Do Your Little Bit of Good Where You Are

It’s Those Little Bits of Good Put Together That Overwhelm the World – Desmond Tutu 

A Case Study: Rory’s Story:

Rory worked at a charity shop. Several times over the years, the company had offered him the position of manager by way of recognising and rewarding his good work. They believed a management position would give him even greater power to do good. Rory had always politely declined. He was following his purpose to help people. He believed that in working behind the scenes, he was making a more meaningful contribution than he ever could in a position of power. Behind the scenes gave him a position of purpose that engaged and inspired him. A position of management and power didn’t.

Besides, as manager, he would be expected to hobnob with those of perceived higher status — the elite social circles of the town. That just wasn’t Rory’s bag. He was much happier working alongside the volunteers, who gave their time, skills and expertise generously. Rory didn’t manage the volunteers (well, not to his way of thinking anyway), but he did (perhaps, unknowingly to him) lead them. The manner in which he was engaged and inspired in his work had a ripple effect throughout the team, and his quiet and humble approach in doing good, caused others to want to do the same. This brought about much deeper and meaningful relationships than hobnobbing would ever have done.

Oisin and Ciara — two of the volunteers, had a background in retail fashion, and they helped Rory to dress the store in a way that was visually enticing in bringing people through the doors. Working together, the three of them discovered they loved fashion that empowered people and had a social cause. Listening to their conversations while helping them dress the store, Shauna, whose background was in recruitment, shared an idea she wanted to propose to her company but was holding back on because she didn’t feel she could deliver on it by herself.

Shauna’s idea was to help homeless people to prepare for interviews. Her proposal was going to be that she and her colleagues could help them prepare for the actual interview process. By first helping them to know how to present themselves in writing their CVs. Then having practice interview sessions with them to help them present their best self in answering questions. And finally, helping them prepare presentations if that was a requirement of the role. But Shauna felt there was a key missing link in the chain of her idea that was holding her back because she didn’t feel she could deliver on it by herself — that was to help people dress for success in how they presented themselves.

Rory, Oisin and Ciara sharing how they loved fashion that empowered people and had a social cause resonated with Shauna. She tentatively asked if they would be willing to work with her in empowering the homeless people she wanted to work with to present the best of themselves at interviews. She felt that would strengthen her presentation of her idea at her company.

The three agreed immediately. Shauna’s idea had engaged and inspired them.

Epilogue

With their support, her presentation had the same impact — it engaged and inspired everyone at her workplace, and it was immediately approved.

Words Of Wisdom

The story had started with Rory wanting to do a little bit of good where he was. Then Oisin, Ciara and Shauna joined in. And on Shauna sharing her idea, the ripple effect of those little bits of good put together spread through her company, overwhelming (in a good way) in their part of the world, or rather their community.

Three Steps To Do Your Little Bit Of Good Where You Are Assignment

Step 1: Think about what engages and inspire you.

Step 2: Think about how you can use that to do a little bit of good where you are.

Step 3: Do it.

You can do it alone. Or you can join forces. Or you can do both. Whatever you do, know that all those individual or combined little bits of good put together overwhelm (in a good way) the world — your part of it — your community.

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As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

How an Idea That Engages and Inspires You Can Lead To a Fulfilling WorkLife 

And How External Circumstances Can Bring About Your Starting Point

Patience Kindness Goodness
Photo by Caleb Gregory on Unsplash

A Case Study: Sinead’s Story:

Sinead had wanted to branch out into running her own commercial real estate business for some time. This was because she believed she could make a positive impact in an industry that often charged what she considered to be unfairly high rental rates. This was the practice at the company she worked at – the only real estate company in her town – her competition was she to go it alone.

Could she do it on her own?

External circumstances gave her the opportunity to test that out.

On her grandmother’s passing, Sinead inherited a property that had been in the family for close to fifty years. As newlyweds, her grandparent’s had bought it – they ran the downstairs as a sweet shop and had lived over the shop for all of their married life. When Sinead’s granddad passed away, her grandmother remained living upstairs but closed the downstairs shop. She hadn’t wanted to run it alone, and none of the family was interested in running it with her. And so it had become a vacant, unused space in the centre of town. 

Over the years, the real estate company that Sinead worked with had approached her grandmother to buy her out, but she had always politely declined, saying this was her home and this was where she intended to see her days out. Sinead knew there was more to it than that. She knew her grandmother didn’t like how the high rental rates had pushed many of her fellow retailers out of business. She knew her grandmother didn’t want to play any part in that.

On learning Sinead had inherited the property, the real estate company approached her to buy it. She politely declined, saying she was going to live there. They then suggested buying or renting the downstairs, with a view to letting it out. Sinead once again declined, sharing her desire to branch out on her own into commercial real estate. Her intention wasn’t to leave the company, she considered this an opportunity to have her own small venture, and she didn’t believe it would impact her work with the company. The company didn’t see it that way, they considered it would be a conflict of interest, and Sinead was told in no uncertain terms that if she followed through with her plan, she would be dismissed. She didn’t hang around long enough for that to happen. She resigned. 

But now what? That was Sinead’s BIG question. And it was soon answered.

She was approached by a couple in their 50’s – Mary and Sean, who wanted to rent the shop from her. Having grown up in the town, their work had caused them to move away in their early twenties. They had recently both been made redundant from their jobs and were contemplating a move back to the town to be close to their families. They weren’t ready for retirement, and it had always been a dream of theirs to own and run their own shop. Learning of Sinead’s grandmother’s passing brought them back to their childhood and their fond memories of her grandparents and their wonderful sweet shop. They had an idea of preserving the spirit of the magic of a sweet shop from times gone by with the spirit of preserving the future generations of cocoa farmers through ethically sourced cocoa beans. They wanted to bring retro sweets rooted in the past and chocolate that starts at the root of the cacao tree together. 

They didn’t have the answers as to how they were going to do that, yet. They just knew the idea engaged and inspired them. They also knew they weren’t going to play it by the rules of what people thought a sweet/chocolate shop should be. They figured it was more likely that they would do the opposite. Because the best experiences in their WorkLives had been when they had gone against the flow of what ‘should be’ and instead followed the flow of what ‘could be’.

