Yearly Archives: 2015

Getting back into the job market


For those who take absence from the job market, for whatever reason, the notion of re-entering the working world can be immensely daunting. One of the reasons is that as humans we tend to habituate ourselves – we get into a different rhythm and going back to work is a different kind of demand to our routine.

Here are some of the things to bear in mind when getting back in the saddle:

  • The experience and skills which you had prior to your break are still of value and can still be applied
  • You may initially have to start on a lower salary because your experience isn’t current – that drop in salary is not a reflection of you capabilities; rather, it is just the way the world of work works

  • You may find yourself unnaturally tired at first, because this kind of work requires a different type of stamina
  • It is possible that some colleagues may try to undervalue you because you haven’t worked recently. You need to be strong enough to ignore that – every day that you do work, you are gaining experience
  • Deciding when to return to work is absolutely critical. Make sure that you are ready and in the right frame of mind
  • Try all sorts of avenues to get yourself employed, not just online adverts, but also word-of-mouth, contact previous colleagues, and even contact companies whose culture or product you like. You can never predict where work opportunities will come from.
  • You may have to upskill yourself in certain areas. That’s a positive thing, not a punishment

  • Think about your past working experiences and focus on these so that your mind recalls the ‘working you’, and is in that context when you apply for positions
  • When asked about your time off work, describe it briefly in positive terms. Do not dwell on it as if it was a huge portion of your career
  • See this as an opportunity to learn new skills
  • Starting a new job is an exciting new phase of life – see it as this and enjoy the experience!


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Emotionally intelligent self management

VisitingNew York

To show you a graph proving how managing your emotions impacts positively on your career and life is probably a waste of time. Not because the data isn’t valid, but rather because it is only in the experiential management of your emotions that you can actually start seeing the impact unfold.

Emotions lie at the core of all human behaviour.

Before we think or act on anything, we have a feeling that charges through our system, to which we react. Most of us believe that we are in control and that the majority of our behaviour is controlled and chosen. This is true when we’re in balance and not caught off guard.

It is the massively charged human emotions – the shock, the frustration, the anger, the humiliation – which spiral our responses out of control. It is then that our internal regulator is hijacked, and we are faced with the consequent cost of an emotional outburst, and its resultant ripple effects.

Understanding your own triggers and emotional pulses empowers you to colour your life and experiences as you please, without having to rethink the collateral damage of an outburst. The emotionally intelligent person is able to experience the sensation of their emotions, without displaying anything inappropriate or incongruous.

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are in balance.”

Brian Tracy

The emotionally intelligent person knows themselves and their emotions. It’s not that emotions are bad – it’s just the inappropriate display of them from which we need to recover.


Maximise your potential.  Speak to one of our coaches today!  Your first session is FREE.


Must-read books for your career


With the wealth of amazing career-orientated books out there, it’s hard to narrow the list of impactful and inspiring books down to five (there are many more!).  The below books however are a really great place to start (there’s a reason why many of them are bestsellers!).

  1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki

Probably one of the most influential career books of all time. The message that this book sends goes beyond the principle of earning money with or without an education. The message is fundamental – career and life do not always g according to plan. Sometimes there is a need to take risks, craft your own path, and be present in your own moments.

  1. 100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call, and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job, by Laura Labovich and Miriam Salpeter

A down-to-earth and realistic guide to doing the things that do not come naturally to most of us. This book includes many of the difficult and uncomfortable aspects of building your career – often the very things that can make or break you.

  1. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? By Seth Godin

This essential read takes a look at business, society and personal development. It also takes a look at how to promote your skills and abilities, so that you not only establish yourself, but make yourself indispensable.

  1. The Black Swan, by Nassim Taleb

When crafting a career there is often the desire to have some level of predictability. In this book, Taleb unpacks the way in which people erroneously depend on the ability to predict as a method of decision making. He demonstrates how it is the most structured systems that are the ones most vulnerable to collapse.

  1. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Entertaining, stimulating and a fantastic read for a happy and balanced lifestyle, The Power of Habit has great behaviour tips, which you can start implementing immediately.

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Make your emotions work for you at work


Every cowboy sings his sad, sad song

Bret Michaels

One of the greatest misconceptions of modern times is the belief that ‘happy workers are productive workers’.  As much as there is evidence to back this up, there is just as much evidence to disprove it.

Our emotions are the dynamics which colour our lives. They give moments meaning, frame our memories, and let us know how we’re doing.  The truth is that our emotions drive us in different ways – and it’s not necessarily the good ones that make our work great.

