Use the Free Writing technique to clear your thoughts

Free Writing 2

Get it out of your head – and on to paper! Sometimes life can be confusing. Or overwhelming. Like when you have too much happening – lots of changes to cope with – lots of decisions to make. Or you’ve got a vague, uneasy, or unpleasant feeling that you can’t get to the bottom of.…

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Are you getting the ‘not interested’ treatment!

receiving the not-interested treatment

How those ‘not interested’ messages work There are lots of subtle messages hidden in everyday conversations – even in seemingly light-hearted chit-chat! Some of these are verbal. Some, most even, are non verbal and these can be powerful. They can dismiss the value of your contribution. They can undermine your standing in the relationship –…

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When our ‘good habits’ trap us!

Habits can be useful and efficient

Habits can be useful and efficient… traps I like a cup of instant coffee first thing in the morning. Every morning, without fail. For as long as I remember. And I always add a spoon of CoffeeMate, a coffee whitener, after making the coffee.  Always. Now, first thing in the morning is the time of…

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Do you encourage them – or not?

try to do this

‘Try’ undermines your impact and influence I was doing some research for an article on stress and depression yesterday. So, I web-searched on a few terms. And I couldn’t believe how sloppy is the language used by so many people who should know better; doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors and, apparently well-respected PhD’s, using phrases along…

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Is your ladder leaning against the right wall?

Right ladder, right motivation, right wall

Before you climb it, ensure your ladder is against the right wall? For years I’ve quoted Stephen Covey’s great metaphor: “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” I actually paraphrased Covey: There’s little point in energetically and enthusiastically climbing that…

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Children just say what they think

We just looked at one another I was walking along the local high street.  And I was approaching and about to pass a woman walking with her daughter of about 6 or 7… Daughter: Mum, what age is Carol? Mum: She’s nearly 18, dear (…longish pause…) Daughter: Emmm, Mum? Mum: Yes, dear. Daughter: Will you…

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How close to someone do you stand?

(This article was originally posted on 13 June 2019 just over 9 months before our first pandemic lockdown here in the UK. I’m reposting it here because, in the light of the past two years, the ideas about social distancing seem so dated. Almost quaint, in fact. Oh, and I’m also reposting it because the…

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Are you planning for healthy ageing… or decrepitude?

healthy ageing or decrepitude

A challenging question? On some of our courses, we introduce our Design Your Future exercise. It’s a way of creating a practical action plan to create your ideal future over the next few years. When introducing the exercise I ask people to consider “where do you want to be with your life in 5 or…

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Simple advice for a healthy life…

A 600-yr old tip! Have you ever noticed the great resolutions that we make when we’re unwell… You know, the promises such as: Once I’m feeling better again I’ll exercise more, eat better, have a better work-life balance, etc. Well twas ever thus. Asked for his advice for a happy life, Sigismund, the Holy Roman…

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That ‘look at me when I’m speaking to you’ rule

They need to look away to think In conversation, lots of people need look away to think. On the other hand, lots of other people get upset if their speaking partner doesn’t maintain continuous eye contact during a conversation! This thing about who looks at whom can cause a fair bit of confusion. I can’t…

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Those NLP anchors did work – before NLP!

NLP Anchors worked – even before NLP! Back in the late 1700’s the Scottish novelist-to-be, Walter Scott, was a student at Edinburgh High School. And he was always runner-up to the more articulate and quick-witted boy who invariably came top of the class. One day, as his rival was speaking in class, Scott noticed that…

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How long to develop a new habit?

“How long will it take me to get into the habit of doing this?” Well, the usual answer is 21 days and this is one of those myths-which-became-truth because it is so widely and unquestioningly quoted (including by myself in the distant past). It’s based on a 1960’s observation by Maxwell Maltz, the positive thinking…

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Walking for your health!

Walking – less fashionable than running, BUT… In recent years enlightened GPs around the UK have been setting up walking groups for patients in their practices – with good results in reducing requests for prescriptions and in building self esteem and social connections. Walking doesn’t get the same kind of press attention as jogging or…

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“Stay safe!”

Wishing them well?? Shortly after the arrival of Covid-19 in the UK we began wishing each other well with “Stay Safe!” comments. It is a well-intended comment.  Yet, in communication, and as we know from NLP, it’s not our intention when communicating that matters.  What matters are the results of our communicating – our impact on…

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Aggressive agreement!

Conversational power tactic #2 The “aggressive agree-ers” seem to be on your side. After all, they agree with you! But they do it a bit too enthusiastically; so much so that you quickly lose your train of thought. How do they do it? As you are speaking, they maintain a steady flow of “yes, yes,…

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Using silence to control you

Conversational power tactic #1 People who use silence as a weapon in conversation want an audience. But they don’t like to be the audience. So, they’ll discourage you from making your own contributions to the conversation or interrupting their flow. How? Each time you attempt to contribute, they respond with… silence. This is usually accompanied…

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The repeated lie is believed

the-repeated-lie-becomes-the-truth

The repeated lie is believed The 3rd Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year… according to many British newspapers. This ‘scientific claim’ is the invention of a PR company and a part-time lecturer. It was created back in 2004 to get people to book their annual summer holidays earlier and is,…

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Better than a ‘Cookie Jar’

Share those good moments It was on a Core Skills course a few years back. And we were chatting around the kitchen table during one of the course breaks. I think it was during a lunch time. (These informal round-the-table chats are when we often come up with fascinating ways of applying, and wiring in,…

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Plan to have a great time – alone!

Do you plan for good times – alone! It changed my life. The advice to plan for good times even when alone – in fact, especially when alone. This was some years ago. When it seemed to me that happy times were the prerogative of couples and families. That’s when it dawned on me, sometime…

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Sulking: getting the silent treatment

Sulking: the silent treatment

Sulking: getting the Silent Treatment! Oh, he’s just having one of his sulks – best to ignore him. If she doesn’t get what she wants she goes into a sulk – forever! There’s no point in trying to talk with them – they’re in a sulk! Living, or working closely, with a sulker isn’t much…

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When NLP is ‘not’ very smart

NLP… in Plain English? I began using NLP nearly 40 years ago. And in the early days much of the NLP jargon just about beat me – I really couldn’t make sense of it. Take, for instance, “The meaning of your communication is the response you get”. Now this one had me baffled for years!…

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90% is good enough!

90% is good enough - put an end to perfectionism, for good - 90 percent is good enough

Perfectionism: a recipe for endless dissatisfaction The perfectionist wants everything they do to be perfect. Flawless. Beyond criticism… The perfectionist is never satisfied with their results. Whatever they achieve they quickly decide they could have done better – and should have done better, in fact. They do not have an ‘it’s good enough – let’s…

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What to do when you’re put on the spot!

Those Rabbit in the Headlights moments - when you're put on the spot

Those ‘Rabbit in the headlights’ moments What to do when you’re ‘put on the spot’ The ‘Rabbit in the Headlights’ moments Most of us have been there from time to time.  Some of us find ourselves there all-too-frequently. You’re put on the spot – you’re suddenly challenged. Or accused. Or questioned. Or required to explain…

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