The little BUT…

Read an article the other day, reminding me of the word BUT. It’s one of the first changes you make when you start becoming aware of language – whether as a coach, a parent or a leader. To change BUT in all your sentences with AND. It seems like a tiny thing, and still, it has a profound effect. Try it on: a compliment, a positive comment about the party you were at or the person you’re talking with – and then you add another sentence and link them with BUT: “She is really nice, but she talks a lot”. Immediately, you have diminished, deleted, negated anything positive you have just said – for the person on the receiving end, they conclude that it was just nice wrapping, now comes the real message. With a BUT, talking a lot is not a good thing. You pick up that she’s less nice because of it. Tiny change and positive effect: “She is really nice, and she talks a lot”. Do you see, how the judgment has diminished? It can be positive, or no matter how we perceive it, it’s accepted as who she is. It could mean that she’s good at … More The little BUT… »

Hello…., I’m talking to you!

The Positive Thinking movement is overrated. It’s great to know we can change our thoughts, and focus on the positive, on what we’re grateful for. But. So often, that voice will very quickly be overtaken by the inner critic. So, what about we acknowledge that it’s there? Hello…. inner critic, I’m talking to you! I need a word with you. And to most people’s surprise, that word is ‘Thank You’! Because that loop of self-criticism is really just our egos trying to keep us safe. Wanting us to stay in our box. Stay put. So, the best way of opening that dialogue – which may be a very new one for you –  is saying thank you. Thanks voice, for wanting to keep me safe. I’ve got this. This time, you’re not invited to the party. I may not get it right, but I’m gonna have a go. I’m good enough as I am. And right now, I’m doing that thing I’ve been keeping away from. You’re not invited, I’ve got this. With clients, I get them to dress up their inner critic. Give that self-talk, the critical voice in your head, a new pitch – what about making it … More Hello…., I’m talking to you! »

Are your decisions quick?

Successful people make decisions quickly, and change them slowly. Yet, most of us take forever deliberating, procrastinating, pondering, wondering, worrying about a decision to be made – and never get to making it! How much wasted time and worry is that?? So, what about choosing a handier strategy for decisions: deciding to make them quickly going forward? The simplest way is by using Richard Branson’s bullet proof decision tree: 1) what’s the worst thing that can happen? 2) can I handle that? For some of you, that is scarily simple – and if you want, we can make it more complex and add a few steps. But what about trying it this coming week, using these two questions and having fun making quick decisions? Start with little decisions to get you going, and enjoy ramping it up. OK, now for those of you, who simply can’t deal with something that simple – here is a brain twister to keep you entertained, while making up your mind: “What will happen if I do this?” “What won’t happen if I do this?” “What will happen if I don’t do this?” “What won’t happen if I don’t do this?” You’ll be amazed at … More Are your decisions quick? »

One year for women – or one day?

Last year I shared this article. Amazed at the great progress since from my clients, both male and female, to promote more women to do what they do best. So, let’s make it every day, not just one day? International women’s day. I treasure women, I treasure men. I don’t think we need special days – just like we don’t do “Father’s Day” and “Mother’s Day” in our house. I respect and admire all the strong and brave people who made it possible for us to live with the rights we have today. And I acknowledge many people needing better lives still. But last year US women had been encouraged to not work and not spend on this day, to show how society’s wheels would not turn without us. And in Australia some companies have started ratios for how many women you need to hire. I don’t think that’s the way. Progress is created not by opposition, provocation or rules, but by visionary humans (men and women). Respecting each other, finding the root cause when things are not right yet and then encouraging each other to take the brave steps needed. We all have both masculine and feminine energy and … More One year for women – or one day? »

Asking myself WHAT??

The quality of our life is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us ask ourselves really rubbish questions. You know, how great leaders ask great questions – instead of just telling people what to do, which is common, but a low standard of leadership. Well, for all of us, leaders of businesses, teams – and leaders of life – most of the questions we ask, never pass our lips. They are part of the constant self-talk in our heads, the looping noise. Starting the day with (self-talk) questions like: ‘How am I going to manage all this?’ or ‘Why me?’ or ‘How am I going to get through this day?’ is pretty common for even the best. But we give our brains very little chance of high quality answers with such a low starting point. Our brain’s best options would be answering ‘You’re not’, ‘Because that’s what always happens’ and ‘Barely breathing’. So, what about setting the bar a little higher? A good place to start is with these 7 quality questions, that give your brain an opportunity to actually look for a quality answer (from Awaken the Giant within). You have to … More Asking myself WHAT?? »

