Happiness Coaching

As a teacher I spend a lot of time with students encouraging them to reflect on their ambitions.
As a Happiness Coach the process is equally fulfilling. I’ve worked with countless adults who want to change, but don’t know where to start.

If you’d like to implement change in your life and would benefit from someone to help you to do so, then I’d love to hear from you.

You can click here.



Time. And time again.

I’ve just spent a coaching session with a highly motivated, energetic and imaginative teacher.  We’ll call her Karen.  She approached me with one main question that I’ve heard countless times before: how do I get to the end of the working day feeling that I am organised and in control?

Some context:

Karen and I have spoken to each other and used FaceTime to connect for four coaching sessions.  It became clear to me during our initial chat that the GROW model for coaching would be useful.  It can be summarised very simply as:GENERIC-GROWCoachingModel

Today’s session was focused on the fourth stage of the process.  Our objective was to leave the session with a clear list of what Karen will do to address her original question, which again was:

How do I get to the end of the working day feeling that I am organised and in control? 

Karen had previously read about and tried some time management techniques, but these tended to be about managing small units of time.  Without a structured day to place these into, such techniques would only ever have limited impact.  Indeed, Karen tried them.  She abandoned them.  She subsequently became more confused, stressed and anxious.

Why was Karen anxious?  What did she say about her day?

Karen felt that she was always on the ‘last minute’ and also felt that she ‘wasted time’ before she even got to work by checking a multitude of social media accounts for updates.  She acknowledged that these accounts were not work related.

Karen felt that she ‘wasted time’ choosing what to wear in the morning and felt that she ‘couldn’t think clearly enough to choose at that time’.

Karen was ‘highly anxious’ about her journey to work and most mornings she hit the peak traffic.

Karen checked her email as soon as she arrived at work and then became anxious that she was ‘not fully prepared’ for her lessons.

Karen would ‘binge-mark/assess’.  The periods when she wasn’t marking caused her anxiety, as did the ‘ever- increasing pile of books’ that were waiting to be marked.

Karen would bring ‘too much work’ home, and write ‘too much’ on her to-do lists.

What will Karen do?

Remember, this is a coaching process, so the following are the ‘WILLS’ that Karen formulated for herself with my help.

I will get up at the same time each day.  I will not use the snooze button.

I will use an alarm clock.  I will not use my phone alarm.

I will leave my phone turned off and will leave it downstairs.

I will prepare what I want to wear the evening before.

I will leave for work at the same time each day.

I will arrive at work at 7:15 AM each day.

I will use the time from 7:15 AM until 8:25 AM to prepare my lessons.

I will use the time from 7:15 AM until 8:25 AM to prepare what I will do in my non-contact time.

I will use the time from 3:30 PM until 5:00 PM to reflect/prepare lessons for the following day (30 minutes) and for marking books (1 hour)

I will use the time from 5:00 PM until 5:15 PM to read email, reply to email

I will leave work at 5:20 PM.

In further sessions we’ll look at how this is helping Karen to implement structure into her day, before looking at some very specific strategies to micro-manage her time.  Karen felt that she needed to see the big picture of her day before looking at the smaller parts.

If you would like to discuss ways in which coaching can help you to be more fulfilled, efficient, and most importantly, happier, then I’d love to hear from you.  You can click here to find out more.



I am the problem…

Driving home from work today, I made the classic M60 mistake: I blamed the traffic for the fact that I wasn’t moving forward. Nothing particularly remarkable about that; most of us have done it from time to time.  Blaming traffic can be a morning workplace conversation ritual, and it can similarly bracket the other end of the working day.  It’s easy to do so.  It’s easy because it requires no thought to blame the traffic and it conveniently places culpability for the problem elsewhere: traffic is never inside the car.  It’s always outside and it’s always other people. 

I’ve coached and mentored many teachers, professionals and students.  They want to improve some aspect of their performance.  I can help them.  What these conversations often have in common is their initial and mistaken assumption that the answer to sustained improvement lies elsewhere.  Like the traffic, if only conditions improved then the journey would be easier.  It’s the easy solution and it’s a tempting trap to fall into.  It’s the school that defensively points to its intake as a reason for inadequate outcomes; it’s the runner who mistakenly blames the conditions for underperformance; and it’s the student who claims that the dog feasted on the homework.

Coaching and mentoring opens up people to the idea that whatever problem is besetting them lies within.  It’s often not a comforting thought and requires a degree of resilience to be able to see this for the first time.  But, perhaps more comfortingly, the solution also resides in hearts and minds; we simply need to make the imaginative leap to see things from a different perspective.

Try it.  Next time you are stuck in traffic, imagine the scenario from someone else’s perspective.  Us, our journey, our cars are as much a part of the problem as the one in front and behind.  It’s all too tempting to allow the literal constraints of the car dictate the limits of thought: if only all these other people had made their journey at a different time – I’d be moving freely.  Of course, the real nature of the problem lies inside each and every car.  Mine and yours included.

Of course, it’s simplistic to say that every problem can be solved, or that any issue can be resolved simply by changing perspective.  We are infinitely more complicated than a busy motorway.

But it’s not simplistic to suggest that we are always in control of our reactions and our intentions.

Once we admit that, our minds opens up to possibilities and solutions. Admitting that we are often the problem, is the first step in finding an enduring solution.

If you feel that you could benefit from Happiness Coaching, click here.  I’d love to hear from you.