This article was originally featured in http://www.woman.com.au/real-problem-work-life-balance-possible/
Work life balance is like the Holy Grail of the modern working family and according to life and confidence Lisa Phillips, it’s completely attainable.
I often hear people complaining that they their workload is too great, their working hours too long and they don’t have sufficient time to do things like go to the gym, spend precious time with family or meet up for dinner with friends. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs and business owners. Ironic really as many of us launched our own businesses in order to create more balance in our lives!
Achieving work life balance can often be such a simple goal to achieve, but why does it come so easy to some people and yet others spend each day wishing they had more of it?
One of the reasons is our value structure. We often behave in certain ways and do certain actions based on what our values are. For example, an individual who has high values relating to family and fun will often find it much easier to obtain a good balance between work, rest and play! That is due to these areas are more of a priority to them than then perhaps working up the corporate ladder. However, if an individual has a value structure which has ambition, career and achievement at the top of their value list, they may find it more difficult to achieve that work life balance as these values have become the main priority in their lives.
I am a realist and know that there will be times in our lives when we need to work longer hours. But what can we do when this behaviour becomes ‘ the norm’ and we find ourselves spending more time working than doing the things we really want to do?
The first step is to quit whinging about it and make a conscious decision to do something about – take action! In my experience, people are very happy to complain about their lack of work life balance but in practice, are not willing to do anything about it as they prefer to point the finger of blame at their individual circumstances, their boss and their workload.
In reality, most people will come up with excuses as to why work life balance isn’t a choice that they have. Common excuses include:
• I can’t finish up early as I will never get all my work done
• If I don’t do it, then who will?
In making these excuses, we disempower ourselves and become the victim. We are basically saying that we have no choice in the matter. In actual fact, we are basically saying that work is far more important than we are as people.
Here are three practical ways to address work life balance:
If you are a small business owner, look at outsourcing. You can only the best that you can with the resources that you have. Stop beating yourself up if you don’t get everything done in a day. It will wait. Seriously, I doubt the world will end if you are a day late with that report.
If you already have a backlog of tasks, learn to say no to new ones. Don’t be a people pleaser at your own expense. Extend lead times if you need to.
Schedule it in
Go for a walk or just sit and relax in the sun for 15 minutes a day.
If you work from home, limit the amount of time you spend on the laptop or internet to free up more time. Stick a post it note on your laptop to remind you when to shut down. Most things can wait until tomorrow.
Life and Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips was recently interviewed in the South Australian Weekend Magazine ( 9 Aug 2015). You can read the interview here: Advertiser.com
Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips has been nominated for the NSW International Coaching Federation ' Coach of the Year Award 2015 '
Lisa Phillips, the founder of Amazing Coaching (www.amazingcoaching.com.au) and author of ' The Confidence Coach' has been nominated by the members of the ICF NSW for a prestigious coaching award. Lisa has been coaching for over 15 years.
Lisa's recently released book, ' The Confidence Coach' was launched in Australia and NZ in July 2015 and will be released in the UK, Europe and USA later this year. (www.theconfidencecoachbook.com)
In 2014, Lisa also won a bronze award in The Stevie Awards for her work assisting women with confidence.
The different ICF awards up for grabs include Nomination Categories
-Coach of the Year 2014/15
-Contributions to coach services for non-for-profit sector 2014/15
-Coaching research and development trail blazers 2014/15
-Extraordinary coach and coachee relationships 2014/2015
The winners will be announced on Friday August 28 at a NSW ICF Event.
Times have changed. Gone are the days where you could just give your staff and order and expect them to simply get on with it, regardless of whether they agreed with you or not! This approach may still work for your baby boomer employees but if you have a workforce filled with Gen Y's then in order to be an effective manager, you need to change your approach.
Employee coaching is a great technique that when used properly, gives you the opportunity to improve and discuss employees performance regularly, allowing your staff to grow through feedback and mentoring. Much more effective than the once a year performance appraisal!
Please see below five of my top reasons to effectively coach your employees:
1. Make sure you are clear on coaching methodologies and questionnning techniques. Get trained up yourself and follow a consistent coaching model to improve staff engagement and performance. Make sure you practice your coaching skills regularly.
2. Find out from your staff what they like to do and why. Discuss with them which part of their job makes them feel fulfilled and happy and be open to new or modified roles for employees. If possible, work with your employees to find a role that suites their values, passions and aptitude.
