Blue Sky Update – February 2023

A quietly busy month; here is my round-up for February as a coach, writer, and human being.

Channel 4’s, The Piano

Who else is watching this?

People invited to play the piano at rail stations while being secretly observed by world-renowned pianist Lang Lang and singer-songwriter Mika.

I find I get emotional watching other people play an instrument that I have grown to love, and judging by the reactions of the onlookers; I am not the only one.

It also reminds me of the scene from Shawshank Redemption – when the main character, Andy Dufresne, uses the prison loudspeaker system to share Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ with his fellow inmates.

And for the few bars of music, Andy manages to share, it seems every prisoner is set free. That’s what I saw watching some of the onlookers at the station. It was beautiful.

One room, one family and lots of mice

This is what I remember growing up as a young girl – before mum was able to get us into a flat in Battersea. My earliest memories include hearing mice scuttling around at night as we tried to sleep. Then watching as the grownups sorted out the traps in the morning, I am talking about the mid to late sixties.


The current cost of living crisis reminds me that money was tight growing up, but I don’t remember going hungry. And we had a mother who believed and hoped that education and hard work would provide a better life for us. That is why she came over to join my dad in the UK. She loved and believed in this country. I wonder what she would say today?

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can – Arthur Ashe

This beautiful quote works for me on so many different levels. It is a great reminder when I start procrastinating and dilly-dallying. As a fellow coach recently said to me, ‘with a clear message, ten minutes is more than enough time.’

Because the chances are that whatever big step you are considering, you already have enough to make a start – this is often the most challenging thing for people to do. And I notice that the bigger the dream, the more I can put off doing anything about it. It is just as well I have a coach to keep me accountable ????.

So, what will you start today?

The joy of feedback

Earlier this week, I spent some time unpacking feedback with a new coaching group, and it got me thinking about the feedback I have received over the years.

  • What was most valuable, and what could I action?
  • How was it delivered, and did the delivery get in the way of the message?
  • How timely was it? Could it still make a difference?
  • How much did I trust the person providing the feedback – did I need to check it out further?

But to this day, one of the most memorable pieces of feedback I received was from a team member back in my employment days:

‘Janice, we don’t always know what you are thinking when we have to tell you about a problem.’

My team were nervous about coming forward, and you can read my response here because, with the best will in the world, you don’t always know what you don’t know.

So, what has been your most memorable piece of feedback? To read more about mine, click here.

Until next month.