Business Recovery Coaching

Post-Covid Business Recovery Coaching – Funded Coaching to Bring Businesses Back To Health

The vaccines are starting to flow which is a breath of fresh air to the many businesses that have been struggling to adapt to lockdown scenarios. Business recovery coaching will help you to bring your businesses back to health. Beyond the adaptation is the reinvention. Not only are we never going back to the way things were before 2020, we’re advancing upon a future that won’t all be soft serves. The KPMG report “The future of towns and cities post Covid-19” outlines some of its predictions and deductions to help create a picture of what lies ahead. It’s a study of 100 towns and cities in England analysing post-Covid vulnerability of which Hemel Hempstead was ranked as second-most-vulnerable.

What does this mean for Hemel?

I don’t want to regurgitate the report – though I do recommend reading it to anyone who is even slightly interested. But to me at least, the short takeaway is this. Whilst the picture painted for my hometown isn’t exactly dismal, it’s certainly only positive after a period of reinvention and transformation. We are going to see a loss of jobs and a diluting of commercial property rates and rents. Our entertainment and leisure options are going to need new focus, growth and innovation to develop and be sustainable. And finally, our transport links are now an additional facet – not a major draw to the Hertfordshire town.

Where does coaching come in?

two girls in coaching

As is attested on practically every page of my website, coaching is a way for business owners and executives to expand their personal resources, area of approach. And to bring new ideas, drive, and focus to their work. There is no argument that with all that these businesses have to cope with right now, extra support can be significantly beneficial.

I have five years’ experience in coaching and I am currently a member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council, the Association for Coaching, and the Institute of Leadership & Management. I’m currently completing my post-graduate diploma in senior executive coaching and mentoring and I am also certified in a range of advanced tools and techniques to enhance the scope from which my clients can understand their business, their interactions and more.

How is it “Funded”?

At present there are four primary methods of funding:

  1. Grants & Donations
  2. Sponsorship
  3. Personal Input
  4. Self Funding

This list isn’t set in stone and I am open to any other avenues that will open this programme up to as many who need it as possible.

1. Grants & Donations

I have applied to 5 organisations thus far for funding. Within these applications I’ve stated, much the same as here, that the goal is to give access to coaching to those who need it!

Except where it’s a conditional requirement, I will not release the organisations to which I’ve applied or from which I receive funding. This is between myself and those bodies. The only exceptions to this will be the verification required from coaching recipient – not something I’ve had yet but it is something I’m open to.

2. Sponsorship

business sponsorship

Any companies looking to help small businesses, community, or charities in the area are welcome to sponsor set business recovery coaching places or simply make a financial donation to the cause as above. This can be directed, for example, to support their own employees, to assist local authority personnel or to go to community projects and commissions.

Excluding cases where I create an agreement between a company and their employee I’m coaching, there’s no further involvement! If Acme Ltd is generous enough to support the business recovery coaching for an organisation like Forget Me Not Memory Boxes, Acme is welcome to make the payment and receive a signed confirmation statement from the coachee at FMNMB who received the coaching. That’s it.

As above, unless it’s required I won’t be shouting about who offers funds here though sponsors are more than welcome to talk about their generosity publicly. This is to avoid any undue reciprocity or expected result within the relationships.

3. Personal Input

The rest comes from me. I have been involved in community projects and supporting small businesses for so many years now that’s it’s just ingrained into my business practice. This is going beyond that of course.

Anyone’s coaching that is funded from this project will be paid up to 50% using the funds and support received, with the remainder from myself. The only place that is not the case is when third-party tools have to be purchased – but those are always optional.

4. Self Funding

So doesn’t that also mean that anyone can get half-price business recovery coaching? Yes! At least, in part.

There are certain requirements to discounted coaching, as there always are. For example, as the coach, I always have to have confidence in the relationship to be able to proceed, so I can decline any coaching relationship I don’t think I’ll be useful in. In addition, you’d need to meet the coachee requirements below.

How can I support this?

GREAT! I’d love your support. I’ve set up a form through the link below, which will book us in a chat. From that, we can discuss what resources you’d like to contribute and how you’d like to proceed.

Who can receive business recovery coaching?

As I said above, it’s not a freebie and there needs to be some criteria and dedication to ensure the support is well placed. To that end, here’s the basic (though flexible) criteria I’m asking:

getting business coaching
  • 60-80% of coachees must operate their role within Hemel Hempstead or in some way contribute to the Hemel Hempstead community,
  • Coachees must have influence within their role. This means they make some or all of the decisions within the business they work. This can be as mild as managing their own team.
  • Coachees must commit. There are requirements asked of them in sticking to their sessions, following through with their intended actions and keeping the minimal admin up to date.
  • This can’t be mixed with any other discounted coaching
  • It is not guaranteed or promised to anyone and may be declined or rescinded by myself without explanation. Whilst this is unlikely, I don’t want to leave a loophole for abuse when another can benefit from the support.

There are organisations that have certain requirements such as you might need to be living within Dacorum, come from a certain protected class or in receipt of particular benefits/tax credits. These only shape where the funding comes from not whether you’re eligible for business recovery coaching.

How do I apply for this coaching?

Simply fill in this page here, and we’ll have a chat about how business recovery coaching can help you! That’s it!

Winning Attitude – What does it take to achieve your goals?

