Guest Post: Cyber Insurance

Original Article via MoonStone.co.za

Cyber insurance – A first priority for SMEs

Late last year, Business Report shared that according to the global Cyber Exposure Index, South Africa currently has the sixth highest average exposure to cybercrime, with businesses in the industrial and financial sectors being the most commonly targeted by cybercrime attacks.

Another similar report revealed that around 61 percent of small businesses experienced a cyber-attack in 2017.

It is reported that cyber-criminals target SMEs that hold valuable business data, such as personal customer or financial information. These small businesses often do not implement the stringent online security measures that large corporates have in place.

Santho Mohapeloa, Digital Distribution Specialist at SHA Specialist Underwriters is referenced in the article. He stresses the importance for SMEs to have adequate cover in place to help their business recover swiftly from cyber-attacks.

Editor’s note: Although cyber insurance can be seen as business opportunity for financial advisors, FSPs as SMEs should also put actions and systems in place to reduce their risk of falling victim to a cyber-attack.

Click here to read the Business Report article.

P.S.: Are you interested to find out more of the “Why, What, Where, When and How…” uncovered and discovered in the process of writing the thesis (The Psychological impact of past experiences [and rehabilitation thereof] on daily driven financial decisions)? Sign up for our direct mailing list -> CLICK HERE

Guest Post: Behavioural Science leads to better returns

Original Article via MoonStone.co.za

Behavioural science leads to better returns

Financial Planner of the Year shares tips – Behavioural science leads to better returnsIn a recent Business Report article, Janet Hugo Financial Planner of the Year, shares how behavioural finance can be used in an efficient and practical manner in the wealth-management process.

 

According to Hugo one of the easiest ways to incorporate investor psychology into financial planning is to apply goal-based investing, which involves creating specific goals with defined time horizons and selecting investments with the correct asset allocation for each goal. She shares that it works very well for pre-retirement clients who are accumulating wealth, as well as for post-retirement clients who need income from their capital.

She also uses behavioural finance in the wealth-management process to create an awareness of emotional biases that affect investment decisions.

Scenario playing is another excellent way to include behavioural finance in the financial planning process.

Click here to read the article.

 
 

P.S.: Are you interested to find out more of the “Why, What, When and How…” uncovered and discovered in the process of writing our thesis (The Psychological impact of past experiences [and rehabilitation thereof])? Sign up to our direct mailing list -> CLICK HERE

Guest Post – Meaning: Loners tend to be more intellectual and loyal friends

Original Article: I Heart Intelligence.com

There is a big difference between someone who is a loner-by-choice and a socially rejected person. Contrary to what most people think, being a loner is neither good nor bad.

Loners tend to be individuals who enjoy spending time alone as much, or more so, than they do with their friends (yes, loners do have friends).

Loners Tend To Be More Intellectual and Loyal Friends.
They have a low need for peer acceptance and affiliation and engage with the world in different ways than others by focusing on their own ideas and being stimulated by solitude, as constant social interactions tend to drain them.

Loners generally have a small circle of close friends and have higher standards for their friendship and trust.

They enjoy spending time with their friends but do not depend on and attach to them like others, though they are highly loyal. Loners are generally more intellectual than others, using their time to enjoy and study anything and everything that interests them. Funny enough, both introverts and extroverts can be loners.

A lot of loners make conscious decisions to spend time away from the big social groups mainly because they understand it’s better to be on their own rather than being ‘used up’ by fake friends.

They recognise that they may have a lot of friends, but don’t see everyone as a ‘best friend‘ except for those who really resonate with them, those who know all their negative points and still prefer being with them. In this overtly ‘social’ world,  these friends are hard to find and often if they aren’t found easily, loners don’t settle for anybody and everybody for the sake of it, often being a loner is a better option!

Contrary to popular belief, not all loners have a pathological fear of social contact. “Some people simply have a low need for affiliation,” says Jonathan Cheek, a psychologist at Wellesley College. “There’s a big subdivision between the loner-by-preference and the enforced loner. Those who choose the living room over the ballroom may have inherited their temperament,” Cheek says. “Or a penchant for solitude could reflect a mix of innate tendencies and experiences such as not having many friends as a child or growing up in a family that values privacy.”

There are unhealthy cases of the lonely loners.

The lonely introverts’ camp closely borders the land of the socially anxious. Some people, for example, can “pathologically shy” or have bad experiences as children, which likely lays the groundwork for very quiet lifestyles. Those who remain “enforced loners” long to spend time with people, but shyness and anxiety inhibit them from doing so and they become introverts who tend to be alone, they may deep down prefer to be around other people, but because of their shyness, it’s difficult for them to join groups and make friends.

