Tag Archives: stuckness

Getting out of a Personal Crisis State

This is a transcript of a technique that I wrote in 2010 and meant to include in my second

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book ‘No More Bingo Dresses’ and for some reason didn’t.

This technique is based on modelling work carried out by Richard Royce in 1995; he modelled 3 individuals of whom I was one. I recently (2010) realised I had used and put into practice this technique far faster than ever before in my life (and now unconsciously), partly due to my knowledge and skills and experience in NLP and also partly due to the realisation I needed a faster reaction than I might have had in the past given such a “crisis” and the need for me to “move towards” to a good and useful result in life, to be “proactive”, and take control over my life.

This exercise is useful to learn in case of crisis times which may occur and also to work with individuals who are in a crisis state and can’t yet find the way out.

What follows is the practice exercise to use in a group to develop an understanding. When working with an individual, presuppose they already have the physiology to avoid too deep an association.

Sit or stand in a position where you are on your own (isolation), look down (avoidance), feel tension in your stomach and your back. There is an overwhelming blackness descending on you and everything is becoming hopeless. (Only allow this to happen for a short period of time).

Whilst still accessing this hopeless state, start to look up to the left and right, whilst doing this breathe into the blackness in the stomach, move both hands “weighing up possibilities”, slowly move the shoulders back, breathing, breathing all the time, noticing relief, noticing how everything is becoming easier, there is a way forwards, there is a way out of this. Notice how the feeling in your stomach lifts up and moves away.

Ask yourself what possibilities are there? What opportunities do I have? What happens when I make my own decisions? What will make me feel good? (Advanced NLPers will know to ask themselves “how can I make myself feel good?”).

Tell yourself – I am capable, I can be in control, I am in control.

Step outside yourself and look at the new you, you are becoming, strong and dependable, in control. Do you need to add anything to this?

Take this new you and move forwards, starting to plan, create a series of visual images of places to go, things to do. Where do I go to ask? What will I see in the future, what will that future look like, sound like and feel like? What resources do I need, which of those can I create myself?

Anchor this new you in appropriate way. If necessary go back and practise, tweak, add and change whatever is necessary.


Contact me via http://www.developingworks.com or +44 (0) 7796134081


How to Plan and Prioritise

Eisenhower was a very astute man.  And did you know that he came up with the hand in papersUrgent/Important Matrix before Dr Stephen Covey? I didn’t, until I was reading the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) magazine Edge.

Eisenhower said ‘An intellectual is a man who takes more words than is necessary to tell more than he knows.’

The Urgent/Important Matrix is about using time effectively, not just efficiently, and in my experience the more effectively you use time the more efficient you become.

In this day and age there just never seems to be enough time. Is this really true?

How often have you taken time out to ‘Stop and Stare’? And perhaps realise what you are doing is getting you nowhere. We’re anxious, we can’t concentrate, everything gets in the way, and then, we simply blow. We tell ourselves that we can do so much because we have so many ‘labour saving’ devices, mobiles, PCs, laptops, we can be contacted anywhere at any time.

In spite of all these gadgets and online calendars (that everyone can set us up appointments with (if we let them) – do we really mange our time efficiently?

Do we spend our time on things that are important and not just urgent? It’s important to distinguish between important and just urgent.

  • Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals.
  • Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals (ah had you noticed that?).

We often concentrate on just urgent activities. The things that make the most noise, the things that demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate.

The Urgent/Important Matrix is a useful tool for thinking about this.

Eisenhower said, ‘What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.’ This so-called “Eisenhower Principle” is purported to be how Eisenhower organized his tasks. Dr Stephen Covey made the idea more public in his business classic, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Covey called it the “The Urgent/Important Matrix.” I use it often in coaching and on my business courses and on my NLP Business Practitioner Course:

The Urgent/Important Matrix is a powerful way to use to think about priorities. Using it helps you prevent the natural tendency to focus on urgent activities, so that you learn to keep enough time to focus on what’s really important. This is the way you move from “fire fighting”, into a position where you can grow your business and your career.

This is how it works

Divide and A 4 page into 4

Urgent                                                        Non-Urgent





Pressing Problems

Deadline driven projects



Relationship building

Recognising new appointments

Planning recreation



Interruptions, some phone calls

Some mail, some reports

Some meetings

Proximate, pressing matters

Popular activities


Trivia, busy work

Some mail

Some phone calls

Time wasters

Pleasant activities

Assess the importance to all the activities on a scale of 1 to 5

Remember Eisenhower also said: ‘Leadership – the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it.’

When people see you are clear about your objectives and boundaries, they will generally not ask you to do “not important” activities in the future, and at best do it themselves or find someone else.

This blog first appeaerd in 2012 on my then and now defunct NLP Highland Blog.

If you would like to know more about your preferred patterns and how you work with these and get things done on your own or with other people please contact me either here or via 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.

How our language affects the way we are

Ever stopped and thought about the things you say to yourself pain in neckeither every day or on a frequent basis?
Phrases such as –
He’s a pain in the neck
I must have a hole in my head
I keep getting it in the neck.
They’re stabbing me in the back
I need a break

And have you noticed how sometimes these things manifest themselves in reality

How you have a sore neck, sore shoulders, a headache, back ache and you do get a break, but not the kind you were thinking of getting?

One of the NLP Operating Beliefs is –
The mind and body are one system
Mind and body interact and influence one another. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected.

Therefore if we consistently talk about a problem, even if we say we don’t believe it’s a real problem, over time it will manifest itself as a problem in our bodies. And the reverse is true, sometimes the physical pain is our body telling us, ‘hello, you have a problem, listen to me your body, pay attention and do something about it.

The busy person who falls badly for example because they were rushing around doing too much and ‘bang’ they have an accident. The body’s way of saying ‘pay attention, give me some time.’

I once worked with a client who came to me about controlling his anger. His language was full of phrases such as ‘I see red all the time,’ ‘I get hot under the collar,’ ‘my blood boils,’ ‘my boss gives me smouldering looks.’ I suggested for his next session he write down all the phrases he used or thought about in respect of anger and come back with a list of the phrases. He phoned me and said there far too many and he just got even angrier and very hot thinking about them.

We did eventually work together on changing how he thought and what he said.

What might you change? Contact me for help, tips, suggestions, coaching 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.


Freeze Framing or How to Get Things Done – Part Three

What to do with the freeze framesgoal properly set
So thinking about creating your future on a Visual Timeline lay this timeline out on the floor or in your mind – perhaps like this:

Now                                                                                           The Future
Straight in front 2 metres to your right


Think of these images you have freeze framed, where will you put them, peg them, stick them or…. on your timeline? Perhaps you can see a vague picture, or you have a symbol for it, perhaps you need to step onto your Timeline and walk forwards to that point and experience the sounds and feelings associated with that experience.

Notice where you will put these memories on your Timeline.
What do you need to do to keep them still? Add a colour? A sound? A tag or tab? What works for you?

1. Stand in the “now” position.

2. Notice how you need to represent these things or events in your future, in different places on the Timeline.

3. What resource state (states) will you need to do this? To achieve it?

4. Once you have a resourceful state or states, ‘anchor’ them by pressing your thumb and finger together – now give this resource state a colour, hear a sound/sounds with it and feel the resourceful feeling flowing throughout your body.

5. With that resourceful state now step on your Timeline in the Now

6. Imagine the resource colour as a mist, permeating and colouring all of your future Timeline.

List below the things you want to do on the left and the right when you will have done them by:

Want to do                                                           Date to do by
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.


Freeze Framing or How to Get Things Done – Part One

Detail – do you get lost in detail and not get things done?frame

Here’s a technique – part one of three
See the detail as images, look up to do this.
When you think about your images – ‘what are your images like?’, ‘are you still?’, ‘are you moving?’, ‘is there more than one?’
Ask yourself: ‘When you see these images, what are you seeing?’ (Look up to do this). Think about this and write down what you are seeing and ask yourself more questions such as ‘are these images near or far?’, ‘colour or black and white?’, ‘large or small?’
Then ask yourself ‘what’s important to you?’ that question is either about these pictures or what you want in life. In your answer are you talking about achieving things or avoiding problems? ‘What’s important about that?’
Now in your mind’s eye ‘put a frame around those images that are important to you’ and check out what these images are doing now. ‘Are you still important?’ The images might continue to move in that case say to yourself ‘as these images are moving, I see them …. still …. and as I am seeing them still’ ask yourself ‘what do I notice?’
Do you want or need to pull the images closer, what happens when you do that? Do you want or need to stick/tack/add some of them together to make a film, make a gallery? What happens? What do you need to do to make this more compelling?
You might like to know how to create a resourceful state for working on the above and you will find it useful by the time we get to part three of these posts. Here’s how to do it
Creating a resourceful state
Choose three ‘anchors’ (see below) which will become connected, or associated, to the resource.

