Your Time With James Sweetman

jamessweetman

Join me for an injection of positivity and inspiration as I share insights and practical strategies on a range of Personal Development and Well-Being topics.

In today’s busy world it is all too easy to lose track of what’s truly important, so my intention with each weekly episode is to inspire you to live the fullest, truest expression of yourself.

All Episodes

This week I’m sharing how after a few weeks of contemplation, I’m pressing pause on several aspects of my business including my weekly podcast. I’ve had to put my hand up and concede that I need a rest. In this very personal episode, my final one before I take what I’m calling a practical sabbatical, I share the question that prompted this reassessment. We’ve all been through so much and sometimes a pause is needed, not just to reassess direction, but to take a breath to rebalance and resource ourselves. If you’re feeling lost, stuck, or know some change is trying to take place in your life or work, know you are not alone. I’m walking the path too.

Oct 27

21 min 7 sec

What are you investing in? We don’t just invest money, we invest our time and energy too. This week I look at 6 different aspects of life including physical and mental health, relationships, career, and future security, and ask how am I investing my time, energy, and resources. I focus on the idea of investing in our dreams and look at the challenges we have to navigate, especially the voice of the inner saboteur. I also recount a story about how I invested in my dream of running my own business and the unexpected dividends I reaped when I committed to taking action.

Oct 13

27 min 56 sec

This week on my podcast I’m taking a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the 200th edition of my monthly community ezine Next Steps. Over the last 17 years, I’ve written and distributed my newsletter to my clients and contacts every month for 200 consecutive months. That’s over 600 articles and book reviews. It’s said consistency is key with any marketing initiative, so I certainly adhered to that! Expanding on the theme of recognising achievements, this week I delve into why it is important to celebrate successes and why we can be reluctant to do so. Also having taken time out to review old editions of my ezine I’ve noticed common themes have emerged. I’ll be sharing these too.  

Oct 6

26 min 4 sec

For those of us blessed with good hearing listening is a primary sense, it’s how we interpret the audible environment. There are times when we can be very bad listeners. Poor listening skills are the number one marker of poor leadership and poor communication skills. All conflict and complaints arise because someone doesn’t feel listened to or understood. Attentive listening shows that we care, it’s the simplest way to recognise and appreciate others. It’s what makes a good friend. This week, in addition to some practical listening tips, I explain why listening is not a passive exercise. I also take you through the 12 barriers to listening as well as recounting a workshop I attended a few years ago that transformed my listening skills.

Sep 29

25 min 56 sec

Self-care is more than pampering or shopping, everything that is marketed under the banner of ‘I deserve it.’ In this week’s episode, I’ll be looking at the tough love side of self-love and how self-care is finding a way to be gentle with our precious heart in the midst of life’s challenges and messiness. It’s an area many of us can struggle with, myself included. Whilst cosseting and pampering is balm for the mind, body, and soul, it’s a small part of self-care and sometimes can distract from the real work of caring for the self.

Sep 22

14 min 14 sec

This week I’m joined by Bernie Rogers an experienced, coach, trainer, and facilitator. Bernie ran the NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) courses I attended in the past. We speak about how we personally benefited from NLP and how NLP tools and techniques underpin so much of our work with clients. I was fascinated when Bernie spoke about mBit (multiple brain integration techniques) and how to align the wisdom of the head, heart, and gut, something that is very new in the personal development world. For more about Bernie and the NLP and mBit courses she runs, check out www.nlptraininginstitute.com

Sep 15

51 min 4 sec

We’ve all heard the adage about not wishing you spent more time in the office as you lie on your deathbed. With offices reopening this autumn, the sentiment is relevant for many people. For some, it’s Sunday night syndrome multiplied by ten, like that dread of the new school year we had as children. For others, it’s ‘JORTO’ the joy of returning to the office. In this week’s episode, I’ll be exploring some of the issues we are all grappling with as we navigate this uncharted territory. I also share triage self-care tips for those times when we feel overwhelmed.  

