The Clarity Brain

 

Your brain and curiosity

The brain has a brilliant mechanism to keep you safe and that in turn can prevent you from sustaining clarity and confidence when communicating.

The Triune Brain is a simple model developed by Paul Maclean that explains what is happening, giving you the potential to set yourself up for success.

It makes sense of why you might get distracted or feel unsettled and stop listening and therefore stop being curious.

At a very basic level, we are animals. We need to know we are safe. Do we fit in? And what are the rules?

We also need to be fed and well rested to be able to think clearly and to learn. Continue reading The Clarity Brain

How to Take The Drama Out Of Your Communications?

My aim in this article is to help you:

  • Recognise when you are in the drama triangle
  • Reassure you that you are not alone
  • Resource you to get out of it.

 

What is a Drama? 

Drama is when you spend more time talking about someone rather than talking to them. Drama is when your insides feel permanently in a knot or your head is clouded and unable to communicate what you truly want. Drama is whenever you do speak it is misunderstood, misinterpreted and it causes conflict. Of Course their are many other examples but hopefully you get the idea.

 The Drama Triangle

The drama triangle is a psychological and social model of human interaction in transactional analysis (TA) first described by Stephen Karpman, in his 1968 article “Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis”.  Below is an explanation from Caitlin Walker and Sarah Nixon’s   one year self coaching diaries and if you want to find out more I highly recommend the book From Contempt to Curiosity

The Ego States

 

Persecutor

You may blame or PERSECUTE someone else, from this position you are likely to believe it is the other person that has to change. You are likely to look for evidence to prove your point. You are likely to ignore any evidence that contradicts your point. You may be shouting and clearly angry. You may be calm or even smiling. You will be pointing out that someone else is in the wrong. You will be unlikely to be taking any personal responsibility for change.

This is when you believe and we do truly believe in the moment our happiness or success or the lack of it is someone else’s fault. You will hear things like:

 

  • If they just did ……….everything would be okay
  • If they were motivated we would all be happy then…
  • If they were not so idle, rude disrespectful then…

 

 

Victim

A different ‘Drama’ role is that of VICTIM, from this position you are likely to believe you are powerless. You are likely to look for evidence to prove your point and again, you are likely to ignore any evidence that contradicts your point. You may be shouting and clearly angry. You may be calm or even smiling. You will be pointing out that someone else is in the wrong. You will be unlikely to be taking any personal responsibility for change.

You might hear:

 

  • Is it just me that can think for myself
  • It seems like it is only me they can’t get on with
  • I have worked so hard and given so much how come they don’t appreciate it

 

 

Rescuer

Another and often deceptive ‘Drama’ role is that of RESCUER, from this position you are likely to believe you are helping everyone else. You are  likely to look for evidence that you have to keep doing what you are doing.

You are  likely to ignore any evidence that you are maintaining a problem. You are likely to train other people to behave like victims or to dis-empower them. You are likely to pacify persecutors and build up latent anger towards them. You are likely to burn out as what you do is unsustainable.

You might hear:

 

  • If they are not going to do it well enough I will have to do it myself
  • I have to do that or they will feel left out
  • Can I suggest you do…

 

 

Do you recognise yourself yet? Do you recognise someone you know? 

I promise you,  you are not alone and if you can spot someone else in the drama triangle then it is very  likely that you are there with them too. Perhaps as persecutor because you think they have to change not you??(Just a thought)

Many businesses are stuck in drama right now. Many personal relationships fall apart because they end up in drama and of course  everyone is someone else’s difficult person. 

First Step, is to recognise when you are communicating with others from one of those ego states. You can share this with a trusted friend and ask them to notice if they think you are communicating from drama. You can also observe your own language and be mindful of your intention.

Activity

You can practice here by reading these statements and determining where in the drama triangle you think the person is:

 

  • If you they were a good employee they would make time for follow up
  • They just want to be paid for nothing
  • They want their cake and eat it

 

or

 

  • They don’t appreciate me
  • They don’t have the same pressures as I do
  • I have to come up with all the solutions and ideas, no one else ever contributes

 

or

 

  • I have to do it because they won’t get round to it
  • I have to do it because they will get stressed otherwise
  • I have to do it because they are not skilled enough yet

 

Can you recognise Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer now?

