camelon, Christmas, coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, safety, Support, tamfourhill, training

Naughty or Nice

Apparently this year there is no naughty list! Or so some advertisers would have you think. It seems that because of everything we’ve been through, Santa doesn’t have a naughty list!

Okay, it’s just a cheap marketing line but rather than thinking about whether we’re going to get presents from Santa or not this year (I hope you do!), I thought about how we see things around us – naughty or nice? Or in other words, do you focus on the negative stuff around you, or the positive?

For many years, I have been accused of being too positive! Firstly, let me tell you that this is not always true and my family and closest friends will agree wholeheartedly with that! In fact I started writing this on a day when I wasn’t feeling as positive as normal. But actually, whether I’m feeling positive or negative, I am wired up so that I want to encourage others which often comes across as being positive. Whatever way round you want to take that, it’s just how I see life. I just choose to see the good around and focus on that, rather than being sucked down by the bad things around. And I make no apologies for that. It’s actually hard work, but it’s who I am.

You see, the more we focus on the naughty/bad/negative stuff around us, the more we get sucked into a naughty/bad/negative way of thinking. Yet a nice/good/positive focus can help us to shift the thought process, to ways through whatever you are seeing. If it helps, John highlighted some of the recent positive things in the community in his blog this week.

This is not to deny that bad stuff is around. It is not to pretend there are no issues. It is not to avoid dealing with difficult things. But it is to attempt to focus on your own life, your own opportunities and by living a better way, attempt to show those who focus on the negativity just how they can do the same. So if I say that we live in a great place, I genuinely mean that, because there are some amazing people in our community who want to make positive change for themselves and others. That doesn’t make the issues go away. But it’s a start.

Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome which basically means he has no arms or legs. He made the choice to be positive in his life, not despite his physical issues but because of them. He said this:

You can be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you do have

This positive thinking is not being naïve. It is not ignoring issues or circumstances whether personal to you or things around you. It is not believing that any bad stuff around you will just vanish if you’re positive. No. But it is a step to making your life and your community better because of the way you choose to focus. As Nick Vujicic says, being thankful for what you do have.

Lets take a few moments away from my writings and have a listen to this from another motivational speaker, American Steve Harvey.

So yes, we have many issues in our community that need dealing with. Crime. Drugs. Poverty. Unemployment. That’s just four. We cannot and will not ignore them. But there is one element of community that can help us move forwards and drive positive change. That element is YOU!

There’s a fancy title for this way of working called Asset Based Community Development – we’ll talk about this more in the new year. We have many assets in our community and the biggest asset is the people. I may have only lived in the area since the summer of 2016, but I have met a lot of people who are amazing and have so much to offer to this community. Many of them are doing that already to great effect, but some are just on the first rung of the ladder and that’s okay because you have to start somewhere. The journey will be different for every resident but as long as we all keep moving forward and focusing on the good things around, then we will make a positive difference.

So who’s going to join me on this journey towards positive change? Will you focus on the naughty or nice?

camelon, Christmas, community, Our Place, tamfourhill

Friday Feature – Camelon Winter Festival

This weekend, it’s the always amazing Camelon Winter Festival. Obviously things are very different this year so a lot of the usual things have had to be put to one side. But, this is Camelon so the show will always go on!

For 2020, the Festival is heading into the heart of the area, bringing a wonderful mixture of Christmas cheer to Kemlin, whilst being COVID secure. Yes, there will be rules, but the festival group volunteers and Camelon Arts will still be sprinkling the local communities with as many magical moments as possible! And this year, it’s not just one day – but TWO! Yes, this weekend, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December, the Winter Festival team are so pleased to present two activities thanks to support from the National Lottery Community Fund: ‘Here Come Santa Claus…’ and ‘The Big Screen…’.

