coaching-mentoringAs 2014 draws to a close the festive period is a natural time for reflection and resolution (as well as indulgence, peace, goodwill and all that). This post is about that – reflection and resolution – what’s gone and what’s to come.

For me, this year has been pretty big in a professional sense with digital projects at work moving from transformation concept to delivery phases. There’s been challenges big and small in this process and they’ll continue into next year too.

LocalGov Digital has also provided plenty of opportunities with me organising my first LocalGovCamp on behalf of the network as well as starting to develop the ‘communications’ workstream with the creation of Voice and the daily links (we’ll be re-launching some of this stuff in the new year). There’s also been challenges here around how to fit this stuff in alongside the day job and everything else I do and am as well as some personal challenges about how taking on these opportunities can have downsides as well as ups.

But challenge – constructive challenge – is one of the things I really value. It makes things better, widens your view and allows everyone to learn something (if they want to).

I’ve no doubt that the practical stuff I’m working on in 2015 will come with plenty of constructive challenge but I’ve also taken the step to actively seek out ways to challenge and grow myself. The first step toward this is creating a more formal relationship with Carl Haggerty around coaching.

I’ve known Carl for around 10 years – almost as long as I’ve been working in the sector in fact – and over that time we’ve supported and challenged each others as peers, co-founded LocalGov Digital and constructively disrupted a bunch of stuff. Carl’s reputation has grown through his work and I’m really proud of him as a sector colleague and also as a friend.

And I’m really glad that Carl has offered to formally coach me throughout 2015 as I explore some of the challenges I’m facing, particularly around leadership and influence. I’m still thinking about exactly what I want to get from the coaching and how that might work but it may mean more blogging here and will certainly mean more reflection and some sort of firmer idea about where I want to go professionally in the next few years.

Outside of this arrangement we’ll be continuing to support each other as peers on practical delivery of better digital services and be actively involved in what LocalGov Digital is becoming.

The idea of coaching and mentoring sits well with LocalGov Digital and the Change Academy that Carl is developing alongside others. He blogged a call for coaches and mentors here and in the spirit of paying it forward, increasing capability and confidence all round, I’m chatting to a couple of people about whether I can support their development in 2015. Carl’s post also includes the useful image describing what we’re talking about when we talk about coaching and mentoring (at the top of my post too).

I’m really excited to get started with coaching and proactively grow this side of my professional development and already offer a massive thank you to Carl for agreeing to his part in it including giving his time to coaching sessions with me!