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How can I make June 30 Positive?

June 30 – End of financial year. Tax time. Tax return and half-way through the calendar year. So, David, how is this a positive as I rush around getting my invoices and dockets together and into the accountant to get my income tax done? In one sense, it isn’t, but as you rush around this can be a time to review the goals or plans you set at the start of the year. Looking at the goals you set at the beginning of this year, how far have you progressed? Overall, about half-way? If you’re ahead of that in your progress, congratulations! Keep up the good work! If not, don’t be too upset. You have at least checked your progress and you can adjust how much you are working on each goal. It may be best to prioritise and work on those goals which are more important. Above all, be honest. Be realistic in your self-assessment. There may be some very good reasons why you haven’t progressed as far as you anticipated. Extra work commitments, family issues or sickness are all good reasons why your progress may not be what you expect. But … think about what you have done that you weren’t expecting to do. That extra project at home, at work, helping a friend or family member, or an unexpected event. So, don’t be disheartened. Re-write your goals and keep them in a prominent place. Look at them each morning as a reminder of where you hope to be at the end of the year. To ensure your goal becomes reality, write it this way … “I will achieve xx by December 31 and to get there I will do xx in month 1, I will do yy in month 2” … and so on.  By doing this you will have a very clear pathway to achieve your goal. You may need to put some goals on hold and re-visit them next year. This will free you up to concentrate on the remaining goal or goals. Remember – life happens while you’re making other plans. Life is to be lived. One day at a time. Life is unpredictable and can change in a moment. Be flexible and adjust as necessary. There’s no point beating yourself up about an outcome which is totally outside your control. So … be kind to yourself. Happy New Financial Year! May it be successful in the area you choose to make a difference. Need help to set goals that work? Call me on 0407 585 497. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  —Jim... read more

Happy workers = safer workplace!

Do you know the true cost of injuries in your workplace? Do you know how much influence the happiness of workers can have on injuries? A recent study (Psychosocial safety climate, emotional exhaustion, and work injuries in healthcare workplaces) says preventing work injuries requires a clear understanding of how they occur, how they are recorded, and the accuracy of injury surveillance. Workers feeling down and with high levels of emotional exhaustion (experiencing stress, burnout, anxiety, depression), tend to have more injuries and are less likely to report those work-related injuries. If you do not record or keep track of psychologically-related injuries, then it is very hard to reduce or manage injuries coming from this area. High emotional exhaustion will manifest in reduced productivity, higher absenteeism, presentism (at work physically but not there emotionally or mentally), all of which lead to higher injuries sooner or later. The study found that 73% of workers reported a physical injury but only 35% reported a psychological injury such as an encounter with a violent client or depression from job stress. Having an awareness of your workplace’s psychosocial risk and creating a good safety culture will increase organisational productivity and reduce the likelihood of injuries occurring from emotional exhaustion. So – what are some of the things that a workplace can check, without spending mega dollars to reduce injuries coming from emotional exhaustion? How many employees have at least 6 weeks annual leave owing? (an indicator they haven’t had a holiday for over a year) How many employees don’t have annual leave or sick leave? (an indicator they are sick or things are not going well at home) Can all tasks be done within designated work hours? (overworked or stressed worker) No one eats their lunch at their workstation? (no time for a break) Everyone takes their breaks? WorkCover costs are going up? Employee turnover (an indicator of high stress or poor workplace culture) Socialising (celebrating birthdays, etc. is an indicator of morale and cohesion) Theft or equipment breakage (an indicator of morale or attitude) How many employees are casual or on short term contracts? (casual/short term contract employees can feel they do not have value and are not considered important) Employee Assistance Program (demonstrates a plan to help employees who are struggling) Bottom-line: by lowering emotional exhaustion, workers will be happier – and fewer injuries and time off work will result. ________________ Adapted from an article Workplace injury data: the tip of the iceberg? by Craig Donaldson OHS PROFESSIONAL June 2017 pp 8-9. Psychosocial safety climate, emotional exhaustion, and work injuries in healthcare workplaces.... read more

