Autumn/Winter Issue, 2020
Journaling – a tool to track my wellbeing
Grounding – A Trilogy of Blogs
World Book Day 2021
Organisational Development in a pandemic
New habits formed during the pandemic – what do you want to hold on to?
Before reading Hilary’s blog post, we highly recommend watching Hilary’s discussion around Organisational Development with Tim Coupland, the video is above and you can also view directly on our You Tube channel.
The end of my working day has become characterised by a daily ritual of shutting down my laptop and moving into an outdoor space. It is a habit that has only emerged during lockdown and it has frankly been a revelation. The link between spending time in the natural world and the positive impact on mental well-being is well-understood and yet it is only in the last three months that it has become a consistent reality in my own life. I came across this piece of writing recently that sums up the essence of this uniquely human experience so beautifully, that I wanted to share it, in its entirety:
“When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains or fields, or listen to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves. The slowness and stillness gradually takes us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent. When serenity is restored, new perspectives open to us and difficulty can begin to seem like an invitation to new growth.
This invitation to friendship with nature does of course entail a willingness to be alone out there. Yet this aloneness is anything but lonely. Solitude gradually clarifies the heart until a true tranquility is reached.
The irony is that at the heart of that aloneness you feel intimately connected with the world. Indeed, the beauty of nature is often the wisest balm for it gently relieves and releases the caged mind.”
(Excerpt from Divine Beauty by John O’Donohue)
Of course our capacity to get out into nature can be severely hampered by any one of a number of challenges; from living in a built-up urban environment to the demands of family, life or health limitations. And yet I have heard so many stories of people developing a connection with the natural world in a way they have not previously considered – growing veg on a small balcony or seeking out their nearest green space on a daily basis.
We are indeed creatures of habit, and for me, the ritual of spending daily time alone, outdoors has been re-enforced for long enough for it to have started to seep into my identity. It is who I am now. I am the kind of person who likes to get out into nature every day to recover, recharge and recuperate. The challenge will be holding on to these rituals as life returns to a different pace. I was about to wander into the garden earlier this week at the end of the working day when my son dashed into the kitchen to remind me that he needed a lift to football training ……. And so, some of the challenges of the next phase start to emerge.
So, have you developed any new habits that you would like to hold on to?
If you can anticipate what might get in the way, as our everyday activity starts to shift back to some kind of normal pattern again, you will have time to develop strategies that will enable you to retain them and the sense of enrichment that they have brought.
Yoga and Meditation – 30 minute session
New Year Message
End of Year Message: 2020
Every year TWBC donates to a chosen charity and sends their festive e-card. This year we are supporting Macmillan Cancer Support. We wish you a safe holiday season and look forward to working with you in 2021.
Our office will reopen from 4th January. If you have any urgent enquiries before this date please do not hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com Don’t forget we have a host of free resources below which you can download at any time.
Please note, the image used in our post is a screenshot of our e-card and belongs to Macmillan Cancer Support.
In the video below, Amy, gives thanks and reflects on how our principles of engagement have been a vital tool in our personal learning and growth during these unprecedented times.
Over the last few months, working around the lockdown restrictions, we have been busy filming, editing and uploading our online training content to our new Learning Management System. Watch our video below to find out more about our online interactive programme, Personal Mastery.
To learn more about our Personal Mastery Programme, you can download our brochure by clicking on its image below.
Free Live Webinar 12/01/2021
In the next couple of weeks we will be posting details on how to join our free webinar on 12th January 2021, 13:00 – 14:00. This webinar will give you a bite sized introduction to Personal Mastery, including some models, tips, and why it’s so important to utilise in the workplace in due to the recent times.
If you would like to pre-register your interest for the event, please contact Becca Godfrey directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Ten Tips for Giving Feedback
Here at TWBC, we believe that all feedback should be given with good intention and compassion. But what do we mean by feedback and how can we ensure it is done with compassionate intentions?
We see feedback as an important communication process where two people are exchanging information. It often involves curious and explorative dialogue with a goal of bringing about a successful outcome for both people involved. When we talk about feedback, we are generally referring to 2 things:
- Praise – that’s feedback we have about things people have done well, or when they keep going at something that is hard.
- Developmental – Known for many years as constructive criticism, developmental feedback, is a psychological term to provide insights into behaviour of other people. This is often about bringing into awareness with another person “good stuff”, but also the challenge and possibility of change in things that aren’t working so well. The reason why we call it developmental feedback is because we can only change things that we are aware of and it can be difficult to do and sometimes quite hard for someone else to hear and process.
