Go Ahead . . . Please Make My Day!

In our last newsletter, we talked about the importance of developing our resilient core enabling us to live life to the full, each and every day, and how to do this. So now you may be dveloping new beneficial habits and practising what you have learnt.

So what?

In a world where people keep telling you how busy they are, it is helpful to remember that our own attitudes are often infectious and can easily affect those around us. So, when you choose to recognise the good in people and actually celebrate their successes, it is likely to encourage them to feel good about themselves and go on to even greater things. It is also highly likely that these positive “infectious” attitudes and feelings will spread out like a ripple in a pond.

We know how easy it is to give our family, friends and co-workers a “thank you” for a job well done, yet how often do you take just a few seconds to do this? It is a free gift; it takes seconds to do and very often helps to release hormones such as serotonins and endorphins, which improve health and mental well-being.

So go ahead and make somebody’s day today.

Say “thank you”, “congratulations”, “you’ve done a great job” and see what a difference it makes to both the recipient and you.

In the words of Christian D Larsen (New Thought leader, 1874-1962)

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger commander cialis sur internet.

Ealing Business Forum March 2014

Thanks for attending Ealing Business Forum and many thanks to Metro Bank for hosting the event. The ‘Slides’ from the social media talk by MW marketing are below. Details for the next event will be announced shortly.

Ealing Business Forum:

EBF Membership is free.

Events are held on the first Tuesday of every month and will always be free of charge to attend.

EBF objectives are to:

  1. Support the economic well-being and growth of Ealing businesses and residents
  2. Provide a forum for the business community to meet each other and share experiences
  3. Enable the Ealing business community share their knowledge

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Ealing Business Forum Launches

SUCCESSFUL INAUGURAL MEETING OF EALING BUSINESS FORUM

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Image courtesy of Carlene Bender of Contactus Ealing.

Ealing Business Forum has been launched with a successful meeting at Mail Box Etc in Spring Bridge Road Ealing

“Relaxed and informal networking, easy to get involved”

‘A very pleasant, informal and more friendly experience, meeting really nice people without the stress/obligations of referrals and follow ups’

Ealing Business Forum’s objectives are to:

  1. Support the economic well-being and growth of Ealing businesses and residents
  2. Provide a forum for the business community to meet each other and share experiences
  3. Enable the Ealing business community share their knowledge

During the first event, Geoff Langston, founder of Ealing Business Forum and Director of Arizion.com gave a presentation on “The Art of Networking”. A copy of the slides that supported the presentation CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Ealing Business Forum meets on the first Tuesday of every month and will always be free to join and free to attend events.

Ealing Business Forum’s next event is on Tuesday 4th March at Metro Bank Ealing from 8.30am to 9.30am.

NOTES:

  • More information on the event from:
  • E: geofflangston@ealingbusinessforum.co.uk
  • T: 07780605868

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When The Going Gets Tough – The Tough Stay Ahead!

Be resilient
It seems that these days there is always more to do, fewer resources to do it with, higher expectations from customers, bosses, friends and family and less time to get it all done!  The good news is that we can all develop the ability to not only face these challenges, but to move beyond them. How? By building our resilience.

So what is resilience?
Resilience is being able to consistently rebound or spring back from anything that life might throw at us. By building one’s resilience, typically people suffer with less stress, anxiety and low moods, instead, they are able to manage stress more effectively and have greater satisfaction with life.

Here are five important elements of resilience for your consideration so you can build your own resilience:

1. Meaningful Life (Purpose)
Having a sense of one’s own meaning or purpose in life is probably the most important characteristic of resilience because it provides the foundation for the other four characteristics.
Purpose provides the driving force in life. When we experience inevitable difficulties, knowing our purpose pulls us forward.

2. Perseverance
The determination to keep going despite difficulties, discouragement, and disappointment . . .that’s perseverance.
Resilient individuals are good at overcoming roadblocks; they tend to finish what they begin, because of this, they are dependable. If they say they are going to do something, they do it.
Establishing and adhering to a routine is one way to strengthen perseverance. Setting realistic goals and attaining them builds perseverance.

3. Equanimity
Equanimity means balance and harmony. Resilient people learn to avoid extreme responses and ‘sit loose in the saddle’ to maintain their equanimity.
Resilient people have learned to draw on their own and others’ experiences and wisdom, and to use this to guide their responses. Equanimity also manifests itself in humor; resilient individuals can laugh at themselves and their circumstances and tend not to take themselves too seriously.

4. Self Reliance
Self-reliance is belief in yourself, with a clear understanding of your capabilities and limitations. It comes from experience and the ‘practice, practice, practice’ that leads to confidence in your abilities.

