Category Archives: Career Management

Do you Know Where You’re Going to?

If the answer is no from you or someone else and possibly this may be some of those Sira Anamwong Lightbulb Headpeople we categorise as Millennials (if you read my articles or online comments frequently you may be aware I’m not really into labels) you or they don’t know where you or they are going in life or at work it can be difficult to start. This doesn’t mean you need to have a goal or objective in the sense of a smart goal as stuckness can come from confusing advice (see more on this below) or the person can’t currently ‘see’ what the end is – there is a technique for that click here.

At times as someone recently admitted to me they couldn’t do what they wanted or what they were asked to do or set a goal because they really wanted to leave the job they were in. On the other hand those of us who know where we are going have a clear focus on that and can at time appear to trample over everyone else to get there.  It can also be that you know what you don’t want, what you want to avoid.  That’s okay a good coach can help you work with that without requiring you to turn it into something positive immediately.

For those labelled Millennials friends are their source of advice (but that’s not exclusive this will apply to some people of all ages), their reference point, these friends are generally important for helping them make decisions as is the plethora of online (mainly) media, where your friends may be people you have never met face to face (so they may not always be genuine).  At times if input from friends (or people he/she knows) is missing the person may find starting difficult. It might be useful to work on how the person knows what to do/what is right when those sources are missing.

Recognition and appreciation from friends is important.  Presented with all of the 21st century choices and alternatives and the opportunity to be creative is what keeps most young people going.  Creativity comes in many forms and for those older ones amongst us creativity was often frowned upon unless you were in an artistic profession or you are someone who thought to hell with it, I’ll think outside the box anyway. There was always only a right way to do things in previous decades. Finding another way of doing things is often the best incentive for younger people nowadays and also for those of us needing or wanting to find the thing makes our heart sing.

The problem with this can be that distraction or diversion leads us to somewhere else and therefore even though started the project in hand s not completed.  It might then be that deadlines are not met at all at times, at others dependent on the individual’s subconscious (LAB Profile©) patterns, deadlines are only met at the last minute.

How do you get people with these patterns to do something?

First tell them why what you have might be useful to them, their career, their company, or their friends.

Then tell them what it actually is you want them to say.  Next say how this can be done and finally tell them what completing or doing this will say about them to others i.e. ‘Petra you mentioned that …. is important to you, something came to my mind that you might like.  Have you noticed how many people are ……….  It seems there are several alternatives open to you (name those alternatives or if you are watching the person and they appear not to like this suggestion or they actually say they don’t like the suggestions then say  ‘first you do … then .. and ultimately to complete you…)

Finish with ‘You know you are really great at ………. and others will appreciate you for doing that’.

I hope you found that useful and if you would like to know more please contact me.

Tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081

Check out my website http://www.developingworks.com

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How important is it that you enjoy your role as a leader or manager?

It was Confucius who said ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your Imagery Majestic Manager Shouting Loud Speakerlife’.  If you’re a leader however it maybe that there are times when life and work seems hard when directing your team or your business and it might be that you question your enjoyment.

For a business or organisation it may be that whether a person enjoys leading or not is irrelevant as long as results are achieved.  For your staff (and customers/clients/stakeholders) it matters a great deal. As human beings we tend to see the world not as it is, but as we are[i], therefore when we are unhappy, out of sync with the direction we need to go in and getting our message across to others (i.e. a difficult message such as redundancies) we can see others as being obstructive, when in fact they like us are having difficulty with the message received.

Not only are those we are leading or managing affected, it can affect our family, friends and social life and our own health.  We struggle to pretend to be engaged or committed when are delivering a message we don’t really believe in. We become incongruent.

When we are congruent, our response fits with the stimulus (question, event etc.) and when we are incongruent our response does not fit with stimulus (question, event etc.). Our tonality, physical responses, don’t fit with the verbal response. We leak this out to other people, we cannot not do that.

Think about a member of the family you know when you ask ‘Do you want sausages for tea?’ or ‘Can I change the TV channel?’ Although they say yes, we know from looking at them or the tonality that they mean no.

We have no control over other people’s responses, but we can manage, listen to, notice, watch out for and feel our own responses and do something with them.

