Whether you own your own business, work for a charity, have a passion for K-Pop or Women’s football you can make money from blogging.
You can get your passion for any subject out there and help others benefit too.
And best of all check out step 11 where I share some of the amazing ways it can make you money!
Join me for the fastest 13 steps to a making your blog a money maker!
Make time — when I’m coaching someone on growing a business or earning more money I end every session by finding out when will the actions we set be completed by. If you can’t find 20% of your time to work on this, how will it happen?
What is the purpose of writing your blog? And if the answer is “To make lots of money!” or “To find lots of customers” Then think again.
Do you want to inspire? Empower? Educate? Stir up passion for a cause?
Yes, behind that reason is the desire to make money from blogging but foremostly consider how you are going to make a difference in the world. Customers buy when they are ready to from those that they trust. A blog helps you build awareness, trust and respect so that when they want something, it’s you they remember!
I was training a room full of business owners on blogging for business and when I asked this question someone said (and I’m not sure they were joking) “Anyone that has skin!” They’d been told that to sell their skin products they could sell them to anyone. I pointed out that my husband had skin and only used moisturizer if I bought it for him at Christmas, and even then 1 bottle could last a year!
Just like marketing is a lot easier when you really know your perfect customers (want more on that click here) blogging is a lot easier when you are talking to the right people. So take the time to describe in detail your perfect readers.
A big mistake bloggers make is that they write what they want to talk about and not what readers want to read. You may know that what they need to know is questions they’ve not even considered asking, so how could they know they need to know something they don’t know they need to know?!? (Confusing right?)
Simplify this and consider step 3 again — do you really know your reader?
If you take my Blogging for Business course you will know that this is not something I can tell you in a few words, but don’t’ panic it comes down to these elements
As a general rule a longer blog 1500–2000 words is good for SEO which means it will get found. Actually, studies have proven the best length is 1760 words! Precise right?
The bad news is that if you are new to writing and people don’t know who you are, you need to hook them with awesome content so they come back for more.
300 words is the bare minimum to write. If you are going to write a short article, you must make it succinct, clear, and focused. If it is wishy washy you will lose your new readership.
Just like a speech has a beginning, a middle and an end. So does an article.
Just as a speech has a “What I will deliver?” at the start and a “Lets recap on what I said I’d deliver” at the end so does a blog.
Just as a speech has a clear call to action so does a blog article.
Always consider if you were to stand in front of your audience what would ensure they hung off of every word you say?
Communication in written form and verbal have many similarities, it just differs on how you achieve it.
I aim to include links to other great research or studies. This reinforces why you are the expert and is good for SEO — Search engine optimisation — big words for getting your website seen on Google.
Lots of bloggers make the mistake of thinking you wait for inspiration to start writing.
As I like to say there’s no quicker way to an empty mind than to have a blogging deadline! A blank screen is like a blank mind! This is why my steps work because you know your reason for blogging and store up your content ideas (I’ve got some awesome ways to never run out of things to write about — 1 idea can become a whole year of content with my Branch strategy!)
When your mind goes blank but you want to write, just write everything that spluges out of your head. Don’t edit as you go, just write and write and write. Afterwards you will edit it at least 3 times to ensure it’s something succinct and powerful that grabs your readers!
The great news is you don’t need to be techy and build your own website. In an ideal world you have your own website otherwise you are sending people to someone else’s platform (which reduces your control on what the reader does next) but don’t panic if that’s not affordable or practical for you.
There are plenty of sites that welcome guest bloggers. The Business Womans Network will publish anything it’s members create (For free).
Platforms like Medium and Mighty could be ideal and never rule out LinkedIn. I worked with a photographer who only did new born baby photography. They told me it was pointless being on LinkedIn. I asked “So the 830 million members, none of them have babies or need gifts for loved ones?” That one question led to a lot of business through LinkedIn!
If you think it’s enough to write something and slap it on Instagram and Facebook with a pretty image made on Canva is enough, think again. There are billions of pages vying for your readers.
I could go on here with another 10 don’ts that kill blogs but to get the full works you know you’d need to buy the course right? I’m generous, but not that generous!
Sadly people are told to write a blog to grow their business. But if you can’t get people engaging with you on social media to buy your products and services, then how will that same model work to sell a blog?
As a guide consider this image and ask yourself what 8 to 10 tools will you use to market your blog?
It’s no good writing and writing and writing but never knowing if it’s working. Before you start blogging write down the number of followers you have, the engagement you get, the insights, the number of people signed up to your newsletter, the number of people buying.
What measurables do you need to list?
How will you monitor your blogs success?
Blogs aren’t just something that sit on your website and get churned out on social media. Your blog can lead to amazing things;
What could your blog lead to? Think big for this one. What would be your ultimate? Now go back to the start and ensure you’ve nailed the why, what, where and how of your blogging journey to ensure you achieve it.
Of all the things I’ve done to grow my successful coaching practice, I can hand on heart tell you that Blogging was the key to standing out, getting paid and tapping into new markets. There is no finer feeling than opening your bank account and discovering a 5 figure sum you weren’t expecting because you’ve been paid by an affiliate, royalties for your book or for a 60 minute speaking gig more money than many will see in 6 months!
Communication is one of the fundamental skills every human needs.
From birth we learn that if we make a noise we can get what we want, so how do so many humans lose that power as they grow up?
Follow this 12 step process (I will keep it short) and you will be able to make a lot of money from talking.
