Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

6 Tips for Confident Networking

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 20:  A job seeker receive...

Are you one of those rare (and very lucky ) people who enjoys networking?  
Or are you like many others?   Do you arrive at a networking event, look around at the sea of faces, then find yourself barraged by a stream of doubts and uncertainties.
Negative self talk tells you that you’re a fraud, everyone else in the room is just great.  There they are experienced business professionals at home in this environment.  While you are just pretending, you don’t really know what you are doing!
And on top of you’re going to forget your speech, you won’t remember anyone else’s name and there is a very good chance you will forget your own!
The “sensible” part of you tells you not to be so silly.  But there you are with these negative thoughts and anxieties in your head. 
Relax and take a deep breath, then tell your brain it has more important things to think about!  No, you are not going to have a heart attack as you take the floor.  You’ve got this under control and here are some tips to help!  
  1. Relax, take a deep breath, and smile!  Taking in Oxygen deeply can steady nerves and lower your heart rate!  Smiling releases endorphins and makes you feel more comfortable.
  2. Practice positive self-talk.  We all have some negative thoughts.  Be conscious of them and then cut them off.  Recognize them for what they are.  Then replace them.  As you approach the event fill your head with the repeated thought that you are confident and successful;  People like you.   Tell yourself firmly that you are going to do well and that people will be impressed.  Say it very loudly and firmly in your own head.  You can say out it loud in private at home before you go as well – repeat, repeat, repeat!  
  3. Have a great elevator speech and practice it ahead of time. This is a short paragraph or two that describes who you are and what your business does.  Give it punch - make it interesting, informative, and memorable.  Practice delivering it at home with confidence and don’t rush.
  4. Be memorable. What is it about you and your business that makes you unique?  Work it out then be quite clear about it.  Don’t be afraid to tell people – make it part of your branding
  5. Have good contact material! Make sure you always have business cards with you with up-to-date contact information. It is worth investing in a good business card that you feel proud of.  They help you to feel very comfortable handing them out at networking events.
  6. Be yourself and show an interest in others. Expect people to like you – tell yourself they will.  People like people who show an interest in them, and that is what you are going to do.  Remember you are bringing them a gift - your talents and experience and there can be no one else just like you! 
Now you are ready to get started.  Off you go and enjoy your networking.    
Do you have any tips for confident networking?  I’d love to hear them!
Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Writer.  She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;
  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement
  • wanting to do a mid-life review
You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114 Related articles Building Self- Confidence (cmaankur.wordpress.com) Confidence- the evidence that you can overcome any barriers (successnetwork.wordpress.com) Unemployed - Interview Techniques - Behavioural or Competency Based Interviewing (leavingthepublicsector.blogspot.com)

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Resilient Mindset – don’t let a fixed mindset defeat you.

Cover of "Mindset: The New Psychology of ...

"Don’t change – stay right where you are"!

Nobody said change was easy.  Change is hard It is uncomfortable and risky. 
That is why most of us don’t change until change is forced on us. 


We don’t change; even when making a change could make a huge and positive difference for us and those about us. 


Most of us have a mindset that favours staying put right where we are – a “fixed” mindset. And fixed mindsets lack resilience. 


Standing still and staying where we are, can present far more danger and risk in the long term than making a change.

Changing that mindset

So how do you develop a resilient mindset? You need to learn to challenge your own thinking. 


Your fixed mindset will chatter away in your head, if you let it.  


It will fill your head with negativity and erode your confidence. 


That nasty fixed mindset will tell you that even if you wanted to change, you can’t do it!  


You’re not bright enough! You're not strong enough!  You don’t have the brains or the talent!

This time you are going to answer back. 

“Well I’m certainly bright enough – if I see the need for change, I’m bright enough to do it.  


I can learn and I can find people who can advise me.  I can learn!” 


Your fixed mindset will probably answer – “But what happens if and when you fail? 


So here is your defence.  “Everyone fails sometimes.  But I’ll do it well and I’ll manage the risks – so I’ve got every chance of success” 


“But” says your fixed mindset, “if you don’t make the change, you can’t fail.” “No, but, if I don’t try, I’ve failed already! 


Now your fixed mindset sneers and becomes cunning.  “Oh so it is going to be easy for you then!” 


You smile wryly.  “No it isn’t going to be easy.  Nothing worth having comes easy. I’m going to do it”

Back into the shadows!

If you keep beating it back, at some point your fixed mindset will slink away into the shadows.  It won’t be dead. 


It may emerge occasionally when you are feeling tired or frustrated. But you have the upper hand now.  You know you have to find the energy to take up your sword and beat it back into the shadows again. 


With practice you can learn to think positively and confidently about your change.  


You will develop a resilient mindset.


You can do it! You can make the change you desire – it is time to start believing. Reach for your  your sword and begin practicing.