Sinead loved their idea for their shop, and she loved their philosophy on their WorkLife. Probably because it reflected her values and beliefs. She believed she had found her way to begin to make a positive impact in her industry. She did this by simply proposing a fair rental price for the shop. Contracts were signed, and the deal was sealed over mugs of hot chocolate in Mary and Sean’s home – they were testing out a Bean-to-Bar class they’d taken in creating their own hot chocolate, for which Sinead awarded them top marks.

So, Sinead had landed her first clients, which was great. But she needed more to establish a viable business. But how could she do that in a town where her completion – the company she just left had the monopoly on commercial real estate 

So now what? That was Sinead’s next BIG question. And it was soon answered.

The Covid-19 Pandemic hit, and before Mary and Sean could open their doors to the public (they had been working behind closed doors getting things ready to launch), they were firmly shut. They had spent all their money on stock and getting the shop looking how they wanted it to be, and they were concerned about how they could pay their rent. 

Knowing this would be a concern, Sinead told them that she wouldn’t charge rent for the duration of the time they would be required to remain closed. Mary and Sean objected because they knew this was Sinead’s only income, but she assured them she would be OK in the short term because she owned her home upstairs and didn’t have big financial outgoings. Mary and Sean tried to insist on covering her outgoings, but Sinead said this was important for her to do in honouring her commitment to herself to find a way to make a positive impact in an industry that had a negative reputation in how it treated its tenants. 

Sinead approached her old company encouraging them to do the same for their tenants. They said they couldn’t because they had a business to run. 

The local council had called a zoom town hall meeting by way of briefing people on the pandemic. During the meeting, Sinead asked the committee to intervene on the issue of businesses having to pay rent on their premises when they couldn’t work out of them. She said without an intervention, businesses wouldn’t survive, and this would have a negative impact not only on the business owners but also on the wider community, and it would bring the town back to a place of decline brought about by the last recession, that took them years to come out of.

Those words struck a chord with everyone on the zoom call. They all remembered only too well the negative impact brought about by the recession. 

The council were hesitant at first, but then there was an intervention by the government, freezing all commercial rentals until businesses could open up again. 

Exactly what Sinead had suggested the council do, and exactly what she had done for Mary and Sean. Both of whom were quick to tell everyone, and it wasn’t long before the whole town was talking about her act of kindness. Soon the word spread with media outlets sharing the story of how a young girl with a small rental property and a big desire to make a positive impact in an industry that had a negative reputation in how it treated its clients did just that. The story also talked about how she had the foresight to let the local council know what they needed to do to help businesses out in unprecedented times before they did.

Epilogue

As the town businesses began to open their doors again, Mary started to get enquiries about her taking over the management of their rental properties as soon as their current agreement expired.

Words Of Wisdom

You see, the town’s people didn’t only remember the negative impact brought about by the recession. They also remembered the positive impact of Sinead’s act of kindness brought about by the pandemic.

Sinead’s vision to make a positive impact in her industry had engaged and inspired her in finding a way to do this. This, in turn, had led her to create a fulfilling WorkLife path.

Follow Your Vision or Dream to Engage and Inspire You to Create a Fulfilling WorkLife

Perhaps like Sinead, you have a vision for your WorkLife, or like Mary and Sean, you have a dream you want to make happen. And perhaps, you don’t know, yet, how you can achieve what you want. That’s OK – neither did Sinead, Mary and Sean. They simply asked a question or made a proposal and shared their vision and dream.

Mary and Sean asked if they could rent Sinead’s shop and shared their dream.

Sinead made a proposal to Mary and Sean that they don’t pay rent until they can open their shop door for business and shared her vision.


Neither party had all the answers to how they were going to follow their vision or dream. All they had was an idea that engaged and inspired them, and somehow that was enough. It all began by asking a question or making a proposal. So, your one action to get started is:

Step One: Ask a question or make a proposal.

You may already know the question or proposal you want to make, or you may not. For Sinead, Mary and Sean, external circumstances brought it about. Sinead inheriting the property on her grandmother’s passing. Mary and Sean’s redundancy causing them to consider moving back to their home town. Then circumstances brought them together – Sinead having a property they wanted to rent. The rest of the story became ‘Sweet’ history, and allowed them to follow their vision and dream to create fulfilling WorkLives in which they were engaged and inspired. 


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As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times. 

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow. 

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

I created The School Of WorkLife book series to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas most important to them. Click on the series to see all the books available and previews of what’s inside each book. 

How To Build Your Life Around What Engages and Inspires You is book 14 in the series. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.  

How to Build Your WorkLife Around What Engages and Inspires You

And How to Let This Guide You In Managing Setbacks Along the Way

Find and follow your way, not the highway - everyone else's way
Photo by Rommel Davila on Unsplash 

A Case Study: Liam’s Story:

Liam had quite a creative upbringing. He learnt to stitch and sew before he could read and write. He loved nothing better than working alongside his dad, Bill, and granddad, William, at the family tailoring business that had been established by his grandad out of a room of the family home. The business had grown from strength to strength when his dad and grandad had opened a Tailoring Shop together – a first for the family and the local community. Both men were known for working magic with their needles – their ability to fix a whole host of clothing problems, and their talent for creating hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind suits, brought men flocking from near and far – for their alterations and their bespoke suits.

It was always a given that Billy was going to follow at their fingertips. And so, going to Fashion School was an easy choice for him in taking the first steps to building his WorkLife around what engaged and inspired him. But having been accepted onto the Bespoke Tailoring course at The London College of Fashion, he had to turn it down when his dad suffered a heart attack. His granddad came out of retirement to help out to try to keep the business afloat, while Bill focused on his recovery. But Liam knew it was too much for him on his own, and as much as his dad and grandad protested to him not taking up his place at college, he knew it was the right thing to do.

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Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Every week I write three stories about a topic relevant to helping people live their WorkLife in the best way for them. The topics primarily focus on soft skills. I think soft skills are as important as hard skills in being our best. I believe that soft skills are the unsung heroes that drive fulfilled WorkLives.

The stories I bring you are created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow. 

