Do You Believe in ‘Happiness Hours’?

Happy people are the most productive

Happy people are the most productive

I totally endorse the new initiative from the Dubai Health Authority in introducing ‘happiness hours’ for hard working employees who complete their tasks to a high standard: the reward being that they will be allowed to leave work three hours early once a month.

Of course, the key to employee motivation with increased performance and productivity is dependent upon excellent management initiatives and good communications.

Provided that leaders appreciate and value their teams, then they will find they have a more engaged and inspired workforce who will always give of their best.

Phrases that increase performance and productivity

However, often the challenge is that many managers rarely know how to give praise and, therefore,  a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘you’ve done really well and I appreciate that’…is rarely said.

      'Thank you...','I appreciate what you have done','Well done'...

If managers bring this language into the average working day, they will find that they will have happy workers with enhanced engagement and increased productivity.

On the other hand, where employees feel like they are merely ‘a number’, then all the ‘happiness hours’ in the world will not help!

We know that managing people is not easy. If leaders don’t have the necessary vital communication skills, then they need to be trained to develop this skillset as part of their leadership portfolio.

Communications is key to a successful business! To motivate its workforce, the DNA has to train its managers, at all levels, to recognise that the company’s most important asset is its human resource.

Book Carole as a Motivational Speaker Now!  She will deliver a charismatic, high-impact keynote presentation at your next conference. 

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+ 44 (0) 20 8954 1593.


Building Virtual Relationships

Find out how to deal with stress

4 Proven Steps to Beat Your Stress!


I am a firm believer in the value of face-to-face communication. However, over the past few weeks, I have been impressed by a story of hope and support – that has resulted from an on-line relationship.

A tragic life change

Johan is a handsome, 24 year-old male client of mine who was a landscape gardener.  He was referred to me by his doctor after a serious car accident that has left him unable to walk and only able to move about in a wheelchair.  The challenges ahead of him are great.  He has had to give up his work, which has always been the love of his life.

For some years, Johan has been an avid blogger on social media and now has thousands of followers.  His blog has always provided a creative outlet for him after a day of being out in the open.  He has also written about his accident: how it has changed his life and how he can never go back into his much loved profession.  But he has blogged about his experience in a positive way; how he has been determined to overcome his disability, knowing that there were others far worse off than he.  Despite having frustrating days, Johan understands that he faces the same issues as others who have been permanently injured and this sense of shared identity has been crucial in promoting strong on-line relationships.

His many readers have developed a strong empathy with Johan and when his mother recently wanted to raise funds for an electric wheelchair, she made contact, via his blog, to his existing followers.  Within days, not only was the money raised for the wheelchair but also offers of job opportunities also came. Continue reading


The importance of being happy at work

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4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

On 20th March, it is The International Day of Happiness – an official day that is now celebrated throughout the world and was established by the United Nations in 2012.

The day recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well being of all peoples.


Key factors

Being happy at work is one of the keys to being truly happy in life as most people spend 20 – 30 years working which is about 30% of the average human lifespan.

There are, of course, many factors that impact professional happiness, including business relationships, professional development, work-life balance, environment and organisational culture.

Obviously, you have no control over whether your employees are happy at home but you do have some control as to how happy they are at work.  And if you don’t know if your employees are happy, then why not ask them? Continue reading


Are you Role Model to others?

“I wish I could be like you,” Gemma says to her father who is her idol and at the age of 10 years old, she is still in awe of him.  He has all the answers she ever needs and for her, he is her complete world for, at this time, he is her role model.Show Stress Who's Boss COVER FINAL Sept 2011.eps

Children develop as the result of their experiences and relationships and the automatic identification of role models plays a vital part in inspiring them to learn how to overcome obstacles that stand in the path of reaching personal goals.

So whether you, personally, are a parent, teacher or just someone who enters into a child’s life, you have the ability to inspire that child into believing in themselves to learn that they have the capability to make a difference. Do you set a good example for others to follow – either in the workplace or at home because role modelling encourages a behaviour-set that can lead to a more effective organisation and self-awareness? Continue reading


Is your business purpose-driven?

4 Easy Steps to Beat Your Stres

The Essential Guide to Managing Stress

I remember when I was a rebellious teenager, my mother would be the one to teach me the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and to reprimand me on my behavior.  She would ask if I did what I did on purpose or was it accidental.  The probability was that I just acted without thinking.  Now that I am (somewhat) older, I can see that as a child one can just about avoid retribution with this excuse.  However, after we reach our teenage years, that thinking is not really good enough and codes of behavior that include responsibility and accountability, become mandatory if we are to progress.  My mother was a very sensible woman and taught me that I must always be responsible for my own actions and also for the words that came out of my mouth.

So I very quickly had to learn that things don’t ‘just happen’.  They are usually planned through and then executed.

