Posts Tagged ‘Business Stress’
People most at risk from stress (Further information which I have researched and thought you would enjoy from businessballs.com)
In one US study as many as 40% of workers described their jobs as very stressful. While not a scientific gauge and not measuring serious stress health problems, this gives some indication as to how prevalent work-related stress is. As regards official health records, in the UK, the nursing and teaching occupations are most affected by work-related stress, with 2% of workers at any one time suffering from work-related stress, depression and anxiety. (The figure for teachers rises to 4% when including physical conditions relating to stress.) Care workers, managers and professionals are the next highest affected occupations, with over 1% suffering from serious work-related stress at any one time. UK HSE work-related stress statistics suggest that work-related stress affects men and women in equal numbers, and that people in the 45-retirement age suffer more than younger people. More socially-based USA research suggests that the following American social groups are more prone to stress (this therefore not limited to work-related stress): young adults, women, working mothers, less educated people, divorced or widowed people, the unemployed, isolated people, people without health insurance, city dwellers. Combined with the factors affecting stress susceptibility (detailed below), it’s not difficult to see that virtually no-one is immune from stress. An American poll found that 89% of respondents had experienced serious stress at some point in their lives. The threat from stress is perceived so strongly in Japan that the Japanese even have a word for sudden death due to overwork, ‘karoushi’.
work-related stress trends
Data is sparse and confused (stress statistics are also complicated by metal health reporting in the UK), but the statistics do indicate certain growth. In the UK HSE statistics indicate a doubling of reported clinical cases between 1990 and 1999. Working days lost per annum appear to have been about 6.5 million in the mid-1990′s, but rose to over 13 million by 2001. Greater awareness of the stress ailment in reporting no doubt accounts for some of this variance, but one thing’s for sure: the number of people suffering from work-related stress isn’t reducing.
costs of stress
UK HSE statistics suggest stress-related costs to UK employers in the region of £700m every year. The cost of stress to society is estimated at £7bn pa. (These figures were respectively £350m and £3.7bn in 1995/6 when total days lost were half present levels.)
Stress is caused by various factors – not all of which are work-related of course, (which incidentally doesn’t reduce the employer’s obligation to protect against the causes of stress at work). Causes of stress – known as stressors – are in two categories: external stressors and internal stressors.
external stressors – physical conditions such as heat or cold, stressful psychological environments such as working conditions and abusive relationships, eg., bullying.
internal stressors – physical ailments such as infection or inflammation, or psychological problems such as worrying about something.
From the above, it is easy to see that work can be a source of both external and internal stressors.
Stressors are also described as either short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic):
Short-term ‘acute’ stress is the reaction to immediate threat, also known as the fight or flight response. This is when the primitive part of the brain and certain chemicals within the brain cause a reaction to potentially harmful stressors or warnings (just as if preparing the body to run away or defend itself), such as noise, over-crowding, danger, bullying or harassment, or even an imagined or recalled threatening experience. When the threat subsides the body returns to normal, which is called the ‘relaxation response’. (NB The relaxation response among people varies; ie., people recover from acute stress at different rates.)
Long-term ‘chronic’ stressors are those pressures which are ongoing and continuous, when the urge to fight or flight has been suppressed. Examples of chronic stressors include: ongoing pressurised work, ongoing relationship problems, isolation, and persistent financial worries.
The working environment can generate both acute and chronic stressors, but is more likely to be a source of chronic stressors.
Stress effects on health and performance
Stress is proven beyond doubt to make people ill, and evidence is increasing as to number of ailments and diseases caused by stress. Stress is now known to contribute to heart disease; it causes hypertension and high blood pressure, and impairs the immune system. Stress is also linked to strokes, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ulcers, diabetes, muscle and joint pain, miscarriage during pregnancy, allergies, alopecia and even premature tooth loss.
Various US studies have demonstrated that removing stress improves specific aspects of health: stress management was shown to be capable of reducing the risk of heart attack by up to 75% in people with heart disease; stress management techniques, along with methods for coping with anger, contributed to a reduction of high blood pressure, and; for chronic tension headache sufferers it was found that stress management techniques increased the effectiveness of prescribed drugs, and after six months actually equalled the effectiveness of anti-depressants. The clear implication for these ailments is that stress makes them worse.
Stress significantly reduces brain functions such as memory, concentration, and learning, all of which are central to effective performance at work. Certain tests have shown up to 50% loss of performance in cognitive tests performed by stress sufferers. Some health effects caused by stress are reversible and the body and mind reverts to normal when the stress is relieved. Other health effects caused by stress are so serious that they are irreversible, and at worse are terminal.
Stress is said by some to be a good thing, for themselves or others, that it promotes excitement and positive feelings. If these are the effects then it’s not stress as defined here. It’s the excitement and stimulus derived (by one who wants these feelings and can handle them) from working hard in a controlled and manageable way towards an achievable and realistic aim, which for sure can be very exciting, but it ain’t stress. Stress is bad for people and organisations, it’s a threat and a health risk, and it needs to be recognised and dealt with, not dismissed as something good, or welcomed as a badge of machismo – you might as well stick pins in your eyes.
