Remember.. you can complete a project by dropping it!!!!
Welcome to Penny's Blog
Currently for women only.
This programme has been designed with women in mind, particularly those who are survivors of abusive relationships.
About abusive relationships and Coaching
There are many abusive relationships in our society, mainly where women, children, elderly people and animals are involved. Of course whole nations of people have suffered and continue to suffer where the balance of power is held by the ultimate threat of violence by tyrants and murderers. Wherever there is an imbalance of power in a relationship, the vulnerable continue to suffer until they decide to draw the line and assert their human right to thrive for their own sake. This is when they turn to their own resources to check the balance of power, no longer happy to live as victims but as self-determining, independent human beings.
As women, many of us have grown up with the ‘sense’ that we want to make a difference through helping others fulfil their potential and be happy. This ‘sense’ is probably what’s saved mankind from his tendency to indulge in wilful self- destruction…….. and we should be rightly very proud of ourselves for this!!
The drive to prove our worth through loving and nurturing can sometimes mean we become victims of our own need to succeed!! We keep on trying to love, respect, forgive, treasure and nurture people to the point where we’ve given everything of ourselves to the cause… until we feel resourceless.
It is at this lowest point we are at our most vulnerable and need to be reminded of just how amazingly powerful we really are in our own right – to make choices for ourselves that don’t rely on pleasing people who won’t be pleased and who won’t actually please themselves, managing people who won’t be managed and won’t manage themselves. The time comes when we want to break the pattern, draw the line and move on to the next part of our lives, determined by and planned around what’s best for us…….. and our children if we have them. We want to listen to our own voice, believe in ourselves and our own resourcefulness.
This is when coaching really works to help us establish and strengthen what really matters to us and how to move forward and Go There!
Go There! is a fantastic group coaching programme that is designed for groups of women who feel ready to take charge of their lives and move forward. If you would like to find out more just ring or email: ( Penny Budgen at: Contact www.creaturecomfortscoaching.co.uk & www.coachworks.info)
SAMPLE (to follow)
Actual size 10 x 21 cms. Printed on card.
Fantastic idea for a present for someone who’s been talking to you about being stuck or bored or looking for a new direction.
Only one health warning: Because one of the crucial aspects of successful coaching is the voluntary principle – the person needs to WANT to get coaching, giving a voucher to someone, in order for the coaching experience to be successful, needs to be on the basis that person has volunteered the fact they are stuck already, to you. Trust your own judgment on this. Feedback from people who have given these vouchers to friends has been amazing (except one husband to wife blunder!!!).
Carrie said: ‘I gave one of these to my Dad for his 60th. At first he didn’t understand what Life Coaching was so I made him look at Penny’s Coach Works website and then he looked at the other one for women too!! When he rang her he says that was the start of the next bit of his life…..’
Each of the 4 coaching sessions is worth £65.
The cost of this voucher is £200.00
Contact Penny Budgen (see contact pages on Coach Works and Creature Comforts Coaching for women websites)
Teach your children well……… it’s down to us now ladies. Well it always has been really. We’ve just devoted too much of ourselves to centuries of covering male insecurity!
All my life I have resisted aligning myself to feminism for fear of compromising my individuality and personal integrity. Now it’s quite clear to me that:
‘If we want to save the world we must let women in to stop men fighting it out’.
Today at Tescos, having paid for my petrol and leaving the kiosk, I stood back to give way to a lady who was clearly struggling with the step at the door. This blocked the doorway. A guy came up behind me and pushed my shoulder with his finger, just lightly but it was a push. I asked him please to not push me and turned my gaze to the woman trying to get through the door, hoping he would follow it. Perhaps he hadn’t noticed her plight. He prodded me again in the shoulder, harder this time. ‘Please don’t push me’ I said. ‘I’m not pushing you, I just want you to hurry up. Hurry up!’ he said forcefully. Finally (20 seconds later!) the lady got through the door and he pushed past me. ‘Bully?’ I said quietly. He turned as if to remonstrate but sensibly seemed to make a choice on the side of his being in a hurry and went straight to his car.
Now this event could be construed as some sexist offence, after all I suspect this chap would not have dreamt of prodding me in the shoulder had I been a man. However, as a result of my social conditioning, I chose to see the humanity in his behaviour. Perhaps he had a sick child in the car. But it made me ask myself, why don’t we teach our male children to use their brains to get along in the world instead of their brawn? They do pushing, shoving and fighting instinctively. We don’t need to nurture that bit. It’s destructive. Look around you. We need to give them some other stuff to work with.
