HOW TO RELAX

Something we all need courtesy of lessonsforliving.com at the link below

All you need to know to begin undoing what stress has been doing to you is how to systematically relax all the muscles in your body. Here is how you do it.

Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for about 15 minutes. Dim the lights. Locate a comfortable chair in which you can sit straight up with your feet on the floor. Sit comfortably in the chair. Pay close attention to how you feel as you begin. Notice any stiffness or tightness. Are there any aches or pains? Do you feel tense, frustrated, or keyed up? Pay attention to how you feel now because you are going to become more relaxed, and you need a point of comparison.

First, we will review what to do and then we will experience the relaxation exercise. The systematic muscle relaxation procedure goes as follows.

While sitting quietly and comfortably, slowly inhale and exhale and close your eyes as you do so.Bend your right hand back at the wrist and briefly hold the tension. Now relax.

Now do the same thing with the left hand. Hold the tension and now relax.

This time tighten both hands into fists and hold the tension. Feel it spread up the arms towards the elbows. Now relax.

Now bend both arms at the elbows and raise your hands up towards your shoulders. Tighten up the muscles in the biceps. Hold it. Now relax.

These three exercises have used the major muscles in the arms and started them relaxing. If you don’t move them around, they will continue to relax becoming more and more relaxed, and you can forget about them

Next, turn your attention to your face. For your forehead raise your eyebrows up a far as you can and hold the tension. Now relax.

For your eyes, squeeze the eyelids tightly together. Hold the tension. Now relax.

For your jaw you just bite down and clamp your teeth together. Feel the tension along the jaw. Now relax. These three exercises have started the face relaxing.

For your neck just bend your head forward as if trying to touch your chin to your chest. Feel the tension along the back of the neck and now relax.

For your shoulders just raise them up as high as you can and notice the tension. Now let them drop all at once and relax.

For your chest you do two things at once. Take a deep breath and hold it while at the same time trying to touch your shoulder blades together by pulling your arms back. Hold it. Now relax.

For your stomach you just pull in as if trying to touch your backbone with stomach. Now relax.

For your back you arch out and away from the chair, and you can feel tension along the spine. Now relax.

With your feet flat on the floor, press down and feel the tension spread up the back of the legs. Now relax.

For the right thigh raise your leg up on front of you and feel the tension build. Now relax.

Now do the same thing with the left leg and relax.

Finally, for your feet bend your toes up as if pointing towards the ceiling and feel the tension around the feet and ankles. Once again, relax

Print these instructions to follow when offline.

You can listen to and download a sound file of these instructions at the link below

How to Relax Your Body.

PROBLOGGER AND THE WISEWOLF TALKING ELEVATOR PITCH

Thanks to ProBlogger and his 31 Days to build a better blog challenge – link below – we have a new overview/about section for Wisewolf Talking – here it is.

Information and comment from Wisewolf Consulting for those managing change or going through change themselves – from strategy and programme management to personal mentoring and things to help you make the most of the opportunity!

Thought pieces to stimulate discussion and to help you develop yourself and your business.

Sometimes original, sometimes interesting pieces from elsewhere, but all aimed at helping you to meet the challenge.”

You can find out more about Wisewolf Consulting at the blog roll links on this site or by emailing info@wisewolfconsulting.com

31 Days to Build a Better Blog – Join 9100 other Bloggers Today!.

Looking at Change with a Positive Focus

Since change is a fact of life you cannot change, it’s up to you to change how you look at it. By looking at change openly and honestly, you can begin to deal with it from a rational viewpoint rather than an emotional one. To put change into perspective and add a structure for dealing with it, start with these two simple steps:

Step One: Describe the Change

  1. What caused it? What happened or is happening to put the change into consideration?
  2. What is the exact nature of the change being proposed?
  3. How will the change affect your responsibilities? What specific issues will the change directly affect?
  4. Who is responsible for implementing the change?
  5. What system will be used to ensure the change succeeds?

