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AUTUMN 2011

$9.95 (incl GST)

Flower

POWER HEALING WITH ESSENCES

Positive

Psychology HOW TO GET HAPPY

Letting go of

impossible

AND MAKING IT HAPPEN

Workplace Bullying

DEAL WITH THE BULLY AT WORK

Kasey

Chambers “Find that thing that makes you different ”

● What is Acoustic Wave Technology? ● How to go home guilt-free ● Designing a website that works ● D.I.Y. Superannuation www.empoweronline.com.au


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12 Run your own race

Country singer/songwriter Kasey Chambers shares her refreshingly down-to-earth outlook on life, from her unique childhood to the highs and lows of her music career and her strong sense of family.

26 Making quiet progress

Having a child with a disability is “interesting” in that old Chinese proverb kind of way. It is a life that can bring equal parts inspiration, desperation, laughter and tears. Valerie Foley shares her experience…

18 The psychology of positive Choose to lead a happier, more fulfilled life 20 Doing the impossible Let go of “impossible” and get results

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23 Concept of self Change the self-concept that’s holding you back 24 Develop your psychic ability Access your inner psychic power 28 Signs of betrayal Know how to spot infidelity 30 Mother coach Apply coaching skills in motherhood 32 The power of flowers Healing with flower essence therapy 35 Nutrient superfoods Choose foods with nutrient density

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36 Wave cellulite goodbye The magic of Acoustic Wave Therapy 40 Equals in the boardroom Find out what’s keeping women off the board 42 Uplevel your career Surefire strategies to play a bigger game 44 The bully at work Identify and deal with workplace bullying 46 Go home guilt free Overcome the guilt of going home “early” 48 In the eye of the designer Meet the inspiring Catherine Manuell 50 Great expectations Change pre-conceived expectations for success 52 NLP in sales Increase your sales with Neuro Linguistic Programming 54 Websites that work Ensure your website converts traffic to customers 56 An inside job Learn to increase your prosperity from the inside-out 58 Playing with property Make money in property with no money 60 DIY Super Understanding Self Managed Super Funds

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From the desk… Your Say Meet the Experts Acts of Kindness

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Check it out Great Reads Change Your Life in 15 Minutes Coaching Toolkit

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Publisher & Editor Helen Rosing helen@empoweronline.com.au

From the desk...

Graphic Designer Design Box www.designboxweb.com Cover Photography Photography courtesy of Channel Nine Contributors Natalie Ashdown, Lyndsey Baigent, SallyAnne Blanshard, Silvia Damiano, Vicki Dean, Susan Jackson, Katrina Mae, Michelle Hext, Allan & Barbara Pease, Heidi Alexandra Pollard, Catherine Pritchard, Joseph Scott, Susan Scott, Russel Stewart, Tanielle Thomas, Karen Vella, Chloe Wedgwood, Dr Annie Wyatt Production & Subscriptions admin@empoweronline.com.au P: (02) 9686 4398 Advertising Gidon Rosing gidon@empoweronline.com.au P: 0402 822 722 Printed by TBS Print Pty Limited P: 1300 301 321 E: info@tbsprint.com.au www.tbsprint.com.au Powered online by www.issuu.com Published by Indigo Productions Pty Limited ABN: 90 135 381 118 PO Box 1397 Baulkham Hills, NSW, 1755 P: (02) 9686 4398 F: (02) 9686 4394 E: admin@empoweronline.com.au www.empoweronline.com.au Advertisers and contributors to emPOWER Magazine acknowledge they are aware of the provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to false and misleading advertising or statements under other unfair practices and the penalties for breach of provisions of those Acts. The publisher accepts no responsibility for such breaches. Opinions expressed by contributors are their own and not necessarily endorsed by emPOWER Magazine or the publishers. All material in emPOWER magazine is copyright and may not be produced in whole or in part without express permission of the publishers. ISSN 1835-8705


Thank you for all the wonderful feedback on the magazine and website. Keep your comments and ideas coming. Email us at admin@empoweronline.com.au


meet the experts

to all our expert contributors Natalie Ashdown is a workplacecoaching expert with over 15 years of corporate management experience and 8 years coaching senior managers and their teams. She is an author, speaker, facilitator on workplace coaching including relationships, communication and conflict. Natalie is CEO of Open Door Coaching, one of Australia’s leading executive coaching, coach training organisations and a registered training organisation.

Vanessa Hall is the Founder and Director of entente Pty Limited, an award winning Author, Speaker and Adviser to business leaders, and individuals alike. She is also known as the International Ambassador for Trust. Her passion and determination to bring about a new awareness to the power and fragile nature of trust make her unstoppable as she leads the world first International Movement of Trust.

Dr Tim Sharp has three degrees in psychology (including a Ph.D.) and an impressive record as an academic, clinician and coach. He runs one of Sydney’s largest clinical psychology practices, a highly regarded Executive Coaching practice, and is the founder & CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) of The Happiness Institute, Australia’s first organisation devoted solely to enhancing happiness in individuals, families and organisations.

Carol Asher, BA (Hon.) is the creator of the “One Heart” flower essence system from The South Of France and founder of One Heart Body Essentials, a company which specialises in creating vibrational products from nature to enhance health and wellbeing. Carol also offers private consultations and workshops which empower people to align with their inner strengths, wisdom, passion and joy.

Michelle Hext is CEO and founder of Glow Women’s Fitness Online. Michelle’s has 20 years experience in the fitness industry and is now leading the way in Online Personal Training. Through her online training and full time centre Michelle helps women to change their lives through fitness and healthy living. Michelle was recently featured as one of Australia’s Trainers to watch in Ultrafit Magazine.

Narelle Stegehuis is a qualified naturopath and herbalist specialising in women’s health. She has a passion for hormones and wholesome healthy eating and her devotion and dedication to a core philosophy of food as medicine supports her strong beliefs in promoting sustainable health. Narelle has helped many women across Australia effectively manage their health and turn their lives around.

Sally-Anne Blanshard is the Career Manager for www.myambition.com, ,a website dedicated to helping individuals accelerate their job search and career strategy. She has over 12 years experience in consulting in the areas of talent management and career development and regularly blogs on all aspects of career management. In addition, Sally-Anne coaches candidates through interactive tutorials, workshops and one to one sessions.

Andrew Jobling played AFL football for St Kilda FC. He has over 20 years experience helping people create positive long-term change with their wellbeing and lives as an educator, personal trainer, presenter and writer. He is an in-demand speaker and the best selling author of Eat Chocolate, Drink Alcohol and be Lean & Healthy, Simply Strength and his newest book Dance Until it Rains.

Joanne Tyler-Jenkins has served as Managing Director of Totally U, servicing the Australian Beauty Industry since 1996. Having attended workshops and seminars on Acoustic Wave Therapy in Switzerland and Singapore, she has witnessed the growth of the treatment with over 250 cosmetic surgery practices and Spas having embraced the technology.

Jen Dalitz is the founder of sphinxx - a social enterprise committed to achieving gender balance in leadership. She is an avid commentator and award winning Australian businesswoman and regularly features across international media. In 2010 she was invited to deliver a keynote presentation at the Women’s Summit in Malaysia and represent Australia in a BBC global debate on the advancement of women and the Millennium Goals.

Libby Lombardo: business and property entrepreneur, author and CEO. Having bought, sold, developed and traded millions of dollars of real estate for over a decade, Libby established Leverage Property, which provides services for those who aspire to become wealthy through property development. Her mission is to show others how to achieve what she has, without making the same costly mistakes.

Chloë Wedgwood, Founder of the Canvas group - Canvas Marketing, Canvas Creative and Canvas Mentors, is passionately committed to supporting businesses generate profit from no cost and low cost marketing techniques. With a background in Media, PR and Marketing, she has been an instrumental force in marketing businesses in a variety of different industries from fashion to property, sports, hospitality and more.

Rachel Green is passionate about helping you keep your cool with irritating people, build your confidence, and develop your emotional intelligence. She’s a motivational speaker and Founding Director of Confident Woman Australia, Australia’s only national organisation devoted exclusively to self-confidence and self-esteem for Australian women across the life span. She also heads up a speaking/training/coaching company RachelGreen.com.

Monique Message works in a centre of like-minded professionals whose aim is to guide their clients by empowering them to take control of their lives through education in investing and financial advice during and after family breakdowns. She specialises in advising women who are going through this difficult time and helping them make important financial decisions that can impact their future well being.

Dr Annie Wyatt is an accomplished speaker, teacher and published author. As a public speaking and personal development coach, Annie loves to see her clients swap their fear of public speaking for confidence, excitement, enthusiasm and professionalism. Her background is in adult education and psychological wellbeing at work. She is a certified NLP trainer and uses acceptance and commitment processes in her work.

Brad Greentree is a Professional Personal Success Coach. He is a certified NLP Trainer and a member of the American Board of Neuro Linguistics Programming (NLP). He is also a Certified Trainer in Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis through the American Board of Hypnotherapy and the Time Line Therapy™. Brad is the contracted Australian trainer for the Tad James Group of Companies.

Entrepreneur, property investor, speaker, philanthropist and author, Heidi Alexandra Pollard is a sought after leadership and communication coach who became a self-made millionaire in her early 30’s. She has over 15 years in leadership roles across a broad range of industries and government. In 2010 she founded Leading Ladies International, a company that supports women in all stages of their career and life.

Zoë Routh is a Magnetic Leadership coach, facilitator, speaker, and author with over 20 years experience in leadership and personal development, maximising the potential of youth and adults through outdoor adventure. She has worked with thousands of individuals and groups and knows that awesome results need awesome leadership, and awesome leadership begins with unleashing the awesomeness of the leader.

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Order your copy now through emPOWER at the special discounted price of $380 (incl delivery) at www.empoweronline.com.au/tad-james 9

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We can change the world, one act at a time – a little kindness is all it takes.

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t’s quite possible you have changed someone’s day without even knowing it. Perhaps you gave a welcoming smile when they were feeling left out, delivered a compliment, opened a door, offered up your seat on the bus or were generally helpful and pleasant when it was most needed. You can probably also think of moments when someone changed your day in a similar way. What happened in each of those moments is called an Act of Kindness – a small action that can make a big difference. Here’s how some of our readers are getting in on the act.

My friend is a writer and she loves to help charities when she can. Following the recent earthquakes in Japan, she set up a website where people could donate to the Red Cross and by showing her the receipt, get a piece of writing from her (depending on the amount). It was a great initiative that got a lot of people involved. I donated $60 and got a nice story in return. It was a nice feeling to help out and get an entertaining read from a great writer as well. Emily – via website

I wanted a dress that was sold out at my local store. I called one in another suburb to ask if they still had it in stock. The girl I spoke to was really nice and sounded very happy. I told her how nice it was to speak to someone so cheerful. She was really helpful, so I asked for her name. I sent a letter to the company to highly commend her service. Jacinta – by email

Many years ago now when my son was finishing year 12 and planning to go to schoolies week, he told me that his best friend couldn’t go because he didn’t have the money so I anonymously sent some cash to his friend in an envelope with a typed address so that my identity would not be discovered. About a week later he told me that his friend was now going to schoolies because someone had sent him some money. To this day I have not disclosed that it was me who sent the money. Needless to say he had a great time at schoolies. Cathy – via email

t the the bridge into the water. I asked her wha rly lady crying and looking worriedly over elde was an d ge hear brid I n The r. whe wate walk the e ning abov mor I was on my dog paddle and stay that was in the rough current trying to got dog ll He r. sma her wate to the ted into poin ed she jump and and was n matter ed stripping dow he was really struggling. A young boy start zing to up to high for her to reach for him and r and everyone cheered. It was quite ama wate cold ing freez the of out it e mad He . lady old the to to the dog and passed him up world. Martha – via email watch. There are still good people in the

There’s this man I see in the city a lot. st He’s homeless and walks around almo for look everyday with his resume to work. I think some companies hire him to do odd jobs temporarily and I’ve noticed his appearance change over the months. He started out in older slightly dirty clothes and now he wears nice pants and a shirt. It warms my heart to know that people are helping him out and that he won’t give up. If I had a business, I’d hire him in a heartbeat. Evie – via website

One afternoon, my husband was mowing the lawns. When he came in for a glass of coke, he told me that he mowed the neighbour’s nature strip. He said that he didn’t know what came over him, but he thought that he would appreciate it if someone did it for him, so he decided to do it for them. I was very impressed with him. The next week when they were mowing their lawns, they mowed our nature strip in return. Jeff was over the moon. Now they take turns and it’s like a break for them when it’s done for them. Lorraine – via email

Submit your Act of Kindness & Win The three readers to send in our favourite and most inspiring acts of kindness before 31 August 2011 will win the acclaimed book ‘A Course in Weight Loss’ by Marianne Williamson, proudly provided by Hay House (www.hayhouse.com.au). Submit your Act of Kindness at empoweronline.com.au or email admin@empoweronline.com.au.

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you | Feature

The psychology of

Positive Dr Tim Sharp discusses the what, when, where and how of positive psychology and how you can “choose” to use positive psychology to lead a happier, more meaningful and fulfilled life.

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istorically, clinical and counselling psychology has focused almost exclusively on fixing problems; psychology as devoted almost all of its efforts to sickness and pathology with relatively little effort or time devoted to real mental health and wellness. This approach has been based on the belief that by addressing faults and weaknesses we’ll help people improve their lives. But this is only partially true because although helping people overcome difficulties (such as anxiety and stress and depression) is important, it might, at best, help them improve from minus 10 to zero. But is zero (or what we call “okayness”) really good enough? Okay is better than not okay but surely we can do better. In fact most of us want much better than just okay which is why positive psychology and the wellness movement more generally, are proving so popular.

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But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s define what we’re actually talking about. Positive psychology doesn’t necessarily replace, but it certainly builds upon and extends traditional psychological approaches; for one, it aims not just to help people move out of the negatives but focuses on moving them well into the positives. To continue the metaphor started above, positive psychology argues that although going from minus 10 to zero is a good start, it should only be that...a start. Once that’s achieved we shouldn’t finish there but rather, we should focus on moving from zero to positive 10! Instead of the target simply being an absence of distress, therefore, the ultimate goal of positive psychology is to experience a really meaningful and wonderful range of positive emotions (including, of course, happiness). The goal

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becomes not just surviving but thriving; by which positive psychologists mean living a great life, one in which real health and wellbeing leads to flourishing as individuals and as members of a broader community or society. Along these lines, therefore, positive psychologists have primarily focused on researching, developing and applying practical strategies that we can now be confident will lead to real, meaningful and enduring improvements in health and wellbeing (that’s physical, mental, emotional and interpersonal). Before going on, however, I should point out that no one within the positive psychology community believes that anyone will be 100% happy and healthy all the time! This is an unrealistic goal. But, that being said, it’s totally realistic to expect to experience health and happiness most of the time and also, to have the skills to bounce back from and work through adversity effectively and quickly, which means that happiness isn’t just about enjoying the good times but it’s also about working through the tough times as best one can. What this means is that


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positive psychology accepts that so called “negative emotions” are a normal and appropriate part of life. Sadness and grief, stress and anxiety, anger and frustration are all part of being human beings. But, and this is an important but, happiness requires managing these emotions so that they don’t become too extreme and so that they don’t impact negatively on our lives for too long. The other part of this is that happiness is a term that covers a wide range of positive emotions (much more so than many people realise). Ultimately it means different things to different people; it’s an entirely subjective experience. For some, the experience of happiness is one of predominately “high arousal” feelings such as joy and excitement; for others, it involves more “low arousal”, but equally important, emotions such as calm, contentment, peace and tranquillity.

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The ultimate goal of positive psychology is to experience a really meaningful and wonderful range of positive emotions. Ideally, we should all try to experience and enjoy all these different forms of positive emotions but the reality is that some people will tend more to the high arousal end of the spectrum (e.g. extroverts) while others (e.g. introverts) might be more likely to seek out low arousal forms of happiness. Anyway, back to positive psychology from a practical perspective. In simple terms, positive psychology focuses on what’s working rather than on what’s not working; it asks what’s right rather than what’s wrong; the emphasis is on utilising strengths instead of fixing weaknesses (although please note; positive psychology doesn’t ignore faults, weaknesses and limitations. It accepts that we all have these but that as much as possible, our efforts and energies should be mostly, on using what we’re already good at). We can sum up the core components of positive psychology that contribute to happiness and success in the following acronym. We believe that achieving

happiness requires nothing more than practicing a few simple disciplines each and every day and to practice these disciplines we need to constantly make the right choices. So, next time you’re making a choice remember that “choose” is not just a philosophy of taking responsibility but also, a mnemonic that stands for:

people have both more and better quality relationships. Happiness is not a solo sport; it’s a team effort. Make sure you devote time to developing and fostering your key relationships because other people matter and compassion, thoughtfulness, caring and consideration of others are key to real and meaningful happiness.

C = Clarity

S = Strengths

Clarity refers to your goals, direction and purpose in life. Happy people set goals that are much more clearly defined. They more actively and effectively determine clear and specific plans to ensure these goals become reality. So, set aside some time to clarify your life plan as soon as possible because if you don’t do it, no one else will do it for you!

The “S” for strengths represents your core qualities and attributes. Rather than spending all their time trying to “fix” their “weaknesses”, happy people spend more time identifying and utilising their strengths. So quite simply, stop asking “what’s wrong and how can I fix it” quite so often and start asking “what’s right and how can I do more of it”. Find out what you’re good at (your inner attributes and positive qualities) and do it as much as possible in as many ways as possible.

H = Healthy Living Healthy living is about activity and exercise, diet and nutrition and sleep. Health forms a crucial part of the foundation to happiness. It’s hard to be happy if you’re literally sick and tired all the time. So, although you don’t have to turn vegan and/or run marathons, do whatever you can to be healthy (by eating well, exercising and ensuring you gain adequate sleep and rest) and you’ll also boost your chances of being happy.

O = Optimism Optimism refers to positive but realistic thinking. There’s no doubt that happy people think about themselves, others and the world around them differently. Among other things, they search for more positives although they also face up to cold, hard realities in a constructive way. The good news is that this is something you can learn to do so start practicing now – look around you for what’s good and look at what you can actively do to fix what’s not so good.