Causes of stress at work
These are typical causes of stress at work:
bullying or harassment, by anyone, not necessarily a person’s manager
feeling powerless and uninvolved in determining one’s own responsibilities
continuous unreasonable performance demands
lack of effective communication and conflict resolution
lack of job security
long working hours
excessive time away from home and family
office politics and conflict among staff
a feeling that one’s reward reward is not commensurate with one’s responsibility
working hours, responsibilities and pressures disrupting life-balance (diet, exercise, sleep and rest, play, family-time, etc)
factors influencing the effects of stress and stress susceptibility
A person’s susceptibility to stress can be affected by any or all of these factors, which means that everyone has a different tolerance to stressors. And in respect of certain of these factors, stress susceptibility is not fixed, so each person’s stress tolerance level changes over time:
childhood experience (abuse can increase stress susceptibility)
personality (certain personalities are more stress-prone than others)
genetics (particularly inherited ‘relaxation response’, connected with serotonin levels, the brain’s ‘well-being chemical’)
immunity abnormality (as might cause certain diseases such as arthritis and eczema, which weaken stress resilience)
lifestyle (principally poor diet and lack of exercise)
duration and intensity of stressors (obviously…)
signs of stress – stress test
At a clinical level, stress in individuals can be be assessed scientifically by measuring the levels of two hormones produced by the adrenal glands: cortisol and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), but managers do not have ready access to these methods. Managers must therefore rely on other signs. Some of these are not exclusively due to stress, nor are they certain proof of stress, but they are indicators to prompt investigation as to whether stress is present. You can use this list of ten key stress indicators as a simple initial stress test: tick the factors applicable. How did I do?
loss of appetite
poor concentration or poor memory retention
uncharacteristic errors or missed deadlines
anger or tantrums
violent or anti-social behaviour
alcohol or drug abuse
methods of personal stress management and stress relief
If you are suffering from work-related stress and it’s beginning to affect, or already affecting your health, stop to think: why are you taking this risk with your body and mind? Life’s short enough as it is; illness is all around us; why make matters worse? Commit to change before one day change is forced upon you.
If you recognise signs of stress in a staff member, especially if you are that person’s manager, don’t ignore it – do something about it. It is your duty to do so. If you do not feel capable of dealing with the situation, do not ignore it; you must refer it to someone who can deal with it. You must also look for signs of non-work-related stressors or factors that increase susceptibility to stress, because these will make a person more vulnerable to work-related stressors. These rules apply to yourself as well….
Stress relief methods are many and various. There is no single remedy that applies to every person suffering from stress, and most solutions involve a combination of remedies. Successful stress management frequently relies on reducing stress susceptibility and removing the stressors, and often factors will be both contributing to susceptibility and a direct cause. Here are some simple pointers for reducing stress susceptibility and stress itself, for yourself or to help others:
stress relief pointers
think really seriously about and talk with others, to identify the causes of the stress and take steps to remove, reduce them or remove yourself (the stressed person) from the situation that causes the stress.
Understand the type(s) of stressors affecting you (or the stressed person), and the contributors to the stress susceptibility – knowing what you’re dealing with is essential to developing the stress management approach.
improve diet – group B vitamins and magnesium are important, but potentially so are all the other vitamins and minerals: a balanced healthy diet is essential. Assess the current diet and identify where improvements should be made and commit to those improvements.
reduce toxin intake – obviously tobacco, alcohol especially – they might seem to provide temporary relief but they are working against the balance of the body and contributing to stress susceptibility, and therefore increasing stress itself.
take more exercise – generally, and at times when feeling very stressed – exercise burns up adrenaline and produces helpful chemicals and positive feelings.
stressed people must try to be detached, step back, look from the outside at the issues that cause the stress.
don’t try to control things that are uncontrollable – instead adjust response, adapt.
share worries – talk to someone else – off-load, loneliness is a big ally of stress, so sharing the burden is essential.
increase self-awareness of personal moods and feelings – anticipate and take steps to avoid stress build-up before it becomes more serious.
explore and use relaxation methods – they do work if given a chance – yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis, massage, a breath of fresh air, anything that works and can be done in the particular situation.
seek out modern computer aids – including free downloads and desktop add-ons – for averting stresses specifically caused by sitting for long uninterrupted periods at a computer screen work-station, for example related to breathing, posture, seating, eye-strain, and RSI (repetitive strain injury).
Note also that managing stress does not cure medical problems. Relieving stress can alleviate and speed recovery from certain illnesses, particularly those caused by stress, (which depending on circumstances can disappear when the stress is relieved); i.e., relieving stress is not a substitute for conventional treatments of illness, disease and injury.
Importantly, if the stress is causing serious health effects the sufferer must consult a doctor. Do not imagine that things will improve by soldiering on, or hoping that the sufferer will somehow become more resilient; things can and probably will get worse.
For less serious forms of stress, simply identify the cause(s) of stress, then to commit/agree to removing the cause(s). If appropriate this may involve removing the person from the situation that is causing the stress. Counselling may be necessary to identify the cause(s), particularly if the sufferer has any tendency to deny or ignore the stress problem.
