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Two words, different meanings but depending on what has or is going on in your journey of life they become decision makers to people- it could be  ‘next year’, ‘tes jobs’, ‘thank you’ or ‘time off’. Our mental maps define us, our behaviour and how much weight we attach to these terms.

How many countries have you travelled to? How many do you want to go to? At the moment, I am working on my challenge of 50  countries by the time I am 50 and doing well since going international to teach. As I come home, I am refocusing my list and am thinking that the UK should count for 3 or 4 … or am I cheating? All of the countries can be seen on a map, so I can put it down in front of me and mark them off. But training to be a coach has enlightened me to a new map, an invisible one - my map of the world that defines what I want to be, my behaviours, fears and experiences. It is only by becoming self aware does this come into play with all the problems and fun this creates when maps overlap!

When we start a new position or meet new people, we only know about half a story and see what they want us to see. A CV, a letter of application only tells us so much about them and their experiences. Only as time goes on and by getting to know them do you see their motivators, response to stress and their response to curve balls that life throws. We see life as our reality ....
Let’s take some examples ….

Maybe ……  a member of your team has worked for a very difficult boss before your position and

their behaviour now reflects this.

Your view : Not again ….why are they always checking things ?  I have told them so many times …. are they suitable for the job ? Have they no confidence? Mmmmm

Their view : I need to get this right … I do not want the same situation again. Let’s check again..

Or  … the decision for a talented boarding professional to walk away or not go for promotion.

Your view : They have no career drive. What are they doing- is it a mid life crisis? Why – they seemed happy?  They would be good at the job – maybe I should have a word.

Their view : Promotion means more politics – more paperwork – less work life balance. I would have no time for me – I am happy where I am where I have purpose. I do not feel confident to move to the next level. I was overlooked before so I am not good enough.

It is 2 different people – with different perspectives for different reasons? But there is more – when we add in personality styles, perceptions and ‘baggage’ things do not get much better. So, how do we overcome this – it is easy.


Being self aware and setting goals can help you achieve what you want in life. Coaching is a holistic approach that means that we all know the answers to what we want, but sometimes in our working environment you cannot see the woods for the trees. A neutral space and an independent person can work miracles – I am living example of this – I have never been happier and achieved so much and it is thanks to my coaches.

My top tip in this post is something that I use every day that has made me think about my interaction with others from another coach. Next time you have a conversation with a colleague or parent, think about this and plan for it. When two people are having a conversation there are actually six people in the room, at first I was confused and as a maths teacher I argued 2 was 2 but he said:

2 people in the room  -

what you want to say  ( 2) 
what you think the other person will say (2)
what you do say (2)

I did argue at the end of the conversation it would be 8 …. What you wish you had said ?

Mmmm – is it 6 or 8 – you decide ? If you want a space to make your mental map work for you, contact me.