Having trouble reading this email?  Read it online here: http://mikeclayton.co.uk/Newsletters/CTT_Newsletter022.htm
Please do forward this newsletter to others who may be interested.
 

 

   Thoughtscape: Thoughts and Tips from Mike Clayton

       

Issue 22

 
             
  Mental Composure
10 ways to focus your mind for a mental challenge.
    News and views
 

 

 
 


Dear %1

With
the coming publication of Smart to Wise, this newsletter addresses a central feature of wisdom: presence of mind.

This is a vital skill for anyone who wants to influence others, to be in control of their time, or who wants to remove the stress from intellectually challenging situations.  It is also a leadership skill.  I hope this newsletter goes some way to showing how central Smart to Wise is to the seemingly diverse range of topics I speak and write about.

1. Prepared
Prepare for the situation by trying to see it from all points of view: yours, the other person's, and that of a neutral observer.  Think about the outcome you want, and anticipate complications and tricky questions.

2. Calm
Calm yourself by slowing your breathing down, and taking a few deep breaths.  Adopt a confident, alert yet relaxed posture.

3. Controlled
When faced with a mental challenge, use the SCOPE process, described in Newsletter 20, to take a mental pause and control the situation.  Ask for clarification or ask them to repeat the question, to give yourself more information and more time to think.

4. Confident
The ultimate sign of confidence and control - as well as signalling that you are fully engaged - is to ask for more time to think.  Do not fear the silence: it is your friend.

5. Curious
When in doubt, get curious: as more questions.  The only way to dispel doubt is to learn more - nothing else works.

6. Structured
When you respond, use a structured approach to ensure you cover the main points concisely.  One of my favourite structures is great for a forensic response to a complex issue: CSI:

  • Context
    Summarise the situation and place it into its proper context.
  • Subtleties
    What are the complexities that make this issue unique and difficult?
  • Insight
    What do you observe that is new, or what do you advocate we do?

7. Strategic
Stay with one or two big issues and avoid getting drawn into details that will cause you to lose your focus and look petty.  When you dissipate your attention over lots of details, your mind will wander further.

It is important to note that sometimes one or two of the details may be the big issues.  Perceiving this is at the heart of wisdom.

8. Truthful
Honesty is not the best policy...

It is the only policy. Never stretch the evidence further than it will go, make assertions you cannot justify, or speak when you don't know.  Set out the limitations of your knowledge or evidence and you will stay in control of any criticisms.

9. Satir
Virginia Satir classified basic postural patterns.  When you understand and use these, they will help you to keep control of the messages you leak into the world.  A symmetric body posture will portray honesty and holding your hands with palms down will emphasise confidence and control over your facts, your opinions and your emotions.  Turning your palms upwards invites people to contribute and indicates a willingness to be open.

10. Single
Focus is about a single point and a single person.  You will best keep your mental composure when you address one issue to one person.  In a group or with an audience, single out one person to focus your response on.  Persuade them and move outwards to the others.

 

Learn more about the journey from Smart to Wise.

Smart to Wise
is due out on 7 June

Website
Facebook
Purchase

Articles on the Smart to Wise website

 

Who Else?
If you like these newsletters, please forward this to a friends and colleagues who might value them too.
If you are that friend or colleague and you want your own copies, just drop me an email

 

Two Seminars you may like

If you never have to solve problems,
then you don't need this seminar...

And when you have options for a solution,
which one?

Do you sometimes feel ill-equipped to
take the plunge wondering:

“is my analysis is sound”, or 
“how much to trust my intuition?”

These are two of the 17 seminars I am currently offering.  Here is the full list:

  • Three hour MBA

  • Seven Ways to get More from Your People

  • Seven Ways to get More from Yourself

  • Brilliant Influence:
    Ten Secrets of Persuasion

  • Brilliant Project Leader

  • Brilliant Team Leadership

  • Brilliant Time Management

  • Faster, Better, Cheaper

  • How to Read People

  • It ain't the Stress that does the Damage

  • It won't work because...
    Handling Resistance to Change

  • More than just Survival:
    Thriving in Times of Change

  • Practical Decision Making

  • Practical Problem Solving

  • Practical Project Management

  • Risk Happens!
    Control Risk and Avoid Failure
    in Organisational Projects

  • The Seven Rules of Project Management

Learn more on my website.

“Excellent session. 
Worthwhile attending even if you have read Mike’s book. 
Mike’s approach to help people form their own system promises to be highly effective. 
I can’t wait to plan and start the new me!”

