11 things about me
(Well, 10 would be predictable, wouldn’t it?)
I am a trainer, a teacher, a coach, a therapist. Or rather, a blend of all four.
I see us as an endless dance of mind, body, emotion and thought.
Sometimes it’s the Danse Macabre.
Sometimes it’s the Dance of Life.
For me, living well begins when we change our relationship with it all.
You are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings, you are not your past or your uncertainty about your future.
When you start to notice how you are creating your own life experience, then you begin to live in a whole new way.
I help you to do this through workshops and longer programmes with groups and one on one coaching sessions.
I am concerned with our being as much as our doing or having.
My work builds on Neuro-Lingusitic Programming (NLP).
I trained with one of the most inspiring teachers in the UK, Judith Lowe, who remains a dear friend and mentor.
She taught me NLP with a passion for social change, equality, the planet and humanity rather than primarily business and personal success. (Of course, those things matter too!).
NLP is like a martial art, who you learn with matters. Judith’s style and values deeply affect what I do.
I have spent my entire life curious as to how to live life fully. This gives me a breadth and depth of insight that people are always remarking on.
Though what I do feels like it is uniquely my own work, of course, we all stand on the shoulders of giants.
I have been particularly influenced recently by the work of Richard Moss. Along with Judith, he has become a huge inspiration in my work and I want to acknowledge the profound insights he brings.
And I have learnt so much from the practices of indigenous people across the world.
And the huge leaps forward in our understanding of brain and body in the last twenty years.
And Mindfulness, Aikido, Chi Gung, Bio-energetics and Taoism – the list goes on.
Though mostly, I have learnt from each and every person who has attended a workshop – we are all the same and always completely unique.
It’s a rich range of sources out of which I bring something both unique and life-changing.
I am a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner and Trainer.
I am Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) accredited.
I have a Masters degree in Phenomenology (rough translation: the study of how we experience and make meaning in the world).
I co-developed and deliver The Healthy Leadership Project with my collaborator and friend, Toby Buckle.
It’s an innovative experiential training programme which cultivates leadership and team effectiveness from the inside out.
We work at a deeper level than most team and leadership training whilst all the time remaining business friendly in our language and approach.
We help teams and individuals gain greater awareness of their operational states, beliefs and triggers so they can achieve more, make inspired decisions, communicate authentically and thrive in demanding environments.
Much as I love collaborating with Toby and others, my favourite partner is nature.
Most training informs the mind, usually in a training room. Some trainers see the value of learning by experience, maybe even adding in creativity, movement or learning by doing to help support change.
My big thing is to get outdoors.
Every single process in your body – mental and physical – developed over several million years deeply connected to the wild. We are not naturally adapted with the modern world!
We all know how good it is to get out in the country.
What I do is to teach practices out in the wild that deepen your awareness of how you run yourself so you can live your life in the ways that you really want to.
Bottom line, it’s nature that is the real trainer, therapist and coach!
In another life, I worked 25 years for organisations including IBM, American Express and Royal & Sun Alliance.
I ran some big global and European technology programmes, often leading teams spread across the globe.
In the second half of my career I developed and delivered training programmes for IBM and American Express in UK, Europe and USA.
At IBM I curated their ‘Top Talent’ programme dedicated to the development of those destined to be their leading technical people.
What makes me smile is that I am the last person who should be doing this stuff.
I was your typical bloke – living in my head, out of touch with my body and emotions …. and even more out of touch with those of other people.
I still have a way to go but I am defintely at ease in myself and my body. And so much more attuned and able to respond positively to the restless sea of thoughts, emotions, sensations that make up “me”.
What I teach has been tested on me – and countless others.
This gives me the confidence to say that my approach is likely to make a big difference to you too!
I care about people who don’t get the chances others get.
So I spend 50% of my time delivering my workshops to those experiencing disadvantage in the community.
My “Be Your Best”, “This is the Real Me” and “Wild Mind” programmes delivered through communty hubs across Brighton have helped almost 700 hundred people move into employment, improved mental health and other significant life changes.
This part of my work matters big time to me.
From time to time I slip away to a tiny blue shepherd’s hut, with oak and hazel, pheasant and deer as my neighbours, in a woodland in mid-Sussex.
(Don’t worry, I am not a hermit, mostly I spend my time in a rather wonderful medieval cottage in the heart of Lewes).
However, as Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”.
After the books have been read and the conversations had, I take that advice to heart.
I love to start my workshops saying, “Everything I am going to tell you is wrong”.
After the bemused faces soften, I explain. “Who cares if it’s right – if it makes no difference to you?”
The thing that matters to me is, “Does it work?”, “Does it give you the result you want?”.
Everything else is backstory.
And the only way to discover if something works, is to try it!
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Laid out like an offering
Where two currents meet
The river is dark
But the water is sweet
Bruce Cockburn – “A bone in my ear”
Lines from a song from one of my favorite artists.
In many cultures, the meeting of two rivers is a place of significance. A place of gratitude, of wonder, of transformation, maybe even sacred.
That image perfectly captures what I aspire to in my workshops. I hope to create, not merely a training course, but an event in your life alive with those rich qualities.
Much of my work is done in collaboration under other banners and brand names. So for simplicity, I use this identity for those events and workshops when it’s just me.