 
Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Writer.  She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;
  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement
  • wanting to do a mid-life review
You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114 Share

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Happiness is how we think! Part 1

Illustration depicting thought. 


Most of the time we don’t think about how we think!  We just do it.

Thoughts seem to drift in and drift out again without much intervention from us. And most of the time we are happy that way!

But sometimes our thoughts do not make us happy.  Negative thoughts can make us feel miserable and very unhappy. 

Our thoughts may keep us awake at night and they can intrude into our days.  They can make us feel angry and sad. 

Sometimes the thoughts in our head leave us with unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings about ourselves, the people about us and the world in general. 
   
Our thoughts can mean we focus on the negative even when there is very strong evidence that we are, and everything about us is, basically OK.

Over the next few posts here, we are going to explore some ways that we think negatively and how you might be able to make some changes.

Here are my first three ways of thinking negatively; “overgeneralising”, “labelling” and “personalising”.

 Overgeneralizing
This is when we come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence.

Something bad happens once, so we expect it to happen over and over again.

Someone may see a single, unpleasant event which then becomes part of a never-ending pattern of defeat.  

For example, a young man asked a girl out and she turned him down.  He felt lonely, unwanted and rejected.  So he went on to think he would never be able to have a girlfriend as girls did not find him attractive. It wasn’t true of course; it was just the girl already had a boyfriend.

Words that indicate you may be overgeneralising are
  • ·         all,
  • ·         every,
  • ·         none,
  • ·         never,
  • ·         always,
  • ·         everybody,
  • ·         everything ,
  • ·         nobody.
If you find yourself using these kinds of words often, think about what you would say to a friend who said the same thing.  Think of the advice you would give.  Now try to follow your advice and intervene whenever you find yourself using words like “I never” or “I always” negatively about yourself.

Labelling
This is really a very extreme form of overgeneralisation.  

Sometimes we describe behaviour, our own or other peoples in absolute and unalterable terms.

For example when we call ourselves "Stupid" or say that we or someone else is "Totally Hopeless" or a "Failure"!

The trouble is once give, the label sticks. 

If a label is given on the basis of perhaps one mistake or one failure, it can alter the way we see ourselves or someone else for a very long time. 

This kind of thinking distorts the truth.  It is particularly dangerous when used in anger by parents or teachers about children. 

If we label ourselves, it can mean that we are not able to see ourselves any other way.

Here again, it is useful to think about the words we use and the evidence for what we are saying.  This kind of language usually starts out being used emotionally.  It helps to calm down and think about the standard that we have applied to ourselves or to someone else.  Is it realistic?

When you find yourself thinking this way, intervene and remember things do go wrong sometimes; we all make mistakes. We are all human and we are entitled to get things wrong sometimes – that doesn’t mean we are failures. 

 Personalizing
This is usually where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to them.

We compare ourselves to others trying to determine who is smarter, better looking. 

So, when something negative happens, we may think we are solely responsible for the unpleasant event.  But, there may be no real evidence for this at all.  

We may try to carry the weight for everything that goes wrong; everything is related to some deficiency or inadequacy in us. 

Again, it is time to think through the evidence.  What really happened and what part did others play?  Perhaps something just happened and no one was responsible. 

Sometimes it helps to talk to someone we trust to get a clear view!

You will probably find that you should only take a share in the blame or you may find you are not responsible for what happened at all.

I’ll tackle some more ways of thinking negatively in the next post.

Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Writer.  She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;
  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement
  • wanting to do a mid-life review
You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114
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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Appreciate Before You Change

Mother and child personify the optimistic   
Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to change that focuses on the positive! 

It works on the principle that what is good now that can be built on to achieve a vision for the future.

When thinking about change people often focus on what is wrong now – what is deficient. This has been the traditional approach to change management

Appreciative Inquiry, which has its roots in Positive Psychology, starts the other way round. 

It looks at what is good and valuable now and then uses that as a foundation for moving forward.

Once the basis is established you can then explore the future possibilities with much greater confidence.

In all change, something will be lost, but with Appreciative Inquiry you work to make sure that much of what is good remains.  It allows people to honour the past and have confidence in the future!

Appreciative Inquiry was developed as a tool for changing organizations but, as an approach, it works very well with people and teams.  It allows them to approach change with greater confidence.

If you work as a coach or consultant using Appreciative Inquiry,  you work with a client to show existing strengths and successes so that you can then work together to bring about positive change.

Appreciative Inquiry uses a cycle of 4 processes that can work for people, groups or whole organizations,
  1. DISCOVER: Identify what works well now.
  2. DREAM: Vision what would work well in the future.
  3. DESIGN: Make a plan how to deliver what will work well.
  4. DESTINY (or DELIVER): Implementation the plan
You can read more in these books
Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Writer.  She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;
  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement
  • wanting to do a mid-life review
You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114
Share