Richard Maun – books and blog

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Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Space …The Essential Frontier

15 August 2018

There’s an old joke that runs thus…

Q. How many ears does Captain Kirk have?

A. 3

…His left ear, his right ear and his final frontier.

Ho ho. Geddit?!

Always makes me smile, that one. Of course Capn Kirk was also famous for boldly going through space to find new planets and generally have a high old time of things. He enjoyed his space.

As Douglas Adams put it, at the start of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, ‘space is big, really big.’

And so it is. What’s easy to forget though, when we look up to the stars, is that space is really all around us down here on earth.

We rush about from meeting to meeting and then rush home to cook dinner and prepare for the next day. We check our smartphones constantly in case anyone has sent us a new tweet or email. We are deluged with tasks and people and social detritus, all wafting around us and demanding our attention.

What is good is space. Space to be on our own for a while. Space to breathe. Space to be calm in.

Relationships at home and at work all seem to run more smoothly when we take time to find space and just BE for a while, instead of doing or thinking.

A space for being in allows our thoughts to unwind and gives us an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves.

We can offer others some space too and we can recognise when a colleague is under pressure and give them space to complete a task.

Often saying nothing is the most useful form of communication. The silence we offer people reminds them that we respect their needs too. We can back off and let them enjoy their space.

When was the last time you had space for yourself? When did you take an hour, or a day, or a weekend to have time just for yourself?

If the answer is ‘not sure’ or any variation on that, then maybe it’s time to boldly go and make some space for yourself.

My favourite space is when I’m sitting on the sofa with my phone on silent and quietly playing one of my ukuleles. The gentle music is a good distraction from the world and after a while I find myself feeling calmer and ready to face the task I’ve been putting off.

We are all important. We can all ask for some space. We can all enjoy exploring the essential frontier!

Have fun in your space this week!

Next week: Collaborative Selling

The Art Of Resilience

8 August 2018

Life is tough. Full of surprises. And currently warm summer weather. Maybe not all surprises are bad ones!

Sunshine is great for vitamin D production and over the dark winter months it’s a fair bet that most of us are deficient in the big D in some way.

Now the sun is out and beaming down on us we are getting a good dose of an essential vitamin.

I mention this because colds and flu tend to strike when our levels are lowest, which is why generally we have fewer sniffles in the summer. If we don’t like being out in the sun we can get a special lamp to achieve the same effect. And we can know that an afternoon in the garden is boosting our resilience.

I think of resilience as our ability to keep going and to bounce back when we hit turbulence. It’s hard to teach as a specific item, but we can sidle up to it and give ourselves a shove in the right direction.

I think of myself as a fairly resilient sort of person and along the way I’ve learned a few things, that I use all the time to support myself.

Here are a few of my favourites…

1. Ask for help. This can be so hard to do, I know, and yet if we take a deep breath and reach out to two people we will often be surprised at what happens next. Two supporters are better than one and also minimises the risk of one person being too busy for us right now.

2. Have a physical activity in our life. Lots of people go running and that works for them. Personally I prefer some gentle yoga because all you need is a mat and a YouTube video and, most importantly, it spares us the horror of seeing Mamils (middle aged men in Lyrca shorts). We can also do it come rain or snow.

3. Play music. Switch on the radio, dust off our favourite vinyl disc, or plug in the electric guitar and crank up the volume to 11. Singing and dancing are a great way to release positive endorphins and who cares how out of tune we are? We are happy and that’s what counts.

4. Have a plan. Often we do better when we have a longer time horizon to focus on. Problems today seem more digestible if we know we will resolve them by this time next year. Not having a plan can lead to poor short-term decison making.

5. Eat and sleep. Putting good quality fuel into our tank helps our energy. Swap pizza for green veg, and carb heavy diets for lighter options. Sleep can be tricky and yet a herbal tisane (special tea type mix) can really work well. I know, I have a bag of this magic potion and make a cup when I need to relax late at night.

6. Remember our journey so far. As grown ups it’s easy to be stuck, in a flap, in the moment. Yet as kids we often had similar tough times, whether exams, or house moves, or family upset. We survived those and we can know that we will survive the current problem. Pause here and take a moment to rememebr how fabulous you are! (Yes you!)

7. Focus on small wins. Our longer term plan is wonderful for giving us a guiding path. However, on a daily basis it can boost our resilience to give ourselves a pat on the back for simple achievements. Perhaps getting to work on time, or making a choice to go to be early instead of polishing the skirting board.

Resilience is an art. We need to be artful and creative and we can design solutions for ourselves and ignore people who stand in our way.

We can be the wonderful and resilient person that our good friends and supporters know we are!

Next week: Space …The Essential Frontier!


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact