Training Partnership with RGM for Momentum South West

Training RGM

A new team at RGM

Momentum South West are delighted to be training RGM, Rebecca Garrett Media.  This exciting new partnership supports the continued growth of the Account Management team.  This week alone, RGM has welcomed 3 new staff to the business.

Training RGM Team

RGM work with some of the biggest media brands in the UK, including Cosmopolitan, ITV and Mumsnet and it’s vital that all customer facing staff understand how to offer highly targeted and effective media campaigns, as well as provide an unrivalled customer service.

An exciting training partnership

Rachael Howourth of Momentum South West has joined the RGM team this week to cover a variety of topics.  The training was designed to help get the new recruits off to a flying start.  Topics such as How to Understand Your Customer, Overcoming Challenges and Delivering Customer Value and ROI.

Training RGM

The training has been very practical and interactive. The team have been encouraged to share best practise and learn from each other, ensuring that all of their previous experience will benefit the RGM wider team, and of course their customers.

If you’d like to find out more about joining the RGM team, get in touch with Rebecca here.

To book a free consultation with Momentum South West, you can select a convenient date and time here.  Alternatively, call Rachael directly on 07980 910316 or email enquiries@momentumsouthwest.co.uk

 

2 ways (guaranteed) to dig your business out of a rut

Communication Skills Devon

I’m sure you know exactly what I mean by ‘business rut’.  We’ve probably all been there.  A fog has come down over your strategy.  You know something needs to change but you can’t see the wood for the trees.  The hamster wheel just keeps on turning and you want to get off?

“if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”

So here are the 2 things that are guaranteed to re-energise, sharpen your focus and dig you out of your business rut.

1. Spend time with your Customers

Mix it up between customers who’ve bought from you previously as well as customers who are still in the buying process.  By making courtesy calls, or better still, inviting them for a coffee or bite to eat, you show that you care and want to understand what engaging with your business is really like from their perspective.  They will tell you things that you didn’t realise – we often get so close to our business that it’s difficult to be objective.

Ask for honest feedback on what improvements you could make in the business.  You will most definitely come out of the experience with new ideas and clarity on how the business can climb to greater heights.

2. Spend time with your Staff

Ok so you might think that you do this already, but I’m suggesting real quality time.  Invite your key team members for dinner one evening, or start the day with a team breakfast.  The key to making this time different to the normal time you spend together, is how open and honest you are.

My advice would be to share exactly how you feel – explain that things are just ticking along right now, and you feel as though the business might be in a rut.  But most importantly, explain that you need their help to identify key change initiatives.  You need them to share thoughts and ideas on how to accelerate business growth.  They’ll be sure to tell you about any systems and process that are less than perfect.  They’ll also have ideas on how to improve  customer service and engagement.  They might even have ideas for new products and services that they feel are in demand.

They’ll love your honesty and respect you for it.  You’ll gain their complete buy-in to the new plans that you make.  A stronger team will be born.

Best of luck…. Hope you found this useful.

Find out more about Business Coaching here.

Handle pressure like a superstar!

handle pressure
Are you aware of how you handle pressure?

We all handle pressure differently don’t we; some of us find a bit of pressure quite motivational, whilst others feel the weight of the world coming down on our shoulders.

Here’s a few things which might help you spot the times when you need to handle pressure.  Plus a few tips on how you might handle it positively….

Self-awareness.  Know your triggers for pressure.

What happens to you under pressure, both physically and mentally?  How does the feeling of being under pressure manifest itself?  For example, do you suffer interrupted sleep or go off your food?  Does your concentration waiver and you find yourself gazing into space?  Or do you become a busy fool running round the office trying to do everything but actually achieve very little?

Whatever your individual triggers are for becoming aware that pressure is mounting, you need to be self-aware.  Think about yours now and write them down.  You may even want to discuss them with people close to you so that they can add any observations they might be aware of.  Pressure affects everyone.

Stand back and take a moment.

So, you’ve become self-aware and spotted that pressure is building up.  Take a breather.  Stop.  Stand back.  Watch yourself as if you’re having one of those out-of-body experiences.  What do you look like?  What advice would you give yourself?  Focus in on what really needs to happen to alleviate the cause for the pressure.  Not the peripheral things, the real core of the issue.  What is it?

Find a rock and trusted ear.

Ok so now you’re aware of the way pressure is showing up in your life and you’ve taken a moment to focus on the core issues.  Now you need to find someone to share it with.  Don’t take the burden all on your own shoulders.  The person you choose, should be somebody that you trust to give you clear, unbiased advice, even if it’s something that you don’t want to hear.  Someone honest, who cares about you.  When you’ve decided who it is, pick up the phone and invite them for a coffee.  Chat it through, and ask for help and support.  Don’t be shy, don’t feel like a drain on their time – remember they care about you and will undoubtedly want to help you.

Take action.