Acceptance, cognisance and commitment on the part of the stressed person are essential. No-one can begin to manage their stress if they are still feeling acutely stressed – they’ll still be in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is why a manager accused of causing stress though bullying or harassment must never be expected to resolve the problem. The situation must be handled by someone who will not perpetuate the stressful influence.
Removing the stressor(s) or the person from the stressful situation is only part of the solution; look also at the factors which affect stress susceptibility: where possible try to improve the factors that could be contributing to stress vulnerability. This particularly and frequently involves diet and exercise.
The two simplest ways to reduce stress susceptibility, and in many situations alleviate stress itself (although not removing the direct causes of stress itself) are available to everyone, cost nothing, and are guaranteed to produce virtually immediate improvements. They are diet and exercise.
The GROW coaching model is recognised as one of most popular coaching models to use when setting yourself goals.
It consists of six parts in the process, which are:-
1) State your goal in the positive.
2) Have and evidence procedure.
3) Can you start and maintain the goal yourself.
5) Maintain the positive by products.
Lets take each stage in turn, so do we mean by stating with state the goal in the positive?
The goal you want to achieve must be something you actually want and not something you want to avoid. By positive thoughts and actions enables the mind to focus on what you want in life. The mind is unable to focus on negative goals.
i.e. I don’t want to put any weight on? or I want to loose ten pounds over the next four weeks via exercise and reducing fatty foods.
Have an evidence procedure – This is trying imagine what it would be like, when you have achieve your goal, .i.e. what will it look like, feel like or what will you hear going on around you once you have achieved your goal.
When Linford Christie (the athlete) won his gold medal, when he was then interviewed. He stated that he had no doubts that he was going to win a gold medal, because he had run that race a thousand times in his mind and had experienced in his mind what it would be like to win. The only way he was not going to win was if he had an accident on the day! He said he had heard the national anthem being played, he heard the crowds cheering, he saw the flags waving, he said the jubilant crowd jumping up and down in the stadium.
This stage is very powerful and aids the experience and motivation in working towards your goal.
Can you start and maintain the goal yourself ? This stage is important to work out what support you may need and whether you can do on your own merit.
Contextualise - This stage is only required when you are talking about behaviours etc .i.e. I want to be more assertive ? Be sure where and when in your life you want to be more assertive. If you are in charge of a sales team at work and feel you need to be more assertive with the team, make sure it is only work that want to be assertive and not to include be assertive when you get home and are with the family. As your partner and children will not appreciate the change.
Maintain the positive by products – This stage is about knowing your existing strengths and making sure you don’t diminish them whilst working towards your goal. Otherwise you gain one thing and lose another.
And finally the Ecology ? This stage is about whether the goal is worthwhile, what’s involved, how much time is needed, what effort do you have to commit to to achieve the goal. What are the benefits of achieving this goal.
This model gives you a process to follow when setting goals, it is even better if you get a life or business coach to help you. Because they have the skills to make sure you maximise your goal setting techniques.
What are you seeking out of life?
If your young it is how to live the life of fun, enjoyment, fulfilment, excitement, travel, music, dating, cars, fashion, image etc. all of these cost money and need commitment. So you want to earn good money to enable you to use the money to do the things you want out of life! But if you don’t plan, don’t set goals to aid you getting your dreams and desires to become a reality, what then?
If you are now ready to settle down, then you have different needs and requirements, you may be looking for a partner to settle down, you may also be looking to develop your career to enable you to buy or rent your first property together. You may have a five or ten year plan to get married, buy / rent a home, have a family, buy a car etc.etc. This also requires careful planning and effective setting of goals if you are ever going to be able to achieve these without being in debt that is possibly causing you problems etc.
Lets say you are now been married, have a home, have children, all the usual family commitments, mortgage, loans, holidays abroad, children’s education, keeping up with the Jones’s etc.etc. Have you planned effective goals to enable you to enjoy your life? Are you on course to achieve what else you may require in life?
I could go on and on about different age groups and different circumstances we all face in life as we progress in life, the one thing we don’t know in life is what is going to happen to us next. But we can certainly take control and head in the direction we want to go and have as much influence as we are able to.
As the old saying goes you only have one life, so lets make the most of it!
If you link goal setting and start to think you want out of life then you are on your way and all you then need is to focus on those goals until you have achieved them and then set new goals to keep you moving in the direction you want.
I have started by adding some data from NLP that I think you will find interesting and ended with how you can use these methods.
NLP techniques help particularly by making it possible for people to………
Set clear goals and define realistic strategies
Coach new and existing staff to help them gain greater satisfaction from their contribution
Understand and reduce stress and conflict
Improve new customer relationship-building and sales performance
Enhance the skills of customer care staff and reduce customer loss
Improve people’s effectiveness, productivity and thereby profitability
How can you deal with a conflict of values & beliefs?
Well I am a very fortunate person to be able to work with lots of people and help them to understand their values & beliefs, and how to deal with any conflicts and reduce any impacts due to conflict.
What happens when the ones you have had installed during your up bringing from our parents etc and you have true respect for these, as they have been proven to be successful many times over!