How to get out of drama?

 

  1. Get really clear what you would like to have happen. Ensure your language is solution focused. It is what you want not what you don’t want
  2. Have confidence in asking for what you want and need
  3. Develop compassion and understanding for the difference between what is said and what is heard and give evidence based feedback

If you want to know more about ‘how’ to get out drama check my video: “How to do, delegate or ditch with confidence?” where I share 3 communication tools that can help you take the drama out of your communications.

 

 About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

Today Sheryl runs retreats and one to one sessions resourcing you to do more of what you love, delegate or learn how to do what you don’t and ditch the critic that says you can’t. Sharing a communication tool kit and collaboration tool kit that will transform the way you think, feel and understand those around you. Sheryl and her team will be your strength and solution detective whilst you train your inner critic and those that around you to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

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Why Can’t I Say No?

One of the hardest things for nice people to do is say No. Your critic can become so pre-occupied with pleasing everyone and keeping the peace that your own needs are neglected.

It is easy to get into blame accusing others of taking advantage of your good nature etc. But the truth is, you are in control of your life and if you don’t feel like you are then perhaps now is the time to take control. Continue reading Why Can’t I Say No?

Amazon Promotion 21st April 2017

At last after many failed attempts ‘Manage your critic – From Overwhelm to Clarity in 7 steps’ is finally on Amazon. To celebrate the fact I am having an Amazon Launch on the 21st April and I am giving away some really special offers to anyone who buys a copy on that actual day.

You can find out more here – Amazon Launch Offers

And I need help. I have set up a series of emails with prompts and suggested posts. If you are willing and able to make the Amazon Launch a success you can help in a number of ways, from:

  • sending one text to a friend you think would benefit from the book
  • Leaving a review
  • Sending emails to your friends
  • Posts on social media
  • Sharing my posts
  • Watching out for #MYCAmazon2017, share comment and like on the 21st April.

If you are able to help and would value some ideas and reminders please leave your details below

Are You Constantly Asking For Or Inviting The Wrong Kind Of Support?

I am currently attending a Global Social Change Leadership Programme with Gifew.

I am always looking to have some kind of personal development and learning in my diary otherwise I feel like I get stuck. So for the past few Sundays I have spent 6pm to 8pm listening to global change makers and this week our mentor was  Jazz Rasool. There were many things that I took away but one thing that really helped me was to think of our needs for support as vitamins. Things that we need daily and whilst missing the odd day doesn’t hurt – long term absence would result in deficiency. Jazz refers to them as Social Vitamins that we require to collaborate effectively with our selves and others.

Social Vitamins

I felt compelled to share because it made so much sense to me and I could see how my own journey had followed this model.

The general principle is that for any of us to collaborate with ourselves and each other we need 3 core vitamins:

  1. Support – ‘Reinforce’ that you are okay, you are safe
  2. Challenge – ‘Stretch’ learning, new perspectives and stretches outside our comfort zone
  3. Reflection – ‘Process’ – Taking time to notice what is happening and how it is happening.

I wonder how well you are supporting yourself right now?

  • Are you challenging yourself?
  • How often do you take time to reflect?
  • Do you reassure yourself you are okay?

Mark and I talked about this yesterday and Mark noticed he uses cycling as a way of challenging himself and it also provides him with time to reflect.

I noticed that for me Clean Language and Coaching filled a massive void in my life. For much of my life I had felt challenged to be better, to improve and had a constant sense of not being good enough. I had to train Mark my husband to ask questions like what is working? or What would I like to have happen? It was not his natural style to support in this way but it was the social vitamin I was missing. I was not able to reflect on what was working and notice the process.

I didn’t have an internal process to reflect or to support myself and it is this process that I talk about in my book Manage Your Critic. 

At first I tried the love yourself affirmations but it only became embedded and real when I had experienced non-judgemental listening, unconditional love and a sense of being supported by others.

I found it hard to ask for help, I found it harder to accept help without paying for it either financially, emotionally or physically.

Once I learned to give and receive my social vitamins something magical happened. My internal world became a place of hope and inner calm and I felt safe and able once again to stretch myself.

Supporting and Reflecting

I recognise now that I did need to spend quite some time working on supporting myself and reflection to gain some perspective of what is working and what had worked.

I also recognise now that when my teen daughter was challenging me it was at these times even more important that I gain more support for me to keep me resourced to support her.

Full Circle

On reflection I now feel I have come full circle. I started as a coach in 2006 and in 2015 I felt able to start writing my book, this year in 2017 I felt able to start the cycling challenge. This is possible because I have many more people n my life now supporting me and my own critic inside my head is working with me not against me.

I have time in my diary and people in my life that encourage me to reflect and I can now choose what kind of challenges I want and I can handle it when people who challenge me come into my life.

You will need different amounts of these social vitamins at anyone time. And when it comes to partnerships and collaboration it is important to have people in your life that support you and people that challenge you and people that inspire reflection.

  • What kind of support do you need right now?
  • Which of your social vitamins are you missing if any?

Right now I need lots of support. I need you to help me spread the word about the Amazon Book Launch. If you know me and you want to help can you leave your details below.

 

Thank you for taking time to read this article. I hope it has been useful.

Sheryl
The Strength and Solution Detective
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happy set you up for success. I might be part of the solution you need and I might not but you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_FinalPurchase a copy of my book here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detectivedetective-happy-smaller

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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Manage Your Critic – Manage Your Stress

Following Mark, my husband’s heart attack on the 5th March we have had quite a lot to process. It took almost a week before all the shock and emotion poured out of my body and my mind. And yet just one week on we are both feeling stronger and more resourced.
It is times of crisis like this that I become even more grateful for the amount of people in my life, that can now listen to me without judgement.
 
I initially felt all kinds of feelings from guilt to failure. I found myself thinking things like:
 
Was it my fault for keep telling him if he keeps eating so much chocolate his heart would pack in?
I know logically how unreasonable that thought is and yet I was having those thoughts and without someone to talk to about how I felt could have resulted in those thoughts festering inside me.
I also thought it was my fault for leaving all the pressure on his shoulders to support our family financially while I grew my business. I know we agreed that my focus needed to be on the family and home support side of things but I did feel bad that I could not take the pressure off him more.
I started to question what might have happened had I been earning more sooner? What if ? What if?

Survival Mode 

My reptilian brain had kicked in, which was great when it came to taking control and being decisive about calling the ambulance but not so good for now in the aftermath of the situation. 
It took me a little while to really notice how much adrenaline was still pumping through my body. I started to notice how low I felt about everything. Even the things that usually bring me joy.  I started to doubt my ability to grow my business further, to finish the London to Paris ride, .. the list goes on. I was stuck in the what if ? and what was not working part of my brain.
I found myself trying to take all the pressure off Mark only to realise I had put it all on my shoulders. It got heavier and heavier as I attempted to keep it all inside and think it was all my responsibility.
Thanks to my network which are made up of family, friends and professional listeners I had people I could talk to and they were willing to listen to me without judgement.
When crisis hit our home I was able to gain the support I needed instantly because I was already attending groups and had connections in place that I could instantly tap into. I knew who could listen to what and I knew what kind of listening I needed. And bit by bit I have released the stress – gained clarity and now both Mark and I are confident of our next steps together.

Continue reading Manage Your Critic – Manage Your Stress

10 Ways To Be Tactful When Pointing Out Faults

how to improve communication and collaborations I was recently presenting at Business Builders and I was asked a number of questions one of which was “Sheryl can you tell me ways to be tactful when pointing out faults?”

That got me thinking what are the ways to be tactful when pointing out a fault. Below I have come up with 10.

Can you come up with ways that work for you?  What has happened for you when someone has been tactful and pointed out a fault?

In my personal experience the only time it has ‘felt’ tactful is when I absolutely trusted they had my best intention at heart. That they cared about me and their only reason for communicating a fault was to try and help me in someway. Continue reading 10 Ways To Be Tactful When Pointing Out Faults

What Is Clean Language?

What is Clean Language?

Clean Language is a questioning technique designed by David Grove in the 1980’s, who gave it a way on a generosity framework. As a psychotherapist he recognised when looking at many transcribes that the way a question was constructed influenced the ability of any given patient to answer. The ability to answer then influenced the patient’s ability to develop solutions and understanding.

With this in mind David cleaned up the questions, stripping them of any leading and where ever possible reduced the assumption. Let me put this in context for you.

When I ask the question what do you need to do to grow your business?

This question is ‘loaded’ with the assumption you have to ‘do’ something where as you might need to be more confident or have more time. This also assumes you want to grow your business.

 

So a clean way of asking the above questions would be:

And when business what would you like to have happen?

Clean Language is a framework of questions and principles that focus your attention on:

  • What you would like to have happen rather than what you don’t want to have happen
  • Resources and strengths you have already that maybe useful to achieve that outcome
  • Patterns that will give you greater clarity and understanding of ‘how’ you work and learn

The affect of asking Clean Language questions with a clean intention is that you:

  • Reduce the assumptions
  • Increase understanding

Clean Language questions and intention are one of the most efficient ways to resource an individual to resource themselves.

The principles of the process assumes the individual to have all the resources they need to solve the problem.

As a Clean Language facilitator we are trained to ask questions we don’t know the answer to but we think there is a good chance the other person will. Questions that are following the logic of the client rather than that of the facilitator.

It is not like any normal conversation and is a unique space to share with another human being – honouring and respecting everything they say or do. Never giving an opinion, suggestion or feedback even when asked.

David talked about giving all information equal opportunity. Not seeing anything as good or bad, negative or positive just information.

 

David Grove went onto to develop an awareness that we often talk in metaphor approximately once every 6 words and that these metaphors could be ‘brought to life’ if developed.

When you ask Clean questions of a metaphor, as though the metaphor were real it can give the individual the opportunity to really understand complex matters that are often hard to articulate with words alone.

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I can’t find the words to describe it”

Metaphors can bridge the gap between language and hard to articulate subjects like your emotions.

Metaphors can make it easier to understand ourselves and therefore make it easier for us to make ourselves understood.

I originally trained in Clean Language because I wanted to excel as a coach. I wanted to be the best facilitator I could be, little did I know the impact that would have on both my business, my family and me personally.

I would like to thank Marian Way of  Clean Learning and author of Clean Approaches for Coaches for introducing me to this wonderful process.

Marian was trained by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, psychotherapist themselves who followed David Grove’s work and modelled ‘how’ is was asking the questions. They then developed a system to train individuals how to ask the clean language questions, this process is called “Symbolic Modelling” and you can find out more here Clean Language

Alongside this Caitlin Walker of Training Attention also met David Grove while working with youths in central London. Although the principles are the same in terms of questions and ethos her experience of how to practically apply it was  different.

Caitlin was working in a completely different arena and therefore had to adapt the way the questions were introduced and asked. Caitlin over 10 years has developed a way of working with groups using Clean Language questions and principles and this process is called ‘Systemic Modelling’.  You can find out more about Caitlin’s journey here and her book from Contempt to Curiosity.

At Step by Step Listening we now work with businesses, families and individuals who want to develop their own bespoke strategies to speak up and be heard without fear of upsetting others.

Sheryl – The Strength and Solution Detective
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic – from Overwhelm to clarity in 7 steps

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happy set you up for success. I might be part of the solution you need and I might not but you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_FinalPurchase a copy of my book here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detectivedetective-happy-smaller

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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What Happens At A Silent Retreat?

