is that we recognise others may have different viewpoints. 

How do you acknowledge the view points of others even if you see things differently?

How to you try to see things from a different point of view?

How open are you to having your viewpoint changed?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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


Prioritising Time

This simple tip on prioritising time by Andy Buck from Leadership Matters is useful for anyone even if they aren’t a leader. It won’t take away the workload but reflecting on how time is used (and how to avoid getting sucked into easy but low impact tasks) may help identify priorities and justify ignoring some tasks or saying no to things. The concept may even be useful to discuss with some students who work hard but not always in a 'smart' way. A long time ago I used to work in the same school as Andy and his work and books are definitely worth a look if you are a leader or thinking of applying for a leadership role. 


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Shift Happens

This is an updated version of the original ‘Shift Happens’ video from 2008 which is a powerful summary of changes in our lives over the years. The statistics are fascinating as is how many of the changes quickly become a key part of life. We might often reminisce about the past but the reality is we wouldn’t want to be without the conveniences we have around us every day. 


How does the video make you reflect on the concept of change?

What change did you resist or challenge that you now see as an important part of everyday life?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Shifting Sands

At the time of writing we’re all facing a great period of change, firstly because of the lockdown measures due to the Covid-19, and secondly due to the gradual relaxation of some of those measures, many of which are regularly being changed to the point where it’s confusing knowing what is and isn’t allowed. This ‘new normal’ and constantly shifting of boundaries adds to life’s already complex uncertainties. 

Recently on a walk along a windy beach in our new home of New Brighton on the Wirral the shifting sands made me think of this situation and reminded me that despite the constant changes on the surface underneath things are still the same and that once the wind dies down a greater sense of normality will resume, albeit potentially looking slightly different. 

This focus of shifting sands might be a good point for reflection within a workplace coaching conversation. Situations in the workplace can seem like they are constantly evolving and changing but these changes can seem more challenging in the moment than they do a little later after things have settled in to a new routine that gradually becomes the ’new normal’.


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Growth

For me, my work as a coach, and my experiences as a coachee, are all about growth and personal development. Indeed, I have mentioned in previous blogs that I regularly use the GROW model to guide my coaching work and personal reflections, an acronym which clearly indicates a focus on ‘growth’ as being a key part of development. 

The concept of ‘growth’ has obvious links to nature, particularly to plants, something which I was reminded of in the garden of our new house where over the spring new buds started to sprout where nothing had previously existed. As we had no idea what had been planted by the previous owners it was exciting to watch as each plant grew without really knowing what to expect. 

Watching this process also made me think of my coaching work, where I enjoy watching the coaching journey of my coachees, not really knowing where we might end up. In particular, watching the plant in the photos grow was exciting because we didn’t recognise it and didn’t know what to expect. Watching its growth was an excellent reminder that amazing things can grow from something seemingly small and insignificant. 

Growth within nature is a natural process reliant on the weather, soil and other elements of the environment the plant is in whereas growth within the coaching process is more manufactured. It’s useful, however, to remember that in the workplace our environment plays a key role in our performance and how we feel about our work, and that the coaching environment a coach creates plays a big role in helping the coachee develop.

Although my interest in the growth of this flower was sparked by curiosity as to what it was and what it might look like, the wider reflections it made me consider about my coaching work are a useful reminder about what the concept of growth is generally. It also made me reflect on how important it is to sit back and watch, providing a supportive coaching environment but without trying to direct the end result and outcome. After all as the owner of the garden I can provide the right environment for the flower to thrive but it was always going to be the same type of flower and nothing I did would have changed its colour or type. The same applies to my coachees, it’s not for me to try and make them into something but simply for me to provide them the environment to be the best they can be. 


This month's free download to prompt reflection

What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Emotional Literacy

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At the time of writing this blog Covid-19 means we have been in lockdown for sometime and most people are missing the regular routine of both work and our personal lives. At a challenging time like this understanding and coping with our feelings can be a real challenge. The Feelings Wheel by Dr Gloria Willcox may be useful for helping individuals pin point how they are feeling, something that may help with starting to find ways forward in understanding and coping with those feelings. In broader terms the wheel might also be a useful tool generally from a coaching perspective, helping coachees focus on their reactions to different work scenarios along with helping them extend their emotional literacy when considering the behaviour of others.  

Download the Feelings Wheel (via Calm)


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Cirlce of Influence


It’s ironic that my last post was on embracing change and that as I write this blog the UK is in the midst of some of the biggest changes ever with the second week of ‘lockdown’ because of the coronavirus. The restrictions on movement, isolation at home, and fear of getting ill understandably increase anxiety, along with giving us a sense of being out of control of the situation. 