Then alongside these values & beliefs you also begin to develop additional values & beliefs of your own, which you have faith in and also think will be equally as useful. But when you are in business and you have two lots of values & beliefs, one you were brought up on by your parents and one you have nurtured yourself.
What do you do?
Which one do you decide is best for you and your business?
What If I get it wrong and I make the wrong choice?
For example:- If your business is not making money then you have no business? Yet you can have a very viable business potentially but without cash flow you cannot survive. Plus you have to speculate to accumulate.
In business you have to make many difficult decisions and you have to make them and not to deliberate to long on which option to I make. Then main thing is that you do make a decision and then stick with your choice. Avoid procrastination, as this will only confuse things and distract your attention away from the main focus of running a successful business.
There are many ways you can run businesses in this day and age, some are easier than others. But you cannot let a conflict of values & beliefs get in the way or stop you from achieving your business objectives. Once you have chosen which one suits you best can you make a judgement of which one was the best for you and your business.
There are so many businesses today that are virtual businesses with minimal overheads, i.e. out sourced office facilities, out sourced HR, freelance staff on a self employed basis, minimal ownership of equipment or stock etc. etc. that are very successful and everyone gains from collaborating with each other. Because they all work under one umbrella, then their over heads and running costs are greatly reduced and it is easier to make a profit and invest in future projects and ventures.
So you can run and build a business empire with very little money with the right amount of thought and planning put into place. Which means a business model that requires money to make money, seems financially viable, but you can have a business model that requires limited money or little financial investment. Which can also grow successfully, so it is about choice and which business model (value & belief) is best for you. The difference is one model is an old and trusted model and one is relatively a new model.
So check out all your options and then make a decision based on fact, and facts that suit you and formulate the correct value & beliefs for yourself!
Question 1) who would I like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
By choice it would be someone like the singer Duffy, but to keep it clean and meaningful I will choose the singer known to everyone as Little Stevie Wonder.
The reason I choose a singer is because I have a passion for music which stems right back to my youth (and that is a long time ago). I grew up in the sixties which produced some of the very best sounds.
I can remember thinking how can someone who is blind, be able to write lyrics and music with such quality and passion. Plus he was able to play various instruments as well. What a talented person.
So to be stuck in a lift with someone who you could pass the time away with finding out about this person’s life and background, you know what makes them tick etc.
And the added advantage would be to sing along with the maestro to his songs, just imagine me singing songs like – My Sherrie is no more and I just called to say I stuck in a lift, and perhaps the most classic one would be, For once in my life I’m going to open up a savings account.
Joking aside the guy is a musical genius and for me speaking as a trained life coach he is living proof that you can achieve anything in life if you want it bad enough.
So set yourself goals to help motivate, develop and move you through life towards your own desires.
Be happy and that is what Little Stevie Wonder does for me, when I listen to his music.
Question 2 – When I was young I wanted to be? “A lead singer and guitarist in a rock band.” Why?
And the type band would have had to been something like – Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Yes, or Geneses.
I think inside me there is a hidden showman waiting to come out!!!
I can see myself strutting my stuff on stage, with all those women throwing their undies at me and trying to clamber onto the stage to get to me!!! At least that’s what happens in my dreams and then I wake up and I am in Barclays banking hall with a customer saying oh young man (again I wish) are you the manager?
Again joking aside I have always thought how great it must be to be able to play a musical instrument of some kind, I have experimented with drums, guitar, keyboards and bongo’s so far. But as they say I am a jack of all trades and a master of none, in fact not even one.
Question 3 – About my role?
I am a life, business, executive, career & relationship coach. I also provide diagnostics for SME’s and help to put there business back on track, which may include training, coaching, observation and feedback?
Question 4) Roles I have done previously?
Where do I begin? At 56 I have undertaken quite a few positions over the years, so rather than bore with great detail here is a bullet point summary.
Paper boy (school) (London)
Trainee butcher (Wallis Supermarkets) (London)
Butcher (Mac Markets, Safeway Supermarkets) (London)
Butchery Manager (various companies) (London)
Life Guard (London)
Life Saving Teacher (London)
ASA Swimming Instructor & Examiner (London)
STA Swimming Instructor & Examiner (London)
Disabled Swimming Support Teacher (London)
Leisure Centre Assistant Manager (Plus Swimming Teacher) (Gainsborough Lincs)
Overhead Crane Driver (Steel Works – Scunthorpe)
Postman (Gainsborough Lincs & then moved / transferred to Cardiff)
Postman Higher Grade (Code sort operator) (Cardiff)
Business Partner in Power Financial Services (Cardiff)
Financial Advisor – Colonial Mutual (Cardiff)
Will Drafter – Tregarons Will Writing Service (Cardiff)
Customer Service Advisor – TSB Telephone Banking (Newport)
Customer Service Advisor – Admiral Motor Insurance (Cardiff)
Salesman – Tandy’s Electrical – (Newport)
Manager – Tandy’s Electrical – (Newport)
Life & Pensions Advisor – Standard Life Insurance (Cardiff)
Customer Service Advisor – British Gas
Customer Sales Advisor – British Gas
Local Sales Coach – British Gas
National Sales Coach – British Gas (Travelling all UK, Inc Wales, Scotland, and Ireland)
Sales Coach – Barclays Bank (SE Wales & Herefordshire)
Performance Coach – Barclays Bank (SE Wales & Herefordshire Glou & Worc)
So quite a lot of experience has been gained in various sales / management roles, but the most valuable skills and training I have gained is whilst I was with British Gas as they trained me as a fully qualified sales, business and life coach with professional qualifications.
