These are Language Management Resources based on the principles of chao-dynamics and the outcomes-based approach.

One of the key concepts is finding ways of understanding, and then overcoming objections.

This document outlines a series of language management techniques that will result in better shared outcomes.

Three-step responsibility:

1) As you say, it’s important to be clear (open/discreet/truthful/straightforward/find a solution/avoid further misunderstandings)
2) AND, so that we can do that in the best way (in the way you feel comfortable with)

AND in order to reach a good outcome (find a mutually-beneficial solution)

3) What would you propose?
How do you suggest we (you / I)) proceed?
Where do you want to take this next?

How long do you think we (you) may need? 

Depending on the exact scenario/context/desired objective:
How much (time/money/effort) do you recommend we spend on this?
Who do you believe is best suited to deal with this?
Which aspect do you think should be tackled first?
What options are you thinking of?


Avoidance of WHY? And “Yes, BUT”

Do not use the question “why?”
Refer to why as problematic for all concerned –

1) “the question of why this happened is delicate” etc..

that’s a logical objection…”
“I see where you are coming from there…”

2) AND, in order to move forward on this AND to find solutions that will work better in the future (avoid a repetition of this)

3) How do you propose we approach this?


1) I understand that you have issues with why this happened and are still feeling unconvinced in some respects

2) AND, in order to deal with this effectively AND ensure a better understanding without pointing blame and escalating the problem,

3) Tell me, how do you suggest we analyse this?


Setting the framework (starting a meeting / putting in the picture)

The purpose of this meeting is to…

We’ve been asked to meet so as to find…

In my capacity as (….) I’ve called this meeting to…

The reason we are here is to…

(reminding others of where things last stood)

As you will recall …

Last week you agreed to …

Remember we …

As mentioned (in our last meeting) …

May I remind you of what was said (at our last meeting).

Let me remind you …

Allow me to reiterate the conclusion of our last meeting.


Open questions to encourage openness

When would be a good time for you?
Where would you feel comfortable going through this?

Who would you like to have there?

Where is a good place to start?
Where can we start?
Where did we leave off?

Where do you prefer to begin?
Please carry on if you are comfortable to do so
Please feel free to say what you feel comfortable with


What exactly do you mean by?

What are you getting at when you say…?

What you trying to tell me when you say that…?

(Getting to the facts)

When did this issue first present itself?
How long have you been feeling this way?
Since when has this been happening?

When you say “….”

What do you base that on?

What leads you/brings you to say that?
What’s the reason behind your saying that?
What grounds are you basing that on?
What does that mean to you?
How should I interpret that in order to understand you correctly?

(Interpreting or checking meaning)

What are you driving at/getting at ?

What should I read into your reaction?

What exactly are you trying to tell me by reacting in this way ?

Amplifying (Reassuring)

That’s very important.

Thank you for telling me…

What you say is important …

Thank you, I appreciate your frankness.

Rest assured, we take what you say very seriously.

It’s true that … All the more reason to …

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.


Motivating / finding a bridge

To avoid (any) misunderstanding…

In order to clarify the situation…

So as to give the best possible answer to your question,…

In order to ensure we’re talking the same language,..

In order to be sure we’re on the same wavelength,…

So that I can answer your question to the best of my ability,…

In order to find the best solution
So that we can deal with this in the most professional / suitable way

Establishing a link

You’ve said X and you have also stated Y – just to be clear – how do you feel these are related?

In your opinion what is the connection between … and …?

What has … got to do with…?

For you, what is the link between … and …?
So that I can understand you clearly, where is the link exactly?

If the answer is NO link:

In that case, how am I to understand what you’re saying?

Highlighting Paradoxes

I’m puzzled.

On the one hand … on the other hand…

You say that… but at the same time you …
There’s X yet simultaneously there is Y…

In order to be sure we understand each other…

How do you explain that?
How does that work?

What am I missing?

What’s going on ?


We seem to be going round in circles.
It appears that we’ve come up against a brick wall.
It feels as if we’re going nowhere fast.
There seems to be a cloud hanging over this today.
We have been here before, haven’t we.
This sounds like the same point we reached earlier


Re-setting the framework (This can also be used at the start)
If we could step back for a moment …
Sometimes it helps to look at things from a completely different angle
I can see that things are not right for you
I sense that there has been a backward step somewhere along the line
I get the feeling that you are not comfortable right now
I can tell that you are unhappy
I know (because you told me so) that you are struggling over this

So (in order to make a breakthrough / so that we can look for a better way forward)

How else can we look at this?

How would it be best to view this?
What perspective would you like to consider this from?
What other time or place would suit you best?
When would be a better time?
Where would you feel more comfortable?
How would you feel about thinking this through?

Presenting options

We (seem to have) have two options. We can either… or we can…

Two / three options lie before us. Firstly…, and secondly…

Which do you prefer?

It looks like we have three options:

  1. carry on like this and leave an undercurrent of dissatisfaction that we would have to return to later;
  2. walk away and even abandon the project altogether (quit);
  3. or thirdly, look for something better that we would all feel happy with (that you would be happier with)

So that we don’t carry on going around in circles …

So that we can make a breakthrough

In order to ensure the best possible outcomes for you/us

Tell me, at this point in time, what do you prefer?

(Many people will opt for the second! – so be sure that “quitting” ia an acceptable option first)

I’d prefer the third option, what about you?

I’d go for the option of looking for something we can all be happy with, how about you?

Getting commitment


Well, it’s good to hear that
I am delighted to hear that

How would you like to proceed just now?
When would be a good time to come back to this and to take that forward?

Dealing with late objections
rd party / Devil’s advocate / Using the other person’s words as a stepping stone

Anyone listening to this might be forgiven for thinking that…

To an outsider this would appear as if …

If you want to just walk away that’s fine, how would that work?

If as you say you want to let things carry on as they have been doing,

It may seem as though you don’t want to find a solution.
How do you feel about that?

it was YOU who said that you…

Didn’t you just say that you… ?
I believe that earlier you made the comment that …
Imagine that you were the one dealing with this…

Put yourself in the other position…

Try looking at this from a higher perspective …

Let’s say you abandoned the project that then…..

Let’s suppose we let things carry on without addressing them, then later…

Supposing you were told X…., how would you react?

Just for the sake of looking at it from all sides…

In the interests of not leaving any stone unturned…

Just so that we have looked at every possibility…

What do you think might happen / would happen if we…?

