Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Client Feedback.....

Thank you for your kind words Maja and thank you for your business. 
To your continued Career & Life success www.louisenevin.com


Louise Nevin
Career & Executive Coach 
Coaching for Career, Business & Life Success
"Procrastination is the thief of time" 

Contact: 0851650798
E-mail: louise@louisenevin.com

Monday, October 26, 2015

'Making the big leap to management' as featured in the Sunday Business Post 'Career Moves' section

Enjoyed writing this piece for the Sunday Business Post, 'Career Moves' section.

'Making the big leap to management'

Creating a good momentum within the first few weeks in a new management role is critical, small strategic action steps in the short term can make a significant impact on long term goals and quality of results. Often new managers, struggle with a number of aspects including, getting up to speed with the company culture, understanding departmental processes, diagnosing current challenges and long-term opportunities for the organisation.
The first 3-6 months are a crucial period in establishing yourself as a credible and influential leader within the organization and gaining the respect and support of your team. How you handle both yourself and key relationships plays a big factor in management success or failure.

The team dynamics change and it’s important you make the transition from peer to manager as smooth as possible to engage your team and maintain confidence in your new role as their leader.  One of the best ways to quickly establish your credibility as a manager is to meet with your team initially as a group and schedule 1-to-1s with each individual member. While it’s important to translate your vision and your plan to manage the team, initially thread lightly, it’s vital to really listen to your team from the onset and recognise individual effort. There may be disappointed competitors who now feel de-motivated working for one of their former peers. Clearly indicate how you value their expertise and that you will support their further development and genuinely have their best interests at heart. Be authentic and nurture existing relationships on the team, simple recognition coming back to people regularly acknowledging their good work, builds trust and support.  

A shift from ‘doing’ to ‘managing’ starts with setting clear expectations for both the team and yourself. New managers often forget they have a team of highly skilled people they can assign tasks to but instead they often continue to do everything themselves. Some managers also experience the fear of losing control or authority; this approach unfortunately leads to burnout and micro management. Remember the team are also adapting to the change in management style. Your team and the success of it are often a direct reflection of yourself, take responsibility, manage and lead with clear expectations and your team will respect you for it. Recongise good work and find ways to let people help you. Delegating tasks to the appropriate people is one of the most important skills you can develop as a new manager. Identify team members who have relevant skills to complete a variety of tasks easily and quickly and let them know how much you appreciate their help. This frees up your time, particularly in those early weeks for high level activities such as planning, thinking, networking and reading, which are often pushed to the side when you’re ‘too busy’ getting to grips with the new role.

One of the main things I hear from managers is they are focused on the short-term ‘to-dos’ at the detriment of long-term strategy. I suggest clients conduct a regular ‘Check-in’ every 3 months; ask yourself questions to monitor progress, reflect on achievements, build strategic networks, explore next steps aligned to business objectives, define actions required and engage the help of others. This allows you to both reflect on your successes to date and strategically plan ahead.
One of the models I recommend for managers taking over a new team or a poorly performing one is Bruce Truckman’s five stages of group development including ‘forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning’. This model assists managers understand what stage their team is at, what they need to do to move the team through the various stages and identify actions to optimise the team’s performance. The model can also be used in conjunction with your team, allowing for open and honest communication, collective idea generation and overall team recognition and goal achievement at each stage.
As the Storming stage suggests, there is often tension, conflict and confrontation between people during this phase - I encourage managers to focus on the task at hand, while increasing both their own and the team’s levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Responding appropriately to the emotional needs of others, determines your self-awareness as a manager, resolves conflict, and increases collaboration and co-operation.  

Have some fun – managing a new team is serious stuff but it’s also important to add some humor. It’s OK to be witty once it relates to the job, never make it personal. Humor is a leadership character trait, which used professionally can put people at ease particularly where there is tension on a new team.

Moving into management isn’t easy; it takes responsibility in raising standards for yourself and others, continuous reflection on your development and the ability to inspire others - good Management development essentially creates great Leadership. 

Louise Nevin is a Career & Executive Coach – helping professionals and executives transition successfully into Leadership and Senior Management positions– see www.louisenevin.com

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Interview Preparation - Don't leave it to the last minute!

'Hi Louise, I've an interview tomorrow morning would you have an appointment available?.... is a frequent request I receive for interview preparation, often at the last minute. Of course I try to accommodate people where possible, however we all know cramming before an important event doesn't always produce the desired results! Albeit many of my clients still succeeded at interview within 24hrs of an appointment, I do however encourage people to get in touch with sufficient time to fully utilise the coaching tools & techniques well in advance of the interview - Preparation is key!

