Articles and Insights

Mentoring Using a Coaching Approach

Mentoring Using a Coaching Approach

Mentorship and coaching are different! Mentorship involves offering advice and guidance to help our mentees achieve their goals. On the other hand, coaching focuses on empowering our coachees to discover their own solutions and reach their aspirations. But what if we...

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How to Become a Mentor

How to Become a Mentor

Ever had a mentor who helped you succeed and get to where you are today? Or perhaps you want to give back to society. Becoming a mentor is the most rewarding experience you can ever have. It’s a fulfilling way to share your knowledge, support others' growth, and...

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Identify Your Zone of Genius

Identify Your Zone of Genius

This blog is based on insights from Gay Hendricks' "The Big Leap" and shared by Master Certified Coach Jean Balfour in her masterclass Unlock Your Genius Discover Your Next BEST Career.  Do you ever find yourself settling for the bare minimum? Maybe you are great at...

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Getting your ICF Coaching Hours

Getting your ICF Coaching Hours

Are you thinking of becoming an ICF accredited coach but the thought of getting your coaching hours is daunting for you? You’re not alone. At our coach training academy, we get many questions from coaches asking us how they can accumulate their coaching hours....

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How to Become a Career Coach

How to Become a Career Coach

Ever stumbled in your career once and needed a little help to get back on track? Chances are, you’ve engaged a career coach, career advisor, or counselor at least once in your life but weren’t even aware of it! Be it seeking advice from the internet on basic resume...

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Being Emotionally Intelligent at Work

Being Emotionally Intelligent at Work

Emotional intelligence isn't all about being sweet and chipper, says Harvard psychologist and researcher Daniel Goleman. So what is emotional intelligence? Let's find out. Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to recognise our own feelings and those of others, and to...

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Ep. #73 Marking Life’s Important Milestones

Ep. #73 Marking Life’s Important Milestones

Making sense of work Ep. #73 Marking Life's Important Milestones Frequently, significant events like birthdays can indeed lead us to contemplate what we haven't achieved, our past mistakes, and our regrets. And they occasionally pull us into negative thoughts. Today's...

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An Introduction to ICF Mentor Coaching

An Introduction to ICF Mentor Coaching

What’s mentor coaching and why should any coach need it? In this blog, we'll explore what you can expect in an ICF mentor coaching group and how it can benefit your coaching career. Mentor coaching is an essential component in the journey of becoming a certified coach...

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How to Become an ICF Accredited Coach

How to Become an ICF Accredited Coach

In this article, we'll be explaining how to get you on your way to achieving your ICF accreditation. In today's modern world, coaching has risen to prominence as a highly sought-after skill that holds significant value for both organisations and their executives and...

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Empathy at Work can be Simple

Empathy at Work can be Simple

"Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life."  - Jackie Chan Empathy at work is our ability to stand in the shoes of the people we are working with, to see things from their perspective and to show this through thoughtfulness and...

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Ep. #4 Self Awareness

Ep. #4 Self Awareness

Making sense of work Ep. #4 Self Awareness This is the first in a series of episodes about the importance of self awareness in our working lives.  One of the things that Jean has learned over 30 years of consulting is how much being self-aware is important in our...

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Ep. #1 Finding Your Purpose

Ep. #1 Finding Your Purpose

Making sense of work Ep. #1 Finding Your Purpose We hear a lot about the importance of having a clear sense of purpose. Yet for many people it can be difficult to know what their purpose is - or even if it really matters. In this episode Jean explores the idea of...

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How to Increase your Self Confidence

How to Increase your Self Confidence

Are there times when you struggle with a lack of confidence? Does imposter syndrome kick in? Do you experience a loud inner critic? Does this stop you from performing at your best at work? For many of us this is true. Most people experience moments of low self...

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6 Ways of Finding your Purpose

6 Ways of Finding your Purpose

A lot if written about living a purposeful life and career. Yet it can be hard sometimes to know how to discover your purpose. What do I mean by purpose?  It is knowing ‘why’ we are doing something. It may be that what I am doing aligns with my values or what...

