X is for ….

It’s the end of November already and we’re on count down for Christmas, but I’m not going to be using this newsletter as X is for Xmas.  Instead I’m going to talk about the X factor.  Not the programme, but what I think gives people the X factor, ie that noteworthy special talent or quality.


For me, the X factor is all about the way people show up.  And by that, I mean their attitude, how they engage with others, listen without judgement and be in the moment.  When people connect in this way they bring about an energy and interest that makes people feel valued and special.  And when people feel valued and special, Continue reading

W is for Wow!

Today I’ve been sitting at my PC for longer than I dare say.  I’ve started this newsletter three times and continually been distracted.  Initially I was going to focus on ‘words’ and talk about the importance of choosing the right ones and saying them at the right time to create empathy and inspire others.  Words such as we, our and us instead of I, you and your.  And this all came from reflecting on some of the interactions I’ve had with people who have overused the ‘I’ word.   Instead of coming across as powerful and knowledgeable they’ve created levels of distrust and anxiety and seemed more egocentric than focused on the good of the team.  They’re all about their own importance whilst the going is good, but the word then quickly turns from ’I’ to ‘you’ when situations begin to nosedive with the blame all landing as far away from their doorstep as possible!  When we use the ‘we’ word, even sublimely it creates a feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’.  If I’m continually talking about what you are going to do and how you need to review your resources to achieve it, I’ve created a very different environment.  You will feel that you’re more on your own than a part of a team. It might be me who is steering the ship but we all get the best results from feeling a part of it. Continue reading

V is for Values

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon in North London as I sit writing this newsletter.  I’ve suddenly received an afternoon back and so thought I’d put it to good use as it has been quite a while since I was in touch!  I was supposed to be hitting the motorway and driving up north, but instead I’ve decided to get up extra early in the morning and take the train.  It’s a bit of risk as the connections and timings are all rather tight, but I made a pact with myself at the beginning of this year that I was going to look after myself a little more.  So instead of driving another 500 miles in the next 24 hours, I’ve decided to let the train take the strain.

Funnily enough it was a tougher decision to make than you might have expected.  You see my brother, his boys and my mum have dinner on a Wednesday night and it would have made a perfect opportunity for us all to get together.  Family plays a very strong role in our lives and spending time in one another’s company is really important.  However, now that we all drive, we all hold safety close to our hearts and this time it became the priority in my decision making.  When you feel tired and there’s that long stretch of road ahead of you, getting behind the wheel doesn’t seem the smartest decision.

Which leads me onto the topic of this newsletter.  I’ve decided to focus on ‘v’ standing for values as they play such a large part in both our personal and professional life.  Values are the things you hold important; they’re the source of Continue reading

U is for Uncertainty

I couldn’t decide which topic I should write about this month.  Whether ‘U’ should be for ‘unconscious bias’ i.e. the way we make decisions based on our values, experiences or stereo types without being aware that we’ve even done it.  Or whether it should be for ‘unintended consequences’ as we’ve all done something and not fully thought through or anticipated the impact it would create.  And then been surprised or even annoyed when the results were very different to those we expected.  However, in the end I decided to use U for ‘uncertainty’ as Continue reading

T is for tweaking!

I was running a time management workshop a couple of weeks ago and we started to talk about the incessant need to ‘tweak’ our work and the negative impact it had on us. So this month, I’ve chosen T is for ‘tweaking’. We all set such very high standards for ourselves, but there is a difference between achieving high standards and attaining perfectionism.   The former is what we all strive for, but if we think there will never be any mistakes, Continue reading