I was petrified of public speaking in my 30’s and worked with some of the best speakers globally to learn how to speak powerfully anywhere — from the stage, to college, office to home, let me share some of what I’ve learnt…
Before you do anything know why you are speaking. What outcome do you want? What do you want your audience to do? To feel? To learn? Write it down so that you can check the quality of your speech against these key performance indicators.
2. Building communication confidence
I could write you the most amazing speech that will get your audience doing whatever you want them to, however if you lack confidence the rest of this process is going to be less powerful and you won’t get the results you want. So build your confidence first — click here to boost your confidence in 24 hours.
3. Your natural style of communicating and why it’s essential to know
I used to be petrified of public speaking and hated it so I know first hand how tough it can be to overcome (I’m now an international speaker) a big mistake I made in the early years was trying to be a speaker like everyone else. It would always be doomed because your audience can spot a fake even if they can’t tell you why. Acting like someone else may help you feel more confident but only take it so far. Learn what style is yours and even if you make a mistake your audience will still love you.
4. How to overcome your public speaking fear
Taking from my best selling books Fight the Fear and Taking Control Of Your mind is an example of my negative spiral strategy. For this explore what you are thinking, feeling or doing when asked to speak and write it down. Now from that you will have a choice of Feelings. Emotions. Actions or Results. Explore what happens and write it in it’s own box. This is a short version. To really know what is going wrong go deeper and deeper. You will find that it’s likely to be a number of things — the fear of what people think of you, the fear of looking stupid, the fear of making a mistake or the fear of looking arrogant. Which is it? You can then draw a positive spiral and follow my strategy to work out how to reverse what’s happening. Most readers (and clients) can make positive changes very fast.
5. How to think
Connected to your reason to speak is what you should be thinking. Challenge the quality of your thoughts. What are they saying to you? Are they saying “let’s do this, they are going to love this!” or are they saying “Why are you up on that stage, you’re no one special” one will empower, one will floor you.
6. How to act and stand.
Try this out in front of a mirror. Act sad — notice how your shoulders around, your eye contact goes lower, your chin drops. Now act Powerful (like a god or super hero) what’s different? You can use your body to act out the words you are saying. Your audience uses all their sense to process you, so utilise this. Trial different things. In my Public speaking course I go into a lot of detail on this and you can use this strategy to hide and remove your public speaking fear too!
7. How to breathe and speak.
Just as the way you act impacts on performance, tonality, volume, speed and pauses and breathing can drastically change your performance too.
Try it — Say “I’m here to inspire and motivate you into action” very fast, then very slow, very loud and very quiet. Say some words at normal volume and then say Inspire and motivate louder. Notice how it changes the quality of your presentation.
8 . How to structure your communications
9. The right words (and the dangerous ones you shouldn’t use — ever!)
If you’ve completed my blogging course or finding your target audience course you will know that words really do have power. Plan what words matter to you and what words matter to your audience. They may not match up, ensure they do!
Yes a PowerPoint can be useful but it can also be very distracting and there’s nothing worse than a speaker fiddling with a laptop disclaiming “It worked fine this morning!” If you are nervous keep it simple, remember any visuals are for your audience, not you! Go back to how you want to be remembered and ask yourself what props would be useful and what would just distract from your purpose.
11. What audiences love and hate and how to have them hooked!
Heard the saying “Be yourself everyone else is taken”? This is true for public speaking. Enable the audience to fall in love with you by being genuine, ditching the jargon, opening up and connecting with your audience. Audiences hate to feel nervous so use ice breakers carefully. They don’t want to feel scared so don’t look scared and they quickly notice the word you say again and again and again or that “um”, “arr” or “er” that you use instead of breath. Those things make your audiences shut their ears hoping you will stop speaking soon. Make them feel appreciated, listened to and respected. Consider how strategies 6 and 7 alter the way your audience will feel. Try darting your eyes from side to side — how nervous your audience feels (you could want them to feel like that) then notice how they feel when you make eye contact naturally (do not look at only one person, that one person will hate you for it!
12. How to get (paid) speaking engagements
Fabulous news, you’ve now sussed public speaking and are raring to go. Don’t agree to speak everywhere — you can quickly be a busy fool with a big ego. If you want to get paid to speak (and yes you can get paid a lot of money for 1 hour’s work!) then get a plan in place and to do that you need a goal.
For what do you want to be known? If I “Googled” you what do you want me to see? Now make sure your online presence everywhere says that — video content, blogs, website, social media shares — everything! Going networking? Getting in the press? Sending out emails? What are you known for? How will time with you make someone healthier, happier, richer, fitter, stronger, younger, better? Check out my Marketing Production line and blogging for business courses to really nail it. Learn more here.
And always come back to these twelve points — and ask yourself “What next?” because when you do that, anything is possible!
Not enough people stop to enjoy the world around them.
I was talking to a client about meditation and mindfulness and they are working with someone else on this and really struggling to make it work. They said it just wasn’t natural for their overthinking brain to do, they adore their business and love working hard. Stopping felt alien to them.
After a few sessions they said they found it hard going and they weren’t enjoying the process at all.
Any practice like mindfulness is designed to make your brain calm. It alters the chemicals your body releases and thus changes how you respond, react and think and act.
Can you see why it’s part of my coaching?
Because my job is to help you alter the way your brain works so that you think differently and get better results.