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How to Develop a Growth Mindset

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

Think back to the last time you got a new phone, or there was a software update on something you use daily. I imagine that if you are like me you had some initial resistance to learning how to use it. You didn’t give up!  You tried a few things, some worked, others...

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Leader as Coach in a Virtual World

Leader as Coach in a Virtual World

Leader as Coach - How do I do this virtually? One area that my coaching clients still struggle with is how to be an effective coach to their employees in this new world.  Many have had enough of working remotely and they miss the informal coaching conversations, along...

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How to improve your listening skills

How to improve your listening skills

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou All good conversations - coaching or otherwise - require that we pay really good attention to the other person.  We all know when...

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Are you having fun?

Are you having fun?

Has work become a bit more of a drag for you recently? Are you feeling a loss of purpose and engagement? I’ve been hearing about this a lot from people recently - both coaching clients and in groups. You will be familiar with the context. Many of us are working from...

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Work, Self Care and Guilt

Work, Self Care and Guilt

I love to swim. I feel incredibly lucky to live somewhere I can swim regularly.

This morning I woke up late and hesitated. Did I have time to swim? My better self sent me down to the pool, but after 2 lengths the guilt set it. How come I was swimming? I should be working! Not only am I in the pool but there might be urgent emails piling up after my new rule of no looking at emails when I am not at my desk. Oh – and did I say my diary says I am officially off today…..? So what is this guilt anyway?

Wow – when I catch myself thinking this I am quite shocked. To put things in context, I have recently acknowledged the I am burnt out. It has been brewing for a long time, and those close to me are not surprised. I’ve had most of the symptoms including, unfortunately, mild depression. Something I have never experienced. It has been quite shocking.

So here I am feeling guilty about looking after myself and intrigued about this guilt. I know that only by recovering am I of any use to anyone.

I am guessing some of you are also experiencing guilt when you take time to look after yourself. When we do things which will restore our wellbeing, we are often pulled away in our minds to what else we ‘should’ be doing. Our working lives have become so pressured with the expectation to be ‘on’ all the time. Covid-19 has made this worse for many people I know. Needing to be ‘on’ all the time for work to make up for the time spent looking after the kids or talking to family and so on.

We feel guilty that we might not be seen to be pulling our weight in our teams – I know I do. We feel guilt for not supporting our boss in every way possible – after all they are also in this state. We feel guilty for not spending enough time with family, friends, children.

Guilt, guilt, guilt.

This morning I happy to say I caught myself and slowly I managed to stop the noise. Instead of hearing the guilt I kept swimming and let it float off into the distance. Oh that felt good. 30 minutes of time to get oxygen into my system, to feel the water on my skin. 30 minutes to calm and come back to myself.

Now, I am at my desk writing this. I still haven’t looked at my emails. Who knows what I should be dealing with. Yet…. I know that writing feeds my soul as much as swimming so instead I am sharing this with you.

As coaches and leaders it is important for us to be listening out for this guilt in others. As a coach, I am listening to hear how I can support my clients to better look after themselves. As leaders, we can have explicit conversations with our teams about their own wellbeing. We can have rules about email access, working hours and model this by taking time to look after ourselves.

I remember a previous CEO of global Pharma company who went for a run mid morning from the office. After his run, he stood in the coffee queue in the main office in his sweaty running gear. Everyone saw him. He was making a clear statement that taking time for yourself is good. ‘If I can do it, so can you.’

Do you recognise this guilt? I’d love to hear what you do to let it go. How do you let it float off into the distance? What do you do to look after yourself? How do you look after others?

I am wishing you and myself a guilt free weekend.

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Career Reflections

Career Reflections

It’s time to reflect and plan. Over past few months I have been very overwhelmed. 2020 was going to be a busy year before Covid-19 - and then it arrived with all it’s challenges and opportunities. I am an ambitious and career minded person - yet something about this...

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Making Sense of Work Podcast

How’s Work at the Moment? We all work – and yet we often struggle with work. Even very ambitious people find parts of work difficult. This podcast is for you if you’d like to build a new and better relationships with your working life. Join Jean Balfour and guests as they explore everything to do with our working lives, starting with how do we find our purpose, how do make sense of our organisations and what major movements are we seeing in the workplace today?

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