The Savvy &
Power Up; Speak Up;
Say What Needs To Be Said; Be Confident
and Clear. It’s All About Being Heard.
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“If you’re making
One of the most powerful chapter’s from Kay’s # 1 best-sel ing book. Use these powerful y and you’ll never be stuck or lost for words again.
Use this set of careful y-crafted questions, set out in a specific order, to guide you through decisions when you’re stuck. The layout, the exact wording will help unlock indecision and help you move from stuck to find your way forward.
So who is Kay White?
Known as the “Savvy and Influential Communication Expert” Kay is the author of the international number 1 bestsel er The A to Z of Being Understood, Kay White
contributing author to the bestsel ing books Smart Women Live Their Why and Turning Points. As Mentor to hundreds of ambitious professional women (and a few smart, savvy men) Kay is CEO of her own company, Way Forward Solutions Ltd. Living just outside London in the UK with her husband and their 3 rescue hounds, Kay works worldwide with clients, both in person and virtual y. She offers 1 to 1 mentorships and popular group trainings—
all focused on enabling her clients to Speak Up and Be Heard using savvy, influential communication secrets.
Why does she do what she does?
Kay’s passion is to help ambitious and often frustrated professionals get seen and heard and noticed (for the right reasons) and then position themselves with power and influence for the success they want and deserve—all by using subtle and instantly effective communication secrets. You can’t do it
on your own—you always need other people’s help and input. You have to communicate what you want clearly and be heard so that other people take action, rather than tune you out or ignore you.
You need to be heard.
You can work your little tail off and still be overlooked, undervalued and it’s such a waste of your talent and a waste of your time. Wel , enough already.
People need to notice you for you to get ahead and be rewarded. That’s Kay’s mission. As she says herself “small changes in the way you communicate make a GIANT impact on the way you’re seen, heard and understood”.
What happens for people once they’ve worked with Kay?
Her work is often described as “Jedi” in that after working with Kay her clients get the promotion they were looking for, they earn more money and people who used to tune them out, suddenly sit up and listen to what they say. They also notice that it’s easy—all that Kay shares can be adapted to your own style.
If you’re a business owner just as if you’re working in an organisation—you need to grab and keep people’s attention so you can get your work done and get the praise, recognition, and rewards you deserve.
How does she work with people?
• in-person workshops and trainings
• popular Virtual Live Trainings and Teleclasses (Skype Livestream & telephone)
• VIP one-to-one mentoring, in-person and virtual y
• Regular interviews on radio and TV shows and iTunes podcasts What’s Kay’s background?
With over 20 years of corporate experience working in the City of London to Director level, Kay negotiated and marketed multi-mil ion dol ar insurance contracts working for the top international insurance broker, Wil is. Always being able to express herself clearly and persuasively both in person and
in writing, Kay designed ‘blueprints’ for her team to design effective presentations, sales letters, and events.
Working for 6 months in Paris as liaison between the two offices, Kay travel ed on business and as a Director, Kay became the ‘Go To’ person to design, craft and present information to underwriters, clients and investors, in French and in English!
When Kay was promoted to Divisional Director, interestingly she was told “oh, I thought you already were a Director”. What she learned in that moment is that the way you carry yourself, how you put yourself together and come across plays a huge part in how people perceive you. Kay now brings these distinctions to her clients too. As she herself says “People have to ‘see’ you in the role, ‘see’ you as capable and how you present yourself, real y present you, is crucial to your success”.
Married for 10 years, Kay and her husband live close enough to London for a bit of ‘bright lights, big City’ when they want it and far enough away for long countryside walks with their 3 rescue hounds.
“Well done” and “good for you”. Learning how to get noticed, how to connect About
with people all day and everyday is one of the best investments you’ll ever make in yourself and in your business life.
Knowing how to say what needs to be said, how to say it in a way that’s both assertive and still respectful is one of the BIGGEST chal enges for people in both their careers, their businesses and—let’s be honest—in their day-today personal lives. It’s often why people are ignored and overlooked. Their intention is good, they have great things to share…they just don’t know how to express themselves so they’re heard.
(Oh, and pssst—a savvy, secret aside to you—by grabbing this eBook and using the tools and tips in here, you’ll start to notice that they work just as well at home as they do at work! Children, partners, parents, friends, family.