O = Others When we consider others, we are considering the key relationships in your life. Research strongly indicates that happy

E = Enjoy the moment Finally, enjoying the moment is about living in and appreciating the present. The past is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today’s a gift – that’s why they call it “the present”. Live in the moment and enjoy life more; learn from the past but look to the future and ask, “What can I do now?” Practice appreciation and gratitude by focusing more on what you have and less on what you don’t have. So there it is, a brief overview of positive psychology or what is sometimes referred to as the science of happiness. If there were one message I’d like you to walk away with it would be that happiness is very much achievable! No matter who you are and what you do, no matter what your background or your current context, you can all learn to live lives with more happiness. We can all become happier. We can’t change the past and we can’t control all that happens to us but we can CHOOSE how we respond to what happens and as a result, we can (at least partially) determine our future!

Dr Tim Sharp has three degrees in psychology (including a Ph.D.) and an impressive record as an academic, clinician and coach. He runs one of Sydney’s largest clinical psychology practices, a highly regarded Executive Coaching practice, and is the founder & CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) of The Happiness Institute, Australia. www.thehappinessinstitute.com

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you | Feature

impossible Doing the

“Impossible” is one of the most abused words in the English language. Too often it is pulled out and used whenever things seem slightly difficult. Andrew Jobling challenges you to lose the word impossible from your vocabulary.

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am here to say that I believe anything is possible; anything truly important that is. I also believe that we know this deep in our hearts, but the word impossible gives us an excuse to not ever try things that are potentially going to be difficult. If we can overcome the word “impossible” and eliminate it from our vocabulary we give ourselves permission to get out there, go after and do, what is in our hearts to do.

“Possible” is a vision followed by a decision Every year the Cancer Council runs a fundraising event called the “Relay for Life”. It is an event whereby individuals organise teams and get sponsored to keep a baton moving, either jogging or walking, around a set course continuously for 18 hours, to raise money for a disease that never rests. Almost without exception

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teams share the workload across the 18 hours with each person simply doing a few hours each and then handing the baton to someone else whilst they rest. For an individual person to walk or run for the entire 18 hours would certainly be considered by many as “impossible”, that is, with the exception of a couple that I met who actually did it. This particular couple started at 4pm on the Saturday of the relay and ran or walked continuously (that is, without a stop) until 10am on Sunday. An incredible effort! What they achieved is something that many people would have never even attempted in the first place because in their minds they would have considered it “impossible” for many reasons. Some would have said their legs would have never held out, others that they couldn’t survive without sleep, others would have simply said they didn’t want to, as it would be too

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hard. It is an interesting principle of life that to actually enjoy doing what we need to do to achieve what we want is a bonus! Liking what we have to do is irrelevant if we want the result badly enough. When I asked this exceptional couple how they got through the 18 hour challenge, they both said the same thing, “they had simply decided that they were going to do it.” They didn’t really know how, they only knew that they would and they took one step at a time with their eyes firmly fixed on walking or running across the line 18 hours later. Therefore step one in “doing the impossible” is to create a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve. The next seemingly simple step is to make the decision that it will be done. Whilst this sounds simple, it is not necessarily easy because, from that point of decision, there is potentially a lot of work to be done, starting


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with actually working out how the task can possibly be achieved. However, what is most interesting is that the “how” is not the important part! I have heard it said by many successful people that if the “why” is strong enough the “how” will always take care of itself. It was the great Napolean Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, who said, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve - regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past or how lofty your aims and hopes may be.”

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From “impossible” to “it will be done” There comes a time after deciding that we are going to do something when we do need to work out “how” it can possibly be done. Australian swimmer Kieren Perkins speaks about the time when breaking the 15 minute barrier for the 1500m swimming event was considered by “those that knew” as “impossible”. At that time he was young, only 15 or 16 years old, and he was challenged to set some goals for his career in swimming. Along with a couple of other things he wrote that he would break 15 minutes for the 1500m swim. Word got out about his goal and he was quite savagely harassed with such comments as, “who do you think you are?” and “what makes you think you can do that?” and “that is impossible for even the greatest athletes and you are nothing”. For a short time afterward he doubted his ability and was about to give in to “impossible” and not even try when he started to think about it… His thought process revealed to him that breaking the 15 minute barrier was just averaging 59.99 seconds per 100m and he knew his best time for 100m was 55 seconds. So, if he went out in a 57 seconds for the first 100m and then held 60 seconds per 100m throughout the swim and then came home with a 57 seconds in the last 100 then he would easily swim under 15 minutes. As he mentally broke down the swim into these 100m lots he noticed that the times required seemed more realistic and he got more excited. The more he

thought about it, the more this seemingly impossible task went from impossible to possible. Then, with some more reflection, analysis and training it went from possible to probable. Finally, when Kieren was standing on the blocks for the particular race in which he had set the goal, he knew in his heart, 100% certain, that he would break the 15 minute barrier that day. And he did! Just as Kieren achieved his “impossible task” by breaking it down into manageable chunks, so too did the Relay For Life couple who broke down an overwhelming 18 hours and 195 lap relay into simple blocks of time. It was then the decision that they would keep going until the goal was achieved, that transformed these “impossible” tasks to “possible, from “possible” to “probable” and then finally from “probable” to “it will be done”. So as you look toward our seemingly “impossible” task that you have decided to achieve, step three in the process is to break it down into smaller chunks. This will help you to see that if the smallest step is possible then the whole task must possible if you simply repeat that simple step over and over again. Writing a book for many may seem to be an impossible task unless you understand that it just happens one word at a time. Running a marathon would be considered impossible by many, unless you break it down to one step at a time. Kieren Perkins broke the 15 minute barrier one stroke at a time. Pretty simple huh? There is a great story about Native Americans living off the land on the prairies and plains during a very challenging time. The land had suffered from drought for a long period and the tribes were suffering as a result of the lack of water, lack of vegetation and lack of food. Across the land, and in this time of desperation, a legend grew about a tribe that could dance and make it rain. The other tribes set the goal to achieve this. Some would dance for twenty to thirty minutes but then stop with no success. Others would dance for hours until their feet blistered and then give up. Some tribes would even dance for days on

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end but eventually give in to their aching backs and the ridicule from neighbouring tribes. They would all give up disheartened and just as dry as when they started. A decision was finally made to track down this legendary tribe and find the secret to their success. So the chiefs from all the other tribes took off in search of this one tribe. When they found the tribe, they sat at the feet of its chief and pleaded, “Oh great chief, we have tried to make it rain, we are suffering, and we need your help. How can we make it rain? What is your secret?” ‘There is no secret,’ explained the chief, ‘our method is simple — we dance until it rains.” The final step in this process, step four, is quite simply to “dance until it rains”, regardless of how you are feeling, how long it might take, what else is happening or what other people are saying.

Magic happens when we aim high There is a saying that goes something like, “aim for the stars, if you miss at least you will hit the top of the telegraph pole”. No doubt you have examples of people doing seemingly “impossible” things and being successful. Many times you might think they are lucky, had more opportunity or were just in the right place at the right time. The reality is that these people think bigger, aim higher, break down seemingly impossible projects into manageable chunks and make a decision to “dance until it rains”. Just like those successful people, you can achieve magic when you follow the same process; the magic that takes that so-called “impossible” task and turns it into reality. Andrew Jobling played AFL football for St Kilda FC. He has over 20 years experience in motivation and wellbeing, is a successful speaker and best selling author of Eat Chocolate, Drink Alcohol and be Lean & Healthy, Simply Strength and newest book Dance Until it Rains. Visit Andrew at www. andrewjobling.com.au

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self

Feature | you

Concept of

S E L F

Ever asked yourself, “who am I”? As Rachel Green shows, the answer you give will depend on your self-concept and it’s one you can change...

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ur self-concept defines who we are and influences what we do. A negative self-concept can lead us into self-destructive behaviours and abusive relationships. A positive one can help us succeed at work or be great mothers, lovers or friends. Your self-concept is the summary of what you think you are. It is a personal judgement, not a scientific measure. You will single out certain features in yourself that you think are important and ignore others. You may highlight specific attributes or characteristics of yourself such as your physical features, your personality or your mental abilities. Your self-esteem is the value or worth you give to those features. However, your self-concept may be inaccurate or holding you back. For example, it’s your physical self-concept that influences what you see in the mirror. If your physical self-concept is distorted you may perceive yourself to be overweight when in actual fact you are not. Such a distorted physical self-concept can lead to eating disorders, anorexia or frequent dieting. Your physical self-concept also influences the way you walk, how you breathe, hold your head or even have sex. It even determines whether you like having your photo taken or not. For example, Jane has “big nose” listed on her self-concept. She considers it to be part of her family heritage and is proud of it (high self-esteem). When asked whether she will have her photograph taken, she says “yes” and smiles with self-confidence. In contrast, Ellen does not like having her photograph taken. She

also has a big nose, but thinks it makes her ugly. She has a low self-esteem because of her nose and thus lacks confidence in front of a camera. If, when you define your self-concept, your nose is not on your list of features then your nose is unlikely to have a significant impact on your self-esteem or self-confidence. Your self-concept can also relate to your role in life. What role do you identify with the most strongly? Wife? Mother? Businesswoman? Artist? Sister? Gardener? Leader? Lover? Mother-in-law? Career woman? Grandmother? The one you relate too most strongly will influence what you do with your life. I used to have an identity as a “worker” whic lead me to become a workaholic. I had to update and expand my self-concept to overcome that issue in my life. You can also include your personality in your self-concept. For example, if you have a self-concept that labels you as “shy”, you may be unwilling to greet strangers at a function or party. If, on the other hand, you label yourself as “friendly” you may find it easy to meet and greet people. Your self-concept also influences your ability to answer job interview questions, the work you seek and the type of relationships you attract.

Improve self-concept There are many activities that may help you refine and change your self-concept to get different results in your life: 1. Discover your personality type. I used the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type

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Indicator) to clarify mine and found I was the rarest of the types. Suddenly, I understood why I’d always thought I was an “oddball”. I changed this to a more constructive list of personality traits that help me identify and use my strengths. 2. Ask a group of good, supportive friends to write down three things they like about you. Compare this to your own thinking. If it is new information add it into your own description of yourself. For example, I once asked a close friend why he liked having me as a friend. I was surprised by his answer, “because you have your own self-starter motor. I know that if you need me you will always tell me and I don’t have to guess.” I’d previously had no concept of being a self-starter but now I can see that I do. My self-concept has expanded. 3. Join in some Feldenkrais Awareness-Through-Movement lessons. These helped me fill in gaps in my understanding of how my body worked and moved. Over a series of sessions, as I gained a more accurate picture of how the parts of my body were all connected, I started to move more easily and found aches and pains lessened. Clarifying your self-concept can bring many benefits. Award-winning communication specialist, emotional intelligence coach and motivational speaker, Rachel Green is the Director of Confident Woman Australia, the only national organisation devoted to self-confidence and self-esteem for women across the life span. Take a free confidence test at www.confident-woman.com.au rachel@confident-woman.com.au

www.empoweronline.com.au


you | Spirituality

psychic

Develop your

ability

Following on from the last issue of emPOWER, Russel Steward expands his instruction on developing your psychic ability.

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ome people who have written to me have told how they predicted a plane crash, a car accident or some other major event. This sometimes causes great concern, which is understandable because these are often things we are unable to change; you can't just walk into the airport and say "one of your planes is going crash!" Chances are folks will think you are a little disturbed. So why then do we have these big premonitions? Often our psychic sense has been giving us little indicators that it is there; small insignificant signs. We may brush these off as being merely coincidence, so in an effort to get our attention, we see something larger and more dramatic. This is our psychic awareness waking up and shouting, "look, I'm here, take notice." It often works too! When you finally acknowledge that the gift is there, you will find the big events start to disappear, allowing you to concentrate on developing your skill in a more humble fashion. Psychic intuition is a thoughtbased talent and it can feel like you are remembering an experience that was not yours. Often what comes into your mind is a picture, much like a photograph. These "photographs" can be black and white, colour, still or moving like a short movie.

Winter 2011

There are also feelings to be picked up. This may not happen as quickly as the "photos," as this is a deeper form of psychic awareness, but they may be a lot more important.

The role of a psychic The role of a psychic or medium often goes beyond just giving messages or making predictions. You need compassion and good communication skills in order to act upon the information received in an appropriate manner. Remember you are dealing with people's emotions and must adopt a policy of respect. You hold within you a special gift and great responsibility goes with it. People you read for will have come to you from many different backgrounds and belief systems. They may come in fear, sorrow and with little understanding. For this reason, you should not expect to be able to give readings immediately. If you start practicing to early you may also fail more than you succeed and end up spoiling your chances for respect and credibility.

of what to expect, what is possible and what could be fantasy. Build a firm base on which to expand, and be patient but explorative. Pay attention to your dreams and what they tell you and allow them to guide you. Although you can develop the skills on your own, try to find someone who will study with you.

Contacting your spirit guide Spirit existence can best be described as thought energy, so it makes sense for them to contact us through our thoughts. But how do you tell the difference between spirits and your mind? The thoughts will sound like your own, but they may also be of better clarity, more structured and eloquent in delivery. If you can still your mind, as with meditation for example, you may be able to detect these thoughts better. Ask questions, but don't ask for predictions for your own life, and see what thoughts come to you. "If you believe there are limits, you will work within them. If you believe there are no limits, then you may go beyond the generally accepted methods of communication." Robin Stevens

Developing mediumship

Is it real?

I sometimes get asked how people can develop their mediumship skills. While the process is not difficult, intention, sensitivity and respect for others are important. Most would-be mediums train in a development circle or with a teacher however, you may have to be invited or wait for a suitable opening. I advise people seeking to develop mediumship to first awaken their own psychic skills and then read about other mediums to learn how they get their information. This will give you an idea

How do prove to yourself that your psychic ability is real? The answer is through experience - all those things you knew that came true, all the things you could tell other people about them – each and every episode fuels your proof. At some point, chance and coincidence are mathematically no longer a factor. You search your feelings, you begin to trust yourself and see the good you are doing.

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*Reproduced with permission from Russel Steward. psychic.wonders2001@virgin.net


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inspiration | Profile

Making quiet

progress Having a child with a disability is “interesting” in that old Chinese proverb kind of way. It is a life that can bring equal parts inspiration, desperation, laughter and tears. Valerie Foley shares her experience…

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ur son, Billy, is seven – a bundle of love, joy and enthusiasm. He has also been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disability. It shows itself in subtle costumes. In some kids, it shows itself in endless wearing of very colourful and non-subtle costumes, but that’s a whole other story. The first signs we had that Billy was on the autism spectrum were things we had never associated with a condition like autism. When he stared off into the distance fixated on leaves blowing in the wind, we sang folk songs to our little genius who knew where ‘the answer’ was. When he craned his head transfixed at our local news channel theme tune, we thought, “clever boy wants to know what’s going on in the world.” When he avoided other kids in playgrounds, we hugged him and whispered, “It’s OK, buddy, we don’t like other people’s kids much either.” We could see he was shy in a crowd, but our son loved us and laughed with us all day. To us, he was connected and happy and deeply, inspirationally gorgeous. We couldn’t wait to share our wonderful boy with family and friends on a regular basis. Though we didn’t know it in the first year of Billy’s life, it was “the way things seemed to us” that would come to define our family. Billy’s little niche on the autism spectrum is a place where receiving and

Winter 2011

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regulating sensory information is deeply challenging and genuinely confusing. For him, a child’s laugh is like a punch in the back. The dog barking is like being stabbed. Noises, especially surprise sounds that he doesn’t control, are the bogeyman. In the outside world, he lives in a constant state of flight, concerned that someone or something is going to make a noise that hurts him. Extended exposure to loud noise depletes his energy to the point where doctors have put him in an ambulance thinking he’s in a coma. Along with autism, Billy has Sensory Processing Disorder (many people on the autism spectrum have SPD, though you can have SPD and not be autistic). At almost four years old, he also developed an auto-immune condition called Transverse Myelitis (“TM”). He survived the TM, with some residual immune and nerve related challenges. In a sentence, my charming son is a kid whose brain and body are not currently equipped to withstand the world with the same resilience as most of his peers. So, as a family we made the decision to allow Billy to take the world at his pace, and at a suitable volume. We gave him a safe zone – home. Our house became a quiet, calm place. Minimal surprise visitors, minimal surprise sounds, minimal surprise anything. Needless to say, family and friends were confused by our behaviour. We got a lot of, “who is parenting who?” thrown at us. Though we knew it wasn’t for everyone, it worked for us – isolated, as it was some days.


