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The joy of 20.1.20

Writing 20.1.20 makes me so happy.
It’s about the science of who you are.
I always thought I was a haphazard, go lucky kind of girl, but through years and years of emotional intelligence and personal development work I’ve learnt that is not true.
You could perceive me to be that way but that perception would not tell you the true story and understanding the true story could tell you some very important truths about you and your happiness and success too.
I’m actually a person that is so organised my family joke that I’m so OCD, I’m CDO (I don’t take mental health of any form lightly however for me I’ve always found that to jest helps me to deal with situations that sometimes are hard. Like being rushed to A and E, I’m the one cracking jokes. So I hope my honesty doesn’t offend. What does that tell you and how does it impact on your success?)
Going back to the CDO Before I jump to inappropriate humour, the date 20.1.20 sums up how I like things, organised. I like things that work, that flow, that glide effortlessly. I never cope well working in a messy office and had to train myself if I was working from home not to tidy the kitchen before I started work.
I’d ensure I got on with work instead of heading for the dishwasher and hoover by asking myself things like;
  • What would your boss say about you washing the kitchen floor instead of getting that coaching report sent out?
  • What does it say about how much you care about your customers that you are doing the recycling instead of following up their emails?
  • Are the kids and your husband any less capable of doing this?
  • Are you sending out a message to your family that your work is not as important as your work? What impact could that have on your success?

Tough questions, but they ensured that I’d get on with work and light a candle so that I had something nice to look at instead of concentrating on the thing that was annoying me.

Jump to inappropriate jokes and I’ve learnt that if I’m with new people I will apologise and explain “I’m sorry I make bad jokes when it’s stressful, it helps me reduce my stress.” Honesty, fallibility and sharing – instead of disconnecting you from those around you, it can connect you on a new powerful level, but it takes internal confidence to be able to do that;

  • What if they don’t agree?
  • What if they think I’m an idiot?
  • What if they don’t like me?
  • What if I lose the job?

I’ve learnt that the right people will always accept you, hey they may not get you but they will accept you. So what about your natural style could stop you from connecting on a deeper level with those at work and at home?

How could you style be the polar opposite to others and what impact could it have on your communication skills success?

How could you overcome that? And turning into a whole new person is rarely the best option.

So what has this got to do with you?

  • Learn to know who you really are.
  • Don’t try and fit trends.
  • Don’t try and fight who you are – it makes it nigh on impossible to flow and get awesome results.
  • Remember you are unique – no other person on this planet has the same experiences, values and beliefs – they make you, so uniquely you. Own it.
  • Build your confidence and if your confidence is impacted on by those around you, the outcome of the day or the spot on your nose – your confidence levels need a boost. My clients learn that confidence is an internal job and when you get it right you build self belief, self esteem and a sense of faith in yourself and your ability – trust me, there’s not a person on the planet that doesn’t need this! I wish we taught it in schools.

Coaching clients learn with me who they really are and how to utilise that knowledge so that no matter what they face or want to achieve they can fall back on the knowledge of who they are and own it.

If you’d like to learn more about understanding the science of who you are, who your team are and how to get better results at work and at home – even reducing stress and working less hours, get in touch. I’ve a proven track record of coaching individuals and teams to achieving more. And I’m happy to give you references that you can call to share their views on why this 2020 I’m their coach of choice. 01206 381482.

 
  • January 20, 2020

How to actually have a holiday – guilt free, phone off, not overloaded on your return!

This time of year our social media is awash with golden beaches, azure blue pools and half naked friends on holiday in locations around the world. While I adore sharing your moments and feeling your happiness I am a bit confused.

Why are you not actually on holiday? It’s a bit like business owners and employees who work in the business but don’t work on their business.

These holiday makers are in the holiday but they are not on the holiday.

  • I want to share why that’s not good for you, your happiness or your success.
  • Why you do it
  • And how to fix it.

Ready?

Let’s start by looking at why you are probably shouting at me in scorn right now saying “You don’t get it, it’s not that easy to disappear for 2 weeks….” I really get it, honestly I do. I hear this from new clients all the time. If you care about your career/business you want to do all you can to look after it don’t you?

You don’t step fully away from business when you are on holiday because;

  • You fear something could go wrong and you won’t be there to fix it.
  • You fear something great could land on your desk while you are away and you won’t get the job/opportunity/contract/promotion because you weren’t there to answer it.
  • You fear you could be missing out on something.
  • You fear the people that are in the office won’t do what you would have done and damage your or your business’s reputation.
  • You fear someone else will get an awesome opportunity that you wanted!
  • You fear someone will get the praise for your work.
  • You fear what people will say about you not answering your email/phone/messages for 2 weeks.
  • You hate the idea of coming back to 700+ emails and it’s easier just to answer them before you hit the pool/beach/bar/slopes. Isn’t it?

The list is long and I’m sure I’ve not covered all the excuses I hear as to why it’s good to keep your phone on this holiday, however would you like some evidence to shock you into considering truly walking away from the office, before we crack on how to achieve it and what kind of results you could get for your professional life with your phone turned off?

  • In a great book called The Decisive Moment, by Jonah Lehrer writes about 2 Israeli judges who were observed in their ratio of allowing parole for prisoners. If the judges missed their 2 allotted breaks that day the percentage that they would put forward for parole eventually dropped to 0%! This is known as Decision fatigue and I personally see it happening to teams all the time (before we work together). This is a syndrome coined by social psychologist Dr. Roy F. Baumeister, based on the Freudian hypothesis of ego depletion* And if you look into this for yourself, you will find that if decision fatigue isn’t handled well eventually you can’t even make basic decisions like what to have for dinner. (And if you don’t eat right that then also impacts on your ability to work well. Scary right? 
  • If you want more proof, Researchers at Yale discovered that stress reduces the volume of grey matter in the areas of the brain responsible for self-control. So experiencing stress actually makes it more difficult to deal with future stress because it diminishes your ability to take control of the situation, manage your stress and keep things from getting out of control. And guess what working without a break causes? You guessed it, stress!
  • Okay, so Kuoni may have an invested interest in this study, however it still makes for fascinating reading that your health and even your ability to sleep can be impacted on by a good rest, a real rest, not an “I’m by the pool working” rest. https://www.kuoni.co.uk/holiday-health-experiment#

Great Mandie you’re guilt tripping me here and while I know this stuff, that doesn’t mean its’ achievable, business never sleeps right?

