A guest blog I was invited to do – please click on the link below if it is of interest for you as a small business owner or sole trader – Andrea
A coaches Tips for small business
A small story
Just a small story to highlight how something so small can make such a difference.
I had a new composite door fitted a while back, and I was incredibly pleased with it, until one day the locking mechanism would not work. Unfortunately for me, I was on the outside of my house, and the door would not lock, and would not open, and my back door was locked with the key in the door! I was on my way to a meeting that I needed to attend, so had to leave it. A locksmith came out late that night, as I was out of hours for the door manufacturer, with the total confidence he would get me in through my door ‘in a jiffy’ Nope! He really tried, but was worried about ruining the door. I was stranded.
The manufacturer sent their guy out the following day, with difficulty, he opened the door, stripped, cleaned and oiled the mechanism – bingo, it worked…for one day! He came out again baffled, and as he started to take the mechanism out again, noticed a loose very small screw, less than (I’m guessing here) 0.01% of the entire mechanism of the door, causing the fault!
On the 28th March 2017, I had the pleasure of being invited onto Channel Radio, for the Business Bunker show, by Paul Andrews. This show is to serve and support all local businesses in Kent. This was my first, and hopefully not last, experience of being on a radio show.
Before going on the show, I asked what area of business would people like more Confidence in by doing a poll, asking if it would be in a) Sales, b) Presenting, c) Using the Telephone, or d) dealing with Conflict? Overwhelmingly it was the area of sales.
There are several reasons as to why people feel they need more confidence in this area. Sales ultimately make or break for your business, and of course is a concern.
‘Sales’ is a form of presenting. Presenting is a top fear; people worry they may get it wrong, be rejected, be judged and that people won’t buy from them. It also can be that they are so under pressure, from themselves or others, to perform or reach targets that may not always be realistic. This sort of pressure is picked up on very quickly by customers or potential customers.
- Show your Passion and enthusiasm
- Be yourself
- ANXIETY = EXCITEMENT!
- You are in Control – you know your subject
- Relax and Smile – most people don’t – it is your job to put the audience at ease.
- Depending on where you are – it is your responsibility to do housekeeping e.g. Fire / toilets etc…
- Connect with your audience and their needs
- Telling stories is a good way
- WIIFM – every member of your audience is thinking ‘What’s In It for ME’ if you don’t hook them in with a BENEFIT you may well lose them early on – It is about them – NOT YOU
- Keep the message Clear and Simple
- Remember Visual Auditory and Kinaesthetic – graphs, videos, products, get audience involved
- Be aware not everyone will be interested – but that is OK
- Practice Practice Practice (the 7 P’s = Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance)
- Video yourself, practice in front of a mirror or friends / family
- Don’t be too scripted, so you can be flexible and more natural – remember you do know your stuff and it is ok to have notes to refer to, it just shows you planned, but don’t be tied to them.
- Keep a relaxed confident body language – no over gesturing and be congruent – so what you are saying rings true with your body language – which is 70% of communication
- Eye contact – if you feel nervous – look at the top of a person’s head especially if in a large room. Try not to focus on only one or two people they may feel uncomfortable so go around the room, to make people feel involved, these people could be your potential customers. Project your voice to the last person in the room
- Anchor yourself – standing straight and taking a deep relaxed breath helps – you can also practice the ‘power pose’ before hand – hands on hips and feeling strong, then imagine it, to Anchor yourself before presenting
Keep you presentation Clear, Simple, Concise and Relevant. Depending on the length of time you have 3 to 10 points may be enough for people to take on board – you can always give out extra information after, or invite questions and if you have enticed them enough they will have some. Maybe they will want to buy your book, get on your email list for your newsletter…or want a quote for business and meet you for coffee to find out more
Don’t over complicate or fill the slides
Always have a PLAN B
Be truthful – no wild claims and messing with facts
Clarify and check in regularly with your audience – especially if a long presentation
It is okay to have a ‘call to action’ ie: visit my website for more information. I offer a free Initial Consultation…
Mostly enjoy it as it is a real opportunity for you to get yourself in front of people, to promote yourself and your product or service
WE LEARN THE MOST WHEN WE STEP OUTSIDE OF OUR COMFORT ZONE
GO FOR IT
CONFIDENCE IS AN INSIDE JOB
Relief and management of stress
Find a friend, a work colleague, a family member, your GP or an organisation to support you – you really do not need to cope alone. Find what works for you – Get back to being YOU
30 (plus 1) ideas and tips: to help you manage your Stress levels
- Step back, pause and think about what is at the root cause of your stress? be honest about what really should be addressed, even if painful or embarrassing as facing a problem head on, as calmly and as reasoned as you can, will start to resolve it and you may find help or strategies you were not aware of
- Take responsibility for yourself and your actions, this can be hard – however once you do, the solutions tend to follow, because you are more open to accepting them. If it means admitting you are wrong or sorry – then rise to it and feel the stress lift from your shoulders – and then you can get on with how to fix things
- Change what you can change
- Recognise and accept what or who you are not in control of changing, and change how you VIEW the situation or the person / persons – your view, your thoughts – you do control
Anxiety has been mentioned again on BBC Breakfast, as speculation as to why Singer / Songwriter Will Young has quit Strictly. He has openly mentioned in the past his struggles with Anxiety. Whether you watch the programme or not doesn’t matter. The important thing is it shines a light on the Impact that not having a healthy mental health can have on your life, your family, your job and your business. Below is an article I written.
