Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Posts Tagged ‘Understanding

A not so golden rule

February 9, 2015

Imagine you are working at an airport. It’s a small regional airport and an outgoing flight with 100 passengers waiting to board is indefinitely delayed owing to a faulty plane. As the evening wears on, the shop and cafeteria close and the passengers become increasingly tired and hungry. Eventually, you decide to take an initiative. Thinking […]

The missing skill

June 23, 2014

How many of us spent our school days being told to sit up and listen? What if, instead we had been taught to listen? I don’t simply mean nominal written comprehension tests or repeating back by rote what the teacher had said. I mean real, genuine listening in order to fully understand the other person. […]

Violence

January 27, 2014

I’ve always considered myself to be a peace loving, non-violent kind of person. Admittedly, I fall short of being all hippy about it, but I’m certainly not the type to throw my weight around or get into fights. In fact, I don’t recall ever actually having been in a physical fight – even in my […]

Understanding

August 12, 2013

A few weeks back I promised a mate I’d watch a TV programme on line that he’d referred me to. I haven’t got round to it yet, as it’s a show that seeks to disprove the value and efficacy of complementary therapies. To be honest, I’m not sure I really want to watch it, given […]

Easter message: “I don’t care”

April 1, 2013

Recently I watched a fascinating episode of the excellent Storyville documentary series on the BBC. This particular edition was about the Anonymous movement which has arisen in recent years. I found the programme fascinating, inspiring, sinister and scary in pretty much equal measure. However, I want to focus on just the very last few seconds […]

Two men and a hole – a lesson in empathy

November 5, 2012

A word that often comes up when I’m running customer care courses is empathy. However, when I challenge people to come up with a definition, especially as distinct from sympathy, they often struggle. So, I turn to a distinction I heard years ago on a motivational tape by a man called Bill O’Brien. Whilst it […]

What are you missing out on?

October 8, 2012

“[Pippa] wonders what the new DG would have said had he been allowed to finish a sentence or two.” This slightly cryptic looking sentence was a post written on Facebook a few weeks back by a buddy of mine. She was referring to a radio interview that morning with the new Director General of the […]

The “Nor-way”

August 27, 2012

“During the trial we got the story of Breivik’s past and why he became that way. I think that’s the most important thing for us who are trying to become politicians – that we want to create a society that won’t create another Breivik……….We need to create a society that includes everyone, so no one […]

The trap

August 20, 2012

I have a pal who runs a small business. Things haven’t been too great for him lately business-wise and, like many others he’s feeling the pinch. The last couple of times I called him on his mobile, his voicemail was switched off and I got a recording of an anonymous woman’s voice declaring that I […]

Chris the contract breaker

July 9, 2012

When we sign up to a contract it is a serious commitment. We are duty bound to honour the agreement for the good of both parties and hopefully to the rest of the community. However, there is one contract that I have repeatedly broken throughout most of my life. Now, before any of my business […]

An unrecognised pleasure

July 2, 2012

A few days ago, Ingrid my partner and I were engaged in a rather heated discussion. It was going nowhere, apart from perhaps downhill. And then…..….. I can’t identify precisely what she said or how she said it but I suddenly understood her point of view. It’s like something clicked and I let go of […]

Give and get

March 26, 2012

Are you a person who tends to give as good as they get? Last week, as I was about to kick off a training course, three of the delegates arrived looking rather unenthusiastic to say the least. The three men sat down together – body language clearly indicating that they most definitely did not want […]

The diversity paradox

March 19, 2012

Are there times where you feel on the outside of things, as if you don’t fit, don’t belong?  This can certainly be my own experience  for an assortment of reasons and, I have an inkling that it applies to just about all of us at some time or other. Three weeks ago, along with my […]

Fraud?

