One Big Thing to Learn from Covid..

There are two types of people I know going through this Longest Lockdown Saga.

Person 1- I see two people in my town walking every day, they have lost kilos in weight, they used to go to the pub every other night. Since lockdown, they have made a choice to become healthier and fitter. They have gained greater self-esteem and I can see the pride they feel when we stop and have a chat. For them, lockdown is an opportunity to change lifetime habits

Person 2- I was coaching a leader today and we spoke about how one of their team is spiraling out of control, they are out on stress leave, they are not able to cope with working from home. The stress of taking on a new role in combination with working remotely has taken it’s toll. They need help.

I am sharing my daughter Sarah’s behaviour hack she has on her phone. She has started driving, has her L Plates Up and doing the Leaving Cert in June. She is busy learning and has a clear purpose.

Now think about the work you are doing today?

Imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back:

– what aspect of this work would still seem meaningful?
– what would you wish you worried less about?
– how would you wish you would have approached this work?



Racing to Get Ahead!

This short video of Steven Bradbury winning an unlikely Olympic Gold Medal is a great example of how people in a rush to get ahead can scupper not only their own chance of success but also others.


We have also seen it throughout our own careers when those who are so focussed on reaching the next promotion, the next achievement bump into people and cause unnecessary collateral damage on the way up.

In Coaching Hi-Performance Leaders, we meet resistance to behaviour change.

Take time to reflect and answer this question?

What’s the greatest behavioural change you have made in your adult life?

Neuroplasticity in our brains show we can change but few choose to change unless something in the environment forces us to change. Covid has forced many of us to change how we work and where we work.

But changing how we see ourselves and how interact with others is the greatest challenge for those seeking to grow as leaders. People who have driven hard all their lives fear adapting their style as they progress their careers. The famous line from Marshall Goldsmith “What got you here, won’t get you there” never ages.

I have the seen the scares of committing with a tunnel vision close up where high achievers miss out on the most important moments in life. Yes, we require a laser focus to achieve our goals, but lockdown should have opened our eyes to what is closer and more important in our lives.

  • The importance of time with family
  • Deeping your key Friendships in life
  • Taking in Nature and the Outdoors
  • Being present and giving time to others
  • Being kind to others on social media

None of these require a Master’s or PhD, they require time to observe our own behaviour, our relationships and environment

The chase to get ahead can blind us to what’s really important.

If you require business, leadership or career coaching to support you through change, see a link to our programmes





Did you know?

Did you know?

*21% said they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
*14% agreed that they had resigned
*42% had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them.

My blog last week on #LockdownWindow was all about Wellbeing.

At Harmonics, we are listening and responding.

Our Partnership with the Happiness Index has enabled us to launch our Wellbeing Survey.

We know creating a great culture to attract and retain talent is more challenging with remote working. Our Wellbeing Survey gives you back invaluable data 24/7 so you as an Employer can act swiftly to look after your people.

This technology platform is the best we have seen and proud to partner with the Happiness Index in Ireland.

Book in a chat with one of our Wellbeing Experts today to discover more and see a free demo



Wright Brothers

“It’s hard to reach a certain stage and have to start learning again”

At the turn of the last century, two bicycle builders became the first in the world to fly a plane. They won the race against the expert astronomer, physicist and inventor, Samuel Langley who was backed by €2 million in grants (in todays money) to complete the project

So what was their secret formula?

The Wright Brothers had a Beginners Mindset and began exploring with curiosity. They took a design thinking approach, they knew they would fail many times, but every experiment was an opportunity to learn.

Langley, however was weighed down by rules and theory and years of expertise in his field. He had an Expert Mindset, he discounted many possibilities and narrowed his options too fast.

In a recent coaching session, a Senior Leader said to me “It’s hard when you reach a certain stage in your career and have to start again”. He fears making a mistake, fears asking for help. His ego is getting in his way.

I would encourage anyone fearing change to combine your current knowledge and expertise with the curiosity of the beginners mindset.

In todays world, we are all beginners, we have never experienced a time like this. We need to let go much of what we know to be true

The Wright’s were right:) #curiousity


Lockdown Window

Every call I have had this week, the topic of well being has been mentioned.

One client is doing a Well Being fortnight, another has Wellness Wednesdays where no online meetings are supposed to happen…but they still do!

These HR led initiatives highlight a focus on taking care of ourselves.

The real question is how do we turn well meaning for well being into feeling well and confident to face the future through lockdown?

Our work and life environments have changed and are likely to never go back to where they were pre-covid.

Many of us are on Zoom or Teams calls all day with one glimpse of the outside world through our #LockdownWindow in my case my skylight window.

This isolation is having a huge impact on people. At Harmonics, we are on a mission to help Organisation Leaders truly listen and care for their people.

Leaders and Managers need to purposely build even greater emotional connections with their people by creating the time for quality conversations.

We have used the Lockdown to create new technologies like Employee Voice 24/7 to work as an internal communications coach and our Future Readiness Index to enhance our 5 Step Career Conversations Masterclass series

Take a look and give us a call on the link here.


OIGP 5th Annual Future of Work Is Now Study

This year has certainly not gone as any of us had planned. A global pandemic and its impact have made those of us at Harmonics and our colleague in OI Global Partners more curious than ever about what is happening in organizations around the world and how experiences are similar and different.

OI Global Partners is a global partnership of leading Career Consultancy firms serving 28 countries across all continents.

In the Global ‘OIGP Future of Work Is Now Annual Research Study’ we surveyed Business and HR Leaders in late 2020 to track going trends in Organisations around the globe.

We sought to discover:

  • Important skills required in today’s environment
  • Significant people challenges currently facing organizations
  • Impact of new technology on jobs
  • Most effective ways to develop talent

We also investigated a few additional topics this year:

  • Impact of Covid-19 on organisations
  • Reskilling as a result of technology advances
  • Importance of developing a sense of purpose
  • Reasons for employee turnover

Please see the link to the report here

OIGP Future of Work is Now Annual Research Study


Lunchtime Friday and I’m Happy! Why?

“Freedom to Be Happy” – the business case for Happiness is a new book by Matthew Phelan has landed.

I’m having the traditional cup of tea and a purple snack after my lunch and smiling at the fun and engaging way Matt has written this book.

Matt has been able to capture so many diverse global insights into the Neuroscience of Happiness in our Life, Work, Career and Business.

I got the opportunity to contribute to the book on Happiness in Your Career and will be joining Matt on his global book tour when he has his Dublin Book launch with Margot Slattery on December 2nd.

If you have 30 minutes to spare, Matt will be well worth a listen and you can register for the book launch here.

The book is timely after a tough 2020 for many and a great Christmas gift for Business Leaders to offer to their people and remind us all on what really makes us happy:)

Through our Partnership with Matt’s business the The Happiness Index we use the latest in AI technology to help our clients understand how their people are feeling which has been so powerful during Covid.



Report – Towards a Reskilling Revolution



Report – OIGP Future of Work Report 2019



Podcast – Career Happiness with John Fitzgerald

Matthew Phelan Author of ‘Freedom to be Happy’ – The Business Case for Happiness interviewed me for his Happiness and Humans podcast.

The Podcast was framed around 4 core questions but we got to speak on lots more too

  1. What makes you Happy?
  2. Does the Happiness of CEO’s matter?
  3. Is Happiness important in your Career?
  4. Do you see a link between Happiness and Company Performance?

We got around to lots including the impact of his Irish Mam and my Mam on our lives.

And what makes me happy in my life and my career and what I’m missing as we get through Covid.