Sheela Hobden, Wraw Practitioner

Spotlight on Sheela Hobden, Coach and Wraw Practitioner

Wraw Practitioner, Sheela Hobden is passionate about health and wellness. She combines coaching excellence with Wraw to support doctors and healthcare professionals to care for themselves as much as they do their patients. In this interview she shares how she uses Wraw both with her clients and for herself.

Sheela Hobden, Wraw Practitioner


  • How have you been integrating Wraw within the coaching cycle?

On an individual basis, when a client gets in touch for coaching, we work together to establish what they want coaching for.  I’m able to use the Wraw pillars to consider where some of their pains may be coming from and at that point recommend the psychometric as a start point for our conversations.  It then forms a key part of our first coaching session, and as clients explore their own strategies, we continue to return to it, reviewing experience and further ideas.  We also bring it in towards the end of the coaching programme, so we can clearly see progress that has been made.

With teams in organisations, the Wraw tool has been highly valuable in creating a common language between people.  We hold coaching sessions ahead of workshops, so that team members can individually review their own situation and build an awareness of their strengths and areas to work on which will positively impact their wellbeing.

  • How has this supported your conversations with clients?

There have been people across a whole spectrum of situations, from those whose strong resilience is clearly protecting their wellbeing, through to those that are really struggling to cope and feeling the effects of every little challenge that comes their way.  The tool supports the conversation due to its evidence base.  Clients find it very useful to have an observational perspective, something in writing, as well as seeing what their resilience levels are in relation to other working people.

  • What impact has this had for them?

Some enter into the coaching conversation and realise “it’s no wonder I’m feeling so bad”, and “now I can see it’s not just in my head”.  Those realisations on their own help lighten the tension a little.  People take reassurance knowing that they have taken the first step towards action, simply by taking the assessment and showing up to the coaching conversation.  Generally people know what to do, particularly in the energy pillar, but they often compromise habits when things get tough.  The conversation helps people see this, and having a structured report to work through is a useful prompt.  Taking energy as the example, people will hear the “activity” sub section and say “well, I used to walk every lunchtime until things got busy”.  We then explore how that felt, what benefits were they getting, and in going back to “that place”, ideas start to flow on how to re-create it.  Change doesn’t have to be big – even if they reinstate a 10-minute walk round the block it can be transformational.

There are also some amazing good news stories from organisations I have worked with.  One specific example is a team that accessed their strength in Strong Relationships (one of the key Wraw pillars).  Coming together in the session, they were able to call on these skills, trusting each other and sharing how they felt.  It was collectively identified that their physical working layout was not conducive to how they do their work.  They started to think about what they could all do about it.  In subsequent follow ups, they described how they had since involved their facilities team and were in progress to change their physical environment to one which allowed them all to work more effectively.  This sense of control and motivation to make it happen also enabled their resilience skills to shine through and show their worth.

  • How do you apply Wraw in your own life?

Firstly let’s start by saying no one is perfect, but each time I talk about the pillars, in conversations with individuals or organisations, I want to be able to provide an example of how I practice what I preach, and what I see others (individuals and organisations) doing, so there is always something ready for me to share.  I continue to learn as my clients do, so simply using the tool with others helps me really integrate it into my life!

I was going to try to call out one of the pillars as being the most useful to me, then I couldn’t land on which one, which says something about the equal importance of them all!

After completing the accreditation, I spent a lot of time “learning” the components and building on existing knowledge on wellbeing, so that I could talk fluently about them at any time and in turn help as many people as I could.  I created an analogy of all the parts of Wraw, and other resilience and wellbeing knowledge and to the parts of a car.  This is a really useful hook to hang everything on, so often I will look at it as putting “my car in for a service” and asking (as if I was taking it to the mechanic) myself “what needs looking at?”.

You can find out more about Sheela and her work on her website. Just follow the link. 

Or, to get in touch directly:


Q&A with Diane Nield, Wraw Master Practitioner

As our network of Wraw practitioners has grown so has their work as they build better futures for working people. We caught up with Master Practitioner, Diane Nield, to talk about her experience on our Accreditation programme, and how she has been using Wraw to build her business, Lead Coach Manage.

Why did you choose to accredit with Wraw?