So if you need a Life Coach you no ware I am.
Question 5) My biggest success to date and why?
The Goal and aim of everyone involved in the project was to double the value of the turnover and increase the overall productivity across the site, from £38k per week to £80k.
The key was to appoint key personal to be accountable and responsible for the day to day running to each process, and to have built in contingency to cover when staff are off due to holidays or sickness.
This entailed reviewing processes.
I am please to say with the help of every team member at the branch we managed to achieve the desired result, it was a very successful project and I am grateful to have been part of it
Question 6) What are my top three tips?
Now that would be telling wouldn’t it, well I love sharing and I want everyone to be as successful.
Before I give you my three top tips, I believe that everyone needs to understand the importance working as a team.
Because without teamwork it would be difficult for business to function effectively, and this would have a knock on effect to other parts of the business.
So it is vital for a business and for their customers, to maximise any opportunities to help improve and provide better customers service and then you will see the profits rise as well.
We need to look at the bigger picture, job security is also important and in these uncertain times we need to do what is best for the customer first, which in turn is best for the business and also it helps us as employees.
So in effect we are in control of our own destinies, it just depends on how each individual interprets it.
Which is where the managers come in, they provide the coaching, feedback and direction to enable everyone to have their own success stories.
Set up an effective buddy system – Work in set teams, to include all staff, to help support and develop each other.
Each team to talk to each other on a daily basis to set the scene i.e. for example tell your buddy what you require for that day and vice versa.
To provide regular and valuable feedback on what is working and if you come across any areas which need to be developed to provide a structured feedback which will give the person the right amount of development that they require, plus making sure they feel motivated afterwards to continue seeking support.
Rather than that was crap or something on those lines which does not help anyone.
To get the same value and productivity via any other form of contact, and to achieve the desired amount of business would involve a greater amount of time and effort, than working with your buddies.
Have effective processes in place and make sure they are managed properly and have contingency built into to cover holidays and sickness. My above notes in the Gloucester project provide further detail.
Effective planning and organisation.
The key to success can be measured by three core things which are:-
If you get any one of the above out of sink you will not achieve your desired outcome.
Your activity is fairly good, productivity is pretty good to but the overall value is poor.
What do you need to do?
Your activity is pretty good, your productivity ok ‘ish , and your value is pretty good
What do you need to do?
Your activity is good, your productivity is great, but the value is only pretty good.
What do you need to do?
Your activity is really good and your productivity is where is should be or even higher and the end result value is also really good or excellent.
Which would you settle for?
I could give loads of examples and different formula’s but unless you have the correct amount of activity which in turn will produce the right amount of productivity and thus give you the desired amount of income.
Without an effective plan of action, which provides you with a structure to follow and enables you to set up contingency plan to cover for things that don’t quite go the way you planned, You are domed to fail.
And nobody plans to fail they just fail to plan!!!
Question 7) What are my current challenges?
My main areas are to help install motivation via regular feedback and to then provide where required to develop and build on to existing skill sets of individuals and they will be different dependant on the person as we are all different.
By regular feedback and coaching I will help to enhance the skills sets of individuals as well as their motivation, which in turn will have the natural effect of increasing a person’s confidence. Because confidence is the end result which is achieved from previous and present experiences and the learns gained from them.
I want the individuals to have the confidence and ability to be able to approach every customer. To engage in a conversation, which will help to establish any concerns they may have about the current climate.
They will also be able to identify any needs or requirements that they may and be able to help them by either saving or making them money from products and services.
Only by staff having belief in products and having the skills and confidence to approach customers will we achieve our desired outcomes. The two other vital ingredients which need to be considered which are ownership and responsibility.
So investment in people to build their confidence will produce the desired outcomes we all require.
Question 8 – Funny Stories
Story no 1 – Chipolatas
When I was young and in my youth I became an apprentice butcher and one day whilst merrily boning away, that is a term for removing the meat from the bones and leaving the bones nice and clean, and I hasten to add not something you were all thinking about.
Let me set the scene I am working in a supermarket, which has open planned counter prior to the pre packed counters of today. So my colleagues would be busy either cutting or preparing meat and roast joins etc or serving customers.
So I being a trainee was given the job of boning a side of beef, which meant removing the bones whilst making sure they were clean and no meat left on the bones. I was given a very thin boning knife and a leather apron to wear in from of my vitals.
But being a trendy young youth who had an image to keep, decide to leave the apron off as it didn’t look cool.
Well back to my story I was merrily working away with my little boning “knife,” when suddenly the knife bounced off the bone and into my groin. Well you can imagine my reaction. The strange thing is that I felt no pain, in fact the groin area was quite num, just lots of blood coming from the area.
Well being a teenager and having only one thing on my mind which was another form of boning, panicked and decided to drop my trousers to make sure my vitals were still intact, well to my astonishment apart from the blood element i.e. it was going everywhere all else seemed to be in one piece.
