These are new times and new ways of working. Below are some articles with practical tips to help you in your leadership role.

This too will end. Set goals for when life returns to normal.

May 2020 - update


Its hard to believe its 2 months since I set up this page. I hope  you have found the  information on the site useful, whatever your working background.


As restrictions start to relax everyone’s thoughts are focussed on supporting the ‘return to work’, albeit not yet ‘normal’ work, for staff at all levels in organisations.

Having coached more than 40 leaders at all levels in different agencies during the pandemic, I am aware of how differently people have responded to the circumstances of home working and the juggling of responsibilities for family.

To read the full article on returning to work please click here to access it and a series of other blogs I have written for use with clientens regardding various aspects of working over the past couple of months.


Stay safe.



March 2020 - Managing the impact of Covid -19

Firstly, I hope you and your family are safe and well.

Following the most recent Coronavirus developments, we have put in place measures to ensure there is no disruption to our service during this difficult time.

Our service is fully operational, working as normal and I am contactable at the usual phone numbers and email. In accordance with government advice, I will no longer be offering face to face workshops or coaching sessions but I will be posting articles on this page to help and support you and your organisations throughout this time.


We are negotiating alternative supports such as teleconferences, skype sessions and individual telephone coaching sessions, adapted to your organisation’s needs.  You will also be receiving tips and guidelines to support you and your staff – so watch out for emails.

There has seldom been a time when more has been asked of leaders at all levels, so it is particularly important that you work together, implement your action plans, review what’s working, and identify and resolve challenges when they are small.

Let me know how best to support you.  Stay safe. We will come through this time together.



Simple ways to make teleconfereces and video calls more succesful

Face to face interaction will always have its place – so will phone and video calls.

As teleconferences and video conferencing are increasingly becoming the new norm, here are some basic guidelines to ensure you get the most from your calls.


  • Know your outcome – what is the purpose of the call and what do you want to achieve?

  • Who needs to be on it to get the result?

  • Set ground rules at the beginning, for commenting and asking questions– will there be a dedicated time for questions or feedback on discussion?



Appropriate preparation is essential to ensure video/telephone calls run smoothly so set up your call in advance, share the agenda, be clear on outcomes and give participants appropriate briefings.


For the call itself, it is important to ensure that you and all the participants;


  • Find an appropriate space with good wifi connection

  • Ensure space is free of distractions

  • Ensure the space is private and that the confidentiality of information shared on the video call can be respected.

  • Be well prepared

    • Have a bottle of water with you

    • Have a notebook and pen available

  • Be on time – whether hosting or attending it’s important to be on time. It is respectful and it also allows us to fully concentrate and participate

  • Manage your state – others can see you – be attentive and engaged

Stick with it!  - We will make it!!


As we all continue to adapt to new and more creative way of working, I am so inspired on our mentoring calls, at all the ways individuals and teams have stepped up as leaders.  It is absolutely amazing how resilient folks have been and how much you have learned in what has become our ‘new normality’.


You are all developing wisdom and insights and, most importantly, growing in awareness of who you are as a leader, what your values are, how you show up for your teams and for the families you serve. Kindness and understanding are high on your agenda as well as a determination to succeed.


“Tough times do not last, tough people do”…. stick with it!!


I am reminded of a quote I saw recently on the motivational wall of a CAMHS unit. Young people are asked to leave a comment to inspire others when they leave the unit. This one is so true.


‘Life is tough AND so are you’


It got me thinking of the timeless wisdom from some of the greatest teachers of all time. Here are some thoughts to keep you going.  Reflect on one each day, share them with your teams, make them the subject of team meetings, reflect and be inspired and continue to inspire each other.  Take care and stay safe.

Managing Emails effectively

Many organisations have upped their game with regards to the use of technology and opportunities to communicate by teleconference and video calls have become increasingly customary. However, the problem of email overload, a huge issue prior to Covid -19, has been amplified by the current pandemic. This is due, not only to the increased numbers of people working remotely, but also to the need to update staff on evolving circumstances.

In the short term, in an attempt to manage your inbox, consider the following before you send the next email:  

  • Is email the most effective way to get what I need?

  • Would a phone call (an opportunity for contemporaneous, joint working) be better?

  • Would a text get me the response I need?

Longer term, this is an opportunity to change your strategy to emails and prompt an organisation change which can begin with you!

You can have an effect on the emails that arrive in your inbox by changing your own email habits. Before you send an email, ask yourself the following: 

  • What is the purpose of this email?  clarify in the subject line if it is for action or information

  • What outcome do I want?

  • Are my expectations clear?

  • Who are the addressees and are they all absolutely necessary?

  • Why am I copying that specific person?

Ask yourself how you would feel if you were a recipient of this email.

  • Frustrated - This has nothing to do with me, why did I get it?

  • Annoyed - This is for me, but I am unclear what is required?

Change your own email habits to impact the habits of others.





