Thought-provoking ideas from Chris Liles

Welcome

Chris Liles welcomes you

Chris Liles welcomes you

Can I ask you a personal question?  Have you ever stopped to consider the Values that drive your business life?  They may include honesty, empathy & caring in all your dealings.

Without knowledge of such personal values, how can you realistically set yourself business Goals?  By working in accordance with your core values, your heart will be working with you to boost your successes.  How many times have you wondered about someone ‘Is their heart really in it?’  Do people ever ask that about you?

From my own ‘Values & Goals’ exercise I recognised my primary value is ‘To help others achieve their aspirations’.  That may sound altruistic but I genuinely believe “if you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want” (Zig Ziglar).  Each time a business opportunity arises, I compare it to my primary value.  If it fits, then I seriously consider taking the next step.

How do I help people get what they want? Clients often tell me I have an ability to help them stand back to see their issues in true perspective. This enables clarity of vision and they often then need little prompting in devising strategies to resolve the issues which had been blighting their lives. My help may sound simple but my ‘knack’ has evolved after a lifetime of business experience plus detailed study of human psychology.

Having run my own business since 1992, I am passionate about helping smaller businesses, especially those in my home County of Norfolk (UK).

Please enjoy browsing my website.  I encourage my clients to live by the maxim that ‘you don’t have to be ill, to get better!’  So, I look forward to exploring with you whether we can successfully work together.  I genuinely want to help you to achieve your dreams.

Why not contact me in strictest confidence to explore ways I can help you.  A problem shared can be a problem halved.

Signature - Chris Liles

Networking snogging

A simple Body-Language tip to save you embarrassment

Simple Body-Language tips to save you embarrassment.

I was invited to experience a new (to me) Business for Breakfast www.bforb.com networking event which (refreshingly) starts at 3pm on a Friday afternoon. Host, Lorna Burroughes warmly welcomed and pointed me towards the tea/coffee table at the far end of the room.

As a seasoned networker, I used the trip down the room to scan attendees, noting with satisfaction that there were several new (to me) faces. However, standing with teacup in her left hand was a familiar face, social media guru, Bridget Greenwood www.financial-socialmedia.co.uk  Bridget greeted me with a smiling ‘Hello Chris’ and extended her free right arm at shoulder height as an invitation to a ‘cheek-kiss’ greeting in place of a handshake.

Now dear reader, join me in a time-lapse world of slow-motion recall. My sequence of thoughts as I was rapidly closing the distance between Bridget and myself was:

  1. She is presenting her right cheek for the kiss, I will line-up my right cheek accordingly …
  2. No, hang-on, now her head is slightly more angled presenting her left cheek, switch direction fast …
  3. Wait, she has spotted my confusion and has started to swing back in favour of her right cheek …
  4. Closing fast, her swing to right incomplete … cannot pull back now … smack … right on the lips!

Fortunately neither Bridget nor myself are Shrinking Violets so an hilarious interchange resulted along with the other ladies who had been chatting with her. “I have never been snogged at a networking event before!” stated Bridget “At least you didn’t use tongues!” commented one observer. I particularly enjoyed Bridget’s subsequent demonstration with me of how it should have been done. Despite my insisting I was a slow learner, she refused to demonstrate it more than once though. The ice was well and truly broken and I can safely say I left a lasting impression on some of the B4B members!

As a business relationships specialist, such Body Language encounters interest me. Both at that meeting and subsequently I have effected informal research with lady networkers (no not snogging them!) and want to share emerging lessons with you:

  • Men do not kiss men (well not in the UK networks I have attended anyway!), handshakes suffice.
  • Some women freely greet other women with a cheek-kiss.
  • Women sometimes greet known men with a cheek-kiss.
  • Men who kiss women they have not previously met are regarded suspiciously.
  • Men who kiss women on the lips are regarded as a bit creepy (well that incident has blown my street-cred!).

Lessons I would propose to men and women to help you overcome this inter-sex issue are:

  1. Rely solely on the good old-fashioned firm (not forceful nor limp) handshake when first meeting a member of the opposite sex.
  2. When meeting someone for the second (or more) time, use the handshake as your default. However also be vigilant to see if there is any move towards a cheek-kiss too. If so, go for it but with caution.
  3. Respect their personal space and withdraw rapidly to a distance comfortable to you both.
  4. Be wary that kissing on the lips could be regarded as too great an invasion of privacy.

