Personal Development Tag

By Andrew Holland A version of this blog post was written for the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) #IChoseIC series, where internal communications professionals share how their IC careers started and have evolved. Seize the opportunity I remember the day I discovered Internal Communications like it was yesterday. It was 7pm and I’d been at work for about 12 hours having started on the early shift. This was in a call centre for a well-known utility and I’d recently been promoted to call centre team leader. I read the job advert for an Internal Communications Assistant and it jumped out at me. It described everything I wanted to do. I successfully applied and started a 25-year career in Internal Communications, which has been rewarding at every turn! In that first IC role, I had two inspirational leaders who really helped me establish my IC credentials. The first was my manager, who was incredibly supportive, extremely...

By Mark McMahon, Senior Communications Manager at HSBC. A change of direction "Man is disturbed not by things, but the views he takes of them." Would that sentence change your life? It did for me. Ancient Stoic philosophy might not be top of everyone's reading list, but I came across this quote by Epictetus in a brilliant book called 'Happy' by Derren Brown and it had a profound effect on me. It's another way of saying, it's not the events all around us that cause us to feel a certain way, but how we choose to respond to them. Why am I telling you this? When I read it a few years ago it made me stop and think long and hard, especially about my career. It made me choose to feel differently about my role, my career path, and my potential. It made me consider the choices that were possible. It eventually made me switch...

By Belinda Gannaway, Strategy Director, Fathom XP If there’s one place to dance, it’s Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City. The music, the moonlight, the people. It’s pure bucket list. Sadly, not for me. Because I can’t dance – not really dance. So I didn’t. I sat it out and laid down a different memory. A memory of stopping myself doing something. Why? Ego. The protective cloak Dr Herbert Schofield from Loughborough University describes ego as the anaesthetic that nature gives us to deaden the pain of being a fool. I like this. But it doesn’t capture the self-limiting aspect of ego. For that I prefer the definition I’ve borrowed from our partner Hazel Lowndes at Ginger Dog. She describes ego as a protective cloak we wear in public so people don’t see the real, always-learning, never-perfect version of ourselves. Back in Mexico I wore this protective cloak to ensure I didn’t expose my incompetence to the world. It serves...

This guest post is written by Michael Brown, who has been a leadership and personal development trainer for 17 years, working with organisations large and small worldwide. Michael writes a very interesting blog, alongside his ‘How not 2’ videos, a tongue in cheek look at how not to manage and lead teams. Work life balance?  Forget it! How would you compare your working life today with how it was five years ago? If you’re like many of the people I meet on leadership programmes, you may have lost sight of just how dysfunctional it has become. The sad fact of the matter is that the vast majority of employees have given up trying to engage with the organisation they work with. According to the annual Gallup state of the workplace report, only 16% of employees are actively engaged: the rest are either coasting along in neutral, waiting for things to improve, or even worse, actively disengaged and...

This blog post was written by Justine Ballard. The importance of preparation Many people think that presence comes down to a combination of natural charm, innate intelligence and sometimes good looks, but thankfully there is more to it than that and presence can be achieved by all of us. Your professional presence is helped by 3 things: being clear about your goals being comfortable with who you are and confident about what you are offering These three things, together with practice and preparation will help you enormously. The ‘P’s matter because, firstly, being very clear about the purpose and context of any meeting, will make it easier to work out what you really want to say and how you want to say it. This in turn will help you feel confident about what you are offering, as knowing whether you are selling, sharing information, negotiating or connecting will help you be clear about your approach. Then...

"I’m a fraud. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds out.” Does this sound familiar? Do you ever feel less worthy of success than everyone else in the room? Do you fear your cover could be blown? Does the success of others make you feel inferior? You are not alone. I have had an inferiority complex throughout my professional life. From that first temp job when I realised I was completely out of my depth, through to a board position in a recruitment consultancy – I have always felt fear, compared myself to others unfavourably and been looking over my shoulder, waiting for the arrival of the blagger police. This particular brand of fear has a name, it’s called ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and was coined in the 1970s to describe how we can feel like frauds who do not deserve success, despite all the evidence to the contrary. People suffering from Impostor Syndrome...

The secret sauce During my 14 year career as a recruitment consultant I have interviewed nearly 10,000 candidates. Some of the most impressive and impactful candidates I have met didn’t initially look that good on paper. But face to face, they have impact, they have that special secret ingredient called ‘gravitas’. Maya Angelou said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Those candidates that make me feel something – excitement about working together; a personal connection or simply trust that they will do the job to the best of their ability – are the people who stand out. On the flip side, the candidate who sat in my office on a hot summer’s day and refused to take off his woolly hat and thick winter coat, despite the fact that he was sweating profusely, made me feel uncomfortable and...

My story I probably come across as quite a confident person. Some might say I’m borderline arrogant at times. But that hides the truth: that I lack confidence, but can put on a good show. There have been times when I’ve suffered such a loss of confidence, I’ve cried myself to sleep at night, woken up with a feeling of utter dread and ultimately made myself ill. The most miserable time of my professional life was in my early twenties, when I moved from a friendly, nurturing Public Relations agency, to one ruled by fear. All the signs were there during the interview. My gut feeling was telling me that the MD was going to be difficult to work with, but I arrogantly thought I could handle it. After all I had a full two years of experience under my belt! What could possibly go wrong? I should have listened to those feelings. I remember...