I breathed a sigh of relieve to know that all was well in the vital regions, but suddenly, I heard above the commotion around me. The sound of lots of laughter and I turned to face the direction of the laughter, which came from to this woman, who was pointing to my private parts and shouting out aloud, oh that reminds me I need a pound of chipolatas.!!!
Story no 2 – Nearly prosecuted for not flashing at night
I am a bit of budding photographer and over the years I have undertaken lots of different projects to do with photography.
Well many years ago I agreed to spend an evening with a mate from work, who was also keen on photography.
We decide to do some night time photo’s using black and white film The film we used was a special film Ilford xp1 that would allow you to use it in without flashgun and in very low light conditions.
So we set off taking pictures using a tripod of cars driving down llandough hill, which is you leave the camera shutter open for a longer period of time you get an image of streaks of light and no image of a car at all. Which if done well is quite an effective picture.
Well as time went on, we decided to make are last shoot of the evening at a small old church and its cemetery. I thought it would make for a very granny image of a tomb stone which was tilted over and was against the entrance of the church yard with a small street light which was giving us just enough light to take the picture.
I was just about to take the picture, when I ask my friend to shine a small touch, you know the type you can carry on a key ring, so not very bright. I ask him to shine it onto the name of the person that was engraved upon the tomb stone. This was to give it more impact in the final picture.
I took the picture and suddenly without any warning a voice could be heard from behind the tomb stones a few yards away. Well I thought it was time to meet my maker, it was a good job I was wearing brown trousers at the time!!!
When we looked up and realised where and who the voice was coming from, it was a local farmer who had a small farm next to the church yard. He was not very happy and no matter how much we tried to tell him we meant no harm and that all we were doing was taking a photo in the dark without a flashgun, using special film. Well even as I was saying it, I thought to myself, even I don’t believe this story.
The farmer unbeknown to us had telephoned the police stating we were up to no good.
Then suddenly I heard another voice not far away from the farmer and I looked at my mate and we both looked in the direction of the voice to see a young woman trying to adjust her clothing and asking the farmer how long was he going to be.?
Well it appears the farmer was more worried that we had taken a picture of his activity with this young lady, than what we were up to.
You will be pleased to know I have stopped doing night time photography, unless within my four walls!!!!!
Story no 3 – Don’t do it on an air bed
I will let you use your on imagination for this one, all I will say that one night I was entertaining with a very nice lady (and not a lady of the nights in case you are wondering).
We wined and dined and cook a meal and set the mood and everything was going to plan.
At the time I was living on my own and had just gone through a divorce and reduced to a bed-sit.
Not the biggest of places, well the moment arrived I could hardly control myself with excitement, when to my horror the lady said oh I sorry I am not used to a single bed!!
Well the brain was working overtime and the pulse was racing, just then I had a brain wave
(Not politically correct I no).
Well I said that is no problem I have a double air bed, oh ok lets use it she said,
(Obviously a lady of class).
The rest I will leave to you, except for the fact that right at the key moment passion, the bung came out of the air bed and if you can imagine an air bed which is leaking air and with the weight in the middle it behaves like a see saw with both ends going up at the same time and both ends also going down at the same time, it so of deflates the situation some what.
Plus this lady let it be known in my local pub.!!!
Well that’s it from me folks, I look forward to sharing ideas and best practices with everyone.
Until we speak again
You might be wondering what does this have to do with life, work or if you run your own business, business. Well without enjoyment, fun, laughter, feel good factor, etc. you will become an unhappy bunny very quickly. Which can lead to a downward spiral and make every day seem to be a chore or a daily slog to even attend?
It does not matter whether you are an individual, family person, employed or are self employed and run your own business. The message is still the same, you need happiness in your life to make you feel good and be positive in everything you do!
And the more responsibility you have the more important it is for you to have happiness in your life and work, take Executives, Directors etc. etc. you will burn out and get stressed out which if avoided or ignored with lead to health problems.
Happiness is very therapeutic and enables you and your body to heal and feel good.
So I thought I would start by introducing a song I love, which is simple in concept and design and musically made you feel good from within and had you either humming or singing along to, lyrically it is about just being happy and how happiness makes the world go around!
Happiness song by Ken Dodd!
What does it mean to you?
What does it mean to those around you?
How do you generate and provide happiness for those around you and how do those around you generate happiness for you?
Lets explore what is happiness and what impacts does it have on our lives? Would you agree that happiness is something that brings pleasure or humour into your life. Whether it is a joke or a situation that makes you laugh or bring a smile to your face, happiness is a very pleasurable experience. And one that we all want to experience every day, if possible every hour of everyday. Allows you to experience pleasure from various angles, which allow you to relax, enjoy and remove any stress within your life at that moment in time!
Sometimes happiness comes from our various senses, i.e. visual, auditory (hearing) or Kinaesthetic (emotions / feelings) or a combination of any of them. So visual could be just seeing something you love and like that makes you happy, a child, a loved one, a sea view, a country view, a painting etc. etc. and the same with all of your senses. So we experience lots of situations that generate stimulation to the brain and hence which in tern enable our senses to be activated and enable you to experience pleasure from so many sources.