Caroline Wiggins, Business Accent PR (Brilliant Time Mgt)

“Very informative and interesting. 
Suitable for anyone in a managerial or leadership position, no matter what size the company is.”

Susan Freeman, Dale Evans Beauty
(3 Hour MBA)

   


Smart to Wise

It has been a quiet three weeks since my last newsletter.  I have been working on collateral material (articles, podcasts and videos) to support my next book...

You’re smart. You know stuff. You’ve made great strides in your career and your life. But you know there’s more: there are things you want to do and people you want to impress that you can’t yet reach. Because being smart is not enough.

Smart to Wise is about how to become wise. It does not set out to give you the answers, nor to dispense wisdom, but to show you the direction of your journey.

The Smart to Wise website, with the articles, podcasts and videos about aspects of wisdom is now live, at smarttowise.co.uk.

Coming soon: a humorous wisdom video, more articles and a first mini-eBook about "Emotional Wisdom".

 

The Apprentice

Series 8 of BBC's Apprentice is well underway.

My series of articles on Creativity in the Apprentice ends today with a humorous look at how candidates can select the best creative option.  Previously, I took a more serious look at creativity, and argued for the importance of creativity in a winning candidate and identified who may have what it takes.

So, if you are an Apprentice fan, bookmark my 2012 Apprentice page now or, better, go to my site and subscribe to the blog.  That way, you will not miss any of my episode analyses.  That's not just smart: it's wise!

 

Risk Happens!


Risk Happens!
Managing Risk and Avoiding Failure in Business Projects

Risk Happens! is available in paperback, iBook and Kindle formats.  It is accessible to new project managers, yet has tools and resources that will give experienced hands new ideas too.  It includes 60 invaluable tables and checklists, and 57 figures and diagrams. On the Risk Happens! website, you will find more downloads of risk management tools.

Last month, I put four sets of project risk management tips onto my Shift Happens! blog:

 

Learning at Work Day

Many businesses arrange events to mark Learning at Work Day - this year on 17 May, with the theme "learning for growth".  Some organisations even have seminars and courses all week.  I still have slots available.  Contact me to discuss which seminar would suit you best, or see the list on my website.

 

June Seminar Programme

Practical Project Management
(mornings)
along with
Risk Happens! Control Risk and Avoid Failure in Organisational Projects (afternoons)

  • 21 June, London
    RIBA
  • 26 June, Manchester,
    Renaissance Hotel
  • 27 June, Birmingham,
    Copthorne Hotel
  • 28 June, Guildford,
    Ramada Hotel

Download a table of all of the scheduled dates here.  Book on 01227 252 100.

The Three-hour MBA (morning) and Brilliant Time Management (afternoon) will next be on 20 June, at the Village Hotel, Maidstone.

“A brilliant insight into how to take control, be positive, and manage my time and teach my staff to do the same.”
Kim Foulkes, JCS Ltd
(Brilliant Time Mgt)

“Very useful, given it’s only an afternoon.  There are a number of things I can use immediately and a number of things I need to explore further.”
Mike Annetts (3 Hour MBA)

All of these seminars available in-house, at your choice of location. 

“Excellent session.  Worthwhile attending even if you have read Mike’s book. 
Mike’s approach to help people form their own system promises to be highly effective.  I can’t wait to plan and
start the new me!”

Caroline Wiggins, Business Accent PR (Brilliant Time Mgt)

“Very informative and interesting. 
Suitable for anyone in a managerial or leadership position, no matter what size the company is.”

Susan Freeman, Dale Evans Beauty
(3 Hour MBA)


 

My focus this year ...
... continues to be on writing, responding to press enquiries, and seminar and speaking engagements.  If you know a conference organiser who is looking for an engaging speaker with great testimonials, please do send them to my website: www.mikeclayton.co.uk.  If you need a speaker now, just contact me using the links below, or the contact form on my website.  You can download my speaker pack here.

Best regards
Mike
mike@mikeclayton.co.uk

   
             
 

I recognise you get a lot of email and I don't want to add unwanted inbox clutter.  I intend to give useful tips and thoughts, but if you don't wish to get any more, I will understand, so just click the "no more emails" link and they'll stop.

Many thanks
Mike

    Please contact me ...
... mike@mikeclayton.co.uk
... Tel: 08444 141349
... www.mikeclayton.co.uk
... on Twitter @mikeclayton01

There is a full archive of past Thoughtscape newsletters on my website.

   
             
             
             

  www.mikeclayton.co.uk
no more emails
    mike@mikeclayton.co.uk 
© Mike Clayton, 2012