Going beyond Management by Objectives

It has been eloquently argued (Susan David, D Clutterbuck, D Megginson, et al, in Beyond Goals 2013) that the many elaborate virtuous ideas of coaching – often using sophisticated goal-theory models – mask what we should be doing by recognising life and work’s “elegant non-linearity” ie that life’s solutions themselves emerge from within the coaching relationship, and that the track that is followed can have many ups and downs and twists and turns, and may not have a specific destination in the way that linear models and coaching contracts often presume, but rather that the journey itself is the empowering and enriching thing, and the conversation enables this journey to develop.
In the increasingly “normalised” VUCA world in which we live, this dilemma is more and more central to our lives.

No curriculum
I have found the prescriptive models and discrete-point “stages” of coaching certification to be unhelpful as they generally consider processes to be pre-determined; but they are not, every person has their own inner syllabus that they are working out as they go along; there is no “correct syllabus” or “curriculum” that the coach can apply to how this conversation develops.

I work instead with either skills training approaches or learning by acquisition where there are specific desired outcomes, otherwise with a chao-dynamics approach which allows insights to emerge in their own natural way within the available boundaries. Every energy-rich system tends to overload – and to disruption and ultimately to decay – unless the question to be explored, today, is manageable; goal-theory coaching fails to understand that any overload of data can contribute negatively to create yet more destabilisation.

Dynamic systems
Dynamic systems rely on self-regulation and the notion of “emergent goals”, not fixed performance goals but mastery goals. Mastery mindsets are akin to those gained by people acquiring skills in a variety of contexts, whether sport, language, arts, music or cookery. Chao-dynamics when experienced in workshops provide insights into the embodied nature of disruptive actions and policies and allow for a system-wide readjustment of perspective on a personal, team, organisational and even societal level. They allow us to open discussion of what really matters, and escape the misleading fixed- or contracted-goals route which can negatively become a crutch by which to avoid what may be – albeit possibly painfully – a beneficial discovery.
This kind of “mastery mindset” allows us to embrace negatives as useful data and acts towards an emergent opportunity for serendipity. It involves a generative approach, one that leads to self-concordance and congruent adjustments of understanding.

Not chaos theory
“Chaos theory” defines chaos as “low agreement + low predictability”, contrasted with “linear success”, defined as “high agreement + high predictability”.  It thus drives people away from a deeper understanding of why systems develop destabilised features, demotivation, confusion, disruption, ill-feeling and crisis, and towards a need for “normalisation” around new linear success ideals, which mask the systemic issues altogether!
Chaodynamics is very different.

New paradigms for complex times
provides a Metasystemic perspective, a wider horizon with wider boundaries and what has been termed PTC “Perspective-Taking Capacity”. As such it addresses “self-talk” in the system and in the individual.  All systems create identities and meanings for their own behaviour, in a cultural and metaphorical sense. There is always a set of values, mission-statements, core beliefs and self-identification which ultimately is the “true identity” of that system. Often, these values are considered sacrosanct and are not open for debate or even gentle exploration….

The self-authoring, self-adaptive mind
In this approach, we move beyond the concept of chaos as involving remedial action around simple/complex performance changes and being either rapid or slow. We move beyond generative dialogues with feedback loops or the vicarious pleasure of a “Gamma brainwave” experience of verge-of-chaos excitement and juggling of tasks; beyond the concept of fuzzy or revisable goals, or “luck readiness” and “strange attractors”. We move beyond the idea of “resistance vs compliance”, or the profiling of elements that carry positive or negative attractors. We move instead to the discovery of the real self and the existence of goals behind goals on a meta-systemic level.

Embodied experience of what is real in the chaodynamics workshop communications environment provides data that tells us what we need to know and shows others what they are missing, in non-disguisable ways. It avoids the view of the world as a bleak, hopeless and difficult place that is veering towards its next crisis in a spiral of seemingly-permanent destabilisation, a world where you “just keep swimming” for your whole life. It shows instead what causes the destabilisation, the sense of rudderlessness or of misunderstanding, the agendas for manipulation, the history of decay or disillusion, and shows how to reverse this.

Embodied chaodynamics

We as coaches  may not be by nature performers or communicators  but the people we coach are in some way usually involved in performing a role and communicating in important ways.  Today few have the luxury of finding a quiet corner to go over significant messages as these are conveyed very much on the move, on the hoof, virtually or by phone, between flights, at the coffee machine, ..

To avoid mistakes, the client needs to have the opportunity to experience in a physical way, get a real “feel” for it on every level. In the embodied workshop I explore with clients an approach  that shifts the focus away from models of coaching and towards the embodied process of communication as we can observe it in others in their own busy lives..

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this
special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature:
for any thing so o’erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose
end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as ’twere the
mirror up to nature: to show virtue her feature, scorn her own
image, and the very age and body of the time his form and
pressure.” HAMLET Act 3, Scene 2, 17-24

Disease and disorientation
It is arguable that in today’s complex and ambiguous world, in many respects humanity is more and more desensitised, some say we are being led back into our chains in a collectivised hive-mind, human 2.0 and that the tribalism we see is designed to operate on our weaknesses.

Hospitals that make you more unwell, lower thresholds that weaken the body and spirit, technology that buys into depression, old diseases returning, a political or technocratic class that seems to do the opposite of what it says it is doing for our benefit. So how to step outside the confusion and unsettled feeling?

And, what if our (coaching or other) conversation is a kind of atom bomb that completely snuffs out the faint candle of hope that still just glimmers? As coaches we see that emotions and situation such as these are deeply physical and frightening, and that words when used to shame or implicate, or that contain presuppositions about what is “real” or “true” can be profoundly shocking at a deep level.  This is becoming more worrisome in a world dominated by social media and by ambiguous intentions. How to differentiate between truth and illusion, how to stay healthy in our communications?

In Linguistics this is called the difference between the “Illocutionary Act” and the “Perlocutionary Force”.

Any concept of a “lose-lose” in the contracts we forge or the daily dialogues we have with ourselves and others, can affect our mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Ilya Progogine
Nobel Laureate and professor at the University of Texas (b1917 – 2003), he developed the idea of dissipative structures, i.e. coherent space-time systems that are open to an exchange of energy and matter and that require effort to maintain their function and especially to withstand destabilisation and self-destruction.

