Self-development vs shelf development….? (cont’d)


Are you getting real, lasting results from your personal, or indeed spiritual development?

Or, are the results as best short-lived and perhaps rather intangible? Are you a workshop junkie, or a serial book-worm? Is it self-development or shelf development? Be honest.

Here’s what one of our clients has just said:

Since my sessions with you, I really don’t feel I need personal development and have since put all my books in the loft. I really don’t need them anymore and it feels great. Thanks.

Self-development or shelf development….?

Enough said?

How we end up marrying the wrong person – bad choice or lack of awareness?


Here is a great article about how and why so many of us end up marrying the wrong person.

The article makes a number of great points such as:

  • Don’t seek or expect perfection… The dangers of choosing a partner based on beauty or vague sentimentality.
    • Many of us set the bar unrealistically high, for things (like wealth or looks) that are far from set in stone.
  • “One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.” So true!!
  • “We don’t understand other people. Other people are stuck at the same low level of self-knowledge as we are.” So get the knowledge – I did and it really paid off.
  • “We need to know the intimate functioning of the psyche of the person we’re planning to marry. We need to know their attitudes to, or stance on, authority, humiliation, introspection, sexual intimacy, projection, money, children, ageing, fidelity and a hundred things besides.” No arguments here!
  • “What replaced the marriage of reason was the marriage of instinct, the Romantic marriage. It dictated that how one felt about someone should be the only guide to marriage. If one felt ‘in love’, that was enough. No more questions asked. Feeling was triumphant. Outsiders could only applaud the feeling’s arrival, respecting it as one might the visitation of a divine spirit.” True again for most of us – certainly for me, first time around before my divorce.
  • We don’t go to Schools of Love.We should. I wish I had done a lot earlier (I waited until divorced and age 39). I learned so much, that I decided to become a relationship coach. Then I realised, this was just the tip of the iceberg… Now, after 13 years of R&D on relationships, I am the headmaster of the best relationship school.
    • Many of us didn’t have a great experience at school. So the thought of going to relationship school may not be appealing. One of the criticisms levelled at the education system is that it doesn’t tailor and adapt itself enough to each individual pupil, their needs and learning styles etc. Instead, the pupils are shoe-horned into the fairly standardised system.
    • The same can be said for relationship coaching, counselling and education. This is why our approach is so different and so much more effective – it is tailored to who you are, as an individual and as a unique couple.
  • The time has come for a third kind of marriage. The marriage of psychology. One where ‘the feeling’…” (of love, or was it possibly infatuation)? “has been properly submitted to examination and brought under the aegis of a mature awareness of one’s own and the other’s psychology.” Hear hear!
  • “We need a new set of criteria. We should wonder: – how are they mad; how can one raise children with them; how can one develop together; how can one remain friends?” Great questions.
    • These need to be asked regularly, not only at the beginning.  Di and I complete an annual relationship MOT, where we go through the key elements of our Relationship Breakthough process.
    • Now this might all seem a little stale, unromantic and not fun. We can assure you, it is the opposite. This is enlightening and encouraging, it can be the most fun together, drawing you closer and more lovingly intimate than ever. Satisfaction and joy replace frustration and that feeling of impotence when things are working.
  • “We want to freeze happiness. We imagine that marriage is a guarantor of happiness. Getting married has no power to keep a relationship at the beautiful ‘honeymoon’ stage.
    • All great points.  Things don’t stand still (unless they are dead). A marriage takes a lot of work, but it has to be intelligent, well-informed work, not just (what feels like) hard work.
    • A well informed, conscious relationship still takes work – and it pays great dividends (of joy).
  • “The statistical chance of one in two of failing at marriage seems wholly acceptable when one is in love – feeling one has already beaten far more extraordinary odds – meeting their ideal ‘one in a million’. ” Don’t accept such poor odds! 

Read More →

Talent Management – Millions of over-educated workers stuck in the wrong roles


Organisations are struggling with their talent management, a new report has yet again highlighted.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), 5.1 million UK workers are ‘stuck’ in jobs where their talents are not being used. In fact, many of these workers are considered ‘over-educated’. This problem is rapidly getting worse – there’s been a rise of nearly a third compared to 2006. This applies not only to graduates but those who have invested in apprenticeships and NVQs too.

IPPR warns:

… the mismatch of skills and jobs could contribute to another “lost decade” of stalled productivity and falling wages.

