Climate. Change. Coaching Harriet’s Thoughts

Three questions.

This entry is the start of a series. They each ask three questions:  How does climate change affect you? How are its affects on you reflected in your workplace decisions? What would you want a coach to ask you?  Each recording is between 1-3minutes long.

Extreme weather, our global fragility exposed by the pandemic and a sense of urgency make these questions relevant.  The members of  The Climate Coaching Alliance and the Cimate Phsychology Alliance both work with clients in all walks of life. All our cllients are considering the present and the future.  

Whats ours to do?

In the month that has seen the publication of Bill Gates writing how to avoid a climate disaster (you can listen to it on the BBC here). The Climate Coaching Alliance and I have been gathering the views of a wide range of people on this issue. 

Please comment and engage in this debate. We are all learning. And of course, contact me to talk about your coaching needs.

Knowing Me Week 9 Dream For A New You

Knowing Me Week 9 – Dream for a new you!

Dec 2019 From pausing to consider the over-consumption of chocolate, to thoughts of changing career, the solstice is a the season of reflection. Imagining how things can be different is the start change.

This week we will draw on the work of the late Steve de Shazer and I will invite you try something new. Its a bit like magic! 

The time is now!

For northern hemisphere dwellers, 22nd December 2019 will be the shortest day of the year. For the southern hemisphere it’s the longest. The earth’s oceans will swell and fall to their highest and lowest points at this time. This key moment in the year has for centuries been a time of celebration, feasting and reflection. More recently, all over the world people use the New Year to make decisions to reflect on habits and ambitions they want to change.  What are yours?

Are you comfortable? Then let’s go on a journey of the imagination

Although I have referred to yuletide, this exercise is not astrological and can be done at any time of the year.  Take your pen and paper and think about something that gets in the way of your success in life that you would like to change.  (If you have none you may like to run the Knowing Me week 1-8 exercises!).

Once you have thought of something, pause and try to experience it completely: Visualise it – what do you see happening;  listen to it – what can you hear happening; feel it how does it make you feel. Finally, consider how long it has rested within you.

Now, imagine yourself at home, completing all the last tasks of the day and retiring to bed. Notice the details of your actions as completely as possible and watch yourself asleep.

As you sleep, some yuletide magic occurs and that something that you want to change is miraculously gone!  You have no idea how, you just know when you open your eyes that this is so.

Think for a moment and write down: how is life different now on this new morning? Write down as much that is changed that you can think of in detail. Read over what you have written.

As you read, think of your closest friend. What difference would they experience in you after that magic sleep? Write down as much that is changed that you can think of in detail.

Three questions for reflection 

1. Ask yourself if or when you last felt like this new you

2. Thinking about the new you as 10/10 what score you give yourself now between 0-10 of where you stand now.

3. What one thing could you do to move you a step nearer to 10/10

Happy 2020

For more about the project and links to all the previous wonderful weeks look here.  Contact me to take the next step!




Knowing Me- Week 8 BeDoHave

To Be, To Do or To Have

In Knowing Me Week 8, its December 2019 and we enter into the spirit of the festive season! We are getting in touch with our hopes and ambitions.

The lists and the circle you make here may help with your resolutions for 2020 (and beyond if you are reading this later)!

As the regulars among you know, the Knowing Me Project is all about getting to know ourselves better. You could add to that challenge, being more honest about ourselves.

For more about the project and links to all the previous wonderful weeks look here. If in doubt contact me for more info!

So whats it to be? A cup of tea, a glass of something else? Either way, get the pen and paper or whatever you use to capture your thoughts and here we go…

The lists

Take a page and divide it into three columns labeled Be, Do, Have.  Under each title allow your imagination and inner thoughts take over as you list all the things you want to be, do or have (try your best to avoid writing what you think you should write!). NOTE The words in the columns don’t have to link across. Let your lists grow and when you think you have run out ask:  What else?