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Profile | inspiration

Our plan was tested once we started Early Intervention (”EI”)when Billy was two. On day one, the room was full of mothers and kids just like us. Very heartening. There were toys and games and reassuring coffee and cake smells. All good. And the kids were making a lot of kids-having-fun noise. Not so good. My child freaked out in front of my eyes. He cried, he clung to my legs, he sank to the floor and then wriggled like a blindfolded crocodile towards the door. We tried to get him to join the group, that day and every day open play was on for the rest of the term. He couldn’t do it, and so we, as his parents, said he shouldn’t have to. People thought we were nuts. I understand their arguments. After all he is a child but his disability makes social interaction challenging. Playgroups are good for social skills. But I also had my son’s heart in my hands. He was hurting. I needed to help him develop skills, but my gut said this was not the right way. So, I said, “Thank you very much” to the EI service, and I took him home. With the supervision of the EI people, his doctors and private therapists, we devised an Early Intervention program of our own – a Billy centred program. We attended individual therapy, to address Billy’s speech and sensory issues. We knew Billy loved trains and animals, so we went to places where there were children and trains and animals. We joined every zoo and animal park within driving distance of our Sydney home, and hoped the animals would make the proximity of kids seem less frightening. We hung about by train tables in toy shops (I often thought we looked a bit suspect, but no-one told us to leave). We allowed Billy the opportunity to learn and grow from a place of safety and security. We also chose to avoid a lot of social events. No kid filled birthday parties. No big family Christmases (we would visit one family on Christmas Eve, the other on Boxing Day). We lived on a small scale crowd-wise. Why? Because not living that way was too hard for Billy. He is our only child and we (the grown ups) were big enough and ugly enough to suck up the change. And as we did, we saw our son blossom. Progress was slow, but steady. We sought the help, advice and counsel of

professionals and other autism parents, helping us to build a speculative road map to the future we saw for our boy. Each time we saw Billy open up to an experience, we inched him a tiny step forward. Once he could handle the zoo on a quiet day, we’d go on a slightly busier day. Once he could stand near a Thomas table with one other child, we started meeting a neighbour and their child at the toy shop to see how he went with a longer lasting playmate. After a year of this, Billy was able to join a pre-school preparation group at the Early Intervention service. He still didn’t love it, but he stayed and he played. The next term, we tried pre-school proper. It wasn’t good. He was stressed. He was unhappy. He was overwhelmed. After a short time, a stomach bug, turned into an auto-immune attack (Transverse Myelitis), and Billy spent three weeks fighting for his life. If we needed a sign that our “protect and conquer” approach to autism was the right thing for our child, we got one. When he was discharged from hospital, we took him out of pre-school for the rest of the year and the zoo/toy shop game began again. The next year, when pre-school began again, Billy was strong enough to give it a go. His physical health struggled as a result of the TM, but with the help of some amazing staff, he learned he was OK at pre-school. The year after that, he began primary school, alongside his same age peers, in the most flexible mainstream school we could find. Again, it took a long time for him to feel safe. The physical health issues flared, in the constant presence of a school full of kid germs, but with a visionary teacher, he flourished. He made friends, he learned and most importantly, he built a sense of himself outside of our protective home environment. Autism is hard to understand. Behaviour that can be directly related to autism can look rude, or shy, or disinterested. Often, physical and mental health issues are related directly to the impact of being autistic in a neuro-typical world. Almost always, the various arms of the autism community are at odds with each other about what is the best treatment,

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diet,

intervention or therapeutic approach. Disappointingly, Billy’s recent journey has brought him home again, his mainstream school having proven unable to understand his health or autism. He does Distance Education, and has returned to therapy and hospital in an attempt to unwind the mysteries of his health. We are back to the zoo, and added the park, play dates, birthday parties and swimming pools. Best of all, we have friends and holidays and visitors again. It’s like a reverse spiral, rising out of the unknown and re-joining the world. As a family, we are little more social everyday. As his parents, a quiet-ish life seems like a small price to pay to have a happy healthy Billy; even if it continues to look a bit odd. It may be an “interesting” road, an unconventional journey, but it’s ours and while it keeps propelling us forward, we’ll keep going. The Autism Experience is a guide to bringing up children with Autism Spectrum Disorder written by parents across Australia and the world, who have themselves navigated the medical maze, braved the behavioural problems and survived the emotional rollercoaster associated with caring for someone with autism. For more information visit www.exislepublishing.com

www.empoweronline.com.au


life | Feature

Signs of Betrayal In a slightly more controversial article for emPOWER, private investigator Julia Moore shares the most common signs of infidelity. She should know, she’s been through it …

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et’s get one thing straight up front - not all betrayers are men and not all men betray. I’m not here to make you suspicious of your partner or to cause issues in your relationship. The following signs of betrayal come simply from my own experience of infidelity and the experience of hundreds of women I have helped to discover a cheating partner and claim their life back.

Intuition Intuition shows itself in a variety of ways: gut feelings; nagging feelings and thoughts; suspicion; doubt, hunches and apprehension. These feelings can linger for weeks, months and even years. Intuition should never be ignored. If you’ve opted to disregard it up to now but the signals are still persistent, you may just have overlooked the signs of betrayal your intuition is telling you are there.

Then he decided to join a gym – but not one close to home, where he and Sue could work out together – it was on the other side of town, and even then it was some distance from his office. When Sue enquired why he’d joined a gym so far from home he trotted out the excuse that it was cheaper and they ran programs for people who were just starting to get in shape again. And so his new regime started, but we found that his workout regime was a little different to the one he’d told Sue about.

Changes in the bedroom When someone withdraws sexually or wants more sex, or starts suggesting positions never used before, this is a sudden change in behaviour which is a tell-tale sign of betrayal.

Breastfeeding the mobile phone Secrecy is one of the biggest giveaways that someone is betraying. There’s nothing wrong with retaining one’s own privacy but excessive secrecy in a marriage is another thing altogether. Watch how someone behaves with their mobile phone. Do they: • Keep it close to them at all times? • Take it into the bathroom with them? • Take it with them when they put the rubbish out? • Constantly look at their phone (a giveaway for text messages)? • Start walking away out of earshot if it rings when you are close by? • Leave it in the car or switched off and occasionally check for messages? The key here is that when you have nothing to hide you hide nothing.

Mobile phone bills

Let’s get physical

The mobile phone bill is a sure-fire giveaway if someone is having an affair. The sheer number of calls to a particular number may be all the proof you need. A mobile phone bill often provides tangible evidence where a certain phone number has been called numerous times day after day. A betrayer will also usually call his partner straight after one of those calls. This is usually to check-in and to reassure himself everything is fine at home. Think about this. If you have a platonic male friend, do you call him between five and ten times a day? Do you phone him first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Do you make very short calls (i.e. leave messages) or send text messages on the weekend? Somehow I don’t think so, because we don’t even call our best girlfriend that many times day.

Out of the blue your man says it’s time to lose a bit of weight, tone up the old body and generally get in shape. Any sudden changes in behaviour are key signs. For example, Sue’s husband hadn’t been a slob by any means, but he enjoyed his food and apart from playing golf he did little to keep fit.

Receipts, bank

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Feature | life

statements and credit card bills This is the old story of a woman finding a receipt while innocently emptying a partner’s trouser pockets; for example, a receipt from a jewellery store for a gold bracelet. Knowing her birthday is coming up she is excited. The birthday comes and goes with no sign of a gold bracelet. Instead, a card with the promise of a holiday which never materialises. The same applies to credit card bills and bank statements. One client was looking for an amount she had paid for car repairs and discovered a cash withdrawal at the same time each week. She discovered this was child support for a child she knew nothing about – a child who had been fathered by her husband during their marriage.

Too many details

When someone wants to deceive, they will often give too many details. When someone is telling the truth they don’t feel the need to go into great detail. For example, if they were late meeting you for lunch they would simply say they were sorry for being late. But someone who is lying needs to justify the lie to themselves. Their reasoning probably sounds plausible to you but it doesn’t to them, so they keep on talking, trying to add additional support to their story. Take, for example, the guy who phoned his wife and started to describe the plane trip he’d just taken, every turbulent bump, what he’d eaten and who sat next to him. The only problem was that he hadn’t taken the plane trip at all, and his wife was receiving his call in the same hotel foyer as he was making it from. She told me later that if she hadn’t seen him with her own eyes she would have believed his story.

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Getting defensive A betrayer easily becomes defensive when asked simple questions, and if you challenge him he may become verbally aggressive. The surfacing of this behaviour is usually a sign that guilt is lurking somewhere. His response becomes a verbal assault, such as: ‘I’m sick of being questioned. I can’t do anything right – no matter what I do it’s not

good enough. You always think I’m doing something. Why don’t you ring everyone and ask them what I’m doing? I’m trying to do what you want.’ So now it’s turned onto you and you’re probably feeling really bad for asking a simple question.

Talking about a particular person too much Talking about someone doesn’t necessarily involve making positive comments about him or her. Roy came home from work and started to make derogatory comments about a new female colleague – she was useless and certainly no oil painting. The problem for Roy came when Natalie began to notice how many times this woman’s name was mentioned. When Natalie had to go out of town for a night she had Roy watched. True to form, Roy had his little oil painting over to watch some naughty movies. When someone is attracted to a person, that person is always in their thoughts and to talk about them, even in an unflattering way, is an excuse to keep that person in their mind.

Overly attentive Remember what I said before? Sudden changes in behaviour are tell-tale signs of betrayal? Tricia’s husband suggested she needed a break and she should go on her own to New York for three weeks. Because it was so out of character – he’d never been so considerate in their 16 years of marriage – Trish arranged some surveillance. He never went home while she was away and couldn’t be contacted by phone at home.

Hang-up calls and strange messages I think not! I’m always intrigued as to how women can find logical reasons to justify strange hang-up calls in the middle of the night or cards, letters, magazines and newspaper cuttings when they come through the post. These are all very obvious signs of betrayal, which usually come from a dumped lover although in some cases they’re from someone who knows what’s going on and wants to alert the wife.

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The business trip If your partner is keeping you so much in the dark about his upcoming business trip that you might as well be a mushroom, then he’s also ensuring the chances of you finding him out are virtually nil. Once again to figure this out is easy. If you’re planning a trip away do you know where you’re staying, when you’re leaving or how long you’ll be away? Of course you do. And so does he.

Sleep disturbance Ben said Chrissie’s body temperature was too hot so he moved out of their super-kingsized bed and into the poky little back room with a bed to match. As Chrissie explained to me, they’d had the bed custom made and four people could have comfortably slept in it without disturbing each other. So what was the real reason Ben moved out? In my experience a lot of men will use an excuse like this to avoid having to face the truth, which is that they are having an affair. Men who move out of the bedroom have usually left their wives emotionally and this is their way of justifying what they’re doing. There is no longer any intimacy and they don’t sleep with or have sex with their wives. Infidelity is a heart wrenching experience for anyone to go through but is also often the wakeup call that leads to a new beginning and a better life. In Infidelity: Exploding the Myths, you’ll be inspired by Julia’s own story and also learn the myths of infidelity, the signs of betrayal and how to decide to stay or go.

Julia Hartley Moore is one of Australasia’s best-known private investigators. Her company, Arbeth & Co Ltd, has operated around the world since she started it in 1996. Julia first came to widespread attention as the star of a reality television series based on private investigators, and she continues to make regular television and radio appearances.

www.empoweronline.com.au


life | Feature

Mother coach

Motherhood is one of the most complex, rewarding, exhausting and yet exhilarating things to go through. Sally-Anne Blanchard shows you how to use coaching skills in your journey as a mum.

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wo of the most life changing moments for me would have to be my journey into the profession of coaching and the journey of becoming a mother. When I discovered coaching I had such a huge connection with the positive psychology behind the process of being coached that I went on to carve a career out for myself in career coaching. Coaching itself is often a process or formula, using various tools and questioning techniques to arrive at answers or options that you may not previously have given the time to listen to. For me, the biggest part of learning to be a coach was really listening to what my mind and body did or did not want to do within a certain scenario. These are known as those “A-ha” or “light-bulb” moments where you discover a real insight into yourself. The other profound part for me of being a coach or being coached is the action; what you choose to do once you have your “A-ha” moment. Becoming a mother happened two years after becoming a coach and I suddenly found myself in world of conflicting joy and negative opinion. Being used to a life of positive thinking I found it quite confronting to be told by experienced mums – after they had congratulated me on my pregnancy news – how hard things I would find it, how exhausted I would be and what a challenge motherhood is. With my new set of coaching skills I found it quite draining to be constantly spinning comments from negative to positive. Winter 2011

So from those pre-natal moments of passing conversation I was practicing my skills as a coach as well as a new mum. Sometimes I would merely smile and acknowledge that the person sharing this with me must have had a tougher time of pregnancy than me and simply continued to smile. With others that had more presence in my life (eg. friends at work), I replied that I had not yet experienced those things and would be sure to pick their brains if I do. And, with one individual, I actually asked her to stop sharing her negativity as I was clearly having a different experience than she did. My personal experience of motherhood has been to take each day as it comes (that was advice I did listen to). Personally, I use coaching skills to establish mini goals and you can too. • If I manage to get up and have a shower – what an achievement! • If I am able to put some mascara on and face the world – gold star for me! • If I manage to catch up with a friend and share a moment of sleep deprived giddiness and laughter – well, I’m doing ok!

• When your baby tries to communicate, try to really “listen” to what he needs and act accordingly; • Sit “in the moment” of motherhood and work out what you need to do in that moment only; • Call on people to support you, not only when times are hard but also when times are good; • Check in with yourself as to how you are doing and ask friends to do the same; • Beware of the demon of comparison and don’t compare your baby’s development to others. Babies and children learn and develop at their own speed just like you. • Reward yourself for the little steps you make into the world of being an accomplished mum. As I wait patiently for the arrival of my second child I am also reflecting on what I can do better this time and what things, that previously seemed so important, I can now just let slip. I am not striving for perfection, merely trying to perfect the art of motherhood that works for me.

Become the coach

Sally-Anne Blanshard has an interest in helping new mothers approach the motherhood journey with a new perspective and positive thinking. She runs Nourish Coaching and offers small workshops and 1-1 programs for the benefit of new mums. Follow her blog on life with ‘2 under 2’. www.nourishcoaching.com.au

Try these simple tips for becoming your own coach in motherhood: • Remind yourself constantly that you and this little person are in the journey together; • Remember that the only way for your baby to communicate is through their (sometimes constant) cries; 30


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wellbeing | Spotlight on

flowers The

power of

Are you feeling fear, anger, sadness or stress? Carol Asher explains how the vibrational power of flower essence therapy brings balance, peace and calm to the turmoil of life.

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lower essence therapy is a gentle, natural therapy often confused with Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils. Whilst both therapies are based in nature and the use of plants for healing the body, mind and spirit, their modality and approach to healing is completely different. Aromatherapy uses fragrant essential oils, which are tangible, plant derived, liquid substances. They contain vitamins, minerals, hormones, chemicals, and antioxidants for healing. Once absorbed into the body via the skin or via inhalation, they affect the various organs and systems, also affecting the emotions and the mind. Flower essence therapy is an energybased therapy, using flower essences for healing the body-mind. Flower essences are made from the energetic imprint of flowers captured in water, which is then preserved in alcohol. They carry no fragrance, except for the scent of water and alcohol. This liquid is absorbed into the body, as drops administered via the mouth or via the skin. Each flower essence carries a specific high frequency, a vibration and intelligence that

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affect the body energetically, bringing about healing by transforming and changing emotions and thoughts. How does this happen? Some flower essence makers believe that the high frequency is picked up and circulated by the electrical system of the body. Some believe that the frequency is absorbed into the fluids and water of the body and circulated via the blood, plasma, lymph and so on. Either way, the essences work to heal the body. Flower essence therapy aims to shift and transform the erroneous and negative thoughts and emotions within us that are the underlying cause for stress and disease in our bodies. Stress is one of the signatures of the 21st century society – we are constantly running out of time, juggling family, work and career commitments, whilst being bombarded with ever changing technology and increasing environmental pollution. This, coupled with the worlds’ economic crisis, terrorism, breakdown of religious institutions, government collapses, is creating inner conflict and lack of security on many levels, affecting collective consciousness and the individual as a whole. Flower essences bring balance, peace and calm, and thus can be used both to support healing and recovery and also as preventative medicine by eliminating stress.

Vibrational medicine “On such matters we have been wrong, what we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” Albert Einstein Flower essence therapy is considered a vibrational therapy, belonging to the


Sportlight on | wellbeing

group of therapies that applies energy and various frequencies to heal the body. Homeopathy, Sound, Colour and Light Therapy, Ultra Sound, Reiki, Hands On Healing, Gem Therapy, are all examples of vibrational medicine that uses various energy frequencies for healing. Vibrational medicine views the body as a holistic physical, emotional, mental and spiritual entity, which vibrates within a certain frequency range when healthy. When there is an imbalance or disease in the physical body, it will show up as a lowered frequency. Even if disease is diet or environmentally related, you will find erroneous and negative thoughts and emotions underlying these habits. The goal in vibrational medicine is to change, transform and uplift the emotions and thoughts from negative to positive, from low frequency to high frequency. For example, constant fear can weaken

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“Trust your intuition and feelings to determine what you need at any given time”

the kidneys, constant anger can overheat and congest the liver, constant sadness and grief can lead to lung congestion and heart problems, constant emotional stress can lead to an overall breakdown of the nervous system and tax the adrenals. Fear, anger, sadness, grief, emotional and mental stress are considered “low” energy frequencies, which lower the frequencies of these organs, inhibiting their function and eventually leading to disease. By introducing a high vibrational remedy such as flower essences, repetitively to the body, slowly but surely the “negative” patterns will dissolve, change, and be replaced with new positive emotions and thoughts. In turn the physical body also heals. These are very general and simplistic examples of how emotions and thoughts can affect the physical body but often, negative thoughts and emotions manifest in a more complex way, affecting not only the physical body but also our entire life experience. Let’s take for example a person who is holding onto the belief and feeling that “my mother/father did not love me when I was a child”. They ultimately feel unloved

in every intimate relationship; feeling undeserving of love. They are locked into a self-sabotaging habit where they project this thought and feeling onto the relationship, preventing them from experiencing the very love that they desire. The One Heart Pink Mallow - I Am Love flower essence can help to change this pattern by introducing a frequency of love into the body. The person slowly but surely starts to feel more loved and then can let go of their negative conditioning, opening up to love and being able to manifest intimacy and loving, sustaining relationships. Another example is a person who is feeling over burdened by all the commitments and obligations that they have taken on in life, due to the fact that they cannot say “no” when asked. The Bach Flower essence Centaury activates the ability to be clearer about their boundaries and awakens the inner courage to take more care of their own needs and focus more on their own wellbeing. A third example is a person who is having difficulty opening up and expressing their creative abilities. The Australian Bush Flower essence Boronia helps to release the repetitive negative thoughts that stifle creativity such as “I cannot do this”, or “ I’ve never been creative”, or “I am a failure” and open up the inner vision for insight, inspiration and creativity.

