Have vision, set goals and change lives in 2019

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Let me tell you about a story about Nicholas Winton who had a vision in the second world war to help as many Jewish children escape to England. You would be surprised, if it wasn’t for him, I bet you have a friend who wouldn’t be born. He changed lives. Think about the goals you want to achieve next year. Have a vision, set those goals and be like Sir Nicholas Winton, you never know you may change some lives.


Here are 7 steps you can follow to set your goals for next year:

1)    Get in State – make sure you have the right state of mind. If you don’t focus, you will never make clear goals.

2)    Brain storm your ideas – if you do this with someone else, you are more productive.

3)    Prioritise – which ones are the most important?

4)    Choose the top 3 goals first – do these first!

5)    Set deadlines – if you don’t set a time to complete them, they will never be completed.

6)    Create an action plan – set milestones and tick them off.

7)    Create a vision board – visual goals are more motivating.


If you want to be successful in anything you do, especially in your work when managing, you need to use a thorough and strategic approach to your planning. Systematic, thorough planning and thinking about every aspect of your business will gain you success. Start to plan for next year now.


If you need help with setting your goals for next year, I am here to help. I can coach you on setting the goals, then make you accountable and keep you on track so you actually achieve them. Call me today. You never know, you will probably change lives in doing this. Sir Nicholas Winton changed lives. You can do the same in whatever you do.  

Opposites attract! By Helen Waddington

A guest blog from Helen Waddington HKW Risk Management

What happened when my husband and I went on a Behavioural Styles course and why the cliché of opposites attracting turned out to be true – in our case at least!

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A selfie of my husband and I which we took on the Isle of Wight this summer – it quite nicely demonstrates both our physical and personality differences!

I first met Clare of Nova Associates at a CQI branch event where she gave a fascinating presentation about the different types of Behavioural Styles and how you can use them to communicate more effectively. Clare runs workshop called Communicating More Effectively Using Behavioural Styles and I’ve attended this workshop twice now, I was so impressed and learnt so much about communication the first time, I took my husband along with me the second time!

The first exercise of the course is a questionnaire with 4 boxes, each with a list of words from which you have to quickly choose which words are ‘you’. The options I ticked included Enthusiastic, Energetic, Very verbal and Motivator from one list and Confident, Determined, Independent and Strong willed from another. The boxes including words like Calm, Relaxed, Gentle, Soft spoken and Even-tempered didn’t get many (any!) ticks at all. Interestingly my husband had ticked a completely different set of words including Reserved, Conscientious, Precise, Persistent and Factual from one list and Sensitive, Good Natured, Modest and Patient from the other. This meant that we set off into opposite corners of the room for the rest of the course, me to the ‘fast paced, people focused’ corner and my husband to the ‘slow paced, task focused’ corner.

The words Clare uses to summarise these behavioural styles are ‘Socialiser’ (me – obvious to anybody who knows me!) and ‘Thinker’ (my husband – equally obvious to anyone who knows him), the other options available are ‘Relator’ or ‘Director’. Interestingly when I first did this course in March 2017, I ticked 20 words in the Socialiser box and 12 words in the Director box, but when I did the course again in February 2018 (having been running my own business for 18mths) I ticked 15 words in the Socialiser box and 13 in the Director box which demonstrates that these behavioural styles are not ‘fixed’ and can change over time - we are all a mixture of the four styles and there is no ‘perfect’ style. Different personality traits will come to the forefront depending on the circumstances we are in and the pressures we are under.

