All Posts by admin

2018: Planning Strategies

In the lead up to New Year’s celebrations and people setting resolutions for the coming year, I thought that it would be timely to remind people of communication and how our subconscious values and beliefs impact on how we receive messages. In 1994, Australian Psychologist Hugh Mackay published a hugely influential book called “Why don’t people listen”. In this publication, he gave ten laws for human communication.  These are still incredibly relevant today and I thought that a reminder of these may help to ease us, myself included, through 2018 and the challenges and successes that we will face.

  1. “It’s not what our message does to the listener, but what the listener does with our message, that determines our success as communicators.
  2. Listeners generally interpret messages in ways which make them feel comfortable and secure.
  3. When people’s attitudes are attacked head-on, they are likely to defend those attitudes and, in the process, to reinforce them.
  4. People pay most attention to messages which are relevant to their own circumstances and point of view.
  5. People who feel insecure in a relationship are unlikely to be good listeners.
  6. People are more likely to listen to us if we also listen to them.
  7. People are more likely to change in response to a combination of new experiences and communication than in response to communication alone.
  8. People are more likely to support a change which affects them if they are consulted before the change is made.
  9. The message in what is said will be interpreted in the light of how, when, and where and by whom it is said.
  10. Lack of self-knowledge and unwillingness to resolve our own internal conflicts makes it harder for us to communicate with other people” (Mackay, 1994).

Thinking on these ten laws of human communication, how can we implement them?  Mostly it is about being aware, open and understanding that messages are interpreted through the other individual’s filter, as are yours. Bob Poole in his 2009 book, “Listen First, Sell Later” also reinforces that is the listening stage that is most important.  When we actively listen to all the things that people are saying and not saying, whether that be verbally, through actions or with body language, we have a greater ability to understand what the other individual is trying to communicate.  This leads to less misunderstanding.

Leaving communication for now, another crucially important activity to do in 2018 is goal set. Start New Years Eve before you go out and celebrate.  Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.  I have an activity sheet on setting these types of goals.  Just send me an email to Bianca@Lifeempowerment4you.com and I will email you my goal setting activity sheet.  This will be one of the most significant things you do for 2018!  Set your goals for 1 week, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.  Where do you want to be?  What resources do you have to help you get there – this could be monetary, people, skills, or inner strength. How much do you want to achieve these?  Envisage them, get that powerful subconscious working for you instead of against you! What will it look like, smell like, feel like when you achieve each of these goals? Create a Vision Board with your goals. Place it somewhere that you see it every day. Revisit and review your goals throughout the year.  Are they still relevant and important to you? Everything you do, think about whether it is contributing or working against your goals.

That brings me to two quotes that I’d like to leave you with:

“A good plan, violently executed NOW, is better than a perfect plan NEXT WEEK” (General George Patton).

“We don’t always know what’s going to happen. That’s ok” (Biz Stone, Twitter).

Be safe over the coming year, I’m off to plan / goal set 😉

 

Bianca

The Nocebo Effect and why it’s important when considering self-limiting beliefs

So, what is the nocebo effect and how is it relevant to you? 

We have all heard of the Placebo effect where people are given something (such as sugar tablets) as part of a “control group” instead of the chemical being tested, and told about the positive effects this tablet will have on them. In a reported number of situations, people have improved their conditions through the effect of thinking that they are being given something to heal them. 

A nocebo effect relates to the negative side, where people are given something that should not create any changes and told of the side effects, then experience these.  There has even been one reported case of a person involved in an antidepressant clinical drug trial “overdosing” on what he thought was the drug when they were only the control substance (sugar pills etc).  Reeves, Ladner, Hart, & Burke (2007) discovered that the patient “experienced hypotension requiring intravenous fluids to maintain an adequate blood pressure until the true nature of the capsules was revealed.”  The interesting part is that this man’s symptoms improved quickly once he was told that the tablets were not a drug. You can read the research article or just the extract here .  Further research has discovered that the nocebo effect is reported quite frequently. The Smithsonian website has a great article on the Nocebo Effect which I have included for your reference.