In order to maintain a balanced view in this situation it can be useful to use the ‘circle of influence’ technique that is often used in coaching, but which is just as relevant in other situations helping us feel more in control of both a situation and the emotions that go with it. 

In a nutshell the technique helps us identify the things we can control and those we can’t. It encourages us to focus on taking action on the things we can control and focusing less on those we can’t. This way we are empowered to have a degree of control but within a realistic framework. 

If you find the 'circle on influence’ concept useful it may be something that is worth investigating further as a tool in the workplace when things return to normal. The summary document below might be a useful starting point - it’s based on Stephen Covey’s book 'Leadership Coaching - From personal insight to organisational performance' and it originally appeared in one of my blogs back in 2016.


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Embracing Change

With the start of a new decade for many people the usual New Year’s resolutions and reflections extend beyond just the last year and into the last ten. 

Like everyone, for me, the last 10 years have seen ups and downs. Positives have included me leave teaching to do a post graduate qualification in coaching and mentoring, followed by me setting up a successful education consultancy business, which half way through the decade Paul joined me in. 

Other positives are our house move back to my home town of Nottingham, a house and town we have really enjoyed living in for the last 7 years. We’ve also welcomed several new family members during that time adding to our collection of nephews and nieces, as well as a brother-in-law, along the way! 

Our negatives have mainly been around health issues, mostly in the second half of the decade, and some of which have been quite serious. Infact, they prompted us to start reflecting on things long before the decade ended, something which led to a rather sudden decision to move house and area. When we began 2019 moving house was not even on the radar so it’s a strange feeling to think this is likely to be our final Christmas and New Year where we currently live. 

We’ve been extremely happy where we currently live and logically it seems crazy that we are moving as in many ways there’s no real reason to. Our home and business lives work well where we are so there’s a bit of a ‘if it ain't broke don’t fix it’ pondering going on at times but sometimes you just have to go with where life seems to be taking you.  

For us 2020 signals the start of a new adventure (well hopefully, assuming all the house sale stuff goes through smoothly!). We didn’t plan for such a drastic change, and I can’t deny it is more than a little scary, but it’s also exciting at the same time. Sometimes change is what we need, whether it’s at the beginning of a new year, decade or at any other time. Change is a risk but without risk we don’t know what we might be able to experience or achieve. I will let you know how we get on!

What changes does 2020 bring for you?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Austin’s Butterfly

In this video Ron Berger from EL Education tells the story of Austin, a First Grade student who was asked to do a scientific drawing of a butterfly based on a photo. His initial drawing was very simple and he was encouraged to look at the photo again  'like a scientistic’. As well as being encouraged to have an increased focus on the detail he could see Austin was also given feedback from his peers to help him recognise how he might reflect this detail in his drawing.  Over several drafts, and with continued critique from his peers, Austin was able to draw a realistic drawing of the butterfly that is almost unrecognisable compared to the first draft. 

The children in the video are learning about how feedback is a positive thing which can help us progress. They are also learning about how it’s important that feedback is honest, whilst being delivered in a kind and supportive way. In addition they are seeing that specific and focused feedback can help improve performance, along with understanding the importance of perseverance and working on a number of drafts to get something right. Ron Berger suggests that we often settle for lower quality work from students because we underestimate the capacity of students to respond to feedback and support. 

Although targeted at very young children this message is just as relevant to adults, whether it be from the perspective of someone wanting to improve their performance, or from the perspective of someone wanting to support a colleague to improve and develop their practice. 

How might the story of Austin’s Butterfly influence you in your own role and the support and feedback you give to others?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

The Grow Model

Back to my roots for this month’s blog - I came across this short video on the GROW model for coaching, something I have used a lot in the past to help myself and the coachees I’m working with stay focused. I also find it useful for self coaching, both on a work and personal level - it helps me think through situations and is a useful way of cutting through confusion when trying to make a decision. 


What about you - do you use any particular coaching model to guide your coaching work? If not how do you ensure coaching conversations have focus and direction? Whether you use a recognised model or not are there any particular questions you ask on a regular basis because you’ve found them successful in the past?

If you want to find out more about the GROW model click here


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Happy to Chat


Does your workplace have a ‘happy to chat’ place?

How would you start up a conversation on this bench?

What would you want to talk about if someone sat down next to you?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Things we can learn from a dog

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We recently saw this playing in a fountain and it reminded me of a picture someone gave me that I keep on my office wall. I’m not sure where it was from originally but I’ve always liked the playfulness of the things on the list and the reminder for us to take more pleasure in the simple things in life. 


What simple things give you pleasure? 

How do the things on the list make you reflect on your own approach to things?