Vital Conversations Book Review
Vital Conversations – Making the impossible conversation possible by Alex Grimsley
The book comprises of 4 main elements and a total of 14 chapters:
- The conversation
Vital Conversations is easy to navigate and provides real life case studies, coaching tools, key learning, mini exercises, ‘top tips’ and ‘warning’ tips throughout, enabling real time learning.
The author describes the book as a “personal satellite navigation system helping in planning a route to a successful conversational destination” and urges the reader to have in mind and relate the reading material to real-life situation/conversations that they feel they need to have. The book’s focus is on learning about self and individual mindsets (described as first, second and third generation thinking). The book walks people through, via the various learning approaches, to consciously being able to behave more effectively within conversations with others.
The book is not a read only once, and you will ‘know it all’ type of book. It needs to be read, digested, discussed and applied. I believe that discussion and exploration is key in being able to effectively apply the knowledge gained from reading this book and anyone deciding they want to be more effective within their conversations needs to be open to learning about themself and using ‘self’ as the vehicle to achieving change.
The book provides a good framework for individual development, but no doubt, some elements you may need to revisit a few times in order to completely grasp the concept. My main suggestion is to be aware of the areas you feel a need to revisit, or even have an urge to skip over (either because they seem complex or you feel are already known to you), as these may be the key elements to explore and understand more in order to make those conversations more effective. Often the conversation you felt you need to have, is not actually the vital one.
How to use in the workplace
It will help you prepare for what you perceive if going to be a challenging conversation – it can help to widen your perspective, remind you of your habitual response and remind you of ways to consciously overcome this.
It can be useful to re-visiting and use for reflection, following a challenging time/conflict can be useful, to help increase perspective, develop greater insight as to what has occurred and to consciously consider different approaches to the way forward.
It can help with sharing you learning about conversations with others, there are some exercises that you could use within workshops/away days to facilitate learning, as individuals and teams.
It can help you in developing your own skills in supervision, mentoring or coaching – all of these approaches could take from this book and aid the development of others.
Review written by Sharon Outhwaite, TWBC Consultant
If you would like to know more about the work we do to support vital conversations – get in touch email@example.com
Coaching Book Review
Time To Think, by Nancy Kline
Usually, I dip in and out of books but this is one of the few I have read from front to back. At 256 pages long, it offers a comprehensive yet concise and quick read.
Throughout the structure of the book, which is broken into 4 main parts; The Thinking Environment and its Ten Components, Creating a Thinking Environment, The Thinking Society and a Thinking Future, it gives you a slightly different perspective on things like silence.
We know a lot of people find silence challenging and difficult, which I think is especially interesting as if you ask an extroverted person to work with silence they can experience this as challenging, whereas an introverted person may find silence more comfortable.
At the heart of this book, is it’s model – ‘The Ten Components of a Thinking Environment’, these being the characteristics of a space which really allow us to realise the benefits of our thinking approaches to their full.
This book provides a framework that enables really constructive and positive meanings for silence. The value and power of silence is primarily because in that moment, we are doing more thinking, more reflecting; exploring the space where there are no spoken words. While we work, it is often in the silences that we gain the lightbulb moments and the real flashes of insight that we might miss out on if we just kept talking.
In a coaching setting, it is particularly helpful when you have a coach who can hold the silence. When the approach involves limited questioning, there is no way any prejudices, judgements of bias that language sometimes brings can impact what you are thinking. When the coach asks about an issue, and how you feel about it and then lets you sit with that in silence, the results can be powerful. If that coach keeps going with the silence, even when a person finishes speaking, you may ask again is there anything else you think, feel or say about that issue.
It is a rare opportunity in life to explore something to the point that you have nothing more to say about it, silence can help you achieve that. It can be interesting to notice what are the things that come out of the silence, that allow you to get to the bottom of the things you think, feel and want to say about something. Because so often, we have moved on to something else already.
Overall, this book’s model is well articulated and the application is explained in a clear and easy to read manner. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Amanda, Director TWBC
Coaching Conversations –
Thoughts from Amy
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This season, TWBC passed our assessment and gained our Certificate of Assurance for Cyber Essentials and IASME Governance. In summary, this means our organisation has taken proactive steps against malicious cyber attacks. You can be assured that we have taken the essential steps to protect the data we hold and the systems we use. To find out more about the scheme and what it means (and how it protects you when using our services), please visit the UK government website on the link below.