Welcome!

Like you, we have quite a few areas of interest, so we post everything under one or more of these main labels: Personal Development, Business Development (startup and marketing), Intelligence (emotional, spiritual, etc.), News, Fun, Newsletter (chat about things we've emailed). Enjoy, and keep in touch!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Does the Internet help or hinder decision making?

I've just read a fascinating article by Tim Weber, BBC News Editor, reporting from the 2011 Economic Forum in Davos as he chats to business leaders in a sea of laptops and other mobile devices.

He reflects on how we are now "hyperconnected" with mobile devices now outnumbering both laptops and toothbrushes. Is all this information which is changing the way that we relate and shop, that is "the abundant distractions of the internet" a help or a hindrance? If the size of my inbox is anything to go by, I suspect it is a hindrance!

In this age where people's brands or reputations can be destroyed in seconds, advice to leaders is "treat your employees with respect and stick to your values" and make sure you find time to think and to reflect. This sounds like a good summary for success in the 21st Century information age. Discovering ways to be true to your individual and corporate values, and to find time to make good decisions that flow from these, sound like good topics for a conversation with your coach.

Full article here: the photo brings the message home!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Mediation strengthens relationships

This morning I attended an enjoyable breakfast at Bath Spa University, which was a regular networking event of the Institute of Business Consultants. I now need to say I'm a member of the Institute of Consulting, as they rebranded last week!

This morning's talk was by one of our members, Ian Rowe, who specialises in mediation. We do some mediation in Finding True North too. It was great to be reminded by Ian of the power of non-violent comunication, how excellent relationships are a better business goal than avoiding conflict, and how when conflict is handled well teams and relationships are strengthened. Thanks, Ian!

Ending coaching well

Yesterday I ended a series of coaching with David Killingback, photographer, who works in the Bristol area because we had achieved what he set out to achieve. One of the privileges I have is being able to work with people who excel, and to help them do even better. His photography has always impressed me, and over the months that we've been meeting it's been great to see the development of his confidence, plans, and business results.

David has been kind enough to let me share with you some what he enjoyed from our coaching.

  1. Being questioned and having a space to think about my goals and how to achieve them.
  2. Forming ideas and plans of action about the above in conjunction with who I am as a person and what is most suitable for my personality.
  3. The "Oh yes, that's so obvious now you mention it!" moments, or having someone confirm what you may have been thinking subconsciously.
To find out more about how our coaching can help you, phone 01249 712446 or email me.

Follow David on Twitter.

Finding True North at Swindon Business Show 10th February

Put the date in your diary (10th February) and come and say hello at the Swindon Business Show. Follow the link for more info and for a free visitor's ticket.

Richard will be there with Isla on the Swindon Coaching Team stand (nr 24), and we can chat to you about ways to develop yourself, your staff, or your organisation to get the prosperous 2011 that you deserve! Isla and I are two of the founders of the Swindon Coaching Team set up to provice a wider range of coaching staff and skills to meet the needs of the growing business scene in Swindon.

See you there!

To get a flavour of what we do before the event, try the Finding True North newsletter.

New managers finish training

I delivered the last of four training sessions for new managers at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust earlier this week. I've been delighted to see their delight in the course, and their growth in confidence and leadership skills.

The training was very interactive and included material on recognising your own and others personality and skills, building relationships, delegation, leadership and developing your own leadership style, running meetings (and more).

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

How to build your business in 2011

Here’s some questions that will help you to build your business (or career) in 2011.
  1. What is the biggest issue you expect to face in your work this year?
  2. What is the first step you need to take to deal with that?
  3. What help do you need to take that step?
Enjoy using these, and please 'comment' with your answers (or email them to me confidentially) as that will help me focus my energies well this year!

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Principles of Success - update

Here's an expanded version of last month's article.

“The Principles of Success” by Patrick W Jordan
Summary of a talk by him about this book
on 10th December 2010


1. Take responsibility
Focus on what you can control (e.g. run your fastest, not win the race), and learn from setbacks.

(Do you have a ‘fixed mindset’ (people are good at something or not), or a ‘growth mindset (people can learn anything)? The reality is between the two, however people with a growth mindset do better because they are more resilient. To foster this mindset it is better to praise people for effort at school rather than say that they are smart.)

2. Set goals
Goals need to be big, broken down into milestones, and finally the ‘little thing I can do today.’
They must be congruent, and not clash with one another, and be things we want e.g. Hedonic – bringing us pleasure, or Eudaimonic – fun but also related to a higher purpose. (“80% of people have goals that bring no pleasure, such as promotion at work they don’t enjoy!”)

To bring success, goals should be:
Positive
Ambitious (a stretch, but realistic not ridiculous)
Specific (measurable)
Timed

3. Be positive
Being optimistic about the big picture is always good. Being optimistic about small things is not always good, such as in safety critical situations. Optimism and pessimism are not seen as opposites today, it is possible to be both!

Key Concept: savouring. (“Count your blessings.”) Be aware of and enjoy what is going well: write these down in a journal at the end of each week.

4. Persevere intelligently
We need to have a plan and work hard towards that. At the same time we need to be flexible if the plan is not working and be relaxed about failure (unless it is safety critical). We need to be adventurous and try things, because when people look back on life most of their regrets are to do with missed opportunities.

Key Concept: develop strengths. Too often organisations send people on courses to overcome weaknesses. It is better to develop strengths, and do the least needed to cope with weaknesses.

5. Connect with others
We need to recognise that we get most out of life by helping others get what they want out of life.
Our network includes those we have strong ties with (such as family) and those we have weaker ties with (such as those we get to know at conferences). The latter are more important in career development because they “open more worlds for you.” Friends tend to talk about either problems or opportunities; and either internal to themselves or external. Those who will energise us most are those who naturally talk about external opportunities. Good team work is hindered by people who are overcritical or uncritically overenthusiastic.

Key Concept: the Golden Rule Do to others as you would like them to do to you. It is good to focus on other people and help them to feel good about themselves. In motivating employees, praise is often more important than money.

You can buy Patrick's book from his website. He is a psychologist, and this book is based on his research in drawing the key principles of success out of many people's writing and research on the subject. His principles don't just apply to those areas where we think of ourselves as needing to be successful, but to happiness and fulfilment in work and life in general.

Contact me to find out more, or to increase the happiness or success in your life!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

How to set good goals

There's lots of folklore about goal-setting, and maybe we all wonder at times whether it makes any difference, so it's interesting to read some real research.

Edwin Locke discovered that:
  • The more difficult the goal, the greater the achievement.
  • The more specific or explicit the goal, the more precisely performance is regulated.
  • Goals that are both specific and difficult lead to the highest performance.
  • Commitment to goals is most critical when goals are specific and difficult. Goal commitment is the degree to which you are genuinely attached to and determined to reach the goals.
  • High commitment to goals is attained when (a) the individual is convinced that the goal is important; and (b) the individual is convinced that the goal is attainable (or that, at least, progress can be made toward it).
  • Goal setting is most effective when there is feedback showing progress in relation to the goal
See the full article by Emily vanSonnenberg here. She also writes about "Intention Journals" as a way of giving oneself feedback on one's goals.

So: don't give up on those New Year Resolutions!