Telling stories is part of the human condition. It is how ideas and information is conveyed to others, and it is also how we interpret and rationalise events and situations in our personal and professional lives. In our stories, we may often present ourselves in the best possible light – our ‘best selves’. Yet before making a decision on issues and passing on information, a distinction must be made between the actual, neutral facts of a given situation,
Category: Sue’s Blog
Julian Treasure’s talk on 5 Ways to Listen Better is a revelation. He suggests that while we spend 60% of our communication time listening, we retain only about 25% of what we hear. This percentage can be increased if we train ourselves to actively listen, by developing specific listening skills. He shares five simple exercises that we can all do to develop conscious listening techniques, and create greater understanding and meaning from the sounds we hear.
80% of what it takes to change our own behaviour is a function of our ability to self-regulate. Personal change is possible, and the key to it is to know the ‘triggers’ that set us off. If we can identify each specific trigger, we’re then able to develop specific strategies to ensure we deliver a regulated, neutral response. We are creatures of habit, so any deliberate change process takes mindfulness, a good understanding of ourselves,
Robert Waldiner shares three core findings in the longest study on happiness: good relationships keep us happier and healthier; the quality of the close relationships are critical (they buffer us from life’s lows, difficult times, etc); and good relationships protect not only our bodies, but also our brains. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI for a fascinating talk and explanation of the findings.
With the plethora of webinars, seminars, training programmes and workshops readily available, it’s easy to be caught up in the latest hot topic ‘must do’. Yet before committing to new seminars, programmes and workshops, it pays to revisit all the ones they have already attended, and see what they actually did with the information given (typically, course notes are filed away and immediately forgotten). The key to integrating new learning is to consciously diary time over a two-three month time span to put into practice what has been learnt.
The Resilience Institute Team suggest tactical calm is the doorway to impulse control. They say ‘humans are wired, tired and fired to be stupid’ and the old-school advice of ‘take a deep breath’ when we are trying to calm ourselves in difficult situations, is the worst thing we can ever do. Why? Go to https://resiliencei.com/resilience-news/ and read From Strategic to Tactical Calm.
Throughout the week, my local paper delivers not only news but advertising flyers from nation-wide organisations with local facilities. The flyers are informative and typically invite the reader ‘to find out more, call (a named person) on a local number (provided)’. One flyer I received had information I wanted more details on, and called the stated number many times over the following week but the phone wasn’t answered. Two weeks later I got through and once I had the email address of the person I needed to contact,
A great percentage of our population don’t prepare for the inevitable – their eventual death – and typically leave a mess behind for others to sort out. When someone dies relatives or friends are tasked with the unenviable task of preparing a funeral/memorial service, including speeches about the dearly departed. Oftentimes a deceased person’s professional life isn’t widely known by others, and speech-makers have a difficult time of finding relevant information, and filling gaps in a person’s work history.
A recent discovery, and one I recommend, is the ebook ‘There’s a Part of Me…’ by J. Schwartz and B. Brennan (© 2013 Trailheads Publications). The authors posit we are all made up of different parts, that together, form our basic nature and personality; and our ‘thinking’ is conversations between our different parts. When our different parts want different things for us, that can lead to inner confusion, conflict and so on. The authors offer an effective way to identify then listen to our parts,
Changing our personal behaviours isn’t an easy or fast process. In 1977 James Prochaska and Carlo Clemente developed a Transtheoretical Model of Change which shows the different stages we progress through: Pre-contemplation (we realise our behaviour may be problematic but we’re considering the impact of our actions; we’re not ready to do too much about it); Preparation (we have the intention to do something about specific behaviours); Action (we deliberately take steps; we change old behaviours);