Six Top Tips for Managing Workplace Stress – from the Sunday Business Post 9th October 2016

Workplace stress can be challenging to manage. But learning how to deal with it is vital, both in terms of how you feel about your work and how you are perceived by others. It is important to learn how to manage it in order to maintain your own health as well as protecting your personal brand.

Deep breaths – simply taking the time to focus on your breathing can be helpful in managing stress, breathing in through your nose to the count of five and breathing out through your mouth, also to a count of five can help alleviate feelings of stress.

Practice saying no. every time you say yes to a request, you are effectively saying no to something else. Your time is a valuable resource – treat it as such. It’s important that you are in control of your schedule and tasks – to an extent of course. Don’t feel as though you have to volunteer or agree to everything that comes up. Take control of your time and use it to work towards your objectives and your team’s objectives.

Organisation – plan ahead – but expect changes. Organisation is key to managing stress in the workplace. By planning ahead and thinking about what could go wrong, you give yourself the opportunity to put measures in place to deal with such events, should they occur. Not only will this reduce your stress over worrying about what could happen, it will also help alleviate stress if it does happen.

Get out – if you usually eat a rushed lunch over your desk, take the time to get out – even if it’s only for 20 minutes of fresh air. The combination of fresh air and exercise will help relax you and clear your mind for the latter part of the day – helping avoid that 3pm slump. An additional benefit to exercise is that it can help you sleep. Adequate amounts of sleep are crucial for dealing with stress and unfortunately stress can have a negative impact on sleep quality, so use exercise to help you get your required amount of sleep in order to reduce those stress levels.

Ask for help – don’t be afraid to delegate – many people find themselves under stress in work because they are trying to do everything themselves, either because they don’t want to burden others or because they think that they are the only ones capable of completing certain tasks properly. By delegating to others, you will not only relieve your own stress, but you will be giving someone else the opportunity to learn. Furthermore, this display of trust will help build your working relationships, which in itself can lead to a reduction in stress.

Finally, take a break! How long has it been since your last holiday? No matter what your job, you should be able to find time to take a break. Taking a holiday not only allows you to recharge your batteries, it can also increase your levels of creativity. If possible take a complete break from work, but if this isn’t possible and you need to put in some work time while away, then do it – just try and keep it to a certain time of the day as opposed to being on call 24-7.

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Four Things You Probably Didn’t Know About High Potential Employees – Forbes Oct 19th 2016

We’ve been making telling our clients these points for over a decade!



Making the most of your One-On-Ones

One-on-one meetings are a great way of keeping up with employees and team members, but how best to make the most out of this time? When schedules become busier, it can be easy to let these slip by the way side or only make a token effort to invest in them. Here are some tips for making your one-on-ones more collaborative and productive.

While email and phone calls may at times be more convenient, nothing can substitute a face-to-face meeting. Not only do they help build rapport but they show the individual that you value them enough to carve proper time out of your schedule and focus solely on them

  • Timing – book regular meetings, show up on time and don’t cancel!


  • Prepare – know what you want to discuss going into the meeting. If you don’t have time to discuss this with your employee before the meeting, ask him or her to jot down a couple of bullet points and you can do the same, giving the meeting a focus and helping to keep it on track. If you want to talk to them about their professional development, let them know ahead of time to give them time to prepare


  • Be flexible about the agenda – while you may have tentatively outlined what you are going to cover during the meeting, things change and your colleague may have something more pressing to discuss than they thought when creating the agenda


  • Use open-ended questions – these are helpful for getting the conversation going and for getting a more complete, thought out answer


  • Be present – focus on your colleague and make sure you are actively listening to what they are saying, not just ticking off a box on your to do list. Turn off any digital distractions


  • Being the meeting by sharing a win – if possible, this will create a positive vibe for the meeting. Similarly, try to end the meeting on a positive note by thanking them for their time, their work, their ideas, whatever seems appropriate. This of course only works if it is genuine, but it goes a long way towards building good working relationships


Adapted from Harvard Business Review (August 2016)

Emotional Intelligence – What You Need To Know

What is emotional intelligence? The Ultimate Guide

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills:

1. Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others.
2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving.
3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.

In his best-selling book ‘’Emotional Intelligence’’, psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman indicates that there are five domains of emotional intelligence. These are:

1. Knowing one’s emotions.
2. Managing [one’s] emotions.
3. Motivating oneself.
4. Recognising emotions in others.
5. Handling relationships.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Importance of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is critically important for every facet of our life – whether it’s personally or professionally. Here are some of the reasons why it is so essential:

Mental Well-Being

Emotional intelligence affects our outlook on life and our attitude. It can also help avoid mood swings and depression as well as easing anxiety. Therefore having a high level of emotional intelligence directly relates to an optimistic attitude and positive outlook on life.

