Changing Times Demand Positive Leadership

Following the result of the UK general election, Theresa May will possibly need to re-evaluate her management style to quell a leadership challenge and ensure that the Brexit negotiations run smoothly.  Mrs May needs to exhibit strong leadership that will be an exemplar of determined action that motivates and inspires members of the Conservative party. Party members will be seeking direction, purpose and most importantly, reassurance and confidence.

Most organisations will be affected by the inevitable changes that Brexit will bring to the UK.  Uncertainty is endemic and it is therefore imperative that leaders need to be visible, available and above all to be able to communicate openly with their workforce.  It is during these times that managers must offer their teams a focus that is clear and an anchor that is strong.

Change brings uncertainty. However, it affects everyone differently.   The challenge facing leaders and managers is that different people take dissimilar timescales to arrive at the acceptance point of change.

Emotions may run high but it is the leadership role to stand apart from emotional responses and to concentrate on the situational facts.   Employees will seek direction and reassurance and managers will need to understand the differing impact that change can have.  No two people will be affected identically and reactions will differ accordingly. It is essential to appreciate these fundamental facts to manage change effectively. Continue reading


Great Success on National Stress Awareness Day

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Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

We are now at the end of the 2016 National Stress Awareness Day campaign where we had a great turnout from the International Stress Management Association [UK] regions and also from around the world.

We are still gathering in all the data together but it was difficult to keep track of all the media coverage including OK magazine; the Director journal; the Daily Telegraph; Radio BBC Scotland, Dilse radio and 5 Live –  to name just a few that reported on NSAD activities.

During a 30 day period, the NSAD twitter hashtag had over 180,000 tweets and retweets and the hashtag was trending for some hours on Twitter on the Day. Our Facebook page doubled its LIKES and our LinkedIn page increased its reach.

                        "Well done team NSAD."

With countless events being organised and delivered by members and non-members alike, 2016 was certainly a year to remember. Continue reading


Help to de stress me! My email is taking over my life!

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4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

‘As soon as I clear my inbox, a new batch arrives – consequently I spend my time reacting to every new message but not being proactive’.

Does this sound familiar?  Our lives are circumscribed around the Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or any device where one can get online: consequently we spend our waking hours reading, replying, copying and deleting.  Is any real work ever done and is this plethora of email really necessary?

However, email is here to stay: so here are my 5 top tips to help you manage it.

  1. Bin it!

Utilise your inbox for actions that you need to take: then get rid of the rest. Old emails just take up space.

  1. Get sorted!

After actioning your emails, put them in named folders for quick access. Tidy email folders are a lot easier to handle when you open your in-box. Continue reading


Holidays without Stress

Unrealistic demands and deadlines, work overloads, poor communication, out-of-date equipment and/or staff shortages lead to pressure that often turns into stress.  However, it’s not usually connected with holidays – or is it?

'Show Stress Who's Boss!' provides tools and strategies that will show you how to deawl with stress.

Discover 4 Easy Ways to Beat Stress Today!

In reality, holidays and your everyday work are interconnected and depending whether your holiday break is good, or bad, will impact on how well you are able to manage pressure at your work, i.e. to be able to prevent normally stimulating pressure from turning into harmful stress that can cause mental and physical damage.  In this age of short deadlines and long hours, you need to compensate by taking frequent breaks as an essential re-charging tactic, and when you do so, it’s really important to switch-off completely and not be tempted to check your email every minute!  I certainly think that emailing has become an addiction instead of a communication tool. However, the fact remains that your mind needs that break as well as your body. Continue reading


Business Tips: Do You Have the Ability to ‘Let Go’

4 Easy Steps to Beat Your Stres

The Essential Guide to Managing Stress

Before I lose the interest of my male readers, I should warn you I am going to talk about women’s handbags and there is a good business reason for me to do so.  So please bear with me!

