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Volume 14 | December 2007 | The power of anticipation.

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Contents


Part 1 - Welcome! [Back to Top]

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Welcome to this our thirteenth newsletter for Recovering Workaholics.

Firstly I would like to thank you for signing up for the newsletter which is published on a monthly basis.

Recovering Workaholics is a growing concern. We offer 1:1 coaching, and training to facilitate those who want a truly satisfying life. Understanding what drives us to work to the point where love, happiness and fulfilment are the poor relation is the first step to creating a life you truly love. We can help you work towards achieving your “dream” life.

We also offer support for those who are facing retirement or who have recently retired or experienced redundancy who are finding it difficult to adjust to the change.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us please let us know by contacting us on info@recoveringworkaholics.com

The first three of our CDs are now available as both down loads and as hard copies via the web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) (featured as our Recommended Read) together with the companion volume Kick-Start Your Career can be ordered in both e-book and hard copy versions via our web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

This helps with questions like:

  • Do you spend time dealing with problems generated with and by your staff?
  • How effectively do feel you hold people to account?
  • Do you hate having those difficult conversations with staff when things go wrong or let things run on rather than deal with things straight away?
  • Do you worry about managing other people’s emotions?
  • Are you good at delegating or do you find it quicker to do things yourself?
  • Do you have the time to manage strategically or are you always fire fighting?
  • Do you want to communicate effectively, establish high expectations from day one, delegate with ease and in doing so create a successful succession strategy?
  • Is your time, money and energy valuable?
  • Do you care about the people you work with and want them to reach their full potential in the shortest time possible?

*********

The power of anticipation

As we rush about frantically preparing for the holiday season we all have a sense of anticipation. Love Christmas or loathe it those of us who live in the Western world are affected by it.

Anticipation has many guises. For little children there is the wide eyed wonder as twinkly lights and brightly coloured decorations appear overnight as if by magic. A visit to Father Christmas’s Grotto heightens the sense that something really special is about to happen.

Children’s belief in Santa is finally replaced with a strong sense of excitement for what gifts Christmas morning will bring. As we get older our focus changes. For many adults the anticipation is centred on seeing their loved ones gathered together. This can bring a pleasant and positive sense of anticipation.

On a far less positive note anticipation can be far less positive, anxiety about getting everything done in time, worry about the financial cost and the bills which will follow in January. For some a sense of foreboding becomes a deeply held sense of dread around managing truculent teenagers or difficult elderly relatives, arguments fuelled by too much time in one another’s company and too much alcohol.

For those of you who work long hours and are married to your jobs, Christmas can be lonely. The gap left by work allows enough time for you to recognise you need to do something radical about your work life balance but insufficient time to get to grips with solving the problem before it is time to return to work where you will once again be too busy to do anything to make any meaningful changes.

Negative anticipation has the power to spoil our enjoyment. Worrying about what might never happen is such a waste as by itself it so rarely changes anything.

Developing the skill of anticipation gives you the opportunity to take control of your personal and professional life in a very different way. If you would like to engage the amazing power of anticipation read on…..

With best wishes,

Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel International: +44 1708 703 959
Email: gina@recoveringworkaholics.com


Part 2 - Recommended Read [Back to Top]

Feel The Fear And do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Feel The Fear And do It Anyway
by Susan Jeffers

Buy from Amazon.co.uk


This inspiring self-help book picks up where the others leave off. It shows readers how to get what they want in spite of their self-sabotaging fears. With step-by-step techniques, they can tap their own natural inner resources and improve their own lives.

Dynamic and inspirational, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY is filled with concrete techniques to turn passivity into assertiveness. Dr. Susan Jeffers, teaches you how to stop negative thinking patterns and reeducate your mind to think more positively. You will learn: the vital 10-Step Positive Thinking Process; how to risk a little every day; how to turn every decision into a "No-Lose" situation, and much more.


How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively by Gina Gardiner How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £27

Download e-Book Now - £27

Offers lots of practical strategies for managers to help get the very best of their staff as individuals and as a team.

Everything in the book has been tried and tested in a variety of organizations; it is a distillation of over 30 years experience of developing leadership at every level.

The book does not attempt to teach grandmothers or grandfathers to suck eggs, but offers tried and tested principles, strategies and ideas which have been proven to work.

Time, energy and money are all very precious resources and all three seem to be in short supply for most busy managers.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) Can help! Dip into it if you are facing specific issues or use the comprehensive approach to underpin ongoing and sustained individual and team development.

It has relevance for experienced managers who want to share good practice and for aspiring leaders who want to develop and deepen their leadership skills.