My intention in designing this eBook for you is:
• For it to be easy to use, each chapter being useful for you in and of itself.
• It’s a place to start. By reading and absorbing these helpful, succinct chapters and using the tips and nuggets in each one, you’ll start to notice places to use these tips…everywhere! It’s a meal in and of itself but rather than a main menu, it’s a sample platter. Simple dishes served up for you in bite-sized chunks.
• By dividing it into 5 key areas, you’ll always know where you are and there are exercises and “To Do” points for you in most chapters to get you into action.
• There is also a “Notes” page for you at the end of each chapter for your scribbles and reminders.
Stop struggling and banging your head against the wall and start to be heard—feel more comfortable, powerful and confident as you go about your business. Have your say.
It’s time for you to take yourself off ‘mute’ and express yourself and power up your communication. I mean, if not now—when?
Go and connect more comfortably with the people around you and get the praise and recognition for it you deserve. It’s time people noticed you for the right reasons.
Warmly to you,
Assertive is a word worth defining. Many people confuse ‘being assertive’
with ‘being aggressive’ and there’s a huge difference and I want to put this out there for you before we go any further.
Assertive is defined as “having or showing a confident and forceful personality”—other words close to ‘Assertive’ are:
self-confident • bold • decisive • assured • self-assured • self-possessed • forthright • firm •
emphatic • authoritative • strong-willed • forceful • insistent • determined • feisty Assertive
I define it as knowing you have a natural right to have a say, to have a voice Staking Your Claim
and—quite frankly—to not be pushed around or brushed off.
Aggressive on the other hand:
bel igerent • bellicose • antagonistic • truculent • pugnacious • combative • two-fisted
• violent • macho • confrontational • quarrelsome • argumentative You can tell the difference clearly now and it’s the difference that makes the difference in your ‘come from’, how you think about how you communicate.
Go and be assertive, people will respect you and listen to you…they may not always like what you say but, hey, that’s being alive for you!
How and Why It’s Good To Be Direct
Do you go around the houses or beat about the bush?
It’s important to be able to be direct. There are times when it’s crucial to be direct. There you are, I’m being direct with you. It’s got your attention, you know what I’m saying and it’s a key piece to being a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll start with the ‘Why’ of being direct first. I’ll be direct with you. I promise—and before we start, being direct is very different from being rude.
That’s the key.
So many people struggle with saying what has to be said. They ‘beat about the bush’ as we say, chatting about everything else but what they actual y want to say. We can feel they’re struggling, they can, and the longer it goes on the harder it is for them to say what has to be said.
They put all sorts of waffle in and dilute the message…do you know what I mean (that’s a question and an example!) Expressions like “Wel , without being funny” and “I know you might struggle with this but…”
If you think about it, more often than not, when someone’s direct with you, it’s actual y a relief. You know and understand what they’re saying, you’re able to decide whether to take the information or their opinion on board and you can keep moving.
I believe the struggle with being direct is two-fold. Firstly it stems from, ultimately, fear. It’s a primal fear of rejection at the root of being unable to be direct. Putting an opinion or instruction out and either hurting someone’s feelings or being seen to be ‘wrong’ is scary.
The struggle is both about fear and it’s about thinking that you have to please everyone all the time. The trick is to be able to respect the other person’s position or point of view and still be able to put across yours. (Oh, and as we all know, we always fail if we try to please everyone. It’s impossible.)
‘This is going off-track. We have to get those expenses down otherwise all the budgets will be blown’. This two-sentence, direct opinion has given us everything we need to understand that something’s going wrong, there’s a direct action and the consequence is laid out for us if we leave things. We may not like the message, it may not be strictly true but at least we know what the other person’s thinking.
You can imagine that these two, direct sentences could have gone like this and, in many meetings I’ve sat through, they have: ‘Wel , we’ve got to be careful to understand how exactly the numbers are all adding up at the moment. We’ve said it before and it’s time to say it again. If we aren’t very strict with ourselves and what we’re spending then the whole project could be jeopardised and then we might all be at risk of being told the budgets have been blown and then who knows where we’ll be’. Phew, we got there. It was painful and ‘clunky’ or bumpy to get there and—if they held our attention to the end of it—the importance of the message has been severely diluted.