I read in the press the other day that the high-end, handbag retailer, Mulberry Ltd, has been forced to slash prices on its luxury handbags after admitting that its customers cannot afford them.  The UK-based company has announced it is adjusting its strategy.  As well as reducing the price of its cheapest bags from about $900 by around 15%, Mulberry said it would also be offering more products within this range.  Mulberry’s interim chairman has quickly insisted that the quality of the handbags would not be affected by the price cuts and I believe him because if this were to be the case, Mulberry would cheapen its brand and lose its hard-won customer base.

The reason why I was interested to read this [was not because I am a Mulberry bag owner, which I am] but because Mulberry’s business strategy has been revisited in order to adapt to changed market conditions. Continue reading


Making New Year Resolutions Stick

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

Well, we are already nearly two weeks into the year and I wonder how your new year resolutions are going.  Well, it is great to make these resolutions and we do that really well.  However, ensuring they become a part of our everyday lives is just a little more difficult.

So, today I thought I would tackle one of the most difficult ones to keep – eating healthily.  You can give yourself all the excuses in the world for eating badly – you are busy, you haven’t had time to eat properly, you have had a really challenging day either in the office or with the children.  We human beings are great at making excuses for not doing something and we can also be really creative with these reasons as well!

However, the one thing for sure that 2014 will bring most of us is that little word, ‘stress’, so let us look at way of how you can reduce it naturally. Continue reading


Insomniac? Find out how to get a good night’s sleep

'Show Stress Who's Boss!' provides tools and strategies that will show you how to deawl with stress.

Discover 4 Easy Ways to Beat Stress Today!

As December and the holiday period can be a time of over-eating and disturbed sleep due to too much food and too little exercise, I thought it might be useful to look at some of the causes of sleeplessness or insomnia.  Some of my clients complain they either cannot fall asleep when they go to bed or they wake up at around 3 a.m. with their mind full of problems and things to do from home or work that seem insurmountable, during the night,  and which prevent them from going back to sleep again.

Consequently, at 6.30am when they need to get up, they feel unrefreshed and tired and certainly not ready for their day ahead.

If this happens to you, then maybe try some of these ways to help you through the night:

  • Don’t eat heavy meals late at night.  Think about what you are going to eat before you eat it.  People who eat small meals at least four hours before bedtime are more likely to sleep well right through the night.  A balanced diet consisting of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates, oily fish, nuts, seeds, lean meat and plenty of water can help promote good sleep.  Of course, if you drink coffee in the evening, you are probably going to have to visit the bathroom and as caffeine is a strong stimulant, you may take a long time to get to sleep after your Americano or expresso! It has been said that for every cup of coffee after 8pm in the evening, you can lose one hour’s sleep! Continue reading


What is your legacy?

stress, motivational speaker, UAE, keynote speaker, keynote presentation

Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

With the death of Nelson Mandela, it is not difficult to see the legacy that he leaves behind.  Here was a leader who believed in the essential freedom of man from oppression and for these beliefs he was incarcerated in prison for over 27 years: yet upon his release he sought to take no revenge upon those who took away nearly a third of his life.

A Great Statesman

This was a great statesman who had the mental strength to not only survive his unparalleled ordeal but to gain eventual victory over those oppressors who sought unsuccessfully to silence him and the millions he represented.

He was a leader in the true sense of the word; he always remained humble; he stood up for justice; he taught us the power of forgiveness and he showed us that people can be supremely resilient in times of need. Continue reading


Not Another Meeting!

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4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

The other day I was sent an email with five attachments and it was suggested that these were all read prior to attending a forthcoming meeting.

So I arrived at the meeting, on time, and sat and waited for 15 minutes which made me annoyed.  The meeting eventually started but no agenda had been distributed.  The attachments I had been sent were only touched upon so were not really necessary.  And so I sat there thinking ‘what was the purpose of this meeting?’

Sometimes I wonder if people who arrange meetings fully appreciate the responsibility entailed?  I am certainly not saying that some meetings are not invaluable and if organised and delivered well, are essential to develop projects, initiatives, clarify thinking, to brainstorm and to encourage networking.  However, when using other people’s time, it is necessary to ensure that there is a valid reason.

