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Success in business (and life in general) is about making the right connections. Quality relationships are the key to success, and while building business is the objective, the means are very much to do with emotions at a very human level of contact.
This means that connecting people; with colleagues, customers and clients on the right level requires a lot of confidence alongside a willingness to be open and to listen. It also requires a degree of resilience, because it can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle. This content is taken from an interview with my associates at Business Aspects Magazine in October 2016.
The Confidence Cornerstone
Confidence alone is not enough when it comes to relationships. Resilience is as vital a quality, if not more important in many situations. For many it is going to be a job of chipping away gradually and taking time to secure relationships. Resilience means adapting where necessary to changing circumstances and developing the necessary self-belief to succeed. As such it is the cornerstone for relationship-building.
Be Mindful of Others
If resilience draws on inner reserves of strength, then empathy is about how you outwardly communicate with others. The ability to listen to people and understand their concerns is vital, as is being curious about them, showing an interest. This thoughtfulness is paid back in the form of friendships, repeat business, referrals introductions, increased job satisfaction and happy families.
When I talk to sales teams and other professional groups, I stress the importance of making clients happy and developing friendships. Share a little about you to help them tell you more about themselves, is my advice. Listen out for details that you can pick up to act on later. People love if you recall their special occasions and celebration dates. Read more on this new blog post: "Little things make a BIG Difference."
A successful team is competitive but also mutually supportive. Helping people work together is also a huge part of relationship development. Just as businesses need their people to be responsive to clients and customers, so they need their teams to be responsive to one another. Leaders must learn to look, listen and speak in a way that reflects this. The rewards will come in creating tight teams that are built to last while creating successful business activity.
Don't Taunt Elephants!
It’s important from the very beginning to understand what the measure of success will be. What it will look like for the individuals and teams involved? Keep objectives in balance. It's perfectly normal to feel annoyed or aggrieved at times. There are many variables that can cause an imbalance. The majority of them come down to how one person views or judges the other. If one perceives themselves to be more capable or experienced, or if he/she feels a need to prove or defend their actions then one or the other is going to feel unfairly treated.
If this happens to you, I suggest to take a time out for review. Life is a balancing act! There's no room for blame or acrimony. Here are Sergeant Schlock's simple rules which are great advice if or when you feel like upsetting the balance.
If you think that happiness is merely linked to hard work, then perhaps it's time to tune into Shawn Achor; The Happy Secret to Better Work.
The 7.17 to London is always a busy train and ten days ago the trip was no exception. I planned to overnight in the capital, so had a larger suitcase than usual. I struggled to get it between the seats and sat down in frustration with the case under the table. A few moments later my future travelling companion came along and offered to stow the awkward item.
What did he do?
Well believe it or not, Chris merely turned it on its side and hey presto the case was tucked away. As he sat down, I declared "Spatial awareness is not my strong suit." We laughed! And went on to share an entertaining breakfast. Chris as it turned out, is an orthopaedic surgeon and a fascinating man to listen to. We have since connected on LinkedIn. Learn how to do likewise on my networking courses.
What's the moral of the story?
What do you know that I should know?
Learning to think, see and do things differently impacts in many aspects of life. Are you open to fresh ideas and eager to learn better ways of doing things? I certainly am. Last year I was engaged to help settle a difference of opinion between two managers. I asked each of them in turn, "What do you know that I should know?" This searching question shows that you are interested in the other person's point of view; that you are prepared to listen without prejudice. Consider this approach next time you have to settle a disagreement. Incidentally it also helps with luggage issues. Chris knew things I didn't and vice versa.
People bring their whole-selves to work
Loving your job does not mean you like it every day. Perhaps you don’t like your children every day (insert pets or family if you prefer) but you still love them don't you? Remember people don't need to like you to be influenced by you. The fact is people bring their whole selves to work. Sometimes you will have to have to reframe conversions and surround yourself with facts, opinions and information you never expected to be exposed to. That's when great managers are there for their people - unconditionally. They create an environment of respect and trust.
Returning to London
As the horrendous, tragic terror attacks in London and Manchester unfolded recently, the culture of love triumphed over evil. The groundswell of hope, strength and peace was tangible. Total strangers reached out to each other with a depth of humanity that is hard for onlookers to truly comprehend. They bonded like family. There were many unsuspecting and unsung heroes such as the homeless man who rushed to help the injured. These people touched the lives of others. Such acts renew your faith in humanity.
ISMA UK Friday 16th June
Next week I'm back in London at the ISMA conference. If you are available, please drop me a line as I may be able to organise a free ticket; especially if you involved in stress management, promoting stress prevention and wellbeing? ISMA UK I'd love to meet up with you at the event.
Tune in to this fun teamwork video that proves the power and value of working together. Long-term success does not come when you work by yourself, it comes when you work together. There's an African proverb that says, "to go fast go alone…. to go far go together.”
Can you guess your age by your music tastes? Take the quiz.
Read more on Cookies Crumble and Not Confidence... on both offering and accepting help .
Finally you'll find my regular Ted Talk recommendation on the Cookies Crumble link above.
Look to find ways help and find the good in others. More on: "How will you touch the life of another today?"