So if we are incongruent towards those we lead, they will notice. It might not be immediate, but they will notice.  So when we smile, it’s good to mean that smile.  A smile is worth a thousand words, as are the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and some of those old fashioned things like opening doors for people, picking your litter up and putting it in a bin yourself, helping others with simple things like carrying and lifting.  All of these are part of customer service and customer satisfaction.  Oh yes and it is ‘your job’, ‘your response-ability’ because if it involves your company, your ‘face to the public’ – it speaks volumes about you and if or whether you care.

 

Try spending more time talking to staff and clients/customers/stakeholders to find out how change is affecting them and consider what you can do to improve both your and their situations.  Learn to understand others better and how to improve getting your message across more effectively so that you and others feel better.

 

‘Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers, it is about being open to all the questions.’ Earl Gray Stevens

 

 

If you’d like to know more about career management coaching and how the LAB Profile® might help you in your choices ,contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

 

[i] Variations of this phrase are attributed to the Talmud, Anais Nin and also Stephen Covey. Variations are also used in the personal development world and Quantum Mechanics might even play a role here.

Have you thought about your Management Team?

Any company or organisation requires strong management to create direction, to engage shaking hands stockimages.jpgstaff in the vision and mission of the company or organisation.

Good management fosters commitment, ensures productivity is met and makes the strategic decisions around the future of the company or organisation enabling everyone to meet the joint goals effectively for the company and in a way that is workable for the individual

Large corporates have management teams, for SMEs it is just as important to have talented people who take on management duties.  For business owners or entrepreneurs the danger can be to spread yourself too thinly because it’s your vision and only you know how to do ‘this’ (your vision) properly.

One choice to ameliorate this is to bring in external people who have experience as well as skills to strengthen the management team and improve the company’s competitive advantage.  When making this decision experience is important. In my role I come across many graduates who tell me they are floundering due to lack of experience – coaching externally can help them with these issues, as they are more likely to admit their weakness in confidence to a person with no vested interest in the company.

Alternatively assessing the skills and competencies of existing staff and coaching or mentoring them into a new role will work towards building a robust management team.

Whatever choice a business owner or HR department makes both the candidate and existing staff will need careful mentoring or coaching.  This mentoring or coaching can be carried out internally by senior management or the company owner to ensure that those who have been there since the beginning (or for a long time) and are extremely good at what they do, do not feel undermined.  Should this not be possible for the owner of an SME due to time restraints or for practical reasons or in a large company where impartiality is required then working together with an external coach is probably the best option. A good coach provides a sounding board and will help the individual clarify and question their judgment, as well as guiding the to manage and work with others.

At times dependent on a person’s previous role models, perceptions, possible insecurities etc. their behaviour when brought into an existing team or promoted from within the company can lead to friction. Coaching or behavioural change work will help with this creating an environment where everyone performs at their best.

It is important to assess the time/cost factor for building your management team, in terms of do you carry out coaching or mentoring internally or do you bring in an external person.  Whichever choice you make the value of retaining your internal knowledge base weighed against the potential loss of information that all good employees keep in their heads is never quantifiable until lost.

Team building is important so that they not only understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses but also so that they have the skills to cope with these too.  Whether these skills are new behaviours or influencing skills.

Working on how the team works together as well as their individual wants and needs is vital for cohesive team working.  Part of this is ensuring that they complement each other in respect of skills and experience and behaviour patterns.  That they are capable of working together and taking and giving instructions where necessary.  How they cope with stress.  How they are motivated.  The right mix is vital, a mix made up of individuals who understand the challenges faced by the business and who support one another honestly (instead of shrugging and say ‘oh he/she is like that, there’s nothing you can do).

I’d like to hear or read what others think of this post and whether you agree or disagree with and if you have any questions please ask.

 

If you’d like to know more about career management coaching and how the LAB Profile® might help you in your choices,  contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

 

 

 

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on youSirtangphoto multiheaded buddha

If you trust yourself when all men doubt you

..

If you can dream  – and not make dreams your master

If you can think and make thoughts your aim

If you meet with Triumph and Disaster”

 

Rudyard Kipling wrote these words in 1895 to his son John in a form as if it was fatherly advice, but they were written in tribute to Leander Starr Johnson, originally from Edinburgh (more about him click here).