I get that, I really do, so between us we have a good idea why you don’t turn off completely and we also know why it’s imperative you do. What about if I shared how I get to go on holiday (and my clients do too), turn the phone off, get the holiday automated message on and have a guilt free fabulous holiday AND grow their business and gain new opportunities?

Would that help?

As an example I’ve just had 9 days away from my business (I’ve already had a 4 day break in the winter and 17 days in Disneyland in April and I’ve got more holidays booked for later in the year too – I tell you this so you can see this is not a one off, this is a lifestyle and business model that is sustainable long term.) And on every occasion the phone is off. I really am out of the office. I’m only back to work for 5 hours and already I’m aware of these great things that have automatically happened for me;

  • Gained sales for events to the end of the year – I’m not even promoting these yet!
  • Gained a speaking engagement.
  • Been asked to assist with an event.
  • Gained sales in my CBD oil business and gained 2 new team members. (That’s my part time for fun business because it’s helped me.)
  • Gained 2 new enquiries to join The Business Womans Network coordinator team and 5 enquiries to attend events in the Autumn.
  • Gained an enquiry asking if I’d like to be an affiliate for a large organisation.
  • Been asked to supply previous printed articles for two large publications that would like to promote me and my books.
  • Gained 4 coaching enquiries – 1 has already turned into a client and I’m due to hear from the others over the next 7 days.

And I’ve not even finished opening all my email and social media messages yet!

How is that possible?

Here’s some ideas for you so you can enjoy that holiday 100% (guilt free.)

Plan months in advance. My retained coaching clients and BWN team already know when I’m on holiday to the end of the year and are already aware of my developing Summer 2020 plans. Whenever I see a client, a connection, lead or opportunity I finish by ensuring that they know when they will have whatever it is I’ve promised them and when I’m not able to assist further. (I also will include an emergency number, usually my husbands number, not mine, so that they know its for genuine emergencies only.) If you are doing your very best for people then this is adequate. See below for what that is.

Trust. I too used to check my phone on holiday. It takes only a few minutes to jump online and check there is nothing to be worrying about, right? However if you know anything about flow it takes us on average 15 minutes to get back into the flow of what we doing (Just as good to remember for at work too, so turn off your phone, turn off your laptop sounds so you can concentrate and get more done!) This means that when on holiday you are constantly being propelled back into work mode, work thoughts, and automatic pathways, Here’s some examples for you;

  • Got a member of staff that is always negative? Then guess what you think when you see their name on an email while you sip your cocktail? (And no, it’s not positive thoughts, emotions and mindsets!
  • Got a big contract coming up when you get back but left the office feeling confident, you’d got everything ready for your return? Guess what? You are having that gorgeous meal, looking at that gorgeous view with your gorgeous loved ones and suddenly you are running through your working week!

I completely understand how this feels, and the additional ideas below will help you create a better way. But for now trust is key. Trust you have done all you can for everyone you work with, trust that on your return you will do an awesome job as you always do. And remember that  great bosses, teams, customers and suppliers will respect you and trust that you will do your best for them – and they will say things like they do to me “Mandie we know how much you care about our success, go and enjoy your holiday and we look forward to working with you on your return. You deserve it”.  Working with the right people is good for business too – I only seem to attract driven passionate people who want to do their best for themselves and their teams and as such they care about me as their coach too – they pay on time, don’t get in touch late at night or at the weekend and really care that we have a win win relationship. If you find you are not convinced of this, ask yourself for what reason? That will help you create a plan of action to allay your fears and tackle theirs too.

Respect – If you want people to respect you and your life then you need to respect theirs too – don’t dump last minute jobs on people’s metaphorically desks. If you need something urgently then ask yourself “What is this persons preferred way of communicating?” Again this is also good for long term success too.

Fire fighting – Fire fighting is not a long term solution to professional success and if you are constantly doing this then leaders aren’t leading, staff aren’t self sufficient, and adequately trained, boundaries aren’t in place and a clear vision, mission, goals, plans, actions and expectations are not being created. Create these and everyone feels safer at work, every day. Getting rid of the fire fighter approach is not just good for stress free holidays it’s also good for sustainable business growth and happier, less stressed staff – and do you know what less stressed staff are great for? Creativity, productivity, better health, happier work environments and even higher profitability! A good reason to know your vision, mission, goals, plans, actions, expectations right?

Think of the children (and your trusted network!) If I am faced with a client that really can’t see a way to change from Mandie holgate work ethic business valuestheir current mode of thought and actions then I will quite often ask if they have children or people that they love working with (as we all do) and I will ask them this; “Would you want this for your son/daughter/colleague/boss/team?” This invariably gets a “of course not!” to which then they have to admit “OK so why is it good enough for you?” If you work 24/7 and you are never allowed a day off or a life away from work ever again, what does that say to those around you who you are a role model for? (And we are all role models for someone). I hear antiquated dangerous and not good for success comments like “You can only be successful if you work 24/.” Really? Guess how much harder success is going to be with that mindset? Is that really inspiring you and spurring you or killing off your passion? And think about how that may impact on those around you and their own beliefs, scary right?

Whether it’s fact or fiction that Archimedes came up with his great principle of buoyancy in the bath or not the fact is that he was a great thinker and didn’t just do his thinking at a desk. If you’ve ever found your mind wandering and then noticed and pulled yourself back to reality you will know how freeing it can feel. What were you thinking about? It doesn’t matter, because that down time enables your brain to keep working even when it feels like you aren’t! I remember a few years ago I was strolling along a beach in the South of France looking at shells and splashing in the waves and I suddenly had this thought “How can I help more people that don’t necessarily have the  budget?” And I just left it and jumped in the sea. Only for me to emerge from the sea, legging it across the too hot sand back to my lounger thinking “How great would it be to have a confidential 24/7 mastermind group – we could create a bank of ideas and support that was accessible every day!” And behold The Insiders was born! Was that magic? Of course it’s not! I’d given my brain the space and permission to work on anything it fancied! True holiday’s can do that for you too.