I am happy to receive your thoughts on this controversial topic. Now, let me kiss you all goodbye  … c’mon pucker up!

Sole Traders & Partnerships

Ever feel you need help?

Ever feel you need help?

Happy to be on your own?

In recent years I have helped hundreds of Pre-Starts and Sole Traders/Partnerships become more comfortable in climbing the Business Ladder.

There always seems plenty of help available before or just after you start trading. However, a year or two later, it is common to feel alone and in need of further support. Simple confirmation that you are doing the right things may be all that is needed.

With my extensive network built up over 20 years of running my own business, if I cannot help you I will know someone who can. Tapping-into my contacts will help you gain your own network of Trusted Advisers.

What sole trader clients have said about me

“Although I had started a business before, the enormity of my new venture was quite overwhelming and I found myself not knowing where to begin. The first meeting with Chris Liles allowed me to take a step back while he went through every aspect, spotting further opportunities and uncovering even more tasks. Chris then helped to prioritise those tasks and create an Action Plan for the next steps. I left feeling excited, motivated and supported and cannot wait for the next meeting in a month’s time. Chris helped me to stand back from my issues, create perspective then hone-in on remedial actions. It was like having the support of a business partner for a day and I only wish I had been introduced to Chris sooner.”  

Louise Ives-Wilkinson (Ives-Wilkinson Interiors) 

To explore ways I can help you please contact me for a free chat.

Micro-businesses

 

Is your business growing comfortably?

Is your business growing comfortably?

Happy with your team? Perhaps you have built up to as many as 10 staff now? Possibly some cracks are beginning to show? Or maybe everything is running smoothly so you want to move to the next level?

What clients with micro-businesses have said about me:

Chris has now supported me in two business ventures. He imported his ‘Wisdom of Years’ in business to beautifully complement mine and my co-directors’ vigour and enthusiasm. Chris is a lateral thinker, a great listener and easy to talk with. I find it most valuable having him as an independent and trusted confidante.  Gary Hardy – Mentor World.

To explore ways I can help you please contact me for a free chat.

Small Businesses

Happy with your Team?

Happy with your Team?

Got a good group of people?

Now with a good sized team helping you, I hope your business is powering ahead. However at the 10 to 50 staff level I find cracks can begin to show. Owners reluctant to ‘let go’ of their ‘baby’. Staffing issues emerging now the ‘family-feel’ of the business is reducing. Principal’s wanting to work more ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ their business. Often some regular input (e.g. at monthly Board Meetings) from an independent, trusted advisor can help to maintain clarity of purpose. Sharing that clear focus with the team can help resolve staffing issues.

What clients with small businesses have said about me:

At one Board Meeting, Chris helped us to stand back from our intense involvement in our business. With his guidance we more clearly saw the full picture and summarised our entire business processes onto three flipchart sheets. This helped us more clearly see our ideal future strategy . He has also given our team valuable skills to boost their business relationships. In essence, Chris helps bring business dreams to life. He has an uncanny knack of acting as a catalyst.          D.O. (Norwich)

To explore ways I can help you please contact me for a free chat.

Business Relationships Manager service

Executive Summary - how I can help businesses to:

  • Build your prospects
  • Build your performance
  • Build your team
  • Build your business

Overview of how I can help businesses:

I am often asked about the ways I help businesses. So, to illustrate the breadth of services I can offer to a single Client I have devised the following hypothetical role. If all or part of it raises interest, I am happy to visit you for an exploratory tea and a chat – no obligation nor cost. Ring 07885 25 35 25 or chris@liles.co.uk to compare diaries.

 

What does a Business Relationships Manager do?

Boost your bottom-line results by enhancing the effectiveness of interactions between two or more people, inside or outside of your organisation.

Provide someone to (1) handle disruptions from ‘people issues’, (2) service key clients &/or (3) cold-approach prospects you have always wanted as your clients.

What bottom-line benefits can a Business Relationships Manager generate?

Prospective Customers/Clients – powerful prospecting to win-over your competitors’ clients. One prospect ‘landed’ & nurtured earned a local business £150k fee income over 10 years.

Customers/Clients – turn them into ‘Ambassadors’ who freely promote referrals, cross-sales & repeat business. It is 5 to 10 times cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Customer service complements sales initiatives to grow the business.

  • Suppliers – achieving the successful relationships vital for production support to satisfy customers, whilst also negotiating potential £ savings in supply costs.
  • Managerial effectiveness – to boost your managers’ people-management skills. Typically team performance can increase by 10%.
  • Team effectiveness – improving rapport, confidence & relationship-building abilities to boost efficiency. Save £1,000’s by avoiding Tribunals & resultant recruiting, training etc.

How can one person achieve all that?

By a combination of regular hands-on involvement in a role/s chosen from the above. Also coaching/mentoring members of your Team to build their confidence, ability & performance.

Who has such a breadth of business experience and a proven ability to achieve results either personally or by coaching others?

Chris Liles, Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, Founder Member Association for Coaching, Chartered Insurance Practitioner.

Exceptional “people skills”

Highly self-organised

Results through people

Creative problem solver

Team Player & Motivator

Quality focussed

  •  Past roles/contracts: business development (face to face, phone, email, networking etc.), customer service, marketing, management coach & trainer, personnel officer, psychometrics practitioner, investigative reporter, negotiator, author & columnist.
  • Business Sectors assisted/experienced: Insurance, Construction, Engineering, Accountancy, Law, Logistics, Estate Agency, Recruitment, Advertising, Oil/Gas, Motor, Retail, Print, Leisure, Manufacturing, Local Government, Housing, Travel, Tourism, Catering, Occupational Health, Academia, Food.
  • Software abilities: Microsoft: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, WordPress (websites). Goldmine (CRM). MindManager.

What is the Level of Investment?

  • Experience recommends minimum 3 days per week ongoing for optimum effect & results.
  • Freelance (invoiced monthly from Limited Company) or Employed – as preferred.
  • £150 per day (no VAT) for 3 days/week with commission agreed as/if necessary.

 Personal details: Driving Licence: Full, clean. Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosure Certificated.

Chronological Curriculum Vitae, relevant testimonials & psychometric profile – all available.

About Chris Liles

I am trying to imagine the questions that may be in your mind. Let me see if I can answer them for you …

What makes you a good Business Mentor?

 My entire working life has revolved around meeting & helping people in businesses across almost all sectors.

I love helping people & businesses to grow. My passion for personal development started in 1987 & became my business in 1992. Since then I have helped thousands of people to achieve their dreams. My breadth of expertise & experience across 23 business sectors has also allowed me to help many small & medium sized businesses to start-up &/or expand. Added value is achieved for clients via my extensive local contacts from being a dedicated networker, including co-running the popular Antidote Business Network.

Until 2012, my tips & ideas were shared with around 86,000 people every month for a decade through my column in the Eastern Daily Press. Now I write for bespoke online periodicals e.g. Leap Magazine  dedicated to those having taken (or considering taking) their personal ‘leap’ of Faith into running their own business.

 What qualities can you offer me?

Communicator / Ideas generator / Innovative thinker / Imaginative / Creative / Intuitive / Enthusiastic / Honest / Reliable / Pragmatic optimist / Team worker / Pioneer / Enjoys variety & change / Influencer / Understanding / Confident / Reassuring / Challenging / Practical / Solutions-focused / Loves learning / Business Catalyst.

 How do you help your Clients?

I offer a limited number of non-competing local businesses my regular hands-on help.  I am keen to roll-up my sleeves & dive-in to support business direction, sales, marketing &/or especially any people matters. This  help is for between one day per month & one day per week (for each business) plus for three days per week for my key client.

My main ability is in achieving results through people. Even if I cannot personally import the specialism you need, if it exists within your team, I can release that potential. E.g. I helped a client introduce a Quality Standard into their culture by working alongside their in-house quality specialist. Often though, simply tapping into my huge network of trusted business contacts satisfies any otherwise elusive need.

Perhaps you want someone with whom to share business problems and identify solutions. Perhaps you cannot afford a full-time expert just yet in Sales, Marketing or any People-focused areas. I offer you the opportunity to acquire the support you seek more affordably on a part-time basis.

Currently I have a space left in my Portfolio of Clients … shall we have a coffee to explore further how I could help you? Potential areas are Business Development & Team Development. Click on (in the upper right column of this page) Category 8) Business Relationships Manager role outline for an understanding of my range of skills then simply Contact Me via this link.

In which Business Sectors have you already helped clients?

Insurance, Construction, Engineering, Accountancy, Law, Logistics, Estate Agency, Recruitment, Advertising, Oil/Gas, Motor, Retail, Print, Leisure, Manufacturing, Local Government, Housing, Travel, Tourism, Catering, Occupational Health, Education, Food.

What is your background?

