Talk Club is Launched here in North Somerset

Men don’t talk enough. The North Somerset Council Male Stakeholder group want to bring men together to talk more, in order to help improve the mental fitness of men in the local area and ultimately reduce suicide.

In order to do this, we are proposing the introduction of a ‘Talk Club’. Talk club is a nationally growing Male Mental Fitness Movement. It’s a talking and listening club for men. It’s a support network for ways to keep mentally fit. It’s a community of men looking after each other. Talk Club is committed to the belief that we can change the way we look after our mental health and end suicide.

This video explains how Talk Club works.

Our first meeting takes place at the For All Healthy Living Centre Weston Super Mare BS23 3SJ on Thursday 10th September 2020 between 7 and 9pm.

If you would like to attend you can sign up via the North Somerset Talk Club Facebook Page

or contact me directly to book your place.

August 2020

Men’s Personal and Professional Development in 2019

Through my experiences as a Coach, Trainer and Facilitator I have become a strong believer in the power of self-direction. As a rule of thumb people will only make changes if they see the value in these changes and also have some ownership over this change. It’s very rare for people to be motivated about being ‘done to’.

With this philosophy in mind I have recently become increasingly fascinated by the theme of men’s health, including mental health as well as their personal and professional development.

Some of the statistics are startling and they begin to emerge from a very early age:

In School

  • Girls outperform boys in all aspects of education from Primary School through to University
  • 80% of pupils excluded for behaviour issues are boys
  • Teenage boys are more than twice as likely to kill themselves as girls

In later life

  • 95% of all prisoners are male
  • Men are three times more likely than women to become dependent on drink or drugs
  • 4 in 5 suicides are male

By recognising and addressing these issues we can start to make a positive difference to this worrying picture that will ultimately benefit everyone regardless of Gender.

Look out for updates in 2019

Corbyn vs May: Leadership styles in the spotlight

The snap 2017 general election is significant not only because the two main party leaders, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and the Conservatives’ Theresa May, offer wildly opposing views on many issues, but also because they present hugely contrasting styles of leadership.

May presents a more old-style, top-down leadership, typical of many political and military leaders, while Corbyn presents a style less often seen, whether in politics or organisations, that of the “servant leader”. What can we can learn about leadership that is useful to organisations?

The best leadership style?

It is not for us to judge the better style. The formal leadership style served a stable world well for centuries and not surprising that May, a self-professed “strong and stable” Oxbridge leader, should feel at ease with this style, speaking for example of ways in which strategy needs to change after the latest terrorist attack on the UK, this time at London Bridge.

Corbyn, by contrast, the product of a less elite institution, is at ease dancing on the stage of a rally in Sunderland and referring, after events at Manchester, to the need to put our arms around those affected.

May has a tendency to refer to the governed as “ordinary” people and as categories – she referred to having talked with steelworkers, fishermen and oil and gas people for example, all in the third person – while Corbyn will often use the first person plural pronoun “our people, our country”.

Leadership style in the balance

So, the 2017 general election is not just about policies but also leadership style. The lessons for people management are clear. An inclusive style of leadership will deliver a more motivated and productive workforce than command and control.

The two main candidates for the leadership election have shown us transactional and inclusive leadership in action. Organisations can pick up the baton and have a debate on leadership styles and, like the country, decide which way they would like to go.

For the full article go to:|PTPT|PTDIR-2017-0607

The Plum – Anon

You should learn that you cannot be loved by all people. You can be the finest PLUM in the world, Ripe, Juicy, Succulent and you can offer yourself to all BUT you must remember there will be people who do not like plums.

You must understand that if you are the world’s finest plum and someone you like does not like plums you have the choice of becoming a banana. But be warned that if you choose to become a banana you will be a second rate banana but you can still be the best plum.

If you choose to be a second rate banana you must also remember that there will be people who do not like bananas. Furthermore you can spend your life trying to become the best banana (which is impossible if you are a plum) or you can seek again to be the best plum.

Could you just listen? Jessie Swick

When I ask you to listen to me and you start to give me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I should not feel like that, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.


All I ask is that you listen.

Advice is cheap.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy: but when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get down to the business of trying to understand it.

Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what is behind them and when that is clear the answers become obvious and I don’t need advice.

So please just listen. If you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn and I will listen to you.

Recommended Reading: Stop Thinking Start Living – By Richard Carlson

Recommended Reading: Stop Thinking Start Living – By Richard Carlson

Your past is only a figment of your imagination and so is your future. The only moment that actually exists, that is real, is now.

Your life is not responsible for your happiness or unhappiness – you are.

Happiness is not a result of what happens to us in our lives. It is a moment to moment choice that each of us makes.

Choice points

Healthy Functioning Overthinking

Letting Go

Hanging on

Happiness rather than being right

Being right is important

Not dwelling on an issue

Dwelling on an issue

Choosing love and forgiveness

Choosing anger and fear

It’s OK

It’s not OK

Seeing the truth and moving on

Trying to get to them bottom of things

Little analysis or interpretation

Over analysis

Live in the present moment. If we spend our time waiting to be happy until a certain set of conditions are in place, when we are richer, when the children grow up, when we can retire then we give u our right to be happy in the present and that somebody may or may not come and even if does it is unlikely to create the feelings we hope! Don’t attach conditions to your contentment – I will be happy when XYZ!