Sep 8

27 min 57 sec

Over the years I’ve developed a morning routine that sets me up for the day ahead. In this week’s episode, (the last for two weeks as I take a summer holiday) I share the menu of options I use to allow me to go into the day as the best of myself.  In today’s busy, noisy, fearful world we all want to respond to events not react to them, to feel proactive, grounded, aligned, and in control of how we engage with the world. My morning routine is my handrail for doing this. I’m not rigid when it comes to this self-care practice, I like to mix it up, but I find the 30-60 minutes of investment in myself repays me tenfold throughout the day.   

Aug 18

29 min 56 sec

The theme this week aligns with one of my key intentions with my podcast, which is to present you with an opportunity to pause, reflect and connect with your inner wisdom. This week’s episode is built around 6 questions. They are an invitation for your to take a trip down memory lane, to acknowledge how far you’ve come, and to reconnect with your sources of inspiration. From favorite journeys, gifts received and goals achieved there’s plenty of food for thought. I’ll be sharing my responses to the questions too. If you journal, this week’s episode will have to reaching for your notebook and pen.

Aug 11

30 min 38 sec

Most of us are fully paid up members of the tough on ourselves club, so this week I’m suggesting that you are probably doing better than you give yourself credit for. So often we run the pattern that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed, but remember we can be both perfectly ourselves and still be works in progress. This week’s episode is a reality check, a time to take stock and to acknowledge how far you’ve come. I share 15 signs that you are doing fairly ok. I close with a short reflection, powerful words that shift perspective and give us permission to be a little more gentle with ourselves.

Aug 4

26 min 33 sec

Did you know that on average we will attend 42 interviews over the course of our careers? This week I’m delving into a topic that is a core part of my business and that’s interview skills coaching. If you have an interview on the horizon this week’s episode will cover all the basics of quality preparation. The themes of communication and influencing skills and promoting what you do are relevant in many other situations too, from sales and presentations to running effective meetings. As I say to my clients, being offered the job, the contract, or the place on the course, is outside of your control so the focus is on controlling what you can control. I share tips for banishing common misconceptions about interviews, how to respond to probably questions, as well as key distinctions when it comes to giving examples to illustrate competencies.

Jul 28

33 min 6 sec

This week I’m joined by Roly Miller who is eLearning & Digital Media Manager with Jobcare. Established in 1994 Jobcare is a charity that provides training, resource services and transitional work programmes to equip unemployed people with the skills to secure and sustain work. What I particularly admire about Jobcare is their ethos that ‘Working Matters,’ that everyone has the right to a form of employment, ensuring people are not left behind. In addition to discussing the services Jobcare provide, Roly speaks about the unforeseen benefits people get from their free programmes. We chat about how they successfully pivoted their services online at the start of the Covid crisis. I also share my experiences of volunteering with them for many years. If you find yourself between jobs, or are interested in volunteering your services to such a worthy cause, be sure to tune in. www.jobcare.ie

Jul 21

51 min 46 sec

This week I’m delighted to be joined by Des Canning, a counselor, and psychotherapist. I was a client of Des’s earlier this year and I’m a huge fan of his work. In an open and frank conversation, we chat about how men can still be reluctant to discuss mental health and to reach out for assistance. I share some of the ways receiving counseling has benefited me. Des speaks about his journey from working in telecoms to following his passion and establishing his own counseling practice. Other themes of our conversation include, how we can be our own worst enemies, acknowledging that we do our best, and seeing ourselves as others see us. Des also shares some beautiful and profound quotes that really spoke to me. An episode not to be missed. 

Jul 14

55 min 47 sec

Inspired by all the great sport on TV, and with the Olympics just around the corner, this week I’m exploring the topic of high performance. What does it mean, how do we recognise it and how do we attain it. I define high performance as achieving above and beyond expected results in a sustainable way over the long term. In this episode I’ll take you through what I refer to as the 7 disciples of high performance, including the mindset as well as the personal qualities that all high performers draw upon, irrespective of their field of endeavor.

