Monthly Archives: November, 2014

Dabblers, Hackers, Compulsives, Masters and Mistresses

handsThis quote comes from my mentor John Seymour:
Dabblers . . . get bored and move on

Hackers . . . plateau out at basic skill levels

Compulsives . . . push harder to get to higher plateaus and then burn out

However, masters (and mistresses) continue to practice and refine fundamental skills at every opportunity

He’s talking about people on courses or (for me) where our locus of focus is.

Dabblers are seeking something, they’re never quite happy, they’re looking for something, they never quite finish and they blame other people, other things, they are prevented from doing things by things which (they believe) are outwith their control.

Hackers want to, but they can’t, they believe they are controlled by higher forces, limitations, they want someone to fix them. What I have to change? I have to put some effort into this?

Compulsives push, push the trainer, push the others, push themselves and find it rally hard to listen to others, to watch and observe, to learn from their mistakes and those of others. They are often good are giving advice to others ‘If that were me I would learn from (in NLP terms model) what so and so is doing’ – but they don’t apply advice to self. After all they can do it better.

Masters (and mistresses) continue to practise [and yes in UK English the verb is with an ‘s’] and refine fundamental skills at every opportunity. After all “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect” Vince Lombardi.

After all in the words of the song ‘Pick Yourself up, dust yourself down, and start all over again’ click here

What (I find) also interesting, is that for Dabblers, Hackers, and Compulsives, there are LAB (Language and Behaviour) Profile Patterns, they are also ones for Masters and Mistresses, the first 3 will have a great deal in common with another and the people will have common patterns, the latter two will be different. After all it’s the difference that makes the difference. Like to know more? Contact us at

Phone 01224 900748,  01309 676004, 07796 134081


Paralysed by Options

Are you ‘paralysed’ by options, opportunities, possibilities? So many things you could do and ifcouch_potato_large you decided for one or the other of them, would you worry that there might have been or will be a better option, opportunity, or possibility coming along than the decision you made or are about to make?
I mentioned this to one of my clients and he said ‘when I heard that it sent a cold shiver down my spine, I can identify with that. I spend ages in inertia, and then I do miss out.’
The trouble with this way of reacting is we can then shrug our shoulders and say ‘oh well that wasn’t the right thing for me.’ ‘Another time maybe’, ‘that’s the way life is,’ ‘not my turn this time’. When we react in this way we might notice that there are other people around us who become infuriated, these people want us to ‘get a move one’, ‘for goodness sake – do something’, ‘do it now,’ ‘do it before it’s too late’.
The sad fact is we will only ‘do it now’ when it meets our personal criteria, those things which push our hot buttons, make us salivate. The things we know we really want to do.
You might be reading this and asking ‘what?’
We all have the ability to be proactive – so to get out and get things done, when it suits us, when it meets our criteria. And we all have the ability to do – nothing, to sit on our backside and wait. When we add other patterns in with these patterns (they are after all patterns of behaviour) in a given context then we will either do something or not. And we all have a period of time that it takes (in a given context and these contexts change, so I might act one way at work and another way at home or in personal relationships and in all of those contexts I might well act differently at different times – we are human beings, we do complex stuff), a period of time in which we are convinced. The LAB (Language and Behaviour Profile – Words that Change Minds) and the Edelmann Trust barometer both state that the average number of times it takes the majority of people to be convinced of something is 3 times [although Edelman also shows that this is closely followed by 3 to 5 times].

So when we are waiting for someone else to do something, to make a decision or whatever that is we want them to do what can we do? Well we can also find out if they are motivated by avoiding something, ‘I want to avoid – being overtired,’ ‘- working too long hours for too little money’, etc. Or are they motivated by what they will gain ‘I want to have a shorter working week’, ‘I’d like to have the freedom to choose my clients’ etc. Add whether they want to gain or avoid something into the mix and how many times they will need to hear or see or do something and we’re getting closer to getting them ‘to buy in’ to what we what to happen.