Clare provided real life scenarios and examples throughout the course - one of the most memorable was when she described a sunny Friday, a last-minute decision to host a BBQ at the weekend and an instruction for my husband to go to the supermarket and do what? My immediate answer was ‘buy BBQ stuff’, my husband’s equally immediate response was a plaintive and faintly panic stricken ‘what stuff?!’ Apart from making everybody on the course laugh, it provided a brilliant example of how people communicate differently, I thought ‘buy BBQ stuff’ was a shopping list, my husband needed details on precisely what stuff, how many people were coming, were there any vegetarians, should he buy pringles as well as instead of tortilla chips etc

I’m now far more aware of the way I communicate with people (not just my husband and not just when writing shopping lists) both verbally and over email (I have to make a conscious effort to reduce the number of words and exclamation marks I use – the temptation to put an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence is very strong but I have managed to resist). As a consultant, I meet lots of different people and often only have a very short time to build a working relationship, I believe the things I have learnt on this course about ways of communicating including body language and style of dress, vocabulary and tone of voice have made that easier and far more effective.

Clare runs the Behavioural Styles workshop in house for companies, contact Nova Associates for more details.

The average meeting takes 90 minutes – is this wise?

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Let me tell you about a story about when I worked for a company whose ethos seemed to be to have meeting after meeting after meeting. I was a regional manager and all I seemed to do was run around all over the country having meeting after meeting after meeting. When did I do my work? Yes, you guessed it, after hours. I would then go home, open my laptop and work all the hours into the evening. Was this a good work life balance? No.


Does a meeting need to take 90 minutes on average? Why do we do this? Is it because we want the meeting to look efficient and important. A meeting should include the following:


1)    Set an agenda – this should be outlined in order of topics and be sent to attendees a few days before the meeting. Everything should not be in the AOB section. It should be on the agenda.

2)    Have a purpose for the meeting. Set objectives. What do you want to achieve?

3)    Make sure people are assigned to actions from the meeting. Make these decisions quickly. Do not ponder over them.

4)    Don’t go off-piste. Make sure everyone keeps on track. The chair for the meeting needs to take control.


How can I help you have more productive meetings?   A meeting shouldn’t be 90 minutes on average. If you plan for your meetings and make sure you have direction and focus you can be so much more productive. Don’t have meetings for the sake of a meeting and also don’t have meetings to organise meetings. Be focused, have a plan and make sure you have actions. Call or email me if you need to work with your teams to have more productive meetings. Meetings can be one of the biggest time wasters in business. Make them productive!


That Terrible Boss

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Let me tell you about a story about when I worked in London and had a terrible boss. I was promoted to middle manager and I was over the moon. I knew I was promoted because I was great at my job. What I didn’t realise was that I would need to learn completely different skills to be a manager. It was not the same as the role I was doing. I was never shown how and I wasn’t very good. I worked in a very hard sales environment where there was a lot of competition. We were expected to manage a team as well as make sales and run a desk. It sound easy but the skills were completely different.

In hindsight, what do I wish I knew then that I know now?

1)    I wish I knew what makes people tick. What makes people motivated to want to get up in the morning and go to work.

2)    I wish I knew how to coach people. How to coach them on tasks so they can complete the task efficiently.

3)    I wish I knew how to give good feedback. Feedback that was actionable and motivating, so they could grow and work more efficiently.

4)    I wish I knew how to adapt to people, not take things personally and adapt to their behaviour. Then I wouldn’t have been as emotional and I would have been more rational in my decisions.

5)    I wish I knew how to build relationships with my team, to motivate them and without stepping over the line and being too personal.


I am now a manager and I know I am good because I understand how to lead by example and manage people.

This is why I’m so passionate about helping middle managers. I know how difficult it can be to work with someone who is not motivating you to want to come to work. I also know how difficult it can be to work for someone who doesn’t help you take that step to being a middle manager, giving you the skills you needs to manage and lead a team. Call or email me today if you need help. I would love to come in and find out how I can help you and the other middle managers in your organization be happier and more efficient in the workplace.

Contact me to find out how I can help you manage your team more effectively. Behavioural Styles can be booked as an in-house course for your team.  

