7 Tips for making a good first impression

Top Tips to make a good first impressionMaking a good first impression is important in lots of situations and it requires eye contact, approach-ability and confidence.

 

I am sure we all have certain situations where we have to take a deep breath and give ourselves a good talking to. Whether it is an interview, important meeting, presentation or networking event.

Here are some tips for making a good first impression:

Tip 1: Posture – with your shoulders back, head up and back straight you will get an instant lift inside and will therefore look (and feel) more confident. Research has shown that posture has a big impact on how we feel, act, talk and how others see us.

Tip 2: Eye contact - make lots of good eye contact with people you are meeting, good eye contact builds trust. I don’t mean staring, you are allowed to break eye contact!!

Tip 3: Handshake – I am sure we have all come across many different handshakes, limp fish, bone crushers, barely there, holding on for too long… and it does make an impression. Next time you shake someones hand, notice how you do it and always try for a firm handshake.

Tip 4: Be confident – even if you don’t feel it :) putting your shoulders back, head up and looking around the room as you purposefully walk in and look warm and friendly… you get the gist!

Tip 5: Listen – I read: ‘To be ‘interesting’ you need to be interested (in others)’.  Ask questions, listen and be genuinely  interested in the person you are talking to.

Tip 6: Be prepared - whatever you are doing make sure you prepare well, it will give you confidence and show others that you have invested time and effort in them which makes a good impression.

Tip 7: Be genuine - although the above tips are things to remember to make a good first impression, it is important to be natural about your approach.  Start noticing your own body language and notice the things that others do well to make you feel at ease.  Don’t forget, every new acquaintance is an opportunity to make a new friend, a business opportunity, someone to share ideas with or simply an interesting interaction.


 

 

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7 Tips for a happy and productive workplace

happy workplace, tips, People tend to be happy and engaged in the workplace when they are good at their job, have autonomy, understand their purpose and can see they are making a difference. Do you have a happy workplace?

 

If your office is a little negative and you hear lots of complaining and problems here are some tips to make a change. Perhaps try one thing at a time to compliment what you are already doing. Stick with what works and know when to let go of what doesn’t.

1. Smile – even if you don’t feel like it, a smile will actually shift how you feel internally. And when others see you smiling, they feel better as well.

2. Show your appreciation to those who do a good job, get things done on time and to those who go above and beyond what they’re required to do. You’ll feel good and so will they. Feedback their successes at a company level, so they can see how they have contributed to the overall picture.

3. Do more of what you enjoy and improve the areas you don’t enjoy – Make a list of the things you really enjoy about your job and your workplace and review it regularly to remind yourself. For the things you don’t enjoy, ask yourself how you could make them tolerable. Could you do them at a different time, in a different location, maybe with some music going? Can you speak to your manager about them, and offer a possible solution? Can you see anything good about them? If so, focus on that instead.

4. Play to your strengths – If you play on people’s strengths, you’ll see a dramatic shift toward a positive attitude in the workplace. So get to know yourself and your people, develop their strengths and put their skills to good use whether that is numbers, detail, people or problem solving.

5. Keep a solutions focus – If problems are encountered ask yourself or your team, “How can we solve this issue, and what can we learn from it?” Every problem, or challenge, is an opportunity to learn and grow. Encourage your team to find proposed solutions that could solve the problem rather than complaining.

6. Think Win–Win – Steven Covey’s 4th Habit. Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. There is always a way to make agreements positive for both parties involved. Ask “What would be good for you?” Once they and you have answered that question, do your best to work out a solution that implements as any many of the good ideas for both sides as possible.

7. Build Autonomy – If you are a manager, trust your people to do the jobs they were hired for. If you give people the authority to do their jobs, you will get amazing results, much better than if you hover over them. Give your people clarity about what you want them to achieve, and then let them go do it, with coaching support when they need it. Most people will do the best they can to live up to the confidence you’re placing in them, and they will appreciate you for it.

Good Luck and make sure you also look after yourself – It’s easier to keep a positive attitude when you’re not feeling run down, stressed and tired. Getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking enough water and getting regular exercise will help give you much more energy and focus.

 

 

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Improving personal effectiveness – Sleaford Event 9th April

Spinning plates?

Feel like you’re spinning plates? Want to feel more in control of how you spend your time? Ready to make some changes and see the benefits?  Based on Steven Covey’s book ‘7 habits of highly effective people’, this workshop is packed full of useful tools to improve your professional and personal effectiveness by making positive changes and managing yourself more proactively.  

