The strong effect of touch

Touching strangers can cause miracles. Waiters who touch their clients lightly when they order or pay get a lot more tips than waiters who keep at a distance. When you do something clumsy which bothers someone else, his or her annoyance will flow down when you touch the other person's arm while making your excuses.

Mental condition

Personal resilience helps to live actively and happily. Do you recover quickly from setback? Are you not troubled by your own thoughts? Can you enjoy life? Do you choose what is important for you? Can you resolve conflicts well? Do you think your life has meaning? Then your mental condition is fine. If not, please read on....

You are loved!

This week a link to a beautiful series of sermons of Henri Nouwen which I use a lot in my coaching and counseling sessions. Am I what I have? Am I what I do? Or what other people say about me? No! What then? Take a look:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClXxhOppaKY If the link doesn't work just copy and paste, it is worth the try.

Stop navel gazing!

Of all thoughts we have during the whole day most of them are about ourselves. Waste of time!

'Oh no, I am still awake.' 'I think I said something stupid.' 'Why is this happening to me again?' Of all thoughts which storm around in our heads the majority is dedicated to ourselves. We ponder about our behaviour, our emotions and our desires. Especially when life is not as we want it to be. A curse, professor Mark Leary is calling al those thought which we dedicate to ourselves. Ofcourse the ability to think about ourselves consciously has its advantages. That's how we can constrain ourselves, empathize with others and solve problems. But, he writes in his book with the significant title: The curse of the self, all those thoughts dedicated to ourselves are also the biggest source of misery. That you can better not think too much about yourselve is also said by the Hungarian professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. According to his well-known flow theory we are the happiest when we are totally absorbed by what we are doing, and not when we are occupied with ourselves. Like the moment you are skiing down from a mountain top, or are so involved in a project or conversation that time seems to fly. That is, when you forget about yourself. So, stop navel gazing and turn yourself to people/occasions around you. Experience if this works!

The smartest people find it the hardest to learn

The American manager Chris Argyris distinguishes three types of learning processes:

1. Single-loop learning addresses the correction of mistakes. You restore what you just did wrong, and that's it. Professionals and managers are good at this. They solve problems, find mistakes in other people's processes and correct them on the basis of their own  standards.

2. Very different is double-loop learning. That it is about fundamentally thinking through one's own contribution to the whole picture, the basis views and convictions. This asks for learning from mistakes, a critical self-reflection. A "How do I always get this result...."-attitude.

3. Another level deeper we speak about triple-loop learning. This form of learning aims at the deeper motives and imporant values.