There’s still time – Sometimes the best sales happen in the Summer

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It’s Summer, yah! So often we wind down in the Summer, thinking all businesses close. Let me tell you about a story about when I made my best sale in the Summer.  It was halfway through August and I really didn’t want to be sitting at my desk making sales calls. I wanted to be in the sunshine, probably in a beer garden drinking a pint with friends. “OK”, I said to myself, “you may as well make some calls as it will pass the time.” I planned 5 clients to call and made the first one with hesitation. I couldn’t believe it, she picked up the phone and the first thing she said was, “I’m so glad you called, I need help and I thought no-one would be working until September.”


Let’s not make assumptions that everyone is on holiday. Yes, a lot of businesses can take their foot off the pedal in the Summer, but what I have found is that this can also be the time when I can be very productive. I have found calling those clients I usually do not have time to speak to is very productive as they have time to talk and want to talk. Also the conversation  is quite easy as everyone wants to talk about their holidays. Ask them all about it – easy topic of conversation.


I also can tick off my list of things to do so I am ready for September. Set yourself some goals for this Summer. Who do I want to contact? What can I get done? Set yourself a list of things to do and you will be amazed as to what could be achieved.


People Leave Managers Not Companies

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Let me tell you about a story about when I worked for a company where I felt trapped. When I started with the company I felt like I belonged. My boss was very motivating. I wanted to achieve and I did really well. I got promoted within 6 months of being there to be a middle manager.


Things then changed. We were never recognized for the work we did. We were criticized and therefore did not feel valued. I didn’t enjoy going to work. I lacked confidence and energy. Now what I realise is that my manager didn’t know how to motivate the management team. Being a middle manager is really hard. Not only are we managing our team, but we are also managing upwards.   Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wish I knew then what I know now. If I did, I would realise that my manager didn’t understand me or the others on the management team, and vice versa. She didn’t realise how to motivate us, what made us tick, how to adapt to our behaviour. We also didn’t realise how to influence her, how to work with her and how to adapt to her behaviour. We were all about emotions, we didn’t take the person as they were and adapt to their behaviour.


What I have learnt when managing upwards as well as managing a team is to treat people the way they want to be treated. Treat people with respect and adapt to them. You cannot do this if you don’t understand the way people tick and why they do what they do.


If you want to learn more and how to adapt to those people you work with, ask me to come in and work with you. I can organize on line assessments which are very practical in helping people work more effectively with each other. Behaviour breeds behaviour. Remember, people leave managers not companies. Do you want to retain your staff? If you do, understand them. Don’t be like my first company where we had 76% turnover of staff because the MD didn’t know how to motivate us and work with us. Take time to work with your middle managers and remember they have a hard time as they are managing upwards as well as their teams. My passion is to help middle managers motivate their teams and work effectively with others.

Contact me to find out how I can help you manage your team more effectively. Behavioural Styles can be booked as an in-house course or alternatively my next open workshop is in Bristol in October 2018 more details here.   

"I am the greatest." Confidence comes from self belief

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Let me tell you about a story about when I lacked a lot of confidence in business. I actually was reminded of this the other day. Someone asked me, what is going to make you feel more confident every day. I had a flashback of when I was working in a company and I was not happy. I used to walk to work and say to myself, “Smile, be positive be happy.”  That sounds quite sad doesn’t it. I was going through a really rough time. I didn’t like my boss. I wasn’t happy in the company I worked for and I found middle management really difficult. I felt stuck. I had no confidence in myself.


How did I make things change? How do we get confidence? To get confidence, we need to be happy. You can tell when someone is lacking confidence. Their body language will tell a hundred stories. Just by the way they hold themselves, their facial expressions and their posture, they are “telling you” they lack confidence. You can also hear it in their tone and in the words they use.


Remember the boxer Mohammed Ali. His quote he used to say, “I am the greatest”. Actually there is another line to that quote, “I said that even before I knew I was.” A lot of people I know say mantras. If you say out loud what you want to achieve, and say it with conviction, like Mohammed Ali used to say, things will happen. Believe in yourself. Have confidence in yourself and you can achieve whatever you want in life.


