Empower your people from within

Many people feel powerless and frazzled in challenging situations. As an HR practitioner, you can play a huge role in changing this situation. If you have read my article Take charge of your life you know how to increase self-efficacy and help people operate from an internal locus of control by:

  • Believing they can have an impact
  • Monitoring and managing their internal dialogue
  • Turning off their automatic ‘Yes’ reactions
  • Finding new ways to do things
  • Now let’s look at some higher-level strategies you can use to foster emotion regulation in your business

Recruit for self-efficacy

Ideally, you should hire employees who already have a good sense of self-efficacy and strong internal locus of control. How do you do that? By asking probing questions, posing hypothetical situations and using robust psychometrics. Find out how candidates handle setbacks and challenges. Ask about their emotion management strategies, not just their job skills.

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Assert your boundaries

Difficult people invade your boundaries play psychological games. In doing so, they use predictable verbal attack patterns. Learn to respond to verbal attacks calmly and assertively, by using 3 critical rules of verbal self-defense by watching this video.



Beware the boundary invaders

Boundaries keep you safe

Have you ever felt uneasy, anxious, or just plain at the end of a conversation with a difficult person? Chances are you were dealing with a boundary invader. This is someone who invades your psychological space in a way that makes you feel violated or uncomfortable. 


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Everyone’s an expert these days

Have you noticed how popular the word “expert” is becoming on social media profiles? My quick search of LinkedIn has just yielded a result of 885,170 results for people using the word expert in their profiles. Many of them fail to explain exactly what their expertise is. For example, among the top 20 people who appeared in my search, six use the format “Expert at (company name)” as their profile headline. Four use the format “(very broad topic) expert”, for example, “digital expert”. This haphazard use of the term is rendering the label expert meaningless and that poses a problem. If you are genuinely an expert in your field, wanting to showcase your technical or professional mastery, you need to overcome this problem. I recommend that you begin to behave like an expert, rather than simply relying on labelling yourself as one.


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Beyond keywords – write to impress humans, not computers

Type ‘keywords’ LinkedIn into Google. What do you see? Your first page of search results will include three types of article. Firstly, keyword and search engine optimisation advice. Secondly, a list of verbs to include in your profile. Thirdlylist of words not to include in your LinkedIn profile. While this advice will help candidates get their profiles through automated candidatescreening processes, it won’t help them make a great impression. This is because the principles that make for good search engine optimisation are the opposite of principles of influential language use.  


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Think Positive: Five Steps You Can Take Today

If you’ve been told ‘just think positive’ you probably know how hard this advice can be to take. I’ve worked with thousands of people who want to be more confident and more positive. There are five things I know can help you ‘think positive’ in an easy and natural way.

When you hit problems, shift into solution-finding mode

I’m a big fan of being solution focussed. This means taking your attention away from the problem and looking for ways to solve it. There are five principles to keep in mind here:

  • Resist asking ‘why’
  • Ask ‘how can I solve this?’
  • Focus on coming up with as many potential options as you can
  • Be creative.
  • Turn off logic while you brainstorm.

Taking this approach will program your unconscious mind to generate lots of ways of sorting out the problem. The more often you take a solution focussed approach, the easier it becomes to think this way. Read more

5 Habits of Confident Negotiators

Power-up your negotiation skills with tips on how to feel confident when negotiating. Learn five strategies to heighten your influence during negotiations. Find out how to define your outcome before opening a negotiation. Build a back-up plan that will strengthen your position.


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