Winning Attitude, or perhaps success mindset, or goal achievement behaviours – call it what you will. It’s virtually invaluable.

Whilst success, in its various guises, is something that the majority of us strive for – we don’t always make it. Naturally, it’s glib to try and assign a binary pass/fail to all forms of success – breaking down the involved complexities is what makes crediting a root cause of success all but impossible. Especially as what we need is more than a lack of failure to consider such success!

Which leads to the question “What differentiates the successful from the EXCEPTIONALLY successful?”. This is what the team of business psychologists at Zircon BeTalent sought to understand when conducting the research for this sensational development tool.

… the required ratio of Behaviours, Expertise, Strengths, Aspirations, Social and Emotional Intelligence, and as such being considered talent, does not necessarily result in individual success over and above the norm.

BeTalent

Defining Success

BeTalent interviewed a smorgasbord of success – a collective who’s who of achievement, consisting of:

  • 17 Sport and Media Personalities
    Olympians, Paralympians, TV Personalities, and Performers
  • 15 CEOs who were Founder Entrepreneurs
    High Street Brands, Conglomerates, and Foundations
  • 10 CEOs and Presidents
    International business icons, educators, and leaders

They then collated, analysed and assessed the qualitative data from these individuals, to find the ingredients of success. Whilst the vast over-simplification I’m giving here is vague on the research and creation phase, the short version is that they identified a range of key attributes on which the interviewees identified – either low/medium/high. When combined, this creates a profile of success for each of them.

The Ten Winning Attributes

  • Burning Ambition
  • Dogged Determination
  • Realistic Optimism
  • Unwavering Belief
  • Intrinsic Generosity
  • Mutual Respect
  • Maximising Opportunities
  • Disruptive Thought
  • Constant Curiosity
  • Single Minded Focus

The Range of Each Attribute

At no point are these attributes positive or negative – no one will score high or low across the board because that’s simply not how personalities work. Beyond that, these attributes present both strengths and weaknesses: areas where the attribute can build toward success but also areas where that same attribute can be a risk factor. For example, let’s look at the bi-dimensional definition for the attribute Burning Ambition:

Low Score
Attribute
Sentence Definition- LowSentence Definition- MediumSentence Definition- HighHigh Score Attribute
Lives for TodayFocuses on “being in the moment”, enjoying each day and achieving a healthy life-work balanceAchieves realistic personal goals whilst maintaining a work-life balanceAmbitious and aspirational, is focused on the future. Is driven and dedicated to achievingHas a Burning Ambition
© Betalent Technical Manual 2.0

The Recipe to Success

So, as we’ve established – there’s a wide range of information that will be gleaned from this process, when we’ve done the work:

How We’ll Use This Tool

The Winning Attitude assessment is available as a questionnaire and card sort exercise (though the card sort is best for in-person work in my experience. We’ll use the cards for the session but not alone).

It begins with an email for you to complete the questionnaire. You’ll review a number of questions to help identify your Winning Attitude – most are straight forward. It’s important you take time from you day and decompress a little first as your answers should be in line with your resting state and not reactionary to the bad haircut you got half an hour ago.

Why do this?

This tool is most valuable when you have an area of success you’re aiming to reach. How vague this is, depends on how you work, of course. Each of the success cases in the study has their own makeup of winning attributes which led them to that success. You have your own makeup of attributes, too.

When you know the way in which you’re predisposed to strive for success, you can adjust your plan. Especially when you can see how the combination you’re working with interact. Align it with distance running as a hypothetical – knowing your likelihood to ease off speed at the wrong time, to forget to breathe evenly at certain points, or to let your diet slip whenever stressed means you can foresee and adapt. That’s what we want to do with your success – adjust your actions to work with your mindset and behaviours.

Why NOT do this?

To start – psychometrics can be powerful and effective ways to get a deeper look into ourselves. However, they’re not something to do without reason or on a whim. They won’t give you miracle results but can give you insight which you can combine with work/growth to reach progress towards your goals and in order to reach future successes.

More specifically, this tool isn’t one to use when you’re looking to establish your future or goals. There are many exercises and tools we can use to do this, but this tool could cloud matters.

What happens after I’ve answered the questions?

The system at BeTalent will evaluate your responses and generate a report for you. I’ll prep them ready for our next coaching session – which will be a feedback session for your results.

In this session, we’ll go through the report bit by bit, evaluating how the results relate to you, observing any functions involved and perhaps some areas where you don’t relate.

From there we’ll establish how to add the findings into whatever goals you’re working towards. We’ll also use these results in future sessions and in combination with any other assessments you take.

What’s the cost?

The fees involved depend on the coaching programme you’re currently working on. Generally, it’d be £50-£80 for the assessment, plus the cost of your coaching session which we’ll use for your feedback session.

What did Ky learn from his results?

This one was key for me, as I mentioned before, and is a favourite tool of mine because of that. As you may already know, I am aiming towards a long path of further investigation and then research into using coaching as a tool to help those from socioeconomically low backgrounds to achieve success.

What I learnt, was that my combination of Winning Attributes can be GREAT for certain tasks. However, for longer-term and bigger projects my Winning Attributes just aren’t situated ideally. There’s a longer conversation around it all (which I’ll happy to have if you’d like to learn more about this tool) but in the short term, it told that in order to achieve this goal I will need support. Since then, I’ve arranged a coach to assist me in this goal (separate from my go-to coach, and separate from my coaching supervision coach).

