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!


6 thoughts on “Being better in 2015

  1. I am looking forward to supporting your development Sarah. It is the least I can do for all the support and encouragement you have offered me over the years.

    2015 will be a big year for many people and I only hope that others seek out support to help them through these very challenging but yet exciting times.

  2. Great reflection Sarah, and thanks so much for sharing. It is inspiring for those of us on the fringes, wanting to find ways to share and evolve, to reads blogs like yours. It makes me realise there is a tribe of us, so for me 2015 is about capitalising on that tribe by connecting more. Which means I’m going to have to learn how to blog but for now I’ll resort to commenting on others!

  3. Thanks Clare – and glad to know you found the post useful. I look forward to reading your blog when you get started and if you need any support (or practical help) let me know! There’s a great community of local gov digital communities in Voice so we’d love to add you to it. See who’s already blogging here –
    And for 2015 I’d definitely encourage everyone and anyone to think, do and share!

  4. Thanks Carl. Definitely agree that 2015 will be a big year and the more we can support each other (not just me and you, thinking more widely everyone!) the better opportunity we’ll make of the challenges.

    As long as I don’t have to call you Sensei then I think the coaching will work out fine 😉

  5. Very interesting stuff. Personal development often ends up being training as it’s a short one-off investment, but I don’t think people or organisations often stop to think about whether it’s always the best approach and whether it’ll end up with lasting change. It’ll be interesting to follow your blog and see how it helps you going forward.

    Good luck and Merry Christmas (or ‘Nadolig Llawen’ as we say in Wales)!


  6. Nadolig Llawen to you too Dyfrig!

    I’m sure Carl and I will both share some reflections on how coaching / mentoring is working out for us and for me, this definitely feels like a more meaningful and deeper sort of personal development to one off training courses (although for practical things I think these have a place).

    Let’s see what 2015 brings!

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