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Month: November 2022

Telepathic Tendencies

We have all been there, that situation where you are certain that you have told somebody something only for them to swear blind that you haven’t. Take my husband for example who was certain he had told me that he was travelling to Canada. I am quite certain he hadn’t and as such had arranged a couple of friends to pop round for supper that evening. Concerned as to his lateness I made a call and was surprised to hear the long drawn out ring tone of a phone abroad. What happened next did not break the relationship but strong words were had on both sides. What happened? Who was right?

This week’s ramble seems to be more about home life stuff than the actual business end of the owner-run business. However the same telepathic tendencies happen between all humans so feel free to pick this up and apply it anywhere you like. It’s one thing that makes Monecosse stand out; we see managing people as not just something that happens inside business walls, its everywhere and yet it all has the ability to impact you and what you are trying to achieve in your business, therefore it’s really, really important to get it right.

The thing is, we all have an endless internal narration going on inside of our head, every waking moment (unless we are meditating and even then we are usually screaming silently to our mind to shut up or are whisked along for a ride on it before realising that we are suppose to be meditating). We may pick up and roll the same thought around our mind many times without so much as a word about it leaving our mouth. We might put that thought down for a few days whilst something else shoots across our bow (See ‘Crackerjack’ Nov 2022) only to wonder “now where did I get to with this?” when we return to that original thought waiting for us patiently in the chest of drawers of prevailing thoughts.

This is the point where the seed that will likely set off fireworks at a later date is sown. That pesky little thought will seem so familiar to us, we have picked it up several times and had huge internal chatter about it that it is likely to feel like common knowledge, not just to us but in fact the whole world. How on earth could anyone have failed to hear that he was catching the 10.15 flight to Ontario on Thursday when he had been stressing about it for weeks?

At this point it’s quite easy to have some empathy with my husband. After all he was absolutely convinced he had told me, not just once but that in fact we had spoken about it several times. Thankfully it isn’t just him that suffers from this side effect of being human and yes I have ‘made up’ for it with my own slips in communication many times since. It is a very human thing to do and yet, it can cause utter chaos. Let’s leave some spice at home, the unexpected keeps relationships alive does it not? Perhaps we could just be a little more understanding when we are on the receiving end and, when caught out by our own lack of telepathic powers, be willing to accept that it is perfectly possible to land in this situation.

In business however it is as well to make things explicit. If its a really important thought marble running around our mind that could conceivably cause chaos for others, how about we write down our thought in our diary/phone/calendar/ gadget that I’ve never heard of, and put a question next to it: “Did I communicate this to everyone who needs to know this?” It’s then worth checking to make sure that at the time we communicated to them (business partner, colleague, wife, husband, partner, child, mother) that their own brain wasn’t swamped by something else (‘Reaction’: next blog and the cause of the world’s problems-no joke!) in which case they couldn’t possibly have heard the message anyway.

Oh the joy of human thinking! And you thought you just had to get on and run your business doing what you do best. Don’t worry, this is our bag and we can help you to get all of that human wibble wobble straightened out so that you can get on with the real job at hand.

Reaction-Or The Root Of The World’s Problems

No, Im not kidding, this week’s blog is universal in the widest possible sense. When Newton spoke about equal and opposite reactions he really was on to something. This is such a huge topic it’s difficult to know where to start but start we must and the easiest place to start is with oneself.

We all react to things at various levels many times a day. We wake up late (damn) we have no coffee (drat) and then we drop our toast on the floor and it lands, of course, butter side down (that’s it I’ve had enough I’m going back to bed). The reactions we have to these things would change if we had different thoughts about them. For example if it were a Sunday and we had absolutely nothing on and we woke up late compared to a Monday morning with a very important 8.30am meeting? Our thinking, therefore our emotions, therefore our reaction would be very, very different in each case. All this and we haven’t even left the house yet!

Reaction is very normal, it’s human and even if you are the coolest cucumber in the box you will still experience reaction, you just might not display it as clearly as the drama queen next door. The good thing about reaction is that eventually it comes to a natural end as normal service resumes we begin to think more clearly and start to work things out (Do I make another piece of toast or just run for the train?) We call this ‘reframe’ a state of thinking that is really useful when we are trying to get some clarity about something. We will get to this another time but for now its time to launch our reactive little human out into the world of billions of other reactive little humans and see what happens (looking for the gritted teeth emoji right now).