Motivating Others is a Key Role for Team Leaders


The capacity to motivate others is a long-accepted quality of leadership but how do we achieve it in practice?  This is a particular challenge in today’s environment when staff are trying to manage working remotely and balance the needs of children or older family members and concerns for their own safety.


Why are some staff more motivated that others? More productive than their colleagues? More resilient and overall, just happier?  And why are some teams more integrated, purposeful and successful than others?


The reality is that teams are made up of individuals who have differing personalities, different values, different tolerance levels and different capacity for work.  So how as a Team Leader can you motivate all of the individuals, and maximise each of their outcomes, and those of the team?


Here are three important tips for motivating team members in the current climate.


  1. Clarify the higher purpose of the organisation and the importance of each individual’s contribution.

Sometimes staff are unable to see the relevance of organisational targets or are disconnected from the overall mission of the agency and are not motivated to complete paperwork and comply with standards and audits. It is the leader’s role to connect the dots, to help staff see how their everyday work contributes, not just to the individual service user, but to the overall mission of the organisation and to the team. 


  1. Set the team culture

Staff are motivated by example and by team culture.  As leaders, we motivate others by our own passion for the service, by our energy on conference calls, by role modelling behaviours and attitudes, by being enthusiastic and compelling, even when times are difficult. By treating everyone with respect, by listening carefully to understand what the issues and challenges are and by collaborating with the team towards an agreed outcome, that is fair and equitable.  We motivate people by setting clear expectations of them as team players and by expecting them to give of their best and to play their part. Team meetings provide an opportunity to agree the value base for the team and the ground rules for working together. Trust is based on integrity, competence and track record and has to be earned. Building a high trust team is an essential aspect of leadership.


  1. Set and get buy in for individual goals.

Give everyone something to aim for, whether dealing with a brand new staff member or a long-term team member who is “coasting”.  We need to work with individuals to set goals and targets.  The need for creativity and flexibility has never been greater and celebrating achievements at personal and team level is essential.  Leader boards and other competitive mechanisms can encourage both individuals and teams towards greater results.





Children do not follow your advice – they follow your example!


This is a difficult time for everyone and particularly so for those with children, who are trying to balance working from home, managing their children’s education and keeping some semblance of family life.  What example are you setting for your children?


  • Are you disciplined about your work patterns and about their educational arrangements?

  • Are your actions in integrity with your words? Are you walking the talk?  Are you modelling what you expect from them?

  • Do you create space for them to raise their anxieties and concerns? Are you listening to better understand your children`s feelings.


Make sure that you set a great example so that your children feel confident and competent to cope with these challenging and unusual times.


This is a perfect time to ensure you meet what Tony Robbins calls, ‘the six human needs’.


  • Certainty – create a routine and be disciplined about following it. Explain what Covid -19 is and why we are having to take such extensive precautions. Let them know that you and they are going to be fine.

  • Uncertainty – while everyone is confined to the home, break up the day, create as much variety as possible and try and identify some small surprises.

  • Love and connection –Be available to them for reassurance and to support their study. Help them stay connected to their friends on facetime and skype.  Set appropriate limits though and be sure you know how they are spending their online time and who with.

  • Significance - Pay attention to your children. Make time for them and let them know you are there for them. Recognise the importance of connecting as a family and try to ensure one mealtime where mobiles and tv are not allowed and everyone is encouraged to talk about their day.

  • Growth – This is an opportunity to learn new things, individually and as a family.

  • Contribution -how can you support friends, family and neighbours? For those of you on the front line, explain to your children what your work entails and how you are helping the national effort to resolve the impact of the virus. Let them know how they can play their part.


Above all ensure that you give children hope that this too will end.

Working from  home and staying sane

Managing the impact of Covid-19 has radically changed working practices and for most of you, working from home will be a totally new experience. For some people it will seem attractive initially and for others, it’s going to be a bit scary, especially now that restrictions on travel and social contact have dramatically increased.

Most professionals who need to maintain front lines services, are working on a rota basis, with some days in the office and other days at home.  Everyone is experiencing massive uncertainty about how extensive social distancing measures will become and the impact of that on vulnerable clients.

Here are some tips to help

  • ROUTINE: Set a good routine and stick to it.

  • SPACE:  Establish an appropriate area which allows for concentration and privacy in handling confidential situations

  • ME TIME: Find space and time for yourself at some point during the day. Read the paper, meditate or just be alone, for a few minutes

  • EAT REGULARLY: Plan lunch breaks and schedule dinner at the usual time. you will cope better overall if your blood sugar levels are maintained.

  • EXERCISE: Take 20 -30 minutes exercise each day. The internet has lots of fun ideas for 10 minute workouts. Go out for a walk when it is safe to do so. 

  • CONNECT:  Keep in touch with your colleagues/team members and don’t get isolated.

  • PERSPECTIVE:  Keep things in perspective. Tell it like it is – but not worse than it is. See the opportunities. Practice gratitude.

  • REVIEW: At the end of each week take 10 minutes to formally review and evaluate with your team and with your family. How can arrangements be strengthened?

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