I can hear you saying, this is all quite interesting but why do I want to know about placebos and nocebos?  Scientists and Researchers are only just starting to discover how powerful our mind is where we can either potentially heal or hurt ourselves if we believe that what we are given will have a positive or negative effect on our health. We can agree that research is only just beginning to understand that our thoughts are very powerful indeed.  Bringing it back to a Transformational Coaching focus, given the research and outcomes (some of which are mentioned above) of the power of our mind it is critical that every person becomes hyper-vigilant on their own self-limiting beliefs.  What are you saying to yourself on a daily or multiple times a day basis?  How are you belittling or devaluing yourself? What do you believe?  For example, are you scared of public speaking or say to yourself that you are a terrible public speaker with such conviction that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy?  This then leads to evidence of poor performance and an even stronger conviction that what you believe is true. This can be applied to whatever self-limiting belief you have.  The important thing is to CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOUR!  When you hear yourself thinking or saying a self-limiting belief, STOP yourself! Reword it if you must say something.  Maybe instead of a bad public speaker, you can say that you are improving your public speaking.  Say it as many times as you need to truly reinforce and believe it.  Use the power of your mind to change!

Why is this relevant to me?

I can hear you saying, this is all quite interesting but why do I want to know about placebos and nocebos?  Scientists and Researchers are only just starting to discover how powerful our mind is where we can either potentially heal or hurt ourselves if we believe that what we are given will have a positive or negative effect on our health. We can agree that research is only just beginning to understand that our thoughts are very powerful indeed.  Bringing it back to a Transformational Coaching focus, given the research and outcomes (some of which are mentioned above) of the power of our mind it is critical that every person becomes hyper-vigilant on their own self-limiting beliefs.  What are you saying to yourself on a daily or multiple times a day basis?  How are you belittling or devaluing yourself? What do you believe?  For example, do you think that you are a poor public speaker or that you are scared of public speaking with such conviction that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy?  This then leads to evidence of poor performance and an even stronger conviction that what you believe is true. This can be applied to whatever self-limiting belief you have.  The important thing is to CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOUR!  When you hear yourself thinking or saying a self-limiting belief, STOP yourself! Reword it if you must say something.  Maybe instead of a bad public speaker, you can say that you are improving your public speaking skills.  Say it as many times as you need to truly reinforce and believe it.  Use the power of your mind to change!

Let me know how you go!

Bianca xx

Effects of Violent Media on Children

As a mother and Transformational Coach, I wanted to discuss something important regarding the effects of violent media on children.  Although a quick media search, brings up a myriad of research and discussion papers on this very topic, most centre around violent video games, movies etc.  Thankfully though, some papers relate to the effects of watching news on children.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published a paper in February 2013 regarding the effects of News on Children – I have included the link.  The AACAP states, “Children often see or hear the news many times a day through television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet.  Seeing and hearing about local and world events, such as natural disasters, catastrophic events, and crime reports, may cause children to experience stress, anxiety, and fears”.

Research is finding that this is becoming more prevalent due to the “Breaking News” style of reporting now where media stories on horrific situations are played almost 24 hours a day with no filter on the anguish, hurt and death being experienced by people.  Recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and other places show media reporting the smiling faces of ordinary teenagers and young adults splashed across newspapers talking about lives lost too young, or more horrifically showing dead and injured people.

The American Psychological Association published a paper on 26 June 2007 written by Dr Dale Kunkel for the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.  The topic was “The effects of Television Violence on Children”.  I have included a link. Dr Kunkel (2007) discusses the cumulative nature of exposure and states that “these harmful effects are grouped into three primary categories:

  1. Children’s learning of aggressive attitudes and behaviours.
  2. Desensitisation, or an increased callousness towards victims of violence.
  3. Increased or exaggerated fear of being victimized by violence.”

What can we do?

