Giving Birth To Clarity

I was recently talking to my peer mentor and friend about the book and she said it is a bit like breach birth, you just need to find a way of lining everything up so that you can give birth. That metaphor got me thinking about the whole process of stepping up in my business and doing things differently.
That was at the end of December.
Today she sent me an inspiring video and as I listened I realised that I have been pushing too hard and the book like a baby will come when it is good and ready. Having told everyone that I am writing the book it is a bit like announcing the birth of a baby.
When I use this metaphor to explore my thinking about my book (my baby) I realise that the fact that I had told lots of people was like announcing the birth, so there is no going back, no hiding away now matter how scared I am about giving birth I have to see it through now.
It was my book mentor Karen Williams that suggested that I tell people and whilst it is pretty scary to think I can’t go back it has also been one of the greatest motivators. Knowing that even a handful of people are waiting for my book keeps me going.
I shared the principles of the clarity process in the 21 day programme Manage Your Critic and it was great to get the feedback that this process had helped in just a short period of time. It felt a bit like showing someone my scan photo and everyone going wow.
Unlike real life I can practice and give birth to little pieces at a time and then reveal the whole thing later.
I am looking forward to sharing my process and gaining some useful feedback.
If writing your book, writing blogs or any other creative work for your business feels like you are walking in treacle and you would like to get in flow please do take time today and really listen to your critic.
Here is the clarity process.
  1. Get curious ask questions, learn to listen without judgment or assumption and be okay with feedback. Be mindful of what you need to learn at your best and create the right environment
  2. Notice the language you use and ask more questions to be sure you really understand what your critic is saying and don’t make assumptions.
  3. Pay attention to whether your critic is presenting solution and strengths or problems and ask questions that change the focus.
  4. Reflection on what has worked in the past and what is working. Sometimes the answers are not in the future they are in your past and sometimes we can see the solution in others. Get curious and ask questions.
  5. Ask questions with the intention to understand not to justify or prove anything simply to gain clarity.
  6. More than anything trust yourself and take your own advice. Imagine if you were telling a friend how to solve the same problem what would you say if you were not emotionally invested in the outcome what would your advice be?
  7. And remember no matter what anyone says you matter and your story has value and I want to hear the whole story. Sometimes the reason you cannot gain clarity is because you are only telling part of your story to lots of different people instead of telling the whole story to one person. Build a network and find a way of getting your story out there.

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 lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she conquered her sensitivity to criticism and her fear of not being liked.

Today, Sheryl runs safe to speak retreats where you can develop resources and skills to gain clarity and confidence of what you want and how you want to be and all the time you will be improving and changing the way you respond to feedback.

Fancy a virtual coffee and chat, then please feel free to book a complimentary clarity and confidence session. or SAS Detective TV

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

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Please do send me a personal message as I don’t say yes to everyone that sends me a connection or friend request.

 

How to cope with overwhelm?

Stresses and strainsThousands of years ago life was simple and tough. Humans hunted with spears, gathered, reproduced, slept and started all over again until they died. Then modern life took over.

How we are living now
We are no longer surviving, we are living. Humans have never had it so good.

We enjoy more free time, skip through the fields hand in hand with our adoring families and relish the company of colleagues at work.

Our jobs are fulfilling. Continue reading How to cope with overwhelm?

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Day 12 – Conserving words – 31 Day Summer Writing Challenge

 

 

What can I say – I didn’t write again today – I gave another important person my focus and I am okay with that decision. This week I have helped my son out and my friend out and that is okay.

Why?

Because I know I have the mindset and focus to make this book happen and this is not the same pattern of losing traction it feels different to my old pattern.

It feels a bit like a marathon and that I have had to stop and walk a little bit and that is okay. It is my first marathon (my first book).

I just hope that the crowd will still be there when I get to the finish line.

I promise I have not given up on my promise and I do think I am still capable of reaching 50,000 words in 31 days – will you be there at the finish line?

Sign up here if you want to peer review the first few chapter.

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 despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

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

Sheryl openly shares an easy to adopt communication tool kit that will transform the way you think and train others to listen. Sheryl will be your strength and solution detective until you have fully trained your inner critic and those around you, to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you to be the best you can be.

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

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My Website Guardians – Adam Judd & The Apollo Internet Media Team

I am now on my third website since launching in 2008. In 2011 I invested in my second site and took the leap of faith to pay for a bespoke designed site because I thought having a good site would make me stand out. It cost me £2500 and it didn’t work.

Something in the communication broke down.

1. The web designer was a graphic designer with little or no marketing skills – beautiful, beautiful graphic with no focus or purpose.

2. I was still evolving my programmes and they were not fully established – I ended up representing what I did not what the client got.

Then to add salt to the wound the company closed down 6 weeks after launch so having spent all that time building rapport and the partnership I felt quite abandoned.

My faith in web designers had been jaded, my faith in my own ability to communicate what I wanted had been challenged and my bank account stretched to its limit. I hated my site and I felt trapped.

how to improve listening skillsThat was until I met Adam Judd of Apollo Internet Media  whom I have named my Website Guardian. Adam joined my BNI chapter 12 months ago – every week he would share a top tip and we would have one to one’s to get to know each other’s business and the more and more I listened the more I knew this was a web designer who actually knew about marketing and he knew about security.

By now my WordPress site had been hacked 3 times and I even had the pleasure of sex tapes on my home page for a day. The time it took me to rebuild was valuable time I could have been following up potential clients.

Step by step as he shared his pearls of wisdom my confidence to invest time, effort and money into a new site again grew.

We started working on the site in Feb 2015 with a planned launch for May 2015.

However it was not right so ‘we’ postponed which means I postponed and Adam went with the flow.

The best way I can describe the process was like a skilled and smooth dance routine. Adam is a confident leader, he has clarity of what works for him and how best to represent your business professionally. Adam is the polar opposite to me in that he says everything with a few words and the Adam look – 🙂

How to improve listening skillsOutsourcing and trusting someone to do work for you is a bit like learning to dance together. As many of you may know Mark and I are having dance lessons which started when my BNI chapter bought us some vouchers.

What we have learned is that both he and I needed to know the steps before he could lead and I could follow.

My website disaster was a great lesson in making sure I knew the steps. Doh!! Step 1 Clarity…what do I want the site to do?  The whole process also taught me all the things that didn’t work about a partnership with a website designer and I was able to express what I wanted and needed upfront.

 

Once I had started working with Adam I felt absolutely confident to follow his lead. Adam is the perfect gentlemen – patiently and firmly leading the way – no matter how many times I trod on his toes he would calmly and patiently lead me through the next phase of development.

A Man That Listens

And probably the most important part for me is that he listened to me. He was not so set on doing it his way. He knew the limits of his team, he knew what he believed in and he listened to what I needed from the site and he always came back with a solution that collaborated his best practices with what I wanted.

He gave me his professional opinion and he trusted mine.

Confidence 

Having greater confidence in myself was a big bonus and working with someone that was self assured meant that we could negotiate any obstacles with ease.

 

Adam’s advice

Adam’s strapline is “Producing websites that simply work” and he definitely has delivered a site that does that.

Security

Adam is passionate about protecting your business with a high level of attention paid to security which is really important if your site actually works. If you get business every day from your site then every day it is down you lose business.

I didn’t have to worry about security before because my site didn’t work. Now I have a site that works I recognise the importance of increased awareness of security let alone the time I will save not having to rebuild a hacked site.

Update and refresh

A different mindset about websites. When I was first making the decision to face the website design process again I was feeling like I had to get it right and that this site had to last if I was going to pay out again.

Then Adam said that his clients invest in updating their sites every two years. That meant I only had to get it right for the next two years. So I have already planned for the new update in 2017 and this time it will be something I look forward to doing, instead of putting off and putting off.

Is your website working?

Does it generate business?

Are you proud of it?

Is it secure? 

If you know your website isn’t working and you have been putting it off and putting it off please do give Adam a call.

And you can check out what a great site he produced for me here.

In case you didn’t see what my old site looked like here are some screen shots.

Screenshot 2015-08-10 17.11.35Screenshot 2015-08-10 17.12.40

 

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 despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

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

Sheryl openly shares an easy to adopt communication tool kit that will transform the way you think and train others to listen. Sheryl will be your strength and solution detective until you have fully trained your inner critic and those around you, to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you to be the best you can be.

