"I deeply value the opportunity to spend time with people talking about what is meaningful to them."
We're always curious to hear how our members and contributors tackle the challenges that the ever-changing world of L&D throws at them. We've got a wealth of experience and knowledge across the site, and what better way to showcase the diversity of our community than to get them to walk us through an average day?
Want to tell us about your way of working? Email us at [email protected], or let us know in the comments below.
Janet Wilson is a Professional Certified Coach and President of the International Coach Federation’s United Kingdom Chapter. With experience of implementing lasting change in organisations across 3 continents, she uses her training in NLP and Group Analysis in the work she does in coaching and leadership development.
So, Janet, talk us through your day...
07:00 - If I am at home then this is the time I have a double shot of Nespresso coffee, catch up with the news and spend 10 minutes doing a puzzle while I think of the day ahead and what I want to achieve. I find it useful to consider what is going to take my energy and like to reserve time for the tasks I really love doing.
If I have coaching sessions booked it will be a good day. I spend a great deal of my time travelling and much of it is to London, which has the benefit of enabling me to stay overnight with my children. On those mornings I will be awake early for morning chats with my grandchildren. Otherwise, I am preparing for the day, packing and getting ready for a meeting, coaching session or workshop.
09:00 - I start my day with emails. I have four different accounts and am disciplined in dealing with one at a time. As a volunteer for the UK ICF board I have regular in person and virtual Board Meetings. These are energetic conversations about ways to promote coaching in the UK and projects to offer value to the members of the chapter. Other committees and commitments to the UK ICF will generally be scheduled for the morning and it is quite common for me to be working on these.
13:00 - I would like to say I go for a walk or do something healthy – truth is I make myself a salad and eat it in the kitchen. 2017 resolution: have a 30 minute walk too.
15:00 - Many of the meetings I attend are virtual and include other ICF Chapter Leaders from around the globe. These are a regular workshop in collaboration as people with infinite different ideas from different countries and cultures meet to share best practice and thoughts about the development of coaching.
To accommodate those in the Middle East, Africa, USA and Europe these meetings generally take place in the late afternoon. I have a grandson who has a regular FaceTime session with me as part of his routine. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with the family.
19:00 - I try and eat early and will either be preparing or enjoying a healthy dinner (increasingly without the wine). When at home I will be catching up with my husband and then choosing between a documentary, drama or adventure television programme.
Now, tell us…
What would you say are your main passions within learning & development?
I deeply value the opportunity to spend time with people talking about what is meaningful to them. There is no more satisfying moment than when a client or group makes a meaningful connection which affords them a possible solution to their problem – when a question shines new light on a challenge and when they recognise their ability to find a new way through the problem. It’s never predictable but always rewarding.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
I feel really privileged to work with people who are intent on doing the best job they can, on being the best version of themselves that they can be, and who are keen to find different ways of making their contribution.
What keeps you up at night?
I confess to being a “worrier”. I hear my mother’s voice – “worrying never made anything happen” – and despite this I may find myself thinking about a newsletter I have to compile or trying to make sense of an interaction that hasn’t gone as well as I would have liked. I have a couple of strategies: get up and do something about it, make a note of my thoughts or practice mindfulness breathing.
One tip you’d pass on to your peers?
Self-care for me is finding people who have my best interests at heart and who are willing to spend time in conversation about what is in my head. Since qualifying as a coach I have had professional relationships with mentors, coaches and supervisors who have provided a safe space to talk about my practice and the challenges I encountered in my leadership.
As one of my clients once said about the process: I arrive with all my apps open and competing for attention and when I leave I know which one requires my focus.
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