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I feel naked…

…and not in a good way!

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So when is it OK and not OK to be naked…for me I love getting my kit off, probably because I am an exhibitionist, or more to the truth, I really do like to kick back and shed the weekday attire and feel the sand between my toes and the elements on my skin, but that naked is OK…I am asking about the feeling you have when someone you have looked up to and aspire to be as good as if not better turns out to be….well to quote a phrase ‘not all that’

I guess the only way I could feel any more naked is if, there were others.

Thousands of people pose in the nude for

Others, who on the outside or from a distance have a good ‘show’ a presence, a swagger, a reputation and integrity.
OH NO…it has happened….Like Icarus, I clearly got to close…and substance – missing, ability – lacking and integrity – do not pass go, do not collect £200.
So there I am about to spiral…now which way do I go…?
Up and risk the ego taking over?
Or down and risk the ever too faithful human sabotage take over…Oh wait there is another way…of course there is…because I AM CONGRUENT.

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Congruent I hear you ask? Yes, Congruent. A mid-15th century Latin word Congruentum meaning ‘to come together, agree, correspond with’ A word that I use regularly with clients and myself. To me it means simply this. For me to be the best coach I can be, I need to be coached.

I need to understand how it feels when someone holds the mirror up and I am there, looking in, squirming…
I need to understand how I feel when I am being questioned about what I have or haven’t done to result in what I currently have or am.
I need to understand how empowered I feel when I am aided in reaching the point I need to reach to make it happen
I need to create my own solutions and have someone who I can bounce off, an outside voice who will not be my ‘yes man’ and help me see how it really is….
..Show me when challenges need facing and when brilliance exactly that, brilliance.

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So I turn to my coach, I am naked (they don’t laugh, which is also a bonus!!) and I share what I am feeling, a little lost. Something has knocked me sideways and I can quite place it…See that is the beauty of having a coach and being coached…a voice at the end of a phone or a welcome face over a coffee to listen, questions, facilitate and empower me.
I had begun to think my ego had gone and got way out of hand…I am no shrinking violet I know that, but what I was witnessing, experiencing, was mentors and business professionals who I looked up to and admired, possibly even to aspired to be, behaving in ways I never imagined I would experience. Then I began to think, maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s that my compass was way off and I had been looking in the wrong places or looking for the wrong things…
What transpires is simple. It is something I am very aware of and many reading this will be too…and there it is folks…the best learning’s are the life lessons that keep showing us that we are alive, they are not complicated or scientific, they are simple, powerful and right there.
We are a constant.
That was it…where I was years ago, to where I am now, where my mentors were to where they are now is just different. Not better, not worse, just different.
What I wanted then and was getting out of bed for then is not what drives me now.

And here is my compass.
I am here to inspire, educate and motivate.
To encourage the world to think and act differently, one step at a time.
I help people believe. And if you wish to dismiss that, then go and try something that you don’t believe and let me know how you get on!
My ethics and my morals bound me to only do what is right for me and my clients. I choose the game now and I can play to the level that I want, that I choose.
My mission is to help you realise the game you wish to play and importantly the level that you want to play it at.
Because life is just a game. A beautiful, emotional, passionate, romantic, harsh, humorous & real game. Step up to the plate, pick up a bat and swing…you can’t win if you don’t swing the bat, that is a fact.

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So I am extremely grateful to the path that I have chosen and the routes that it takes me every week…burning new pathways, establishing new relationships and building new opportunities to make this world better, one step at a time.
I am grateful to my coach and my clients, past present and future.
I am grateful for my health and every day that I am given to get up and make it happen.
Whatever you do, do it to your best and the best will find you back.

When you are ready to take the bat and start winning…call me. The Congruent Coach. +44(0) 1792 911881
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Social Media Doesn’t work for business…what a crock of $#!}

Recently I was asked to guest blog for an awesome media company…now I say awesome for  a few reasons:

1) Because the people involved with said media company are quite simply, awesome.

2) And more importantly, they demystify media for businesses, so we can all use the tools that the big boys do without going all gooey eyed!

3) They have fun. And when you are having fun, you attract others…we can all learn from them.

So where can you find them you ask, well, you will below part of my guest blog and the rest you will have to click the link to finish reading it…I know, devilish of me isn’t it!