One of my favourite quotes for clients on mindfulness, meditation etc is;
“You don’t need to sit on a mountain crosslegged saying OM to practice mindfulness.”
Here’s a few random ways you can get calm and mindful that may be more your cuppa tea, because we are all so unique stop trying to ram yourself into someone else’s model of happiness, healthiness, success, confidence, business and life. Honour who you really are and you get there quicker. Trust me that’s a fact!
(And then I will share why you really really need to do something to help you calm your mind if you want to be more productive, successful, innovative in your business)
With any type of mind altering and calming process your aim is to get back into flow. To stop fighting all those thoughts. So as thoughts come whizzing through – don’t tell yourself off for them, just let them come in and go out again. For me I imagine a boat arriving on a stream. I have my feet in the water and the boat arrives and what ever image represents the whizzing thoughts is put in the boat and sent off down the river. Even my children end up in the boat waving me good bye and disappearing around the river bank!
Dog barking and disturbing you? Don’t berate the dog, thank the dog in your mind for reminding you the world around you exists and you are an important part of it.
I adore the teachings of Bhudia for helping with a calm mind and philosophy for helping you appreciate what matters and what doesn’t. Adding these to my coaching that uses NLP, CBT, CAT means we aren’t just working on the business, we are working on the human.
The reason these practices are ESSENTIAL FOR ALL HUMANS is because they enable your brain to think better. And when you think better you can flow.
Us coaches talk about flow because when you are flowing in your mind you naturally find the right actions to take. You “by magic” get the opportunities you’ve been craving and business, life, happiness and health all get easier.
This post was inspired by Paul Boorman from White Label Detroit Pizza and Bar who shared this short video.
So park up and enjoy those poppies!
Awesome post Paul Boorman from White Label Detroit Pizza & Bar, thank you for taking some time. All professionals and business owners need to take some time for themselves and this was the perfect reminder – so I’m off to the beach after my client today!
Stop doing the thing you see first on your laptop/phone. Stop starting the day with what everyone else wants to tell you (i.e., email). This makes your day reactionary not proactive. You may have a job that requires you to know what everyone else needs but get savvy about this (see strategy number 2).
Otherwise, this is 1 reason you get to the end of the working day (week) with your to do list unfinished but everyone else happy!
By nature of being human you want people to like you, we all do. It’s written into our ancient Cave human DNA – this means we often prioritise others needs over our own. It’s good for making you feel appreciated and loved but bad for your performance and productivity. If you work alone or with a team, make sure you have a communication policy that enables quiet sessions so you can power on.
Did you know that when you complete things on your to do list, your brain gets a hit of good feel chemicals? This is why many write a list (See strategy 4 on why it may be not working for you and how to fix it). Think of your day and ask yourself where will there be time to be quiet and take highly focused action?
When you create a communication policy you are writing a document that encourages high performance and good working practices (this is a written document for many of my clients that enables large teams to work in various ways that are most responsive to the individual but with the organisation at its heart). However, a communication policy is nothing without communicating it exists and honouring the boundaries it creates.
So how in your working day do you impose boundaries on you, your time, your communication, email, social media, interaction, etc to ensure you perform to a high standard? List them. Is it going to give you the discipline and organisation your week needs?
Many people love lists, as already touched on this is often to give a sense of achievement. If you are achieving the same things every day, then it’s not working. If you are picking up the big evil, “I really don’t want to look at that” document/email/letter/form then you are giving your brain a powerful message that says, “we can achieve anything!”
Did you know the jobs you love take longer and the jobs you loathe take less time? That’s the perception of reality in action. So, your to do list needs to be strategic to work with the intricacies of the way the mind likes to think and work;
You want to create an automatic response in your brain so that when you do certain actions, your brain gets this boost of knowledge that “We are going to perform!” To start the week motivated it’s not just about caffeine.
What would give your brain the mental stimulation that you are about to perform to a high standard?
I estimate that at least 50 companies I worked with last year complained they hated Monday meetings. “Ergh, I know I’ve a mountain of jobs on my desk and I’m sat in a boring meeting that has nothing to do with me!” was often a retort I heard. Change your way of communicating with your team and making things flow well. I could write a book on high performing meetings, but here’s a few thoughts to get you started;
The start of the week will benefit from 5 to 10 minutes where you stop. To do this effectively, it could be mindfulness or meditation. Taking 5 minutes to watch the birds in the garden, or just sit and zone out. A walk to work where you don’t have headphones in or your phone in hand. Just notice the world around you. Simple mindfulness processes that I teach don’t need an empty mind and an hour of yoga. If they are done well, it’s a quick way to help your mind start the week raring to go.
What these processes do is allow your brain to start the week calmly, which means it has spent the weekend subconsciously considering what you left on your desk, and that means your brain can come up with ideas often without your input at all. So, stop and start calmly, not with everyone else’s priorities, actions and needs first.
I’ve also shared this article to my @Medium account so if you don’t like reading you can listen – alas it’s not my voice but a great way to process the strategies and ideas I share.
like to share secrets with you. The strategies that most won’t tell you until you’ve spent some money, that’s not my style. I believe the right clients will always find me and I want to be accessible for all — no matter what your budget.
Often when I’m working with clients, I hear worrying statements that set off alarm bells on what is stopping them from achieving what they want and often suffering, that tell me that person puts everyone else first and themselves last.
Here I share with you a quick and easy exercise to ask yourself where you see yourself in the importance list, why it’s important and the strategies to fix it.
Why you need to put yourself on the importance list.
