- Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East?
I first came to the Middle East over 30 years ago to work for the British Council in Abu Dhabi. My bank thought I was going to Aber Dovey a town in Mid Wales! I had had some experience of where I was going as working in a language school in Oxford I had worked with groups of Iranian Bankers, Libyan Trainee pilots, Omani Royal Guards, Saudi police Officers, etc and so learned Middle Eastern Cookery and Customs before I travelled here.
From the minute I arrived it felt like home, like I’d lived here in another lifetime almost, especially when I travelled to the mountains of Hatta and the Hajjar Range. 30 years later and I’m still in awe of the progress being made. I loved the old days and welcome the very exciting new too.
I left the world of language learning and headed into the corporate world of training, HR and Learning and Development and coaching. I gained a passion for Employee Engagement and loved bringing positivity into the workplace. During my time here in the Emirates, I must have worked with 1000s of Emirati young men and women some of whom I have run into in these later years and who are now doing extremebly well in their positions. It has been very gratifying.
While working in the corporate space I realised that in the workplace it was very easy for employees to become negative and complain about everything and anything, which prompted me to produce a set of cards called Buzzwords for Buzy Bees -a set of 99 cards with words of positivity to start the day. Soon I was using them in all my training and coaching and started to think there may be a market for them.
For the last few years it has also been a pleasure to be editor-in -chief at Clo-me.com, our site dedicated to sharing views and events re all things L&D in the region. I get to read great stories and meet lots of talented people who live and work here, and who allow me to post interesting blogs and viewpoints on HR and L&D matters.
This year we are planning on really building on our site and bringing more writers on board, while sharing with you events and posts on what’s happening in the learning worl
2.How would you describe the culture of your business?
Being in the coaching and training business has brought many satisfying outcomes. Seeing teams transform, managers clear blind spots and make powerful and yet simple changes to their management styles, which have brought them much better results in the long run.
I have alongside corporate work , learned many healing modalities and energy work which I find very useful to bring into the workplace. Thet to open minds to how our energies are all interlinked. Emotional Intelligence has certainly been a great influence on my work and is a huge driver of change in people’s behaviour. Understanding how our emotions are contagious, and that they can affect our performance and those of others is a very powerful incentive for people to want success. The phrase “Emotions Drive People and People Drive Performance” is so true.
3. What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years?
Launching Buzzwords for Busy Bees on a budget in your later years is certainly a challenge of the mind – set. Questions such as , “ Why didn’t I do it earlier? “, or, “ Have I left it too late? “ come to mind. So I remind myself of all the successful people who made it in their later years. Louise Hay of Hay House Publishing, KFC Colonel Parker etc. So for me it’s having the mindset of thinking that success of Buzzwords is possible. What are the skills and competencies that you need in order to bring the brand of Buzzwords for Busy Bees and Thriving Hives to Market ?
First of all it’s recognising and understanding that I can’t be all things to all people. Being an ideas person, I’ve had to realise what my own skills are and that other people can bring the rest to the table for me. It has helped enormously that I have a great designer and packaging expert as a partner which helped. Then a myriad of others have stepped up as business plan writers, social media help, not to mention government departments who have been supportive too.
Mine is to network and market the cards in person to Coaches, trainers, businesses and schools.
4. What is your Philosophy?
When your “Hive Thrives” the bees produce the “ Best Honey the Land has ever Tasted. “