Blog Category: people and business development

6 Jun

Keeping it REALLY simply!

I was looking around, recently, for some new ideas and inspriration for a new Personal Development workshop I am designing, and came across this great story about making assumptions, being judgemental, and above all, making things more difficult than they need to be . . !

A party of suppliers was being given a tour of a mental hospital.  One of the visitors had made some very insulting remarks about the patients.  Aft erh the tour, the visitors were introduced to various members of staff in the canteen.

The rude visitor chatted to one of the security staff, Bill, a kindly and wise ex-policeman. 

"Are they all raving loonies in here then" said the rude man.

"Only the ones who fail the test," said Bill.

"What's the test?" said the man.

"Well, we show them a bath full of water, a bucket, a jug and an egg cup, and we ask them what's the quickest way to empty the bath,! said Bill.

"Oh, I see.  Simple - the normal ones know it's the bucket, right?"

"No actually," said Bill.  "The normal ones say pull out the plug.  Should I check when there's a bed free for you?"


Food for thought eh? How often in our personal or professional lives do we not  stop to think about the easiest or most effective way to achieve a result, and yet by stopping briefly to give some thought to the options available, and making a decision that might just save some time and effort.

I found this story, and many many more on a fantastic website called where there is a whole host of interesting information about learning, development, and life in general.



16 Feb

Walls or Windmills . . . ? Is YOUR team ready for the business Upturn?

I recently came across a great chinese proverb which said:


"When the winds of change blow, some people build walls for defences, and some people build windmills"


I thought it was very appropriate at a time when so many businesses - and individuals for that matter - are dealing with so much turbulence and difficulty, especially if they have had to reduce manpower because of costs.It can be so easy to batten down the hatches and build walls to cope with poor trading and lost opportunities and even build psychological walls in your dealings with staff, customers and suppliers in order to survive.


However, the quote reminded me of the principle in martial arts where you use the energy of your opponent or situation to defeat them, rather than waste your own force and energy to combat them.  Businesses that I deal with seem to be more successful weathering the economic storm when they work with the situation they are in, and look at new ways of doing business and using the "new energy" that is around - an energy of creativity, focussing on the resources you have and not bothering about what you don't have.  While these times can prove challenging in so many different ways, if we look at what we can do, it is often surprising to find that we can actually do more with less, and feel a real sense of achievement.

I am also reminded of a great african proverb which I came across years ago which says: 

"Calm seas do not make skillful sailors"

So how will you get the most from your teams at work?  Some of the people will have been with you through the difficult times and need re-motivating perhaps; you may have hired some new people in readiness for the new business opportunities.  Whoever is in your team now, it may prove beneficial for everyone to spend some time together to learn about each other - experience, ideas, talents - and talk about how to work best together.



1 Dec

Do less and achieve more!!! Yes, you can if you really want to.


 you want to:

  •  Get the best from your staff
  • Make the most of the time – that there’s never enough of!
  • Get the results you want – and more


 take part in this 2 day workshop and understand:  

  • The real differences between ‘managing’ and ‘leading’
  • How to ‘spend time’ to ‘save time’ – and DO less
  • What motivates people to ‘move’ and do things because they want to
  • How to encourage people to think for themselves and give you ideas and solutions


  • No big theories
  • No long lectures
  • Just time to challenge the way you think and work and discover how you can do less, and achieve more through others

Key themes:  

Choices         understand how you make decisions and the reactions you get  

Challenge      yourself and others to be your best      

Change         to make things easier – “it doesn’t have to be difficult”

 If this looks like something you would like to experience, we are organising some public workshops in the new year 2009 around the UK.  Alternatively you might like to talk about running the event with your team or colleagues in your business.

12 Nov

the T.U.G. technique - stop recycling your thoughts and worrying!!!

T.U.G.  - something different to help stop your chatterbox mind running away with itself.!!! 
(so,  not what you though it was about!!!)

Neuro Scientists would have us believe that thousands of thoughts run through our head every day, most of which are just the same ones being recycled, and don't serve any useful purpose.  In fact, it can often be the case that we might start the day with some niggly thought which keeps nagging us throughout the day, and stops us enjoying what we do, or fully appreciating the good things that the day has to offer.

Those niggly thoughts can be about anything, or anyone/ real or imagined.  You might be thinking that the day ahead will be difficult, some things you have planned may not succeed, the bus might be late, some work colleagues are bound to disagree with your ideas, or don't like you, or that you don't have enough hours in the day to get every thing done.  And so the list goes on, and those recycled thoughts begin to take on a life of their own, and get bigger and bigger, louder and louder in our heads until we become totally oblivious to the world going on a round us, and just be obsessed with the thoughts!

And what's more, you can't find the off switch, or the volume control to turn the noise down, or switch to another "channel" to listen to. 

Well, think of the T.U.G. technique as a kind of OFF switch - at least to allow you a moment stop and think about what you are thinking about - BEFORE they take over your day and world!!!  And those three letters stand for


So, it works like this.  Whenever you become aware of thoughts that you have had before, which bother you, make you feel irritated, cause you to think negatively about a situation or person, STOP and ask yourself these three questions:

Is what I am thinking TRUE?  ( and if you answer YES, ask yourself "How do I know it is true?" - you may not know but just assume you know!!)

Is what I am thinking USEFUL?  (in other words, does it help me clarify something or just confuse me more?)

Do those thoughts make me feel GOOD? (in myself, about myself, about others, about the situation)

If the answer to ANY of the above questions is NO, then think about something else that does make you feel good.

The trick to the technique is to stop yourself the SECOND you become aware of those niggling thoughts, and TUG at them.  Don't allow them to take control.
Nip them in the bud.

And of course, sometimes we do have thoughts that keep coming back time and time again - so it might be that they are useful thoughts which need to be looked at, sorted out once a for all, so that you feel good for doing that.

So, keep on TUGging at those niggling thoughts, and start to choose the thoughts that you want to have which are true, very useful and make you feel really good.