Are you looking for a new Career?

I recently ran a Motivational Map debrief session for the Professional Cricketers Association and  the players who are nearing the end of their playing careers. 

Transition for anyone can be a stressful time and working out what you want to do next can seem overwhelming and daunting, particularly when you are moving from a life of being a professional sports person to a career in the business world. It is not uncommon to lose sight of how transferable our talents and skills are. Using a coach can help you focus back on your strengths and not underestimate your worth. 

Having an understanding of what motivates you will then help you narrow down the options. Helping you to find a perfect fit for your talents and make sure that you are motivated and energised by your new career choice. 

Here is a quote from one of the players who attended the session. 

 "The session was extremely intriguing and informative and has given me the information required to help me understand where my motivation comes from. Having the opportunity to understand my drivers and potential de railers has also helped me to identify the areas and roles where I can be of most value in the environment that I work in . With this in mind I do feel that I now have a clearer picture of how I can get the best out of myself and others that in turn will provide a fulfilling future."  Former Yorkshire player. 

“Tara is a confident and skilled facilitator. We thoroughly enjoyed the session she delivered to our PCA team and our transitioning players on their ‘Motivational Maps’.  It encouraged us all to consider our core drivers and to reflect on the actions and behaviours that most and least motivate us, whilst developing awareness of differences in motivators and present motivation levels between individuals.  It is an ideal tool to use with people going through and preparing for a career change.  Thanks Tara for a really insightful session.”

PCA Personal Development Manager (Worcestershire CCC, Warwickshire CCC and Nottinghamshire CCC)

If you are feeling flat or demotivated or you are thinking about changing jobs or careers then try out the Motivational Map report. 


Motivation Report

If you want to know about the individual motivators there is more information on a previous blog, or if you would like to know more about how maps can help you or your team then email to arrange a free 30 minute consultation. 

The Nine Motivators 

The Nine Motivators 

What is the difference between Coaching, Mentoring and Sponsorship?

As well as coaching lots of leaders, I also run workshops to help people learn these valuable leadership skills. It often really surprises me how much confusion and misunderstanding there is about what these terms really mean and when to use them. As a leader you will often perform all three of these roles and knowing which one to use when is really important. 


So lets start with a simple definition, I particularly like Tim Gallwey's definition he has written many books about coaching including "The Inner game of golf" as well as business coaching. 

"Coaching is unlocking a person's potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them learn rather then teaching them".

For a lot of leaders and managers the idea that they no longer have to "tell" their people what to do is hard to grasp, it is so bound up in their own sense of self or ego. Yet if we encourage our people to recognise that often they have the right answer and with some reflection, can work out what the next steps are, we are building their confidence. They will then know they have the capability to navigate around what ever obstacles are in their way. We are training them to become self sufficient and empowering them.  It all depends on the coach or manager's ability to see the potential in someone rather then to look at their current performance. If we have a poor view of someone and then only give them what we believe they are capable of doing, we just reinforce  that somewhat limited belief system and this will be felt by the team member, so it becomes a self perpetuating situation. The individual will become demotivated and underperform and probably leave. 

However if we look beyond current performance to what might be possible and hold a more positive belief in the individual, and coach them through their obstacles to help them learn, then the managers investment in time in the individual will be paid back many times. As a coach  the sense of fulfilment I get when I witness people doing things they never felt they could is incredible. It is what keeps me motivated as a professional coach knowing that I am making a difference in peoples lives. 


“A mentor is generally defined as an individual with advanced experience and knowledge who is committed to giving support and career advice to a less experienced person.” This shows the difference where advice is given, this is not generally done in coaching. The mentor generally has experience of the mentee's industry or desired career path, which it is not necessary for a coach to have. The skill sets of deep listening, great questioning and constructive feedback apply to both roles. This is often an informal relationship which may last for many years. 


A sponsor is similar to a mentor but they are much more proactive on behalf of their sponsee, they will advocate for them in meetings and career discussions. Introduce them to their networks and find them positions to advance their career. As a leader we often sponsor someone more junior than ourselves that may remind us of our younger self. However what is needed in the workplace now, is leaders who sponsor someone who is diverse from themselves, otherwise we just perpetuate the old boys network. Formal sponsorship programmes where leaders are paired with someone who is different from themselves, not only helps the sponsee in their career but also helps the senior leader understand what it is like to be a minority in their organisation.  Therefore making the organisation more inclusive and accepting of difference. 