Whatever you want to do, there is a path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to do what you need to do at each step of your WorkLife journey. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to take that next step. The motivation to follow your WorkLife path.

Two of these three stories are available to everyone. They are free and always will be. I publish them every Thursday and Friday.

The third story is available to members only. The membership cost is £3.00 p.m. I publish this additional story every Wednesday – so members get four/five additional stories p.m. These stories are not better. They’re just extra.

This approach allows me to honour my Purpose: To help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride, by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone. 

If you find my work helpful, please consider subscribing to my member’s publication.

As an independent writer and WorkLife practitioner, I love to create resources to help people manage their learning as they strive to live their best WorkLife. Your contribution allows me to do that and is really appreciated.  

When You Reach a Turning Point at The Beginning of a New Venture

How Do You Know What To Do For The Best?

Warehouse Space
Photo by Zach Heiberg on Unsplash

A Case Study: Kieran’s Story:

During his final semester at college, Kieran, together with Paul and Thomas — his classmates and flatmates, set up a website designed to connect students with landlords directly — without the need of estate agents. They figured cutting out the middle person was a win/win for both sides. They put a lot of work into designing the website and marketing the service, but weeks after the launch, no one was visiting the website, and they hadn’t connected anyone. It seemed it was dead on the ground before it ever got off the ground.

Kieran believed there was viability in the idea, but Paul and Thomas didn’t. By now they had graduated, and they both wanted to focus on establishing their WorkLife, which would require time and attention. They felt they didn’t have the time to focus their attention on anything else.

The thing was, their WorkLives were going somewhere. Kieran’s wasn’t. They’d studied International Music Management, and on graduating, Paul and Thomas had landed jobs in the industry, Kieran hadn’t. They knew the direction they wanted to go in at the end of their studies. For Paul, that was artist management. For Thomas, that was record company marketing. Kieran didn’t know the direction he wanted to go in.

To top it all this off, Paul and Thomas’s work was about to take them overseas, and so they couldn’t commit to renewing the lease on their flatshare. Kieran couldn’t afford to pay the rent on his own, but he really didn’t want to give up the flat. He loved the space — it was a converted warehouse, which, although located close to the city, had the sense of detachment, which gave it privacy.

He also didn’t want to give up the website, and Paul and Thomas were OK with him taking it over and doing whatever he wanted to do with it. But what would that be? That was the BIG question.

But before he could figure that out, he first had to find new flatmates. So, he put a notice on his website. He mentioned what a great space it was for musicians — that was actually the reason behind the website in the first place — music students weren’t always welcome tenants — neighbours would complain about the noise. But the converted warehouse flat-share was perfect because of the sense of detachment and privacy. The location also attracted younger people, who were OK with all-day and all-night music.

He had immediate responses. But none of them were interested in the long-term (six months) let he had advertised. Instead, they enquired about short-term lets — a weekend, a few days or a week.

Kieran was at a turning point in his WorkLife before his venture had even started.

Did he know what to do for the best?

Not really.

All Kieran knew was that he needed to rent his flat out to pay the rent. And so he took the first rental, and then the next, and the next. Because they were short lets, he was able to charge more, quickly covering his rental costs. Then his neighbours, who were about to go travelling for six months and didn’t want to give up their flat, asked if he would sublet it for them — he did, and that was the beginning of many sublettings — in his own building and in similar type buildings throughout the city, as word of what he was doing began to spread. And it didn’t stop with his city. Soon he was getting enquiries from people about buildings in cities throughout the world that welcomed musicians to stay. And so, Kieran set about sourcing these buildings and connecting landlords, submitters and musicians.

Epilogue

Kieran had reached a turning point before his venture had even started — or rather when it had failed. And yet, it set him up for much greater success than he could ever have envisioned. He has now built a team to help him manage short-term lettings in cities worldwide — connecting landlords, sub-letters and musicians.

Kieran shares these:

Words Of Wisdom

“Do what you can with what you’ve got. For me, that was a website (albeit a dead one), a great space, and an idea that I believed had viability. That was enough for me, and it can be for you too.”

Do What You Can With What You’ve Got Assignment.

When you reach a turning point in your WorkLife — whether at the beginning or at a later stage, to know what you can do next, ask yourself:

What have I got? i.e. Kieran had a (dead) website, a great space, and an idea he believed had viability.

What can I do with what I’ve got? i.e. Kieran placed an ad on his website for flatmates, specifically targeted at musicians.

Remember that was enough for Kieran, and it can be for you too.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

A Turning Point Story: What It Takes to Be an Employee Focussed Employer

It Starts From a Place Of Empathy. Listening To and Caring About Your Workforce 

The clock and chain measurement of productivity
Photo by Jiyeon Park on Unsplash

A Case Study: Alfred’s Story

Alfred is the founding director of a Fulfilment Centre for e-commerce sellers. With locations throughout Europe, the company serves its clients’ customers throughout the world.

He founded the company on what he believed were fair principles for everyone — to create good jobs that people can live off — pay people a good wage in return for good work.

The company quickly grew their client base and, with it their workforce. Being known to pay well, there was never a problem in recruiting people. But there was a problem retaining people. This wasn’t immediately obvious because, as Alfred came to learn, as he had established the company during the economic downturn that followed the financial crisis of 2007–2008 when people were losing their jobs when they secured a new job, they hung on to it for dear life. And during the ensuing years after the financial crash, when the economy was slow to get moving again, once again, people were holding on to their jobs.

This led Alfred to the false assumption that all was good with his company and his workforce. Except it wasn’t, as he was about to discover.

Slowly at first, as the economy recovered, people started to move on from the company. As numbers began to build, Alfred asked Human Resources to carry out exit interviews to try to get to the bottom of why people were leaving. He knew they were being paid a higher wage than they would receive elsewhere. Surely a good wage in return for good work was a fair principle for everyone. A principle that stood the test of time — except as he was about to learn it didn’t.

Alfred came to learn that the crux of the reason as to why people were leaving for lower wages was because they felt the higher wage was a payoff for the blood, sweat and (oftentimes) tears that came with the ‘good’ work required of them. Yes, the company paid higher wages, but labour productivity was so aggressive that the culture inside the warehouses was very poor.

