How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother of 2?
I strongly oppose the notion of work-life balance. It’s a tired notion that implies your work and your life are in opposition of each other. Trying to balance 2 opposing sides of your life Is only going to result in you being in a negative space. I use the mind-set of work-life blend, which acknowledges that productivity at work is impacted by life and life is impacted by work. It is a highly effective way of me managing my life. I’ve identified the 8 most important elements of my life and I work towards enhancing those so that I can reach my potential both as the founder of Open Blend Method and as a Mum.
What was your inspiration behind your business Open Blend Method?
I developed the methodology off work-life blend approximately 6 years ago, when I was on maternity leave. I used it with my coaching clients for 3 years – men, women, with kids, without kids, millennials, gen y/z, baby boomers and the near retiring – it resonated with everybody. I then decided to place it at the heart of a piece of research, Keeping Women In, driven by a desire to test it’s validity. Launched with huge success in 2014, our study asked 250 high achieving women what their business needed to do to support them to reach their potential, and therefore engage and retain them. The tool we used to elicit this information was blend. Based on the findings and the fact I’d always known that businesses would benefit from using blend internally, I knew I was the one that had to introduce it. How? – was the big question. We needed an enabler and we decided software should be that enabler.
In short, the Open Blend Method software has been designed to navigate leaders through a coaching session focused entirely on the areas that make up an individual’s unique work life blend.
In a short summary, please share with us the findings of your survey on how 250 high achieving working mothers aimed to establish their work/life ‘blend’?
There were many findings but the 2 key findings. The intrinsic link between your state of wellbeing and how fulfilled your work life blend is – e.g. women with high work-life blend experience stress levels of 14% compared with 79% stress levels for those with a low work-life blend. The 2nd key finding was the importance that high achieving working mothers place on the relationship they have with their direct leader – 80% said their leader could directly impact their work-life blend and therefore their ability to reach heir potential.
What is your top tip for Mums going back to work after baby?
Self-awareness – to do everything they can to become self-aware of the areas that are really important to them, that drive them. I massively recommend a maternity coach to help them in that self-awareness journey.
What is your favourite hangout in London with your children?
Any of the parks as quite rightly the kids love open space or any of the restaurants in china town as my children love Chinese food!
How do you find quality me-time?
In my opinion if you try and carve out me-time it feels too orchestrated. It puts too much pressure on that time. I try to find me-time in everything that I do in my normal day to day i.e. sitting on a train, going to the gym, watching the kids playing on a climbing frame. If I really need some headspace, I’ll just go for a walk wherever I am.
I am a Mum and MORE! I believe I can have it all.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Everything to do with my children; from being pregnant, to giving birth, and to being a Mum!
What are three items in your handbag you can’t live without?
My phone, a pen, my diary
Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first-time Mum?
Ignore all unwanted advice and just do it your way because it’s the most natural thing in the world