When I look back, I was very lucky in my career to have someone who believed in me more than I could at that time, he sponsored me, to help me achieve promotion to Senior Executive. I have also had many mentors over the years.

I would encourage you to think back in your career and acknowledge those individuals who have acted as a coach, mentor or sponsor. They will have helped you get to where you are today. And now think forward to what you want to achieve in the next 5 years, what sort of help and support do you need to get there? 

I have just signed up to be one of a million mentors. Follow this link for more information.


If you would like more information about how coaching could help you realise your potential, then I offer a free 30 minute consultation,  email to book a consultation. 


Why understanding what motivates you can lead to higher engagement levels.

MM pyramid. .jpeg

Keeping our employees, motivated and engaged seems to be a hot topic, and whilst there is no silver bullet to retain your talent and help them feel valued. I do believe that the Motivational Map is a great way to understand our employees and indeed ourselves at a deeper level. 

Imagine a future where ..... 

  • you knew you had the knowledge to always make good career decisions
  • you knew what motivated everyone of your team members 
  • you knew how motivated they were and how to positively influence them 
  • you could identify the sources of conflict within your team and then resolve them 

Dr Raj Persaud wrote "Although motivation matters it's hard to measure scientifically. This explains why it has been neglected by behavioural scientists, when it might actually be the most important of all in human behaviour." But before we try to measure it, how do we define it, Motivation is like energy, it's the drive and flow of energy within us to make things happen. 

Where does the Motivational Map come from? 

James Sale has spent 10 years researching and developing the Motivational Map.  He has created a model that is simple to understand, it allows the individual or team to work on strategies to improve their motivation level from where they are now. 

The Motivational Map is a non-stereotyping tool, derived from looking at the core concepts within three models- Maslow's Hierarachy of Needs, Edgar Shein's Career Anchors and the Enneagram. 

What are the nine Motivators?

  • Searcher: Seeks meaning, making a difference, providing worthwhile things
  • Spirit: Seeks freedom, independence, making own decisions
  • Creator: Seeks innovation, identification with new, expressing creative potential
  • Director: Seeks power, influence, control of people and resources
  • Builder: Seeks money, material satisfactions, above average living standards 
  • Expert: Seeks expertise, mastery, specialisation 
  • Defender: Seeks security, predictability, stability
  • Friend: Seeks belonging, friendship, fulfulling relationships
  • Star: Seeks recognition, respect, social esteem

Which of these resonates with you?  They are probably some of your top motivational drivers. 

What does the Map measure? 

The Map is created by an online tool that takes about 15 minutes to complete, you will then receive a report that ranks your nine motivators in terms of importance to you. It is good to understand which are the top 3 and which is your lowest. The report measures how motivated you are for each driver, and then calculates from this information your overall motivation level as a percentage. Over 80% you are like a solar battery, i.e. very self motivated, anything below 80% there are strategies in the report to help you improve your score and thus your motivation level. 

How will Motivational Map's help you or your business? 

Most change programmes try to manipulate behaviour and this is very difficult to do, but by going deeper to understand what is driving the behaviour we can improve the following:  

  • Team performance
  • Career Development
  • Leadership and management development
  • Sales and Customer service
  • Recruitment and reward
  • Engagement and culture

How do I use The Motivation Map? 

I have been qualified for a year now and have used the maps in several different ways. 

  • To help teams be more aligned and understand the different motivational drivers of team members
  • In several executive coaching engagements where the individuals were looking at their career choices
  • I am about to run maps and a deliver a debrief session the for Professional Cricketers Association, for all the players who are transitoning from being a player to a second career

If you would like to know about the Motivational Map and how it might be able to help you or your team, then I am offering a free 30 mins telephone consultation, email me at or call Tara on 07816 908 662 to make an appointment. 

Maps can be purchased from the shop.






Transcending Stress


Unfortunately, stress is an inevitable part of our fast-paced 24/7 lives. As individuals we all react differently and what is stressful for one person, may not be for another.  In fact some stress can be helpful, have you ever felt that surge of adrenaline just before you do a presentation?  Actually, that will probably help you focus on just that task and not worry about anything else. So that buzz we get can be great, it give us the edge when we need it.