Allied to this trend are:

  • An adult skills system that is out of alignments with the requirements of employers.
  • An ageing workforce, with older employees far less likely to receive any/adequate training or re-training.
  • A lack of incentive and motivation of employers and employees to invest in training/the right training.
  • Employers not making use of their employees’ skills.
  • A resulting mismatch between education, qualifications and productivity.

In the IPPR report, Read More →

Why relationships can be scary for women…

Diane Nicholson

When a man chooses to step up and become fully present for the woman he loves, he reaps great rewards from the relationship. Likewise, if he chooses not to, he is likely to face some of the situations men want to run from most… until he does step up, that is.

When a man is not being entirely honest with a woman, she will generally pick up on this as an unsettled feeling within her, even though she may not be able to pinpoint exactly why she feels that way. A woman will sense his underlying motives over and above his words, and if something about the two don’t feel congruent to her, then her head and heart with go into battle as she tries to figure out what her amber warning signal is trying to tell her. When a woman ceases to trust her own intuition and thinking, it can result in a change in her behaviour. Read More →

Emotional Intelligence Test Validity versus Efficacy


I have been asked several times recently about (i) whether you can measure emotional intelligence (EQ) and (ii) whether you can develop it – as opposed to being something you are born with. Great questions! I’ll answer the second part first, as it is easy (the answer is yes). Then I’ll share with you my own thoughts about any emotional intelligence test in principle and as a practical solution.

So, with regard to developing EQYES it most definitely can be developed. This entire website is dedicated to the HOW.

Here’s a quick summary of what follows below in regard to emotional intelligence tests:

  • There are several tests for emotional intelligence, however, we consider them to be based on an incomplete and inadequate definition of EQ.
  • What is missing is the same thing that is missing from most personal development – a lack of accounting for both differences in personality and the naturally varying emotional states that we can all experience.
  • EQ is about much more than being able to recognise and manage emotions – as such it is a misnomer!
  • There is considerable debate as to whether EQ is a form of intelligence or a skill. We question the relevance of the debate and understand it to be both.
  • As a skill, EQ can be learned and developed. As a form of intelligence and ability, it is not one thing, but a range of characteristics in which we will all have differing levels of natural ability. This is our starting point or baseline EQ.
  • In order to teach and learn EQ effectively, both teacher and pupils need to be more aware of and account for these baseline personality-related EQ abilities.
    • Contrary to some EQ advice, this needs to include many key subconscious facets of personality and ‘self’.
  • In our view, the currently available tests and assessments are incomplete when it comes to fully assessing EQ.
    • However, the commercially available EQ tests and assessments can:
      • Be a good predictor of organisational and corporate success.
      • Highlight learning and development opportunities both individually and organisationally.
    • The BIG challenge is that the many books and assessments of EQ, focus mainly on what it is (incompletely) and do a good job of explaining why it is important, but do little to offer anything close to a complete or pragmatic solution for HOW to develop EQ.
    • There are other forms of behavioural assessment, such as PRISM BrainMapping which capture the main elements of EQ, whilst providing significant other vocational benefits and cost effectiveness.
  • General levels of emotional intelligence correlate closely with wellbeing, happiness, resilience, relationship skills, leadership success, commercial success and organisational sustainability.

What follows are my own personal views on EQ – as a critique of how it has been academically defined and assessed:

Can Emotional Intelligence be measured?

Despite the work of several academic groups, there isn’t, as yet a generally agreed, all-inclusive definition of emotional intelligence. This hasn’t prevented several groups from developing tests and assessments to add to the many hundreds of psychometric offerings out there. It is big business. Read More →

Taming the ‘ego machine’

Diane Nicholson

Our ego is a machine. It’s a machine that works to a specific routine.

It has a specific set of values, a specific motivating drive, a specific set of fears, rules, beliefs…

We don’t see our machine, because at the same time as you might say – it is within or inside us, we are also are inside it. We are unconsciously looking, sensing and interpreting through our structured ego-filters, which shape what we think we see and experience. It is like being on auto-pilot.

Yet there is another, bigger part of us, you might call it ‘soul’, ‘higher-self’, or our conscious self, that is tied in our ego-machine for the duration of our lives.