Such loners have several stress-inducing strikes against them: They may get butterflies whenever they have to face in-person encounters, and they are subject to outside pressure to be sociable. When major life problems crop up, loners are also less likely to seek out social support.

John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, has highlighted social isolation as a health-risk factor on par with obesity and smoking. “Loneliness is like hunger and thirst—a signal to help your genes survive,” Cacioppo says. “When you’re lonely, there’s a stress response in your body, and it’s not healthy to sustain that for a long time.”

But though the term ‘loner’ tends to be pitied and and somewhat feared in our up-with-people culture. The introvert or loner can really reap secret joys from the solitary life and actually have a freer and less stressful experience that can lead to creativity, growth, learning and exceptionally deep and fulfilling relationships with those they choose to bless with their time.

Besides doesn’t it take all types to make up the world? It’s not always the quiet ones you have to be wary of, I promise!

Do you prefer to spend time with yourself rather than others?

Share your stories with us…

Author:

  

Guest Post: Five Fierce Ways to become the Ultimate Entrepreneur

What does the ultimate entrepreneur look like? The truth is that although we aspire to many of our role models, success is personal. Here are five ways to find your own ‘ultimate’ success.

For some, the ultimate entrepreneur might be someone like Elon Musk — working non-stop, rich beyond measure, but with no balance in life.

For others it might simply be someone who has built a business that will sustain them; an entrepreneur who is successful but also prioritises other aspects of their life. Take a second. Think about it. What does it mean to you?

In my view the ultimate entrepreneur is focused, has copious amounts of positive energy, a supportive network, is mentally tough, has their priorities in order and has a steadfast idea towards which they are working.

Here are five ways to go about building yourself into the ultimate entrepreneur (or at least my version of one).

1. SEED YOUR DAY WITH ENERGY ENHANCERS

Your energy is your secret weapon. You should protect and enhance it at all costs. When I talk about energy I am referring to both physical and mental energy. There is an esoteric component to this as well, but we will leave that discussion for another day.

How can you enhance your physical energy? The simplest way is to get enough sleep, drink enough water, and clean up your diet. It really is as simple as that. Just get the basics right.

How can you enhance your mental energy? Remove friends and influences that drain you and replace them with a network of people who support you and can appreciate the level at which you are playing. I also suggest to my clients that they carry small symbols with them that can remind them of the goals they are working towards and other things that are important to them.

2. TRAIN FOR MENTAL TOUGHNESS

Mental toughness is the ability to pursue your goals with a positive attitude amidst the challenges and chaos of life. The most important thing I want you to know about mental toughness is that it is trained. This means that you must put in the effort and time to develop a stronger mentality.

The two important skills to train are:

  1. Self-awareness. In other words, becoming aware of the moment that you start latching on to negativity or succumbing to images of a future that might never come to pass.
  2. Creating a strong counter visualisation. This visualisation ideally contains emotionally-charged images of the big goal that you are working towards, the person that you are becoming, and the things that matter to you.

Mental toughness does not ignore the problem. It simply allows you to keep moving forward while you figure things out.

3. CREATE A SUPPORT NETWORK

It’s a great feeling when you finally find people who get it. They get what you are trying to build and the pressures and challenges you face. I’d love to tell you that such people are all around you, but the truth is that they aren’t. You must go looking for them. At events, on social media, at business forums, really wherever entrepreneurs congregate.

As with most things you need to realise the importance of time in building such a network. So, start sooner than later. One day you will wake up and realise that the people you once admired are now peers and form part of your network. It’s a great feeling. But start now.

3. ZOOM OUT

You are not your business. This is important and difficult for entrepreneurs to hear. Business is such a personal thing. Especially in the early days when you literally are your business. At some point however, you need to realise that you cannot let your business consume your life. It’s one component of your life, not its entirety.

So, make sure that you are looking after and making time for your health, your relationships, your energy levels, your creativity, and your hobbies.

4. IS IT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY?

This ties in to the previous point but also to a greater purpose. I get why money is such an important metric early on. We need it to survive, and to that end, focusing on creating more money in your business is a great goal. However, money always seems like an important thing to chase, until we have enough but are still found wanting for something more.

I think there is purpose in you just being alive, but I also believe that we create purpose with our intentions and actions. You might not currently know what a crafted purpose looks like, and that’s okay. I would encourage you to consider what your life (and business) looks like in the bigger context of serving others.