These words from one of the exit interviews both summed up for Alfred why people were leaving and shocked him too.

“I felt being paid a higher wage was a trade-off for being appreciated, supported and respected for the work I do.”

These words also served as a turning point for Alfred.

He still believed that a good wage was important, but he had come to learn that building labour productivity around this principle was just the starting place. His company needed to provide the other intangible things that are extremely important to people — appreciation, support and respect for the work they do.

While pondering how he could do what he needed to do to retain people, Alfred was reminded of something his grandfather had once told him. Although he had long since passed, his grandfather’s way of looking at life and his wiseness had remained with him through these:

Words Of Wisdom

“The solution to any problem starts with really listening, really caring and having empathy.”

These words brought about another turning point for Alfred.

He had prided himself on the bi-annual speaking events, where he, as the company founder, kept the workforce informed as to how the company was doing. He now realised that was false pride because all he had actually done was to talk at people, not talk to them. Sure there was always a short q&a at the end, but that was people asking him questions, which had further served to give him an ego boost because his answers gave him a further opportunity to boast about how well the company was doing.

But at what cost? That was the question that needed to be answered, and the answers needed to come from the people on the ground doing the work — the people on the production line, not him, the person flying high overhead from a place where the view was distorted.

Alfred decided to flip the next event from a Speaking Event — him speaking and answering questions, to a Q&A Event — him asking the questions and giving other people a chance to speak.

But people were hesitant in answering the questions he posed. Alfred sensed they were holding back because they didn’t know how open and honest they could be. He had always been a straight talker, and he wanted to somehow find a way to encourage other people to be the same. He knew he needed to instil trust in people that it would be safe for them to say what they felt needed to be said.

He proposed sending questions to everyone in the company as part of a survey that they could answer anonymously. He said the Q&A sessions would become company quarterly events and that he would categorise the responses and put them into a presentation that would frame the Q&A session. He finished by saying everyone would have sight of the findings ahead of the event.

The questions in the survey were:

Are you proud to work at this company?

If Yes, why?

If No, why not?

What, if anything, does the company do well?

What, if anything, does the company not do well?

What one thing would you change about the company if you could?

The findings of the survey was that 15% of people were proud to work at the company, 85% weren’t.

The reasons people gave for being proud were based on the good rate of pay, i.e. I do a good job, and I get paid well, which allows me to support my family — that’s what makes me proud.

The reasons people gave for not being proud were based on what they believed were unrealistic targets measuring productivity. i.e. I feel like I’m expected to perform like a robot and not a human being. I’m being tracked by a computer the whole time I’m working. I’m being measured by an algorithm and not by a human being.

The thing that people felt the company did well was good pay.

The thing that people felt the company didn’t do well was again around unrealistic targets and lack of human interaction with managers and teams.

More human interaction was the most prominent thing that people would change if they could.

And so, as Alfred had said, these responses to the survey framed the next Q&A event. He began by posing the question: “What can we begin to do to make this company a place that people are proud to be part of?”

He encouraged people to share their thinking. They slowly began to open up, and ideas were documented. Then more and more people started to weigh in, discussing and debating what had been put forward before coming to a collective agreement of what the first steps needed to be to make the company a place that people are proud to be part of.

People accepted the importance of good performance in doing a good job. What they didn’t accept was their performance being measured by a computer because it didn’t take into consideration the human aspects needed to do a good job — what was going on for them in their WorkLife outside of the workplace. Understanding people at a human level needed to begin from a place of really listening, really caring and having empathy.

The first step was for managers to have one-to-one WorkLife conversations with each member of their team. The objective — to get to know and understand their wants and needs beyond the production line.

Epilogue

People had made the same decision as Alfred had — guided by the words of wisdom from his grandfather. This reminded him of these further words of wisdom his grandfather had shared.

“People will surprise you if you allow them to surprise you, people are smart, very thoughtful, they care about each other, they really will champion and cheer the greater good and make really smart decisions, you just need to give them the same information you have.”

Wanting to understand why people were leaving for jobs that paid less had taken Alfred to a Turning Point on his WorkLife path. He was open to the learning he would receive along his journey that would enable him and his company to be an employee-focused employer.

Understanding Changes In Your WorkLife Assignment

When things start to change in your WorkLife, and you don’t understand why (I.e. for Alfred, it was people leaving his company for lesser paid jobs), you can adapt the questions Alfred posed to help you understand what is happening and the why behind it. From there, you can begin to plan your next steps. You, too, may find yourself at a turning point along your Worklife path. The answers to these questions will guide you in knowing what to do along your journey.

Are you proud of … ?(whatever your equivalent of … ‘to work at this company is.’)

If Yes, why?

If No, why not?

What, if anything, does X do well (whatever your equivalent of ‘the company do well’)

What, if anything, does X not do well? (whatever your equivalent of ‘the company not do well’)

What one thing would you change about X (whatever your equivalent of ‘the company if you could’)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

I created The School Of WorkLife book series to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas most important to them. Click on the series to see all the books available and previews of what’s inside each book.

How To Use Turning Points To Start Something Different And Better is book 13 in the series. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

A Turning Point Story: How Sometimes What You Think You Want, and Need Are Incorrect

And How When You Have All the Information You Can Get to What Is Correct 

Human Being Needs
Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash

A Case Study: Nellie’s Story

“Can you just send the minutes – they’re pretty straightforward to write, and we all know nobody reads them anyway.” 

Now those words may not seem to be words that would cause a turning point, but yet they did. To help you understand why, let me share Nellie’s story and what brought her to this point, the point that was about to cause her to turn. 

Nellie is a WorkLife Coach. She works with individuals, helping them manage, develop and transition their WorkLives to achieve what is important to them at each stage of their journey. 

She does this on a freelance consultancy basis, companies bring her in as when they need her, and through word of mouth, people come to her independently of their company because they want to take responsibility for self-managing their continuing WorkLife chapters.

Nellie loves her work as a WorkLife Coach, and while she enjoys the autonomy of being a freelance consultant, going it alone can at times be lonely. Thinking about this caused her to believe that what she wanted and needed to do was to somehow find a way of being able to tap into being part of an organisation without having to be an employee. Something that would allow her to retain the flexibility and freedom in her WorkLife that was so important to her while also allowing her the support and sense of wellbeing that comes from connectivity and camaraderie. The thing that was missing for her, that brought about loneliness.