Kipling’s words work equally well today, when there are downturns in markets and people lose their jobs we tend to panic and at times wonder if there’s a better option out there.  Whether we allow ourselves to be influenced by other people and what they believe and tell us or whether we decide for ourselves based on what we know and believe to be true.

What’s missing at times is a prepared objective and for a short period of time sitting back, thinking about how we can avoid problems and then with our objective in mind setting up a plan that we then put into action.

Sitting back and asking ourselves what we really want is not a complete waste of time.  It helps us to focus and think so that we don’t end up in a job that is potentially flattering but then becomes a waste of time, in that we become frustrated.

When we are clear about what we want we notice that other people appreciate us more.  We get recognition for asking for our needs to be met.

 

We can first look at the choices available to us and then choose a couple of options to work with. (Knowing that could go back to the other options, but as a start it’s good to be clear about just one or two options at the most.

After all when we are good at what we do, letting others know clearly will enable us to do what Kipling said over one hundred years ago that still holds true:

‘If you can keep your head’ – stay calm,

‘… trust yourself’ – in spite of what others say that might make you waiver,

‘… dream and not make dreams your master’ – not let endless options and possibilities, the ‘ifs’, the ”buts’  stop you from acting.

When we do all of those (with a little help if necessary) then we will get through trying times and carve out a new career or a new business or simply stay afloat and happy in trying times.

 

If you’d like to know more about career management coaching and how the LAB Profile® might help you in your choices ,contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

 

 

How do you reflect on your successes and setbacks?

Some suggestions –120x90workglum
When times are tough, and maybe there are even more tough times ahead but before you look towards cutting your spend on areas such as learning and development. Perhaps stop and consider that investment in coaching is perhaps an essential for a business particularly during this period.
There’s a need to adapt and respond quickly to changing business needs – often requiring you to change or adapt the way you work. Regardless of whether you are an employee or your lead your own organisation be that large or small.
Do you use situations like this as an opportunity to learn and move on to greater success? If your answer to those questions is along the lines of ‘never’ or ‘not often enough’ then maybe now is the time to put yourself and your business in a position of strength.
Coaching will help you develop skills and give you the opportunity to practise, as well as giving you the time to review the current situation, looking at what you have learned and evaluate ideas which you may have previously dismissed.
Coaching can help understand and work with the behaviours that will work positively for you through the tough times. Giving you a fresh perspective on problems and focusing on what is important for both you and your business. An experienced and qualified coach can help you evaluate actions you have in mind, and through skilful questioning of your language enable you to look at a range of alternatives. You then use your own and your organisation’s resources to the best advantage in a changing environment.
Our own experience of dealing with setbacks can be the crucial thing that holds you. Your coach will enable you to build on your resilience (even if you doubted you had any) and to improve and toughen your approach to taking tough decisions. – you can start to change the outcome of these challenging situations.

What others say about coaching please click here

 

When life get’s in the way

So you know the John Lennon line ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making gun to headother plans’? I’ve learned in life to become really good at avoiding things or planning for doing something different. These so-called ‘opportunities/challenges or whatever, let’s face it when you’re  running a business and who knows what else they are just a bloomin’ nuisance .
You know the situation – you knew exactly (more or less) where your life was/is going. You’ve done all the planning, all the strategy stuff and ……………….. well a multitude of things can happen, or may happen and sometimes they do. Or sometimes it’s just one simple thing that upsets the apple cart so to speak.
Client cancels, car won’t start, child throws up (sorry), child comes out in spots – school/nursery says sorry must stay at home, client goes bankrupt, loses funding (let’s be topical here), your partner is arrested, someone dies (ok it’s getting worse), partner breaks leg as you go on holiday, you miss the ferry coming back, next one is 2 days later, you find out you have  cancer – you know those things some peple seem to take in their stride  !
There are options:- headless chicken syndrome, sit down and cry (quite good for a minute at the most – trust me), scream, shout, blame someone else (worst one I think personally – trust me they won’t sort it out).
Being in a good and useful state is something I talk about a lot in my work. After all we can ‘get in a state’, and mostly we say things like ‘look at the state of him or her’, ‘why did you get yourself into that state?’, ‘what a state you’re in!’ So in the UK (because in the US and perhaps other countries a state is a place in which you live, so you could change state;)) and in the training we provide (you can find me at http://www.nlphighland.co.uk for more info) we encourage people to find a good and useful state.
When you have a moment think of 5 separate times in your life when things have been going really well ,and for each one think of a label. Do it one at time – here are some suggestions Confident, Peaceful, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Motivated, Excited, Powerful, Focused, Blissful, Empowered, Successful, Relaxed, Loved, Joyful, Healthy, Humorous or anything else you like.