The book covers a wide range of issues including

  • Developing strategic vision
  • Creating your dream team
  • Creating a ‘Can Do’ culture
  • Effective delegation
  • Holding people to account
  • Developing a solutions approach
  • The power of anticipation
  • Giving positive feedback
  • Having those “hard conversations”
  • Managing stress for you and your team
  • Creating a good work life balance

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) will stand alone but you will find it useful to use it in conjunction with the companion book Kick Start Your Career.


Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £17

Download e-Book Now - £17

This book is designed for new initiates into the business world and graduates who are ambitious and want to create a successful career for themselves. It is a no nonsense, jargon free manual, full of practical ideas and strategies to support the development of leadership from day one.

These books can be ordered via our web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.


Part 3 - Products and Special Offers! [Back to Top]

The three new CDs that we mentioned last month are now availabe to buy from www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php. We have produced them especially for you to tackle the most common problems that seem to affect many of our members. They are available as CDs and are also available as downloadable MP3 files.


Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Take time out of your busy and stressful day to relax.

True relaxation is known to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, clear the mind and leave you feeling alert, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day with renewed energy and vigor.

"A Spanish Theme" uses a mixture of guided imagery and deep breathing exercises to take you on an intensely relaxing journey.

Stress is sited as the cause of over 500,000 days of absence a year in the UK alone. It represents a huge cost in both economic and personal terms. In order to deal with it we must first understand what it is and what causes it.

Where stress is detrimental people are often in situations where they feel they have little control. Sustained exposure to such negative situations can have serious implications for the health and well being of the individual and ultimately for the organization as a whole

Relaxation is a powerful tool to combat stress. Learning to take time out, to truly relax has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mental acuity and reduce stress.

Our Relaxation Tape with a Spanish theme is the first in a series of relaxation tapes created by Gina Gardiner associates.

Using visualization, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises take time out of your hectic day to unwind, de-stress and relax!


Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Sleep is vital to our health and sense of wellbeing.  We need it as much as we need food and water and the air we breathe.  It is during sleep that the body rests and repairs itself.  Good quality sleep leaves us feeling refreshed, re-energized and ready to face the new day. 

Insomnia affects most people at some time during their lives.  For many it is a passing phase caused because of a stressful event in their lives.  For chronic sufferers it becomes a way of life.  Although it is not life-threatening it can and does threaten the quality of life for many sufferers leaving them frustrated, exhausted and feeling low.

"Beat Insomnia" uses deep trance techniques to help you retrain your sleep pattern without drugs.

Use "Beat Insomnia" to get a great nights sleep and make Insomnia a thing of the past.


Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

We all feel less confident in certain situations. This CD is designed to help you feel confident in any situation. It uses tried and tested NLP techniques to help you develop the confidence you need to tackle new social situations or when gicing an important presentation or interview.

  • How often do you wish you felt more confident? 
  • Do you worry about social events or standing up to talk in front of work colleagues?
  • Would you like to live your life feeling that you are in control?
  • Do you have butterflies in your stomach that feel as if they are wearing hobnailed boots when you have to go to an interview or a meeting?
  • Is the voice in your head telling you - you cant do it?

Developing confidence is about much more than learning to do an activity better.

It is about changing how we feel about ourselves and dealing with our thoughts and beliefs.  It is about facing the things we fear and being curious about why we fear them.

Use "Creating the Confident You" to learn to push through the fear and create a world of limitless possibilities  one where you are in control of your own destiny.


We expect the following titles to be available later in the year.

  • Relaxation CD 2 - A Country Theme
  • Relaxation CD 3 - Sky

For any further information or advice about CDs contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone 01708 703959


Part 4 - Feature Article -The power of anticipation[Back to Top]

The power of anticipation is amazing. It is a skill you can learn and if employed on a regular basis it enables you to maximise the resources at your disposal and helps you to manage your time effectively. It changes your mode of operation from one of fire fighting to one which allows time for strategic planning.

The strategies work in every walk of life.

Think of a game of football. If the striker passes the ball to where his team mate is at the time he kicks the player will have moved on and the shot will be wasted. All good players anticipate where their team mate will be and send the ball to that place. The skill is judging the speed and direction of the other player.

In business success is tied closely to your ability to anticipate the market. The one hundred business list published in the USA every year rarely has the same organizations in the top ten. I find it fascinating that many don’t slip a few places but disappear all together. Anticipation allows you to buy in raw materials at the best price. To plan to spread the work load over the year, minimizing peaks and troughs of work load. Appointing staff that can grow with the needs of the organization will difficulty; anticipating training needs will avoid stagnation.

As a leader and manager the skill of anticipation starts with a clear, shared vision and translates into a workable action plan delivered by well trained people who know what is expected of them. The plan is dynamic; there is a constant monitoring of performance based on the pursuit of growth and excellence. Time is made to look strategically at what is needed in the medium and long term and plans put in place to minimize risk and maximize performance.

