5 Tips to help you maintain a work-life balance

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Six in 10 (63%) employers have increased the level of support they offer staff across one or more areas of mental, financial, physical and social wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is according to a survey of 505 HR decision makers by GRiD. The mental health of staff was ranked as their number one priority.

What are you doing to make work-life balance a priority for you?

Now more than ever, it is so important to maintain a work-life balance. We know this, we’ve learnt this from first-hand experience, yet we still need reminding.

The personal and professional parts of our lives are both important, neither should be neglected.

1. Healthy body, health mind

That’s regular exercise and eating healthy. Work on getting some really good sleep.

2. Maintain your Mental Health

If you notice that you have been acting out of character lately then it may be time to start assessing your work-life balance or seeking help.

• Take breaks and fully switch off.

• Do a job you actually enjoy.

• Build good, valuable, supportive relationships.

• Give yourself things to look forward to.

• Add meaning in your life.

3. Review your productivity.

Are those long hours getting the best out of you really? You might be putting the time in but could your contribution be better? It’s not productive to overdo it.

4. Become a more well-rounded person

Read newspapers, books and magazines, listen to podcasts and TED talks, sign up for classes and attend cultural events. Spend time with friends and family. If you invest in personal development, you’ll not only stand out as intelligent, experienced and interesting but you’ll be able to share those experiences and knowledge with other people.

5. One life – go for it!

Live it to the fullest. Follow your passions.

All of this comes up time and time again in the coaching conversations we have. We can help you gain clarity, unravel the spaghetti, shine a light through the fog and support you. That’s why we love what we do in coaching and mentoring, it’s our passion.

And, there’s funding available for coaching and mentoring you if you are in the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding or the Leeds City Region.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of activities that will help you to maintain a better work-life balance but really, it’s all about finding out what YOU want to do and attempting the balance that with your working life too.

Just remember, you only get one life, so you might as well enjoy it.

Get in touch with us info@pro-development.co.uk if you would like any help or support.

Good Luck 😊

The future of work and wellbeing

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Over the last few months, we have been having lots of conversations with people about working from home and wellbeing, we’ve been running webinars on how to look after ourselves whilst working from home and running workshops with clients on how to look after our teams as they moved to work remotely.

As a team we have had a flexible approach to work since we started in 2011 as one of the key factors for setting up Pro-Development was to be able to offer a life/work balance as we grew. So, working remotely is not a new concept to us, however, even we have noticed that the lines between home and work have become more blurred as the balance between home and the office has shifted so significantly towards working from home.

One of our clients made the decision to not renew the lease on their building and move to a completely working from home model. They knew the experience would be challenging for the team, but all agreed together they could make it work. However, they have been really focussed on the team’s wellbeing and we‘ve been running one of our online programmes with the team to help ensure they keep focussed on working well together well. Will be interesting to see how they get on over the next 12 months. Interestingly though, lots of clients are having similar conversations and looking to embrace a new model of working in the months and years ahead.

. Here’s what their MD had to say about their experience so far …

“The first time we floated the idea of moving to a working from home model was after I attended the ‘World of Business Ideas’ London conference in 2019. A common thread emerged from all of the leading business speakers that seemed to be focusing on creating self-managing workforces where trust, entrepreneurship, innovation and flexibility needed to be at the heart of the business. When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and overnight, we found ourselves having to re-invent we started to really think about what kind of business we wanted to transform into and the workforce we needed to do this. In Dec 2020 we took a bold step and terminated our lease and now run entirely from home. At first our teams went through a period of adjustment (particularly our younger team members who were also missing their usual busy social lives) and we had to find new ways to connect and communicate to include using ‘kumospace’ a fun interactive social space. We recognise that we will need to continue to evolve and adapt our model to build resilient and effective teams and we plan to meet and work in shared spaces over the coming months and have already introduced ‘quiet’ time to enable people to get in flow and promote wellbeing. “ Jo Guy- Managing Director AJ Recruitment

To be honest, there are lots of positives about being able to work from home and many workers are saying they have enjoyed it and some hoping that their employers will look to utilise a hybrid model in the future. So, what does the future of work look like?

In our employee engagement surveys over the last 10 years, we have seen more and more people highlighting that a lack of flexibility in work impacts on their engagement. Although the last year has been tough, if we do not now embrace a new way of working, we believe we will have missed a huge opportunity.

Whether we move to a completely virtual or hybrid way of working, it is essential we consider team wellbeing. So how do we make sure that working from home stops taking such a toll on our wellbeing?

