The books….

So, dear reader, this is what I’ve been reading!

Time to Think and More Time to Think by Nancy Kline – excellent books and fascinating subject matter.  After reading the first one I tried out her technique at work and was very surprised by the result.  People said a lot more – and all because I ran a meeting where interrupting was banned! 

‘My Voice will go with you’ and ‘Uncommon Therapy – Psychiatric Techniques of Milton Erickson.  Both really interesting.  What a clever man.

The Magic of Metaphor  and  The Salmon Of Knowledge both by Nick Owen.  Great stories that really got me thinking.

Get the Life you Want & An Evening with Richard Bandler.  Richard Bandler is one of the co-founders of NLP – I’m finding this is the area I’m struggling with but it’s so fundemental I must ‘crack it’.  So I keep re-watching the DVD and re-reading the book! 

Still to tackle:

Coaching with NLP  by Joseph O’Connor
The Rainbow Machine – tales from a Neuro-Linguist’s Journal by Andrew Austin

Aren’t I going to have one fun Christmas week!!  I’m on holiday for the entire break so can devote myself to my studies!

How often are we heard?

I thank Counting Ducks for sparking this post.

How often are we really heard?  How often do we really say how we feel?  So often as listeners we don’t listen and as speakers we couch what we want to say in a cloud of suggestion in our attempts to avoid hurting the person who we are speaking to.

So why?

Well, as listeners, we will put our own take on what we hear based on our past experiences so probably miss the exact point the other person is trying to make.  And so often, in the case of a chance encounter, we are so eager to speak about ourselves that our inquiries of the other person are cursory at best!

This happened to a very close friend of mine who had breast cancer.   A few months before she died she bumped into a friend in our local town who she hadn’t seen for several years.

The friend greeted her “How lovely to see you J.  How are you?”

J:  “I’m dying!”

Friend: “Oh darling how lovely.  I must tell you what I’ve been doing since I last saw you……..”

Fortunately J found it funny!

So how do we improve our listening.  I’ve been thinking about this a great deal.

I’ve just finished reading “Time to Think” by Nancy Kline. A book I  thoroughly recommend.  She suggests we create Thinking Environments and Partnerships.  Thus allowing one person to think out loud whilst the other LISTENS!  And when the listener does speak the important thing to do is to repeat exactly what the Thinker has decided is the issue they wish to address.  It isn’t the job of the Listener to solve the issue.  They listen and allow the thinker to think.  Think out loud and so think things through.  The Listener’s job is to frame a question incorporating the Thinker’s issue, using the Thinkers exact words and then repeat it each time the Thinker runs dry.  So resparking the Thinker to think.

This has huge potential as it has two wonderful effects.  Firstly it encourages us all to really think for ourselves, say out loud what we really think rather than ‘go with the flow’, modify what we’ve said and so spark another thought.  And secondly it encourages the other half of the partnership to listen and listen incredibly attentively and so hear things we would usually miss. And maybe by listening more we learn and understand more.

Interesting concept!



As I take my first tentative steps towards, hopefully, becoming a life coach I’ve been pondering on what makes a good coach!

Clearly I found Stephen a good coach.  Why?  Up to now I’ve had no idea.  I just did.

This morning as I was reading the next chapter in “Time to Think”  I came across the following:

“The danger with coaching lies in the perceived need for the coach to appear brilliant, to be seen to have all the answers………..

Coaches need to realise that the brilliant person is the client…

Ironically, by bringing out the brilliance in the client, you as coach will be seen as the brilliant one.”

I think that’s why I benefited so much from Stephen’s Coaching – he made me feel I was brilliant!  He is a brilliant coach!

So with that in mind I am, today, about to gather a group of people together at work and test out what I’ve read and the way Stephen coached me.  I am going to gently nudge this group to solving their own issues and concerns of the up coming office move round and to empower them to come up with a positive outcome and agreement from the meeting, rather than rely on me and my staff to solve all their problems!

This will require me to keep my mouth shut more than I’d like, not interrupt and really stand back and let them think their way through this whilst guiding them to do so.

Today is going to be interesting!!


A lot is said about forgiveness. That moment that people suggest we are able to forgive our EXs for smashing up our lives, throwing us into our pits of despair, walking roughshod over our feelings and disappearing into their supposed new found happiness.

The other day I ‘wrote’ to Alex on my blog and forgave him for what he did.  At the moment when I wrote it I did.  Bizarrely ever since then I haven’t!

For months and months my earnest hope was that what we had could be resurrected, that we could somehow come through all this. That he would wake up one morning and realise he was in bed with the wrong woman!  (OK real good Holywood stuff).  That I would be able to forgive.

Denial was where I was – big time.  According to the book I’m reading “Time to Think” by Nancy Kline – and I quote:

We can usually go for about a year before we are forced to see what had been right in our face from the beginning. 

What she calls The Amy Question:   “What do you already know that you are going to find out in a year?”

What I do know is I’ve reached a level of acknowledgement that life has changed and will go on changing.  Not in the way I’d planned.  Maybe that’s what people mean by ‘letting go’ and ‘moving on’.  For me, for now, acknowledgement is about all I can handle.  The sadness of the breakup is still there – maybe it always will be.  But that’s something I feel comfortable acknowledging too.

BTW – the book is very enlightening and interesting!