I was invited to speak at the worlds biggest online conference for Luminary Learning, a company that works with some of the biggest organisations in the world – 18 speakers, 17 hours. (They are doing a bigger one in October and I’m speaking at that too!)
And in the lead up to the big day I had meetings with the team to see if I would fit. I was keen for this to happen because I’m not your usual conference speaker and I didn’t want to stand out (for all the wrong reasons) like the proverbially sore thumb!
I rarely have slides (unless the hosts really want them) and I don’t’ usually follow a set script. Choosing instead to find out what they want for their audiences and what they want the result to be. In that way I will create a mass group coaching style session that is really powerful and ensures people get personalised solutions rather than generic ideas.
As I chatted with the hosts, I ended up showing them my Disney mug of coffee, my tiny dog and even my Olaf Keyring… such a grown up. They loved my honest, fun style and said that with my exceptional knowledge on growing businesses and people I’d be perfect.
So all good right?
Except when you don’t see your audience whether you are a speaker, professional or a business leader it can be tough.
Usually body language gives us massive clues on this. The crossed arms changing to hand at face in deep thought is always a good one to aim for. Along with obviously the laughter and relaxed poses.
So with our world moving to online can you deliver to the same high standard?
Yes of course but watch out for the confidence levels.
As the day of the big event got closer, I found myself writing copious amount of notes on the subject of leadership and building great people. You know, the subject I spend my life coaching people and teams on!
How ridiculous I found myself thinking you know this stuff inside out. “Why are you writing it down?” “Why are you adding stats that you could recite in your sleep!” I shrieked at myself. “Are you likely to lose your mind between now and Saturday!”
It was a dip in confidence. Not to be confused with a sensible level of nerves because you want to do well. One is good for your performance, the other can destroy it. (If you aren’t sure pick up a copy of Fight the fear where I help you reduce your fears to a sensible level often getting rid of them all together but being mindful that sometimes a little nerves is good for you.)
So I did what any good coach would do and I talked to another coach. Me and Gordon Tredgold have been proverbially kicking each other’s butts for years. In fact it’s thanks to him I’ve achieved more and I know I’ve been able to help Gordon too. (I love relationships that are win win like that. I highly recommend Gordon’s books, and yes you guessed it Gordon highly recommends mine too!)
So I messaged Gordon. Something along the lines of “Hey Gordon, I’ve got the major wobbles about Saturday. I know I can do this with bells on but still….”
Gordon replied with the right words as we usually do for each other, but when you are bordering on a dip in confidence that can induce fear (and trust me as author of Fight the fear I know this stuff (again inside out!) if you don’t fix the confidence then fear is only a step away.) So despite the fact I believed Gordon and if Gordon Tredgold tells you, you are an awesome speaker, then you are an awesome speaker I still was feeling concerned at a level I didn’t want to take to the event.
“Where is your evidence Mandie?” I asked. “Have you got on a stage before and tanked it?”
“Have you let an audience or hosts down?”
“Er again, I’m going to have to say No”
“Have you made audiences laugh and learn and have eureka moments that changed lives and business?”
At this stage I was beginning to hate myself just like my clients do when they are faced with the facts that they don’t suck and they are awesome! I knew how my coaching clients felt under my scrutiny and it wasn’t easy to accept but accept it I did. I’m good at my job.
I wanted to share this with you because people often say “You are so confident I bet you never doubt yourself” As a human we all do it, the difference is as a coach I can get myself back into a great mindset and get the results I want because I coach myself and control what is allowed to go on inside my brain. Hence the new book Taking control of your mind is so popular because it helps you do just that.
And just so I don’t let that dip in confidence come back I printed off the amazing words that one of the team sent to me.
If you want to stay positive it’s important you give yourself visual clues so you don’t revert to negative and stay there because that’s not good for you, your team or your business. And remember people like to be with positive people. People that inspire and motivate them. Those people make tough days and obstacles to success so much easier to overcome.
If you would like to know more about any aspect of this feel free to get in touch and if this made you rethink what you allow to happen in your head a donation on the button on the right would be appreciated, thank you.
I can also request white labelled copies of Fight the fear for your company – minimum order 100 copies.
I once was sat with a client who protested “I could have 10 days in a week and I’d still not have enough time to get everything done!”
