Insight and advice
I coach a lot of people who want help in pursuing their next promotion, the next step up in their career. But it’s tough. There’s a lot of competition out there for not that many opportunities.
One of the best ways to distinguish yourself is by proving that you can be not only a good people manager but a truly great leader. Not that many years ago, it was assumed … Read more
Do you want to be able to communicate more compellingly and effectively? If you do, then consider using a simple 3-step structure for organising your message.
You can use it whether you’re giving a quick update in a meeting or delivering a lengthy formal presentation. You can write a set of presentation slides using this structure. You can also use the 3 steps to organise a report or email.
The … Read more
Ask people what they ultimately want from life and many will say that they want to be “happy”. But happiness can often seem elusive. So here are five science-based pointers on how to be happier.
1. Understand that happiness is to do with attitude as well as circumstance
Yes, your circumstances will have an impact on your happiness. For example, experiencing an illness or experiencing conflict at work may reduce … Read more
When I go to parties and tell people that I’m a psychologist, people sometimes ask me about topics such as the meaning of dreams. You probably know plenty of people in your life who are really interested in dreams and their meanings. Or perhaps you’re fascinated in the content of your own dreams.
Some believe that dreams have hidden messages for us. For example, seeing a church or snakes or … Read more
I’m sure you’ve come across the notion of mindfulness, the act of focusing our attention on the present moment in order to still the mind and subdue strong emotions. I’ve written about it both online as well as in books such as Confidence 2.0
(and you can follow links from within that book to download and then listen to my guided audio instructions too).
Many people find that simply … Read more
People often talk about confidence as if it is just one thing. But that broad term actually encompasses a number of different skills. For example, I distinguish between two main components. One of these is internal-emotional confidence, which is the extent to which we feel confident in our own minds – the private part of ourselves that may feel nervous or insecure, even if the people around us can’t … Read more
How focused are you during meetings, in conversations or when you’re trying to work? I used to have a colleague who was always doodling in the margins of his notepad during client meetings. I remember telling him off on multiple occasions – what if clients should notice that he wasn’t concentrating on their problems and issues?
What are your goals – not just in your career but more generally in life too? Perhaps you want to earn more money, get that promotion or run your own successful business. Maybe you want to be a good parent, an attentive lover or a caring friend. Whatever your goals, I would suggest that asking for feedback on your performance is one of the best ways to get you closer … Read more
Imagine for a moment that I’m going to have a secret conversation with your boss. I’m going to ask your boss to rate his or her agreement with three statements about you:
- “This individual always focuses on what’s wrong, rather than the positive side.”
- “This individual consumes a lot of time complaining about trivial matters.”
- “This individual always finds fault in what the organization is doing.”
Remember that when each … Read more
At the weekend, I bumped into an ex-colleague. We used to work together nearly 20 years ago. Since then, a lot has changed – including me quitting work to set up my own business. For a change then, I thought I would share some of my own personal lessons.
Most of the time I try to recommend techniques that have been proven by science. So do bear in mind that … Read more
Humans are not rational beings. We all have feelings. When we’re positive, we feel excitement, joy and hope. When we’re negative, we feel sadness, disappointment and anxiety.
And it’s entirely natural to feel negative emotions at least some of the time. But people often fall into thinking traps that make them even more anxious than they need to be. In my experience, here are three of the most common patterns … Read more
I run a lot of workshops on how to give better presentations – for people ranging from junior employees who want some basic guidance to experienced executives who need to come across as more charismatic and leaderlike. But whatever the seniority and experience level of presenters, I typically find that most people can improve or polish their presentations by focusing on four main areas.
Broadly speaking, the four parts of … Read more
A lot of clients come to me for coaching because they want more confidence. Some want to be more confident and assertive at work. Quite a few want to be more confident in job interviews so that they can get a new job. Some want more confidence so that they can go on dates and find someone special. A few want to work out a plan so that they can … Read more
What makes you happy? You can probably list a few things straightaway. But it turns out that quite a lot of behaviour has the potential to make you happy.
A pair of researchers at the University of Helsinki recently conducted a clever study looking at the effects that different behaviours had on people’s mood. The investigators asked several dozen people to report on their behaviour five times a day over … Read more
Having run a series of in-depth workshops with job hunters recently, I thought I would summarise three of the commonest mistakes that job hunters make when being interviewed.
1. Assuming that you can just turn up to an interview and ‘be yourself’
Some candidates think that they don’t need to prepare before interviews. And they are the ones who probably get rejected time after time.
Whenever I coach job hunters, … Read more
You’re busy. Of course you are. Who isn’t these days? The topic of productivity came up on several occasions with different individuals I’ve been coaching recently, so I thought I’d share a handful of tips and insights.
1. Batch your work (and life) tasks
During your working day, do you respond to emails as they come in? Or do you prefer to wait until you have a large number of … Read more