Blue Sky Blog

Vulnerability and Leadership

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This month’s post from careerresilience:

Recently, I have been reflecting on the relationship between vulnerability and leadership, for two reasons, really:

One, after years of quoting Brene Brown’s

“You can have courage, or you can have comfort, but you can’t have both”

I finally read, her book Daring Greatly. How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

It certainly helped me to see that increasingly those of us that are called to lead and instigate change cannot expect to be comfortable. Discomfort is most likely to become a familiar companion.

This article explores the relationship between vulnerability and leadership.

Two, observing Theresa May’s speech at the recent Tory party conference and our reaction to it.

It is not my intention or wish to become embroiled in a discussion around politics, but I am curious to understand what this means about how we see leadership and what we expect from our leaders.

Do we expect too much or indeed too little from our leaders?

Do we only want to see vulnerability and human frailty in our leaders, when it suits us, when it feels safe? Is it perhaps our own discomfort with vulnerability that stops us from accepting it in our leaders or others?

 

To read the article in full, please click here

Until next time

Janice Taylor

New beginnings…………

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Very excited to be  starting a new course of study for the next couple of years, ‘Autobiography and Life Writing course’. Feels like I’m making a new beginning, based on one of my favourite quotes:

 

Enrolling on the life writing course is for me, choosing courage over comfort for the next couple of years. I start tomorrow and have no idea quite where this will lead, but if I don’t make the decision to do this now I somehow feel it will never happen.

Wish me luck

Janice

 

What career advice did you get when you were growing up? ….

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I sometimes think that telling someone you are a career coach, is a little bit like telling someone you are a doctor. Once you have explained what it is, 😉 people will invariably share their career horror stories with you, or will reminisce about the ‘terrible’ career advice they received while growing up.

So, it seems only fair to share some of the ‘career advice’ I received when growing up, most of which still makes me smile today, even after all these years:

“Oh, you don’t want to be bothering with all that Janice, all you are going to do is end up dealing with sh** and stuff.”

This was my A’ Level chemistry partner’s forthright response to my admission that I was considering a career as a forensic scientist.  That genuinely was enough to put me off, so I guess it probably wasn’t meant to be, still he did introduce me to Joan Armatrading so it wasn’t all bad.

“You have flat feet”  

The response I received when I shared my interest in joining the RAF, and becoming a fighter pilot. Largely, after reading a series of Biggles and his exploits as a fighter pilot. It was suggested to me that the RAF were unlikely to take on someone with flat feet. I’m guessing a lot more was said around this, but I can only remember the ‘flat feet’.

Still it was enough to put me off.

“Don’t ever give up Janice”

From my first ever work placement as an undergraduate on my engineering degree, I had just handed in my ‘report’ on possible improvements to the manufacturing process and this was his gracious and kind response.

It’s strange as I am sure there was more, but these are the ones that have stayed with me over the years.

So, there have it, what pieces of advice or conversations have stayed with you and perhaps shaped your career choices?

Janice Taylor

www.blueskycareerconsulting.co.uk

Originally published on LinkedIn.

 

It’s never just about the notes or the words….

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This month’s post from careerresilience….

Have been learning to play the piano for about seven years now, the first three of which I had an amazing piano teacher, Emily.

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons it has not been possible for me to continue with weekly lessons. Luckily for me,  I realised very quickly that even though Emily isn’t with me physically, she has in fact left me with an ‘internal’ piano teacher and I still hear her ‘teaching’ at points when I am practising.

She has left me with enough knowledge, experience and motivation to continue practising and learning new pieces on my own for the past three years. My plan is to go back to lessons when circumstances permit, but for the moment I have enough to be ‘going on’ with.

So, this for me is what coaching is all about, helping people to develop their inner resources and their ‘internal’ coach.

When I started as a career coach, seventeen years ago and this still holds true today my intention was to help people to create a long-term vision for their career and develop the habits and approaches that would get them there.

People would get what they needed to ‘fly and soar‘ with their careers, it was rarely just about the immediate job, but more about helping people to build for their futures.

If you want to read more, please follow this link

What keeps you going when times are tough?

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Resilience | 0 comments

This month it’s all about perseverance and grit:

What keeps you going when times are tough and work isn’t going so well or it just feels like you are ‘wading through treacle’? Your progress seems inordinately slow and you might even wonder if you are in fact moving backward.

I know for me, there is a certain stubbornness in my nature, (I don’t always want to admit I might be on the wrong track).

There is a certain level of ‘grit’, in my makeup and I also know that there are times when I need to get my head down, put the work in and just keep going.

Sometimes the break through comes at the moment you least expect it,  the ‘darkest hour is just before the dawn’- Thomas Fuller.

How many people have given up just at the point they were about to reach their ‘breakthrough’?

So, how might you be able to encourage and support yourself when times are tough?

All about perseverance and grit this month.

To find out more visit this month’s post on careerresilience

Hope you enjoy.

What happens when someone asks for our help?….

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

First wrote about kindness in the workplace, last October  and have been prompted to write again as I have observed that increasingly people are sharing their vulnerability or simply just asking for help, on the LinkedIn platform.

Have been fascinated by the reactions and responses to these posts, which in general have ranged from the encouraging, ‘keep at it. Don’t give up’; through to signposting to helpful information, right through to offers of practical help.

All of which, from what I can see has been gratefully received, but it has made me reflect on how we might respond when faced with a direct request for help.

What options are available to us and how do we decide how involved to become?

