Turning your life around

Poignant moment: Seán Connaughton launching a group of workshops entitled ‘When you Give: You Get’, which aim to show people how they can turn their lives around. The workshops focus on individuals taking a good look at their lives, and seeing the changes they need to make.

Poignant moment: Seán Connaughton launching a group of workshops entitled ‘When you Give: You Get’, which aim to show people how they can turn their lives around. The workshops focus on individuals taking a good look at their lives, and seeing the changes they need to make.

What if you were told you could turn your life around in a matter of days? One man who promises just that, backed up by hundreds of success stories, is Seán Connaughton. His career has taken him from working in Human Resources for a leading computer giant, to becoming one of the west’s most successful masters in professional and personal effectiveness.

His current profession began following a year’s stint working in the USA on conflict resolution. After he returned to Dublin, he was invited to join the company’s human resource department with specific responsibilities for developing staff. Having completed Systems Analysis in NUIG, he was trained in logical thinking and problem solving.

Dealing with people constructively was never part of his game plan, says Mr Connaughton “I soon discovered that the concept of logical problem solving was easily transferred to constructively helping people. The whole experience was a bolt out of the blue because I was crippled with shyness most of my life; I was more comfortable working quietly away in a corner.”

Delivering significant results within a relatively short period of time was copper fastened by the number of people within the company who elected to work with Mr Connaughton. Under performers soon became serious contributors to the business under his guidance. “I benefited from the knowledge that people change faster when they have a confidential ear, and they can see a path in front of them. People tend to want to avoid too much detail and trust in constructive advice,” he adds.

Based in Dublin, Mr Connaughton has always felt an attachment to Galway. One day, while still living in Dublin, he became seriously ill without any warning. It took him almost an hour to get out of bed and get dressed in the mornings. It also took him six months of trying to find a cure while he was effectively immobilised during this period. Doctors and consultants were stumped - they couldn’t figure out what had caused his illness. After being introduced to several people in Galway City who practiced alternative medicine, and after a series of intensive reflexology, deep body massages and some DMC (deep meaningful conversations ), he managed to regain his health. Within six months, his illness mysteriously disappeared.

With his renewed health, he returned to college at the GMIT as a mature student and completed the Chartered Institute of Personal Development. He also graduated from NUI Maynooth in Training, with Human Dynamics being a core part of his corporate experience.

Today, he says that becoming ill was one of the best things that ever happened to him, because the shock of losing his health forced him to prioritise his life, resulting in a more satisfying and rewarding career. “While I have struggled with shyness for most of my life, I had to set boundaries, as well as making a psychological contract with myself to venture outside my comfort zone. It may sound insignificant to some, but shyness has been the greatest obstacle in my life. I have had to work very hard at overcoming it, as it had controlled me for most of my life. The first time I ever really looked in a mirror at myself was 10 years ago, and the experience changed my whole approach to life. I can’t explain what happened, but I was literally catapulted into a new career in personal effectiveness. It was both a scary and challenging time in my life, but now I couldn’t be happier that I went with the flow. “

Working with individuals began several years ago, after an acquaintance approached Mr Connaughton regarding a personal dilemma. “She was totally frustrated and very anxious about her career, her life in general. I went about developing a personal strategy for her. Taking her communication style into account, the people in her life and the resources available to her, I mapped out a strategy which she was able to successfully play out herself. People are more than capable of achieving their goals and dreams; all they need is gentle guidance and a belief that they can achieve their ambitions,” adds Mr Connaughton. “It’s all about how we communicate and how we react to people in our lives.”

While Mr Connaughton works with CEOs and senior managers, he especially enjoys working with people who find their careers and relationships challenging. “Senior managers have much more focus, and so it’s easy to map out a strategy for them,” he explains. “Working with people who need a confidence boost is personally much more rewarding for me. I can empathise with the person who really wants to make it in life. Everyone has the ability to shine - my work is to show people how they can make the impossible possible.”

Seán Connaughton is delivering the first in a series of workshops on Saturday March 19 from 11am to 1pm. Places are limited. Call 087-214-1282 or email [email protected] to book your place.

If you’d like to work with Mr Connaughton on a one-to-one basis, for personal or professional effectiveness you can contact him on [email protected] or on 087-214-1282


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