How do I find the flower essence for me? Many naturopaths offer flower essences as part of their treatment. So do chiropractors and energy healers, such as reiki practitioners. They are usually included as part of a complementary approach to healing, supporting the overall treatment, which includes herbs, various supplements and body treatments. Usually a practitioner will recommend a personal blend addressing various mental and emotional aspects of one issue at a time. The personal dosage will vary from person to person. You can also choose your own flower essences directly, from any flower essence website or health food shop. In this case, trust your intuition and feelings to determine what you need at any given time. Flower essences have no contraindications and no side effects. They are completely safe to give to babies, children and pets. It is completely safe for you to choose your own essence. If you choose the

33

“wrong” essence you will simply experience no change in your condition. You will also find flower essence combinations or synergies, where the flower essence company has already put together various essences in one bottle, all addressing various aspects of one issue. For example, One Heart’s Flowers To The Rescue, contains 11 different flower essences, all supporting the relief from fear, shock, trauma, pain, exhaustion and injury. These are easy to choose as they are labelled by their outcome, such as Brain Power, Energy Boost, Happy Pet and so forth. Although the general dosage will be written on the bottle, there is no such thing as an overdose on flower essences. It is recommended that you allow at least three weeks for your flower essence remedy to complete its job. It takes time for entrenched thoughts and emotions to shift permanently. There are many flower essence systems in the world today, each carrying their own unique quality of healing. It is important that you “get a feel” for the system to help you chose, as the more aligned you are with the general intent behind the system, the more benefit you will derive from it. All of humanity experiences the same stress, pain and suffering. We all share the same emotions of loss, fear, abandonment, lack of love, hopelessness and anger, to name a few, and we can all benefit from flower essences. Flower essences can support a program of recovery from addictions, marriage and relationship breakups, job loss, career changes, heartbreak and heartache of any kind, and any of the challenges that we face in our daily living. I highly recommend that you make them part of your everyday life. Include them in your daily routine, taking them directly in your mouth or by adding them to your drinking water. Know that they will bring more light and love, balance and calm into your life, in a simple, gentle manner. Carol Asher, BA (Hon.) is the creator of the “One Heart” flower essence system from The South Of France and founder of One Heart Body Essentials, a company which specialises in creating vibrational products from nature to enhance health and wellbeing. To find out which essences can benefit you, email her at oneheart@tpg.com.au.

www.empoweronline.com.au


wellbeing | Spotlight on

Winter 2011

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37

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wellbeing | Fitness

Stay fit this

winter

If there is any time of the year that will challenge your dedication to fitness, winter is it. Michelle Hext shows you how to you need them. By planning ahead winter’s little challenges stay in shape in don’t have such a negative impact on what the cold. your you are trying to achieve.

W

hen the wind is blowing at gale force and the rain is teeming in monsoonal proportions a nice cup of hot chocolate and a good movie is far more appealing than a 5k run out in the elements. The thing is you’ve probably worked hard all year to gain a level of fitness you are happy with, you’ve shed last winters spare tyre and are looking and feeling pretty good. Don’t let it all go south for the winter. Here are some surefire ways to stick to, and enjoy, training through the winter months.

Go shopping for new clothes That got your attention didn’t it! You simply cannot workout in the same clothes you wore all summer. There is nothing more motivating than having some funky new outfits to wear to the gym. Buy a few staple pieces that you look and feel great (and warm) in and be sure to invest in some good quality breathable clothes.

Keep germs at bay Getting sick can really turn your best intentions pear shaped; a week or so off with a head cold and it can be really difficult to get back on track. A very simple but effective way of avoiding a cold or the flu is to wash your hands regularly. Carrying a hand sanitizer gel in your gym bag and in your handbag will also give you added protection when you can’t get near soap and water. At the gym be sure to avoid touching your face and the top of

Winter 2011

drink bottle unless you have washed your hands; remember that the person touching the equipment before you may have a cold and can pass it straight onto you.

Run to increase your immune system There have been many studies done on regular runners and increased immunity. By measuring the blood levels of lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack disease causing antigens) researchers have found higher concentrations during and after exercise. Regular runners report that they rarely catch a cold or flu despite running through the winter months. Running also prevents the natural decline in immunity as we age. You don’t have to go out and run 10k everyday to get the benefits. Even if you have never run before you can start out slow and build it up until you are running for 30 minutes three or four times a week.

Have a back up plan There is nothing worse than planning to go for a run or walk only to look out the window and see the rain coming down. If you don’t have a back up plan for these days your fitness routine can easily come unstuck, so it is crucial to formulate a Plan B. Write up a few alternatives for your Plan B so you can roll them out when

Get a training buddy to keep you honest. Team up with someone who has similar goals and commit to keeping each other accountable. Have a meeting where you work out a weekly schedule you are both willing to commit to. Be sure to make it clear that a training partners each of you is expected to make the other person feel unparalleled guilt if they pull out of a session without the valid excuse of broken bones or severe vomiting.

Get outdoors “What?” you ask, when even the mad dash to your car in the morning is torture. Nothing will have you feeling as invigorated as a run or long walk out in the elements. As long as you wear the appropriate clothing and are protected from the weather there is absolutely nothing to keep you indoors.

Get a program you enjoy It is simply much easier to stick to an exercise program you are really loving when the temptation to take a day off hits, rather than dragging yourself to the gym to do the same old boring routine. Get yourself a program you love or even exchange your regular gym sessions or cardio for a variety of different classes you wouldn’t normally attend and enjoy the change of a group environment.

Michelle Hext is CEO and founder of Glow Women’s Fitness Online. Michelle’s has 20 years experience in the fitness industry and is now leading the way in Online Personal Training. Michelle helps women to change their lives through fitness and healthy living. www.glowwomensfitnessonline.com.au

38


career | Feature

EQUALS

in the boardroom

Females have made their mark in almost every sector of the corporate jungle in the last 40-odd years, but as Jen Dalitz reports, it seems that the boardroom may still be the last bastion of male domination.

A

re we really equals? Despite a raft of initiatives aimed at increasing female representation in Australia’s boardrooms, women still hold only one in ten board seats on our top companies. As at March this year when the last Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index was conducted, only 42 ASX200 companies had two or more women on their boards; and a further 87 ASX200 boards still had no women at all. In the Government sector it's a little better, but there are still no women at all on at least 6 key government boards including the Australian Electoral Commission, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Military Superannuation boards. A quarter of a decade after antidiscrimination legislation was introduced, you could be forgiven for asking “are we really equals in the boardroom?” So what is it that’s keeping women out of directorships and – if you aspire to a board career – is there a fast track to the top? How can you get noticed in the first place and onto a board? Are quotas the only answer?

The history Australia has a long history of educating women to the highest standards and was one of the first countries in the world to introduce the vote for women. Women have been graduating in equal or greater numbers than men for almost two decades and we have a female Prime Minister, a female Governor General, various female Premiers and Governors too. Yet, a position on a board still seems to elude many eligible women. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency census of 2002 reported that women held just 8.2 per cent of the board positions in the ASX200

Winter 2011

companies surveyed. By 2008, this figure was stagnating at just 8.3 per cent - while in the same time period Norway, with a population of just four million, had managed to increase its women on boards to just shy of 40 per cent through the introduction of a mandated quota system for gender balance. The Norway experience was enough to spur the Australian business community into action: Chairmen came out promising to set targets for increasing female participation in leadership, to break down the barriers, and to open up the boardroom to women lest the threat of quotas pervade their own institutions. As a result we’ve seen the introduction this year of new Corporate Governance Principles for the Australian Stock Exchange requiring listed companies to disclose their gender diversity policies throughout their business and on their boards. The Australian Institute of Company Directors has implemented mentoring programs aimed at giving boardready women access to the boys club by building relationships – and all important networks - with Chairmen sponsors. And the Federal Government has mandated that at least 40 per cent of government board roles must be filled by women. So, in Australia there is still no quota system… but there is finally a positive trend playing out. The Australian Institute of Company Directors, which reports on the number of female appointments to boards, announced in May that women now hold over 11 per cent of board positions and that 25 per cent of all new board appointments in 2010 went to women. Many companies have also set targets for the number of executive leadership roles to be held by women. But is the implementation of quotas enough?

40

The mystery You might think that the quota system would be welcomed with open arms by women but it seems that some of the greatest resistance has come from women themselves. Women I interviewed expressed a fear that with a quota system in place, any future board positions would be seen as “tokenistic” or somewhat less worthy than if they’d achieved it on their own merits. But clearly merit hasn’t been working. And as a result, attitudes are changing. At a recent roundtable discussion on board diversity that I facilitated on behalf of ANZ Private Banking, the question was asked: “Is it time for quotas to be implemented in Australia?” Several senior female company directors and board advisers participated, including Margaret Jackson – the Chair of Flexigroup, a former chairwoman of Qantas and former director of ANZ Banking Group, BHP Billiton, Southcorp and Fairfax Media. Jackson admitted she’s “always been opposed to quotas but has recently had a shift in thinking.” She says she now supports Governor General Quentin Bryce's push for the introduction of quotas to ensure more women are appointed as directors on the boards of Australian companies, and argues such an intervention is necessary.

The lone voice As the push to bring gender balance to boards increases, many women are now throwing their hat into the ring for a directorship. But what if you find that you’re the first woman appointed to the board – how can you fit in and ensure that your voice is heard? Dianne Jacobs, founding principal of The Talent Advisors, has this advice: “Being the first woman does require thoughtful ‘transition’ management. It


Feature | career

can be an awkward time. Solo women on boards often say they feel isolated and, at times, marginalised. They can also feel that they are labelled, so it becomes harder for them to be heard or accepted and recognised for their viewpoint”, Jacobs says. “Rather than self-editing their comments or giving in, the sole woman director needs to be highly resilient in challenging existing thinking, while aiming to be received as part of the group.” Cleary, this will be easier when the lone woman is openly supported by the Chairman who must take the lead to ensure they bring out the best in all board members, regardless of gender.

iStockphoto

Getting on board Taking on a directorship will enable you to apply your experience, skills and knowledge in a different context and to develop new and different skills. Whether in the private, public or not-for-profit sector, taking on a board directorship will allow you to hone your strategic thinking and take a bird’s eye view of the organization. You may also gain knowledge of different business sectors to further expand your horizons. The story from Norway is one of “build it and they will come” – and that despite cries of insufficient talent or experience amongst women to fill the mandated number of positions, once the law had been laid down, the talent emerged. But without quotas here in Australia, what can you do to get yourself onto a board? How can you find out about roles that have in the past been filled by referrals and word of mouth? And what are the pros and cons you need to be aware of? Here’s a quick checklist to get you under way:

Along with the benefits, there are onerous responsibilities under The Corporations Act that come with taking on a directorship. You should be aware that breaches of some responsibilities as a director can result in criminal charges being laid against you – so it’s important to understand your obligations. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) provides an overview of directors’ responsibilities on its website. Courses and training are also available through The Australian Institute of Company Directors and other professional providers. If you’re an employee, prior to applying, check with your employer and HR department if you are permitted to take on board appointments; your employment contract may include restrictions on taking on directorships. If you’ve decided to go ahead, you’ll need a good board resumé. This will need to highlight what you can contribute to the board’s performance which is much broader than a job role, and should include details on any governance, strategy and business skills you will bring. If you need help, sphinxx offers a board resumé service and there is information about this on our website. If you are a member of a professional body or member organization, you might consider self-nominating for a board position. The first step is to confirm the date of the next annual general meeting and what the cycle time is for director roles. Then you’ll need to comply with any formal nomination process. Consider

creating a campaign to seek the votes of other members. Not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are always looking for talented directors – and are often a good starting point to attaining a paid position. Is there an organisation you already support, perhaps as a donor or volunteer? Why not send them your CV and ask to be considered for future appointments? A word of caution: these positions are normally honorary (read: UN-paid) so if you’re going to donate your time to an honorary board position, consider supporting a cause that’s close to your heart. That way you’ll have an extra incentive for heading out to those after-hours board meetings and steering committees. And believe me – there will be plenty of those! There are a number of registers that will take your details and inform you about vacancies as they arise – the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Women on Boards are two examples. Also, make contact with Commonwealth agencies and your state’s Premier’s Office to be informed about government boards and committees. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t forget that the vast majority of board appointments are still made through networks and recommendations. So get out your little black book – invite the board directors you already know and for a coffee chat about your own prospects of being put forward.

Jen Dalitz is the founder and SheEO of www.sphinxx.com.au - a community dedicated to advancing women as leaders – and the Chairman of Peer Support Australia. She is the author of “Little Wins for Working Women” and www.TheSheEOBlog.com

41

www.empoweronline.com.au


career | Feature

Uplevel your career So you want to uplevel your career and play a bigger game? As Heidi Alexandra Pollard shows, you can, so long as you are patient, persistent and willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

T

he following surefire strategies are designed to make you standout so you can step up in your career and find new opportunities no matter what the economy or job market.

Morning all Let’s start out with a simple strategy. It’s all about the power of connection and learning how to build a relationship with your staff, colleagues, boss and key influencers. Spend 5-10 minutes every morning saying good morning to those you work with and asking them how their evening was or what they’ve got on for the day. Sounds simple, yet this basic step can really add a great deal of value to your working relationships. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust and this is one of the best ways to grow all three. Be sure not to miss anyone out even if you don’t have a great connection with them, it takes time and consistency to reap the rewards.

Meeting mayhem Interruptions, lack of an agenda, specific purpose or outcome can really derail a meeting and causing everyone to spend unnecessary time in a room with people shooting the breeze. Manage the mayhem by instigating a rule that there will be no mobile phone, blackberry or iPhone use allowed in meetings. That means TURNED OFF; not just silent, vibrate, text or email! Return to the art of communication – you know the old fashioned way, human-to-human.

Party starters The most important time you could spend in building your team is getting to know them better. Purchase a box of party

conversation starter cards and draw out a card at the beginning of each meeting. Go around the room and ask your team to answer the question before you move on to the meeting agenda. It’s a great icebreaker to get everyone relaxed and sharing what charges them up, what their favourite movie is or what they wanted to be as a child when they grew up. You will create a stronger more engaged team, one story at a time. I’ve used this strategy with all my teams and once they get over the initial fear on day one, they come to look forward to it as the best part of our meetings

Expert status Becoming known as an expert in your field or the “go to” person in your workplace is a great way to get noticed and put yourself ahead of the pack. Take stock of where you are now by asking yourself how much trust people have in you and your abilities. How often do people call on you for advice and assistance? To build your credibility as an expert start by simply doing what you said you would do. Authenticity, reliability and congruency are huge keys to being seen as an expert. Next consider where else you could share your knowledge outside of your current job. Attend industry network meetings, speak at conferences, comment on blogs and publish articles on your chosen niche or topic.

Courageous conversations Honest, authentic communication brings out the best in people. When people feel unappreciated or unheard they get disheartened and lose motivation. Be a model of respect and professionalism by tackling courageous conversations when necessary. Honesty brings about

Entrepreneur, coach, author, property investor and speaker, Heidi Alexandra Pollard helps people to boost their career and create their dream lives. Known as ‘The Communicators’ Coach’ her goal is to inspire people to live their legacy not leave it. admin@leadingvalue.net www.boostyourcareer.com.au www. leadingladiesinternational.com.au

Winter 2011

42

creditability and builds trust. Speaking the truth can be extremely freeing and leaves no uncertainty. When others are able to depend on your word and rely on your actions, you become credible. Be clear and concise using phrases such as, “...when you do this... I feel this way...”, or “this is important because...”, or “what I’d like to see happening differently is...What are your thoughts?” Try to work through all issues and hiccups with people. Respond rather than react and together you should be able to find a solution that will be acceptable to all. Apply these strategies daily and you will soon be on your way to becoming a leader who is in demand and on the up and up! Leading Ladies International delivers innovative programs and events to support women’s development and potential. Take their FREE three-minute quiz to find out what kind of Leading Lady you are. www.leadingladiesinternational.com.au


career | Feature

Uplevel your career

So you want to uplevel your career and play a bigger game? As Heidi Alexandra Pollard shows, you can, so long as you are patient, persistent and willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

T

he following surefire strategies are designed to make you standout so you can step up in your career and find new opportunities no matter what the economy or job market.

Morning all Let’s start out with a simple strategy. It’s all about the power of connection and learning how to build a relationship with your staff, colleagues, boss and key influencers. Spend 5-10 minutes every morning saying good morning to those you work with and asking them how their evening was or what they’ve got on for the day. Sounds simple, yet this basic step can really add a great deal of value to your working relationships. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust and this is one of the best ways to grow all three. Be sure not to miss anyone out even if you don’t have a great connection with them, it takes time and consistency to reap the rewards.

Meeting mayhem Interruptions, lack of an agenda, specific purpose or outcome can really derail a meeting and causing everyone to spend unnecessary time in a room with people shooting the breeze. Manage the mayhem by instigating a rule that there will be no mobile phone, blackberry or iPhone use allowed in meetings. That means TURNED OFF; not just silent, vibrate, text or email! Return to the art of communication – you know the old fashioned way, human-to-human.

Party starters The most important time you could spend in building your team is getting to know them better. Purchase a box of party conversation starter cards and draw out

a card at the beginning of each meeting. Go around the room and ask your team to answer the question before you move on to the meeting agenda. It’s a great icebreaker to get everyone relaxed and sharing what charges them up, what their favourite movie is or what they wanted to be as a child when they grew up. You will create a stronger more engaged team, one story at a time. I’ve used this strategy with all my teams and once they get over the initial fear on day one, they come to look forward to it as the best part of our meetings

Expert status Becoming known as an expert in your field or the “go to” person in your workplace is a great way to get noticed and put yourself ahead of the pack. Take stock of where you are now by asking yourself how much trust people have in you and your abilities. How often do people call on you for advice and assistance? To build your credibility as an expert start by simply doing what you said you would do. Authenticity, reliability and congruency are huge keys to being seen as an expert. Next consider where else you could share your knowledge outside of your current job. Attend industry network meetings, speak at conferences, comment on blogs and publish articles on your chosen niche or topic.

