The Art & Science of Curiosity – How to ignite curiosity to build innovative, collaborative teams

The engine of creativity, and foundation of life-long learning, and the bringer of pleasure and reward, curiosity is a future proof personal and interpersonal development skill.

We were all so curious as children, asking, testing, playing, experimenting – it is part of a clever biological trick to help us learn. But curiosity can serve a great purpose in our adult lives and produce the same levels of intrinsic reward. Developing a curious disposition is both an art and a science, and can help us establish life long learning habits, unleash our creativity, and build collaborative and innovative teams. 

We were all so curious as children, asking, testing, playing, experimenting. At what stage did we stop being curious, and what effects has that had on our ability to grow personally and professionally? Curiosity serves a great purpose in our lives, and helps us establish life-long learning habits, greater self-awareness, and brings about achievements in work and at home.

Connected to Self: Find power through purpose, personality and positivity

A key component of emotional intelligence, the gateway to personal well-being and the foundation of how we deal with others, self-awareness should be at the top of all of our learning goals.

What makes us uniquely brilliant? What drives us to perform, to succeed, to nurture important friendships? By understanding the forces of nurture and nature, we can get to know ourselves at a deeper level.

Why do we have gut feelings, and why does one idea give us a headache and another a feeling of euphoria? Explore the somatic processes of the Positive Emotional Attractors, and Negative Emotional Attractors and the effect they have on our bodies and thinking.

Interconnected: Collaborate through Trust, Authentic Communication and Higher Purpose

Successful interaction with other people is built on trust, and trust is at the heart of any truly effective team. But how do we build trust? What are its’ building blocks and what are the specific outcomes of trust? In this masterclass we discover the things we can harvest from trust and how they benefit our interactions with others.

Communication is a complex beast; it is an art and a science and immensely powerful. What makes us good communicators and easily understood by others? We learn how to identify and dismantle the barriers to effective communication.

Master Creative Intelligence – Tools, Tips and Techniques

Creative Intelligence is a combination of art and science and is in demand now more than ever as we face increasingly complex globally inter-linked problems. With the advancement of neuroscience, we now have a deep understanding of our thinking processes, and can, as a result, choose and direct our thinking styles appropriately.

In this workshop, we explore how we think, where we get stuck, and how to see afresh. We learn to use different thinking tools for different occasions and build creative muscle. We also explore some of the psychological attitudes that influence our creative potential and abilities. Ultimately, we gain a fresh perspective on how to improve personal and team creative output bringing real value to team performance.

How to create, hold and grow your presence

To grow we need to step outside of our comfort zones. Whether you’re dipping your toe across the line or taking a running jump out of the zone, you’ll be more successful if you’ve built resilience, awareness, confidence and presence.

Often fear can masquerade as false confidence which won’t put you at ease in a new situation, nor will it convince others. But when you build from the inside out, it comes across as authentic, honest and genuinely confident.

“Strategic ‘doing’, putting productivity in the right places” 

We’re mindful of how we use resources; how we reduce, reuse and recycle and are being more thoughtful on what resources we truly need.  Too often we don’t think about time, yet it’s the resource which is finite.  Research shows that only 30-40% of the average workday is actually productive yet we manage to fill our time and often don’t feel like we’ve actually achieved what we started out to do.

So what would you do if you had more time?  Time to actually think, time to think strategically.  You might want to work smarter to fit your working day into five hours and with this new time take up a Masters degree, spend time with family or take on a fabulous new project, then you should think about how to be productive in the time that you have.

Boosting Your Financial Wellbeing

Now we’re living longer and leading less predictable lives, we need new ways of thinking about money. While this brings increased responsibility, it also offers exciting new opportunities and different ways of being.

Most of us know we need to spend less and save more. Financial security is essential to our wellbeing, yet it can be difficult to know how to achieve it. How much is enough? What are the risks? When do I need to start saving for the future?

The Circular Economy- what is it and how it can save the world?

This fun, 3 hour experiential workshop will explain the fundamental principles of the Circular Economy and how it is already being applied to redesign our world. Discover the potential to transform the way we live as individuals and also to drive greater resource productivity by eliminating waste, dramatically reducing carbon and preserving value in all that we do and consume. Do you feel overwhelmed by the negativity surrounded climate change and pollution?

Are you concerned about the scarcity of resources in our future? The Circular Economy is a faster solution for us to positively act now and create a thriving, competitive society.  Learn how you, your family and work team can apply Circular Economy thinking to accelerate positive change.

How to nurture, cultivate and integrate curiosity across all aspects of work and of life using the Joy of Not Knowing (JONK) philosophy and approach

Curiosity opens up endless opportunities for us all within all aspects of our lives. Curiosity enables us to develop the invaluable quality of being intrinsically motivated to want to learn, to know, to discover, to postulate new ideas, to discuss different alternatives, to wonder and to explore wisdom in a way that makes anything and everything seem exciting and possible.

The Art of Persuasion Communication

There are now more ways to communicate today than ever before. This has been fuelled by the rise of the internet, digital technology and social media. So much so that we are now bombarded with more messages every day than we can possibly remember or manage. Economists have given this phenomena a name, the “Attention Economy”, which treats human attention as a scarce commodity. More tech is not the answer, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem, and the mobile phone, for instance, has become the weapon of mass distraction. The answer lies in recognizing that persuasion doesn’t happen on screen, or on the page, it happens in the human mind, and that understanding how we react to messages and what influences our decision making processes is what constitutes powerful persuasion.

Breathe Better, Stress Less

In the Breathe Better, Stress Less masterclass, we learn how the body was designed to breathe and how our modern life and millennia-old brain have led us into bad breathing habits. Studies show that a massive 80% of people are not using their breathing apparatus effectively. What does that mean? Over-breathing, breath hunger, tension build-up, sensitive trigger points, poor posture, loss of concentration and focus, poor sleep and so on.

In a fun, learning-by-feeling way, we learn:

How to retrain the good breathing muscles
How to optimise the mind-body-breath connection
How to use breath as a tool to manage your emotional state and the way you think
How to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress
How to use good posture, stretches and breathing techniques to create ‘relaxation’ times throughout the working day

Giving Feedback so you get Heard

Bypassing conflict while getting your message across – With Conscious Business People

Without effective feedback it’s hard for things to change. Yet we resist, anxious of how our message will be received, fearful of possible rifts in relationships or defensiveness and the frustration of not being heard. The secret to giving effective feedback is how we do it.

This 3 hour experiential workshop will teach you a robust technique for giving feedback so you are heard with minimal risk of conflict. You’ll get plenty of opportunity to practice in a safe environment and with plenty of feedback.

The skills you will learn are essential in leadership and management roles but may serve you equally in your professional and personal life.

Bring yourself and maybe a couple of scenarios where you have been struggling to give feedback effectively and we’ll provide the rest. We’re psychotherapists and business culture change specialists so feedback is ingrained in everything we do.

Stoicism – The Original Personal Development Programme

Making use of the original personal development program

Life is busy, complicated and full of highs and lows, so how can we best develop, learn and thrive? Stoicism, although an ancient philosophy, can be found throughout modern personal development and self-mastery literature. This workshop will show you the tools used by the Stoics such as the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, how modern authors use Stoicism, and why Silicon Valley has adopted Stoicism for developing mastery and resilience.

By the end of the workshop, you will have some invaluable tools to use, not only to enhance your personal resilience, but how to live a more fulfilling, satisfying and happy life. You will have a blue print to increase your success, no matter what success is for you.

Coaching Skills for Beginners

Learning the principles to effective coaching – with Conscious Business People

Coaching others builds their confidence, reduces their dependency on you and helps them solve more of their problems themselves. The guiding principle is that you can’t do their learning for them. However being effective as a coach relies on following a few golden rules.