20 years as MD of my own incorporated status people-management coaching and training company, working with clients of diverse size & sectors has honed my business skills, especially relationship-building at all levels. Acting as Coach & Trainer to enhance (inter alia) their team’s communication & management skills.

Also hands-on support as required e.g. Board-level tele-appointing, conducting performance reviews, Project Management. Even as a shop floor level ‘interviewer/fact-finder’ for Corporate Rescue specialists.

Client benefits achieved: helping land ‘dream’ customers paying £100k+ p.a. Staff effectiveness increased by circa 10%. Saving £1,000’s by avoiding tribunals, sacking &/or re-recruitment costs.

What about prior to running your own business?

23 years ‘blue chip’ (employed) experience in the Insurance Sector. Progressing from Office Junior to being one of the youngest-ever Risk Assessment Surveyors, then to establishing a new Claims Adjuster Bureau.

Substantial savings achieved by reducing risk of fire, theft, storm, flood etc., also by eliminating inflated or fraudulent claims. My breadth of experience & ability was recognised by selection for a small, pioneering, high-profile team. We introduced a culture-changing quality initiative from Board level to front-line across a 12,000 staff international plc.

This was when I discovered my natural talent as a facilitator, trainer and coach. Setting-up and supporting small teams around the country I became a firm believer in the power of front-line staff. Discovering that learning new ’people-skills’ dramatically enhanced my own business effectiveness prompted me to adopt that training specialism in 1992. Since then I have devoted myself to helping others achieve the stress-reducing and performance-boosting skills that have transformed my life.

What formal business-oriented learning have you achieved?

What does the ‘off-duty’ Chris Liles enjoy doing then?

Co-ordinator of the very successful (circa 100 member families) Norfolk Area of the Triumph Stag Owners Club for 30 years. In addition I am a national Honorary Vice President of that Club.

Married to Sue for many years, when not ‘topless V8 burbling’ around the country in our Triumph Stag classic car, we are enjoying our 18th Century cottage & gardens. Since purchase in 1982 I have learnt & applied many DIY building skills. My recently achieved goal was to erect a further barn-style double garage to house my rare, early (June 1970) Triumph Stag. It is currently being restored by www.stagtechinternational.com in Darlington.

 My passion for authoring is also expressed via my monthly Stag Owners Club magazine article & periodic articles for national magazine Triumph World.

Why not Contact Me via this link to pick my brains – we may both enjoy it!

 

Testimonials

To explore ways I can help YOU please click Services & Fees

At one Board Meeting, Chris helped us to stand back from our intense involvement in our business. With his guidance we more clearly saw the full picture and summarised our entire business processes onto three flipchart sheets. This helped us more clearly see our ideal future strategy . He has also given our team valuable skills to boost their business relationships. In essence, Chris helps bring business dreams to life. He has an uncanny knack of acting as a catalyst.         

David Osbourn  (Hemera Workplace Solutions Ltd.) Office Interior Design and Refurbishment Specialists    www.hemera.co.uk 

At 22 years old, I was very naive in running my business at the beginning, until I met Chris Liles. I was given not only great advice but support and guidance as I was beginning my path towards running a business. Since our initial meeting Chris has pushed my thinking to where I hadn’t thought to go, also challenged my skills to strengthen my posture  in business. His approach to coaching was refreshing and enthusiastic. I would strongly recommend anyone looking for ideas or another direction to their business to speak to Chris.”

Tom Durrell (Brighter Energy Homes)    www.brighterenergyhomes.co.uk

“Although I had started a business before, the enormity of my new venture was quite overwhelming and I found myself not knowing where to begin. The first meeting with Chris Liles allowed me to take a step back while he went through every aspect, spotting further opportunities and uncovering even more tasks. Chris then helped to prioritise those tasks and create an Action Plan for the next steps. I left feeling excited, motivated and supported and cannot wait for the next meeting in a month’s time. Chris helped me to stand back from my issues, create perspective then hone-in on remedial actions. It was like having the support of a business partner for a day and I only wish I had been introduced to Chris sooner.”  

Louise Ives-Wilkinson (Ives-Wilkinson Interiors) 

Chris has now supported me in two business ventures. He imported his ‘Wisdom of Years’ in business to beautifully complement mine and my co-directors’ vigour and enthusiasm. Chris is a lateral thinker, a great listener and easy to talk with. I find it most valuable having him as an independent and trusted confidante. 