Understanding this information is invaluable to striving towards and achieving success.

orange and white egg on stainless steel rack

Make Wiser Decisions With Emotional Detachment

Whilst wisdom and emotions can go hand in hand – heightened emotions can often lead to rash or compromised decision making. Negative emotions can be detrimental to almost any area of your life – though that doesn’t mean you stop having to work. Learning to separate emotion from the decision-making process can be invaluable at times. This isn’t something for every decision, because emotion is important in business – it’s more about choosing when to allow emotions to play a role, and when not to.

Consider:

  • It’s wonderful to love your partner. It’s not healthy to be so obsessed with them that you can’t manage the rest of your life.
  • It’s reasonable to be stressed at work. It’s counterproductive to be so stressed that you can’t sleep at night.

Too much emotion can blind us to flaws, create obstacles, and cause us to make poor decisions.

Benefits of Emotional Detachment

Emotional detachment has several advantages:

  1. Wise decisions. Being in a highly emotional state greatly compromises your ability to make good decisions. Wise decisions are based on logic, your values, your goals, and maybe even your gut. You tend to ignore these things when you’re in a state of emotion. Good decisions require a cool head.
  2. Less stress. Allowing and maintaining a state of emotional agitation is stressful. It’s uncomfortable for your mind and your body. The stress hormones that are released during stress are hard on your body. If you’re emotionally detached, you’re going to be far more relaxed.
  3. Less anger. Emotional detachment results in less anger, too. In fact, it leads to feeling fewer negative emotions overall.
  4. You care less about what others think about you. If you’re emotionally detached from the opinions of others, you won’t care what others think about you. Most people are very concerned with the opinions of others, which greatly limits their success.
  5. You feel less fear. Less fear results in more action. You accomplish more with less emotional fuss.

Develop the Skill of Emotional Detachment

Now that you see how being emotionally detached can benefit you, you may wonder how you can develop this state of emotional control.

Try these strategies to learn to be more emotionally detached:

  1. Notice your emotions as they arise. There’s no good way to suddenly turn yourself into an emotionally detached person. It’s a process. The first step is to notice your emotions right when they begin.
  2. Separate your ego from reality. Someone smirking at your shoes has absolutely no impact on your life unless you’re a shoe designer. Any negative emotions you feel are simply your ego talking.
    • Suppose someone criticised your business plan. Even if the criticism is valid, there’s no reason to be upset. Just improve your business plan.
  3. Use logic. Imagine you own a property development company and you’re located in Manchester. Now, imagine that you’re looking for an apartment building to invest in. You’ve found what you think are three reasonable options:
    • A nice building in Norfolk. It’s by the beach, and you love the beach.
    • A beautiful building in London. You’re excited at the prospect of telling the world that you own such a beautiful building.
    • The last option is a run-of-the-mill building in Bolton. You’re very familiar with this type of building since you already own several that are similar. There are no surprises here. It’s a solid deal.
    • Logically, the last option is the best. It makes sense. The fact that you love the beach has nothing to do with evaluating a business deal. The fact that you would be proud to own a building has nothing to do with growing your business.
    • Logic is devoid of emotion.

  4. Develop the skill of dissipating emotions. There are many ways to ease your emotions. You can meditate. You can focus on being mindful of your surroundings. You can simply give yourself enough time that the emotion passes.
Face-Palming Bear

We all make poor decisions during times of strong emotion. It’s how our brain is wired. Logic goes out the window when we feel really good or really bad. Emotional detachment provides the best foundation for making wise decisions.

When you need to make a decision, separate your emotions from the situation and rely on your intellect. It doesn’t mean that you have to think like a robot. It means that you aren’t controlled by your emotional states. You’ll find it easier to make smart decisions in less time with less stress.

Habits to be made LED signage

14 Habits to be Seen as an Invaluable Employee – without Sacrificing Your Own Time

Being an invaluable employee isn’t a default position given the turnover of staff in modern business. Whether you’re an employee of your own business or have a boss to answer to, it’s still crucial you perform to your best ability – but how do you do that without more hours, or sacrificing the work-life balance you’ve strived for?

Making yourself more valuable to your employer leads to a more successful career. More opportunities open up when you have an impressive resume and a reputation for being a team player.

You’re likely to enjoy more job satisfaction too. A productive workday is bound to feel more gratifying than watching the clock until it’s time to go home.

While individual bosses and companies will have their own priorities, there are some qualities that are appreciated in just about any workplace. Take a look at this checklist of habits that make you a valuable asset on the job.

Increasing Your Competence

Your performance plays a big role in how much value you contribute at work. Dedicate yourself to making a consistent effort and delivering high-quality work.

These strategies will help you to increase your competence:

  1. Set goals. Clarifying your career goals will guide your actions and help you to get the outcomes you want. For example, you may want to close more sales or develop your leadership skills. Aim high while being realistic.
  2. Continue learning. Add to your knowledge and skills. Read books and subscribe to industry publications. Talk with thought leaders in your field. Earn certifications online and sign up for training seminars at work.
  3. Master technology. Take advantage of apps and devices that will help you to manage your time and accomplish more. Brushing up on computer skills enables you to stay relevant and collaborate with other professionals.
  4. Be proactive. Do you wait around for your next assignment? Take initiative by volunteering for projects with high visibility. Look for ways to streamline work processes and cut costs.
  5. Welcome feedback. Gathering feedback from your boss and coworkers can have a powerful impact on your performance and professional development. Apply what you learn and thank others for their input.
  6. Seek balance. Star employees know how to prevent burnout. Take breaks and use your vacation days. Pay attention to your personal and spiritual life as well as your career objectives.

