Blue Sky Update – December 2023

Blue Sky Update – December 2023

It must be said – Christmas is not my favourite time of year, but nonetheless, here is my round-up for December as a coach, writer, and human being.

Signing off for 2023

Despite the unusually early start, what a joy it was last week to deliver an in-person workshop. To be physically in the room with a group of engaged and engaging participants talking about networking.

And guess what?

LinkedIn came up more than once, not just for job searches, not just for sharing knowledge, not just for sales, but also for building a community.

So, to my community on LinkedIn, however, you are choosing to spend the holidays; I wish you love, peace, and joy.

I hope we can all find more of this as we move towards 2024.

How to survive and thrive when you are the only at the table.

Thank you, Jenny Garrett OBE, for sharing my article. For those who have the time to read it – I hope you find it helpful.

Find out who else is in the room.

Rather than going in completely cold – do a little background research about the others at the table. What are they saying about themselves in the public space? It is easy enough these days to learn about people via LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Who could you talk to learn more about their backgrounds, the way they approach things, and their journeys?

And while you are about it, why not reach out to them directly – break the ice by setting up individual informal chats and starting a conversation? Being curious and empathetic could be particularly helpful as these traits will help you stay open to seeing how these relationships develop, almost like having a blank canvas.

Be open to seeing and learning what your new colleagues are like rather than making assumptions.

You can read more here.

Do you need a block of wood?

 As the holiday season approaches, I start thinking about some old favourites I might revisit. There are several films and books that I will continue to rewatch and reread over the coming years—the Thomas Cromwell trilogy by Hilary Mantel, to name but a few.

 But for today, I’d like to share this:

‘There are a million things one might do with a block of wood. But what do you think might happen if someone, just once, believed in it?’

– Suzanne Weyn, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Passing on a block of wood is all part of Mr Magorium’s plan to get his shop manager, Molly Mahoney, to step out of her comfort zone and complete her first piano concerto. Find her own magic – as he can see, her employment in the shop has become a bit of a crutch.

It doesn’t matter how often I watch this film; I am always captivated by it, and this might sound trite, but for those of us coping with the loss of loved ones, I have always taken comfort in how this film depicts someone dying.

To read more, click here.

So, what might it take for you to step out in 2024?

Things that still make me laugh.

 Christmas is not my favourite time of year, and I am always relieved when the day is over because I then start to notice the extra minutes of daylight. And yes, I know this could all be in my imagination, but it helps me. So, today, I want to remind myself of the things from my past that still make me laugh.

Here are three of my favourites:

Almost thirty years ago, someone wrote to the Queen to complain about me and the service I was providing. This incident makes me laugh, but it also taught me that if you are going to make a complaint, don’t waste time with intermediaries; go straight to the top. And it didn’t take long for a copy of the letter to make its way to my employer.

When I called the council to report a rat, I spotted snuffling amongst the bins. I was so outraged that this happened in Islington that I nearly disappeared up my own bott*m. It was my civic duty to report said rat, and I can only imagine what the person at the other end of the line was thinking. But then I made the mistake of telling my sisters, who never let me forget it. My rat story is now part of our family history.

This one is more recent when a cast member asked me to perform the wedding ceremony between Prince Aloysius Charming and Cinderella at a performance of Cinderella and the Beanstalk. I was delighted to step forward as Reverend Janice and play my small part in this production. Those in the know will already be aware of my love of pantomimes, and after a three-year hiatus, it’s time to reinstate this family tradition.

So, what makes you laugh, and what will you do to include more of it in your life?

Who do you want to become in 2024?

It’s funny how a concept or an idea pops up in your life and then seems to be everywhere. A month or so ago, I wrote a blog post about my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis and how it affected my sense of self and my identity. But also, how I adapted my routines and habits to live as well as I could with it.

Now that I am finally reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits, it’s been on my list for at least a year – I can fully appreciate the connection between habits and identity. We are what we do – and it’s what we consistently do that shows that.

‘Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action.’ – James Clear, Atomic Habits.

This quote gives me pause as I reflect on my identity and how it will continue to evolve with my daily actions. Increasingly, it is the things I do every day that have the most significant impact.

Then, Herminia Ibarra’s latest book, Working Identities, popped up, and I’m intrigued to learn more about career decisions and our identities – especially after reading her first strategy:

‘Act your way into a new way of thinking and being. You cannot discover yourself by introspection – Herminia Ibarra, Working Identity – Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career.

The idea of experimenting and exploring options excites me; perhaps the more outrageous, the better.

But what about you?

Who do you want to become, and what habits and routines will support that identity?

Until next month