As a team member anticipation should be clearly tuned to achieving the goals of the team. People know what needs to be achieved and are looking at how that can be done on the most effective and efficient way possible. There is a constant curiosity about how things could be improved. Underpinning the whole process is trust, good communication and a sense of contribution.

If you are always planning for things in the here and now it is likely that you will constantly chasing to catch up. I was working with a new client who is constantly late. She underestimates how long things will take, often does things for others when they probably have more time to spare and finds it difficult to say no. She finds herself stressed and feels overwhelmed by her life. She is highly intelligent and caring of others she has an interesting but demanding job but no time to organize her own life. The result is she is constantly tired, sleeps badly and is constantly chases her tail. Her story is not unique by any means.

Learning the skill of anticipation is incredibly useful if you want to take control of your life. Let me demonstrate what I mean using the Christmas theme. I have three resources available to me – time, energy and money. All of them are finite resources, although I can buy other people’s time and energy with my money.

I love Christmas but when I worked as a Head Teacher I worked very long hours and the few weeks before Christmas were completely manic I needed to have all my attention on school and by the time the term ended I had little energy to spare. I wanted to enjoy my personal Christmas so had to find a way to make things work. Anticipation was the key. Although I no longer have the same pressures surrounding Christmas the benefits of applying the rules of anticipation are still incredibly useful.

I anticipated that I would give around 500 Christmas cards and would need a quantity of wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and labels. I always bought these in the January sales. They went in the loft until November. Net result was a considerable saving financially.

My long list of people to buy for includes seven God children, five nieces and nephews, a Great Niece and Nephew, brother, sister and partners, father and lots of friends. During the year I listened carefully and made a note in the diary if I hear one of my “list” mention something which could translate into a suitable present. I keep a look out for things during the year and if something catches my eye I will buy it and put it away for Christmas. This can save a great deal of time and lots of energy fighting the Christmas crowds. I have been known to loose presents by putting them “somewhere safe” and not finding them till February or buying twice for the same person. I have solved these glitches by having a Christmas list on the computer which is quickly updated each year. It also helps me to track what I have given over time. The benefit is that I spread the financial load and the last minute shopping lists are kept to a minimum.

I used the same principle I use with papers when dealing with presents. I try to handle them as little as possible so will often wrap things in batches before they go up into the loft. They are put into “family” carrier bags so they are ready to go just before Christmas.

Labels for Christmas card envelopes were on the computer, updated well in advance of Christmas and cards for friends and family, staff, Governors and those who were associated with school written in batches whist watching the TV from November onwards. This made it far less of a chore. I was also careful to choose card designs which required less writing by me. I learned this the hard way having bought a set of cards one year which were blank for your own message making the job so much harder.

I enjoy entertaining but found I needed a creative approach to make the whole thing as stress free as possible. I cooked in advance, using the freezer to ensure that on the day I was still wake to enjoy the festivities. For example I prepared the roast potatoes and parsnips in advance – parboiled them, brushed them with oil whist they were still hot. I placed them on the baking ray, covering them with cling film and freezing them once cool. On Christmas morning take off the cling film and pop them into a hot oven from frozen. It saves the peeling, washing up and time on the morning allowing you more time to enjoy your company.

The principle of looking ahead to see what can be usefully done in advance, of prioritizing the use of time energy and money and of breaking down the jobs into manageable chunks is applicable to any context. (You can’t eat a whole cow at one sitting but it is easy to do if you tackle it mouthful by mouthful.)

Consider your life. Where could you use the skill of anticipation more effectively?

You might find it useful to work with a coach on some of these issues. If you would like a free 30 minute coaching session to explore how you could improve the relationship you have with yourself contact me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com


Part 5 - Media Interest [Back to Top]

We heard this week that the adverts designed by Paul Alderman of The Gate advertising agency have won a couple of national awards. They are finalists in Euros Best and will feature in Lurzer’s International list in a couple of month’s time. Our thanks to him for his help. It is great to see his creativity recognized and at the same time have Recovering Workaholics get exposure on the international stage.

Time Off Productions have been exploring ideas for a TV programme highlighting the theme of work life balance. Several production companies have contacted us over the past few months. It would be great if one of their proposals gets taken up by one of the major networks. In the mean time we are happy to provide information and support to anyone who can raise awareness of creating good work life balance.

We have appointments scheduled with a representative of the TUC and MPs over the next few months. We’ll keep you posted on the outcomes of our discussions in future newsletters.

If you are aware of anything interesting in the media relating to work life balance please let us know.

If you see anything about our organization in any publication not mentioned by us we would be very much like to hear about it on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.