So when we hear something for the first time (our first client cancelled, we didn’t get the order or our co worker just right royally messed up on something important ) we react, and, as we now know our reaction depends upon how we think about that thing; what’s the real or imagined impact on us, how do we perceive our own and other peoples behaviour at the time, How do we feel about it all? And, when we react towards someone guess what, they react right back towards us. 

“How on earth did you manage to mess that up?”

“Well I had a lot on my mind and you weren’t around”

“But I thought you said you could handle it?”

“Well I did just not in the way you would have done it”

“The right way”

“The wrong way”

You get the idea. This interaction will either die out quite quickly or explode. The perfect position would be if we could get these people out of the cycle of reaction and all of the emotion that surrounds it and into ‘reframe’ but as long as they continue to pour fuel on each others fire the reaction just keeps on coming.

Now there is one thing that really doesn’t work. Never ever in the history of telling someone to “calm down” has anyone ever actually calmed down. In fact that phrase should only be sold with the licence that they sell fireworks with. Equally, telling someone “Im going to tell you something but I don’t want you to react” has and never will prevent reaction. These well known phrases exist because humans simply hate reaction in others. We find it icky, awkward or just downright terrifying, best to be avoided altogether. But, you need to manage your business, expectations and people right? How on earth do you make decisions, communicate your requirements, ask people to make changes and adjustments, give bad news, give good news and not have anyone react back at you? In short, you don’t. Reaction is part of being a human and even more obvious when you are required to manage the reaction of other humans because you run a business.

Now in order that I don’t completely ruin your Christmas let me give you a little gift. This gift will manage reaction perfectly and might just come in handy over the holidays.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is reacting at you, ranting, frustrated, annoyed, upset or overwhelmed use this. Imaging you are holding a piece of card, facing you are the words “It is not about you” on the other side facing the reactive person it says “tell me more’. In a reactive situation take said imaginary card and point “tell me more” at the person, just keep asking them to tell you a little more, listen very carefully and then ask them to tell you a bit more. Whilst doing this remind yourself over and over that what they are saying and doing ‘is not about you’ it’s just reaction. It can ‘feel’ very personal but it isn’t, it’s just reaction. If you mine the reaction from someone rather than trying to put a stopper on it, or throw fuel on it (trying to fix their problem does this very well “may I suggest…” is pretty much a red rag to a bull) eventually there will be no more, it runs out. Like handkerchiefs from a magicians hat you get to the end eventually. At this point normal thinking service can resume. It’s very important to keep to the script here, no improvisation, no padding out your own part ok? You have three words to say, that’s it. Stick to the script!

So we made a start on the enormous topic of reaction. Next time I’ll talk a little bit about how people cannot hear a thing when they are reacting making it a highly effective political tool and what you do when the handkerchiefs stop coming? Look out for our posts about inspiring businesses or get in touch to tell us about yours!



According to psychologists the human mind can only work with 7 things (+ or – 2) at any one time. So when we say that we have a hundred things on our mind it just isn’t the case, in fact, that would be impossible even for Einstein. However, this may explain why we feel so overwhelmed at times as the mind battles to rearrange thoughts in order to manage space in its processing area (working memory). Some topics need to be let go off or put on the sidelines in order for thinking to happen but if we are constantly trying to remind ourself about taxing the car and the finance meeting at the same time as thinking through our next client interaction its going to feel a lot like a 1980’s children’s game show where prizes were piled into the arms of the contestants along with booby prizes of cabbages. The name of the game was not to drop any prizes but inevitably that is exactly what happened on most occasions. ‘Crackerjack’ was a personal favourite I was convinced that I could have held many prizes along with at least 5 cabbages at any one time.

Fast forwards 20 years and I am still juggling things with cabbages only now this takes place in my mind and I am not nearly as good at it as my 12 year old self would have me believe.  This muddle of things does a great job of clouding my thinking and I am in danger of focussing on the wrong thing and dedicating my precious 7 thinking spots to cabbages rather than prizes with the important stuff competing for a processing spot as soon as one becomes available.  

On days like these it is common to spend many moments feeling like we have forgotten something. Sometimes we have indeed forgotten something and the cold sweat ensues as we come to the realisation that it is in fact a birthday or an anniversary. Sometimes that feeling is just a feeling that doesn’t turn into a frenzied shopping drama but rather just haunts us throughout the day. In both cases these feelings can be linked to overwhelm which is never a good place to be if we want to remain calm with focused clear thinking.

