Move more! You know it makes sense.


One subtle but effective Negotiation technique is to create mental movement through physical movement.  It’s a particularly helpful way to break deadlock.  Try taking the other party for a walk, a coffee, or even meet in a different room.  Stand up and walk to the window.  You’d be surprised at how well this can create a shift in attitude or position in your opponent.

So this Blog has been consciously planned to be written whilst flying at 30,000 feet.  It’s my little experiment into whether this new environment produces a mental shift in the way I think as I write this Blog.  I’m curious to know whether it helps me to see things in a new way if I am looking down on beautiful clouds and can see the Manhattan skyline from above.

“If I die, I die”. Proud of you, my son.

My son James will probably have a view on this, having completed his first Skydive over the Blue Mountains near Sydney this weekend.  He went to Australia to find himself:  I wonder what he learnt at 14,000 feet as he was sitting with his feet kicking against the plane fuselage, waiting to hurl himself out?  One of his thoughts was “If I die, I die”, apparently!  Not long after which he had a life changing experience on the way down.

It certainly helps to keep things in perspective.  We live next to a farm, and 3 very interesting large black chickens have materialised this year.  They have the freedom of the farm, and have taken to wandering down the lane recently.  This weekend one of them found its way into our garden, where my wife devotes many hours to creating a joyous, well planned and highly maintained haven which is her pride and joy.  Chickens do not know the difference between a celandine and a clematis, and the potential for conflict here is obvious, methinks.   Do we want to have to turn our garden into a chickenproof fortress?

No.  We like hens.  Our Easter chicks arrived literally last week.

Do we want to ask the farmer to keep his hens locked up during the day?  No.  Is this a Win/Lose conflict issue?  Potentially.

Or so I thought.  Hang on a minute.  Let’s see the bigger picture, said he gazing out at the curvature of the Earth.  Let’s think Win/Win.  This will require some Creativity.  How can both parties get what they want here?  Maybe we could lend him the spare chicken fencing we bought last year so he can create a chicken run on his own land?  Maybe he could let them out in his barns, which would be much more interesting to the hens than our garden?  Maybe he has some other ideas if I go and talk to him, which I will do as soon as I get back.  Thank you British Airways, that’s been helpful.

Dartmoor in the Spring. Heaven on Earth.

So yes, it’s official, physical movement produces mental movement.  Which is why I enjoy walking alone with Rufus, our irrepressible Cocker Spaniel so much.  I have many of my best ideas then, and I’m sure you do too when you’re running or swimming or whatever you do to keep your sanity.  Recognising this and planning to do it more consciously seems like a good idea to me.  A perfect excuse to do more of what you know works, and which you enjoy at the same time.  Now that really is Win/Win!

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About Michael Brown Training

I'm a business skills trainer, facilitator and coach. I've been helping people to learn for 16 years, working all around the world on topics such as Negotiation, Conflict Handling, Sales, Leadership, Consulting and Personal Effectiveness. I'm an ENFP, constantly looking for new and inspiring things to do. I love my job for its variety and the stimulation I get from it, and spend most of my time seeing how far we can go with the subjects we work on in the training room. I've recently started a new venture in making video on how NOT to do things, which you can find at www.hownot2.com
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5 Responses to Move more! You know it makes sense.

  1. Wonderful blog post and great photos, Michael! :) Well-done and keep writing. Happy spring to you.

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  2. davidparksn says:

    Many years ago when I worked for a local authority, I used to disappear on Tuesday afternoons for several hours and go mountain-biking over the North Downs. I always explained to the staff in my office that I was actually working – during those rides embodying considerable physical exertion, I used to do my planning, decide on strategies to overcome difficult and sensitive issues, and think through how well (or otherwise) I was behaving towards others in the office. It was time well spent – and something (getting out more) I have advocated for many senior executives I’ve coached and supported over the years.
    On a more recent and domestic note – we have recently acquired a dog – Mungo is a rescue specimen from Ireland – something of a collie/labrador cross. He has been brilliantly behaved since he arrived 48 hours ago and has fitted in very well. What is interesting is how his arrival has created a real focus in a family whose members are close, but all pursue their own interests. There have been discussions about how best to deal with meals, walks, and toileting, with each family member learning something from another. Sometimes an external stimulus is a real eye-opener…

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    • Hi David. I bet an eyebrow or two was raised when you said that! Completely get it though. I hope you are settling in to the new house. Has it produced a change of mindset?!

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      • davidparksn says:

        There were a few eyebrows – but it helps when you’re the boss ;-)
        New house is brilliant – just gone for a mind-resetting walk with the dog – out the front door and up to the downs – blue sky and a fresh wind – what more could one want?

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