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Volume 17 | March 2008 | Silencing that nagging voice in your head

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Courses | Coaching | Partners of Workaholics

Contents


Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Recommended Read
Part 3 - Products / Special Offers
Part 4 - Feature Article - Learning to switch off that voice in our head
Part 5 - Media Interest
Part 6 - organizations - It's not what you say it is the way that you say it
Part 7 - Support For Partners Of Workaholics
Part 8 - The SaVVy Club - Make some time for fun in your life


Part 1 - Welcome! [Back to Top]

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Welcome to this our seventeenth newsletter for Recovering Workaholics.

Managing time effectively is a challenge which many of us wrestle with on a daily basis. There are many strategies to doing this which I cover in other articles including creating effective boundaries, learning to say no and a wide range of techniques to save time and ensure you don’t duplicate effort. Once you have mastered these techniques you would assume that you have cracked the issue of managing your time well. Yet many people find their personal time is dominated by ‘that’ voice in their head. The one which nags away and leaves us feeling exhausted and bad about ourselves.

Personal experience and my work with clients has demonstrated that the size and significance of the perceived issue appears to have little or no significance in relation to the volume and persistence of the voice in our heads. The voice is often at its quietest when we are busy. It begins to be a real problem for the majority of us in our personal time and for many it is at its loudest in the dark lonely hours when we are desperately trying to sleep.

Do we simply have to put up with this voice? Are we destined to be victims to the broken down record which goes around and around in our head? The answer is No! in all things we have a choice. If you choose to deal with the problem there are many things you can do. You will need to experiment as different things work for different people in different circumstances. If the voice persists or if you find your personal time or sleep is being badly affected you may find that working with an experienced coach to be really helpful.

This month’s article offers some practical strategies to tackle the voice in your head.

If you would like some help to deal with any of the issues raised in this newsletter please contact us directly.

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 you 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, as well as those who are experiencing redundancy and 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

Make 2008 the year when you took consistent action to make a positive difference to the quality of your own life and for those who work with you. Call today to sign up for a free no obligation coaching session and take the first step to the future you deserve!

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]

Open Your Mind To Receive by Catherine Ponder

Open Your Mind To Receive
by Catherine Ponder

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

FROM THE AUTHOR:
"Why should you deliberately open your mind to receive? Because most of us have endured a pinched, narrow existence for no good reason. We have blocked our good from getting through to us in the process... Anyone who leads a pinched, narrow existence is not expressing his true nature. He is only cheating himself."

Catherine Ponder is considered one of America's foremost inspirational authors. She has written more than a dozen books, which includes her bestselling classic, THE DYNAMIC LAWS OF PROSPERITY (DeVorss Publications, 1962). She is a minister of the nondenominational Unity faith, long known as "the pioneer of positive thinking".

It is particularly worth reading if you want to make the most of your life by looking for the positive in any given situation.


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 - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

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 - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

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[Back to Top]

Learning to switch off that voice in our head

Managing our time effectively is a challenge which many of us wrestle with on a daily basis. There are many strategies to doing this which I cover in other articles including creating effective boundaries, learning to say no and a wide range of techniques to save time and ensure you don’t duplicate effort. Once you master these techniques you would assume that you have cracked the issue of managing you time well, yet many people find the time they have free is dominated by that voice in their head. 

The voice comes in a variety of guises.

There is the voice which constantly nags about things you have done or said which you realize with hind sight, it would have been better if you had hadn’t. Why didn’t you bite your tongue and remain silent? Why did you behave in that way when you knew there would be negative consequences? “Why did you……?”

Then there is the voice which harangues you because you failed to say what you really think or you wish you told someone you loved them or were sorry while you had the chance. It tells you that should have stood up to the work place bully. “Why didn’t you …..?”

There is the voice which brings work home and endlessly reminds you about all the jobs which need to be done, discusses all the options, gets you planning marketing strategies or rehearsing the interview you are going to attend in a few days time. “And then there’s …. And don’t forget ….”

There is the voice which constantly tells you that you are never good enough, that you have failed yet again and that it is no surprise because you have so little worth. “You are stupid…. worthless….. fat…… “ 

Personal experience and the work with clients has demonstrated that the size and significance of the perceived issue appears to have little or no significance in relation to the volume and persistence of the voice in our heads. The voice is often at its quietest when we are busy. It only begins to be a real problem for the majority of people in their personal time and for many of those is at its loudest in the dark lonely hours when they are desperately trying to sleep.