In addition, research on the effects of stress on the mind and body are enough to send us all scurrying to the nearest meditation retreat. Mindfulness as a concept is growing rapidly, so much so that in places it is now being prescribed as a solution to stress by medical professionals. Thinking drives it all. If our thoughts are messy then our emotions will follow and that is simply a whole world of pain.

As a business owner however it is tough to get the time to calm our thoughts. Someone telling us to calm down is likely to have the opposite effect and the word ‘prioritise’ drives us nuts because it is all a priority, isn’t it? 

We have, as I say 7 spots + or – 2 to dedicate to things on our mind, thinking that requires processing. A noisy radio could easily occupy one and a car journey across a busy city will take up at least two at the same time. A frustrated mental wrangle with the economy or the political situation will steal resource from us and an unpaid parking fine and an upcoming school play will see us almost full to the point of overwhelm. That is all before we attempt to manage our business.

A habit that I find useful to adopt is to write down absolutely everything buzzing around my mind first thing in the morning. I really try not to leave anything out at all and then I consider which items on that list can wait until after 1pm that day. I cross these items out and write them up on another list which is then put in a drawer with a promise to myself to return to this list after 1pm. I usually find that there are only 4 or 5 things left that absolutely must have my attention. This has worked so well that in recent years, slightly by accident, I have kept 7 coffee beans on my desk. Its a reminder to myself that I only have so much thinking energy available to me and causes me to be mindful as to where I spend that energy each day.  

Energy beans are an important finite resource. Choose to spend them wisely each day and discover a mind free of pointless political argument and cabbages.

The Runaway Train- Read This First

The Runaway Train Or Business Owner Overwhelm

“The runaway train came over the hill and she blew” or so the song goes and its a familiar metaphor for the owner-run business. (Note: I use the term owner-run business because even if you are technically classed as a small business it might not feel small to you.) What started out as a wonderful, exciting journey full of new discoveries and opportunities can turn into a feeling of intense overwhelm. 

You first client undoubtedly gave you an absolute thrill. Doing something that you love, are good at and perhaps can do better at it than anyone else you know, is rewarding enough but when someone values that service enough to pay you it launches you into a new unknown world.

Chances are that as an owner-run business you are very, very good at what you do and have a desire to get up in the morning to go and do that thing, so much so that in the beginning you didn’t even know if you would be rewarded for doing that thing you just loved it so you just did it anyway. If you are good at something that few other people can do and deliver a fabulous service to your first client it is only a matter of time before you get another client or two or ten or sixty. At this point you are still excited and enthusiastic if a little un-nerved as to how you will meet all of this demand, never mind manage the background tasks of administration and book-keeping to name a couple. The train has started to run, you notice but it’s still ok. You decide take on or contract with people to support you and your growing business, you put more coal on the fire and let it rip.

Now you are on a runaway train, let me explain. Does any of the following sound like you?

Your coffee, by the time you drink it is always cold?

You have so many windows open on your computer it bewilders you as to how it still works?

Inevitably you need the loo but its been the case for the last two hours you just haven’t got around to it yet?

Once home you would love to tell your partner, family, cat about your day but you have lost the power of speech?

A 40 hour week is a wistful dream and not in the realms of reality?

People; employees, colleagues, clients, wife, husband, partner, family, contractors, delivery drivers are kicking off and it usually feels like it’s directed at you?

The big idea is still there but constantly appears clouded over by numerous issues so much so that you feel your focus and clear vision has been lost?

You are still in love with the destination but you are having some serious doubts about the state of your train?

It’s ok. That’s normal. In fact it’s a great sign that you are on the right track. You have recognised that something else is needed. You are an expert in your chosen field. The trouble is that now you are trying rapidly to become an expert in another field, the minefield of managing people. Managing people, their reactions and emotions towards things connected to you and your business can be the stuff of nightmares. By ’people’ I mean any human that is touched by or touches your business in any way. Everybody from suppliers to accountants, your family and friends as they can all be impacted by and impact your business. The thing is that, this little area of managing people with all of their own hopes, dreams and aspirations, is actually highly highly complex and requires an expert that’s really really good at it in order to get it right. Uh-oh, that’s not you right?

Never fear. Subscribe to our blog for weekly insights on the most prevalent problems of business owner overwhelm and solutions that you can use today, right now and certainly before your coffee goes cold.

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