Chaodynamics is based around the notion that there is a tendency for all organisms natural and unnatural, to dissipate, dissolve, rot, overgrow, gather dust, and return to a more messy, collapsed, mouldy disintegrated or jungle-like state (we can find many metaphors for these) of untidiness just as if you leave a building or garden for ten years these will become infested – and even infected – until a new state is achieved.

To resist this implies a continual EFFORT of will which is also physical, and will require communication if not with others at the very least with oneself.  As mentioned, an organisation has its own inner dialogue that operates within the system to maintain this unsteady equilibrium that can be disrupted at any time. This inner dialogue consists of statements and references to the organisation’s identity and value-system.

When an energy-rich system reaches a point of unsustainable input, a transformative point is reached where choices are either imposed by circumstance and the efforts of the system to redress its lost balance, or are by selecting sustainable options in order to avoid wasted energy and further disintegration. The more care we put into the framing of this point – importantly, equally so in our embodied states – the better what comes out and how successful the “picnic” that we want to enjoy, will be.

This kind of embodied coaching means maybe not liking the “new person” that emerges!

Life’s not a picnic – Join the picnic!
This paradox implies many things. The approach I use contains many different flexible protocols and possible interchangeable communication phases and sets, and a useful one is in three phases that can be summarised as the Set-up, the Obstacles, and the Options, however I don’t think of this as a model for coaches as much as something to help others to understand. It’s a way of making sense of one-another an of the meta-systems that lie behind our assumptions or presuppositions.

The outcomes-based notion is that – IF we have an ending or goal in mind and that things make sense to us IF we reach that end – our narrative or inner story will be satisfied; however the process-based notion is that the way and its ultimate destination are creative and fluid. The “process” is therefore not a coaching procedure to be followed but a way of “processing” the data that we are currently presented with.

Life is not a constant prepping for a test

Life is not a constant prepping for a test (but a way of sharing a picnic).

Outcomes in life and work are not pre-determined. They emerge through language which can be totally new, actions that feel right, liberating oneself – and the organisation – from the tendency to collapse inwards, or from the “inner terrorist”, or from the pitfalls of hidden narratives and pre-determined “wins”,  from inevitable decay or the propping up of an apparatus that is failing because overburdened by data inputs.

Metasystems and our perspective.

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It’s interesting to consider if we can separate words and communicating them, from feelings and experiences and their environment.
At a recent coaching session at The Hawkhills, outside Easingwold, I considered with my client how emotional intelligence is related to our perceptions and the distance we take from them.

Eric Coaching York

Stepping back

It can be good to step away and view things by letting the mind roll into new spaces, having a pleasant environment for that to happen.
Susan David suggests “successfully happy people are unstuck, they are agile.”
Agility is a physical state. The mind has a tendency to stuckness; nature has a tendency to become rotten, petrified, to gather dust and cobwebs; organisations and all structures have a tendency to dissipate and collapse over time; communication tends towards misunderstanding. By stepping away as at the session with my client, it was possible to consider how language can work creatively to oppose this – as a gardener manages a garden – and how various perceptual positions assist.

Seeing the wood for the trees

Seeing the whole

Seeing the whole

Where relationships are affected by so-called “negative somatic markers” we are aware of hot, warm and cold energy as time goes by from the initial disruption, and how the time and effort needed to “clean” the thoughts that become solidified out of the original emotions, multiply accordingly. Emotion turns to reasoned thought after time and creates the reality we perceive as normal.

Emotion and identity

Hot, warm or cold?

In the coaching context, we connect the various channels for experience: what are the images when the client thinks of the problem and its outcomes for themselves, what are the words associated with these evoked images, what are the emotions they feel and where do they feel them?
The gap between envisioning something and the action itself and feeling the best way towards doing it … is filled by our voices, by our conversations with others and ourselves.

perceptual positions

Co-active and more ….

So, the induction process of closing one’s eyes, listening, then thinking of a place and being in that, experiencing what is associated with that image, is about how to catalyse or uncover, from different levels, the rules or games of the activity that is under observation and the paradoxical language, incongruent behaviour and cognitive dissonance that are evoked along with it.

Conference comfort

Conference comfort

In amongst the awareness of how language works internally and when used with others, and the elements of coaching that cover change psychology and theories – where the framing and reframing of experience, and the embedded presuppositions and beliefs of the other person are concerned, the co-active measures coaches employ as effective – we discussed how to cool off or park the emotions: by writing and re-reading our thoughts, later; by considering emotions as bodyguards; by realising that “the other is not me”; by understanding that taking more than 21 days to process the emotions leads to them becoming stuck; by remembering that when we sleep we cannot make mistakes, and that we cannot just “give” happy solutions, success, etc; then by considering our options for addressing the obstacle that may be felt to be preventing or blocking a good outcome, using various kinds of scaffold to reach those goals.

scaffolding types

Layers of scaffolding


How does the process of Destabilisation work and how can we better manage it?


It’s important at definitive moments to feel that we can say what needs, or has, to be said, and, where possible, in harmony with the pervading culture or established context.

The emperor with no clothesemperors_new_clothes_550

Playing the Devil’s advocate is the antidote when certain things are not meant to be said. Having the freedom to speak and being able to speak openly is the mark of a healthy world.  Is the coaching we do a kind of atom bomb dropped next to a person’s flickering candle only to walk away surprised that the candle remains unlit – or has been snuffed out for good? Or does the candle burn brightly and more strongly?

The Sinclair C5


Sir Clive Sinclair famously used the millions made from the Spectrum computer, to put the world’s first electric car onto the production line. His design team wanted to tell him all that was wrong with it, and why it was doomed to failure – but they didn’t.

The paradox is that people are in positions in reality doing the opposite of what they are meant to do or say they are doing. Is this accidental, or by design, or might it be due to fear or confusion or panic? It may even be that they are part of a destabilisation culture, and have no other option, are trapped; or could it be that they are playing a role, wearing a mask, or are sociopaths?

The corporation

Scary as it seems, as the documentary film, “The Corporation”, by Mark Achbar, ably shows,  corporations do indeed have a tendency to develop sociopaths, people who can just “perform” without having a moral base. The society of Skinner’s “Walden 2” may really be quite close…  It’s this unsettling paradox and sense of incongruence that leads us to feel out of control – even to question our senses at times – and that language is insufficient to express the reality of our own experience.