I had previous experience of The Wellbeing Project’s ‘My Resilience’ programme when I worked at AstraZeneca. My team and I were under a lot of pressure at the time and I took the decision to take them off the road for 2 days to focus purely on ourselves and to build our resilience as a team. The programme really helped us to focus on building our energy, increasing our confidence and self-belief and supporting each other as individuals. When I later moved on from AstraZeneca to create my own business, I remembered this experience and the impact it had on my team. I signed up for Accreditation and Wraw is now part and parcel of the Lead Coach Manage offer.

What stood out most for you on the Wraw Accreditation programme?

I really enjoyed the Accreditation. It enabled me to network with like-minded individuals. What stood out for me most was the discussion around the ‘Pressure Performance Curve’. This focuses on the importance of creating healthy high performance. Following a personal period of stress-related ill health, I found I was not alone. Most people had a story to tell and the tool seemed to give us permission to share without judgement. Of all the tools we learned about in Accreditation, this is one that I most regularly use in our Wraw workshops.

How have you been using Wraw since your Accreditation?

After leaving AstraZeneca I started a consultancy with my business partner Sue, and she is now also an accredited Wraw Practitioner. Together, we focus on executive development. Wraw is the ‘red thread’ that runs through everything we do.

How has Wraw helped to grow your business?

We find that our clients’ focus has turned towards wellbeing without us having to shout about it. There is so much interest in this arena that it has become part of their development needs. The great thing about Wraw is that it gives the client a ‘starting point’ for discussion and helps everyone get onto the same page. It creates a shared language around building resilience, which our clients find very empowering.

What impact has Wraw had on your clients?

The impact has been very positive. We’ve completed many individual and team reports and we’ve found the biggest change has been through the design of the Wraw Team Charter. This is where a team creates a set of agreements which will support greater resilience and wellbeing in their team. Having completed individual reports, and worked with their team report, everyone arrives at this discussion with an informed view-point. The engagement and buy-in to creating and then implementing the charter come naturally. It’s the support and encouragement from each other and the forging of strong relationships in the workplace that has seen the small changes result in big outcomes.

One example which comes to mind is a company who designed their Team Charter last summer and who now report increased energy levels, weight loss (one individual has lost 5 stone!) and an increasing ‘in it together’ vibe. It’s a real success story for this team and it’s not uncommon.

What’s next for you with Wraw?

Wraw will continue to be central to our work. We are providers for the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub delivering the ‘Executive Development Programme’ to SMEs across the City. We have a couple of exciting propositions in the pipeline where Wraw will feature – watch this space!

What would you say to anyone considering Wraw Accreditation?

I would say Wraw is a great addition to your personal skills and to businesses who really want to embed resilience and wellbeing into their culture.

To find out more about Wraw Accreditation, join us for our webinar: Find out more.





Wraw webinar: Become an accredited resilience coach and trainer

Have you ever thought about becoming a resilience coach and trainer?

On Thursday 16th July, Desiree Ashton, leading expert in resilience and head of the Wraw Academy, will be hosting a short webinar on Wraw Accreditation.  In under 30 minutes you will get all of the essentials:

  • How Wraw is bringing a data-driven approach to resilience and wellbeing
  • An overview of Wraw reports for individuals, teams and leaders
  • How leading businesses are driving resilience and wellbeing with Wraw
  • Accreditation options for in-house teams and independent consultants

And there will be plenty of time to ask questions.

Date: Thursday, 16 July, 2020

Time: 15:30 – 16:00 UK time

To hold your place, just follow the link.

Flexible Body, Strong Mind

As the festive season fades into distant memory and winter drags on, taking a proactive approach to staying healthy and resilient is all the more important. In this month’s news, Victoria Farrelly, business psychologist and resilience expert, takes a closer look at the link between physical and mental wellbeing. Discover how yoga doesn’t just stretch your body, but also grows your mind.

Flexible body, strong mind

For a long time, physical health and mental wellbeing have been seen as separate. You go to the gym to look after your body, and you see a coach or counsellor to feel mentally strong. But study after study is showing that the two are tightly connected.

Let’s take yoga as an example. A recent review of 11 studies published in the journal Brain Plasticity found that a regular yoga practice has a dramatic impact on the brain. It increases the volume of the hippocampus, the amygdala structures and the prefrontal cortex.

So what? You might ask.

These brain structures have a significant impact on our performance:

  • The hippocampus is crucial for mental processing.
  • The amygdala plays a critical role in emotional regulation, learning and memory.
  • The prefrontal cortex is pivotal in multi-tasking, planning and decision-making.

With all 3 combined you have a powerhouse of mental strength. So, if you’re interested in performing at your best and staying well, make a change for February. Try a yoga class.