Thinking about each time separately so for example Confident, think about that time see what you’re seeing, hear what you’re hearing, and feel how you’re feeling when you are confident then and when you have all of that in your mind and body; press on a point on your collar bone and ‘anchor’ that confident state.

Do the same thing for each of the 4 other ‘states’ you choose and press on or ‘anchor’ on the same spot. Then briefly think of something else like doing the dishes, just briefly. Then press on your collar bone again in that spot and notice what happens. If you need to, repeat the process until it’s all really powerful and now you have an unobtrusive ‘anchor’ for a ‘good and useful state’ that you can use anywhere at any time.

So if ‘life get’s in the way’ again, – press on your collar bone.

 

Five Reasons Why Coaching Didn’t Work For You

1          You chose the wrong coach2015-10-19 15.00.50

Coaches deal with different aspects of life and work. (Did you ask yourself ‘do I want someone to offload all my worries to and to be listening and sympathetic ear and say there there’ or did you ask ‘do I want someone to motivate me? Or did you ask ‘do I want someone to help/guide/assist me in my career or business?’ Different coaches deal with different aspects.

Did you ask ‘do they have business experience?’ What kind of training do they have?  ‘Are they recommended?’ Notice when you initially meet them do they carefully question how you say what you say or do they rephrase or paraphrase your language and you’re too polite to comment.

 

2          You relied on the coach to tell you what to do

The only person in life who is in charge of you is you. You are ‘driving your bus’.  Admittedly there will be times in everyone’s life when we want to give and or abdicate responsibility. Ultimately you have to make your own decisions without hearing from someone who tells ‘oh that happened to me, what I think you should do is….’  Incidentally ‘should’ is about the other person about how they think or tell you what to do.  You will most probably ultimately find that what you should do (according to them) was not the right thing to do.

 

3          You weren’t in the right place at the time

Coaching is not intended to resolve the deeper underlying issues that are the cause of serious problems like poor motivation, low self-esteem and poor job performance.

When we go into a coaching relationship we do that in the belief that we are self-aware and a ‘whole person’ and that we have chosen coaching because we don’t require a therapeutic intervention. It can be that even with underlying issues we will experience success within a coaching context even without resolving the underlying issues. If we become ‘stuck’ and the coaching is not achieving desired results, then a therapeutic intervention may be necessary for me to move forward and achieve your goals. Therapeutic interventions are not coaching and even coaching using NLP is not therapeutic and as a coachee you need to be clear on that.

 

 

4          You didn’t like the task you were given. If you and your coach agreed that you would do certain things by a deadline and you didn’t like what you agreed. Then there are options:

A. Life got in the way

And it does, tell your coach and re-arrange the deadline. Be aware – if you keep on changing your coaching dates – do you need to ask yourself ‘why am I allowing this to happen?  After all the most successful people in life juggle things, work through things, overcome obstacles, ask for help, delegate and more.

B. Say you didn’t/don’t like it and then talk that through with your coach. Your coach

Your coach offers you a supportive and motivating environment to explore what you want in life and how you might achieve your aims and desires and fulfil your needs.   There is no such thing as failure in life and your coach’s job is to enable you to get to where you want to be.

C. Give up and say coaching didn’t work for you

If you choose this option perhaps ask yourself how willing you are/were to commit and if you are prepared to make changes to your behaviour(s).  When we stay the same so do other people. Or other people actually become worse because they will tire of our behaviour.

Bear in mind when you change your team or change your job you will still take you with you. We have to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’.

Sometimes we get in our own way with our beliefs.  Discuss this with your coach, be open and honest with your coach (and yourself). Say what didn’t work and get them to assist you to get to where you want to be.  The coaches job is to assist you commit to action and be a sounding-board for your experiences.