Below is all the information you need as it stands, but you should keep an eye on the Facebook pages for the Winter Festival and Camelon Arts for any changes. It is important to stress that the organising committees have worked really hard to ensure this all complies with current restrictions and need your help in making sure that stays the case. Please do not gather in groups to watch either the Santa carriage or Big Screen, or try to go up close to see anything going on. We know it will be really tempting but you’ll get a good view from your own window or doorstep of everything going on and that way, everyone will stay safe and we won’t be the cause of any negative change from the current Level 2 status. Thanks for your help with this.


Here Comes Santa Claus will see Santa travelling in style in a horse drawn carriage while his elves (with gloves!) hand deliver (quarantined!) pre-ordered gifts to children. Here’s a very rough route that you can use to work out (with large margin either side) when we should be in your area:

Saturday 12 from 2pm to 6pm:
Starting at Nailer Road and weaving round the northerly section of Camelon before going south across Main Street to weave up and down the area bordering Carmuirs school, then the area near the southern/canal edge to Ochiltree turning circle. Next we’ll go around the cluster of ‘Mariner’ streets then, via the westerly section of Carmuirs Ave up to the streets around Easter Carmuirs primary school looping back around the grid of streets in the heart of Camelon onto Glasgow Road and back to our Nailer Road finish for 6pm.
Sunday 13 from 2pm to 6pm
Starting from the canal end, we’re weaving southwards through Bantaskin then back to Glenfuir Road and straight along into Tamfourhill starting from the Bonnyhill Road end and wending our way eastwards up the hill and back down Glenfuir Rd for a 6pm finish.


The Big Screen is quite simply a travelling video screen that will be touring the streets of Camelon and Tamfourhill, featuring the big voice of local singer Dionne Hickey, community contributions from local groups and three inspiring videos made with local creative residents as part of our ongoing project Camelon’s Got Talent.

TOURING TIMES:
Saturday 12
Carmuirs Area: 12-2pm; Easter Carmuirs Area: 2-5pm; Loch 16 and Union Road Area: 5-6pm
Sunday 13
Summerford & Bantaskin Area: 12-2pm; Tamfourhill Area: 2-5pm; Nailer Park Area: 5-6pm

Timings are subject to change. The full length film will also be available to watch online from this Saturday at http://www.camelonarts.co.uk


Thanks as always to the amazing Winter Festival committee for making this happen and to Camelon Arts for their always awesome involvement. Thanks to the volunteers who have stepped up to help as well. Enjoy this weekend and please stay safe. Happy Christmas to all!

camelon, coach, community, development, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Community

What is Community to you?


Is it the place where you live? A group of people you hang out with? A club you attend? An online group? A sports club? A feeling?

The Dictionary describes community as:

the people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group, or nationality

Cambridge English Dictionary

Okay, that doesn’t really help us pin this down much does it! The reality is, community can be a wide range of things and can be something different to everyone. But really, I would say it comes down to one thing: people.

Before I go on to ask you some important questions about what things you would want to see in our community, have a look at this short (1min45) video that takes this thought a little further:

Camelon and Tamfourhill is a Community and it is made up of lots of little Communities. No matter what is said about us or what statistics are put out there, we are a strong community because we have strong people. Whilst we have a lot of needs, we also have a wide range of activities, groups, organisations and facilities – an enviable amount really.

Falkirk Council are in the process of developing what they call the Falkirk Plan which will really be a collection of plans from around the area joined together as one. (The work John and I are doing around Community Skills and Community Safety will be included in this). Alongside this, they are reviewing everything they do and have – that’s nothing new especially as they prepare for next years budget. This includes reviewing what properties they have and seeing how effective they are in terms of meeting community needs while not draining budgets especially in terms of upkeep (light, heat, maintenance etc).

As we’ve made clear before, we here at Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill are not Falkirk Council! But we do work with them as needed, and as part of this community of people – that’s you – we can help to ensure that your voice is heard in these discussions. We can’t get any of you together in a room just now and there isn’t a zoom server big enough to allow you all to join together at once, but we can join together your thoughts and opinions. So a couple of quick questions for you:

  • What activities do you or your family normally (before restrictions) attend in Camelon and Tamfourhill or that is run from here?
  • Where do you go to do this?
  • Is there anything new you would like to see happen in the area?
  • Would you go a little further but still within the Camelon and Tamfourhill area to access activities if necessary?