Working Well with Others

Soft skills matter too. They’re the kind of traits that can make you someone who others enjoy working with.

Try these techniques to strengthen your soft skills:

  1. Follow through. Let others know that they can depend on you. Complete your work on time and provide updates when you know that your activities affect your coworker’s ability to do their jobs.
  2. Focus on solutions. Stay calm under pressure. Propose strategies for overcoming setbacks rather than casting blame. Learn from the experience and move on.
  3. Share credit. Acknowledge your coworkers’ contributions too. Praise them for their ideas and innovations. Take pleasure in their success.
  4. Resolve conflicts. Some disagreements are inevitable when you work closely with others for 40 hours each week. Deal with differences promptly. Treat each other with respect and search for common ground.
  5. Help others. You become a more valuable employee when you create conditions that make it easier for others to excel. Pitch in when a colleague is swamped. Teach them how to do tasks in areas where you’ve developed your expertise.
  6. Show empathy. You can also help others just by showing an interest in them. Make time for small talk. Validate their feelings.
  7. Advocate for yourself. Honoring your own needs is fundamental to your wellbeing and your capacity to give. Ask for what you want. Stand up for your principles.
  8. Think positive. Maintain a cheerful disposition. Find the humor in difficult situations. Wear a smile and speak kindly. Choose positive words that increase motivation and help fight stress.

Position yourself to stand out in any field. Being recognised as a valuable employee will help you to manage your career and achieve your own definition of success.

silhouette of road signage during golden hour

4 Impact Questions to Answer When Considering a Career Change

Career changes aren’t something we’re prepared for. After all, when it comes to leaving school, college, university etc – do we even know what we want to do? More often than not, we’re guided to the career we end up in by circumstance or established abilities. A wealth of experiences over life changes this.

For example, we might find ourselves a decade older, ticking the “average” box for everything with a growing feeling of unease about our lot in life. Are we then stuck for the rest of our working lives in the confines of a teenage idea or suggestion? Required to stay put until retirement?

No! Not at all.

Career change - women plan our their new roles

Life is change – constant and oftentimes unexpected, but change it is. Work opportunities, relocations, new markets and ideas appear regularly. Career changes happen all around us on a regular basis, ask around. Things we would never have thought possible just a few years ago have become household favourites virtually overnight. Consider how covid changed our approach to video-calls.

Who would have thought it was possible for the biggest taxi company in the world to own no taxis? Who would have thought that the biggest online retailer doesn’t have a single product of their own to sell? Who would have thought a whole new industry could be born simply from fast-food delivery?

Is a Career Change right for you?

Changing direction is totally fine and something we should all consider from time to time. But the most crucial part of that process is making sure it aligns with your values and what you want from lie

  1. What interests you?
  2. What excites you?
  3. What do you feel passionate about?

For each of these questions, make a list. Add anything and everything – we’re looking for connections and overlaps, not necessarily end career options here.

when you start to analyse your lists, you’ll hopefully see some correlations and suggestions which highlight if and where a career change will be functional. But the priority is to make sure you still feel fulfilled and happy wherever you end up.

Exploring a New Career

When you’ve put together a list of career options and ideas that you feel will tick the happy/content/fulfilled boxes, it’s time to examine them through a slightly different lens.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it financially viable?

green plant in clear glass vase

Passion is important but we’re still talking career not hobby here How will it become an income capable of supporting you as you need it to? Will you get an existing job in this field? Start your own business? Find another entry point?

  • With the advent of social media and internet marketing, it’s possible to reach out to thousands of potential customers or clients all over the world without ever leaving home.
  • Do you currently have the skills, abilities, accreditations or licenses to do this work? Even when the passion and financial elements are met, there may need a need to retrain and learn new skills.

2. How will others react?

I bet you can imagine how often that question holds people back from potential career changes. Be aware though, that we’re not examining this question to meet expectations of other people – but to help see the issue from other positions. Especially where it affects other people.

  • Don’t let fear into this question. Yes, it can be risky to fall into the pattern of thinking of others first but the point here is not to adapt for others, nor ignore them. You’re adding their considerations to your thought processes. A healthy macro view.
  • Remember that it’s not your responsibility to influence what others think of you – lead your best self which hopefully includes being good to your fellow humans, and allow the chips to fall where they may. It is not our responsibility to make people like us. You owe justification and support to yourself first and foremost. Everyone else can wait in line.

3. If I want to create something amazing, what am I willing to give up?

purple balloon on black floor

It’s almost impossible to embark on a new career without having it impact the rest of your life. To do this, something is likely to get let go of. Weigh up the pros and cons – keep in mind that time, money, effort, quality of life, and work-life balance are all worthy concerns to add to the list, not just happiness/fulfilment.

  • Would you sell your car to create start-up funds or pay for training?
  • Can you lose your weekends or regular social time for professional gain?
  • Is there going to be a period of working two careers simultaneously?
  • Is a new career worth the loss of family time in either short/long term?