The ultimate entrepreneur is an ideal that you must create for yourself. Don’t copy the greats. Build your own version 2.0 and make it damn good.

Author:

Erik Kruger

Source: 

Entrepreneur Magazine

Guest Blog: How do you measure your clients’ progress?

Original Article: ReciproCoach Research January 2011

 

Measuring our clients’ progress in coaching can be a sticky topic. Ironically however, without client progress we’re all out of a job! Thus, being clear on how and by whom progress is measured, is a process that all coaches need to be skilled up in. In her paper “Why is Progress a Controversial Issue in Coaching?” Tanya Prescott (2010, International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Special Issue No.4, pp.21-36) sheds some light on the issue.

COACHING RESEARCH:

One thing that makes measurement of progress in coaching so tricky is the reality “that indicators of progress may not become immediately apparent during the lifespan of the coaching, and that even if they do, they may not be attributable to coaching alone” (pp.23-24). As if that isn’t enough, this study highlighted numerous other challenges coaches are faced with when attempting to gauge progress.

An important theme presented in the paper was the controversy surrounding whose definition of progress prevailed. Re-phrased simply as “Whose agenda?” in this study, three competing agendas arose:

  • the stakeholder’s e.g. sponsoring company or client’s wife 😉
  • the coach’s
  • the client’s (of course!)

In some cases, coaches reported stakeholders setting the parameters for progress. A coach in this situation facetiously highlighted how this in turn affected a coaching session: “This is your agenda; what would you like to talk about?” (CR6) (p.27). In another case, a coach reported not seeing any progress, but, after checking in with the client, discovered that the coach was unaware of the internal process the client was going through and therefore could not see the progress that the client experienced. Finally, another coach demonstrated how other parties could also identify progress e.g. “one client reported to a coach that his wife had observed signs of progress” (p. 28).

Another finding which crept its way into this study which was particularly interesting to me, was that numerous coaches in the study described how coaching benefited them. Of course we know this, otherwise we wouldn’t be ReciproCoaches, but it’s nice to see some official evidence for it, which appears to be the first of its kind.

IN PRACTICE:

As always, research findings are redundant if we don’t put them into practice, so here are a few things to remember: Each involved party’s definition of progress is not necessarily the same. Be clear about each.

  • “It is not always possible to satisfy all parties” (p.27).
  • “Careful contracting with the stakeholders at the start of the process… [can] ensure sufficient flexibility to allow the client’s needs to be addressed” (p.27).
  • “For the client to have the opportunity to grow within the coaching relationship, the coach must first establish what progress means to the client” (p.28).
  • Develop awareness and flexibility by examining the foundations and assumptions underlying your own practice (ReciproCoach supervision groups are a good way of doing this) “to ensure that the power is equally shared between the coach and the client” (p.28).
  • Solicit “feedback from the client on what was happening” so that you can get an insight into what is “going on inside” them (p.28).
  • Regularly engage in coaching yourself.

Finally, this paper provided much information on the blurry lines that exist when there are third-party stakeholders. If you do any such coaching (or intend to), I recommend you read the entire paper yourself. You can do this via this link:

http://www.business.brookes.ac.uk/research/areas/coachingandmentoring/volume/SP4-2-Prescott.pdf

Translating coaching research into coaching practice,

Dr Kerryn Griffiths
Global ReciproCoach Coordinator

Guest Blog: Are your clients actually ready for coaching? (2010/11)

Original Article: ReciproCoach Research – November 2010

 

When I first sat down to read the research paper for this month’s issue of Coaching Research in Practice, I was tempted to write just one sentence in this email:

“Here’s the link – just go and read it!”

Research into clients’ readiness for coaching has been long overdue and Ines Kretzschmar (Exploring Clients’ Readiness for Coaching, International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Special Issue No.4, October, 2010) has written a paper that’s full of insight and reader-friendly!

COACHING RESEARCH:

Through eighteen semi-structured face-to-face interviews and nine email interviews with coaches, coaching clients and enquirers about coaching, Ines identifies six variables which influence clients’ readiness for coaching. Ines presents these variables as layers, which potential clients pass through in order to take on coaching. Notably, some layers represent an impasse for some potential clients who do not convert to become coaching clients, but if all layers are ‘transcendable’, a client may be deemed “ready”. Here they are:

