About Me

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The business bit: I have had 25 years experience in the IT sector encompassing equipment finance to computer recycling. The coaching bit: is about delivering business mentoring and personal performance coaching. My clients range from senior executives to the unemployed and I delight in working with them all to build excellence and promote growth. My specialisms are working with business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses and enjoy themselves in the process, and helping individuals to realise their full potential. I also work with young people to build confidence and life skills so they can grasp life's opportunities and make the right life choices.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Train to Gain Funding & TFT

This month an introduction to a fascinating new energy psychology method, Thought Field Therapy and also details of Yourcoaching's involvement with Train to Gain funding.

Introducing TFT

Having a quick self help technique to use when we are feeling tense and anxious about something, perhaps an impending exam or presentation, a difficult meeting or a public performance, can really make a difference for how we deal with that situation. TFT is such a technique and this month you can read about how beneficial it is and how it works.

Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is as a non-invasive treatment used to eliminate the cause of negative emotions. It was founded and developed by Doctor Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist who began his discoveries with sensory-based observations of actual phenomena treating patients with anxieties and phobias.

The treatment works by tapping with the fingertips to stimulate certain meridian energy points in the body. This is done while the patient is ‘tuned in’ to their problem. The negative emotions giving rise to the particular issue lie in the disruption of the body’s energy system, so by tapping on the meridian points in a particular sequence, the energy is redirected.

Dr Callahan devised a menu of tapping sequences relevant to different emotional problems including anxiety, phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and trauma.

The great thing about TFT is it can be used to help enhance performance and the rapid elimination of panic or high anxiety associated with high stress situations. Learning how to ‘self-tap’ is a superb tool for countering exam nerves, anxiety over public speaking and presentations, or sporting performance ‘block’.

TFT has been used to provide trauma relief in the USA, Mexico and Africa, helping people use techniques that do not require long term therapy. For more information visit www.atftfoundation.org.

Step Into Your Personal Power – Workshop 18th October 2009 10am – 4pm

For those of you who want to claim your ‘self’ and realise your real potential in a realistic way, this is the workshop for you. Take a reality check, work on your strengths and build foundations for change and personal growth.

To sign up for this workshop at the Wellbeing Clinic, 6 London Road, Marlborough SN8 1PH call 01672 513583 or 01672 861565 or log on to www.thelondonroadwellbeingclinic.co.uk. Places are limited so booking is essential.

Wellbeing Clinic

In my capacity as in-house coach for the Wellbeing Clinic in Marlborough, on 11th September Jill Sudbury, proprietor of the Clinic, and I helped facilitate at a Mental Health and Wellbeing seminar at the Wiltshire Constabulary headquarters. The seminar aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues and the various types of help and resources available to support sufferers. The event was well attended, very informative and thought provoking with a stimulating program of talks and activities covering occupational health, counselling and complementary treatments. A very forward thinking and progressive event organised by Wendy at the Constabulary.

Train to Gain

Yourcoaching has been offering Train to Gain leadership and development programs for some time and this is such a valuable resource available to small businesses that we have given a little reminder of it here. Summer is a good time for businesses to review their progress and growth plans and take advantage of what is out there to help deal with issues and grow the business. You can also run through our Quick Business Diagnostic Tool.

A little more information on the Train to Gain grants available for businesses:

This Government funded project is aimed at businesses for leadership and management development to help businesses:
Boost efficiency
Increase performance and profits

Enhance staff motivation and confidence.

The funding available consists of a £500 grant and a further £500 on a match funding basis.

To be eligible the following criteria apply:

You employ between 5 and 249 full time equivalent staff

You will undertake a skills review to confirm your requirements

The program must be leadership and management related

The training must be paid for, started and your claim submitted within three months of your meeting with the adviser from Train to Gain

If you would like more information please just get in touch and we will help you access your
Train to Gain funding and tailor the right program for you.


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Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Goals & Goal Setting

This month we thought we would go back to the basis of coaching and look at Goals and Goal Setting, what kind of goals we should set ourselves, whether they should be simple or difficult, and how relevant they need to be.

And part of goal setting is obviously that old chestnut….motivation. We look at a study in Six Motivational Moves below which compares perceptions of motivation by staff and their employers, it throws up some interesting results for the workplace!

Goal Setting

Coaching is all about setting clear goals which are realistic and achievable.

One story which crops up frequently in relation to setting goals is the 1953 Yale Goals Study. This purportedly researched Yale’s graduating seniors to find out how many had made specific goals about their future and what happened to them. Apparently twenty years later when these seniors were checked, the researchers found that the 3% who had made clear written goals had made massively more money than that other 97% put together.

The only problem with this story is that it is not proven, and there is question as to whether the study actually existed!