Courageous conversations Honest, authentic communication brings out the best in people. When people feel unappreciated or unheard they get disheartened and lose motivation. Be a model of respect and professionalism by tackling courageous conversations when necessary. Honesty brings about creditability and builds trust. Speaking the truth can be extremely freeing and leaves no uncertainty. When others are able to depend on your word and

Entrepreneur, coach, author, property investor and speaker, Heidi Alexandra Pollard helps people to boost their career and create their dream lives. Known as ‘The Communicators’ Coach’ her goal is to inspire people to live their legacy not leave it. admin@leadingvalue.net www.boostyourcareer.com.au www.leadingladiesinternational.com.au

rely on your actions, you become credible. Be clear and concise using phrases such as, “... when you do this... I feel this way...”, or “this is important because...”, or “what I’d like to see happening differently is...What are your thoughts?” Try to work through all issues and hiccups with people. Respond rather than react and together you should be able to find a solution that will be acceptable to all. Apply these strategies daily and you will soon be on your way to becoming a leader who is in demand and on the up and up! Leading Ladies International delivers innovative programs and events to support women’s development and potential. Take their FREE three-minute quiz to find out what kind of Leading Lady you are. www.leadingladiesinternational.com.au


career | Feature

Uplevel

your career So you want to uplevel your career and play a bigger game? As Heidi Alexandra Pollard shows, you can, so long as you are patient, persistent and willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

T

he following surefire strategies are designed to make you standout so you can step up in your career and find new opportunities no matter what the economy or job market.

Morning all Let’s start out with a simple strategy. It’s all about the power of connection and learning how to build a relationship with your staff, colleagues, boss and key influencers. Spend 5-10 minutes every morning saying good morning to those you work with and asking them how their evening was or what they’ve got on for the day. Sounds simple, yet this basic step can really add a great deal of value to your working relationships. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust and this is one of the best ways to grow all three. Be sure not to miss anyone out even if you don’t have a great connection with them, it takes time and consistency to reap the rewards.

Meeting mayhem Interruptions, lack of an agenda, specific purpose or outcome can really derail a meeting and causing everyone to spend unnecessary time in a room with people shooting the breeze. Manage the mayhem by instigating a rule that there will be no mobile phone, blackberry or iPhone use allowed in meetings. That means TURNED OFF; not just silent, vibrate, text or email! Return to the art

of communication – you know the old fashioned way, human-to-human.

Party starters The most important time you could spend in building your team is getting to know them better. Purchase a box of party conversation starter cards and draw out a card at the beginning of each meeting. Go around the room and ask your team to answer the question before you move on to the meeting agenda. It’s a great icebreaker to get everyone relaxed and sharing what charges them up, what their favourite movie is or what they wanted to be as a child when they grew up. You will create a stronger more engaged team, one story at a time. I’ve used this strategy with all my teams and once they get over the initial fear on day one, they come to look forward to it as the best part of our meetings

Expert status Becoming known as an expert in your field or the “go to” person in your workplace is a great way to get noticed and put yourself ahead of the pack. Take stock of where you are now by asking yourself how much trust people have in you and your abilities. How often do people call on you for advice and assistance? To build your credibility as an expert start by simply doing what you said you would do. Authenticity, reliability and congruency are huge keys to being seen as an expert. Next consider where else you could share your knowledge outside of your current job. Attend industry network

meetings, speak at conferences, comment on blogs and publish articles on your chosen niche or topic.

Courageous conversations Honest, authentic communication brings out the best in people. When people feel unappreciated or unheard they get disheartened and lose motivation. Be a model of respect and professionalism by tackling courageous conversations when necessary. Honesty brings about creditability and builds trust. Speaking the truth can be extremely freeing and leaves no uncertainty. When others are able to depend on your word and rely on your actions, you become credible. Be clear and concise using phrases such as, “... when you do this... I feel this way...”, or “this is important because...”, or “what I’d like to see happening differently is...What are your thoughts?” Try to work through all issues and hiccups with people. Respond rather than react and together you should be able to find a solution that will be acceptable to all. Apply these strategies daily and you will soon be on your way to becoming a leader who is in demand and on the up and up! Leading Ladies International delivers innovative programs and events to support women’s development and potential. Take their FREE three-minute quiz to find out what kind of Leading Lady you are. www.leadingladiesinternational.com.au

Entrepreneur, coach, author, property investor and speaker, Heidi Alexandra Pollard helps people to boost their career and create their dream lives. Known as ‘The Communicators’ Coach’ her goal is to inspire people to live their legacy not leave it. admin@leadingvalue.net www.boostyourcareer.com.au www.leadingladiesinternational.com.au

Winter 2011

44


Enjoy some time out for yourself with these new inspiring and motivational books.

The Decision Book

By Mikael Krogerus, Allen & Unwin, $24.99

Most of us face the same questions every day: What do I want? How can I get it? How can I live more happily and work more efficiently? This stylish little black book distils the 50 best decision making models used on MBA courses and elsewhere that will help you tackle these important questions. The models range from the well-known, like the Eisenhower matrix for time management, to less familiar but equally useful examples such as the Swiss Cheese model. It will even show you how to remember everything you’ll have learnt by the end of it.

Meditation for Weight Loss

By Marianne Williamson, Hay House, $16.95

Many people meditate to relax, to develop their intuition or to gain clarity on a situation. But few people are aware that you can meditate for weight loss. If you are a food addict, compulsive eater or someone who for any reason sees food as the enemy, this CD is for you. Marianne Williamson provides a new beginning to help you surrender your weight forever! – one that will alter your patterns of self sabotage and allow you to release feelings of failure, self hatred and regret.

Inspiration Deficit Disorder

By Jonathan Ellerby, Hay House, $17.95

Learn how to reconnect with your inspired self – a place of unlimited power, potential and vitality. Envision your health, your relationships and your work all fuelled by a sense of freedom. In this practical, easy-to-read book, you’ll learn simple steps that have already helped thousands of people from all walks of life discover the incredible energy and daily peace they were born to experience.

Flourish

Normal Gets You Nowhere

Internationally esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman begins Flourish, his first book in ten years—and the first to present his dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life. With interactive exercises to help readers explore their own attitudes and aims, Flourish is a watershed in the understanding of happiness as well as a tool for getting the most out of life.

Kelly Cutrone invites us to get our freak on. History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in. Think Nelson Mendela, Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Lennon. An invitation to rethink who you are, what you value, and what you want from life, Normal Gets You Nowhere goes beyond how to reinvent yourself and create your own brand, and investigates what it means to live in this world as a tuned-in, caring individual with a passion for making a difference.

Martin E. P. Seligman, Simon and Schuster, $26.00

Kelly Cutrone & Meredith Bryan, Harper Collins, $23.99

Want to share your passion for books? Great Reads is proudly sponsored by The Reading Room, a global community for readers. Join now for free and enjoy book recommendations, a variety of online reading groups, and great discussions on books of all genres. JOIN NOW FOR FREE

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Enjoy some time out for yourself with these new inspiring and motivational books.

The Decision Book

By Mikael Krogerus, Allen & Unwin, $24.99

Most of us face the same questions every day: What do I want? How can I get it? How can I live more happily and work more efficiently? This stylish little black book distils the 50 best decision making models used on MBA courses and elsewhere that will help you tackle these important questions. The models range from the well-known, like the Eisenhower matrix for time management, to less familiar but equally useful examples such as the Swiss Cheese model. It will even show you how to remember everything you’ll have learnt by the end of it.

Meditation for Weight Loss

By Marianne Williamson, Hay House, $16.95

Many people meditate to relax, to develop their intuition or to gain clarity on a situation. But few people are aware that you can meditate for weight loss. If you are a food addict, compulsive eater or someone who for any reason sees food as the enemy, this CD is for you. Marianne Williamson provides a new beginning to help you surrender your weight forever! – one that will alter your patterns of self sabotage and allow you to release feelings of failure, self hatred and regret.

Inspiration Deficit Disorder

By Jonathan Ellerby, Hay House, $17.95

Learn how to reconnect with your inspired self – a place of unlimited power, potential and vitality. Envision your health, your relationships and your work all fuelled by a sense of freedom. In this practical, easy-to-read book, you’ll learn simple steps that have already helped thousands of people from all walks of life discover the incredible energy and daily peace they were born to experience.

Flourish

Normal Gets You Nowhere

Internationally esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman begins Flourish, his first book in ten years—and the first to present his dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life. With interactive exercises to help readers explore their own attitudes and aims, Flourish is a watershed in the understanding of happiness as well as a tool for getting the most out of life.

Kelly Cutrone invites us to get our freak on. History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in. Think Nelson Mendela, Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Lennon. An invitation to rethink who you are, what you value, and what you want from life, Normal Gets You Nowhere goes beyond how to reinvent yourself and create your own brand, and investigates what it means to live in this world as a tuned-in, caring individual with a passion for making a difference.

Martin E. P. Seligman, Simon and Schuster, $26.00

Kelly Cutrone & Meredith Bryan, Harper Collins, $23.99

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Enjoy some time out for yourself with these new inspiring and motivational books.

The Decision Book

By Mikael Krogerus, Allen & Unwin, $24.99

Most of us face the same questions every day: What do I want? How can I get it? How can I live more happily and work more efficiently? This stylish little black book distils the 50 best decision making models used on MBA courses and elsewhere that will help you tackle these important questions. The models range from the well-known, like the Eisenhower matrix for time management, to less familiar but equally useful examples such as the Swiss Cheese model. It will even show you how to remember everything you’ll have learnt by the end of it.

Meditation for Weight Loss

By Marianne Williamson, Hay House, $16.95

Many people meditate to relax, to develop their intuition or to gain clarity on a situation. But few people are aware that you can meditate for weight loss. If you are a food addict, compulsive eater or someone who for any reason sees food as the enemy, this CD is for you. Marianne Williamson provides a new beginning to help you surrender your weight forever! – one that will alter your patterns of self sabotage and allow you to release feelings of failure, self hatred and regret.

Inspiration Deficit Disorder

By Jonathan Ellerby, Hay House, $17.95

Learn how to reconnect with your inspired self – a place of unlimited power, potential and vitality. Envision your health, your relationships and your work all fuelled by a sense of freedom. In this practical, easy-to-read book, you’ll learn simple steps that have already helped thousands of people from all walks of life discover the incredible energy and daily peace they were born to experience.

Flourish

Normal Gets You Nowhere

Internationally esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman begins Flourish, his first book in ten years—and the first to present his dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life. With interactive exercises to help readers explore their own attitudes and aims, Flourish is a watershed in the understanding of happiness as well as a tool for getting the most out of life.

Kelly Cutrone invites us to get our freak on. History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in. Think Nelson Mendela, Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Lennon. An invitation to rethink who you are, what you value, and what you want from life, Normal Gets You Nowhere goes beyond how to reinvent yourself and create your own brand, and investigates what it means to live in this world as a tuned-in, caring individual with a passion for making a difference.

Martin E. P. Seligman, Simon and Schuster, $26.00

Kelly Cutrone & Meredith Bryan, Harper Collins, $23.99

Want to share your passion for books? Great Reads is proudly sponsored by The Reading Room, a global community for readers. Join now for free and enjoy book recommendations, a variety of online reading groups, and great discussions on books of all genres. JOIN NOW FOR FREE

www.thereadingroom.com


career | Feature

THE BULLY at work

Bullying at work is a real and serious issue in Australia. Dr Anne Wyatt discusses what is, and what isn’t bullying, the impact in the workplace and what you can do about it.

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he issue of workplace bullying in Australia has received increased attention lately due to the public reporting of such tragic cases as that of a 19 year old waitress who took her own life as a result of being targeted by bullying behaviour perpetrated by her work colleagues. Evidence was given in court that the waitress was subjected to, amongst other things, direct verbal insults, taunts and name-calling, teasing, degrading and offensive sexual comments, having fish sauce poured on her and into her bag, malicious gossip being made about her, exclusion, unwarranted personal criticism and the damaging of her possessions. The employer and the perpetrators of the bullying behaviour were prosecuted and consequently fined. For various reasons, there are no definitive statistics on the prevalence of workplace bullying. Obtaining reliable data on prevalence is complicated. In a CareerOne (2007) national Australian survey of 1518 people undertaken by Core Data during July 2007, 74% of respondents said that they had been bullied in the workplace at some time. In addition, 22% of survey respondents had “just quit” their job rather than doing anything about it. A Drake International survey (2009) of 850 Australian workers indicated that 25% had been bullied in the previous six months while more than 50% said they had witnessed bullying. The Victorian public sector People Matter Surveys of 2006 (over 13,000 responses) and 2007 (just under 16,000

Winter 2011

responses) both indicated that 21% of the workforce claimed to have been targeted by “harassment or bullying behaviours” in the previous twelve months. The 2010 Victorian public sector People Matter Survey indicated that 21% had “personally experienced bullying at work”.

What is workplace bullying? Although there is still no internationally agreed upon definition of workplace bullying, the main criteria for behaviour to be called workplace bullying are that: the behaviours take place in a workplace; the behaviours are repeated over time; the behaviours are unreasonable; and the behaviours cause harm, or have the potential to cause harm. Some examples of unreasonable behaviours include: • Assigning meaningless tasks to employees; • Failure to give credit where it is due; • Work overload; • Removing responsibility without cause; • Repeated unreasonable assignment of duties which are obviously unfavourable to a particular individual; • Setting people up to fail e.g. by assigning impossible tasks; • Unfair treatment with respect to entitlements such as leave or training; • Harmful or offensive initiation practices; • Interfering with a person’s personal effects or work equipment; • Social or physical isolation;

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• Spreading malicious rumours and gossiping; • Undue public criticism; • Withholding or denying access to necessary information, consultation or other resources; • Yelling and shouting; • Name calling, insults or intimidation; • Using abusive, insulting or offensive language which may be delivered face to face or via email or message texting; • Making someone the target of pranks or practical jokes. The development of a definitive list of behaviours that could constitute bullying has been abandoned by researchers in the field due to the huge variety of examples. It should be noted that workplace bullying can be “top-down”, for example perpetrated by managers on staff, “downup”, for example via insubordination or “horizontal”, where it happens between peers on the same level in an organisation. “Mobbing” is a term often used to refer to repeated, unreasonable behaviours used by a group towards an individual or another group.

What is not workplace bullying? Examples of actions that are not workplace bullying include: • Expressing differences of opinion; • A manager providing constructive, courteous feedback, counselling or advice to an employee about work related behaviour and performance;


Feature | career

• A manager carrying out legitimate and reasonable management decisions or actions including allocating work to employees, setting reasonable goals and standards and advising employees about unsatisfactory performance; • Feedback given to a manager about their style where it is given respectfully; • An employee courteously disagreeing with a manager’s assessment and/or providing evidence to support their actions.

Occupational health and safety Workplace bullying is an occupational hazard. It is sometimes referred to as a psychological hazard although the negative health outcomes for targets and/or witnesses and others may include physical as well as psychological signs and symptoms. A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. As such, workplace bullying should be managed in accordance with occupational health and safety management principles and be part of an organisation’s risk management program. That means that the risk of workplace bullying should be anticipated and policies and procedures put in place by the employer to prevent it and/or manage it if it does occur. Interventions should be designed to control the hazard as early and as thoroughly as possible.

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How employees can be affected? Of course, not all cases will end up as sadly as the case of the waitress. Each individual will react differently to bullying and in response to the particular circumstances. Reactions may include any combination of the following: • Distress, anxiety, panic attacks and/or sleep disturbance; • Impaired concentration or ability to make decisions; • Loss of self esteem and confidence, a sense of isolation or withdrawal from the workplace; • Physical illness, including digestive problems, skin conditions, headaches and musculoskeletal disorders; • Injury or increased risk of injury, particularly psychological injury; • Reduced work performance; • Incapacity for work resulting in workers’ compensation claims; • Loss of employment;

• Deteriorating relationships and reduction in quality of home life; • Depression and risk of suicide.

How employers can be affected? Allowing workplace bullying to go unchecked in an organisation can be a costly proposition. The costs to businesses of not managing workplace bullying could broadly include production losses, costs related to staff turnover and absenteeism, increased insurance premiums, legal and other costs associated with litigation and loss of employer reputation, for example as a preferred employer.

What can a target do? Theoretically, although it doesn’t always happen in practice, once workplace bullying has been alleged and formally reported in a workplace, an impartial investigation should be conducted. In order for a bullying allegation to be proven, the verifiable information required may include: dates, places and times of alleged occurrences, who was present and what was said and done. Hard copies of communications such as emails, post-it notes and in some cases photographs may support an allegation. These types of data are not easy to capture where the bullying behaviour is covert, for example where it only happens when a perpetrator of bullying behaviour and their target are alone. This is one of the features of workplace bullying that can make it difficult to assess and manage. Diary notes (which are best kept away from the workplace) should document what happened. Also what is happening in the workplace context should be noted such as what was going on in the organisation at the time. For example was restructuring such as downsizing occurring or were there staff shortages and/or changes or seasonal adjustments being made? If you consider you may be the target of unacceptable behaviours at work, beware of storing information or emails on the employer’s computer system and no matter how tempting it may be, never send an email or other written communication in anger. Obviously, it may be held against you. Work should be balanced with life and in a respectful working environment it can enrich and fulfil it. Of course, this is the ‘winwin’ situation that is best for all parties.

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Resources Discrimination and equal opportunity resources Federal: Australian Human Rights Commission www.humanrights.gov.au/about/index. html New South Wales: NSW Antidiscrimination Board www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/ADB Queensland: Antidiscrimination Commission of Queensland www.adcq.qld.gov.au Victoria: Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission www.equalopportunitycommission.vic. gov.au/home.asp Tasmania: Office of the Antidiscrimination Commissioner www.antidiscrimination.tas.gov.au Australian Capital Territory: ACT Human Rights Commission www.antidiscrimination.gov.au/www/ nadig/nadig.nsf/Page/Australian_ Capital_Territory South Australia: Equal Opportunity Commission www.eoc.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp Western Australia: Equal Opportunity Commission www.equalopportunity.wa.gov.au/index. html Northern Territory: NT Anti discrimination Commission www.adc.nt.gov.au

Workplace bullying can make life unbearable for employees in any industry, and ultimately undermine an organisation’s bottom line. Preventing Workplace Bullying is a practical guide to how to identify, deal with, but ideally prevent what is a far too common and costly occurrence.

Dr Anne Wyatt has over 30 years of experience as an academic, expert advisor, consultant, trainer, speaker and published author in the occupational health and safety, management and adult education fields. Together with Dr Carlo Caponecchia from UNSW she founded Beyond Bullying. www.DrAnnie.com.au

www.empoweronline.com.au


career | Feature

guilt free

Go home

Australians do the most unpaid overtime of any country and this doesn’t look like changing any time soon. Natalie Ashdown discusses why this is and argues that it’s time to get our fixation off the clock.

