Give yourself a gift: invest in YOU

“If you can dream it, you can do it” Walt Disney Choose the festive season and the approach of another year to draw up your personal balance sheet and plan to invest in yourself in the year ahead with some self-coaching. Self-coaching means you take the initiative in creating positive changes in your life without professional help. There are the many benefits to this empowering process of realising your own capabilities and setting your own goals (not the least of which is that you won’t have to pay anyone). Like any new skill, self-coaching needs to be learned and practised for it to be effective. 1.    List the highlights of the past year in all aspects of your life ( work, home, relationships… ) 2.   Write down your successes and identify areas that could benefit from some improvement. 3.   Be honest and admit where you are going wrong. 4.   Ask questions that help identify positive solutions e.g. what could you have do differently. 5.   Decide what your goals will be for the next year and break them down into realistically achievable chunks. 6.   Focus your attention on the things you really want to achieve and commit to them. 7.   Identify / use outside resources such as supportive friends or read up on coaching techniques that can help you. 8.   Track your progress consistently with a diary or a worksheet. 9.   Revisit and revise your goals but keep your eye on the prize, especially with long-term goals. 10. Celebrate your successes and think positive thoughts. Self-coaching techniques form part of our Focus Area “Personal Mastery” The following posts in our Treasure...

Positive feedback: the best free gift

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust   Christmas is a time for gift-giving and positive feedback is the best free gift around. Everyone likes to be appreciated. Not only is it good for our self-esteem to be told when we have done something well but it is also great learning. This is especially true if we can begin to understand exactly what we did and how we did it. In this way, when faced with the same or similar challenge in the future, we can call on our positive past experience, reproduce the behaviour and be more sure of achieving the same great result. Offer positive feedback or just say something nice At work, people are usually very quick to criticise and complain. Surprise your colleagues, direct reports and even your boss by thinking of something they have done well and that you appreciated. Remind them of the situation or the task, describe their actions and the positive result. Thank them and not only will they be grateful, there is a good chance that they will do it again! At home or with friends, it can be too easy to focus on negatives. Instead, consider the qualities that you really enjoy in those around you and think about what they have done to make you feel good or support you in the past year. Tell them – and watch the warm glow! Out and about, especially at Christmas, it can be stressful. Busy streets, crowded stores, harassed shop assistants all add to the...