You’ve now done everything you need to do to release the pressure, other than the critical task of taking action.  Your rock has given you food for thought and you’ve talked through what your next steps should be.  Maybe you now need some expert advice, for example, like meeting the bank or the accountant.  Or maybe the action involves other people you work with and you need to discuss the next actions with them.  Or it might just be up to you now.

Whatever the action needed is, take the steps, even if they are baby ones.  Keep a note of what you’re doing so you can check progress.  And the biggest thing to remember is… give yourself the praise you deserve for overcoming your challenges.  Pat your wonderful self on the back, raise a glass and remind yourself that pressure creeps up on all of us, but you’ve handled it like a true star.

Best of luck 🙂

 

 

8 Steps to Giving Feedback Like a Pro

Feedback

Do you find it tough giving feedback?

Many business leaders shy away from giving feedback.  I guess they think that it could be a tricky conversation, or that the person won’t want to hear it.  But it’s a myth that feedback is a negative conversation.  Giving feedback on something which has gone really well is a great way to re-enforce what’s worked, so that it can be repeated.

Giving and receiving feedback is a very powerful tool in the workplace.  And employees can come away from the conversation feeling more empowered and enthused than ever, to do a great job for you and your business.  And if truth be known, most people just want to hear the truth.  They want their boss or colleagues to be 100% honest with them.  Let’s face it, hearing the truth is so much better than feeling like you’re being talked about in the board room, or that HR have your name written down on a naughty list somewhere.

Nobody comes to work to do a bad job.

Nobody comes to work to do a bad job – I’ve always believed this to be true.  And I’ve always believed most (a very high percentage) people’s intentions are good.  So knowing that staff want to hear the truth, and that they really do want to do the best job they can, means we just need to get really good at having conversations where quality feedback is given.

Your team will thank you for being good at giving feedback.

So here’s my checklist to help you plan your next ‘honest conversation’:-

  1. Make sure you are having the feedback conversation in an appropriate place.  This will depend on a few factors but getting the venue right, can make or break it.
  2. Be timely.  Don’t wait weeks to have the conversation.  Same day is best.
  3. Be factual.  Only base your feedback on your own observations (not those of others – that would be considered ‘hearsay’)
  4. Give examples.  Be precise about what you’ve observed.
  5. Explain the impact.  “I felt this way” “The customer found you to be..”
  6. It’s a two way conversation.  Ask for comments and discuss it openly.
  7. Make a plan for avoidance.  “Next time, I’d like you to…”
  8. Show appreciation (if applicable) for their professional approach to hearing something that they weren’t hoping to hear.

I hope this helps you on your way to being awesome at giving feedback.

I’d love to hear how it goes….

Maybe you could give me some feedback…. I’m always happy to listen to ideas on how I can improve.

Find out more about Momentum South West here.

Top 10 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

We’ve all got goals.  They may be huge life-changing goals or just mini-milestones.  But we create them to help us reach our ambitions and fulfil our potential.  Or to lose a few pounds (or stone!).  Or give up smoking, or drinking or other vices.

Well it’s over a month past the date when you made your New Year resolutions.  How are you getting on with achieving those?  Struggling?  Oh dear, don’t get disheartened.

I’m here to help.  I thought it would be a good idea to share some tried and tested techniques for keeping motivation levels up!!

  1. Set yourself rewards – each milestone you reach deserves a little prize.  You could make a monthly reward schedule, even build an advent-calendar-esque type chart.
  2. Create a mood board – visualise the achievement in pictures as well as words.
  3. Go public – organise a little get-together with your chums where you all share your goals and dreams for the year ahead (no wine of course – you’re trying to give that up…or is that just me?)
  4. Create an Urgent and Important matrix and plot where each item fits – this will sort your priorities and kick your butt a little
  5. Write to yourself – pop your goals onto paper and into an envelope.  Make sure you clearly outline what you wanted to have achieved and how you’ll feel when you’re successful.  Then put the date on the envelope that you’d like to receive the letter and ask a trusted friend to post it to you.
  6. Book a day in a spa (I do this a lot anyway) – Instead of reading a book by the pool, review your success and any outstanding goals.  Be honest with yourself though, if you’ve done a rubbish job, then give yourself your best disappointed face and do something about it.
  7. Talk to yourself on the treadmill.  Grab your mobile and hands free set and start walking (not too fast!) and start leaving yourself a voice note.  Tell yourself details about the goals – why they’re important etc.  Trust me, when you listen back to it, it’ll really jolt you into action and being on the treadmill keeps the energy high.
  8. Set alerts in your online calendar – make it random so you can’t start taking them for granted and then ignore them.
  9. Do the classic ‘wheel of life’ exercise with yourself.  It helps you focus on what’s really important.  Or call me and I can help you with it.
  10. If the above aren’t successful for you and your goals haven’t become achievements in the next few months, then you need a coach.  Call me.  I will get you there.  My mobile is 07980 910316 or email me at rachaelhowourth@icloud.com.  I’d love to help you out.