Find out more about how Wraw drives the resilience of individuals and organisations:

+44 (0)800 085 6899.


Christmas lights

Celebrate Success

As 2019 draws to a close we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our readers, for your support.  Wraw continues to go from strength to strength as we build our network of client and independent practitioners.  We are very grateful for your enthusiastic testimonials and referrals to both colleagues and fellow professionals. Thank you!

To wrap up the year we wanted to share a quick reflection to prime you to embrace all that 2020 has to offer:

  1. Reflecting on this past year, what have been your greatest achievements?
  2. What new skills did you develop, and what existing skills have been fine-tuned?
  3. Looking forward into 2020, what specific opportunities will allow you to use these?
  4. Where, what or who will help you to make this happen?

We hope you find a quiet half hour to reflect on your success and get set for an exciting new year!

With best wishes from the Wraw Team

Work Relationships And Introversion

So far this year we have shared articles focusing on four out of our 5 Pillars of Resilience, and this month brings the fifth and final pillar: Strong Relationships. The importance of social interaction and connection for our mental wellbeing is well documented, but building and maintaining such relationships can be a great deal easier for some than others, especially at work.

For those who sit towards the more introverted end on the spectrum of introversion to extraversion, forming connections at work can be a real challenge. ‘Introverts’ tend to feel energised more by time alone than by time spent with others, which is more likely to drain them – in contrast to more extraverted individuals, who feel energised by socialising. There has been a great deal of research into the biological reasons behind these differences, and one key aspect seems to be that introverts are more sensitive to dopamine than extraverts are, meaning they feel more easily stimulated in circumstances that cause dopamine release (such as social situations).

Pressure to act extraverted

On top of being told that being sociable is good for our health, work environments often reward extraverted behaviour—either intentionally or unintentionally. In one study highly extraverted individuals were found to have a 25% higher chance of being in a high-earning job than introverts. And yet, introverts can make some of the best leaders – they are just often overlooked as their louder, more chatty colleagues attract more attention. Because of this, introverts can feel as though they need to act more extraverted in the workplace, not in line with their true personality.

If you identify as an introvert, here are some tips to help foster healthy relationships at work that don’t sap all of your energy:

  • Be open about your preferences and needs with colleagues, such as your preferred method(s) of communication. Then set clear boundaries that work for you (and stick to them). For example, you could have a boundary around how close together your meetings are scheduled, ensuring you always have enough downtime in between to recover and prepare for the next one.
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking time out; it will help you recharge and feel ready to connect with colleagues again. This might mean something like booking a meeting room to go and work in for an hour or so, just to get some quiet time, or heading out alone during your lunch break. It’s about balance.
  • To avoid uncomfortable small talk, try asking for someone’s opinion on a work matter instead. It makes for easy conversation, and people love to feel helpful!
  • When it comes to socialising after work, don’t feel like you need to say yes to everything you are invited to, but do try to go along sometimes. You could set yourself a particular time that you will go home—this way there is an end in sight and you preserve some time to wind down afterwards, ensuring you don’t exhaust yourself.
  • Focus on quality of relationships, not quantity. Try arranging 1:1 conversations whenever possible; you will be more likely to forge strong connections this way compared to conversations within big groups.
  • Play to your strengths: listen! Many people prefer the sound of their own voice over truly listening to other people, but feeling heard and understood is key to a trusting, supportive relationship.

The key thing to remember is that introverts have different needs to extraverts. The types and frequency of social situations that people require to feel happy and healthy can vary enormously. That said, there are real risks that come with not spending enough time around other people. Social isolation is detrimental to both mental and physical health, so if this is your natural inclination, then it is worth trying to strike a balance between time alone and encouraging yourself to spend some time with others. Think about what ‘strong relationships’ means to you, what makes you feel at your best, and try not to feel pressured to match other people’s preferences.

For information about how you can use Wraw to develop your own resilience and wellbeing, get in touch with us by emailing or telephone +44 (0)800 085 6899.


St John Ambulance Conference: Embedding Mental Health Best Practice

We’re excited to be a part of the St John Ambulance ‘Embedding Mental Health Best Practice in the Workplace’ conference in Manchester on Thursday 26th September.

The event is one of a series of regional conferences, following the success of their summit of the same name in London last year.

These CPD-registered conferences aim to bring like-minded individuals together to explore the latest evidence-based practice in supporting employee mental health. This month’s event will feature leading speakers in the field, case studies and masterclasses led by industry experts, as well as a final drinks reception to give speakers and delegates the opportunity to discuss the day together.

