It may well be a terrible thing to admit, but sometimes I struggle at times with the "networking thing". When I've gone to specific business related events and done the mix and mingle, I've found some people get into a networking modus operandi that looks and sounds contrived and can be totally off-putting. That's the difficulty with networking -it is the thing to do (good business practice, all the books say so) yet how do you do it so that it isn't a fast card exchange and nothing more?

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One of my favourite all time reads is M. Gerber's "The E Myth" (1995). In it, Gerber makes the distinction between "working in" a business (meaning hands on, operational doing) and "working on" a business (meaning viewing the whole business, taking a strategic, big picture view of things). Gerber's book is targeted at small business owners and the pitfalls they face if they spend all their time working in their business and not enough time working on their business.

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If you are wanting to coach others, consider undertaking coach specific training from a reputable coaching school that has it's coaching programme accredited with the International Coach Federation (ICF) http://www.coachfederation.org/ . This is really important because you need to know what you're doing and you need to have the competencies and skills to do it well. The other benefit from coach training is the opportunity to practise your coaching skills on forgiving others;

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I'm often surprised to find when working with people facing redundancy or massive organisational change, that many have not undertaken any professional development for years, if at all, over the course of their working life. And for many, the reality of what that may mean begins to hit home when they consider competing for positions against people with qualifications or relevant, recent training in particular areas. When people are facing potential job loss or job change,

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I often ask clients to reflect on their working life and identify the number of supportive, inspirational role models they had worked with and learned from. Mostly they identify one, maybe two people and typically go on to count and identify dozens of the other kind – unprofessional colleagues and managers who made their lives a misery, treated people poorly and created a workplace that was stressful and unpleasant. Awful that it may be,

 » Read more about: Role models may not be the best but have some value, management coach believes  »