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Experts! Speak English Podcast

Managing Those Mind Monkeys For Better Career Opportunities

Mental Chatter, Mind Monkeys

Hello and welcome to a new episode of “Experts! Speak English!”. Today we’re going to be talking about mental noise, the noise inside your head that can drive you absolutely crazy. We’re also going to be talking about female leadership, imposter syndrome and women coming back to work.


So, on the show today, I want to welcome Claire Sewell from London.


Corinne: Hi, Claire! Welcome to the show!


Claire: Hey, Corinne! Lovely to be here!


Corinne: Great. Fantastic! So, you spend a part of your time in New Zealand, where you come from, but at the moment you’re based in London. Am I right?


Claire: That’s right. So, I’ve lived in London for the last 17 years and probably about two years ago I decided that I could work from anywhere in the world. So, I now sort of follow the sun around. So, I escape the English winter around December and go back to New Zealand and enjoy their summer and come back here around April

Voices in My Head -
"Am I going Crazy!"

Corinne: Great. Excellent. Well, it’s hot everywhere at the moment, I feel. Great. So, tell us about this mental noise. Are we going crazy when we hear those ridiculous noises in our head? Those ridiculous comments?

Claire: No, absolutely not. It’s completely normal. Everyone has it to the same extent as – it’s constant. It’s the voice in our head is consistent chatter. The difference is really how much you listen to it and pay attention to it.

Corinne: Right. Okay. So, for example, the difference then between women and men might be that we kind of get caught up in it more?

Claire: I mean, certainly with the women that I work with, but I couldn’t say, you know, as a specialist, I couldn’t say that that’s actually true. I would say as human beings, we entirely get caught up in our heads from things like imposter syndrome and self-doubt. From what I’ve seen with the women that I work with, it appears to stop us a little bit more. We can get caught up in everything having to be exactly right before we take action. And I think that can be where we’re challenged.

Negative Talk in our Heads

Corinne: Right. Okay, good. Okay. Obviously, there’s never any right and wrong, black and white, you know, but it’s interesting. So, in terms of this negative talk, then, do you have any tips for us as to how we can either stop it, redirect it, or maybe turn it around completely?

Claire: Yeah, absolutely. The first thing that I share with my clients, which is super important, is actually to get conscious to the thoughts that are going on in our head because if you think about when you wake up in the morning, like we’re literally on autopilot, we, you know, think the same thoughts over and over in our heads, we do the same thing. And so, we’re acting unconsciously for the majority of our day.





So, the first thing in order to be able to do anything about the mind chatter, we’ve got to get aware of it. We’ve got to get conscious to it. So just taking moments out in your day, like just before you start, when you wake up, when you open your eyes, start being present to the thoughts that are going on in your head. That’s the first thing – really, really important. Starting to create an awareness about aware mind chatter.


And then secondly, if there’s lots of consistent self-doubt talk like negative talk, write it down. Start writing it down, so you can actually see visibly what’s going on in your head. And a lot of the times just from the from the start, from writing down our thoughts, we can see that that’s not true.

They don’t make sense.


Now we can start marrying up our experience and our expertise and our past with what we’re thinking to ourselves, and start saying,

Well, that’s not true, actually, it’s not making sense at all”.

Reality Check

Corinne: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, sometimes we tell ourselves ridiculous things, don’t we? And if we were to say that out loud to a friend or a colleague, they’d say, “That’s just insane. That’s just not true at all!” And yet somehow, we can say things to ourselves we wouldn’t even say to our worst enemies, you know?

We can be very cruel to ourselves, I think, and as role models to our children as well, we have to be very mindful of what we are saying about ourselves and helping them not to fall into the same trap of this self-criticism, of this kind of self-bashing, if you like, that we’re all a little bit prone to. If we’ve got any degree of decency, actually.

I guess if you’re super arrogant, you wouldn’t have this, but maybe those people have it as well. I’m pretty sure they do.

Claire: It’s a human experience. Yeah, I think the greatest gift you can give your children is an understanding, an awareness of how their mind works and an awareness about internal chatter, as well, of what we tell ourselves.

Deadlines shouldn't dominate!

Women in Leadership

Corinne: Definitely. So, in terms of female leadership then, what’s your role there, Claire? You’ve got quite a lot of experience with that. Tell us what you’re working on and how you’re working with female leaders of tomorrow.

Claire: Yeah, so I myself was in sales for pretty much over 20 years and became a leader in the sales or in my industry as a sales director. So, I was leading and coaching sales teams for about eight years and myself experienced, you know, the higher up I went in the leadership positions, the louder my imposter syndrome got. 


What is imposter syndrome?

The imposter syndrome is the thought that you’re just there on luck, that you don’t really know what you’re doing and at some point someone’s gonna tap you on the shoulder and say,

“I’ve got your number – you’re out! You don’t know what you’re doing at all!”.

So, I had that, and despite all my external successes I had that internally, it was a constant that I was dealing with day-to-day and trying to be better in my leadership skills.

I did a conscious leadership course which was a year in about 2016, I think, which introduced me. I’ve always been interested in human behaviour and the mind-power, but this really introduced me to the way that our mind works. And it was such an eye-opener.

Imposter Syndrome

I thought everyone needs to understand this, from a sales position, even with salespeople knowing how their internal chatter can talk them out of picking up the phone and calling someone or, you know, or asking someone for the sale.

So, for me with my sales hat on, it was very important information that I wanted to share. And when I started my own coaching business and went down that route, I just really had a heart for helping female leaders with imposter syndrome, with self-doubt, with things like procrastination and perfectionism.

Because it’s prolific and it can really hold us back from being our best selves and giving our best work and leading a more joyous and calm life, as well.

So, I work now with female leaders, female entrepreneurs and leaders, helping them get more clarity, get more courage and confidence and quieting those mind monkeys.

Clarity, Courage & Confidence

Corinne: Clarity, courage and confidence – I like that. Yeah, that’s very dear to my heart, actually. I think if you’ve been onto my website, you’ve probably seen those words around quite a lot.

Claire: Yes, I have noticed.

Corinne: So yeah, I think it’s true, isn’t it, that as female leaders, the higher you get in that hierarchy, the more you know, the more you’re expected to know but also, the more you know the more you want to learn and find out and be able to communicate better. It’s almost addictive, really, isn’t it? The more we know, the more we want to know. And that’s when you start, that’s how it kicks off, really. And the flipside of the coin is, because they’re keen to learn, they are, from my perspective, a real joy to work with.

Imposter Syndrome is More Common Than People Think

Claire: Um, yeah, I mean, imposter syndrome is more common than people would think, but it also can really hold you back from showing up in a room because you think you don’t know what you’re talking about or you don’t know enough. So, it can tend to stop people from putting their hand up, from sharing their ideas, from speaking up with confidence. So, you know, there are downsides to it, as well, but the reality with imposter syndrome is it’s showing us our edges.

Imposter syndrome is really saying, “Look, you’re going into an area that’s new for you. You’re going into an area of uncertainty”. So, imposter syndrome is really showing us that we’re in the growth zone, as you’ve mentioned, Corinne, like, you know, we are growing. My dad always used to say,

If you’re green, you grow. If you’re ripe, you rot!”.

“If you're green, you grow. If you're ripe, you rot!”

Life Long Learning

So, you’re not in the space to learn, you’re not in the space to grow. So, the idea of not knowing everything – like, we can’t know everything – and why would we want to?

You know, I think as leaders, we think “I need to know, I’m paid here to be the expert, I’m paid here to be the specialist. I should know everything”. It’s actually not true, you want to embrace the beauty of curiosity – another one of my favourite C-words, which is “What can I learn in the situation. What can I learn in this conversation?”.

We’re not going somewhere with a knowing “I know it all”.

Evaluate Expectations

Corinne: And I think you hit the nail on the head there, Claire. The word “expectation”.

As experts we put ourselves under pressure to know how to do everything. For example, the experts that I’m working with, often in software development, project management or engineering, are non-native speakers, right?