Can you see in the second version, that as well as diluting the message, there’s also a real danger of both confusing and, crucial y, boring your audience. Be it a listener, a reader, a crowd—your audience is the person or people you’re communicating with. You want their attention not for them to start tuning you out.
Personal y, I resent spending my precious time listening to or being made to read something that’s rambling, jumbled and wool y. My brain has enough vying for attention and so does yours. It’s a relief when someone tel s you what’s what.
Most people will love you for it. They actual y want your opinion and they can then choose whether they take your opinion on, or not. Just as you can choose whether you take someone else’s opinion too.
There’s a handy formula—and here it is for you—to make it easier (and more comfortable) for you to be direct.
Your opinion + Your reason + Offer a solution.
That colour is a bit drab on you. (opinion)
You look lovely in blue. (solution)
It brings out the colour of your eyes (reason).
This is going off-track. (opinion)
We have to get those expenses down (solution)
otherwise all the budgets will be blown. (reason)
It’s less about the order you express yourself and more about having these 3
key components in there. Opinion + Reason + Solution = Usefully Direct.
What to Say When All You Want To Say is “No, I can’t” Assert yourself (and stay positive and helpful)
You can hear yourself, can’t you? You’re asked a question or someone’s asking you to do something and all you can hear in your head is “no I can’t” or “no, not another thing” or “no way mate!” It’s so natural to be answering the question directly as it’s being asked, instead of taking a second to re-position your response. It’s about saying what you can do, what you’re able to do, what’s possible without actually saying no.
There are a myriad of ways to do this and too many to list here for you but it’s very much part of the secret sauce of being a more savvy communicator—
being able to say “no” effectively without saying it.
One of the ways you can immediately take and use, is the “What Can I Do” principle. Think about this scenario for a second—you’re at your desk, the phone rings and suddenly, as the phrase goes “someone’s urgency becomes your emergency”. Or does it have to?
Of course it’s all about context and recognizing a true jump-to-it moment but a lot of the time the person making the request will be happy with you saying “Ok, of course I can get that to you and I’ll send it across by 4pm” for example. You’re acknowledging the request, you’re being helpful and you’re saying what you can do. You don’t have to list all the things you’re doing and all the “reasons” why you can’t do it, you just cut to the chase and say “Yes, of course, I’ll do that for you by XYZ o’clock”. They can always come back and tell you if that’s too long or too late but what you’ve told them by your first response is “yes, and I’m making space for your request a bit later”.
So many people immediately say “oh, no—I’m right in the middle of XYZ and up to my eyes in things, I can’t possibly do that too” or “Oh, ok then” and drop what they’re in the middle of, what they’re already concentrating on, and rush off to attend to this request.
Interestingly, it will take you even longer to complete your own piece of work because you’ve broken off and started something else. It takes at least 5 or 6
minutes to get your brain back in tune with something you’re concentrating on after you break off. That’s why constantly checking emails, always
answering your phone because it rings means that—as well as the physical distraction—the mental distraction makes it take even longer for you too.
So, what will you decide to do, now?
7 Words To Raise Your Game
How using assertive language raises your visibility There are so many ways to say something and every way means something different to your listener as you say it. Imagine you’re in a meeting and someone asks if anyone is able to take on a new project or put some figures together. You think to yourself, ‘I could probably do that’ but you may sit on that thought and say nothing and wait for someone else to offer or you may put yourself forward. The trick here is, if you do decide to step up and offer, it’s how you put yourself forward.
To use assertive, positive language when you’re going about your business sends a message, very clearly, to those around you that you’re someone who gets on with things and who can be trusted to do things.
A lot of people struggle with the difference between coming across as aggressive instead of assertive. Assertive is ‘self-confident, self-assured, firm’
and aggressive ‘hostile, bel igerent, forceful’ and there’s a different energy about the two, of course there is.
As a savvy communicator, you’re going to be far more effective if you come across as clear, firm and self-confident as you go about your business, rather than bel igerent or, almost worse, wishy-washy using indecisive language. It casts doubt.