Do we simply have to put up with this voice? Are we destined to be victims to the broken down record which goes around and around in our head? The answer is No! in all things we have a choice. If you choose to deal with the problem, there are many things you can do. You will need to experiment as different things work for different people in different circumstances. 

If the voice persists or if you find your personal time or sleep is being affected you may find that working with an experienced coach can be really helpful.

What is that voice? Many say that the voice in our head is our unconscious mind. It can be useful to think of it in this way, as there is usually an underlying reason which explains why we are hearing the voice and for what it is trying to say. Deal with that and the voice is easy to manage. Create a dialogue with your unconscious mind, it may feel strange but it can work really well.

The strategies fall into several categories:

The Mountain Or Molehill Test

The passage of time makes a huge difference to the way we feel about things. An incident which feel like the end of the world can appear insignificant after a few hours, days or weeks. If you have something which is really getting to you, one quick way to silence the voice in your head is to consider the following questions:

In the grand scheme of things is this a mountain or a molehill situation?

Will this incident feel as significant tomorrow? In a weeks time? Six weeks? Next Year? If you were at the end of your life looking back?

At what point will you be able to look back and laugh or at least smile about this?

How long will it take before this becomes a great story to tell a mate over a drink or dinner?

If it is going to become a molehill in a while why let it be a mountain?

Why not give it molehill status now?

Interrupt The Flow

The brain works rather like a record or CD. Thought patterns work like the patterns engrained into the disc. Even though vinyl records have now become a collectors pieces we still use the expression “going on like a broken record” to describe how thoughts seem to stick and constantly repeat themselves in our head. If you wanted to stop a record or CD delivering its usual pattern of sounds you simply need to interrupt the pattern on the disc by scratching them with a sharp object. We can interrupt the constant stream of negative thoughts or sounds. There are a number of ways to do this:

Do something very different. When you can do something different which also changes your physiology the results are far more powerful. The results are even more profound when it is something which makes you laugh. Next time you are feeling low, when the voice is at its most insistent get up and try a variety of silly walks around the house. Clients report that having physically done this a few times not only does it work really well but that just the thought of doing it becomes enough to break the pattern as it makes them smile.

Exercise can be really helpful. The change of activity and release of endorphins which exercise releases can help put things in perspective. Asking your unconscious mind to find a solution or to undertake the mountain / molehill strategy before starting to run or cycle can be incredible helpful too.

Watch or listen to something which makes you laugh, go and cook or make something, work in the garden. Changing your physical state will change your mental state too.

Tell It To Shut The _____ Up!

For some simply telling the voice that it is not being helpful, to visualise a large switch or dial and imagine turning it off is all it takes. Making the decision to take control is what makes the difference for them.

Learn The Lesson

When the voice is nagging you for things you have or haven’t done one strategy is to ask yourself what is the underlying lesson behind the voice? What learning could I take from this situation which would be helpful in the future? Think about what situation given rise to that nagging voice. Recreate that situation in your mind with a different behaviour, one which you know would lead to success. What would that look and sound like? How would it make you feel? What could you learn from this? Thank the voice for giving you the opportunity to learn and let your unconscious mind know you have taken the learning forward so it can now stop.

Compartmentalizing

Learning to compartmentalise can help you manage the voice. Visualise putting work issues into a brief case or a box which you will pick up again on the way to work. 

Using the journey to demark what is work time and when the time becomes yours can be useful. Create a point in the journey where you always make the change over. Some find they need a neutral space between work and home. Use a section of journey like the air chamber in a submarine which acts as the buffer between the sea and the inside cabin can help.

Change Your Perception

Perception is everything. You filter everything which happens in your life and interpret it according to your values, belief system and prior experiences. Understanding that your personal perception is not a guarantee that you are always right, can be very helpful. How you interpret another person’s response makes an incredible difference to how you feel and to the voice in your head. Be open to the possibility that there are alternative rationales to the one you have created. It is not always about you.

Do Something With It

You are being kept awake, that voice in your head is constantly telling you about all the things which need doing or is bursting with ideas. It is far better to get up and capture the ideas, create a list of all things which need to be done, or write the letter saying sorry or stating your case . Once you have done everything which can be done practically at this time you are far more likely to be able to sleep. You can take any actions needed the next morning.

