Coaching Series

Below is a series of one-day workshops delivered by Dr Will Medd based on releasing your potential as an early career researcher.  Focusing on 4 topics;

  • Writing
  • Pause
  • Failure
  • Resilience

Write here, right now!

A writing workshop with a difference

Writing is a huge part of research and yet, as a skill, the focus of training is often assumed to be needed on how to produce scientific papers while retreats tend to focus on blocking out the time and space to write. That’s great and important. What about the experience of writing itself? How can researchers learn to be productive, to keep writing and even enjoy the process?

Hate it? Fear it? Dread it? Put it off?….What if you could enjoy your writing?

Like so many things we have to do, writing for your research is one of those things we rarely feel satisfied with. We come up with all sorts of distractions. Convince ourselves we need to read more.  Fear wasting time going down the wrong track. Worry we’re not doing justice to the complexity of the ideas we’re grappling with.  It can all get so heavy, so much is at stake. Rarely do we feel satisfied, like we’ve done a good days work!

“Write here, right now!’ offers a combination of ‘retreat’ to create space to write and live coaching ‘experiments’ to explore different approaches to the experience of writing.

While working on a current piece of writing (a paper, proposal etc) it aims to explore what happens if you unlock the possibility of enjoying writing!  The workshop explores confidence, fears, values, goals and habits while experimenting with different writing moods.

This workshop explores your writing experience to see what happens if you unlock the possibility of enjoying it!  Focusing on a particular piece of writing, in a playful way we’ll explore what our writing agenda is (what’s really at stake in this piece of work?), how we get in our own way (what pressure are you creating in your heads?), how we might write from different experiences (what perspectives might be helpful?) and what might be worth giving a go (what are the options for playing with here?). The day will include identifying new writing habits that you can start putting into practice.

So come prepared to try out and experiment with different approaches to the writing experience. With fun and frustration all thrown into the mix you will leave with some clarity about what works for you.

Participants will need:

  • to bring a laptop and power lead.  You will be writing throughout the day.
  • have something you are currently writing with you (chapter, article, analysis, conference paper)
  • to be curious, open-minded about your writing, and be willing to explore different ways of changing the experience.
  • be on time!  It makes a huge difference if we kick off to a good start

NOTE: this workshop will not involve assessment of your writing or engage with writing style, grammar or English. It is about the experience of writing.

Outcomes

Participants will come away with:

  • Dedicated writing time on their topics.
  • Greater awareness of what gets in the way of their writing and how to overcome that.
  • Learning from others about their writing experiences and strategies.
  • A commitment to new writing habits.

Pause with Purpose – Coaching Workshop

In the context of feeling rushed, under pressure and experiencing uncertainty, there is ironically a tendency to take on more, to focus on the urgent and to the let the important slip. The day draws on wide-range thinking from the worlds of life coaching and mindfulness in a wonderful blend
 of activities that invite you to step back, take stock, experience alternative perspectives, explore common challenges and identify your next steps.

Failure to Learn

What is your potential as a researcher? Imagine having the support of a group coaching process to support and challenge you to achieve those important goals. Dr Will Medd and NHS R&D North West will be running a series

How do you feel about ‘failure’ and ‘failing’? Does a fear of failure get in your way, hold you back, create stress, make you feel an impostor? We will be looking at what we can learn from the classic heroes journey when it comes to learning through failure. In folktales and Hollywood movies, there are universal codes of behaviour that heroes use when confronted with challenges. By studying these templates and applying them to our own research lives, we can learn to recognise the prospect of failure and new ways to overcome it. In essence, we become our own hero.

Resilience and Self Leadership in Research

Sustaining your resilience and being the leader of your research is not always easy to pull off.  This day offers an opportunity to examine your resilience, stepping back to re-align and plan the next steps in your research, recognising the need to keep the balance right with work and the rest of life.

If you are interested in any of these one-day workshops please contact Leanne Gregory at Leanne.gregory@researchnorthwest.nhs.uk.