Don't Dodge Discomfit

In our August video blog, PDA's Sarah Vogel shares insights from conversations with clients about how putting yourself into uncomfortable situations is crucial.

If you avoid discomfit, then current problems can turn into bigger situations. Grievances and disciplinary situations that could have been prevented are allowed to develop their own momentum.

Sarah looks at how conversations and mediation can play key parts in allowing organisations to get out of a potential grievance culture. And the ability to lean into discomfit is part of individual people's and their organisation's strengths. 

Midlands Academy Staff benefit from Fierce

Staff at The City Technology College, Kinghurst Academy in Solihull in the Midlands are benefiting from Fierce coaching, and there are plans to use the approach for some students later this year.

"Fierce has helped me be more aware of my emotional wake"

"Fierce has helped me be more aware of my emotional wake"

Debbè Reilly, associate leader at the academy with 1500 pupils, says:

“Our aim is to be the best we can be. The Fierce coaching model is a great tool to help people reflect on their practice and help them pin point where things are going wrong.”

Initially, Debbè attended a Fierce taster course, and then arranged training for the academy’s leadership team.

“They liked it as well and wanted it rolled our across the school,” she notes. Debbè and her colleagues now use the approach in staff coaching and support.

Debbè explains:

“I am a better listener, and far more patient and understanding with people by reminding myself to look at the ‘context’ within which others are operating.

Fierce has helped me be more aware of my 'emotional wake' and  has made me do a lot of  'stop, think, talk'.”

Debbè  says career progression and performance are just some of the areas that have been the focus for Fierce Conversations.

CTC Kinghurst Academy's senior leadership team will be working with the heads of faculty to train them on the principles of Fierce and the tools available.

And in the summer term, Debbè will be working with students on how to use Fierce skills in their own conversations.

Trevor Howard tells us why he does like Mondays!

In my blog about leadership, I briefly spoke about having passion for your job and hiring passionate people. I was reminded once again this week about how important this is if you want to succeed. We have had a few resignations at our work place in the past few weeks and staff were once again confused as to why I wouldn’t be applying for a higher position, especially as it came with a better salary. The decision was a “no brainer” for me personally, as the role would involve a lot more hours dealing with machinery and maintenance issues and a lot less dealing with customers! Let me explain.  

On leaving school it was drummed into me to get a trade so I had a better chance of being employed and whilst I did well in the construction industry, I wish someone had told me to find a job in something I had a passion for instead! Over the years I have come to realise how much I love keeping fit and talking to people, so I am now in an ideal place in my current role as a Health & Fitness Coordinator / Trainer. One of the challenges I love is to find out what my customers are passionate about and yesterday I had another great experience with this. A customer that is known more for his surly appearance at the gym proved yet again how you can’t judge a book by the cover. In a conversation with him I managed to find out about him being a mature student as well as teaching in History and Politics. His passion for the subject was infectious and we ended up having a great conversation. Today he was all smiles when he attended the gym and I thanked him for his insights and the stimulating conversation. Guess we’ll be seeing a lot more of this side of him now. I certainly wouldn’t be getting this from working with pool pumps and air conditioning! I think I’ll forego the extra cash and carry on doing what I love.


When you work in a role of something you are passionate about you start to look forward to Mondays and the rest of the week instead of wishing away most of it waiting for Friday. As most people work 40 hours or more a week, surely you are not only short changing your employers but more importantly yourself. Life is too short to be wasting it waiting for the weekends. If we put so much effort into finding a partner to love, why don’t more of us do the same with our jobs?


Not sure what it is you have a passion for? Talk to the team at ContactPDA. Over the years they have helped others to find a new direction or rekindle the passion for their current role. Not only that, but the all the staff are all very passionate in their own jobs. Here’s to Monday mornings.


by Trevor Howard, Health and Fitness Coordinator at Bayswater Waves, Perth.