So what is stress? It is a powerful combination of hormones and physiological changes in our body, and it is all part of our survival mechamism "Flight or Fight".  It was designed to enable us to escape from a sabre-toothed tiger when we needed to! Nowadays tigers are not generally the trigger for our stress, it could be a high pressure job, financial problems, relationships, loneliness and even traffic jams! 

Everyday small stresses are not harmful, our bodies can tolerate a certain amount of stress with no ill effects. It is long-term stress, often arising when the situation that casues the conflict isn't relieved, this can result in the mind and body breaking down.

Some people do not find working long hours stressful and I would suggest that this is because they love what they do and feel that they are fulfulling their purpose . We all have our own limit of what we find manageable in our working lives and finding that balance is often seen as the holy grail. 

If you are not doing your dream job and are feeling very stressed, what can you do? 

One of the things we seem to have forgotten how to do is to truly relax, and if we are very stressed this is even harder. We are also often worrying so much about the past or fearful of the future, that we miss what is going on around us in the present moment. When was the last time that you went for walk in a park, just for the joy of noticing what was going around you, feeling the breeze on your skin, smelling the flowers or the cut grass, or watching a beautiful butterfly dance on the air currents. If its been a while since you last did this, I challenge you to do it and see how it makes you feel? Leave your phone and music behind and just enjoy nature. 

Some other techniques that have been proven to reduce stress levels and reverse some of the symptoms caused by stress are as follows. 

  • Yoga
  • Mindful breathing
  • Meditation
  • Deep relaxation

We now run individual private or individual sessions or group workshops in your workplace.  We help you learn how to use these techniques to manage stress in the moment, and also to design a bespoke programme for you to manage your stress over the long-term. Stress is unavoidable, but you can learn simple techniques to help you manage it, so it is not harmful to your health. 

Tara has trained for the last two years to become a Transcending Stress Facillitator, for more information on workshops and individual seesions call Tara on 07816 908 662 or email her at

For more information on Stress and how to combat it follow the link to our sister website


Speak Down and Speak up


I have just read an article in the Harvard Business Review “Women Find Your Voice”.  It definitely rang a chord with me from the conversations I have with women in large organisations.  The authors conducted a major survey of 360 degree feedback on over a 1,000 women and talked to many senior women and men about their experiences of being in meetings and being heard.  


It highlighted some key areas where men and women behave differently before, during and after a meeting and had some ideas on how we as women, can make a difference to our impact in what are often crucial business environments.

Some of the feedback that they received from the men they interviewed was as follows, women allow themselves to be interrupted, apologise repeatedly and fail to back up their opinions with evidence.  They also said that some women became defensive when challenged and froze when they lost the attention of the room. One CEO said that “Women are often quite tentative or they pipe up at the wrong moment, and it sounds like more noise”

So, If what men see is a lack of confidence, how do these women feel ?

The response from the women interviewed was that they feel uncomfortable when challenged and tend to avoid conflict. They also recognised the "gamesmanship" that looks a bit like a football match; an idea gets passsed around like a ball and built upon before it is shot into the goal,with the orginator of the idea not being acknowledged. An all female meeting typically would look very different, with acknowledgement and inclusion at the forefront. "Thanks Sarah, I really like you idea and here is what I would add..."

Women ask questions to bring people into a conversation,whereas men will contribute when they have something to say. In a mostly male meeting, a women is less likely to contribute than she would be in a more diverse group. 

The arcticle goes on to advise women on how to use more muscular language,such as my strong advice would be instead of I think or here is my plan rather than maybe we can, and I recommend instead of well what about. 

Women who are passionate about their work and the topics being discussed are accussed of being "too emotional" and told to keep an even tone, speak deliberately, and avoid showing frustration.

Women tend to be punctual for meetings and get away as soon as the agenda is completed. However, it is in the pre-meeting conversations, where allies are created and thoughts and views are shared. The real purpose of the meeting beyond the agenda items can be discerned during this time and questions that may be be asked will already have been discussed. Although it may feel political, this pre-meeting homework allows participants to prepare to be spontaneous. Off the cuff remarks that you hear have already been rehearsed, if it sounds good it's probably been prepared! 

We would be really interested to hear your feedback on this piece, does it reflect the advice you are given at work? 

We are often asked to coach senior women on being "better heard" in meetings. Unfortunately however hard these women work at it, the facts still remain, they are often a lone token voice that will not be heard because such is the nature of group dynamics- the dominance of men means that women's voices continue to be excluded. 

No one's fault, just the nature of the beast.