Jul 7

21 min 59 sec

Are you a corporate mystic? That’s the question I’m posing this week. The word mystic might conjure up a guru living in a cave, or even Yoda from Star Wars. For me, a corporate mystic is an enlightened leader, someone who is comfortable harnessing the wisdom of both head and heart and who inspires and is inspiring. Integrity is a value espoused in every organisation, but integrity is not just the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, it’s also the state of being whole and undivided. So this week I’m exploring why companies need corporate mystics as well as the qualities of corporate mystics. Maybe you will recognise yourself in the description?

Jun 30

19 min 35 sec

I’m joined this week by Georgina Durcan an Intuitive Therapist who is affectionately known as the ‘Soul Whisperer.’ In her work, Georgina points the way for her clients to come home to who they truly are. I so enjoyed our conversation and I think you will too. Georgina shared her story, how a breakdown led to a breakthrough, and to her own soul calling. She also speaks about how she helps her clients connect with their internal guidance system, a practice that always leads to our highest good and greatest joy. She tells us about her own self-care practice and the importance of carving moments of joy. She lets us in on the story behind her new Soul Side Up Mantra Card deck, a fantastic resource that I’ve been using every day. It was such an uplifting conversation. Find out more about Georgina and her work by visiting www.georginadurcan.com 

Jun 23

52 min 35 sec

Imposter syndrome, that sense of not being good enough, feeling like a fraud, and having the fear of being found out, is the topic I’m delving into this week. If we are honest, it’s something we can all relate to. I believe that imposter syndrome is part of our human make-up, it’s in our DNA, so we can’t remove it, but we can learn to diminish it, so it doesn’t prevent us from reaching for our potential and living the truest expression of ourselves. So in this episode, as well as sharing tips and practices for overcoming imposter syndrome I’ll be exploring the underlining beliefs that fuel this habit of fear-based thinking. I’ll also speak about my experiences with imposter syndrome and what I do to combat it.

Jun 16

31 min 49 sec

This week I’m delighted to be joined by Eileen Hopkins an experienced Psychotherapist, Life, Career & Public Speaking Coach and Certified Trainer. Having worked in nursing and nurse management for many years, Eileen has a passion for emotional health, self-care, resilience, personal development, pain management, education, and empowering change. I so enjoyed our wide-ranging conversation where we explored topics including fear of change, compassionate inquiry, our experiences of psychotherapy and having the courage to be vulnerable. As an award-winning toastmaster, Eileen also shared some tips for speaking in public.

Jun 9

56 min 8 sec

As well as sharing what I hope is thought-provoking, maybe even inspiring content and conversations, a key intention with my podcast is to give you an opportunity to take some time out of your busy schedule and reconnect with yourself and your inner wisdom. This week’s episode is based around 5 questions that encourage us to pause, connect with a sense of gratitude, and maybe even have a little trip down memory lane. If you journal, this week’s episode will have you reaching for your pen and notebook.

Jun 2

24 min 59 sec

This week I’m exploring what work life balance means today. No longer do we have the physical environment as a distinguishing factor as technology means we can carry our work and networks around with us. In metaphysics, balance is a point between opposing forces, but I don’t like the idea of work and life being in opposition. Equally, what’s the point in having work and personal life balanced, if you are not feeling fulfilled. For me, it’s simply about balance and overall quality of life. It’s also about forging a path through competing tensions, the commitments you have to others, and the commitments you have to yourself and your family. As I explore what balance might look like, or more importantly, feel like, I also share tips and distinctions and as usual pose plenty of questions for you to reflect upon.

May 26

19 min 30 sec

Effective people managers know that they only achieve with and through their teams. They don’t view staff as tenants of roles, they view their teams as sets of diverse individuals, each with their own unique blend of motivations and skills. So what’s the mindset and approach required to harness that potential? This week, I’m sharing 9 questions that I view as the test of a good people manager. I also explore reasons why some managers struggle in this area.