3. Take time to find out what type of communication methods work well for your employees. Ok, the Gen X and baby boomers may prefer face to face conversation or email, but the Gen Y's just love instant messages! Coach your employees and find out what you need to do to effectively communicate with them. Make sure you mould your communication style to fit the person you are working with. This will lead to greater understanding and build rapport more easily. It's not just the communication method that's important, this also includes your choice of words, body language and personal boundaries.
4. Listen. Sounds obvious but I mean really listen. If your mind is wondering off worrying about deadlines or other stuff you need to get done then you are not actively listening. Get present in the moment before speaking to people and give them the pleasure of your undivided attention.
5. Understand different Values and personalities. Be aware that all employees will have a differing value structure so tap into these different motivators. Good employee coaching adapts to the unique style and needs of the person being coached.
Listen to Confidence Coach being interviewed by Dave White on Raw Food Radio.
Listen to Confidence Coach being interviewed by Dave White on Raw Food Radio.
RAW Health Movement firstname.lastname@example.org on Raw Talk Radio.
Lisa Phillips, who I absolutely can't get enough of, calls herself the Confidence Coach and joined me this week to give us a bit of a wake-up call (but not the nasty one you're expecting):
Gaining confidence isn't always done by beating yourself up and simply doing the most terrifying thing you can imagine - that'll work for some, sure, but you've got to be soothing and encouraging on yourself.
Nobody likes to feel inadequate or inferior, and nobody wants to do something that they just don't want to do - so Lisa isn't asking you to do that.
She joined me on RAW Health Radio this week to talk about how to get out of the comfort zone (without needing a parachute), how to address the negative self-talk that we're all familiar with (without being harsh on yourself) and how to face your fears (without leaping into the fire).
I say "we" because I actually mean all of us. I know this show is about health, so I'll drop a little truth bomb for you.
The average career length for a personal trainer is less than 12 months. There's a really, really good chance that those professional-looking experts in your gym are just new to the exercise game as were the first time you walked into a gym.
Seriously. I've worked with hundreds of trainers, and it's true every single time. I can clearly remember the first time I ever went into a gym - properly overweight, clueless and totally out of my depth.
I know now that those "Ohmygawd everyone is looking at me, they can tell I've got no idea what I'm doing" thoughts are either exactly what's going through the minds of everyone else, or they remember exactly what it feels like to have those thoughts, because EVERYONE in a gym is a newbie until they're not.
This show is all about freeing yourself from that mental slavery we call self-doubt.
- The proper way to deal with negative self-talk (this actually does involve some fire - but not too much)
- Creating a new meaning about your experiences that isn't about you (and how Lisa dealt with her divorce by not making things personal)
- What's really going on in the minds of other people whose opinions about us cause self-doubt (spoiler alert: it's likely nothing to do with you)
Lisa Phillips held the book launch of her new Book ‘ The Confidence Coach ‘ in Dymocks, George Street, Sydney on July 23rd.
It was a great night and you can see the photographs of the night here.
The book is now due to be released in the UK and Europe in August and will also be launched in the USA in September.
Thank you to everyone who came along and made this such as special night.
Please note, this article of Lisa Phillips was first featured here http://www.wyza.com.au/11199.aspx
Studies have shown that over 73 per cent of the population has a fear of public speaking — and apparently, some people fear it more than death itself. Jerry Seinfeld interpreted this as meaning that at a funeral, more people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.
The phobia of public speaking is real and can range from slight nervousness, to a paralysing feeling of fear and panic. It is not just the fear of making a fool of yourself, being judged or forgetting your words that might hold you back from being a great speaker; you might also fear your own physical reaction, which for some, results in a shaking voice, blushing or even trembling hands.
Many people avoid public speaking at all costs, going out of their way to not pursue careers or situations that could involve standing up and taking the stage in front of others. In doing so, they may keep themselves in careers or experiences that they deem as being ‘safe’, often passing up opportunities for promotion. I know of a few people who deliberately take a day off work, get sick or arrive late to a meeting in the hope that they miss out on even those dreaded customary introductions (‘Let’s go round the table and introduce ourselves.’). Although these avoidance techniques provide immediate relief they are not a long-term solution.
Public speaking, whether it is standing up at a conference, presenting at work, facilitating a team meeting or giving the best-man’s speech, really doesn’t need to be the frightening experience we believe it to be. We will explore the different steps you can take to build up your public-speaking confidence muscle. Think of this journey just like learning how to ride a bike — you may feel a bit wobbly at first but after time you will gradually find it much easier. In my experience, people who have struggled with public speaking for years do successfully learn to control their fears and many end up really enjoying speaking in public!
