Posts Tagged ‘Development’

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.

Are your Team ready for 2021?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

  Last year really highlighted the importance of team.  Many of us pulled together, some of us drifted apart.  We all faced our individual challenges and so when we came back together it didn’t always gel.  Sometimes a lack of empathy, time, motivation and energy got in the way.

Never fear, Pro-Development is here!  We recognised this as a potential barrier to high performance and pulled together a range of interventions to get the team back on top form.  We also recognised that we are not all ready to be face to face, but we did not let that get in the way!

We have run team events for many years now for numerous businesses, but like everyone else we have needed to be innovative to work around restrictions.  As a result, we developed one-off on-line team events (as well as doing outdoor face to face where we can) and a pick and mix selection of online modules to help you build an online programme for the team which is aligned to individual and business needs.  That said, all the programmes start with the same focus……vision, values and connection.

Teams require a re-focus on their joint vision which may have changed (most have in some way).  Getting everyone focussed on the same vision and direction will help them pull together. Through the programme, teams get an opportunity to think about where they want to be and how it will feel.

We then take time to hear from each and every team member who share a little bit about themselves; what’s important to them, where are their strengths, how the rest of the team can get the best out of them.  Some people can feel uncomfortable at the thought of sharing, but we can honestly say, each team we have worked with has found this experience to be extremely powerful in rebuilding team trust and connection.

When you have a team who trust each other, understand each other, are focused on the same vision and are able to have honest and open conversations you are on the path to high performance.

And let us assure you, these sessions are not webinars … these sessions are interactive, engaging and fun and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s more 40% funding is available if you are in the Leeds City Region.  So if you’re sat there with a team who have not quite clicked and something is hindering high performance why not get in touch for a chat.  Give us a call on 01904 628838 or email info@pro-development.co.uk for more information.

New year, New You!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

new year new you Well here we go again! Resolutions set, however, the stats would tell us we are unlikely to succeed! Well not this year. Why not turn those resolutions into serious goals that you can smash!

Are you with me?

Ok, whether you have thought about what you want to achieve this year or not, think about the following, you might get some new ideas:

• What has been your biggest learning in 2018?

• What are you going to do differently this year?

• What do you want to achieve in 2019?

• What do you want to be saying about your achievements in a years’ time?

Once you have done that, it’s time to write down some goals. Make sure they are SMART though!

• Specific (in other words, you are very clear what it is you want to do)

• Measurable (how will you know you have achieved?)

• Achievable (in the realms of possibility)

• Realistic (umm, that’s a biggy – our resolutions are quite often not realistic! I mean, losing 3 stones is achievable, but not very realistic!)

• Timebound (has a deadline)

Finally ask yourself

• Have I limited myself?

• What could get in my way?

• Am I excited by the goals?

• How can I make sure that I achieve my goals?

Right, we’re off and running (well cycling in my case – the exercise bike arrives tonight!) Good luck, keep focused and here’s to a brilliant 2019

Learning at Work and International Coaching Week – 18th – 24th May 2015

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

Learning at work week

Learning at Work Week is an annual awareness campaign organised by the Campaign for Learning since 1999. You can take part as a learner, company, or learning provider. Last year, thousands of organisations took part including large corporations, SMEs, public sector organisations and government departments.

Learning at Work Week aims to put the spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development. It promotes an inclusive approach and supports the extension of opportunities to learn to all employees, especially those who may not currently participate for reasons that may range from personal barriers to historic organisational structures that focus development on particular staff.

Just some of the benefits of taking part:

+ Changing attitudes to learning and work

+ Greater awareness of opportunities to learn

+ Greater employee engagement

+ Informing business & learning and development strategies

+ Stimulating and collating feedback, ideas and perspectives that inform future planning

+ Opportunities to discover and recognise internal talent

+ Greater recognition and valuing of different ways to learn in the workplace

+ Highlighting business priorities, agendas and addressing change

+ Addressing workplace silos and bridging information gaps

Learning at Work Week offers an opportunity to run a branded learning campaign in your workplace linked to a national event. Each year, thousands of organisations take part in the Week and run vibrant campaigns and activities which engage employees across their businesses in development and promote positive messages about learning. Learning at Work Week is not prescriptive in terms of what your company should do and how you should mark it, but provides a clear framework and ideas for planning events and activities that fit your particular context and goals and is explicitly linked to your business objectives and/or opportunities and the needs of your employees. This ensures that your Learning at Work Week activities can be built on after the event.

experience coaching

This week of celebration of learning coincides with International Coaching Week where professional coaches around the world will host events to enable members of their community to experience the proven personal and professional benefits of coaching. Here in York there are numerous events taking place organised by Coaching York during International Coaching Week 2015. Places at all events are limited so early bookings are recommended to guarantee your place – cick here for the full list of York events.

Our Management Development has got off to a great start!

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

2014-04-30 15.31.58

The 30th April is a day that will remain etched in our memory forever. We were so excited to be launching our first cohort of the Management Development Programme and what an amazing day it was!

Set in the beautiful Hazelwood castle, we had a day of getting to know each other, bonding as a team and really exploring what we mean by inspirational and authentic leadership! Or ‘Sunflower Leadership’ as like to call it.

The event really got people thinking about their goals over the next 6 months and what better way to focus that a spot of archery. I’m glad to report that all our delegates survived without injury and are looking forward to the next exciting workshop.

2014-04-30 14.43.45

Have a look on our testimonials page to see what one of our managers, Kim Hodgson, had to say about the day.

And don’t worry if you missed this programme as we’re running another one again in September. If you’d like to know more, have a look on our Management Development page.

What’s been making us smile in February!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Pro Development York  

The work we’ve been doing with the Cabinet Office has been really exciting and has also meant we’ve been out on the road a lot!

We’ve had some real laugh out loud moments along the way with some interesting stories and experiences. We’ve been faced with train delays, exploding lorries, missing manuals, dodgy hotels (including a particularly lovely stay in a Brothel in London!), missing delegates (including an arrest!), some interesting travel companions and on it goes.

We’ve kept smiling throughout and reminded ourselves that you can look at life in different ways – we chose to laugh and decided we should probably write a best selling novel “Trials and Tribulations of a Trainer”!

Choose your attitude but most importantly choose to smile 🙂