RSS Feed

Category Archives: Great Ideas

Hope and Everyday Courage (IWD 2021)

Posted on

Being invited to share my thoughts by several clients to mark IWD over the past number of weeks has been a privilege. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has intensified the challenges faced by women, and I firmly believe that the pandemic has also thrown opportunities up for all of us. Leaning into the moral message of inclusivity, owning our roles in enabling diversity and equity as well as empathetic leadership, we can all play a part in mitigating the risk of losing women in leadership roles and future female leaders.

We know that there have been countless studies carried out that advocate the business case for increased diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. In fact, benefits regularly cited include innovation, creativity, inclusivity, performance and financial results. We also know that pandemic has intensified the challenges that women already face (as highlighted by Deloitte in the image above). In fact, the initial research indicates that the pandemic could set women in the workplace back by a decade.  This situation is now an emergency for employers globally as companies risk losing women in leadership and future female leaders as well as unwinding years of painstaking progress.

This years’ theme tells us that “an alert world is a challenged world” and with this awareness there is opportunity to address and tackle these challenges. In my talks, I shared 5 themes that I believe will be the difference for teams and businesses placing diversity, equity, inclusion, and empathetic leadership at the centre. Also, I have been heartened by the encouraging responses and feedback to my tips aimed at how we, as individuals, can lean into the moral message of #choosetochallenge by channelling acts of every day #courage.

Leadership is not about titles but rather a series of behaviours. How can you be the difference while accepting full responsibility for your thoughts and behaviours?

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based facilitator and leadership coach. For more information, go to


4 Tips to Inspire your own Innovation!


Imagine having the brain capacity to have GREAT IDEAS more frequently?

I attended a fantastic workshop recently on the topic ‘Where do great ideas come from’– it was facilitated by the talented Naomi Fein from the ‘Creative Engagers Community’ . It introduced me to the concept that getting an idea is an actual process, a collision of hunches.  It inspired me to reflect on what I should be doing more of/ less of to harvest and encourage my own thoughts and ideas.

Having the mental ability to overcome challenges creatively or simply achieving those results or dreams requires brain power- is there something we could all be doing to cultivate this?

The Dilemma

Steven Johnson (popular science author) in his TED talk asks us to think about what the internet is doing to our brains. The constant engagement of social media and our smart phones kills both creativity and contemplation. The over stimulation of data robs our brain of the opportunity to innovate and reflect. We live in a society of instant gratification enabled by the world wide web. However, it’s the ‘immediacy of the internet’ that more often than not deprives us of the opportunity to pause and consider, all which is critical to fostering  thoughts becoming greater than the sum of their parts!

Did you know that on average, we think 60,000 thoughts per day? And of these, 95% are repeat thoughts from yesterday (the majority of which tend to be negative). Rehashing the past or rehearsing the future only serves to rob us of our mental energy, so what can we do to set the tone to allow our great ideas to take shape? Simon Sinek says that ideas happen when our minds wander, so, here are my 4 tips to reset and invest in our own innovation!

  • Beware the Smart phone

It’s important to manage our boundaries with our cell phones. When you come home from work, switch it off! Sian of Elite Pilates recently shared that she has decided NOT to put email on her new phone, preferring instead to access her email at a time convenient for her. Consider charging your phone downstairs rather than in the bedroom at night or if you’re attending a meeting or on a night out with friends, leave it in the pocket/ the bag. We can all be very consumerist so creating boundaries around our phone usage can help us feel more conscious and present.

  • Negative self- talk

Creating calm is about being able to identify what is causing stress in our life- be it our own negative self- talk or external circumstances & then finding new ways to deal with how you feel. In the world of wellness, the first step is to take notice. Ask yourself, do you have a tendency to focus on what’s not working?

  • Get Creative

Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There are many benefits to ‘getting creative’ one of which is to boost your brain function!  When was the last time you were creative?  Consider challenging yourself to take 30 mins a day to paint, write, bake, garden, take photos or play! What do you do for fun?

  • Mindful Moments

Let’s be clear here- mindfulness is not about reaching some ‘zen like’ state but rather being present in a moment without judgement . Being in the moment is hugely positive for our mental well being. Take a personal pit-stop and notice how busy your mind is. Do this authentically, find what works for you.  Find it hard to sit still?  Savour a walk. Connect with your loved ones. Aim to cultivate healthier habits – your mind will thank you!


The summer time often lends itself to a slower pace, we are in holiday mode, routines go out the window as we enjoy the longer evenings and the infinite possibilities of what lies ahead. Take the time to renew, let your mind truly wander and let those light bulb moments flow!


Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life & Business Coach & Master Trainer. She runs a successful practise in Cork called Change Grow Succeed.  For further information, you can contact her directly on or visit