Keep this list safe, putting it one side and prepare to make your circle

The Circle

Sometimes this is called a wheel. This is how it works:

step 1

List the things in your life that are really important to you. This is your choice  and everyone is different. Often, it is family, or friends, fitness, health, work, finance, community etc. It may change from time to time.

step 2

DRAW a circle – your cake – and divide it into as many slices as you have important things up to around 8.

Put each of the important things from step one into each of the slices (see the example from one of my clients)

step 3

Ask yourself two things:  

  1. Why does this segment matter to me?
  2. For each segment, if the outer rim is 10/10 and everything is fine and the centre is 0/10 what score would I give this segment based on how I feel it is going? 

If you are the colouring-in kind of a person, you might like to shade in. So that if you are feeling that work is presently at 50% of what you would like you will shade in 50% from the centre.

step 4

When you have your thoughtful circle completed, look back at your be do have lists above. Do you see things in one that is not in the other? Is there and alignment?  

step 5

With all this reflection and with a new year just around the corner ask yourself:

Is there a segment I would particularly like to work on, to make improvements in my life?  What is the first thing I could do?

If this game or any of the proceeding weeks has made you think and you would like  some guidance on moving forward with coaching. Give me a call!

Acknowledgements – thanks for this exercise to many coaches and in particular to The Coaching Academy




Knowing Me – Week 7 Meet your past self

Do you know your past self?

This week 7 of Knowing Me, I invite you to look at your past and play a game testing your memory. Getting to knowing your past self can be fun and enlightening! Would you know yourself at 12? What advice would your 12 year old self give you?   

As you may already know, out  memory plays tricks. We mis-remember and add meaning to events long after they have occurred, fully believing that our later version of events it TRUE.  This fascinating blog explains some more.

Regardless of their slight unreliability, memories can serve you well. They are an important part of your reflection on the present. They help you to understand better the place you now stand and the choices you will make. 

21 questions to start your thinking! 

For this week’s exercise, first ask yourself the questions listed below. Some are things you may not have asked yourself in a long time. They may  remind you of things you love, or are proud of, that you had forgotten about. They may leave you puzzling about the younger person you who has become a stranger.  

When you finish, pause for thought and make some notes.

What has this exercise thrown up for you? How do you feel having completed this exercise?

1. What did I like to do best when I was 12?
2 What was my favourite holiday memory?
3 What was my favourite food ?
4 What are some chores that I had to do when I was growing up?
5 What did I like most about my best friend at school?
6 Have I ever performed on stage?
7 What did I want to be when growing up (more than one?)?
8 What did I play most when growing up?
9 If I met my 10 year old self what impression would I get?
10 What are 3 places that I have been to and would love to visit again?
11 What key words would you use to describe them?
12 What does my closest friend like best about me?
13 What are/were my parents greatest personal strengths?
14 If I was given a forced vacation for three days tomorrow what would I do?
15 What is a key skill that I have that most people don’t know?
16 What gives me greatest pleasure in life?
17 If I order a meal in a cafe, what will it be?
18 What is irritates me  more than anything?
19 What would  my best friend say are the four most memorable things about me when describing me to a stranger?
20 If my sixteen year old self met me now, what advice would they give me?
21 What is one thing that I wish I was better at?

Do it with friends

If you have friends or a partner you have known a long time and whom you love and trust, the questions can be a great round-table game of mutual discovery. Maybe you could adapt to use in the workplace too. Have fun and please contact me to share the experience!

If this or other exercises have provoked some questions. To find out more about coaching CONTACT ME and we can discuss your ideas.

Please let me know how you got on or improvements you would make to these posts. See you next week!

If you are here for the first time and wonder what its all about, you can find out here. You can follow the exercises of being a blob, meeting your future self in a dream, considered your role models , understanding patterns in our thinking, considered your language and questioned your  values. What?!!