May 19

25 min 25 sec

This week I’m exploring a topic that surfaces again and again with clients I work with and that’s self-confidence. It might be that you are seeking the confidence to make some career or life changes, or you’ve got an interview coming up and you don’t want to be consumed by nerves, or maybe at work, you want to feel more confident presenting or speaking up at meetings. If we are honest, most of us would like to feel more confident in at least some situations, I know I would. Tune in to discover 15 practices that will boost your levels of self-confidence and find out more about my video masterclass on the topic.

May 12

29 min 14 sec

Are you tired? Are you tired of being tired? We’ve all been through so much, especially in the last year. Keeping the show on the road, juggling work and personal life commitments can be exhausting. Recently, I came across a short Ted Talk by Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith all about rest, the 7 different types of rest, and how rest is different from sleep. Inspired by her talk and my own research and reflection, this week I speak about the different types of rest we all need, as well as the practices I’ve developed to ensure I put the ‘rest’ into ‘restoration.’ 

May 5

32 min 4 sec

This week, in the second of two episodes on the topic of Presentation Skills I’m sharing tips and insights on managing those presentation nerves. As a professional speaker, I still have to manage my own nerves and I’ll take you through techniques that work for me. I also explore the main causes of nervousness because if we can deal with the cause, the symptoms will dissipate. If you present as part of your role, or you simply want to leave that all too familiar stomach-churning nervousness behind, then be sure to catch this episode.

Apr 28

27 min 7 sec

As well as being a business & personal coach and author, I’m also a professional speaker. Professional in that I’m paid to speak to audiences. I also work with clients both 1-2-1 and in group workshops on the topic of presentations skills. This week, I’m drawing on my experience to share 10 ways to boost your impact as a presenter. So, if you harbour aspirations of developing your speaking career, or simply wish to enhance your presentation skills, be sure to tune in.

Apr 21

29 min 49 sec

It’s easy to think that creativity is the reserve of artists, writers or musicians, something we put down with the toys of childhood, but we would be wrong. To be human is to be creative. So whether creativity is a familiar friend or a dormant skill waiting to be resurrected, in this week’s episode I share 8 ways to help you tap into your creativity.

Apr 14

18 min 37 sec

For many people, Covid 19 has irreversibly restructured working life. Whilst flexible working arrangements promote greater autonomy it also brings new challenges. This week, I’m joined by Chris Flack the co-founder of Unplug (www.unplughq.com) a behaviour change consultancy that supports individuals and organisations to work smarter in an always-connected world. We chat about digital well-being, managing screen time and task switching. With The Right to Disconnect Bill and the Working from Home Bill before the Dail, Chris shares his views on work design and the challenges facing organisations.

Apr 7

45 min 56 sec

It’s the 100th episode! In this celebratory episode, the tables are turned and Marian Byrne who joined me last week returns to ask me some of the questions I typically ask my guests. You’ll get to learn a little more about me, from my sources of inspiration and favourite quotes to the failures and setbacks I’ve experienced. I let you into my creative process and I also share what has been my key take-away from producing over 40 hours of content across the last 99 episodes.

Mar 31

35 min 2 sec

This week, I’m thrilled to be joined by Marian Byrne, one of Ireland’s leading coaches, trainers and facilitators. Drawing on her 20 years of experience, Marian shares many tips and insights from coping with weariness and the different types of rest we all need, to dealing with and instigating change. As Marian says we can change by choice, by force or by being forced to make a choice. I hope you will choose to tune into our wisdom rich conversation and enjoy it as much as I did.  

Mar 24

52 min 54 sec

Over the years I’ve worked with many people who others might classify as successful, but from their own perspective, they don’t feel as fulfilled as they would wish. Drawing on my personal experiences and from my work in this area, I share what I view as the keys to fulfilment, particularly in a career or professional life context. I also pose plenty of questions to help you adapt the principles of fulfilment to your own situation.