Are you the greatest in what you do? Do you believe you have the ability to achieve what you want? Do you believe you have the skills to achieve in life? Being confident is a combination of things:

1)    Well being

2)    Self esteem

3)    Belief in your own ability, skills and experience.


Combine these attributes to be successful. Be confident in yourself. You have one chance. Go for it!


If you need help in being confident and achieving success in your career, call or email me and I can help you have vision and set goals. Confidence is the next step after the plan, then when you action you will achieve.

Competition makes us faster, collaboration makes us better.

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Let me tell you about a story about when I was working in a business where my Managing Director was probably the most competitive person I knew. She was so anti the competition. We had to spy on them. We had to ask our clients about them. We were not allowed to talk to them.


We would go to exhibitions or networking events and we were told to ‘hover’ around their stands to listen to them. It was embarrassing. One day I met someone from the competition. I couldn’t tell anyone in my company. We talked about business, had a laugh and kept in touch. One thing I realized was that he wasn’t the enemy. There is healthy competition and we understood how to have this. In a joking manner we always wanted to beat each other and had a laugh about this. What this also made me do was be better. I stepped up to the competition and was better in the way I helped my clients.


Competition can also help us grow as people. When I decided to leave this company, who did I call? Yes, my competition. I went for a coffee and was given really sound advice as to what I could do next. Instead of treating the competition as enemy, the competition helped me in so many ways. Don’t treat competition as the enemy. Collaborate with them and they will help you improve your service to your clients, as well as give you advice when you need it.


What’s the old saying we all grew up with? “Keep your enemies close.” Remember this in business. If you keep the competition close, they will make you better.


If you want to build relationships with your competition, but you don’t know where to start, call me now and I can come in and advise you on how to build relationships in business. If you build strong relationships, you will naturally build your business.


Tiredness can kill, take a break!

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Let me tell you about a story about when I was working in London in recruitment.  I worked for a company where the culture was to work hard and play hard. When I say work hard, I mean work hard. We started in the morning at 7am and we were lucky to leave in the evening by 9pm. We were also frowned upon if we had a break. Does this sound productive? NO. Yes, it may have been productive for the short term, but in the long term we all burnt out. I spent my weekends sleeping to have the energy I needed for the long week.


What have I learnt from this. In the 14-hour day I worked, I was only productive, and I mean really productive for about 5 hours of that day. I have learned that there are certain times in the day when I am really productive. I am a morning person and I tell you now, the time of day I was the most productive then was from 7am to 11am. From then on I had a slump, and that was a long slump. I should have had a break. I should have recharged. I should also have organized my time so I had regular breaks, then I would have been productive until 4 or 5pm.


So often we like to look busy, but are we productive. What I’ve learnt is to work out the time of day when I really concentrate and do my most challenging work then. Then make sure I have a break. I have just had a sleep for 30 minutes. It’s now 2pm and I will work really productively until 5pm when I need to go and pick up the kids from school. If I didn’t stop and have my 30 minute sleep I probably would have procrastinated all afternoon.


Stop! Don’t burn out like I did. I worked for that company for 2 and a half years. I was exhausted when I left. We are human and we need to realise what we can manage and maintain to get the most out of out working day.


If you need help to manage your teams so they are productive and getting the most out of their day, call or email me and I can come in and find out your needs, then write a programme to suit your needs.




Diversity is nothing without inclusion

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Let me tell you about a story about my brother. My brother is one of the top barristers in Sydney. He is a very bright boy and when we were growing up I was always envious that he did so well in exams.


My brother joined me in London doing the Australian thing of travelling while you were working before you hit the ripe old age of 27 when you couldn’t get the working holiday visa. This was when I started my career in training and was very proud of the material I was training. One of my passions was making sure you hire the right people. Nick had never had to employ people before and it was all new to him. I remember a conversation we had when he had just taken on a new PA in the law firm he was working at. He said to me, “I employed her because we had a lovely chat and got on really well.” I had just finished training a course on competency based interviewing and was mortified. I tried to explain to him that yes, you had to get on with the person you were hiring, but they also had to be competent.


