Forever Changes

Building resilience for times of change, challenge, uncertainty
– and opportunity


A 1-day workshop designed to develop and deepen our resilience, helping us navigate times of change, challenge, uncertainty and opportunity with greater creativity, confidence and ease.

The workshop draws on the latest neuroscience, psychology, emotional intelligence,  organisational and leadership research, and features expert-facilitation and professional coaching to deliver high impact, engaging and empowering learning.

The emphasis is on developing our self-awareness and ability to self-manage along with practical skills, tools and knowledge which we can apply immediately - in the workplace and beyond.

Context: Why this workshop now?

  • Disruption and change have become the norm across the academic and professional information sector: technologies, research practices, funder mandates, players, business models, markets, customer expectations and competitors are all in flux, which means as information professionals, we are continually having to rethink what we do and how we do it.
  • The pressure on us to remain effective in this environment can take significant toll, impacting critical areas such as our motivation, resourcefulness and productivity, as well as our relationships, levels of engagement and sense of fulfilment.
  • Equally importantly, research shows exposure to the continual mild-moderate stress inherent in changing environments can also negatively affect our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
  • At the same time, dynamic environments typically generate great potential and opportunity, and building our resilience helps us remain focussed, resourceful and responsive.
  • The good news is that resilience is an innate trait which is alive in all of us AND it is a quality we can readily enhance.

 Is this workshop for you?

  • Forever Changes has been designed to help professional people navigate short-term or extended periods of change, challenge, uncertainty and other stressors, with greater resourcefulness and confidence [1].
  • To get the most from the day, participants will be invited to undertake ‘inner work’, exploring and developing internal capacities including their thought processes, strengths, values and wisdom as well as their self-awareness and ability to self-manage.

[1] Forever Changes is suitable for any profession however because of my professional background, I have a particular interest in, and sensitivity to, the changes, challenges and opportunities facing librarians, publishers, intermediaries and others involved in the academic and professional information sector.

Key workshop themes

We will explore a range of tools, models, exercises and skills which enable us to:

  • Navigate stress and adversity with greater resourcefulness and confidence
  • Enhance our emotional resilience
  • Approach change, challenge and opportunity with greater creativity and wisdom
  • Be mindful of and nurture our health and wellbeing
  • Raise our self-awareness and enhance our ability to self-manage
  • Gently challenge limiting thoughts and beliefs
  • Understand what is within and what is outside our control
  • Nurture our self-compassion and self-belief
  • Become more tolerant of frustrations and less afraid of failure
  • Approach challenges, setbacks and uncertainty with a positive mindset/intention

Workshop outcomes

Participants will:

  • Understand what resilience is and how it supports us in our professional and wider lives
  • Know their core values and how these can serve them during challenging times
  • Gain insight into how our thoughts and beliefs undermine our resilience – and what we can do to counter this
  • Learn a powerful perspective-taking technique designed to move us from reactive, disempowered and stuck, to creative, energised and resourceful
  • Understand the 3 Ps: a model for remaining engaged and creative when we feel overwhelmed
  • Pick up resilience-building tips throughout the day for immediate application
  • Identify our key strengths and how to draw on these in stressful and challenging situations
  • [Homework] Create a personal resilience plan providing practical support beyond the workshop

How we will learn

  • In common with all Lead From Within workshops, Forever Changes is designed to be as interactive and engaging as possible and includes: key themes shared via brief presentations; exercises for individuals, pairs and small groups; group discussions with group coaching; time for observation, personal reflection and questions; homework.
  • Participants will also be given practical handouts and other materials designed to support them in their workplace and beyond.


Workshop content

Session 1: The what and the why of resilience

  • What does resilience mean?
  • How and why is it important?
  • What resilience isn’t…and other good news

Session 2: Starting with us

  • Self-compassion as the keystone of resilience
  • Understanding our self-compassion: the work of Kristen Neff
  • Exercise: a friend to myself?
  • (Resources for enhancing our self-compassion)

Session 3: Mapping our values

  • What do we mean by our core values?
  • An internal compass: how our core values help us navigate in times of stress and uncertainty
  • Exercise: exploring how our core values support our resilience

Session 4: Getting out of our own way

  • Raising awareness of how our thoughts and beliefs can undermine our resilience
  • Sharing a model designed to help us:
  • -   interrupt unhelpful or unduly negative thoughts/beliefs
    -   change habitual patterns of thinking which may not serve us
    -   engage from a place of authentic optimism in stressful/challenging situations

Session 5: Remembering our strengths

  • Identifying our core strengths as positive factors which:
    • enable us to reconnect with our ‘best self’ and the things we do well
    • keep us out of undue negativity
    • help us tap into our creative energy and resourcefulness

Session 6: Choosing our perspective

  • The Three Ps: a model which helps us understand how we habitually view positive and negative events
  • Exercise: Understanding our habitual perspective

Session 7: Finding our balance

  • Introducing a powerful technique moving us from reactive, disempowered and stuck, to creative, energised and resourceful
  • Viewing the world from an empowered perspective, making conscious and powerful choices, and taking effective action


  • Discussion of any remaining questions and issues
  • Summarise key workshop learning; participants share their key learning
  • Homework: Creating a Personal Resilience Plan* 
  • Feedback
    *Adapted with the kind permission from the pioneering resilience-building work of Chris Johnstone (

Workshop Impact

100% of participants (approximately 65 colleagues to date) stated that:

  • attending this workshop was a worthwhile use of their time
  • they would be applying learning from the workshop either immediately (95%) or soon (5%)

Feedback from participants:

“An excellent primer and dive into resilience, delivered with humour and compassion. An inclusive, safe, sharing day and one I would recommend.” Greg Ince, Collection Librarian (e-resources), University of the West of England, April 2016

“The course was really useful for me, particularly the focus on our inner self talk (stories) it has really helped me to focus on the fact that I always have an option in terms of my reaction and behaviours when something upsets my equilibrium.” An employee of the Bodleian Libraries, June 2015.

“Excellent trainer and course. It was all very useful learning and there was a list of books to use if we wish to follow up and investigate areas in more detail. Course content was good, easy to understand and pitched at the right level for the audience.”  An employee of the Bodleian Libraries, June 2015.

“Interesting, informative and inspiring; supportive, encouraging reflection and self-questioning in a non-threatening environment.” INASP Employee, June 2014

"Sarah is a fantastic facilitator, allowing the group time to discuss and reflect on some very powerful and emotive subjects. Her knowledge and personal experience in this field really shone through and helped me to realise that I am normal but also have the power to change things as and when needed.” An employee of the Bodleian Libraries, June 2015.

Key benefits reported by workshop participants:

Ø  A more positive and engaged attitude to work. Better able to cope with unexpected or stressful situations.

Ø  A more pragmatic approach to dealing with things that are changing or I have no control over. [I] accept challenges more often as opposed to avoiding problems.

Ø  That I'll be more happy and confident about work and a better colleague. Probably more efficient at work too.

Ø  Having the resilience 'toolkit' for possible future situations where I feel stressed and need to  act positively. Confidence in my approach to work issues and problem solving.

Next steps

If you are interested in hosting this workshop for staff at your organisation, please submit the form below and I will contact you to agree a mutually convenient time when we can discuss your staff development needs further.

Name *