Start of the new year. For me my year doesn’t run from January to December, they run September to July. It all started years ago when I read about the English Rugby team who’d been performing horrifically until they worked with a life coach. The premise was that at half time, they’d come back out in a clean kit. Because it made them feel like the start of the game and that anything was possible. This and other ideas they put together with their coach enabled them to become great again. I come back from holidays refreshed and buzzing with ideas. So August (I hadn’t missed it out accidentally!) Is my planning month. I review the previous 11 months and assess what I want to achieve by the end of the true year end (31st of December) and that then is a mini goal stage to my big goal for July. Creating your own agenda ensures you stay motivated, focused and accountable to your goals. And August is a joyous month for me as I concentrate on my own growth, happiness and success. So ask yourself when do you create the time to work on your business/professional success?

When did the holiday message not become an acceptable “I’m sorry I’m out of the office” reply? When did it become a success requirement that you would be attached to your professional life 24/7? Seriously I’m intrigued. I was working with a team of 55 people and many lamented that email were a hell of their working life. It didn’t take long to discover that everyone had different beliefs on what should be answered as a priority, what could be ignored (reference only) and what was expected of everyone. Putting our thoughts together collectively they were able to create a far more powerful strategy to email and free up a lot of time in their working day. If you have a message that says I’m out of the office today in the event of an emergency, etc,etc then abide by it too. In this way you are helping to reduce the stress for those that you work with too. We can’t have a change in professional culture without the brave.

Automate your marketing. I’m one for real conversations but if you consider the evidence for why you need time out, you can see that sometimes you need to automate and schedule. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The same principles can be used for when you are mega busy. It’s not just your marketing you can automate. Create standardised letters that you personalise for things that you find yourself repeating, separate emails into separate folders so you prioritise. There’s a ton of apps to help you get organised, find the ones that work for you and your time management improves too!

Don’t fear asking for help. I can be guilty of this. We feel like we have to be super human don’t we? fight the fear mandie holgate coach and author businessDoing everything for everyone, well guess what? You don’t! And if you ask for help when you want to holiday guilt free others will help and then you know you are truly part of a team. All striving for the same goals. Get over your fear of asking for help (My book -Fight the fear looks at this) and you could find this a lot easier and life in general a little easier too.

From FOMO to JOMO – Fear Of Missing Out? Try Joy Of Missing Out! I love being connected to you and your lives and sharing in your special times, your tough days, trials and celebrations, however I also love not having a clue and then meeting up with you and hearing all about it. We are so used to knowing everything instantly we’ve forgotten the joy of  being completely absorbed in our own worlds. And if you are a highly sensitive person (I am, it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you handle it well. It can actually be a blessing in business and life) then being connected all the time can be really damaging. Just like the news always being delivered is bad and drags us down, so too do other people’s struggles that we can’t fix. You have complete permission to disconnect. I think that is why I adore my caravan so much. To get into nature, away from people and disconnect makes me feel amazing. Try some JOMO and see how it feels. At first it may feel alien, but trust me it will feel good in the long term!

And lastly I was in a conference call today and of the 10 people in the call, I’m the only one that said “ I won’t be about between these dates. I’m away” Everyone else said things along the lines of “I’m away but I will be answering my emails.” Not one person was giving themselves a true break. And one even said “Wow, you’re brave!” I replied, “No, I’m organised”. It’s no good just going on holiday and hoping it will all be good when you return. It’s all in the planning, communication, boundaries and goals that you guessed it I started planning last September! So if you are going away on Monday, you may find that you need to do an extra level of work this week to get even a third of this in place, but wow will it be worth it. And then you can plan how all of this factors in your future to make the holiday after this one stress free and guilt free too!

If you’ve never done this before start small. Get strict. If you say you are finishing work at 6 pm, then don’t look at your phone again. If you say you are away this weekend. Don’t look at your phone. When I’m major busy and buzzed up at my clients success I can be tempted to live on my phone. My go to actions are 1. Give my phone to my hubby and tell him that under no circumstance is he to give it back. 2. Let my phone go flat – good for the planet too – just think how many hours of energy we could save! 3. Remind my teenagers that 2 hours before bedtime you should not use your phone and that they are to remind me that if I expect them to do something, I need to be a role model and do it too! What go to actions do you need to get strict?

We care passionately about our customers, colleagues and those around us, however I’m often fascinated by the fact that rarely do people put themselves on the priority list too. Time to change? Because you’ve now got the evidence and the ideas to make it a reality.

If you have a hardworking passionate team I’d be honoured to group coach you to action these tools and many more especially tailored to you. Just get in touch to learn more.

  • July 22, 2019

How to actually deal with hecklers

If you were at The BWN in January you will have seen my performance with Lisa Hardy from Responsive roles. In a room of 30 business owners only 3 people were in on the act and the rest of the audience behaved in a remarkable and incredibly powerful way. (Tell you more about that after the top tips.)

The idea was that I would pretend to fumble my words, get confused and not know how to deal with a heckler or someone behaving badly. Lisa then refused to sit down with the audience of professionals, continued her conversation with Jayne Meek from Spritz Monkey (who was in on the act – good acting!) and generally disrupt proceedings.

Here I share what would have happened if this had been real. Awesome work Lisa. Lisa hardy and I at The BWNYou really made us business owners think about communicating for powerful customer service.

  1. A word of caution about people pleasing. As business owners we want everyone to love us, buy more and tell their world how brilliant we are, so when someone is rude, inappropriate or disrespectful to our company (and brand) we can’t’ help but take it very personally (rightly or wrongly) and want to go out of our way to make that person love us again. Mistakes happen, that’s human nature but our response to it can have damaging results. Every complaint should be taken seriously, listened to and respected, but not at the expense of damaging your confidence, your brand or your loyal customers. Lisa explored this.