I would like to take this even further now. When hiring for your team, it is important to question thoroughly regarding the person’s competencies, and also to ask diverse questions to really find out what the person is really capable of. What can they bring to the team? Why are they different? How can we include them in our business? Yes, we are told time and time again to be diverse when we are employing. Don’t discriminate and be open minded. We also need to work out how to motivate our team and include them so they want to do their best. If we are inclusive, we will get the best from our team and we will get more profit.


Do you want to know more? Do you want to really practice inclusion where you work, and I mean put it into practice. If the answer is yes, contact me so we can talk about how I can challenge your teams to be more inclusive. Call or email me now.


Using Behavioural Styles as a Middle Manager

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Let me tell you about a story about a middle manager I coached recently on Behavioural Styles. He was a successful middle manager but had one major problem. His problem was the fact that he was often frustrated by certain members of his team. It wasn’t major frustrations, it was the small niggly things. He didn’t often let his frustrations show but these small niggly things could at times mount up and when they mounted up he could ‘snap’ and become aggressive. He was a go-getter/director. He was fast paced and wanted things done quickly. He had certain goals and there were times he felt he wasn’t getting the best from his team. Two people on his team were a bit more relaxed than him. They took their time on certain tasks often pondering over the process and making sure they completed the task accurately, being perfectionists. This was fine most of the time, but when there were very strict deadlines, the manager got really frustrated. When I was coaching him, the ‘penny dropped’. He realised these 2 people were Thinkers/Examiners/Analysts and needed perfection. They needed to know all the information and they took their time. In understanding this, he realised it was their behaviour and not their personality and that he wasn’t going to change them. He realized he had to give them more time and give them a simpler checklist so they weren’t caught up in the detail. In changing his thought process, his frustrations stopped. He became more patient and he understood what made them tick.


Being a middle manager is really difficult. Not only do you need to understand your team, but also your managers. If you understand behavioural styles, you will be able to connect with people on all levels more effectively. You will be able to adapt to their behaviour and won’t be as frustrated. If you want to know more, give me a call or email me. I will be able to coach you and your teams on Behavioural Styles so you can connect. I use on-line assessments where not only do you fill in the assessment, your observers do too. If it were just you who filled in the assessment, you would only get your perception of yourself. In getting the observers to fill it in, you get other people’s perception. We are not one behaviour entirely. We are different intensities of the 4 behaviours. I we inderstand when we change our behaviour and when other people act in a certain behaviour we can adapt to their needs.

To find out more, I can come in and train your whole team on Behavioural Styles  or you could attend my next open workshop on Tuesday 23rd October.  Knowing Behavioural Styles is very powerful and helps you connect with people, whether you work with them, they are a potential client or a current client. Call me so we can discuss how I can help your team build relationships to build your business.

The power of giving keynotes

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I want to tell you a story about the most successful keynote I’ve given. I was asked to do a keynote on listening, a topic I had never done before. It was for an institute body and the businesses were businesses I had never worked with before. Since it was all new to me, I worked hard on making sure the audience would be happy with the content. I made sure it was specific to their needs and I spoke from the heart telling them relatable stories to enhance their understanding. The keynote was for 1 hour so I also made it interactive – giving them a couple of activities to do and talk to others. It ended up being one of my most successful keynotes I have ever given. My call to action made people want to come and talk to me and want to work with me.


From this I have learnt 3 tips:

1)    Think about a topic you would like to talk on. Make sure you are passionate about it. Make sure you present the topic in a way that will help the audience.

2)    Think about the audience you could give the keynote to and make sure they are the people who fit in with your ideal client, your target market and you can relate to them. When presenting the keynote, give them thought provoking information that they can take-away. They want take-aways and actions.

3)    Make sure you have a strong “Call to action.” You want to engage with them in the future, so make them want to speak to you.