Visual find a visual image which evokes the feeling of confidence, e.g. the scene from the time when you did feel confident, or maybe a symbolic image of your choice.

Auditory find a word or phrase and tonality which you can say to yourself that evokes the feeling, e.g. ‘I’m feeling confident!’

Kinesthetic make a gesture, e.g. clench your fist, squeeze your fingers, etc.

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


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?


Like some help?  Like to improve your skills or lrean new ones? Contact us via this website


So Last Minute

Are you? Does everyone else seem to be? Are you waiting for the negative positivebest option to come along? Or waiting for a better option?
Every day we are bombarded with the ‘must haves’, the ‘buy now’ (as well as the ‘unique’, the ‘new’, the ‘different’ – that’s another story). And in these current times when a lot of what the media gives us is about doom and gloom, what do we focus on?
Some people become very inward looking and referenced to themselves in the face of uncertainty and then they start to decide for themselves. They may take on outside information and process that information and then store it somewhere in their memory banks. Ultimately they make their own decision and sometimes they make that decision only based on noticing what is wrong or can’t be done in respect of whatever it is you would like them to do. Now this might be to buy something, book on a meeting, or do something at home, or not.
How could this be? Well it depends on how people are motivated. We have motivation patterns; people can be motivated to avoid a problem that has yet to occur or to fix an existing problem. It can also be that they are motivated to avoid something or someone. To know where people are coming from we will need to know what is important to the individual – what their hot buttons are, both negative and positive.

So if people find something boring or “not interesting” they may be motivated to avoid getting involved. If privacy is important, the individual may be motivated away from what they believe is an “infringement of privacy” and want to avoid participating. Some people begin to think at a below conscious level “you know too much about me!” so if you send someone a letter or an email at some below conscious level they might be thinking you are getting inside their head, prying into their personal affairs.

If you address someone by name therefore they may be upset because you use their name. Conversely for some people a nameless email is not caring about them, they like and value personal relationships and will respond better to you. The name issue may also have something to do with the fact that recipient values the personal side of contact in that context or their life. It can also be that they are more interested in facts. It just goes to show how complex we as human beings are and which factors come into play.

In a nutshell in the present ‘economic climate’ it seems that some people are more focussed on, paying attention to what might go wrong or what might need fixing, especially with regard to other people. Do your ears prick up when someone tells you they have a problem? Do you feel almost compelled to respond? These people are motivated by deadlines because they have a need to avoid the difficulties that could occur when these deadlines are not met. Although they may be good at times at working towards achievement but will usually put this aside if there’s something that has to be solved.

During challenging times customers/clients prefer to wait, analyse, consider and think. This may lead to them waiting endlessly and having difficulty making a decision. So it might be useful to ask, so when you think things through and consider the problems so that a decision can be made. What do you think now?

You might notice when these same or some other people have a problem, they may change the way they react. They will want action now and they will do whatever it takes to get it. They expect you or the person they are talking to, to take whatever initiative is needed, and to do it quickly.

Going back to the people who are motivated to decide based on their own internal standards and criteria. They do not want to be told what to do. Bold statements and Command Language will raise their resistance. It’s best to invite this kind of client to decide for themselves, using phrases such as here’s some information you may want to consider or may I make a suggestion? Their behaviour is based on the belief that anyone who doesn’t fit his or her own expectations is out of order.
What might we do to work this; working round is not necessarily an option. A really good example is the MasterCard advert, remember that?
“This costs [that much]. That costs [this much]. This costs [that much]. This [thing or event]: priceless. Some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s MasterCard.

This slogan was extremely successful for MasterCard. What happens here is, using the repetition we are speaking in terms of a process or procedures approach it is then followed by an options twist at the end. “For everything else”. The slogan uses a story, offers options and allows the listener, watcher (reader) to make a decision either based on measuring against what they know and believe to be true or to be influenced by the content of the stories on the screen and make a decision based on ‘wanting to be like that’.

There are ways and means of finding out what motivates others (and ourselves). Interested? For all the information you need to decided click this link.

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