We went on to create a 10 day week and they were right, they had too much to do! But through their coaching session they created this plan and now miraculously have more time, less stress and achieve more. The 10 day week is a strategy for time management that is so powerful that I share it with many business owners, teams and leaders and it helps increase productivity and creativity and reduce stress too.
Below you can download your own version and ensure you also ask the below questions(these are some of the ones that featured in my session with my client), because often when you don’t have enough time in your day these things are the real issue;
Questions to ask yourself;
There are lot of questions you need to ask yourself, but if you aren’t achieving it is more likely to do with your perception of what is importance, your confidence and communication and prioritising what your success needs. I’m happy to have a chat to look at this in more detail.10 day plan
My online mastermind group is only £5 a month and gets incredibly results. I’ve just launched all my courses for my mastermind group at £1 each so that I can add more low cost ways to support those looking to achieve more no matter what. Learn more here.
Not getting as much done as you would like?
Please don’t read another book.
Please don’t write another list.
In my experience and I’ve helped individuals, mums, CEO’s, teams of 10 and teams of 200+ to achieve more and even apps aren’t enough!
You need to go back to the beginning.
As a coach people mock me for some of the questions I ask thinking they are wishy washy, however having achieved awesome results with my clients (they do most of the work, I’m just the catalyst) these woo woo questions are the ones with the power, so for starters;
What do we stand for?
What do I want?
Why do I want it?
What will this give me?
What are my values?
How do I want to impact on the world?
What do I fear?
Can I confidently say No?
What will my actions lead to?
What are my goals?
Where will they take me?
What stays on the to do list that I never get around to?
How does that make me feel?
What to I assume will happen?
Ditch or deal with everything on your to do list.
Money making first.
And if you really want to achieve more, I share at The BWN and speaking engagements and with clients my 10 day week.
So damn powerful and makes even me achieve more. (I can’t share it here because it’s too visual to work).
And lastly if you have more than 5 things on your list of to do today, you are setting yourself up for long term failure.
There’s a ton of other things but time management and achieving big things is not rocket science. It is about understanding the power of who you are (not an author, guru or expert) and utilising that power, stepping up to the stuff that you fear and having the accountability and focus to get on with it.
I love coaching because it’s so powerful. And the silly little thoughts that crossed over your mind just now, they could hold the key to maximise the use of every hour from this moment on!
There’s more that I teach and share – communication rules and laws, boundaries, respect, open door policy and when not to. Company policy, mission and vision. So much, but this should get you and your team achieving more.
Remember if you want to achieve more you have to create space to and that means making time – time management coaching enables you and your team to do this.
I remember as a child being told “Mandie Timns you ‘re all doom and gloom!”. I was always Mrs Happy, Positive I love life or Mrs Oh no the worlds’ ending. (That’s why I know we can all change, because I have!)
As a child I loved Lost in Space and the sad robot was who I was compared to most of the time. It’s not easy to change however it is something we can all do.
So last night I was lucky enough to slide into a beautiful full length ball gown covered in sequins, spend far too long getting ready and head out to celebrate the finest businesses of my home county, Essex.
As a coach and Founder of The Business Womans Network I realise that one of my super powers is that I love business. Not just mine, everyone’s! I’m so ridiculously proud of everyone’s achievements and I’m very happy to be regaled with your business story, passion and ambitions. Therefore to spend the evening with so many businesses that I’ve helped, watched and loved for years and to see their faces light up on hearing their name called out was sheer joy.
But here’s the thing. Many of the speakers and guests were also overjoyed at everyone’s success and passion however I couldn’t help noticing the doom and gloom.
Into too many speeches in my view Brexit reared it’s stupid, unruly head. (This is not a political post so you are safe to read on.)
Why does this matter?
Surely it is something that is happening right now and could impact on all businesses?
Last time I looked I was not a politician or the Prime Minister so getting stressed about Brexit achieves nothing. On a celebratory night to mention the B word was just as useful.
Have you noticed how two people both have the same end destination or goal and yet only one will get there despite similar skills, beliefs and passion, why?
And what does that have to do with Brexit?
Concentrating on the negative around us is not good for business, we do need to be mindful of what could impact on success, our teams, our suppliers and profit margins however ultimately you don’t have control over Brexit so talking about it only creates fear, tension, negativity and nervousness – and consider any big occasion in your life, were those feelings and thoughts useful or damaging?