I am delighted to be working in partnership with The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce to deliver a session on Improving your Personal Effectiveness.

 Improve your Personal Effectiveness

Wednesday 9th April 2014, 09:00 – 12:30 midday, lunch will also be provided

£50+vat Members £75+vat non members

At Sleafordian Coaches Training Suite, Sleaford.

This Interactive workshop covers:

  • Review of your work style
  • Setting goals – What do I want?
  • Where am I spending my time?
  • How do I sabotage myself?
  • What do I want to do more/less of?
  • Saying Yes, Saying No

Special Offer:

Free 1-2-1 follow up consultation for each participant.

Book Now:

To book a place contact: Natasha.Clegg@lincs-chamber.co.uk

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3 Steps to Improve Your Influencing

Influence others - 3 key stepsAre you spending lots of effort trying to influence others with limited success?  If you want to be successful at influencing people, I have found you need to tackle it as a job.  It is important to prepare, plan and and review, so that you continually improve your relationships and ability to influence.

A good starting point is to ask yourself these 3 questions:

1.Who do I need to influence and why?  Always begin with the end in mind, if you are clear about the issue and what you are trying to do, it will be easier to identify what you want to achieve, who you need to get involved and what you need them to do.  Think about how important these people are to your success, who will be a supporter who do you need to convert so that they don’t become a barrier to your success.

2. What do I know about the people I need to influence? Really get into their shoes and think about what is in it for them, what will the benefit be, this way you can prepare the right information or approach to meet their needs.  What do you know about how they like to receive information – do they like lots of detail or just top line? What is the ‘win-win’ where we both get what we want out of this? What common interests do you have, where are they coming from?

3. What skills do I have that will help me influence? To influence others you need to know yourself, think about what skills you could develop.  How good are you at understanding others, communicating clearly and building rapport? When have you successfully influenced before – what did you do that you could do again?  When has it gone wrong in the past, are there any common factors?

In my experience it is very important to view influencing as part of relationship building, it is rarely a one off event and therefore needs to be sincere and mutually beneficial.  A good influencer will know their audience, be clear about what their goal is, look for the ‘Win-Win’ solution, communicate well and build up the trust.  If you can do this you will see a gradual decrease in the amount of time that has to go into maintaining the relationship.

Good Luck! Ruth

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Spring Clean Your Mind and Get Motivated

Are you feeling de-motivated or bogged down by things?  Are there lots of things you keep thinking about doing but dont get round to them?  When we keep putting things off, they don’t tend to go away, far from it they are still there in our minds and become clutter that stops us from getting on.  It also gives us something to beat ourselves up about!

Grab a pen and paper – you can make a difference to how you feel in just 10 minutes…go on have a go!

1. Make a list of what you’re putting up with at work and at home.

These might be incomplete tasks, frustrations, other people’s or your own behaviour, unresolved issues or guilt, lack of exercise, eating habits, being indecisive, lack of sleep. You may be surprised at how long this list gets and how the simple act of writing them down will raise your awareness and you’ll naturally start handling, fixing and resolving them.

2. Make some choices

Once you have captured your clutter you can start to decide what you want to do about it. Which will make the most difference to you if you get them sorted? Which things can you actually let go and not worry about? What you are left with will be your priorities.

3.  Take action

Once you have the list of things you really want to do something about, jot down what you will do and who or what you need to help you sort fix or handle these things.

4. Keep it visible

It may be useful to put the list somewhere visible so that you can add to it and tick off things that you have done.

5. Reward yourself

How will you reward yourself? Whatever you decide make sure you do it!

I hope this helps to get you moving, if you think coaching could help you further call me for an initial chat on 07923 289 127, thanks Ruth Cass

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What Are You Putting Up With?

what are you putting up with?Do you catch yourself saying ‘I really should…’ or ‘I wish I could…’ or ‘I wish I had…’  What are your frustrations?

Often we get bogged down by things that accumulate over time and end up cluttering our minds. If I think back to a previous role for me the frustrations were:

 

  • An old laptop
  • Too many meetings
  • Too little time with my team
  • My desk being messy
  • Too many emails
  • Guilt about hours I spent at work versus spending time with my Children & Husband
  • Not enough exercise
  • Rushing around
  • Lack of support

The list was probably longer than that but you get the idea! – all of these things bogged me down, drained my energy and stopped me from seeing priorities. If I knew what I know now I would have tackled these. When you stop and put your frustrations down on paper you straight away become more aware of what is slowing you down and you start to see that you have many options for changing or fixing things.