We were reading an article in The Guardian over the weekend about the impact of Zoom/Teams fatigue and the idea of Zoom Free Fridays. Click here to take a read.

We use Fridays as our “Keep Free” day and aim to keep them free from client delivery work where we can along with no zoom/teams calls. It makes a big difference and sometimes its good to just pick up the telephone instead!

Finally, in many of our sessions, we have been reminding people about Covey’s 7 habits and Habit 7, “Sharpen the Saw” and four aspects he referred to in his book.

If we all focus on these four aspects of wellbeing, it will help us all to have the balance that we are looking to achieve. Here are a few reminders under each of the headings:-


• Keep moving and getting exercise – DO NOT sit at your laptop all day without taking breaks, stretching, walking in the garden, getting a break at lunch

• Eat healthy, drink water and get into good sleep habits

• Keep your hours under control – it is too easy to be sat at your laptop at 7am and find yourself still sitting with it at 7pm!


• This links to our hours in many ways – make time for relationships. It has been challenging with the restrictions but from this week, we can now meet in gardens with another household or up to 6 people – make the time this week to meet up with someone

• Have fun – we always say life is too short not to, and we can still do this remotely. Make sure you have a good laugh every day – remember, laughing for 10 to 15 minutes burns between 10 and 40 calories!

• Acts of kindness are so good for our own wellbeing as well of those we show kindness too. What can you do this week to show a random act of kindness?


• Make time for mindfulness – we have written lots of blogs on this topic over the years and now we have access to great apps like Headspace and Insight Timer to help us. But again, combine your exercise with this – take a walk and just switch on to the beauty, sounds and smells around you

• What are your core values and beliefs? When was the last time you took time to reflect on these and if you are living and breathing them every day. A lot of our coaching at the moment seems to be focussing on people’s purpose, their mission, vision and values for their life. It was doing this work that instigated the creating of Pro-Development!


• Have you got a Learning Mindset? We know from the work we do this has a significant impact on so many parts of our lives. Learning more about ourselves helps to develop our self-awareness and emotional intelligence. What are you doing to learn right now?

• There are so many great books, podcasts, videos and materials available to us so make some time for this. If you can, a great habit to get into is then writing or journaling about what you have learnt. You could even start of a blog of your own?

So, if you’re reading this, decide now, what will you do under each of these headings. And as always, we love to hear how you are getting on and what difference it has made.

To get in touch, contact us at info@pro-development.co.uk and if you decide that you want any help with your team to focus on wellbeing, you may be eligible for 40% funding if you are based in Leeds City region or across York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

We’re Hiring! Leadership and Development Facilitator & Coach

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We’ve certainly had a rollercoaster of a year, along with many of our treasured clients. The last 6 months however have been exciting for us. Working with our amazing funding partners, we’ve been able to access 40% for our clients towards investing in most of our programmes and we’ve now secured even more funding to cover York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

It’s meant we’ve had a busy few months and we are therefore looking to grow our team. We are recruiting for an experienced Leadership and Development facilitator/coach. Either part-time (at least 3 days) or full-time who wants to work with a fabulous team and is keen to learn and share together. We offer flexibility, a pension and lots of other benefits.

We are looking for that someone who will fit perfectly with our team, our values and our clients but who brings something different too. Someone who loves designing and delivering creative and bespoke online, indoor and outdoor training and development programmes for individuals, managers and teams. You should be someone who enjoys building strong client relationships and is a great team player.

We can offer a flexible approach, a lovely rural working environment near Fulford and the opportunity work alongside a great team who like to make a difference and have fun along the way.


Founded 10 years ago, our vision at Pro-Development (UK) Limited is to inspire teams and individuals to improve how they work at every level through the engagement and development of their people. It is important to us that any work we do with our clients has a clear and focused outcome that adds value and makes a difference. Our values of Honesty and Integrity, Making a Difference, Working as a Team, Creativity and Fun guarantee that clients will have a great experience which focuses on achieving results for everyone.

Job Details

We are a growing team who are building a significant client base working with clients around Yorkshire and the Humber developing bespoke solutions from employee engagement projects to leadership and management development along with training, team building and coaching.  We love what we do and are looking for someone who loves working in these areas.

We are looking for someone who loves designing, building and delivering interactive and fun training, meeting clients, developing client relationships and coaching.  Most importantly, like us, you must have a passion for developing people and be keen to work with and support a team of other like-minded people.