This 3 hour experiential workshop will give you not only the fundamental principles of coaching, why and when to coach and lots of opportunity to practice your technique.

The skills you will learn are essential in leadership and management roles but may serve you equally in your professional and personal life.

We’re psychotherapists, coaches and business culture change specialists so coaching is ingrained in everything we do.

Mind Mapping – Visual Integrative Thinking

Mind Maps follow the natural organising procedures of our neural pathways. They integrate ideas, prioritise thoughts and give space for strategic thinking at the complex level. They create links and associations facilitating easy recall, and work as a prime tool for giving presentations and memorising information. Compact in structure, they also allow for efficient collation of research and data and offer an opportunity for complex problem solving.

During the course, we will learn how to do several different types of maps, from concept mapping, to knowledge mapping. We will look at how to map for idea generation, information storage and recall, and for presenting, and explore how mind mapping can help us look afresh at complex problem solving and strategy development.

Story Illustrations – Write and Illustrate your own Stories

I firmly believe that everyone of us is capable of writing and illustrating our own stories and I hope that this course will help ease the characters, places and words out of your head and onto the open page. I will show you how to simplify your ideas, help you with the structure a story requires, and give you the confidence and ability to draw the characters you need to bring your ideas bursting into the world.

Things you will learn:

How to destruct and simplify
Cheats, short cuts and tricky bits to avoid
The Rules of Book Publishing and how to get noticed.

Let’s draw!

How to Start Your Novel (and how to keep going)

Do you want to write a novel but feel overwhelmed? If you sit and wait for inspiration to strike, you might be waiting for a long time. In this workshop we break things down into manageable tasks.

We go back to basics: What is inspiration, and how do you find it? What kind of story are you interested in writing? How does that kind of book work? How do you create your characters? What function do your characters fulfill? How do you begin to build a plot that will engage readers and keep them reading? We will think about the different kinds of thinking required in research, planning, writing and editing a novel.

And finally, we consider some strategies for keeping going when it gets tough.

Positive Psychology in Practice

What is it about the letter P?  People, potential, performance … so much more positive and powerful than … problems.  This course moves on from traditional problem-solving to explore what positive psychology can look like in practice. The course covers theories, techniques and skills from the ‘solution focused approach’, developed in the 1980’s and gaining ground in fields such as therapy, social care, health and organisational change.  We’ll work with live material ranging from the everyday to the transformational.

Expect to learn some very practical skills for achieving change, and to experience changes. This is an experiential process, and the approaches we will use are good not just for bringing about positive feelings, but creating powerful results.  For those who will want proof – expect pudding.

How to have Difficult Conversations

Overcoming inertia and saying what’s important – With Concious Business People

We all have conversations in our life that need having but that somehow don’t get had. This may be true in our work or our personal lives. Commonly we fear the discomfort of conflict, sometimes it’s because we don’t know how to say it or find the right words, sometimes we fear that we won’t be heard.

But what could change if you could have that conversation? What might become possible? What might you gain?

This 4 hour experiential workshop will gently but progressively stretch your comfort zone to build your confidence. We’ll show you how to use congruence so you get heard in potentially challenging conversations, remaining gently assertive while minimising unproductive conflict.

Conflict Transformation

Conflicts are unavoidable and not necessarily bad; they can create resentment, infighting and build an unhealthy organisation culture resulting in lower productive, disgruntled staff, and low levels of collaboration and creative output. Or they can they can offer opportunity for growth, innovation and creative development.

Effective conflict resolution and mediation skills are key to building a sustainable organisational model, be it large or small, political, industrial, creative or humanitarian. And leaders of organisations who build the skills sets required for conflict recognition and dispute resolution are better equipped to tap into diversity, and lead and manage creative successful teams.

This workshop provides an opportunity to learn about the principles and causes of conflicts, to choose strategies to resolve conflict, and to build facilitation skills that lead to the resolution of disputes through artful mediation. The workshop is highly interactive, with pair and group activities throughout that are specifically designed to deepen understanding and build skills.

Cultural Intelligence – Learning from Mongolian Nomadic Wisdom

In the 13th century Chinggis Khaan, the leader of steppe, founded the ‘Great Mongolian State’ by forging the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world, stretching from Korea to present-day Poland. The empire led great economic, political and cultural transformation across Asia and Europe, from the establishment of the world’s best transportation system at the time, to the standardised use of paper money and coins.

Under his reign, almost all popular religions from Buddhism to Eastern Christianity, Manichaeism to Islam lived peacefully alongside one another. And yet he, and all his people were nomads. What can we learn from those nomadic leaders? In this session, we explore the concept of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), and learn how nomads utilised it, in order to enhance our insight, and to work effectively with diversity.

Story Telling – Magic and Mechanics

All the best presentations, sales pitches, lectures, management debates, even negotiations share one vital ingredient, they all contain a compelling story. Stories are highly persuasive. Psychologists have shown that our brains are hard-wired to react to stories more than any other form of communication. From Stone Age man sitting round the camp fire to classic literature and right up to Netflix, the basic elements of storytelling have remained unchanged for thousands of years. Storytelling – magic and mechanics reveals the mystery of story, how stories work on us psychologically, and explains the basic elements of storytelling so that we can tell more interesting stories and be more persuasive. Both in our personal and professional lives, story is the most powerful communication tool we have. Storytelling – magic and mechanics will show you how to become a more effective communicator by becoming a more engaging storyteller.

Mastering Emotional Intelligence

The complexities of the modern world require building a network of unselfish collaborations and strategic ecosystem thinking, and these require deep levels of emotional intelligence. Relationships are key for the present and future or businesses large, small, profit and non-for, public sector and private. Relationships with teams and organisations, and also across sector need developing and nurturing to be able to transcend current models of business strategy and team development.

Emotional Intelligence is about personal awareness – recognition and management of emotions, and interpersonal abilities – empathy, compassion, mentoring and team emotion management.

Chinese Landscape Painting – Understanding Chinese ideology, politics and idealism

The painting of landscapes has been an independent art genre in China for over 1,600 years. It is found in every setting, in the background of highly political meetings and in the supermarket in China, it is in the hearts and minds of everyone. During this course we will explore how to read these paintings.

These specific paintings are objects of a visual culture transferring ideology, aesthetics, power struggle and idealism through the centuries. They are artistic worldly diagrams, instrumental in interpreting current affairs.

But, the paintings are not only ‘objects’ to be observed or interpreted. Their purpose of the painting is to expand one’s narrow view of the world and our cosmos. It is a challenging and provoking thinking process.

Botanical Illustrations

This is a good, basic, old fashioned plant drawing course, for which you will need a sharp pencil and an inquiring mind. Once you have learnt the tricks, solutions and methods that Botanical Illustrators have used for centuries, you will be amazed at how your pencil skills improve leaving you free to take your plant drawing abilities in any direction you choose.

Go wild!

* Brief introduction to the art of Botanical Illustration.
* Explore the basic forms and structures that make up the ” bones” of plant forms.
* Learn the importance of a sharp pencil and a single line!
* Curves, folds, junctions and roots …let’s draw.

Let’s Play – Developing our true self through playful expression

“Play is the free expression of what is in the soul.” (Froebel)

How much is play a part of your life? Do you tend to disregard the importance of it? This workshop (or playshop!) is an opportunity to reclaim your childhood sense of play, this wondrous natural ability we all have within us when we are born that may have diminished along the way.  As well as having some time to reflect on your relationship with play together with a light touch of theory, you will have the opportunity to discover more of your wonderful, unique, ‘true self’ through play – and have some fun!