Archives for posts with tag: coaching
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Team members on a sales training workshop from Gates Group, an organisation INVESTING in their staff.

How much time, money and effort do you invest in your staff?  Yes, I appreciate that you pay them a wage or salary, but is that it?  If you consider the notion that staff are one of the most fundamental and crucial parts of any business, then surely you should invest in them?

So how do you do that? Well for a start, when did you last TRAIN your staff?

There is sometimes a big ‘fear factor’ about training staff within organisations, which, whilst I categorically do not agree with it, I can understand it, to a degree.  One of the biggest fears is that once the staff member has been trained… they can then take over the boss’s role!  You could argue it stems from perhaps being insecure in the role of the boss!

Training and Development on the Gears.

Training is synonomous with development.

Many of you will have heard this conversation between the Managing Director and The Training and Development Manager?  For those that haven’t, here we go:-

Training Manager; ‘We really should be training our staff’.

Managing Director; ‘But what if we spend all that money on them and they then leave’?

Training Manager; ‘What if we don’t train them and they stay’?

I’m sure many of you reading this will have experienced working for someone who had this attitude, or scarily enough, maybe they just could not see the benefit in training.  Given that many of you reading this will be the retail industry, statistically, the main reason consumers do not return to a shop, pub, supplier or organisation, is not down to the product or product range, the location or even the price; it’s down to staff attitude.  Now what this effectively means is, you are employing staff, paying them a wage, and they are scaring off customers!! Not only that, but those customers are going out of their way to tell others.  Sound ludicrous? Well I can tell you it is happening right NOW.

Another huge assumption is that if you train staff initially when they join the company, then that is it; the rest they simply ‘pick up as they go along’.  But have you noticed how your industry has changed massively over the last 20-30 years… and yet we still, often, do not recognise a need for up-skilling and refresher training.  I’ve often used the analogy of a fully qualified Heart Surgeon, who did their training 30 years ago and has performed plenty of transplants.  If you were about to go under the scalpel…. with the knowledge that they had not up skilled or re-trained in all those years… how confident would you be?  EVERYONE needs ongoing training, as the job, products and environment changes, although bizarrely (and this has always worried me a little)… once you have passed your driving test at 17, you have no more training or refreshers for over 60 years! Is it any wonder that maybe that is a contributory factor to so many poor drivers on the roads and so many road accidents and deaths?

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How many Managers ‘stress’ because they do not delegate or empower their team?

So what is the true cost of NOT training your staff?  It’s an open ended answer and depends on many factors, but what has been proven time and time again is that without training, you are not getting the very best out of your staff.  So what training should you undertake?  Well look at it another way; What is it you would like your staff to do that they currently are not doing?

Legislative Training should be carried out, regardless of the size of your business, so Health & Safety and Fire Safety training needs to be a regular part of your training and whilst many can view this as a ‘cost’, I believe it to be an investment.  It is far far less expensive than actually having an accident, together with possible fines for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

You may want to take a look at business specific training, perhaps your own stock control methods or ‘till’ training, just to decrease the amount of ‘No Sales’ rung up on the till?!  Generic training, which again, should still be tailor-made to your own business can include Sales training, Customer Service (yes I know this is a quick win for most organisations, but in my opinion, we are generally appallingly bad at this as a nation), you may even want to look at PEOPLE or MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT training?  It’s not just the football world that has mind-blowingly brilliant players that produce very poor Managers or mediocre players that turn into brilliant Managers!  An incredible observation in business is the amount of times a person gets PROMOTED to a management position, often because they are VERY good at their job… and fall flat on their face!  The amount of training given, if any, is minimal and yet we expect this person to hit the ground running, which clearly is a BIG ask.  New Managers tend to want to come in and ‘make their mark’, changing things instantly.  Now, I am all for CHANGE… but change to improve, not change for the sake of it.

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How much training is purely carried out as a ‘tick-box’ exercise?

If the person has had the fortune previously, to work for a GREAT manager, then a lot of those skills will hopefully have been picked up, yet I have seen it time and time again, where superb employees are given management roles, with no support.  That ‘failing’ then infects the whole team and those with a little ‘get up and go’ tend to do exactly that… GO!  Those that remain generally fall in line with the poor standards, failings and under-achieving that often go with the bad manager.  Consider who has really failed though, the newly promoted manager or the company?