Being emotionally intelligent is knowing ourselves, acknowledging our sensations, and knowing what does and doesn’t work for us.  It is sometimes at the depths of desperation that we are catapulted forward to overcome a challenge; or it is the vehement anger that burns deep inside which ignites the passion to just get something done; or the simple sadness that forces us to face our own truths, from which a greatness emerges.

Artists across all disciplines are renowned for using their deepest feelings to spur their most prominent work. So too, is the average working person driven by stress, which gets them out of bed in the morning.

The fundamental question is not ‘are you happy enough to be productive?’ but rather, ‘what emotion initiates your efficiency, so that the best of you can emerge?’


Book a coaching session today.  The first session is FREE.

Self-care – Paying yourself first


‘Pay yourself first’ is a well-known business principle. For many entrepreneurs however this is a foreign concept, because the business always comes first, the creditors second, and the business owner last (if at all!).

‘Pay yourself first’ does not refer to today’s salary; rather it considers how you save money, and how you plan long-term, so that your time spent in the working world pays you.

In this way ‘pay yourself first’ means invest and save today so that you are able to live a certain calibre of life tomorrow. Paying yourself first is one of the ideologies of self-care, along with exercising regularly, eating healthily, and finding time for yourself to do the things you love.

The value of paying yourself is not just about finances. The concept of looking out for your future self spills over into every aspect of life. So often in business people put everything else before their self-care. Pay yourself first by allowing yourself that time out to actually enjoying the various aspects of your life.

If you forget to make these critical deposits, when the time comes to reap what you have sown, your body may not have been able to withstand the accumulated years of stress and poor self-care. You may also find yourself alone, as the people who continually got in the way of your work, eventually got out of the way.

Paying yourself first adopts the same philosophy as exercising first thing in the morning – you’re not going to gain any additional health benefits from a 5am wake-up, but you are quite simply less likely to skip the gym session first thing than you are last thing. So, the more you embed the habit, the more you perform the act, the more you entrench self-care and enable you to look after yourself.

Do you need help establishing a routine of self-care?  Book a coaching session today (the first session is FREE).

Become a business coach


The only real business coaching course on the market.

From February 2016 we will be running a business coaching training course.

The course has been created by a businessperson and an industrial psychologist, with a combined 56 years working experience both in their own and other people’s businesses. Between them they have 36 years experience using their master’s degrees in business to business coach.

This programme will equip you to ‘business coach’ and build your own business coaching practice. It will impart, amongst other competencies, business coaching skills – you will be able to confidently approach and coach business owners in their businesses.

Completion of this full programme will equip the participant with 250 hours of coaching, business coaching, theory of business, strategic, functional and operational business coaching tools, the practice of business coaching, cloud-based business coaching administration, Business Coaching Accreditation by SA Business Coaches, and access to the Coach in the Corner Complete Coaching Package. You will be introduced to competence-based coaching and business coaching by an industrial psychologist.

SA Business Coaches believes that South African business owners deserve the integrity of a coach who has a combination of business knowledge, business experience and coaching competencies.

Therefore, the SA Business Coaches course establishes a solid foundation in each delegate of both the coaching and real business coaching competencies.


What you get

  • Know-how on how to actually establish your business coaching practice
  • Access to a Professional Business Coaching Tool
  • 250 development hours
  • A ground-breaking, first its kind book on Competencies
  • Professional facilitators who are real business coaches, with over 1000 facilitation hours
  • Real life business coaching case studies
  • Business knowledge and insight given by a successful businessman and business owner
  • Awareness and perception into human Behaviour and business owner behaviour by an industrial psychologist

Course outcomes

  • Coaching competencies
  • Business knowledge
  • Coaching competencies within the business environment
  • Models and styles of coaching
  • Business issues and focus areas
  • A roadmap on how to coach a business owner

Who should attend

  • Coaches who would like to specialise in Business Coaching
  • Business owners who enjoy helping others
  • Ambitious entrepreneurs who would like to start their own successful business
  • People who are seeking a new career or start in life

Dates:   5 February 2016 to 12 June 2016

Modules:  5

Programme:     2 or 3 days a month, over a 5 month period

Fee:    R 26 000

Facilitators: Neale Roberts and Elana Siew

Contact us to book, for the full course curriculum, or for more information.



Creating a personal brand

Those who had branded themselves were treated according to their branding

A few years ago I was sitting at a lunch listening to a woman who specialised in personal branding. The thought kept coming back to me, “Why would anyone need to brand themselves?” All through her endless rambling I rolled my eyes and wondered why everyone else seemed so interested in what she was saying.

Then I started watching people in various situations. It was the most remarkable thing:

Those who had branded themselves were treated according to their branding. They looked good, they seemed comfortable with what they displayed, and they stood out from the crowd.

So, it appears as though I was behind the wave, and was only just beginning to see the benefits of personal branding.

