Mandy and Caylees learning from their forthcoming book.
For those of you who have received our previous newsletters you may have noticed you have been waiting slightly longer for this one. The truth is it has been easier for me to put other commitments into the time I have allocated to write the Book. Its also no co-incidence the 2 book reports are about using your voice, something I have found hard to put into words and on to paper. I was talking to 2 of my colleagues about it the other day and one of them asked “Whats the message in your book?” The question led me to remind myself what the key message of the book is about and how passionate I feel about getting the book out into the world. It also reminded me of how easy it can be to get so engrossed in the detail, we can lose sight of the bigger picture. I had lost sight of the vision me and Caylee have for the book. How often do we all lose sight of our bigger picture because we get engrossed or bogged down with the detail? Do you know what your bigger picture and vision is…..for your day/week/month/year/life? Whats the message you have to share with your partner/kids/friends/colleagues/local community/bigger world? If you were to say what is REALLY true for you to the next person you speak to what would you say? What impact would this have on that relationship? On yourself? This week and coming month dig deeper and explore what is it that's not being said? What is it you can't be with? Whats the learning for you in this?
Something else that me and Caylee have explored more over the last few months is Principle Centred Questions. These are questions that focus on nurturing character and competence in ourselves and others. These sorts of questions focus on our own circle of influence rather than blaming or accusing another person.
e.g. BLAMING/ACCUSING QUESTIONS;
Why is Caylee been so annoying?
Why is it every time I try and talk to her about this she does not want to talk about it?
She's really annoying me every time she talks over me?
These sort of questions tend to focus on the OTHER person. The questions generally continues to fuel the feeling of annoyance. They tend to focus more on the whole person as opposed to specific detailed behaviour. They also look outward from the self.
e.g. PRINCIPLE CENTRED QUESTIONS;
What emotions or feelings are most present for ME?
What is that telling ME?
What do I need to do to manage these feelings in MYSELF?
What is it I am having difficulty being with?
These sort of questions tend to focus on the SELF. The questions are focusing on what the SELF can do as opposed to what they can't do. The questions are expansive and focus on growth and learning. It looks inward to the self.
Over the coming week and month become aware of the types of questions you are asking of yourself and others. If you are aware you are using BLAMING/ACCUSING questions change them to PRINCIPLE CENTRED questions. Diary your progress and learning. What impact is it having on how you are relating to others and how they are relating to you?
Let me and Caylee know how it goes.
And to end our learning on where I started……..which was the difficulty I have had in physically writing the BOOK. I have a request to all our subscribers. I would appreciate your support in helping me get this book out to the world. The following are some of the ways you may be able to help me;
Kind words of encouragement every now and again.
Challenge me/hold me accountable.
Any knowledge of particular publishers you think may be interested in the BOOK.
Any contacts you think would be worthwhile me having connections with.
5) Anything else!!
Book Report 1.
Your Voice and How to Use it. The Classic Guide to Speaking with Confidence. Cicely Berry . Virgin books Ltd. 2003 ISBN 0-86369-826-3
In this book Cicely Berry, Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company tackles the reasons for anxiety in speaking outloud. It explores practical exercises for relaxation and breathing, clarity of diction and vocal flexibility. Although I already had some knowledge in breathing and relaxation techniques I was very impressed by the detail of the book. I found the chapters exploring how the use of the teeth, tongue and mouth
effect specific sounds and letters very informative and enlightening. There is a lot of emphasis at present on getting physically and nutritionally fit. What I find fascinating is the lack of education on how to strengthen and look after our voices considering for the majority of the population this is still one of the main forms of communication. This book makes you think quite seriously about doing that. The only part I was a little disappointed with was the introduction as it began to explore the influences on us as we develop our voice, including what may prevent this occurring. I would have liked even more indepth exploration of this area. However I appreciate this book was not exploring any deeper psychological issues as to why the voice may not be used to its maximum. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to use their voice more effectively particularly focusing on the physical aspect of the words and sounds we express.
Book Report 2
Fierce Conversations. Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time. Susan Scott. Judy Piatkus Publishers Ltd. 2002. ISBN 0-7499-2381-4
This book is all about how to have ‘Fierce Conversations.' Susan Scotts defines this as robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager and unbridled. She shows how to fully engage with our conversations and make them real. The book explores principles and practises that will help you engage in conversations to enrich relationships, no matter how challenging or sensitive the subject. I also like the way it explores the difference between ‘having a conversation ABOUT the relationship' and ‘the conversation IS the relationship'.
I also really like the way the book engages you in the process with powerful questions and assignments. This book is not just about reading and learning. Its also about applying it in practise. The case studies help in the process of engagement and considering how it has worked for others. It really reinforces the message that EVERY conversation does really count.
As Caylee has not done a book report this month she has done the poem you see on the first page of this document. This is her contribution. I was thinking of putting it in after the 2 book reports but if you think it looks better somewhere else then let me know.