Considering the consequences of violent media, we have a responsibility to our children to at a very minimum be aware of the potential negative effects.  I’m not saying that in any way that I’m perfect.  My children watch scary movies and play fighting video / computer games.  I do not, however, have any news playing in my house.  Not in the newspaper, not on the radio, not on the television.  I have had the discussion with my children regarding real violence and pretend violence so that they are able to understand the difference.

The Australian Psychological Society has published a paper providing some simple things for parents to do.  I have provided a link to the paper.  The suggestions are:

  • “know what their children are watching;
  • Set and enforce clear rules about the amount and type of programs watched;
  • Watch with their children wherever possible, and help children interpret and critique the viewed material;
  • Encourage their children to engage in more active and creative pursuits”.

With something like the news either turn it off, or make sure that you discuss the situation with your children.

Ultimately, if you think that your child may be effected by exposure to violent media – seek professional assistance / visit your GP.

I hope that this helps you wade through the minefield of violence in media.

With love, Bianca

Reconciliation Week – it’s for EVERYONE!

This week, I wanted to discuss the importance of National Reconciliation Week with celebrations and activities being held around Australia between 27 May – 3 June 2017. Reconciliation is about acknowledging the past and moving forward together to a better future. This is summed up beautifully by Ochre Dawn with their Unity Pin: “Through acknowledgement of the wrongs of the past, we can heal and build a future where the people of Australia walk together with reverence and unity”. This is truly a worthwhile acknowledgement and celebration of Australians taking a positive step towards the future together rather than in isolation.
The reason I’m thinking about Reconciliation this week especially, is that I will be attending the National Reconciliation Week Breakfast on Friday 19 May here in SA, as well as other activities. As an Australian that is exceptionally lucky to have two incredibly strong heritages: Badimaya (Aboriginal) and Ukrainian, I feel that it is important to expose my children to celebrations and discussions on issues – Reconciliation being one of them.
I’ve attached a flyer on the topic of this week’s breakfast and links to Reconciliation Australia and Reconciliation South Australia incase you haven’t seen the information.
The purpose of this week’s blog is to encourage you to join in activities occurring around the country in the next couple of weeks. Why not get a group of friends together and attend an activity or possibly organise something for your school or workplace? Reconciliation Week is not just for Aboriginal people, but for everyone to come together. This is the link for the South Australian calendar .
Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought,
Bianca xx

Winter Blues – Strategies to Combat it

 

Now that Autumn is well and truly here with Winter in the not too distant future, I’d really like to discuss a common occurrence with many people during this time of year: the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as it is sometimes referred to – yes, the acronym is quite ironic 😉.

McCrindle Research (2015) conducted a study of 1005 people in Australia on their sleeping, eating and social patterns in winter compared to other seasons.  I’ve attached the Research Paper for your information.  Not surprisingly they discovered that in winter it is common for people to over sleep (55%), over eat (47%) and become less social (42%).

So what can we do, knowing that this is a common occurrence?  Firstly, if your symptoms of depression and lethargy are significant, please consult your GP.  My suggestions are for when the effects are less severe.

Firstly, acknowledge that when it starts to get colder and is wet it is perfectly normal to want to stay inside where you are warm and dry. Sometimes there is nothing better on a cold and wet day than snuggled up in bed, all toasty warm, with a hot cuppa and a good book.  Unfortunately, we can’t spend ALL winter there!  What can we do?  Here are some examples:

  • Use this time to super charge your goals and internal work ready for when you want to be out and about! My new “RENEW You! Love your life program” is perfect for this.  Go to my Coaching Program tab to check it out.
  • Take up a new hobby that gets you moving – salsa dancing anyone 😉?
  • If you don’t want to go out, consider inviting others over to visit you. They may be keen and then you get to socialise too! Board games are fantastic for this.
  • Use this time to embark on some study of interest or a new fitness regime.
  • The list is endless!

So, my question to you is what is holding you back?  Here is an apt quote that I read today that I’d like to share with you:

“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is you want to accomplish.” – Chuck Norris

Until next week,

Bianca xx

Team Building – why bother?