For me it was really hard to act in that way, like someone that didn’t know how to deal with someone being rude and inappropriate when in effect I would never have tolerated anyone being so disrespectful to my audience. Their time is precious and I wouldn’t allow someone to upset them, waste their time or offend them. So here’s how it felt, and what I actually would have done;

  1. Mistakes are okay.

As a professional speaker I know that what matters to people is that I get a powerful message across that enables those people to get what they need and move forward wherever they are at. As such I’m comfortable in making mistakes with my words. I wouldn’t naturally have wasted precious time apologising for saying the wrong word. By over compensating and saying multiple times “I’m sorry” I made the audience feel nervous. “What does she keep apologising for?” Was written on everyone’s faces. Saying the wrong words happens, it’s no big deal unless you make it a big deal.

3. The eyes have it.

Naturally I like to ensure that every person in the room gets my attention. Natural eye contact does this. When I was pretending to be put off and distracted by Lisa, I deliberately changed my eye contact. It was a great experiment for me, because as someone who trains people on how to be a powerful communicator, I was seeing in action the damage a lack of eye contact has. It says “you don’t matter to me” or “I’m scared of you” or “I don’t trust you” the list is long and very subtle but basically if you can’t make eye contact people are less likely to trust you. Even if you are on the receiving end of the barrage. So, make eye contact. It’s a sign of confidence for yourself and your audience. (Even when you don’t feel confident as a speaker – this still works!)

4. Voice control.

My natural instinct as a speaker when someone starts talking (and I’ve not asked them to chat amongst themselves or share their thoughts – 2 great things to mention at the start to set boundaries) I will adjust my voice to deal with them politely and respectfully without raising awareness to their disruptive behaviour and thus give them power in the room. So naturally I wanted to raise my voice and speak louder, with a more commanding tone (usually I’m very jovial and chatty in style) and with less pauses to hear the hecklers. All things that would have taken the power away from Lisa and Jayne which would have wrecked the experiment. So as hard as it was, I kept my voice quiet, low in tone, didn’t alter the tonality or speed and this empowered them to keep going and wrecked my performance just as we planned. It was very clear how little power I had when I communicated like that. Scary to see it in action too. (See below!)

5. Your body gives the power away.

I’m lucky to have only had a very few hecklers in my time however on the occasions I have, when it was early in my career. No matter who was in the room, how important that performance was or how scared I was, my body did the talking before I did. I teach the skills to stand with power, like you know what you are talking about (because you do!) and act the part. To adjust my body to everything I would naturally do felt very odd. I stood like a nervous child before they are called into see the head! Moving my weight from one leg to the other, shoulders pointing down to the ground, head lowered, knees in, hands wiggling – everything that makes you look nervous, scared, un-confident and out of your comfort zone! Try it. Stand in front of a a mirror and act like that and see how it makes you feel. Now stand in front of the mirror and act strong, confident, comfortable, happy to be there, excited, capable and any attribute from your role model you adore and you will see the difference. It didn’t just impact on me, it greatly impacted on my audience too! Don’t give your influence away in such a simple yet powerful way.

6.Alien feelings.

The power you have as a communicator wherever you are is not just about your knowledge and words it is about so much more. I realised the implications of this at The BWN on this day. Afterwards I heard how upset people were;

“How dare you treat our Mandie like that!”

“How dare you be so rude”

“That person needs to sit down now”

“Why would you be so disrespectful!”

Looking back on that experience I am so incredibly honoured to know, network and work with so many confident, passionate, caring business owners that wouldn’t tolerate disrespect to each other.

It made me realise how powerful The BWN has become. (Which was always the aim!)

My natural instinct in that environment would be to read the room and alter the energy accordingly. Anyone (I feel) can learn to do this. It’s not just about being an empath – something I’ve found myself exploring as a coach because I seem to so intuitively know what someone is thinking or feeling.

  • Have you ever been in a church and noticed how everyone’s voices go quieter and more balanced and calm?
  • Walked into a room and thought “Uh oh, what’s happened here?” sensing an argument or confrontation that has just ended?

That’s the ability to read the room. You can change the energy with the ideas above and by being more in tune with the people in the room. To not actively engage in altering the room’s energy was really difficult to do. Play with how you interact in a room full of people.

See what works for you?

As Jayne Meek (the conspirator!) from Spritz Monkey Jayne Meek spritz monkeysaid “It was amazing to see how the energy of the room changed and how quickly people responded to what they knew to be a great environment usually”. Many people found themselves half way questioning “is this for real?” and afterwards said that the evidence of past actions told them that this couldn’t be real but they emotions were carrying them away in the moment. Be aware of this in your own personal life, your success journey and professional life – so often our hearts try and argue with the facts our minds know. My job is often to help that process along. Let me know how you get on and feel free to get in touch on social media, there are many ways we can work together from the Insiders and courses to coaching and one off group sessions.

  • January 29, 2019

What you really need to know to be a powerful speaker (anywhere!)

I’ve presented hundreds of presentations on powerful public speaking and communication skills although today took a slightly different angle and wow was it powerful!

The irony is never lost on me that 15 years ago I couldn’t (and wouldn’t!) speak to a large audience. I was the person pretending she had a call just as it was my turn to talk. My fear was not just in my head, it manifested itself as a closed throat, a red face, a heart that felt like it was trying to escape and the inability to even remember my name let alone something useful, relevant or interesting to say!

While I could sell ice to Eskimo’s on a 1 to 1 basis (My boss’s word’s not mine) or in the good old letter format, my skills had not grown to actually communicating with people in groups. That had to change if I was going to succeed…

So over the years I read books, studied, went on courses, listened to a plethora of experts (and realised a few of those knew little more than me they just had the confidence to stand up and recite the same stuff I’d read!) and wind forward to January 2019 you could phone me and say “We’ve been let down and we need a speaker for tomorrow!” And I’d say “Great, see you at 9!”

I wouldn’t be panicking about;

  • “What will I say?”
  • Or “How will I handle difficult questions?”
  • Or “What if I run out of things to talk about?”

Things have changed drastically. And having coached thousands to overcome their fears of public speaking I can say with hand on heart that I can fight the fear of public speaking for you too and help anyone become a better speaker.

So what was so powerful today and how can you benefit too?

