Looking to provide a little fun in some rather dark times, this ‘Time Out’ features Nicola Ellwood, Executive Coach, Mind, Communication and Culture specialist.
What is the first thing you do to get the weekend started?
Friday evening usually starts with a rewarding ‘snap’ shut of the laptop followed by a pickup of the dog lead to take my Border Terrier Reggie out and chuck the ball around. One big weekend kick-off routine I stick to when at home is a Saturday morning cup of tea (or three) while watching Monty and his dogs on Gardeners’ World, planning what I will do, plant and grow in the garden in the following days.
What is your hobby?
I adore nature and my garden (as you might guess from my previous answer). Growing veg and working among the plants, trees, birds and nature that comes in brings a great sense of connection to our beautiful planet. I’m quite a spiritual ol’ soul. Being among nature in the garden is great for balance, switching off and bringing yourself in – particularly with the challenging COVID-19 situation. My coaching space is in my garden too, so I get to have my clients relax in my garden – which they love too.
In normal times I’m a sociable bunny and love people so, whether it’s inviting friends and neighbours into my garden and lighting up the pizza oven or catching up with friends in the local, people form the centre of what I get up to, in the main.
What is your favourite movie?
A Brief Encounter, an oldie but goodie – the heart-wrenching romance and soundtrack get me every time. Other than that, I was brought up on James Bond and love the older films. If there is a pub quiz, I am generally the go-to for the answers to the 007-themed questions.
If you hadn’t been successful at what you do, what would you be doing instead as a career?
I get asked that a lot. I discovered my fascination with people in my early twenties when I was a double-glazing sales rep (I know – I was a poor student in Cambridge and needed money). But my genuine interest in people meant that I was very successful in the role; people bought from me because they liked me. At 21, I was the top sales rep in East Anglia, month on month.
That interest led me on a journey from sales to training sales and communication, to developing people. I honestly believe I would have come to this point in my life, doing what I do now, regardless because it is people, a fascination with them and what makes them tick, thrive and be happy that inspires me.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
My magic superpower would be to have a switch that, when flicked, made people have an opinion opposite to their own for a day. People get caught up in their opinions and cannot see other people’s. As a result, they experience emotions that don’t serve them that well, or cause conflict with other people.
The fact is that everybody’s perception is their truth not the truth so I would love to, by flicking my super switch, help people see that there is another possibility other than what is in their head and with that insight they may see a more productive, resourceful way forward.
What is your favourite genre of music?
I love a bit of country music. I did a tour of the Appalachian Mountain Trail in 2012 where I visited the Virginias, Tennessee and the Carolinas – the original home of bluegrass and country. I heard some amazing music there, in what felt like the first place it was ever played.
If you could travel to any moment in time where would you go?
I would be touring France in my caravan. I love French wine and usually go once a year to the Loire Valley and Provence. The most stunning countryside, the best food, wine weather and way of life. The French know how to do a rich fulfilling lifestyle.