So, what do you put up with on a daily basis? You may not want to do anything about them right now, but just writing them down will raise your awareness and you’ll naturally start finding options to handle, fix or resolve them. So, why wait, make a list of what you’re putting up with at work and at home and get started.

Posted in Coaching

Getting It Right For Your Customers

Happy CustomersYou only usually have one or at a push two chances to impress a customer and get those all important referrals, especially if you work locally.  In my experience being small can be a big advantage.

As a small business you can provide a more, local, bespoke and personal solution for your customers.  You will have more personal contact with your customers than a big business and have the opportunity to build a loyal customer base that will talk positively about you and do your marketing. I am not saying it is easy, we have to work hard as small business owners but it does have it advantages.  Here are some tips to ensure you make the most of being small & local.

1. First things first – Know your customers

Answer these three questions:

  • Who are my customers?  (be specific)
  • Why do they need me and what are their fears/frustration and needs/aspirations?
  • Where will I find them? – what do they do, where do they go to, what do they read?

The purpose of spending time answering these questions is that once you are in your customer’s shoes, it will be much easier to see:

  • What it is you can offer that will be of real value to them.
  • How you are different and why you are a great choice.
  • What key messages to use in your marketing.
  • How you will reach these people with your marketing.

2. Keep it simple and think about the impression you are giving

Once you have stepped into your customers shoes and thought about what they value, take another look at what the customer will see of your business.  What first impression are they going to get? Does that fit with what you want to portray? What simple things could you do to make sure their first impression is a great one and gives you the best chance of winning their business?

3. Quality customer service and consistency is crucial

Good first impressions aren’t the only thing…remember the old saying, someone who has a bad experience will tell 10 people those having a good experience will tell one!  Delivering what you say you will deliver and great customer service are vital for small business success.  To get work through referrals is the best and cheapest form of marketing so ask yourself these three things:

  • What have I promised my customers in my marketing or conversations?
  • How consistent am I being with my customers – am I meeting my promises?
  • How am I making my customers feel important and valued?

It may be useful to look at any customer comments you have had before – what was it they really valued?  Also, how are your customers or the market changing and what do you need to do to keep up with that?

Keep the customer at the heart of what you do now and in the future and you can’t go far wrong. Good Luck.

Posted in Top Tips

5 Top Tips For Setting Goals and Achieving Them

Do you want to stop talking about it and start doing it? Often when we set new goals we begin full of enthusiasm and then the motivation fizzles out – Why is that? Here are 5 top tips to increase your success rate!

Get a Paper and Pen because writing it down makes it more concrete and you can use it as a reminder.

1. Make sure the goal is something you really want.

‘That’s a bit obvious’ I hear you say but loads of people aim for things they think they ‘should’ do rather than want to do. So, think about what is important to you, what do you really value? Which parts of your life could do with some attention?  Work, Career, Health, Social, Finance, Personal Development, Family? What do YOU really want and by when?

2. ‘Begin with the end in mind’ – Steven Covey

Build a clear picture of where you want to end up and by when and it will be easier to know how to get there and see opportunities.  What will it feel like to achieve this goal?

3. Understand your motivators 

Write down what is important to you about achieving this goal. What will achieving this goal enable you to do or have? How will it impact positively on other areas of your life? Then write down what would be the pain of not achieving this goal? These are important, when you have thought this through it will act as a motivation towards achieving your goal!

4. Be realistic but in a positive way

Ask yourself what might stop you from achieving this? What barriers are there to be aware of and how can they be overcome? What help e.g. resources, support, training, finance will you need to achieve this?

5. Try something different

What could you do to achieve this goal, what are your options? As Einstein said ‘Insanity = doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’ so any new idea about how you can achieve your goal is worth exploring!

Bonus Tip (because Top 6 tips doesn’t have the same ring!): ACT now

It is time to decide what you are going to do, plan your actions and take that first step. Then keep taking small steps until you reach your goal. To keep you motivated, it’s always good to have someone positive to tell about your goal and what you are doing to achieve it – it creates accountability and support.

It is amazing what you can achieve if you take time to think about what you really want and then start with the end in mind. Good Luck!

Posted in Coaching

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