The Pressure-Stress Balancing Act and how to manage it

Have you ever found yourself wondering how you suddenly became so stressed when only recently you were enjoying high performance? What causes stress and what small things can we do each and every day to keep our balance?  (more…)

Tapping into your emotional detective

Photo Credit: Voyagerix

As we say goodbye to one year and hello to another, I find myself thinking about feelings and emotions. I can’t help notice the irony of that sentence as all too often we hide behind thinking instead of connecting to feelings.

Why might this be something you could benefit from considering at the start of a New Year? My proposal is that your year will be richer if you more consciously focus on feelings and emotions because recognising and acknowledging emotions can help us think, emotions can enable us to relate better to others, to manage others, and to manage ourselves.


Investing in your Mental Wellbeing – a leadership imperative

Credit: lesly-juarez

What’s on your ‘to do’ list this week? Revisit the strategy? Review your budget actuals against planned? Develop your people? How about strengthen your mental wellbeing?

Not that last one? Mmm, that could be the most important of the lot.

Why focus on mental wellbeing?

According to the charity Mind, Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and, in England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. Chances are, someone in your team considers themselves to have a mental health problem so that’s a good reason to read on, even if you don’t consider you have one yourself.  (more…)

Developing good learning habits to fast track your growth

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Being successful at work and in your career is dependent on a number of factors. One of those is your ability and willingness to learn and grow. Taking a proactive approach to learning is a sure fire way to give yourself a better chance of success.

Learning is not just about attending training courses though. Learning requires making the most of opportunities that present themselves (or that you can engineer for yourself) during your day to day work, as well as learning from others. It also requires the discipline to reflect on your behaviours and results so that you have a better understanding of why things worked out as they did. What did you do that supported positive results? What might you do differently next time? (more…)

Investing in relationships to improve performance

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Last month I wrote about the importance of your relationship with your manager. This month, building on this theme, I am exploring the power of building relationship through any of your interactions that support you getting your work done.

We all have preferred ways of working to get things done. For some of us, being focused and efficient is the way to go. For others it is about taking time to interact with others and to build networks. While these may be our preferences, we likely need a bit of both at times in order to be successful. There are very few people who can get their work done without the need to interact with others. Not only is working with others necessary, it is something which most of us need.  (more…)

Building a GREAT relationship with your manager …it takes more than coffee

Photo by Javier Molina

Do you remember how it felt to have a manager for the first time at work? Perhaps you are new to the world of work and only just finding out?

We expect a lot of our managers. Sometimes we even forget that they are people just like us – with hopes, fears, concerns, career aspirations, and a manager of their own.

We often expect them to be there for us – to make it straightforward for us to fulfil our responsibilities, to support our development, to ensure we get pay rises and promotions, to back us in a meeting, to listen to us and to value our opinions. Sometimes, it is all too easy to blame them when we don’t want to take accountability ourselves for something not going our way: If only my manager had done this or that. (more…)

The Confidence Conundrum

Photo Credit: Fizkes

Whether you are about to go after your first job or are just starting a new role, it’s possible that there are times where you doubt yourself: ‘Am I going to be able to do this?’, ‘What if they are over-estimating what they think I can achieve?’, ‘It just seems that everyone else is more confident than me!’

Even the most confident person has occasional moments of self-doubt. Ideally, we overcome these as quickly as possible so that we can confidently go about our work in a way which enables us to reveal what we are capable of such that others trust us and see us as credible. This doesn’t mean overtly demonstrating confidence through an act; people can tell if you are not being authentic. It means knowing yourself and being comfortable about who you are and what you stand for. (more…)

The Happy Leader – how to raise your levels of happiness

Is being a leader and being happy mutually exclusive? I don’t think so. While we hear more and more about working context meaning that we have to manage in ever changing, complex and ambiguous environments, this does not have to mean that our lives as leaders become necessarily difficult and unhappy.

As Dr Wayne Dyer said, “Many people mistakenly believe that circumstances make a person. They don’t. Instead they reveal him or her. Our circumstances don’t define us.”

If that’s the case, as a leader, how can you maintain your happiness whatever the circumstances?


Enabling your team’s creativity


Have you ever been in a meeting where your boss tells all of his/her direct reports that ‘we need more creativity’ and expects that as you walk out of the door there will be an instant change? In these times of efficiency, productivity, streamlining, judgement and busy-ness, our creative selves can get squeezed out. In such environments, where is the space for enabling new ideas to seed rather than be trampled on? How can we expect to see the spark of something new and exciting to engage our customers and consumers in a way that provides mutual benefit?

If you are a line manager with a team relying on you to provide the conditions for them to be at their best, how might you create the conditions for creativity?


Learning how to handle change – YOUR way

Have you ever felt change was happening to you and there was nothing you could do about it?

Did you find a way to handle it or let it run its course?

The well-known saying ‘change is the only constant in life’ has no doubt been felt by us all. Given this, it can be helpful to understand your own approach to dealing with change and whether it works for you. This article shares my own experience of recent change and how it has provided me with a 4 letter acronym for how to handle the next change that I feel needs to be handled. As a result, I hope that you may also find it useful to create your own. (more…)