Tag Archives: communication

The Playground at Work

Maturity plays a large role in many different aspects of life. To achieve in your career or work children eagerenvironment, it’s important to be mature and surround yourself with similar people. If you have the misfortune to work in a place where there is a lot of gossip, messing around and other immature behaviour going on, it may be hard to succeed or achieve your aims in your job. Even worse, you might become a part of this behaviour and lose any sense of professionalism that you had in the first place. Having fun at work is completely possible and a legitimate desire for many people. It’s important to realise that there is such a thing as having too much fun that then leads to your success being hindered by your actions and behaviours.
The best work environments are those where there are no tangled webs of gossip and relationships that keep people from being productive. These behaviours show signs of great immaturity on the entire company’s part.
Like the girl at the soft play area recently where I was with my grandsons –
As soon as we walked into soft play area we saw this – near the entrance is a tyre-like swings, but now they are more like a shell in which 2 children (sometimes more can sit). Children just love them, it gives the illusion of control and a swing that moves on a pivot above, so little actual physical exertion required. These are popular a bit like bike or rowing machine in the gym where you can watch TV, until the bully shows up that is. In this case, the bully came disguised as a cute little girl immaculately kitted out and wearing a ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ look on her face. She marched pertly up to the swing (past the whole queue), took a look at the two sitting in the swing and began push the child nearest to her out to make room for herself. Eventually the ripple effect of the force caught up with the other child and he fell out of his side of the swing. Ignoring the fuss around her, the bully looked quite content, but quickly realised she didn’t have full control of the ropes. Two more swift pushes and she was all alone in the swing, a smug smile on her face and two crying victims on the ground next to her. She was going to get what she wanted regardless of who was in her way. Some bullies never grow up and take their bad behaviour to work.
What is interesting is that in applied psychology we talk of the ‘secondary gain’ or ‘positive intention’, the unconscious ‘reasoning’ behind why we do something. The thing that our action gets for us, sometimes however whatever that is that we get is non-apparent as we grow up, grow older, become more mature. At some point in our life this behaviour, or maybe what is now seen as a dysfunction worked for us. It got us something (or at least the illusion of a pay-off), but as we grow older, as adults eventually these behaviours cost us more than they actually get us (although we may not see this at the time).

There is a technique called the New Behaviour Generator please contact me if you would like a copy of how to do this- contact me via http://www.rosieohara.com or http://www.developingworks.com or phone 07796 134081


Sorting Out Your Emotions

Do you hold onto your worries? Hold onto how you might have responded badly to a situation? Let things go round and round in your head?washing

Four methods to help you let go of holding onto negative thoughts:

1) Go to the balcony
Mentally imagine you’re on the balcony (or take a helicopter view, or fly on the wall) and view the scene from that detached position. What’s it like now? Was someone playing games? How will you approach it differently next time?

2) Force field
Imagine there’s a force field between you and the other person. Anything they say bounces off the force field. In future remember that the Force Field can always be there, keeping others’ thoughts, perceptions, words away from you.

3) Balloon
Imagine you have a balloon in which you can put all unwanted emotions and feelings. After you have filled it, watch it float up and way taking those unwanted emotions and feelings, floating up until it hits the stratosphere. Gone.

4) A circle of excellence or confidence
Click here for an audio file, free to download.

Like more help, tips or suggestions?  Contact me via http://www.rosieohara.com or http://www.developingworks.com or phone 07796 134081

Do you keep the customer satisfied?

Some of you may know the Paul Simon song from 1970 (okay so I’m older) from the album Bridge yelling at phoneOver Trouble Water. Over the last few weeks keeping the customer satisfied has been the focus of several client conversations and the presentation I delivered recently ‘Pitch Perfect, Perfect Pitch. Most people it seems appear to believe understanding the customer and exactly how customers are motivated is important for good customer relationships.