Organisations invest in premises, IT systems, products, marketing (sometimes!), and other essential items, but staff training is often neglected.  Why not make time NOW to invest in your most important asset?

It’s not about cloning our staff into being super slick sales people, but rather enhancing their skills, updating their knowledge and motivating them to achieve even greater success, for both themselves and the organisation.

If you would like to explore the training aspect of your staff but are not sure where to start, then give me a call, under no obligation, and we’ll have a conversation.

For more details of workshops that can help YOU and YOUR business, simply contact us on info@imduk.com

Please feel free to forward and share.

Gary Boyes – Director

IMD (UK) Limited

Bad Manager

 

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Golf is a game played outside; but mostly played inside; inside your HEAD. 

I recently had the fortune to spend some time at a golf seminar with Geoff Loughrey from the Michael Bannon Golf Team.  Now, for those that don’t recognise that name, Michael was the PGA professional at Holywood Golf Club where he started working with 4 times major winner Rory McIlroy as a junior member, and continues to work with Rory to the present day. Geoff was Michael’s assistant at the golf club, where he trained to become a PGA Pro.  It was interesting to hear about Rory’s early years and especially a view inside the mind of McIlroy!

Now, it must be said, that if the right mindset was paramount for top sports people, then surely the same can be said of top business people? Clearly this is the case and I honestly believe that even business aside, the right mindset can help you achieve in every facet of life.

Just what special ingredient do you have to have to become number 1 in the world, in your chosen profession?

What is it that stands the achievers from the also-rans?

It was evident, from a very early age that McIlroy had a desire to become world number one, and that feeling has never left him.  Once he had achieved it, the goal is adapted, to stay there.  During 2015, with the continued brilliance of the American Jordan Spieth and the Australian, Jason Day, snapping at Rory’s heels and claiming pole position, the desire is still burning strong for McIlroy to reclaim, what he sees as, his title.  Visualisation is a wonderful tool and as a six-year old practising on the fairways of Holywood Golf Club, Rory would often visualise his name above that of his hero, Tiger Woods, on the leaderboard.  So sure was he that he would achieve his dream, that when he was around 10 – 11 years old, he actually wrote a letter to Woods, introducing himself and telling Tiger, ‘I’m coming to get you’!!

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The wonderful Clubhouse at St. George’s Hill Golf Club, Surrey. Taken on the approach to the 9th Green.

It was interesting to hear Geoff speak of the dedication of McIlroy with his practice routines and belief and that he surrounded himself with positives, in fact, those around him, his family and friends, coaches and fellow club members helped him grow up in a balanced way, always encouraging and emphasising all that was good with his game.  How we could do with far more people such as that in the world!  Geoff recalled a match he played against Rory the Youngster whilst he was assistant pro at the club.  On a par 4, Geoff had put his ball on the green with his second shot whilst Rory had found the green-side bunker.  Trying to psychologically upset McIlroy, as they both walked to the green, Geoff pointed out that he was on the green yet Rory had found the bunker.  McIlroy’s response epitomised his positiveness; ‘Geoff, I LOVE bunker shots!’ to which he quickly dispatched the ball from the sand and it came to rest near the hole for a tap-in par 4.

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Enjoying Brockett Hall Golf Club, Hertfordshire.  Ex-Arsenal & Scottish Internationals, Frank McLintock & George Graham, winners and successful people in their own right.. how much belief did they have at the peak of their careers?  A winning mindset is crucial in whatever you do.

So what can we learn from Rory’s mental approach in sport, business AND life?

Instead of dreading certain aspects, learn to enjoy them, in fact, even if that seems like a struggle, start to lie to your mind…. your mind is not fussed, in fact it’s quite used to it and will steadily start to interpret the new information you are sending it.  Ever woken up in the night, having dreamt (or perhaps more accurately, having a nightmare) where you are falling?  Now clearly you haven’t fallen, yet your mind thinks you have, your heart will be beating faster, your breathing shallow and perhaps even a cold-sweat; classic stress symptoms, because your ‘mind’ thought you were actually falling.  It is therefore perfectly acceptable to lie to your mind (but here’s a tip… tell it only good stuff)!