He could have been taught to use pleasing people to get his needs met: “Excuse me, so sorry but could I squeeze through, thanks’. Instead, obviously compromised between his urge to impose his will over thinking it through (….. ‘even if I’ve got a sick child in the car, I’m probably going to get back to them quicker if I go with what’s happening here than against it and as an added bonus I’ll be being polite to two people’) he gave in to his baser urges, to dominate. Perhaps the buzz of dominating made him feel more effective, while my ego is probably boosted by demonstrating respect for others! Maybe for both of us its down to our genes and how we are trained genderwise……
So the only bit we can actually change is our values and attitudes and we all need to change. Women need to stop giving themselves away. We need all our resources to carry the world. We must stop giving men the benefit of the doubt and all our emotional goods because they can’t be bothered to learn how to have emotional goods themselves. We need to believe in ourselves and that our way is the best way……….enough to teach it to our children equally (boys and girls). It doesn’t have to be ‘them and us’, the war of the sexes…. it’s just time to redress the balance.
And men need to support all that……knuckle down and do the work, to save themselves.
Oh and the poor chap with the sick child in the car I invented for him? He was probably just a bit tired and emotional!
Trust the process………. Trust in your own resourcefulness. You are amazing.
I am very proud to announce that my book for young children on shapes in architecture (my other hat!) has just been published in chinese/mandarin. If you are interested just google First Shapes in Buildings by Penny Ann Lane – also available in English, Danish and Korean on Amazon. Published by Frances Lincoln and Walker Books (Australia) Wahoo!!
How do we develop good rapport and relationships and manage effective communication on the telephone?
Considering most research suggests that non-verbal language plays such large part in effective human communications (50-80 per cent), what are the implications of this to ‘verbal only’ communication?
Communication and rapport…..without body- language?
Communication is a cycle or loop that involves at least two people. Communication involves pro-active and re-active choices and behaviour.
When we communicate with another person, we perceive their response and react with our own thoughts and feelings. Underlying this is our own agenda, which, consciously (purpose) or unconsciously (filters and beliefs), guides our choices and reactions. We are also affected by our environmental context – is it noisy or calm, dirty or ordered, spacious or confined, familiar or unfamiliar, safe or not and so on.
We communicate with our words, our silences and our vocal quality. We communicate with our bodies, our stance, our gestures and facial expressions and even, possibly, with extra sensory attributes we cannot measure (as yet) such as ‘gut feelings’ in how we interpret another person’s communicative efforts (and/or absence of).
Past research has shown that in presentations before groups of people, 55 per cent of the impact is determined by our body language, 38 per cent by our tone of voice and only 7 per cent by the content of your presentation (Mehrabian and Ferris, ‘Inference of attitudes from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels’ in The Journal of Counselling Psychology Vol.31 1967, pp248-52). More recently experts have agreed that up to 80 percent of all human communications are non- verbal (businessballs.com).
How do we know when two or more people are communicating smoothly and effectively? When they appear to be in rapport. When each party is appreciating and respecting the other’s view of the world while maintaining their own. They appear to mirror and match each other in tonality, posture, gesture and eye contact, complimenting and validating each other’s positions.
Rapport engenders trust. When people ARE like each other, they like each other. The best teachers are those who establish rapport and enter into the world of the learner, thereby allowing the learner to acquire greater understanding of the subject through personal relevance.
So how can we create rapport and trust to improve relationships, achieve our goals and help others achieve theirs, without relying hugely on our body language?! For example on the telephone…………
Pacing and Leading
We pace ourselves to fit into different situations. We pace our emotions. If we want to show we care about someone when they are sad we respond with a sympathetic tone of voice and manner of speech, not an aggressive shout of ‘come on, cheer up!’ We use a tonality that matches how they are feeling, build rapport then use this to move them into a better place with brighter, quicker, louder tonality. If the bridge is built they will follow our lead.
Content and style
Demonstrating an appreciation of what people say without necessarily agreeing with them also builds rapport. One very good way of doing this verbally is to eliminate the word ‘but’ from your vocabulary. Replace it with ‘and’. ‘But’ is conditional, critical, and sends a negative message. Using ‘and’ instead works like a bridge or an uplifting wind that keeps the conversation moving in a positive direction. It is neutral.
How we talk to each other makes or breaks rapport. If we see communication as a transaction between people (I say something – you say something back) we can monitor our style of delivery, tonality and content accordingly. Berne’s transactional analysis theory and others extensions of it, suggest we can hear ourselves (if we choose to) take up different roles or ego states such as Parent, Adult or Child.
