Insight and advice
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
As a psychologist, I try as far as possible to recommend evidence-based interventions, i.e. techniques and methods that have been researched and shown to work by credible researchers. I get terribly frustrated by authors and so-called experts who recommend techniques based purely on their own anecdotal experience. What works for one individual may not work for others. It’s only through science that we can tell what works for most people.… Read more
To what extent do you perform at your best under pressure? That may be in a job interview, a written exam or when giving a presentation.
Unfortunately, many people perform worse under pressure. And the more motivated they feel, they worse they may perform.
If you have an anxious desire to perform well, you may begin to worry about the situation and its consequences. If your worries take up even … Read more
I run a lot of workshops for clients on confidence and assertiveness. I often teach something that I call the DEAR method for negotiating, dealing with conflict situations more assertively. You might find it handy whether you’re trying to win over clients or change your colleagues’ minds.
Once you’ve watched the video, here are some additional pointers on applying the DEAR method successfully:
- Write down bullet points for each
How can you win people over?
I recently ran seminars for two groups on a similar topic. The first was a class of business students with goals of setting themselves up as entrepreneurs, aiming to sell their products and services either to other businesses or perhaps home consumers. The second was a group of experienced travel agents who wanted to improve their ability to sell luxury holidays to their clients.… Read more
When I was giving a speech at a recent conference, I asked the audience two questions. “Do you want to be happier?” And “Do you want to be more successful?”
Of course, I’m willing to bet that you too would answer “yes” to at least one of the two questions – if not both.
If you genuinely want to boost your chances of becoming both happier and more successful, I … Read more
Would you like to make a better impression on people? That could be say when you need to give a presentation – perhaps you’re pitching your product or services to customers. Maybe it’s pitching yourself in a job interview. Or it could be in a social setting: perhaps you want to make a stronger impact on friends or a date even.
Whatever the situation, here’s a quick technique that you … Read more
Sometimes things can seem really bleak and hopeless. Maybe you’ve suffered a big disappointment at work or you feel rejected by a friend or loved one. Or perhaps it is world events that make you feel that things are gloomy.
If you’re feeling down and want to feel more confident about life again, here are 3 actions that psychologists often suggest to clients:
1. Buoy your spirits
Don’t allow yourself … Read more
Imagine you’re trying to sell something that you own, something like an older computer, for example. Consider the two ways that you could phrase your request:
- “I’ll offer you my computer for £600.”
- “I’d like £600 for my computer.”
The two statements mean the same thing, right?
Yes, of course they do. Both imply that the buyer will get your computer in exchange for £600.
But it turns out that … Read more
Death. It really is inevitable. And it may seem like a strange topic for me to write about, given that I usually write about self-improvement, confidence, productivity, and so on.
But I recently read a book which I felt was rather profoundly important: Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Gawande is a surgeon who decided to investigate the modern experience of mortality.
I guarantee that this book will be … Read more
I run workshops on presentation skills for lawyers, fund raisers, sales people and all manner of people who need to pitch or present to clients and customers. Sometimes, I also get asked to help individual executives to polish how they come across.
Here are the 5 commonest mistakes that I see people making when giving presentations:
Mistake 1. Throwing too many facts at an audience
Just because you know your … Read more
One of my clients (I’ll call him Kieran) is an introvert. But a lot of his clients mistake him for an extravert. He doesn’t seem at all shy – he is chatty and sociable, makes strong eye contact and has a lot to say about both work and life.
Many of his colleagues also think of him as quite extraverted. It’s only a minority of people who know him quite … Read more
What do you argue about with the people in your life? Maybe you have argued with your romantic partner about the division of household tasks, sex, fidelity and jealousy, or communication. Perhaps you’ve had past disagreements with family members or close friends over their behaviour or your behaviour.
Sometimes, the desire to be proven right and the other person wrong can become so strong that people can lose perspective. Thankfully, … Read more
When life’s hassles and problems keep piling up, it can be really easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are three quick tips for taking the edge off of how you’re feeling and to feel more centred.
1. Breathe mindfully
The idea of mindfulness has grown over the last decade or so from being an unconventional idea to something proven by science. In experiments, practising mindfulness for only 8 to 10 … Read more
There’s a solid body of research showing that positive emotions such as gratitude are good for us. You may already know that the ‘3 good things’ exercise has been shown in more than a few studies to help most people to feel more positive about themselves (for example, I wrote about it in my Confidence book).
If you haven’t come across the exercise before, the idea is that you simply … Read more