4. Can I make this work?

man reaching hands up high taken at daytime

This is a question hard-wired into reality and perhaps a little cynicism. Apologies if positivity is your go-to handler, but there are times when forced optimism can be detrimental, and this is one of them. However – the fact that you’re here, now, reading this suggests that you want to do things right. A great start!

  • Have you considered that there’s more to life than you are currently living or experiencing? Is this the best way for you to get the most out of the life experience you want?
  • Do you have the motivation/discipline to push you through harder times or troubles?
  • Have you weighed up the consequences if things don’t go to plan and are you willing to accept those risks?

You are the master of your destiny – and ultimately, the decision is yours alone. Don’t go rushing these steps, and don’t skip them just because they’re difficult. In the long term, they can be valuable to have right upfront.

Tips to Share an Office with your Partner (without Killing them!)

If you’re one of the households in Tier 3 or heading into Tier 4 – things might be feeling a bit cramped around the house. With our first lockdown this year, learning to work from home, with partners, and kids home-schooling was all a bit of a learning experience. Doing it again is a different experience.

Does your house seem smaller since the pandemic started? Many families feel more cramped with 2 adults working at home, especially if you need to share your workspace with your partner.

This may be the first time you’ve seen their work habits up close or counted how many dirty coffee cups they leave behind in their wake. Even if you’re used to having an office mate, it’s a different experience when you don’t say goodbye and go your separate ways at quitting time.

Protect your relationship and your productivity by mastering the modern rules for couples who share a home office. Try these tips for setting up your workspace and interacting with each other.

Setting Up a Home Office for Two:

1. Divide your space

Each of you will probably need your own desk or workstation. It will help you to stay out of each other’s way and reduce distractions. There will be less risk of accidentally carrying off each other’s files or losing items too.

2. Separate your stuff.

Figure out which supplies and equipment you can share and which you’ll need for yourself alone. You can probably save money by having one printer and shredder. On the other hand, you may need your own phone line and storage space.

3. Enable privacy.

How will you handle tasks that require quiet and concentration? Maybe you can write or attend Zoom meetings in your sunroom or kitchen. Maybe you’ll be more comfortable with your desks facing away from each other.

4. Create ambience.

Design your office for maximum comfort and cheer. Give it a fresh coat of paint and display some artwork and photos.

5. Minimize clutter.

At the same time, open space and tidy surfaces are more relaxing, so be selective about your furnishings. Cleaning up after yourself helps too.

6. Stagger your schedules.

If possible, you might work different hours. That way you can count on a private office for at least part of the day.

Etiquette for Sharing Your Home Office:

1. Establish boundaries.

Planning ahead will avoid many conflicts, but you’ll still need ground rules. Share the vacuuming and agree on where to set the thermostat.

2. Talk things over.

Resolve minor annoyances promptly to keep them from escalating. Be open to compromises and keep your sense of humour.

3. Wear headphones.

Volume levels are one of the most common challenges in any shared space. Noise-cancelling headphones may help you keep the peace if you prefer different styles of music. You may also need headsets if you make a lot of phone calls.

4. Eliminate odours.

Unpleasant smells can be as intrusive as noise. You may need to step outside if you’re snacking on pizza with extra garlic. Use neutral cleaning products or check to see that you both like pomegranate scented air freshener.

5. Stay focused.

Maintain balance by using your home office for work and dealing with personal matters elsewhere. Save personal conversations for after hours.

6. Take breaks together.

While sharing an office with your partner takes some effort, it can also be a lot of fun. Drink your morning coffee on your patio. Take your dog to the park at lunchtime for a long walk or outdoor concert.

7. Be considerate.

Overall, treat your partner with respect and courtesy. It’s easy to drift into taking each other for granted, so remember what you like about them. Show your appreciation and look for ways to make their life easier.

There are many advantages to working from home, and the trend will continue long after the lockdowns and quarantines end. Learning to share office space will help you and your partner to enjoy your relationship and your remote work experience.

black wooden door

How redundancy could be a good thing…

As furlough looks to close (though I believe this is dependant on Covid rates and increases, it may be extended), many of us are looking to see redundancy and unemployment. But of course, that’s not an issue exclusive to the current pandemic – perhaps you’re facing downsizing or contract end? Either way – your first thoughts often turn to panic, anger, depression and other landmarks on that negative side of the map, an entirely natural reaction. Especially to those who have family commitments to worry about or have been working so hard to get this far.

It’s especially daunting if you’ve been in that position for a long time and assumed that you had that job for life. When it’s the only job you’ve ever known, finding out that your job has gone can be devastating.

Even if it’s a job that you’ve tolerated for years, when you no longer have it, you suddenly forget all the things you didn’t like about working there and remember only the good. It’s human nature.

But the feelings of loss, of being in free-fall, create feelings of doubt. And doubt can cause a huge loss in self-confidence at a time when you need it the most.

Rather than block out those feelings, acknowledge them, embrace them, and then let them go. They will not serve you in moving forward.

Keep in mind that many layoffs are activated by accountants – usually people you don’t know and have never met. They have no idea who you are, what your skills are, what your true worth is, and how your family might suffer from your job loss. They’re just doing the job that they’re paid for.

Why Me?

The accountants are simply moving numbers from one column to another on the balance sheet to keep the company solvent and in business. So, avoid wasting your time trying to figure out ‘why me.’