Gary Hardy (Mentor World)

Relationships Doctor

‘Relationships Doctor’ is the name I have gained in East Anglia from my specialism in helping people to improve their relationships in business. 

“You don’t have to be ill … to get better” is the approach I always encourage my coachees and delegates to take. No-one is criticising your present performance in relationship building. However, I can help you take it to the next level.

Business relationships cover five key areas:

  1. Impressing CUSTOMERS
  2. Selling to PROSPECTS
  3. Managing STAFF
  4. Rapport with COLLEAGUES
  5. General NETWORKING

Staff & colleague relationships impact internally but invariably also on customers and prospects, since they will sense any poor staff attitude. Good relationships may promote a warm, approachable attitude likely to attract new customers, whilst creating ambassadors of existing ones.

I am often called in when an issue has arisen in one or more of  five key areas:

  1. A service staff member has problems dealing with some of their key clients.
  2. A sales person finds closing deals with some prospects difficult.
  3. An excellent technician finds their new role in managing people challenging.
  4. Staff personality clashes are damaging morale and work effectiveness.
  5. Staff asked to network e.g. at exhibitions are ineffective since lacking confidence or exceptional people-skills.

Can you think of ways that such damaged relationships can similarly damage an organisation’s proftability?  Suggestions  include:

  • Lost income from prospects and clients.
  • Severance costs to remove disruptive or ineffective staff.
  • Employment Tribunal costs & fines.
  • Recruitment & training costs for their replacement.
  • Lower productivity whilst replacement staff get ‘up to speed’.
  • Overtime payments (due to reduced staff efficiency from low morale).
  • Buying-in management support (since Management distracted by constantly resolving relationship issues).

Here are the tools of a Relationships Doctor’s profession:

  • Personality Palette - to overcome and/or manage personality clashes.
  • Body Language – insights into people’s thoughts from their gestures.
  • Human Psychology – simplified into easy-to-use tools via Transactional Analysis.
  • Power questioning – stress reduction via focused conversations.
  • Active Listening – learn more about people than they intended.

Most people are amazed by how much Human Pschology they can absorb in short sessions thanks to my use of simple, easy to understand models, tips and ideas.

Using the above tools I can help you to understand the games people play with us sometimes!  More than that though, I also help people to devise strategies to bypass the Game Players and achieve their goals through more effective communication.

To further illustrate relationship issues at work, perhaps these brief  True Stories will help you to better understand how I help my clients.

To help you balance my fees with the above costs to your organisations click Fee Packages.

Why not ask me how to learn more?

Personality Palette

Which is your strongest colour?

Which is your strongest colour?

Have you ever thought that we are all colourful characters?

Would it help you in your business to avoid personality clashes and improve relationships?

Relationships in Business affect anyone who interacts with other people, in roles such as:

Managing / Prospecting / Servicing / Negotiating / Interviewing or simply maintaining Rapport with Colleagues.

Business Relationships issues can cost organisations thousands of pounds per year. Lost Sales. Lost Customers. Lost Staff. Lost Suppliers.

All are expensive to replace & often uncomfortable issues to resolve.

My fun, interactive & colourful, Business Relationships Booster 4 hour group Workshops help delegates in:

1. Recognising their own blend of personality styles.

2. Identifying how other peoples’ blend of styles may vary from theirs.

3. Realising the differences between their style-blend and that of others.

4. Challenging whether their ‘difficult’ people are actually simply ‘different’ from them.

5. Standing-back from the issues to recognise these differences then . . .

6. Developing strategies to improve communication effectiveness to build or restore relationships.

7. Valuing the skills exhibited by differing personality styles e.g. to enhance team-working.

8. Achieving a Common Language for delegates to support each other in future personality clashes.

Based on the works of eminent Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, a few Associates helped me to devise the unique Personality Palette™. It simply and clearly assists those eight steps to success. Hundreds of people have left Personality Palette workshops amazed by the breadth of people-skills they achieved in just a few hours.

To assist my (one to one) coaching and mentoring, I always encourage clients to invest in a personalised Clarity4D Profile.  I am an accredited Business Partner of Clarity4D and able to directly access their excellent range of services.  Their system parallels my own in being similarly colour-oriented and also based on the works of Carl Jung.

A Clarity4D Profile accurately identifies the respondent’s blend of the four colours in the Personality Palette. This allows people to better understand what makes them ‘tick’. More importantly it gives them an insight into realising why other people behave the way they do. This can boost communication effectiveness and potentially reduce stress.