I’m not going to hit you with another survey monkey link or formal questionnaire, so please just either comment on this blog or on the social media post you accessed it from, or email a response to me (Dan) at communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk. You can also give me a call if you want to discuss anything further on 07444 873151

These questions are not leading anywhere. They are simply getting an idea of what local people do, where they do it, anything that’s missing and if there’s any different way of doing things. Essentially, we want to ensure the area is flooded with activities and opportunities for everyone to engage in either by taking part in them or volunteering with them. As we begin to look towards the end of restrictions, this is a perfect time to ensure we have as much as possible to benefit us all and that it is right here on our doorstep. And your input is essential to make that happen. I look forward to receiving your responses.

Dan Rous
Community Coach
communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk
07444 873151

camelon, community, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill, training, Writing

Friday Feature – Connecting People

Welcome to the first of an occasional series where we will highlight something that we feel is of special interest to you, the lovely people of Camelon and Tamfourhill (and others too if you’re looking in!) We might feature an organisation, an activity, an individual, an opportunity or any number of things. If you feel you have something worth including here, then please get in touch with Dan, our Community Coach.

For today, we’re going to feature an opportunity that pretty much everyone could get involved in and benefit from. And it comes from the Compassionate Communities Team at Strathcarron Hospice.

Here’s a couple of quick questions:

Can you talk or write?
Would you like to be connected with someone with similar interests?
Would you like to offer friendship and a listening ear?

If the answer to any or all of those questions is “yes”, then this could be the opportunity for you. 2020 has been unexpected to say the least! And it has been tough for many especially in terms of keeping in touch with others. If you’re not great on a computer and stuck in your house, conversation for many has become a distant memory.

The Compassionate Communities Team at Strathcarron Hospice have seen and understood this, as have we here at OPCT. So they have have set up this opportunity that is open to all. It will enable you to connect with someone of like mind either by phone or through the good old art of writing letters – it’ll be like having a penpal as used to be a norm for lots of people many years ago.

As well as helping people remain connected, this could even bring out a creative spirit within you. Maybe you’ve always wanted to get into creative writing and didn’t have an outlet for it? Here at OPCT we’re looking at doing something with the writing skills of local people in 2021 so this scheme could be a good way to start warming those skills up in readiness. We’ve got a local author willing to help us, and a few ideas for putting your skills on show. All we can say is, watch this space!

For now though, to get more information on the Connecting People scheme in addition to the flyer below, you can email fv.compassionatecommunities@nhs.scot or call 07881 511961. Alternatively you can contact us and we’ll help you do the necessary.

***Please share especially with those you know who are not online.***

coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill, training

Others

Do you look out for others?
Would you help someone else in the community?

If so, why would you do that?
Is it so you can look good?
Because you are encouraged to?
Or simply because it feels right?

Many people in our community need some kind of help. Some of that help is obvious and actually quite easy to give. But a lot of the help they need may not even be known to them!

Confused?! Well again, that’s half the point! Let me quickly explain and then I’ll leave the rest to Simon Sinek again in this week’s video (see below).

Not knowing what help you actually need can be a sign of a lack of self belief or self confidence. But as Sinek explains in the video, a bizarre way to help your own lack of confidence is actually to step out and help someone else – possibly even someone in a similar situation to yourself. Helping others to help yourself to grow – and maybe for you to grow together – is a powerful thing in any community.

The danger comes when you help someone or do something good, just so you can look good. This is completely counter productive and can actually damage any self belief the person being helped has in the first place.

Where we all need to start is by celebrating who we are and what we have. No matter what that point is, it is still a starting point and something to build on. Lots of people are not happy with where they are in life but rather than settle for the status quo, there is always an opportunity to grow and develop. Even a small step forward is still a step forward.