  • A potential client’s culture and class affects the degree to which they are exposed to coaching opportunities. In addition, culture and class appear to suggest that some potential clients may lack some of the skills needed for coaching, e.g. self-awareness and responsibility.
  • A potential client’s knowledge about coaching, that is, how much they have heard and know about coaching affects their readiness.
  • A potential client’s access to coaching affects their readiness. This includes factors such as time, cost and client selection. Of these, cost was named as the biggest barrier to coaching.
  • The “psychological interpretations” ( p.11) of a potential client, otherwise explained as clients being “ready in themselves” (p.11), affects client readiness. In particular, this research suggest that clients who are open, willing to look “deep inside” (p.11) themselves, who have a healthy self-esteem and positive attitude and who have the ability to take feedback and reflect and are emotionally stable, are more “ready”.
  • A client demonstrates more readiness for coaching when they feel safe . In this study, safeness was affected by the coach-client relationship, and also by the support of the people around a client e.g. their partner, family, friends and workplace.
  • When clients have a commitment to change, their readiness is enhanced. A commitment to change is indicated when the client “has a clear reason to engage in the coaching in the first place” (p.13), as well as commitment and responsibility to make the change.

IN PRACTICE:

Ines has included a questionnaire for “Exploring Client’s Readiness for Coaching” on pages 14 and 15 of her paper. If you really want to ensure that your clients are actually ready for coaching, I’d recommend you print off the questionnaire and consider it before your next client intake. Here’s the link again, in case you missed it the first time. In addition, keep in mind these essentials:

  • Be able to explain, succinctly and scientifically, what coaching is – it will increase your potential clients’ knowledge of coaching and with that their readiness for coaching.
  • Continually help your clients to become more and more clear on the personal value of coaching and this will support your clients in becoming more and more ready (coaching may begin with a process of developing readiness for it!).
  • By having different ways to deliver coaching, you reduce the barrier that “access” can impose on client readiness.
  • Notice if you are working harder than your clients, as “that should be a warning sign where the client’s readiness for coaching has to be questioned and explored further” (p.13).

Translating coaching research into coaching practice,

Dr Kerryn Griffiths
Global ReciproCoach Coordinator

Guest Blog: Forming a coaching relationship (2010/10)

Original Article: ReciproCoach Research – October 2010

 

In their paper, “Exploring key aspects in the formation of coaching relationships: Initial indicators from the perspective of the coachee and the coach” (Coaching: An international Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, Vol. 3, No.2, September 2010, 124-143), Alanna O’Broin and Stephen Palmer highlight an interesting paradox in the field of coaching. Although we all herald the importance of the coaching relationship, “little dedicated research currently exists on those qualities or characteristics important in its formation” (p.124). Indeed, if little research exists, then what we think we know about forming a coaching relationship may or may not be true…

COACHING RESEARCH:

In their qualitative interview based study of six coaches and six coaches in the UK, O’Broin and Palmer identified three main themes which coachees and coaches considered important in forming a coaching relationship:

  • Coach attitudes and characteristics
  • Bond and engagement
  • Collaboration

Coach attitudes and characteristics include: characteristics, such as a genuine, non-formulaic, empathetic style; attitudes, in particular coach self-awareness or self-management; and, adapting to the coachee, placing attention on the individual coachee’s needs and working to achieve the most effective relationship possible with the coachee.

The factors which affect engagement include: trust, listening, rapport, openness and disengagement and disruptions (such as withdrawal by the coachee). Interestingly, although most participants in this study perceived the bond as a characteristic of a good coaching relationship, there was little agreement on what actually constituted a bond.

Finally, collaboration involves: a two-way relationship, in which coach and coachee participated in a reciprocal two-way process; respect, which was mutual between coach and coachee; and, support, which included guidance, motivation and, especially for coachees, support outside the coaching session itself.

IN PRACTICE:

This research holds several considerations for practice:

Reflect:

  • How genuine is your style? How formulaic is your style? How emphathetic are you?
  • what degree do you engage in processes that enhance your own self-awareness and self-management? (e.g. How often do you get coaching yourself?)
  • How focused are you on adapting your coaching to achieve the most effective relationship with each coachee?
  • well do you manage disengagement and disruptions?
  • How much of a bond do you sense between yourself and your clients?

Evaluate:

With each of your current clients, take a moment to rate (out of 10) the (i) trust, (ii) rapport, (iii) openness, (iv) collaboration, (v) respect and (vi) support you experience with each of your current coachees. Then, if you’re really keen to improve your practice, copy and paste the above points into an email and ask your clients to do the same!

Translating coaching research into coaching practice,

Dr Kerryn Griffiths
Global ReciproCoach Coordinator

Guest Blog: Lindsey Pollak via Levo 26 Nov 2014

4 Classic Management Books that are Still Relevant Today

 In writing my book Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders, I followed in the footsteps of many leadership and management thinkers and teachers. While some of their work has gone out of fashion or been rendered irrelevant by newer thinking, plenty remains relevant and useful today.

