lessen your stress

Lessen-your-stress

24

Jul

2012

A common theme among women – and there’s plenty of research to back it up – is that they negotiate like a girl.  They’re worried they’ll offend or seem pushy or they are scared they’ll lose their job if they stand their ground.

Women are generally lower paid and have poorer working conditions, and, sadly, some of the fingers are pointing at the fact that women don’t or won’t negotiate “like a man” and, therefore, don’t get what they want.

When men negotiate they focus on the facts and keep their emotions out of it.  It’s purely business.  We women tend to worry about others and think of their feelings. We become emotionally involved in what should be a simple business transaction.

It is possible to stand your ground, get what you want and still come up smelling of Chanel No. 5.

Preparation 

Before you go into any meeting, know exactly what it is you want to achieve. What do you want, precisely? And what is the absolute minimum you will accept?

This is not necessarily in relation to pay, but also working conditions, responsibilities, environment, status and role …

What’s In It For Them 

You know what you want, and what you’ll accept, but a large part of negotiating is what you can offer the other party – i.e. your boss.

Are you worthy of the terms you’re asking for? Are you capable of doing what you say you will do in your new role as department manager or production coordinator …?

Think about what will THEY get out of this new agreement, and show them how they’d be foolish to discount your suggestion.

Know When To Walk Away

All negotiations, even though it may not seem like it, have an area of overlap between what you want and what they want. Finding the common ground is generally easy, but you also need to be open and aware of it. It’s easy to get caught up in what you want and forget what your boss needs – or any other party, for that matter.

Be prepared to agree to terms or walk away. If you’ve asked for the meeting, and you know your limits, you don’t have to take what’s on offer, but you do need to be prepared for nothing to change if you choose not to agree.

If the other party has called the meeting, be prepared to accept less than you want (see the first point about Preparation) or to say “No” and be ok with that.

Stand Your Ground

Mostly, it’s about knowing what you want, and preventing those horrid little voices in your head from having their say, mid-negotiation.

Good luck.

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13

Jun

2012

Did you know that being disorganised could be affecting your health?  What about your career?

It’s not just about missed appointments, unpaid bills, or forgotten birthdays.  Being disorganised can lead to stress, a feeling of “stuckness” and an inability to finish tasks and commitments.

Do you sometimes find yourself starting multiple tasks, either at home or at work, and never finishing any of them?

Do you know what your priorities are?

When you don’t really know what your goals are, it can be quite hard to know where to put your energy.  You may start off feeling excited about a project or task, but quickly lose interest as you see the next “shiny thing”.  You may feel “scattered”, clueless and confused.

Not having long and short term goals can make your life feel dull and boring, which in turn can lead to depression.

Having a disorganised and cluttered home or office, can stifle your creativity and your ability to take in new information.

There are lots of ways of getting organised and there will be one that works for you.

You can start by decluttering your desk at work, or your kitchen bench at home.  Find all the bills and paperwork that needs dealing with.  Order then in “date due” order and place them neatly in a place where you’ll be sure to see and deal with them.  Perhaps next to your phone or computer would be the best place.

Start using your wall calendar to write in all your important dates and appointments.  You might like to invest in a well-designed diary or personal organiser.

Take advantage of the calendar application on your smart phone to set up reminders for appointments, bills and birthdays.

“To do” lists are a great tool for keeping track of all that you have going on and making sure you don’t forget to pay those bills, or buy birthday presents.  Often writing out a “To do” list can immediately make you feel lighter, as all the stuff floating around your brain is now on paper.

When you start to feel a bit more organised, take some time to plan your next holiday, or a fun get –together with friends.

Then, when life starts flowing a bit more easily, sit down to work out your life goals and priorities.  Organising your life will seem like a breeze when you know exactly what you want to achieve.

(If you think you might need a helping hand with getting organised, give your personal concierge a call)

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29

May

2012

“I don’t know how you do it!” you find yourself saying.