Then this last week I’ve had three examples of really poor customer service (and I’ve checked with others each time to find out what they think, just in case). One example was over my phone number at the opticians, ‘This is my husband’s number’ –  ‘But you gave it to us,’ ‘No I didn’t you give you this number. I gave you my work number.’ ‘We don’t phone work numbers. and You didn’t tell us you’ve moved.’ I haven’t moved’ ‘Well we took this number from your husband’s file’ After a long conversation I said ‘other opticians are also available’.

Another customer service issue is ongoing with a membership organisation, when I made a comment that was taken as a criticism, has yet to be resolved. This is the second time I’ve had this reaction from them.  is this a pattern?

They are currently busy with something else. They will contact me next week, when I’m away every day hmm.

A note on comments on feedback –

Feedback is about raising awareness. It is about the impact of a behaviour, that may or may not be your behaviour not about you personally.

A third interesting encounter was when I put my shopping in the wrong place at one of those detestable (for me) self service checkouts and it was snatched from me, as well as the things I had in my hands.  The woman in the train station newsagents then raised her voice at me because I must have looked at her incredulously.  I resisted the urge to say anything. But resolved to really not go in there again.

Here’s a slide from an upcoming SlideShare upload from me on how we deal with customer/client/patient/member problems.

Words that Change Minds for Customer Service the problem inroducContact details are http://www.developing works.com  by phone 01309 676004, 01224 900748, 07796134081 (text or phone)


Freeze Framing or How to Get Things Done – Part Two

If part one (last week) was not compelling enough then try out magicians wandCreating a Compelling Purpose below.
‘Think about what you want and make an image of it, out in front of you, either as a picture or something panoramic (no frame). Add colour to that image and add absolutely anything into that image that you want to happen.
Imagine who will be there, make them up if you need to, just give yourself permission to pretend (for those people who think is difficult – I bet you can imagine (stress about) all sorts of bad things).
Hear the sounds that will be happening, who will be saying what? Will there be any music? Will there be any other sounds. Hear it in surround sound.
Feel how you will feel, notice where those feelings are, inside your body or outside? Do you have a temperature? Do you have a shape or size?
See all of this happening, and hear it in surround sound, and feel it in every cell of your body. Practise this happening, build up the image up with the things you will see and the sounds you will hear and the feelings you will feel and pull this image towards you and then step into all of this, turnaround and check out what it’s like. Step out again and check out what it looks like, sounds like and feels like and keep it at least at arm’s length.’
If you think this is difficult and that you can’t do it, that you can’t see things, start from the sense that is easiest for you, say to yourself ‘feel how it will feel for you or hear what you will hear, what you are saying or what others are saying.’ And then ask yourself to add the parts from the seeing or the feeling. Practise and practise adding bits in, until you can get this whole sensory experience in you r mind. It’s important that you add elements from all the senses.
I once had a course participant who set this kind of Compelling Purpose up and I listened in, whilst she and someone else worked together and I noticed something was missing, so I asked the person working with her, ‘What’s missing?’ He thought a little and said ‘she wants to set up a client-based business, which requires clients to come into her office, and there are no people in what she is seeing, everything else is there.’ Yes and she said she ‘couldn’t put the people in there, as she didn’t know who they were’. This was in May, and do you know what? By December she had given up her business!

Like some help with this?  Join us in Aberdeen for the Saturday Coaching Club click here or phone Rosie on 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.



On Networking – 10 Tips or Suggestions

We all network, in some way, whether it’s a chat down the 000803_1078_1032_v__v.thmsupermarket or at the football match, at the hairdressers, having a coffee etc.  And we network for different reasons. 10 tips or suggestions here.