5. Coming Home to Yourself (Existential Aloneness)
Whilst we all live in the world with other people, resilient individuals learn to live with themselves, they become their own best friends.
Coming home is a journey that begins with getting to know yourself well. Along the way, you become ‘comfortable in your own skin’, accepting yourself as you are – in every way.

Thank You Madiba

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
On the sunny banks of Lake Garda in Italy this summer, I read The Long Walk to Freedom by Madiba, the late Nelson Mandela. The story of Madiba’s life had a profound effect on me during the holiday and this has continued since our holiday.

What resonated for me about Madiba as a result of reading his book, watching the film Invictus and reading about him more broadly was that he consistently demonstrated some important qualities, values and characteristics. You might benefit from reflecting on his:

  1. Humility, the way he looked out for the good of others and was more concerned about what is right rather than being right
  2. Determination for peaceful resolution in the face of adversity
  3. Integrity, sticking to what he really believed in and working unerringly towards his goal of peace, acceptance of diversity and equality
  4. Humour, even when things were tougher than most of us can imagine
  5. Ability to form deep, long lasting, positive relationships with friends and foes
  6. Trust in people to do the right thing if they were given the opportunity to do so
  7. Ability to forgive unconditionally

Think about what you can learn from these qualities and also from the many stories about Nelson Mandela that will be celebrated in the media over the next few days, weeks and years.

Boosting Your Memory

10 tips for boosting your memory

1. Try to reduce stress

Do you ever sit down after a particularly stressful day at work and as you start to relax, suddenly realise with horror that you have forgotten to do something quite important during the day? Stress is one of the most common causes of poor memory performance. Stressful situations, lasting weeks or months, have been shown to impair communication between the cells in the regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The good news, however, is that if you can take steps to reduce your stress levels, your memory performance will start to return to normal after just one week.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep is very important for memory consolidation – the brain’s method of transferring new material and information to our long-term memory. Research suggests that deep sleep is the key not just to storing information, but also to retrieving information when we need it – in other words, to remembering. So how often do you sleep well, both in terms of quality (not waking up too often) and quantity (number of hours)? If you are sleeping badly, or not getting enough sleep, think about what you can do to improve the situation, as it may well be having an impact on your ability to store and recall information.

3. Reduce multi-tasking

We are leading increasingly busy lives and multi-tasking has become second nature to many of us. The brain is less efficient at multi-tasking, however, than we have been led to believe. When the brain is trying to do two things at once, it ‘switches’ tasks rather than doing both simultaneously, which can have an impact on memory. Research has shown, for example, that people who learn something new while multi-tasking are less able to remember what they have learned at a later date. Try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time and you may find your memory improves.

4. Rehearse information quickly

In short term memory, how much we can remember is directly related to how much information we can ‘squeeze’ into approximately 15-30 seconds. When we are trying to remember things we often ‘rehearse’ the information by repeating it either out loud or silently in our heads. The quicker you can do this rehearsal, the more information you are likely to remember. If you speak slowly, for example, you may only be able to rehearse four or five facts in the 15-30 second time slot you have to get the details into your short term memory. Speed the process up, and you may find you can rehearse and recall as many as nine pieces of information.

5. Group information

We’ve all been in a situation where we need to remember say a phone number or a car registration plate and don’t have a pen immediately to hand to write it down. Research has shown that if you ‘rehearse’ the information in groups of three, it can make a big difference to your ability to remember it. Try it for yourself. Take the number ‘145870236’ and try to remember it as a whole. Then break it down in to three groups – 145 870 236 – and see how much easier it is to remember!

6. Chunk it up

‘Chunking’ information is another useful strategy you can employ to help you remember things. If you are giving a talk or presentation, for example, try to break the information down into clusters. This will not only help you remember what you need to say – but will also make it easier for the audience to take in and retain what you’ve told them. This is a technique that can also be usefully applied to learning. If you break the details of what you are trying to learn into meaningful ‘chunks’ you will remember more of it.

7. Make it meaningful

We are more likely to remember information if it is meaningful to us. Some people, for example, can remember all the FA cup winners from the last 20 years. Others would find that almost impossible, but know the birthdays of all their friends. A good way to make information meaningful is to relate something you are trying to remember to something that you already know. You can ask yourself questions to encourage this process – ‘Why do I need to learn this?’, ‘How does this fit with what I already know?’ for example. Think beyond the facts and information being presented to you and consider why they make sense and then you are much more likely to remember them.

8. Pay close attention

When people complain that their memory is poor, it very often isn’t because of stress, lack of sleep or any underlying physiological issue – it’s often because they simply haven’t put enough time and energy into trying to remember the material. Be honest with yourself. How often have you blamed poor memory when you haven’t made any real attempt to remember information? Or do you create a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling yourself ‘I’m not going to be able to remember everyone’s name, so I’m not going to waste my time and effort trying’. Your ability to remember information will be much improved if you ensure you are paying proper attention and making a real effort to remember what you are being told.