Nellie was catching up with Troy, who was her first client when she had embarked on her WorkLife as a freelance consultant. He had brought her on board at his company to provide one-to-one coaching to his team to help them manage their learning and development needs. They had long since become friends.

Over coffee, Nellie shared how she wanted and needed to be more connected in her WorkLife. This led to Troy telling her about the committee he was chair of that may help her wants and needs. 

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Every week I write three stories about a topic relevant to helping people live their WorkLife in the best way for them. The topics primarily focus on soft skills. I think soft skills are as important as hard skills in being our best. I believe that soft skills are the unsung heroes that drive fulfilled WorkLives.

The stories I bring you are created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow. 

Whatever you want to do, there is a path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to do what you need to do at each step of your WorkLife journey. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to take that next step. The motivation to follow your WorkLife path.

Two of these three stories are available to everyone. They are free and always will be. I publish them every Thursday and Friday.

The third story is available to members only. The membership cost is £3.00 p.m. I publish this additional story every Wednesday – so members get four/five additional stories p.m. These stories are not better. They’re just extra.

This approach allows me to honour my Purpose: To help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride, by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone. 

If you find my work helpful, please consider subscribing to my member’s publication.

As an independent writer and WorkLife practitioner, I love to create resources to help people manage their learning as they strive to live their best WorkLife. Your contribution allows me to do that and is really appreciated.  


How the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves Into a New Role 

In a New Industry or a New Way of Working – Freelance or Setting up in Business 

Photo by Matt Ridley on Unsplash

Part 2 of this story focuses on the ‘How’. Part 1 of this story focuses on the ‘Why’.Click here to read yesterday’s story: Why the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves into a New Role.

The exercise Millie had carried out evaluating her current role and company reinforced that the most important aspect for her in her WorkLife is continuous learning, development and growth. It also brought about the realisation that, as it stood, her current role and company wouldn’t deliver on those wants and needs.

Evaluating a role and company that piqued her interests in line with how she wants to learn, develop and grow in her WorkLife, brought about the realisation that she needed to move towards a new way of working. She wasn’t sure, yet, if that meant a similar or different role in her current industry, a similar or different role in a new industry, or establishing herself as a freelancer, working across industries, in similar or different roles. She was open to discovering that by building on her strategy to self-coach, self-direct, self-lead, then following through on the actions required.

Millie really loved what she had discovered about ‘ABC’ company, but currently, because of the pandemic, there weren’t any positions available. Being in the travel industry, Millie knew it would take time for things to get moving again — both for the company to get back up and running and for people to start travelling freely again.

Adopting a self-coaching approach, Millie considered how she could continue to learn, grow and develop while she was still furloughed from her job at the hotel. In a way that would guide her through the period of transition, she knew would, in time, take place — a time when she could get back to work.

Reviewing the job description for the role at ‘ABC’ company, Millie recognised that because of how her learning, development and growth had stagnated in her role at the hotel. She was not up to speed with this requirement:

What will you be doing as a Marketing and PR Professional at ‘ABC’ company.

Writing stories that communicate the key messages of our organisation — That travel is vitally important to the world. Telling these stories on behalf of our clients to inspire people to visit new places and enjoy new experiences.

Millie excelled at writing stories, but because she hadn’t been given an opportunity to do this in her current role, she needed to get back up to speed with her ability.

She adopted a self-directing approach in doing this. She built a portfolio of work that was free from external control and constraint. After all, she was doing this for herself, which meant she could do it from a place of individualism coming from an independent mind, without intervening factors or intermediaries.

Millie adopted a self-leadership approach to her next steps. It was several months later when the world began opening up again. She was brought back to work at the hotel two days a week and was required to work from home the remaining days. Millie knew she needed to bide her time before she could move her WorkLife in the direction she wanted and needed to, to honour her learning, development, and growth wants and needs.

Millie knew the travel industry still had a long way to go to get back the serving their clients as they had done before the pandemic because freedom of travel was still restricted. But this didn’t deter her from approaching ‘ABC’ company, letting them know how what they did, and how they did it — i.e. the culture of the company, really impressed her. She expressed an interest in working with them should an opportunity arise. She included her portfolio of stories by way of introducing them to her work and her ability to write stories that drew people in, from a place of piquing their interest to want to learn more.

To her surprise, she received a response immediately, letting her know that because of the current situation with the travel industry, they weren’t recruiting for permanent positions, nor would they be in the foreseeable future, but they were beginning to recruit freelance writers, and if that was of interest to get in touch.

It was, and she did. It took just a few weeks for her first assignment to come through. Travel to Ireland was the one county that had remained pretty free throughout the pandemic. Millie was asked to write a story about places of interest to visit in Ireland. That wasn’t difficult for Millie because her mother was Irish, and she had holidayed there many times over the years. When they had visited, they had spent time with their family, who were scattered around the country, and so, Millie had lots of knowledge and experiences to draw upon in crafting her story. ‘ABC’ company loved her work, and soon she had her next assignment, which involved a trip to Spain — a country that it was now OK to travel to, to research her story about ‘Travel in Covid times’.

After that, more and more work began to trickle through. Not enough to financially sustain Millie, yet, but enough for her to stop working full-time at the hotel. She approached her manager to work part-time — she also approached other hotels for freelance work (as a back-up plan). She figured this was the industry she knew, and because she was now working with a new industry, that for now, this would probably be as much learning, development and growth, she could manage in her WorkLife. Her manager actually said yes! This was because things were very slow at the hotel, and they were considering making Millie’s job redundant. In fact, this is what they did. Millie’s role was made redundant, and then one month later, she was brought back into the company as a freelancer.

Epilogue

This was a win/win for everyone, really. For the hotel, because Millie understood the business, and so was up to speed immediately in delivering in her work. And for Mille, because that work was now writing stories to sell the hotel to old and new clients, to get people through the doors, once again.