People today
In a world where the saturation of information is everywhere, knowing who or what is in authentic or in-authentic mode, is well-nigh impossible, apart from by using one’s gut instinct. Where does the needed subjective support come from?  …. Let a flock of sheep go into a field and they will not know where to go, except at first as a collective group. Arguably, in primitive times, Mankind didn’t have a strong idea of self; maybe an ancient trauma led to collective amnesia and divorce from a more ‘innocent’ state, after which came the birth of “self” (the ego), and with it, the externalisation of one’s inner voice and the misunderstanding of what this “voice” is.  In other words, we began to feel that we are each alone in this life, in some terrible way.lisabarrett quote emotions

Narratisation and The Westworld

Lisa Feldman Barrett,
in “How Emotions are Made”, has gone so far as to evidence the fact that our emotions are simply psychological constructs expressed in language and have no a-priori existence in a pre-programmed natural way.  As Julian Jaynes theorised in his famous book “The Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” in 1976, the stories we make up in our heads with ourselves as the main characters, are sometimes without reason or purpose; they just ‘are’ and we don’t know why, or what for, except by creating “reasonable explanations” given by other voices within our heads. Thus the ‘knowledge’ that was the inner ‘instruction from the visible gods or invisible God’ of the Greeks and awestworld--1280x800fter them the monotheists, in the form of a muse or command or ‘story to make sense of life’ broke down and required ever-more complex justifications. This has been brilliantly demonstrated to be the theoretical basis for the entire Westworld series.

Today, the bombardment of external voices on our consciousness has even greater impact on subconscious processing than ever, therefore, giving time to the processing stage or any activity, and to enabling a good amount of self-composition and mental and physical rehearsal, is critical! Just ‘showing up for the show’ and letting our inner voices take over, is not enough, as any observer of street mind-hacking, of Derren Brown, or close-up magic, knows!!

Politics, society and the mindPsychological_Warfare

A good illustration of this on the collective level can be found in theories of cultural change, as they were developed and then used in psychological warfare and in subversion tactics (cf Babeuf, Levi, Marcuse, Gramschi etc..) and later – in the C20th – for world warfare. Arguably we are still dealing with this.

The negative ‘stages’ of Demoralisation, Destabilisation, Crisis, and Normalisation (all natural emotions that we are forced to pay no heed to, under the stress-control of peer pressure and collective will) have been theorised, developed and practised, for 200 years or more – way back even to Machiavelli. There is a best-selling manual, by R, Greene, the 48 Laws of Power that shows how these tactics are used; “amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this New York Times bestseller is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.”

Crisis and how to manage itWhy?

Demoralising equates with softening up and bombarding others with information and criticism, it leads to identity loss via the shaming of non-compliance and often we never know why we feel out of sorts. Acts or words are used that are felt as being violent by dint of introducing sudden changes, silencing and censoring, and there may be false narratives claiming problems exist when to all around it all seemed like ‘business as usual’. This can be combined with setting up mechanisms of control, even by blackmail and the use of easy victims & ‘useful idiots’ or via trusted accomplices.

Demotivating – in a very negative sense – is conscious or subconscious  agitation (either from within or without) in an attempt to overthrow what is normal; this can be a planned destabilisation in order to take over control. This very real physical problem (of the problem – reaction – solution type expounded in the Hegelian Dialectic) continues with gradual iStock_000021883663Small_crop_stocksnapper-300x300disempowerment and the imposition of new narrative, culture or set of core values. This can of course be presented as a very positive thing (and may indeed be, while still being received as ‘negative’ to those on the ‘receiving end’) and is further reinforced by the appropriation of education and knowledge. Whereas the intention may to to empower and enfranchise others, disenfranchisement may be the outcome. In many senses, the coach’s work begins here to reverse the impending sense of alienation, by working to re-establish truth and objectivity, establishing the principle of free speech and trust, by bridging differences.

Crisis is recognised in confused reactions and more identity confusion, loss of direction, hysteria, blame and so on. There may be internal warfare, both in the collective and in the individual him/herself.  The coach here listens and acts to “give responsibility to the other person for their words” and to insist on a clear use of words, and ensures that those that use them, clarify and provide evidence/facts, by then clarify paradoxes, establishing clear Normalisationlinks, and questioning generalisations and unspecified references, deleted information, universals, or others’ presuppositions or patterns of language..

By Normalising we refer to how the “new régime” establishes order after the revolution of ideas. This is done by persuasion, force and –  if necessary – the cleansing of cultural or political opposition and the elimination of useful idiots. In the political arena this game is very dirty, yet, and sad to say, the idea of “normalisation” has crept into our vocabulary in more ways that just that of political history.  The coach here has a difficult task in liberating one who is at a stalemate or downward spiral, and challenging those who are perceived as aggressors – whether in fact they are the ‘superior’ or ‘inferior’ person in the dominance hierarchy –  to  think critically; open speech and the freedom to say what is “unacceptable” is very important if this phase is not to explode in the face of the agents of change, and some conscious opposition towards authoritarianism – or utopian thinking – is necessary.

Cui Bono?Cui Bono

Looking at a “positive” side to this can say that the coach works with PERCEPTIONS in language with the ‘aggressor’ (the one perceived to have caused the de-stabilisation) and the ‘victim’ to establish facts in a neutral way, working openly to the idea that the person in question may indeed intend to be aggressive or might benefit from being perceived as a victim. Are they? To whose benefit is it?



To manage destabilisation we need to work on embodied responses.

Embodied states

GRAY SUMMIT, MO - OCTOBER 4: Stollie makes his way through the weave poles during the agility portion of the Purina Dog Chow Incredible Dog Challenge at Purina Farms October 4, 2003 in Gray Summit, Missouri. (Photo by Bill Greenblatt/Getty Images)

Stollie makes his way through the weave poles during the agility portion of the Purina Dog Show Incredible Dog Challenge

Since of course the feeling of destabilisation is very much felt bodily as well as mentally, we can work with embodiment practices to better manage the situation.

The work of coaches such as Paul Linden, Mark Walsh, Integration Training, Strozzi-Heckler, George Leonard, and Wendy Palmer, mention the tools and practices that can make it easier to be a skilful listener, a powerful advocator and an inspirational leader.  Dylan Newcomb advocates “a new kind of language” – one that speaks to and engages one’s whole mind and body as one dynamic, integrated process. “It’s an embodied practice for self and life mastery”.

We can consider 5 physical axes that lead to better AGILITY

1) vertical (rootedness, having spine and centre),

2) left to right (occupying space, pivoting and having poise and balance)

3) forward and back (distance or urgency/connection)

4) time (and timeliness, allowing reflexion and processing to happen)

Pitch and Tempo and using the voice to impact performance.

