Self Help Books

Enhance your communications skills

The following is an extract from Stress to Success Stories – 11 powerful stories covering professional and personal challenges with solutions that will ignite positive changes in your life.

“Parveen Ghilani hated carrying out appraisals. Something always went wrong, and she never felt she could get her point across. Today’s meeting had illustrated these problems perfectly. She had been trying to explain to Charles, her youngest member of staff, that he needed to concentrate more and stop making silly clerical errors which were causing serious repercussions for the team. Unfortunately, it had just sounded as if she was telling him off and he had, understandably, become upset. She knew she was struggling to motivate her staff and get results. She knew she lacked confidence in telling people what to do and did not have the skills to manage them in the right way.

Frustrated, Parveen walked back to her office, slammed the door behind her and slumped down on her chair, banging her file on her desk as she did so. This management role was not shaping up as she had hoped. She thought back to when she had been made team manager. She had worked as a social worker for fifteen years and had been excited and proud of her promotion. She had not foreseen that she would find her dream job this difficult.

The early part of her career had been enjoyable and rewarding. She had been able to apply her personal values to satisfy her desire to help people and to make a real difference to their lives. Her thoughts went back to one of her first cases – that of a young teenage mother of two children who she had helped to re-house and provide the support she needed in parenting skills. She had also helped her find a part time job in a hospital kitchen. Parveen remembered how fulfilled she had felt when she had got home from work that day after seeing the look of relief on her client’s face and hearing her words of gratitude.

That had been before the cutbacks in public funding and the changes in organisational structures. Since then, those resources were no longer available. Parveen and her colleagues felt frustrated and powerless as they fought for the time and funding necessary to make positive changes for their clients. They began to feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied with the mounting paperwork and automated processes that were being introduced. 

After five years of struggling as a senior social worker, a vacancy for team manager came up in another team. Parveen leapt at the chance. At the interview, she spoke confidently and passionately about the vital work of social care, convincing the interview panel that she was the perfect person for the job. 

To her dismay, after a year in her management post, Parveen was discovering that being a social worker and a manager were not the same thing at all. She had the clinical experience necessary to guide her staff but had soon become conscious that she had no management skills at all. Her senior manager told her there was no funding to send her on a management skills course. The best he could offer were online courses on the company intranet that she could do in her own time.

She was convinced that she had to do something to help herself. Last week she had cried in her office after someone from her team had shouted at her in front of another staff member. He had been angry because he could not help his client, who was in desperate need of childcare for her toddler. The funding for nursery places had been cut back yet again and Parveen had told him there was nothing she could do to change that.

As a manager, she felt more stressed than she had ever felt. Of course, the extra money was useful – in fact it had already been spent. But she wondered time and time again if all the additional pressure was worth her lovely new conservatory extension. These days, when she got home from work, she was exhausted. The wonderful feeling of satisfaction she had felt ten years ago, like the time she had helped that desperate young mother to find housing and employment, was now gone. She wondered what she could do.

She hated online courses but was forced to accept that there was no other option. Her body knotted up with frustration. She picked up her file and thumped it down on the desk with a force that startled her. The office phone let out a piercing shrill at the same time.

“Ohhhh … go away … I don’t want to speak to whoever you are!” she heard herself blurt out loudly. 

She knew she must calm herself and so, went on to direct her thoughts towards the breathing technique she had learned in her yoga class. She focused her attention on her body and the movement of her breath. After a few minutes, feeling a little more settled, Parveen reached for her computer and logged on to the company intranet. 

There were a few courses to choose from: Communication and Assertiveness Skills, Managing Conflict, Management Skills. Parveen decided that the first one was what she needed and clicked on the link for more information.

“Seven hours!” she exclaimed. “Where am I going to find seven hours to do this?” She thought she may have to give up that day she had planned to spend with her sister. She glanced at her diary, realising she was already ten minutes late for a Safeguarding meeting.

When Saturday came, she asked her husband to take their daughters shopping and to the cinema, so she could make a start on the online course. She had rung her sister and postponed their shopping trip to the new shopping centre in the city. She tried to put her resentment aside and turned on her computer.”

All the chapters in Stress to Success Stories contain real life examples similar to Parveen’s tale. These stories are followed by examples of how you can work through three issues and thrive. In the case of Parveen’s story, I look at the importance of listening, how to communicate in difficult situations and other key areas that will enhance your communication skills.

You can buy Stress to Success Stories directly from my website or on Amazon.

About Hansa Pankhania

Hansa is a Speaker, Corporate Wellbeing Coach and Author of 10 published books for adults and children.

In her books, Stress To Success In 28 Days and Stress To Success Stories, she is passionate about sharing natural wellbeing techniques that are cost-free, and easy-to-implement but nourish your body, mind, and soul in powerful ways. 

Her Chakraji Children’s Relaxation Series passes natural wellbeing tips to primary age children using colourful illustrations. 

She has also published her memoir Best Of Three Worlds about being born in Kenya as a British subject of Indian origin and the fusion of three histories and cultures.

Her latest book – Best Of One World – 60 steps to a sustainable, meaningful and joyful life helps you save money and boost your wellbeing and that of our planet too.

All her books are available through Amazon and her websites.

Visit- for her books

And – for Wellbeing Services

Text- +44(0)7888747438