We’re delighted to be supporting this event, as the theme of embedding mental health best practice at work is really at the core of our mission: to create a world where everyone lives well at work, by putting wellbeing and resilience at the heart of the workplace agenda.

A 20% discount is available on tickets until the end of this week – click HERE for more information and to purchase yours.

We’d love to see you at our stand!

Sector Full Price With 20% discount
Commercial £495.00 £396.00
Public Sector £400.00 £320.00
Charity/Student £350.00 £280.00

Wellbeing Can Be The Beating Heart Of Organisational Change

Change is a constant focus for almost every organisation. The shifting of the sands of the external environment are relentless and the pace of change gets faster every year. We have seen many household names struggle and collapse because they were unable to adapt effectively to the changes going on around them in both the commercial landscape and society in general. This has led to the growth of a whole industry revolving around organisational change, but this tends to be dominated by theories of production that stem from the engineering and IT industries, with little thought or appreciation given to the human element.

Recent research by a leading academic has demonstrated that organisations that put wellbeing at the heart of their change programmes are far more likely to reap the benefits from these.

Professor Kevin Daniels led a team of experts in reviewing cutting-edge research in this area from across the world. The team reviewed over 25,000 studies and analysed data from over 100,000 individuals and hundreds of organisations, making this one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted. This review was supported by further detailed analysis of hundreds of individuals in the UK, to verify that the findings translated across diverse groups and industry sectors.

The Impact of Resilience Training

The team picked out 41 studies that specifically looked at the impact of dedicated resilience training for managers and staff and the impact on organisational wellbeing. The results were definitive, with this training enabling individuals, teams and organisations to perform effectively, particularly during times of difficulty. The study also looked at ease of implementation, cost of delivery and ROI, and noted that resilience training was a relatively inexpensive process that produced very good ROI.

Leadership Can Make Or Break

However, a key finding from the study also noted that all the benefits of such programmes could be eroded by inflexible and unsupportive leadership. Strikingly, they found that an oppressive leadership and organisational culture could extinguish all the positive effects of an otherwise promising change programme.

The organisations that had the best returns were those that included experienced wellbeing leads (either internal senior staff or external consultants) in leading dedicated organisational change programmes. Successful organisations invested in a holistic approach, focusing on fostering healthy high performance and creating a culture of leadership that actively embraced and supported wellbeing as a core commercial strategy for success. The level of initial investment was understandably greater than the delivery of isolated training, but in terms of both organisational performance and sustainability of the changes, the ROI was extremely high.

The Wraw assessment enables organisations to gain a holistic picture of wellbeing across all levels, from individuals and teams right up to senior leaders and the organisation as a whole. The Leader Index and Leader reports explore how wellbeing is being demonstrated and role-modelled at senior levels, highlighting any areas to focus on in order to create a culture of wellbeing.


For information about how you can use Wraw to put wellbeing at the heart of your strategy, get in touch with us by emailing or telephone +44 (0)800 085 6899.


The Power Of Habit Tracking

For many of us, there exists some level of discrepancy between our intentions and our everyday behaviours. How often have you promised yourself you would start something – a new project, perhaps – but ended up postponing it for weeks? Or vowed to practice something daily, when in reality you manage it once a week at best? One aspect of life that this tends to apply to is taking care of ourselves; looking after our own wellbeing. Think about all the new year’s resolutions that go unrealised each year, the unused gym memberships, the much-loved and yet neglected hobbies.

Perhaps you have recently taken the Wraw assessment and received your results. Or maybe you simply have a few ideas of ways that you think you could improve your wellbeing. You put together some goals and steps that you’d like to take to put these into action. Then what? How can you embed these desired behaviours into your day-to-day life, so that you can begin to reap the benefits?

There is a wealth of advice out there on how best to ingrain healthy habits, but one simple tool is often overlooked: habit tracking. A popular concept within the practice of ‘bullet journaling’, habit tracking requires nothing more than a pen and paper—and maybe some coloured pens if you have them. There are various habit tracking apps available, but doing it by hand is likely to have greater impact as it demands greater attention and uses more of your brain (plus, it removes the likelihood of ending up distracted by other things on your phone).

