Posts Tagged ‘importance of learning’

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.

Receiving Feedback

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

receiving feedback We have talked a lot about having honest conversations and delivering feedback to help people grow and develop…however, we’ve noticed something recently. When we ask people to gather feedback on themselves, there is always a sharp intake of breath and more often than not, complete inaction in gathering any feedback.

Ok, so getting feedback on yourself isn’t the most comfortable of things to do, I mean, who’s to say people will be honest with us. Are we just happier with our head in the sand?

Here are some hints and tips to help you receive feedback.

• See the feedback as valuable information. It will potentially help you to move in the right direction.

• Remember, it may have taken a lot of courage for someone to provide feedback, so we should be thankful that they were kind enough and brave enough to provide it.

• People generally deliver feedback with good intention.

• Listen to the feedback without interrupting, so you fully understand and check out your understanding by restating what you have heard.

• Probe for more information. Ask questions such as “Can you give me a bit more detail?”

• Avoid a defensive or emotional response. Comments like “I only did it that way because …” and watch out for “Ah yes, but …”

• Don’t argue with the feedback. It is based on their perception of the truth.

• Feedback is a gift, you can choose whether to accept it.

Challenge

So, we challenge you to go out and ask for feedback from 3 people, you never know, it might just be the catalyst for change you have needed for a while!

Disc 363

If you are a leader and would like to take a more structured approach to receiving feedback we are accredited to offer the Everything DiSC® 363 for Leaders profile. This tool can be used by anyone in a leadership role who wants to include 360 feedback as part of their ongoing personal development. If you are interested in finding out more, contact us on info@pro-development.co.uk

The Diana Award

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Diana award Here at Pro-Development we’re proud to be working with the Diana Award, mentoring a group of young people to help instil citizenship, improve workplace readiness and develop resilience and determination. The Diana Award was founded in 1999 as a legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world and inspire those around them. Through the Mentoring Campaign, young people are encouraged and empowered to take positive actions in their school, local and even global communities by undertaking a social action project and skills training.

The young people we work with are full of energy, enthusiasm, and a belief that they can make a difference. Although we became involved with the Diana Award to give something back, we come away after each session with a renewed sense of positivity and a belief that if young people are empowered and given the skills they need, they do have the power to make changes in the world and to be inspiring role models.

If this sounds like something you would be keen to get involved in, The Diana Award are currently signing up individuals and teams of mentors across York, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham to start in mid-November, or at the end of March 2018. As a Mentor you would work in a team with other volunteers, giving a group of students an insight into your role and world of work and supporting them to develop a social action project around a topic of their choice. If you are interested in finding out more please email: Danielle.gourlay@diana-award.org.uk.

Learning at Work Week 16 – 22 May 2016

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

poster 2016 Learning at Work Week is an annual awareness campaign organised by the Campaign for Learning since 1999. You can take part in as a learner, company, or learning provider. Last year, thousands of organisations took part including large corporations, SMEs, public sector organisations and government departments. It has a different theme each year, this year it is CONNECT!

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
  • 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.

Are you ready?

If you want to get involved in this great opportunity, Pro-Development can help your business by providing a whole range of sessions, workshops, training, coaching or development support and if we can help, please call us to discuss in further detail.

Here are some links to the Learning at Work website, to help you understand more about it and how it can help you in your business.

Click here for more information about Learning at work week 2016

Book of inspiration – to help you plan your Learning at Work week

Learning about yourself and others

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Fuzzy face

You might think that your strengths are ‘just things you’re naturally good at’, but they’re so much more than that! Strengths are something that exist within us, come naturally to us and give us energy. Sometimes we don’t even know we have them!

So beware…strengths can easily be overlooked when it comes to personal development. How many times have you focused on developing your weaknesses rather than using your strengths? More times than you can remember, probably. Sure, if you know what your weakness are you can manage them better and perhaps minimise their use, but surely it is far more energising to use your strengths to compensate for any weakness?

If you’re put on the spot and asked to identify your strengths, a lot of people find it difficult. That’s why it’s great to have an opportunity to understand what they are and then look at ways of playing to them, bringing them to the fore and sharing them with others.

When we use our strengths and live our personal values we feel energised and true to ourselves. It brings about a sense of fulfilment and authenticity. It helps us perform at our best and deliver great results. Sharing your values with each other in a team environment at work also means that you understand each other better and can start to behave in a way that respects what’s important to you all. And, once business owners understand the strengths of the people within their team, they can align tasks and projects with the right people for the best results, both for them and for the business.

Understanding your strengths and values can sound quite deep to some people, or a bit ‘pink and fluffy’ to others, but it has teeth! You can’t dismiss the importance of learning about yourself and others, and you can click here to read a couple of recent client stories to show the impact it can have.

If you would like to increase your self-awareness, or work with your team to uncover their strengths and values, contact us. We’d be very happy to help you bring out the best in you and your team.