1. Don’t be a hypocrite. As a Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach, I have to practice what I teach in my own life. I took up tai chi because I didn’t feel I was healthy just working in business, so I did something about it. And it was actually my teacher who introduced me to NLP. It’s certainly helped me to become more sensitive.
2. Communication is hugely valuable. Some people who are highly skilled technically are not that skilled emotionally, but successful people tend to be good communicators. You’re sending out signals to others all the time, even if it’s unintentionally, through eye contact, or whether you’re looking down at the table or not.
3. We worry too much about what people think of us. Detach yourself from judging and worrying about being judged. Obviously this isn’t possible all the time, but if you can do it occasionally, it becomes possible to work out what you want from an encounter and make more objective decisions and judgements.
4. Prepare emotionally for stressful situations. You can create a physical space which you associate with a positive memory from the past, regain that feeling of happiness and apply it to a new situation. A lot of sportspeople will be doing this during the Olympics.
5. Make time to be creative. Business is full of creativity – the most mundane decisions can be solved imaginatively. Time taken to think and reflect is as important as time spent doing things.
6. Avoid drama merchants. To some extent, the human race are all drama queens, which is why we enjoy fiction so much. There’s a difference between those who like to have fun and being self- destructive though. Don’t engage with people who need to create drama.
7. Learn how to negotiate. A good work/life balance is possible as long as you learn how to say no to people as you rise in your career. I had clients for a multinational bank who were working 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Simply crazy. Negotiation is useful in your relationships too, otherwise everything comes out in an explosion.