Before I click you out to there page so you cant engage with this awesome team, know this, Cemanthe who runs the business, has over 200 posts, for this post, it has been shared 24 times on Facebook, had 18 Tweets, 10 Linked-In posts and has been Pinned a few times.  SO if you ever get asked to guest blog, think about it. You all benefit an its another reason to show why the title of this blog is so true…Enjoy!

 

“…what a crock of $#!@” Guest Blogger Adam Brooks brings his slightly controversial view to whether or not social media can work for business.

This phrase has no doubt been said by many people, many times, all of whom are quite simply, in denial. Here is another one for you… ‘Old dog, new tricks’

The person who actually said this to me was Head of Marketing for a large organisation in the technology and communications industry…to put in blunt…shocking!

I have been an ‘enthusiast’ of social media over the last few years and I am increasingly impressed with how it continues to reinvent itself and link up new platforms and increased access to key people of influence, that in business…I want to talk to.

I have many mentors in written form as I read many books on business and how to get better results, I train every day, just like an athlete does to achieve success in their discipline…my discipline is business, sales, profitability and most importantly…people.

And…who will you find on Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Pinterest, Blogs and maybe even Google + at a push?…Correct…Read more

http://newmediaangels.com/ 

 

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Which is more powerful, the gun or the lens?

I wrote in the first week of September 1997. Princess Diana had just died and the news world was thrown into silence. The calm before the storm, the paps got hammered and yet the papers rolled off with every money making spin off they could. I remember Radio 1 played the same loop of songs including the haunting theme from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. Click here to listen.

I was sat, parked somewhere along the spine of road network that connects our truly brilliant country and I penned this,  I was 22 years old.

Which is more powerful,

the gun or the lens?

One thing is certain,

They’re a means to an end.

Both of them active,

both of them still.

Equally powerful,

able to kill.

Hunt the rich and famous,

as if a bird of prey.

Scavenge like hyenas,

endless, night & day.

Scurry round like sewer rats,

humans are their morsels.

I wonder, are their parents proud?

Their children have ‘no’ morals!

Each of us, share the blame,

every day repeat the same.

We’re both as bad as one another,

we buy the papers and show each other.

How do we know what they say it true?

‘Cos they tell me & I tell you!

I wonder what some might say,

if they were still with us today.

We’ve lost some great people over the years,

media pressure…the pain…the tears.

The only people who gain from the lives they wreck,

are the big fat cats, with their big fat cheques.

© Adam Brooks – 1997

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The Six Enemies of Greatness

I saw this blog recently and had to share, Jessica Hagy shared this on Forbes, you can find the link at the bottom of the blog.

Simple and genius. Enjoy.

 

The Six Enemies of Greatness (and Happiness)
These six factors can erode the grandest of plans and the noblest of intentions. They can turn visionaries into paper-pushers and wide-eyed dreamers into shivering, weeping balls of regret. Beware!

 1) Availability

We often settle for what’s available, and what’s available isn’t always great. “Because it was there,” is an okay reason to climb a mountain, but not a very good reason to take a job or a free sample at the supermarket.

 2) Ignorance

If we don’t know how to make something great, we simply won’t. If we don’t know that greatness is possible, we won’t bother attempting it. All too often, we literally do not know any better than good enough.

 

 3) Committees

Nothing destroys a good idea faster than a mandatory consensus. The lowest common denominator is never a high standard.

 

 4) Comfort

Why pursue greatness when you’ve already got 324 channels and a recliner? Pass the dip and forget about your grand designs.

 

5) Momentum

If you’ve been doing what you’re doing for years and it’s not-so-great, you are in a rut. Many people refer to these ruts as careers.

 

6) Passivity

There’s a difference between being agreeable and agreeing to everything. Trust the little internal voice that tells you, “this is a bad idea.”

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2012/02/28/the-six-enemies-of-greatness-and-happiness/?partner=bm?wp=59208fb0d1db78

Jessica can be found here :- http://blogs.forbes.com/jessicahagy/

Love finding new people who inspire me.

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Go on…..seduce me! I dare you.

Effective communication skills are highly valuable. They enrich our personal and social lives. In business it’s a matter of life and death.