Pitch and Tempo and using the voice to impact performance.

5) voice (entering the space with the right combination of sound, pitch, tempo and rhythm)


Managing crisis implies a radical use of language to oppose the natural tendency to dissipation and destabilisation in complex systems.

Combined with this we may also consider how to mange the language in order to clarify and build bridges, or remove them – as may be necessary for a mutually-beneficial outcome to emerge.The Systems Thinker V10N10

This method is based on a view of human interaction developed from the work of Ilya PrigogineViscount Ilya Romanovich Prigogine 25 January 1917 – 28 May 2003) a Belgian physical chemist and Nobel Laureate noted for his work on dissipative structures, complex systems, and irreversibility.  Prigogine developed the concept – at the University of Austin in Texas – of “dissipative structures” to describe the coherent space-time structures that form in open systems in which an exchange of matter and energy occurs between a system and its environment. Spanner in Chaplin's works

The theory of Chaodynamics and Prigogine’s the idea of a what he called a “concentric” approach to nature/communication to reestablish order during a major disruption takes us into the bodily and emotional reactions that infuse the system of both the individual and the environment or collective group.

Work Styles

Stress and the sense that we are opposed in our will, tends to make people revert more and more to a default style, approach or set of rules.  Fighting the frame tends to make matters worse!  One way out is to provide or explore options; again, it’s often about how these options are framed and what the metaphorical image is.

Dissipative Structure

Everything conspires to structure dissipating over time

Jordan Peterson (somewhat unpopularly at times perhaps) asks us to  ‘be hard with ourselves’, and to first be ‘welcome in your own house’. By this he means, remembering that even (or especially) the mundane things we do need to be got right.  “Being better verbally doesn’t mean that we are right”, he says, referring to how the relationship between one’s belief system and one’s perceived Dominance Hierarchy Position or Confidence Hierarchy is a source of inner struggle, confusion and concerns about status.  Why, then, people “need to defend themselves” – even if they may deep down know they are wrong (or perhaps because of this)! – and this demonstrates how social constructivism and politics can’t be separated from language use and the way we embody it.

Perhaps language is our – maybe futile – attempt to make sense of a meaningless world, as Kierkegaard would say.

Your base line state

When a person is reacting to destabilisation it’s important for them to have an awareness of how to access their natural base-line state. Accessing their comfortable state while trying to understand the new state avoids tit-for-tat and self-defensiveness; it means they can start to make sense of things. Embodying a newly generated state may even mean not liking the ‘new person’ that emerges. What that person is, is not for the coach to choose.

The Coach’s role

embodied cognition

“Control the options and you control the power” may be good in theory; oftentimes a person is too far from the source of power to feel in any sense capable of restoring order into the chaos.  Their only control may be over their own bodies and words in the immediate conversation.

A coach can help another person to be more agile and lucid by means of providing time, perspective, and the opportunity to process a rapidly-evolving situation, and compose themselves for when they need to perform again.

A good starting point might be, ‘what options would you choose/prefer to have when you re-enter the situation?’

Generative Coaching – with no fixed outcomes – or clearly scaffolded?

We can contrast and Fixed-Outcomes language learning model with the evidence of Natural language acquisition. Stephen Kraschen’s L+1 theory and research show that the time for the acquisition of new models of language (i.e. taking ownership of one’s language given ample processing and self-composition) can be as much as 6 months


Another (more scaffolded) approach is that of ZPD. The zone of proximal development, often abbreviated as ZPD, is the difference between what a learner evolving a new skill or prepping a desired outcome, can do without help, and what they can’t do. This concept was introduced (but not fully developed) by psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934)

The concept of the ZPD is widely used to study children’s development as it relates to education. The ZPD concept is seen as a scaffolding, a structure of “support points” for performing an action, referring to the help or guidance received from an adult or more competent peer to permit the child to work within the ZPD.

8734263_1The “scaffolding” – of which coaching is perhaps just one part – consists of a variety of supports.  These supports may include: resources, such as a compelling task; templates and guides;  specific guidance on the development of cognitive and social skills; and finally the  use of instructional scaffolding in various contexts when modelling a task and the approach to solving the task,  by giving advice and providing coaching. 

Since the aim is for the client to reach an embodied state of readiness where he/she is able in the present to “bring forward the emerging future” these supports are gradually removed as students/coachees develop their own autonomous learning strategies. In this way the coach becomes less necessary,  thus promoting the client’s own cognitive, affective and – critically – psychomotor  learning skills and knowledge.Blooms_rose_taxonomy

Just as in the educational taxonomy, where teachers help the students master a task or a concept by providing support, so coaches can provide scaffolding support. The support can take many forms such as outlines, recommended documents, storyboards, or key questions. 

Yes, master

In some cases (and cultures) the coach is viewed as a master communicator of language – not specifically one who has all the answers, more one who can empower the client to find them.  Scaffolding works as the good coach Good teachermakes themself “progressively less necessary” and the building eventually stands up alone.

Trusting overly in the coach’s input can however lead to further destabilisation. 

The key to embodiment (what NLP calls “anchoring states”) is  in doing things in a real embodied environment, and not a BOOK environment.
Or, as Alfred Korzybsky said, “the map is not the territory”.

This then is the area of interest between the linguistic insights of language acquisition, and of coaching, and points to how a generative approach can work, to which we will return…..

Types of scaffolding

For scaffolding to be effective, attention can be paid to the following:

  1. The selection of the task: The task should ensure that learners actually use the developing skills that they want to master. The task should be engaging and interesting to keep them involved!

  2. The anticipation of errors: After choosing the task, the teacher/coach might anticipate “errors” that are likely to be committed when working on the task. In outcomes-based education, anticipation of errors enables the scaffolder to properly guide the learners away from “ineffective directions”.  When the outcome is fluid and unknown, however, “errors” are for the coachee, student or client alone to determine for themselves.

  3. The application of scaffolds during the learning task: Scaffolds can be organized as simple/discreet skill acquisition – or they may be dynamic and generative.

  4. The consideration of emotive or affective factors: Scaffolding is not limited to a cognitive skill but also relates to emotive and affect factors. During the task the scaffolder (implied expert) might need to manage and control for frustration and loss of interest that could be experienced by the learner. In this way encouragement is an important scaffolding strategy.