It is mindful to remember that bad news sells, not good news, and as such if you want proof that it’s all doom and gloom you are going to be able to find it, however if you want to hear that business is good, people are seeing record breaking sales, profit margins and companies are sustaining growth despite smaller budgets, then you can find evidence of that too.
You see the human is a clever thing, it can look where it’s told to, the brain in all humans can be powered up for greatness or reduced to a nervous bundle of oozing do nothing just with a thought. So if you concentrate on the negative your actions will be impacted upon.
This is not pie in the sky, airy fairy “your coach believes in you” nonsense, this is factual. I can work with a team who know that there is no more money, there will be no extra staff, they do have far too many emails and the to do list seems to grow as fast as they tick things off – and despite what could be perceived as doom and gloom there company grows, the staff become happier and feel more respected, KPI’s are nailed and profits grow. What did I do?
So often when I’m working with a new client I hear “We want to achieve this” and when I ask them to explain it in more detail there is no depth to their want for that goal. Which means that in times of uncertainty as we clearly could be considered as having right now, it’s imperative that you choose the calibre of your thoughts. Remember bad new sells, and you are not a news story.
Define your own direction. Don’t get pulled into a negative rabbit hole. Concentrate on what you want and how you are going to ensure you will get there, we all know someone that has achieved great things despite the odds.
That’s all of us right now.
Ditch the doom and gloom. Leave that for your competitors. I established The BWN in the middle of the last recession. If I’d listened to the doom and gloomers I’d have believed;
The list was long, and I didn’t’ listen to any of it. If anything I have always found that when everyone else is stunned like a rabbit in the headlights that is the perfect time to think big, plan well, structure the actions and concentrate on what you really want. Because you are likely to achieve despite anything. It’s your choice where you choose to focus your thoughts, energy and actions – choose wisely.
Okay so this is a difficult one, and I’ve been sitting on the edge of writing this for about 2 years. But since it’s at a near critical level I’d better mention it.
A lack of professionalism is killing many people’s success.
There I said it.
People think they are professional but in the last 24 hours I’ve had 4 people talk to me confidentially (because they know I will be confidential) about this issue.
(These are not their stories – these are some of the ones that I’ve seen in the last year. There’s plenty more!)
If you’ve ever done any of these things it’s damaging your success;
There’s plenty more but you get the idea.
The point is that owning a business is not all high sales, happy clients and fun times. It can be hard work and it can also be uncomfortable (top tip if it doesn’t feel uncomfortable once in a while then you are not pushing yourself – speak to your coach about that.)
You will need to have conversations that you don’t want to.
When I help clients deal with confrontation, I’ve never had the result where the client has had to have an all out slagging match with someone, however they have had to face the situation and address it.
When you don’t’ deal with things in a respectful and appropriate way it can damage your professionalism, your reputation, your sales and even your mental health as you berate yourself night after night about why did you not do that, or not say this.
Difficult conversations do not need instant responses. They need time to process your thoughts. Establish the facts. Remove the emotion and communicate what is wanted to resolve the situation.
Difficult conversations need to be had so that people know you are a business owner and not a push over.
Difficult conversations need to be managed well so that you walk away with your head held high.
None of the above our easy. Plan what you will say. Don’t fear the outcome. Trust you are good enough.
You can’t win every battle and you won’t get on with all 4 billion people on this planet. Accept that and be professional. So that no matter what happens you know you did your best, and ultimately that is the best you can do.
A post on LinkedIn and then in a group created a lot of “Oh yes!” and “I’m so guilty of this! comments. It led to me thinking about my clients.
Already this year I’ve worked with some amazing coaching clients and because we are into February I’m starting to see people for a second time (a lot of clients like to see me every 4 to 6 weeks if we are working together long-term and not on a fear or a short term goal which we achieve so they don’t need me anymore.) And I love hearing about a client’s progress. Recently I have noticed a bit of a trend.
Not for the first time this week I’ve heard a client say, “Why did I make that so complicated!”
Because so often to achieve big in life we assume it’s got to be really tough, complicated or detailed. We think it’s got to be rocket science or brain surgery – beyond the capabilities of most of us.
So whether you are looking to;
Here’s a few tips on how to keep it simple inspired by my clients. In case this months budget doesn’t stretch to a couple of hours with me;
One client sat back, glared at me and rolled their eyes “I knew this would be hard” They said. “Well” I replied, “If you think it’s going to be hard guess what you’re going to get?” They laughed and scowled at the same time (because they knew I was right!) The fact is that before you get started assess what you think;
What ever you think will ripple though to your actions and results so choose wisely.
When you’ve finished creating a plan of action ask yourself “Can I remove something?” Be your life editor, just like a real editor who will always find something that can be cut question every action, pathway and choice. Is it really necessary and going to get to where you want to go or is it a distraction so you can feel like you got somewhere (even if you didn’t!)?
Do less. Sometimes people are shocked by how few hours I can work in a week and still achieve so much. (Okay some of that is Lupus) however ultimately, I work in a way that is so powerful that I know what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and what result I want from it. I don’t have a detailed planner, app mapping out of every detail, or chart, why? Because, well that’s the next top tip.
I’m an in the moment, live life to the fullest, go with the flow but make sure you are getting what you really want (and don’t let anything or anyone stand in the way!) kind of person. I know that I love nature and the sound of the sea instantly makes me breathe deeply and think of some of the happiest days of my life. I know what makes me happy. What makes me mad. What makes me stressy and what makes me demotivated just as well as I know what makes me get on with it. If you want to achieve more don’t jump onto the next populist band wagon on this years “Must have” way of working with this “must read” book. To truly achieve more look inside you. I know it sounds corny and from a cheesy TV ad, but hey its true. So deal with it. Literally. Stop right now and ask who am I really? When you know that you can work out the most natural way to work, think and get results. Simple right? But you will be surprised how many new clients tell me about this new trend or that book that is not working for them and yet they battle through thinking they are wrong and not the book! Not every book or trend was written for you. Well maybe Harry Potter is the exception.
Simplify your goals to mere words. My goals are researched, broken down, questioned, analysed, planned, and constantly monitored to check for results, accountability, focus and even productivity and impac ton my long term goals. But to really achieve I can tell you 3 words that sum up every thing I wish to achieve this year;
Breath Read Walk
Sounds too simple right?
However while this is simple to get to 3 words, I had 3 sentences that had all the coaching, research and back ground to ensure I’d do exactly what I would need to do. Ultimately if you can’t think of your goals in mere seconds then how aer you going to achieve them?
If you are struggling to achieve your goals, or don’t even know where to start please feel free to give me a call so we can find out if I can help you. There are many ways I can help including a confidential mastermind group that is accessible 24/7 for just £5 a month – I know you think “how can something be awesome that is that small a cost?” Right?
It’s because I genuinely care and aim to help 1 million people this year – which is why my online courses are the same price too. Simple right?
Over the last few years, I’ve seen a worrying increase in the number of people looking to quit their “high Flying, this is what I’ve always wanted careers” for a different life. More and more people are becoming disenchanted and disengaged with working for large corporations and the joys and treasures that this can hold for them. I’m inundated with people looking to set up their own business and “escape” the city. It makes it sound like Alcatraz and for many perhaps it is. With a growing trend for down sizing, a rural lifestyle and a better work life balance how can a corporation compete with working around families and life styles, across a chatty family dinner table, a commute to the back garden in your slippers with a dog in tow and no one telling you what to do or how to do it?
If you look after a team and are seeing this trend what can you do to look after your team and show them that actually, it’s a great place to be and still reach your targets each month?
As well as the increase in highly successful people looking to run away that I’m coaching, I’m also seeing a trend for more people who wish to showcase to their staff that we genuinely do care, and we do want you to achieve and excel as much as we wish the organisation to. So how can you ensure your team are happy and what should you steer clear of to stop your team from proverbially running for the hills?
Expect them to care as much as you do.
It’s likely you are highly dedicated, hard working person who gets what they want in life. And as such you find yourself looking after a large team of people. And one of the first things that many clients learn is that your interpretation of what matters and your definition of what is important may differ greatly from that of the people that work for you. You care about the end result because it’s your department, however, not everyone has that level of passion for their work. Take a step back and imagine that you are a member of your team. Do you feel that you strive for the bosses’ job? A seat on the board? Or do you feel that you may have other priorities in life? There is no right or wrong answer here. And by understanding the different drivers in peoples lives, you can tap into this to help people feel cared for and listened to on their own values and passions in life.
Don’t listen to them.