Passport to the world

Becoming a global citizen, what does that entail? After getting my second passport, a friend on Facebook played with the idea of having passports for “citizens of the world” – how good would that be? I imagine it would mean free entry to all countries, honorary dinners at the “citizens of the world club” and a fascinating Facebook community sharing key insights to living truly globally. Of course, you would have to pass a test to get this citizenship, maybe with language tests on at least 3 fluent languages and showcasing experiences from at least 5 different cultures? Speaking different languages is such a gift. Because you really get to understand a culture when you understand the structure of the language and the thinking behind it. I must admit my benchmark went to another level on a flight to Europe, sitting next to a former correspondent speaking 17 languages, including currently having a go at Vietnamese – his first ever attempt at a Tone language. How fascinating is that?? I may be nerdy, but it got me very excited learning about the principles of a Tone language, and my number of spoken languages suddenly felt a bit average. It’s always … More Passport to the world »

Snoring….. who me??

I’m a snorer. And when I say that at social gatherings, a lot of husbands start laughing and nudging their wives, so I guess I’m not the only one?! Like with everything in life, when you start being open about your flaws and problems, others relax and feel that they’re OK with being human, too. I’ve nearly made it into a positive: it must mean that I’m so relaxed when I sleep, that I really let go of any turmoil of the day. But then, another thought creeped in: I recalled a dental specialist I chatted to years ago, telling he could see by looking at you, if you snore… Oh. That’s a bit creepy, like the Christmas song where Santa “sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…”. Anyway, unfortunately I didn’t dig deeper back then, finding out HOW he knew (the specialist, not Santa!). So, in my mind it has grown bigger: this image of him checking out people in the supermarket queue, at meetings and in conversation. What is it, he’s looking for?? What’s the signature, snorer cue? I create answers like “a loose, hanging double chin”, heavy overweight – or simply diagnosing a loose … More Snoring….. who me?? »

No fluff

There is no fluff in living from your heart. It is challenging, takes bravery and will be met with disdain. Because it provokes people meeting a person taking off masks, diluting and dissolving labels. When our auto setting is hiding behind arguments, creating conflict or placing blame. World peace doesn’t come from sitting around saying nice things to each other. It comes from all of us taking responsibility for our own shit, dealing with it to the best of our ability, and not just passing it on to the next person. Results come from contrasts and challenges overcome – and results is not a dirty word (for those of you scrunching your noses right now thinking results only belong in the business world). We are all getting results all the time – whether you like your results or not, is a whole-new kettle of fish. Let’s call it feedback. Living from your heart only works if you’re getting the results you are planning for at the same time – otherwise it’s just another convenient label for hiding and letting yourself off the hook. So, did you get the outcomes you wanted this year? If not, what are YOU gonna change … More No fluff »

How do you brush your teeth?

Everything we do is a strategy. A simple example: we have a strategy for brushing our teeth: some steps leading to an outcome. If we want a different result from our teeth brushing, we need to change a step – and possibly get inspiration from someone getting the results we want. So, how do you brush your teeth? All we do is a strategy. Brushing your teeth differently may be setting the bar a bit low. So, let’s look for something meatier that you would like to do better in 2018. What is your strategy for that right now? Let’s say it’s your relationship with those close to you (excellent choice as we lead into lots of Christmas events with family and the usual suspects, right??). What’s your strategy for relationships, “how do you do relationships”? Are you getting the results you want in your relationships? It’s such an easy one to spot – because if we feel close, respected, allowing each other to be who we are, being the bigger person and allowing each other space and support, the relationships blossom. We know when they are not working. And it’s not your fault, or someone else’s fault. It’s just … More How do you brush your teeth? »

The people we meet…

I meet many different combinations of people on my weekend jog in the bush. Fascinating to observe them: the running clubs pacing through, the parents taking their kids on a little adventure, mid-life men catching up (meaning one of them talking about how amazing he is at work, the others barely adding a word). And then the best team I’ve met recently: two young boys. Clearly friends. Very different in nature, but having each other’s backs. Sharing, asking, taking turn in taking lead, truly enjoying each other’s company – but being much too young to really realise it, simply having a good time. Years ago, we travelled NZ in a campervan, and our back then young girls had some trouble with friendships. Sitting talking in the back of the campervan, I remember drawing my “friendship ancestry tree” to my kids. While mapping it out, realising the close friends I’ve had through my life. Some were there for a period of time, we enjoyed each other’s company, stretched each other and made it all feel safe. Like the two boys in the bush. Sometimes you moved on in life. Painful if one was ready to move before the other – and … More The people we meet… »