Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
I’m coming to the end of a long process because my fourth book is almost finished; the deadline being 1st March for the manuscript to be delivered, in order to meet a publication date of June/July 2011.
The title of this book is: HOW TO KEEP YOUR JOB
Catchy huh! …And the subtitle is: Brilliant ways to improve productivity, stay employed and keep the money rolling in.
Writing books is a long process because you have three main production stages before you get to the selling and marketing work. They are:
There is also a fourth stage that tends to creep in and that’s called faffing. This is an essential part of the creative process and involves drinking extra cups of tea, tweeting instead of writing and generally gazing into space. However, by chewing a pencil at the same time it is possible to look lost in deep thought, instead of merely vacant (which is pretty much what is going on behind the curtains).
The other ingredient is stamina. Marathon runners only have to jog along for three or four hours and then the race is over. Writers have to keep going for hundreds of hours in order to get the words down on paper and then rearrange them so that they make some kind of sense.
There are no shortcuts if you want to write a book; you have to put in the time and keep pushing forwards.
As for me, this weekend I will notch up 30+ hours of editing and polishing, on top of the 60 hours or so I worked during the last 7 days. The end result will be worth it though, as the book is full of practical tips and useful models and, because it has my name on the cover, I need to make sure it’s a book to be proud of.
I know that you too will have worked hard this last week and therefore my point here is for us all to consider:
When I email the manuscript across to Marshall Cavendish my next task will be to click the ‘place your order’ button on Amazon and release into my clutches a nifty little remote control helicopter, as a well done to me for working so hard.
The book will take several weeks to line edit, type set and print, but the helicopter will be mine next week and it will be a top toy to keep my Child Ego State amused and repay him for missing his weekends in the sun.
Children need fun and playtime and just because we’re big hairy grown ups, doesn’t mean that we can ignore the little child inside us, who still needs to play and enjoy doing something just for the pleasure of it.
So, this week it’s toy time!
What will you be choosing for the small child inside you?
There are many ways that we can interact with eachother and now that school’s out for the summer there will be many families who witness more whinging, sulking and general grousing. And that’s just from mum and dad….
…you can almost smell the Child Ego State at work here and when we think about being in our Parent or our Child there are four typical ways people tend to communicate. Of course there are always nuances of behaviour and complex conversations, so all we’re doing here is taking a fat brush to conversations and painting them in four big stripes.
1) Parent to Parent
Arguing over who’s in charge, or who really knows best…you see this in the school playground when two mums tell eachother how they would run the school. Also, this is often seen when two managers at work are talking at (not to) each other to establish who is top dog.
2) Parent to Child
Telling someone what to do and expecting them to be a good boy/girl and get on with it. This is sometimes disguised as ‘asking’ and can still be telling…this is what my Child tends to rebel against, when it has flounced off in a huff, to sulk for a bit. Telling and asking can also be friendly and supportive, so we don’t want to think of things as just being negative. Likewise, when we’re taking care of our team, or partner, it’s likely that our Parent is addressing their Child.
3) Child to Parent
If we’re unsure, nervous, unwell, or need someone to guide us it’s quite likely that in our Child we will hook the other person’s Parent, so that they take the leadership position and sort things out for us. I’ve seen an unhealthy example in an office recently, where an Assistant kept using her ‘lost and confused’ look to snag a Manager into doing the work for her. Sometimes our need to be looked after is genuine and healthy and sometimes we might simply be avoiding taking responsibility ourselves.
4) Child to Child
Ever played with your partner (you can define ‘play’), or had a joke at work? Of course you have and these are classic interactions where our natural Child energy is there for all to see. Being creative, solving problems with intuition, having fun, or perhaps crying together, are all examples of when we’re all in our Child Ego State. Watch out though after a hard day at work, when both of you are in your Child and looking for someone to be the Parent and do the looking after…’No, you cook dinner!’…’NO! It’s your turn to do dinner!!’ …sound familiar?
Once we can see what is happening we can make decisions to continue or to change. Do we keep playing, or do we cook dinner, or take the lead, or ask for help? We can enjoy noticing how well we communicate with others and can stop and do things differently if we feel things spiralling into an argument.
When we’re tired or stressed it’s likely that we will be in either our Parent or our Child and so given the nature or looking after the kids for six weeks, or going ‘on holiday to relax’ many of us will have ample opportunity to spot patterns of Ego State behaviour over the summer. The trick here is to be honest and to ask for what we need from those around us. Even if that means asking the kids to prepare dinner once in a while!*
Our Task For This Week
Is to…have fun noticing Ego States. Perhaps watch EastEnders….who is in their Parent and who is in their Child?
Pass It On
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Thank you for reading to the end…
Next week is about the Adult Ego State and part two of ‘Icecream Story’…
*Assuming you’re not expecting a five year old to rustle up anything too fancy!
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish