July reflections

“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting upon our experiences”

John Dewey

What a month July has been! We’ve seen plenty of sunshine and despite the soaring temperatures, I am continuing to focus upon my development both in my personal and professional life.

Sometimes it is easy to give advice rather than taking your own, and often I don’t reflect as much as I feel I should. So after reflecting on all of my goings on over the past month, it has really helped me to hit the refresh button as I begin to prepare for my CIPD exam in September so August is already looking pretty hectic but I now realise that saying no can sometimes be a good thing!

Reflection is not about beating yourself up or being overly critical, it is about identifying how we can improve things. If we remain static, we are not learning anything and those vital experiences can get lost amongst the busyness of our daily lives, so after a rocky few months, I am finally feeling much more focused and keen to improve in all areas of my life.

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Working fathers need flexibility too! Encouraging gender equality in parenting

“Being a father means you have to think fast on your feet. You must be judicious, wise, brave, tender, and willing to put on a frilly hat and sit down to a pretend tea party.”

Matthew Buckley, Fatherhood: The Manliest Profession

The debate around parental leave is one that seems to be ongoing and in light of the latest British Social Attitudes survey, the results demonstrate that despite being in 2019, that there is still a strong view towards mothers taking the lead on parental leave.

Despite the shifting dynamics of UK households, a time where women have a focus upon their career and are quickly becoming the main source of income within thousands of households, it begs the question; what can we do to change the view on fathers taking time out to bring up their children equally with mothers?

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Hello July! It’s a new month, and time for new goals

“Life truly begins after you have put your house in order”

Marie Kondo

Can you believe that it is July already? It only seems like yesterday that we were seeing in the new year with fresh eyes and setting those all important goals for the year. As we are now over halfway through the year, we often have lost sight of those aims and resolutions, and whilst we’ve generally been busy bees, it feels like we’re getting nowhere fast, sound familiar?

In this short post, I’m sharing with you that I am feeling like I’ve lost my focus a little, I’ve made no secret that times have been a little tough lately, but I’m finally starting to see more clearly so I can focus on what is important, one step at a time.

So here are a few things that may help you stop procrastinating and start doing!

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What is imposter syndrome and how can you overcome it?

“We all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is”

Michelle Obama

Do you ever feel like a fraud? Are you ever overcome with feelings of doubt in respect of your capabilities at work? If so, then you could be one of the thousands of people who experience imposter syndrome.

I have just finished reading Michelle Obama’s book for the second time and this particular subject, whilst it certainly isn’t new, is one that so many overlook and it can be a really confidence knock. It was a part of her book that really resonated with me, many times in my career I have experienced not being taken seriously, that led me to think that there is a problem with how I present myself to others.

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How can HR support those struggling with mental health?

“People are scared to talk about it, but they should be scared about not talking about it.”

Prince Harry

There is currently a lot of buzz around the subject of mental health, but whilst we debate about it, how can we really get to grips with managing mental health within our organisations?

This post is just a simple outline of how you can start to structure those trickier conversations and allow people to speak openly about their mental health at work. It is important to remember that the steps towards positive mental health cultures begin with creating a safe space within our organisations.

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Working Danishly, how to bring some hygge to your workspace

“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”

Benjamin Franklin

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”), I have included it as part of my life for around four years now and I think I have it all down to a T!

In his book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, defines hygge in varying ways: “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”

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How to be productive when working from home

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

Walt Disney

Flexible working has not only become a top priority for employers, it is also a desirable for job candidates. As a result, working from home is continuing to grow in popularity, from saving money on your daily commute and no office interruptions, it can be a really effective way to handle those admin or project days.

It does however come with some challenges and the main concern from employers when allowing their employees to work from home is measuring how productive working from home can be, so there is a big emphasis upon trust on both sides of the employment relationship.

If like me, working from home is something you are able to do on occasion, it can be difficult to keep focused, so here are some easy ways that you can be your most productive self at home:

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