These are pretty obvious ones, but many are so adaptable (which can be great to be agile and ready for anything) that they bend to everyone’s beck and call and that’s when you can have serious issues.
These include (not exclusive list);
In the work place I see this impact on;
This quick and easy exercise is great to understand how you see yourself in the world both personally and professionally and how others see themselves.
It can be a real revelation as people realise, they’d not valued themselves as much as they should.
This can play a massive part in why people put up with poor work environments, don’t speak up about issues, concerns or ideas and even damage the organisation.
Utilise this exercise and learn from it and you can see;
And so much more that impacts on performance, success and happiness.
With your team you can use this exercise to understand how they value themselves, assess their level of self-belief and check their confidence levels — on confidence a note of caution — if your confidence goes up and down you are likely to be suffering from external confidence instead of internal confidence — this link will fix that. https://mandiie-holgate-business-life-coach.teachable.com/p/how-to-rocket-your-confidence
So, this is it…
Imagine a pile of clean washing. At the top you’ve got the clothes you and your household wear the most — they go through the washing process most weeks.
Then further down there’s that outfit you wore at that posh do and haven’t got around to putting away yet.
Then at the bottom there’s the things that haven’t seen the light of day in years. In fact, there’s a good chance that the last time you saw that garment you had a 90’s perm and would scream if you met George Michael, Kylie or Jon Bon Jovi!
At the bottom where that grey broken bra lives, those pants that have nearly lost their elasticity and risk an embarrassing moment.
So, picture it. At the top where the fast processed items are, is your ten out of 10 and down in the gregs of your wash basket, with your youth and grey pants is 0 out of 10. Where do you sit?
When I do this exercise with audience and teams, we quickly see how people see themselves. It tells me a lot about their confidence levels, self-belief, ability to communicate powerfully and even get their to do list done.
Straight away some will shout out “10!” So, we know they’ve confidence to put themselves first when it matters.
Then there are those that fold their arms and say, “Well realistically it should be a 5, right?” which means they are asking me what they should think and gives me some warning signs that their importance in the world, family, work is not all it could be.
(Remember this is not about putting yourself all others and forgetting they exist. This is about the internal gauge that tells you that your needs matter as much as anyone else’s. There are so many feel good motivational quotes about this, but rarely do people appreciate the true damage of putting yourself down there with the old grey bra and pants!
And then there are those who say nothing. I often see a sneak tear. They often don’t want to say anything. If it is a team coaching, they know they are safe to say anything so they will tell me they’ve not even a one. These people get that real eureka moment that you can’t change the world if you don’t exist.
For one manager they realised their door was always open, they were well respected and much loved, but they often worked until 10pm, then often found themselves doing everything at home and feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. After this quick exercise we put some strategies in place and they rarely finish work after 6pm, they receive a lot higher respect at work and at home and their 17-year-old now volunteers to tidy the kitchen and cook dinner! So where are you on the importance list?
Monitor it and don’t accept anything less than a seven!
Message me and I will let you know whether to start with my mastermind group, confidence course, or something else. And as always if you would like me to write something especially for you, just say.
Of all the obstacles to happiness, resilience and the things you want in life, the biggest obstacle I’ve seen is the same for every single human.
Here is my very quick strategy to get you started on eradicating this obstacle FOREVER – yes cap locks are on and I’m shouting this because if you don’t fix this you are agreeing to this standing in your way FORVER – I hope I’ve made my point, like I’m some omnipresent god shouting from beyond the clouds….
1. To get rid of the subconscious hidden obstacles to what you want (or don’t want in life) you’ve first got to find the obstacle. And in my extensive experience that is often the biggest task for our time together as coach and coachee. Don’t worry, I always find it. Using the following steps will help you assess if this is an issue for you. (Remember this step for the future, always ask yourself good quality questions to ask yourself if there is some outdated belief, thought, emotion and perception of something in your life. It is a step myself and clients revisit often to assess the quality of what’s going on in their heads.)
2. Go find a mirror and look in it.
3. Wave at yourself – yes, I know it feels weird. There’s a point to this, trust me. Did it make you cringe? *
4. Say to the mirror You the following statement;
“(Insert your name here) you are not allowed to stand in my way ever again, I know you are holding on to this old belief that (insert the belief/past experience you are holding on to like it’s fact even though it’s not here) but this is not true and does not serve you well. So, from today you will remember the voice changer** and you will hold on to this new belief that (insert new belief, statement that enables you to achieve great things and overcome anything here). I still love you, but bog off with that negative crap, you’ve no place in our future!”
(Sorry if the language was offensive, you don’t need to use rude words, but for me they add gravitas and make me pay attention. If they don’t work for you don’t use them.)
By understanding your first response to this task you can start to see what could be going on in your head that stops you from getting the results you want in life.
Fixing this also helps you be resilient in any situation; overcome any obstacle and dig deep within to get what you want in life.
* There’s your first clue – if you look in the mirror and your first thought is a negative one it gives me major clues to your attitude and beliefs about yourself. In the confidence course (1) I walk you through how to have internal confidence instead of external confidence – external confidence can get rocked and go up and down, internal does not. So, if you’ve done that course go back and do the “Why you are awesome” document – you didn’t do it justice the first time. Also see below for another strategy to fix this self-image issue.