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icture this… It’s 4:00pm, you’ve had a fantastic day, you’ve achieved a lot, you look around the office and your team is working. You want to go home, but you can’t – your team is still working and it’s too early! This is a common scenario being played out in hundreds of workplaces around the world. Feeling guilty that you are leaving the team, or going home “early” keeps you at work for a further two hours or so. How many times have you not had lunch, not taken a break, forgotten to go to the toilet and yet, it’s not ok to leave at 4:00pm? How long has it been since you actually sat down and ate lunch away from your desk or took a walk at lunchtime? Last week, I finished work at 3:30pm on Friday and I felt like a naughty schoolgirl who was wagging school. “Oh my goodness”, I thought to myself, “what is that all about?” It’s time to stop this guilt, get our fixation off the clock and in-built rules about what is acceptable and not acceptable or what is too early and go home for goodness sake! To make this change, let’s look at the five top reasons why we feel guilty about going home and some clues to overcome this guilt:

1. It’s too “early” to leave I think this statement is the number one culprit in causing guilt in the workplace when it comes to going home. Have you

Winter 2011

ever gotten to say, 3:00pm in the day, finished your work and thought, “that’s it, I can go home now”, only to realise it’s 3:00pm? Instantly you think, “I can’t leave, it’s too early” so you do things like filing, email and generally trivial things. While it’s ok to complete the trivial things, have there been days recently where you’ve also worked two or three hours later or extra? Chances are that you arrived at work at 6.30am in the morning (to beat the traffic and get a car park). Yet, while 6.30am is not considered too early, leaving at 3.00pm is. We have to get our fixation off the clock, and tune into reality. It’s time to say, “I have done a great days work and now it’s time to leave. I arrived at 6:30am, I’m not going home early, I’m going home at a reasonable hour after a great days work!” Admit it, this one is the hardest to overcome. You arrive at work to get your work done before everyone else arrives; yet you can’t go home because everyone else is still working. So you end up working 12 to 14 hour days at the expense of any resemblance of work/life balance. You just have to stop doing that. It’s as simple as that! As a starting point, do not book or accept appointments in your diary after 3.00pm. You may have to be assertive with this, explaining your reasons and gradually other will respect your wishes. Then, starting with one or two days, have a time where you must leave. For example, arrange to do school pick up or get to

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the gym or do a bike ride with the guys. Build this up over time, so that 4:00pm, or 4:30pm, or 5:00pm, or whatever time you choose becomes “normal” for you, rather than “early”.

2. My team is still working Closely following our number one culprit is this massive guilt trigger. I finished a workshop on time at 4:00pm last week. I had another meeting to go by 4:30pm so I packed my things. I then noticed that the group I was coaching was continuing with their discussions. They decided to take the time between 4:00pm and 5:00pm to further their progress, rather than going back to their desks. The crazy thing was, I felt guilty leaving them. So I took a deep breath said, “Good on you guys, see you next week” and left the building. Now, what if it is your team and you want to leave but they are still working? Rather than feeling guilty, you can use this as a prime opportunity to demonstrate your leadership – that it is ok to go home when you’ve finished your day. After all, if you don’t do this, then your team members will never do it. We learn our work ethic and what is acceptable and not acceptable from our leaders and managers. As a leader, it’s your turn to start redefining the rules, to benefit your team and yourself.

3. I haven’t finished all that I needed to do today Number three on our list is a guilt trip that is just never going to end. If you haven’t finished your most important work by the end of the day, then you have to take a good look at your time management. The key is to focus on the most important work at the time that you are most energised. This means if you


Feature | career

are energised in the morning, then you should be focussed at that time on the most important work. The last thing that you should do in this time is get distracted by things like email and personal conversations. Tell your team you are focussing and encourage them to come back in an hour (or when the you plan to finish the job). By doing your most important tasks, you can go home with a sense of satisfaction, rather than guilt. Too many of us fall into the trap of “leaving early” and then taking work home. It’s actually defeating the purpose and it’s playing out in many, many households around Australia – Mum or Dad “logging on” once the kids have gone to bed. I’m certainly guilty of this in the past myself. What you have to come to terms with is that taking work home doesn’t actually decrease our workload; it expands it. A common misconception is that if you take it home, you will get on top of it. You don’t! You will never get on top of your workload, if you keep taking it home, because you’ll always find more and more to do. Rather than decreasing your workload you are expanding the number of hours at work. Have you ever noticed that the more work you do, the more work you have – it’s like the law of attraction – work is attracted to the busy workers. You need to delegate work, call for help and stop thinking you have to do it all by yourself. You are not the only person who can do the work. Get more resources, start saying NO, or change the deadlines. Turn the tables and start controlling your work instead of allowing it to control you.

Promotions come from how you manage, motivate, inspire and develop your team and from the results you achieve. Sure working extra hours may count, but no-one I know ever got promoted because they worked extra long hours; it was what they produced that lead to the promotion. All of us know people who work really hard, put in the extra hours and are passed up for promotions. Worse still, I was doing this for one company and I was made redundant. All of those extra hours for a four week payout! If you can do it in fewer hours and go home, do it! It’s your leadership of people and results that count.

5. If I work extra, no one will question me when I want to have some time off Finally, this is the biggest, most ridiculous rule that I ever had when it came to staying at work. I thought that if I worked extra, I could take time off, and no-one would ever

question me. Guess what – I never took time off! I worked 50-60 hours per week for nearly five years and never took any extra time off. But I had this ridiculous rule that I clung to “if I ever needed to”. You have to get over this rule. It is built on guilt, it is useless and you are fooling yourself. At the very least be sure to book in your time off. Guilt is all around us in our workplaces and it’s high time that we started to get on top of it. So why not just call it quits tonight, just this one night, and leave after a great days work. And, go home guilt free! Natalie Ashdown is CEO of the Open Door Coaching Group and author of the latest book on best practice corporate coaching Bring Out Their Best – Inspiring a Coaching Culture in Your Workplace. Natalie has coached senior executives and their teams over the past eight years. www.opendoorcoaching.com.au

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4. If I work extra I look good and will get promoted There seems to be an underlining theme in the workplace that people who leave at 5:00pm, are not team players, or are unprofessional, “clock watchers”. It’s like leaving at 5:00pm “on time” is a crime. Generally, people who work really hard but leave work spot on 5:00pm are not the ones admired; I don’t know why. Another in-built rule perhaps, that you have to work extra long hours to get ahead, or be seen as a real manager or real team player.

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www.empoweronline.com.au


business | Success profile

In the eye of the Catherine Manuell has the life that most of us aspire to. She works for herself, has the flexibility to be with her family and to top it off, her designer luggage range has achieved international acclaim. We find out how she got here‌ Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and

your design background. A. I am a Melbourne fashion accessory/ luggage designer, Mother of two children, Rosie and Ed, and I have an English husband, Jeremy. I love colour and wonderful prints and textures and combine these with practical designs to create designs that we can all enjoy and use on a daily basis.

Q. What were you doing before you

commenced Catherine Manual Design? A. After leaving school I actually studied teaching. After completing my degree I traveled for two years and on returning to Australia I began as a milliner. This was around 20 odd years ago so actually, I have been working within my brand for most of my work life. Between being a milliner and traveling, I also worked very happily with Metalicus for a few years.

Q. What were the early days like in

the business? A. The first two years in business as a milliner, I also worked in another job part time. As I was starting from scratch with very little capital it took this long before I knew I could afford to work at my business full time. Those early days were very different to now, with many hours working alone in my small city studio along side other independent designers in other rooms, it was far from the busy pace it has developed into in 2011.

Q. In the early days did everyone

Q. What made you decide to start

support you or were people cautious? A. I was very lucky with the support I receive in the beginning of my career. My family supported me happily, the first shops I showed my products to supported me by buying my designs and luckily my customers supported me by coming back.

A. I was always one of those kids that

Q. Once the business started, how

the business?

set up a lemonade or lolly stall. I sold at markets through University and I had always worked in my family’s business, so to go into business when I found something I enjoyed so much was a very natural progression for me. I also enjoyed the time and flexibility of working by myself for myself so this too was appealing to me in deciding to start my own business.

Winter 2011

have you grown? A. When I began my business I started with just some fabric pieces I loved, a strong desire to create and very little money. I had lessons in hat making from my Grandmother and I handmade everything myself. These days, I have staff to help produce everything, makers and a much more established set up.

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It has all been very gradual, providing a many challenges and pleasures along the way.

Q. How have you funded the business?

A. I started from absolute scratch and

have worked hard. Of course a friendly bank manager is always helpful!

Q. What has been your PR and marketing approach?

A. I have always understood that people

need to be able to see or find your product to decide whether or not they may want your design for themselves, so my marketing approach has been to make my designs as visible as possible within the areas that suit them. We have approached magazines that are seeking products, newspapers, etc, and we involve ourselves within our community so that we are hopefully thought of as an option when a fashion accessory or piece of luggage is needed.

Q. We understand that some

Australian and international celebrities own your bags and luggage. How has this come about? A. International stars such as Sandra Bullock, Daniel Radcliff, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher and many others have our luggage plus Australian celebrities. We have been invited by different groups welcoming celebrities to Australia to provide my designs as welcome gifts. The variety


Success profile | business

of colour has been appealing to them, and we love being involved in this. It’s always been a bit of fun for us.

Q. We also understand that you

collaborate with Aboriginal artists for you collection. Why did you start this? How did it come about? A. I have very much enjoyed working with quite a few wonderful Australian Aboriginal women artists to create an art filled accessory and luggage range and more recently a contemporary card range. It came about after I received a wonderful postcard with the work of Maureen Thompson on it. After a few months of loving her art I approached Maureen and asked her if she would like to work with me. Whilst I waited to hear I found two other artists whose work I loved and I approached them too. Soon they all let me know that they were happy for me to create a range around their work and receive a percentage of all sales. And so it all began.

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Q. How does it feel when you see

happens and keep moving forward as much as possible. We always have so many areas to look after everyday, it seems best to just tackle issues and concerns as they arise.

Q. What are you most proud of in your achievement to date?

A. I have really enjoyed the Aboriginal

artist project. I have enjoyed the thought of being able to create a project that works well for others and also gives me a sense of satisfaction. I have also so enjoyed the many friendships I have made from working on the project.

Q. What have you found to be your biggest challenges?

A. Looking after staff well in a growing

business and keeping a healthy enough cash flow to meet all of our business needs.

Q. How did you overcome these challenges?

A. These are constant challenges that will always need to be addressed.

someone carrying one of your products? A. I love to see it! I love to see how good they look with the bags, how they are using them and dressing themselves with them etc. One day I was at the airport and a wonderfully dressed woman was sitting near me. I was thinking how great she looked in her red trench coat when she rose and walked away; she was carrying some of my red luggage. I was thrilled!

Q. How have you had to grow

Q. What has been the biggest

Q. Who have been your mentors? A. My family and friends have been my

mistake you have made in the business? A. I try not to think of the mistakes too often, I just try to deal with what

personally with the growth of CMD? A. I am constantly amazed at how much I feel I have to learn every year that I am in business. Just as I feel I am getting into the swing of my business a new challenge or opportunity I had never imagined is presented to me, so I guess I have grown to understand that I don't yet know what may present itself next.

main mentors. I have been very lucky to have a grandmother that made hats for fun when she was young and a 53

family that has always been in business who I could call at any moment for advice, as well as friends and family around me that always believed a woman could do whatever she wished to.

Q. If you were starting in business

all over again, what would you do differently? A. I very much enjoyed the way I started my business, I had a lot of creative time to myself, in my own studio, listening to music etc, creating whatever I wanted to at that moment with not many creative restraints put on me. I don't think I would change the way I started this business if I could go back. If I was to start a completely new business today though, I would try to have more funding from the start.

Q. What else would you like to achieve in business?

A. My business is involved in design,

wholesale, retail and export. I would like to grow all of these areas and I see a lot of potential to.

Q. What do you feel is the secret of success?

A. I think the secret is a combination of

hard work, luck and to feel a drive to do what you are doing.

Q. What advice do you have for

other women starting out in business? A. If you feel you have an opportunity to start a business and it’s something you think you may really enjoy doing, back yourself. Give it a go and just do it (even if part time to begin with). Be ready to work hard, get your bookwork under control early on and then understand it may be take a while to get established! www.empoweronline.com.au


business | Carreer

Great

expectations expectations Pre-conceived negative expectations of your staff, suppliers and customers, can greatly impact the success of your business. Vanessa Hall shows how to understand and change those expectations to build stronger, trusting relationships.

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ou’ve just been advised that you have a new team member, Chris, starting next week. You haven’t met him, but the word around the business is that he’s a real pain. You’ve spoken to a few people who tell you Chris is slow and tedious and asks a lot of questions. Great, just what you need when you’ve got tight deadlines. As soon as Chris arrives on your floor, you head over to meet him and ask him to come to your office. When he asks if he can put his things down and just get himself organised first, you’re thinking, “here we go – he can’t even get to my office for a meeting”. The next day, when Chris asks if he could just have a few moments to check something over before it gets sent off to the client, you tell him to just send it out. He’s really just wasting time. An hour later your client rings, wondering why on earth they’ve received something incomplete; Chris sent it today. Your client is not happy and wants to meet you. We’ve all had some kind of experience like this in business where we behave in a way that is consistent with our expectations, not necessarily with reality. Neuroscience has continued to study how the brain deals with expectancy, and we now know that expectations are formed in the brain’s pre-frontal cortex. Not only do our expectations determine our behaviour at the time of a particular event, but brain studies have also proven that we actually plan for events in accordance with what we are expecting. This has amazing outcomes, both in our ability to achieve

Winter 2011

great success and also to bring about great failure. In our role as leaders, if we are truly expecting to achieve our mission and goals for the year, then we will plan our day, our week, our month, our year, in order to achieve those. However, if we’d like to achieve them, but are really expecting that they are out of reach, then we will not put in the same amount of effort, we won’t plan as well, we’ll let deadlines slip, not communicate and engage the team as well – we behave in a way that is consistent with what we actually expect. The thing is, others will behave in this same way towards you. If you have customers that have poor expectations of your organisation, your products and services, say they expect that the service will be sloppy and your staff unattentive, then they will have already decided how much they will buy from you, or how much they will engage with your organisation, and may be planning to find an alternative to you. What’s really unfair about this is that those expectations may have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with something someone else told them about you! Herein lies the dilemma of trust – we rely on people to meet our expectations and needs and to keep the promises they make to us. If we are expecting one thing, and they are promising something different, then we do not trust them as much as we could. We hold back, we disengage, or we give a little, but not too much.

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Beginning to understand what your staff, your customers, your suppliers and shareholders actually expect of you will certainly help you make sense of why they behave the way they do, and will also help you build a stronger, trusting relationship with them. You need to: 1. Recognise that they do have expectations of you, right now, and that some of those will be negative, and some will be positive; 2. Know that their expectations of you are driving their behaviour; 3. Understand that it does not matter what you promise or communicate to them, they are still persisting down a path, until you change their expectation; 4. Realise that if you want something to change, you need to change their expectation of you; 5. Apply your efforts to proving to them that they can now expect something different. Meeting or managing expectations is one of the key strategies to building trust in your business. Just remember, it literally is the thought that counts! Vanessa Hall is the Founder and Director of entente Pty Limited, an award winning Author, Speaker and Adviser to business leaders, and individuals alike. She is known as the International Ambassador for Trust and has the mission to be a key influencer on matters of trust between nations and cultures for the UN. www.entente.com.au


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business | Feature

NLP in sales With ever-increasing competition for business, we all need as many ways as possible to ensure a continuous flow of clients and customers. Brad Greentree explains the five step sales model using NLP.

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hat makes the five step sales model so unique and useful is the fact that it implements traditional sales techniques as well as NLP or NeuroLinguistic Programming techniques. The five steps are: 1. Establishing rapport – being able to put the potential customer or client at ease and build trust. 2. Asking questions – effectively getting the information you need to understand the specific needs of the potential customer or client. 3. Establish value – determining the value to the person of having their needs met. 4. Link the need – showing the customer how your product or service meets their need. 5. Close – finalising the sale. When this sales model is used correctly, it yields amazing results and eliminates the need to be “tough” when it comes to negotiating and bringing in new business. Many people in sales experience this problem but few who know how to prevent it, which is exactly what this sales model is for.

Image of a salesperson Before discussing the five step sales model in more detail, it’s good to understand the customer’s or client’s image of a salesperson; one I think we can all relate to. There is a certain image that most people have when it comes to salespeople and it usually comes with a somewhat negative connotation of the salesperson being too pushy and insistent. In sales, you are battling with each person’s preconceptions about salespeople and you need to change that before you will successfully sell to them. And, while we all know that perseverance is an important

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quality of any salesperson, you also need to understand when you are going too far.

What selling really means Most people in sales do not take the time to think about the actual process of selling. Rather, they rush straight through, trying to get people to buy their product or service. A successful salesperson understands that it is important to consider the individual needs of every person they talk to and service them accordingly. This leads us into the five steps of a successful sale:

Step 1 Establishing rapport No matter who you are or what you are selling, it is extremely important to establish rapport with the person you are aiming to sell to. You have no doubt heard the saying “people buy from people they like and people like people like themselves”. There is usually more to building rapport than you think, as many people who follow this sales model quickly learn. Realise that developing rapport with potential customers or clients is absolutely essential to gaining their trust. Without trust there will be no sale. Once you have the person’s trust they will feel comfortable with what you are offering them. Apart from the common ways of building rapport, such as the initial chit chat to find common interests, hobbies or acquaintances, one of the best ways to get ‘into” rapport with another person is through “mirroring”. Mirroring is a process of paying close attention to the physiology of the other person, such as facial expressions and body language and effectively mirroring that physiology. Like magic, through doing this the other person starts to feel more at ease with you; you start to get in sync.


Feature | business

The physiological cues also give you clues as to how to proceed in your communications with the person.