So, even though they haven’t had to use English at work for the last 5, 10, maybe even 20 years, the expectation is that they can simply switch into English and perform in English. And this is based on the fact that here in Europe, most people have between 5 to 8 years of English at school and university.

They feel that they should be able to do it. But: What you learn at school, old-fashioned vocabulary and structures from the classics like Shakespeare, grammar gap-fill exercises and dictations, for example. It’s all fairly redundant in the world of work. Whether that’s in business, industry or even in modern-day academia.

Conventional English or small talk is not going to give you
a) the vocabulary,
b) the free-speech practice or
c) the confidence to express yourself as eloquently as you would in your own language at work.

The expectation that you can adapt your school English for your career instantly is unrealistic but one that is widely upheld in international business. But is that the expectation? Is it their expectation or yours?

Are you maybe loading yourself with that burden? Or are people really trying to cut you out making a grammar mistake? I doubt it. I think, they’re probably trying to understand the challenge, solve a problem or optimize a process.

Are you putting yourself under too much pressure?
“Expectation is the cause of all our suffering” Buddha


Claire: Yeah, I mean, there’s two things that you put out there, which I think is really important to note and the basis of a lot of my work.

Firstly, Buddha says

Expectation is the cause of all our suffering”.

And if you think about the depths of that, our expectation can, you know, if we don’t meet these expectations that we put on ourselves, we pluck them out of nowhere, you know?

And so we oftentimes as well don’t really even know that we’ve got expectations, but we don’t meet them, so we feel disappointed or we suffer in some way psychologically.

Expectations have, you know, we’ve got to look at what expectations are we setting for ourselves? Are they realistic? Are we just plucking them out of thin air?

Give Yourself a Realistic Timeline

And what is the – I guess – timeline we’re giving ourselves in order to meet these expectations?

That’s the first thing. If we’re going to set them, let’s make sure that they’re realistic. Let’s make sure we can hit them, so we’re avoiding disappointment for ourselves.

And the second point you make is, I think with a lot of people that you work with that are listening to this podcast, we worry so much about what people think of us and we put our expectations on what we think other people are expecting.

Trepedation, Fear & Self Doubt

Corinne: Yeah!

You know, into our minds and into our head and that causes trepidation, it can cause fear and self-doubt. What we’re effectively doing is thinking that we can mindread. So that whole idea of fearing what people are thinking is really just coming from our own thought process.

Corinne: Yeah, that’s true. It’s actually a bit like losing weight. You know, it takes a lot of effort to lose the weight and yet you forget about it, you neglect it, and before you know about it, it’s all back on again.

So, I think people are very mindful and conscious and deliberate about their communication. We’re keen to protect our reputations at all costs, aren’t we? It pays to be intentional about communication, expressing yourself clearly, formulating your opinion in a logical, persuasive and understandable way.

Putting in a bit of thought and planning ahead of the meeting. So, I mean, really, it’s all about finding a way to express yourself in a way that is professional, not perfect, and a way that is easy to relate to.

But of course, in reality, sometimes it’s difficult to be approachable when you’re nervous.

Approachable over Professional

Claire: Yeah. And I mean, I would go for approachable over professional because everyone’s perspective of professional is going to be different, as well, right?

What you think is professional might not be professional to me.

You talked about reputation and I think what’s really important is to get a grounding or a base of

“What are your values?”,

“What do you value the most?”

so that can be your springboard for your reputation.

And it’s the same as being approachable, could be one of your values, right? So, if we are always looking at what’s really important to me, what values do I hold true and dear to myself that I am always being, I’m being those values in action, then everything else can kind of fall by the wayside. You build your reputation, it becomes built on who you’re being as a person. Our being dictates our action.

And so, if we’re always focusing on, you know, values like clear communication or being approachable or being joyful, whatever it is, if we’re always focusing on those, then it takes a lot of the mind chatter out of the “What are people thinking of me?”, because I’m being true to my values, so it doesn’t actually matter what anyone else is thinking of me.

“What are your values?” “What do you value the most?”

Is that really true?

I’m just being true to myself and what’s true for me. The less we have them on our mind, the more time we have to think, therefore, the clearer we can be in our communication.