** Most strategies I share work fast. This one takes a bit longer – usually 4 weeks. That is because you are rewriting the conversation in your head. However, this strategy works, and it works permanently. (2)
The above can help you never let you get in the way ever again. Let me know how you get on. I am passionate a bout you and your success in life and will always be here to help make anything and everything a reality. You are welcome to email, text, message, call, send a pigeon for a chat anytime to explore how I could help you, your life and business and team.
A lot of my clients are fast growth businesses due to our time together which means the business owner needs to build a team around them to be able to increase profit and sustain growth. So the next step of our time together as we action the business growth is helping the business owner transition into a leader.
The skills to be a great boss are extensive and it’s not achieved overnight.
We take the time to understand what it takes to be a great leader, what their role is, what they bring to the organisation and the team. It’s surprising how many people find themselves as leader but have had no training on how to do the job exceptionally well.
It’s great to be able to go back to the foundations of the business and understand the boss, the organisation, the team, its’ customers and ambitions. By going through this coaching process nothing is left to chance. Every eventually is understood, change can be embraced, difficult conversations get easier and profit is more calculated and efficiently achieved.
Here are just some key things a leader needs to consider. Use this as a base point to then create a series of questions you ask yourself and your team regularly. Such as;
– I.C.E.S – What issues could we have? What could the causes be? What are we exceptional at and what could the solutions be?
– How often will you monitor these indictators?
Remember to dismiss no ideas and no questions – it is what we do i ncoaching to get to the real issues a company need to address to excel.
The you in the equation – you and your team need to sit down and define each aspect of the business – Boss, The organisation, The team, The Individual.
Vision, Mission, Values and Ambitions.
Clarity – Where are we heading – the business, the team, you and each individual?
Ability to see the big picture and how actions now impact on the future of your organisation.
What is your role in new business, growth and performance of the organisation?
What is your attitude to creative thinking and innovation?
Do you think in absolutes? Do you make assumptions? How do you monitor your mindset and its impact on your role, your management, communication, action and results?
Understanding and reducing transference so that you can empathise without being impacted upon.
Role model – what kind of role model are you? Excited, open, calm, tolerant, fun, open minded, fearless, resilient. Define how you wish to be perceived. How will you ensure this is the person people see? Who do you look at in the public eye that seems to be a great leader? What attributes do they have? What skills? What behaviours? Actions? Believes?
How well do you step out of comfort zones?
Being aware of your hot buttons – what you are sensitive to? What triggers you personally and professionally? Time keeping, long emails, poor communication for instance. What responses do you naturally have and how to control/alter?
Empowering and motivational.
Appreciating what you excel at, what weaknesses you have – will you choose to outsource, employ or automate what you are weak at or gain the necessary training? Neither is wrong – it is what works for you.
Communication and boundaries
Decision maker and the confidence to say this is what we are going to do.
Great listener. Knowing when to listen and when to lead.
Confident in choice of action
Confident to say “I don’t know” and ask for ideas, support, advice.
Lead by example.
Boundaries – what are they and how are they communicated, honoured, and enforced?
Able to structure and host difficult conversations expecting a win win result that honours you, the team, the individual and organisation – accepting that sometimes it is about expressing this is the way rather than bending to the individual.
Team management and development
How do you enable your team to be resilient?
The ability to see things from the colleagues, customers point of view.
How do you enable your team to handle their time effectively, perform and meet targets/KPI’s?
Believing the best in people while being mindful of how this could impact on you, the organisation, the team and individual.
Training and development – you, the organisation, the team and the individual.
People skills. The ability to bring the best out in others, help people through personal challenges that may seem alien to you.
Structured – what is the right level of structure for you, the team, the organisation and the individual? How will you monitor this for review, risks and success?
Attitude and capability to delegate?
Vision and mission – where are we going? Why? How?
What are our values? How do we communicate these? What impact do they have on you, the organisation, the team and the individual?
How do we plan? How do we implement the plan?
Monitoring results – how will we know we have achieved it? What parameters are we monitoring? How will we monitor risk/flaws/issues for Boss, Organisation, Team and Individuals?
Communication – what we stand for – our ideals – what our customers will always get from us.
How do we specify, communicate, and control the results of the big picture? Who is responsible for what and why?
Adversity, change and obstacles – what is our collective approach to be resilient, innovative and proactive thinking?
What is the culture of our organisation? What can new staff expect from us as a team? Organisation? You as a boss?
How will we monitor trends, risks, global change, industry change?
How do we ensure we are proactive rather than reactive?
How do we sustain and grow?
How are the team organised?
Communication rules – what is our communication policy? What does it do for the organisation, individual, company and you? If you get this right, you can greatly reduce emails sent and received, gossip, hand holding and stress. You can increase natural innovative problem solving, performance, time management and profit.
Respect – how to ensure it?
Enable team to be decision makers – bring solutions and innovation confidently and if necessarily confidentially.
Enable team to be emotionally intelligent and aware of each other’s preferred style of thinking, acting, processing information and working.
Enable them to see if they make assumptions and their impact? How will they monitor their mindset and its impact on their role, communication, action and results?
Communication – knowing they are safe to communicate what they need to without judgement – this is where coaching is incredibly powerful – no one plays good cop bad cop. You do what you are good at and I coach you and your team to perform exceptionally well, learning how each person chooses to work, think, act and feel. One size does not fit all. This enables fast sustainable growth, lowered stress, better performance and time management and ultimately better profit.
Who is responsible for what actions? What is this based on? How is this monitored, improved and developed?