  1. If you’ve heard me speak about powerful communication, you will know that I say that I could write you the best speech in the world however if you lack confidence or have an internal dialogue of negativity then you will damage your results. And in business that means less sales, profit, opportunities and success. So get your head in order. ACTION – Listen out for what you let hang out in your head. I’ve enough stuff for free, low cost in books and courses (maximum cost is £25) articles, reports and solutions to help you shift your mindset permanently.
  2. Check out some of the best speeches in the world and you will see that Gandhi, King, Pankhurst even Thatcher were themselves. They didn’t pretend to be someone else. Not sure this is true? Think of Mahatma Gandhi and ask yourself if his style of communication would suit Dr Martin Luther King? Would Gandhi shout and gesticulate in the same way? How would his style differ? I know it can be scary to be yourself (see point 3) however by being yourself people can buy into your passion – without you selling once! And passion is addictive! ACTION – Check out powerful speakers you love and ask yourself what is their style? How is my style similar or different? If I could be any kind of speaker what style would I have? Who are my role models? How do they behave, act, talk, stand?
  3. Be yourself. The true authentic you. This means you have to find out what stops you being you. What fear is hiding? For my audience today we discovered that they feared what people were thinking, or what would they do if they said something wrong, or what would happen if they fumbled their words? I’m the only person I know that is invited back despite saying sex instead of success in multiple speaking engagements! The moral of that story is that if your passion, genuine authentic you is shining through then your audience will forgive (and forget) your mistakes. However big you think they are! Which leads on to…
  4. After a great debate on social media (are we connected there? I’d love to.) I asked “Could charisma be taught or was it something you had to be born with?” Interestingly it depended on the individual and if I’d coached them or not! My clients absolutely believe they can change and that it will work, those that were less convinced felt trapped by who they are and that change wasn’t possible, doesn’t that speak volumes? If you check out the definition of charisma in the dictionary it is “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.” Translate that into your professional life and it’s going to be good to learn how to be more charismatic. That in itself is a blog article so for now;
  5. Concentrate on being an awesome active listener (Da Vinci was an expert on this and so many of the skills we still utilise today are from ancient Greece and the renaissance period).
  6. Ensure you are thinking nothing as the other person talks.
  7. Make quality eye contact – dodgy eye contact makes your audiences nervous. It says “What do they have to hide? Or What are they not telling us?”
  8. Ensure you are totally in this moment. Not looking at your phone. Not gazing out the window, not wondering if you had a reply to that email. I have tons of little techniques that help you be in the now. Although you may already know one. Google it, because that way you will find a simple tool that will resonate with you and can help you to feel calmer on a tough day too. Win win, right?
  9. I’m fine one to one!” Most people who fear public speaking or feel their communication style is letting them down are over thinking. They think that to be a powerful communicator it has to be more complicated than it is. Have you ever convinced a love one to do something for you? That you need a certain necklace/car/holiday/phone? Have you ever managed to get your own way? Then you already have the ability to be a powerful communicator! A great tool I use with many clients is looking at how to migrate skills. If you rock at it else where, what skills, attributes, styles of communication were working for you? Now migrate them to the area you feel you are lacking.
  10. And lastly fear. Of all fears I hear about (and I hear them all!) the biggest fear in the world that is hiding behind all fears is usually the fear of what other people are thinking. As a speaker usually you are in an environment where the audience want to hear what you have to say. It is only in your head you’ve assumed they don’t. When I break down that fear for my clients they can see how their head has the facts on what they are capable of (and what they’ve achieved) but their heart is running into fear land and wanting to run for the hills never to return and usually with untruths that escalate the fear. As humans we like smiles and reply with smiles. We are saddened by other people’s losses and want to hear of people’s wins, which means people are looking forward to hearing you speak!

There are a ton of things that I touched on today including how with the right body language you can talk gibberish and still get a positive outcome.

And that being comfortable in your own skin comes down to constantly re-evaluating your own emotional intelligence and checking who you think you are and what you think is going on. Our perception of reality and assumptions can cost us dearly.

And that the confidence to love who you are makes you concentrate on successes which help release the right biological chemicals which then helps you further to come across as the passionate, successful, powerful person that everyone should know and not as the bumbling brain fried fool that you feel you become on a stage.

Whether you feel your presentation skills need a boost, you are so awful at it you’d rather chew off your right arm or you feel you are damaging your success because of something you feel you do (or don’t do!) I’m happy to have a chat anytime.

And if you are on the Insiders I will add some work sheets that we touched on too. I love to over deliver, because I never want anyone else to wish their gall bladder would explode to get them out of a speaking engagement, as I did.

Not one person.

  • January 27, 2019

“Hi, you don’t know me but let me sell at you…..”

A little rant today I’m afraid….Hope you get it and helps you…

“Hi Mandie,

Thank you for connecting with me, I’ve not qualified myself for this communication but hey let’s get right in there and let me tell you why I’m brilliant, and no matter how successful you are, and I know I don’t know you at all since we connected 7 minutes ago here on LinkedIn I know you aren’t as successful as you could be because you don’t have me in your life (hey that may sound arrogant but I started selling at you in a message 7 minutes after connecting with you, so what were you expecting?)

So I’ve got this programme/proven plan/8 figure strategy that will revolutionise your life (see again I’m assuming your business is in dire straits and you need me? Did you see that twice in our first ever communication? I’m really connecting with you aren’t I!)

I’m now going to waffle on for another 4 paragraphs telling you how fabulous I am and about the many amazing things I’ve achieved with my clients who are all living perfect lives so surely that qualifies me to jump on a call with you so I can close the deal? When do you want that call today or tomorrow?”

Great message right? Okay so I may have been a little sarcastic here, however what has sparked this growing trend in this type of spam?

Does it work? Is it about crunching the numbers and for every person like me that is irratated by the rudeness and lack of professionalism there are 8 people that are happy to jump on that call?

On researching for this article I discovered that according to LinkedIn (the ones in the know!) there is no right time or wrong time to get in touch according to best day of the week or time of the day however it is the short and concise messages that were directed to individuals who you tailored your message to them (just them, not a thousand people that fit a profile like them) that got the best results.

In other words, your bulk sending of spam is not going to work as well as getting to know people and build relationships!