Physical Health

Taking care of your body has a profound effect on our overall well-being. Having an awareness of how we handle stress allows us to maintain good general and good emotional health.


Understanding and managing your emotions allows you effectively communicate your feelings in a constructive way. By relating to and understanding the feelings, needs and responses of those we care, we are able to have stronger, more fulfilling relationships.

Conflict Resolution

It is easier avoid or to resolve any conflicts if you are able to recognise people’s emotions and empathise with their outlook. Emotionally intelligent people are also more adept at negotiating because they are able to understand the desires and needs of other people. Simply put, if you can perceive and understand what people want, it is easier to give it to them.


Relating to others in a positive way, understanding their motivations and building strong, solid bonds with co-workers ultimately allows those with higher emotional intelligence to be stronger leaders. Effective leaders are able to distinguish what the needs and wants of their people are. This allows for needs to be met in a way that inspires workplace satisfaction and efficiency. Emotionally clever leaders can build strong groups within the workplace – using the emotional diversity of each team member to strengthen the team as a whole.


Emotionally savvy people have reduced procrastination levels, improved concentration levels and increased self-belief. Emotional intelligence allows us to have a more resilient outlook by being able to easily overcome setbacks. It also allows us to form stronger networks of support. The ability to delay your sense of fulfilment and see the long-term unswervingly affects your ability to succeed.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important At Work?

Emotional Intelligence at Work: The Benefits

It’s really important that you’re emotionally intelligent at work. The ability to manage oneself directly impacts your work relationships and your overall performance. Some of the benefits of having a high EQ include:

1 Collaborate effectually with co-workers.
2 Effectively manage challenging situations.
3 Remain calm under pressure.
4 Successfully manage other people when negotiating.
5 Express themselves in a clear manner.
6 Gain respect from others.
7 Learn from relationships.
8 Positively influence other people.
9 Entice other people to help them out.
10 Recognise their emotional reactions to people and/or situations.
11 Motivate themselves to get things done.
12 Better organisational communication.
13 Manage themselves efficiently when negotiating.
14 Manage your stress levels.
15 Know how to be positive, even during problematic situations.

How Can a Lack of Emotional Intelligence Affect Your Career?

Low emotional intelligence can affect your career

There are many ways having low emotional intelligence can affect your career. These include:

• In the professional world, you should always aim for a ‘’win-win situation’’.
• If you only care about your own agenda, you might be perceived as being selfish.

• Insensitive people are often perceived to be uncaring.
• Their colleagues are less likely to offer help or want to work with them.
• People who are insensitive are less likely to be promoted.
• Also, insensitive people generally do not make good leaders.

• Typically arrogant people believe that they ‘’know it all’’ and are unwilling to learn from others.
• Being unteachable is an extremely negative trait in the eyes of an employer.

• Although being open with your emotions is good, lashing out in anger can derail your whole career.
• Aggressive and volatile people can upset team members, cause dysfunction in group projects which can ultimately lead to failed tasks and initiatives.

• It’s difficult for an inflexible person (in both their thoughts and approach) to be a team player.
• By believing that your way is the only way you may alienate yourself in today’s professional environment.

Hiring Emotionally Intelligent Staff

Hiring emotionally intelligent people

Emotionally aware staff will be able to assimilate into the workplace with greater ease than those who are simply competent at their job. An emotionally intelligent staff enables them to work together for maximum efficiency. This can only lead to success for the company. Therefore during the interview process, employers will look for some of the below listed traits when determining who they should hire.


An emotionally intelligent person that has empathy will always have compassion as well as an understanding of human nature. This allows that person to connect with other people on an emotional level. Being able to empathise allows a person to be of great service and reply genuinely to others’ concerns.

People Skills

Emotionally intelligent people are able to trust quickly and build rapport with their co-workers. They generally enjoy other people and have the respect of others around them while also avoiding backstabbing and power struggles.


If you have a healthy sense of self-awareness, you can understand your own strengths and weaknesses. In addition to this, you can also see how your actions affect others. If you are self-aware, you are usually better at handling and learning from constructive criticism as opposed to someone who is not.


Emotionally intelligent people are self-motivated. They are not motivated simply by a title or money. They are typically optimistic and strong when they encounter disappointment and are driven by an inner ambition.


Having a high EQ allows you to maturely reveal your emotions while also being able to exercise restraint when it is needed. Instead of squashing your feelings, you can express them with restraint and control.

How Emotionally Aware Are You?

How emotionally aware are you?

Understanding the relationship you have with your emotions is central to building your emotional intelligence. A group of researchers recently put together five central questions that can help determine your connection to your emotions:

1. Do you pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision making?
2. Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
3. Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your chest, stomach or throat?
4. Do you experience individual feelings and emotions, such as fear, anger, joy, sadness, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?
5. Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?