Team learning and development – how would they like to learn collectively?
How do we measure productivity, profitability and performance?
How do we reward excellence?
What polices enable us to communicate what is expected?
Communication – what works for you as an individual? What works for your colleagues? How are our styles of learning and sharing information different? What risks could that open us up to? How will you overcome them?
How do we enable people to be resilient and handle stress and time sensitive projects/goals?
How do we monitor and ensure good mental and physical health?
Learning and development – self led? Mentor? Peers? External support?
How do we asses your personal and professional needs? And the implication to the team, organisation, and you?
How do we help you develop and progress?
Understanding and reducing transference so that you can empathise without being impacted upon – know how it impacts on yourself and your colleagues.
This is not the definitive guide to leadership however I hope I’ve stirred your critical thinking to think creatively about you, your team, your organisation and everyone as an individual. What questions will you ask today to enable better leadership and results?
I am more than happy to discuss your needs – feel free to email – mandie@mandieholgate or telephone (44) 079 899 35556
If you intend to share an International Women’s Day post, ask yourself how will you help bridge the gap this coming year?
Despite years of raising the issue of equality, global gender gaps remain. Data published by the World Economic Forum in 2021 showed that global gender gaps remain in education, health, economics and politics. (1)
For years I was uncomfortable with the title of feminist until I sat on think tanks for the government, worked with NatWest after The Rose Review and worked with various other organisations like WEConnect and discovered the very real ways that inequality impacts on individuals, teams, organisations, productivity, profitability and communities.
The theme this year is unconscious bias.
I recently confidentially posted a picture of my very grey hair (4) (I’ve gone grey in 2 months – probably the traumatic stress making an escape after my husband being very seriously ill for 18 months) and was intrigued by people’s responses. I like the person I am whatever colour my hair, but I’ve done enough research on unconscious bias and success to know that women can be perceived differently to a man with grey hair.
One study on gender ageism and grey hair concluded “older women are alert to age-stereotyping and discrimination and the hazard of invisibility, social devaluation, and irrelevance”.
Unconscious bias exists and we can all play a part in removing it.
Did you know even the pandemic has impacted on women globally more than men?
According to the Harvard Law School forum on Corporate Governance (5) when asked they question “is the world making reasonable progress towards increasing the proportion of women on boards? The data indicates not. Women occupy just 20% of board seats globally and continue to be excluded from the highest levels of corporate leadership.”
I sat on a think tank for the government on this issue over 10 years ago. We aren’t learning. Here are 7 quick ideas that you can actively do for yourself and others to help remove unconscious bias and speed up real change this International Women’s Day, because it is good for all people and organisations.
1, We need to appreciate it’s benefits for all people – financial, risk management, communication, growth, happiness, performance, etc.
2. We need to drop the assumptions. When it comes to empowering women there are many assumptions made. And we shy away from difficult or uncomfortable conversations. Helping people create non-judgemental environments to say anything is key and I teach people how.
On a think tank for the government we were there for a whole day. Some very clever people had been paid £100,000 to create this report we were reviewing and discussing. It got to 4pm and I said “Are we not going to discuss that women have wombs?
Because if women can’t discuss the fact that women have wombs how are business leaders and governments supposed to?” The editor for the Financial Times congratulated me afterwards for pointing out the glaringly obvious and it forced us to address the fact that to empower women we must honour ourselves before we expect anyone else to.
3. Importance list. Women are the worlds natural healers, carer and compassionate souls. We want others to be happy and we do our best to nurture and care, this means we often put ourselves lower down the importance list. I teach people how to acknowledge where they put themselves and how to rise up to be as important as everyone else in their lives and the benefits there of. It’s not about you over me, its about you and me.
4. Communication. The language we use on ourselves, and others use is critically important. Learning how the way you communicate impacts on empowering is very important, then how you create the boundaries around that communication empowers women to great things in every aspect of their life. Remember this is not just about equality, it benefits every aspect of life.
5. Power – no one can take your power – unless you let them. I’ve coached thousands on how to be motivated, empowered and achieve anything regardless of what diversity or obstacles they face. You may not be able to remove yourself from a situation physically, but you can do plenty to protect your mind, and that will lead you to great things – regardless. When it comes to equality understanding how we use this on ourselves and others can have a massive positive impact on teams and organisations.
6. Be careful what you share – Every “fact” I share I appreciate another research paper or report will come along and add or change the story or research. I work hard to ensure that what I share is checked and doubled checked. I often see people share inaccurate half truths both online and in meetings. If we want true equality for all we need to ensure we are wise on what we share and why.
7. Confidence. Build confidence – research says a man is more likely to exaggerate how amazing he is and a woman is more likely to dismiss her skills, traits and abilities. According to The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurs, only 39% of women are confident in their capabilities to start a business compared to 55% of men. I first hand see the damage that a lack of confidence does to an individual, the team and a business and it’s not going to take years to remedy. Remember Internal confidence is very different to external confidence and I teach something called the 4 step voice changer and the “Why I’m awesome” Document. 2 strategies that help women build confidence very fast.
These are just a few ideas to work on for yourself and those that you work with. Together we can do more than lip service. So, this International Women’s Day, do more. Or don’t post at all.
Whether it’s confronting your boss, a member of staff, your Mum, your child’s teacher or the plumber who promised to finish the shower 2 weeks ago, difficult conversations aren’t easy.
I’ve coached thousands to have those icky conversations that you put off. Here’s your quick guide on how to have those tough conversations, get the result you want and ensure both parties leave happy.
