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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Making Mountains out of Molehills

Today is the day when my baby :-) Can't see the wood for the trees: Landscaping Your Life to get back on track is available to download and, if you're lucky enough to be in the US, available to buy a hard copy too! (Unfortunately we'll have to wait till 20th Sept here in the UK to get our hands on one).

The book explores the sayings we use when we're stuck such as: 
  • Stuck in a rut
  • Can’t see the wood for the trees
  • Up the creek without a paddle
  • Like a fish out of water
  • Out on a limb
  • In at the deep end
  • Treading water
  • Going round in circles
  • Missed the tide
It uses the Landscaping Your Life process that I've been using with clients for over 20 years, and if you resonate with any of the saying's above you might want to pop over to my Landscaping Your Life page and find out more about it - YouTube too.

A more logical explanation about the solutions proposed in the book focuses on two other sayings:

Firstly, we need to take our head out of the sand about about inability to solve the situation.

That is, there will be a solution we just need to stay calm and find it. 

We also need to recognise that we might just be:
It's not a phrase we often use about ourselves, and yet that's what we're doing when we're describing a situation as stuck. That is, we're stating we don't know what to do, and we are most definitely stuck and unable to move. 

The truth of the matter is it's likely that there will be part of us that does know what to do. We just need to turn up its voice a little so we can hear it. 

The mountains are the sayings we use - ie we've taken a situation and are depicting it as mountain like rut, tree, creek, limb and so on!

Which is where the molehills come in, because they're the solution:
  1. Motivation
  2. Outcome
  3. Life as it is now (what we’re leaving behind?)
  4. Emotional intelligence
  5. Head out of the sand
  6. Interference removed
  7. Longitude and Latitude
  8. Start
That is, the solution to any problems we're facing lies in one of the above MOLEHILLS, or more precisely:
  1. To be inspired and motivated
  2. To know what you’re headed towards (B)
  3. To know where you are now (A)
  4. To understand yourself and manage your state
  5. To take personal responsibility for your life
  6. To understand and remove what’s holding you back
  7. To develop the route for getting from A to B
  8. To take the first step
Over the six years I've written here I've covered many of these subjects, and over coming weeks will return to these again to explore how we can use them to get unstuck and back on track.

In the mean time if you're stuck in a rut, and have struggled for some time to find the motivation, you might just want to go and find a rut in the landscape, step into it and out again and notice what you notice. You might be surprised!

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Landscaping Your Life - inspiring change inside and out

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

14 or 44 sleeps to go

Beyond excited that on 7th Aug in the US (aka 14 sleeps) and 6th Sept in the UK (a little longer with 44 sleeps) that my first book:

Can't see the wood for the trees 

is due to be published.

Available to pre-order from and NobleWHSWaterstonesDeep BooksInner TraditionsIndieBound, & Findhorn Press.

Trade orders please see Simon & Schuster.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Have you taken off your rose coloured spectacles?

Before my holiday I gave a talk at a local CIPS branch meeting and addressed my answer to a question posed about 'how to stand out from the crowd'. It was of course a given that the tag line to that question was 'using soft skills'.

Consider for a moment which of the following would you say was the most important soft skill?

The soft skill that would enable you to stand out from others, and enable you to get that interview, job or promotion?

Perhaps the soft skill you're thinking of isn't there.

Here's my answer to that question:

Having taken up sea swimming last year I've signed up for a Firth of Forth swim in September (eeck!).
Since swimming, and certainly since telling people about my 1.4 mile swim to come, I am constantly aware of the different temperature comfort zones we all have:

I've never liked temperatures over 20 degrees but who knew I would happily embrace swimming without a wet suit in 8 degree water with frost on the ground to watch sunrise!!

Aren't we all a little like the weather though with a range of temperaments:

Some of us able to demonstrate a different temperament every hour, and others stuck in one for months on end:

The key, is the predictability of our actions:

With the ability to flex those actions to suit the situation:

and to not get stuck in a fixed way of being:

I'll ask you again, which of these soft skills is the most important?

The accuracy of your answer depends whether you took your rose coloured spectacles off long enough about yourself to assess which of these skills you excel at, and which need a little more TLC and development?

Which was the crux of my answer - I believe self awareness is the key to standing out from the crowd.

Self awareness allows us to bring into conscious awareness the skills we're competent in (our strengths) and those we're not (areas of development).

Self awareness also allows us to understand who we are - our identity - to enable us to ensure we're not trying to be a round peg in a square hole:

On the night, using the Frameworks for Change Process I use in coaching sessions, we then explored strengths we might have:

and also the potential development areas:

One attendee said she was off to speak to her manager to ask them what soft skill she may wish to bring out of unconscious incompetence so that she may develop her competence in that area.

How can you put your self awareness to work in order that you increase the potential of you standing out from the crowd?

Always more than open to discussing how I may help you or your team increase your self awareness, and even release some of those unhelpful behaviours that are holding you back +44 (0)7770 538159.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach 
Using unconventional tools to get you back on track 

The FCP process, the insight, setback and mentor cards used here are from Frameworks for Change © Innerlinks -