This position is suitable for an experienced and confident leadership and management development professional who holds a coaching qualification to help deliver our amazing 7-month experiential leadership development programme.  The successful candidate will enjoy training groups of people in a wide range of personal development areas such as communication skills, running great appraisals and holding honest conversations or managing conflict and relationships.

Alongside this, you should be confident at working with senior leaders as you will also help support our employee engagement projects.  We will provide training in both the in-house bespoke staff survey tool we use along with the reporting processes we have in place.  However, your coaching skills will come in useful here when interviewing team members and it would also be helpful if you enjoyed analysing data and finding solutions that will help businesses bring out the best in their people.

Most of all, you will genuinely care about making a difference and delivering exceptional customer service, creating a positive and professional impression and building long term relationships with our clients.  You should also have a sense of fun as this an important part of everything we do in our team.

So, if you would like to be part of our team at Pro-Development and have experience in learning and development, we would love to speak to you.

Salary is negotiable York, North Yorkshire

Please do give us a ring on 01904 628838 and we can chat through any queries and drop us your CV to tracey.flannery@pro-development.co.uk

Closing date 22nd April 21. We will be holding an assessment centre on 27th April 21, 11am – 2.30pm

Keeping Your Teams Engaged

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Keeping your team engaged has never been more challenging. We have been faced with change on a scale that we’ve never experienced before, at a pace out of our control which has had the impact of fundamentally changing what we do and how we do it.

Keeping teams engaged can be easily done if we keep our focus on the people. In times of change though, it is easy to be so focused on strategy and planning, the people aspects can get lost.

So, we say keeping people engaged has never been more challenging but can be easy! Here are just a few ideas that businesses in our region are doing:

Connect with people – say hello in the morning, walk around the office or shop floor and make a point of saying hello and asking people how they are. Operating virtually? Have a zoom catch up to say hi and check in.

Share the vision – let people know what the vision is as this might have changed recently and share how what they do contributes to the bigger picture.

Keep people informed – communicate with people so they feel informed about various aspects of the business and check in with them, to make sure there is a common understanding of the message.

Train, empower and trust – Give people the skills they need to do a great job, and empower and trust them to deliver.

Recognise contribution – Stop and notice what people are contributing and share with them difference they are making to you, the team, and the business.

Have some fun! – virtual quizzes, cook-a-longs, coffee mornings and fizz nights! These are all things companies in our region are doing to keep their team connected.

Some great examples of engagement activities which are helping to make Yorkshire and the Humber a place to work that we can be proud of.

If, like us, you are passionate about employee engagement in our region, we would love to invite you to the launch of our first ever Engage for Success Yorkshire and Humber event on 21st April 2021 from 2-4pm. This will be an online event where we will be joined by the founders of Engage for Success, David MacLeod and Nita Clarke and hearing direct from them about the movement and how it has evolved over the years. Come along to find out more and how you can get more involved.

Click here to book your place

We are also pleased to be able to offer 40% ESF funding for much of the work we do if you are an SME in our region. if you would like to contact us for a chat about how we can help you with engagement in your business or how to access the funding, either email info@pro-development.co.uk or call us on 01904 628838.

She believed she could so she did

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

I was recently asked to speak at York Women’s business club about Mindset. Well, my first thought was why are they asking me? What do I know about mindset? There are probably lots of other people who could talk more eloquently about this. Then, as I usually do, I stopped myself in my tracks and asked myself “why not”?

It’s interesting that no matter how much work we think we have done on our self-belief or our mindset, that our demons can come back and haunt us any time! That Imposter Syndrome has a lot to answer for 😉

So, I put my big girl pants on, as I always do when speaking, and pulled together a session where I shared my “Mindset” story. Here are some of the thoughts I shared.

“Our actions and words can have a profound effect on others. We have the power to change lives in both positive and negative ways”.

We can easily forget the difference we can make. For me, this was my boss years ago. I was in my early 20s having left school at 15 and was working as his PA. He sat me down one day and told me that I had so much more to give. That one conversation changed my life as he encouraged me to do my degree (2 nights a week was not the most fun way to do it 😉) but getting my 2:1 Hons degree 5 years later gave me huge confidence and self-belief.

“Never stop learning”.

I always feel like there is more to learn. Every day I learn something about myself or my field of work. Having a growth mindset is key to developing and I understanding your strengths and where you get your energy always mean that you are being your best self.

“Surround yourself with people who value you and align to your values”.