To learn more about how you can build your emotional intelligence please see more here

Malala Yousafzai

At the tender age of 18, Malala is a dynamic leader – she has already inspired millions of people all over the world. Malala continued to campaign for free education for children worldwide, regardless of the danger she was in by the opposing Taliban. She has become an international symbol of activism’s triumph over animosity. Malala’s catapult into fame has allowed young people to have a voice among world education leaders. The future is bright for Malala Yousafzai. Let’s have a look at her inspiring journey so far!

Malala Yousafzai-infographic

How to be an Excellent Public Speaker – Infographic

Whether we like it or not we can’t avoid public speaking. Studies show that after death and spiders, speaking in public is what people fear the most. Luckily, with some practice and confidence, you can give a winning presentation people will remember for all the right reasons. Let’s take a look at this infographic we created that offers tips and advice on how to be an effective public speaker.

how to Be an excellent public speaker-infographic

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The Introvert Leader

There has been a significant amount of research in the recent years exploring the dynamics between introverts and extroverts in the workplace. Firstly, it is to be noted that these are not two fixed points on a graph – people can have various degrees of extroversion and introversion. However, although the divide between these two concepts is not straightforward by any means, there are some general factors and insights that can increase one’s understanding about individual differences when it comes to intro- and extroversion. Instead of labelling the behaviour with extremes, the key is learning how to recognise, respect and value the talents and perspectives of others. In addition to exploring the dynamics within a team, there has also been discussion whether an introvert can be a proficient leader, particularly in an extrovert dominated environment.

The Introvert Leader

It is often an assumption that introversion is related to being shy or being antisocial in some way. However, it is in fact primarily about how one responds to stimulation, including social stimulation, which operates at the level of the nervous system. Therefore, it is not merely a preference as introverts typically dislike noise, interruptions, and big group settings. They tend to prefer quiet solitude, to have time to think before speaking or acting, and to build relationships and trust one-on-one. Introverts generally recharge with reflection, and focus deeply on work, but for extroverts, being around other people in fact gives them energy. So can an introvert be a leader?

A lot of us can recognise within ourselves to some extent whether we are energised by external or internal stimuli. For leadership, it is important to increase one’s own awareness in terms of behavioural responses and find ways to make the demands of one’s job work for them, whether they consider themselves an introvert or extrovert.  Crucially, introvert leaders should acknowledge the importance of being comfortable sharing enough of themselves to make interpersonal connections, the foundation for building trust among subordinates.  By adapting to the environment and building connections one would show others not only that they are not self-absorbed, but importantly, that they have the self-confidence to command respect. Being an introvert in extrovert dominated environment is therefore not about ‘faking it’, but adapting to the world and people around you.

Research in this area has concluded that extroverted leaders — who are likely to be comfortable expressing themselves and voicing their opinions — work well with their subordinates when the members of their team are more passive and dutiful followers looking for guidance. Extroverts bring the vision, assertiveness, energy, and networks necessary to give them direction. However, in a more dynamic environment where everyone is eager to express their ideas, extrovert leaders are more likely to feel threatened and even clash with their subordinates. In contrary, workplaces with confident, self-starting workers, introverted leaders tend to feel more at ease.

Introvert leaders can also excel in leading innovative projects, as they are not hindered by routine and generally possess strong critical thinking abilities. They have an ability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time and tackle an issue until they’ve figured out a solution.

18smhbx1pvip8jpgIntrovert leaders can be very effective when teaming up with people who complement them, helping them translate their ideas and voice them into the organisation. They are likely to listen, and be receptive to good ideas which can further increase the potential of their whole team. Introvert will take in information thoughtfully — and they are mentally capable of holding off from responding immediately. This can be crucial in conflict situations and miscommunication.

So we can conclude that various factors in one’s personality can bring important aspects on board in leadership behaviour and team dynamics. Furthermore, a great leader is self-aware and willing and able to adapt and modify their behaviour as needed to lead others as well as turning diversity into success. It is therefore about finding their own niche in being a leader who is maximising the full potential of themselves and others.

Why Employee Recognition is Important for Business Performance

Employee recognition lets employees know that their hard work is appreciated. It doesn’t have to cost the business anything – it can be done in less than a minute. The results of which can have a lasting impact. By communicating to employees how much their work is valued is an important but often overlooked way to maintain high levels of workforce satisfaction and retention. Recognising the assistances employees make to a company helps solidify relationships, fosters employee engagement and loyalty to the business. This info-graphic we created looks at why it’s always important to recognise the hard work of your employees.


How To Master Your Memory

While a lot of emphasis may be placed on physical exercise in the modern world, improving and challenging your memory is just as important. This infographic provides an overview of some helpful memory techniques as well as offers a list of daily memory exercises.

How To Master Your Memory