GOOD LUCK!! 

6 ways to boost staff engagement…

We all know that retaining staff who you’ve spent years training and investing in, is vital if you want to keep your recruitment costs down, as well as develop a business full of talented staff.


However, a recent Forbes survey says that only 30% of staff on average are truly engaged, meaning that 70% are not.  Those who are not engaged are undoubtedly the most likely to flap their wings and take off to pastures new, leaving you to cover the workload, interview, induct, pay recruitment costs, induct, train…. 


Here’s my thoughts on how to make sure your staff feel engaged, enthused and invested in:-

1. Transparent leadership

Be as open and honest as you can.  Share your vision and values.  Have well aligned messages across your management team, backed up with purposeful action.  Share progress.  Share success and give praise along the way. Tell your team ‘why’ you are so committed to the business and in turn they will engage with your dream


2. Promote collaboration

Invite your employees to take part in activities that make them feel involved.  Run a workshop to build future plans.  Encourage talking rather than emailing.  Have a lunchtime discussion group and give the group important topics to feed back to you on.  Showcase the ideas that you actually use in practise so that you keep motivation and participation high.


3. Give trust and ownership

Let go whenever possible.  After all, you’ve built a team of talented people. so let them use their talents.  Once you’ve given direction and knowledge, allow your people the freedom to shine.  Nobody comes to work to do a bad job.  If a mistake only happens once, it’s not really a mistake.


4. Make sure every staff member has coaching time

All business leaders are time poor, meaning that spending quality time with the troops is often pushed to the bottom of the list.  Even when a monthly 1:1 manages to stay in the diary, the agenda is often task focussed and not dedicated to helping the team member overcome their work challenges or achieve a particular goal they have.  A great coaching session results in solid action plans being built, as well a the right level of urgency and commitment to making things happen.


5. Ask for feedback

Whether it be a large-scale formal employee survey or just asking over a cup of coffee, your staff will really feel valued if you ask them how they think things are going, and what more could be done to improve things.  It shows you care and value their views.


6. Say Thank You

I don’t need to explain this one.  Say it.  Not too often, and not flippantly, but with sincerity. 

Top Tips on how to be a great coachee

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have experienced great coaching, you’ll know that the results can be staggering.  And even life-changing.

But I want to let you know, there’s a few secrets to it being successful….

The coach plays (or should play) a very minimal part in the whole process.  It’s all about what YOU, the coachee, bring to the party.  Yes, the coach will ask you lots of questions and encourage you to open up about your ambitions, challenges and obstacles, but there’s so much about the whole experience that rides on what YOU bring. You.
Right at the start of my leadership career, I’d set my heart on a promotion.  I really thought it was in the bag….sadly it wasn’t.  I still had so much to learn, and secretly I knew that, but it didn’t stop me from being ultra-disappointed when I heard those dreadful words “sorry, but you didn’t get the job”.  It was a bad day.  I even wrote my resignation.  But luckily I only emailed it to myself (a little tip given to me by the best mentor I’ve ever had – but I’ll tell you about him in a future blog).  Instead of resigning, I decided to run towards personal development and to cut a long story short, my boss invested in an external coach for me.  I was very lucky.  Working with that coach was a pinnacle moment for me.

He stretched my thinking, challenged me and made me see things totally differently.  I opened up about what I really wanted to achieve and built a plan to get it.  Bear in mind this was over 10 years ago and I still use some of the techniques he taught me, even today.  But now that I reflect on the process I went through back then, it was actually me who was driving it all.  My determination to overcome the defeat of that (gggrrr) promotion was so strong, that I threw my energy into being a great coachee.  I dug deep and worked really hard to make progress in between each session, practising what he’d taught me in real life situations with my team.

To be a great coachee, you need to:

  • Bring it!  Your attitude is critical to the success you’ll achieve.
  • Be honest.  Don’t answer questions with what you ‘think’ your coach wants to hear.
  • Be patient.  It’s a journey of discovery.  There’s no fireworks on day one so hang on in there.
  • Be open to being wrong.  A good coach will challenge you and help unlock a new truth that will help take you forward.
  • Work hard.  Not just in the monthly session with the coach, but in between sessions too.  Take good notes, list out your actions and put them into practise until they become a habit.
  • Keep your eye on the prize.  Be really clear about what you want to achieve.
  • Feedback to your sponsor or stakeholder.  If your boss is footing the bill for your coaching, feedback to him/her on how it’s going and the value he/she will get from you going on this journey.
  • Be committed.  See it through to the end and you’ll discover a new YOU.

Good luck.  Hope you found my story and tips helpful 🙂

PS. If the boss who rejected me for that job is reading…. don’t worry, I forgave you long ago xx