If you know your stuff in advance, you will be well on your way to setting yourself up for success and improving your public-speaking confidence. Don’t allow your fears to cause you to procrastinate or hold you back from giving yourself sufficient time to prepare; bite the bullet, go for it and of course don’t forget to use encouraging thoughts to remind yourself that you will be fine.
Always make sure you get to the location or venue early so you can check out the room in a relaxed way — you can also make sure that all the technical equipment is working.
If you are lucky enough to be able to choose a topic to speak about, aim for something you are passionate about and that makes you feel good. When you present, your energy will be infectious and people will pick up on your enthusiasm and be more interested in what you have to say.
If your topic has been chosen for you, don’t be scared to make it uniquely yours; tell stories and bring your personality into the topic. Telling a good story in a presentation can really help connect you to your audience and also enables you to tell the audience a little bit about yourself.
The night before your speech, also make sure you get a good night’s sleep. You could even try listening to some relaxing music or meditating to chill you out even more.
Practise, practise, practise!
I am sure you have heard this before, but practising your presentation beforehand will boost your confidence on the day. Even experienced speakers rehearse their speeches many times to make sure their brain becomes familiar with the words and to set themselves up to deliver a successful live performance. One of my personal tips is to stand in front of a mirror while practising. Most people dislike looking at themselves in the mirror, so if you can get comfortable in this process, speaking in front of others will feel a little less daunting.
When I was just starting out in my own speaker career, I made sure I was armed with a good selection of visual aids such as presentation slides to help trigger my memory. Although you may fear giving a ‘death by PowerPoint’ speech, don’t hold back from writing down key words or triggers on your slides if you think it will help you. Having a visual for your audience to look at will also reassure you that people are not just staring straight at you. Even the thought of giving a speech to people who are not looking at you is always easier.
I also find that memorising the first few lines of my presentation always helps me to feel more confident at the beginning of a presentation, especially while I am just getting comfortable on stage or getting used to the equipment and microphone.
Learn to be yourself
Allowing yourself to be authentic on stage will help you relax, have fun and be more confident. Don’t try to be something you are not, because people will see straight through you — and let’s face it, trying to be something you are not often feels awkward anyway.
Being honest about your skills is a tip that has also served me well. I am often asked to speak at, or chair, conferences where I know little about either the organisation or the other topics in the conference. Of course I do my preparation but there are times when the subject matter is rather technical or I am the only speaker covering a ‘soft skills’ topic such as confidence. As a result, I usually admit my lack of technical knowledge early on and it is interesting to see the audience warm to me, often laughing with me when I make a pronunciation mistake or am unable to answer a technical question.
I really encourage you to take an honest and authentic approach with your audience. If you are feeling nervous, just admit it! This will help you relax and, importantly, have your audience supporting you in doing well. Also, imagine their surprise when you give them a great presentation despite your nervousness.
Speak to one person at a time
For some people, the most terrifying thing about public speaking is thinking about the audience. I have found that what can often help is to pick someone in the audience and imagine you are talking only with them, as if there were nobody else in the room. If someone does ask you a question, you can simply change your focus to them in order to answer the question.
Imagine yourself succeeding
Even if you have already completed the visualisation action step, do this each time before you speak. Imagine yourself giving a great speech, with everything going really well. Also conjure those feelings of pleasure and pride in yourself when you have finished. Learn to visualise success and your body will follow suit.
Look your best. Take some time with your appearance and wear clothes in which you feel comfortable and professional. If you are happy with your appearance, you will feel more confident.
Remember to breathe
If you feel anxious, it is perfectly okay to stop for a few moments and take a breath. I often have a glass of water on stage for those times, and I find it really helps me to slowly drink some water and catch my breath. This gives me sufficient time to ground myself and get back on track.
To summarise, you are the person who can make your journey to public speaking as easy or as difficult as you choose. You can choose to frighten yourself and convince yourself you are going to fail, or you can choose to set yourself up for success by setting realistic expectations. You also have the choice to focus on your mistakes or give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for doing your best, even if things did not work out perfectly.
The Confidence Coach is available here - RRP $24.99
Lisa Phillips is an empowerment expert and workshop facilitator based in Sydney NSW. To find out more about Lisa, please see www.howtoempoweryourstaff.com.au
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.