October 2011
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Month October 2011

Is your pumpkin light flickering?

“It’s been great talking with you, but I feel my pumpkin light flickering.” That’s an escape strategy one of my clients uses with talkers who are unaware that their listeners are no longer listening.

I loved the whimsical quality of it … which may be why it helped me see my own light flickering

Random acts

One of my colleagues, Bob Tschannen-Moran, has written a weekly newsletter for years. I enjoy it immensely. This week he wrote about kindness. He retold an old story with a new twist, which  he borrowed from National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones. It reminded me of how powerful little acts of kindness can be. Here it is [from provision #742 of Bob’s newsletter].

“Several years ago, there was a woman in San Francisco who

Control your attention redux …

Last Friday, one of my clients had a meeting with several of her direct reports that left her feeling “absolutely giddy” afterwards. Her words were music to my ears. She’d been feeling overwhelmed and out of control for months. And here she was, excited and confident and energized.

What made the difference?

I have lots of stories about that. Here’s the one I like best: she got control by giving up control.

Control your attention …

When I start coaching engagements, new clients almost always have a short list of problems to fix. It’s a normal response. We’re wired [both biological and psychological] to sort for the negative.

And every time our mind attends to the negative, we do something else: we strengthen the brain’s tendency to sort for the negative!

Researchers call it neuroplasticity: the brain’s capacity to change and adapt its

Participate in the unfolding

There’s a whole field of attention studies illustrating that what we see and what we perceive are different things. Sight is governed by one set of structures in the brain, and perception by another. So we actually see far more than we perceive or are cognitively aware of. [For an example, check out the YouTube observation test .]

What happens is that part of the brain is only responsible for processing what enters our visual cortex; that’s all it does. And another part of the brain is busy