How to create personal development plans that actually WORK!

Most people don’t really have a real plan for their personal growth…. well not one they believe in and utilise anyway.

This is because many of us don’t create development plans that compel us towards our goals.

Here are some ideas on how you can create a personal development plan that will actually help you improve and grow:

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Simply the best leadership book for those people progressing into their first leadership role.

Advice from over 300 leaders, in over 30 separate sections, so you can just pick-up and read the advice you need, when you need it… without having to read the whole book!

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How to play to your potential

So many of us want more from our lives…
We know there is more…
We know we can be more…

Yet we fail to live to our potential. We compromise. We take what we have rather than reaching for more.

Here is why that should never be the case anymore:

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Simply the best leadership book for those people progressing into their first leadership role.

Advice from over 300 leaders, in over 30 separate sections, so you can just pick-up and read the advice you need, when you need it… without having to read the whole book!

BUY IT HERE NOW!

How to make a positive impact on everyone you meet

I always used to get very anxious about wanting to make a good impression with everyone I met.

My anxiety made me nervous, sleepless and stopped me being my natural self.

Then I learnt about the tactics I share in this video… They REALLY helped me and maybe they can help you improve your impact with others also (even if your don’t suffer from anxiety)

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Expert advice from over 300 leaders across the globe. An essential buy for new leaders everywhere.  BUY IT HERE NOW

Great leadership is made up with the small things, that you probably don’t even think about.

Am I always asked “what is great leadership?”

And if I am honest, this can be a complex question to fully answer, as each leader (and follower) has differing perspectives and approaches.

But there are some basic things that followers want and need…. and followers are the people who decide if you are a great leader or not!

These things can seem small, but do have a big impact on the way followers think and feel about your leadership… Do these and you are on the path to becoming a great leader:

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Expert advice from over 300 leaders across the globe. An essential buy for new leaders everywhere.  BUY IT HERE NOW

Why Choose Leadership?

What is leadership really?

And is it worth the effort?

In this video I share my ideas about how leadership differs from management. The challenges this brings and the wonderful benefits that come if you get it right.

What do you think about this idea? Please let me know in the comments below…

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The BEST leadership help book for emerging leaders everywhere:

Get it here!

How to make difficult conversations easy

“He has asked me for a pay rise and I just don’t know how to say no.”

This was what I was asked in a coaching session earlier today. The person I was coaching is an established, credible and senior leader within her company.

The fact is, no matter what leadership level you sit on, difficult conversations are… difficult.

We will all encounter difficult conversations within our lifetimes, whether we are in a leadership role or not. So it is best to be prepared when they ultimately arrive in your life!

Here are four simple ideas, that if implemented successfully, will improve the output of any difficult conversation you have to orchestrate:

Remove Emotion

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The number one factor of why difficult conversations turn into a verbal car-crash is… Being emotionally driven.

By definition, a challenging conversation will be emotive for at least one person (probably both people). As the instigator of the conversation, you will have adrenaline coursing through your veins. Your emotions will feel like they have just stepped up a gear, as your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. This is not helpful.

What is helpful is to, in a calm and mindful manner, focus on the facts. Rather than focusing our energy into how we feel. By doing this, the conversation has a good chance of remaining factual and real.

Reality is vital if you want a positive outcome to the discussion!

The single best way to lower your emotional levels before a difficult conversation – Preparation.

Understand the facts and rehearse the conversation. Physically practise saying what you want to say. The more you practise, the better you will get and the less emotional you will feel! Therefore, even if you have adrenaline pumping through your veins at the moment of truth, you will still be able to deliver the facts in a calm manner… because you have rehearsed it perfectly.

Also, it is powerful to rehearse the conversation with a focus on service.

When the conversation priority is a positive outcome for all concerned (not just a positive outcome for you!), you will have to alter your style and become less defensive. This approach has great benefits – it will lower the defences of the person you are talking to, thus lowering their emotional levels and it will enable you to talk in a frank and factual way, without it appearing as an attack.

A good strategy for a difficult conversation!

Understand you don’t know everything

You only know your facts… that is all.

When you understand this, it will allow you to focus on conclusions rather than delivery.

What I mean by this is that it is far better to be focused on a positive outcome, rather than being singularly focused on getting your side of the story heard.