This blog will show you how to gain almost instant rapport with whoever you meet whether in person or through writing using highly effective communication skills.

If you want to invest more time looking at Rapport Building then I highly recommend the book ‘Instant Rapport’ – Michael Brooks (no relation)



In recent years, much has been learned about the way the human brain processes information. The memories we have, the way we perceive experiences, are controlled by our visual, auditory and kinesthetic abilities.

Everything in our minds is there primarily due to what we see, hear and feel. Remember these three modalities, they are VERY important. Again, they are

  • VISUAL
  • AUDITORY
  • KINESTHETIC

These three modes combine in any learning or communication process. We use all of them to a degree.
However, research indicates that with the majority of us, one of those modes is more dominant than others.


Do you like to learn by watching, looking at diagrams or training videos? Probably you are more visually oriented.

Do you prefer to be told through the spoken word? Or are you the kind that likes to get his hands on the subject and starting doing, learning through a process of experimentation? Then you are probably more of an auditory or kinesthetic.

If this is true of us, it is true of the other person. What if you knew which kind of mode is dominant in the person you are talking or writing to? Could that help build rapport or in some way make your communication skills more effective? ABSOLUTELY!

Companies have spent thousands of dollars educating their salesmen to utilise this knowledge. The results? Dramatic!
How can you apply this very valuable insight? By taking special note of the words and phrases your prospect uses.

People often use expressions that indicate which modality they are thinking in at that moment. For example, “I see what you mean”, “I hear you”, “I’ve got a feeling about this”. When you hear these expressions, sit up, take note. They are sign posts pointing to that person’s modality.

So you have the sign posts, what do you do now? You respond in the same manner. Start using expressions in that person’s dominant modality. Why should this work?
Because words convey ideas to the other person’s mind. You start communicating on the other person’s wavelength. Just like two modems making an internet connection, your two brains start ‘hand shaking’. The effect is amazing.

Skeptical? That’s understandable. Just start, try it and you won’t be any longer.

Here is a true life experience.

A successful financial advisor read up on this subject and started employing the methods.

One day he walked into the office of a manager interested in a savings plan. The financial advisor noticed many artistic pictures on the manager’s office walls. He commented on them and gave an honest compliment.

The manager used expressions like “let me show you”, “you must see this”. The financial advisor immediately picked up on this and realised the manager was a visual.

When the time came for him to make his presentation, he started off by saying, “Let me first give you the big picture” and with that he pulled out a diagram. The manager immediately leaned over and started closely scrutinising the savings plan. From there on it went like a dream.

The rapport was established early on. The manager began to think “I like this man, I can do business with him.” A very good plan was devised which suited the manager’s needs well and both parties were happy – the manager with his plan, the financial advisor with his commission. A win win ending.
Don’t underestimate the power of communicating in the other person’s preferred mode.

Now, how can you apply this in your business? Do you write ad copy or sales letters? Do you do face to face selling or telephone selling?

Sprinkle your words with phrases from each mode and see how the prospect responds. If they respond with similar expressions, you have identified their mode.

Here is a list of words and phrases to help you identify a dominant modality:

VISUAL 

crystal clear / focused / flash / hazy / sight for sore eyes / up front / it appears to me / get a bird’s eye view / it looks like / in the mind’s eye / you get the picture / it’s clear cut / take a dim view / tunnel vision / the naked eye

AUDITORY 

rings a bell / all ears / certain overtones / harmonize / make myself heard / tuned in / that’s unheard of / to tell the truth / in a manner of speaking / gave him an earful / listen up / tongue-tied / described in detail / sounds like / just say it

KINESTHETIC

I’m conscious of / you can sense / she perceived / lay your cards on the table / come to grips with it / that’s a pain in the neck / pull some strings / hang in there / touch base with / it boils down to / start from scratch / that was under handed / hold on / you need to experience it / in a moment of panic

These lists are just to get you started. There are an abundance of signals out there in the way people express themselves.
You just need to “read the signs”, “hear the bell ring” and “grasp the meaning” behind the words your prospect is using, either in written or spoken form.
 

Rapport is almost priceless. Agreements, contracts, big business deals are often concluded between people because they sense a bonding between them.

