Becoming a parent was (and still is) hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. From the expectation to fall immediately in love with my first born to the endless streams of often conflicting advice, I found the whole experience overwhelming and terrifying. I went from being a confident business woman to a scarred, incompetant and vulnerable mum. Eventually I found my way; with the support of an amazing husband and friends/family. Like all of my friends I’d attended Ante-Natal classes because that’s just what everyone did but looking back, how valuable were those classes? Not at all is the short answer! Why? Because each labour and each baby are just so different – how could 3 hours of classes prepare us for every eventuality. I’d almost go as far to say they were unhelpful, especially when my labour and early months as a mum didn’t fit any of the scenarios we’d covered in class.
Fast forward 8 years and I’m pleased and proud to acknowledge that life as a mum has become loads easier and considerably more enjoyable. There are still those days – you know ‘those days!!!’ but I now use my coaching skills to get me through each little challenge – asking the right questions, listening, understanding their motivations/needs/wants, putting good routines in place, rewards and most of all lots of fun and cuddles etc etc etc…the list is endless.
I’ve worked with a number of clients who’ve had different challenges as parents from eating habits to bedtime routines and one thing I’ve found common is a sense of shame that they can’t cope. All the parents I know have admitted that being a parent is challenging, just when you’ve got a grip of one thing, life goes on and a new challenge is just around the corner. Getting some help and support that suits not only you but the needs of your child, make sense right? You can make those challenges more easy to deal with and learn new skills that make every day life better for the whole family. Ante-natal classes aren’t stigmatised, so why should parenting classes?
If you’re interesting in understand more about how coaching can help you get in touch to book a free 20 minutes consultation.
I love this story and I remember it like it was yesterday. Lots of people struggle presenting or public speaking because of a fear of getting it wrong, forgetting what we want to say or looking like a fool. As human’s we are natural story tellers and we do it all the time with confidence; in the pub with friends or in the lift at work. Yet, when it comes to standing up and presenting we clam up and panic. I’ve been attending lots of Networking events recently and I see so often, people who struggle to stand up and say a little bit about themselves and/or their businesses. However, with some impactful coaching anyone can be a great presenter!!
“Me and my colleague, Simon, met Jill through work. Whilst she worked in a totally different part of the business, someone suggested we contact her to coach us for a very important presentation we needed to make in 2 days time!!!
We’d made it to the final stages of a highly acclaimed industry award; the final step was a presentation to a Judges Panel. We had submitted an entry detailing an amazing project initiated and delivered, by us, the previous year. The project involved transforming, a once troubled, part of a big city into a popular and safe place to hang out by collaborating with local law enforcement and the public. Over the course of a year, and with serious dedication and bravery we successfully managed to drive out some of the gangs that were making this picturesque part of town more like a mob hangout or crime centre. Despite being immensely proud, excited and passionate about our project our presentation confidence was low.
After doing a full run through of our presentation Jill appeared confused. She asked us lots of questions about ‘who wrote the slides/content’, ‘what role did they play in the project’, ‘what do you guys think of the presentation content’ – we admitted that we thought the slide were complicated and it was difficult making them flow etc… She then just asked us questions about the project- ‘How did it all start? Who’s idea was it? How did that make you feel? And then what happened?’.
There was a period of silence, at which point we ask her ‘What do you think about our presentation, can you help us feel more confident and deliver it better’. Confidently she said ‘yes, sure! The presentation was in 2 days and Jill had 2 hours left with us before catching her train back home. At this point she suggested we bin the existing presentation and start again!!! We thought she can’t be serious, she’s joking, but she wasn’t. She went on to support wholeheartedly our view on the slides that had been written for us. They didn’t reflect the amazing work we’d done. They didn’t tell our story in all its colour and glory, in our words, with our feeling and real life experiences. When we answer her questions about the project, we came to life therefore engaging our audience and allowing our passion and pride to come through. Which of course, met our confidence levels went through the roof because no one knew this story better than us.
Two days later armed with only a couple of slides on PowerPoint to mark the key milestones (How did it start, who was involved, what happened next…etc) and complimented with a small sprinkle of statistics to back it up (not 10 slides worth!) we went to London and told our story with ease, passion and confidence. Two month later we picked up an award”
The internet is full of quotes, motivational and thought provoking, but more recently I’ve started to notice a contradiction in their messages. This is one of my favourites. It’s hard to know sometimes when you should ‘carry on’ or ‘move on’. There’s an element of fear in both these messages. If I give up, I’m a quitter. If I carry on doing the same thing but not getting results, I’m insane. All these intended ‘inspirational quotes’ can have the opposite affect.
With some of my clients it takes as much strength and courage to stop trying as it does to solider on. Often, it’s about identifying what is best for you….. (Put your own Oxygen mask on first!) What’s stopping you from taking THAT path? Importantly, whichever quote you choose to follow at this moment in time (‘carry on’ or ‘move on’) that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
If you decide later you’re not happy with your decision, you don’t like where you are or where you’ve end up, move. You are not a tree………
I came to Jill for support when going for promotion in the Public Service, I had a structured interview from a panel of three senior staff…….I was completely overwhelmed by all the information and evidence I had gathered and surrounded by piles of paperwork that I would never remember.
I had some telephone consultations with Jill she taught me how to break everything down into smaller chunks with sun headings and buzz words to trigger the information! I found extremely helpful and now found answering the questions put to me much easier going into my interview feeling more confident than before! I have passed this way of breaking things down onto my staff when they have been going for interview and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jill as a life Coach and I will be most certainly be seeking further coaching from Jill over the next 12 months when I have some serious decisions to make regarding my future career and work life balance.
This is Sallie’s story; if you can relate to her story and need some support, please get in touch.
“I’d been working in a management role for 9 years and was confident, happy and very good at my job but after a company take over I was ‘pushed’ into a role I had never done before. Leading a team dealing with tasks I knew nothing about. I had a newly appointed manager and was expecting training, guidance, advise etc. as you would when entering a brand new role.
Unfortunately, this was not the case and I was given a workload I could only try my best at with no idea where to begin. When it came to my Manager, they simply told me to ‘do it better’, or on many occasions loved to scrawl ‘see me’ in red across a presentation then thrown on my desk. I was constantly told I was not good enough, with no assistance or advise on how to improve. Over time it broke me and I started to suffer quite badly from depression. I changed at work, no longer confident, arriving late, not participating as I should.
This was when Jill stepped in, she noticed I was in a bad way and approached me offering help. We had regular weekly sessions talking about many things, not just work. I benefited hugely from just the first session. I started to believe in myself again and felt my strength and confidence returning.
She was kind, encouraging, critical when needed, but most of all she listened and offered the advice and care I so badly needed.
I took the steps to apply for new jobs as I had two children to support and could not risk not having a job. I landed a terrific management role with an IT company and I absolutely love it. My confidence is back and I feel valued for the work I do.
I know absolutely that without the help Jill gave me I would not have had the nerve to apply, go for interview and land the role I have now.
It was not only the words spoken, it was the fact that Jill had actually noticed that I badly needed help and booked time out of her extremely busy schedule to make time for me. This is something I will never forget and I will never be able to thank Jill enough. Time is an extremely valuable commodity, both for those giving and those receiving it” (Sallie, South Yorkshire)
There’s a really good reason you’re told to ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’. Being a partner, a professional, a family member, a parent, a house owner… sometimes it’s easy to forget about yourself. Oxygen makes us live, to be energised and focused.
What’s your oxygen and are you getting enough of it? If not, why not? Not enough time? Feeling guilty about putting yourself first? Simply don’t know how? I can help you.
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