The Strength and Solution Detective – Who am I?

sasdetective

My Original Sketch Of The Strength and Solution Detective March 2015

A question I was asked recently is who is the strength and solution detective?

At first it was just a character in my head that kept my critic quiet then I realised that is who I am for other people. This is the first sketch I did early this year when I was exploring the character in my head.

On the writing retreat with Karen Williams and I found my own style of writing I found myself needing to answer this question again so I wrote this poem.  It is the first poem I have written since I left school but I think it sums up the detective quite nicely.

Continue reading The Strength and Solution Detective – Who am I?

Rebecca’s Gift – The Magic of Rebecca

Rebecca Second From The Right

Rebecca Second From The Right

Writing Retreat Learning

I have mentioned before in the article to walk or not to walk how much I loved the fact that Rebecca has local knowledge.

Rebecca use to live here and her partner Benjamin’s family are from this village too.

Rebecca by the way is Karen’s support and guide and helps other coaches run effective retreats abroad.

Rebecca has sourced the venue and organised everything from daily walks, food hampers, airport transfer and the evening meals. Continue reading Rebecca’s Gift – The Magic of Rebecca

Back off, this is MY baby!

Back off, this is MY baby!Responses at work to criticism
When running your own business it is often like ‘your baby’. Something you have built up, nurtured, watched it grow and been with it through the good times and the bad.

It can be a reflection of you and often represents everything that matters to you. Your own worth and credibility can quickly get wrapped up in every essence of it.

So what happens when you have poured your heart and soul into it and then some guru or expert even peer says that what you are doing is not right? Or you don’t feel like you are getting anyway or that you feel stuck and like you are going round in circles?

 What happens when other people make suggestions trying to help you? 
Can you filter the feedback?
Do you know like and trust yourself enough to know what will work and won’t work for you?
Or does self doubt creep in? Do you find yourself mulling  some conversations over and over?

What about at home?
When you talk about your business at home then what happens?

My favourite was when my Dad would say isn’t it time you got a ‘proper’ job?

Do you:

  • Withdraw and feel like no one understands
  • Feel like you have to do everything on your own
  • Snap their head off and tell them off for being unhelpful
  • Burst into tears
  • Throw something and storm out – not forgetting to slam the door for good affect
  • Start criticising them for something they don’t do very well
  • Hit out and become verbally or even physically aggressive
  • Or maybe you go for the really mature response of throwing unrelated sentences back at them, such as “yeh, yeh but..but whatever!!

It is great to embrace our inner child and allow ourselves to be playful and creative but if your inner child is fearful it may well be screaming more like a troubled teen.

Are fed up of the way you respond  under pressure?

Do you know that you are over reacting but you don’t know how to change?

Perhaps you know logically you could or should respond something like this:

  • “thank you for your wisdom”
  • “I’ll think it over”

Allowing things to build up without gaining clarity and confidence of your own thoughts can result in unreasonable behaviour both from you and others.

All of us have our limitations and our breaking points and I believe we all need support.

Support that is not emotionally attached the outcome and can stay objective and maintain a clear perspective.

Don’t Take Yourself So Serious – Have more Fun
I bet you have been told that before. Don’t worry so much. Don’t take it so personally?

Yes with over 15 years’ experience helping others overcome their sensitivity to criticism, I have discovered that the key to achieving more fun in business is to get to know, like and trust yourself more and surround yourself with the appropriate peer support.

To find out more you can attend our one day taster session called The Power of Fun. Click here for all up and coming events.

‘Power of Fun’ Workshop
The Power of Fun Workshop was developed when our clients found they were taking themselves too seriously.   They noticed that they were so focused on gaining more business or supporting their family, that life was no longer fun. They took criticism personally and this undermined their confidence, stopped them making decisions and made them question what they were doing.

We listened and in response, created a fun space to learn how to create more fun in their lives.

Comments from people who have been on the workshops
I now know what has been blocking me from having more fun, now I know I have those rules I can do something to change my programming.

  • I had a block about criticism and feedback and it was massive and I have shifted that.
  • I now feel more able to be myself with other people.

Book your slice of happiness today and look how to create your own recipe for success.
The next workshop is £150 for a day and there are limited places. It WILL change your life. I am already taking bookings so contact me on 01329 286648 or enquiries@stepbysteplistening.com to secure your place.

You will leave the workshop with a smile on your face, a lighter heart and a strategy to maintain that balance well into the future. You will notice that your life will seem brighter, filled with new laughter and this will spill into your work and personal life – isn’t it time you learned how not to take yourself so serious?

