No Triangles (WT569)

No Triangles (WT569)


WT 569 No triangels

In our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience and Online Membership we have a topic called The Eternal Triangle of Hate.

For some participants, even the name is too much.

“Hate is a very strong word Shirley”, commented Elli.

“Yes, I agree. It is and when we go through this concept you may understand why we use it”, I replied.

What we’re talking about here is the triangle that is formed, in the workplace and at home, when we have at least 3 people playing one of the roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.

If you draw an upside down triangle, it will make the V sign. At the bottom of the V write the word Victim. The Victim is someone who is seen as helpless; someone who is being Persecuted by a bully and needs Rescuing. The unwritten agreement here is that Victims cannot stand up for themselves and are hard done by.

Why it’s called The Eternal Triangle of Hate is because the roles seem to rotate. The Rescuer becomes the Persecutor, the Persecutor becomes the Victim and the Victim becomes the Rescuer and around and around and around it goes.

The way to stop triangles is to encourage people to go directly to what we call “source”. In this instance, we don’t mean Universal or Higher Intelligence, we mean the person with whom they are in conflict with.

No Triangles means not enlisting another person; not involving another person who can’t solve the problem. No Triangles means we take responsibility for being assertive and having the conversation with the person who has upset us in some way.

To create a culture of No Triangles in your workplace or family or friendship group you need 3 things:

  1. The encouragement and support to go directly to source (you may even make it a rule or an agreement)
  2. The skills to go to source (the skills to be assertive, using I Statements to explain what is going on for you)
  3. An open mind to receive the feedback, if you happen to be the person who is being confronted. Rather than being defensive, be curious. Seek to understand what has happened; seek to understand why your confronter is upset rather than reacting in a defensive way with excuses or counter attacks.

Agreeing to be in relationships where we avoid The Eternal Triangle of Hate is the quickest way to improve relationships, resolve misunderstandings and increase productivity.

What will you do? How will you respond next time you find yourself in a triangle? Will you action the above 3 steps or will you fuel the fire and fan the continuous progression of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer roles?

One last point – the role of rescuer is also known as a Co-Conspirator because with the Victim, both are conspiring against the Persecutor.

No more triangles.

No more water cooler gossip sessions.

Speak to source!

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Just Press A Button (WT568)

Just Press A Button (WT568)


WT 568 Just press a button

“If he’d gone 2 feet further he would have missed it completely”, lamented the caretaker at the caravan park.

He was referring to a guest who wiped out the security gate as he attempted to turn the corner and enter the park with his caravan in tow.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix it over the last 6 years”, he added.

I shook my head as Ross recounted the story.

There are actually 2 gates side by side on the entrance side.

When you arrive for the first time, the receptionists press a button to open the gate closest to the office to let you into the park.

When Ross finished sharing what had happened, I asked, “Why don’t they change the procedure?”

“You won’t change how people drive, so change the procedure. Just press a button. A second button, that is.”

“Why not just open both gates instead of just one?

This reminds me of what Dan and Chip Heath had to say in their book “Switch”. They advocate making the path easy for change.

In this instance, and I accept I don’t have all the facts from the reception team, I would simply change the procedure and open both gates, especially if it has been happening consistently for 6 years. Opening both gates would surely prevent having to keep fixing it.

So how about you?

Are there things happening in your workplace or even at home that have consistently caused problems for a period of time?

Is it time to look at changing the procedure? Could it be as simple as just pressing a button?

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Don’t Assume Malevolence (WT567)

Don’t Assume Malevolence (WT567)


WT 567 Don't assume malevolence

You know I love quotes and mantras. Well here’s another one that a colleague of mine shared with me recently. Thank you Mark!

It comes from Jordan Petersen, “Don’t assume malevolence, when ignorance will suffice.”

First of all we’d better define malevolence. Without consulting the dictionary, in this context for me it means, don’t assume malice. Don’t expect that someone is intentionally wanting to hurt you in some way.

When you combine it with, “When ignorance will suffice”, my interpretation is that the other is not even aware of the effect they are having on you. The meaning of ignorance is to not know something.  

Okay, so why the English lesson?

These words remind us to not jump to conclusions. They remind us that our suffering is caused by one thing and one thing only and that is our thinking. They remind us to not get caught up in what Loretta Malandro calls Automatic Listening, where we make stuff up based on a reaction and judgement we have to a situation and then we create a story and look for evidence to predict the future and prove ourselves right. In NLP, we call it mindreading.

