Resilience – Spring Cleaning….


The New Year is now well established, those resolutions have kicked in (or not), spring is bursting forth and with it comes the urge to regenerate. But before we get the broom out, let’s review and reflect upon what 2016 has brought us so far. Note the low points and relish the high ones but, as an exercise in resilience, we should also celebrate the experiences and mark our gratitude for their addition to our store of learning: gratitude is a key attribute of resilient people. Who would you like to thank for the past couple of months? There must be someone. Why not go and do it – like a spring clean? Send a quick text, email or a message on FB.



We can now turn our attention to the long days and months ahead, planning and reviewing our purpose and values so as to ensure that our goals and ambitions are aligned for the rest of the year. Having a plan is another key attribute of resilient people. If you’ve not examined your values before or want a recap complete a psychology test, 123test is just one of the many free tools available for you to try.



So, look back and review, look forward and plan – but never at the expense of the present. Resilient people are also mindful: they are aware of – and keen to enjoy – the present, the here-and-now.   And if mindfulness is new to you, a good place to start is to check out Headspace (other sites are available).


And so, over the coming months, be grateful and have a plan, but don’t forget to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. Happy spring time!


If you would like to learn a bit more about resilience and gain some practical tools about getting more out of your life in 2016 why not join one of our half-day workshops?


The Author: Rachel is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years both in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past seven years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field.

Working on the right things

Are You Working On What’s Important?

Are You Working On What’s Important?

Are you working on your rocks or have you allowed the sand and pebbles to take over? If you find that analogy bewildering I apologise – essentially, are you working on one of your major objectives or have interruptions hijacked progress towards your main goal?

Some of us are more prone to distractions than others, some of us even find it difficult to say no when others ask something of us, which is of no concern to us at all. But lets start at the beginning – what is your goal? It’s so easy to get sucked into the whirlwind of just getting all of the day-to-day tasks done, that we often forget to even think about the bigger picture and this way lies madness (or burn-out).

I’d like to encourage you to think about what your overall objective in life is – seems like a big question? It is, and without answering it we are likely to drift through life, never knowing why we are doing what we are doing. Not a good career move!

If you don’t know what your fundamental values are, try using the Values Generator Tool, (if you would like to do this exercise to find out the ‘why’ for your company please contact me and I will happily send you another tool to do this). Another exercise I often do with my clients is to ask them to write the eulogy they would like to have read at their funeral – read by someone who knows them very well and can recount the important, character-defining episodes in their life. This is not a morbid task, but one that really focuses the mind on exactly what is important to you. Having established what that genuinely is, they can then go forward, constantly asking themselves is their activities are taking them closer to their ultimate goal.

Having decided on your goal, the next thing is to start making things happen to take you ever-closer – but that’s for another blog!


The Author: Fran McArthur is a business coach, trainer and non-executive director with more than 30 years of business experience. She works with executives, who lead businesses of up to £10 million/100 employees, helping them to achieve their goals with her practical, common-sense approach.


If you don’t feel equal right now to grasping the nettle and to make the necessary things happen you might consider joining our tow part Resilience for Business Leaders workshops running on May 5th and 26th – here we start by looking at fundamental values before moving on the a host of tools designed to keep you on top of your game.


Resilience for Business Leaders workshop-3


The first person to complete the contact form below will receive an invitation to attend our two-part workshop taking place in May, 2016 completely free of charge. Good luck


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Right first time

Getting the right person for the right job: first time!

Alright, I put my hand up. I am guilty of making badly judged appointments. There was the time I left it to my instincts and thought “he seems nice, so he will fit in with the team”. I was wrong. He didn’t stay long. Then there was the time I was more rational and thought “she has loads of qualifications, we can learn a lot from her”. Wrong again. She was a disaster.

Getting recruitment wrong obviously wastes time and resources and can be very disruptive for your operation, your team and the person you wrongly hired. That’s why I have made it my business to find out how to do it properly. It turns out it’s not rocket science – but it is scientific. If you need to recruit, you need to get it right, so take a look below at my top tips for a successful recruitment regime.

Top Tips

  1. Understand why you are recruiting. Take time to review your business overall and see where the gaps are. Don’t automatically look for a replacement that you just might not need.
  2. Ensure that you know and can define your business values, mission and vision. If you can’t, then you can’t look for a cultural fit.
  3. Compile both a job and a personal description to ensure you identify both the skills and the behaviours that match your business needs.
  4. Review and establish where is best to look for candidates LinkedIn, word of mouth, advertising, etc.
  5. Consider using an application form. This makes it easier to make fair comparisons: it also makes it harder for applicants to hide things that you might need to know.
  6. Prepare questions in advance, making them specific to the role and past experience – the same questions for each candidate and not hypothetical, which would allow answers to be merely ‘made up’.
  7. Take professional interview notes and keep them: they may be used as evidence.
  8. Ensure those carrying out the interviewing are trained to do so. It is a skill that can be learnt and it needs to be consistent.
  9. Insist on seeing original examination certificates. It is surprising how infrequently this is done, especially for professionals.
  10. Take written references and call the writer to verify validity. Former employers are often willing to talk on the phone “off the record”.

And then comes the induction process. But that is for another blog.


The Author: Rachel is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years both in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past seven years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field.