I actually once heard a person say “You’re not here to think you are here to work” And as incredible as that sounds and as far removed as this ethos is to most organisations that understand the need to get the most out of the people. Inherently it can still feel like this is the case to some. If you want your team to love working with you and your firm then you need to help people feel heard. And that’s easy to achieve at a review however not so easy when the deadline is looming and 3 people have called in sick. Learn phrases that feel natural to you that enable you to effectively say “I hear what you are saying and wish to address this let’s get this project completed and let’s book a date to discuss.” Or “This must feel incredibly (frustrating, disappointing, hurtful, disrespectful, etc) to you, and I want you to know that this concerns me, I would like to look at ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Showcasing that you wish to hear their views makes people feel valued. Which brings me on to….
Argue with them.
The minute someone argues with you, it get’s your back up. Try it with your partner, sibling or child and you will see that if you push against a person, they will push back. Arguing is never productive. A difference of opinion is different, and it’s about learning powerful ways to communicate that enables that person to hold on to their own views and hear yours too, without emotion, guilt or intention. Their view is their view, and you don’t have rights over that. Remember that person has got to this stage of their life with their beliefs, values and experiences. You will have a unique combination of those too that enable you to think, behave, act and achieve as you do. Helping someone to overcome their limitations and obstacles does not start with a conversation that says “You are wrong.”
Shut them out.
A quick way to see staff leave is to shut them out of the big picture. You can quickly turn your organisations next big plan for success into a war zone of gossip, and upset if you don’t help your team feel involved in the big picture. Organisations hit hard times and to shut people out so that they don’t panic, doesn’t work. If anything it can create “The conspiracy theory attitude” that says “We are all doomed!” Helping your team to appreciate what you as a team face and listening to concerns and ideas will help to make people feel like they matter and that you aren’t about to cut them loose. Batting down the hatches can scare people fast.
Moan about people.
It has been proved that by talking about a third party many people feel like they are part of the “in crowd”. It is often used as a way to make that person feel special and valued, because “I’m sharing this with you because I trust you” feelings. That’s great on one level, however subconsciously (even if not with awareness) if you are prepared to talk about someone else, how does that person not know you are going to talk about them too. Professionalism indicates that most people understand this, however what about with other companies, suppliers or departments? Speak as you wish to hear about yourself. Bambi’s mate Thumper had that one sussed “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” As many clients have learnt saying nothing can be a far more powerful way to get your message across on a negative.
On a planet with over 7 billion people, it’s not surprising that you may rub someone up the wrong way and they may dislike you. Your job is not to be Mr or Mrs Popularity your job is to help everyone work together effectively and powerfully as a team feeling like they matter and are well respected and valued as a member of that team. And that can get tricky when personalities clash. What you see as an insulting way of speaking is just another persons idea of a fun way of behaving. What you see as professional may seem cold hearted to some. Learning to see the world from other people’s view points can help. And learn to listen to people’s natural style of communication. If you have investigated this for yourself you may already know about the different styles of learning that people may favour. And this extends to their natural chosen way of communicating and learning about the world that surrounds them. If you are an auditory learner and you are speaking with a kinesthetic learner, you can alienate that person and make them feel like they are not being heard or understood if you don’t pick up on their verbal and visual clues. It’s a whole article on its own to look at the power of using other people’s natural styles of communication, so for now, start to consider;
Does this person use lots of body language?
Does this person use words like “I see what you mean” or “I hear what you are saying” or “I feel that this is the best approach”?
Don’t say thank you.
It may seem so obvious and yet the amount of times I’ve had people tell me that they just got fed up with no one ever saying thank you. “It’s your job, what do I need to thank them for?” I’ve heard in retaliation. The fact is it takes a short amount of time to say thank you and gratitude is such a powerful tool in so many areas of our lives. These people weren’t marched in and made to work in your offices, they choose to. Okay, they may have mortgages and mouths to feed however ultimately they are making the decision to invest in working for your organisation to get them what they want in life. And that is not just about perks and salaries. Taking all the praise and forgetting to share the glory can kill their attitude to you and the organisation. Some people don’t need praise, they are just pleased to see the job done and go home at night, however, I’ve seen many a person light up when they’ve plucked up the courage to say to their boss “actually do you know you never say thank you?” and that person has appreciated this and started to say thank you more. That member of your team feels appreciated and respected and that is ultimately what we all strive for in life, not just the joys and treasures of a corporate career.