“You really are Wonder Woman,” you conclude.

Being “wonder woman” isn’t as hard as it looks, and if we’re being completely honest, it’s actually a bit of a facade.

Unfortunately, we look at those women who appear to be “doing it all and having it all” and we just want to be like them.

What you don’t see is just how it is they manage to get everything done.

The secret?

Outsourcing!

There are so many aspects of our life that can be done by someone else; the cleaning for example, or the ironing. There are people who will come and sort your pantry out, or help to organise your office.  (Cough cough)

Some assistants, like me, will also do things like book appointments for you, arrange meetings and even organise someone to give the floor a vacuum, do your washing and ironing! Who says you need to be CEO of some multimillion dollar company to have your own PA?

You don’t!

The best think you can do to become the wonder woman you want to be is to call in help. Call in someone to do all the things you don’t like to do so that not only do you get everything done, but you also get to spend more time on the things you enjoy and that make you happy.

Calling in help is not an admission of failure, it is what all sensible, smart, savvy women do … it is their little secret.

 

Who are you calling in first, Ms Wonder Woman?

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22

May

2012

Whether you’re trying to impress, wanting to keep them as clients or merely wish to say “thank you for your loyalty” entertaining clients and business guests is a sure way to get the message across. Taking them out for dinner is a safe option; providing the venue, whether a restaurant or cafe is up to your guest’s expectation and will suitably impress them. Going somewhere exotic can be nice, especially if it’s not somewhere your guests are likely to have been but be careful if you’re not terribly familiar with their likes and dislikes.  It could end up as a dismal failure. If you can afford it, aim for something that is a cut-above average.

The better option, however, would be to find out what your client likes and dislikes. A sumptuous dinner will be the bee’s knees for some, but others might find them boring and unimaginative. If your client is more active, or perhaps a bit of a risk taker, try something totally different.  Have you ever thought of taking a client on a hot air balloon ride, swimming with sharks or skydiving? Wine tours and tastings can be fantastic for relationship building and generate “non-office” discussion, but remember not to drink and drive.  Book a driver for the day (that would be me!)

Ultimately, where you decide to entertain your business guests and clients is dependent on three main factors:

  1. What is the purpose of the entertainment?
  2. Will business discussion need to be had?
  3. What does your client like to do?
Sky diving might make your client go “Wow!” but is not terribly conducive to nutting out a contract. On the other hand, sitting opposite someone who is clearly bored and would much rather be scaling a rock face isn’t much fun either, and won’t do anything for your relationship with them.

Most importantly, whatever it is you decide to do, make sure you have booked and made the appropriate reservations, and have covered all possible external bases – is accommodation required? Who pays for parking or travel? What else do you need to do?

Get to know your clients a little more and think outside the box … then WOW them!

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08

May

2012

In the last few posts we raised some pretty big questions about life, the universe and everything.

I’ve given you some ideas on how you might find answers to those questions.

If you’re still at a loss, or your brain is racing and full of ideas, perhaps it’s time to slow it down and gain some focus.

Meditation is a fantastic tool, not only for finding focus, but it will help you relax and can have significant positive effects on your health.

You may think that meditation is just for hippies, or spiritual types.  In fact, anyone can do it and there are a lot of resources to teach you how.

So, what is meditation? The simplest explanation is that it’s a way of emptying your brain of the constant noise of thoughts by using the rhythm of your breath as a focus.

Relaxing you brain through meditation allows it to have a rest and, with regular practice, you will improve its ability to process information and make decisions.  You will learn how to dismiss unimportant and distracting thoughts, as well as identifying what is really important to you.

Some great ways to start meditation include:

  • Buying, or borrowing a book, for example “An Illustrated Guide on How to Meditate” by Matthew Johnstone;
  • Buying or borrowing some CDs with guided meditation and relaxation exercises;
  • Enrolling in a short course at your local community centre or TAFE;
  • Practicing yoga in a group, as this often includes a meditation component.

Happy meditating!

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