Like to learn more about how to understand yourself and others, before it’s too late?

Take a look at or for Career Management Coaching

Are you a Drain or a Radiator?

There are energy givers and there are ‘time burglars’, or as one of our clients used to say ‘do burglar strpeyou want to be a drain or a radiator?’ (Guess who was possibly the biggest drain in his company?)

Mostly we use these phrases above when we are talking about motivation. One way to motivate people is by ensuring that they believe in the vision, be that the organisational vision, or the vision of their leader or manager. It’s handy to bear in mind there are people who merely go to work to ‘earn money’. Money is their only motivation, as long as they have done their bit, they are happy. They want to turn up at work, have no aggro, get on with it and then go home, often on the dot of finishing time. In fact they have switched everything off, cleared their desk, got their coat on and are out of the door at ‘finishing time’ on the dot.

Do we actually know our employees and what motivates them? Have we employed people who will ‘just do the job and no more’ or have we spent time ensuring we know what the job requires in terms of skill set? And wait for it, in terms of personality type and does the person we offered the job to have the right personality for the job? Are they a people person? Or are they like a Scotrail condutor I recently encountered who regarded passengers as an interruption to the smooth running of the train?
In terms of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile® his focus was on ‘Thing’ (well at that time – because I have encountered him once before when by watching his eyes and listening to the tone changes in his voice he was focused on people and that was when the train was running late). However at this particular point in time, he was focused on his job on the right way to get things done and also on his opinion of who I was. I decided to sit where I was told (I was still in First Class) and someone moved very quickly to accommodate this man. I was curious why he was acting this way as the last time I had encountered him I had been able to persuade him to phone ahead and find out about the connection. There again it could because my skilful use of language previously had worked this time he ‘wasn’t having any of that’, she tricked me last time. I doubt in fact that he recognised me. But it was powerful proof to me that given different circumstances we react differently.

In respect of rules and motivation, if we have too many rules (and some industries and organisations have many!) then those people who dislike rigidly following procedures (about 40% of the population at work), if they not given options will start to leave. Look at how many opportunity seekers/rule breakers leave a company when voluntary severance is offered. What happens, those who stay eventually internalize the rules and then what we have is a workforce that is highly critical of anyone, absolutely anyone who wants to do anything different? Ring any bells?

We then fall into the blame frame, the blame culture. And how do we motivate in that type of culture?
More next time.


Contact me 01224 900748, 01309 676006 or


One of things I learned a long time ago in my NLP Training was the concept of Response-can cantAbility. That means I can choose whether to respond to something or not, I can as is said in NLP terms “maintain my own good and useful state” or use tools and techniques for state maintenance, in fact the ability to do just that is a requirement on our of our longer courses. I’m told people outside of the NLP world call this behaviour management. Well let’s learn how to manage our own behaviours!
We are all response-able, that is able to respond. No one makes me do something – i.e. angry, upset, no one “tires you out” (as my mother used to say to me). It’s all our own reaction. We can choose to react or not, because we are thinking human beings. In fact recently my mother made a comment on Facebook (she is 81) that was completely out of context with my original intention. I could get annoyed, but I just thought “drat, note to self not to include mother in “sensible” posts, as she will go off at her own tangent (I love her to bits in spite of all of this)!
But perhaps you are asking how? How do I choose not to react?
Well notice that you start to react to something and ask yourself “what do I want instead?” – when you’ve found that something you would like instead, a better reaction, then first create a “space” – imagine a gap, a void between you and that thing, the other person, take a mental step back from the situation and BREATHE (how many times do you forget to breathe?).
Then see, hear or feel what you would like instead – a desert island, an empty beach, the sound of waves, a piece of music, a CD track you really like, feel calm, feel peaceful, feel happy instead.
Then notice what it takes for you to create or re-create that sight, that sound, that feeling – you might need to practise it several times (only perfect practice makes perfect by the way). Then “anchor” this sight, sound or feeling in some way – “anchor” means fix it, so that you can recall it at any time, anchor for example whilst you are thinking about this sight, sound or feeling press your index finger and thumb on one hand together, or pinch one earlobe. Then when something that in the past “stressed you out” happens press your finger and thumb together or pinch your earlobe to re-create this relaxed, happier, useful state.
I promise you, that if you practise, and when you do something about your reaction you can change the way you react and those things from the past will seem different and life will become easier.
There is one problem with NLP you have to actually do something about making the change – no one can do it for you (otherwise you are just a zombie) – you have to want to make the change, and then just do it!
Like it? Want to know more? Find me on Twitter, find me at Developing Works and sign up for our newsletter there or be even more daring and sign up for a course.
NLP – Neuro-linguistic Programming is interested in the language we use, how we motivate ourselves and others and how this can be used to improve communication. How language programs us and others to react. Find out about NLP can help you, and how you work, or phone Rosie O’Hara on 01309 676004, 01224 900748.

Emails and Other Forms of Communication Killers

Mails or emails and text messages can be a nightmare or a minefield, whatever metaphor you hmmchoose to use here.

Emails are missing out emphasis, irony, humour, anything that is included in telephone and face to face conversations, they are also often written in abbreviated form and can be sent off in the heat of the moment and even worse……….. they are tantamount to worldwide publishing within seconds, one click of the mouse and your comments can be sent worldwide and if you continuously forward previous emails on, someone, somewhere might read something you didn’t want them to read.

And text messages well can u txt? And cn u read txts? And I don’t even know if I’ve missed out the right bits.

With texts and emails it’s also possible to send them to the wrong person, by clicking the wrong button!!!!! And think about what happens if you always leave the previous message in there, I once became privy to some information that was classified and I only knew because I printed the email out.

Some NLP thoughts on emails – emails can work really well for someone who is visual – in NLP terms that means someone who has a Visual Preference, they say things like “I see what you mean”, “show me …..”, I need to clarify my ideas”, “send me the document” or “please write it down and give it to me”. Emails can also be a killer for them, because suddenly something jumps up on the screen and there it is in front of them in black and white, or colour and they can see it! What you say to them will not always hit home.

Now if someone has an Auditory Preference – so they like to talk, like to chat on the phone, ask you “to talk them through it”, say something ”rings a bell”, think you are or are not “singing from the same hymn sheet”, then an email will possibly have little or no effect on them.

People with a Kinesthetic Preference like to do or touch, so they would possibly rather have a letter they can touch on nice paper, or even like to go for walk with you and if they like taste and smell would rather chat over a coffee or breakfast. Mmm emails not much good for them.

Other things to take into account, you have absolutely no idea what frame of mind your recipient is in when they receive the email or where they are (I recently sat next to a guy at a business dinner who was reading his emails during the after dinner speaker’s speech [a serious speech about transport]). If your recipient is the wrong frame of mind for receiving your email then you have a problem.
My tip if you want to say something important, earth shattering, vital – send a short email and ask can I ring you, can we meet and do that and then give them something in writing. Bad news by email is bad, very bad, unless you really want to annoy someone, or they generally ignore you anyway.

So think about what you write and how you phrase what you write. Are you really clear about what you write?

This week I had an email about someone who wrote “I am busy delivering” and someone who has a “condition”. So I took a deep breath and wrote – “Now I guess you are “delivering” training (unless you have become a midwife or a milkman?) and I’m sorry I have no idea what this “condition” is” – upshot we had a 45 minute telephone call in which all was explained to me and I mean all. I had a better understanding of why something had not happened and the other person remembered you can tell me all kinds of things and I will understand and I got some really useful business tips from the person with the vague and hastily written email.

NLP talks about how we shape our world, (you know we don’t live in reality? That we form our own idea of reality?). In doing this we delete, distort and generalise, more on that later (Words and Wheelbarrows!)

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