Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Urrr, just been thinking about how lovely it is when you you give or receive permission. When you cheerlead for an idea or have someone say ‘you totally know what to do next’. Got 20 mins until a meeting, can I write and publish by then?

I like thinking of personalities as having different parts. Everyday different parts of us come up and lead and affect what we say, what we think and how we feel. Most the time 'me' is in charge.

Deviation: I've heard some people use the classroom analogy (thanks Andrea) and the parent of family analogy (thanks Helen). Another lovely friend uses the idea of a coven of witches that fly together into a clearing, but they're all her.

Continuation: Sometimes a part takes the lead and 'me' becomes quiet and tricky to be/hear. Parts that are hurt can make us experience doubt, self-criticism and injustice. 'Me' can normally remind us that this is a part, 'me' can say 'OK, part thanks but I'm in charge and I don't think that's true'. This is difficult to do when parts are really hurt.

Main point: Anyway, cheerleading is about bigging up the 'me'. Giving the 'me' permission to be in charge, to follow her/his instincts and ideas. Parts are useful to listen to and gain wisdom from - they are like barometers. They can tell you when you've had a button pressed or not paid attention to a festering feeling.

Wow, this is getting rather far out.

Simple conclusion type bit: Another more palatable version of the same ideas is giving people permission to be themselves. Reminding them about their own sovereignty. I think we spend a lot of time doing what we think we need to do (the land of 'should'). Adventuring around the perimeters of my own personality has been a bit of a life long mission. I like encouraging others on their own adventures and seeing their eyes glint when they feel they know themselves better.

(Written but not published in time!)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Some as yet incomplete thinking about purpose

Complex version
I'm beginning to see a process that gets you on the path to creating a smart piece of communication.
i) Understand the intent - what do you want people to do
ii) Understand how the style, the execution, materials etc. reflect the way your business is, its personality - I'm bored ***tless of the word but 'brand' is often used here.
iii) Explain the logic of your decisions based on point ii).

It all seems a bit complicated. Here's version two

Getting more refined...
1) Work out what you're about
2) Decide who you're talking to and what you want them to do, make sure these things fit with 1)
3) Explain the logic to yourself - I'm all about community, I want to talk to people I make sense to, I want them to trade with me and/or introduce people to me who I can trade with.
4) Take action, execute - given what I know, investing time into connecting with people through the people I know and being open about my world view would make for a smart plan of action.

I'm back to business argument thinking - once you know what's at the core of your business you can make decisions with confidence. We're about XYZ so we should definitely make an invetsment in ABC becuase it makes sense.

The final edit
Know your purpose and ask yourself whether your choice gets you closer to it.

Examples in action..

Purpose: get people to feel good about being active
Decision to be made: need to plan coaching sessions for clients
Thinking routes: What makes people feel good about getting active? What do they need - space, refreshment, positive reinforcement, privacy, systems for counteracting self criticism that comes when they don't do enough.

Purpose: help female led small businesses feel confident about handling their finances.
Decision: ways to get more business?
Thinking routes: When do we accept help on a topic we feel low in confidence about? Where do we go for sources of help when we're in this situation? What gets in the way of us taking action?

Think I've moved on to something more...hmmm...need some extra brain space to run this through. Will report back once the thinking is done.

Monday, 8 February 2010

A year of thinking

I took a year off it seems. It felt shorter. I took a year off yoga. I took a year off blogging. Never planned to take a year. Just stopped. Much like I stopped smoking one day in 2000. Haven't found a good reason to start smoking again since then. But think yoga and writing might be different.

Lesson learnt during the year no.1
Something to do with intent. I wonder if everything is neutral in the first instance, neither preferable nor unwanted. The intent a thing has affects the thing itself. Peaceful intent makes for peaceful things. Harmful intent makes for harm.

Lesson learnt no.2
Something to do with complexity. I could never make the division of the world by good/evil or good/bad make sense to me, seems a bit too simple. I wonder how opinion operates in a new world where there are a million different ways to be. I like the idea that confusion is the default human state of mind.

Can we make any of this relevant to communication?
1) The truth will out, as Mr Shakespeare explained, so if your intent is not one you'd like to reveal to yourself or your readers you should know that it can only ever be thinly veiled.

2) We live in a time when much of the communications we interact with are aimed at helping us define ourselves as a consumer. They help us feel part of 'lifestyle type' that has it's own clothing, foods, postal addresses, cars, credit card, choice of hardware and more. Communication that lets an individual truly define their own opinions, without fear of judgment, would be a breathe of fresh, sweet, very human air.