What is Mental Health?
Mostly the term Mental Health is thought of as the opposite of Health, that is: mental health problems or issues, mental illness and disorders. Not intentionally of course, but it seems Mental Health is being associated in this way.
A definition of Mental Health is:
A person’s condition with regard to their psychological, emotional and social well-being. How we think, feel and act.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) stresses the importance of the positive dimension of Mental Health and says:
‘Mental Health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contributions to his or her community’
Of Health in general the WHO say:
‘Healthy is a state of complete physical, mental and social well -being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’
Reading the above statements, really highlights why our Mental Health and well-being are so important for us to look after and invest in. Feeling healthy mentally / psychologically does impact on how we think, feel and act, in all areas of our lives, family life, relationships, socially, at school, college, work and in business, how we look after ourselves and others. Also affecting our general attitude and mindset in how we cope with life’s ups and downs. Being much more than just having a ‘positive mental attitude’.
If we feel mentally healthy we tend to be, and feel, happy, confident, relaxed and are more robust, tending to bounce back from knocks more easily. We have better resilience, which enables us to cope with, deal with and manage effectively, any stresses, changes, people, circumstances and situations that may be challenging in some way, in a healthy, positive, more solution focused way, that serves us and others in a good way. We can evaluate things in a logical way, and feel in control of our life.
Consciously focusing on choosing how we act and react to our world – soon leads to easily, at subconscious level, (without conscious thought) making better choices in everything we do and say, lessening the ‘risk’ of things not being right and therefore the law of cause and effect working for us in a good way.
Having positive Mental Health and well-being, and nurturing it, means we grow in many ways as a person, harnessing our emotional intelligence, meaning we understand ourselves more, and are mindful of how we impact on others around us and situations. We take time to also be mindful and understanding of others, and the actions and reactions they may choose, which could be for a myriad of reasons.
Importantly we have a great relationship with ourselves and will make choices that also enhance our physical health, like the food we eat, what exercise we do, getting enough quality sleep, giving ourselves time for fun, for family and friends, and our interests. Which all in turn improves our Mental Health and well-being.
This all lessens our risk of developing and suffering from prolonged Anxiety and Stress and the related physical impact these can have on our health. Our general physical health is improved and we tend to also have healthier immune systems, meaning less colds and other viruses. Productivity, Motivation and Performance at school and work is increased.
So looking after You from top to toe, from inside out, is incredibly important.
Invest in yourself- your Mental and Physical well-being
Value yourself- be confident to say No to what you don’t want, and Yes to what you do want, which leads to increased confidence.
Teach and help those around you to do the same.
The impact can not be underestimated, life will most certainly be better all round.
When you’re OK your world is better
Do go easy on yourself though too, as not one person is perfect- we don’t always get it right, we all make mistakes and have off days; after-all ‘To err is human’
The important thing is to see ‘mistakes’ or ‘failures’ or changes, as learning opportunities, helping us to grow as a person.
If we for the most part act with good will and conscious thought, and set positive intentions, we will form great habits and our natural daily ‘default’ will be a positive one, leading to positive results.
Our Potential, Productivity and Happiness will Soar and will be a direct reflection of what is possible with positive Mental Health and well-being
The work I do with clients means a lot to me. It is a partnership, a working together. I make sure clients do understand that there has to be a level of commitment from them and a letting go of self-limiting beliefs, to enable them to open their mind to trying some techniques that may seem alien to them at first. The testimonial below shows the amazing power of working together to create positive change.
I had been carrying a lot of heavy personal, sensitive, baggage for upward of 10 years before I met Andrea. These problems were a millstone I just thought I’d have to live with.
Four sessions later and these deep routed issues have simply gone away. It really is the matter of fact – no big eureka moment – just gone.
Andrea is a vey talented hypnotherapist, but it was her hight levels of professionalism in dealing with highly personal issues that allowed me to feel comfortable in opening up.
Life is great and going forward the sessions have been very positive – all good stuff.
I genuinely feel that my demons are behind me and my best days lie ahead.
Pat – Bromley
Have a look at my article in Gravesham and Medway Life Magazine on page 18 http://www.gmlife.co.uk/
If you have been selected for interview, then CONGRATULATIONS! The employer is interested in finding out more about You. Your CV or application will have already told them that you meet the requirements of the role.
An interview is a wonderful opportunity for you to demonstrate your personality, and communication skills, your competencies and for you to find out more about the job, company and team or person you could be working for. You are interviewing them too!
There is so much you can do to be as prepared as possible for interview – Preparation really is key to an interview going as well as it can.
If you have researched the company, it’s vision, values, ethos or mission, and the role you have applied for, you will naturally be curious and have valid questions to ask, to demonstrate your genuine interest.
Look at what the company, or person, says about themselves. Does it represent what you want to be a part of?
They will be interviewing you, in part, to see if you fit with the company, or team. Match your skills against the job role, know what you have put in an application (wise to keep your own copy before sending), and know what is on your CV, and be prepared to demonstrate the skills and qualities you say you have.
A lot of companies use Competency based questions on their applications or at interview. If you really think about it, it is a great and fair way for you and the employer to find out whether you fit the role.
Here is a great tip:
- S – Situation – they may give you a situation and ask you how you would deal with it, or ask you ‘tell me a time when…’ here you need to set the scene and say what the desired outcome is
- T – Task – here you explain your role in the situation – if they are asking you about a situation you have not had, then what you think your role would be based on the job you are being interview for
- A – Action – What action was taken by you, within your role, how did you involve other members of the team? Explain why you felt the action was, or is, appropriate to the situation.
- R – Result – Was the result the desired outcome? usually you want this to be as positive as possible – though…
- R is also for Reflection – so if the desired outcome was not achieved – what did you learn from it,? what was implemented as a result? this type of scenario could be very relevant to some roles.
Basic things NOT to do!
DO NOT BE LATE. In your planning look at the route, how long will it take, is there parking, can you use theirs? (A simple phone call will answer that query). How far is the train station from the employer? can you walk or do you need a taxi?
At interview First Impressions really do count:
so dress smart, if corporate then suited and booted. Wash and iron or dry clean clothes .
Girls – no heavy make-up or big jewellery, or chipped nail varnish.
Men – trim the beard or shave
Clean hair – clean teeth – clean shoes
It may be appropriate to cover tattoos or take out some piercings
If you smoke – not 5 minutes before, and do not cover yourself in deodorant or perfume! A mint is fine, but not to crunch or suck on in
It is simple stuff, but you’d be surprised.
SMILE, and have eye contact – this needs to be from the moment you walk in the door, some employers will check how you were in reception.
One client I had, went for an interview as a receptionist. A man held the door for her, she smiled and thanked him. Unbeknownst to her, he was the boss, and he rang through to the interviewer and said ‘ I want her’ – remember your CV or application already got you to interview.
Write down your questions, ( the ones you will have after your research) and take them with you in a folder, along with your CV or application, and the job description. If you are waiting you will have something to read.
When asked if you have any questions, you can say ‘yes’ and bring them out, especially good if your mind has ‘;gone blank’. It really shows that you have prepared and are interested. There is no rule anywhere that says you can’t!
Never bad mouth a previous job or employer. Have you answer already formulated in a positive way, so you are prepared should you be asked.
Be aware that a lot of employers now check your Social Media Profile! Remember the role you are being interviewed for, and make your
answers relevant to it, and reflect not how good you are at the job you currently do – but what you will bring to to this new role.
Get a good night’s sleep.
If you know your Skills, the Company, the Role and have your questions – then you can be Confident and RELAX, Smile and Enjoy the process.
Most Interviewers do allow for nerves, and some are nervous themselves!
One last thing ‘No you can not bring your hamster to interview, even if it is in it’s ball!’ An absolutely true story. Needless to say they didn’t actually make it to interview.
I hope this helps
The Health and Safety Executive reported that 9.9 million working days were lost in 2014 / 15 due to anxiety, stress and depression.
Out of 43% of working days in 2014/15 were lost due to ill health 35% was stress related.
I have developed a fun informative interactive course for Employers and their Employees to develop skills and techniques that boost Motivation and Confidence to use both in the workplace and personal life.
Please contact me for further information using the contact form, ring 07984047557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more on my A2B Workshops here