D. Ask your coach to help you

If you coach has additional qualifications such as NLP, CBT etc. they are in a position to assist you but you both must agree that this is what happening. Or get your coach to recommend you to a qualified practitioner or find someone who someone else recommends, in that they have worked with them.

E.You didn’t like the fact that your coach asked you to set goals/outcomes/objectives.

In the coaching sessions you and your coach will generally be more concerned with the practical issues of setting goals and achieving results within specific time-scales. Coaching allows you the personal space and support you need to grow and develop. Your coach’s key role can be in assisting you to maintain the motivation and commitment needed to achieve your goals. However they aren’t there to ‘kick your butt’ or be ‘on your case’ every day.  If you think you need that then there are behaviours and beliefs that could do with changing on your part.

Only you are in charge of you and only you will do what you agree to do with yourself.

If you’d like to know more about coaching with me Rosie O’Hara please contact me via the Developing Works website, tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.

 

 

Do things hold you back?

Do you have a belief about something you think you can’t do? Do you beat yourself, up tell cat lionyourself you can’t? Do things hold you back?

The easiest way to spot limiting beliefs is to listen to your ‘self-talk’ when things go badly. Typical examples of limiting ‘self-talk’ are ‘I’m no good at …’, or ‘I can’t …’. Each time you talk or think in this way, the belief becomes more entrenched.

The good news is that this limiting way of thinking can be changed to ways of thinking that are truly empowering. The following process is a good way to do this:

1. Write down your limiting belief and ask yourself – ‘what will I get from changing this way I think about things?’

2. Ask yourself ‘Am I ready to change this way of thinking that’s holding me back?’ Check that the ‘yes’ is a true yes and feasible. If not, what is getting your way? Do you need to do some work on that?

3. Ask yourself ‘What would be a more useful way of thinking, instead?’ Write down that answer.

4. Turn your answer into a linguistic process, one that has progression in it – here’s an example – find something you can ‘do’ to make the statement more believable. Use words such as begin; start; prepare; establish; grasp; learn; master; realise; understand.
Such as  ‘I can be good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’

5. Make it enjoyable. Find words that would make the more useful way of thinking motivating, such as comfortable; easy; effective; effortless; elegant; enjoyable; fantastic; magical; magnificent; successful; thrilling. For example ‘I can enjoy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s effortless being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s easy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’

6. Write down the final version of the new more useful way of thinking and notice any objections that come up for you, any little voices in your head. Symbolically let them go by writing them down, or saying them out loud, until no more objections are left. They are no longer unconscious objections now, no longer getting your way.

7. Now take a minute to imagine living with this new belief for a whole day. Would it cause any problems? If so, fine-tune the new belief until it causes no problems. Do a final check: ‘If I could think in this more useful way would I take it on board?’ Check you get an answer from yourself that you are truly happy with, and that this new way of thinking is truly motivating. What evidence will let you know it is coming true for you? Practise acting ‘as if’ the new way of thinking is yours on a daily basis until it becomes so.

8. Finally ask yourself ‘What will be the first evidence (what will you see, what will you hear and what will you feel) that this way of thinking is coming true?’

If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.

Part of me Wants to and Part of me Doesn’t

or The Will I? Won’t I? Process.walking orange

You know that scenario or that dilemma or that feeling? When you say ‘I want to this but on the other hand,’ and then you dither or put one foot forward and then you take one step back and probably end up doing nothing at all or at least nothing different.

Here’s a way of working with that Will I? Won’t I?.

First a brief explanation, it’s possible that the dilemma you are having is about your values being in conflict. Values are our criteria for what we personally consider to be worthwhile or valuable. Our values are deeply connected to our belief systems. The values embedded in our core beliefs are the key to our actions and to changing those actions. It may be that something you hold dear is not at useful to you.

When you are in a situation where you are saying ‘part of me wants to and on the other hand’ then try this method out.

1. Ask yourself: ‘what are the two parts or values that conflict?’ and give each part a name (anything you like).

2. Then resting one hand on each knee, palm uppermost, imagine one of these parts is each hand.

3. Now looking at one of your hands imagine you can see what this part looks like – is it standing, or siting is a person, what’s it wearing?, is it a thing?, describe it as you imagine it on your palm. When you have described one part fully, repeat the process for the other part imagining it on the other hand and looking at it there.