Have you planned your keynotes for 2018? Have you put keynotes into your 2018 marketing strategy? If not you should, giving a keynote can be a very powerful tool for your marketing strategy. 


If you need someone to do a creative, interactive keynote, give me a call or email me. I will write a keynote for your specific needs, get the audience laughing, hit their ‘hot buttons’ and make them feel motivated.

Start Planning 2018 Now for Success



Where do you want to be in a year’s time? How successful do you want to be? It’s now November and if you don’t start planning NOW, success will not happen.


How many of you have reviewed your goals from January for this year and achieved them all? If you haven’t reviewed them, do it now! If you have reviewed them, did you achieve your goals? If not, why not? What I often find with my clients is that they have loads of dreams but they set goals which are vague and unrealistic. When setting goals, you need to be very specific and make sure they are realistic. You also need to keep on track, setting yourself milestones.


The time of year when most people set goals is New Years Eve. This is too late. You should start planning now, as you need to change your mindset as well as address the practical elements to achieve goals. It takes time.


One of my clients came to me and said she felt like a failure. She had set goals for the last few years, both personally and for her business, and she had never achieved any of them. When we looked at her goals we found they were not realistic, and if they’re not realistic, they are not motivating so they are hard to achieve. We worked on making sure her goals were very specific and realistic. This meant that she was more motivated to achieve them. We set out a timeline and she realised the exact time when she gave up on her goals. She had always started off fine, but lost her momentum halfway through the year. I then kept her on track throughout the year and a year later, her goals were achieved. Now, 5 years later, she has achieved much more and been successful.


I can coach you and your teams on setting goals for next year, and also achieving them. Call me now to discuss your blocks and why you have not achieved your goals in the past and we can plan how to help you with achieving your goals for success.

Listening is the key to building relationships

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When I’m training and I start the listening section, I usually ask, “hands up if you’re a good listener.” There’s usually at least one comedian in the group who replies, “Pardon?” Very funny. I always laugh. Then I state a fact, that this person is talking about hearing and hearing is different to listening because listening is a skill that can be developed and hearing is a physical ability.


Listening is the basis of building relationships. If you are a good listener, people will enjoy talking to you and will want to tell you information. Having information in business gives you power. If you refer to Behavioural Styles, you will understand what I mean by socialiser. I’m a natural socialiser, so I naturally love to talk. Over the years, I have learnt the skill of listening more. I have had to stop myself when I have wanted to talk and told myself to listen. It has taken time, as habits take a long time to break, and I have reaped the benefits, especially with my clients.


Let me tell you a story of working with one client. I was managing a team and this client was actually dealing with someone in my team. I had a feeling the person in my team was missing opportunities, so I decided to listen to her call with the client. I realised the person in my team was talking too much, and not listening to opportunities, as they were desperate to put across what they had to offer. I knew the client too, and decided I would call the client. I found out within 5 minutes that the person in my team had missed 3 opportunities with the client, just because they didn’t listen and talked too much. I then coached my team member on listening and letting the client talk and we had a bit of a joke going, that every call they had to evaluate their listening and if they interrupted they would owe me £1. The bad habit changed very quickly and the person in my team became very successful. One small change, to listen more and not interrupt, lead to success.


If you build positive relationships with clients, you are going to be more successful. I can help you and your team do this strategically. Relationships don’t just happen, you need to work on them. Call me today if you need more help in ways to build relationships so I can talk to you about the best ways to coach or train you and your team to build relationships. They will then have success in building their business.


To find out more, I can come in and train your whole team on Behavioural Styles  or you could attend my next open workshop on 27th February 2018.  Knowing Behavioural Styles is very powerful and helps you connect with people, whether you work with them, they are a potential client or a current client. Call me so we can discuss how I can help your team build relationships to build your business.

The Power of Questioning to build rapport when Networking



Have you ever walked away from a conversation while networking and thought, “that person knows nothing about me, so I’m not really interested in developing a relationship and helping them.”


