Julia Wood & Associates


So you want to be a resilient superhero?

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by admin

So you want to be a resilient superhero?

Organisations love resilient superheros, those who can bounce back when things go terribly wrong, deal with incredibly stressful situations, and easily adapt to change. 

So how do you become a resilient superhero if you are not one already? Well resilience is often developed through hardship, so lived experience can make you tough (every cloud… as the saying goes). However, other things can help with resilience too:

  • Getting lots of sleep and exercise, as this helps you to emotionally and physically deal with difficult situations
  • Not wallowing or dwelling on failures
  • Learning from your mistakes
  • Focusing on the stuff you can control rather than on the stuff you can’t
  • Having a strong self-knowledge about what you are good at and what you’re not
  • Having realistic goals which are meaningful to you
  • Pushing back on unrealistic goals

So, resilience is a good thing, right?

Well, on the one hand, yes, when it helps you overcome situations and challenges. On the other you may stay in a job that is simply awful or continue to work for a boss who is impossible for far longer than you should. Only you can make that call.


Julia specialises in Quality Improvement in the NHS,
supporting individuals, teams, and organisations
make positive changes to improve patient care and create happier working environments.

Yes… but I really mean NO!

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by admin

Yes… but I really mean NO!

We’ve all done it, said yes when we really wanted to say NO!

Saying yes isn’t always a bad thing, even if you would rather say no. For example, you’ve seen a colleague in a pickle and wanted to help them (this makes you a very nice person).

Problems occur though if:

  • you’re a perpetual people pleaser
  • you’re really rubbish at saying no
  • your workload is already bursting at the seams

Also, you may well be damaging your own reputation as well as that of the organisation. Think of it this way:

  • The quality of your work will suffer because you don’t have time to do everything
  • Doing additional work takes you away from the work you should already be doing
  • You may miss deadlines

You may well be thinking, “well that isn’t the case because I will just work longer hours and get it done”.  Yes, you can do this, but this approach often brings a whole host of other problems, including:

  • you may not be able to pick the kids up from school or take them to gymnastics or football (yet again!)
  • you may annoy your spouse/partner by putting work first (yet again!)
  • you may miss out on a night out with friends (yet again!)
  • and the list goes on……

Saying yes when you mean no can also make you feel unhappy, taken advantage of, and anxious about how on earth you’re going to get all your work done, and can ultimately lead to stress and burnout.

So what can you do about it? Before saying no, do the following:

Understand the ask: I don’t know about you but often when people ask me to do something they will wildly (and I mean wildly) underestimate how long the task is going to take, so the ‘devil is in the detail’ in terms of understanding what is required and when it needs to be done by.

Consider trade-offs: Could another deadline be shifted or could some of your current work be passed to someone else?

If you decide your answer should be a definite no it can still be difficult to say the word out loud, particularly if you:

  • feel guilty about not help out
  • don’t want to disappoint a colleague
  • feel apprehensive about saying no to your boss
  • like to be viewed as the ‘go to’ person and/or all round team player

The trick is to say no in the right way:

  • While acknowledging that the work probably needs to be done somehow, clearly outline your reasons for say no.
  • BUT don’t be hesitant (even a little bit) as this may be viewed as you saying “well maybe”. 

The take away from this blog is to always remember that saying yes when you mean no doesn’t always do your reputation any good or make you happy.

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”

Paulo Coelho


Julia specialises in Quality Improvement in the NHS,
supporting individuals, teams, and organisations
make positive changes to improve patient care and create happier working environments.

Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by admin

“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”

“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” These are the words muttered by the White Rabbit as he ran down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Most of us worry about being late for meetings and appointments because 1) we don’t like to keep people waiting, and 2) it doesn’t make us look good. For others, they don’t care so much. Some people even think it makes them look busy and important. It doesn’t.

We are all late occasionally, but in this blog I’m talking about serial late attenders.

How irritating is it when people are often (or always) late?

While waiting for them to arrive (either face-to-face, phone, or video call), you should consider if any of the following apply to them:

Are they unreliable?

Are they late because they are not managing their time well, or have they taken on (or been given) too much work and struggle to say no? This is a difficult one because some job roles are simply too big for one person and dedicated and conscientious people end up looking unreliable when really all they are trying to do is a good job.

Are they being rude?

If they had a meeting with the Chief Executive would they be late? Probably not. Why? Because they value the Chief Executive’s time, and they know it wouldn’t look good. When they’re late for everyone else does this mean that they don’t value the time of others and simply expect them to wait around for them? Maybe.

Do they think their time is more important? 

Everyone, regardless of what job role they have or what level they work at within an organisation plays an important part in making things happen. Everyone has priorities and pieces of work which need to get done. Basically, everyone is a cog in a very big wheel. If one or a number of cogs are waiting around for another cog, time is being wasted and everything slows down or comes to a standstill. 

Do they understand that they are wasting both time and money?

Here’s an example: If there are 10 people waiting for 10 minutes for someone to turn up for a meeting, overall one hour and 40 minutes of time has been wasted. Everyone who turned up on time could all be doing something far more productive in that 10 minutes than waiting for someone to arrive (making that phone call they have been putting off or sending that email which really needs to be sent today). Not only that, the salary costs could run into hundreds of pounds. Lastly of course, if a meeting has been arranged for one hour and someone arrives 10 minutes late it is inevitable that some people will still have to leave after the allotted hour, meaning that another meeting has to be arranged.   

If someone is often late it shouldn’t be viewed as “well, they are always late, but will arrive at some point”. Being late for everything really is unacceptable. If you know someone who is always late you should share with them this blog!

If you are the one who is always late re-read this blog and question whether you want people to think that you’re unreliable, rude, and/or that you view your time as more important than theirs (because it isn’t). Also, don’t forget you’re wasting both time and money.

If you think that people don’t mind, they do, they just don’t want to tell you how they feel.

“I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.”

Edward Verrall Lucas


Julia specialises in Quality Improvement in the NHS,
supporting individuals, teams, and organisations
make positive changes to improve patient care and create happier working environments.

I’m such a failure!

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by admin

I’m such a failure!

Ever tried something new and failed miserably at it? Yeh? Haven’t we all!

The problem is that sometimes when we fail at something which is important to us we become our own worst enemy and say things to ourselves like…

“I’m stupid”
“I’m an idiot”
“Why did I think I could do that”
“I’m so embarrassed”
“Why, oh why, did I do that”

No one likes to fail, but failing at something can be a positive experience even if you don’t think so at the time. I’ve failed on numerous occasions (who hasn’t) and my first reaction is to go and hide away for a bit and feel sorry for myself. But, after a while I get fed up with that and although I might still feel sad or upset I start to think about the experience in a different way, and you should too.

Firstly, you tried something new. So, so, so many people never try anything new, but you did!

Secondly, I bet you learned something. Think about what you would do differently.

So, next time you fail, instead of beating yourself up about it, accept that everyone fails sometimes and it is just part of the journey to becoming even better and more knowledgeable than you are already.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Henry Ford


Julia specialises in Quality Improvement in the NHS,
supporting individuals, teams, and organisations
make positive changes to improve patient care and create happier working environments.

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