TA Banner

August 2012

Some Exciting News

For some time now, Jacqui and I have been involved with ANZI Coaching, a coaching industry body who accredit coaches and coaching courses. Last year we both achieved our Master Coach accreditation through ANZI Coaching.

You may be aware that Talking About has delivered a coach training program for the past ten years or so. Although this has not been the main focus of our business, we have had nearly forty people as students in the program over that time. Earlier this year, we decided to put the couse forward for accreditation with ANZI Coaching and the result is that our program has been accredited at the Professional Coach level. The upshot of this is that anyone who completes our program will automatically become eligible to be accredted as a Professional Coach with ANZI Coaching.

We are very proud of our program and the quality of the graduates we produce. So if you are interested in finding out more then we invite you to visit our web site or write to us at info@talkingabout.com.au

The Trigger for Action

"Being oppressed means the absence of choices.”

… Bell Hooks (b. 1952) US educator, feminist theorist & poet

When coaching people who are seeking to develop their leadership style, we will often ask them to identify people they know who they see as good or great leaders. Although many people come up with the obvious answers such as Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jnr, most struggle to think of too many good leaders they know personally. Although we recognise there are many good leaders in the world, they seem to be less common than you would think given the amount of money that is spent by organisations on developing their leaders.

As part of the industry that aims to develop leaders, this is somewhat disquietening and gives us pause for thought. Certainly, if we ask leaders to tell us about leadership, they can do so. So it is not that poor leaders don't always know what good leadership entails, it is that they do not apply what they know. Geoffrey Pfeffer called this the "knowing-doing gap".

Our basic ontological premise offers two key questions that we apply in our work:

1. Of all the things I could do in a given moment and situation, why do I do what I do?

2. How could I do things more effectively in a similar situation in a future moment?

Exploring the first question offers us a way of understanding ourselves better. Many people think of being "authentic" as acting in alignment with how we think we should act. We prefer to look at this another way. We hold that we cannot be anything but authentic as we always act to take care of our core concerns in life; it is just that this does not always match how we think we should act, or indeed, how we think we do act. In many ways, it is this difference that creates the knowing-doing gap. If we take the view that being authentic is to act as we know we should act, it is easy to focus on what we know rather than how we act and then assume we act in alignment with what we know. In this case, the emphasis is on the knowing not the doing.

On the other hand, if we focus on what we actually do and explore the impact on our core concerns that triggers that action, then we can open up the possibility of understanding ourselves better. This is not to say that we should not aspire to act in ways that are consistent with how we would like to act, rather that we can recognise that we will not always do so and that tells us something about ourselves. This awareness is important if we are to become who we want to be.

The second question then provides us with the avenue to be more aligned. If we can accept that we are often triggered to act in ways that contradict how we would like to act, then we can begin to establish how to create greater consistency between our beliefs and our actions. The key is to recognise that to do so, we need two key elements - awareness and choice. Awareness is required as without it our patterns of action (our habits) will simply be triggered. However, awareness is not enough, we need strategies to act differently. We have to anticipate a future situation in a future moment and identify how we would like to act and then make sure we have those skills in place. With awareness, we then have the ability to make a conscious choice and it is only when these two aspects combine that we can change our actions to be more aligned with how we want to be. Ultimately, the key is to focus on the doing not the knowing.

If you would like to find out more, please write to us.

Pause for Possibility

"He liked to observe emotions; they were like red lanterns strung along the dark unknown of another's personality, marking vulnerable points.”

… Ayn Rand (1905-1982) US author

In this month’s “Pause for Possibility”, we want to follow on from the idea of being authentic. We invite you to think about your own knowing-doing gaps by focusing on your actions for what they are.

We invite you to spend a couple of minutes thinking about you actions today. In particular, we invite you to think about any emotional responses you may have had and the actions that resulted from them.

Can you put a name to the emotional response? If so, what is it?

Were the resulting actions consistent with how you want to be?

Was there any damage either to an outcome or your relationships as a result of your actions?

What action(s) would you prefer to have taken?

What could you do to repair the damage and set up greater awareness about these triggers in the future?


Accountability continues to be a recurring theme in our work. Indeed we believe that accountability, along with engagement and productivity, form the big three areas of concerns within organisations today.

In June we ran the first of our accountability workshops and the response has been such that we are delivering another one soon. This workshop is designed to give you a practical approach to addressing your accountability concerns and we offering it at an introductory price of $97 + GST. This is remarkable value for a half-day workshop.

The workshop is being held at on Wednesday 31st October between 8:30 am and 12:30pm, so if accountability is an issue for you or in your organisation, then come along and find out how you can address it. You can register for the event at EventBrite by clicking here. If you encounter any problems with this, then please email us.

The Monthly Diversion

One from the Internet

A Visit to Chicago

A man wrote a letter to one of the Chicago hotels he planned to stay at while on vacation: "I would like to bring my dog with me. He is well behaved and well-groomed. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room?"

The hotel owner replied, saying, "I've been operating hotels for thirty years. I've never had a dog steal bedclothes, towels, silverware or pictures off the walls. I've never had to kick a dog out in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog skip out on a hotel bill. So, yes, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay, too."

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.

Not Subscribed Yet?

If you do not yet receive our complimentary e-zine each month, getting it is easy. Simply click here and follow the prompts! We look forward to sharing with you regularly.

If you wish to unsubscribe, simply click the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the e-mail that was sent to you.


Talking About Pty Ltd
PO Box 6652,
St Kilda Rd Central,
Victoria, 8008.
Ph: +613 9504 3558

Copyright © 2012 Talking About Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit talkingabout.com.au | Contact us

Join us online: