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Showing posts from September, 2016

The invisible force that speeds things up or slows them down

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I don't play the drums. You probably don't play the drums, either. At least, you probably don't have a drum kit in your office to set the beat for your work communication.  But it might be really helpful.

Rhythm is the invisible force in language. While everyone is preoccupied with what words mean and how long they are and whether they are spelled correctly, rhythm nudges attention in different directions, changing the effect that words have on a listener or reader.

Long can be complicated or long can be a gentle ramble, soothing the reader into a calmer, more open state. What's the difference between complicated and soothing? It's the rhythm of the sentence.

Instead of trying to understand the technical practice of rhythm in language (it's complicated), why not simply practice noticing the rhythm in speech or writing? As you read this, tap a finger to what you think is the rhythm you are picking up. As you listen to someone speak, tap a finger or toe inconspi…

The best language for motivating action

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If you want to be effective in motivating action, choose sensory language that represents your desired outcome.

That's a tough start to a post. But I wanted it to be tough and straight-forward and clear (all of these words direct you into your senses, even if they are not specific). I wanted you to know that I mean what I say when I say that to motivate action you need to put yourself or others into their imagined bodies.

Neurologically, when you use sensory language you direct people to activate the parts of their brains that would be active when they were having that kind of sensory experience. It's like you are creating an echo of lived experience that also resonates (both echo and resonate are auditory words) so that it prepares the listener (or reader - or thinker if the language is internal) to make this experience happen in reality.

The best way to get the result you want is always to decide what you want and test it by imagining that you have stepped into the future an…

Let's get over the notion that positive is easier

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In the work I do at NLP Canada Training, I teach people to notice the relationship between their own state (the combination of their thoughts, emotions and physiology), the states of people around them, and their behaviours. It's a complicated web: we are influenced by our own stuff, by the people around us, and by our situations and all of that gets processed by our brains and transformed into action. Our actions determine how our state changes, and what becomes possible as a next step.

Our situations and other people influence us because we pay attention to them. Some of this attention is involuntary: it's part of how the human equipment works. Other human beings are especially important because they can both help and hurt us. Our brains track their expressions and behaviours in an ongoing effort to predict what they will do. There's a downside to this. Our brains track other people's states by reproducing them in us. That means that negativity is contagious and we a…

The Power of Positive Attention

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It's a Saturday morning, so let's have coffee while we chat.

This week I have been teaching people to pay attention to what they want, what they value, what works. It's what I do most weeks. I condition people to turn their attention to what is working for them, not what is broken, missing or undesirable.

This isn't about denying reality and it's not about playing 'Suzy Sunshine' and living in a bubble. It's about noticing what you can build and building it. It's about saying: "Yes, we have a problem here. And what will be true after we solve it? How do we imagine a future beyond the problem?" This is the best way to encourage your vast super-computing powers (your unconscious mind/brain does have super-computing powers, even if your conscious mind has trouble believing that) to get to work on solving the problem so you can get to the future you imagine on the other side.

There are side affects to practicing positive attention.

You might …