Tag Archives: stress reduction

Stress and Anxiety: Is Your Office a Bully Free Zone?

According to the memoirs of former British prime minister, Tony Blair, ‘A Journey’, he writes that he felt bullied by his chancellor, Gordon Brown.

 

Being bullied tends not to be openly discussed in case this increases the risk of further ill-treatment, and because the victim often feels ashamed to discuss it with colleagues in case his/her professional credibility is called into question. Even the mildest form of intimidation may be very disturbing, and, if prolonged, the effect on the victim can be severe.

 

A bully will typically shout and verbally abuse victims publicly, in order to confirm his/her control and will often allocate tasks which they know the person is incapable of doing.

 

How can victimisation be avoided?

 

Individuals who are being bullied have a number of options including confronting the bully; contacting the HR department [if available] or complaining to the bully’s immediate superior.

 

In reality, however, the victim will often stay and keep silent or, alternatively, if they are so unhappy, they will end up leaving their job.  If possible, talking to a colleague can help, but in the end it is up to the victim to take action.  

 

My advice would be to confront the bully immediately, and in a direct but quiet way that does not escalate the situation, i.e. so that the bully does not become further incensed to a point whereby he/she will want to exact revenge.

 

My clients often tell me that informal complaints are usually met with little or no  response. While a complaint of bullying or intimidation is very often difficult for managers to resolve, an indication that the complaint is being taken seriously is welcomed by staff who have expressed concern over a bullying situation.

 

As people are often reluctant to discuss being bullied, managers need to be sensitive to the telltale signs, and know how to act when they see them. Undoubtedly the most effective intervention is the training of managers to help them ensure the quick resolution of such disputes between their staff. Quite often, managers do nothing simply because they do not know what to do.

 

It is also clearly important that employers recognise the impact that bullying can have indirectly on the morale of the entire department concerned, as well as on the individual employee. In particular, a formal document detailing policy and procedures should be in place to deal with issues of workplace bullying and/or harassment – as this indicates unambiguously that the organisation takes the issue of intimidation seriously, and provide a mechanism for dealing with complaints, both informally and formally.

 

Bullying is unacceptable in the modern workplace and no responsible company or organisation should be seen as condoning it.  The health of employees is important, and that includes both physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Have you ever been bullied at work?  Leave your comment in our column.

 

Key Points about Bully-Free Zone

 

·    Bullying destroys staff morale

 

·    A demoralised workforce is less productive

 

·    Bullying and intimidation must be reported

 

[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Keynote Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for charismatic, high-impact workplace stress management presentations and organisational change strategies. See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX  

Or check-out our latest ideas about stress help, instant acces to stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L  and stress management training aimed to reduce stress and delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, Dubai, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

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Motivating Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

It was a pleasure to be back in Dubai last week, and the positive mood from the commercial sector was perceptible.  Company outgoings have been streamlined and I now hear the word ‘consolidation’ increasingly being replaced by ’growth’. 

The presentation I delivered entitled ‘Release the Hidden Entrepreneur in You’ at the Big Idea event was a resounding success.  Aspiring Entrepreneurs presented their business ideas to a panel of judges, of which I was one.  The creativity and innovation delivered from the platform certainly demonstrated to me that entrepreneurship is the keyword, not only for the winner who deserved his award but for all the finalists.   

Entrepreneurship is the prime factor that will bring about a quicker economic recovery in the region as a whole, and in the case of Dubai, will bring about a turnaround in commercial and industrial activity.

Entrepreneurs bring innovation and life to the workplace with new ideas and an energy and enthusiasm that is communicated to the entire workforce. In all countries and all societies there are those who lead and those who follow, and commercial activity needs both to attain sustainable success.   Dubai, in particular, has been a good example of this over the past fifteen years as a sleepy fishing port has been dramatically transformed into one of the world’s busiest tourist destinations and a commercial hub for the entire Gulf region and beyond.

A case study

I talked to Khalid Al Kamali, an 18 year old  student – who is also a UAE National Snooker and Billiard Team player – and his thinking was refreshing and insightful.  Here was a young man studying for law but with a passion and drive for the chosen recreational sport in which he excels.  Khalid maintains that you cannot be successful if you don’t have the right attitude and mindset.  To be so young and yet have such a clear vision and focus will certainly take him to where he wants to go in life. 

The future for Dubai, and the UAE, is certainly bright if we use Khalid as our example. A young man with a strong belief system who lives and breathes his personal goals.

‘Motivating Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow’ is my mantra, and after my visit here last week, it has been strongly reinforced by the optimism I encountered for the future, in so many business people with whom I talked.

I will be returning to Dubai during Global Entrepreneurship week, from 15 – 21st November, when it is estimated that 7.5 million participants will take part in 32,000 events in over 100 countries around the world, exposing people of all ages to quality entrepreneurial experience.  Now, isn’t that a perfect example of the world pulling together? 

Key Learning Points

  • Entrepreneurs bring innovation and life to the workplace
  • Entrepreneurial attitudes and mindsets will bring about sustainable growth
  • Global Entrepreneurship week takes place from 15 – 21st November.

Do you have an innovative idea for tomorrow’s business world?  Leave your comment in the column.

[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News]

Book Keynote Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, BBC guest-broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference for charismatic, high-impact workplace stress management presentations and organisational change strategies. See Carole live http://bit.ly/TUWbX  

Or check-out our latest ideas about stress help, instant acces to stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management training aimed to reduce stress and delivered to blue-chip clients from IBM to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, Dubai, UAE and worldwide at www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

Starting a Small Business: Carole Spiers understands the stress of a launch

There’s no stress like it, that four-in-the-morning feeling just after you’ve taken the plunge.

Suddenly you’re having to market your business  –  or not eat!  So you can see why our one-day Bootcamp in small business marketing  –  ‘Turn Your Passion into Profit’ www.turnyourpassionintoprofit.co.uk   –  is crucial for providing the factual advice you want, as well as the general reassurance you need.

In the company of other entrepreneurial players on the brink of a new launch, you’ll learn the amazing truth of just how far you can get on a virtually nil budget.

And you can get this essential marketing support in the form of a packed day of marketing solutions, techniques, tips, questions-and-answers by charismatic speaker Carole Spiers. Publicity, promotions, networking, TV & radio, crucial updates on internet marketing. All the key launch-questions about target markets and how to reach them on a minimal budget. You’ll never hear such immediately usable ideas for marketing.

 Small Business Marketing  –  summary

  • The moment of launching a business is a highly stressful experience
  • You need the backup of a one-day Masterclass in marketing solutions
  • Meet others in the same position  –  share their marketing insights

P.S.  If  you want to uncover the REAL truth behind marekting on a zero budget, then join us at our ultimate one-day marketing bootcamp.  www.turnyourpassionintoprofit.co.uk

Another key insight from Carole Spiers, Entrepreneur, Marketing Expert, World Authority on Executive Stress, Motivational Speaker.

Book Carole Spiers as a guest speaker for a high-impact presentation on proven stress management strategies. Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8954 1593 or email info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.

 

False victims who add to a manager’s work stress

Unscrupulous employees can exploit ‘victim status’ to claim unlimited rights that put unnecessary pressure on managers, setting up stress symptoms that affect executive health.

Whole decades of human-rights legislation have set up the strongest incentives for people in disagreement with their employers to establish victim status.

Once classified as a victim, you are in a sort of religious sanctuary, where everyone speaks in hushed whispers, and any scrutiny of your claims is viewed as uncaring and somehow indecent.