You could offer to help on this new project in so many ways and depending on how you say it, your message lands differently:
• ‘I suppose I could do it’—I suppose meaning I might be able to, if pushed. I could meaning I can, but I’m not saying I wil .
• ‘I might have some capacity to do it’—I might doesn’t mean to say I wil
• ‘I’ve got enough on my plate’—unhelpful, defensive
• ‘I’ll try to do it’—I might be able to do it but I’m not real y sure I’ll be able to
• ‘Leave it with me. I’ll do it’—I’m able to do it and I will do it.
We all know which one of those simple phrases gives the most reassurance, give the most credibility and which one you’d want to hear if you were asking for help. There’s a completely different energy about the last phrase—you can feel that the person saying it is capable and certain. Being more assertive as you respond positions you with other people as someone who’s confident of
their abilities, someone who can get things done, put forward for interesting projects, promotions, and then gets promoted or appointed with the business.
Those 7 words ‘Leave it with me. I’ll do it’ will raise your game.
Hedging your bets with wishy-washy expressions ‘might be able to’ will only dilute how powerful you sound and put doubt in other people’s minds about whether you will or won’t and whether you’re capable in the first place.
When you put yourself forward to do things you become someone who offers time, help and input, and to make it most effective for you use assertive, positive language. Leave as little doubt in people’s minds as possible.
I’ll leave that with you.
Again, being seen, before we go any further—it’s worth defining what being seen is real y about.
It’s about coming up—and then staying on—people’s radar. It’s not about sitting back and waiting to be asked to do things, to be involved in things—it’s about coming forward and offering your input, your help, your services. So Being Seen
many people tell me that they feel like they’re waiting for permission…waiting to be asked. Well you might wait a very long time.
Showing Up on
You need to come forward, to push yourself forward, to be seen. You can do Their Radar
this in a way that feels comfortable and easy—never pushy—if you get into the mindset that it’s actual y a disservice to hold yourself back and keep things to yourself. You’ve got value to add, ideas to share, input to offer—you could even say you’re being selfish keeping it to yourself!
A client once told me on our first meeting together that he wanted to work with me on ‘being able to have more impact in meetings’. He said he felt as if he was invisible and that, by and large, he may as well be back at his desk for all the interest others showed to him.
Hmm—I told him “we need to get more specific. You can have more impact in meetings by dropping your trousers!” Truly, I know I’m being cheeky here with you but (it got your attention!) and you can drop your trousers. You and I both know that what you real y want is to be on the radar…to be valued, to be “a mover and shaker” rather than a “wal flower”.
By understanding what ‘being seen’ or ‘having impact’ real y means to you, then you can actual y make your moves, do what you need to so that you get noticed in a way that makes sense to you.
I describe ‘being seen’ as:
• someone who is remembered, who’s ‘around’
• who’s on people’s minds when opportunities arise,
• when people are wanting someone who takes part, someone who adds value
• when they come to you for your opinion and advice…you give it freely, succinctly and confidently…you become the ‘go to’ person for certain things.
For this to happen, I promise, you don’t have to act the clown. You do, however, have to come forward, you do have to help people remember you so you get noticed for the right reasons.
What are you waiting for—permission to shine? Go and give yourself permission to shine. If not now, when?
The 5 P’s to ‘Positioning’ and Owning Your Value
Attract People, Business and Opportunity To You
The word ‘positioning’ is one that we hear a lot and that, when push-comes-to-shove, few people real y are able to define. I define ‘positioning’, in everyday language, as putting things in the right place for other people. In a place that’s useful for them and, at the same time, is useful and helpful for you.
If you think about positioning a picture at home, for example, you’re placing it where it’s accessible and can be seen, it looks good in the light and yet it fits with the décor of the room. You think about the angles and you position it accordingly. Positioning your skil s, what they do and your value, it’s the same principle.
People need to understand what you’re going to be able to do for them, find a use for it in their world (not just in yours) and these 5 P words will make positioning yourself, your skills and your value easy for you: 1. Partner—your thinking comes from the angle of partnering with your client, your col eague, your boss. How you can help and support them
with what they’re trying to achieve. An easy question to ask to get this clear for yourself is ‘what’s your biggest chal enge at the moment?’ You, as their partner, helping to solve or master this immediately positions you as someone on their side and not just someone ‘out to get ahead’. Using words like ‘we, together, our, your’ positions you in a partnership role and using their language, their abbreviations, their interests as examples, you become their partner. Subtle and simple.