Develop and practice these essential communication skills and your life and business will take on new vitality!

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Forming Storming Norming Performing

Transforming a group of diverse individuals into a high-performance team is a monumental task. Although teams have both strengths and weaknesses the ability to constructively exploit the strengths while improving upon the weaknesses is a challenge that most organizations will ultimately face. Accordingly a group that transcends these difficulties will eventually go on to develop the attributes that will effectively allow it to become a high powered team. While there are numerous models that can help to illustrate the elements necessary for team building Bruce Tuckman’s Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing Model of team development seems to illustrate this process with the most clarity.

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of team development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for a team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has laid the framework for subsequent models of team dynamics frequently used in management theory to describe the behaviour of existing teams.

Forming

In the first stage of Tuckman’s model a team is selected and the team leader takes an active role in outlining and defining the team’s objectives. At this stage team members receive most of their direction from the authoritative figure usually a manager because the team leader lacks direction and they are just becoming accustomed to their new team environment.

 Storming

In the storming stage there is an active role on the part of management in delegating duties and responsibilities. This is the idea stage. During the storming stage individuals will exchange ideas and determine how they will work collectively. Identifying problem issues and evaluating each other’s perspectives is central to this phase of team development.

Norming

This stage of development is where the ground rules are set for team performance.  In the Norming phase a pattern develops which begins to lay the framework for a cohesive environment. Additionally, ideas are agreed upon and shared and common ground is established. Management continues to play an active role at this stage however, their involvement is generally participative and the team has more decision-making ability.

 

Performing

During the Performing stage team members have reached the pinnacle of performance. The team has a set of standards in place. They have established a charter or way of conducting the business of the team and conflict is handled in a constructive and dynamic fashion. Furthermore, management no longer plays a central role in governing the team and the decision-making process is in the hands of the team itself. Teams that reach this stage often exhibit a synergy that did not exist previously.

 Adjourning

This fifth and final stage of Tuckmans model of team development commonly referred to as Adjourning, suggests that a radical transformation can occur as the result of the synergistic qualities of the team begin to become evident. According to Bruce Tuckman A team that manages to remain together may transcend to a transforming phase of achievement. Transformational management can generate key changes in performance through team synergy and is considered to be more far-reaching than transactional management.

Models such as Tuckman’s can help to lay the framework for team development yet supporting and strengthening the team dynamic is ultimately up to the team itself. Therefore it is essential that team members be encouraged to contribute collectively to their mission. Encouraging collaboration within the team environment is a key component to ensuring that the team is functioning optimally and also allows team members to take ownership and responsibility for their successes and failures.

While a high powered team can come from diverse backgrounds that team must also share common attitudes towards achieving their objectives. A team’s ability to recognize and adapt to opposing attitudes and differences can help improve performance and at the same time create an environment that is conducive to achieving the team’s objectives.

Opposing attitudes and differences often have a shared correlation with demographic characteristics and culture which can in a manner of speaking contribute to or detract from a team’s performance. Simply put decision-making and problem-solving are approached differently depending on one’s cultural background. Hence knowing which personalities work well together helps to identify which individuals will likely be cohesive together. Developing an attitude that stimulates cohesion is essential to helping the team to direct their energy towards their objectives. For that reason it is necessary to encourage the interpersonal growth of the team through team support functions. Contributing to the team’s objectives collectively and seeing positive results enhances the team dynamic by encouraging cooperation and partnership. It should also be noted that encouraging cohesion through team support functions helps to augment the teams overall performance. In the end the synergy that results from this encouragement will help sustain open communication and encourage a lasting and solid commitment toward organizational objectives.

Today, most organisations, large and small operate in a global economy. In this global context, different groups with diverse backgrounds and/or diverse factors (e.g., gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) bring differences in perspectives, values, work ethics and ways of working into an organization as well as differences in language, national origin and culture. Some aspects of diversity may be evident while others are less noticeable. Diversity of thinking usually leads to a better overall result, as the needs of diverse customers will be considered. Further, challenges regarding managing workplace diversity in a global context are often related to underlying differences that affect intercultural relations in the workplace, such as stereotyping, degrees of language and cultural fluency, nonverbal communication, and different cross-cultural communication styles. The level of cultural diversity is also a factor in the complexity of intercultural communication and understanding. For example, culturally, there are different ways to make sense of a situation or convey bad news or different degrees to which one mixes business with personal life.