However other studies do show that setting goals is a really good thing. In his studies (1961 and 1968) Edwin Locke researched the goal as the most important part of motivation and performance finding that task performance depends on goal commitment, particularly if there were appropriate rewards, support and encouragement and sufficient ability. Also, setting easy to fulfil goals is less likely to increase task performance. Telling someone to ‘try harder’ or ‘do better’ is not as effective as setting a specific goal e.g. ‘increase your targets this month by 40%’ – the latter more difficult goal, if achieved even partially, gives greater satisfaction and greater task performance.

So….here we are at SMART goals, ones which are…





T...Time defined.

Bearing in mind Locke’s arguments, you might also want to make your goals a bit more difficult. AND, for goals to work properly for you there has to be the following:

Commitment – you need to be committed to achieving the goal

Challenge – you don’t want to get bored half way through!

Clarity – to ensure you don’t muddle your direction or scope in the pursuit of your goal.

Ability – you need to have the basic ability to get to that goal.

So enjoy your goal setting!

Get your Child Going!

A reminder to sign up for this stimulating workshop around ideas for motivating your children. For all those parents, teachers or others who are involved with children and are looking for ways to help them to do well and enjoy their lives. The 3 hour workshop will look at issues children face today and how we can encourage them on the path to independent thinking.

The workshop takes place on 3rd October at The Wellbeing Clinic, 6 London Road, Marlborough, SN8 1PH. Places are limited so book early by calling 01672 513583 or 01672 861565 or log on to www.thelondonroadwellbeingclinic.co.uk.

Six Motivational Moves

It appears there is a discrepancy between what managers believe their employees want at work and what those employees actually want.

In a fascinating study carried out in 1995 K A Kovach showed that although employees valued ‘interesting work’ as the most important thing about their work, their managers thought that they would value good pay more. The table below showing what employees and managers ranked in order of importance makes interesting reading:

1. Interesting work
2. Full appreciation of work done
3. Feelings of being in on things
4. Job security
5. Good pay
6. Promotion and growth
7. Good working conditions
8. Personal loyalty to employees
9. Tactful discipline
10. Sympathetic help with personal problems.

1. Good wages
2. Job security
3. Promotion and growth
4. Good working conditions
5. Interesting work
6. Personal loyalty to employees
7. Tactful discipline
8. Full appreciation of work done
9. Sympathetic help with personal problems
10. Feeling of being in on things.

Maybe we need to sit back and take a fresh look at what are the underlying motivators in the workplace.

We also need to bear in mind some important points when we are looking to set goals for others. These Six Moves for Managing Motivation -

1. Remember that people change

2. Be aware that people don’t always think the way you do or want the things you want.

3. We need to allow people to develop.

4. Ensuring a sense of achievement is paramount.

5. Building in rewards is equally important.

6. It is essential to set clear and challenging goals.

We hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter, please click here to send us your feedback.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

How to be a Successful Communicator - Part Two

Following on from last month welcome to Part 2 of our mini series “How to be a successful communicator”.

“The complexities of motivation and behaviour in the sender meet the equal complexities of perception and motivation in the receiver” (John E. Schneider – Ohio State University)

Whatever the statistics, if you are more confident and positive you are likely to get a much more successful outcome, whether it be when you meet someone new, you are giving a presentation or having an interview. When two people connect, change happens.

Consider how you communicate – look at the questions and decide which is most like you, then have a look at our tips

1. Do you
a. allow time for the other person to articulate their attitudes and feelings?
b. jump in with your response or opinion before they are finished?

Tip 1 – To help you from stampeding in what you have to say, repeat in your head to yourself what they have said before you say your piece. This reinforces the relevance of what you have to say to what they have said which shows you are listening, and prevents you from cutting them off.

2. Are you
a. focusing on solutions or
b. looking to judge and criticise?

Tip 2 – If you have a tendency to nitpick or constantly contradict what someone says, try putting yourself in their position so you see things from their perspective. Do you really understand what the other person was trying to say?

Now a couple of extra tips

1. Try this next time you talk to someone:
Listen to what they say and before you reply, say”…I understand what you were saying is…….(and repeat back to them what they said) before you offer your reply.

2. Before you meet someone new at an event be it work or social, have in mind four bits of information you want to come away with about that person. When you finish your interaction, mentally remind yourself what those bits of information were and whether you got the answers.

3. Count to 5 after the other person finishes speaking before you say your piece (see if anyone else jumps in!)

4. Take away 3 visual pictures of the person when you leave, e.g. how they were standing, what they wore, whether they blinked a lot, what was the tone of voice etc.

And here’s a good game to play quietly on your own

When you next find yourself sitting on the underground, waiting for a plane, sitting in a cafĂ© or killing time watching a group of people, look at your fellow passengers/diners/passers by and think of the most unlikely occupation they could have that would be so unexpected in view of what they look like and what they are wearing. So a pin-stripe suited city gent type could be the lead singer of a punk rock band. Stereotyping can frequently determine how we relate to people, so buck the trend, let your imagination go and you’ll find yourself smiling!