2. Powers—from the word go, you’ve thought about your own particular skill set. Of course you have. What it is you do natural y and easily and you’ve asked other people about it—literal y, that question. ‘What is it that I seem to do natural y and easily?’ and then you own those skil s. They’re part of your power. Your ‘Jedi skil s’ if you wil . Once you’ve jotted down some of your natural skil s you then make them super-powerful. Look at those skil s and ask yourself ‘What do those skil s do for other people?’ For example a skill is “I’m great with numbers”. Wel , whoopy do. What does that do?
Positioning that as valuable is being able to then say, for example “I can see angles where clients are losing money and help them stop it and save
thousands per month”. Same thing, good with numbers, huge difference in positioning the value.
3. Possible—if you’re positioning your skil s, always come from the angle of what’s possible. Not, as so many people do, what’s impossible. “Wel , I can do XYZ but I can’t do ABC” or “well I only learnt that recently so I can’t do it very wel ”. Of course you don’t over blow what you can do but what you do is real y hone in and focus on what you can do and—if you’ve got gaps—
focus on what you can do about them “and I can learn that” or “and we can immediately bring in someone to fix that”—always angling your nose to the ‘what’s possible’ with what you’re offering, what you’re able to do. Let people ask you questions, avoid laying it all out there with your fears about your gaps. You can fill them or find out how to.
4. Poise—that quiet, inner composure that gives people a sense of you without you ‘hosing them down’ with facts, compliments and information.
It’s something we all strive for at times. When you’re seeking to attract business, clients, an employer—to make an impression, to be remembered and understood and to do it in a way that means you’re engaging too, is
to hold yourself upright, to offer a firm handshake, to smile and connect and, at the same time, know that if what you’re offering isn’t a fit in this instance, it will be somewhere else. That inner composure, inner resolve gives you poise. Just like in the dating game, the subtle dance isn’t about being proposed to on the first date, it’s more about a drink, a chat and then deciding if you both want to have dinner…
5. Present—listen and keep listening, bounce back what you’ve heard, question what you’ve heard in a curious way. Stay present. That voice—the one we all have—that’s saying things like “oh, what are you going to say now?” or “whoopee, I can fix that”—a powerful way you can quieten that voice is by repeating what the person is saying to you in your head. What you find is you have to stay present with them and as you do you’ll natural y find, when the gap’s there, you’re able to fit what you want to say about your own skil s, thoughts, offer right in. Rather than racing off to ‘fix’, you stay in their world—so rather than ‘pick me, pick me’ it becomes more ‘hmm, I hear you, I think we could come up with something together. How about…’
If you use that word ‘position’ as you prepare for your meetings, interviews, presentations you’ll always be more valuable and interesting than the ‘gung-ho’, seat-of-my-pants kind of person who goes in thinking all about what they want, what’s going on with them and ‘what’s in it for me?’ and tries to ram that home. Good luck!
John Kotter, a Professor at Harvard Business School and prolific author, says it perfectly (another P word): “Great communicators have an appreciation for positioning. They understand the people they’re trying to reach and what they can and can’t hear. They send their message in through an open door rather than trying to push it through a wal ”. That’s my position too; over to you for yours now.
How to Manage Your Emails and Enjoy Your Holiday Too part 1
It’s often the last thing on your mind and the final thing you do (if you do it at al ). The holiday time can be a frenetic build up to the last day in the office and suddenly it’s handover time. It’s real y easy to either leave this important piece completely and ‘hope for the best’ or to do it in 30 seconds and think it’ll be good enough.
The ‘important piece’ I’m referring to is this. How you decide (or if you decide) to manage your emails and inbox whilst you’re on holiday.
You’ll notice I said ‘how you decide’ because it is a decision you make and it’s one that affects the quality of your holiday and the ease of your ‘re-entry’ after your holiday.
If you’re travel ing on business it’s different. Keeping in touch via your phone/remote email is easy enough now and a gap in timezones is usual y manageable. There are still some steps you can take to make that easier and
these are steps which buy you a huge amount of credit from those who are emailing you.
