A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton

A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold, he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

“I like this Dinosaur,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.”

“I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.”

“But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.  “He is also overly fond of things.  Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?”

“But her mind skips from here to there so quickly,” thought the Dinosaur.  “She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.  Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?”

“I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur, “for they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.”

“I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping,” thought the Dinosaur, “for she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.”

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.  Look at them.  Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

And that, my friends, is how it is with love.

Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together. For the sun is warm.  And the world is a beautiful place.

Mike Manages Metaphor

Mike Manages Metaphor

Mike explained that he had been getting angry with people at work.

As manager of a production team, he needed his people to follow instruction and deliver results. But it seemed people were not always doing what he asked of them, and his frustration was increasingly turning to anger.

I was called in by his manager who was all out of ideas for ‘managing Mike’s angry outbursts’.

I asked Mike for a recent example of getting angry with his team. He told me how he’d asked a member of staff to tidy up a workstation (ahead of an external inspection). He had said “please can you tidy up that station?” the staff member had said “yes”.

Mike returned the next day to see a station that – to him – looked no different. He had become furious.

Mike and I went through an NLP exercise to elicit his ‘core values’. These reveal things (often beneath the conscious radar) that are deeply important and drive auto-pilot behaviours.

Mike’s list included:

  • Needing to feel understood
  • Feeling connected to important people in his life
  • Responsibility and trust that he got from work

Mike soon became aware that the drivers for his recent outburst of anger had come from this list. And by getting angry at someone else, he had disowned his role in the communication, and disempowered himself.

We discussed the limitations of that stress-inducing strategy as he discovered how, inside his mind, he had had a clear picture of the outcome he had wanted for that workstation. Using a time distortion NLP technique, he could access precisely what “tidy up the station” looked and sounded like – to him. And that inner goal made him feel he was doing a good job. Unfortunately, those distinctions had not been accurately transferred to anyone else through the words “please can you tidy up that station?”

We went on to develop some new strategies for Mike to experiment with and test – in the field – new ways of helping people to better understand him.

Mike’s coaching aims began with:

  1. Taking responsibility for transferring his inner-world goal to someone else.
  2. Learning which thoughts, words and actions increased his abilities to do this.
  3. Applying his mechanical application of continuous improvement (running a production line) – to himself.

Metaphor for Mike – Life is like a game of chess!

What if Mike thought of his management skills as being like those of the queen in a game of chess? The power player who gets to creatively, flow around all other players. Or did he want to return to managing his team like a pawn, limited moves with limited results?

Metaphor is based on one of essential epistemological presuppositions of NLP The Law of Requisite Variety which states that the part of the system (System’s Theory) with the most flexibility will be the catalytic element within the system – like the queen on a chess board.