When you think about the conversation you don’t want to have, you are assuming there is going to be swearing, doors slammed, bad words, tears, smashed plates and someone hating you for eternity. The fact is that this rarely happens, but your brain is in charge, and you have let it run crazy wild like a 5 year old on too much candy.
Stop and think about what you want to see happen. I am going to teach you how to have win win conversations and relationships — even with the passive aggressive pain that knows how to provoke you.
What do you want to see happen and don’t be unrealistic here. Ideally you want every conversation to end with a win win conversation building a win win relationship (I learnt about those from Bob Burg — check him out, great guy.) You don’t want to see them burn in the fiery pits of hell for all time — that level of negative emotion won’t do you any favours. What would be the end result you want?
3. Match — but not like your weird.
I teach a lot of people about how to communicate powerfully, whether it’s closing a deal, a networking event or getting a teacher to listen to your concerns about your child. And one way to get some on your side is to match them. Consider;
How fast do they speak?
Do they use one level or vary it?
How loud are they?
Do they pause?
Are they sat forward or back (Yes this still applies on Zoom and understanding this gives you an edge in online communication!)
Do they sit still or are they all jazz hands and big body movements?
What style of words do they like? Do they say things like “I see what you are saying” or “I hear you” or “I feel you aren’t listening to me.”
You can use this information to build rapport but a word of caution, over do this and you can look very creepy, and that other person is backing out of the room like you’re a psychopath.
Done gently you can make people feel listened to. Using phrases like “I hear where you are coming from” when they’ve used auditory language is a subtle way of connecting. People that are very good at communication naturally do this and you can learn to do it well too. Not sure on this one? Comment on my mastermind group and I will guide you.
To do well in difficult conversations know where your boundaries lie. What would you accept at the minimum? What would push you too far and make you walk away? Know in advance where you will give a little.
5. Internal confidence.
Note the word internal. There is a big difference between internal confidence and external confidence. One doesn’t’ alter on a good day or a bad, and the other does. If you build your inner confidence you can deal with difficult conversations a lot easier. I’ve so many strategies to do this, start with the why I’m Awesome Doc — write down on an A4 piece of paper on both sides, why you are awesome. Often there is a gap between what you believe to be true and the facts. This document helps bridge that gap. So don’t hide the finished document away!
6. But Mandie, what are they thinking!
You’ve got to worry less about what others are thinking. I know that’s easier said than done and I spent my life dealing with corporate team’s internal dialogue and business owners fears about what people might think of them. If it really worries you — ask them. Stop assuming and ask. But by building your internal confidence you can handle anything that people are thinking, because let’s be honest there are billions of people on this planet — you aren’t going to get on with them all.
7. State the facts.
To do this you need to know them in advance. Take out the emotions and word the facts before the session. Fact — You said X would happen and it has not. Fact “We agreed on X and not Y.” It’s not easy taking the emotion out of it so know your facts in advance.
8. Ditch the why
Coaching style questions are genius for getting people to do what you want them to do. They take away judgement and opinion and enable honest dialogue. For instance ditch any conversation that starts with “Why” and swap it to “What are the reasons this has……” this enables people to speak without believing you’re judging them — even if you are! I’ve got tons of awesome questions you can ask. Head to my website to learn some crackers or message me. But pre difficult meeting play out some questions to ask and some phrases to ditch.
Before you meet, what do you want to see happen next. It is one thing to know the outcome you want but what will be the steps to get you there? What would you like that to look like? Laying this out in black and white means there can be no “Oh I didn’t think you meant that” Passive aggressive types and those that aren’t going to listen no matter how compelling your argument will be good at moving the goal posts, so be crystal clear on what they are. Make sure they are put in writing if necessary and don’t be frightened to set a date to revisit the difficult conversation. You can do this now. Difficult conversations aren’t going to hold you back, are they? And lastly…
A big mistake people make in negotiations and in difficult conversation is they keep talking. Stop talking. State what you want to say, make them feel heard (repeat back what they’ve said to help them feel heard using the matching language) tell them where the boundaries lie and what you want to see happen next and then stop talking. This is powerful because people hate silence. When I get people to stand on a stage and say a sentence and then be quiet for 2 seconds, they rarely manage it, because seconds seem to take hours! So, if you stop talking, they will start. If you have stated your position, said what you want to see happen next, now let them talk. There may be an awkward silence but if you can become comfortable with awkward silence like a 1970’s library you will win. If it helps you can count the seconds — how long will you wait?
As always let me know how you get on, feel free to like this post and share it and ensure you are following me for the next one.
Got something you need help with?
Email me or connect on social media and I will write something especially for you — no one will know that.
Whether it’s a member of staff that is always late with a report, a toddler that is over attached to the word No or your partner who never listens to you. It can be frustrating, demoralising and make you question your skills as a leader, parent or human when you’re saying words, and no one is doing as you’ve asked. So, if you’re faced with someone that just won’t listen and do as you ask, here’s 6 reasons why and what you can do about it.
A big reason people don’t do as you ask them to, is because your perception of importance does not match up to theirs. For instance, to you it’s essential that someone from your company is out there bringing in new business, your staff on the other hand see it as a waste of time impacting on their to do list. Helping people to adjust their perception so they see the value in the actions you are asking to be completed will make them compliant with little effort from you.