If we keep it really simple by looking at “What are my values and how do I stay true to that by being that?”, then all the other things about “How am I making sure that I’m speaking clearly, that I’m being professional, that I’m saying the right things, that I’m speaking according to what others expect of me” – it kind of all goes out the way.

You don’t need to worry about that because we’re just being true to ourselves.

Authenticity is Less Exhausting

Corinne: Yeah, I think you’re right and if you think about it, you know, it actually comes down to authenticity being less exhausting. You tend to be more consistent, don’t you, if you’re in line with your values? It’s very easy then to be consistent. And the bottom line is: It’s easy to be brilliant if you’re in line with your values.

Claire: Yeah, exactly. You’re always in alignment with yourself, right? So, you’re not playacting. All of us, we do tend to act sometimes in a way that we think is expected of us.

Corporate Clones

Corinne: Yeah. And corporate values can kind of squeeze that into you, can’t they? Especially if you’ve been in the organisation for quite a long time, you tend to kind of feel like a clone of that organisation after a while.

Which, if it’s a really upbeat, fantastic organization, that’s great, but if not? Not so great. So what do you think, Claire, that we can do to help organizations to welcome women, for example, back into the organization after their maternity leave? Very often the ladies that I’m working with, during their maternity leave, you know, don’t have a lot of experience.

So, they’ve had maybe two or three post-graduate jobs and then they’ve gone away to start a family, which is great, but it means that that confidence isn’t really at a very secure level when they go on maternity leave.

So, as they are adapting to family life, that distance catapults them into another round of mind monkey madness.

Mind Monkey Party on Maternity Leave

Corinne: They’re thinking about things like “Are there going to be new people there”, it’s going to be new clients, it’s going to be maybe a new office after the pandemic. Maybe there’s going to be new flexibility. But what is that flexibility? Is it real flexibility or is it kind of like pseudo-flexibility? All of these questions are like whirring around and yet managements are often very nervous about reaching out. They ask themselves “When is the right time to reach out to that person, to that new mom?” and “How can I make them feel welcomed to come back. How do I reach out to them without infringing on that beautiful maternal time that they deserve with their children?”. You know, it’s a difficult one to play, isn’t it?

Claire: There’s a lot of thinking that we have with this, and you mentioned, you know, just some of it and majority of our thinking is based around a fear of failure and a fear of rejection.

What I’ve seen mothers tend to do is really downplay their existence in a way, downplay the power and the talent and expertise that comes with being a mom.

And so, if you look at moms re-entering the workforce, first of all, let’s get real, let’s – again – get all our thinking out on paper and let’s look at this factually.

Look at the experience that they had, the skills that they had before they left the workforce to become a mother.

Look at the skill sets that moms have, which is a multitude of skill sets from being a mother, an experience of having to communicate clearly, right? They’re having to share what they need and have someone be on board with that.

Training, Onboarding, Team Building
Support, Motivation, Leadership

Connect the dots between parenting and career

There are so many connections with how we have to be in the workplace as to what a mom is doing with bonding and communicating, connecting with your children.

So, look for the skill sets that you’re using in your everyday life now that are applicable and really meaningful and beneficial to the workforce.

What I’m doing here is saying: We’re going to have mind chatter, we all have it, but let’s get real and truthful about how realistic that mind chatter is.

Let’s get factual.

Put it down on paper.

That’s one way that we can sort of start, because what we rarely do, we have all these thoughts going around in our head, but we rarely address them.

We really go, “Is that true that I’m not going to be able to get back into the workplace? Is it true that I’m going to be a failure? The worry that I’m not going to be able to pick up the new processes or be able to remember all that?”, is that true?

  • did you notice the great use of threes there 😉
    (Check out – Episode 133 Rule of Threes)

Of course you can learn that!

Corinne: I mean, if you think about it, sorry to interrupt you, but we are constantly learning as new mom.

Having not had a younger sibling to look after as a young girl, this was completely new territory for me. There was no way around it, I had to, you know, read books, ask my mom, try things out and work things out a way it worked for our family.

