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