Insight and advice


Why and how does cynicism hurt us?

10th May

How cynical are you? Let’s try to estimate your level of cynicism by considering the extent to which you agree with three statements:

  • Generally speaking, you can’t be too careful when dealing with other people.
  • Most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance.
  • People are mostly just looking out for themselves.

The more you agree with those statements, the higher your level of cynicism. … Read more


Staying well and productive under the coronavirus

15th April

The UK – like many other countries around the world – is currently in lockdown. As a psychologist, I’m used to working mainly face-to-face with people – coaching people one-on-one, running workshops for a dozen or so people, or giving conference presentations to hundreds of people at a time. Clearly, none of that is possible.

Here are some personal methods that I have found useful for staying productive and managing … Read more


How to be 10% Better

15th March

Here’s a quick quiz for you. Please answer “yes” or “no” to the following eight questions:

1. Would you like to feel less stressed?
2. Would you like to boost your motivation and get better at achieving your work and life goals?
3. Would you like to lose weight or get physically healthier?
4. Would you like to make better decisions either at work or in life?
5. Would you … Read more


5 big job hunting errors

16th February

I coach quite a few people who want to find new jobs. I’ve been doing a lot of this recently and it made me think of some of the commonest mistakes I’ve been seeing people make when job hunting.

1. Sending the same CV out to multiple employers
Do you have considerable, directly-relevant experience on your CV? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, then by all means just … Read more


Instant change: super fast techniques for feeling better and boosting your performance

15th January

Want to change your mood or boost your performance?

There’s increasing evidence that the body and mind are tightly connected. Of course we all know that our minds can direct our bodies. But the opposite is also true to a degree: what we do with our bodies can affect our minds – how we feel, how we think and how we perform.

I’ve written before on this body-mind connection, specifically … Read more


Have you set your PINT goals?

24th November

What are your goals in life?

New research suggests that most human goals may fall into four broad categories. Researchers led by Benjamin Wilkowski at the University of Wyoming used what’s known as a lexical approach to investigate the structure of goal-related words in the English language.

The researchers initially identified more than 140,000 English nouns; they then asked hundreds of people to rate the extent to which the nouns … Read more


Eat your way to happiness

27th October

Do you ever feel anxious, moody or depressed? Well, a growing body of evidence suggests that what we eat may have very real effects on our mental health.

A group of scientists recently published the results of a major study in which they monitored the physical and mental health of 15,546 adults over a 10-year period. A team led by Almudena Sanchez-Villegas found that higher levels of added sugars and … Read more


Here’s a tip to help you achieve your goals

29th September

Want to boost your commitment to your goals and achieve more?

Silly question, really. Because I’m sure your answer is “yes”.

Perhaps your biggest goal at the moment is to do with your work – getting a promotion, finding a new job, securing a pay rise, or reducing your stress levels, for instance. Or maybe your main goal is to do with your personal life – finding someone to date, … Read more


How to do a quick career checkup

1st September

It’s worth doing a quick checkup on your career every now and again. Perhaps you have just had a long holiday and a relatively quiet period at work. Or maybe you have had the opposite – a very busy or even stressful period at work. Whenever you feel as if you have either fallen into a rut or need to check how things are going, here are a few quick … Read more


OUTSTANDING: featuring me, Rob Yeung

4th August

Lots of magazines have question and answer sections in which the magazine asks the same set of questions every issue of different people.

So I thought I would set up my own simple set of questions based around the theme of things that are OUTSTANDING. Then, I will occasionally get interesting people to share some of their insights, too. But in this first instance, I’m going to answer my own … Read more


More networking tips for introverts

7th July

You know that networking matters. You don’t need me to tell you that again.

I have previously written networking tips for introverts on this site. However, a new journalist recently asked me some different questions about networking, so I thought I would post my answers to her questions in full:

‘Why do so many people hate networking?’
Introverts in particular find it emotionally draining when they have to engage with … Read more


How to feel less angry

9th June

What makes you angry? Perhaps it’s rude or disorganised behaviour by your colleagues at work. Maybe you get angry about bad drivers or friends and family members who repeatedly let you down.

Anger can sometimes be a useful emotion. It can motivate us to speak up or act about injustices and wrongdoing. However, talking and behaving in a very angry fashion can be harmful to us – one study led … Read more


Stop believing these 4 myths about success

12th May

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad advice around online. So I decided I’d debunk four particular myths about success in life.

1. Successful people all get up really early every morning
I often see claims that all millionaires or CEOs or successful people get up incredibly early every day. But I know for a fact that it’s not true. When I was researching a book some years ago, I interviewed … Read more


How to make yourself happier

14th April

A new research paper points to a small tip that may help you to be just a little bit happier.

In psychology, there are many chicken and egg questions in determining which came first. For example, do people smile because they are happy? Or do people become happy because they smile?

Alternatively, we can phrase those questions differently in terms of cause and effect. Does happiness cause people to smile … Read more


3 beliefs of emotionally strong people

17th March

It’s easy to feel anxious, sad, irritated or otherwise negative when we find ourselves in difficult situations – but sometimes this is because of the messages that we tell ourselves (i.e. the beliefs that we have) rather than the reality of those situations.

I often hear friends as well as clients talking about themselves and their situations in ways that are more negative than their situations might actually warrant. To … Read more


Why should you be wary about NLP?

17th February

What is NLP?
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a coaching methodology that was devised in the 1970s by Richard Bandler, John Grinder and Frank Pucelik. However, many evidence-based scientists and psychologists have been intensely critical of NLP, with some even adding it to a list of so-called “discredited treatments”.

After the creation of NLP, its ideas were mainly spread in the form of easy-reading books and training programmes aimed at helping … Read more