Effortless imagining

Our minds have far more potential than we think. As you probably know, scientists have shown that conscious thinking uses only about five per cent of the brain’s capacity. You may have started to wonder what the other 95 per cent of the mind is up to: is it working for you, working against you,…

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How to come up with a metaphor

If you’ve done much reading about the way our minds work, you’re probably aware of the power of metaphor to influence and persuade. You’ll know that great teachers, statesmen, artists and religious leaders use metaphors to capture our hearts, while great salesmen, marketers and gizmo-makers use them as a fast-track to our wallets. That’s because…

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What happened to the parrot?

A former mentor of mine, my old journalism lecturer Gerry Kreibich, has been writing his memoirs online. One of his posts includes an excellent reminder of the need to stay “Clean” when interviewing – that is, to avoid guesses, presuppositions and speculations, to ask simple, open questions in a logical sequence – and how difficult…

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Listening, attention and fortune-telling

What happens when you pay someone exquisite attention? It seems to me that the effects can be truly “magical”. A few months ago, my partner had his running gait analysed by someone on an exhibition stand. The guy used a battery of gizmos, but central to his approach was attention – he worked with Steve…

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Harnessing the power of your attention

I wonder if you realise just how valuable your attention can be? As Nancy Kline puts it: “The quality of your attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking.” If you’re an expert in a particular subject, it’s easy to believe that people pay you for your expertise, your knowledge, your advice. But in fact…

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