Chile.

I’ve been in Chile for almost 4 months now. I’ve had some incredible experiences and some frustrating ones…

I’ve got a lot to say and I’ll be making that evident very soon.

But first…here’s a breathtaking video of this wonderful country.

Enjoy!

Uni life – Library memories

So, I finished uni in May. What can I say? It was the most incredible experience, and beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I met friends for life and I accomplished more than I thought I was capable of!

DissertationLet me take you back to March, April and May of this year…

At time I had the biggest bags under my eyes, had the caffeine shakes and basically looked like a crackwhore. Attractive, I know. My appearance and nuttiness was all down to the pressure of my dissertation and about 10 other assignments. Thinking back, I remember wondering how the hell am I going to get through this?! It just felt like a never ending cycle, but in reality, so what? The pressure I was under for those few months seemed tough at the time, but it was only the smaller picture. I am now so proud that I pushed myself and I succeeded with the grade I wanted.

coffee loveLooking back now and even speaking to my good friend Jude Law (Harding), we began talking about how much we missed the library days! I know, how sad can our lives be right now to actually miss it? Honestly though, sure we were on work mode…well most of the time. But, the library was also where we would mess around, be in hysterics over our jokes, our twitter and spotify frapes on ella, mine and sock’s badly drawn sexual snapchats, the trips to the vending machines and the copious amounts of coffee, pro plus and haribo we got through.

library

Me and JudeOur ‘library circle/safe zone’ was even competitive. We would use the online timer www.mytomatoes.com (hugely recommend this) to constantly compete to see who could write the most in those 25 minutes. We were just that wild! During those times, it was the simple things that would entertain you, I definitely made sure I still had some fun and went on my standard ‘mad ones’. It probably worked out well for me, as I was the night owl of the group and could make up the time, even if it was around 5am.

Basically, our time during those months brought us all 10 times closer. I even feel emotional reflecting back. We were always each others support during the times we were low and didn’t think we could do it, our jobs were to encourage one another, helping where we could, even if it was just with a to-do list, or whether it was staying a couple more hours at the library…so there was no late night walking alone. We all did it together. Friendship, that’s what that is!

The moral of my experience is…Just because a situation seems tough at the time, and you feel like you can’t see the light and desperately want to give up. DON’T DO IT. The satisfaction you get after you have proved that you can accomplish a goal is unbelievable; it’s a reward that can only be given by your strength and ambition. If you have the support around you, then you’re pretty much half way there!

Looking for a win-win situation?

 What do you think when you hear the word negotiation?

The first thought that pops into my mind is salary. Although, there are a variety of things you may find yourself negotiating during your working life.

You are either going to be a natural at negotiation or you are going to completely fearful by the approach and simply attempt to avoid it. Avoiding normally occurs when you start your first ‘real job’ as you are most likely to be grateful you have a job, and just take whatever you get without thinking twice.

Negotiation is vital and practice makes perfect! Opportunities can arise on a regular basis, so practice the following techniques. Negotiation can strike up during a daily task or maybe a more serious situation, such as your place of work. Your manager may even approach you discussing a transfer to another project, department or location!

It can be difficult to know how to deal with the situation, as it is regarding your job and of course your income. Therefore, it is extremely important that you do not just rush into things, you listen to the options, as it is YOU that will have to work under those negotiation conditions.

If you listen to everything you hear, not just the words, but what’s going on around them, you get a much richer picture.

By Simon Armson – Chief Executive, Samaritans.

Now let’s get to the breakdown of what not to do and how to get that win-win situation you’ve been looking for…

image taken from Google

Image taken from http://www.womensally.com

Do not become a ‘critical parent’ and start with the ‘I want this, I want that.’
It is important you control your emotions and tone your interpersonal communication.

The skills you will need: Active listening, assertiveness, a strong presentation of your case and the use of skilful questioning. You need to hold your professional stance at all times, making sure you are always consistent. Remember you are the one attempting to get others on your side!

Ellis (2009) states in order to successfully complete a Win-Win negotiation, both of candidates should gain. However, remember you may not gain all you want, the heart of the process is about compromise and bargaining.

Now here are the three must-dos during negotiation…

  • Find the appropriate tone.
  • Build trust.
  • Express yourself..

Remember: Don’t be scared to ask for what suits you, it’s all about compromising!

That’s negotiating! I’ll leave you with the amusing ‘Edge of Reason’ image and a question…

Have you ever had to negotiate a difficult situation, how did you approach it and what was the outcome?

How many times do you think you’ve been stereotyped?

What do you think when you hear the word stereotype?

