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Communication

Value in Focus: Love

As Valentine’s Day approaches, of course, the value in focus this week has to be Love.  If we strip away all the hearts and flowers and romantic candlelit dinners and look deep into our core for the value that is so important to so many of us at a base level, it will be that of love.

Love is defined as ‘to feel deep affection for’.

As human beings we have a basic need to connect to others, to feel and express love for others and to feel loved in return.  This love may be shared with parents, family members, partners, children or friends.  We need to be able to express our love and receive that expression of love from others for us to feel happiness.  That’s where the hearts, flowers and candles come in, as a simple way of expressing our affection.

To believe, that someone loves you, is rarely enough.  It is not something to be taken for granted. We all need signs, evidence if you like, that we are loved.  It doesn’t have to be grand gestures, often it’s the small things that really matter.  Those moments of thoughtfulness and kindness that show you really care.

Expressing our love for others needs to be a constant part of our lives, a good habit.  Rather than just a ‘love you’ at the end of a phone call, an ‘I love you’, at a moment when you’re really feeling that love, is so much more meaningful.

For this value to be truly honoured, we also need to love ourselves, forgive ourselves for our mistakes, be comfortable in our skin and accept ourselves for who we really are.

If we cannot love ourselves, then we do not believe others can love us and we are not able to show love to others; this damaging cycle leads to extreme unhappiness, low self esteem, even depression.

The greatest gift you can give to any child is to show them that they are loved.  Do this and you will watch them grow in confidence and self assurance every day.  They will understand and learn how to love themselves and will develop into loving and lovable adults.

So as we focus on this wonderful value this week, reflect on how we can start some good habits of expressing the love we feel for others in our lives and encourage them to do the same.  Take time to show love for yourself too, in whatever way makes you happy.  Let this be every day and not just on Valentine’s Day.

With love to you all

Lindsay

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Career Coaching Networking Tips

Networking can be daunting for some people, it can be one of those things on the ‘to do’ list that never quite happens or for some it can be an enjoyable highlight of the week and a pleasurable way to do business.

Here are some tips that have worked for me and for my clients to make networking easier and more productive:

Be prepared: Research the various networking meetings available and choose ones where people attend, that you want to meet; set objectives of what you want to achieve and who you will speak to at each event, not how many sales you will make.

First impressions: Look your best and behave in a business-like way; be on time; have up-to-date business cards to hand; give a good handshake and keep eye contact, look and sound relaxed and confident.

Introducing yourself: Prepare what you are going to say about yourself, whether it is a ’60 second’ presentation or for a one-to-one introduction, think about what is important to get across and eliminate unnecessary waffle.

Listening and questioning: Listen carefully to what people say to you and ask questions that are relevant and show interest in their work/business; find out as much as you can before you talk about yourself, so you can tailor what you say to make the best connections with them and show how you can add value to them.

Work the room: Be ‘present’ i.e. focus on the person you are talking with; be respectful, when it is time to move on, thank them for their time, rather than making an excuse to leave; remember your objectives, make time to speak to all the key people on your list.

Build relationships: Find common ground, be generous, helpful and positive; you are there to make connections to start to build relationships with people you may do business with in the future; do not try to sell to people, this will make them back off.

Follow up: The most important thing after the event is to follow-up, send an initial email, take any action you agreed with them and then diarise to make a follow-up contact.

Follow them on Twitter, befriend them on Facebook, connect on Linkedin, read and comment on their blog, all these actions will ensure your name stays fresh and positive in their minds for whenever a business opportunity may arise.

Happy networking and do comment below if you have anything to add.

Lindsay

Life Coaching Tips for Boundaries and Saying No


Clear boundaries help us to thrive

Some of us feel we were to born to please others and so often say yes when we really want to say no.  This can lead us to do things we don’t want to do, become overloaded with work or run out of time to do what we really want to do.

This lack of clear boundaries can contribute to feeling stressed, frustrated and even angry because we’ve given in again or our good nature has been taken advantage of and we are not focusing on what is important to us, just what is important to someone else.

