April 2007


Dear Anne

Welcome to Positive Energy, Milecastle Consultancy’s email newsletter designed to deliver ideas and useful exercises to help keep you motivated, energised and feeling positive.

I have a great topic for you this month – together we’re going to be looking at the important role your network of friends, colleagues and relatives play in influencing the opportunities in your life.

Thank you for reading Positive Energy.  If you’ve been forwarded this issue and would like to receive your own FREE copy each month, click here to subscribe.  If you have any feedback, then email me or call on 01697 747 821.

Best wishes,


The Positive Part – Where Will Your Network Take You?

“The key to happiness is having dreams; the key to success is making them come true.” 

James Allen

It’s hard to get through a single day without a person or an event affecting you.  Whether it’s a life changing incident or just an off the cuff remark, our lives and opportunities are constantly shaped by what we see and hear around us.

Think back to what has happened to you so far today.  Perhaps a simple “thank you” or an encouraging remark boosted your confidence.  Or did a sour face or cold shoulder dampen your spirits?  Someone or something will have had an effect on you.

We have to accept that people and events will always influence us as we go about our daily grind.  That’s why your confidence and your ability to control situations are so important.  If you are in control, then you are more likely to be happy, energised and motivated.

It’s time to take a fresh look at your world.  Where do you sit in it?  Are you in control?  Are you making the most of the opportunities available to you?  Who is affecting your life and your ability to reach your goals?

You can’t always control events, but you can choose the role that your friends, colleagues and relatives play in your life.  The power you have in your own life is based on individual relationships.  Relationships that aren’t healthy or supportive can hold you back and stop you reaching your goals.  You need to build up a network of support if you are going to achieve your goals.


Positive Practice

It’s time to put all this positive thinking into practice.  Here are three simple steps that will help you build a better understanding of where you sit in your world.

  • List the people who have an important affect on your life.  Consider who has a major affect on your life.  List their names under the headings Positive Effect and Negative Effect.

  • Decide what to do with the dead wood.  It’s not always possible to cut ties with people who have a negative impact on your life.  But isn’t it time you took control over how much influence they have going forward?

  • How can you use people to the greatest effect?  Now that you’ve identified the people who are unconditionally supportive or encouraging, or who have information or skills that will help you, think about how you can use these people to the greatest effect.

With a supportive network, even your highest goals and wildest dreams are achievable.  That’s why we’ve designed a worksheet to help you develop your network.  You can download it here from our website.


What Can We Do For You?

Are you and your team making the most of people around you?

Heather was having a problem with her PC.  She had been in email contact with the IT technician for around a month.  One day Ellie came into the department to talk to a colleague.  “Who was that?” asked Heather, “That was Ellie from IT.  She has been fixing your computer for you, hasn’t she?” said her colleague.  The IT department was only in the next room, but Heather had never thought to just walk through the door and ask for help, so she had never even met Ellie.  Shortly after this Heather found a new job and left the company.  At her exit interview she said that she had never really made any new friends at work despite being at the company for nearly a year.

Heather’s life could have been made so much easier if she’d made an effort to meet people and use the network of support around her.  Are you making the most of the people available to you?

Springboard facilitated really positive networking for one of our clients.  She says,

“I met Karen on the Springboard programme.  We worked together and I’d been in contact with Karen by email before the course, but I’d never actually met her.  During the course we realised that there were lots of ways that we could help each other with our work.  I feel that we are able to help the staff by working together far more than we ever did before.  If we hadn’t shared our goals on the Springboard programme this would never have happened.  Now the whole place benefits.”

Successful networking can really improve business performance.  How many in your organisation could be making better, more effective networks?

What Can You Read?

A Modern Girls Guide to Networking by Sarah Ivens.  The topics covered include conversation starters, social situations and in the office.

Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison and Wayne Conaway.  I’ve just been out to the Middle East and found this book really useful.  It gives you cultural overviews of 60 countries to help your international networking.

http://www.bpwuk.co.uk/  This website is an organisation for women who are in any type of occupation and at any stage of their career development.  I’ve been a member for about 3 years and highly recommend it.

What’s Happening?

By the time you read this I will have visited Syria and Lebanon to run some specific training for women from the UN Agency for Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees.  It was tough preparing the course in time and dealing with the logistics of working in the Middle East.  24 hours before we left our flights weren’t even booked!  However, I remained positive throughout and made the most of this very exciting opportunity!

This work has come about (through networking) because the UNRWA recognised that their women did not perform very well in interviews and were failing to achieve more senior positions.  We put together a course that taught specific skills, and focused on personal development.

Call us now if you feel that you need this sort of specific help rather than our broader women’s development programmes.  You’ll know that you are getting a really professional course that is recognised by the UN!

You can read more about my trip and keep in touch with what’s happening at my new blogsite – BlogPositive at http://suehewitt.typepad.com

In next month’s issue of Positive Energy we’ll look at self awareness and motivation.  The better you know yourself, the more you are aware of what motivates you!

Milecastle Consultancy Ltd
Tel: 01697 747 821  Email: sue.hewitt@milecastle.co.uk  Website: www.milecastle.co.uk
Milecastle Consultancy Ltd, 1 Rose Cottages, Gilsland, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 7AP