Success favours the brave! 

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The Millennium Trophy. Won with an incredible amount of belief and taking on brave shots!

To succeed at any sport or in any business, decisions have to be made and not only do you have to make the ‘right’ decisions (or what you believe to be right decisions) you have to do so with bravery.  Have you noticed how brave children are at many things, yet as we become older (and supposedly wiser) we tend to be more cautious.  Ask a 10 year old child to go and climb a tree, they cannot wait to do so, and think about only reaching the top.  Ask an adult to do the same, and the thought patterns are generally ‘I can’t do that, I haven’t climbed a tree for years, what if I fall’? Kids never think of that, they just focus on climbing the tree!  One of my strengths in golf is putting, in fact I’m convinced I’m going to hole every putt.  Many others take on the mindset of ‘get it near the hole’ or ‘what if I miss’, yet if that is the thought going through your head as you strike the ball with the putter, that generally is what you do… get it near the hole!  I have a good friend who I play a lot of golf with who I’ve managed to convince that I am the best putter he’s ever played with!  I enjoy a game of golf with him, as every putt I have to make, he’ll generally say, ‘You never miss these’ or ‘I may as well give that one to you’ from 10 – 12 feet, which merely builds my confidence and belief that I will actually hole the putt.  Be brave, in whatever you do, it is one of the bulk ingredients of success.

Paul McGinley, the guy that holed the winning putt, the tricky, 7 foot, left to right putt on the 18th Green which ensured a European victory in the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry and then went on to be the 2014 Winning Ryder Cup Captain has been heavily into the psychology of golf and success for many years.  Geoff Loughrey told a story of when the two of them shared a putting green prior to a tournament, getting some practice in, getting used to the speed etc. of the greens.  McGinley practiced the whole time with a pair of headphones on!  Loughrey thought it a bit odd, but put it down to him listening to his favourite music, to calm him and relax him whilst he practiced.  After a while and during a break, he asked Paul what music he was listening to, to be told ‘Here, have a listen’.  All he heard was a voice saying ‘You’re the best putter in the world, You’re the best putter in the world, You’re the best putter in the world….’  proof indeed that the more you tell yourself something, good or bad, the more engrained that becomes.  I wonder what was going through McGinley’s mind as he made that winning putt to give the Europeans victory in the Ryder Cup?  I’d put money it was nothing like ‘Don’t miss this’!

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The fantastic Stroke Index 1 hole at Woking Golf Club, Surrey. A tough, but brilliant Par 4.

Whether you are playing sports or, as I’ve said, want to become more successful in business, or simply want a better life, live in the positive world.  Think and tell yourself things that you can do, rather than focussing on what might go wrong.

Psychology surrounds us, and everyone is a psychologist!  My own observations are that there are too many bad ones… people that analyse why they CAN’T do something or hark on about the fear of failure.  Many people won’t know they can’t do something because they’ve never actually tried, their fear stops them at even attempting it!  Crazy huh?

The gem that Geoff Loughrey left me with was the story of the first time that Rory McIlroy was to play in a tournament with Tiger Woods, his hero from as far back as he could remember.  Picture the scene, Woods at one end of the range, Rory at the other.  As good as you are at controlling nerves, just imagine how you would feel competing against your hero and the current World Number One, and had been for a considerable time.  It was clear to Michael Bannon, who still coaches Rory to this day, that McIlroy was nervous.  His body language, his demeanour, there were signs of nerves.  (Who wouldn’t be)!  Michael told Rory to keep practising and he would be back shortly, and then, casually wandered along, as discreet as he could be, to watch Woods practising.  Tiger was hitting balls seemingly for fun!  His coach would say, hit a low one; and he did. Hit a fade, left to right; and he did. Now a high draw, right to left; and he did.  In fact Woods was looking awesome!

Michal Bannon returned to where his prodigy, young McIlroy was practising and simply said ‘I think this could be our day.  Tiger’s hurt his back, I’m not even sure he’ll be able to play!  He’s topping balls, and slicing drives’.  McIlroy, clearly felt that maybe, yes, this was his day, and you can only play the person in front of you, whether that person is carrying an injury is really not your problem.  McIlroy’s body language changed with this news, he relaxed and started to hit some great balls.