Mar 17

20 min 1 sec

For some people strategic thinking is a key aspect of their role, for others, it’s a skill they want to enhance. During these times of change and challenge when we have been forced to reassess what we are doing, and how and why we are doing it, focussing on the bigger picture benefits us in both our work and personal lives. This week I share my practical approach to strategic thinking as well as thought-provoking questions that will expand your perspective.

Mar 10

25 min 51 sec

This week I’m delighted to be joined by Dr. Aidan Harney. With over 20 years’ experience in the area of leadership development, we discuss the psychology of leaders who are effective at working in highly complex environments. Aidan shares the key findings of the research he carried out, as part of his PhD thesis, with managers and leaders in a range of industries in both the public and private sectors. During this time when there is pressure on leaders across society, I found our conversation both timely and insightful.

Mar 3

49 min 52 sec

The vast majority of us run the programme of imposter syndrome, that familiar fear of not feeling worthy or good enough. As I often say, we run the gamut between waiting to be found and waiting to be found out. In this week’s episode, I’m delving into the topic of knowing your worth. I share 5 ways to widen your perspective so you can take a more objective stance when it comes to assessing how you add value in your role.

Feb 24

20 min 26 sec

Most of us struggle to ‘say no.’ We run a cocktail of fears and beliefs preventing the word ‘no’ escaping our lips. This week I’m sharing 10 tips for saying no and not feeling guilty about it. Of course, saying no is not about being rude or unhelpful, nor does it mean not doing your job. It’s really about appropriate assertiveness, being aware of how you manage your time and energy, and how you balance your commitment to others with your commitment to yourself.

Feb 17

24 min 32 sec

This week I’m joined from London by Nick Williams (www.iamnickwilliams.com) a gifted coach, speaker and the author of 19 books. Nick’s clients include BAFTA-winning producers, Olympians, CEOs and industry leaders. We explore the topic of thought-leadership, in particular, transforming lived experience into deliverable wisdom. As writers and content creators, we also chat about creativity and over-coming inner resistance. I picked up many fascinating insights from Nick and I think you will too.

Feb 10

48 min 20 sec

This week I’m joined by Shirley O’Neill, who lectures on change and performance management in the UCD Professional Academy. We chat about coping with change and overcoming resistance to change, as well as the pertinent topics of performance management and staff engagement whilst working remotely. Shirley was so generous with her tips and insights, personally, I learned a lot from our conversation.

Feb 3

44 min 43 sec

In the follow up to last week’s episode, I’m delving deeper into the topic of career change. I’m sharing ways to change perspective on your current situation, as well as exercises and tips. If you’re feeling stuck, find yourself in career transition and are seeking to make career changes this year, this is the episode for you.  

Jan 27

26 min 38 sec

We all have times when we feel ‘stuck in a rut.’ But there’s a difference between a lack of motivation, or feeling a little ‘blah,’ and knowing in your soul that you’ve spent too long in a job that’s no longer right for you. This week, in the first of a two-part episode, I’m sharing tips and insights for people who find themselves at a career crossroads, or who are seeking to instigate change, so their working lives more accurately reflects who they are and what’s important to them.

Jan 20

25 min 13 sec

This week I’m exploring the topic of working from home or living at work as it is perhaps more accurately described. As someone who has worked from home for nearly 20 years, I share what I’ve learned, including the hidden pros and cons, as well as some suggestions for how to make working from home work for you.  

Jan 13

16 min 59 sec

Normally, at the start of January, the focus is on a fresh start, or a ‘new you’ for the New Year. But as we continue to endure the Covid 19 crisis and another lockdown, for me, it’s a time for resolve, not resolutions. In this week’s episode, the focus is on strategies for digging deep yet again. If you ‘switched off’ over Christmas, this episode is an opportunity for a ‘reboot.’