I’m not going to labour this point today. As a coach, it’s my job to help people take these steps and even to help them find people to take those steps with. I don’t do that to make myself look good but I’ll be honest and say it feels good when I see people take even the smallest step towards their full potential. I make no apologies for taking pleasure from seeing others grow because in return it helps me to grow. I learn so much from working with people and I would love to work with you in 2021.

Have a think about where you are and then think about where you’d like to be. Don’t despair at that, but take a step forwards. If you want to know more, then please give me (Dan) a shout on 07444 873151 or communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, community, Our Place, tamfourhill

Cycle Repairs Review

Over the last 2 Sundays, we have supported local people to have their bicycles serviced and repaired. 19 bikes have been sorted for use, including small childrens’, teenagers and adult bikes.

This was a scheme funded by Cycling UK and Transport Scotland to enable people who might not otherwise be able to get their cycles sorted for safe use. Thanks to the support of Cycling UK’s area development officer Gordon Webber, we teamed up with local bike mechanic Scott Walker who had actually spent the early years of his life living in Tamfourhill and Bantaskin. He was thrilled to be able to support local people through this scheme and revisit some old haunts at the same time!

A service and repairs up to the value of £50 was available which enabled brakes, gears, tyres, bolts etc to be checked over. Some small repairs could be carried out within this but if any work was needed beyond what was allowed in the funding, Scott would advise of any costs. As it turned out, with his wide selection of spare parts – a lot of which were recycled – he was able to support everyone without the need for any additional charges. For the various bikes Scott attended to, he fitted replacement (new) innertubes, brake cables, derailleurs, pedals, springs and bolts. A couple of bikes were given advisory notices and at least one of those has been given to Scott to use for spare parts in the future.

The sessions were set up around the community for ease of access, and to ensure compliance with current restrictions, they were undertaken outside and in strictly pre-booked slots. Sessions were held outside Tamfourhill Community Hub, Camelon Juniors Football Club, Camelon Community Centre and Camelon Community Hub. The latter two sessions also benefited from the kind loan of a gazebo from Friends of Nailer Park – handy with the weather we encountered on both days! We also answered a request to offer training to a local teenager during one session, and Scott was happy to pass on his expertise.

Here are just some of the many photos taken over the two weeks:

During the sessions, Scott and I discussed various options for building on this activity. This discussion was taken further as Gordon Webber from Cycling UK visited the first and last sessions. He saw first hand the benefit of how this scheme supports people, including a young girl cycling around Tamfourhill Hub car park on here newly serviced and repaired Hannah Montana stabilisers bike, that had been brought along with pedals chewed by a dog and various other issues. He also loved the training potential of the project to pass on skills to young people which would hopefully encourage them to use cycles more.

So, where next?

  • Firstly, we are exploring the possibility of having a local collection scheme in January for old bikes where Santa has brought a new one, or if you’re just having a clear out. The donated bikes would either be repaired for a possible bike library, stripped down for spare parts to benefit other bikes, or, in response to a post shared by my colleague John Hosie (Community Safety Engager) the other day, to be used as planters to be placed around the community.
  • Secondly, we are considering running this bike repair scheme again in the Spring if there is enough demand.
  • And thirdly, we will work with Cycling UK to explore funding for a bicycle mechanic training scheme.

The question for you is, would any of this be of benefit or interest to you? If so, please let us know either by commenting below or on the social media post you may have accessed this blog from, or by contacting me (Dan) on communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or 07444 873151.

We were really pleased to bring this scheme to the area. Just one of many things to truly support you in this amazing community.

Scott Walker Bicycle Mechanic (left) and Community Coach Dan Rous (right) pictured with the local young person who received training on bike maintenance, and one of the satisfied local residents with their newly serviced bike. (Photo credit Gordon Webber, Cycling UK)
camelon, coach, collaboration, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

Looking Back to Move Forwards

This blog marks 6 months since John and I started in our posts and Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill was reborn. For my part, as a local resident as well, I came with hopes and plans as to the things I could bring to this new and exciting role as Community Coach. However, starting a new job during a national pandemic and lockdown really threw most of those plans up in the air! But, undeterred, I have pushed on as much as possible through mainly online contact and phone calls and have been grateful to the willingness of local groups to get on board with what I can bring – especially those who came to me for help. That has been especially helpful during these restrictions as I don’t necessarily know what help is needed unless people tell me.