Step Two: Recognize the Imposition (Decide who is doing the imposing, who is pushing for the change)

  1. Boss or management
  2. The system
  3. The customer
  4. You

Boss- or Management-Imposed Change

Boss-imposed change may come from a new boss or from a company merger, which brings about fresh insight, identifying where change is needed and will be beneficial. These changes create several questions:

  1. Can I do this? You may be afraid you won’t be able to do what the new boss asks of you. You may fear losing your job if you don’t handle the change correctly.
  2. Am I the one to do this? New management may not be aware of your individual responsibilities and may wrongly assign tasks involved with the change.
  3. Do I need to redefine my job? If the boss is firm on his assigning the change task, you may need to redefine your job description to accommodate the change.
  4. What retraining or education is available to help me deal with the change? Seek out retraining to avoid failure and to stay valuable to the company.
  5. Do I have any say in the change? Can I use my knowledge, expertise, interpersonal and leadership skills or group dynamics to bring about the desired change? By doing this will it position me to receive a bonus, promotion, salary adjustment, or overtime privileges?

System-Imposed Change

Change often stems from an outdated system. The old system no longer works and something has to give. This type of change also poses questions.

  1. Is it within my responsibility? This is one of the hardest questions to deal with in a system-imposed change. While you may see changes that would help the system, you may lack the authority to bring them about. It falls to you to convince your bosses of the wisdom of your suggestions. Remember that offering a resolution is more diplomatic than simply complaining and is a positive way of dealing with a failing system.
  2. Is it worth doing? The change must be measurable and positive or it’s not worth carrying out.
  3. Do I have time? Do others? When implementing change, always consider the time commitment required.

Customer-Imposed Change

When a company realizes that its customers are unhappy, it’s time for change. Ultimately the changes must satisfy not only the customer but the company as well. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can I do what the customer wants? Hiring more service representatives so the customer gets helped more quickly may make the customer happy.
  2. What is the bottom-line impact? Hiring more service representatives would mean a sharp increase in costs.
  3. Will I keep my customers? A large price increase may well lead to a reduction in the number of customers.

Self-Imposed Change

Often change comes from burdens you place on yourself. You switch word processing programs; you go back to school; you make career changes. You can diminish the negative impact of these changes by anticipating difficulties that may arise. Ask these questions:

  1. How will this affect the work I do? Before tackling self-imposed change, consider the damage you may do to your job. Will you have less time or make more mistakes because of the additional pressure? You need to prepare yourself and others for potential problems during the implementation of the change.
  2. Can I control this? If the change will hurt your work, you must have some degree of control over it. Seek flexibility. Avoid requirements that the change be carried out a certain way and within a certain time frame.
  3. Can I delegate parts of the change? Self-imposed change leaves little room to delegate. But persuasion can take the form of delegating if you can convince others of the need for change.
  4. What are the opportunities? How do I create winners? Consider WIIFM. “What’s in it for me?” definitely applies in this situation. To successfully convince others to go along with the effects of your self-imposed change, you need to convince them there’s something in it for them too. Do opportunities exist for them, such as acquiring new skills or making their jobs easier?

It may come as a surprise that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a fast-moving train. Instead, it’s the sun that appears when you consider the positive side of change and prepare for it. So take the challenge. Look at change in a new, realistic light that lets you control the effects of change, not the other way around.

More at

http://www.nationalseminarstraining.com/Articles/Category/Organizational_Change/FACECHANGE/index.html

BUSINESS SKILLS AND SOLUTIONS – ACAS

Business and skills solutions

Whether you require advice, facilitation, training, or support on a particular work-related problem, we will work with you to find an effective solution. Areas where we can help include:

* communication and consultation

* redundancy and notice

* contracts and hours

* employee engagement

* organisational change

* disputes and mediation

* equality

* job evaluation

* flexible working

You may want to review your policies and procedures. Maybe you require advice on introducing a change in your organisation, like introducing annualised hours. You may wish to explore problems with staff communications or underlying reasons for absenteeism. Whatever the problem with employment relations is, our advisers, who have an in-depth knowledge of issues faced by organisations in all sectors, can help.