In terms of scaffolding again we can consider:

  • conceptual scaffolding: helping students/clients decide what to consider in learning so as to guide them (or for them to guide themselves) towards key concepts

  • procedural scaffolding: helping the student or coachee to use appropriate tools and resources effectively

  • strategic scaffolding: helping to find alternative strategies and methods to solve complex problems

  • metacognitive scaffolding: prompting to think about what is being learnt throughout the process and assisting reflection on what was learnt (self-assessment).

Other approaches and their relevance to our argument.

From Sir John Whitmore’s GROW,  to SMART, many models exist; few however, which touch more on communications and language performance or how to embody this. The Transitional Curve lends useful support as a concept, and Hamlin’s HP equation, Ability x Motivation x Environment, adds the idea that our cognition, commitment and communicative credibility are important. The Contracting Matrix show that it is important to be clear, and adapt our behaviour, and I personally find the Jonari window helpful when working through blind spots and the “dark side” or other more public revelations. Of course, having a clear focus, on options and an action plan, and a way of overcoming obstacles, is always valid, along with the insights given by cross-cultural models and people potential profiles.

In communicative method language training the outcomes-based model used, is along the lines of elicitation -> presentation -> controlled practice -> free practice -> testing and assessment (coupled with copious scaffolding). This approach can be useful when working with new language but tends not to develop real acquisition.

In NLP, the iterative problem-solving strategy TOTE (Test Operate Test Exit) as well as Meta-model and Milton-model approaches to change states, presuppose the subconscious mind’s capacity to find resources that will shift perceptions and abilities, and these bring out subconscious discoveries.

In a generative coaching approach this would likely involve conscious distraction and re-framing by relocating the experience within the physical environment in different ways, and accessing the embodied reactions, as well as giving a lot of time to rehearsal and self-composition, treating ourselves meditatively. It would allow for a less-guided style that is open-ended and creative.



North-West artist Matt Wilde has described how he is concerned with capturing the ‘immediacy’ of those surroundings that people become immersed in. “His technique of applying the paint quickly to the canvas in a perhaps more sketch-like manner lends itself to the fast-paced lifestyles of today’s society that Matt is eager to convey. There is often humour and wit in the scenes that Matt reveals to us, but he also captures those moments of human isolation in the contrasting chaos of busy city life.”



We look for examples of a physical response when using language in performance. We think about what the voice expresses and where in the body that voice emanates from. The “hook” of the downward spiral can be considered as an “inner terrorist” and is a very unpleasant sensation that affects the body seriously;  words are powerful and may in some cases suffice to disarm the perceived threat or to change one’s perception of it;  more often, an embodied approach (giving more time for rehearsal and self-composition) will help in ensuring that the intended outcome is a genuinely good performance willed by the person in question and congruent with their sense of best interest.

If the outcome is not pre-determined, then it emerges through language which is always new, and actions that feel right. Life is not a constant prepping for a “test”, so the process and composition and creation of new actions and words are both physical phenomena.

Hence to embody the outcome is to have lived it inwardly and mastered it outwardly, in numerous physical ways, first.

Our words and actions – even the smallest ones – affect our state of mind.

A research paper recently published, conducting a textual analysis of 63 Internet forums (over 6,400 members) used linguistic inquiry and word count software to examine “absolutism” at the linguistic level.  Its results provide clinical evidence of how several features reflect meaningfully the state of mind of the speaker or writer.

This will not come as a surprise to language teachers, to counsellors, or to coaches who pay attention to the words their clients use. Some years ago, James Pennebaker’s excellent and provocative book “the Secret Life of Pronouns”  engaged us in this topic, and – long before – the founder of Hypnotic therapy, Milton Erickson wisely stated “The map is not the territory” – in other words, the way I see the world is not necessarily the world itself, only my personal version of it filtered by my words and images and feelings (and those handed to me).

Nowadays there is a lot of faith put in positive thinking, and this is not so new…

“On how one orients himself to the moment depends the failure or fruitfulness of it,” Henry Miller asserted in his beautiful meditation on the art of living, “The Wisdom of the Heart”. This is not to be confused with coaching that tries to impose a glamorous target-oriented “successful” way of fitting in, viewing unhappy people as self-sabotaging, and as Susan Scott has asserted, toxic to the organisation that they work in. While not disagreeing with the importance of “Mastering the courage to interrogate reality” and the emphasis on truthfulness to oneself, I find the insistence that being unproductive is something to be confronted with brutal non-compromise to be disconcerting where creative solutions are concerned.


Our constant escapism from our own lives is our greatest source of unhappiness.

Today’s Millennial generation – anxious to impress and to succeed at the expense of the deeper more fulfilling aspects of life –  might think of the advice given by the famous Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard, who was only thirty at the time he wrote them. He began a chapter of his altogether indispensable 1843 treatise  “Either/Or – a Fragment of Life”   with a powerful observation – so relevant today, amidst our culture which considers being busy and forever dwelling on the mistakes of the past and the high goals of the future to be a badge of honour:

“Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.”
In the chapter “The Unhappiest Man” he wrote “One is absent when living in the past or living in the future.”

We should not be, as the great Alan W Watts described “The working inhabitants of a modern city … people who live inside a machine to be batted around by its wheels.”


We live today with such anxieties, reflected in our depressive language and sometimes futile attempts to reverse our sadness with New Age collective thinking and coaching “success” that we never find our true balance. Watts, in his book Wisdom Of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety” continued: “If we are to continue to live for the future, and to make the chief work of the mind prediction and calculation, man must eventually become a parasitic appendage to a mass of clockwork.”

Amusingly, in the film “Being There” the chief protagonist’s simple and naive words and childish world-view are taken as great wisdom, when they are merely misunderstandings. Yet Erickson reminds us that the truth emerges from the unconscious and not the frantic analysis of the rational mind.  Neuroscience reinforce this message, since the over active mind racing in Gamma Wave exultant “highs” soon crashes down to the comatose state of burn-out and despondency.


States of Mind

States of Mind

Every so often new “models” appear incorporating the latest acronyms and buzz-phrases, and without doubt, from the groundbreaking 1979 “Inner Game” of Tim Gallwey, Sir John Whitmore’s 1992 GROW to the many more being designed in the present day, many present key words and phrases that help focus the conscious mind – even to the exclusion of all else. However we should strive as coaches not to crowd the mind with ever more models, but to enable new and creative forms of words; not to constrict by imposing models that others have determined that may work for some – but not for the person in front of us.

