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Archive for category: Business Growth

Why Concrete and Coaching Don’t Mix

Why Concrete and Coaching Don’t Mix

Following on from a coaching session with one of my Clients yesterday it got me thinking about the concept that concrete and coaching don’t mix.

My Client is a Civil Engineering Contractor and is wanting to take his business to the next level so we’ve been having regular coaching sessions to look at what actions he needs to do to grow his business and maximise profits.  When he first contacted me he didn’t have any headspace at all, it was full of all of the things he knew he needed to do and deal with but didn’t know where to start and he was very stressed.  We use the word stress a lot, it’s a feeling that we have but what does it mean?  It’s basically when perceived pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope.

Fast forward a few sessions later and he’s getting clearer but a couple of weeks ago I went to site to do the session as planned and he was having a disastrous day, the concrete pour was not going well and the water had managed to disconnect itself somehow.  That day we cut the session short so he could deal with the issue but that prompted me to share with you a couple of tools you can use to help you get more headspace.

The first one is to breathe.  Sounds a bit daft to say that as we need to breathe BUT, this is called the 7/11 breath.  It’s a technique I was taught on my coaching course and used many times as a Project Manager when I felt stressed and pulled in lots of different directions.  I used to take myself off to the ladies and practice breathing in for 7 counts and breathing out for 11.  Do that a few times and it really does calm you down.  When you get stressed it shuts off the  part of your brain that thinks creatively which is just what you don’t need in that situation.  Next time you feel yourself getting stressed, try it and let me know if it works.

The second tool is simple, when you’re mind is full, write it down.  The short term memory part of your brain acts like the RAM of a computer.  It keeps storing things that keep going round and around your head like an unclosed loop.  If you don’t find a way to close the loop you can literally go loopy!  Every time you tell yourself ‘I need to do this, I must sort that’ but then you don’t do anything with it, your short term memory stores it, and the more things you tell yourself, the fuller it gets until you may feel like your head could explode.

So, get a piece of paper and have a massive dump, a brain dump I’m referring to, just to be clear!  When you write things down that signals to your brain that you’ve closed the loop and it empties it from your short term memory.

Both tools are simple but effective and I hope you find them useful.  Enjoy the rest of your week and I’d love to know how you get on if you use them.

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What I’ve learnt from Ronan Keating, Pipes and Ferrero Rocher

What I’ve learnt from Ronan Keating, Pipes and Ferrero Rocher

Now there’s two words you never expected to see in a construction related blog?!

It’s been a while since my last blog but whilst I’m a bit dusty, I’ve not been idle. Since then I have started my own business and spent the last 18 months out in the field working with construction companies, growing their businesses and supporting their people.

I’ve been voted in as Chair of the East Midlands Construction Industry Council and appointed as the Construction Ambassador for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership covering the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area.

Anyway enough trumpet blowing!

One of the things I enjoy most about what I do now, is that it gives me a lot of “on the ground” intelligence of what is really happening in our industry both regionally and nationally and more importantly what companies are doing to make a difference. And the good news is I am going to share what’s working and what isn’t over the coming months.

Right… back to Ronan Keating. 20 years ago the lovely Ronan, wrote the song, ‘Life is a Rollercoaster’ and never before has a song described our industry better.

When recession hits and we go down the dip the redundancies start and the training and development stops. We are now coming out of recession and whilst some companies have gone into headless chicken mode and are recruiting and expanding, some are still cautious and wary of taking the risk. Which is where the pipes come in……..!

One of the biggest barriers to growth is lack of visible pipeline, if you don’t know what is coming up, how can you plan let alone pitch for it? This was a hot topic for the Construction 2025 strategy and Greater Manchester have led the way in publishing regular pipeline data which has now been extended to cover the North West. The information produced in a pipeline report looks ahead at the next 5 years, what skills are needed to deliver and where the gaps are.

And finally…. does anyone remember the Ferrero Rocher Ambassador’s party advert?

As part of my post as Construction Ambassador for the D2N2 LEP I am co-ordinating the delivery of a D2N2 construction pipeline analysis which we are launching at an event on 10 May in Derby. Whilst I can’t promise I will be handing out a mountain of gold wrapped little pieces of heaven (they are my favourite chocolates), there will be bacon sandwiches.

If you’re in the construction industry in the East Midlands and interested in growth and finding out what support is available and what is happening regionally, you really need to be there. For an in-depth view of what will be covered in the event click here.

To book this event click here.

I hope to see you there on the 10th, I promise I won’t be singing Ronan Keating (unless of course there is Forrero Rocher on offer)!