I can’t be the only one bored by these people who have no respect for my time? I love my online network, and I’m happy to have direct conversations learning more about you and what you do. (Remember the bigger your network and the more well informed you are about your network the more useful you can be, the more opportunities you naturally get to touch base and to help and you stick  in people’s minds for all the right reasons. The perfect example is again this week I had the kind of message I often get “Mandie we are open a new restaurant who do you think we need to invite?” Do you think that kind of request comes about because I post a lot or because I’ve a genuine interest in knowing my online community?

It is also the reason I get rebooked as a speaker for big exhibitions and events because they know they can trust me to support them and their planned outcomes, not sell at their audiences and make a difference – all constantly reflected in my online communication. It gives you something to think about right?

Ultimately these spam messages rarely work on someone you’ve just connect with because it is still about building relationships and listening. These direct messages miss out on the foundations of communication success;

  • Assuming I need what you have.
  • Not listening to find out what I feel I really need and want.
  • Not introducing yourself and building a relationship.
  • Not qualifying your right to share more about what you do and how you may help me, that only happens after I’ve learnt to trust your reasons for connecting with me.
  • Not respecting me as a business owner and assuming I’m failing (that does wonders for building relationships to start a message assuming the other person is a failure doesn’t it?)
  • Not respecting my time and that I’ve got nothing better to do than wait for you to call me. Do they think I’m sat here with nothing to do thinking “Wow I wish someone would message me with a 8 figure fix to my business. (If they had bothered to even read my profile they would know that talk like that is going to turn me off faster than an invite to dinner from Donald Trump!)

These direct sales messages remind me of some business owners that start to share how and why you MUST work with them, and they don’t realise that the potential customer will get there in their own time, not in theirs. As I often tell clients it is not your job to sell at potential clients it is your job to showcase why you and enable them to get there “naturally” in their own time. (When you learn sales processes, your target audiences and the communication that is powerful to your business it becomes a lot easier and is the science of getting customers returning again and again and telling everyone about you too! You flow at sales when you know this knowledge, not by spamming everyone you can connect with!

Communication is a fundamental power to our business success. In every aspect of our professional lives we have to be able to communicate powerfully (and if you want your personal life to run smoothly communication is just as powerful there.) So the next time you communicate with someone you feel you could help don’t be on your agenda, be on theirs.

Don’t assume.

Don’t sell.

And don’t send diatribe like the above. Which is becoming a daily delete exercise for so many busy people. And guess what how likely are you to read / stay connected / or follow up on any of their future posts?

Crazy move right?

I’m incredibly honest and won’t waste your time, so if you have something you’d like to see covered in my blog please feel free to message me. Most articles are as a result of a clients discoveries (confidentially created obviously) or messages where someone has said “What are you thoughts on this?” I’m happy to help. Happy to chat and happy to hear from you.

Let’s connect on social media….so I can sell at you….only kidding!

  • September 22, 2018

Me too?

When the #Metoo campaign became common knowledge last year I realised how lucky I was to never have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault and my heart went out to all those that had been impacted upon and how it may still be affecting their lives. Then recently something happened, and I found myself asking lots of questions. I have since asked other women in business how they might deal with such things and we all struggled to come up with a decisive answer.

I even questioned whether I should write this article however I realised that as Founder of The Business Womans Network and as a mental health ambassador as well as someone who successfully worked in a traditionally male-dominated environment and I empower, motivate and build confidence for others, I realised if I cannot talk about it when I’m a strong confident woman who helps others to be just that, how could anyone else find the strength?

I will go back to the incident and share my questions, together perhaps we can help all of us, male and female to understand how we ensure that everyone feels safe, respected and free from sexually inappropriate behaviour in any environment.

I was at a business event and found myself next to a business owner who constantly throughout the meeting touched my arm and found an excuse to kiss me on arrival and on leaving (even though I didn’t know them). On two occasions they touched my leg too. Even writing this makes me feel uncomfortable because I worry greatly that you will not be able to read my tonality or will take your own experiences into account and have a very different perspective on this situation.

On a few occasions in the event, someone sat near me asked if I was enjoying the full experience of sitting next to this person and laughed, so it clearly was their natural way of behaving and people knew that this person behaved in this way. I do not believe I commented however on driving back to the office I found myself asking if I had handled that situation in the correct way. While I’m a confident woman who was not impacted on by that experience I can clearly understand how it could put others off from networking or open events like this again.

I later learnt that someone who had not been at the event was networking in another town and someone who had been in attendance at the previous event mentioned how they’d never met Mandie Holgate before and they looked forward to meeting me again and they talked about how this person had been “all over Mandie”. So clearly it had been behaviour that had been noted and was later being commented on.

Even as I write, I’ve walked away from this article on numerous occasions, so the first thing to consider is why?

I suppose because by raising awareness to this behaviour I do not wish to risk offending the person in question. I’m a grown woman and quite capable of looking after myself so this is where on discussions with other women we have struggled to assess the correct way to handle these moments and whether we should say something.

Clearly, most of the people in the group knew about this behaviour and deemed it harmless, therefore I know I would worry about not being accepted by that group again if I said something. I would also worry that it could impact on my reputation and professionalism. However, if I don’t say something surely it risks damaging the other party’s reputation and professionalism because people are speaking about them behind their backs? Hardly professional is it!

It really does help me appreciate that if something I deem to be harmless and misjudged proves difficult for me to organise my thoughts, words or actions on how the hell does someone come forward with a serious grievance? I’d say the answer lies in a lot of guts and determination to make it better for everyone and complete appreciation that this is wrong, and they must not be allowed to get away with this.

Do I feel that strongly about what happened? Clearly not, however, is that then acceptance? Is that then stopping that person from learning a better way of behaving with decorum expected in the 21st century?

When I mentioned this to one business friend they spoke about how they found it difficult in business to know the acceptable greeting. Why is it that women tend to be kissed on the cheek whereas men tend to shake hands? Do we need to openly discuss this? Are women being treated with a different level of professionalism? Is it acceptable? The lack of confidence women experience is worth millions to our economy. Women often fear closing the sale. Women are less likely to ask for a pay rise and confidence is often the underlying issue. So, do we need a standardised way? Will we find that we are looked at differently if we ask for the acceptable greetings to be discussed? Will we be seen as petty for insisting on standards that make everyone feel comfortable?

You can see why I had so many questions, can’t you? If as a woman I struggle to know what to say or think then surely others feel the same too? I actually have no issue with a man opening a door for me, however, is that on the scale of sexist inappropriate behaviour? Does this come into the realm of “she was asking for it” because she had chosen to dress in a certain way? Another business friend told me that they had heard that a man who had been robbed in the street “had been asking for it” because he was wearing expensive clothes and jewellery. Can that be just reason? Really?

So where does this leave us? Clearly, there are many instances that are clear-cut and obviously inappropriate however what is the scale and what can we all do to help each other to feel comfortable and professional in any environment?

We need to be more open and not fear that we will be ostracised if we discuss these things. We need to make it clear that everyone has the same right to feel comfortable. We need to talk about personal space and how it makes people feel when we invade that. We need to talk, however when social media is full of attacks and people taking offence when you ask a question that can be hard to do can’t it?

I’ve also heard the argument that certain generations just behave in that way, it’s no big deal. Is that a good enough argument to warrant exemption?

I remember someone attacking me when they said that as a feminist I had to care more about women than men because I’m female. Really? Am I not allowed to care equally about all humans? And as such as hard as this article has been to write and raise some of the questions I have, I felt it was important for us all that I write this. Please feel free to share your thoughts. Be honest. Be respectful and appreciate tonality and meaning can be misconstrued in the written word. Thank you.

  • January 14, 2018

How to turn conversations into customers

Have you ever walked away from conversations thinking “Why didn’t I say that!”? or found that you lose your true voice when talking business or waffle on and then think “Why did I say that!” or that you wish the ground would swallow you up when asked “what do you do?” or “speak for 60 seconds about your business”? Do you struggle to find the right words to turn a conversation into a customer? Public speaker Mandie Holgate

Communication can be incredibly powerful for enabling a contact to turn into a client. In this article, I would like to share with you 8 top tips to be a compelling, confident communicator that does not fear the competition and can speak powerfully to anyone, anywhere.

I see people in business make fatal errors in the way they communicate, when I host a training session on this Conversations into Customers topic I often get them started with the simple question “What do you do?” Because unless you can tell someone what you do in less than 20 seconds, you risk not engaging with that new connection. Ideally, if you learn this skill and the science behind what could be powerful for you to say, people will be saying things like “that’s interesting, how did you get to that? or “How does that work, tell me more?

Top Tips to turning conversations into customers;
  1. Your perception of reality  Before we even look at what you say and how you say it you need to appreciate your own perception of the world around you. Because your perception of reality will differ from anyone else’s, when I present this topic as a speaking engagement I will often the audience to describe the room to me in one word. There are always various words called out, rarely any two the same and they can range from descriptions of the decor to comments on its cleanliness and the height of the ceilings to the temperature and comments on the people in the room. This showcases to people that what we think everyone else is concentrating on is rarely the same as us.That’s because we forget that our perception of reality is different to everyone else’s. Our brains filter out information. Our eyes have millions of rods and cones in them that help us created our image of the world around us, and research has proved that while we used to think that we only saw what we needed to see, studies tell us that our brain see’s everything but only gives us the information that it feels is relevant to us. And your perception of reality that your brain brings you is distorted in part by your beliefs and experiences in life.
  2.  Hot Buttons. By knowing what your hot buttons are you can ensure that Mandie Holgate shows her passion for success and her bookyou control the way you communicate around these areas. What things get you riled up? What do you have definite opinions on? What are you passionate about? Imagine you are speaking with someone at a networking event or party and you are passionate about exercise and healthy living, what you don’t know is the person you are talking to has just lost a loved one at a very young age and they too had been keen on health and fitness. How well do you think you are likely to connect on a level that allows the conversation to progress from the shallow to the deeper level of connection if you speak passionately about this topic? Our passions are our passions, not necessarily everyone else’s, so as my Hubby’s Teacher used to say “Wind your neck in” ie, great you’ve got an opinion, now stop force feeding it to everyone else. Don’t get me wrong passion is essential for your personal and professional success, however, expecting another to feel as passionate about it as someone else can lead to alienation. (And that bored look!) And that is not good for powerful conversations.Take a moment to write them down.
  3. Confidence. If you want to turn conversations into clients you need to boost your confidence. And first things first I want to teach you is the scariest word in the world. Showcasing how to devalue the pain that this word can mean to us is often carried out by encouraging people to get into pairs and take in turn to just say No over and over to each other in different styles, with different tonality and in different speeds. What this does is enable people to see how much gravitas people give to this word. You see in your professional life so many people hear no and instead of hearing two letters they hear something like “No, go away we hate you and never darken our doorstep again.” or “No you smell.” The word has had a strong meaning to us since we were born, and so for many we still have in built conceptions about what that no is saying to us. It can seriously damage your ability to communicate powerfully if you are expecting a no, and cant’ handle that. Take the fear out of that word.
  4. Turning a no into a yes exercise. Take a piece of paper and create this table. Write a long list of the reasons people say no to you. Now the way to make this exercise powerful is instead of you replying, think of the client that loves everything you do, never pays late, recommends you to their friends, etc etc, they know why they buy from you and that information is powerful to your communication.
    What reasons do people give for saying No? Perfect Client

    What would your perfect client say in reply to this No?

    (Not what you would say)

    Too expensive   You won’t regret spending a penny because this works?
    I don’t have the time   Making the time to do this will save you thousands in the no time and could increase profit.
         
         
         
         

    Look through your table, what pain and pleasure words have you created. If you have bought a course recently you will have received the free gift with 111 pain and pleasure words that can make your communications and marketing more powerful. This above exercise will help you to start to create that list. Knowing the powerful words for your target audience is critical to knowing how to engage powerfully.

  5. Find your true voice I often hear people use my words and phrases and it sounds a little daft. They copy me word for word and it sounds wrong. Why? Because when I’m speaking I am known for being bouncing across the stage, acting and inspiring (Think Tigger on Redbull powered by Duracell) I do have a lot of fun and get the audience, not ly involved, but engaged and thinking due to my laid back style. As such I communicate in a certain way. Someone who is very serious, or who lacks confidence is going to not connect with their target audience with my style, and vice versa. You need to appreciate what do you stand for? What do you want? What is your mission statement? What is our ethos? It doesn’t have to be the same as other people. And by finding your true voice, talking about what matters to you, you will build confidence in yourself because you will naturally be attracting your target audience. Showcasing what you are passionate about enables others to experience that passion too. Just remember to wind your neck in at the right time!
  6. Listen.  There are many benefits to this, however, the 2 that we will look at today are that 1) It enables Mandie Holgate coach and speakerthe person you are talking to feel respected and cared for. And by making someone feel like this you can start to build rapport. 2) You get powerful clues on what to say to power up the conversation. For instance, if someone speaks in detail you will know that this matters to them (so in an email, later on, to follow up ensure you get grammar correct, no apostrophes where they shouldn’t be or mixing up your there, their, they’re! It also enables you to use their own words in the conversation too which not only builds rapport it is also a form of mirroring. Let’s look at that more…
  7. Mirroring Powerful body language to connect is not just about body language. Matching someone speed of communication and utilising on their words will also help you connect on a deeper level. Just remember if you overdo this it can feel creepy. Not sure your natural speed of communication? While it can differ on whom you are talking with, you will have a natural style and become aware of this you will be able to note when you may need to speed up or slow down. If I use my normal voice (for instance) which is quite fast, full of gestures and energy and passion, and I’m communicating with someone who clearly lacks confidence, could be shy and have fears that they wish to speak with me about, if I use my natural way of communication, I’m likely to make that person feel like a bunny trapped in headlights. I need to slow it down, speak quieter and give that person lots of space to speak at the space with their own thoughts. So consider your natural style and how this could impact on powerful communications? By using Top tip 6 and 7 this is not only powerful face to face you can then ensure that this is someone who could be an awesome client for you that you utilise that style of communicating in your online communications too. Would it work in your marketing because this is a style that you note applies to a lot of your clients? 
  8. Ask for it. Lastly, something I think many people are scared to do (in part due to top tip Number 3) is asking for what they want. I appreciate its scary to do because what if they do say No? The thing about No’s is they give you powerful information for your marketing and to gain other clients. No is “rarely no thank you go away”, it is often “no thank you we are too busy with this, could you contact us in 6 months”, or “no we’ve happy with our current supplier” (that again was not a no forever, your competitor may make a mistake and then if you’ve communicated powerfully with them they may give you a chance) By appreciating that no’s are fountains of knowledge in disguise you can learn what leads to a yes. And this doesn’t mandie holgate anxiety I can't do thismean hiding behind copious mountains of email! Pick up the phone, arrange a meeting, be concise, be honest, and ask for it. If you have qualified the person you are speaking to and you know they want what you do if you have used the powerful language and you have listened one thing that people are very good at not doing is asking for what they want. If you don’t want to do this, try asking in different ways to people you know will give you an honest answer on your style of communication. For instance, on the Insiders (a group I vigilate and coach its members on confidentially) you could trail the way in which you ask. ie “We’ve noticed you use X, did you know there is a way of making these that stops you getting that problem you are getting here? Could that be interesting to you?” or “Do you use x in your business, is it something you could see yourself trialling?” Trial different questions and see what feels comfortable, however, be confident to ask for what you want, the no’s lead you to the yes’s with the right language.

So remember to remove the fear from the word No, build your confidence (and if that is still tricky I’ve a course that you can work on at your own pace to help boost yours, learn more here) appreciate your perception of the world and how it could impact on conversations, learn to listen powerfully and mirror other people in tonality, words and speed. Get over your fear of asking for it (which is probably connected to your fear of what they may think – both of which are covered in my new book Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life.) And if you want to know if you are winning on this. Use the pain and pleasure power words from your list or the gift I give with every course to create a powerful sentence that trips up so many people….”What do you do?” Feel free to share what you decide on my social media. And if you are bit scared to do that, why not post on the Insiders for a bit of confidential feedback? And if the confidence is rocketing, what about sharing on Facebook live!

 

 

 

 

 

How to turn Conversations into Customer

Notes;

Compelling, confident and capable speaker

Why didn’t I say that?

Why did I say that?

Or what did I say!

Simple questions can be a mine field. What do you do? And you ramble on for five minutes instead of reply that in 20 seconds gets them interested enough to want to know more.

First we need to consider not what we say but how we see the world

Pee forget our perception of reality is different to everyone else’s.

Brains filer out information.

Millions of rods and cones, research proved that we used to think our brain only saw what we needed to see in actual fact the brain sees everything and filters out what it thinks is not relevant.

Need a pad, meeting at one, next thing you know you are spotting gorgeous shoes

What does that have to do with powerful communications? Your perceptions are distorted by your beliefs and experiences and values

So realities differ.

Hot buttons. What riles you up? What are you passionate about? What do you have definite opinions on?

Being aware of your views on everything from Family, friends, sex, to business impacts on how you communicate.

Exercise – you love others hate.

Moment to write down what you think they may be. Need some help?

Next lets look at how to feel confident. Let’s look at the most scariest word in the world. No I want to de-fear you to this word because its part and parcel of running a business.

Get in pairs and say no – How did it feel?

Lower the fear factor. How to turn a no into a yes. This helps you find your pain and pleasure power words – my course for 111 of them These need to feature in your marketing and conversations.

Find your true voice – don’t say other peoples words, I hear people copy me word for word and it sounds daft. Find your own voice. What do you stand for? What is your mission statement? Know your values?

It doesn’t’ have to be the same as other people. By talking about what matters and using your true voice not only will you gain your own following which boosts your confidence you will natural attract the right target audience too.

Listen – 2 reasons – 1 gives respect and shows you care 2 powerful clues on what to say to power up your conversation.

This enables you to mirror body language with their words.

Adjust the speed you speak at. In pairs speak fast and slow – how did it feel?

Trial the speed you speak and be aware of other peoples choice of speed, pace, tonality.

Use in marketing and if someone likes detail in conversation be aware of that for your emails – you don’t want to get your there their and they’re mixed up and risk alienating them.

Ask for what you want. Women don’t ask for what they want.

Trial how you say it. The insiders is a great place for this.

How can I help you further.

     
     
     
     
     
     
  • September 9, 2017