Now that is worth thinking about!

Applying You  – You; Simply Better

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7 Steps to Conquer fear

In her book, “Conquer Fear!”, Lisa Jimenez, a professional speaker, lists “The Seven Truths” that can help anyone harness and overcome their fears.  I’ve paraphrased them for you here:

 

Truth #1

 

Fear is the dominant challenge in your life today.

 

 

Truth #2

 

Fear is a “gift” that was instilled in you as a means of protection, and a way to bring you closer to your “higher power.”

 

 

Truth #3

 

When you run from, or deny your fear, you leave that “gift” unopened.

 

 

Truth #4

 

When your fear of success, or fear of failure is exposed, you break through the control they have over you.

 

 

Truth #5

 

Your belief system is the driving force behind your behaviours and your results.

 

 

Truth #6

 

Your everyday habits broadcast your belief system, your fears, and your unmet needs, loud and clear, for other to “pick up.”

 

 

Truth #7

 

Change your beliefs (the way you think) and you change your behaviours (which are a reflection of the way you feel).  Change your behaviours (feelings) and you change your results. Change your results and you change your life.  It’s the only way you can…

 

 

…and that’s worth thinking about, isn’t it.

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Talking to yourself is ‘the’ way

This morning before my day really kicked in, I was scanning my Facebook wall for interesting content, when I came across a blog from my friend Anna Lang (http://anna-lang-self-love.blogspot.com/).

 

It reminded me of a recent blog of mine and one that triggered a longer memory somewhere deep in my random little head and I searched it out for you. Thomas Turner shared back in 2009 and is a specialist in cognitive re-imprinting and hypnotherapy. Enjoy.

 

In today’s negative world, having a positive outlook on life can do wonders for you. It can literally change your life if you’re consistent. Many people understand this fact, but still struggle to make it work.

Their subconscious mind still keeps sending those negative thoughts to dwell on. How can you reprogram your subconscious mind for positive results? Here are the top five ways to reprogram your subconscious mind.

1. Positive Self-talk

This is the key to changing your life. You need to believe you are a better person. You need to understand that the only thing holding you back is YOU! So, the way you start is by being positive. Listen to your inner self-talk, and realize when you are being negative or putting yourself down.

Change your “I can’t…”, “I don’t know how…”, and “I’ll never be…” to positive self-talk like “I can…”, “I will…”, and “I am…” This seems simple, and ultimately it is. This simply first step will start to change your life for the better.

2. Visualise Your New Positive Life

 

Start by lying down in a quiet place. Turn off the lights to avoid any distractions. Now, take deep breaths, and tense up your entire body. Then, one body part at a time starting from your toes, relax that body part.

Once you are starting to feel relaxed, visualise yourself in the position you want your life to end up. Make sure to include yourself in these visualisations. It’s important that you make these images as real as possible for your subconscious to believe in what you are trying to accomplish. Once you feel at peace, move onto step 3.

3. Know What You Want

You have to know what you want out of yourself and your life. Not knowing where you’re going or what you are working for makes it hard for you to know which path you need to take to get there.

After you know what you want, focus on one want at a time. Accomplish that want then move on to a new want. This will allow for greater success. After you do all this move onto step 4.

4. Come Up With Some Affirmations

Affirmations can do you a world of good. The reason that they usually don’t work for some people is because they forget to do them consistently. Find a way to remind yourself and you will succeed.

5. Use Your Other Senses

Don’t just write them down once and forget about them. Write them out as often as possible. There’s something about actually writing them out that helps clarify things in your mind. It reprograms your subconscious to help you get what you really want. Write them down every day and you will supercharge your effectiveness.

Reprogramming your subconscious mind with these 5 easy steps, you will be able to see your accomplishments on paper, hear it in the affirmations, you will feel it in your visualization, it won’t be long until you make all of your wants from pictures, images, and your imagination into a reality. Your mind is a powerful tool we should all use. It these steps will make it as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
Now that is worth thinking about!

 

Applying You  – You; Simply Better

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