There is still a lot of work to do and I’ve in no way been able to give all the groups what they need or even make significant contact with some. That does not mean I won’t keep trying though! Contact with individuals has also been hard as I can’t get out to meet you! But I’m working on how I can do this through the restrictions we face just now and would just again encourage anyone who wants any support with training and personal development to do as some have already and give me a shout. Even if you’re not sure what you need – often chatting it through with someone else can be a big help. My contact details are below.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has got on board with what we’re trying to achieve here. Those who have supported me, shared our social media posts and blogs, informed others about what we’re doing and basically cheered us on. Sincerely – thank you.

For now, this seemed a good chance to review what I’ve been able to do so far. I record this not to show off in any way – that’s not my style. But simply to try to show how Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill, and especially my role as a Community Coach, can be of benefit in this amazing community.

  • 26 Local Organisations have been supported with information, guidance or training on:
    • Funding
    • Governance
    • Marketing
    • Local Contacts
    • Covid Guidance
    • Development
    • Project Related
    • General Chat
  • 4 Individuals have been supported with:
    • Access to training
    • Idea development
    • Relevant Contacts
  • 34 External Organisations have been linked up with for:
    • Information and Support for Local Organisations
    • Networking
    • Training
    • General Links and Wider Support
    • Information and Guidance
    • Collaboration Opportunities
    • Project Support
  • 6 Organisations and 2 Individuals have been identified for delivering Free or Low Cost Training:
    • I am combining my search for various courses together with working to find out the kinds of courses people are needing.
    • The list is too long to put on this blog, and really is endless depending on what you, the people and organisations of this area, actually want and need.
    • Courses include Personal Development, Employability, Organisational Development and Skills Based subjects.
    • I have been building my own skills to enable me to deliver this training online as it looks like it might be a little while before we can have groups together for this.
  • I have taken part in 11 Training Sessions or Courses:
    • Managing Change
    • Rebuilding Income Streams
    • Wellbeing Economy
    • Asset Transfer
    • Community Right to Buy
    • Community Wealth Building
    • Asset Based Community Development
    • Digital Champion
    • Taking your Training Online
    • Delivering Effective Online Learning
    • Human Centred Design
  • Working on Developing 6 Projects in the area:
    • Creative Communities Fund – Behind the Labels Project
      • Collaborative funding application unsuccessful but working with groups involved to discuss alternative options.
    • Cycle Repair Pop Up Workshops
      • Thanks to work with Cycling UK, these are happening over the next 2 weeks.
    • Easter Carmuirs Park
      • Early work on planning for Phase 2 consultation which will include forming a new group of local people to help the process.
    • Community Growing/Gardening
      • Formation and support of new group to develop growing sites across the area.
    • Cycling Events
      • Potential partnership with Cycling Scotland and Falkirk Active Travel Hub to include the area in some events.
    • Coaching
      • I am developing a programme of 1-1 coaching for individuals to enable personal and organisational growth.

It’s been quite a fun and rewarding process putting this list together and I’m sure there’s things I’ve missed and there’s more in the pipeline as well. In any area of development – whether that is personal or organisational – it’s good to look back on where you’ve come from as, no matter how low we may feel on the odd occasion, recognising achievements to date is a real boost. This process can really help you move forwards. I hope to be able to help others do the same locally as we go through the next 6 months and beyond.

Look back to learn how to look forward

Joe Girard

If you want to know more about how I can support you or your organisation, please get in touch either by email to communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or call 07444 873151.

coach, community, development, resilience, Support, training

Passion, Wiring and Fruit

Last week I wrote about finding your strengths and suggested ways to identify yours if you didn’t know.  Check back on last week’s blog if you need a memory jog here.