Happiness is also effected by our values and beliefs and are then translated into various forms within your daily lives, that enable us to develop a personality which helps us to develop as a person and interact with those around us.
So the better we are at understanding those around us enable you to adjust and handle differences between every person we interact with. Thus enabling us to adapt and adjust to those around us and make allowances for there reduced understanding, making you a better individual because you have understanding and are able to strive to achieve happiness in what every you want in life.
Happiness is the greatest gift you possess and if you can pass it on to those around you make you a better person for the experience and you have the added benefit of transferring happiness to those around you.
Enjoy the experience of being happy and passing it on to those around you.
Happiness is the “Greatest Gift” you can give someone, whether in your daily life, work place or in your business world. Happiness helps make the world a better place to be in for everyone!
The 3 Saints Business Club
Ever wanted a business club that is not just about networking, one, which provides so much more?
Well I have some great news; here is a club that has been designed by businesses for businesses!
Since November 2010 we have been looking at how businesses can help each other to grow in more ways then one.
That is when I met Onkar Singh from The Three Saints Hotel and Conference Centre, and along with team of various business owners, came together with a shared goal, which was to support and promote local business via a Business Fayre. Hence the South Wales Business Fayre was born and took place on the 20th May 2011.
The Fayre provided local businesses with the opportunity to display their wares and services at the event, and thirty-eight businesses took up the challenge. Plus we had numerous special speakers who gave up their time to provide local businesses with useful information that they could use back in the work place.
After the event we requested all visitors, exhibitors and speakers to provide feedback about what they expected to get out of the day and how could we improve any future events for local businesses.
We received lots of feedback, which were positive and very constructive, which we replied to and have now incorporated into any future events.
From the feedback came three clear messages: -
- To have a regular meeting which would include a special speaker.
- To have a mix and mingle period to relax and discuss business with fellow other businesses over refreshments and snacks.
- And finally to have a place for local business to have and to use on a regular basis.
Taking this feedback on board and after lots of meetings and discussions, it was agreed to set up the 3 Saints Business Club.
It is a Club with a difference, in fact two key differences. Firstly there are no membership fees and secondly you and your business have a range of great facilities that will be available to members at discounted prices.
This is great location for businesses to use for range of functions and a number of reasons. It not only boasts a large upstairs conference hall (The Diamond Suite) capable of holding up to 500 delegates.
There is also has a downstairs conference room (The Warren Room) with full audio, visual, and w.fi equipment, this room holds up to sixty delegates in a cinema format. But can be laid in any format you require.
So no matter what occasion your business has, i.e. Conferences, Seminars, Award Ceremonies, Meetings or Training, 3 Saints Business Club can support you by providing the facilities and a friendly environment to meet and have a chat with prospective clients.
There no membership fees, you will have a membership card that entitles businesses to use the Centre and Conference Facilities at Special Rates, purely for your own business purposes.
And should your want to entertain any clients or for staff who require accommodation for a night or two. There are 35 Bedrooms available at the centre.
The Three Saints Hotel has 37 en-suite bedrooms. We have a choice of Single, Twin, Double and Family rooms. All rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities, colour television and comfortable beds.
Breakfast consists of a Full English breakfast or a range of healthy cereals. We cater for individuals, groups and corporate bookings.
Plus to make your visit even more enjoyable there is The Red Mint Restaurant (which caters for Indian & English) a traditional Pub.
It is also conveniently located off junction 34 (M4).
Your membership will entitle you to discounts at the centre’s facilities and there will be a special business event every 5 – 6 weeks, where there will be a special speaker for up to an hour followed by a mix and mingle for an hour and get to know and collaborate with local businesses.
At these special events there will be a small charge £5 for the early booking or £10 per head on the door.
The Three Saints Hotel & Conference Centre also has a restaurant & bar, which is perfect for relaxing between meetings, and ample parking is also available directly outside the venue. It is also conveniently located off junction 34 (M4).
The first event takes place on 20th July between 6pm – 8pm. The First Special Speaker is Mo Mastafa, subject will be about Internet Marketing, further details to follow regarding full contact of talk.
Venue is at The Three Saints Hotel & Conference Centre, based opposite the Royal Mint in Llantrisant. CF72 8YT.
New web site and payment system for special meetings to be confirmed, no fees for membership!
Look forward to seeing you all there on the day.
Martin Biginelli (Coaching Four Success & Pure Creative Media).
How good are you an Communication?
Rate yourself out of a score of 1 – 10?
Well today I am going to discuss a subject I deal with on a daily basis, which is about communication and how if effects everyone every day!
Every day our brains have to absorb huge amounts of information from all of our senses, .i.e. visual, hearing, feelings, touch, taste and smell.
What then happens is that for the brain to be able to deal with the huge amounts of information, it will do one of three things or a combination. What then happens is the brain will either Generalise, Distort or Delete the information. So just think about this for a moment, every time you are talking to someone or you are listening to someone else, this process will be going on for you and the other person!