After 9 holes, McIlroy was 1 hole up and asked Woods how his back was holding up!  You can imagine the response, and McIlroy caught the eye of Bannon in the crowd who simply gave a sheepish grin and a thumbs up!  Rory went on to win the match, having been given the belief before they even stepped on the tee, more evidence came when he was 1 up at the turn, and sometimes that is exactly what you need; Belief!

How many things could YOU achieve, this week, this month, this year, with a little more belief? What pressing engagements have you got to attend, maybe make a speech or deliver a presentation?

One of my favourite Muhammad Ali quotes is ‘I told myself I was the greatest, even before I knew I was’.  Pure belief, and when you think about it… it works!

Remember to ‘follow’ our blog, and watch out for new workshops, created and designed for exactly what you need, to be even more successful than you currently are.

Who has the right MIND to win the 144th Open Championship?

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So, who will win the 144th Open Championship?  Ordinarily, on a Sunday evening, the Champion would have been crowned and, many photographs later, no doubt be in the bar, celebrating their win… but not this year!  Due to a rain delay, followed by a severe wind delay which wrote off most of the third day, the 2015 Championship will be decided, for only the second time, on a Monday.

It’s interesting (and pleasing) to note, going into the final round there is a three way tie for the lead, with one of those, Paul Dunne, an amateur.  I’m sure his eye will be on the trophy, though any cash prize will go to the second placed person, should he win!  The top three only lead by a single shot, with Current Masters and US Open Champion, Jordan Spieth in 4th place, two-times Open Champion Padraig Harrington in 5th place and a further 9 players, tied in 6th place, just three shots off the lead.  When you consider that Paul Lawrie, in 1999 won The Open from 10 strokes behind on the final day, you could be looking at 70 players having a chance.

What will make the difference?

Without any doubt, these guys can play! Technically, they are magicians with the ball, seemingly able to control the ball, hit high balls, low balls, balls that move left to right, right to left, depending on the shape of the hole and position of the flag… so will it come down to just getting lucky on the day?  Well, we all need a little luck, but as I’ve said many times previously, you tend to put yourself in position to make your own luck in this world.

Once you can play golf, as with many sports, it is mental strength that often defines your success.  The player that truly believes he can win, is focussed on the win and can actually visualise himself lifting the Claret Jug will be the person that wins.  There will be some that start to doubt themselves, not committing fully to the shot, not trusting their own ability… they will be the runners up.

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Jason Day, Joint 3rd Round Leader

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Louis Oosthuizen, joint 3rd Round Leader

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Paul Dunne (A), joint 3rd Round Leader

So who would you put money on?  Paul Dunne, the Amateur from Ireland played a blistering third round and has only good memories… a surprise contender, he looks calm and confident in his ability.  Louis Oosthuizen, an Open winner in 2010, again, knows how to get past the finish line but when he won five years ago, he had a reasonable lead going into the final round.  Jason Day, the Australian, is surely due a major win, having been runner up in several previous Majors, although that could work against him, if he believes he will only be a runner up.

Jordan Spieth just HAS to be a favourite, going for the Grand Slam of Majors and only a fool would bet against him.  His mental strength to cope with the pressure has been proven in both of this years earlier competitions.  As an outsider, Padraig Harrington knows how to win, yet having been out of the limelight for a good few years, perhaps a third Claret Jug is a bridge too far?

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Jordan Spieth, Great mental strength has captured him The Masters 2015 and the US Open 2015.

Dustin Johnson, leader of the first and second round saw himself fall to five shots off the lead, with three bogey’s over the final three holes of the third round.  Dustin has been very close in a number of Major’s, yet, has made sloppy mistakes and seems fragile and unable to finish off the job, a true sign that he doesn’t have the mental strength.  I believe he deserves a Championship and will achieve it one day, but I doubt 2015 is his year.

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Dustin Johnson, a fantastic player with the ability to boom drives down the fairway.. but maybe lacking in mental strength for him to finish the job?

With technical ability not in question, who do I expect to win?

Jordan Spieth would be my tip, with a close second, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Dunne.  Watch out for Justin Rose, as an outside bet though.. a technically gifted player and one that has proven mental strength.  One thing I am sure…. this Open Championship will go to a play-off!