Hi everyone!
I’ve spent three days this past week volunteering at an International horse event as part of a Stewarding team. This of course has had me  reflecting on the topic of team building. Is it a case of why bother, or is it something important? What do you think?
Teams come in all shapes and sizes, with the critical part being the ability for maximum output when they are functioning well. So, how can we improve the likelihood of a well functioning team?
Over 2350 years ago, Aristotle introduced us to the principle of Synergy with his statement “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.  To understand synergy is to acknowledge that a dynamic team, is something more than the individuals in the group.
So how do we foster the environment for dynamic teams to develop? Structured team building activities are one way to do this.  The activities should promote the development of trust, strategic problem solving and support amongst other things. Another way is to encourage and recognise the unique skills, abilities and gifts that each person brings to the team.
I could write a whole essay on the benefits to businesses by having strong, dynamic and high performing teams. Why not consider how your business, sporting group, school or organisation could improve their service delivery through fostering team development.
Until next week – keep pushing those boundaries and expanding your comfort zone.
Bianca
Xx

Empower Your Self Talk

Walk through your workplace, shopping mall or while chatting to your friends and it’s fairly likely that you are going to have considerable examples of people being engaging in negative and limiting self-talk.  I’m not saying that they are wrong, a lot of people genuinely have no idea that they are doing this.  Let me give you a few examples that you may be exposed to or actually repeat yourself.

  • I’m scared of flying ….
  • I’m a terrible public speaker ….
  • I can’t spell ….
  • I’m so fat ….

I too have been guilty of one or two of these in the past – changing speech habits require constant vigilance! Every time your use one of these negative descriptive sentences you are giving your subconscious a COMMAND.  You are telling your subconscious to be a certain way regardless of what evidence there is to the contrary.  Also when you use a sentence like “I am a ….. terrible public speaker”, this indicates that this state of being is intrinsically part of who you are in that it cannot be changed.  Repeated often enough, you will reinforce and believe this.

If you must describe yourself in such a way, consider saying something like “I am improving my public speaking skills”.  This means that this is no longer an unchangeable part of yourself!  Over time, changing the way we speak will become a habit.

Spend the next week observing what negative commands you are giving your subconscious and write them down.  Then each time you hear yourself using one of these, stop yourself and reframe it to a positive.  Let me know how you go!

Love,

 

Bianca

Why Transformational Coaching?

Hello everyone, I’m hoping that your week has either been fantastic or you have found some positive in even a small part during the week.  It may be simply appreciating a sunset, or someone cooking you a lovely meal or even just having a wonderful time with family or friends.

I wanted to have a chat about Coaching, in particular Transformational Coaching. The importance of a business coach for Executives in large companies or a peak performance coach for Olympic athletes is accepted and utilised widely. The use of a Transformational Coach to assist people with navigating their daily lives, changing mindsets and goal setting is becoming more widely recognised.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a school kid navigating year 12, a stay at home mum balancing your dreams and hopes for the future with caring responsibilities or someone wanting to improve themselves so that they can apply for their dream job – Transformational Coaching is equally valuable to you all.

How?

Regardless of where you are in life – just starting out, looking forward to retirement or somewhere in between, everybody has something that they want to achieve.  Whether that’s strategies to balance a Senior High School workload or removing blockages that are currently stopping you achieving where you want to be – Coaching helps you crystallise the areas you want to improve, set achievable and realistic goals (SMART goals) and super charge your focus.  What is crucial to understand, however, is that coaching is not about someone external telling you what to do.  It has been written time and time again, that lasting change must come from within not an external source.  What is so exciting is that through the coaching process you will discover that you have ALL the answers right there within you.  A coach provides the space for you to reflect, helps you navigate the process, keeps you accountable, celebrates your successes with you and a whole lot more in between!

This reminds me of a quote I saw recently:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

So, are you going to “keep fighting the old” or focus on “building the new”?  It’s your choice.