In fact, only as a new mom doing this stuff did I work it out. So, you’ve got to learn this stuff and not just the immediately obvious stuff like feeding and changing a child but also the big picture stuff like teaching and protecting your child. And you can’t keep putting that off – and there’s certainly not a manual.

And a lot of it is listening to your gut feeling or intuition but life-long learning for me started when I became a mom because I knew that I couldn’t get everything right but I sure as hell wanted to make a bloody good stab at it.

I wanted to make sure that my son was raised to be bilingual, polite, a considerate young man, I guess. And there’s nothing more agile than raising a family, right? It’s like “Whoa, that didn’t work!”. So, okay, there might be a new piece of software – so what?

If you can learn how to raise a child you can certainly learn a piece of flippin’ software! (laughs)

Resilience - Our Superpower

Claire: Yeah, exactly. And, you know, it’s also, you know, one of the things that we discount or don’t remember or aren’t aware that we have as human beings, is our just innate resilience.

Our innate resilience to overcome obstacles and hurdles and challenges again and again and again. And we’ve been doing that since we were born, you know, just starting to walk. We’ve been doing it learning to drive a car.

I mean, we’re doing it all day, every day. We’re learning and we’re picking things up and we’re growing. And so it’s just remembering of the innate skills that we already have.

Five mixed race young adult friends during a hike start stepping on stones to cross a stream while holding hands to help each other


You mentioned intuition: very, very important skill set that we all have, but we rarely cultivate because we’re so busy listening to this part of our mind, which is saying, “You’re not good enough, you can’t do it, you’re going to fail”.

This is the other part of our mind, which is “You sooo can do this! You’ve got sooo much potential in you!”.

So we play down the intuition and the knowing. We play that down and we listen more to the mind chatter of,

You’re going to make a fool of yourself, you’re going to fail, everyone’s going to laugh at you”.

There is a part that, you know, in my coaching, very much of tuning down the volume of what I call “our ego self” and turning up the volume of our higher self, listening to our intuition, our inner wisdom that’s been with us since we were born.

It’s there, but we’re not taught how to cultivate it in schools.

Fear of Failure As A New Mum

Corinne: That’s true. No, I think, you know, this fear of failure and coming back to the workplace has a lot to do with overwhelm, actually. Even before we had kids it seemed like a lot to juggle.

So, it can seem impossible to know how to balance being a loving mom at home and a capable, reliable and knowledgeable expert at work.

Actually, “Back to Business, Baby” is my mastermind for young Moms here in Berlin. Given the Great Resignation, it provides employers with a more pragmatic, supportive but more importantly empathetic way to support their moms throughout their maternity leave in a way that isn’t intrusive of that time that they deserve with their family. So, this walk and talk mastermind is designed specifically for young career moms with their babies and it gives them an opportunity to talk about issues on their mind as we walk with our buggies or sling. And, although we’re based in Berlin, it’s an English language programme because you know what they say “Use it or lose it”.

For companies keen to fill their board with more female experts, then that needs to start well in advance, right? So, we’ll be talking in detail about how to improve our communication for a better chance of being great leaders.

It’s all about the mom, not about the babies. We do so much for our babies but we neglect ourselves.

There will also be regular recorded online sessions which you can catch up with at a time that suits you and your child and we’ll be tackling all of that monkey mind chatter with practical, hands-on tips and tricks, a strategy for getting career ready with your youngest child.

The Walk & Talk Mastermind for New Mums

“What will I wear the first day back?

“How am I going to deal with my new American boss?”

who’s really a little bit of a macho,

Dr Eva Bäcker – Elearning Consultant (Client mentioned in the show with the 5 year journal)


So, what we’ve heard so far is that you need to be conscious of your mind chatter. It is totally normal, you’re not crazy. And if you find it useful, try writing it down. I was actually speaking to a client of mine just recently and she said that she has a five-year journal (I’ll link to this lady in the show notes, she’s amazing!). Because Eva said that the same date comes around every five years, so you get to see, “Oh, this time last year I was also a bit down too” or “I wasn’t having a good day this time last year” or “On this date last year I was just taking my child to school” or whatever it was, you know. So writing it down or journaling is massive, I think. I get a lot of value out of that myself. I write a haiku before I go to bed every single night.