Whilst doing my coaching qualification, I undertook some work on my values and identifying what really mattered to me. Again, it was life changing. It was this work which highlighted how much making a difference meant to me and led me to set up Pro-Development 10 years ago. This in turn led to my husband and I parting ways realising how little our values aligned. Both of these events have led to me having the most incredible 10 years of my life. There have been ups and downs but ultimately, I wouldn’t change a thing and have some of the most amazing people in my life as a result of those 2 events.

“Be brave and get out of your comfort zone”.

Setting up Pro-Development definitely tested my resilience and I spent the first few years very much out of my comfort zone but, I didn’t half learn a lot! Being brave and trying new things, in my experience, always creates a resilient mindset. Being in, what we call, our learning zone, is where the magic happens.

“You can live in faith or live in fear. Both aren’t real, so which am I going to choose?”.

I read a book last year called Positive Dog and it had a section around living in faith. It really struck me that when Covid-19 hit our business and all our training events were cancelled, I started to live in fear. Fear that we wouldn’t make it through and that we would run out of money and it took a terrible toll on me. I made a decision after a few months, to stop living in fear and live in faith and it made a huge difference.

So here are some thoughts to leave you with…

Try asking yourself these questions:-

• When was the last time you gave someone your time? How do you help others?

• What are you learning now? Are you making time to develop yourself?

• Do you know what matters to you, your values? Have you got the right people around you?

• Are you living in your comfort zone or getting into your learning zone?

• Are you living in faith or fear? Which do you choose?

If you are worrying about something, try using Covey’s Circle of Concern to help you let go of those things you cannot control – you can read our blog from last year on how this can help.

Try “sharpening your saw” – again another great habit from Stephen Covey’s 7 habits:-

• Physical – make time for exercise and getting outdoors – we know this helps our mindset

• Spiritual – identify what feeds your soul – mindfulness, your values

• Mental – make time to read, learn, write or listen to podcasts

• Social/Emotional – surround yourself with the right people, love, laugh and make your difference

If you need any support, we are always here for you. We can offer coaching and support, much of which is eligible for funding too. Get in touch on 01904 628838 or info@pro-development.co.uk to find out more.

Managing a divided workforce

Written by Tracey Flannery on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

A year ago many of us didn’t even know what a furlough scheme was and now it has proved to be a lifesaver for many business but it has come with some difficult decisions and had some unexpected impacts on morale and team dynamics.

  • Employees who have not been furloughed have had very high workloads, often taking on accountability that previously wasn’t theirs.
  • Employees who were/are furloughed might have felt/feel helpless and less valuable.
  • Furloughed people may be worried that they would be/will be first in the line for any potential job cuts.
  • There may be resentment or frustration towards those who have still been involved in the business and know what’s going on.
  • There may be resentment towards those who had/are having ‘time off’ whilst being paid to stay at home.

All of this and more needs handling carefully and has the potential to cause tension and conflict leading to impacts on engagement and productivity.  As Employee Engagement specialists, we are always big on team engagement but now more than ever it’s crucial that you focus on engagement. Here’s some ideas:

  • Communication is everything – do your best to reassure and make people feel valued.
  • Build in time for extra team meetings, huddles, catch ups and give people the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns.
  • Avoid small problems becoming a bigger issue – deal with them, open and honest conversations are key. We deliver lots on this so give us a shout if your team could do with an update and some practice.
  • How about a re-onboarding strategy? Get your team involved in what’s needed.
  • Develop handover plans so all know and understand their responsibilities, especially any changes.
  • Prioritise time with furloughed staff to bring them back up to speed, be sensitive and flexible and make sure they know they are integral to the business.
  • Spend time with none furloughed staff to re-distribute the right parts of their workload.
  • Communicating both short and long term goals to provide clarity will be important.
  • Reassure your people they will always be treated fairly
  • Team building sessions and activities – we can help! We have a 10-session programme with each 2-hour session running every 2/3 weeks​ and it has been very impactful. Each session combines development and action learning to create a sense of team and support for your Managers or your team. ​
  • Buddy up furloughed and non-furlough team members
  • Rewards and recognition will be important, especially if you can find a way to honour your non-furloughed people.
  • Lastly, a great opportunity to ditch obsolete working practices and embrace better ways of working. Empower your team to get them talking and working together on re-designing their work practices and solve problems.

Remember that emotional support might be needed, there’s been a lot going on and many people might be struggling. There is always a friendly ear here if you want to chat through any development, engagement or training issues.