I would say that normally people think of the way someone looks, whether it is racial, or just the way someone  physically portrays themselves. A typical example – A blonde girl wearing fake tan is most likely to be thought of as a ‘ditsy blonde’ or just plain ‘fake’ which has been the classic stereotype for years. This judgement can occur anytime anywhere, whether you are just walking down the street and someone is simply observing the way you look. But the question is what happens when you are being stereotyped at work?

paul 1998

The definition of stereotype according to the English dictionary:

‘Widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing: the stereotype of the woman as the carer sexual and racial stereotypes.’

It is only human for us to stereotype, once a person has heard something negative regarding a person, they will automatically relate it with future observations.  Whether it is said out loud or just thought of, it will still go through your head, as we are just wired that way.

Have you realised that the country you come from may be giving you a misperceived reputation?

Image taken from creativereview.co.uk

Image taken from creativereview.co.uk

Here are just some of the most publicised stereotypical opinions I have come across, through both discussing the topic with people and analysing survey results.

The Germans – Controlling and demanding.

The French – Cold and find it hard to take orders.

The Americans – Exaggerators and loud – ‘Who came first the chicken or the egg….the American’

The Arabs – Lazy and money orientated.

British – Talk like the Queen, lazy with bad teeth.

Chinese – Hard workers but never shake hands to greet people.

Spanish – Always partying, so they need a good siesta.

It is completely unethical for people within a workplace to immediately make assumptions of co-workers because of their heritage. Not only do problems occur when we alter our own behaviour to fit our theory, (which may or may not be correct) but we also start making decisions about observations made. The dilemma is we miss the opportunity to let someone in and create a human connection, which marks a barrier when it comes to effective teamwork and relationships.

‘Familiarity corrects stereotyping. The better we know someone, the more we see the person as an individual.’ Marylin S. Kelly

Remember: Think before you judge, if you are English you would not like co-workers to assume you were just a lazy tea drinker with no ambition.

Lastly, have you ever been stereotyped at work? If so, how did it affect you?

Does bullying still even exist when you’re an adult?

If you thought bullying only happened at school, then think again…

You will be surprised to know that 40-50% of people say they have been bullied during their working life.

Image taken from www.soulation.org

Image taken from http://www.soulation.org

Shocking isn’t it?

Especially as the number of victims to this abuse is increasing. It is worrying that these issues are not properly dealt with and subsequently just brushed under the carpet.

Bullying doesn’t have to be just physical; if it is happening in your workplace then speak out. It could be that someone is constantly criticising your work, belittling you, making you feel inadequate, embarrassed or shameful.

Although, the outcomes of bullying are continuously publicised, the act of abuse is almost seen as trivial. Here is an example of one of the many tragic bullying cases.

Image taken from gawker.com

Image taken from gawker.com

David Orr a 21 year old began working full time at BT after successfully completing an apprenticeship with the company. After several bullying incidents from the management team and failed actions taken regarding his concerns, sadly, he committed suicide.

Before his death during October 2011 David had stated that he was being bullied by management. However, his worries were ignored. With his mother Michele Millar finally speaking out, she has said BT Openreach continually failed to respond to his concerns.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is in BT or any other workplace, I don’t want any other boy and their family to go through this. I would say to anyone who is being bullied, speak out – tell people about it until somebody listens and somebody does something about it.”

Michele Milliar

With these tragedies heightening, it is important that victims know how to address the issue. If you are being bullied or know someone who is follow encourage them to follow this five point plan.

  1. Acknowledge the problem.
  2. Inform yourself.
  3. Confront constructively.
  4. Keep a diary.
  5. Seek help.

It is important to not forget that a bully is normally jealous or threatened of skills and attributes, they are the ones that are insecure, therefore determined to undermine others. Actions may seem subtle, and it may lead to believing you are just overreacting.

Remember: When conflict arises at work, it should be healthy and creative.

A question for you, have you or someone you know ever experienced bullying as an adult? If so, how did you personally deal with it? Did you speak out, and was action taken?

Hello again…

We are already coming to the end of February and my blogging for 2013 resolution just didn’t happen.

2013 New Year resolution – Blogging

Being in my final year at uni, and the amount of work being thrown at me has definitely started to kick in. I’ve been feeling nervous and anxious about it all, especially as my uni experience will be over in May! 😥 Where did the past 2 and half years go?! I will soon be entering the big wide world…which is pretty scary to even think about!

As I’ve said before I study Public Relations and Communication, as part of my course I am required to blog, so last term you may have read the Ethical Angles blog that I worked on with two friends, it was all about current ethical issues. This term I will be blogging again, but this time about conflict and negotiation issues. So I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone and post them on this blog.