Step 2 Asking questions Another common mistake made by people in sales is to do all the talking. In this case, the salesperson rambles on about their company and personal experience and the features and benefits of the product or service they are selling. This does not build rapport with the potential client or customer who is most likely bored and just wants to talk about themselves and their needs. In sales it is obviously important to find out what the potential client or customer wants. The only way to do this is through asking questions, which makes this step vital in the process. The number of questions you ask doesn’t matter. What is important is the quality of the questions, because they will ultimately determine whether or not you are going to close the sale with any given person. Take the time to craft appropriate questions for what you are selling so that you will get a full understanding of what the potential client or customer wants as opposed to simply assuming they want what you have to offer.

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Step 3 Establish value There are two different parts of this step: 6. Finding the person’s need; 7. Establishing the value of meeting that need; To begin with you need to know exactly what the person wants, which you will have done if you’ve asked good quality questions. This becomes the foundation of your entire sales pitch in two ways. Firstly, by understanding their needs you know what to benefits of your product or service to emphasise in your sales pitch and secondly, you can establish the value to the person of satisfying their needs. In establishing the value of meeting the person’s needs consider the following:

• What would it mean to the person to have their needs met? • What would happen if the needs were not met? • What monetary value would they place on having their needs met?

Step 4 Link the need When you have established that there is considerable value for the person in having their needs met, you can then link their specific needs to your product or service. Essentially, your product or service becomes the solution. You can see that if you have not asked good quality questions initially, it will be very difficult to link your product or service as the solution to satisfy the person’s needs. This is a common error in sales and if not done well you will fail miserably when trying to close the sale in the final step below. Furthermore, when this step is done properly it eliminates buyer’s remorse (the post-sale regret that the client or customer may feel about purchasing your product or service).

Step 5 Close Obviously the most important step in the sales process is actually getting the sale. At this stage, you have had a great conversations, asked good quality questions, determined the needs of the person, established the value of a solution and provided your product or service as that solution, but if you do not actually close the sale and have the person “sign on the dotted line” then you have wasted your time. At this stage, if you have done a good job in the first four steps, you will most likely be asked some further questions about the product or service you are selling. This is a good sign as it demonstrates interest by the person you are selling to. Don’t answer these questions with simple yes or no answers. Remember to ask additional questions to further clarify the person’s need and establish value in the solution you are offering.

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You should also know how to deal with objections when you are trying to sell someone your services. There are three basic steps to handling objections. Firstly, listen carefully to the objections and make sure you understand what the objection relates to. Every good salesperson needs to know when to talk and when to listen, because it can easily mean the difference between making the sale or not. Secondly, acknowledge that you understand where they are coming from. This can further build rapport and trust as you are not simple minimising their concerns. Try phrases such as “I understand, other clients of mine also felt that way initially but what they’ve found is….” Thirdly, and most importantly, gently remind them of the needs they told you about earlier and the value they placed on being able to find a solution for it. The most common objection is always around money; the person cannot afford to purchase your product or service. You need to be prepared for this and not necessarily simply bend to their will (this is when it pays to be a persistent salesperson). Your product or service is valuable. For more information and a detailed stet by step process a great investment is the NLP in Business CD set. This set includes both the 5 step sales process and the NLP in Business model as taught by Dr Tad James. For more information visit www.empoweronline.com.au/tad-jamesnlp

Brad Greentree is a certified NLP Trainer and a member of the American Board of Neuro Linguistics Programming (NLP). He is also a Certified Trainer in Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis through the American Board of Hypnotherapy and the Time Line Therapy™. Brad is the contracted Australian trainer for the Tad James Group of Companies. www.nlpcoaching.com

www.empoweronline.com.au


business | Feature

Websites that

k r wo

Is your website bringing you enough business? Marketing expert Chloe Wedgwood explains the core elements of successful websites to help you build business through converting traffic to customers.

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f designed correctly, a website is a wonderful marketing tool; your website can bring you hundreds of warm leads through search engines, social networks and other marketing efforts. However, a lot websites are no more than an online, glorified business card and because of this miss out on a lot of business. Your website plays an integral role for selling your products or services. Websites that work satisfy one main objective – to convert the traffic that comes to the site into customers by getting them to transact with your business. This is by purchasing online, making contact with you via a contact form, or leaving details in your database so they can be contacted at a later date. Whether you already have a website or are planning on having one designed, there are a number of key areas to consider to help your website perform and convert traffic into business. These are presentation, content, site architecture and usability; and lead generation and conversion.

Presentation The very fact a customer has landed on your site means that they’re looking for a product, service or information they feel your website will offer. After they land on your site you have around three seconds to get their interest with your opening words and first impressions. Do you have a hook? Is there an offer or giveaway or an amazing fact? Does your headline note their problem and imply they’ll find the solution if they keep reading? These are just a few ways to grab their attention. It’s important to brand your business in a way that aligns with your personal values and also reflects the features, benefits and

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unique qualities offered by your business. Your website’s design and content should all support the brand and image you want to portray. If we asked you to choose three words that summed up your business, or how you want your business to be viewed, what would these be? Use these words as indicators for how your website is presented. For example, if your business is running children’s parties, is it creative, fun and imaginative. If your business is a law firm is it reputable, well organised and professional? To find your words ask yourself what your customers will want from you.

customers can go to learn about your business but it’s often also a great way to build trust by avoiding a hard sell and offering helpful tips and information on your field or industry. Providing enriching information will retain interest and provide an excuse to revisit your site more often. An example is a forum or a newsletter that provides updates of new articles. Having a few pages of informational content relevant to your business’ niche is a good idea. It’s also good to continue to add content over time because search engines love fresh content. This helps your site rankings (pages that rank well bring more potential customers).

Content

Site architecture and usability

Content is anything from text, to graphics and interactive elements. Your website should only contain valuable and relevant content. Consider how effectively your content customised to your users? Put the customers first, answer their questions and give them no reason not to do business with you. Ask yourself the question, if someone was visiting my website, what information would they want to know? The content should answer any questions they may have, build trust and reinforce your brand message. You’re site’s content should also be original to help generate traffic via Google and other search engines. The content should be informative and interesting. Use short paragraphs and bullets to ensure there is enough white space. Online readers prefer this as it’s easier on the eyes and the shorter blocks of text are more inviting. A website is a great customer service tool, a place where customers and potential

Is your website site user-friendly, intuitive, logical, easy to move through and is it easy to locate the most important information? How effectively do you meet the needs of your online customers in site construction? Can they access information easily and get their questions answered in a way that builds trust so they want to do business with you? As with any website you will need a “home” page, “about” page, “products/ services” page(s), “contact” page and a page where visitors can subscribe to a newsletter or such, in other words an opt-in or call-to-action. Your home page must be able to capture your audience within three seconds and draw them into the site with appealing options. And, very important to Google – include a site map and a privacy policy page. You should link to the privacy policy page from every other page on your site.

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Feature | business

Forums, image galleries and such are all things that, depending on the relevancy to your business, can be helpful. Likewise, if you have an e-commerce website, “suggested products” that other shoppers bought or viewed. If a shopper has already committed to buy with you and has their card out ready to transact, take advantage and offer a second item for half price or have a link to your “sale” items. You will see these techniques on websites like Amazon and Apple. And, remember to add icon links to your social networking profiles as well as adding the RSS feed link if you have a blog. It’s also often helpful to have a phone number or point of contact on every page.

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Lead generation and conversion How effective is your website at being located and generating leads via the search engines? Once they’ve found you do you lead them through your website in order to fulfil a desired action such as contacting you, buying from you or joining your database? To get results, your site must be search engine optimised so you get free traffic from Google and the other search engines. One of the challenges many businesses face is that they have professional and modern looking websites that satisfy short term requirements, but do not satisfy long-term strategic lead generation and conversion objectives. It is very important to design a website that satisfies long-term marketing and business development strategies so that the website is not only well presented, but also functions effectively and allows for the possibility of maximum lead conversion due to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

As an example, did you know that search engines like Google cannot read flash files or if the text on your site is flattened within an image, Google cannot read it? You need Google to be able to identify the keywords within your site to help your rankings. If Google is not identifying your keywords, your site is missing out on valuable traffic. As another example, do you know how many people put their Facebook “Like” link or “subscribe” button in the bottom corner of their website? This is the least viewed part on a web page. Considering the most important function of a website is to get your viewers to interact with you it’s a good idea to have this in a prominent position. If you fail in your primary goal to sell or get them to contact you on your website, you then have a second chance by building a relationship with them via your Facebook page. Using a marketer to help you with your website will save you a huge amount of time and money in the long-term. They will act as a communicator who can bridge the gap between the design world and your tangible business needs. They know how critical it is to get the design right but also work to ensure your website will get the relevant traffic to grow your business. Design and marketing must go hand in hand. If the marketing message is right but the design is wrong then you won’t convert the traffic

to your site into customers. If the design is right but the marketing is wrong then you will have minimal traffic and low search engine rankings. The ideal website will demonstrate elements of these core factors. Once you’ve mastered a good website, use it as your core conversion centre where all your marketing efforts can go into getting people to go on your website, then let the website do its job to convert. And remember, add your site’s URL to your business cards and all other marketing materials. EXTRA TIPS • Ask for your website to be built in a Content Management System (CMS) such as Joomla (Free software). This allows you to add and update the contents on your website easily yourself. You may have a slightly increased initial fee, but you will avoid high maintenance and update fees moving forward. • Track your traffic with data metrics. Find out where your leads are coming from, what they’re looking at the most, how many you are converting and if you’re not converting them, where you are losing them. Google tools such as Google Analytics are free and are a good option to get you started, Raven Tools is more advanced and is around $99 USD per month.

Chloë Wedgwood is the founder of the Canvas group – Canvas Marketing, Canvas Creative and Canvas Mentors – and is passionately committed to supporting businesses generate profit from no cost and low cost marketing techniques. She has marketed businesses in a variety of different industries from fashion to property, sports, hospitality and more. www.canvasmarketing.com.au

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finances | Feature

job

An inside

Zoe Routh advocates that wealth is not the cause of happiness but rather an excuse for it and shows how to increase prosperity from the inside-out.

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checked out the recent survey on the emPOWER website (Which area do you most want to improve in 2011?) and was not surprised by the top three answers at the time: 1. Level of financial security – 39.1% 2. Level of wellbeing – 21.7% 3. Relationship with self – 13%. I suspect the story behind these results goes something like this, “if I made more money, I would feel more secure and better able to relax and enjoy life. Then I would finally accept and respect myself.” In other words, fix the money situation and wellbeing and self-esteem will follow. It’s familiar and it’s also false logic. For years I lived in suffering with this story: “if only I made $100,000 per annum then I would be successful, admired and respected.” I denied my talents and achievements, forever waiting for the elusive (and arbitrary) financial milestone. The more I suffered, the more I struggled, the more distant that goal seemed to become. Masters from Plato to Buddha to Christ have long taught the reverse: there is nothing outside of yourself that will give you more wellbeing, more security, more stability. Wealth, like happiness, joy and health, is an inside job.

Finding the feel-good A great point to remind yourself of is that wealth is the excuse for happiness, not the cause of it. This is where most of us get tripped up. We want more wealth because we think we will feel better if we had it. We imagine more prosperity and savour the joy we think we will experience in having that prosperity. Therefore we link having more prosperity as the source of the potential “feel-good”. What we really want however is to feel joyful, free, relaxed and secure. So if money isn’t the cause of the “feelgood”, what is?

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The real source of wealth, security, abundance and happiness is our ability to focus and choose our own thoughts and interpretations about what is going on around us. And, it starts from the inside by appreciating ourselves, our gifts and our place in the cosmos as unique and marvellous creatures. In turn, flexing the muscle of appreciation, awe and amazement puts us firmly in the place of peace and from here all things are possible. When you feel peaceful, you see prosperity everywhere, including in your own life. And when you see and experience prosperity (well-being, happiness, health) more and more in your own life because of the way you are thinking and focusing, the more it tends to show up in your reality. It is through not following this principle that “rich” people can be miserable. Even though by many people’s standards they may be experiencing tremendous material wealth, they do not feel happiness. Their inability to appreciate has made them blind to their own abundance. It’s not just unhappy rich people who have prosperity blindness. It’s a chronic soul impediment prevalent in western society. The fixation on, “when I have/achieve ‘X’ then I will be happy”, anchors us in a poverty mindset and has us seeing through “poverty goggles”. All you need to do to fix it is to change goggles – from poverty goggles to prosperity goggles.

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Start with yourself Every morning, for the next 30 days, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and say, “I love you” for two minutes. Really pay attention to feeling the power of that message. My travels with self-criticism, pressure, struggle and longing took me through cancer. It was only when I turned inside – to self-care, self-appreciation and self-love – that my healing – on all levels – began. Selflove turned into self-worth; my inner world bloomed, and my external one transformed to match it. My wealth, health, happiness continue to expand, from the inside out. Seeing the world through prosperity goggles has filled my experience with more abundance, riches, and opportunities than I ever dreamed of. When you honour and appreciate yourself as the source of all abundance, goodness and security, you will find all your needs are met. Zoë Routh is a Magnetic Leadership coach, facilitator, speaker, and author with over 20 years experience in leadership and personal development, maximising the potential of youth and adults through outdoor adventure. Zoe is a catalyst for profound personal change for her clients. Join Zoe and the Magnetic Leadership Club at www.innercompass.com.au


finances | Feature

Playing with

property Some of the world’s wealthiest people are in the property business, so it seems like a pretty good road to riches. Libby Lombardo talks to us about her journey through real estate and shows how you can get started.

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roperty development is a game with no set rules. You look at it deal-by-deal, scenario-byscenario, and you figure out the best way to make each one work. You have to think outside the box and make it up as you go. You essentially build your own set of rules. I get quite annoyed when people say things like, “So and so made $15,000 in three weeks by doing this property deal.” In reality, to get that one deal, the person had to learn about the business, knock on countless doors and try and fail on hundreds of deals, so it didn’t take three weeks at all. Don’t be fooled by marketing pitches and crazy claims in property development. It just doesn’t happen! Property development is not an easy game or a get rich quick scheme. It takes dedication, contacts, and trying many deals before you find the one that will pay off. When it finally does pay off, you get immense rewards for your hard work and investment. I didn’t get into real estate because of a sales pitch. I’ve always loved property, so I figured if I was going to become an expert at anything, property would be it. Before you get started, be sure this is something you interested and passionate about. You have to learn as much as you can and minimise your risks. The property you’re working with has to be sellable, because in the end, that’s what it’s all about. Potential profit margins are pointless if the property is in a bad location. I’ve worked in property development for 13 years now, and I’ve

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had many ups and downs in the business. I know what work and what doesn’t.

Getting started Getting educated is the best way to get into property development. Read books and talk to successful agents and developers. You don’t have to spend a lot or throw your money at someone to teach you. Some courses are useful, but not all types of formal education are legitimate. If you’re going to do a course in property development, look up the person that is going to teach you. Make sure they are making money from real estate, not from seminars on real estate. Some alleged property developers simply get rich by teaching other people about it, yet they have no practical experience or physical property sales, so you may not be learning anything at all. If a teacher claims to be a property developer, ask for the addresses of the properties and check them out. Once you have verified that the person is a professional, then you can take lessons from them. After you have done a course, get out there and apply your skills. You learn a lot more by doing than you ever learn sitting in a classroom. When you’re faced with a deal, always ask yourself for the worst case scenario. Write down all the things that could go wrong and then come up with a contingency plan. Try to figure out how you can avoid the situation, or how you can cover yourself in case it happens. This will help you stay calm when things go

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wrong. You’ll be fast on your feet, so you will appear professional, confident, and competent to your clients and peers.

Property options The most important aspect of property development is saleability. If the property takes too long to sell, holding costs will eat into your profits. If you can’t get presales, banks won’t provide financing to build or develop the property. I teach a two-day course on property development, and I work closely with my clients to help them make sales. After the training is over, I actually do the property deals with them so they can learn practically. One of the things I teach is optioning property. A Property Option is selecting a property and agreeing to buy it after a certain amount of time, for a certain negotiated price. The time and prices are decided in advance. For example, a property on today’s market could be worth about $1.5million. If it had the right zoning on it, it may increase value to $2.5 million. To increase the property value, you have to make a development application, so you option the property for $2.5million. The development application requires a 12 month option, so you may put down an option fee of either 1% of the buying price or a flat fee of $10,000. An alternate strategy that I teach in my course is to option without a down payment. If I put no money down, I will add in a clause that I will lodge the DA within three months of the option period. This shows the owner that I am investing


Feature | finances

my time and money into the property. It proves that I’m actively working to increase the value on the property. I’m not just wasting their time holding the 12 month option on the property. This is a great negotiation tool to avoid paying money up front, and it shows the client exactly how I intend to pay them the $2.5 million at the end of the option period. A development application (DA) can cost anything from $20,000 to $300,000. The cost differs if you’re developing two town houses or 30 units. If you don’t have this money, you need to find a partner who does. As an example, if you’ve done the due diligence, verified the site, location and profit margin, and optioned the property, you could partner with a professional developer, get them to do the DA and pay all the costs and then split the profits in half. Essentially, you have put together a deal with no money down and partnered with an expert who is willing to take it on. If the DA doesn’t go through, then the loss will fall on the developer at no cost to you. Once the DA is approved you can either sell the DA, or develop the propoerty and go all the way… but that’s a whole different story. Make sure you have a “no fixed rules of thumb” policy. Be adaptable. There are limitless ways to do a deal, so don’t be rigid and stick to just one. Always leave room to negotiate and play around with it. If you must pay some option money and you don’t have the funds, there are always ways to structure the deal so it still works. You might find a way to have someone else to pay the option fee for you. Get creative, think outside the box, and lower the risk wherever possible when you’re starting out. Earning 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing, so don’t risk losing your life savings for a deal.