And that’s the story of how Millie took control of her WorkLife in times of uncertainty. How she self-coached, self-directed, and self-led her learning, development, and growth wants and needs to establish a new way of working as a freelancer, serving clients’ needs in her existing and new industry.

Millie shares these:

Words Of Wisdom:

“If I can do it, so can you.”

She encourages you to self-coach, self-direct, and self-lead your Worklife towards a new way of working by working through the:

Three Steps to Self: Coach, Direct and Lead Your WorkLife Through Times of Uncertainty Assignment:

You will need to access the: Two Steps to Self: Coach, Direct and Lead Your WorkLife Through Times of Uncertainty Assignment you’ve completed. It was part of yesterday’s story: Why the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves Into a New Role.

Step 1: Begin by adopting a self-coaching approach.

Review the job description that piqued your interest. Identify an area where you are not up to speed, and do whatever you need to do to get up to speed with this. i.e. for Millie, she wasn’t up to speed with her story writing abilities — so she set about doing this through:

Step 2: Begin by adopting a self-directing approach.

Follow through on the actions you need to take, free from external control and constraint. i.e. for Millie, she focused on writing her stories from a place of individualism coming from an independent mind, without intervening factors or intermediaries.

Step 3: Begin by adopting a self-leadership approach.

All of the steps you have taken so far will have given you a developed sense of who you are, and what you can do. Now you need to communicate that. i.e. for Millie, this was approaching ‘ABC’ company to tell them why she wanted to work with them, and in sharing her work, she demonstrated why she believed she was a good fit.

Good luck!

………………………………………………………………………………………………

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

Why the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves Into a New Role 

In a New Industry or a New Way of Working – Freelance or Setting up in Business

Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash 

Part 1 of this story focuses on the ‘Why’. Part 2 of this story focuses on the ‘How’.Come back tomorrow to read: How the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves into a New Role.

Millie had been working as a Marketing and PR Assistant at a leading London hotel for three years when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. As soon as the first lockdown began, she had been furloughed. Initially, this caused her anxiety because, from the outset, people were saying it would take the hospitality industry a long time to come back from what would be continuing negative fallout brought about by people not being able to travel freely.

Wanting to somehow take control of an uncertain future caused Millie to rethink her WorkLife beyond the hospitality industry.

Millie wanted to Self: Coach, Direct and Lead herself to what she wanted and needed to do:

She took the following two steps to work through this:

Step 1: Millie began from a place of thinking about the aspects of her role that she enjoyed and the aspects that she didn’t enjoy. She did this by evaluating the original job description to remind herself of why she had applied for the role and which aspects had lived up to her expectations and which aspects hadn’t.

Entry Requirements:

Exceptional organisational skills — Millie excels at and enjoys organising.

Excellent copywriting, editing and presentation skills — Millie has enjoyed all aspects of this work.

Sociable and outgoing yet professional in speaking with clients, guests, press and business contacts — Millie enjoys this aspect of the work and is good at it. However, at her last performance review, she was told the way she dressed wasn’t ‘immaculate’, and it needed to be, or else she wouldn’t get to ‘mingle’ with people. She wasn’t told exactly what was wrong with how she dressed, and when she tried to ask, she was told she should be able to figure that out for herself.

An ability to work under pressure and on multiple tasks — Millie is good at this. However, she now knows that should have come with a warning bell and a red flashing light. Because she believes the company abuses people’s willingness to do what is needed in challenging situations. That’s because they are constantly understaffed — they can’t retain people and are always slow to recruit, which results in constant pressure for everyone having to multitask.

Main Duties:

Assist the Head of Marketing with all marketing and PR campaigns — Millie enjoys this work, but the level of her involvement varies immensely. It had stagnated at low-level involvement, causing her day-to-day work to become very mundane.

Assist in maintaining and monitoring all social media campaigns — Millie enjoys this work, but again, her involvement has stagnated. She feels she is only given the work her manager doesn’t enjoy or when she’s not available. Once again, this had caused her day-to-day work to become very mundane.

Ensure that data from all sources is captured correctly onto the database — Millie enjoys this — which is just as well because she gets to do a lot of it.

Coordinate invite lists and RSVPs for special events — Millie enjoys this — which again is just as well, as she gets to do a lot of it.

Assist with photoshoots and filming for marketing and PR purposes — Millie really enjoys this, but unfortunately, she doesn’t get to do it much — because her manager enjoys it too!

What we offer:

Development and training prospects — This was the most crucial part of the offer for Millie, but unfortunately, this is the aspect that has least lived up to her expectations. She feels her learning, development and growth has stagnated, really, since she had joined the company. The fact that this had happened in a hotel that had become renowned for providing exceptional service to its guests caused Mille to question if her WorkLife learning, development and growth, could, in fact, progress in this industry if she were to join a less prestigious hotel. (Though that was prestige that had grown from the outside looking in, rather than from the inside looking out — or from a focus of establishing a relatively new hotel to earn a much-coveted badge of prestige, at whatever cost, and with little regard to its workforce)

Step 2: Millie began to consider how her skills, attributes, experience and potential, could help her to navigate her WorkLife into a new role, a role that would allow her to achieve her learning, development, and growth wants and needs.

Because of the pandemic, there wasn’t a lot of jobs being advertised. So, Millie started her considerations from old job descriptions that piqued her interest.

One was a Job in Marketing and PR for a travel magazine associated with an airline company. Millie was fully aware that this industry would also experience continuing negative fallout brought about by people not being able to travel freely. But for now, she wanted to focus on how she could apply to jobs that met with her criteria in navigating her WorkLife when jobs were once again being advertised.

Once again, she did this by evaluating the job description, from the aspects of the role that she enjoyed, that she was good at, and that she wanted to improve upon.

There was no Entry Requirements heading. Instead, it was phrased in a way that appealed much more to Millie because it didn’t give the sense of ‘staidness’ that her current job description had given — a sense that she had come to question and distrust. This heading replaced that sense of ‘staidness with a sense of ‘enjoyment’. Millie focused on the elements that interested her, that were different, i.e. not the ‘x amount of years of experience — she was able to quickly move beyond those more ‘traditional’ or ‘expected’ requirements to the following elements:

What we want in a Marketing and PR Professional

People who love to be measured — At first, this made Millie feel anxious, but then she reasoned if she was serious about learning, developing and growing in her WorkLife (and she was), she needed to be open to this.