The more offended we feel by being told we are a machine, the more blind to our machine we become. This is how the ego-machine works. It is a clever little critter…

Within us, the soul and machine often go unwittingly into battle because they cannot see one another. Heart over head, head over heart, head over gut-instinct… our machine plays out its game, repeating patterns over and over again, dragging our soul along for the ride…

Other machines of different types, with different operating systems, come into contact with us every day. Some will offend us with their differences, and others will please us with their similarities and/or compliments. Read More →

Left Brain vs Right Brain


Here’s a short video worth watching. I’m not sure if the focus on left brain and IQ is a conspiracy – it could be. I have no doubt that many social/political/economic systems are left brained biased, which does in turn cause a lot of issues. More balance, more EQ (emotional intelligence) and more feminine characteristics and energy could go a long way to creating a better world.

In terms of left brain vs right brain and IQ vs EQ – more balance, more EQ (emotional intelligence) and more feminine characteristics and energy could go a long way to creating a better world.

Flexibility of behaviour and self-awareness are two of the major keys to success and happiness. Self-awareness is also the foundation of emotional intelligence, which in turn is one of the biggest success factors in personal effectiveness, management and leadership.

If you want to explore your natural brain and behavioural preferences and find your opportunities to grow and become more balanced and flexible – then we have the solutions – contact us to discuss or chat to us using the chat widget if we are online now.

As relationship mentors we educate our clients on the masculine and feminine and how to develop both aspects of themselves and use them to greatest effect in relationships.

Where our clients want to look at their career/career progression, vocation and direction in life, sense of purpose and direction, then PRISM Brain Mapping can help.

Check out our PRISM Brain Mapping page.

Why Acknowledging and Sharing your Intimate Relationship Needs is Vital to a Happy Relationship

Diane Nicholson

There are ten fundamental intimate relationship needs which are expected to be met exclusively by your partner when that union is entered into. These needs determine the difference between a relationship and a friendship, yet generally, they remain unspoken. Most people have never taken the time to identify their own needs, never mind share them with their partner.

The resulting lack of communication means that neither partner’s needs are met within the relationship, so one or both view the other as a source of frustration rather than love.

These 10 needs will vary in priority for each individual in the relationship, and Read More →

The importance of Emotional Intelligence for the Millennial Generation


Below is a great video, worth watching, featuring extracts from an interview with Simon Sinek from an episode of Inside Quest (IQ). Sinek is an American author. His ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ was listed as the third most popular TED presentation of all time

Sinek makes very many great points about how adolescents and young adults today are being set up for failure, due to the corporate and parenting culture and due to unrealistic expectations which are (un)grounded in an expectation of instant gratification.

What I find fascinating, is what Simon is really talking about – life skills – is emotional intelligence. Yet this isn’t mentioned by name. Funny that the video is from IQ, aka Intelligence Quotient, whereas the solution is really EQ – Emotional Quotient, or EI Emotional Intelligence, also sometimes referred to as emotional literacy.

The discussion highlights how the current obsession with social media is denying the opportunity to develop life skills and relationships skills, which are also not being facilitated in the corporate environment.

Here’s an extract from the discussion, followed by our thoughts: Read More →

Why Accelerated Personalised Development?


Why the term ‘Accelerated Personalised Development’? As you may have seen from the brief discussion our home page, answering the question “What do you do?” doesn’t seem quite so straight forward for us.

So if you have time, here’s a 33 minute video recorded at The Best You Expo 2017, where Andy describes how and why we arrived at this powerful methodology and why it is different to other personal development offerings. If you don’t have time to watch the video now, then read on.

Marketeers say that we need to keep descriptions really short, tight, clear, snappy, attractive etc. etc. That’s marketing for you!  Life really isn’t that simple. We say beware of people offering you very simple yet powerful generic personal development solutions – they usually don’t have a lasting effect once the hype has worn off…

We are in the business of human behaviour, people and relationship dynamics – these appear to be anything but simple! Indeed they are largely unfathomable to the vast majority of us.

This isn’t at all surprising as:

  • We all have very different character/personality/temperaments, much of which is hidden in our sub-conscious.
  • This isn’t taught to us in school.

The good news is that we have greatly simplified and systematised the understanding of people, relationships and human potential.

  • The system starts by focusing on you and the most important relationship – the one that you have with yourself.
  • We take our clients through a unique discovery process – developing much greater self-awareness, self-mastery, awareness of others and mastery in relationships.
  • We have systemised and condensed 24 years of combined experience and the study of many different human potential disciplines into a cohesive and structured process and framework.

Read More →