Think about it - what did it take for you to become highly skilled, in any aspect of your career and life so far? Generally a lot of preparation and consistently practicing the skill to finally become proficient, reaching what we call an 'unconscious competence' in your ability. Through consistent preparation and practicing the task at hand, you probably reached a point where you no longer had to think about it, the former daunting task almost felt comfortable and natural to you. Like a lot of things in life, preparation and practice are key when it comes to optimising your performance at interview. Many people do however over 'perform' at interviews, which can be down to nerves, not being fully confident in your skills and experience for the role, or a lack of structure when answering interview questions. This can unfortunately be perceived by the interviewers as 'theatrical' or disingenuous. Candidates need to come across naturally at interview and demonstrate a good 'fit' in the organisation. Advance preparation and consistently practicing using coaching tools allows you to increase your confidence level and demonstrate authenticity, conveying someone who is genuinely interested in contributing to the organisation. This allows the interview panel envision you in the role, effectively managing the requirements for the job and fitting in well on the team. Following a structured format when answering interview questions, particularly Competency Based Interviews, keeps you focused and reduces anxiety if and when the interviewer probes for more detail and further examples. This is where I see a significant improvement in clients, where previously they were going off topic or getting 'stuck' on how detailed their answers should be they now have a simple formula to follow.

Researching everything you can about a company and having a commercial awareness about upcoming challenges for the industry is important. However many candidates often spend so much time researching answers to these questions they omit to focus on a key component - Know Yourself! This piece is vital when preparing for that all important 'Tell me about yourself?' question. It's often the first question at an interview and I'm always amazed when I see interview candidates bumped off course with this one. Some interviewers will want a short and concise overview, similar to your CV Profile, while others may want to know more about the 'real' you. The interviewer is looking for that all important 'fit' from the onset. While others will want to get straight into understanding your specific job related strengths, skills and key qualifications. You need to be able to tell a compelling 'career story' that grabs the interviewer's attention and tailor this to the style of question. Not an easy task if you haven't spent time reflecting on or sharing key relevant components of your career story in a long time. It's the one question you can prepare for well in advance and it's a great opportunity to set the tone of the interview.

Consistent practice and preparation are key to success at interview (and almost anything in life), this way you ensure you work towards achieving the best 'fit' for both the employer and most importantly YOU.

Discover the benefits of Interview Preparation Coaching  

"Before meeting with Louise I was lacking confidence in my ability to perform in interview settings. Louise provided me with excellent guidance and insight on how to answer interview questions in a structured and effective manner. She also helped me to highlight my key qualities and how to communicate them in an interview situation. Louise is an excellent coach and a joy to work with, she is so enthusiastic and takes a real interest in her clients. I'm so delighted I got the job, Louise's advice and guidance really did help me and I was a lot more confident after our interview session, which showed at interview. Thanks for all the help." 
Majella - Dublin (Post-Primary Teacher) 

Louise Nevin
Career & Executive Coach 
Coaching for Career, Business & Life Success
"Procrastination is the thief of time" 

Contact: 0851650798
E-mail: louise@louisenevin.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

'A brand called 'You' ....Evening Herald Personal Branding Feature

I was recently interviewed by Katie Byrne, journalist with the Evening Herald, for an article on "Personal Branding’.

Katie: Is personal branding important?

Louise: Yes, whether you’re looking to enhance your career prospects, actively job hunting or a business owner seeking new opportunities, in today’s world of work it’s important to create strong, positive personal branding both ‘online’ and ‘offline’.
Do your ‘offline’ actions align with your ‘online’ brand? A potential employer or client will ‘Google’ you to check out your ‘online’ presence, being congruent with this image when meeting them face-to-face will give them confidence in what you can do for them. People trust people and not always the 2 page CV, LinkedIn profile, product or service, so it’s important in tandem with working on your ‘online’ presence to raise your brand on a more personal level. Attending seminars, networking events and contributing your expertise where possible helps compliment your online brand and connect with people in a genuine and authentic way.
Essentially your personal brand is what people buy into and when potential employers or customers see this strong brand you have for yourself they can vision how it can support their challenges, problems or current needs.

Katie: How can one identify their personal brand?

Louise: Your personal brand is ‘Who You Are’ and ‘What You Can Offer’ and how that is portrayed is crucial to your success, career or otherwise. You need to be able to describe to employers, customers, what you can offer them and where you can add significant value, genuinely building trust in your brand is key. Identifying your personal brand is about clarifying what matters most to you and where you can make a difference, it takes time. You need to identify the challenge or problem you can help with and where you can uniquely improve the situation, for example, when seeking a new work opportunity ask yourself, what are the employers key areas of challenge or concerns? And what can you contribute to improve this that uniquely differs to the completion?
Other questions you can ask yourself are;
·       What do I have to contribute that is unique?
·       What service do I have to offer and whom have I helped to date?
·       If someone could only use 1 or 2 words to describe me, what would they be?
·       What area, department, organisation am I best positioned to work with and why choose me? (list your skills, strengths, qualifications, direct experience, key connections etc).