Feeling Misunderstood & Exhausted

These are some of the things my clients have said. This is not anyone client and it is a mixture of different clients over a period of time.

Can you relate to any or all of them? 

“I am in my early forties, recently divorced with three children. My ex-husband sees the children occasionally during the week and every other weekend. We are on speaking terms (sort of) and try to be civil when the children are around. I work full time, bring up the kids and have just started seeing someone again after a year and a half.”
“Life should have been moving on for me but I have always been extremely sensitive about criticism and would spend hours analysing comments that people said to me at work or outside. It was debilitating – like constantly playing a depressing film in my head. Everyone that I knew had an opinion about me, including me.”

It is difficult to describe how it felt so below are some of the comments that I received from people and my responses I had in my head to myself.

My mum: gave me advice on how to bring up my own children and where I was going wrong as a parent and she’d cry and remind me how sad it was that the children didn’t have their dad around permanently.
My response: the divorce is my fault, the children will suffer and I’m a bad mother.

Ex-husband: he would drop in the conversation that he was short of cash and couldn’t afford any extra money for the kids. He’d say that they looked old fashioned and needed the latest brands to keep up with their friends. He would turn up late when picking the kids up and they would be upset.

My response: but you can afford extra to take your girlfriend out, I’m not providing for them properly, they’ll get bullied for wearing cheap clothes, the divorce is my fault and therefore your lateness is my fault. 

New partner: he would say that I don’t have time for him, that I think more about work than I do about him, that we don’t go out enough, that we don’t go away and that I’m always working.

My response: I’m going to have to sacrifice time with the children for time with my partner, I’m working to pay the bills and you don’t understand that, I can’t be away from the children.

Every day, I would wake up with my mind racing, feeling like I was going to hyperventilate. I had a constant knot of worry and stress in my stomach. Every day the same questions went round in my mind – how will I provide for the kids? I’m not good enough to be their mum, I’m rubbish at work, I don’t spend enough time with my partner. I’m not enough.

Every day a comment from my family, children or partner felt like a kick in the teeth. A throw away comment from someone would hit me like a wrecking ball out of the blue but I was the master of disguise. I was able to put on a happy face, a front for a limited period of time as and when required but behind closed doors I was totally overwhelmed, shattered beyond recognition because someone had said something that upset me.

I looked tired all the time and on the inside was screaming, because I had no one to turn to. Friends listened sympathetically but eventually I felt that I was boring them and their lives were so much happier and shinier than mine, I didn’t want to bring them down. I refused to burden my parents or partner because I didn’t want to worry them but in reality, I didn’t want to hear their opinions.

So I had no support, in fact I felt misunderstood and exhausted at trying to be understood. I would have a constant conversation in my head about giving up and yet something made me keep going, probably the children. Every day I had to put one foot in front of the other to care for them.

These are the kind of things our clients talk to us about. This is how I felt before I discovered how to change my focus to change the results.

If you are at your wits end and you are thinking the next stage is probably the doctors and drugs and yet you really don’t want to do that then do give me a call.

The first hour is free and you are very likely to leave with your next best step.

Change does take time but the relief is very likely to be instant. Having that quality one hour where you feel heard, understood and valued can feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders.

Would you like to:

  • worry less
  • Not take things to heart so much
  • Feel and be ‘lighter’ with the kids
  • Happier with your partner
  • More pleasant with your ex
  • Manage yourself better.

What can I a clarity session provide you with?

  • Time to gain clarity of what you want, to make decisions and solve problems
  • Confidence to ask for what you want and need
  • Tools to create or be the change you want in your life

 

If you know you are a strong capable person and you would value the support of a non judgemental and impartial listener to help you regain a clear perspective, then book some time with me for a Clarity and Confidence Call now.

Every month I allocate space in my diary for complimentary sessions so that you and I can connect for an hour.

You will: get to know me, experience how I work, gain clarity, have confidence in your next best step and decide what you would like to happen next. For more information and to book the call please visit my Clarity and Confidence Call page.

This article was co- written with Sam Burdekin of The Words Out – giving me more time to listen to you. Thanks Sam for your inspiration and support

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

how to improve listening skills

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met and was often hurt by the feedback and opinions of others.

Today, Sheryl loves resourcing you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t.

Fancy a virtual coffee and chat, then please feel free to book a complimentary clarity and confidence session or check out the “How to do, delegate and ditch with confidence” free webinar.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

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Proud Member of BNI Uplands

 

The Change Formula

How to improve listening skills Over the past few days I have been very fortunate to engage in a discussion about change with one of my peer mentors. Change being something many either strive for or resist. Change something that you either love or hate. Either way change is constant and it is happening all the time.

Learning how to manage yourself, time and others through change is one of those life skills I believe should be taught in schools. (and it is on my wish list)

Developing the skill to predict and anticipate change can prevent resistance.

Developing strategies to be okay with not knowing, learning to be comfortable with uncomfortable can also make change, growth and learning more fun.

My fascination is what needs to happen for you to be resilient to change without becoming resistant to it?

Whilst I love to use metaphor to articulate how change it felt, heard and seen by the individual I am curious to hear your thoughts about these mathematical formulas that express what is required for change to happen.

What is change for you? What do these formulas mean to you? Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.

‘The Change Formula’  

Dannemiller version: D x V x F > R

Three factors must be present for meaningful organizational change to take place. These factors are:

D = Dissatisfaction with how things are now;

V = Vision of what is possible;

F = First, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision;

If the product of these three factors is greater than

R = Resistance

then change is possible. Because D, V, and F are multiplied, if any one is absent (zero) or low, then the product will be zero or low and therefore not capable of overcoming the resistance.

Whilst looking this up I also came across this formula

Gleicher (original) Version: C = (ABD) > X

The original formula, as created by Gleicher and published by Beckhard is:

C = (ABD) > X

C = Change

A = is the status quo dissatisfaction

B =  is a desired clear state

D is practical steps to the desired state

X is the cost of the change.

I think to move someone from resistant to change to resilient to change you have to make it safe for them to:

  • Speak
  • Have a differing opinion
  • Think and work differently to you
  • Value their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses

If you don’t find change much fun and you want to develop resources to be more resilient to change then please do book a time to chat and let’s get to know each other.  What is it costing you now not to be resourced? What could it cost you in the future? I would love to hear from you – book here

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

how to improve listening skills

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met and was often hurt by the feedback and opinions of others.

Today, Sheryl loves resourcing you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t.

Fancy a virtual coffee and chat, then please feel free to book a complimentary clarity and confidence session or check out the “How to do, delegate and ditch with confidence” free webinar.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

Free Step By Step Listening Guide

Free Motivational Newsletter

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Proud Member of BNI Uplands

From A Mountain To A Manageable Hill

how to improve listening skills Karen Willams – Book Mentor and Coach Self Discovery Coaching.

I worked with Karen for just one session when she was writing her first book and this is how she summed up her session.

“For me the mountain always feels like the metaphor that I come back to time after time.

In the early days of running my business, I saw it like climbing a mountain. Every time I reached what I thought was the summit, another peak presented itself ahead of me. So it always felt like I was continually hauling myself upwards, and although I was moving forward in my business, it was frustrating not to reach the pinnacle. Continue reading From A Mountain To A Manageable Hill

8th September 2015 Case Study
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Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Sales Training

communication skills hampshire This month my focus is on selling and writing my book, and living a full life, and keeping the house clean and supporting my family, oh and fun and laughter, healthy eating and fitness. Not much to focus on eh!
That is the truth whilst I have to focus on selling and I know it is vital I also have to maintain many other spinning plates of equal importance.
Add into that the fact our brains will often take the course of least resistance it can be all too easy to get distracted by the easier, fun more enjoyable tasks or panicked by what seem to be more urgent tasks.
This article is really about sharing some questions that can set you up for success when it comes to selling an idea, service or product both at home and at work and can be used on their own, pre sales training or even post sales training.
With so much training available it is easy to get sucked into constantly learning instead of doing the do – especially if you love learning and the classroom or even on line feels like a safe space to be.
I consistently invest in training and I am also more mindful nowadays of asking these questions before I click the buy now button. I would even encourage you to ask them of yourself before you buy from me.
Selling
First of all just check in with your why? Why do you want to sell? what happens to you when you sell? What happens to the person you are selling to when you sell? and finally when you sell what happens to the relationship with that person? If anything?
This was my thoughts today when I asked myself the questions:  
  • I want to help more people.
  • I want a full diary because I am at my best when I get to experience the transformation and change in other people.
  • I want to earn more money and feel of greater value and worth
  • I want to support my family better both financially and emotionally.
  • I want Mark to feel able to take more days off after providing financial stability for his family constantly for so many years.
  • I don’t want individuals to be held back in life because they do not feel safe and able to ask for what they want.

I could go on and in private I probably will. But for now can I ask you to think about yourself. Why do you want to sell?

Why invest in developing your sales skills?
We are all sales people, managers, leaders, parents and teachers are all selling ideas, products, visions and services. Admin staff need to sell to the sales team deadlines and paperwork.
When you invest in developing your sales skills you not only potentially improve your business but you can improve your relationships at home and at work.
Why sales training is not always the answer?
Not all sales training will work for you. Not all sales processes will fit with your values or your beliefs or your natural way of working. Not all sales trainers will deliver training in a way that fits your style of learning.
And understanding yourself better first can ensure no matter who the trainer or the process you can gain insights that will update and improve your current sales system.
What most sales training does not do is unravel what is ‘really’ holding you back from selling. Instead they just tell you what works for them which often makes sense logically but still something stops you from implementing it.
What can hold you back from selling? 
There can be all kinds of reasons and every client I have worked with on this subject is different.
Sometimes it is because:
  • A past experience left you feeling conned and you don’t want to push someone into making a decision that is not right for them
  • You worry about upsetting people
  • you worry about interrupting people assuming they are too busy
  • You personally struggle with saying no so you assume everyone else does and you don’t want them to be in that position
  • you are already really busy and you do not know how you could handle more business.
These are just a few examples and yours could be different, in fact it is very likely yours will be.
What about you? What did you hear yourself thinking? What is holding you back? Time, confidence lack of tools? The list is endless and the key is to listen to your own thinking very carefully.
Developing mental barriers and blocks
All of these experiences/thoughts can hang around in your memory banks festering and limiting your ability to hear what others want and the connection between their want and your solution.
The white noise created by your inner critic can prevent you from actually hearing how your service, idea or vision could be relevant and it can also prevent you from hearing when it is not the right time and it is not the right solution for right now.
Instead you are too busy listening and be distracted by your inner voice. (yes we all have one – you are not mad)
It can prevent you from having:
  • Clarity of what you want
  • Clarity of what they want
  • Confidence to ask for it
  • The opportunity to change the lives of others
  • Having your own life changed

That’s why even if you attend sales training I highly recommend you also invest time being curious about what is happening when you are ‘selling in a way that feels right’. 

Here are some questions I ask my clients: 
You can also substitute ‘selling’ with ‘learning’ to set yourself up to know what you need to learn at your best if you are attending a training course or when you are following up at your best that is like what?

Selling in a way that feels right that’s like what?

  • What is happening when you are selling in a way that feels right and gets results?
Even if you think you have never sold and it felt right image what it might be like – trust yourself – change the way you listen and search inside for what you know now and what has worked or you might ask these questions of someone that you admire and you know they sell with confidence
  • What kind of selling is that selling? 
  • Is there anything else about that selling?
  • What kind of feels right is that? 
  • Is there anything else about feels right? 
  • What happens just before selling like that? 
  • Then what happens? 
  • How do you need to be for selling to be like that?
  • Is there any other kind of resource or support you need for you to sell in a way that feels right? 
Sometimes we know we ‘have’ to sell and even after answering questions like this or attending the most amazing sales training something still stops us.
You probably know logically what you can or should do  and still you don’t take action.
What is it costing you in your life right now not being able to be heard and understood by the people that matter to your success and happiness?
 
How many hours are you spending frustrated with yourself or others because you cannot get them to buy into your ideas, suggestions or products?
If you are noticing a pattern in your life where you avoid conversations, please do book a complimentary confidence and clarity call now and experience what happens when you change the way you listen.

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

how to improve listening skills

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met and was often hurt by the feedback and opinions of others.

Today, Sheryl loves resourcing you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t.

Fancy a virtual coffee and chat, then please feel free to book a complimentary clarity and confidence session or check out the “How to do, delegate and ditch with confidence” free webinar.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

Free Step By Step Listening Guide

Free Motivational Newsletter

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Proud Member of BNI Uplands

BNI Rules Made It Difficult For Me To Fit In & That Changed My Life

IMG_1514Probably one of the most challenging things when growing a business is to constantly put yourself out there and having to create new relationships whilst presenting your very best version of yourself all the times.

3 years ago I joined BNI despite my previous reservations. If you have visited BNI or any other networking group and felt like you don’t fit in then you might also find the article  BNI is painful. of interest too.  Continue reading BNI Rules Made It Difficult For Me To Fit In & That Changed My Life