How To Create Your Habit Tracker

The premise is simple: you draw up a table with the days of the month along one edge, and the habits you want to track along the other. As each day passes, you mark off whichever habits you managed to complete that day. A quick internet search will bring up endless ideas of ways to design your habit tracker, both in terms of functionality and aesthetic appearance, but if you want to keep it simple, this works just as well. It’s up to you how creative you get with it. Or, if you really want to avoid creating your own, there are countless printable templates available.

What Can I Track?

Absolutely anything! From meditating in the mornings to packing healthy lunches, practising the piano to flossing your teeth – if it’s something you believe will influence your life for the better, it’s worth tracking. And it doesn’t need to be actions that you want to take every day; you might aim to do some weekly, or fortnightly – whatever feels most appropriate. It may be that you start off this way and then, month by month, aim to increase the frequency until the habit in question has become a daily ritual. If you need some inspiration, this article contains some helpful habit suggestions.

Reviewing Progress

At the end of the month, you will have a visual representation of how much you have been acting in accordance with your intentions. This is a time to look back and reflect and to renew your focus for the following month. You might even be able to identify patterns in your practices that can provide guidance – particular times when you struggled to maintain a certain habit, for example. This part is crucial; if you don’t take the time to look back at your completed tracker for the month, the exercise really loses its impact.

The key here is not being too hard on yourself; the purpose is not to fixate on what you didn’t manage to do. Notice what went well, above all else. If a habit does not seem to be working out, avoid the temptation to just ‘try harder’ the next month. Instead, think about how you could do it differently. It may be as straightforward as picking a different time of day or setting yourself reminders.

One final piece of advice is not to focus on too many new habits at once. Picking one or two to focus on each month is much more likely to be manageable and effective than trying to introduce several at once.

Habit Tracking And The Workplace

There are various ways to bring the practice of habit tracking into the workplace. At an individual level, employees could be encouraged to share with colleagues things that are important to their habit goals – for example, needing to leave the office right on time every Wednesday as it allows them to fit in one of their weekly habits. The whole exercise could also be applied at a team level, by supporting the team to agree on workplace habits that can benefit them all – going for a walk one lunchtime a week, for example.

So get habit tracking now and look forward to indulging yourself at the end of the month in the comfort of knowing that you’ve accomplished a lot more than you probably would have given yourself credit for!

For information about how you can use Wraw to identify your personal opportunities for developing your wellbeing and resilience, get in touch with us by emailing or telephone +44 (0)800 085 6899.


Resilience And Flexible Thinking: The Role Of Mindfulness

Research over the past few years has found that mindfulness can bring a myriad of benefits, promising better sleep, reduced anxiety and increased focus, among many other things. In this article, we will focus on how it can help to develop one key area of resilience: flexible thinking.

In our 5 Pillars of Resilience model, the Flexible Thinking pillar encompasses our ability to see things from different perspectives, approaching tasks with an open, clear mind and not making snap judgements or assumptions.

So why is mindfulness relevant in the context of flexible thinking?

Integrating mindfulness into your working day allows you to maintain a sense of moment-to-moment awareness, better equipping you to remain level-headed and adaptable. It is especially beneficial when going through challenging situations or times of change, helping you to put things into perspective and not get caught up in worry, therefore feeling more in control. It supports you to remain grounded and see things more clearly, enabling you to respond in the most effective way possible and make rational decisions.

If you’re looking to improve this aspect of your resilience, here are eight easy ways to embed mindfulness into your working day:

  1. Before you start work or during a break, try a simple mindfulness meditation or breathing exercise.
  2. Look away from your laptop regularly, ideally outside (also great relief for your eyes).
  3. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, get up and move. Pay attention to how it feels to move your body.
  4. If you are able to, get outside at lunchtime. Look around you and take in your surroundings, rather than at your phone.
  5. Give eating your undivided attention – whether it’s a healthy lunch or a quick snack, resist the temptation to do other things at the same time. Focus only on the experience of whatever you are eating or drinking.
  6. Set reminders for yourself to periodically check in with your senses – what can you see, hear, feel? Can you smell or taste anything?
  7. Bring mindful attention to routine tasks, such as washing your hands or making a cup of tea.
  8. Have a conversation with a colleague and really, truly listen to them.

Mindfulness takes practice, but it is worthwhile to reap the benefits – for both yourself and those around you. If you can integrate some of the above techniques into your day, you should find that you are able to think more clearly and creatively and feel calm, in control and confident in your own judgement.

For information about how you can use Wraw to identify your resilience development needs, get in touch with us by emailing or call +44 (0)800 085 6899.