Part 6 - organizations [Back to Top]
Anticipation Underpins Organizational Success

Creating success is only half the story. For those organizations who want to survive and thrive in the long term sustaining success is the name of the game. Many do not. As you walk through your high street or local shopping mall consider how many sops arrive in a great flurry of publicity only to be plastering the CLOSING DOWN EVERYTHING MUST GO notices on their windows a few months later. Very few of the organizations who make the top 10 most successful businesses published each year in the United States are still within that top 10 two years later. So what is the answer? It would be naive to think that there was only one reason but one common strand has to be that there is a lack of anticipation. In this context I am using the word as a verb, a skill which can be learned and when it is used well it can make an enormous difference in a department or organizations ability to succeed in the first place and over time.

To develop the anticipation muscle it is first important to understand your current performance: what is going well and why and where there is room for improvement and development. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses and being honest about both it is then possible to plan strategically to protect those strengths and to plug any gaps.

The ability to plan strategically is absolutely central to anticipation. These words are used widely but often as I work with clients it is evident that the word strategically is used loosely. For the purposes of this article I am using the following definition:

A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often "winning". It should include alternatives, fall-back strategies, and the like.

When playing a game there is a need to pass the ball not to where the other player is now but to where you think they will be by the time the ball reaches them. It requires an accurate judgment of distance, speed and a sense of what the other person will do. In market terms it requires you to anticipate what will be needed in the short and medium term future. Second guessing the market, what customers will want to buy next season, what the weather will do are all elements which can affect the market. Intuition based on solid research and a “nose” for the future trends can make the difference.

It is important to appoint staff with the future in mind. Creating capacity is crucial if you are to meet the future needs of your company. Appoint people with the right attitude, who are great team members and who have the capacity for personal growth. Offer them a supportive induction and training programme. Ensure that there are high expectations which are shared explicitly and that great performance is encouraged and recognized. Plan for succession from day one so that you reap the benefits of all the training you have put in place. Do you have a plan for your organization which looks at the future needs of staff within your company? Is their an appointment, training and development programme which encourages growth and supports promotion or do you loose staff to your competition?

It is impossible to read the future with absolute accuracy but it is entirely possible to train your staff to be aware of the implications of taking a particular action or not, to understand the available data and being able to make reasonable judgments based on it. How often do you ask your team to create a hypothesis about the future using available data? When was the last time you encouraged junior staff to discuss what might happen if…. And come up with strategies to deal with the situation. Doing so when there is no panic or pressure and taking the time to look at the relative merits and difficulties of their suggestions does take time but can pay huge dividends as they then understand the implications of actions at a much deeper level.

How do you define your resources? I would include the use of time and energy, space, people including their ability to be creative and their good will, finances, equipment and materials at your disposal. Do you have strategic plans which facilitate the most effective and economic use of your resources? Do those plans reach out to consider what your future needs would be in a variety of potential contexts? Are you constantly evaluating the relative risks and benefits of both actively doing something or of doing nothing? Does your planning include the means for effective recovery if something goes wrong?

Having plans is a great starting point to really anticipate effectively it is important that everyone understands the plans and the part they have to play in making the plans a reality. The plans need to be dynamic and flexible enough to respond to the changing needs of the organization and effective communication at every level ensures a shared understanding. There is a huge danger in believing that simply because you have a plan that you are safe. The plan is only the start, everyone needs to translate the plan into action and to evaluate performance in order to determine how best to modify the plan for future success. Anticipation is a planned way to ensure that we fail better in the future. The learning which takes place as things go wrong determines the level of success in the future. Those individuals or organizations who fail to learn from the early signs that something isn’t working as well as it might are likely to face insurmountable problems in the future.

One of the most powerful ways to develop the skill of anticipation is to make sure the needs of the future are part of today’s conversations. Of course you need to focus on the needs of today but ensuring that your team constantly review their current performance and ask challenging questions are a great start.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you ensure you make the most of your staff please contact us through
info@recoveringworkaholics.com
or through
info@graduatesolutions.co.uk


Part 7- Support For Partners Of Workaholics [Back to Top]

There is now a monthly Newsletter designed for the partners of Workaholics. This can be accessed by going to www.recoveringworkaholics.com/partners.php.


Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or complete the feeedback form at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/enquiryform.php.

What do you think?

Warmest wishes,
Gina Gardiner

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For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone 01708 703959


Gina Gardiner, recognized by "Investors In People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training programme for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.

If you aren't a subscriber already, please sign up to receive the next issue of the free monthly Recovering Workaholics newsletter at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/freemonthlynewsletter.php.

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Author : Gina Gardiner

For any further information or advice about Recovering Workaholics contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone 01708 703959