Weeknotes S04 Ep4

Be generous sticker design

Overarching feeling of the week

Well it was another short week which is always good but the second Bank Holiday in May always creeps up on me, I don’t remember to plan any fun activities, and I always feel like it’s a bit of a wasted opportunity…

Perhaps we could move it to July or November or something so they’re more spread out? That would be good…

Enjoy your long weekend!

As far as this week goes, some people reading this might know that I’ve been stressing out about something which is happening in my home life. I’ll happily speak about and share it in person but for a number of reasons I don’t feel comfortable putting it into words (for the world) on here.

A gif of Leslie Knope from parks and recreation shouting “I AM SUPER CHILL ALL THE TIME”

I guess this week I’ve seen just how much that stress has been creeping into (both mine and my other half’s) work lives and making it more difficult.

Stress has such a way of getting it’s fingers into everything, I’ve found it more difficult to concentrate this week. I’ve had some docs to read and it has been A SLOG.

I also don’t think I’ve given myself enough space to really think about how much this has been affecting me. There are factors beyond my control at play and I haven’t given that much credit, I’ve just been worrying over things I can’t answer and running in circles.

So in that circumstance I guess I’m actually doing pretty well. And I am trying to cut myself a little more slack at least.

This week has also been made up of a number small irritations, the main one being my morning commute which is about 100% more painful since the new timetables came in. So, yeah, trains eh? [1]

Eye roll.

BUT! It is now Friday, I am listening to The Pixies loudly and planning tonight’s gin and tonic, so as weeks go, it’s not ending badly.

A gif of a lady making a huge gin.

Five things that happened (more than five things happened)

ONE. I had a mentoring session on Wednesday with Richard after what has been a significant hiatus. It was good to chat and spend some time actually getting to grips with what mentoring is, means, and how this will all work in practice.

I’ve been suffering quite a lot with imposter syndrome recently and I generally find thinking and speaking about myself difficult. This has meant that mentoring has been hard work for me because it means thinking about the difficult questions and being honest. That takes some energy.

Acknowledging that I need time between sessions to really think and digest has helped a lot though and I have some homework to do.

TWO. I designed and ordered some stickers (shown at the top of this post) so look out for those bad boys coming to a laptop near you soon.

There’s been a couple of points this week when I really should have taken a deep breath and been more generous. Times where I haven’t remembered to try and see the best in people, I regret that.

As fellow weeknoter Ellie says, we should try and live the retrospective prime directive every day. I fell short of that but I’m trying.

“Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”

Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Review

I first started thinking about generosity as a key leadership trait almost A YEAR AGO in one of my very first weeknotes:

View at Medium.com

How time has flown. How should I celebrate? Oh yeah! With a meetup next week — yeaaaaaaah!

I also designed a special sticker especially for Jenny depicting her brilliant thoughts about resilience using a crab metaphor. The metaphor was about resilience being similar to the shell on a crab, it covers most of us but there are still things that trigger us (the squishy bits not covered by shell).

I haven’t printed these but it was a fun 5 mins to create it.

Look after yourself and… protect your squishy bits!

THREE. I joined Sharon’s virtual Lean Coffee for One Team Gov which was good because I couldn’t make breakfast club this week. It was interesting, a new set of people I hadn’t met before and some good facilitation and discussion.

A picture of the Trello board used to facilitate Lean Coffee.

FOUR. After assessing the ACAS team last week, Cate and the team asked me to attend their Show and Tell this week, to participate in some live user testing. It was a totally unnatural scenario but it was helpful because it was a way to show people in the room what happens and what “thinking aloud” means.

A gif of a dog in a cool jumper doing USER TESTING

I had to remember to act like a participant and not like someone on the other side of the table though — that was slightly difficult, but fun. The team also wanted me on hand to answer any questions about Service Assessments and Standards Assurance generally, so that was cool.

FIVE. I am going to be managing one of our Engagement Managers which is great and we had a really good chat about things this week. I’m really looking forward to helping him and getting to know him better. I’m hoping I can help to make opportunities for him so that he can progress.


I just wanted to do a mega shout out to the rest of the comms squad and Joanne in particular. Joanne is always positive, proactive and keeps us moving along — thank you!

Earth gif

In One Team Gov Global activity this week, I’ve mostly just been tweeting and getting some of our key messages out.

Doug published his #MyOneTeamGov story which is absolutely brilliant. I have a couple more people lined up to write, which I hope will be out soon. Watch this space!

View at Medium.com

In other news…

I really loved this from Helen on twitter:


I’m still reading Gamestorming:

View at Medium.com

And I wrote my monthly Inspirations blog:

View at Medium.com

The above blog is really a reference for me to keep when I’ve seen something interesting in my travels around the internet. I really haven’t found anything (including Pinterest) which meets my needs for this so I started putting them into a blog.

It also serves two other purposes: 1. People can see what I like and potentially buy me beautiful things (fingers perpetually crossed) 2. I hope that buy finding cool bright things it might make some other people happy or bring a smile to their faces, who knows. I try.

I watched Beck on the BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend and it was really really good. I was disappointed with the sound quality for The Breeders and it all seemed a bit, well, pants really. Beck’s didn’t sound entirely brilliant but the set-list was amazing.

I was properly jealous of anyone who was there hearing him bash out ALL THE HITS (and some of my favourites from Midnite Vultures). You can watch the full set on the link below.

View at Medium.com

I really enjoyed Dan’s holiday adulting / competent male kite flying video. I don’t know why, it just tickled me a lot.

In more silliness, I also slightly love this (and definitely need one).

And finally, given my mood this week, it’s high time we rolled out this bad boy. I bring you “Songs for when Sam is moody” the best playlist there ever was.

[1] I know this is a boring subject. Believe me when I say that I am boring myself, but honestly, this is a whole pain in the bum that I didn’t have to deal with before and it is driving me mad.

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