What could you learn from your own pet or that of someone you know?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Down Memory Lane

By chance on a recent working visit to London we found ourselves staying round the corner from a fish and chip shop we used to visit regularly whilst we lived in London many years ago. We had a great time (and a great chippy tea!) walking down memory lane, thinking back to days that somehow seemed simpler and less stressful. In reality, I’m not sure those times were actually quite how we remembered them but we had a nice evening remembering that time. In particular, as it was many years ago it was interesting to reflect on where we are now and how that time influenced that journey. 

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  • Do you dwell on the past too much, either focusing too much on past failures or wondering how you can ever top past successes?
  • How do you use the past to help you learn and develop what you do?
  • What past events have influenced your thinking for things happening in the present?
  • How can the past be a force for good when thinking about the present and the future?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Zoetrope

What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

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


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


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Let's Fly!

Another year ends and a new one starts. Sometimes we all need fresh starts and new beginnings and a new year is as good a time to reflect on this as any other. By chance I found this video clip of a garden toy we used to have in our old house. I used to be able to see it from our kitchen window and it always made me smile as it seemed a physical representation of fun and positivity. I also kept a copy on my computer desktop as a mental prompt to not take life too seriously. This year I have no new year resolution as such but after having randomly found this I have put it back on my desktop. There have been a few life challenges over the last couple of years and this clip will help remind me to reframe some of my thoughts and to seek out fun and positivity even during challenging times. 


This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

Honey Bees & Teamwork


Are you part of a group/team in the workplace?

What are the benefits of group/team identity, particularly in the workplace?

How can we have a group identity in the workplace whilst still being an individual? 

There’s a famous saying about there being no ‘i’ in team. What do you think of this saying?


This month's free download to prompt reflection

What do you see?

How can the clip 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?

Let me know how you used the image 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

A Blast From the Past!

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On a recent visit to Crich Tram Village I saw this reversible tram seating. I’m showing my age now as I remember these (only just!) and it was great to see them, particularly from the point of view of my role as a D&T teacher. It was also a great trip down memory lane, especially as we were able to ride an old tram and when we got to the end of the line the conductor (another blast from the past!) made all the passengers stand up and turn the seats around so we could go back the other way! Seeing the old trams was even more poignant as trams returned to my home town several years ago and are a big part of the city now. A great example of how many things in life end up going full circle. What


  • What did you see or do recently that reminded you of a good memory from the past?
  • What have seen change over time? 
  • What have you seen change and go full circle with a more updated version of something from the past returning?
  • How have you personally changed over time?
  • Where do you predict you will be in 10 years time? 20 years? 


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

Different Behaviours

Although this video is aimed at teachers it’s broader message applies to everyone. Not everyone fits the stereotype for ‘normal’ behaviours and for some people behaviours that others don’t understand are a coping mechanism. 

Let’s be clear this is not about saying any behaviour is acceptable, and it’s important to understand that all behaviours must be appropriate and reasonable within the context they are in. The behaviours we are talking about here are the little ones that often irritate us or which don’t always see as the social norm, particularly within a work environment. It is, however, important to bear in mind that people are different, with different needs, and that what may seem like an odd or irritating behaviour to one person may have a reason and actually be something to positive for them. 

Recognising and embracing someone’s different behaviours is a great leadership quality as it helps us get the most out of those we work with. 

Think about the people you work with:

  • How does their approach to situations differ?
  • How do you respond to the behaviour of different people?
  • How might behaviours that irritate you or which you find odd be a positive thing for the other person?
  • Why do certain behaviours irritate you? How important are they are overall e.g. do they have a negative impact? Does the issue sit with the other person’s behaviour or your acceptance of it?


This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Ketchup 2008

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

Group & Team Identity

Are you part of a group/team in the workplace?

What are the benefits of group/team identity, particularly in the workplace?

How can we have a group identity in the workplace whilst still being an individual? 

There’s a famous saying about there being no ‘i’ in team. What do you think of this saying?


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


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Overcoming Challenge

Lauren Woolstencroft

Laura was born missing her left arm below the elbow as well as both legs below the knee. That didn’t stop her passion for sport and she went onto to be one of the most decorated Paralympic champions in skiing. When she retired from competitive skiing she said she wanted to be remembered as being an athlete who faced challenges and who overcame them to achieve success. 



This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

Sandcastle sculptures IMG 0448

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


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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


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Bucket Lists

Lots of people have ‘bucket lists’ of things they would like to do within a given time frame. This is basically a target setting activity that many people feel helps them live life to the full. This interactive poster is a similar idea with 100 places to visit before you die. Here the element of choice is taken away, as someone else has chosen the list, but it still has the same purpose of leading a proactive lifestyle. 


What would be on your work bucket list?

What would be on your wider ‘life’ bucket list?

How can you ensure you start to achieve what's on both of your lists?


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


Want to contact us?

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:

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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


Want to contact us?

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:

L elephant IMG 9560

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


Want to contact us?


© 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.