In my article in the latest edition of iCN (International Coaching News) I make the case for a truly embodied approach to listening, thinking, communicating and acting.


As Performance in English heads north to Yorkshire and to facilities being hired at the impressive Hawkhills conference centre, and close to the beautiful historic cities of York, Ripon, and the world-famous Spa town of Harrogate, our thoughts turn to food and the great culinary traditions – so little appreciated outside these small islands – of England.


Three Pies

Traditional foods…

A modern touch

A modern touch

It will surprise many that Yorkshire is proud to have been voted the best restaurant in the world, The Black Swan, in Oldstead, beating Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Buckinghamshire and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir near Oxford.

Wonderful surroundings

Wonderful surroundings


Ox tongue

Ox tongue

In fact, England currently has the top two restaurants worldwide; while Maison Lameloise, in Chagny, France, came in third, and  L’Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern, France was voted fourth and Martin Berasategui, Lasarte, Spain, fifth.


York Minster

The beautiful county of North Yorkshire has an amazing array of attractions and natural beauty, and – as a coaching client with us at The Hawkhills – you can also enjoy shopping in York or Harrogate, visits to places of tremendous interest, and the benefit of all sorts of entertainment.

From world-class World-famous theatre, to world-class shooting, and world-class tea rooms.



Anyone for tea?

…to world-class coaching…

Conference comfort

Conference comfort




Using English well in an international context is as important for native speakers of the language as it is for non-native students and other international users of English.

Whether this is because English happens to be the lingua franca of the organisation, company, corporation or community, or because those involved in any meeting have chosen to use English themselves, there is every chance that there will be people with differing ranges of experience and ability in the language, just as this would also be the case with people speaking French, Hungarian, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Turkish, Arabic, Swahili or Gaelic!


Who of us can say we would be confident to attempt to do all that we do in our own language in any other language? We can perhaps learn how to order a prawn sandwich or a taxi, or to greet someone at the airport, wish them a good journey or thank them for their help. This does not take long and is a sensitive and polite thing to do when doing business with others.  It shows that we have made a little effort to learn about their ways.

Just as we can learn a few words, we can also learn about the cultures we interact with.

This process works both ways, because – though there is common ground within cultures for anything that we may need to discuss, and certainly room for exploration in a number of areas (or business would never happen or have been going on for thousands of years!) – there are also certain highly sensitive areas of “sacred ground” where discussion may be very difficult or even impossible.

Encroaching on these sensitive spots is risky and potentially rude. This is as true of the English-speaking culture as it is of any other.

The things that affect our identity are hard to define and having a well-researched book to refer to is essential; I recommend Richard Lewis’ excellent work for a clear and intelligent model when entering new ground in any culture.

Where the deeply-embedded elements of a culture’s specific core value system and the individual’s own modus operandi can have multiple layers that are not open to scrutiny, the language itself can give us the clues we need to how a people think.

We should take care with our words whether with other native speakers or with non-native speakers.

The Ratners Jewellery store in Regent Street, London, part of the chain owned by Gerald Ratner, which made a 112 million profit in 1990.

The Ratners Jewellery store in Regent Street, London, part of the chain owned by Gerald Ratner, which made a 112 million profit in 1990.

Careless language can be very costly. 

A famous story is that of successful businessman Gerald Ratner who in 1991 wiped £500m off his share value with one speech, when talking of his own high-street jewellery, he inadvisedly announced it was “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich and probably wouldn’t last as long”.

Another story is that of the Topman clothing chain and the firm’s brand director, David Shepherd, asked in an interview in 2001 to clarify the target market for his clothes, he replied: “Hooligans or whatever.”  He went on: “Very few of our customers have to wear suits for work. They’ll be for his first interview or first court case.”

The company later suggested that the word “hooligan” would not be seen as an insult among its customers.

happy hooligan

Such careless words may seem amusing or tough but they have consequences. In 2006, John Pluthero, the UK chairman of Cable & Wireless, sent a memo to staff, which said: “Congratulations, we work for an underperforming business in a crappy industry and it’s going to be hell for the next 12 months.” He warned of job losses and added: “If you are worried that it all sounds very hard, it’s time for you to step off the bus.”  Many did just that and found work elsewhere.

Another pitfall is translation and translation devices. They are not capable of understanding cultural and linguistic nuance. The ambiguity of translation is well summed-up with the example of a biblical quote, meant to express the struggle facing the industry at that time and to motivate the employees to make an extra effort, and that was used in an after-dinner speech translated into German
“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.
This came out as “The schnapps is strong but the meat is rotten”

turn off

Language is not a set of conditioned responses triggered by previous words, because we can change these patterns at will. This allows us creativity and individualism.  Chomsky’s “poverty of the input” hypothesis tells us that what a child can produce in language is MORE than the input they have received via their parents or peers. This “new potential language” has come from within the child as he/she has acquired the deeper syntax. Somehow, the child knows that the structure  “Daddy what did you bring that book that I don’t want to be read to out of, up for?” is the only right use of syntax for English, for this question.

Pace is a deciding factor. People are more inclined to get excited and emotional speaking their own language than speaking English, this is hard to lose in a foreign language, suggesting that the control of output and having to pace themselves, will affect themselves and others


There are several negative and positive associations: native speakers are imagined to have more sensitivity but often they have less. Consequently natives can benefit from observing how a non-native speaks, or try to compose themselves in FL to see how it feels.

Having a slower pace enables better listening and more self-composure. However the emotions inside the L2 speaker are likely to be very high and for the L1 speaker, having to modify their language to obtain better results may at times feel frustrating, too.


At P.i.E. we can help you develop sensitivity to language that leads you to better outcomes. As a non-native we can show you how English works and how to use it effectively, in your own specific situation, according to different scenarios and your personal choices, understanding norms and idiosyncrasies.

Equally important, as a native speaker we can show you how good language management will lead you to better relationships, deeper awareness of communication and the avoidance of costly mistakes, and to a level of self-composure that is not over-confident but mature and manifested in a spirit of mutual respect.

How to be a Brit

The Hungarian journalist and BBC reporter, George (György) Mikes – pronounced / ɱ ‘i: ke ʃ  / – commented wryly in his book “How To Be An Alien (1946), a classic of “British humour”, when – as a foreigner in England – he realised the importance of having a “suitable” accent:

“My dear, you really speak a most wonderful accent, without the slightest English!”