If I ask you “What happens when you’re on your holiday, spending time with friends and family and your emails just keep coming?” You’re most likely to tell me one of these three responses:
• They just go into my inbox and just pile up until I return
• I keep opening them and responding to them whilst I’m away
• I go away and leave an email bounce-back for people
Wel , as a savvy and influential communicator, managing your profile, your clients, your energy whilst you’re ‘Out of the Office’ plays a big part in how effective the holiday time is for you and how connected—or disconnected—
you feel towards your holiday companions whilst you’re away.
Let’s think about the effects of making any one of these three decisions:
“They just go into my inbox and just pile up until I return”
It’s great to leave the office and go and refresh and reboot yourself. The thing about just leaving your inbox and walking away is the effect it has on you whilst you’re away as you anticipate the return to “Inbox Ful ” or lots of repeat messages from people wondering if you got their original message. You can use a lot of energy even though you’re lying on a sun-bed or swimming in the sea as you wonder about things from a distance.
“Just walk away” has great merits and it also has a price. Your clients, customers and col eagues wonder about your commitment to them and, if they experience you being away while leaving them ‘hanging’ until your return, it says a lot about how you are as a person to do business with.
The essence of the thinking here is that other people fol ow your fortunes and are relying on you for information, action or input. Keeping them informed and updated buys you crucial credit from those people who may have to wait for something because you’re away.
A simple, clear bounce-back solves this and tel s the person you’ve thought about them and catered for them whilst you’re away. The trick is what that bounce-back says…
“I keep opening them and responding to them whilst I’m away” Whether you’re a business owner yourself or whether you work within a business, this is so easy to do and has as many benefits as it does drawbacks.
Obvious Benefits: you keep your email box under control; you keep in touch; you tell people what they need and want from you; you stay in the loop; you return from holiday and you’re up-to-date, you can ‘hit the ground running’.
Obvious Drawbacks: your mind and energy kept focusing on work-related
‘stuff’; your attention was divided a lot of the time between relaxing and responding to your emails; people around you got less of your down-time self; a lot of the time you could have been in the office as you notice less of your holiday surroundings; if anything, you got irritated with your surroundings as they distracted you.
This is a tricky one to balance. Keeping in touch and then switching off. When you keep focusing on work and what’s going on with it, you drastical y reduce the amount of energy you rebuild whilst you’re on holiday. We all know that changes of pace, of scenery and of thinking are the measure by which most
of us gauge our holiday. Why do you think it is so many people save up their reading from holiday to holiday? They crave that time and space to throw themselves into their books, hobbies, sandcastle-building…whatever it is.
If you do decide to keep opening and responding to your emails whilst you’re away, put some structure in. Use that bounce-back and agree with yourself, your col eagues, your family how and when you’ll read your messages. The structure you put in will give you the freedom to enjoy the time out. Without it you can end up being ‘business as usual’.
“I go away and leave an email bounce-back for people?” My response to clients here is always ‘great’ and then my next question is ‘tell me what your bounce-back says and what’s the point of it?’
I’ve seen some ‘corkers’ in my time—both received them from people and also been shown them by clients:
• “I’m out of the office for 2 weeks”—no idea when you went, when you’re coming back, what I should do whilst you’re away…
• “I’m on holiday, please call Ann Smith if it’s urgent”—no idea for how long, no idea who Ann Smith is and no email or phone number for Ann Smith (whoever she is)…
• “I’m away from the office until 1st July 2011, I’ll be in touch again then”—at least we know how long you’re away but what do we do in the meantime?
You can get here that if you’re using the bounce-back, make it helpful, think about who will receive it and what you want them to think about you when they do!
As far as what I would recommend—that’s your decision. Only you know what your holiday is for and about, what’s going on in your business and what the point is of reading your emails whilst you’re away. A combination of 1, 2
and 3 is powerful.
I’ll set out some structure for you to slot your bounce-backs into in the next chapter, plus how to position what you decide to do about this with your holiday companions and work colleagues.
How In Touch Should You Be On Your Holiday?
Managing being “Out of the Office” and Your Inbox