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Something has to change!

If you're stressed or frustrated by work or by life then you'll find the way forward here...

The articles below are collected from my monthly newsletter "Change Work". They range widely over personal and management development issues and draw on the tools and techniques I use in one-to-one coaching.

All articles from "Change Work"

Mind your language!
May 2016

There's been a lot of discussion in the media lately about the testing of language skills and knowledge in schools. Much fun has ensued with examples of questions, supposedly used in tests for very young children, being published to demonstrate that most adults couldn't answer them! Not surprising really. Apart from the examples being chosen especially to catch us out, it's also true that the curriculum has changed out of all recognition so children are being taught topics we never were.

"What are modal verbs" was the question that irked me enough to prompt me to look it up.

More...

All in it together
April 2016

I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.
Groucho Marx

Why do we join things? And why do we leave them?

Having the ability to survive alone is useful. But for most of us, life is much better if we have companionship and, especially, cooperation. In the age of machines we forget how much more powerful groups are than individuals. Look at ancient monuments like Stonehenge, the pyramids or massive earthworks and you can see what can be achieved when you have many people and the simplest technology. So do we no longer need to join groups now that we've got machines to dig holes and to make things?

More...

The more it changes...
March 2016

War, climate change, religious intolerance and competition for resources: even from the perspective of a safe, western country the world seems to be a dangerous and disturbing place. And although history is full of examples of violent conflicts, we might have thought we'd grown out of this way of doing things and peaceful, democratic change was the modern norm. But now we are seeing civil wars and bloody power struggles all over the world. So to dwell on how I feel about it all, from a safe distance, when there are millions of people living and dying, caught up in those conflicts, seems a bit presumptuous.

But I believe that understanding how/why humans do what they do is always useful. So let's try to establish a few principles and see where they lead us.

More...

A fair deal
February 2016

The need to negotiate comes up all the time, not just in business or politics. Everywhere, from in-family arrangements (who's cooking / washing up / driving the kids to parties) to buying a car or changing jobs, you are likely to get into a negotiation. You may not always realise you're doing it but you are, and it really helps to be good at it.

More...

The ties that bind
January 2016

In the UK, much is being written and said about MPs' loyalty to their party leader and where their apparent lack of it will lead. Is loyalty more important than anything else, crucial to the success of political parties and the ultimate badge of character for their senior members? If not, how far should they be expected to be pushed by it?

These questions aren't confined to political groupings. They arise in all forms of human relationships,

More...

Make a difference
December 2015

I usually devote my December newsletter to a wish-list - either to Santa Claus or to politicians - for things I think will make the world a better place. It clearly didn't work last year as everything seems to have got much worse in 2015.

Looking at it all today I don't really know where to start. Climate change, war, drowning refugees, food banks, the rise of intolerant nationalism - most of it with no end or solution in sight. It's impossible to imagine how anything we can do will have any impact.

More...

When worlds collide
November 2015
It's important to distinguish between values and beliefs

Let's work together
October 2015
Team building can be too good!

For whom the bell tolls
September 2015
You can switch off your empathy - but at what cost?

Hit the panic button!
August 2015
When mental resources are overwhelmed

Don't take this the wrong way...
July 2015
The meaning of a communication is the response you get

Undoing the "not"
June 2015
Mind games: how to fool yourself into getting what you want

Confusion reigns
May 2015
Using nested loops in communication

Winner takes all
April 2015
Is cooperation better than competition?

Name your price
March 2015
How your values can be used to manipulate you

The war of words
February 2015
How to reach consensus, or agree to disagree

The way I see it...
January 2015
The map is not the territory. We all live in our own worlds.

Happy Christmas to all our leaders
December 2014
A Christmas wish-list: What we want from our politicians

A bit of give and take
November 2014
The key to negotiation is understanding the other side

Sticks and stones
October 2014
How you get drawn into conflict

Taking the high road
September 2014
Who's in control of your life?

The d-word
August 2014
The internal processes that cause depression

The meaning of life
July 2014
"Complex equivalence" and the need to find meaning in everything

Don't let me down
April 2014
You have to trust someone - even if you've been hurt.

Your beliefs rule your life
March 2014
Your choices are limited by what you believe, not by your abilities

Don't talk to me about life!
February 2014
How to stay positive when it's all going wrong!

Yes you can!
January 2014
Keep your resolutions this year...

It's all right for some
December 2013
Knowing what you really want is the first step to success

Please like me!
November 2013
Seeking recognition may be "natural" but it's not good for you.

It's a blame culture - and whose fault is that?
July 2013
Are managers blamed unreasonably when things go wrong?

The ghost in the machine
June 2013
Brain plasticity and learning new strategies for life

Wheeling and dealing
May 2013
Self-confidence and the financial crisis

Follow the crowd
April 2013
What determines the culture of an organisation or a society?

What's so hard about being a manager?
March 2013
Training for newly-promoted managers doesn't prepare them for the role

The right shape
February 2013
The value of T-shaped people

Follow me!
January 2013
What makes some people come out on top?

What I want for Christmas
December 2012
My Christmas wish-list to the Chancellor of the Exchequer!

Small words mean a lot
November 2012
The wording of a question can force you to accept things you don't believe

Can you trust them?
October 2012
How do you know who to trust with your vote?