There are plenty of opportunities for funded development and engagement work too. Keep an eye out for what’s available and coming up in your area. Businesses in the Leeds City Region can access 40% funding towards the training investment with us at Pro-Development.   Click here for more information



Job Description – Learning and Development Administrator

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Job Description – Learning and Development Administrator

Founded 10 years ago, our vision at Pro-Development (UK) Limited is to inspire teams and individuals to improve how they work at every level through the engagement and development of their people. It is important to us that any work we do with our clients has a clear and focused outcome that adds value and makes a difference. Our values of Honesty and Integrity, Making a Difference, Working as a Team, Creativity and Fun guarantee that clients will have a great experience which focuses on achieving results for everyone.

Success continues, and as we implement plans for growth, we are seeking an exceptional Learning and Development Administrator to join our team.

Key Responsibilities and Tasks
• You will be tasked with supporting the business via a range of administrative duties. This is a hands-on role with opportunity to be involved in many areas of a small business.
• You will be required to provide a high quality and reliable service and will be expected to respond to our lovely clients in a polite, calm and professional manner.
• Welcome all visitors and answer the telephone, dealing with queries where possible.
• Diary scheduling and supporting our fantastic Learning and Development Consultants and associates with resources, materials and a myriad of arrangements.
• Ordering lunches, booking venues and suppliers, materials and recording purchases.
• Processing bookings, checklists and funding forms for various funding bodies and keeping excellent records and compliance documents.
• Following processes and procedures always with an eye on improvement opportunities.
• Having the ability to manipulate data from various sources and consolidate reports within Excel using formulas, formatting and database management.
• Providing, producing and updating training documentation which includes training presentations, setting up online tools and modifying materials.
• Maintaining the cleanliness and presentation of the Office so we have a lovely place to work.
• Printing, scanning, copying, filing, everything associated with running a small office.

Key Skills & Experience
Ideally the post holder should possess the following attributes;
• Be responsible, honest and reliable with excellent attention to detail.
• A proven track record in the provision of administration support in a busy office, including multi-tasking and meeting deadlines.
• Strong verbal and written communication along with interpersonal skills and comfortable dealing with client requests.
• Ability to self-manage a busy workload and prioritise own tasks to achieve objectives.
• Strong IT skills with ability and willingness to learn new systems and processes, whilst highlighting potential improvements to current processes.
• Proficient in Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook and other systems such as Capsule, WordPress, Zoom and MS Teams.
• Good numeric skills and understanding of working in a small business.
• Be resilient and solution-focused able to utilise knowledge to effectively problem-solve with a practical ‘hands on’ approach.
• Have an interest in building client relationships, promoting the business and contributing to social media and web marketing.
• Be supportive of our team and our clients and whilst doing all this also being positive and with a preference for keeping things fun and friendly.
• Be interested in developing people, the psychology of people and having a positive impact on what our clients achieve.

Likely full-time although can be a bit flexible, salary from £20k

An initial 2-hour Assessment Centre will be held (date to be confirmed).

Please call Tracey Flannery for an initial chat and send your CV to


01904 628838.

All you need is Love, altogether now!

Written by Tracey Flannery on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Love is one of the most highly contemplated and argued concepts.

If you google using the word love in business you will find this, “Using the word love adds no value, fails to engage prospects and moves you no closer to getting what you want.”

In a sales email we can understand how you could be turned off (no pun intended) and some people use the word very discriminately, for instance, only with their family. Maybe, in attempts to be business-like, we have over-professionalised our behaviours to the detriment of us all as humans.

There has been much research exploring love in the context of leadership. What might happen if we put love at the heart of our business practice? Coupling the word “love” with leadership can feel uncomfortable, but love is central to leadership. As an emotion and as a behaviour. Even in the most severe and extreme environments, like armed conflict, love has the strongest place. Lieutenant Colonel Joe Ricciardi stood before his battalion of 1,000 soldiers deployed with clearing roads of IEDs in Afghanistan and gave them one simple message “You need to love one another”! Ricciardi went on to do a PhD on this topic and found that a team member who feels loved by his boss is significantly more likely to see his boss as a good leader. He defined love as intimacy, passion, and commitment.

If you are interested in understanding more about love as a deeply human exploration of leadership that is people-focused but continues to drive business, have a read of Dr Tracy Kite’s book Love To Lead.

At Pro-Development we use love a lot and we are not sorry! We love what we do, love working with our fabulous clients and love delivering impact in a fun and engaging way. We believe most of today’s leaders would agree that demonstrating love for employees, customers and a company’s products is important. To us, it’s about caring deeply and strongly. If we are to discuss business from the human view, we can’t not talk about love.