1. Be passionate – about yourself, your work and the company you represent
2. Set a goal – i.e. plan and prepare before attending events. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve from this event?
3. Don’t butt in on other people’s conversations. If someone is deep in conversation hover respectfully then say ‘Hi, I am or I’d like to meet you.’
4. Don’t think ‘What’s in it for me’ but ‘what’s in it for the other person, who might you connect them with?’
5. Follow up to build trust, do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’ll do it
6. Don’t hear ‘no’ only ‘not yet’ – spot opportunities for the future. 7. Be patient – it takes time to build relationships and let people to do business with you.
8. Ask open questions – by doing this you get better answers and create more business opportunities. Listen actively – we learn nothing by talking, only by listening. Know when to talk, when to listen.
9. Don’t use 50 shades of ‘really’. Indicate sincere interest or make a plausible excuse to move on. Sadly some people are boring, only interested in themselves, or just rude and bear in mind some people are new to this networking and are nervous which makes them all of the aforementioned.
10. Enjoy yourself. If you don’t, think about what was going on. Take a fly on the wall position. Was it the venue? Was it the format? What was it? Next time, do something different or try out a different format. Or network online and then meet individuals in a safe and public place for one to one networking.

I was at an event not long ago, where a guy told me what he did and said ‘I don’t suppose you’d be interested in what I do.’ Aha I thought’ really? How do you know?’ I then asked him if he could recommend someone to me who would provide a certain service based on what he had said, he replied ‘oh all the guys I know would be too busy, look in yellow pages’. There ended the conversation.
I would also like to add something one of my associates said too me once ‘if you network and hand your card to people, then expect them to contact you and when they do be respectful, throwing your toys out the pram because you’re on someone’s mailing list could potentially lose you a referral or future business’. Otherwise in the words of Daniel Priestley all you have done is collected a heap of business cards; you need to make networking work.


If you want help or ideas on language to get other people to understand you better or for you to understand them better, or help on confidence or presenting yourself to others – please contact us 01309 676004, 01224 900748, 07796 134081. http://www.developingworks.com


Seven More Tips for Negotiations

Following on from my last postb_opl061.thm


8  Make small concessions, one at a time, and always get something in return – give nothing away for free.

9 Trade concessions using “If…then…”

10 Build clear and unambiguous agreements by asking “What if…”

11 Make the process enjoyable – if the task is stuck change the subject. (The person with the most flexibility in any interaction will get the best result.)

12 Resolve deadlock by finding out what the other party’s concerns are and understanding the concerns.

13 You cannot negotiate a complaint; ask for what you want.

14 Written numbers appear more real than spoken numbers. This is an illusion.


Language Skills for Successful Meetings

The three skills which make the biggest difference to the 120x90workglumeffectiveness of all meetings than to any other kind of communication are:

Knowing what you want – having outcomes
Noticing what you are getting – using your senses
Keeping changing what you are doing – being flexible


1. Have your outcomes set for each section of content. Check – are there outcomes for: you, your team, your department, the organisation, or anyone else involved? Ensure that the outcomes and evidence are sensory based – that means – what you will see, hear and feel when you have this outcome. It might seem tedious to check each of these senses out and with each person, but just because you see things one way, another person may have a gut feeling about the matter in hand and yet another will want to check you are singing from the same hymn sheet. A little time spent on this at this point will save nasty surprises later. For a team meeting write the outcomes down and keep them highly visible (e.g. on a flipchart), so that amendments or additions can be made on the chart – post-notes and different coloured pens really useful here.

2. Gather other people’s outcomes and assure that everyone is happy about which outcomes are the priorities for this meeting. Check this out by looking at each person in turn and if their eyes move away from you or they appear to be making some kind of face, they are most probably thinking, so give them time before you move on. Only move on when you have a clear yes or no from each person. Again this saves time in the long run.

3. Set the time frames for the meeting. Ensure that each person involved gets a chance to say what they need to say in their allotted time, again give them time to do this, but see next sentence. Do not allow any one person to monopolise all of the time. If necessary, interrupt them politely and bring the meeting back on track.

4. Check at regular intervals what is happening for you, for other people, and for the meeting process. Check by looking, watching, and listening (your gut feeling may not be as reliable as you would like it to be).

5. Watch for red herrings (things that are irrelevant) and ask the following ‘relevancy challenge’ type of question, “Excuse me, I’m not clear how the issues you are raising are helping us to achieve our outcome?”

6. If any member of the team is repeatedly blocking the process of achieving the meeting’s outcomes by raising ‘cannots or buts’, an easy way to keep the responsibility with them is by asking questions like, “What would have to happen for us to be able to…?”. This keeps the responsibility for solving problems with the person who is raising them and enables the person you have questioned to perhaps “think out of the box.”

7. Summarise decisions and intended action plans for each stage of the meeting.

8. Have each person internally rehearse their next action steps by going through what they are going to do by acting ‘as if’ they are seeing it happening, talking themselves through the steps and actually putting the steps into action. If there are any concerns, go back and check that the outcome is stated in the positive, that it is specific, that the way it might affect other people, other areas of work has been checked, what evidence there will be that the outcome has been achieved and what each person has to do themselves.

9. Finally, summarise all the next action steps, with a completion date and person specified to be responsible for the action. Confirm the date for the next meeting


How to talk so people will listen – 7 Top Tips

1) Address the person by name.
Even in an email and start with a greeting, so Hi, Hello, Good Morning, or even that to some people outdated Dear. Why you might ask? Well the person then feels like a person and not a thing. Plus at times being addressed by your First name in a short, sharp email can come across as a rebuke (55% of the people you are communicating with are predominately Visual) – they see and what they can at times see is Fred blah, blah. And even not in emails when your colleague or significant other is deep in thought addressing them by name, means it opens the file in their head that switched the part of their brain on that says ‘oh a communication with me’. How many times have you been interrupted when deep in thought?

2) Make sure they are on your page
Make sure you are both on the same page, both thinking about the same thing. This burning question or thought in your mind my well not be the most important thought in their mind. (We can only concentrate on seven plus or minus two things at a time and there are thousands it not millions of things going on in and around us (consider how many bits of information your body itself needs to keep you standing or sitting). So you’ve started with ‘Hi Fred,’ and instead of saying something like ‘I noticed at the other day your priorities have changed’ (because Fred’s priorities from the other day will be different today unless he’s a slug intent on eating your lettuce and Fred will have no idea what you are talking about). Say Fred on Wednesday I noticed you were doing such and such, last year when we spoke you told me you weren’t going to do that anymore, has something happened to change your priorities.’ In all kinds of conversations this really works and saves endless hassle on both sides. (It also saves Fred from telling you his wife is having an affair, when actually what you mean was he had said he was going to try out contact lenses.) Also more here on Words (and Wheelbarrows)

3) Have Rapportz6623.thm
The best way to communicate with another person is to first synchronise yourself with some aspect of their behaviour (match/mirror/pace it) and then change yourself (to leading the conversation). However, it is important to check that the other person wants to go where you are leading, so you need a “shared outcome” or you aren’t going to get to where you want or need to be. You can also ‘meet them at their bus stop’, in them in their reality (that’s a little like when we all complain about the weather). Talk at their pace, keep at an appropriate distance from them, not in their space, smile and at least point your body in their direction.

4) Believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in you, no one else will do and being congruent so your head and how you feel being in line with what you are going to say works best. If you need some help with confidence, find a good NLP Trainer or the like who will help you with this, by means of a simple technique.

5) Have an outcome in mind
What do you want from this interaction? Just to get to know them? Just to introduce yourself? To get their details? Will you follow up? Whatever you do you are selling yourself, people come back to people they like and trust.

6) Listen to what they say
Listen and repeat back some of their words, not what you think they said. Be interested, if you’re not interested in what they are talking about, you will know someone who will be and you want them to be interested in you. Surely you do, or do you want them to tell someone else, ‘yes I met so and so and they don’t listen.’

7) Smile and remember to say good bye
As you move on and tell them how much you enjoyed speaking to them.

Curious about more please contact me +44 (0)7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004 or take a look Developing Works to find out how this would work for you individually or for your team, or to employ the right people for your company.


Why People don’t do Things

You might well be familiar with some of the things on the list below, but did you know that the Language judo tag.thmand Behaviour (LAB) Profile® not only provides you with some statistics in this respect, it can also provide you with language clues and motivational language to address these issues?
Some of these things may seem obvious to you, I’m always surprised that when I discuss these topics with managers who are complaining about their people not performing, there will often be one item from this list that can be addressed and will make a huge difference.

1. People don’t know how
According to the research (shown in the book Words that Change Minds, by Shelle Rose Charvet), 60% of the working population are motivated by the need for a procedure, and about 40% of the population may even grind to a halt if they don’t have a procedure to follow. As a manager, often with many years of experience doing particular jobs, it is easy for us to assume that a particular task is so easy that ‘anyone can do it’. It’s important to ensure that you give people a procedure. Specify the steps and stages of the task and if necessary make a list of bullet points.
2. People don’t know why
Rodger Bailey’s research (Words that Change Minds) also identified that 60% of the population will need a reason to do something in order to be motivated. Again, about 40% of the population are simply not motivated to do something if they don’t think there is a valid reason for doing it. How effective are you at explaining the reasons why a particular task or job needs to be done? Some of the reasons for certain tasks change over time and in the current climate. It will be critical to explain this to your staff and to give them both the things they will avoid and the things they will gain from this action. Find out what’s important to them and then use the LAB Profile language to influence them to do what you need them to do.
3. People didn’t know they should
This is about rule clarity. The predominant management style is today often very collaborative and ‘requests’ are made rather than ‘orders’ given. This is not saying you should order your people about, however for some people (only 7% according to Bailey’s research, although in my experience this can vary in given contexts which are not predictable – we are talking about people here) unless they are explicitly told the rules they will not know what things should be done. On occasion drastic measures may be necessary to get some people to understand that there are standards and rules that need to be complied with. Alternatively there is language in the LAB Profile to assist you here.
4. People can’t (lack of resources)
This is a definite management problem. Is it right to expect people to perform tasks if they don’t have the proper equipment or enough time? The time problem is an interesting issue because this is about managing priorities, delegation skills, efficiency and effectiveness. Without providing resources or appropriate training this can become a recurring reason.
5. “My way”
This is fortunately not very common because it’s a tricky one to work with. Up to 40% of the population have a strong ‘Internal’ sense about what is the right thing to do in a given situation and usually this is combined with a realistic level of compliance. When you have taken steps to ensure that you have addressed all six points above, it is important to identify what is most important for the individual in the context of the task. Your key skill lies in being able to link what you want them to do, with them having more of things or thing that is important to them.
People who show this ‘Internal’ mindset resist being told what to do, so you need to offer suggestions for them to consider. They will then need to think about the consequences of not complying and make up their own mind about whether this is the right approach to be taking. If they decide to continue being insubordinate without good reason you will need to invoke your disciplinary procedures.
6. Too painful (or uncomfortable)
Remember the things that you hated doing at school or maybe there are still at some you hate doing at home? These are the things that you then avoid and only doe when you really have to, There are a number of tasks that people find psychologically painful such as reprimanding a member of staff, cold calling or credit control. Again, without proper equipment or training the job just won’t get done to the required standard.
7. No consequences
This is a surprisingly common issue. Many managers ‘don’t want to be negative’ they avoid discussing what will happen if something is not achieved or completed on time. Bailey’s research shows that without negative consequences up to 60% of the working population is not very motivated to complete the task or job. There need to be specific problems that must be avoided for up to 40% or they will be distracted by other issues. These people also need assistance with clarifying priorities because they are focused on what they don’t want rather than what they want.

The language and questions for the LAB profile can be learned with us in a 3 day certificated workshop – for more details for your area click here.


Do we actually know our employees and what motivates them?

There are energy givers and there are ‘time burglars’, or as one of our clients used to say ‘do you want to leaderbe 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 guard I once 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?


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