Healthy Functioning Overthinking

Living moment to moment

Living in the past or future

Focus on enjoyment

Focus on improvement

Mind is clear and free

Mind is consumed with worry and concern

Happy with what is

Obsessed with what could be better

Experiencing life

Analysing life

Learn from mistakes

Dwell on mistakes

What you can do

What you can’t do

Personal Growth – One to One Life Coaching

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is all about helping you to reflect on your personal and professional goals and ambitions and then supporting you in making your hopes for the future a reality over a series of one to one sessions.

The sessions tend to take place in a neutral venue, away from work and home. You will be asked to consider your hopes and ambitions for the future, to explore what it is you really want from your life and career.

The next step is about considering where you are in relation to these goals and ambitions, where are you in your life right now?

Following this you will start to explore possibilities about how you can improve and move ahead, coaching is about a journey of progress and looking ahead to a better future!

Finally you will make your own choices and decisions about what you will do next.

The role of the coach is to listen carefully to you and support you in exploring your own thoughts and feelings about what comes next. They are a sounding board, a person to talk to and who will value what you have to say.

Interested? Then do get in touch!

How Can I Bullet Proof My Life?

Whilst we can plan ahead, organise and prepare for most eventualities the reality is that we can’t possibly be ready for everything and anything. Things happen in our lives that are beyond our control and there is nothing we can do to stop this!

All we can do is control the controllable and hold on to the things that really matter. Here are some powerful principles taken from an article I read recently at

1. Whatever you do, do it really well. Let your work make this world a better place. Do everything you do to the best of your knowledge. We count on each other all the time so be excellent.

2. Learn to be flexible. We tend to see what we want to see. If you are set on what something should be you won’t see what it truly is.

3. Do what really matters to you. Support the world in a way that matters to you. If we do this the things that matter the most to most people will flourish.

4. Give up a sense of permanence – nothing lasts forever – good or bad

5. Be where the love is – Spend time with the people you love and the people who love you. Reach out, connect.

Accept that there are things you don’t understand yet – Allow the possibility that there might be something bigger than what we see, something that is perhaps not visible to us. Yet.

Original article:

The Power of Feedback

A golfer that hits their shots in the dark has no idea how well they are doing! They same applies to any element of human performance – How can you possibly improve if you don’t know how well you are doing in the first place?

Feedback is vital if we are to improve so here are some top tips on giving effective feedback to others: Feedback is going to be effective if…

  • It is descriptive rather than evaluative. By avoiding evaluative language, the receiver is less likely to respond defensively.
  • It is specific rather than general. To be told – you did OK is less helpful than being told – “I especially liked the way that you waited for her to finish speaking and listened carefully to what she said”.
  • It takes account of the needs of both receiver and giver of the feedback. Feedback which only considers the needs of the giver is not likely to be helpful to the recipient
  • It is timely. Feedback is most useful when it is given as soon as possible following the observed event. This will of course depend upon the receiver’s readiness to hear.
  • It is checked out with the receiver. It is important that the communication is clear and understood.
    The opportunity is given to the receiver to respond, or give further information/clarification.
  • It is balanced in both quality and quantity, especially when there is both positive and negative feedback involved
  • The person to whom the feedback is directed is invited to review and give feedback about the situation/issue first. This encourages the development of self-appraisal skills.
  • The behaviour is controllable. Criticism of behaviour outside the control of the person is likely to be viewed as unfair and could give rise to feelings of resentment. Frustration may also be an outcome.
  • It is future orientated, not backward looking. Whilst focusing on what went wrong, and why, may relieve your feelings, the objective is to get different behaviour in the future from the other person. Good feedback must focus on what to do rather than what was done.

Feedback is a way of helping someone to learn. It is designed to achieve a specific change in the individual’s behaviour in a way that will help them. Feedback is centred on the needs of the receiver, since otherwise it merely serves to relieve the feelings of the giver, at the receiver’s expense.

HAPPY 2015!

HAPPY 2015!

From everyone at Think Back Look Forward Ltd.

Here is a list of 10 things you need to give up this year if you really want to move forward:

  1. Letting the opinions of others control your life – it’s not about what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts
  2. The shame of past failures – Your past does not equal your future
  3. Being indecisive about what you want – You will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be
  4. Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you – the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
  5. Choosing to do nothing – you don’t choose where or when you die but you do choose how to live!
  6. Your need to be right – aim for success but never give up your right to be wrong!
  7. Running from problems that should be fixed – face the issues, fox the problem, communicate and appreciate
  8. Making excuses rather than decisions – most long term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses instead of decisions
  9. Overlooking the positive points in your life – What you see depends entirely on what you are looking for
  10. Not appreciating the present moment – when we concentrate purely on the future we lose track of the present!

Thanks to Marc at