So let us apply that imperative into our business.  Does your department have its own (unwritten) mission statement so that everyone within it knows what is expected from them? Continue reading


Sticking to the basic tenets of corporate values

work stress, keynote speaker, how to deal with stress, anxiety, stress symptoms, signs and symptoms of stress, stress free, Show Stress Who's Boss!, carole spiers, stress management, stress & anxiety, symptoms of stress, stress management techniques, stress-free, stress symptoms, de stress, wellbeing, mental health

4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

During our childhood, we are usually brought up with social and cultural values that our parents hold dear and which are passed on to us.

These become the foundation stones for our future life and we tend to mix with those who share such values. Frequently, they determine who we choose to marry. However, sometimes our standards change as we grow older and we can find that there appears an incompatibility in our marital relationship.

Whereas, we were travelling together, suddenly we seem to be travelling apart. Sometimes our paths diverge towards different destinations.

I have been a marriage counsellor for many years and I have seen that with counselling support, differences can be solved, problems negotiated and destinations made unanimous — but only in some cases. At other times, it is with sadness and regret that some breakdowns are irretrievable and each party has to start afresh on an individual journey and with, may be, a new learning that comes from a greater sensitivity about others and about themselves.

This is in a domestic scenario, but let’s look at what happens in a workplace context? Continue reading


‘Have you got a minute?’ syndrome

work stress, keynote speaker, how to deal with stress, anxiety, stress symptoms, signs and symptoms of stress, stress free, Show Stress Who's Boss!, carole spiers, stress management, stress & anxiety, symptoms of stress, stress management techniques, stress-free, stress symptoms, de stress, wellbeing, mental health

4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

This is the moment you dread.  It is 3 p.m. and you have to finish a report before you leave the office.  Although it is a tight schedule, you know you can just about manage it.  But then, your schedule gets binned as your boss arrives next to your desk and says ‘Gavin, have you got a minute?’  You look at your screen.  You look at him.  He is waiting for a reply and what he is really asking is, ‘Are you doing something that is more important than me’.  You look up and say, ‘Yes, of course’ as he hands you a file for comment by tomorrow morning – which means  yet another rushed meal, a late night and too little sleep. Continue reading


Do you get that ‘last day of the week’ feeling?

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Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

According to a new study in the UK, British workers now switch off for the weekend at 2.29 pm! The research found that most of us wind-down long before going home time, with 59% admitting they take the last day of every week much easier.

Many admit to ignoring calls and messages in order to go home early. The British Airways study of 2,000 workers found that 61% wind-down earlier on the last day because they claim to have worked over their contracted hours during the week but insist their boss still gets ‘value for money’.

So, if there is really a ‘Friday feeling’ in the UK, then I guess the same goes for those who experience a ‘Thursday feeling’ in the UAE. Continue reading


Anger Management: Does Modern Life Make you Angry?

Traffic jams, supermarket queues, computer crashes or a crowded metro are all stressors that can upset us and make us angry. We become irritable with our colleagues and shout at our family and loved ones. We become obsessed with trivia and suddenly that which should be the lowest of our priorities, develops into the most important problem in our life.

This is because our expectations are such that everybody will be on time and everything will always work immediately as we expect it to.

The doctor’s appointment was at 9 am so why are we still waiting at 9.30 and consequently being late for work? Our computer unexpectedly crashed again although it was only ‘fixed’ yesterday and now that vital report will be late and we have to apologise to the General Manager!

These incidents happen around us all the time and because our lives are so finely tuned, it only takes one small thing to go wrong and the rest of our day can be ruined and our complete agenda disrupted. Then, all we really want to do is to go back to bed and start again!

When something goes wrong, we find ourselves trying to apportion blame onto others which may, or may not, rebound against us. Our emotions start to get the better of us and we lose control; our anger rises to the surface and the first person we come into contact with experiences our rage and disappointment. It is not a pleasant experience for either ourselves or our colleagues.

A London Daily Telegraph report recently cited a survey which found that 90% of people get upset by dealing with call centres while 50% become so angry when their computers crash, and they lose their work, that they physically attack them.

We all can get angry and there is nothing wrong with the occasional loss of temper. In fact, it is probably better to show our emotions rather than to keep them bottled-up inside. Continue reading


When Lying Becomes a Force of Habit

Everybody tells lies, or do they? They may only be ‘white lies’ and most of us do this at some time or tend to be ‘economical with the truth’. We tell ourselves that it doesn’t really matter and convince ourselves accordingly.

For example: “The traffic today was dreadful”, rather than saying we were late in leaving the office. “I really like that new suit you are wearing”, rather than saying that we really think it looks awful. These are the ‘make life easier’ kind of lies and we tend to say them in order to avoid conflict or to protect someone’s feelings and so we can easily justify them.

However, some people feel compelled to frequently ’bend the truth’ in order to protect themselves from retribution or to gain financially or socially. Then there are those who hide the truth for no apparent reason so that it becomes a habit and way of life to them. They don’t even seem to know when they are lying as it seems to come naturally to them, and then they often become aggressive when challenged. Continue reading