Sponsored Silent Retreat

Sponsored Silent Retreat 21st Jan 2017

I am so chuffed with the sponsored silent retreat this weekend. It was amazing and I feel so blessed to have such lovely people to spend time with.

The learning was massive for me personally and as the week progresses more insights transpire.
At the end of the day we chatted and it was interesting to notice how different the experience was for each of those attending.
I am sure over the next few weeks we will start to notice little things about ourselves and others and I trust that this will improve the way we each listen to ourselves and others. Being always more and more mindful of the judgements and assumptions we make with our sweeping statements and lack of curiosity and willingness to ask questions to gain clarity.
I really do feel it is my purpose to change the way the world listens because I truly believe everyone deserves to feel heard, understood and of value. And some of that is down to individuals taking time to listen to and understand themselves. If you don’t know yourself how can you possible expect anyone else to get you. If you don’t take time to listen to your own internal dialogue how can you possibly have a clear head to listen and make sense of those around you. And it is up to us to make ourselves available to listen to those around us both at work at and at home. If each of us were listening better to 6- 7 people I think there would be far less conflict.
And listening is not as simple as staying quiet that is the first step. But then you have to learn to manage your own emotional triggers, keep your emotions in check and ask questions that help the other person gain clarity. If you want to be a better manager, better parent or you just want to be better in a group then do check out the next Motivate Manage or Mentor retreat – 3 days dedicated to setting you up for success and giving you time and space to develop your listening skills. Resourcing you to be more confident to ask questions and more able to set yourself up for feedback that helps you grow.
Funds Raised – 21st Jan 2017 Silent Retreat
I am so pleased with how much money we raised because friends and family really didn’t believe the chatter boxes could keep quiet for 10 hours. People actually think because I talk to think that I can’t be quiet but I often spend time quiet it’s just that people don’t often get frustrated when someone is listening – they are more likely to get frustrated when they want quiet or they want to talk so they remember that but overlook the times when we listen. And the quiet ones seemed to find it much harder. Avoiding eye contact and constantly checking the time. —Interesting eh!
Challenges
The most challenging part for me was when I had an accident and cut the back of my ankle. At first I thought it was pretty serious. I was then stuck with the dilemma do I put my needs above the need of raising money for those in greater need than I.
16195512_10158025058735231_5907314461294175101_nFortunately I took time to lie and sit with the injury to check in and listen to myself. This gave me time to get out of drama and stop thinking or making decisions from a place of fear and survival.
Then I could decide whether I needed to talk or not. It was really challenging not be able to speak about my fears and concerns because I am someone that talks to think.
It really brought it home to me how those in our community might feel when they are so scared to tell anyone what is happening at home. That feeling of isolation in that moment brought a tear or two and this photo is of me as the tears ‘quietly’ ran down my face and I tried to hide my pain from everyone else. By now everyone had returned to the other room and I felt really alone. (Mark was there taking photos and checking I was okay – but he could talk and I couldn’t)
Business Owners can feel alone too
I think business owners and parents can become equally isolated when they feel that it is only them with a particular problem or challenge. That is why I am so open about how I feel and the challenges I experience. I want you to know it is not just you. Changing habits and behaviour is challenging and it can be uncomfortable but it is possible with support.
That is why I am on a mission to change the way the world listens ..because everyone absolutely everyone deserves to feel heard, understood and of value.

Below is quite an emotional video from me after the event and one with the lovely ladies that have now brought the fundraising to a grand total of £1089 with gift aids included. A massive thank you to you all. xx

We need to raise £1666 per month to be on track to raise £20,000 and I really think we can do it. If you would like to get involved we have 10 more silent retreat days and you can find them all here

Sheryl – The Strength and Solution Detective
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic – from Overwhelm to clarity in 7 steps

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happy set you up for success. I might be part of the solution you need and I might not but you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_FinalPurchase a copy of my book here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detectivedetective-happy-smaller

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

Free Motivational Newsletter

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Twitter

Linked in

Facebook Business

Step by Step Listening You Tube Channel