GWE Business West

I am delighted to be working as a mentor again on the new Adapt to Survive program, having worked with GWE Business West on previous mentoring projects.

GWE Business West has secured funding for a new business support programme to be delivered in the South West. Adapt to Survive is aimed at small to medium sized businesses that fit certain criteria and includes workshops and mentoring. The workshops are free and designed to be interactive and each attendee takes away a ‘Work Smarter Action Plan’ which is built around their specific needs. Mentors provide after workshop support in completing the plans and there is also voucher funding available to put towards specialist advice incurred in the carrying out of the plan.

Contact us for further information or log on to www.gwebusinesswest.co.uk

Marlborough Counselling Service

There are many types of counselling from Gestalt through to Interactive and everything in-between! The Marlborough School of Counselling is a group of dedicated counsellors from various disciplines who offer services including psychotherapy, traditional counselling, addiction therapy, CBT, supervision, coaching and more. Using a variety of techniques from play therapy to visualisation and hypnotherapy, the practitioners can help alleviate many issues including stress and depression, bereavement and phobias.

The Marlborough Counselling Service is available on 01672 513583 and your call will be treated with care and discretion.

Summer Fun!

Where is the summer? We’ve been waiting for it for a while! We needed a bit of TLC after all this bad weather. And we had a bit of it at Marlborough Town Hall when the Wellbeing Clinic therapists gave some seriously good vibes via massage and other treatments at the NCT Pamper Evening. The therapists were fully booked, and no wonder! A great way to feel summer’s touch.

We hope you enjoy this months’s newsletter, please do send us your feedback.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

How to be a Successful Communicator – Part One

Find out what messages you might be unwittingly conveying and what your personal communication mode is in the first part of our two part mini series ‘How to be a successful communicator’.

Messages are communicated not just by words, but by tone, volume, posture, gesture and eye movement.

Have you ever found yourself saying completely the opposite of what you want to say? How about when you know what you said, but the other person seems to have understood it completely differently?

Scientists have shown that non-verbal communication constitutes a large percentage of our social interaction, possibly as much as 93%. Albert Mehrabian (1972) claimed the face conveyed 55% of the information, the voice 38% and the words just 7%. Developing Mehrabia’s work Michael Argyle claimed non verbal channels were 12.5 times more powerful for conveying attitudes and feelings.

Consider how you communicate – look at the questions and decide which is most like you, then have a look at our tips:

1. How direct are you? Do you
a) ‘Small talk’ a lot before getting to the point
b) or are you Comfortable asking to-the-point questions such as “Why are you here?” or “What do you want to pay?”

TIP 1 - If you small talk and feel obliged to ‘gabble’, stop, take a breath and ask the other person a question.

2. Are your conversations
a) Very structured i.e. question/answer
b) or Can you ‘ad-lib’ if someone asks you something you might not be prepared for?

TIP 2 - If you tend to be thrown if the conversation is not structured and you would like to be more able to speak creatively, try to go ‘off-piste’ yourself; introduce more adjectives and description, offer an opinion followed by a question “ What do you think?” And….try to ask open questions that don’t shut down the conversation with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.

3. Do you feel obliged to solve other people’s problems that may not be material to you?
a) Yes
b) No

Tip 3 – Remember, people sometimes just want to ‘talk’ and may not be looking for your opinion about their problem. Offer a tentative solution prefaced with ‘You might consider…../I have a friend who tried…..’ If they do seem keen on your suggestions, great, if not, return to being a good listener.

Keep an eye out for Part Two in next month’s newsletter!

Clearing obstacles

Sometimes we start off towards our goals with great resolve and then hit an obstacle that makes us waiver and doubt our ability to move on. Here are two exercises to clear one of those irritating hurdles that you feel you can not get over in your path towards your goal. Doing both exercises will give you a really good understanding of your hurdle and how to get over it.

Exercise 1 - Seven Steps Onwards

1. Firstly ask yourself what is your hurdle and why is it stopping you achieving your goal.

2. Next, list what positive actions you can take to get over the hurdle. Include here the support and resources you have, e.g. who can help you, do you need financial support, do you need to do some research, etc.

3. Now think about times in the past when you may have encountered a similar hurdle, what did you do then that worked to help you move forward.

4. Then do a role reversal exercise: if you were your friend, what advice would you give yourself?

5. This step is only if you are really stuck and not quite over your hurdle: is there something you need to revise or review about your goal to make it still achievable in spite of this hurdle?

6. Now, take action! Do what you need to remove the hurdle using the steps above.

7. Finally, reward yourself for moving forward and overcoming the hurdle.

For an extra practice go to our ‘Free Useful Stuff’ page and do the “Getting through your Goal Obstacle Course” exercise.

We hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter, please click here to send us your feedback.