4. Looking at each part in turn what do you notice about its good qualities; strengths, resources and positive intentions. A positive intention is not its behaviour so for example ‘by not doing this – it will keep me safe from ….’ That’s a positive intention even though at times that might not be what will call positive see No. 5 on this page here.

Ask questions of each part such as:
What does this part do for me?
What is its job in my life?
What are its special qualities?
What is this part good for? What is this part trying to do for me?
How could this part be useful to someone else?
What are the good things I haven’t noticed about this part?

5. When you’re clear about all the positive attributes of one part, repeat the process for the other part. Check if any of the positive attributes need to be transferred (do this in your mind) from one part to the other.

6. Then imagine a third, central image (between the other two wherever seems right for you) incorporating all the best qualities of each part.

7. Bringing your hands up from your knees, bring them together behind this central image and scoop all of the images into yourself. Welcome this new improved image, close your eyes, breathe, and stay that way whilst your mind accepts this new way of thinking and behaving.

Be gentle with yourself and allow ample quiet time for integrating this process. Allow yourself to experience fully whatever body sensations, emotions, feelings or images come to you. This can be a powerful emotional experience, or deceptively unremarkable.

It can be you have clear insights during the process. It can be that it happens later.

This method also known as Visual Squash or Parts Integration in NLP operates simultaneously on so many levels that it subtly transforms our experience and expands our range of reactions with no further effort.

If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.

How to Plan and Prioritise

Eisenhower was a very astute man.  And did you know that he came up with the hand in papersUrgent/Important Matrix before Dr Stephen Covey? I didn’t, until I was reading the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) magazine Edge.

Eisenhower said ‘An intellectual is a man who takes more words than is necessary to tell more than he knows.’

The Urgent/Important Matrix is about using time effectively, not just efficiently, and in my experience the more effectively you use time the more efficient you become.

In this day and age there just never seems to be enough time. Is this really true?

How often have you taken time out to ‘Stop and Stare’? And perhaps realise what you are doing is getting you nowhere. We’re anxious, we can’t concentrate, everything gets in the way, and then, we simply blow. We tell ourselves that we can do so much because we have so many ‘labour saving’ devices, mobiles, PCs, laptops, we can be contacted anywhere at any time.

In spite of all these gadgets and online calendars (that everyone can set us up appointments with (if we let them) – do we really mange our time efficiently?

Do we spend our time on things that are important and not just urgent? It’s important to distinguish between important and just urgent.

  • Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals.
  • Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals (ah had you noticed that?).

We often concentrate on just urgent activities. The things that make the most noise, the things that demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate.

The Urgent/Important Matrix is a useful tool for thinking about this.

Eisenhower said, ‘What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.’ This so-called “Eisenhower Principle” is purported to be how Eisenhower organized his tasks. Dr Stephen Covey made the idea more public in his business classic, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Covey called it the “The Urgent/Important Matrix.” I use it often in coaching and on my business courses and on my NLP Business Practitioner Course:

The Urgent/Important Matrix is a powerful way to use to think about priorities. Using it helps you prevent the natural tendency to focus on urgent activities, so that you learn to keep enough time to focus on what’s really important. This is the way you move from “fire fighting”, into a position where you can grow your business and your career.

This is how it works

Divide and A 4 page into 4

Urgent                                                        Non-Urgent

Important

I

Activities

Crises

Pressing Problems

Deadline driven projects

II

Prevention

Relationship building

Recognising new appointments

Planning recreation

Non-Important

III

Interruptions, some phone calls

Some mail, some reports

Some meetings

Proximate, pressing matters

Popular activities

IV

Trivia, busy work

Some mail

Some phone calls

Time wasters

Pleasant activities

Assess the importance to all the activities on a scale of 1 to 5

Remember Eisenhower also said: ‘Leadership – the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it.’

When people see you are clear about your objectives and boundaries, they will generally not ask you to do “not important” activities in the future, and at best do it themselves or find someone else.

This blog first appeaerd in 2012 on my then and now defunct NLP Highland Blog.

If you would like to know more about your preferred patterns and how you work with these and get things done on your own or with other people please contact me either here or via the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here.

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