So many people go into difficult conversations, bursting to say their piece. Bursting so much that it gets fired out like a machine gun… a surefire way to ruin the rest of the conversation.

If you enter the conversation with your main priority as a positive action resulting from it… then you will be more likely to listen… you will be more likely to understand… and you will be more receptive to the right course of action.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

Henry Ford

 

Make sure your facts are facts

This is the oldest advice in the book of giving feedback, but there is a very good reason for this… because it is true!

The bottom line – Your facts have to have been observed and checked by you, if not you are setting yourself up to fail. The moment you rely on second hand information, the conversation will spiral out of control.

Again this is why preparation is so important. If you don’t do your homework properly, you are asking for trouble.

Give time and space

a_god_of_time_and_space__remake__by_cherryorchid-d6xum80.pngI have seen people utilse all the advice above, but then all that great work is destroyed with this common mistake… a tight time limit on the conversation.

You can make great strides, but if you have to cut the meeting off because of something else you have booked in to do, then you may as well not have bothered starting the discussion.

To rectify this you should plan and prepare for the discussion to go twice as long as you anticipate. If it is difficult for you, then it is difficult for them. Show them respect by giving them the time and space they need. They probably haven’t done all the preparation you have, so give them the opportunity to work through it properly.

If you do this, you automatically get two benefits:

  1. Shows that you are interested in them and a positive outcome, which will reduce their emotional levels.
  2. Allows autonomy – You give the person the time to come up with the right response, through their own judgement rather than emotion – 99.9% of the time they will develop a brilliant solution.

Putting it all together

We will all have to face difficult conversations in our lives… and they are going to be difficult!

You can make them much easier if you plan and prepare

  1. Remove the emotion, rehearse and aim to serve.
  2. You don’t know everything, so focus on outcome rather than saying your bit.
  3. Ensure your facts have been observed by you.
  4. Give time and space to work it through properly.

Beating Depression

It is at this time of year that I tend to reflect on my life more than usual – I think deeply about who I have been, who I am now and why.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a very different person than I am now – In fact, almost three years to the day I was lost… lost in the fog and mist of depression.

You might know about my story, I have mentioned it in other posts… how I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, 50lbs overweight and utterly miserable – these were just the outward signals of the dark disease which was growing inside me.

I cannot accurately describe how I felt during this time… it was as though a cruel, oppressive and hurtful entity had been absorbed in every pore of my body and mind.

It felt separate from the “real” me, yet it was all consuming. I felt like I was drowning. It was scary and there didn’t seem like there was anyway out.

However there was a way out. I did escape, I haven’t fallen back, I never will – and I learnt some important lessons:

  1. Depression is very real and has to be taken very seriously. It is a disease and we should treat anyone caught in the midst of it with the same compassion and care as we would with any other physical disease.
  2. It is possible to recover from this disease.

If you have been caught by depression, please get some professional help – I can offer my advice on how I recovered and hopefully it can help – however, nothing can beat professional support, especially if depression’s claws are in deep.

The way I managed to free myself will sound simple – I decided I had to change and I started taking positive actions everyday.

I realise this will sound over simplistic and unrealistic, but it is true – I was in a desperate situation – I had to change, otherwise the consequences would have been the darkest possible.

When I made the decision it felt impossible. I had no idea what to do or where to start – what possible action could solve something as big as depression?

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The thing is that is what depression wants you to think – depression wants to grow – and the perfect conditions to grow are in a static, absorbed and defeated individual..

On the contrary… I found that depression cannot grow when positive action is consistently taking place.

Success is “consistency”

It is not about one grand action that will rid you of depression forever. That is unrealistic and will make you give up when it doesn’t happen immediately.

Instead it is about momentum – lots and lots of small but positive actions to improve your situation. They can be tiny steps, but when you keep on adding more and more, the momentum becomes unstoppable.

Going for a walk in nature, writing down some goals, making the call, reading the chapter of a book, meeting with friends, seeking professional help and applying for a job… keep taking small actions.

None are the antidote to depression on its own, but together they will slowly remove the conditions for depression to grow.

As the momentum builds, so will you and so will your mind – The fog will start to lift and the oppression will be defeated.

Take positive action – any action, no matter how small… just do it consistently, don’t expect immediate results and you can change your life… I did.