Being kind and what that means.

To find out more please click here

Until next time…

Janice Taylor

Time for a new chapter? …………Part One

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What comes to mind as the season of Spring approaches. Is it time to take stock and ‘tinker’ or take stock and start a completely new chapter?

As the new season approaches, I find it comes with a surge of energy and new possibilities. So with all this in mind, I’d like to share with you, a model that I have used extensively with groups and individual clients for some years now:

The Hudson Renewal Cycle ………….

Renewal and change

A model, I believe to be highly effective in helping people to take stock of where they are when thinking about their career and life in general.

Something that people seem to grasp straight away and ‘hang their coat’ on. It makes immediate sense to them as they remember those times when they have been operating at their best and in a non-threatening way recognise and accept those times when they have not.

The Renewal Cycle model as conceived by Frederic Hudson describes our lives in terms of chapters each with four phases:

  • Heroic: or ‘go for it’
  •  Disillusioned or ‘stuck in the doldrums’
  • Reflective or ‘looking inward’
  •  Revitalised or ‘taking on/moving forward‘

It can relate to any aspect of our lives, but I use it primarily in relation to careers and how we move through each phase and onto a new chapter will be different for every single one of us.

Heroic Phase

Phase one, or Heroic phase is a great place to be. In this phase we feel positive about our situation we feel that we are exactly in the right place at the right time. This is our moment. We have the energy we need to meet whatever challenges we face and we seek out new opportunities and new avenues to explore.

This is a phase where we are proactive and energized, focused and clear about where we are and where we want to be. We are likely to feel confident about our abilities and confident in what the future holds.

It may be that we find ourselves in Heroic, after settling into a new job or gaining a new promotion. Or we have made a complete career change to something that we have always dreamt of doing. Indeed we may find ourselves in Heroic after leaving work and deciding to live our lives in a completely different way.

So, what can happen to move us from ‘Heroic’ to Disillusioned?

Well sometimes we can become complacent, we become too comfortable, stop stretching and pushing ourselves – we might even over a period time just become bored.

Or perhaps in our enthusiasm we start taking on too much and almost without realising it we move towards ‘overload’.

There may also be external changes that impact on how we see our careers, such as a change in management or organisational culture. Or even a small change in our role might be enough to shift us across to Disillusioned.

Disillusioned Phase

The Disillusioned phase is clearly not such a great place to be. Here we are likely to feel unhappy and negative about our career and feel that there is little we can do to change it for the better.

This phase is typically characterised by us as individuals knowing what we don’t want, but not being able to clearly articulate what we do want. This phase can be very much about ‘holding on’ and not wanting to let anything go, even the unhelpful stuff.

However I do get the odd wry smile from clients and participants when I point out that this phase can be curiously ‘comfortable’ as it’ is a known entity, something familiar even if it’s not great.

Disillusioned is a reactive, holding on phase, we are certainly not pushing forward, we are likely ‘huddled up’, waiting for it all to go away.

Luckily most of us will reach a point where even we get tired of living in this phase. We will have grown weary of hearing ourselves constantly repeating the same litany of negatives again and again.

So we start to make a series of small improvements. Things like changes to our working hours, routes to work, we might even take on new hobbies and training courses and in the short term we find that we zip back to ‘Heroic’ at least for a while. This is what Hudson refers to as a ‘mini transition’.

This approach may work for quite some time with individuals ‘zipping’ back and forth, between Heroic and Disillusioned after each adjustment. But at some point, we may again start to notice a pattern and start to realise that perhaps a more fundamental and long lasting change is needed.

At this point we may then start to look ‘inward’ and start asking themselves, ‘what do I really want and what really matters to me at this time?’ We then move into the third stage of Reflective.

Which is where I will pick up next time………………………………….

Janice Taylor

Energy, engagement and enjoyment.. part two

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This month’s post from careerresilience:

Part one originally was originally published in October 2015 , so time I think to return to this topic and consider more deeply what might lie behind someone having attained a high level of skill in their field and yet experience little or no joy in applying it.

A couple of things spring to mind regarding this:

I wonder about ‘profound boredom’ and how people might reach this point. Is it just about the loss of excitement, fun and interest, they had in the early days?

And what does it mean to be ‘profoundly bored’, regardless of the root cause?

Energy, engagement and enjoyment

This month’s post from careerresilience.

To read the article in full, please click here

Be your own Rainbow…. How to Thrive

Posted by on Apr 8, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Be your own rainbow

How to thrive when you just don’t feel like it.

This is the working title that emerged after completing, Alison Jones’ 10 day book proposal writing challenge. A real joy to complete and one that moved me from a few vague ideas to a written proposal. A written proposal with a clear structure, chapter headings, author background and target market.

In fact I was so excited by it that I made a video:

My plan now is to continue on with writing at least a couple of chapters, before starting Alison’s next challenge in June. Pleased as punch to have created my proposal, but at this stage it still needs a bit more work to refine and clarify.

In any case Be your own rainbow, will be aimed at women in their fifties who are determined to thrive and make the very most of the life they have.

Until next time

Janice Taylor

 

Bold and ‘Badass’ or Fierce and Free…….

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How would you use to describe your ‘inner Diva’?

I recently came across Jackie Huba’s TedTalk; ‘Unleash the power of your inner drag queen’, in which she describes the events that led her to becoming a ‘drag queen’ and the impact it had on her career and her life.

It’s all about self-belief…

To find out more take a look at this month’s post from careerresilience

 

 

 

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