Knowing Me – Week 6 Values

Get to know yourself a little be better every week! If you are here for the first time and wonder what its all about, you can find out here. You can follow the exercises of being a blob, meeting your future self in a dream, considered your role models,  meta programmes! This week we are talking values. Its the real deal. 

Week 6 – Your values are what matters most

What are values?

This Week we are thinking about Values. These  are concepts that can guide our behaviour. Words like trust, honesty, or fun or others like caution, patience or seriousness all describe values and things that might matter more or less to different people.

In the British comic gangster movie Snatch, a trail of dead bodies litters the screen. For Vinny – the hardened gangster –  killing the dog that’s swallowed the diamond they need is a step too far! In other words, his values won’t allow it.

Things get tricky when we try to interpret these words. No assumptions can be made about what people mean when they use them. So, even if we both agree that fun is good, your idea of fun might be very different from mine.  And yet, even with this ambiguity, exploring our values is very useful in getting to know ourselves better.

Values are at the heart of many a misunderstandings, conflict, anger and hurt. They are also central to building relationships, the basis for reconciliation and understanding. 

So what are yours?

This 5 step exercise is a start to exploring our values and reflecting what it might mean in the workplace or at home.  BEWARE! Most of us lie to ourselves when doing this exercise! We get caught up with what we think we should feel rather than what we do. Try to avoid this – and enjoy noticing it when you do!


The list in the table below contains a jumble of many words commonly used to describe values.  As you run down or across the list, choose and write down every one that is truly important as a value to you. Do not overthink your selections and spend long on it. You may think they are all important but this exercise is to pull out your 20 or so top list.

As you read through the list, simply write down the words that feel like a core value to you personally. If you think of a value you possess that is not on the list, be sure to write it down as well. You may have quite a long list!

BenevolencePowerAbundanceEthics; CommitmentEnthusiasmCalmness
PassionIndependenceGenerosityJoyIndividuality; Preparedness; Dedication
Punctuality; ConsistencySelf-ControlZealCaringVersatility; Trustworthiness MindfulnessServiceQualityUniquenessSecurityFriendshipsInclusiveness
Responsiveness; Appreciation; Intuition; Achievement; Cooperation; Fun; Empathy; Inspiration; Autonomy; Resourcefulness;  Credibility; Safety; Individuality; Proactive; Carefulness; Thoughtfulness; Professionalism; Teamwork Reliability; Daring; Fairness; Security; Well-Being; Curiosity; Understanding Dependability; Perfection; Challenge; Stability; Expressiveness; Contribution; Charity; Open-Mindedness; Popularity; Family; Creativity; Happiness; Development; Kindness; Cheerfulness; Balance; Compassion; Traditionalism;Grace; Peace; Warmth; Stability; Playfulness; Love; Freedom;  Knowledge; Honesty; Attractiveness; Resilience; Spirituality Encouragement; Success; Optimism; Diversity; Advancement; Wisdom
Advocacy; Performance; Adventure; Boldness; Leadership; Cleverness; Learning Recognition; Innovation; Risk-taking; Healthy; Usefulness; Acceptance; Responsibility; Decisiveness; Collaboration; Simplicity; Selflessness; Humility; Relationships; Recognition
Ambition; Excellence; Brilliance; Humor; Community; Growth; Intelligence; Loyalty
Flexibility; Originality; Thankfulness; Wealth


Look at your list and group all similar values together  Group them in a way that makes sense to you, personally. Create a maximum of five groupings. If you have more than five groupings, you will need to make a further choice and drop those least important.


Underline the one word in the group that is for you the most important one. Keep this to one side


Now think about your experiences. Explore them to answer the following (you might need to close your eyes to remember!) making some notes as you do:

      1. When have you been angry?
      2. When have you been most satisfied? 
      3. What do you consider my best experience (when you performed at your peak)?
      4. What types of environments inspire your best work?
      5. What aspects of my personality are most admired by others?
      6. What, if I had my choice, would I never do again if I didn’t have to?
      7. What have been my key reasons for leaving a job?