Don’t Win the Battle to Lose the War …

Is winning an argument worth it? In this article I will summarise some of the principles in Part Three – How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking – of Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” *. Principle 1 – The best way to win an argument is to avoid it. Carnegie writes that winning an argument is pointless if it is only to prove to the other person that they are wrong and you are right. An argument generally ends with each person more firmly entrenched in the belief that they are right. Benjamin Franklin gives this wisdom: If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will. The important point to ponder is, do I want to have this person’s good will, or do I just want to “win”? It is highly unlikely that one of you is 100% right and the other 100% wrong. Appreciate and listen to the other person; find common ground; be honest; and don’t get angry. Establish and maintain a good relationship. Principle 2 – Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.” In this principle, Carnegie highlights the importance of considering the other person’s point of view. Putting ourselves in the other person’s position not only expands our understanding, it also causes the other person to become less rigid in their position. Principle 3 – If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. How often do we make a mistake and refuse to admit it? A common example (unfortunately) of not following this principle is seen in politics. A politician says something or acts in a manner unbecoming of their position. They and/or their office deny the deed and cite many reasons why this is acceptable. Eventually the truth wins out and we wonder why they didn’t admit their mistake in the first place. We would have held them in higher esteem had they been honest and upfront. Let’s set a good example. Principle 4 – Begin in a friendly way. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. We have all proved the truth of getting further with another person by being friendly rather than being adversarial. Make your opening remarks friendly, and you will reap the benefits. Principle 5 – Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately. Carnegie talks about getting “yes, yes” from a person rather than “no” using the method Socrates used in ancient times. Socrates framed questions in a way which caused the other person to agree. He continued on in this manner until he... read more

Be Interested in People for Them to Like You

Be interested in people! In this article, we will summarise the principles of Part Two – Six Ways to Make People Like You – of Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” *. Have you started reading it yet? All of us like to be liked. Even one person not liking us, can affect how we view ourselves. Principle 1 – Be genuinely interested in other people. Carnegie talks about Tippy, the puppy his father bought him when he was five years old. Tippy loved him unconditionally, and came running to greet him each afternoon when he arrived home. Tippy was loyal, and had no agenda apart from wanting to be with Carnegie. The easiest way to be genuinely interested in other people is to show interest in them. Ask about them. Know what makes them tick; know what is important to them, and ask them about their interests. Carnegie quotes Alfred Adler who, in What Life Should Mean to You, wrote: It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring. This is a thought-provoking statement. As I think about people I know, I see its truth. Some who believe life owes them a living, do have the greatest difficulties and injure others greatly. Others who want to contribute, help others and are far happier than those who put themselves first, middle and last. If you want to be interesting, be interested in others. Something to think about. Principle 2 – Smile! How often do we love to be greeted with a smile? We instinctively smile in return. Should we consider our smile an item of clothing, as preparation for our day? I have read that it takes fewer facial muscles to smile than to frown. And frowns leave lines on our faces. What does a genuine smile say to another person? I’m glad to meet you. I’m happy to see you. I’m looking forward to spending time with you. Remember too that a smile is heard in the voice. A voice can be strictly business, condemning and cold … or it can be warm, lively and joyful. Many large businesses train and encourage their staff to speak on the phone “with a smile”. A sage once said, “A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” ** Carnegie cites a Chinese proverb – “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” In short, a smile and good attitude are excellent for our health. And our work... read more

How to Win Friends & Influence People

Most people know the classic written by Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends & Influence people” *. Have you read it? It’s a timeless book, designed for regular reading. Dale Carnegie conducted a great deal of research and interviewed many people before writing this book. This article is my summary of the principles in Part One of his book – “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People”. These principles are as important now as when Carnegie penned them. Principle 1 – Don’t criticise, condemn or complain. The underlying basis of the book–something to always remember–is that we are human. “We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” (p.43) Although we may think otherwise, we can never put ourselves exactly in someone else’s position. How do I react when I am criticised? I am not influenced positively by someone who is critical of me or my actions. Rather I “get my back up” and “dig in my heels”. Carnegie rightly stresses that if we criticise, condemn or complain, not only do we upset people but we can also create the habit of making those and similar comments. Rather than criticise, condemn or complain, let’s seek to understand the other person. As Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand to be understood”. Great advice! Principle 2 – Give honest and sincere appreciation. We can never get enough appreciation from others for the things we do. As Bing Crosby sang, You’ve got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative Don’t mess with Mister In-Between You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum Bring gloom down to the minimum Have faith or pandemonium Liable to walk upon the scene … Let’s make the time to observe the actions of those around us, then sincerely and honestly tell them (and anyone else who is there) what we specifically appreciate about them. Principle 3 – Look at the situation from the other person’s viewpoint. Taking the time to think about what the other person may want, will show you how to help them get what they want – as well as what you want. Henry Ford said, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own”. From these principles, we learn the importance of thinking of others before ourselves. Can I encourage you to put these principles into practice both at home and in the workplace? Please comment below on which principle is most helpful to you and why … ___________________ I invite you to my FREE workshop on... read more