For more information and workshops that can increase your OWN mental strength, either in sport, work or personal life, DO drop us a line!

I was fortunate, recently, to be able to travel to Guernsey, working with Aurigny Airline. My involvement was to join the back-end of a five day Train the Trainer workshop, hosted by a good friend of mine, Fleur Johnson, from Insight Solutions Consulting Group.  It was the first time in Guernsey for me, and I got to experience the short flight from London Gatwick in the ATR aircraft, a great deal smaller than the aircraft I would normally take from Gatwick!

Gatwick South Terminal, busy people, off to different parts of the world, all with their own agenda.

Gatwick South Terminal, busy people, off to different parts of the world, all with their own agenda.

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Passengers embarking on the Aurigny Airline ATR, from Gatwick South

Following a pleasant crossing, slightly delayed, due to a fog-bound Guernsey I arrived and without further delay met the team we were working with.  Of course, having worked with the group for three days already, they had bonded well and I was interested to find out how they would react to a ‘new’ member joining the team.  Whilst I was there to deliver parts of the workshop and undertake feedback sessions on the final day, as always, I was determined to further my knowledge of the airline industry (having worked with different airlines for over 15 years).  Remember, we are always learning no matter how much we think we already know.

So what did I learn?  A Top Six Learning Points from my time in Guernsey (in no particular order)!

  1. How much does an aircraft weigh? Got that? Now, add on a load of passengers (of varying weights), luggage, crew, food and drink, fuel… and anything else you care to add… because we need to know this, in order that the aircraft is ‘light’ enough to effect a take-off.. AND… to land safely.  How many of us would even consider this, when we are queuing at the airport, on our return from holiday.. with those little extra’s in our suitcase.  Such is this calculation, that if the aircraft is painted as part of its maintenance, then that has to be noted also!  When you think about it, thats a colossal additional weight.  Consider how much paint would be needed to re-paint an aircraft (bearing in mind, the original coats are still on the plane) and then consider how much a can of paint actually weighs when you collect it from your local DIY store! Thanks Travis, for always getting the calculation right!
  2. What happens if you are on a flight and you become ill?  Not just unwell, but something serious, such as a heart attack?  Defibrillation equipment is carried on all of these flights together with trained staff… but how’s this for a few facts:- In Europe, every 45 seconds, a cardiac arrest takes place.  That sounds like an awful lot of people, but relate it to how many people are in Europe.  With intervention, early resuscitation and prompt defibrillation, within 1-2 minutes, a greater than 60% survival rate can be achieved.  Thanks Monika for raising our awareness and making us feel a lot safer.
  3. Ever considered what requirements certain passengers need on an aircraft?  Just how do you get a wheelchair user along the aisle of a plane?  What about a deaf or blind person, either looking or listening out for departure/boarding times?  Thankfully, there are procedures in place to assist with this, so thanks Martyn, for the enlightening training session!  Things we perhaps ‘know’ but never put into practice, because we never come across that scenario on a regular basis.  It was a pleasure to be able to use my acting skills for your session! 🙂
  4. It’s always important to have all bases covered and I’m always impressed by the amount of safety procedures we have, but I have to admit, knowing how much Oxygen is stored on a plane, even a relatively small passenger plane, such as the ATR or the Embraer Jet, in emergencies or times of decompression makes us all feel comfortable.  As we know, safety is paramount and I’ll confess to always watching and listening to the safety instructions from the flight crew, regardless of how many times i’ve seen it.  Thanks Faye, for your training session, together with some new phrases I learnt!
  5. Ever wondered, when you’re sitting on the plane, ready for take-off… what those guys and girls are doing, walking around the plane in their Hi-Viz jackets?  Well again, they are there for your safety, making sure there is no damage, ensuring everything is in order and carrying out a procedure that most of us take for granted.  Who’s in control of the plane during this time? Well most would say ‘The Pilot’, but it is in fact the ground crew, standing on the terra firma, during the ‘pushback’ procedure… once the plane is then ready to taxi to the runway.. The Pilot takes control.  Thanks Rob for passing on your knowledge and you’re right… you wear the Hi-Viz well!
  6. Finally, again on the theme of safety, how important is it that EVERYONE carries out their job, to the best of their ability and leaving nothing to chance?  Mike took us on a journey around the world, in particular the middle east, and highlighted the National Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-400 freighter crash in Afghanistan, that many will have seen on You Tube and rather than jumping to conclusions that because it was in Afghanistan, it was the subject of terrorist activity or military intervention.. the most probable cause was that a heavy item of cargo was not secured properly, thus becoming unstable.  For want of a simple procedure, the crew lost their lives.  What a responsibility… but this of course is not just limited to the aviation industry.