Often, I arrive at a meeting that starts late, and I begin to lose focus and interest. And when they do eventually commence, the AV equipment has not been tested beforehand, the micrphone doesn’t work and it becomes more of a ‘fire-fighting activity with loads of excuses rather than a business meeting, Continue reading


Rebuilding Staff Morale

When an organisation is going through a restructuring process, there can often be a negative impact on general morale and confidence due to changes in individual or departmental responsibilities and or staffing levels.

However, there can also be a negative effect upon efficiency and productivity in other situations, e.g. when a major contract has been lost; or there are cuts in staff benefits or employees are required to work longer hours etc.

Although employees may do their utmost to work hard even when morale is low, nevertheless enthusiasm, creativity, motivation and productivity can all suffer as a consequence.

So whose role is it to identify the signs and take the required action? Well, the recommended way forward is for the HR director to take the lead with all in his/her department working alongside each other by reinforcing the same message. At all times of organisational change, whether large or small, all employees need the reassurance of the organisation’s commitment and vision in going forward and to feel a valued part of that future.

Signs of Low Morale

Some of the warning signs that might affect individual teams within a department, or within the organisation as a whole, include: increased absenteeism, leave of sickness, interpersonal or inter-departmental conflict and reduced morale and enthusiasm.

Action should be taken as soon as any of these signs are recognised by managers who should demonstrate themselves as being positive role models, even when their own morale might have dipped.

It is important that the manager needs to be aware of how their own attitude is being seen by others. They may not immediately realise that their own behaviour is not conducive to raising motivation levels within their own team. So they will need to ensure that they exude confidence and optimism, even if they themselves are sometimes less than optimistic. Within management, the skill of appearing to be up-beat is an essential attribute.

Now you may ask me, how can they achieve this? Well, think about the situation. Your team are looking to you for inspiration and guidance and if you exhibit confidence, then they will also.

Try these strategies in order to understand the nature of the issue:

Providing learning opportunities:
If the organisation has downsized, then use this opportunity to raise the personal development levels (CPD) of those who remain. Ensure that assessments and training are available whilst looking for ways to develop individual potential within your team. It may be that certain individuals may be required to do a different job to the one they were doing previously and may need re-skilling or on-the-job re-assessment.

Develop a positive relationship with the team:
Regularly ‘walk the talk’. Instead of sitting at your desk all day, start walking around the department. This will enable you to ‘touch base’ about personal events that are happening both inside and outside of the office, thereby building rapport and trust and resolving small issues before they become large ones.

Increase staff autonomy
Encourage your managers to delegate tasks and responsibilities and to ensure that all staff are all fully accountable for their actions. Employees should be encouraged to work to agreed goals which should be celebrated when they are achieved in order to encourage others to follow suit.

Clear direction
Employees should be completely clear as to what is expected of them and within what time-frame. Encourage them to identify the impact of their role upon the ‘bigger picture’, as it is all too easy to work in isolation without feeling part of the team.

Retain your talent
At times of organisational change, this is precisely the time when you do not want to lose your best talent, owing to low morale. These are the very people who will probably find it the easiest to get a job elsewhere – so you need to hold on to them! Ensure that timely conversations take place as to how they see their career progression and how to reinforce how the organisation values their skill and expertise.

The secret is to make your people feel valued and important – particularly during times of change. That way, motivation and morale will remain strong and company loyalty, firm. Now that can only be good idea!

Key points

  • Organisational change can affect morale
    Retaining key talent is vital
    Increase staff morale by leadership example

Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News.


Mastering the Art of PUBLIC SPEAKING: 3rd June 2013

See Carole live on televison discussing the importance of speaking in public.


Need a Motivational Speaker or Awards Host for your Next Conference or Boardroom briefing? Work Stress Expert, Carole Spiers will deliver a charismatic, high-impact keynote presentation, Show Stress Who’s Boss! based on her new book, at your next conference. Contact us or call + 44 (0) 20 8954 1593