Accents are of course connected to our origins and culture. There are national, regional and individual accents and these can link a person to social class, educational background, and character.

Who am I?
As many academics have shown over many years, the whole concept of one’s identity as a person cannot be separated from language. Languages express emotions, facts, notions of time, space and morality, in different ways, and arise as the communication surface structure built on generations of history, tradition, law, belief and education. How we perform depends on first how we understand, process and compose language.

Outcomes-based coaching and learning

Outcomes-based coaching and learning

There is the larger question of how English, as an international language, can serve to perform acts of identity that are specific to one’s own language. As linguists have tried to show, all languages share some deeper, innate, structure or else how could the same human being, theoretically, be born anywhere on the planet?

Mikes started his famous book with the words “In England, everything is the other way round”.

Culture itself cannot be entirely systematised, despite the efforts of anthropologists, psychologists and sociologists. Along with dress and other customs and habits, language is the outside sign of what a person deems themself to be. Actors, who play the part of another culturally different person, in the theatre, see this very clearly.

Consequently, as soon as we open our mouth, we “give away” something about who we are and how we wish to be perceived by others.  The process of “acculturation” – the process of internalising the implied rules of a “discourse community” – is something that anyone who lives or works with other language groups or nations, understands from day one. Culture “shock” can be one outcome of this difficult process. Bridging differences effectively, means using language very skilfully and being sensitive to culture.


Isn’t it?
For the learner of a second language, there results from this the thorny question of how to sound right“. In some ways this leaves one free to choose the model one prefers, to “sound” correct in whatever circles that person happens to frequent.

It’s quite well-known that the use of question “tags” is a feature of spoken English:
“It’s a lovely day, today, isn’t it?”
“Oh yes, they said it was going to rain, didn’t they.”
“It’s so nice when it’s hot, isn’t it.”
“Yes I love it, don’t you?”
As George Mikes observed, “In England, you must never contradict anybody  when discussing the weather.”

Similarly, the words Yes and No – straightforward as these may seem – are loaded with difficulty, and cultural overtones, when we say “Yes” but mean “Maybe”; or when we say “No, I don’t mind at all” – and mean “That’s absolutely fine!”

In addition to the vexed question of “British understatement”, there is the related issue of the “proxemics” of a given culture and the register of particular words and phrases. How should we “act”? How close should we stand to another person? How soon is it appropriate to ask a personal question? How direct or indirect is it appropriate to be? The exact combination of phonetic training, listening to sounds, using the voice and breathing in order to “come across” with confidence and fluency, is something that requires a thorough analysis and discussion.

Contact us to find out more!

Bluebird water speed

What is success?

Certainly, from a coaching perspective, it is reaching one’s goals.

The famous holder of the world land speed record (and on water too), Malcolm Campbell, famously said:

“When you have reached your goal, set yourself another“.

Bluebird Proteus CN7 Donald Campbell landspeed record car
His son, Donald, continued the proud tradition of tempting fate and taking speed to the limit.

On that fateful day, on Coniston Water, England, on the 4th of January 1967, Donald Campbell had broken the water world speed record, and he wanted to do even better. He turned the Bluebird, and, fearing a change in the weather, sped across the water once more. Onlookers were horrified to see the boat flying up into the air and crashing down on its back, into the waves. These waves were the remnant of the wash that Campbell himself had created on his earlier and successful attempt.

Some might justifiably say, it’s important to know when you have done enough!

We have met and worked with hundreds of people, some who needed to go “just that little bit further” and others who had a “mountain to climb” or who “made huge improvements in no time at all”!

Our job is, that by giving prompts and tools the client is empowered to make inner changes themselves; the coach is a facilitator, not some kind of guru!

Everyone is a kind of expert who can tell you how to do things and what to do. But actually the only expert on you is YOU.

Just as only YOU can interpret the messages in your dream, 20 people can give the same presentation but it will be different in each case. Some will connect with their audience but others will not? Why is this?

This is where a great coach can make a world of difference.

Acting when the time is right, making the critical decision, knowing when to act and when not to, and acting swiftly and decisively, or taking one’s time to think things through.

The difference between winning that business contract or not; the difference between being successful in something or not; between becoming excellent at something, and going far enough to know what success feels like.


donald campbell and k7 crew

“Hurry boys, hurry, we have to make a quick change or the hour will be up.” – Donald Campbell

Cherubs with bumble bee small

Cherubs with bumble bee (after Michelangelo)

As visitors to this site and blog may know, Peter is a painter, and enjoys the rare times he finds to paint.

Painting offers an opportunity to reflect on life and to decide how we derive pleasure from the many things we see, do and experience.

The whole process of thinking opens up doors that sometimes prefer to remain shut!

There are many things said nowadays about how our thoughts influence our feelings, actions and experience of life.

From the idea that we should train our mind to see good in every situation and the idea that positive thinking creates energy, initiative and happiness, comes the opposite one – which follows from the first – that “the discontent and frustration you feel is entirely your own creation”.

This, however, is not at all fair to the person whose thoughts are sometimes a jumble of conflicting voices.

From an NLP perspective, the words we hear inside our head are not our own but often borrowed from what we have heard, seen and felt, from others.

What’s important is to clear up the ones that we have borrowed from elsewhere and have become ‘stuck’ – and those that reflect our deeper and lasting goals.

This is so important when we are coaching.

Learning a language can provide an opening to a whole new way of experiencing the world.

Things suddenly become very clear when we see them in new ways!

Lau Tzu B&W
We cannot stop thinking – though as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu believed:  Stop thinking, and end your problems!
Certainly it helps to be able to switch off one’s wandering thoughts and focus on the discipline that being with a coach, provides…. at  P.I.E. above all, we focus on a relaxing and thought-provoking approach that enriches the experience the learner is having, whilst helping them to avoid the pitfalls of over-thinking, which can be confusing and counter-productive!

It’s about doing inspiring things that will always be remembered, not trying to force learning!

As another great thinker – Plutarch – said,

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled. 

Plutarch B&W






PIEbutton RussianUK

Beginning a new series of blogs this Spring, we’d like to welcome those who visit this page via our new association with RussianUK magazine!

Watch this space for blogs on all manner of subjects:

  • building confidence (English for non-native speakers)
  • giving a presentation with impact
  • going for an audition or interview
  • tools to access your subconscious
  • how to override your nerves to raise your performance
  • listening to really understand what someone means

And much, much more!