But maybe the problem involves more than just employment relations and you need to review working practices to manage your business better. Perhaps you are looking at manufacturing processes to see if your organisation can become more competitive or avoid the need for redundancies. Our facilitation specialists will work with you and your employees to find a way forward

Perhaps you organisation has areas of conflict within or between teams. Our independent and impartial adviser can provide mediation, team building and help with resolving relationship issues.

Our advisers can set up joint working groups or task groups in your workplace to look at your requirement and work with you and your employees. We have unique experience backed up by a good knowledge of HR, employee relations and employment law. We will be able to evaluate the issue, give valuable advice, and facilitate the implementation of an effective solution.

Benefits delivered by our customised help and support in the workplace to date include:

* improved profitability

* improved quality of goods and services

* lower levels of absenteeism

* fewer discipline cases

* fewer grievances

* avoiding redundancies

Can Acas help you?

More at  Acas – Business and skills solutions.

Introduction to Social Media Optimization

Introduction to Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a new term that was recently coined by Rohit Bhargava and has since been taking on life of its own. In his introduction to SMO, Rohit draws similar comparisons to SEO. SMO tactics can drive huge amounts of people to a website and can also determine whether a startup, website or idea will make it or not. It involves driving traffic to a website through new channels because search engines aren’t the only sites that drive big traffic anymore. While it’s not taking over SEO yet, it has the potential to someday soon.

First of all “social media” is a buzzword that has been thrown around a lot lately. But what exactly does it really mean? Wikipedia describes social media as…

the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.

Also, social media can be considered anything that can help build a community to rally around. Companies/websites such as Digg, Delicious, Facebook, and Revver all fit the bill. These are all websites that can now be used as places to put out your marketing message. Spreading messages through blog posts and blog search engines also fits the bill. It is all about making something easy to spread, which, by the way, used to be called word-of-mouth. Buyer beware though, you can’t force SMO. This is pull marketing; it is not “push your message onto someone marketing”.

more  Introduction to Social Media Optimization.

The Ten Commandments for Job Seekers on Twitter

The Ten Commandments for Job Seekers on Twitter

Job seekers on twitter – With so many companies and recruiters on Twitter, it is a great place for a job seeker to find a job. But there are some ‘rules’ that they need to be aware of to have a chance at maximising their chances of finding a job opportunity there.

Therefore I have put together my tips to help job seekers on Twitter, because after all, many job seekers arriving at Twitter, will probably be Twitter Virgins and trying to use every means at their disposal to find a new job.

So here are my Ten Commandments for Job Seekers on Twitter:

1. Understand Twitter and what it is about.

The best way to do this, is to take off your boots off, just dive in and have a good look around. See what other people are talking about, how they are talking and how they use the 140 character limit. Get a sense of the twitter sphere before you join in.

Spend some time looking at other people’s bio’s and how they present themselves. Then ask yourself a question – would YOU follow that person? have they got your interest? Take note of your thoughts – you will need to bear this in mind for yourself soon.

2. Create a quality Profile and Bio.

a) No cat or dog photos – just a good head shot image of yourself. It gives recruiters a good impression of you straight away.

b) Your URL – use your blog | website | LinkedIn profile. If you have none of these, create a LinkedIn profile ( Download LinkedIn for beginners if you need a hand setting one up) . Don’t put a profile up without a URL, because every serious job seeker will have some form of online profile, and you will lose the opportunity to get followed by the right people otherwise.

c) Your one line bio – you have 160 characters to sum up your career and what you are looking for. remember keywords from your industry. If you are actively looking for a job now – say so.

d) Background – go to TwitterGallery and choose a free background. It will be an extra way to help you stand out from other people.

Above all, be interesting – no-one will follow you if you have a boring profile and bio.

More at  Sirona Says: The Ten Commandments for Job Seekers on Twitter.

Life after redundancy – Thea Montgomerie-Anderson – Management Today

When Thea Montgomerie-Anderson was made redundant, she found a job in her hobby – stand-up comedy…

I used to work in the City for an American company selling IT software to investment banks and insurance companies. Gradually they made more and more people redundant, and when the pound went through the floor it was pretty obvious my days were numbered.