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Making money Some basic ways is to make money out of real estate are: • Option the site then sell the option to someone else;

• Option the site, do the DA, and get the DA approved without necessarily buying the property; • Option the site and do a joint venture (JV) to get the DA done. Property development is a process. A lot of people try to do Step 6 before doing Steps 1 and 2, so they

waste a lot of time. A developer needs to look at as many deals as possible and find the right one to invest time, effort, and money into. Defining the right deal simply comes from practice, practice, practice. For a ‘property option’ there is a list of things you need to assess to determine whether or not the deal is viable. They include: • Location; • Square metre size; • Buy price; • Zoning;

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• • • •

Floor space ratio and height restriction; Potential resale price; Will they take an option? Are there any problems we need to know about? The list is a little shorter with a DA approved site. You need details about: • Location; • Buy price; • What the DA is approved for; • Potential resale price; • Any problems we need to know about? Once you have this information, you can decide if it’s worth investing more time into the deal. Find out whether there is any profits in the deal, then do a feasibility study to see the possibility of the deal working out. There are so many different and creative ways to make money out of property development. I would have to take up the whole magazine to explain them. I’ve tried all the different methods and have found the more you do it, the better you get. With time, I’ve learnt to get deals through faster with higher profits and lower risks. Property development is about having a group of good, strong contacts to help you make the deal happen. There are lots of different consultants that you can seek out including architects, town planners, council, banks, surveyors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, arborists, and landscaping experts. You can also get literature and information such as valuations, quantity surveyor reports, acoustic reports, geo-tech reports, and traffic reports. Property development is a great industry to be in, as long as you have the right attitude and are willing put in the effort it requires to get better as you go. Libby Lombardo is the CEO of Leverage Property. She became interested in business while working as a nanny for her mentor, Richard Pratt. She made her first million at 25, lost everything a few years later, and earned it all back. She teaches and empowers developers in her Big Deals Boardroom. www. leverageproperty.com.au

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finances | Feature

Super The superannuation system has evolved rapidly in Australia. However, many of us still don’t know much about superannuation, let alone our own super fund. Finance expert Monique Message talks about self managed super funds (SMSF) and the benefits to you.

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uperannuation is your money and is considered a very important asset outside of your home. It is a predominantly an investment vehicle to self fund your retirement needs. It can also be a very tax effective entity to hold investments in.

What is a SMSF? A self managed super fund (SMSF) is a super fund that is managed by its members who are also the only trustee’s of the fund or directors of a company that is trustee of the fund. They are also commonly referred to as DIY superannuation funds, mum and dad superannuation funds and family superannuation funds. No members of the fund can be an “employee” of another member (or associate) unless the members are “relatives”. With the formation of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA or SIS) these funds are regulated as an entity of their own and as such have their own rules. This act requires the fund to have fewer than five members. They are set up by and for family members. The trustees have full responsibility of

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the fund’s management, investment and general administration with assistance from professional teams.

Why do people use them? The SMSF lets you look after your family by providing its members an opportunity to lay down the foundations for retirement for their immediate family and possibly generations to come. It also helps provide a number of income options that can be tailored to a member’s and their family’s lifestyle in retirement. It can also provide access to income for members of the fund during times of ill health or sickness. Most people choose this type of superannuation fund as they feel they have more say as to how they invest their money inside of super. SMSF is the most flexible tax effective vehicle to provide lump sums or income streams to a member’s spouse, children and grandchildren when the member dies. It lets the member control the process without fear of legal challenge. People also choose SMSF for its bankruptcy relief to members protecting their assets against creditors, to a certain limit. This is something that not all people who set up SMSF know about so

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they may not necessarily choose one for this reason unless they were recommended to do so for this protection, especially business owners.

Benefits of a SMSF Lifetime existence - SMSF are family funds for the lifetime of the original members and then for generations to come. They provide retirement incomes and estate planning for the family, not just one person. Control - like a family trust, the trustees of the fund have control of the fund. All members of the fund must also be trustees of the fund. This means shared control among members of the fund. Control of the fund means the trustees can also time the investment transactions and therefore any capital gain/loss event. Wide range of investment choices - a Trustee of a SMSF fund can purchase a business or real property from a member of the fund provided that there is no outstanding loan or charge of the property. Asset protection - where a person gets into serious financial trouble, under the bankruptcy rules they are able to protect


Feature | finances

a member’s benefits in the fund from creditors (to a certain limit). Estate planning benefits - provides flexible, tax effective options for a member’s family when they die. There can be a choice of lump sum payment or ongoing income payments which can be controlled by the member without fear of legal challenge.

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Drawbacks of a SMSF Responsibility - the SIS laws are very stringent and it is the responsibility to the trustee to adhere to them. Most people believe that their accountant is responsible in making sure that the SMSF complies with these laws. This is not the case and there are significant financial penalties for breaching these laws. Cost - the cost can be expensive compared to a retail fund and should be weighed up for the members For example if you had a simple investment strategy (of less than $200,000), would the fees outweigh the benefits. Access - there is limited access to benefits in the fund unless a member retires or dies. Time - this is a big drawback. The Trustee needs to set aside a great deal of time for ongoing management of the fund. Even though they may get outside professional help, they are in control of the fund and need to know what is happening within the fund and that it is compliant to the rules. Split of members - in the event of divorce, the benefits of a superannuation fund are part of a spousal property and may be split. This is more complicated with a SMSF, mainly due to the fact that most SMSF’s commonly hold direct properties as their main asset, and other members may not wish to sell the property. The other parties would become involved in the property split and there would need to be some other agreement of exchange of assets. Fraud - there is no access to government financial assistance if they suffer a loss due to fraudulent conduct or theft that is normally provided to non SMSF funds. The reason is that, as

trustees, they are in control and have full responsibility of their super fund.

Set up and administration Once you have decided to go ahead with establishing a SMSF you will need to be familiar with the strict legal standards which are essential to all involved in the SMSF. These can be found in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA). It is advisable for the trustee’s of this SMSF to be familiar with these laws also. Where the trustee breaches SISA, there can be serious financial consequences. You will also need to have a trust deed. The purpose of a trust deed is to set down the rules of the fund. The most comon rules relate to: the appointment and removal of trustees; admission of members to the fund; the appointment of various professional advisors to the fund including the SMSF advisor, the administrator and the auditor; trustee meetings; the establishment of the fund’s cash account; determining the investment strategy and objectives for the fund and its members; and the types of investments the trustee is able to invest in. The other basic requirements of setting up a SMSF are: • Arranging the first meeting of the trustees • Deciding on a name of the fund • Electing to be a regulated superannuation fund under SISA • Applying for a tax file number, Australian Business number and possibly registering for goods and services tax (GST), for the fund • Determining whether it is necessary to issue a Product Disclosure Statement • Opening a bank account in the name of the fund. There are also a number of trust law and legislative requirements to establish a SMSF. It is advised you seek legal advice in relation to these rules. You should also make sure that the professional that you seek advice from has substantial experience in the SMSF sector. The administration costs vary for each and every SMSF. There is a cost of setting up a trust deed with a solicitor, auditor fees once a year, administrator fees, investment costs and a fee for a SMSF advisor. The

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ATO has suggested that a fund of less than $200,000 funds invested would not benefit from being set up as a SMSF due to the costs involved, again professional advice needs to be sought before deciding. How will you know that a SMSF is the right choice for you? Before you set up a SMSF visit the www.fido.gov.au website. This may help you formulate what you want from a super fund and also which one is suitable for you. You then should seek advice from a professional superannuation and planning specialist.

Case Study Brian and Mary are in their late 40’s and have three teenage children. They also have their own retail super funds with $250,000 in each fund. Brian works in his own business and believes he will sell his business in about five years prior to retirement. The business is worth $800,000. They also own an investment property worth $600,000 and they do not have an investment loan on this property. Mary is concerned about her children’s welfare for the future and wants them to be financially independent if something were to happen to either her or Brian. Brian is also worried about the capital gain that he will have to pay when he sells his business and has heard about the rollover relief for small business, with super funds. They consult a SMSF advisor who helps them look at their overall planning needs and suggests the set up a SMSF. They are able to roll their existing super funds to the SMSF and the property is transferred. Brian and Mary are confident that they will be able to spend the time with their other professionals to set up their own retirement needs and also their family’s as it grows in the future. Monique Message works with Peters McKeown Financial Planners, whose aim is to empower their clients to take control of their lives through education in investing and financial advice during and after family breakdowns. Monique specialises in advising women in making important financial decisions that can impact their future well being. (03) 9939 6758

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change your life in 15 minutes

15 ways to change your life

At some stage in our lives we will all come to a point where we realise that we’ve got to break the cycle causing us pain and make at least one change in our lives.

T 1 2 3 4 5 6

ry the following 15 ways to change your life in 15 minutes:

Change your mood

Add beauty Try adding a plant, bunch of flowers, photograph or similar to the area of your home or office that you use most. Your eye will be attracted to the change you’ve made everytime you enter that space and you’ll enjoy being there.

Declutter a space Sort and clear one area of your space. Get rid of anything you don’t want. My jewelry drawer giveaways delighted my morning coffee group who each found a piece to suit them.

Chunk a big chore down into sections. For example, cleaning out the kitchen drawers, doing the ironing, checking and answering emails can all be given 15 minutes at a time and you will be able to see progress. Soon, you’ll be finished. Don’t forget to schedule in time for doing the things that you want to do.

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Make a positive contribution to someone else’s life Write notes or letters. People are so used to receiving everything electronically these days, they love getting something handwritten. In 15 minutes you can do something nice for someone else and know that you will be appreciated for your thoughtfulness.

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Have a hot shower and wash your hair. Put on fresh clothes. Try doing this when you get home from work. You’ll feel fresher and much better about yourself especially when you’re tired. Our rushed days can result in a sameness about what we eat each day. Try

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13 14

Manage time

Focusing on your breathing for a few minutes will slow down your heart rate, calm your thoughts and help your body to relax. It will also give you time to put the situation into perspective.

Eat something new

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Ring your partner, or a member of your family to make time for a coffee, lunch or dinner. All of a sudden you will have some fun to look forward to and you will be connecting with loved ones at the same time.

Breathe!

holding the object or taking part in the activity.

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Improve relationships

Play some of your favourite music. If you choose something upbeat you’ll soon find yourself singing along as you work. Something relaxing will slow your breathing down and you’ll feel less pressured.

Feel better about yourself

something totally new or try something you like at a different time of the day. Seriously, what’s wrong with eating ice cream for breakfast?

Play with children or a pet

Envisage doing something you really want to do

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Set your goals for the week. Remember to review areas of your life such as your home, work, family, friends, finances etc. Include things like menus, shopping lists, and appointments. By giving yourself a plan to follow, you will achieve a lot more and boost your self-esteem at the same time.

Brainstorm something which is challenging you You can do this with friends or use a tool such as a Mind Map. All sorts of ideas and solutions will become more obvious even after a few minutes.

Get motivated Take a few minutes a day and write down five things that make you truly grateful. Gratitude will start to influence the way you wake up, participate in the day, relate to others and look forward to the future. It will also alert you to things you want to change so take another few minutes to record these and decide what you can do about them.

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There’s nothing like kicking the footy around with the kids or taking the dog for a walk to make life fun. You’ll feel fresher and will more than likely end up smiling.

Everybody needs a dream. Choose something that you really want or you would like to do and visualise yourself

Focus on the future

Get creative Art, cooking, photography etc, all give you an opportunity to express yourself and to focus on something away from your daily life. Ok, perhaps not in 15 minutes but the time will be worth it.

Penny Paxman of Ticks Life Coaching is currently working with women rebuilding businesses seriously affected by the 2009 bushfires. She can be contacted on 0417 570 801 or by email at tickslife@bigpond.com


coaching toolkit

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Coach yourself to success

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LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE week 1

Set Your Goals

AREAS OF YOUR LIFE

Date:

Welcome to your first coaching session and congratulations for taking the first step to improving your life. In this first session you will be setting two inspiring goals for different areas of your life. Using the coaching models provided, complete the following exercises.

Where are you now?

On the chart, rate yourself on a scale of 0 - 10 in relation to where you feel you are at in each area of your life right now. Then, draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. partner 10 family

eg.

6

7

2

3 4 wellbeing

finances

social

0

y

A ‘10’ means you consider that area is perfect and a ‘0’ means major improvement is needed.

PARTNER Think about this area in the context of whether you’re single or in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship, it refers to how you feel about your life with your partner. Is your relationship what you want it to be? If you’re single, think about your level of satisfaction with being single. Some people would love a committed relationship and others are content as they are. How do 6 you feel?

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FAMILY This area refers to how you 5 feel about your relationships with family members. The rating you give this area should be an average for all family 2 relationships. While some will be strong, others may not be so good.

5

wellbeing

business/career

Where do you want to be?

spirituality

Next, give yourself a rating in relation to where you want to be in each area of your life in the next 1 - 2 months. Again, use a scale of 0 - 10 and draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. Don’t be afraid to dream a little but consider what you can realistically achieve in that time. There’s no need to aim for a perfect 10 in any or every area. partner 10

family

self

Imagine your life with these results

SOCIAL Similarly, this area refers to how you feel about your relationships 4 with friends and your satisfaction with your level of social/fun activity. Again, provide an average rating of your relationships and social activity. WELLBEING This is your overall sense of wellbeing and how you feel about your health & fitness. SPIRITUALITY If you’re a spiritual or religious person, this area refers to your level of connectedness with your beliefs. If you’re not spiritual or religious, think about your level of contentment with life in general.

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eg.

BUSINESS/CAREER This area considers 7 the level of success and/or fulfilment5 you feel in relation to your business, career or current employment.

5

finances

8

2

3

10

social

0

5

2

FINANCES This final area refers to how you feel about your level of financial freedom and/or your progression2 3 towards your desired level of financial freedom.

4

wellbeing

business/career 10

spirituality Winter 2011

SELF This is your relationship with yourself. Consider how much love, appreciation, acceptance and respect you have for yourself.

eg.

5

8

2

social

family

self

5

Use this goal-setting tool over the next three months to achieve your goals and improve your life. Set the dates for your coaching sessions and let’s get started.

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Creating your goal Now it’s time to create your goals. To begin with, choose one area of your life that you would like to improve. Say it’s ‘Partner’ and you want to go from a rating of 4 to 8. Using the goal template over the page, create a written goal outlining what that new rating means to you - perhaps it’s about finding a soulmate or re-connecting with your husband.

Every goal that you write should be an emPOWER goal. Think about the emPOWER principles as you go through the process

Wellbeing

It is the 30 2011 and I t h S e p t e m b e r proud of wh feel so happy and I have reachat I have achieved. of 60kgs an ed my goal weight I am fit, he d I look fantastic. much more althy and have so fit into that energy. Now I can and I feel fasexy black dress bulous.

Write your goal in the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved it. Make it meaningful, including some strong emotions, and make sure your goal is inspiring to you. Use only positive words and be specific – focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t want. Be a little realistic (but not too much) about what you can achieve in the timeframe chosen. Remember, too, your goal needs to be your own, not a goal to change someone else. You can only take responsibility for improving yourself and your life.

Goal 1

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive - with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. What you want [Date] [Emotion1] [Emotion 2] to achieve It is .............................. and I feel so ................................................... and ....................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We........................................................................................................................................................................... and I feel............................................................................................................................................................................. [Emotion3] Why you want to achieve it

Goal 2

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive – with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. It is .............................. and I feel so ............................................................. and .............................................................. I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We...........................................................................................................................................................................

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and I feel.............................................................................................................................................................................

Required action: Your only action for the next week is to read your goals every day. Read them out loud and, as you read each one, experience how you will feel when you have achieved what you want. This is called visualisation and is an important step in the goalsetting process – visualise your goals as if you have already achieved them.

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week 2

Making it Happen

Date:

Now that you’ve been reading your goals for a week, consider whether you need to change or add anything to your goals to make them even more meaningful and inspiring. In this session, it’s time to start setting (and doing) the actions necessary to achieve each goal.

Required action: 1. If necessary, add to or change your goals. 2. On the action sheet provided, make a list of the actions you need to take in the next two weeks to get closer to your goals. Remember, these are your goals and you’re responsible for the actions, so be as detailed as you can. 3. Choose a motivational book to read or course to attend to expand your learning. 4. Continue to read and visualise your goals everyday.

Goal 1 Action

Completed

................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................

Goal 2 Action

Completed

................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................

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week 4

Date:

Reflect on your goals and actions. Are you achieving what you’d planned to by this time? If you feel that you’ve lost some motivation for achieving your goals, or that you aren’t getting any closer to achieving them, it’s quite normal for people to experience this at some stage during the coaching process. To give you a reminder, and a shot of motivation, do the first action suggested below. Consider your results from the last two weeks. Have you completed all of your actions? If not, what got in your way? What can you do differently to prevent the same outcome in the next two weeks? If you’ve completed all of your actions, perhaps you can now push yourself a little harder.

Required action: 1. Meet with a friend or partner and share your goals with them. Explain to them all the reasons why you want to achieve each goal and how it inspires you. Ask them to hold you accountable. 2. On a new piece of paper, set some new specific actions for each goal over the next two weeks. Remember to challenge yourself. Anything worth achieving may be a little uncomfortable. 3. Continue to read and visualise your goals every day.

week 6

Date:

Hopefully you are well on your way to achieving your goals. If not, you may need to consider adjusting your goal date a little. This is normal and can happen for numerous reasons. You may have underestimated the time it would take, you may have gotten off track, or perhaps you may need to be more strict with yourself in taking actions. Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes. It is up to you to achieve your goals.

Required action: 1. Adjust your date if necessary. 2. For each goal, make a list of 20 reasons why you want to achieve the goal. Remind yourself of how good you will feel and how life will be different. 3. On a new piece of paper, make a list of the actions you need to take in the next two weeks to get you closer to your goal. Remember to challenge yourself. 4. Decide on one nice thing you are going to buy or do to celebrate achieving your goal. 5. Continue to read and visualise your goal every day.

week 8

Date:

Well done for making it to Week 8 and congratulations if you have achieved any of your goals. If not, don’t lose hope, things sometimes just take longer than initially expected. Either way, it’s important to celebrate how far you have come.

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Required action: 1. Celebrate your success to date. Do something nice or buy yourself your chosen gift. 2. If you have adjusted your goal date, continue to set actions every two weeks and read your goal every day. 3. If you’ve achieved your goal, get ready to set some more goals and start again at Week 1.

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emPOWER Magazine - Winter 2011