Last week I organised and spoke at the Thrive Yorkshire Business Growth Conference.
I facilitated a discussion on Thriving. I deliberately chose to focus on ‘the self’ as often in our busy 24/7 lives we tend to forget about the most important asset –ourselves.
We can learn new skills, acquire knowledge about marketing, sales and how to be more effective on social media – but we also need to learn about ourselves. About how we can be more effective, at our optimum and practice self care.
There are many things that can help you to Thrive from having the support of a mentor to meditation. I chose and focused on the 10 below
10 things that can help you Thrive
1. Know yourself
Business success does not just depend on technical expertise, skills and knowledge. How you conduct yourself, your ability to communicate, build relationships, the way you interact and lead all play a significant part in your overall effectiveness, performance and success.
Within this there is one quality that trumps all, and that is self-awareness, the foundation of emotional intelligence.
Improving your effectiveness starts with being aware of your strengths, values, what motivates and drives you and what your preferred style is.
Your values give you clarity and focus on what is important to you. They act as a moral compass, a guide in how you prioritise and spend your time.
Knowing your strengths is about recognising where your talents lie and putting them to use. Your strengths are unique to you and are more than just things that you are good at. Your strengths energise and engage you.
Being self aware helps you to identify your preferred style – how you behave, communicate, interact and relate to others. This is crucial in business which is built on relationships – be it with your staff, customers, clients, suppliers, distributors, peers ….
When you know how others see you, you can take actions to improve, modify or adapt your behaviour. Here you might find out things that you do well but also areas that you need to work on, do more of, less of
2. Know your direction of travel
This does not need to be lengthy but one which can reviewed and used as a living document and not one that gathers dust in a draw!
Having objectives goals and targets gives you something to works towards, to aim for, to track and measure yourself by.
If you have staff, engage with them so that they know where your company is heading and the ways in which you intend to get there. Tell them how the business is performing in the competitive environment, what changes and developments are afoot. Don’t let them guess.
The more you share, the more valued your staff will feel and will develop a better connection with the business. Help them to see the bigger picture and how their roles contribute to this and the bottom line. Show them the link between their daily efforts and how this contributes to the success of the company.
3. Grow your network, connections and build relationships with a wide range of people. It will help to expand your influence, increase your visibility and you will always have someone to call in time of support and help. A ‘go to ‘ person is a powerful one
4. Keep your focus laser sharp by minimising distractions: Be present, in the moment, give your full attention to the task in hand. Work off line when possible and limit your time on social media, put your phone on silent and check your emails at set times
5. Go beyond your comfort zone: try out new things, stretch yourself, don’t be afraid of failure
6. Learn to delegate, outsource: You cannot do everything. Outsource smaller and less important tasks and concentrate on what you do best
7. Manage your actions and energy (time) You know when you work best and are at your optimum. Tackle your challenging tasks when your energy levels are at the highest. We all have the same 24 hours, how you choose to spend it makes the difference. Focus on what is important and helps to move you closer towards achieving your goals and ambitions
8. Develop a positive approach: be grateful for what is present in your life, challenge and replace unhelpful thoughts with more encouraging ones , look for the good in situations, stop hanging out with negative people, be mindful, meditate
9. Learn to say NO: be focused on your values, your priorities, your goals. Implement a 24 hour period before making commitments. Keep it simple, there is no need to give an explanation. Be direct, say it with grace and confidence and not as an apology. Keep practicing
10. Exercise regularly and get enough sleep to help you re-energise, sharpen your thinking and be at your optimum.
What would you add? What would be your no. 1 tip?
What helps you to keep flourishing?
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I have worked with SMEs on behalf of Bradford & Leeds Chambers of Commerce, the Goldman Sachs 10k Business growth programme, Growth Accelerator, Net315 and in my own consulting practice.
I am a part-time lecturer in Leadership, Chair of Ilkley Business Forum, Ambassador for Women on Board and a non-executive director at the Thackary Museum.
Follow me on Twitter @verawoodhead and connect on LinkedIn