Granted, it might be tough for you to make sense of the situation. But sooner or later, you know you have to get past it, over it, or around it, so why not make it sooner?  Later has no merit at all, does it?

Losing a Job is part of Todays World

Here’s the truth. Losing a job is part of modern society. We live in a rapidly changing world, and this is just another kind of change, and change is the only constant we can truly expect.

Look around you. Everyone you know that has a job has come from some other workplace. And most of them ended up with a better job after their move! You can too!

Regardless of what happens to you, it’s what you do about what has happened to you that’s important.

Is this an opening door?

opened brown door

So, although you didn’t anticipate this change, you can look at it as an opportunity to rethink, reset, adjust, and get a clear idea of not only what is possible for you, but what could also change your life for the better.

Have you ever had thoughts about a career change? It just might be the perfect time to consider one. It could be so much easier to make such decisions now that your old job isn’t holding you back from going after what you truly desire.

Could There be a More Perfect Time?

Think about it. Could there be a more perfect time to re-define what you want to do with your life and get clear on what’s important to you?

Follow these steps to plan your perfect direction:

  1. Decide what you want to avoid. An easy place to start is with what you DON’T want, and then look at the opposite.
    • For example, if you totally loathe commuting, look at a role where you could work from home. Tens of thousands of people already do, why not you?

  2. What about your chosen field of expertise? If you’re tired of that kind of work, maybe you could look at something completely different.
    • You can find free courses on the internet for thousands of different skill sets. Sign up for as many as you need to get an understanding of what’s out there that just might be a perfect fit for you.

  3. Explore new ideas using your current interests. Consider anything and everything that gets your attention. Start paying close attention to what interests you and what fascinates you. There could be something within arms-reach that you’ve had an interest in for some time. For example:
    • If you go to the bookstore, what sections do you visit most often?
    • If you’re channel surfing on the TV, what kind of programs do you stop at most often?
    • If you’re scrolling social media, what stories do you read the most and/or comment on the most?

Make copious notes for a week or more. Then go back and review. Notice where the commonalities are and make a decision to follow up on what gets your attention the most.

You may find a fascinating new direction to pursue!

Some people have found that losing their job was the very best thing that could have happened to them. Why not you?

two man and woman holding cups on tables

Why would you hire a coach?

Despite how it may feel, coaching is nothing new – the current models and practices of coaching have been around since the 1990s. Beyond that, coaching has been a staple in mankind’s elite and progressives for millennia. No period of history has existed without coaching.

Sure, it might have looked a little different, but Coaching is as old as the hills. Modern day Coaching may be more refined and a lot more commercially viable, but the principles remain the same.

What Does a Coach Do?

Coaches have the skills and knowledge to challenge, support, and encourage their client.

They help them to:

  • Make sound decisions
  • Take effective actions
  • Resolve their challenges in the most efficient way possible
  • Learn from the process, so they can repeat it whenever they want

A coach also has the ability to remain detached from the issues at hand.

Consider the wise words of Albert Einstein:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”

Albert Einstein

Time Is Money

vintage brown and white watch lot

In the modern era, in life and business, time is money. There’s an ever-increasing amount of cooperation and collaboration going on both in businesses and in peoples’ private lives. We need to figure things out almost on the fly these days while dealing with different time zones and cultures.

Everyone has their own unique issues to handle alongside everything else that needs to be accommodated, and then there’s the technology we all use to connect with everybody and everything.

Life is definitely more complex today and it certainly seems to be speeding up every time you turn around. It doesn’t take long before we begin to have thoughts of overwhelm and burnout on our minds.

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “How long can I justify spending time and money on this issue trying to figure it out for myself, knowing what Albert Einstein said about problem solving?”

If having a Coach could save you time and money, it would be ridiculous NOT to hire one, wouldn’t it?

Throughout history, every King has had an Advisor (Coach) in every culture. Every military leader has had a Strategist (Coach), every World Class Athlete has had a trainer (Coach), and every Entertainer has had a Manager (Coach).

Who Hires a Coach?

The only conclusion we can draw from the history of Coaching is that the people who hire a Coach fall into two camps:

  • People who are at the top of their game and want to stay there, or
  • People who aspire to be at the top of their game and want to get there as fast as they can

Many people will say that they want to change themselves, their life, their job, or their circumstances, but in real terms, they are fearful of change. They delay, procrastinate, and make excuses. They lack self-confidence and the drive to follow through. It’s human nature. It’s what ordinary people always do.

People who hire a Coach are not ordinary people.

woman wearing blue denim jacket with flowers on hair

They are inspired and have a vision. They embrace change and are prepared to get fully engaged in making positive changes in their life. Plus, they don’t want it to take forever!

They have a sense of urgency, and they want someone they can lean on, confide in, use as a sounding board, and rely on to help them make the inevitable tough decisions that they can see on the horizon.

People hiring their first Coach are often racked with pessimism. They think, “What if I waste my money?”

Consider that, before you hire a coach, you’re already wasting time, which is the same as money, and you lack the resources to resolve the issues at hand. It would cost you less to hire a Coach and find out first-hand and NOW how unbelievably useful a Coach can be.

People who are hiring their second or subsequent Coach have no pessimism.  What they are looking for is the perfect fit for them and the circumstances they find themselves in.

