Helena Clayton Newsletter - View this email in your browser
Leadership Developer • Facilitator • Writer

Welcome to the December 2020 Newsletter

Hi all, and I hope you're well.

November has been a funny old month for me. Packed to the gills with work, but almost all of it really enjoyable.  I've been learning a lot, including how to work more creatively with online programmes to create more intimacy.  And I'm learning music works well, and when it leads to groups dancing on Zoom, so much the better :-)

Bringing love and joy into leadership
One of the programmes was a 5 day immersion with senior leaders where we invited them to bring a picture of themselves as a small child to explore what was going on for them as children. They shared the stories from their childhoods that they still carried with them as adults; we did mask work and looked at the fears that they never want the world to know about - and then they wrote a poem about those fears - and many read the poem out to the group. And more.  A very powerful experience.

As part of it, I also got to work with HeartMath/Inner Balance technology, something I had heard about years ago.  A simple piece of kit, it encourages us to use our breath and also a focus on joy, love, gratitude and appreciation in order to 'self-generate a highly efficient physiological state called HRV coherence, which helps us increase emotional composure and clearer reasoning'.  I liked it a lot, not least because its a way to introduce a discussion and exploration of feelings into leadership and organisations - a rare thing.

Love and joy
My blog this month is on joy and the ways it can help us connect with love.  Not because it's the season of joy but more because I notice that when I actively focus on tiny moments of joy things feel a lot better.  And joy has some helpful connections to love, too. David Whyte, Ingrid Fettell Lee, Harvard Business Review and Brene Brown all feature... and you can read it here.

I haven't been a huge one for podcasts until recently.  Dom bought me a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones for my birthday in the summer and they've made all the difference.  I now do my early morning walks in the dark, around the streets of Horsham, tuned in to all sorts of wonderful stuff.

One podcast I can recommend is from Compassionate Communities UK and the episodes featuring palliative care doctor Libby Sallnow and filmaker Paddy Wivell were excellent. And the next one on my list is the one with Holly Prince and what First Nations can teach us about death and dying.  

Two more for you...
If you haven't yet discovered Turning Towards Life, can I encourage to to head there now :-)  It's a weekly 30 min injection of all things live and life  - and joy too - with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise.

And if you fancy having me in your ears, you might like this 30 min session I did for the inaugural NetworkRail Wellbeing conference that attracted 9,000 people. I talk about why love matters, what we mean by love and consider some reasons why there might be so little of it in organisations.  You can watch/listen here.

Hibernation, and Leading from Love
It's been an intense year. And I'm reminded of the work of Tony Shwartz who suggests we treat life as a series of sprints-and-recoveries and not like a marathon.  It's felt like a 10 month sprint, to be honest.  So I'm taking an extended break over Christmas and also - taking some tips from the bears who hibernate until the Spring -  I'm going to postpone the next cohort of Leading from Love until March.

'Talking about Love...'
But while I'm postponing the programme, the work with love continues.  Reading and thinking and writing.  So I'm looking for 6 leaders in organisations who'd be up for a 30 min recorded conversation with me, exploring how they see and think about love in organisations.  You don't need to be doing amazing things with love - just have an interest in exploring it in the context of leadership.  Please drop me line at helena@helenaclayton.co.uk if you think you might be interested.  I'd love to talk with you.

Wishing you a good close to this year... and I'll you at the start of the the next one :-)

Helena x

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Upcoming Events
There's still not much happening in the world of events but in June next year, you might like the 6th Relational Coaching Conference on 'Love over Fear' at Ashridge, exploring how we create the conditions for love to emerge in a coaching relationship has now found a new home on 25th June 2021.

That should be safe enough, we hope! Do add the date to your diary - and I hope to see some of you there.

Let's Connect
If the idea of love in organisations interests you (or maybe more interestingly if you think that love doesn't have a place in organisations...) come and explore it with me. You could hold a Learning Lunch session for your team on the role love might play in leadership - or run my 'Leading from Love' survey in your organisation. You might welcome a 1:1 session to explore your own relationship with love. Or take part in one of my Action Inquiry groups, exploring love in the workplace. Whatever, please do get in touch as I'd welcome the chance to explore this with you further.

Beyond that my leadership development work is all about conversations and relationships and building programmes that really open participants' eyes to new ways of seeing and working. Yes even virtually.  So whether you're interested in finding out more about that, want some good books recommendations, or can share your own experiences of developing leadership, it would be good to hear from you.

I'm social too so you can follow me on
Twitter and LinkedIn or connect via Email. Or call me of course, whichever suits.

Helena x

Email: helena@helenaclayton.co.uk
Call: 07771 358 881
Join me on social media
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