Critical Incident in Your Workplace

What is a Critical Incident? A Critical Incident is a workplace event – extraordinary in nature – which can produce significant reactions on victims or those either directly or indirectly impacted. Who can be affected? Witnesses, employees, colleagues, clients and family members all can be affected by a Critical Incident. Typical examples of a Critical Incident include: robbery; car accident; client illness (e.g. heart attack in lobby); severe or prolonged illness of employee (e.g. cancer); sudden death of employee; and natural disaster. The Debriefing The purpose of the Critical Incident debriefing is to take the active memories of the event and store them into long term memory. A major consequence of a traumatic event is that the person feels order and control in their life have been lost. The brain keeps turning over the sequence of events in order to regain order and control. Until closure is reached their mind continues to run a memory track of the event in the hope of having the incident make sense and be logical. They continue to “turn over” the situation and review it until their mind feels satisfied that it “now makes sense”. In a debriefing a trained person helps the individual understand the event, their lack of ability to control situations and then to store the incident into long term memory. Not all situations or persons need a debriefing. Sometimes just talking is enough to start the process of healing. For those persons who continue to not sleep, have anger issues emerge, or continue to have difficulty in focusing attention a debriefing may prevent Post Traumatic Stress. Bottom Line Your employee can feel comfortable and confident talking with Finding the Light about how a Critical Incident is affecting them. They know their concerns will be kept confidential. Encouraging your valuable employee to receive a Critical Incident Debriefing may save you the possibility of losing the services of that staff member and the flow-on effect to other staff. After hours and Saturday appointments are also available. Call us now on 0407 585 497 to discuss your organization’s needs and how we can help... read more

8 Tips for Conducting Better Job Interviews

We’re often so concerned about employing a person with the right skills, we forget to think about character and attitude. Skills are learned; character and attitude are not! If you’re not totally satisfied with your recent staff appointments, maybe it’s time to re-think how you do interviews. Here are some tips to bear in mind: Prepare! Prepare well beforehand. If you leave the person waiting because you are unprepared for their arrival, this shows your MO. A good applicant will not be impressed by this. Make it a 2-way interaction. You are also being interviewed. The job applicant wants enough information to decide if they want to be part of your business. Give as much information as you can freely, within your confidentiality constraints. If you ask vague questions, you will get vague answers. Be specific about the information you want to know. The applicant will see you have thought about your requirements. Encourage a dialogue, rather than the usual ‘tick and flick’ questions and answers. You want to learn about the person. Find another way to ask an applicant about their weaknesses. Applicants usually have an answer prepared for the standard “What is your weakness?” question – but how do you test the integrity of their answer? Rather than ask, at the end of the interview, if the applicant has any questions, ask at the beginning. Be real and allow the applicant to be real. No-one is perfect. Your authenticity will show the applicant you are real, and will help them to understand you and the workplace. Many a person has been disappointed because of a “smoke and mirrors” interview. Rather than ask how applicants handled situations in the past, ask how they would handle a hypothetical situation. It will help you to gauge how the person would handle a situation. This is better than have their describing a situation where they may have done something differently in hindsight. You can tailor questions to your workplace and gain a more realistic response. Happy interviewing! Adapted from 7 Tips for Conducting Better Job Interviews by Sue Parker, Founder of DARE Group in My Business Magazine Summer 2016/2017 p.... read more

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