9. Use imagery/association

One of the biggest (and often most embarrassing) memory-related problems is an inability to remember people’s names. Repetition helps, so try to use the person’s name as much as possible during your conversation with them, as well as when you say hello and goodbye. Some people find that creating a visual image related to the name can also help them to remember it. Does the person look like anyone famous, for example, or is there an aspect of their face (glasses, moustache, nose?) that is particularly striking. If the visual image is exaggerated or humorous, it will help you link it in your mind to the person’s name.

10. Think about the context

If you are struggling to recall a particular piece of information, try to reinstate the context in which you first heard it. It helps if you are physically able to do this (i.e. return to the room where a meeting was held) but if you can’t do that, it’s often enough just to create a visual image of the situation you were in. Think about the physical surroundings, the smell and the temperature. Re-instating the emotional context can also help, so think about the mood you were in, how you were feeling and what others were feeling at the time.

Keeping Your Team Happy

Ten Tips for keeping your team happy

  1. Keep them healthy

  2. Make them feel valued

  3. Explain why they are there

  4. Stretch and engage them through training and development

  5. Give them balance, flexibility and security

  6. Recognise that money isn’t everything

  7. Make work not always about work

  8. Listen to what people are saying

  9. Stop worrying about bums on seats

  10. Two small words – Thank You

Fobbed Off

As a customer, how often have you felt as though you have been “fobbed off” or let down by a supplier?

It very often seems that as customers and consumers, we are wasting both our time and hard earned cash just to get simply what we believe we deserve. The result of a poor experience is that we are dissatisfied and we take your custom (and money) to another supplier.

As service providers, it seems to make good business sense to really care for and about customers and provide them with a consistently amazing experience which is likely to encourage them to become regular customers and tell their friends and family about it.

So, how can customers receive a consistently amazing experience, and how can service and product providers ensure that all their customers consistently receive the amazing experience they expect?

As a customer, if the service or product does not meet your expectations:

  • Raise your issue with a decision maker – somebody who is empowered to resolve your issue
  • Be very clear about what your complaint is and the outcome you are looking for
  • Set clear time frames for your issue to be resolved and let the “decision maker” know that you will escalate the issue to Board level if you do not get a response which meets (or exceeds) the outcome you are looking for, within the agreed time scale
  • Make concise notes about whom you spoke to, their role, the date and time of contact, also follow-up contact dates

As a service or product supplier:

  • Ensure that all your organisational policies and procedures are aimed at making your customers’ experience as EASY and pleasant as possible
  • Recruit team members that love working with people and have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Train your team (regularly) to be customer service professionals, ensuring that they are empowered to consistently delight their customers
  • Use complaints to learn how to improve your service, and complements to celebrate with your team
  • Communicate regularly to your team so that they know what is going on in your business
  • Love and care for your team throughout all their working hours and beyond – after all, they are your strongest advocates!

For some more tips about dealing with “difiicult customers” and to start your weekend with some fun, take just 2 minutes and 12 seconds and click here.

Follow us on Twitter for regular tips, hints and information about the world of customer experience

Raving Fans

Raving-Fans-Customer-Service-BookAnother winner from the Blanchard stable in the “One Minute” series. (ISBN: 9780688123161) An essential read for anybody that works with customers!

A really easy-to-read book which, as with The One Minute Manager, tells a compelling story with a number of engaging characters who bring to life the key elements of providing an exceptional experience to customers.

Inspiring in Spring

Spring is the time of year when we gain some extra hours of daylight.

We can feel the warmth of the sunshine and this encourages new shoots, leaves and branches to develop and grow on plants and trees all around us.

Spring can also inspire us to grow and develop personally in many ways. The longer days very often encourage us to exercise more by walking, cycling, running and more, releasing endorphins and serotonins and these have a positive effect on both physical health and mental well-being. We also very often, become more social by re-acquainting ourselves with existing and new neighbours, as well as seeing friends and family during the extended light and sometimes, warm evenings.

Spring is an ideal time to grow and develop our thinking and approach to our personal and work life, taking inspiration from the numerous stimuli all around us. This includes the thoughts and actions of inspirational people; some of who are well known and some lesser known and yet all of them have made a positive difference in the world.

A couple of quotes that come to mind are:

“There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish things”

Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”

Anne Frank (1929 – 1945)

Take a few minutes out of your day to think about how you can feel personally inspired and also easily inspire your family, friends, colleagues and customers to provide them with an amazing experience every day.