January 29, 2012

This Sunday morning as I write this, I’m actually in a bad mood, pissed off or however else you may wish to put it. Part of the reason actually stems from feedback that I get to these blogs. Now, you may think that I must be referring to negative feedback. Actually I’m not. I have […]

Lo siento

January 9, 2012

Some of you reading this will recognise the title of this week’s post as the Spanish term for “I apologise”. However, the phrase, in its literal form has a subtly different meaning. The words “lo siento” actually translate as “I feel it”. Somehow, to me it comes across as a far more heartfelt and empathic […]

Pulled up short

November 28, 2011

Last Thursday I went to a workshop at the British Film Institute with my thirteen year old son, Adam. There were about fifteen youngsters there ranging in age from about to ten to seventeen or so.  It was clear that a handful of the participants were not just enthusiastic about the topic but also incredibly […]

All right

October 31, 2011

How are you today? No, I mean it. How are you? Really? I find it amazing how this enquiry can fall off peoples’ lips scores of times in any day and yet rarely receives a specific or accurate response. It’s as if what should be a genuine, heartfelt enquiry as to someones well-being is so […]

Assertive? Aggressive?

September 26, 2011

One of the most common questions I am asked on courses is:  “What is the difference between assertive and aggressive behaviour?” Although the majority of people who come on assertiveness courses tend  towards the passive/submissive end of the scale, occasionally someone will turn up (usually sent by their manager) because they are too aggressive. Almost […]

From the mouths of babes

September 4, 2011

My partner and children were away a couple of weeks back visiting her mother in Wales. Being as I’m just a boy in grown up clothes,  I grabbed the opportunity to go up the road to the supermarket and stock up on a few “goodies” to help fill the hole left by their absence.  As […]

High performance – its a matter of lubrication

August 22, 2011

We replaced our car a few weeks ago. The venerable old Mercedes had served us well for almost  twelve years, but the time had come to trade it in for something newer and more economical. We  made sure that our “new” car came supplied with evidence of regular servicing – reassurance that it had been cared […]

Doing your best? It could spell trouble

August 15, 2011

Checking into a hotel in Dorset the night before a training course I asked the receptionist for an iron and board in order to iron a shirt that evening. Her reply:  “Certainly sir, I’ll do my best”  I went to my room. I showered, I rang my partner at home and prepared to go downstairs […]

“You make me……”

August 1, 2011

Just for a change, this week’s blog post kicks off with a quiz. All you need to do is identify who originally performed each of the songs listed below. Additionally, can you spot the odd one out? Answers appear at the end of this post. The way you make me feel You make me feel mighty […]

Adventures with my skinny white friend

June 6, 2011

Firstly, if you are expecting to be appalled by the suggestion that this article is in any way racist or weightist, then I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed. So, who is my skinny white friend? In fact, we’re talking about an inanimate object here, yet one that is my companion, my guide, even […]

Happy

May 30, 2011

I recently picked up what I thought was a lovely idea from a blog I was reading. I am, however, ashamed to say that I can’t recall who’s blog it was otherwise I would include a link.  Anyway, it involves using a simple affirmation that the writer suggested we could utter quietly in our head […]

Crazy? Or crushed spirits?

May 23, 2011

Just over a week ago I gave a talk for a mental health charity in north London. I was asked to talk on the topic of dealing with conflict to a group of about fifty service users. They had come for their regular Friday evening get together to have some food, a cup of tea and […]

Oh no!

May 16, 2011

This week I’m taking you to the flipside.  That is, the flipside of last week’s post. Whilst many of us find it difficult to ask for what we want (as discussed last week), we can also find it equally, if not more challenging to say no.  Too many of us are pleasers. We want to […]

Workplace bullying. Is it really a problem?

April 18, 2011

A few weeks ago we had an addition to our household in the form of Murphy, a collie/labrador cross puppy. Like most puppies, he is full of life and, frankly at times quite a handful but, of course we all love him big time.  Yet, there have been occasions where he has “misbehaved” and I […]

How do you compare?

March 14, 2011

I was at a local firework display a few years back. It was dark, of course and I could see very little, given my visual impairment. One of my neighbours’ children wanted a burger, so his dad a big, strong six foot+ police officer scooped up his son and purposefully wended his way to the […]

It takes two

February 28, 2011

As a training practitioner and coach I find that I am constantly learning new things myself and I’m sure I will do so for a good many years to come. I learn of course from fellow professionals, from books, the internet and other such sources. However, sometimes a powerful insight can come from a most […]

Speak fluent English? It could be a problem.

December 6, 2010

About two years ago I was running a programme for an IT services company in the north of England. At the morning break most of the group left to grab a cup of tea or coffee. One person stayed back however.  He was a young Japanese man who was very reserved and polite. He sat […]