Of course, we need to consider the varieties of love which are appropriate and beneficial in the workplace. For us, it is about love forming the basis of mutually respectful relationships and enabling human beings to care what happens to them, other people and the world around them. If we can translate this into the workplace, we can also expect more trusting relationships, collaborative working and teams who behave more responsibly and with more accountability. We want businesses to be the best they can be, connected, loyal to organisational values and confident in growth potential.

You can spot a team where love is missing, whether you are courageous enough to call it that or not. In the case of our clients, love means providing them with innovative, quality products and services that offer real value. It is about being honest and open but always with love in our heart to help them to achieve all they deserve. And it also means striving to provide the very highest levels of customer service and working in partnership with them and their culture.

For us love means genuinely caring about your people, their happiness and well-being, supporting them and applauding them when they achieve. As a leader, you have the ability to inspire your people and build a culture that gets them excited and fully engaged in their work. You can help your employees learn new skills, take on new responsibilities, and grow and we can help support you with just that.

We also LOVE funding and the team at West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges because working in partnership, we can offer 40% towards your investment in making your business a high performing workplace if you are based in the Leeds City Region. Whether that’s engagement projects, team building, coaching or full-on development programmes that are in your 2021 plan, talk to us about the funding you could receive.

You can contact us by emailing info@pro-development.co.uk or calling us on 01904 628838.

Zoom, just one look and then my heart went Boom

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries, Uncategorized

Well, we have all been busy Zooming (and MS Teaming) over these last few months adapting to our new environment, and we are becoming quite accustomed to this way of working.  We now have on-line team events and an on-line management programme and yet are often asked if they are as effective!

To be honest, although we had confidence in the content of the programmes, we were not sure how participative delegates would be in a virtual environment!  Well, we need not have worried, because on every single programme interaction has been brilliant.  There has maybe been the odd one or two people who were slightly more reserved but then, that is no different from face-to-face events so in the main, we have been really impressed.  We have also had some people who have shared that they have felt more able to be honest than if they were face-to-face!  We are certainly seeing a lot of honesty at these sessions.

We have set ourselves high standards to ensure the programmes have the vibrancy and experiential aspects of our face-to-face events and to us, that has contributed to their success.  Sessions are short, about a couple of hours, and run about every three weeks, allowing time for delegates to try new techniques and embed learning before coming back to the next session to share their reflections.

To us we have found Zoom and MS Teams a fantastic platform for learning and development.   Is Zoom and MS Teams the future?  For us, yes, they certainly have their place, and open up a whole new way of making learning more accessible, particularly for SMEs.  Do they replace face-to-face learning?  NEVER – whilst we embrace the new ways and really value the flexibility on-line learning brings… you never forget your first love 😉

To find out about our online programme click here

Look out soon for a video testimonial and hear what one of our clients has to say about their experience of our online team development programme.

Are you being an authentic leader?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries, Uncategorized

Do you love the skin you are in? Do you embrace your qualities and traits, those things that make you unique? Now of course we may have qualities and traits that we need to tone down a bit, after all, nobody is perfect😉. However are you being true to yourself and being a truly authentic leader?

Quite often the answer to the question is no. So, let’s just remind ourselves what an authentic leader is. We love Goffee and Jones descriptions which identifies 4 lovely characteristics.

An authentic leader is one who:

  Listens to Intuition An Authentic leader relies on and listens to their intuition. They listen and trust their instinct and use this to work out how and when to act. We all have the ‘gut feeling’, but do you listen to yours? Maybe it’s time to give it a bit more of your attention!

One- off Authentic leaders make the most of what is unique about them and are happy to reveal their differences rather than hide them and morph into a poor replica of somebody else.

Vulnerability An authentic leader is comfortable exposing some vulnerability, able to reveal they are not perfect, not always the expert. By doing so people tend to trust them more and in turn, reveal their vulnerability too. How refreshing and liberating this is, to not have to pretend to be everything to everyone.

Empathetically Tough! Authentic leaders lead with tough empathy. This is about giving people what they need, not what they want, and this is done with good intention and a kind heart.

  So, to be an authentic leader, embrace the ‘LOVE’ of self and everything that makes you so special.

If you would like to know more about becoming an Authentic Leader is may be worth exploring our Management Development Programme, and remember funding may be available so ask us for more details. You can contact us at info@pro-development.co.uk or give us a call on 01904 628838.