In Becoming the Boss, I include a list of classic management books that are still worth reading for today’s leaders. Here are four books from that list:

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936)

How to Win Friends and Influence People was one of the very first self-help books, and it’s still amazingly relevant. Here are two of the book’s tips for making people like you. (FYI, the original edition also included tips for wives like “Don’t nag your husband,” but those were, thankfully, removed later.)

  • Be genuinely interested in other people.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. A person’s favorite word is his or her own name.

2. The Effective Executive (1967) and The Essential Drucker (2008) by Peter F. Drucker

If Ogilvy is the father of advertising, Peter Drucker is the father of management. I chose The Effective Executive for this list because Drucker’s influence was particularly strong in the late 1960s (and rumor has it that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos requests that all of his top executives read it). But Drucker wrote dozens of important books on management, leadership, success, and business, which is why I also recommend The Essential Drucker, a greatest-hits collection of his sixty-plus (!) years of writings.

I guarantee you’ll hear someone quoting Peter Drucker in a meeting or presentation sometime soon (whether that person knows she’s quoting Drucker or not), so you must know his name. Here are two of his most well-known pieces of wisdom:

  • “What’s measured improves.”
  • “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

3. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson (1982)

When I reached out to dozens of colleagues to ask what their favorite business book was, The One Minute Manager received the most mentions. Consider this super-short book a “management for dummies” that’s really very smart. It basically boils down to this:

  • Set one-minute goals that you can write in 250 words or fewer. (If Twitter had been around in 1982, Blanchard and Johnson probably would’ve recommended 140-character goals.)
  • Give one-minute praise and one-minute reprimands for behavior to keep people on track toward their one-minute goals.

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (1989).

I was a freshman in high school in 1989 and I remember how insanely popular The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was when it launched, even though most of my attention at the time was focused on boys. It’s probably the book I’ve seen on successful business people’s bookshelves more than any other and the book I recommend most to others. Here are two of my favorite habits:

  • “Begin with the end in mind.” Covey advises creating a mission statement for your life and making daily choices based on that statement. In other words, whenever you want to do anything, weigh the decision against your long-term goals.
  • “Put first things first.” Prioritize, plan, and execute your to-do list based on your life priorities (along with, when at work, your organization’s priorities), not just what seems urgent in the moment.

My new book Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders has my full list of classic management books that remain relevant today along with my own advice for young leaders moving into their first management roles.

This post originally appeared on LindseyPollak.com.

Photo: condesign / Pixabay

Guest Blog: Solopreneur – don’t do it alone

Small Business Expo Blog

The word solopreneur implies you work alone. You prefer to run a business alone, without intention to hire. Everyone else in business wants to recruit and manage teams.

“Don’t work alone. Though you can run it alone.”

Do not hire people, but you can work with them. One of the best attributes about solopreneurs is that they prefer to do the work.

Project management taught me how to assemble a team to do what needs to be done to meet the brief. Each person has a key role to play and they focus on doing what they do best.

Your team works with you and not for you. You don’t need them to be part of the business, even though they work with you.

3 pointers for solopreneurs

  • Grow your network.

Understand what each person in your network does and let them know what you do. Also, understand if the people you meet are solopreneurs with the intention to stay that way or they intend to hire staff, and becoming entrepreneurs.

  • Know your business

Don’t wing it. A business exists when there are customers paying for a service. Understand your brand and the way your business works, so you can stay in business. A freelancer “pursues a passion without any commitment to any employer

  • Get the right tools to manage your lifestyle

Admin will never go away. If you don’t hire an admin person, then find the right tools to handle the admin.

About the author

Marang Marekimane is the founder and CEO of Business Process Mechanics.  You have a specialty, and she’s a specialist at finding tools to automate the business processes. Your vision and her expertise – there are opportunities to increase access to markets, reduce unemployment and scale businesses.

www.bizprocessmechanics.co.za

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With Gratitude,

Yvonne E. Venter – Louw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog: How to start a business with what you have

Published: NSBC – 31 may 2017

Have you ever looked at famous entrepreneurs and wondered how they got to where they are?

Where did they start?

Many successful entrepreneurs have started from humble beginnings and with what they have. You may think you cannot start a business with what you have, but it takes fewer resources than you might think. Combined with passion and tenacity, you could be well on your way to becoming the next great entrepreneur. Here are some aspects to consider:

Read moreGuest Blog: How to start a business with what you have

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