We do this from a very young age and for many, the ignorant ones, they continue into old age. But not you! You know better.

Here’s an example:

Christine was venting to her colleague about her manager. “He’s horrible, Shirley. He never asks me how I’m going or if there is anything I need? He’s just not interested in me at all.”

“Do you know that for a fact?” I asked.

“Well, that’s what he does”, she replied.

“Yes, that’s what he does. Do you know for sure that he is not interested in you or your work?”

“No, I suppose I don’t know for sure. But he’s horrible.”

“Yes, I understand that’s what you think. How about you ask him what he is thinking?” I encouraged her.

The following week she reported in. “You were right”, she said.

Now that was an interesting comment because I had simply asked her to ask her boss a question.

“He thought that because my personality profile was a Driver or Director (depending on the profiling system you use), he assumed that I wouldn’t want to talk about what was happening for me or what I needed. In fact, he was very interested. He was actually holding himself back, thinking that that was what I wanted.”

“Well, there you go. Don’t assume malevolence, when ignorance will suffice.”

Your turn! What situation have you recently reacted to and decided the other was acting from malicious intentions?

How about you go and have that conversation and check it out and save yourself the angst and grief of reacting to what you’re making up.

P.S. Our next free monthly webinar will be held next week on Friday 14th May at 11:00am Sydney (AEST) time. This month we’re focussing on improving team productivity through a secret system. Click on the link to register, even if you can’t attend, you’ll be able to catch the recording.

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What Lesson Did I Just Teach? (WT566)

What Lesson Did I Just Teach? (WT566)


What Lesson Did I Just Teach (WT566)

One of my weaknesses is that I let everyone else go first and I put myself last. It’s not a great quality and for the most part it only affects me (and of course, Ross from time to time).

I was horrified the other day to realise that I may have taught this to my friend’s 2 year old child, unintentionally of course, but a life lesson, none the less.

Here’s what happened:

Magnus was climbing the slippery dip at a local café where we were having breakfast.

Another kid, possibly the same age and a bit bigger in size, height and weight started climbing too.

I was standing behind Magnus to make sure he didn’t fall backwards and the second kid pushed his way past and up to the top of the slippery dip and I let him.

This same kid also attempted to take Magnus’ water bottle off him in another section of the playground but Magnus fought back.

Wow! Such an innocent event and yet so powerful in what it teaches us as well as the beliefs it generates. Powerful also in that our beliefs dictate our destiny and our beliefs are often created at a very early age.

Whilst I’m working on my own limiting belief of letting others go first (which I learned from my dad), I apologise if I just taught that to Magnus.

Remember, what you tolerate you teach.

What are you unconsciously teaching your kids?

Regards Shirley

P.S. Our next free monthly webinar will be held on Friday 14th May at 11:00am Sydney (AEST) time. This month we’re focusing on improving team productivity through a secret system. Save the date and we’ll share more over the coming weeks.

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Can I Have a Go? (WT565)

Can I Have a Go? (WT565)


WT 565 Can I have a go?

“Excuse me.”

“Excuse me.”

“Is that an electric bike?” asked one of the kids in the caravan park where we’ve been staying.

“Yes”, replied Ross.

“Can I have a go?” the young boy asked.

“No, it’s too big for you”, replied Ross.

“Does it go really fast?”

“Have you got to peddle all the time?”

Ross chatted with them and answered their questions.

They didn’t push the point for a ride and I couldn’t help admire their confidence to ask for what they wanted. Straight up!

I love how kids don’t prejudge an answer.

I love how they simply ask for what they want.

It makes me curious. At what point do we learn that it’s rude to ask for what we want or that people will think less of us if we ask or any number of variations on this theme?

When you think about it, you’ve got a 50 50 chance of getting a Yes or No.

If you get a Yes, you’re in front.

If you get a No, you’re no further behind. You’re still at the same spot you were when you asked.

If you have trouble asking for what you want, my recommendation is to go to and order the book Go For No by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton.

It’s required reading in my Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience.

The message is clear, “If Yes is the destination, No is how you get there.”

This week why not be childlike?

Why not ask for what you want?

It’s not that hard to ask “Can I have a go?”

Regards Shirley

P.S. Our next free monthly webinar will be held on Friday 14th May at 11:00am Sydney (AEST) time. This month we’re focussing on improving team productivity through a secret system. Check out our Events Page for more information.

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