For this week’s blog, I wanted to build on that a little, as I look to work alongside local residents to help them achieve what they were designed to be and do.  After Christmas we’ll be able to do this through coaching sessions (probably online to start with unfortunately) but this blog will help a little for now with getting a better understanding.  For reference, some of the content here is influenced by the book Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho.

You don’t need me to tell you that everyone is different.  If ever there was a sentence that stated the obvious, that is a strong contender!  But it’s something we often forget especially when people don’t see things as we do.  If you’ve ever been in a discussion, on or offline (but usually on Facebook!), where someone completely went against your point of view, in the main they didn’t do so just to annoy you or to start an argument, but they simply saw the subject differently because of the way they are designed.  Where strength comes in a community is when people of different viewpoints, skills and abilities can come together, harness their unique differences, and work towards a common goal.  That doesn’t mean being something we are not – it simply means recognising who we are as individuals, allowing others to do the same, and using the mix of skills to achieve whatever is needed.  I know that is far from easy – but it can be done.

We all have what is often called a ‘sweet spot’.  It is the key to being who you were designed to be and will show up when quite simply, everything you do reaches a point of success.  It’s a bit like what is often called the Midas touch – when everything we do, or get involved in, turns to gold (not literally – sadly!!).  There are three parts to this:

  1. Our Passion – what really drives you.  What do you absolutely love doing that means however tired you are, you’ll always find that extra energy to get it done? What activity or issue really strikes a chord with you and gives you determination to tackle it head on?
  2. Our Wiring – how your mind works.  Some of us excel at numbers, some at words, some at getting their hands dirty.  But what is it that just comes naturally to you so that whatever you do around this is successful and effective? 
  3. Our Fruit, or our Positive Output if you prefer.  What do you do that brings the greatest impact around you for the least amount of effort?  What do you do that people near to you say is really helpful?  That may be an activity you’re involved in, or something you do in your street, or something you do to help out?

If we take the time and effort to deeply understand how we are wired, what we are passionate about and what we do naturally that helps others, we are discovering our sweet spot.

Doing this is not a quick or easy process and takes effort, but can be incredibly rewarding for you and those around you.  It also doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy! There is always going to be something to do where you really have to push yourself to do it.  The problem comes when that is taking up the majority of your life – that is when you start to feel pressed down all the time because you are trapped working outside how you are designed.  Some have even said it feels like a punishment.  Believe me, I’ve had to lead personnel meetings or budget reviews (to name just 2 examples) that have made me want to run for the hills – but they were a necessary part of what I had to do at the time.  Where I’m happiest is when I’m coming alongside people to make a difference either for them or with them for the benefit of others.  Happily, that is a huge part of this job!

Coaches often talk about the 80/20 principle, where people will thrive when they spend 80% of their time working in what is their sweet spot.  That means they are doing what they do best for the majority of the time.  Work is no longer a chore but brings real excitement and success.  To get to this point takes hard work though and might mean stopping doing some of the things that aren’t within our sweet spot.  (Sorry, housework and ironing are exempt from this!!)  The 20% section is often called the challenge spot.  Some things just can’t be avoided at home or work and might mean learning some new skills, but when your life is taken up with more than 20% of challenging things, it becomes an uphill struggle.  And that is where coaching can help.  What amongst those challenging things could you let go of, or what do you need training on? 

A key part of working within your sweet spot is when you realise you have the power to make the changes that can make a positive difference in your life. You are not trapped in this life and where you live certainly does not define your future.

The short (3 mins) video below takes this a bit further by looking at our individual character strengths.  This is a great place to start by first understanding your inner self which then helps to move on to identify your passion, wiring and fruit/output.  I’d love to work with you more on this.  If you want to as well, then give me a shout.

Dan Rous, Community Coach 07444 873151 communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, coach, community, development, lockdown, Our Place, resilience, Support, training

What are your strengths?