I’d started doing comedy two and a half years ago as a drunken bet with one of my clients. I used to just do open mike nights to de-stress. The world of sales is very aggressive: I was walking around with hair in a tight bun, wearing Gucci dresses, high-heels and pearls. Comedy was just a good release. Then I got made redundant last December. Now I’m in platforms and hotpants.

More at  Life after redundancy – Thea Montgomerie-Anderson – Leisure & Tourism – Management Today.

HOW CAN YOU STAY CONFIDENT WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR JOB

Most people feel a loss of confidence when they lose a job. It’s not just about losing the income but also an image of you. Many place a value of themselves based on their work. For many of us work is the place where we spend the majority of our waking life. It’s often where we find our friends and make our major achievements. So when we lose a job we lose part of ourselves and we grieve for it.

But you can get over it – just like any grief. You are much more than your job and your real friends and family value you for much more than your salary even when they are dependent upon it.
But here are some particular areas you may need to address

Understand why it happened

If you have been made redundant then remember it’s not personal – you were just unlucky and you are part of a very large and growing club. If you lost your job for other reasons then make sure you understand why and learn from it – change something about you to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In both situations, now is about going forward, not dwelling on the past.

Money Worries
You feel bad about the loss of income. But there is help – make it a project to find out all the sources of financial support available to you. There is guidance on this in other posts on this site for people in the UK. Take time to understand what you can get and then get out there and get it.

Feeling Alone

You have lost the contacts you had at work. Now you need to work on your own network. Get out the old address book; look up your email contacts and those on your mobile phone. Find people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Friends Reunited etc. Pick up the contacts and find out what people are doing. It will give you company but also it might just give you a lead to the next job. Meet up – have a coffee with them if you can’t afford lunch – many people prefer that these days anyway. Tell them you are interested in new opportunities – don’t dwell on why you lost the last job – that is in the past now!


Lifestyle Changes

Living with less money may mean changes in lifestyle for all the family. Not so many meals out and subscriptions to clubs etc. Make the changes carefully, particularly if they affect your children – plan and prioritize just like you would at work. Hopefully it’s not going to be for very long. If you can’t eat out then become more creative about eating at home. Now is the time for long country walks perhaps rather than paying for theme parks. There are lots of free events around if you look for them – again use the involuntary spare time to find them.

Self Blame

We all do it but it doesn’t actually get us anywhere. Blaming yourself doesn’t change the past. But you can change the future. Leave the past to itself – it’s only useful if you can use it to learn from. If you lost you job because you lacked a skill, then it’s worth working on gaining it. Otherwise leave it alone and make the future your project. Get up each day determined to go one step forward even if it is only working on your exercise plan.

Last but not least

Don’t be hard on your self. You are one amongst thousands. You may not have a job but my word do you have a project and that is you.

Redundancy Advice From ACAS

Advisory booklet – Redundancy handling

Booklet summary

Advisory booklet – Redundancy handling – opens in a new browser window from the link below.

The aim of this booklet is to provide guidance for employers, trade unions and employee representatives on how best to handle redundancies.

The booklet emphasises the importance of planning labour requirements to avoid or to minimise the need for redundancies; the benefits of establishing an agreed procedure for handling redundancies; and the need for fairness and objectivity when selecting members of the workforce for redundancy.

The booklet considers the practicability of offering redundant employees alternative work, counselling or other assistance. It is hoped that the booklet will act as an aid to improved employment relations practice by ensuring that the need for redundancies is minimised, and that where they are unavoidable, decisions are made in a fair and consistent manner.

To help differentiate between the extensive legal provisions and good employment relations practice, the statutory requirements relating to redundancy including consultation, unfair selection, alternative job offers and time off to look for work or to arrange training are in bold type. Good practice and the relevant decisions of employment tribunals remain in normal type.

This booklet is not, however, a guide to current law on redundancy. In particular, it is not intended to give advice on the rights of employees when businesses are transferred or sold.

Download the booklet at the link below

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=747