Seven days ago I confess I wasn’t looking forward to the week that’s just gone by. I was tired, a little grumpy and felt that I had a lot on. These feelings had unfortunately compounded my ‘off times’ that I get with my Parkinsons and had left me quite frustrated. In addition, our dog Branston had just had his second visit to the Vet with an upset tummy, neither my Wife or I had been sleeping very well due to Branston’s nocturnal nausea and I knew there were a lot of events coming up that meant a lot to me in terms of life development. This was how the week looked
Monday – prep for upcoming events, run a training session, get haircut
Tuesday – run a newly devised development session for a valued colleague group (This was important to me, a first run through of material I had compiled from various sources and I wasn’t completely sure if it was what the customer wanted. Also I had a mentoring call with a colleague and I wanted to add value in that but was worried I’d have brain melt-down….
Wednesday – travel to London to speak/host an internal team event. New material and a bit of uncertainty as to whether I could magic the conclusion, which depended on collating responses, comments and thoughts from the delegates and crafting them into a powerpoint deck (Pre-prepared) that should provide a powerful and emotive climax to proceedings. It felt a bit worrying as I wasn’t quite sure if I could pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Thursday – A morning call with Parkinson’s UK to discuss their involvement in this year’s European BA Conference, then running one of my regular bi-weekly coaching groups, then finishing the day with another call to the Department of Work & Pensions to discuss the Aviva Mid-life MOT pilot that I had been involved in.
Friday – working from home with just one 1:1 coaching call
All in all it was looking to be a demanding week and one that from in front looked quite daunting; almost like a large wave approaching. However, looking at the wave receding away from me today, it turned out to be a very positive one. Here’s how things panned out.
Monday – training session went well; got time wrong for haircut so had to re-schedule for Tuesday. This seemed quite annoying at the time as I knew Tuesday was going to be busy……
Tuesday – new session was really good fun and felt like it added value. Was on a ‘high’ as a result and felt ‘on’ for most of the day. Got haircut.
Wednesday – woke early and despite being a bit late leaving made the 0800 train in good time. Had a good trip down to London with very amiable conversation with a colleague regarding Napoleon, history and other interesting topics. I personally believe that every conversation is an opportunity to learn something and this proved no exception. The event went very well even though I was a bit off for the start, but in some ways this makes it more memorable for the delegates. My presentation was all about the qualities of effective of powerful teams and the importance of a mutual and desirable purpose underlying the team’s activities. I used a historical example for this, in this case the NASA Moon landings in the 1960s and ran several break-out exercises during the day. I greatly believe that people get more out of life if they can engage their own beliefs with that of the group purpose; or bring their personal beliefs into their work in some way. Too often, people put on the ‘corporate coat’ when they walk into the office; feeling that they have to conform in some way to what the company culture expects from then. In my world I feel that as long as your belief system can co-exist within the corporate culture and values then you should feel free to let it inform what you do.
I was also surprised and delighted when one of the other speakers revealed during her talk that her recent change of career into systems thinking and coaching had in part been inspired by seeing my ‘Power of Change’ presentation a year or so ago. She explained that she no longer defined herself as a project manager but more as a facilitator of change and a life coach. I was really touched by the fact that I had assisted with this, as it is something I passionately believe in and feel is my main purpose. If I have helped someone to develop then it has been a good day…..
In terms of the rest of the day I shouldn’t have worried. With the help of a couple of valued BA colleagues I gained more than enough content for the final slide deck and it proved a very fitting finale. I now know I can run this session in different circumstances and get the same positive and powerful results.
Then it was back on the train in the company of another close colleague for more good conversation about leadership, presentation skills, films and American football (we are both Redskins fans). All in all, a very good day and not nearly as bad as I had worried about. The kindness of people in assisting with my Parkinson’s is always heart-warming and a lesson in the fact that I can be vulnerable and honest without feeling awkward about it.
Thursday – commenced with a great conversation with Parkinson’s UK in which they offered a great deal more than I’d been expecting. I put their proposal to the Advisory Committee and it was met with wide approval plus one of the committee forwarded a very touching video clip of a BBC show where they created some tech to help someone with a strong tremor who was an artist. This rang very true with me as I like to draw and it is occasionally impossible with my symptoms but it was nice to think that people were aware of my difficulties.
The afternoon coaching session went well; in fact, it was co-hosted by two of the attendees so all I had to do was listen! It’s great when people step up and take the reigns and I also was pleased that one of the delegates participated with some great ideas for the first time so I took a moment after the call to feed that back to her.
The day finished with a very positive call to the DWP which hopefully will help them with their implementation of mid-life MOTs to their staff.
Friday – and relax….
So, in reality the week that I was worried about turned out to be a week of blessings in the end, providing me with plenty of food for thought for future blog posts, articles and presentations plus some new contacts in my network. So I’ve learnt that the next time I see a big wave coming to remember and visualise the feeling of satisfaction as it recedes gracefully away from me…..
Oh, and Branston’s feeling a lot better now and is curled up on my lap as I type this!