People who are humble to ask for coaching — There were times in her current role when she wanted to ask for help by way of coaching or mentoring. It wasn’t that she was too humble to ask that had stopped her from reaching out for the help she needed. Rather that asking for help within her current company, Millie believed was perceived as a weakness. So, Millie liked the message that this company demonstrated in this brief description — a message that conveyed to Millie that it’s OK to ask for help.

People who see opportunity. To achieve things they didn’t think possible — Millie loved this was part of the role. She had put forward so many ideas at her current company about opportunities she believed would have served the hotel, its customers and workforce, but these hadn’t been positively received. Although the hotel was relatively new, it built its brand on a ‘sense of tradition’. That was what had enabled their success to the outside world and subsequent growth. But internally, it had disabled the success of the workforce, resulting in stumping their growth.

People who are curious and who can tell a story — Again, Millie also loved this was part of the role. Because, again, no matter how hard she had tried to act on this at the hotel, her curiosity and ability to tell a story had been crushed.

People who are not satisfied with mediocracy — Millie loved that this was part of the role too. And while it wasn’t that the hotel accepted mediocracy, it was more that the system it operated under (a controlled system) actually brought about mediocracy in its workforce — in that their ideas and motivated abilities were crushed, resulting in mediocracy, which was then rewarded.

People who can commit to our I/WE culture, values and expectations — Millie liked the sound of that, more than the bland description ‘team player’, on the job description for her current role because she had come to learn it stood for nothing. However, this description gave her a sense that individual, group, and company values and expectations were equally important in building and maintaining a culture that worked for everyone.

Main Duties — also had a different heading (which Millie preferred):

What will you be doing as a Marketing and PR Professional at ‘ABC’ company.

Writing stories that communicate the key messages of our organisation — That travel is vitally important to the world. Telling these stories on behalf of our clients to inspire people to visit new places and enjoy new experiences.

Researching and finding new customers and sectors which have commercial opportunities — Millie enjoys research.

Connecting with businesses to help them thrive by showing how brand partnership opportunities will benefit them and their business. — Millie enjoys building good relationships.

What we offer — had a different heading too (which Millie also preferred):

What’s in it for you, and why you should choose ‘ABC’ company:

Amazing rewards that will take you across the world, including visiting any of the other ‘ABC’ offices around the globe — That was very different from the ‘Employee discount scheme’ at her current company (an offering that hadn’t made it onto Millie’s list of elements that interested her, because, in reality, it hadn’t accounted for much). This offering did, however, interest Millie. It interested her very much.

The ability to be in control of your own income — This caused Millie to be a little anxious because it was based on a lower salary than what she was currently earning. But it had the potential to be a lot more, which was commission based on being recognised for achievements, and rewarded both financially and through other incentives — such as flights and hotel stay to places of interest to the recipient.

Continuous training and development programmes, including our Growing our own and next-generation leadership programme — This interested Millie and piqued her curiosity.

Millie loved how they summarised this:

It doesn’t matter how good you are. It matters how good you can be — It gave Millie a sense that if she was willing to put in the effort to reach her potential (and she was), that she would be supported in pursuing a WorkLife in which every day she would feel motivated, inspired and fulfilled. And that she would achieve this through continuous learning, development and growth opportunities.

A couple of the Benefits made Millie smile (or rather, laugh out loud!)

Casual dress — What! She could dress casually and still be considered professional!

Company events — And, and, she would also be ‘allowed’ or considered ‘professional enough’ to attend events and ‘mingle’ with people!

Epilogue

So, had Millie drawn on Self-CoachingSelf-Directing and Self-Leadership to work through what she wanted and needed to do to take control of navigating her WorkLife through a time of great uncertainty. She believes she had and shares why through what she considers are:

Words Of Wisdom

Self-Coaching: This is the process of guiding your learning, development and growth, particularly through periods of transition, in both the professional and personal realms.

Millie believed the two steps she had undertaken were the beginning of the self-coaching process because these steps informed her of where she was now and where she wanted to get to — i.e. away from a way of working that didn’t honour the aspects of the work she enjoyed and towards a way of working that did honour these.

Self-Directing: This is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. Individualism from an independent mind, without intervening factors or intermediaries.

Millie believed the two steps she had undertaken had drawn on her ability to self-direct because she had taken an objective approach in considering ‘What Is’ and ‘What Could Be’.

Self-Leadership: This is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going, coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviours on the way to getting there.

Millie believed the two steps had most definitely given her a developed sense of who she is, what she can do, and where she wants to go. She also believes that this gives her the ability to influence her communication, emotions and behaviours on the way to getting there.

This gave Millie the impetus to work on part two of the story she wanted to write for her continuing WorkLife chapters to help herself in knowing what she wants and needs to do. And to also help others who, too, want to take control of navigating their WorkLife in times of uncertainty by managing their learning, growth and development. Click here to read:

How the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves into a New Role. 

Two Steps to Self: Coach, Direct and Lead Your WorkLife Through Times of Uncertainty Assignment:

Step 1: Begin from a place of thinking about the aspects of your role that you enjoy and the aspects that you don’t enjoy.

A good way to do this, is as Millie did, by working through the job description, to remind yourself of why you applied for the role and which aspects have lived up to your expectations, and which aspects haven’t.

Step 2: Begin to consider how your skills, attributes, experience and potential, could help you to navigate your WorkLife into a new role. A role that will allow you to achieve your learning, development, and growth wants and needs.

A good way to do this, is as Millie did, by working through a job description that piques your interest — evaluating it from the aspects of the role that you enjoy, that you are good at, and aspects that you want to improve upon.

I hope, as with Millie, this gives you the impetus to work on part two of the story you want to write for your continuing WorkLife chapters to help yourself in knowing what you want and need to do. Remember, you just need to click here to do that:

How the Smartest People are Self: Coaching, Directing and Leading Themselves into a New Role. 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

I created The School Of WorkLife book series to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas most important to them. Click on the series to see all the books available and previews of what’s inside each book.