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

Day 8 – Hard To Explain – Summer Writing Challenge

how to improve listening skills Day 8 – 31 day Summer Writing Challenge supported by Karen Williams of Self Discovery Coaching 

So today I got up at 7am – I think… I hesitate because I am not entirely sure I even looked at the clock – I did however have an overwhelming urge to scribble lots of ideas and notes down and just didn’t want to be disturbed until my head was empty. I put this sign up and locked myself away in the office before I had even had breakfast or anything to drink. I wrote with coloured pens and paper and I kept writing until all the thoughts were out. Continue reading Day 8 – Hard To Explain – Summer Writing Challenge

Day 3 – Summer Writing Challenge – How To Avoid Distractions?

how to improve listening skills Day 3 – Summer Writing Challenge – Book “Training him to listen and her not to nag”

Today is the first ‘proper’ working day so the writing is having to fit around normal work tasks. Mark is working from home, Liam doesn’t have work and my daughter is also on holiday from work. I am going to have to be clear about my priorities – me thinks!! ( no idea why I felt it necessary to say me thinks and not I think …nerves perhaps) Continue reading Day 3 – Summer Writing Challenge – How To Avoid Distractions?

Competitive Versus Collaborative – Which Do You Need To Grow Your Business?

I am always curious about what individuals need to work at their best in a group and the decision making process they go through deciding whether to speak or not. What I have come to believe with every fibre in my body is that competitiveness may work for sports and yet for society the only way forward is collaboration.  With this thought in mind this video provides some interesting information to support that thinking.

Why it is time to forget the pecking order at work?

What about you? What are your thoughts about competitiveness versus collaboration?

If you get that it makes sense to develop collaborative groups/teams/relationships the question is how?

How do you motivate and manage individuals to be collaborative?

How do you encourage them to be better without competing with each other?

I believe the answer is the way you listen. When you listen and ask questions that honour everyone’s opinion and view point you give the group the opportunity to self organise.

And that can start with you today.

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 despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

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

Sheryl openly shares an easy to adopt communication tool kit that will transform the way you think and train others to listen. Sheryl will be your strength and solution detective until you have fully trained your inner critic and those around you, to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you to be the best you can be.

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

Tracey Hickson – Divisional Team Leader –

how to have more fun in businessWhat was happening just before you decided to work with step by step listening?

My 18 year old son had dropped out of life and although work was going well it was slow.

Which sessions have you experienced?

I attended one to one’s for about 18 months via telephone which were a welcome chance to take time out for me, to explore my thoughts and work out what I needed to do now for my business/family/myself. They allowed me to gain clarity, confidence and insight.

I also attended Power Groups by phone which allowed me to work on my stuff in my own space and it was great to hear that everyone had something that worries them. It was useful to listen to the process of understanding, whilst working through my own thoughts.

Motivate manage and mentor was a great opportunity to learn how to help others help themselves. It was great to have the chance to practice asking solution and strength focused questions with others to gain understanding of their use and power.

What happened? What were the results of the sessions?

At work: 
I have confidence that the methods that have helped me be successful for 11 years are the right ones for me and that I don’t need to change to be like others.  I have also seen areas that I have maybe neglected and have seen the benefit in working on those.  Within 2 months I had 3 more leaders in my personal team and was much closer to my business goal.
At home: 
I have looked at what my son needs to grow and what I can do to aid that.  Letting go has been hard and emotional; but the results have been amazing –  almost immediately the atmosphere at home softened and my son will now eat and chat with us, join us at family events, ask for guidance or help and has started to take more responsibility.
Personally:
I am much more relaxed – this was actually pointed out to me by a good friend who at that time didn’t know I had been taking part in one to one sessions, but has now done some training herself! I do feel that I can let things go without feeling responsible for everyone else’s life!

If you were to recommend this programme to a friend what would you say to them:

I have recommended this programme to many friends who have taken my advice and signed up.  I say to them that “it is time for you to explore your own solutions, no-one dictating to you what you can and can’t do – but finding out for yourself by hearing your own words and exploring what your words mean to you”.

 

 

30th November -0001 Case Study
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How To Train Your Family To Support You?

how to improve your listening skillsShirin is an up and coming pop star that has been working with Step by Step Listening since July 2013.  Shirin is very focused on her dream and works with us to plan various tours and album releases. This video is just before her Asia tour in the summer of 2014. Like like all business owners she knew she had to keep herself motivated no matter what happens and like many businesses the music industry can be an emotional rollercoaster. With this in mind she started working with us to give her clarity and to maintain her confidence to make it happen.  Continue reading How To Train Your Family To Support You?