I once had to counsel the manager of a furniture workshop, who had been fooled in this way by a junior designer on his staff. This man would pretend that his wife was suffering from a dangerous condition needing expensive treatment that he could not afford without getting into spiralling debt. The company took pity on him and lent him the money interest-free, as well as giving him limitless time off. After a few months, he announced that she had died, and that he would need more time off, to grieve. In fact, he simply moved on to the next design-group and pulled the same trick.

Sure enough, this man had identified his special status as the office victim, and was playing it for all he was worth. He knew that the manager would be reluctant to investigate the situation with any thoroughness. To make it even easier, he knew he was working in an industry with a casual culture, where checks were not likely to be made with previous employers.

Eventually he was caught by chance when one of the firm’s suppliers, who was familiar with this man’s sob-story, went for an interview in another furniture workshop, where the boss told him about a junior designer with a tragic family situation…

When the whole story came out in one of the Sunday papers, my client’s credibility suffered (though most people were sympathetic to him), and the humiliation affected him badly.

I reminded him that you must exercise necessary vigilance on this point, demanding reasonable proof that the situation actually is what it seems. Then you are free to apply that particular mix of business and human judgment that marks out the effective manager.

Have you heard…?
…of someone exploiting victim status in an unscrupulous way?
Tell us what happened – or just what you think and feel about common workplace situations like this.

In our readers-comments box. Now.

Book Motivational Speaker and BBC Broadcaster Carole Spiers in person for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8954 1593 or email info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from Bank of England to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at http://www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk


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Motivational Speaker Carole Spiers says … How first-time freelancers risk the stress of overwork

Going freelance is meant to relieve the stress of full-time work. But without proper time management, the temptation to overwork in exchange for instant earnings can ratchet-up the pressure, which then hardens into serious stress.

The excitement of setting up your own business for the first time can lead to serious levels of overwork. It is clearly very difficult to resist the temptation of burning midnight oil for guaranteed extra income.

I used to give regular seminars for a big chain of jewellers, and made friends with one of the craftsmen who engraved names on sporting trophies. Eventually he was able to set up his own business, where he was immediately offered as much work as he could handle. At forty, he was his own master for the first time, and he told me of the sheer exhilaration of being able to increase his income just by working longer in the evenings.

He became mesmerised by this, proudly forecasting how soon he would be able to afford his first luxury car, his first fitted bathroom and so on  –  provided he just stayed at that bench for those longer and longer sessions.

It didn’t turn out like that. Too many late nights started to affect the quality of the workmanship, and business began to drift off.

This gave him a double problem, in addition to a possible midlife crisis. First, the suggestion that he might have lost his touch (very serious in a craftsman). And second, that he might have turned out to be the wrong kind of character to run his own business  –  also a bad blow to self-esteem.

As I knew him quite well, I was able to persuade him to accept some counselling on these issues. I told him bluntly that he had got tunnel vision about all that overtime, and failed to get it in proportion. This meant he was probably not suited to self-employment.

However, I thought it was unlikely that he had lost his touch on a permanent basis. I suggested he should start again as a full-time employee at another jewellers, working nine-to-five. And there I was glad to see he regained his freshness and flair.

Meanwhile he had learned that working twice the hours does not deliver twice the output (or earn you twice the money).

Have you heard…? 
…of someone tempted into overwork by the prospect of higher earnings.
Tell us what happened  –  or just what you think and feel about common workplace situations like this.

In our readers-comments box. Now.

Book Motivational Speaker and BBC Broadcaster Carole Spiers in person for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies.

Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8954 1593 or email:  info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products http://bit.ly/FjL5L and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from Bank of England to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at:  www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

Motivational Speaker Carole Spiers says … Relieve the stress of a merger with credible claims

Reduce the inevitable stress of a corporate merger by avoiding unbelievable claims about ‘Business as Usual’.

I knew one young HR Manager who effectively invented ‘Uncertainty Management’ as a new branch of stress management.

They had risked appointing Philippa as HR Manager of one of the UK’s biggest tour operators, although she was only twenty-four. But then, within weeks, the worrying rumours started; apparently they were due to merge with an even bigger organisation.

This was going to be a real test of HR, especially Change Management. The inevitable redundancies. The shuffling of whole departments, with new faces, new job-functions and titles. And of course, the huge customer-base, wanting confirmation that their holiday-bookings were still valid.

When the first few people came knocking on her door, her instinct was to talk reassuringly in terms of ‘Business as Usual’. But she soon realized that this was the lazy way out, basically a bluff that would soon destroy the vital credibility that she had yet to build up at her young age.

In her previous job, she had attended one of my newer presentations ‘Change is your Opportunity for Growth’  whose sub-text was ‘Build a believable vision of a corporate future’. At this crucial moment, she remembered some of the key messages about credibility.

So instead, she shifted the emphasis to ‘delivery as usual’, on the basis of manageable short-term projects. This was accepted as much more realistic, and the atmosphere of disorientation and distrust quickly began to ease.

A high degree of candour and confidence was encouraged, with no empty promises about job security, but investments still made in recruitment, coaching and staff development in general, so that people were kept busy and excited about their role in the business. Standards of executive dialogue improved dramatically. In particular, the HR department itself became recognised as an industry leader and role-model when the merger finally went through.

Without realizing it, Philippa had effectively invented a new HR capability ‘Uncertainty Management’.

Have you heard of someone having to convince the sceptical about corporate trustworthiness? Tell us what happened  –  or just what you think and feel about common workplace situations like this.

In our readers-comments box.  Now!

Book Motivational Speaker and BBC Broadcaster Carole Spiers for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8954 1593  or email:  info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products at:  http://bit.ly/FjL5L  and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from Bank of England to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at:  www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk

Motivational Speaker Carole Spiers says … The taint of suspicion can cause long-term stress

An innocent person wrongly suspected of crime is susceptible to the most intense stress effects, owing to the lingering feeling of self-betrayal. As this keynote speaker explains, this traumatic experience strikes at the roots of identity and self-respect.

I worked with a woman in the promotions department of a big magazine group, who was helping to update a list of the names, addresses and phone-numbers of the top 20,000 earners in the UK in the last few months before she retired.

Near the end, she was allowed to work part-time at home, which was her retirement cottage deep in the country, where her own computer was equipped with a link to the office.

When her retirement date came, this link was discontinued, but her manager had forgotten to demand the return of all the data-assets to which she had had access  –  including that extensive database which could have been worth a great deal of money indeed to the mailing houses.

There had been some bad cases of data-piracy within the company, and the firm’s old security chief had been fired for failing to prevent it. Meanwhile the new one had been told to make a point of cracking down on this kind of corporate theft in the most public way.

In the middle of a small lunch-party at her cottage, there was a loud knock on the door, and it was the security chief in person, accompanied by a policeman, demanding to examine the contents of her computer.

That was enough of an embarrassment. But of course when he found this valuable file still on her system, he acted as though she was guilty of theft, and she was made to feel that she must prove her innocence.

This caused her to suffer serious shock, and she was in a bad state for nearly a year  –  too nervous to drive, paranoid about burglars, and inhibited in her relations with her husband. It took months of post-trauma counselling to restore her emotional balance.

There are better ways to ask questions in a crisis  –  with ‘Crucial Dialogue at Critical Moments!’  –  just one of Keynote Presenter, Carole Spiers’ presentations that have decisively changed attitudes and mindsets!

See Carole live at: http://bit.ly/TUWbX

Book Motivational Speaker, BBC Broadcaster and best-selling Author, Carole Spiers in person for your next conference, for a charismatic, high-impact presentation on proven stress management and organisational change strategies.

Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8954 1593 or email:  info@carolespiersgroup.co.uk.

Or check-out our latest professional stress reduction products at:  http://bit.ly/FjL5L  and stress management services delivered to blue-chip clients from Bank of England to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in UK, UAE and worldwide at:  www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk