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Be Like Stephen

It's my mum's birthday on New Years Day and this year I bought her a ticket to see her favourite concert pianist. My mum is a huge music fan and grew up listening to classical music. In fact she was a very talented pianist herself when at school in Manchester. These days she listens to all sorts of music and at the age of 79 (she will kill me for publishing this) she still teaches exercise to music twice a week. Without any fuss my mum contributes to keeping people active and has done for many years. 

Anyway, back to the subject of her love of music and on Thursday evening it was concert time. This was to be a bit special because it would be my very first classical concert and we were going to watch Stephen Hough at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, Stephen is a true renaissance man - a leading concert pianist, writer, composer and painter. He has won global acclaim for his outstanding interpretations of the piano repertoire.…
Recent posts

Klopping - Coaching with Hugs

As a keen sports fan I enjoy watching football, boxing, tennis and more.  As a personal coach to professionals and teams I also enjoy studying elite level coaches and the ingredients that contribute to their success.
For this blog, I have chosen to look at one particular Premier League Football manager and consider why we should all take some lessons from his unique and original style of coaching…
Jurgen Klopp I have been particularly interested in the Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp as his unique, quirky personality is considerably different to the majority of his peers who seem to take themselves extremely seriously. Klopp’s ability to motivate his players (and occasionally supporters) makes him stand out above the rest. He uses the emotion of the game and is very positive and optimistic in his approach, and his big personality has helped him make a great mark on the club.

Life is too short not to celebrate nice moments!
- Jurgen Klopp

When Klopp joined Liverpool he already had an impressiv…

Stand Up For Yourself

Everyone has their ‘comfort zone’, but at times experiencing a bit of stress and anxiety can help challenge our fears and provide a feeling of accomplishment. I am not usually the kind of person who feels nervous when talking to new people or when public speaking however, at times I have definitely felt that I could improve on my skills. I decided to look at something a little bit different that would take me out of my comfort zone, allow me to experience something new and challenge myself. I came across ‘The Comedy Trust’ in Liverpool, an organisation that offers a six week course culminating in a seven minute stand up routine in front of an audience of fifty or so individuals. I know, sounds daunting…right? I would like to share what I gained from the experience and why I am sure other people may benefit from doing something similar.

The Comedy Trust Ken Dodd, Jimmy Tarbuck, Tom O’Connor, Paul O’Grady, John Bishop. These are just a small number of Liverpudlian comedians who highlight t…

Wearable Technology - Where Is It Going?

Earlier this year I spoke (as part of a panel discussion) at the prestigious SIBEC UK event on the subject of wearable technology.

As a topic close to my heart (pardon the pun) it is something I feel well equipped to discuss.

I have used heart-rate monitors and other devices for many years and have become something of a geek when it comes to which device does what. I recently purchased a new 'fitness watch' and had a considerable number of pre-requisites based on previous experiences.

My Requirements
I wanted something that could detect my heart rate from the wrist and was waterproof.
It also needed to be able to keep track of my heart rate during high intensity workouts and it needed a friendly app as most of our data interactions are with apps rather than the devices themselves.

In the Spring of 2015 there were a variety of devices to choose from and I quickly realised that I would have to sacrifice some of my requirements in order to find the most suitable one for me.

I will come …

The Value of Networking

Several years ago a business associate of mine recommended that I "do more networking".

I took his advice and I can honestly say that I have never looked back, in fact a lot of my work now involves organising and running networking events.

When I talk to people (especially senior managers) about networking they often say "I need to get out to more events" and yet they soon forget and return to the daily grind.

Then there are those who see no benefit in networking as "it's just a load of people talking".

So as one who has observed the benefits of networking, particularly during the eight years of running events I am going to outline some advantages of regular networking.

Firstly though, let's agree what networking is and isn't in a business environment.

Networking is about renewing or building relationships with like-minded people. It involves supporting acquaintances with work-related matters and asking for support when needed.


The Fear of Mirrors

It's that time of year...classes are full, car parks overflowing and gyms crammed full of people wearing their new gear and gadgets. It's also the time of year that personal trainers and fitness instructors get excited as a sudden rush of business leads to a renewed energy and a feeling of success.

As we all know this phase lasts just a few weeks as people return to 'normal' life routines and the fitness habit fades away.

Why is this?

Let's start with the basics, people are busy and they mean well when they start a new regime in January...but life gets in the way.

So the first thing fitness professionals need to do is to remember that the majority of people DON'T live and breathe fitness. In fact many don't even want to go to the gym or to a class, they just feel that they have to.

For most people life away from the gym is much more enjoyable than life at the gym.

The Fear Journey

Please don't think that once a person has been for an 'induction' …

Coaching vs Training - A Perspective

I’m writing this as I prepare a presentation for a forthcoming LFX event.
Our first event focused on Recruitment, Selection and Development and our second (November 27th) is especially aimed at facility managers and duty managers. As part of the day I will be addressing the topic of ‘Managers as Coaches’.
During my preparation for the presentation I started to think about the benefits of coaching when compared to what I shall term ‘traditional training’.
Having both received and delivered traditional training during the early and mid-stages of my career I have become accustomed to people arriving at training events and saying "I'm not really sure why I'm here, my boss sent me" or “What’s this course about”?
Hardly a ringing endorsement of a well planned and communicated team development strategy!

So why do I believe that coaching offers a better return on investment?
Firstly let's consider the way in which a lot of training decisions are made.
The main factor often seem…