While I was away, I spent time reflecting on what I’m doing both in and out of work, although to be honest, the line is often a bit blurred between the two settings! We’re coming up to 6 months of being in post for Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill so it seemed as good a time as any to reflect.

It is said that you will know that your job is your ‘calling’ when you do what you love, and love what you do. Philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie said:

‘The average person puts only 25% of their energy and ability into their work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% and stands on its head for those few and far-between souls who devote 100%.’ 

He obviously never knew candidates for “The Apprentice” who routinely say they give 110% or more!

You may be totally set on what your strengths are and may also be in the enviable position of living them out in what you do.  That’s brilliant.  But you may also be at the other end of the scale where you haven’t got a clue what you want to do or even what you could do.

To me help in this, I took a strengths test at www.high5test.com which helps you discover what you are naturally good at.  I’d really recommend this test that will take about 15-20 minutes to complete.  You’ll be shown a list of statements describing a certain behaviour and all you have to do is move the slider along the scale from 0% on the left to 100% on the right.  Research shows that when we use our strengths, we’re happier, more engaged and more likely to achieve our goals.  This doesn’t just benefit you, but also people, groups, teams and organisations that you’re around and involved with.  Stats back this up too, as an average of 74% of people who have a chance to use their strengths are more engaged.

So what were my High 5 strengths?  Well, I was quite pleased with the results as it backs up why I thought doing this job would be a good idea! Of course, these questionnaire things can sometimes be a bit subjective and our answers can be determined by our current situation, but I tried to answer as honestly as possible.  My strengths, together with the headline description (there’s more background in the results you’ll get) are:

  1. Coach
    • My objective is to develop people’s potential;
  2. Believer
    • My objective is to believe and to do the ‘right thing’;
  3. Problem Solver
    • My objective is to solve problems;
  4. Catalyst
    • My objective is to act and to initiate action;
  5. Strategist
    • My objective is to see the big picture.

I’m not sharing this to show off or anything like that at all.  This is purely showing you what is possible from these kind of questionnaires.  Whether you’re just starting out with looking for work, getting going again now the kids are sorted, or have been forced to rethink following a lockdown redundancy, finding your strengths is a great place to start.  Stop focusing on what you can’t do and discover what you can do.  The short video below explains that further.

When you believe that what you do makes a difference, you have a different feeling about what you do.  I am certainly beginning to see my work make a difference and if I can help any of you along that journey too, even to guide you through this strengths process, then that would be great.  Give me a shout and let’s make it happen. You’ll get me (Dan Rous) at communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or on 07444 873151.

coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, training

Where are we going?

I’m away this week and as well as switching off and enjoying family time, I will be spending some time thinking over where I’m going and where the work I do is going. None of us probably get anywhere near enough time to think about stuff like that. Life happens and we react – even more so in current times. We can sometimes see the destination or have an idea of where we want to go, but the route we take is not always the one we would want. However, having a clear idea of where we are going is important always.

That’s called ‘vision’ and its really important to have this personally and with any work you’re involved in. You could say that the tag line of “Empowering local people & organisations to bring about positive, lasting change” is the vision of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill. But what does that look like and how do we get there?

I’m not going to answer those questions. In time, you are! That’s not me passing the buck. For sure, I have an idea where I can see Our Place going and of what it can be with the community alongside, guiding its route. But this is about the destination that the community want and need. My job is to walk with you and help you get there.

I’ve quoted Simon Sinek before in this blog and he may seem a bit deep at times – sorry about that. But he speaks a lot of sense. To finish this week I’ll share a short video (less than 2 minutes) of him talking about vision and how that develops. An even shorter summary of the talk is this: “Vision is the ability to see that which does not yet exist.  As we slowly bring that vision to life, more people will start to recognise the work we’re doing and join our crusade.  But, like an iceberg, there will always be much more waiting to be revealed underneath the surface.”

I love that and it might help you understand a little of how my mind works!

Yes, John and I are starting to make progress with the vision of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill and people are starting to see that. But as more people jump on board, there is so much more to come. I look forward to that journey with you.