Look at the five groups and underlined key words from STEP THREE.  Do you see any connection between what you have enjoyed, disliked, succeeded in etc and the values you have identified?  What might this reflection tell you about important aspects of your life, such as work, family, community or friendships? How might they affect the choices you make?

If this or other exercises have provoked some questions. To find out more about coaching CONTACT ME and we can discuss your ideas.

Please let me know how you got on or improvements you would make. See you next week!



Knowing Me Week 5 – mind your language

Mind Your Language

Welcome Knowing Me Week 5!  Knowing your language preferences is a key part of knowing yourself. Have you ever listened and wondered why certain words mean more or less to you?

The language that you use and like can tell you a lot about how you perceive and react to your environment. This usage has been affected by our culture and our upbringing (see this fascinating BBC article to know more on this)

Our journey of self-discovery continues this week with an exercise to look at the words we like and might use to express our feelingsFind a quiet space with a pen and paper and join me.

If you are here for the first time and wonder what its all about, you can find out here. You can follow the exercises of being a blob, meeting your future self in a dream, considered your role models and now its time for meta programmes! What? Read on..
  1. Read the 21 sentences below and mark 7 that appeal most to you. Try to do this as swiftly and fluidly as possible so you tap into your learnt intuition. 
  2. Once you have marked them look to the table below and mark the table with your 7 preferences.
  3. You will then be able to see HOW MANY As, Bs, or Cs you have
No. Sentence
1 The tinkle of the wind chimes tells me that the breeze is still rustling outside.
2 All dressed up and ready to go out she was a vision of glowing confidence
3 The sounds soared throughout the room, while the rhythms echoed in their heads
4 The house seemed to sigh as she turned off the light and felt the crisp sheet rustle
5 As I ran, I could feel the breeze on my back. My feet pounded along the path.
6 On a cold night, I like to relax by a warm fire in comfortable room with a cup of smooth, warm cocoa
7 In the long distance I can hear the whistle of the train.
8 The panorama of the green countryside stretched out clearly below us in the bright sparkling sun
9 There were flashes in the night sky as they drove north on the clear road
10 After a lot of revision she felt she grasped the essentials of  her work and could get a grip on her responsibilities
11 She was bitterly disappointed by losing this opportunity and felt she had been punched in the stomach
12 The shadows danced on the wall as she went up the stairs with the candle
13 The crowd cheered with a thunderous applause as the artist entered
14 With constant practice he was able to put pressure on his fitness and gave a solid performance
15 The crowd of brightly coloured roses around her door always gave the house the appearance of a painting
16 I was very comfortable at work and felt I was on the same wavelength as others in my team
17 I want to create an atmosphere in which they feel free to think and feel and be anything they desire
18 The water in the meadow glistened in the autumn
19 I was alert to the change of his tone. The blood raced through my veins, and I felt prepared for a confrontation
20 It seems crystal clear that if we don’t take steps to save the environment the outlook may be uncertain
21 Their steps were pounding on the pavement as they made their way home as fast as possible


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21  

Mainly As – indicates that you have a visual preference (seeing)

Mainly Bs – indicates and auditory preference (hearing)

Mainly Cs – indicates a kinaesthetic (or feeling) preference

 Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What does this exercise tell you about the language you use?
  2. What does this exercise tell you about how you listen to others?


When working with others and needing to build rapport sometimes this is increased to great effect by noticing their sensory preference.

Have fun on this exploration! Nothing is right or wrong, better or worse –  although we may feel it to be so. A key part of becoming self-aware is to think about how you respond in certain contexts. Consider others you work or live with, notice their language. Does it shed light on why you might find it easier to persuade some people more than others?

If this or other exercises have provoked some questions. To find out more about coaching CONTACT ME and we can discuss your ideas.

Please let me know how you got on or improvements you would make. See you next week!