We have many forms of social media that keep us busy (sometimes we are just busy being busy, don’t you think?).
Are we trapped inside our specialisms? Be that social groups, teams, pockets of knowledge, companies, organisations, universities, colleges, parliaments, media itself, banks, hospitals, schools, bowling clubs and more ? Are we in our own little tribe?
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow) says we are ‘blind to our blindness’, we fail to see risks and opportunities that when we think about them later (oh hindsight) we know that we could have done things differently.
Why do we do this? What do you think? Communication between teams, societies (be those clubs or cultures) is patchy. Are we all too busy nowadays using social media to say what we want to say and not listening to what others are saying or even, not saying? Or are we reading between the lines to understand from our own reality? Is it just at work or is it also out there in society that we live and work in silos? Be those organisational silos (ivory towers/own realities) which Gillian Tett speaks of in her book ‘The Silo Effect’ or our own individual silos?
As a group or as an individual we like to fit others into labels, slots, or pigeon holes. We tend to understand from our own reality, from what we know and believe to be true from our own experience, or what we have learned from others in order to fit in (or not).
As human beings we do have an innate need to ‘get the world to fit’ to our own reality and many of us naturally seek out those people and those things that match our own reality. But do we listen and look at how people and systems interconnect with an open mind? Do we ask ourselves how people connect with us and to us? Do we examine parts of life we don’t want to talk about because they don’t fit with our reality, because we find them dull, boring or even off-limits?
Do we listen carefully to what other people say and check if what they say also fits with what they do? Do we check that what we say fits with what we personally do? Or do we dismiss people out of hand because they don’t fit with our reality?
I’m curious what you think about the above comments and how you communicate with other people. Please share or comment here and if you would like assistance or tips or suggestion on how to improve communication and understanding. Please contact me.
Contact me Rosie O’Hara via the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you trust yourself when all men doubt you
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master
If you can think and make thoughts your aim
If you meet with Triumph and Disaster”
Rudyard Kipling wrote these words in 1895 to his son John in a form as if it was fatherly advice, but they were written in tribute to Leander Starr Johnson, originally from Edinburgh (more about him click here).
Kipling’s words work equally well today, when there are downturns in markets and people lose their jobs we tend to panic and at times wonder if there’s a better option out there. Whether we allow ourselves to be influenced by other people and what they believe and tell us or whether we decide for ourselves based on what we know and believe to be true.
What’s missing at times is a prepared objective and for a short period of time sitting back, thinking about how we can avoid problems and then with our objective in mind setting up a plan that we then put into action.
Sitting back and asking ourselves what we really want is not a complete waste of time. It helps us to focus and think so that we don’t end up in a job that is potentially flattering but then becomes a waste of time, in that we become frustrated.
When we are clear about what we want we notice that other people appreciate us more. We get recognition for asking for our needs to be met.
We can first look at the choices available to us and then choose a couple of options to work with. (Knowing that could go back to the other options, but as a start it’s good to be clear about just one or two options at the most.
After all when we are good at what we do, letting others know clearly will enable us to do what Kipling said over one hundred years ago that still holds true:
‘If you can keep your head’ – stay calm,
‘… trust yourself’ – in spite of what others say that might make you waiver,
‘… dream and not make dreams your master’ – not let endless options and possibilities, the ‘ifs’, the ”buts’ stop you from acting.
When we do all of those (with a little help if necessary) then we will get through trying times and carve out a new career or a new business or simply stay afloat and happy in trying times.
If you’d like to know more about career management coaching and how the LAB Profile® might help you in your choices ,contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or telephone +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004.
It’s probably something you never gave much thought to.
I recently came across a post from one of my contacts on LinkedIn it said –
‘Hostile listeners are often on the left of the speaker and concordant ones to the right. At a table, change positions to neuter conflict.’
I wondered if the person posting had come across this an exercise that I taught first to teachers and trainers and then to children and then back to business people – here are two versions below – perhaps you’d like to try it out and let me know what happens?
Checking your Approachable Side
Few of us are aware that we have an ‘approachable’ side, and the implications this can have for conversations with others. This approachable side also applies to learners too. We have a ‘better / preferred’ side for taking on learning.
This is a fun exercise with huge implications we have found.
Are you more approachable from one side than the other?
A remains standing on the spot
B thinks up a question and asks the same question from three different positions
A’s task is to notice the differences in his/her response and feelings to the question.
B approaches A from A’s left, stands still and asks a question “Could you do me a favour and lend me some money?” B gives A time to notice and fix A’s immediate response.
B moves away and approaches A from the right and repeats the same procedure.
Finally B approaches from the front.
Give feedback away from the spot on which A was stood. What did A notice, what did B notice and what did C notice? Carry this exercise out for all three participants.
Debrief – will this have an effect on where you might stand / sit in the classroom (and at meetings as well). Notice – are there sometimes pupils (people) with whom you have difficulties? What would happen if you moved or asked to sit somewhere else?
and with children we used this version
Checking your Approachable Side
Working in three
Person A remains standing on the spot.
Person B thinks up a question and asks the same question from three different positions, such as ‘can I borrow your pencil?’ (Make it a realistic ask or it won’t work).
Person A’s task is to notice the differences in his/her response and feelings to the question.
Person B approaches A from A’s left, stands still and asks a question “Could you do me a favour and lend me your pencil?” B gives A time to notice A’s their immediate response.
B moves away and approaches A from the right and repeats “Could you do me a favour and lend me your pencil?” B gives A time to notice A’s immediate response.
Finally B approaches from the front and repeats “Could you do me a favour and lend me your pencil?” B gives A time to notice and fix A’s immediate response.
All three of you get together away from the spot on which A was stood and talk about what you each noticed. What did A notice, what did B notice and what did C (the person watching) notice?
Carry this exercise out for all three of you.
Notice – are there sometimes people with whom you have difficulties? What would happen if you moved or asked to sit somewhere else?
So you know the John Lennon line ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’? I’ve learned in life to become really good at avoiding things or planning for doing something different. These so-called ‘opportunities/challenges or whatever, let’s face it when you’re running a business and who knows what else they are just a bloomin’ nuisance .
You know the situation – you knew exactly (more or less) where your life was/is going. You’ve done all the planning, all the strategy stuff and ……………….. well a multitude of things can happen, or may happen and sometimes they do. Or sometimes it’s just one simple thing that upsets the apple cart so to speak.
Client cancels, car won’t start, child throws up (sorry), child comes out in spots – school/nursery says sorry must stay at home, client goes bankrupt, loses funding (let’s be topical here), your partner is arrested, someone dies (ok it’s getting worse), partner breaks leg as you go on holiday, you miss the ferry coming back, next one is 2 days later, you find out you have cancer – you know those things some peple seem to take in their stride !
There are options:- headless chicken syndrome, sit down and cry (quite good for a minute at the most – trust me), scream, shout, blame someone else (worst one I think personally – trust me they won’t sort it out).
Being in a good and useful state is something I talk about a lot in my work. After all we can ‘get in a state’, and mostly we say things like ‘look at the state of him or her’, ‘why did you get yourself into that state?’, ‘what a state you’re in!’ So in the UK (because in the US and perhaps other countries a state is a place in which you live, so you could change state;)) and in the training we provide (you can find me at http://www.nlphighland.co.uk for more info) we encourage people to find a good and useful state.
When you have a moment think of 5 separate times in your life when things have been going really well ,and for each one think of a label. Do it one at time – here are some suggestions Confident, Peaceful, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Motivated, Excited, Powerful, Focused, Blissful, Empowered, Successful, Relaxed, Loved, Joyful, Healthy, Humorous or anything else you like.
Thinking about each time separately so for example Confident, think about that time see what you’re seeing, hear what you’re hearing, and feel how you’re feeling when you are confident then and when you have all of that in your mind and body; press on a point on your collar bone and ‘anchor’ that confident state.
Do the same thing for each of the 4 other ‘states’ you choose and press on or ‘anchor’ on the same spot. Then briefly think of something else like doing the dishes, just briefly. Then press on your collar bone again in that spot and notice what happens. If you need to, repeat the process until it’s all really powerful and now you have an unobtrusive ‘anchor’ for a ‘good and useful state’ that you can use anywhere at any time.
So if ‘life get’s in the way’ again, – press on your collar bone.
In the last post I wrote about staff not taking initiative when a customer has a problem, of following a policy or procedure. ‘Company rules are…’, this is our policy on complaints’, ‘please read this and write into our head office’. The latter often heard at airports when the passenger with the problem wants and possibly needs a result – now.
An unhappy customer becomes impatient and is frustrated, they can get louder than usual (and don’t always realise this). They no longer care about rules and procedures, ‘gimme a result – now!’. Telling them what to do is a red rag to a bull. The worst case scenario is that they will rehash old wrongs.
And what do companies and those who train people in customer service do? They teach employees to be calm, to say phrases such as: ‘if you shout at me I will terminate this call,’ ‘don’t raise your voice at me.’ Such actions merely light the fire under the potentially explosive situation. Even if the customer appears to physically walk away, they will remember. They will remember every single thing you and your organisation ever did wrong and the experience will imprint on their memory and they will tell other people.
Two solutions – as a customer it really helps to say ‘I’m sorry to bother you, but could you help me please.’ This is so disarming to most people they will help you. Even the most intractable and jobsworth people will listen and often point you in the direction of a colleague who is known to be helpful. Taking on some of the blame yourself really helps. It might not be what you really want to do, but it can help.
When you’re providing the customer service, being aware of how the customer is reacting using appropriate LAB Profile® Influencing Language is really appropriate, useful, customer friendly and will get you repeat business (at times there are customers however who make their own completely internal decisions and cannot be retained – they are a minority).
The customer knows he or she is right, it helps therefore if you are in customer service to get the aggrieved customer to listen to and understand you, start where they are – ‘I know this must be really awful for you ………..,’ ‘you may want to consider’, ‘this may be in your best interest,’ ‘may I make a suggestion?’
They want you to break the rules for them, your policies and procedures are not of the slightest interest to them. They want you to do something now. And you might well be surprised to find that at times when you’ve agreed that the situation is terrible, and used some of the LAB Profile Internal Influencing Language you may want to consider, this may be in your best interests, may I make a suggestion?. You might be surprised if you say to this upset customers, whilst I can’t get you on a flight right now, I can get you a meal to begin with (and let them know you’re not supposed to do, it’s breaking the rules just for them but you’d like to help) and I can arrange for you to use a phone privately and I can locate your luggage and I can help you to find some accommodation. Then it’s highly possible that the upset customer will calm down and will listen to you and later will let everyone know how well their problem was treated.
Don’t just believe me, try it out for yourself or ask me for some info or clues on how to find out more about this. There are tools and a tried and tested methodology.
Rosie O’Hara is one of the UK’s foremost Trainers and Consultants of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile®, Words that Change Minds. Her background is in mechanical engineering and the German language – more information on uses of the LAB Profile® for Team Building, HSE, Management, Negotiation, Market Research, Recruitment and in Executive Coaching and more contact Rosie on 07796 134081, 01224 900748, or 01309 676004 or take a look at the website click here
Anyone reading this will recognise themselves in either having been on the receiving end of this, or having had customers, clients, clients, delegates complain about this (in this case you might perceive the other person to be wrong).
This is not based on one particular case; rather it’s a summary of many different experiences, many of us will have had. Ever been somewhere where your needs are largely ignored because staff is getting things done’? Clearing tables, looking busy behind a desk or counters etc? The person you would like to help you or take you seriously is too busy focussing on the task rather than the person?
When as a customer you are unhappy, no one takes the initiative to put things right. It’s more the case that it seems too much trouble, or our procedures won’t allow that (airlines are good at this).
The member of staff of whom you expect help behaves as if you are just a downright nuisance. Sometimes they make the ‘right noises’ but then later you discover they did nothing? They say they’ll ‘pass the message’ but they don’t.
They repeatedly tell you what they can’t do, without offering any alternatives? An example of this and the previous question. We had a training room booked for 7 people on arrival there were twenty seven chairs in said room and two large tables (no tables required). We asked for the tables and twenty chairs to be removed. We were told ‘we have nowhere to put them,’ and asked ’are they really in your way?’and then ‘it makes it easier for us for later.’ I was told I was being unreasonable in my requests.
The staff whoever they are follows a set procedure, ‘read our customer policy’, ‘complain to our head office’, ‘I can’t do that for you’.
In terms of the Language and Behaviour Profile this translates as – Things, tasks, objects are more important than People – who pays the wages, affects your bottom line?
Staff are reacting – they will respond, so they don’t totally ignore you, but they are unwilling to take an initiative.
The staff and often company behaviour is that they believe that anyone who does not fit their expectations is completely out of line and odd.
These are people who would rather work alone, a common hiring error – companies ask for and hire people who can work ‘independently, at their own initiative’ – this leads to people whose preference is to work completely alone, i.e. in a darkened room with absolutely no customers around to bother them. Customers disturb them, get in the way of the things they have to do, keeping the place tidy, neat, looking good, and making life easy.
Staff only notice what is wrong or can’t be done in respect of the customer or client,
The staff are focussing on a process, rather than a service. On a linear progression that has no time, room or facility for dealing with complaints. The problem with this process is these people who have been hired to follow this process are people who once they have started, they cannot stop. Hell mend you if you interrupt them. They must get to the end of the process this is how they are made.
Recognise some of this in customer service you have received, or customer complaints you have had?
Next time ways to deal with this – from both angles
Rosie O’Hara is one of the UK’s foremost Trainers and Consultants of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile®, Words that Change Minds. Her background is in mechanical engineering and the German language – more information on uses of the LAB Profile® for Team Building, HSE, Management, Negotiation, Market Research, Recruitment and in Executive Coaching and more contact Rosie on 07796 134081, 01224 900748, or 01309 676004 or consider the information on this website here
I’ve actually posted this before on other blogs of mine, but after a couple of recent new experiencs it comes with an addition.
Mails or emails and text messages can be a nightmare or a minefield, whatever metaphor you choose 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 thoughts on emails – emails can work really well for someone who is visual –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.
The latest experience from two people in the past week. I’ve gone back to them to ask something and they have replied to me ‘scroll down to the bottom of the email for the information.’ It’s not that I’m lazy you know, I would just like to be treated like a person and be given that information and to be honest that kind of reply can come across as rude.
Treat people as you would like them to treat you. Think about what you write and how you phrase what you write. Are you really clear about what you write?
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.
The easiest way to spot limiting beliefs is to listen to your ‘self-talk’ when things go badly. Typical examples of limiting ‘self-talk’ are ‘I’m no good at …’, or ‘I can’t …’. Each time you talk or think in this way, the belief becomes more entrenched.
The good news is that this limiting way of thinking can be changed to ways of thinking that are truly empowering. The following process is a good way to do this:
1. Write down your limiting belief and ask yourself – ‘what will I get from changing this way I think about things?’
2. Ask yourself ‘Am I ready to change this way of thinking that’s holding me back?’ Check that the ‘yes’ is a true yes and feasible. If not, what is getting your way? Do you need to do some work on that?
3. Ask yourself ‘What would be a more useful way of thinking, instead?’ Write down that answer.
4. Turn your answer into a linguistic process, one that has progression in it – here’s an example – find something you can ‘do’ to make the statement more believable. Use words such as begin; start; prepare; establish; grasp; learn; master; realise; understand.
Such as ‘I can be good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’
5. Make it enjoyable. Find words that would make the more useful way of thinking motivating, such as comfortable; easy; effective; effortless; elegant; enjoyable; fantastic; magical; magnificent; successful; thrilling. For example ‘I can enjoy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s effortless being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s easy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’
6. Write down the final version of the new more useful way of thinking and notice any objections that come up for you, any little voices in your head. Symbolically let them go by writing them down, or saying them out loud, until no more objections are left. They are no longer unconscious objections now, no longer getting your way.
7. Now take a minute to imagine living with this new belief for a whole day. Would it cause any problems? If so, fine-tune the new belief until it causes no problems. Do a final check: ‘If I could think in this more useful way would I take it on board?’ Check you get an answer from yourself that you are truly happy with, and that this new way of thinking is truly motivating. What evidence will let you know it is coming true for you? Practise acting ‘as if’ the new way of thinking is yours on a daily basis until it becomes so.
8. Finally ask yourself ‘What will be the first evidence (what will you see, what will you hear and what will you feel) that this way of thinking is coming true?’
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.
You know that scenario or that dilemma or that feeling? When you say ‘I want to this but on the other hand,’ and then you dither or put one foot forward and then you take one step back and probably end up doing nothing at all or at least nothing different.
Here’s a way of working with that Will I? Won’t I?.
First a brief explanation, it’s possible that the dilemma you are having is about your values being in conflict. Values are our criteria for what we personally consider to be worthwhile or valuable. Our values are deeply connected to our belief systems. The values embedded in our core beliefs are the key to our actions and to changing those actions. It may be that something you hold dear is not at useful to you.
When you are in a situation where you are saying ‘part of me wants to and on the other hand’ then try this method out.
1. Ask yourself: ‘what are the two parts or values that conflict?’ and give each part a name (anything you like).
2. Then resting one hand on each knee, palm uppermost, imagine one of these parts is each hand.
3. Now looking at one of your hands imagine you can see what this part looks like – is it standing, or siting is a person, what’s it wearing?, is it a thing?, describe it as you imagine it on your palm. When you have described one part fully, repeat the process for the other part imagining it on the other hand and looking at it there.
4. Looking at each part in turn what do you notice about its good qualities; strengths, resources and positive intentions. A positive intention is not its behaviour so for example ‘by not doing this – it will keep me safe from ….’ That’s a positive intention even though at times that might not be what will call positive see No. 5 on this page here.
Ask questions of each part such as:
What does this part do for me?
What is its job in my life?
What are its special qualities?
What is this part good for? What is this part trying to do for me?
How could this part be useful to someone else?
What are the good things I haven’t noticed about this part?
5. When you’re clear about all the positive attributes of one part, repeat the process for the other part. Check if any of the positive attributes need to be transferred (do this in your mind) from one part to the other.
6. Then imagine a third, central image (between the other two wherever seems right for you) incorporating all the best qualities of each part.
7. Bringing your hands up from your knees, bring them together behind this central image and scoop all of the images into yourself. Welcome this new improved image, close your eyes, breathe, and stay that way whilst your mind accepts this new way of thinking and behaving.
Be gentle with yourself and allow ample quiet time for integrating this process. Allow yourself to experience fully whatever body sensations, emotions, feelings or images come to you. This can be a powerful emotional experience, or deceptively unremarkable.
It can be you have clear insights during the process. It can be that it happens later.
This method also known as Visual Squash or Parts Integration in NLP operates simultaneously on so many levels that it subtly transforms our experience and expands our range of reactions with no further effort.
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.
A while ago someone asked me how did I remember things, more importantly how did I remember to take things with me after an event, training or meeting or what happened in that meeting. I’d like to share with you.
There’s a technique known as ‘Reframing’ to create a different meaning literally around something, for example to turn a bad experience into a good one, or to notice that there is actually something positive.
Here’s a simple way to do that.
A. Remember an occasion when or where you got angry.
B. Make a picture or image of this or imagine this having happened and see yourself in the picture.
C. Now put a frame around the picture or image.
How does your response to the situation change when you put a wooden frame around it? What about a metal frame? A multi-coloured frame. An oval frame? How about a colourful frame with balloons hanging from it?
And what do we do to remember things when we’ve walked through the door?
We need to make a conscious effort to stop briefly and think about the thing we want to do, or are going to, or are have been doing. And then we need to make a mental image of this thing and place it up to our left. And looking up to our left see this thing, this object, this person, this task, this memory, then imagine seeing it in colour and see it standing still. Making sure it’s still there, move on out of the room and when you’re out of the room and doing the next thing look up to your left and see this item, still standing there. And hey presto, you’ll remember.
If you find this tricky, practice. Only perfect practise makes permanent.
And for some people you might need to place this image up on your right.
Try it out and let me know what happens for you, then walking through the door will be much easier and your memory will improve.
Forgotten to catch up after a meeting or networking?
Well most of us do at times. Some of us believe making notes will help, not so good if you then lave all your info somewhere. I recently realised that I had left all my info from one networking meeting, neatly packaged on one place on the table in the room I had been in. Fortunately the info was still there.
According to an article in Scientific American online, which being scientific has lots and lots of references and could be (for me) a tad exhausting; when we walk through a door we forget. Well actually they were interested in why walking through a door makes us forget.
The article: Gabriel A. Radvansky, Sabine A. Krawietz & Andrea K. Tamplin (2011): Walking through doorways causes forgetting: Further explorations, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64:8,1632-1645 (click here to read that) states that walking through a doorway causes what they call ‘an event boundary’ and we update our model of events in respect of what happened previously. They maintain that this ‘can reduce the availability of information in our memory for objects associated with the prior event. And then they do some scientific speak about how memory is essential (in my words) dependent on how or what we associate with the previous event. ? What does that mean, you might be asking? Well it means we need to remind ourselves in some way of what happened or was happening before we left the room.
So in my case above remembering to take all my info from the event happened because I generally (I stress the word generally) have a checking thing (or system) before I leave one place to go to another. We don’t always check because often deep in thought we move from one doorway to another and therefore onto something else.
If you would like to know more, please contact me Rosie O’Hara http://www.developingworks.com, http://www.rosieohara.com tel. 07796 134081 (What’sApp as well), 01224 900748, 01309 676004