Putting it simply, our Parent state means we tend to ‘tell’ people what to do, how to behave and how to think, we define and enforce ‘the rules’, values and beliefs. We use judgmental words, critical words, patronising language and posturing language. We are influenced by our own parents’ terms and conditions for parenting. One way of controlling this state is to listen for the word ‘should’ in what we say to ourselves and others: ‘he should have emailed me’, ‘she should have phoned her mother’, ‘they should say thankyou’ etc. etc. Replace it with ‘could’.
‘Should’ imposes our view of the world on the other person and will limit our capacity to understand what matters to them, inhibiting rapport. ‘Could’ validates each person’s right to their own view, opening up a world of options and differences.
Our Child state means our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are determined by our emotional responses over that of reason.
Our Adult state is defined by our ability to think and determine our own choices.
So being aware of and managing our ‘state’, calibrating it to people we communicate with, can make a significant, positive difference to the quality of our relationships and outcomes. Taking care how we ‘come across’ to others reminds us that when we meet, we are all crossing each other’s paths.
Context and environment
Telephone meetings and conference calls are best carried out in quiet, safe, dedicated spaces to avoid all unnecessary distractions. We need to focus.
Using a basic format for leading meetings increases the chances that all participants will get what they want out of the meeting.
Making notes and encouraging others to do so is also very valuable.
Using final checklists strengthens relationships and overall effectiveness
1. 1. Know what you want.
2. 2. Know what others want
3. 3 Set the evidence that will let you know you have reached your agreed outcome.
1. Be in a resourceful, flexible state of mind
2. Establish rapport
3. Get consensus on a shared outcome and the evidence for it.
4. Challenge irrelevancy by matching to desired outcome evidence
5. Use ‘If……..?’ questions to stimulate and elicit more ideas.
6. Summarise and clarify key agreements.
7. Keep moving towards your outcome
1. Check-list for congruence and agreement
2. Summarise actions
3. Test agreement if necessary
4. Decide and agree on future steps
There is an old Chinese saying:
I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand
If we relate this to telephone communications, we can see how crucial it is to:
- - Manage our ‘states’ to align with others
- - Express and explain ourselves carefully, simply and accurately (tonality, words, pace and lead)
- - Listen carefully
- - Match, clarify and check for understanding and congruence
- - Visualise and empathise.
- - Manage our environments
- - Manage information
Penny Ann Budgen 2013
Refs: O’Connor J. Seymour.J Introducing NLP, Harper Collins.2002. www.businessballs.com
This one comes from a book. A client started reading this at a time of great ‘stuckness’ and with coaching he told me he started seeing things in a VERY different way. Works for me too.
The book is The Black Swan. The impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Penguin, 2010. p297.
‘ My classmate pronounced, as he prevented me from running to catch the tube, “I don’t run for trains.” ………Snub your destiny. I have taught myself to resist running to keep on schedule. This may seem a very small piece of advice, but it registered. In refusing to run to catch trains, I have felt the true value of elegance and aesthetics in behaviour, a sense of being in control of my time, my schedule and my life. Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.
You have far more control over your life if you decide on your criterion by yourself. Mother nature has given us some ‘defense’ mechanisms [though]: as in Aesop’s fables, one of these is our ability to consider/tell ourselves that the grapes we cannot reach are sour. But an aggressively stoic prior disdain and rejection of the grapes is even more rewarding!’
Any thoughts?……always welcome …………. firstname.lastname@example.org
Often what makes us happiest in life is the unexpected – the chance encounter or the unpredicted event. Basically things that we haven’t chosen, worried about, anticipated or planned, that turn out good for us make us happy.
So if we want to feel better or happier we can contrive to supply ourselves with unexpected experiences. Here’s one way:
Ask a friend to go to see a film with you. Go at a set time and choose whatever film you fancy ONLY when you get there. Most of us go to see a film when we know what we want to watch. If you just arrive at the cinema and choose right then what you want to go for, you might find you watch and enjoy something you would not have otherwise considered. This act alone opens your eyes, self awareness and choices. It reminds us that there is more ‘out there’ to draw from. That we are not just defined by our beliefs and habits.
Before you go make sure you challenge any undermining, negative thoughts. Keep them at bay and let go of them once you’re attention is taken up by watching the film.
Mark Williams and Danny Penman, from whom I have borrowed this idea (Mindfulness 2011 p158) call this the Habit Releaser. I’d call it a habit ‘buster’.
‘However big the goal/project/decision, trust the small steps to get you there. Trust yourself and trust the process’.
I really like this. It appeals to my need to cover all bases, particularly 1. my judgement and 2.the practical things I need to do to get anywhere. Combine the two and job done. Obstacles appear less problematic and more negotiable somehow. Enjoy the journey.