Within reason, money is not the issue and they never think about the possibility of wasting it. Their main concern is finding the RIGHT Coach and then hoping that the Coach they choose has a spot left open where they can be accommodated, and can they start today?

Is Hiring a Coach Right For You?

Maybe. Maybe not.

  • Are you at a point where NOT taking action is costing you time and money?
  • Do you feel stuck in your struggles?
  • Could you use encouragement and sage advice in moving forward?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, perhaps a coach can get you moving in the right direction to help you create the life you desire – and sooner rather than later.

man holding incandescent bulb

A New Way of Doing Business Has Arrived – did you notice?

There was a time when business was elitist, emboldened by prestige and connections, closely guarded against the competition and isolated within cocoons of like-minded people. there was an argument for us vs them, of professional vs amateur, and known vs unknown. But where is that now?

The bigger they looked the better they liked it, even though the numbers might not have reflected their superiority. Being seen to be a significant business in any given field depended largely on image, on peoples’ perception of you in the local community.

The internet has changed ALL of that!

These days, more than anything else, cooperation and collaboration are the keys to lasting success.

It’s now possible to cooperate and collaborate with people on the other side of the world and, thanks to Google Translate, even language is no longer a barrier!

It Makes Perfect Sense!

Cooperation and collaboration have become the ace in the pack for growing a business.

Look at how many car manufacturers are using the same components, engines, and running gear. Look how many estate agencies are listing for sale other agents’ properties with an agreement to share the profits.

And it’s happening at every level. Why? Because it makes perfect sense to do so, that’s why.

It’s more important than ever to seek out others who can support, promote, endorse, and recommend you. The better you get at it, the more often your phone will ring. And it doesn’t cost anything!

Advertising versus Personal Recommendation

These days it’s very difficult to make business advertising work effectively AND within a reasonable budget. We are bombarded with advertising 24/7. Just getting anyone to read an ad is an accomplishment, let alone respond to it.

It’s been said that you only have 2 seconds to get someone’s attention in an advertisement these days, and after 7 seconds, if you’re not speaking their language, they’re gone.

Advertising is both a science and an art, for those who understand it. For the rest of us, it remains a mystery!

But personal recommendation never gets old, tired, or ineffective! Just look at how social media has boosted recommendations and endorsements for all kinds of business. General Electric uses it. So does the local tattoo studio.

Plus, most people have become jaded regarding advertising. They often look at it with a grain of salt, not quite believing anything that is said in the ad. Instead, they look to recommendations and reviews.

Personal experience – even the experience of strangers – is more believable and works better than advertising!

Connecting With Others

Switched-on, internet-aware entrepreneurs have adapted tried and tested strategies to work on the world-wide web. They’ve made businesses hugely profitable using cutting edge technology. But at some level, sooner or later, being personable still becomes important.

All entrepreneurs are personable at some level. That doesn’t necessarily mean they all have the outgoing personality of a Richard Branson. Many business owners are quite introverted, but when they connect, they connect very well with others.

The common trait is that they are all great listeners. They pay attention when someone is talking. They’re also good at reading people. These are all business skills that can be learned over time, but faster is usually better for most entrepreneurs!

Seize Every Opportunity

Seize every opportunity you can to engage with those who already know what you need to learn.

Everything that is reciprocal is good for everyone. Both paying it forward AND paying it back become very useful strategies.

Building, nurturing, and engaging with useful individuals to promote you and your business is a whole lot of fun. If you seek out others with common interests, similar values, and perspectives in alignment with yours, you can also find friends for life.

No Limits

clear hour glass beside pink flowers

There are no limits to where you can go and what you can do with your personal contacts. Bear in mind that not everyone will be ready RIGHT NOW to work with you. But if you nurture the relationship in an effective way, when the time IS right, everything will fall into place.

Growing a business both nationally and internationally is dependent on both the quantity and quality of your contacts and how well you nurture them.

But what’s even more exciting is not just about who YOU know, it’s about who THEY know, and then who THEY know!

With the advent of Social Media, it’s possible to create strong connections with people in 100 countries or more around the world if you put your mind to it.

ALL of these connections can be created, nurtured, and developed on a one-to-one basis: Friends recommending friends, colleagues recommending colleagues, enthusiasts recommending fellow enthusiasts and so on, from every conceivable walk of life, from every culture, in every age group, male, female.

Even if you’re working from home from your modest set-up on your kitchen table, you can have customers, business partners, promoters, and endorsers in Peru, Australia, Singapore, Norway, and Tahiti, and you can connect with all of them in the same day!

And because of the time zone differences, you can even make money from your business while you sleep. How cool is that?

Bottom line is this. People skills are paramount for growing a successful business with Cooperation and Collaboration.

Do You Have What It Takes?

The good news is that EVERYONE already has an abundance of people skills. They may just need to be polished a little and put into practice in a way that works for you.

Polishing occurs with practice. The more opportunities you seize to engage with others, the more you learn, the more you grow, and the more your capabilities expand. And so does your business.

Make it part of who you ARE, not just what you do, and you and your business will thrive.

Virtual Coaching vs In-Person – and 5 Genuine Ways to Improve It

Virtual coaching became the norm for hundreds of coaches worldwide from March 2020 as we responded to Covid-19 and the pandemic produced. But how does this change things? What do people want from virtual coaching? Is it preferred?

