Insight and advice
When you fail at something, how long should you keep going? I often hear famous people saying that you should “never” give up on your dreams. But is that really realistic for most of us?
Say you want to be an artist or a TV presenter. Sure, you can keep applying for jobs. But if you’re not earning much money at all – how long can you keep going?
Some … Read more
What’s your strategy for having a productive day?
Unfortunately, a lot of ineffective people subscribe to the pinball method: allowing themselves to bounce from one task to the next, being diverted by requests and other interruptions as they come in, and generally being directed by other people’s whims. Clearly, that’s not a very productive way to get through life.
Instead, here are 5 research-backed methods for getting through your workload:… Read more
Do you ever worry that the people around you are judging you silently? Or do you sometimes receive comments or criticism from people that make you feel you’re being attacked?
If you ever feel judged or attacked, you’re definitely not alone. Here are five tips on coping in such situations:
1. Defuse the thought
Identify the specific thought that’s worrying you. Are you telling yourself something like “I’m going to … Read more
I’ve been working with someone I’ll call Marco, a wealthy business owner and managing director who mentioned recently that he doesn’t really know how to send emails. When he meets people, he gives out the email address of his assistant. Or he directs customers and other contacts to the relevant directors within his own business.
He doesn’t know how to use Excel, PowerPoint or Word to create spreadsheets, presentations or … Read more
I’ve been coaching so many job hunters recently. They have been men and women ranging from recent graduates in their early 20s to experienced executives and workers in their late 50s. In most cases, they had good experience that they could talk about. However, they weren’t selling themselves and coming across as capable and credible.
If you want to improve your interview performance, work through the following five steps:
1. … Read more
A client of mine I’ll call Joanna had a tendency to take things personally. When projects went wrong at work and her colleagues pointed out her mistakes, she either got irritated and angry or she retreated and sulked.
Another client called Rupert wanted to change his life. He wanted to get a new job – but he wasn’t able to find the motivation within himself. When we first met, he … Read more
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