So you see, even though I was in Guernsey ‘training’, as always it’s a joy to increase my own knowledge.  Basic, little things, that we take for granted, or, more realistically, don’t even think about as they possibly may never affect us, directly… (until something goes wrong)!

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Gary Boyes & Fleur Johnson from Insight Solutions Training Group, Quayside in St. Peter Port

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St. Peter Port Harbour as the sun starts to fade.

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St. Peter Port Harbour as the sun starts to fade.

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You really can’t go to St. Peter Port, Guernsey, without sampling the Surf & Turf in ‘Mora’! Fillet Steak and Lobster.. Luscious!

You never know, what you don’t know… just think about that for a while.

Put this into the real world situation, of everyone’s busy schedules and whilst you’re undertaking your chores and work, why not glean some additional knowledge.  You’ll never know when you may possibly need it?  The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple attended Caligraphy lessons, just because he found it interesting… but of course, never needed it in his life.  A good few years later, when the initial font-types on computers were being thought over, there was Jobs, with his knowledge of different styles.  He refers to it as ‘joining the dots’, but you can only join the dots looking back, not forward.

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The sun shines on the tail fin as we leave Guernsey. Great place, great people and I look forward to returning in the very near future. Work days like these, never seem to be ‘work’ 🙂

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I took an ATR on the way to Guernsey and had the pleasure of returning to the mainland in the newest member of the fleet, The Embraer. Here’s the view, heading due North North East 🙂

For more information and workshops that will be useful to your life, simply drop us a line.

All you ever needed to know about Hallowe’en is right here…. http://www.livescience.com/40596-history-of-halloween.html

All you ever need to know about training and people development…. then you have found IMD (UK)… simply gives us a call!

With many years of experience in training and development, you can be sure that when you attend one of our workshops or courses, we will give you the tools to tap into that phenomenal organ between your ears… your brain!  Want to know more? Contact us today (Oh, and please ‘follow’ our blog and Facebook Page 🙂

Work stress.001

How HAPPY are you at work? Yes, I mean YOU.

Are you caught up in the cycle of working in a job you don’t love, to earn money, to put a roof over your head and food on the table, simply to exist, so that you can go to work tomorrow, to a job that you don’t love, to earn more money, to put a roof over your head and put food on the table, simply to exist, so that you can go to work tomorrow….. get the picture?

If YOU want MORE, then look out for our forthcoming workshops that can have a SERIOUS IMPACT on your life!

Interested? Then please contact us to register your interest (life@imduk.com) or look out for workshop announcements on our  Facebook Page (Please just LIKE). http://www.facebook.com/IMDUKlimited

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Remember, If time flies, be the pilot!

Be IN control, NOT controlled.

Stress Worry Woman with Text on White

Feeling stressed-out after Christmas? I’ll also bet you were even more stressed out before Christmas!

How many people do you know, perhaps on occasions, even yourself, who tell you they suffer from stress? They are really stressed, everything is getting on top of them and that they have suffered for ages.  They feel under pressure, sometimes to unimaginable levels.

STRESS DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST! 

Now if I went on to say ‘stress’ doesn’t actually exist, these would be the first people to disagree with me.  What I mean by that statement is that you cannot actually ‘catch’ stress, there aren’t ‘stress virus particles’ flying around the air, in the same way that you can inhale or contract other, airborne diseases, such as Influenza or Avian Flu.

Stress can be described, effectively, as a reaction to a situation or perhaps a response to a circumstance.  Many of you will have heard of ‘white coat syndrome’ where someone, for example,  who attends a GP surgery to have their blood pressure taken, suddenly has high blood pressure, due to the situation they find themselves in.  Many of you will have been to the dentist for that filling, long overdue, and as you are watching the clock for your appointment time in the waiting room, anxiety and tension rises, and you start to feel out of control.  The levels in each and everyone of us can differ enormously, yet think about this… all of these are reactions in your mind, nothing has actually happened as yet!