I’ll begin by giving you my preferences because that’s likely to explain more than practice alone.  

My Coaching Preferences

Leader or Loafer?

I am steadfast in my preferences for in-person coaching. Naturally, this takes a back seat to safety and common sense; so sure – pandemic and international clients are a perfectly valid reason to keep sessions on the screen! Also, I’m a wheelchair user – so many venues aren’t versatile enough; particularly those of a more industrial complex.

I believe the fundamental reason I prefer to coach face-to-face is quality communication. Everyone has experienced the process of changing a contact method with someone and subsequently seeing a changing in the dynamic.

In-Person Coaching

Let’s explore the in-person coaching process and discover the pros involved.

7-38-55% Rule

Psychology professor Albert Mehrabian laid out this concept in his 1971 book Silent Messages (1971 – Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles). The top sheet of this theory lays out the following

  • 7% of communication is spoken
  • 38% of communication is the tone of voice
  • 55% of communication is body language (inc behaviours).

From my experience, this is a golden rule to coach by, too. Much of my coaching and NLP training covered not just what people say, but how they say it. What’s more – what they do when saying it. Humans are expressive – you only need a conversation with a five-year-old to learn this!

As soon as we start stripping back layers of this communication things are less clearly conveyed – consider the last time and email chain or text exchange painted a picture very different from reality.

Environment

I like to meet clients outside of their comfort zones – this often means not their office or homes. Somewhere we’re not disturbed and have privacy. Ironically; this is to increase comfort! When a coaching session is going well you get in the groove and the outside world stops for a while.

It’s a state of mindfulness that involves being truly present. This state is valuable in coaching – otherwise, deeper changes and understanding are hard to come by. 

When at home or in your office, distractions are everywhere! I don’t just mean phone calls, people dropping by with questions, emails popping-up. You become surrounded by emails reminding you of tasks, ideas, and pressures. 

Virtual Coaching

Virtual Coaching

The next best thing is virtual coaching sessions. That’s the avenue 2020 lead us down – in fact, a few of my newer clients have yet to experience in-person coaching with me as a result. I prefer Zoom over other formats – which should be hosted via desktops where possible, or at least something with a large screen you don’t need to touch.

Distractions

I think first and foremost has to be distractions. Emails, phone calls, colleagues, messages, not to mention the way we’re now so used to instant information, that we’ll automatically Google something when sat at a computer with a query in mind. This focus varies from client to client, some client barely change.

However, I was shocked by the amount that certain clients zoned out. One would get a message (from a phone that would always be on silent and out of sight in our usual sessions) and stop talking/listening to reply.  

I recognise that there’s a certain level of professional respect and courtesy that goes beyond the communication method – some people wouldn’t act this way when engaging in a session via smoke signals! But the medium is a large part of the cause.

Physical Barriers

Video Coaching

For each client, I have a separate A5 ring binder – of which my clients have their version. I compile these with our notes, appointments, forms, tasks and so on. If a client requests their next session covers a specific subject I have a tool for, I can print out worksheets that I hand to them on entry, and we’re off. Not useful in virtual coaching!

We have to find or build an online version, perhaps have an interactive PDF version, or they have to print the form to the A5 dimensions and have an exact 6-hole punch to hand and do all this before the appointment. Even when I have such a quiz ready-made on my website, just moving the focus from our conversation to a web browser is a setback.

Benefits

No story is just one-sided, so let’s look at the flip-side to virtual coaching video sessions.

Convenience

Scheduling meetings without travel and similar interaction is brilliant. For one of my clients, we both have to drive 45 minutes to meet halfway in North London. What’s more, the best time for his sessions is 8.30 am. Combine the time and travel with traffic, return journeys and the session, we each have to leave before 7 am and won’t be back at the office until 11. Our Zoom sessions start at 8.30 and finish at 10 – simple.

Cost

Depending on your coaching package and circumstance, we often need a private space to work in. Most of the time, this requires hiring a meeting room or consulting-room somewhere. The Zoom call is free.

Flexibility

Specifically, in terms of scheduling, online sessions can be more flexible. It becomes much easier to schedule when you eliminate everything else. Even when working in the same building, you’d rarely schedule one meeting within 5 minutes of another. We don’t have that barrier online.

Phone Calls

Phone call sessions are very rare. I’d generally only use calls in two situations – the first is a chemistry call, this happens the first time I speak with a client to discover if it’s worth us working together and how we click. The second is follow-ups; depending on the coaching programme you choose, and level of interaction you prefer, there’s sometimes a follow-up between sessions. The informality of both means this can happen via call. Of course, virtual coaching via zoom is preferred to calls when available.

When it’s necessary

There are circumstances where the sessions simply cannot happen in person. Often this is location-based – not every client is close to me, some clients don’t have the time to travel or some locations aren’t ideal for accessibility issues.  

In these situations, we set up firm rules.

Online Practises for Virtual Coaching

When we agree online session are essential, we set out how this will happen in our contracting session. We agree:

  • phones/devices should be off and out of sight, 
  • how to handle coaching journal updates
  • where coaching will occur
  • how interruptions will be addressed
  • what prep/wrap up will be involved
  • when to review this.

And even with all this, I still strongly recommend that we get together every few months for an in-person session. Virtual coaching rarely covers every need.

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Based in Hemel Hempstead

© 2020 - Ky Teasdale. All Rights Reserved.