How To Self Coach Direct and Lead Effectively is book 12 in the series. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

How to Self: Coach, Direct and Lead To Achieve Your Dreams and Goals

Drawing on Insightful Self-Questions and Effective Self-Feedback

Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash 

Bridget is a poet, a writer and an author. She works with a publishing company when putting her books out into the world. The rest of the time, she works alone, writing her poems and stories. She is continuously striving to establish herself in her work as a literary artist. Her body of works conveys emotion, as well as aspects of art and culture. Her goal is for her work to be financially sustainable.

Bridget has adopted a strategy to self-coach, self-direct, and self-lead herself in pursuing her goal, which is in effect her dream – To be an established and recognised literary artist who is respected for her work, through which she makes a living.

She defines her strategy as: 

Self-Coaching: The process of guiding your growth and development, particularly through periods of transition, in both the professional and personal realms. 

Self-Directing: A series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. Individualism from an independent mind, without intervening factors or intermediaries. 

Self-Leadership: Having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviours on the way to getting there. 

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Every week I write three stories about a topic relevant to helping people live their WorkLife in the best way for them. The topics primarily focus on soft skills. I think soft skills are as important as hard skills in being our best. I believe that soft skills are the unsung heroes that drive fulfilled WorkLives.

The stories I bring you are created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow. 

Whatever you want to do, there is a path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to do what you need to do at each step of your WorkLife journey. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to take that next step. The motivation to follow your WorkLife path.

Two of these three stories are available to everyone. They are free and always will be. I publish them every Thursday and Friday.

The third story is available to members only. The membership cost is £3.00 p.m. I publish this additional story every Wednesday – so members get four/five additional stories p.m. These stories are not better. They’re just extra.

This approach allows me to honour my Purpose: To help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride, by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone. 

If you find my work helpful, please consider subscribing to my member’s publication.

As an independent writer and WorkLife practitioner, I love to create resources to help people manage their learning as they strive to live their best WorkLife. Your contribution allows me to do that and is really appreciated.  

How to Adopt a Strategy for Potentially Small Incremental Learning Development and Growth Steps

The Steps: Build It. The Rest Will Come

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata from Pexels

Declan had taken a ‘Big’ step approach when he put his first two-day residential workshop out into the world: To learn how that went, click this link: How to Adopt a Strategy for Potentially Big Incremental Learning Development and Growth Steps.

He took a ‘Small’ step approach when he rolled out the event again, six months later.

He had achieved so much in his learning, development and growth through the ‘Big’ steps he had taken. Part of that learning was that he needed to build on the strong foundation he had laid in his first event. He needed to build an audience for all future events. To achieve this, he needed to take a “Small’ steps approach by adopting a strategy for potentially small incremental learning, development and growth steps through a consistent and persistent series of small actions.

To do this, he developed a daily practice of writing a series of helpful, insightful, inspiring short stories of how people overcame struggles to achieve successes in their WorkLife.

Declan had worked for five years as a Career Coach helping people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives. Wanting to reach more people with his work had led him to develop the first residential workshop, which he was rolling out again. His idea of sharing the daily stories was because he believed they would be helpful to people in managing their WorkLife learning, development and growth in the best way for them. His idea was that this approach could also help build an audience for his future workshops.

And he was right.

From the outset, he was clear who he wanted to talk to: Individuals who wanted to manage their own WorkLife learning, development and growth. People who wanted to take control of managing, developing, and transitioning the chapters of their WorkLife story.

He shared his stories on his website blog, and he also shared them on LinkedIn.

Why?

On his Website: Because he wanted to find a way of bringing people to his website, which in essence is his place of work — in that this is where he shares his work with people who find his stories and programmes helpful. His audience or his tribe of followers that over time he could connect with more deeply and from that build strong relationships.

On LinkedIn: Because he believed that was where his ideal audience hung out. He believed he had a better chance of building an audience or his tribe of followers there than anywhere else. He believed his stories and programmes could help the LinkedIn community he wanted to connect with.

So, he set himself a task to do 90 days of writing and sharing a series of helpful, insightful, inspiring short stories of how people overcame struggles to achieve successes in their WorkLife.

He wasn’t trying to sell anything.

He just wanted his stories to be helpful, insightful and inspiring.

The ideas came from what he observed each day. An avid reader, he learnt through other people’s powerful stories. He built a series of stories from these observations and from his own struggles and successes.

By taking an approach of wanting to help, give insight and inspire people through the stories he shared, Declan began to build his audience or his tribe slowly through his ‘Small’ steps approach.

After 90 days, along with continuing to write and share daily stories, he began to mention his forthcoming residential workshop — not every day and not in an overt sales way — every week or so, by way of letting people know this is coming up, and if they wanted to avail of early booking prices, they could.

And people did. Within a few weeks and well ahead of the event date, the workshop was fully booked.

Declan had succeeded in building on the good foundation he had laid from his ‘Big’ steps approach through his ‘Small’ steps approach.

Epilogue

Having tested strategies for both potentially ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ incremental learning, development and growth steps. Declan had now adopted a ‘mix it up’ strategy. Because in his own:

Words Of Wisdom

Both approaches have worked for me, and I believe both ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ strategies are needed at different times, and in different situations.”

Adopt a Strategy for Potentially Small Incremental Learning Development and Growth Assignment

You can adapt the ‘Small’ steps Declan took to your WorkLife Learning, Development, and Growth wants and needs by following these four steps:

Step 1: Be clear from the outset what you want to achieve — i.e. Declan was clear who he wanted to talk to: People who wanted to take control of managing, developing, and transitioning the chapters of their WorkLife story.

Step 2: Have clarity on how you are going to do what you need to do — i.e. Declan knew he wanted to develop a daily practice of writing a series of helpful, insightful, inspiring short stories of how people overcame struggles to achieve successes in their WorkLife.

Step 3: Decide your best platform/s to achieve this and why — i.e. Declan decided on his website blog because he wanted to bring people to his site to discover his work. And LinkedIn because he wanted to reach his audience where they hung out.

Step 4: Do It! — Remember your focus needs to be on being helpful, not trying to sell something (your product/service/yourself). First, you need to build it. The rest will come.

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As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.