To change this pattern of behaviour:

 Step 1: we need to draw on our value of honesty and start by being honest with ourselves.  Decide what is ok and what is not ok, trusting our ‘gut instinct’ to recognise when we really do not want to do something.       

Step 2: we need to start being honest with others, tell them kindly that we would like to help, but cannot agree to their request, at least not within the timescales they are asking. Say what would be ok or when we could help or agree to their request, but only within the boundaries that are really acceptable to us.

By following these two simple steps, we will quickly find that we become happier, less stressed and so healthier.  If we are honest with ourselves, we can then be honest with others and they will respect us more for it.

Changing behaviours takes practice, so give it a go and see how you get on, then reflect back on your progress and notice any times when you could have made a better decision. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up for it, just make sure that when that kind of situation happens again you are ready for it and make a better choice being honest with yourself and those around you.

If you have followed these steps, I would love to know how you got on, so do add a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes

Lindsay

Career Coaching tips for writing a great CV

Curriculum VitaeThere is so much information available on how to produce a Curriculum Vitae (CV), it can be difficult to know where to start, so I’ve simplified things into 3 key areas:

Create an impression
Imagine you are the employer reading the CV, what are you looking for, what does this CV
tell you about the person applying for the job, what are they like, do they have what you are looking for?  Use this technique to critique your own CV and help you to identify the areas that need enhancing.
Make sure your name is clear at the top, with easy to find contact details, then have a strong summary paragraph which gives the reader a good feel for who you are and whether you are the kind of person they want to hear more from.  Take care what you include in the personal details and interests section at the end; think about the impression you are creating.

Good structure
It is usually more important to demonstrate your skills and achievements than your exam results, so prioritise these on the first page of your CV and leave education and training to the second page.  Keep the content relevant to the job you are applying for;  match the skills and achievements to the requirements in the advert, this makes it easier for the reader to see you are a good fit for the job. 
Bullet points and quantities also help to get important information over clearly, e.g. I managed a team of 10 people; I controlled a budget of £100k; I had responsibility for banking daily takings of £5k cash; my project delivered benefits of £350k; I handled 35 customer calls per day.

Powerful Language
The kind of language used in a CV is just as important as in an interview situation.  Are you a manager or a leader? Are you a supporter or an achiever? Are you a team player or do you just work in a group?  Choose language in your CV to create the best impression.
Words like efficient, effective, capable and organised are appropriate for an admin or office type role.  Whereas, words such as created, designed, influenced and directed show much more of a personal contribution.  Project type roles call for words like achieved, accomplished, resolved, delivered and facilitated. For a managerial role, words like led, coached, mentored, motivated and liaised are more powerful than just managed.

Your CV is a representation of you; it is your first and best chance to get in front of a future employer so make it count.

I’d like to help, so if you’d like a free CV review, email your CV to me at lindsay@careercoachlondon.com

Good luck with that job!

Lindsay

First Impressions Count

I recently delivered a career coaching workshop and one of the things I talked about that people found most useful was understanding how first impressions are made and therefore how important they are, so I wanted to share this with you.

Did you know that on average a first impression is created in as little as 3 seconds?

1…2…3…decision made

Why does that matter?

Think about how many times we meet someone new in the space of a week or a month.  The impression we make on them in those first few seconds will colour how they think about us forever.

Think about the judgements we make about people we meet based on the way they look, what they are wearing even how they shake our hand.

Whether it’s in a job interview, a business meeting, a social event or on a date, the preparation you put into creating that first impression is very likely to be time well spent.

How are first impressions made?

Career Coaching First Impressions

A huge 55% of the first impression we make is based on our physiology that is non-verbal signals such as our posture, gestures, facial expressions, dress, grooming, handshake, spatial behaviour and breathing.

Then 38% is based on the tone of our voice including, volume, pitch and tempo.

Only 7% of that first impression is based on the content of what we say; the key words and phrases used.

How much more successful could you be, if you improved that first impression?