When you go networking, one of your objectives should be to help others so that they with then want to help you in return. At networking, I see so many people trying to sell to the room but it’s not about selling to the room, it is about proving you are a competent person to deal with so that they want to refer you.


One way to prove your competence is by finding out about others. One of the most basic skills when communicating is questioning, yet it’s a skill that people find difficult. Questioning is a powerful tool and helps build rapport. It will also help you gain more information about people so you can help them. If you help others, they are naturally going to want to help you.


When communicating, try to ask questions that will get the other person talking. I find this is the best way to start a conversation, and it will make the conversation flow. When you want to confirm things, ask more direct questions. Then when you want to close the sale or the conversation, ask closed question. This is called the ‘questioning funnel’. You should have many ‘questioning funnels’ in a conversation depending on the type of response you are encouraging.


If you want to learn more about communication skills, especially questioning and in the networking environment, contact me and I can help you with all levels of communication from questioning right through to Behavioural Styles. Communication is a way to build relationships and if you build relationships, you are going to build your business so it is successful.

If you give, you will receive


When is the time of year that most people think about giving? The first thing that comes to my mind is Christmas. Yes, you may be cynical and think that some people only think about the presents they will be receiving at Christmas rather than giving, but as I have matured, I’ve thought more about giving than receiving. This should be the same in business. If you give, you are more likely to receive. It doesn’t have to be a gift either, giving is part of building a relationship, and people will want to give to you more if you give to them.

A great example of this is a lady who was the Training Manager of a large corporation. We got on well but then she got made redundant. Instead of thinking that she was of no use anymore, I went for a coffee with her and gave her advice on the types of roles she may like to apply for. I also helped her with interview skills since she hadn’t been for an interview in a long time. Because I gave her my time, she wanted to help me in return and so referred me on to two companies that needed help with their training.

Think of the ways that you can give to your clients, the people in your team and ex colleagues. You never know, one day they may be able to give back to you.

I coach and train people on building relationships and I work strategically with my clients to think of ways they can build relationships. If you build strong relationships, you will naturally build your business. Giving to others is one of the ways you can build strong relationships.

If you would like to know more about how I can help your organisation, call me today and I can come and meet you to see how I can specifically help you.


Collaboration for Success - Use Your Competitors


Collaboration. What does this word mean? To collaborate is to work together to achieve your goals.


When I first worked in recruitment, my manager treated our competitors as if they were the enemy. I was unable to speak to any competitors that I saw at events or conferences as my manager would tell me not to talk to them, despite how lovely some of those people were!


Years later, I ended up being headhunted by a competitor. I was petrified about starting work there as, to me, it felt like I was working for the ‘enemy’. When I go networking, I meet my competitors all the time but often, when I speak to them, I realise we are not in direct competition with each other at all. We can actually help each other. I’ve often asked competitors for advice and have also worked with competitors on projects together.


Something I have learnt in business is that you can’t do everything yourself, you need to get a team together to help you achieve your goals and your competitors can be the first point of call. You or they may end up getting a project that is too big, therefore help on that project would be very beneficial.


I also have an accountant collaborate with me – it would take me too long to do my VAT and tax so I need a specialist. I have a web designer, a social media expert, a photographer, videographer, an email marketer, the list goes on. If you think about how much you are worth per hour, then work out the cost of you doing it, and the cost of getting a specialist to do it, more often than not it will be cheaper to get a specialist to do it. Collaboration will save you time, so in the long run will save you money.



You may want to collaborate with a trainer to help your teams in sales and communication. If so, why don’t you collaborate with me? I can coach, train and mentor individually and in groups and using my skills will save you time. Contact me and we can discuss how I can help you and your teams be motivated and successful.

There is No scarcity. Desperation will not get you Sales


Were you ever so desperate to be best friends with the most popular kid in your school that you would do some really silly things to get their attention? You’d try everything and anything to impress them but it didn’t happen because you were trying to force a friendship.


Similarly, when trying to build your business, if you try too hard to impress people it may seem like you are forcing the situation, ultimately making you look desperate. An example of this is networking. Many people perceive networking as trying to get a quick sale, but networking is not a ‘quick fix’, it’s about nurturing and building relationships. If you appear too pushy you’ll likely scare people off, so try to relax and remember that sales will come if you strategically plan how to build a relationship rather than force one.


If you’re forcing sales, your mindset might be that there is scarcity. When I was first in sales, myself and my director were very competitive. She always wanted me to be the best and beat our competitors. However, one thing I’ve learnt while having my own business is that there is no scarcity. If I don’t win business then it obviously wasn’t for me.


I’ve also realised that I don’t want to win every single business out there. Some clients just don’t suit me, and I don’t have time to work with every single business. Before I even attempt to get a client on board, I qualify them and decide if I want to work with them. There is no scarcity. If one business doesn’t suit me then it’s on to the next one. Have confidence in what you do and only work with those you want to work with. Remember don’t be desperate, you will come across as pushy and turn people off.



For more information on how to build your business with the right people, I can coach and train you the skills so you are not desperate. Contact me and we can discuss how I can help you and your teams in your business.



Growing Your Business



One thing I was never taught at university was that when I went into the workforce I would need to grow my business in order to be successful. Many people in business treat the word sales as a dirty word but I prefer to think we are building relationships rather than making a sale. If you can grow effective relationships with your clients you will grow your business naturally.


Building relationships takes time and you need a clear strategy and a structure. You should regularly do relationship building activities with your clients and candidates so they can refer you. The most effective way of doing this is to work out who is likely to refer you to your target market, then strategise the relationship building activities you will do with these people, and be sincere with them. If you don’t have a target market, you should. This will give you focus and make it easier to find clients.


The most effective activities are done in person. We often hide behind social media and emails but stronger relationships will develop if you meet with people. Always have a goal in mind when you are contacting people. You don’t want to be seen as a time waster.


An example of a relationship building activity is to take someone out to lunch to thank them for a referral. This luncheon could then turn into a meeting, and you would be amazed at the information you could get from each other. Most meetings I’ve had like this have turned into business. This is just a simple example and I have plenty more techniques to help you grow your business.


To make sure you get on track, and grow your business, call me to discuss your problems, then I can come in and coach and train your team so they grow their client base more effectively. 

Communicating your Why, Not your What

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Do you ever remember your mother asking you on many occasions why you did what you did? If you were like me you likely froze and thought “I don’t know”. As a child, this word was used as a negative but if you want to build your business you need to turn this around and use this word as a positive. “Why” is such a powerful word! When you’re talking to potential clients, current clients, colleagues, anyone to do with your business, if you explain why you’re doing something, you will get their BUY IN.

I want to give you a practical example. You are a team leader and your director has just told you there’s going to be a huge change to the usual processes and  that this is going to take a long time to change. If you go to your team and just state the facts about the change, will you get their buy in? NO! If you state why the changes are happening and how it will benefit you all in the long run, you WILL get their buy in. In every aspect of life, always think of the Why, not the What.

Think about your business and think about all the things you do in your business and what you have to offer. If you go to a meeting and tell a potential client all of these things, you’re probably going to bore them. On the other hand, if you go to the meeting and tell them why you are so passionate about what you do, why you love working with people like them and why you have been so successful, you will get their buy in so much quicker.

Not only do you need to understand your why, but you need to communicate it and practice it. Practice makes perfect. Think of different scenarios and practice them as if you are speaking to your clients. Imagine the clients saying, “so what?” to help you communicate your why more effectively.

If you’re confused and don’t know what your why is then I’m here to help. I can coach or train you and your team on firstly finding out their why and then how to communicate it. Why is powerful. Use it in every aspect of your business, especially when you are trying to attract more business.

Contact me to find out more.