Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Have you done your "heebie-jeebie" today?

I can hear you all asking "what is a heebie-jeebie"? Well, according to the actress Celia Imrie, a heebie-jeebie "is a job that you don't want to do but you know you have to". We all have them, whether it is making that cold call, preparing and sending a difficult e-mail, designing a new workshop or a myriad of other things, that fall into the 'too difficult' to start category.

"I like work, it fascinates me.
I can sit and look at it for hours"

Jerome K. Jerome

I find the best way to motivate myself, is to promise myself a surprise reward once I have completed my "heebie-jeebie". What is a surprise reward? Well, I have a designated box in which I put slips of paper into, and on these slips of paper I have written things I would love to do if I only had the time and recently I have asked my friends to write reward ideas for me and they have been putting them into the box also.

So, when I have published this blog, I shall be dipping into my reward box and I'm really looking forward to finding out what my reward is.

Why don't you post a comment and let me know the type of rewards you give yourself when you have earned them? Also, if you need help to get started on your "heebie-jeebies" then just get in touch with me at Nicholl Consultancy.
Until next time, good luck with your heebie-jeebies!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Are Men the Best Bosses?

I read in the Daily Mail recently, the results of some research carried out on 3,000 people, by the online recruitment firm which states:

'Incredibly, both men and women are in total agreement

that men make better bosses

63% of women and 75% of men'

The reasons given for their answers were:

1. Women are only too happy to talk about their staff behind their backs
2. They are incapable of leaving their personal lives at home
3. They suffer mood swings
4. Likely to have a hidden agenda
5. They get involved in office politics
6. Women with power are 'loose cannons'
7. They feel threatened by colleagues and are too competitive
8. Too sharped tongued
9. They are too cliquey
10. They spend too much time worrying about their appearance.

The study goes on to say that 'No one is suggesting that women aren't intelligent enough to be in senior positions, far from it, but perhaps some need to be more approachable and less competitive. The study also said 'While women are more than capable of progressing to a management role, some lack the key skills required to be a good boss'.

Now, I am not saying that I necessarily agree with the findings, but in my experience, companies often fail to provide the necessary leadership training and assume that because they have promoted somebody, that overnight they will gain the necessary skills to lead effectively.

If you feel that there are areas of your leadership style that need to be explored then please get in touch with me at Nicholl Consultancy.

Oh, and the good news is,'we shouldn't forget that a third of those polled did say women are better to work for.'

Until next time - be the best you can be.

Friday, 10 September 2010

A rewarding way to make a huge difference to a child

My blog this week, is regarding something I am passionate about - making a difference to the life of a child, what could be more rewarding for both of you?

Think back to when you were growing up, if you had really supportive parents and an equally rewarding experience at school, then you probably think back to your childhood as a wonderful time in your life.

If however, you were one of the unlucky ones, whose parents weren't quite so interested in you or hadn't had such a great childhood themselves and didn't really know how to relate to you, then you may not look back with such fondness.

“Promise me you will always remember,
you are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem
and smarter than you think”

Christopher Robin to Pooh

Four years ago, when I set up Nicholl Consultancy, I really wanted to fulfil my 'social responsibility' not only because businesses are expected to do that, but personally, I wanted to make a difference.

It is very strange when you firmly focus on something, opportunities arise. At this very time, when I was thinking about what I could do. A parent at a local primary school, made me aware that the school was going to try something new. This was, inviting 'responsible adults' to mentor some children at their school, who were struggling with things like, confidence, self esteem or even something as basic as having somebody with time to listen to them.

I was really interested, and after an evening held by the school, to find out more about it, I was hooked. After being CRB checked, and the school gaining parents' permission for their child to be mentored, I said I would like to mentor three children, once a month and the school were delighted - they would have been equally delighted if I had said I could only mentor one.

I spend about 40 minutes with each child, on a one to one basis, in an area where others pass through on a regular basis, like the school library, thus protecting myself and the child and we talk about things that the child wants to cover. Often, the sessions starts slowly until they warm up and feel secure enough to talk freely. I usually have paper and crayons on the table and the child often, without being asked, starts to draw pictures that graphically show what is bothering them, and then I ask them to explain the picture to me, but more often than not, the child talks about what it is as they are drawing because they are distracted by what they are doing. Sometimes it is something as simple as joining a social club and they are worried if people will like them or it could be that they just don't know how to control their anger.

Before we start working together, I explain to the child that anything we talk about is in confidence, with two exceptions, if they tell me that they might be a danger to others or that they are in danger themselves, then I will tell the school. If they agree to this, then we can start the session.

I have been doing this for four years now and have seen some amazing changes in the children that I mentor, but as a qualified coach, I often decide to coaching them instead, if I feel that they have the answers within themselves or are powerful enough to take the initiative.

Rewardingly for me, when some of my mentees have moved to secondary school, they feel that they have benefitted so much from our work together, that they want to continue and after contacting their secondary school, and explaining what we have been doing, they are very happy for me to continue with them and of course, now they are asking me to mentor some of their own pupils that are struggling with their social skills!

It makes you realise that your valuable time has been well spent when you receive feedback like:

"My chats with Sharon are helpful because she taught me how to cope with my emotions and direct it into being better behaved. I've stopped deliberately hurting people and I want to go on seeing her because, although I'm being good, I'm not perfect and it's nice to have someone who understands"

"I enjoy talking to Sharon, because it helps me make sense of my life"

"My time with Sharon has taught me valuable skills which will really help me later in life. I feel that she has improved my confidence and has helped me with my behaviour. I would like to thank her for putting up with me!"

So if you have any free time or your company is looking for something to help them fulfil their social responsibility and you consider yourself to be a 'responsible adult' why not get in touch with your local primary or secondary school and tell them how you would like to get involved.

If you want any more details, then please contact me at Nicholl Consultancy and I will be delighted to talk further.

Until next time - how are you going to make a difference?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Winning Attitude Part 5 - Passion

When you're truly passionate about something,
work ceases to be work

The final characteristic of a Winning Attitude according to Shaun Belding in his book "Win at Work" is:


Are you passionate about what you do? Do you wake up each morning excited about how you are going to be spending your time and what you are going to achieve? If not, then it is likely that you are a square peg in a round hole.

Did you just fall into your current role or did you explore what you really wanted to do with your life, and set yourself goals to achieve it?

If it was the latter then congratulations, because those who set themselves goals are most likely to succeed and will enjoy the process, because you understand why you are doing what you do and what you want to achieve at the end of it - you have a plan.

For the others, as far as I know we are not going to get a second chance at this life, so you might as well make the most of things now. If you would like help with that, then get in touch with me at Nicholl Consultancy and let's get started, I really look forward to hearing from you.

Bye for now.