June 2001

Hello everyone,

Traditionally when we speak about spring-cleaning, we think about cleaning closets and organising our drawers. In business, spring-cleaning is more about clearing and updating files. Although the lackluster spring wasn’t too inspiring this year, I took on the task of updating my web-page with the support and help of Steve Hercher.

Since actions speak better than words, I suggest that you check out www.coaching.cz to see what’s new. I have added some new links to the Biography and Coaching, Corporate Training and Public Workshop page which you may find useful. For those of you who may not have received all my newsletters, you can now find a complete set of them on the web site. In addition, I have developed some new courses and workshops which you may find of interest.

Man is what he believes- Anton Chekov

Watching The Prague International marathon a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t help but think of one of the greatest feats in Track and Field history; the first time an athlete ran a mile under four minutes. For many years, sports commentators said that it was inconceivable for an athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes.. Physiologists thought the body and mind would rebel against the strains they were being forced to endure and thwart the attempt.Everyone began to think that a four-minute mile would be a barrier that no human would be capable of breaking. However, a young Oxford medical student, Roger Bannister, was not deterred from his goal to be the first to break that barrier. As others backed down from the challenge, he looked forward to his chance to conquer the barrier that had gained control of the athletes’ world’s elite.

In 1954 Roger Bannister broke the imposing belief barrier. The most important part of this record is what it did for others. Until that day no one had been able to break the four-minute mile, yet within one year, 37 other runners also broke it. And the year after that, 300 other runners did the same thing.

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. What are your beliefs and how are they supporting you and your goals?

Effective Communication Workshops & Coaching Workshops

All workshops will be on hold for the summer and will resume in the Fall


May 28th IWAP evening at the Pariz hotel
June 4th WIB dinner at the Mlynec restaurant
June7th-23rd Prague Ensemble Theater: Hunting Cockroaches by Janusz Glowacki
June 14th Altisa Chapeau Garden Party
June 30th Czech Canadian Chamber of Commerce tennis tournament
June 25th IWAP evening at the Pariz hotel
July 2nd WIB dinner at the Mlynec restaurant

Communication Tip of the Month

We all know how crucial listening is to successful company and team management. So the day one of my clients told me that he wanted to be the boss so that he wouldn’t have to listen to anyone, I felt that something was seriously amiss.

What he meant was that he didn’t want to have do what other people told him to do. The problem was that he naturally combined in his mind the ideas of ‘listening’ and ‘following orders’. When we think in this way, we usually start putting up unintentional communication barriers; we subconsciously think ‘if I don’t listen, I won’t have to do it, so I just won’t listen’. This kind of thinking results in miscommunication and unproductive activity on all sides (if there’s any activity at all).

Listening by standard definition is first about paying attention to sound, about hearing something with thoughtful attention. By giving thoughtful attention and consideration to the person you are speaking with, you will start listening and perceiving what that person is trying to say.

The first step when you listen to someone is to give that person your full attention and make an effort to see, hear and/or feel what the person is trying to communicate. The second step is to make sure that what has been said has been understood by both parties. Only then can we decide how to respond and answer.

When you listen to someone, are you taking the other person’s ideas into consideration, are you trying to understand what they are really saying or thinking or are you worrying about what the person is expecting from you?

The next time you hear someone telling you “listen to me”, make sure to decipher the real meaning of the phrase.

Related reading: The title of Monty Roberts’ first book was: The Man Who Listens to Horses. For those of you who haven’t read the book, M. Roberts describes in detail how he learned to communicate with horses by watching them and paying attention to the way the horses related to each other and to the world around them.

Until next month, Karin