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Updated: Nov 12, 2021


Let’s begin a journey of redesigning conversations to enhance our, our loved ones’, and our colleagues’ wellbeing and learning.


In this Blog, we will explore the WHY, HOW, and WHAT of this journey, the three elements of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. Sinek encourages us to ‘start with why’.


WHY: to help us live the best versions of ourselves.


At the core of the WHY is my premise that the foundation of how we may develop as a person is our ability to notice what drives our thinking, speaking, and actions.

I started to think deeply about this in reading a poem often attributed to psychologist RD Laing but written by Daniel Goleman—the author of the 1995 seminal book Emotional Intelligence—in his book Vital Lies, Simple Truths:


The range of what we think and do

is limited by what we fail to notice.

And because we fail to notice

that we fail to notice

there is little we can do

to change

until we notice

how failing to notice

shapes our thoughts and deeds.[1]


Sheryl Sandberg reinforces this in Lean In:


We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot

help but change.[2]


Adam Grant encapsulates it in the catchy title of his 2021 book:


Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know.[3]


OK, we are told about the power of noticing, but what must we notice?


In these Blogs I will focus on noticing how we are speaking and listening; what moods and emotions are driving us; and what I call our ‘scripts’, our prejudices, biases, and judgments that we absorb from birth from our parents and others in our circle of influence and from our lived experiences.


This brings me to my HOW.


HOW: offering ideas to stimulate your conversations, primarily through stories.


I will also offer specific skills for noticing drawn from my postgraduate studies in counselling and coaching. Developing a coaching culture within ourselves (self-coaching), our families, and our workplaces is important for our, our loved ones’, and our colleagues’ wellbeing and learning. Coaches ask questions. They encourage reflection using their listening and speaking skills. I will offer prompts for these questions, much like the musician Pablo in the Magic Theatre of Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf declaring:


I can give you nothing that doesn’t already exist in you … All I can give you is

the opportunity, the stimulus, the key. I am going to help you make your own

world visible, that is all.[4]


That is, I will be offering stories and skills to help you notice your world. These stories and skills will be only the beginning of a conversation, to be completed by you for your circumstances. As Anna Downes states in her Author’s Note to her 2021 novel The Safe

Place: [5]


even the most brilliant, rigorously edited story is only a half-formed thing until it is

read. And then it is completed by the mind of the person who picks it up.


WHAT: these Blogs and my book, Redesigning Conversations: A Guide to Communicating Effectively in the Family, Workplace, and Society (to be published first quarter 2022).


I look forward to our journey of discovery. Along the way, I would love to hear your thoughts and questions. You can contact me through my website.

[1] Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Virgin Digital, 2013, Kindle edition, p. 156. [2]Adam Grant, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, Random House UK, 2021. [3] Hermann Hesse (trans. by David Horrocks), Steppenwolf, Penguin UK, 2012, Kindle edition, p. 189. [4] Anna Downes, The Safe Place, Affirm Press, 2021. [5] Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths, The Psychology of Self-Deception, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1985, p. 24.
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