Neil Patel and Aaron Agius ask these three pertinent questions when creating a personal brand:

  1. What one action, decision, or choice has the single biggest impact on the growth of your personal brand?
  2. If you were building an online presence from scratch today, what three things would you consider to provide the biggest ROI (return on investment) on your time and money?
  3. For those looking to create a strong online brand, which online influencers would you recommend they follow?

From these questions you can see that establishing a personal brand follows the same logic as a business brand:

You need to establish who your target market is, and what you want to tell them about yourself. Once you have answered these questions, the work begins – you live the brand.

Branding yourself is about how you dress, speak, where you are seen, what topics you discuss, who you associate with, and what others think of you (which is what you want them to think of you). The result is unbelievable: People start to treat you the way you have trained them to.

If you have a need to be seen in a certain way, for any purpose, start your personal branding process now. The ‘you’ that you create becomes an artwork for others to admire.

Elana Siew

Do you need help building your personal brand?  Book a coaching session today (the first session is FREE).

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What I’ve learnt from working with a coach

d e v e l o p m e n T

Having spent many hours as both a coach, and a coachee, I’ve learnt hundreds of things. Here are the five most life-changing things that I’ve learnt from working with a coach:

  1. It helps to have someone listen

Verbalising your thoughts is a completely different experience to just thinking your thoughts. Actually hearing yourself and creating logical flow, which is only required when you have another person in front of you, completely shifts the perspective to how things ‘sound’ in your head.

  1. I have the answers

When my coach told me that I am resourceful and creative, I was sceptical. However, through the session I’ve become empowered to action my own resourcefulness and creativity. The answers do exist in me; I just need to be open to the questions.

  1. Trust the process

Not all issues and discussions need to have a solution, immediate or long-term. Sometimes in the discussion more emerges, and the process of working through things is enough. When someone (a coach) asks the right questions, it is amazing what my mind can answer.

  1. Coaching works

It’s not a matter of receiving advice or answers. It’s not about being right or wrong. The miracle of talking in a structured and facilitated environment yields the most phenomenal outcomes. I feel remarkably in control of my own life and my goals. The coaching process has solidly ensured that ownership of the shape of my life sits within me. I feel that I have the power that I need to live the life that I want to.

  1. I move forward

Being asked the right questions is not about questioning me; it’s about challenging my train of thought so that I think differently. The incredible part is that without those questions, my mind repeats on the same track. The coaching process creates awareness that I want progression and growth, in various parts of my life. Even if the purpose is not to uncover a solution, I find myself propelled forward in action with a desire to make things work better. And they do.

Elana Siew

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Enduring confrontation


Nietzsche is often quoted for his stance on pain and discomfort, but sometimes when one is faced with surviving a challenge, often we’d prefer to remain weaker and avoid the trial altogether. This is frequently true when it involves speaking to someone difficult.

Think of a marathon runner. They train for hours, alter their lifestyles and make a commitment. When the race is over, they so often say “never again!”, and yet they always seem to think the time building up to the event was worth it.

Why would they think this way? How can suffering and pain be worth a medal or a ribbon?

The reward is much deeper than the ornament received. The reward is a sense of achievement, personal growth, and the significant knowing that “I can do it!”.

So too do the difficult conversations in life cause growth in a myriad of ways that we often can’t immediately see. It’s the knowledge that you got through it, and are a better person for the experience, which keeps humanity keeping on.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

Nelson Mandela

Without growing, we are stagnating. Without learning, we are propagating mediocrity. And without facing the difficult challenges, we are underestimating our own capacity.


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Mindfulness and leadership


Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

Psychology Today

At first glance, the concept of mindfulness in leadership may seem like a paradox.  But actually, if you reflect for a moment, mindfulness should really be at the core of effective leadership, and at the core of instigating massive change in the way organisations run.

Within the business environment, leadership is often seen in a dark suit, behind a boardroom door, with a sullen expression. However, if we return to the true cornerstones of leadership – inspiration, motivation and growth – mindfulness is an intricate part.

Imagine working in an environment where the corporate culture is mindful; where an organisation is a place where the company’s leaders live in the moment and encourage you to do the same.

The concept of mindfulness in leadership has taken business schools by storm, and current curricula boast subjects like yoga, meditation and serving others. Mindfulness practices are on the rise in workplaces, and it’s easy to see why. Simply, staff are happier, leaders are more grounded, and the responsibilities performed are conducted with a greater sense of intention and intelligent prioritisation.

Finally, the World Leadership Summit boasts lecturers from Harvard, neuroscientists and business leaders, and each is promoting the same message:

Leading from the inside out is the most significant evolution in leadership!

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