It’s Too Late

A number of clients have talked about the voice which constantly regrets that they didn’t tell loved ones, who have died, how much they loved them. Writing a letter where they can say everything they need to can offer a positive way forward. Actually verbalising how they truly , to someone else can also be helpful. I believe that learning the lesson so that we take the time to value loved ones and friends and to thank people for the difference they make to our lives (even though it may feel embarrassing) can have a profound effect on not only silencing the voice in our heads but the quality of our lives.

There are any numbers of strategies you can use. The important thing for us all is to realize we don’t have to be a slave to that part of us which wants to take over and destroy the precious time we have by being a negative and persistent voice.

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]

I have been approached by a TV production company who are interested in developing an idea working with a group of people who want to change their work life balance for the better. If any of you would be interested please let us know.

Sadly the meeting with the MP has had to be postponed due to a bereavement. We are in the process of setting up a new appointment.

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

Also, 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]
It's not what youo say, it is the way you say it

This principle is true of almost every situation but if you manage people it is vital that you learn the underlying principles of this if you want to create a team of people who respect you as their manager. Modelling good behaviour is also a great way of teaching your team to be mindful of their behaviour too.

I hear you say “that’s obvious!” Yet so often huge difficulties are created because people say things in a way or at a time which makes others feel worthless or resentful. Really powerful messages loose their impact because the recipient focuses on the bad delivery rather than on the real issue. 

You can say really difficult things and still maintain a positive relationship with your staff. When your team understand that you have their best interests at heart and everyone is keen to develop and grow constructive feedback is welcomed by all. The culture you create within your team, department or organization will make a significant difference to the way people will respond to your feedback. 

Think about the way people have said difficult things to you. What approach was helpful? What made you feel bad? As a Manager you have the opportunity to make a positive difference to each individual in your team and through them to everyone they deal with. 

There are a few simple principles. If these are followed it can save an enormous amount of difficulty for you and for the person on the receiving end.

  1. Always treat people with respect. What ever they have done or failed to do treating them as if they are idiots will get you nowhere in the long run.
  2. Create a good rapport with the individuals in your team. When you need to give hard messages you will find the time taken to create good rapport and trust really pays huge dividends.
  3. Public humiliation is never appropriate however tempting it may be. You make an enemy for life, you are seen as a bully and your reputation will be damaged far more than you realize.
  4. Consider why you are so angry, irritated, let down. The intensity of our own emotion is often more about us than it is about the particular incident we are dealing with. If you have a difficult message to deliver remember to focus on the learning you want to come out of it rather than how bad it has made you look. 
  5. Never fight fire with fire. If you are angry or upset it is much better to walk away and deal with it once you are in full control of yourself.
  6. Plan what you want to say and why. Things said on the hoof often leave you with even greater problems for later. The more significant the issue the greater the need to plan.
  7. Choose an appropriate place and time – balling someone out in the corridor is inappropriate.
  8. Consider the tone of voice you use. Shouting, being dictatorial, nagging all have a negative impact on the listener. Negative voices often bring up past issues and carry a punch with is disproportionate to the current event. 
  9. Challenge the unwanted behaviour rather than the person themselves. 
  10. Never burn your bridges – it is a long walk round. Always look for a way forward. Involve the other person in creating a win- win solution where ever possible.

The best managers are those who encourage everyone to take responsibility for what they do. Those who help their team learn from their mistakes as individuals and as a team.

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.


Part 8- The SaVVy Club® [Back to Top]

Too busy working? When was the last time you had some fun? 

The SaVVy Club® is London's First Boutique Events Club. With the finest selection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and events featuring late previews and first nights for the theatre, opera and musicals, gourmet cuisine, connoisseur wine tastings, VIP exclusives and more, there is something to suit the most discerning taste.

Members tend to work in senior management and excutive capacities. They have rewarding careers rather than jobs and want to live life to the full but don't necessarily have the time to organize it. 

Does that sound like you? If so, then The SaVVy Club® is the perfect solution for you as we organize exclusive, intimate events of the highest quality allowing you to quickly meet a whole variety of people who live and work in London whilst enjoying some exclusive nights out. All you have to do is turn up and have fun.

By joining our exclusive membership you will be able to indulge in some of our forthcoming events. These include a trip to the theatre to see one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Stuttgart Ballet, a day rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous at Royal Ascot and the opportunity to catch the last night’s performance of A Midsummers’ Night Dream at the Shakespeare’s Globe.

Isn’t it about time you made an appointment for yourself, and not the diary?

For more information, please visit www.savvyclub.co.uk or call 0870 005 6225.


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

********

For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 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 in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).