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.
Susy Roberts runs people development consultancy Hunter Roberts, www.hunterroberts.com. Her work sees her travel extensively both in the UK and internationally. She is an infrequent visitor to her Cheshire home.
So, Susy, tell us about your day...
05:30 – Woken by the alarm. I always spend the previous evening preparing for my day ahead so it takes as little time as possible to get myself up and out of the door in the morning. A taxi is usually waiting outside to take me to an airport or train station.
07:30 – Whilst waiting to board my plane, or seated on the train with a coffee, I’ll start replying to those emails that need a quick response. Working internationally, they often come in overnight from different time zones. It’s a rare luxury when I wake to an empty inbox.
10:00 – Jump in my second taxi of the day to a client’s premises. I generally use taxi time to catch up on calls. Taxi drivers don’t get much chat out of me! I’m a phone person and always prefer to speak to someone directly rather than get involved with lengthy email exchanges.
If it’s a Monday, I’ll call my PA to discuss my diary for the week ahead and to review all my travel arrangements for the next month. I also call my client manager first thing every morning to discuss planned client work for the coming days.
I try to spend at least one day a week in the office which enables me to have some face-to -face time with my staff as well as having a thorough catch up on my emails and to do list. I know this admin is completely necessary to avoid becoming swamped, but in an ideal world, I would spend 100% of my time with my clients.
10:30–13:00 –At this time of day, I am often running workshops or individual coaching sessions. I enjoy team workshops as they’re often where we discover what’s really going on in a business and team members really benefit from giving feedback on what’s working well and less well in their roles.
13:30 - I am usually travelling between meetings in the middle of the day and don’t get a lot of time to grab lunch. So it’s usually a sandwich and a coffee just before my next meeting. I use this time to check in with my PA and client coordinators to cover off anything urgent. The middle of the day is also a good time to take calls from our PR agency to schedule in any calls with journalists and talk through ideas for features we can contribute.
14:00 – 16:00 – The next phase of my day sees me back in a workshop or coaching session. Individual coaching sessions are an opportunity for leaders to discuss their challenges and work through them with me on a regular basis. I like to hold these sessions away from the office environment as I really believe it helps people to focus on their own development.
17:00 - If I am due to be in different country the following day, I usually find it best to fly the day before to ensure I have safely landed and there are no delays which could impact on the client. This isn’t always possible but my PA spends an inordinate amount of time working out the best way for me to get to my destination in as little time as possible.
It is not uncommon to find me running coaching sessions in an airport lounge in order to maximise my time with the client. Just ask me about the best meeting spaces at airports around the world: it’s one of my specialist areas of knowledge.
19:30 - Once I’ve arrived at my destination, I take a taxi to my hotel to check in and drop my bags off. I often spend some time Skyping my family.
We also have a family WhatsApp group, which is a great way to share, including sending pictures from wherever I am in the world. My daughter works for British Airways so is often also in a different part of the world. It’s a fun guessing game for the rest of the family to try and work out where we are.
20:30 - I like to meet with friends or sometimes potential or previous clients over dinner. It’s a great way to network and keep in touch with everyone. I also love trying out new restaurants and now have an extensive list of those all over the world which I particularly enjoy and visit frequently.
23:00 - I take a taxi back to my hotel, put in a last call to my husband and get ready for bed. It’s hopefully not too late as there’ll be another early morning alarm call tomorrow.
Now, tell us…
What would you say are your main passions or things you champion within learning & development?
I really enjoy coaching and always apply a strengths-based approach to people development.
Which tools & apps do you use the most for work?
As I am frequently travelling, I need to be able to access all of my important information all of the time.
As a company we used a lot of cloud based applications including iCloud, Dropbox, Capsule and Xero. They allow us to share and collaborate wherever I am in the world.
If you could improve or make one aspect of your job more effective/productive, what would it be? How do you think you could do this?
Fewer emails! I try to encourage my team to pick up the phone to me as much as possible. It’s the quickest way to get a response.
One tip you’d pass on to your peers?
Love what you do and love who you do it with. It makes all the difference