Helping them to see the personal benefits to them shifts their attitude to the task and lowers their resistance to it too. With the networking example they can see that new business means more profit and more profit means more money for your team. “Hang on, I’m getting the money? Well, that’s different!”
It’s far easier to get people to see the benefits for themselves than to attempt to convince them your way is right; do you want to know why?
It can feel disrespectful when someone doesn’t do as we ask them to can’t it? Do they not love me? Do they not value their job? Do they not care? Taking it personally brings your emotions and feelings into it and that will make it harder for you to bring a sense of calm clarity to the situation.
Take your ego out of the equation and consider theirs. What is that person feeling? What might they be thinking? (See below for more on this). Ego can get in the way and force us to respond in a less than brilliant way (see the next strategy for more on this). Consider if the relationship could be damage as a result of your desire to make this person do this task? Is your ego and how you feel more important than the end result?
If it’s imperative to use reframing to help them see what you see. It means they don’t have to back down on what they value and can honour you too. Enable them to step back and understand the situation for themselves. For example, “If you don’t get out there and network and “Schmooze” (as one member of staff put it) then we won’t have any clients and you won’t have any billable hours”. If chatting to people is now worth a lot of money, (even a bonus) suddenly it looks more appealing, doesn’t it?
Have you seen Finding Nemo when they shout, “Don’t touch the butt” and poor Nemo ends up in a lot of trouble because he touched the butt. (Actually, it’s a boat, but those fish didn’t hear the correct pronunciation!) A whole films worth of grief, scary moments and near-death experiences.
When people don’t do as you wish, they are having a psychological response that says, “I’m in charge here not you”. We want to at a very fundamental level be in charge of ourselves. It keeps us safe, otherwise someone could tell you to jump in the road and you would — we need to be able to decide for ourselves what’s important and what needs to happen. If you want to see this one in action, check out the click bait titles on social media — You will never believe this……well I’ll be the judge of that……ha got you!
And as William Wallace in The Highlander shouted before battle “You will never take our freedom!” So don’t threaten their autonomy and they are far more likely to respond appropriately. It’s a fast way to gain respect, without asking for it.
Primarily us humans like to get our own way, but we also like to feel safe. Put those two things together and you have “You aren’t the boss of me!” (Even if you are!) As I tell clients, Newton had it right “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
As an example, my client manages a very large team and was incredibly frustrated by a couple of members of staff that always had excuses why things weren’t done. This approach not only got them on side it worked on their 17-year-old son who found a new interest in loading the dishwasher!
Look to show you appreciate their view, feelings, emotions, etc so that they feel listened to. Utilising NLP skills can work here (called mirroring) just be cautious about getting this wrong because it can look weird and trite
Ensure you ask coaching style questions for this one, so ditch the “Why didn’t you do this!” for “What could be the reasons that this has not happened?” It’s non judgemental and it will help you with the next strategy.
Just because you’re brilliant at time management do not assume those around you are too. A study at Carnegie Mellon University’s human computer interaction lab had 100+ students sit a test. Half were asked to turn their phones off and the other half had their phones on and received intermittent messages. Those students who had their phones on performed on average 20% worse!
Okay things like this seem obvious but what are their time management skills like?
It’s amazing how many people have things on their to do list that aren’t’ that important that they will do over sacrificing things that actually need doing — I will explain why in the next top tip.
So don’t assume they know what you want them to do and why. Have you explained it?
Have you said it clearly? You may think you said one thing and they heard another — “It would be good to have that report by Friday” is to you I want that report by Friday they heard “Get it done when you can, Friday is good but not essential.”
A big reason people don’t manage their staff (children, etc) effectively is because of communication and boundary issues. I often hear “Well it’s obvious, isn’t it?” Is it?
Three fears play out here. The most important one is the fear of what people will think of you. Next comes “Well what if I get this wrong? And lastly comes “Actually I don’t think I know how to do this!” (If you’ve read my book Fight the fear, you will know these 3 fears in detail.)
When someone doesn’t do as they’ve asked to repeatedly there has to be a reason. Once you’ve ditched the assumptions and see it from their point of view, using clear communication, make the environment safe for them to say anything.
In this situation in team coaching, I often hear some eye-opening things. The best one was the team of 25 who were working with me for a week on business growth, team building and performance, they wanted to rewrite their vision and create goals that everyone had helped create. Awesome right? Except halfway through the second day one team member finally plucked up the courage to say, “Look I know we do something to do with logistics, but I don’t’ really know what.” That person had been with the company for 12 years! But they lacked confidence or the communication skills to speak up so had been struggling for years. This is often the case, so don’t assume people know how to do what you’ve asked. Ask them, guide them, empower them, train them, coach them.
And lastly if you get stuck or aren’t sure of the best approach, try something and ensure you have a date to come back and R and R — reflect and review.
Is it working?
What needs to change?
What do I/They need to do differently?
How can I assist? Etc, etc.
The great news is that if it’s in a workplace setting and you’ve coached them to do as you expect of them and then they don’t you’ve a documented journey of what you have done to help them.
It’s amazing how many business owners do not appreciate that by working with a coach, they can then take that knowledge to HR or an employment lawyer and ensure they get the result they actually want. Alas this is not something you can do with your children or partner!
If you loved this article and benefited, please do share it, ensure you follow me on medium and social media. All links are on my site and get in touch anytime so I can write something specifically for you. This article was written for two new clients who I start work with in 2 weeks. This is to get them up and running, I hope it helps you too.