I want to make them as relevant as possible, using my personal experience and giving advice. Get involved with the discussions, as your opinion matters!

Keep a look out for my post coming soon…

Does bullying still even exist when you’re an adult?

Valencia what did you do to me?

Right, so you know when people say that they have visited a place that is AMAZING and It stole their heart. Well, before I never really understood what people meant..Obviously, I could appreciate the beauty and scenery of a place, but I would never say I had FALLEN IN LOVE.

This summer that all changed…

Image

After living in Valencia for 3 months I realised that I never wanted to leave. It was absolutely my ideal city. It is the third largest city in Spain, so it is perfect for work, yet I would never say it was hectic like London.

My dream city would be one that has both a working environment, as well as a neighbourly feel to it. That was exactly what Valencia was in my eyes. I had the local Mercadona, market and bakery right at my doorstep and in a 15 minutes walk I would arrive at the land of work.

I just loved it so much that I wanted to move there! Of course I do want to see more of the world and travel, but after leaving I really did feel like Valencia was my home and that I was leaving it to go back to cold and rainy England….(Very true considering it rained all day today and it was 35 degrees in Valencia…yes in October!!)

Whenever I have spoken to someone who wants to or has dropped out of uni, I would always think to myself WHY?! It is a minimum of 3 years, before I seriously could not comprehend why someone would want to just give up and pursue something else, when they could be getting a degree with a little bit of time and effort. I know people change their minds and believe uni may not be for them, but I just always thought after so much time and the amount of money going towards it, that it would be a wise choice just to stick it out.

I won’t lie and say that I didn’t think about quitting university and staying in Valencia, especially, after being offered to stay longer and even to go back after uni. I had thoughts that I didn’t think I would have ever considered.

During my final 3 weeks I was already feeling sad knowing that I was going to have to leave and go back to uni. It’s not that I don’t like my uni, it’s just that I felt I had grown up in a way and that my uni experience was over. The thought of going back to lectures made me want to cry, it just really felt like I would be taking a step backwards. I got to the point where I had to persuade myself daily ‘One more year Saby! Just one more year!! It will all be worth it in the future’

And it is true, I do stand by that, and I would think it would be irresponsible of me to just quit when I am so very close to the finishing line! I can say my experience has motivated me to do well, graduate and then focus on my PR career.

I met some friends for life….of course MERCEDES and I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life to date and it really did help me grow as a person, mature and think about all the opportunities I have. I am one lucky girl, and I definitely did realise like many people, I do take my life for granted.

Remember: Don’t take your opportunities for granted!

Love Saby

That sixth sense we all have

I was originally going to write about the amazing time I had in Venice with Mercedes, but after hearing some sad news I decided to save that post for another day, when I’m feeling a bit more upbeat.

These past 3 days I have been feeling sad and emotional and not knowing why. I honestly had no idea why I was feeling down, I was thinking to myself how on earth can I be feeling sad, I’m on holiday in Venice…am I crazy?! I just assumed it was to do with me leaving Valencia soon to go back to England, and how I am dreading leaving the city that stole my heart.

Have you ever felt down and not known why? Almost as if you are feeling someone else’s pain?

I believe that sometimes you can feel that something is wrong within your family, almost a sense that someone is hurting. That is exactly what I was feeling when I was in Venice, I felt strange, almost as if something was missing and that I was lost.

There was a reason I was feeling like that, my brother had received some devastating news and I knew he was hurting.

Faith…

I was brought up a catholic, but I would never say that I am a strict catholic. I do not go to church often, I’m not one to preach, but I am one that believes there is someone up there looking down on us all. I do not like to judge people on their religion, if religion and faith help people then why be against it?

Like I said I am not a very religious person, but of course Venice is surrounded by so many beautiful churches. It just felt wrong not to go in, sit down, have a prayer and see how God was doing. I surprisingly felt so much relief from just sitting there thinking about life and meditating. I really didn’t think I would have enjoyed the experience as much as I did, but I can truly say that it helped me think more positively and feel like a weight had lifted off my shoulders.

Before, I never really understood how people could feel so refreshed after going to church and strongly believe in a religion with their being. After these past 3 days I am definitely changing my thoughts and views. I don’t feel like church will necessarily help everyone, but I do believe that being in such a sacred environment with your own thoughts and meditating can really help. I prefer to just visit church randomly and just sit there in silence, no mass and no celebrations, just my personal therapy.

If you have been going through a rough time or have lost someone close to you, I suggest visiting your local church, having a sit down and just be there with your thoughts. It is a beautiful way to reflect and relax. Lighting a candle for someone you love always helps.

Stay strong and keep positive!

Love Saby