Claire: Fabulous! Journaling is a very powerful process. And the point of journaling is just to get what’s in our head out on paper, so we can start really assessing “Is this true?”.

Corinne: Yeah, absolutely! Brilliant! Then we were talking about imposter syndrome, and I love what your dad said about, you know “If you’re green, you’re growing – and if you’re not, you rot”. I love that! So, yes, it’s definitely a sign that you’re moving in the right direction.

Fear of the Unknown

Claire: Yeah. The imposter syndrome is really just our primate brain being fearful of the unknown.

So we tend to experience fear when we’re moving out of our comfort zone. People know it as the comfort zone or going into the unknown – well, that’s natural. Imposter syndrome, if you’re going to a new job that you’ve never done before, right?

Or if you’re trying a new task or a new skill, it’s going to be completely natural that we’re going to feel fear.

So imposter syndrome is really just an escalation of that fear, thinking that I’m not good enough to do this, that I’m not skilled enough or experienced enough. The very fact that we’re talking about job promotions or women coming back into the workforce, that they’ve got the job.

The very fact that you’ve been offered the job, that you’ve got the promotion, demonstrates in itself that you have the skills and experience.

So, imposter syndrome is really just pointing out that we’re in the growth zone and it’s completely natural. And again, it’s just reminding yourself that you deserve to be there.

You deserve everything that you’ve earned to get you to where you are today.

Imposter Syndrome is robbing you of opportunities

Corinne: That’s true. I had a good – no, she was amazing – client in Bavaria, Susie, and she was basically in a situation where there was a job opening internally and everyone was expecting her to apply. They were saying things like:

“Susie, that’s your job. It’s got your name on it!”

“You’ve applied, haven’t you?”

“Hey, Susie! Excellent! You’re going to be the new Key Account Manager!”.

They just assumed that she would get it and they assumed that she had already applied.

And then after about five people have come up to her she reached out to me and asked me to basically give her a crash-course in English, saying “Oh, Corinne, can you help me with this?”. Now, this is a real fire fighting job. No time to hide behind the keyboard, you have to get on the phone and get things working smoothly again right now. She literally never knew what was coming up next and Susie was basically doing everything in her power to solve problems, optimise processes, keep her clients coming back for more products. Every conversation, in English of course, because she had suppliers all over the world, could put her on the spot.

Now, Susie is quite modest, she would never say this but she is killing it in this job. That’s obvious from the conversations that we’ve had and from the opportunities that she’s getting but more importantly the trust that her bosses are putting in her to just run with it. From being a “Sprach-Depp” as she put it or a disaster zone with languages, she’s now working internationally.

She hardly needs me anymore. She has it all under control. She was clearly good at what she was doing before but see herself as an international Key Account Manager, yet everyone else did, you see? She’s become the English-speaking expert.

The voices in her head were keeping her small even though she is so reliable, so knowledgeable and so organized.

Awareness of Excuses in Disguise

Claire: Yeah. That’s why it’s so important to become aware of what you’re telling yourself, as well. Very often we don’t become aware of this and we just take it on board as fact. So we miss opportunities all the time. We miss opportunities to grow because we are simply not aware of what we’re telling ourselves – all day, every day.

Corinne: That’s right, yeah. Another thing that often comes up is very often these young moms will say, “Oh, yeah, you know, I’ll do that when my kids are a bit older”, you know, they tend to delay these things. In fact, Susie mentioned something like that to me, too. But the guys never think like that, do they?

Claire: Those delay tactics are, again, fear is masked in many different ways and our excuses is one of them. And you know, it looks very honourable, that we want to put our family first. But I would question, I would ask you as well to question deeply is it that you’re really wanting to put your family first or are you just afraid to do something new? Because a lot of times it’s the fear of failing, the fear of not being good enough that comes into play so often. And we must get us different excuses.

Corinne: That’s right. We mustn’t forget that we are a role model for our kids, male and female. Yeah. Then we talked a little bit about communication and how actually it all comes down to our values. Ultimately, being authentic is less exhausting, it lets you be more consistent. And you said, you know, it keeps things simple, doesn’t it?

Claire: Absolutely.

Beware of using your family as an excuse not to exit that comfort zone, Honey!

Values - your guiding light

Corinne: Then we talked a little bit about communication and how actually it all comes down to our values. Ultimately, being authentic is less exhausting, it lets you be more consistent. And you said, you know, it keeps things simple, doesn’t it?

Claire: Yeah.

Corinne: So, a fear of failure, not being good enough, are things that we all experience and moms tend to downplay their skills and their abilities. So that again is an opportunity to get out a piece of paper, a notebook, and write down what could you do before you had kids, that you were good at then and people admire you for? What people always ask you about and things like that. And what can you do now and how can you dovetail the two? Like, how can you use these new skills to become an even better manager or a better programmer or better at whatever you do at work.

What am I good at?

Claire: And it’s really important from that, as well. I think when we go back into the workforce, we look to the external world. You know, we look at what can I do rather than looking inside to “What do I love, what things do I like doing, what am I good at?”.

So rather than going inside-out, we go outside-in, we look out there and we think,

“Oh, what can I do? What can I fit into it?”. It’s really difficult with moms because they’ve given birth to this absolute love of their life. So, going back into the workforce is a big thing, right?

You’re going to be separated from a piece of your heart, so you better make sure that you’re doing something that you love. You know, it’ll take you away from your joy.

So, make sure it suits you. Make sure it suits your heart, as well, rather than just looking and thinking “What can I fit into the workforce”. What’s important to ME?

Corinne: That’s right. And I think even when you’re on maternity leave, most HR managers would love to hear from you. If you’re thinking, “You know, I’m keen to go back to work, but, I’d quite like to do something else, really”.

So, you don’t have to be frightened, nervous or apprehensive about speaking to HR about alternative career paths. That’s actually a very proactive way forward. Feel free to reach out, they much prefer that than you showing up and them having to readjust at short notice.

So, when you come back on the ...., you'll be....

Claire: Communication is everything, as you know.

Corinne: Yeah. (laughs)

London Calling

Corinne: Well, thank you, Claire, for joining me on this show this morning – from London, my old home. Which part of London are you in, Claire?

Claire: I’m in Kennington.

Corinne: Oh, the posh part, nice! I was in Clapham, Twickenham.

Claire: Ah, lovely, nice!

Corinne: Yeah, quite nice, further out.

Your Communication Challenge

I always have little tasks, Claire, at the end of my podcast for my listeners. So, perhaps you can help me come up with something special, Claire, to get them thinking about that mind monkey chatter or something else completely different?

Claire: I would say: write down 20 things that you’re great at, that you love about yourself, 20 things about you that are magnificent, because very rarely do we do that, right?

A lot of this, our fears, comes from not actually recognising how brilliant we actually are. And so, very rarely do we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I love you so much, you are amazing, thank you!”. A lot of the times we go “Look at your hair, you’re terrible! Look at the bat wings in your arms or, you know? We’re so down on ourselves in our all areas. So, let’s give them an exercise to recognise their own magnificence.

Corinne: Absolutely! We do put ourselves down a bit, don’t we? So that’s a great exercise, that’s it. That will be the Coco’s Communication Challenge for this week, thank you so much!

So, you know the drill, all of the information for Coco’s Communication Challenge is on my website, just head over to: and you will find it there.

So, where will my lovely listeners find out more about you, Claire?

Claire: Thank you. My website is or I’m very active on my favourite social media platform which is LinkedIn and so you can find me under Claire Sewell on LinkedIn

I’d love to hear if anyone’s got any feedback or any questions or any sort of reflections on today. I’m happy to have a chat with them as well.

Corinne: Great. Okay, that sounds fantastic. That’s how we met as well, isn’t it?

So all that remains for me to say is

Be the very best communicator that you can be. And I will see you next week for a new episode of 

Experts! Speak English!