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Even if you are the ‘coolest cucumber’ in the world, imagine yourself, alone in a wood and as you turn a corner, the biggest, fiercest Grizzly Bear confronts you, standing on it’s hind legs, teeth bared and growling.  How do you feel? Get the picture?

Stress is the way the mind responds to a situation or circumstance, and with the mind being such a phenomenal tool, has the ability to work for you… but sadly, on occasions, it can work against you as well, (too often, if you allow it to).

FANCY SOME TIME TRAVEL?

Like a scene out of Doctor Who, the mind has the ability to undertake time-travel, on a daily basis.  Think, if you will, for a moment about what you did yesterday morning.  Now think about what you may be doing tomorrow morning and you’ll soon get the idea that the mind is continually tracking backwards and forwards, normally, with the help of the thinking, process driven left brain, analysing what has happened and perhaps, what ‘might’ happen.  You may hear yourself saying, ‘Why did I do that’? ‘If I hadn’t done that’? ‘Why does it always happen to me’?  You’ll know many people that are continually saying this to themselves, without actually doing anything about it!  As an opposite, you also jump forward in time, planning your day and week ahead, perhaps arranging your holiday itinerary, even a shopping trip, etc. and again, you’ll know people who, before it has even happened, will be imagining how bad the week ahead will be! (For those, it probably will be, but more of that later).

When we start to overthink, either the past or what we perceive to be the future, then that can undoubtedly increase our stress levels, yet there is only one moment that we can control and that is the here and now.  The past has gone, analyse it as much as you wish, but it won’t change.  Of course, learn from it and use it as a learning point which can shape what you do for the rest of your life, but it will never actually change.  Similarly, you can influence what happens tomorrow, but you cannot 100% control what will happen.  Life may throw us a curved ball, outside/external influences can start to shape what will happen in the future.  The only moment we can control is now.

BECOME LESS STRESSED RIGHT NOW

So how do you even begin to become less-stressed? Well one of the proven methods, and something that each and everyone of us can do, is breathing.  Controlled breathing together with  the correct focus has been proven to lower stress, anxiety and blood pressure.  So why do people get caught on the merry-go-round of their life and suffer due to unacceptable stress levels.  (I say unacceptable, because a manageable amount of stress is a good thing, it drives us on, motivates us, etc, but again, that’s something I’ll discuss on another day).  Focussing on the moment and controlled breathing is often referred to as meditation and you can meditate whenever you choose to, it really is up to you.

You may know people, whose anxiety and stress levels are, quite frankly, unacceptable.  It affects not only their day to day work and social lives, it can have long-lasting effects on their general health, lowering the immune system and leaving them susceptible to all manner of illnesses.  Yet, for most, it really doesn’t have to be that way.  For a few sufferers, it seems incredible that instead of moving away from the source of their stress, they are actually drawn towards it.  The whole situation or circumstance that has caused the stress and illness, becomes a ‘safety net’ to them.  It may seem bizarre, but again, you may know people like this, constantly stating that ‘One day, they will do this, or one day they will do that…. yet it never actually happens… What they effectively do is wallow in exactly the thing that is causing them stress, like a constant downward spiral, merely increasing stress levels.  Again, you will know people that do eventually (and hopefully) get themselves out of whatever situation they are in that is causing their stress and anxiety… and one of their first responses is ‘I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier’.  The fact is many people know what they need to do, but do not have that courage, determination or conviction to change; sometimes they just need a helping hand.

Current research shows us that meditation can have a huge impact on our positivity, in turn increasing our health and wellbeing. Some people insist they do not have enough time in their lives to meditate, and perhaps they are right!  Maybe they are just too busy fighting the stress to actually try something different that could help them. Just five to ten minutes meditating each day can start to have a huge impact on your own life. Surely you are worth that investment?

 WHAT TO DO NEXT

If this really does intrigue you and you’d like to know a little more about how you can reduce your stress levels and embark on the journey of meditation, then contact us on the details below.  Dates are currently being sourced for workshops, to help you, right now.

Simply email us info@imduk.com to register your interest and join our email list, we’ll gladly keep you informed.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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