Jan 6

21 min 32 sec

Even in a normal year, everything is amplified at Christmas and 2020 has been far from a normal year. The expectations of Christmas can be weighty, there’s even the pressure of having a ‘Happy Christmas.’ In this week’s episode, I share what Christmas means to me as well as tips and insights for a healthy dose of self-care at this time of the year.

Dec 2020

23 min 49 sec

Now, on the cusp of the New Year and at least the psychological possibility of a fresh start, I’m looking back and asking - what do I know now that I didn’t know twelve months ago?  In a year of dark clouds, I’m searching for silver linings. So this week I’m sharing 20 lessons life has taught me in 2020, many the hard way.

Dec 2020

17 min 51 sec

I’m joined this week by Raymond Poole, co-founder of the annual PM Summit. We chat about the impact Covid 19 has had on his business and how he has moved his annual conference, that takes place on 15th December, online (www.pmsummit.global.) Our conversation turned personal as we speak honestly about how cancer gate-crashed our lives and how we are both dealing with the grief of losing our Dads within the last year.

Dec 2020

37 min 32 sec

This week I’m joined by model, stylist and pro-age advocate Mary Dunne. In a wide-ranging conversation, we discuss positive ageing and how she embarked on a new career in her sixties. Mary’s approach to life is so inspiring. She shares her insights on wellness and beauty and looking and feeling good at any age.

Dec 2020

47 min 25 sec

This week I’m talking about books, one of my great passions. I share with you my favourite reads of 2020, the biographies, novels and of course the personal development books too. People often ask me what I’m reading and this episode is my long answer. If you are a book lover, or simply seeking some book recommendations, something to curl up with on a winter’s evening, then be sure to tune in.

Nov 2020

31 min 38 sec

Managers today feel pressure from below, from staff with big expectations, and from above, from senior managers who want them to be leaders. Whilst expertise and execution remain key management competencies, today, empathy is equally vital. In this week’s episode, I explore the 7 skills and attributes that a modern manager needs to succeed in their role. If you are a team leader or manager, this is an episode not to be missed.

Nov 2020

20 min 15 sec

This week I’m joined by a very special guest, Bibi Baskin (www.bibibaskin.ie)  As a broadcaster, Bibi has presented more than 1000 TV shows and was the first woman in Ireland to have her own chat show. Long before The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened its doors, she converted a landmark building in Kerala, Southern India, transforming it into a renowned hotel. Harnessing all her knowledge and experience she delivers talks and seminars on the many aspects of wellness. In an uplifting and wide-ranging conversation, Bibi shares what she considers to be at the heart of wellness and well-being. We also chat about change, coping with it and instigating it. Bibi’s new book ‘The Happy Book Vol 2’ is out this week.

Nov 2020

40 min 45 sec

As degrees of lockdown appears to be the norm for the foreseeable future, it’s more important than ever that we invest in our well-being. I’m calling this Self-Care 2.0, the 2020 upgrade! This week I share a menu of options to help nourish the mind, body and spirit. I also speak about my challenges in putting my own health and wellbeing higher on my agenda. If you feel that you could give your own self-care a reboot this winter, then be sure to tune in.

Nov 2020

24 min

In recent month’s we’ve all had to become experts with Zoom and other online platforms, not just for meetings, but also for presentations. As someone who has specialised in delivering presentations from the top of the room, and who teaches presentation skills, I’ve had to adapt my own approach too. The fundamentals of effective presentations remain the same, but there are new best practices to ensure you are ready for your close up. So this week I’m sharing 10 tips for delivering effective online presentations.

Oct 2020

23 min 8 sec

This week’s episode has been inspired by my Dad, who passed away at the end of September. Witnessing his brave battle with pancreatic cancer was challenging as I grappled with my own feelings of powerlessness. Being present with him when he passed was profound. It’s said that all fear is ultimately a fear of death. Having witnessed it up close, I’ve been reminded of how precious life is and what’s truly important.

Oct 2020

17 min 9 sec