Katie: And can one go too far? Eg photographs of themselves on their CVs and Power Point presentations of their sporting achievements.

Louise: Perception and personality is key – so keep your ‘online’ and ‘offline’ brand consistent. When people read your website, blog, CV, LinkedIn profile etc they get to know you, visualize you in the job, assisting with their challenges etc. so don’t be someone different when they meet you. You might look great at a recent event or wedding but do avoid photos on LinkedIn that may portray anything other than your professional image and brand.

Potential employers and clients want to trust you’ll be the same person they bought into on paper or via social media so build that trust by being consistent in your ‘offline’ life.  

Louise Nevin
Career & Executive Coach 
Coaching for Career, Business & Life Success
"Procrastination is the thief of time" 

Contact: 0851650798
E-mail: louise@louisenevin.com

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"How to take Constructive Criticism on the chin" - Stellar Magazine

"Constructive criticism when delivered in a supportive manner can help raise your self-awareness, increase confidence in your abilities and improve overall performance.On the other hand destructive criticism is targeted directly at the individual in a negative way, pointing out faults, rather than collaborative solutions, which can be perceived by more sensitive individuals as a direct attack on them personally. If you are regularly on the receiving end of destructive criticism it can lower your confidence and self-esteem, create stress or cause aggression."............
To read more of my feature for Stellar magazine click here: Stellar Feature here!

Louise Nevin
Career & Executive Coach 
Coaching for Career, Business & Life Success
"Procrastination is the thief of time" 

Contact: 0851650798
E-mail: louise@louisenevin.com

Thursday, May 2, 2013

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Clients often tell me "I'm in a comfort zone and I don't know how to get out".  Well they have come to the right place as this is something I work on with most coaching clients.
We often realise that something has got to change, our careers have become stagnant, we may have inner frustrations or feel like we are on automatic pilot in our daily lives. However fear of failure or a lack of confidence in our abilities keeps us stuck inside our comfort zone. We often choose to stay within a zone that is familiar to us, one where we know what to expect. But the question is "what are you saying NO to by staying inside your comfort zone?".
A big fear for many people is dealing with the "unknown", not knowing what to expect is something most of us are faced with at some stage in our careers and lives.  When my clients are dealing with an unfamiliar situation, I encourage them to practice the following; at first keep it simple and make just one simple change every day - in 30 days you've made 30 changes, in 60 days that's 60 changes and in 3mts you've made almost 100 changes to your current situation, that's got to make a difference! Little by little they become more knowledgeable about the unfamiliar situation. Each day they learn something they didn't know the previous day. For example rather than spending hours alone researching on the internet try speaking to someone who can share their expertise and provide specific information. This way you close a knowledge gap, widen your network and it can be a more effective use of your time. Clients who commit to this one step every day tell me how their confidence grows, their fear diminishes and they are excited by the progress they make. Where once they felt overwhelmed, stretched and challenged by their goals, they begin to see how consistent steps taken on a regular basis builds a steady momentum. They feel more confident in their abilities and become more creative in their approach to challenges. Perhaps it's taking on additional responsibility at work, where once you refused you now see it as a route to more opportunity or by getting more involved in an outdoor activity you will increase your health & fitness or widen your social circles. Successful people step outside their comfort zone, experiment with new ideas and take small steps every day (short-term goals), which brings them closer to long-term fulfillment. The first step is to start moving out of your comfort zone and into one that may initially feel more scary, yet in reality it's far more exciting!
Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone? What are you going to do & when are you going to do it? 

The Comfort Zone
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission cheques and such.
I claimed to be so busy with things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile;
Success is there for you!

                                                                                    Author Unknown

 "Coaching for Career & Life Success"

Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 New Year's Aspirations for a New You!

2013 - New Year, New You!
"Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?"......

The New Year is not that far away and today is as good a day as any to start planning your goals for the next 12 months.
Instead of writing a list of resolutions (that you won't keep anyway!), try and identify a couple of new year's aspirations; goals you can create or achieve that will make a positive difference in your life this year.

TIP: Write a "New Year's Aspirations" list. 
  • Think about the things you can do to make 2013 a standout year on both a personal & professional level. 
  • Start by writing up to 20 things you would like to do this year that will make a positive difference in your Career & Life.  List goals and aspirations that will push you out of your comfort zone and stretch & challenge you for the better this year. 
The personal achievement you get from completing each goal on your Aspirations List creates momentum and personal commitment, helping you overcome any obstacles you meet along the way.

What would you like to create or achieve in 2013? 
Are You Ready? You don't have to wait until the 1st January....Start Now!

Would you like to find out more about what Career & Life Coaching can do for you?
Call Louise on: 085 1650798 or e-mail: louise@louisenevin.com to book a session.
Alternatively use our contact page to get in touch.

"Coaching for Career & Life Success"
Contact: 085 165078