Working yourself to death
September 2012
Stress at work increases the risk of heart attack

Can I count on you?
August 2012
Olympic athletes and the principle of consistency

The trouble with people
July 2012
Take control of your working life

Job satisfaction survey reveals our fears
June 2012
What determines job satisfaction and how to make your job better

Nothing to fear but fear itself
May 2012
Roosevelt's lesson for people today

3 lessons life has taught me
April 2012
Strategies for success and an enjoyable life

Strong views ... weakly held
March 2012
We like to be consistent with past decisions - up to a point!

Why should I care?
February 2012
Empathy is the key to influencing people

In good company
January 2012
If you own your own business, are you an entrepreneur?

Be careful what you wish for
December 2011
Make me a better person for Christmas!

Six deceiving men
November 2011
Overcoming procrastination

Moving on up
October 2011
Spiral Dynamics and human development

Que Sera, Sera?
September 2011
How confidence in the future is justified.

Welcome to my world
August 2011
Presuppositions and the development of the brain

Credit where it's due
July 2011
Performance management is about valuing your people and their success

Who dares wins
June 2011
How to gain confidence

The secret of success
May 2011
To win, you have to be in the game ...

It's a Wonderful Life
April 2011
Can government policy create well-being?

Who are you?
March 2011
Your identity is more than your personal data.

One step at a time
February 2011
DNA and planning your life!

A definite maybe!
January 2011
How do you know when something is right? Understand your Convincer Strategy.

The joy of giving?
December 2010
Father Christmas negotiates a settlement!

To boldly go ...
November 2010
Even in challenging times you still need to challenge yourself.

Bring it on!
October 2010
I you're not di-stressed then you're not stressed at all

What's the "programming" in Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
September 2010
How to replace your worn-out thinking

With added value!
August 2010
Re-order your values by mapping their submodalities

The more it stays the same
July 2010
What makes an effective leader of change?

When you wish upon a star ...
June 2010
How the Disney Strategy gives you space to be creative

I know what I don't want
May 2010
What's your preferred motivation direction?

People are all the same - as well as being completely different!
April 2010
Avoid the trap of what's "obvious".

Spot the difference
March 2010
What's going on in your inner world?

The elephant in the room
February 2010
Dealing with a crisis – even one you've tried to ignore.

Facing the future
January 2010
Plan to achieve those resolutions!

Your move
December 2009
Life really is a game!

A change is as good as a rest!
November 2009
Why do people resist change?

To boldly go ...
October 2009
Has your confidence been drained by bad news?

Where is this leading?
September 2009
Improve your goal-setting by constructing a well-formed outcome

The life and soul
August 2009
Why you need T-shaped people

... but his heart's in the right place!
July 2009
What exactly is "attitude" - and can it be good or bad?

One day you'll thank me!
June 2009
Where does self-esteem come from?

It depends on how you look at it
May 2009
Metaphors communicate at a deeper level.

Dream the impossible dream?
April 2009
Setting impossible goals.

Which way is next week?
March 2009
Check out your timeline.

It's not what you do ...
February 2009
Appoint yourself - become everyone's coach!

Can we do it?
January 2009
How to survive recession.

Change for change's sake
December 2008
Know your Adaptors and Innovators.

A miss is as good as a mile
November 2008
Do you need to be perfect?

I think I'm getting better
October 2008
Can you be perfect?

I remember it like it never happened!
September 2008
False memories and searching the unconscious mind.

Could do better?
August 2008
How your values always reveal themselves.

Seeing is believing
July 2008
Is your self-image working for you?

We shall not be moved!
June 2008
Influencing can't be rushed..

You already have the resources you need
May 2008
Coach yourself to a more positive outlook.

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination
April 2008
Your mental "map" of the world is not the "real" world.

Walk a mile in my shoes
March 2008
Try different perceptual positions.

Cometh the hour ...
February 2008
Leadership - and how leaders do what they do.

The Hidden Code
January 2008
How submodalities shape your experience.

Are you on the right level?
December 2007
Tackling problems at the appropriate "Neurological Level".

What do you think?
November 2007
Are you internally or externally referenced?

The Eyes Are The Mirror Of The Soul
October 2007
Eye Accessing Cues reveal your lead representational system.

Step by step
September 2007
Improved strategies for everything!

I see what you're saying
August 2007
Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic: preferred representational systems.

You can't fake it
July 2007
Passionate, powerful presentations.

Don't bother me with the details!
June 2007
Do you "chunk up" to the bigger picture, or "chunk down" to the details?

You Can't Always Get What You Want
May 2007
Are you coaching people through change or forcing them through?

Anything you can do ...
April 2007
Modelling an expert to reproduce what they do.

It takes all sorts!
March 2007
Meta programs: know your own preferred thinking styles and notice other peoples'

A reason to believe
February 2007
Reframe those limiting beliefs!

A Grand Strategy ... The practical part!
January 2007
Four building blocks of personal (and corporate) development - Part 2: Purpose and Goals.

A Grand Strategy
December 2006
Four building blocks of personal (and corporate) development - Part 1: Values and Vision.

Follow me
November 2006
Rapport: Pacing and leading.

Mirror, mirror
October 2006
Getting into rapport.

That reminds me ...
September 2006
Resource anchoring: getting into a positive state when you need it.

If ...
August 2006
A key presupposition of NLP.

Getting in a right state
July 2006
Overcoming the fear of telephone cold-calling.

And the moral is ...
June 2006
Using metaphors to enrich your communication.

Pass the Remote!
May 2006
Ashby's Law and behavioural flexibility: increasing your range of responses.

Communication
April 2006
The NLP model of communication.

Changing Minds
March 2006
All of our thinking patterns and responses have been learnt - and can be replaced!

Dave

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