This can lead to problems later, such as frustration and even progress into blame game because what was originally requested did not happen quite as expected. And this is purely because the other person has either generalised, distorted or deleted certain bits of information, meaning there actions do not match the originators request.
On top of this our own skills, when delivering the information can also have an influence and impact on the the person receiving the information. This is because there are 4 Keys:-
The 4 Keys to successful communication are: -
1) Outcome Orientation – Know what it is you want to achieve (set goals).
2) Rapport – Build rapport (how you use your voice (pitch, pace and tone etc).
Words 7% – Of what you say, has an impact when communicating with someone.
Voice 38% – How you say it, has an impact when communicating with someone.
Physiology 55% – What you don’t say, has an impact when communication with someone.
3) Behavioural Flexibility – Be prepared to adjust your behaviour to suit or match the person you are communicating to.
4) Sensory Acuity – Knowing when you have achieved what you set out to do (achieve your goal).
And the final part of the jigsaw when it comes to communication: -
Active Listening – Is vital, because without it, what tends to happen on many occasions people tend to listen and respond on auto pilot, rather than listening to understand before responding! So they respond to the information without actually understanding what is required. Which leads to lost information, leading to reduced results on delivery of any request.
When you look at what is involved when it comes to communication, there is quite a lot to take into account and remember when you are yourself communicating with others. Read the rest of this entry »
Stress at work, stress management techniques, stress reduction and relief (From Businessballs.com)
Employers should provide a stress-free work environment, recognise where stress is becoming a problem for staff, and take action to reduce stress. Stress in the workplace reduces productivity, increases management pressures, and makes people ill in many ways, evidence of which is still increasing. Workplace stress affects the performance of the brain, including functions of work performance; memory, concentration, and learning. In the UK over 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress. Stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to doctors, and 85% of serious illnesses (UK HSE stress statistics). Stress at work also provides a serious risk of litigation for all employers and organisations, carrying significant liabilities for damages, bad publicity and loss of reputation. Dealing with stress-related claims also consumes vast amounts of management time. So, there are clearly strong economic and financial reasons for organisations to manage and reduce stress at work, aside from the obvious humanitarian and ethical considerations. If you are suffering from stress yourself the stress management guidelines here are just as relevant.
Stress reduction idea 1 – humour
Humour is one of the greatest and quickest devices for reducing stress.
Humour works because laughter produces helpful chemicals in the brain.
Humour also gets your brain thinking and working in a different way – it distracts you from having a stressed mindset. Distraction is a simple effective de-stressor – it takes your thoughts away from the stress, and thereby diffuses the stressful feelings.
Therefore most people will feel quite different and notice a change in mindset after laughing and being distracted by something humorous.
stress reduction idea 2 – brisk walk and self-talk
Go for a short quick really brisk walk outside.
Yes, actually leave the building.
Change your environment.
Breathe in some fresh air and smell the atmosphere…
Trees, rain, flowers, traffic fumes – doesn’t matter – stimulate your senses with new things.
On your way out keep saying to yourself out loud (and to anyone else you see, in that daft way people say “Elvis has left the building..”):
“(your name) is leaving the building.. ”
And when you are outside and free say:
“(your name) has left the building.. ”
You can extend the exercise by going to a park and jogging a little.
Or do a few star-jumps – something energetic to get your body moving and relaxing.
Or stroke a dog, or pick up some litter, or kick a kid’s football.
You can of course use other mantras or chants, depending on what you want to do and how far you want to get away from the stress causes, for example:
“(your name) is doing star-jumps/picking up litter/looking for a small non-threatening dog..” or
“(your name) is leaving/has left the industrial park/district/city/company/country..” etc, etc.
Of course this is daft, but the daftness reduces the stress by removing you from the stress in mind and body.
Doing something daft and physical – and reinforcing it with some daft chanting – opens up the world again.
stress reduction idea 3 – rehydrate
Go get a big cup or a bottle of water.
Most of us fail to drink enough water – that’s water – not tea, coffee, coke, ‘sports’ drinks, Red Bull or fruit juice…
All of your organs, including your brain, are strongly dependent on water to function properly. It’s how we are built.
If you starve your body of water you will function below your best – and you will get stressed. Physically and mentally.
Offices and workplaces commonly have a very dry atmosphere due to air conditioning, etc., which increases people’s susceptibility to de-hydration.
This is why you must keep your body properly hydrated by regularly drinking water (most people need 4-8 glasses of water a day).
You will drink more water if you keep some on your desk at all times – it’s human nature to drink it if it’s there – so go get some now.
When you drink water you need to pee. This gives you a bit of a break and a bit of exercise now and then, which also reduces stress.
When you pee you can see if your body is properly hydrated (your pee will be clear or near clear – if it’s yellow you are not taking enough water).
This will also prompt some amusing discussion and chuckling with your colleagues (“Nature calls – I’m off to the bog again…”) which is also good for reducing stress.
You do not need to buy expensive mineral water. Tap water is fine.
If you do not like the taste of tap water it’s probably because of the chlorine (aquarium fish don’t like it either), however the chlorine dissipates quite naturally after a few hours – even through a plastic bottle – so keep some ordinary tap water in the fridge for 2-3 hours and try it then. Read the rest of this entry »