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How to cure the epidemic of learned helplessness? This is what I have decided to chat about today with my good friend Rachel. I'm currently working towards the launch of a new and exciting leadership programme and also working with lots of businesses helping them solve their management and leadership issues. I get to see a *lot* of learned helplessness in these workplaces. Essentially the teams have been 'trained', albeit inadvertently, by their leaders to do exactly the opposite of what the managers say they want their staff to be! They have learned to always ask the boss first, they have learned that taking a risk, even a considered one, is not worth it without first running it past the boss. They have learned to stick to what they know is safe and not risk the potential of the boss's disapproval. Yet, to a one, each of the 'bosses' talk of wanting a team that is proactively using their individual creativity, their intelligence and their greater knowledge of the 'front-line' for the good of the business. These bosses talk about wanting to create an 'empowered' culture. So how on earth does this gap develop? We're going to chat about it *and* we're going to talk about how it is possible to cure this helplessness epidemic...

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Today's Genuine Chat we're going to be discussing what many might think of as a difficult topic; Dealing with Abuse. In recent months I have had a concentration of clients who have suffered varying degrees of abuse in their lives. I spend a lot of time working with them gently and consistently to move them into a space where they feel better able to resolve the issues created by the abusive behaviour and in the aftermath of it. My aim is to create a capability in their hearts and minds where they can feel forgiveness. This is often a provocative word though - one might think that forgiving what is unforgivable behaviour is a strange thing for me to encourage abuse survivors to seek! So let me explain what I mean...

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Good morning! Today's Genuine Chat with Gina (me!) considers the question "Is Silence Golden?" I'm curious to chat through when it can be a good thing to remain silent rather than speak one's mind, to speak up and speak out. If you are anything like me then you will no doubt have experienced that moment of thinking of the perfect retort that you should have made 30 minutes ago to that person who was being rude or thoughtless (why is it always 30 minutes after the event?!). There are definitely times when it is far better for the world that we keep our mouths closed and say nothing. Equally, it can be distinctly unhealthy to never speak up and out, to never allow our own voices and opinions to be heard. Where's the line? How does one know when is a good moment to break the 'golden' silence? Let's chat about it...

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We're going to be talking today about the importance of DREAMS. I am not (necessarily) talking about our slumbering adventures! I am referring to our hopes and desires, our goals and wishes. Have a think about what your most pressing DREAM is and consider why this is so important to you. What does it fulfill? What desire or thoughts are behind it? What do you imagine the dream when it is achieved will give you (in addition to the achievement of the dream's specifics themselves). Why do we dream of goals and wish for things? What is it that this behaviour indicates about human nature? Let's chat about why having a dream is one of the key aspects of living a happy life. Of getting happy, staying happy and spreading happy!

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Finding lasting love with the “right” person is high on most people’s wishlist. Finding your ideal partner is just the first challenge knowing whether they are a “keeper” or one to leave before they do any damage is the second and if that wasn’t difficult enough the third and longest challenge is how to maintain a loving inter-dependent relationship over time and through the many significant challenges of daily living. How is it so many people get it so wrong? Why do so many relationships appear to be great at the start but deteriorate often quite quickly into something which is at best disappointing and at worst destructive and toxic?

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Perhaps it is just my perception, but this week seems to have been full of bad news (both global and personal). So, I have to admit this - I started this day feeling a little half-hearted. Which got me thinking about the state of being half-hearted. How many times do we begin our projects (or our days) with only half our hearts in it? What good does half a heart do for us? Why not put your whole heart into your work, your relationships? Why withhold that other half? What is that withholding about? What difference do you think being fully wholehearted about your work, your relationships, your dreams would make to them? Let's chat this through. Where are you being half-hearted? Why might that be? Where are you being fully wholehearted? Why is that? What does it feel like?

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Today's Genuine Chat is about balance. This is a term that in modern parlance is often attached to the "work or life" decisions that we are told it is necessary for us to make. But this is a false dichotomy in my opinion. We need to stop thinking in terms of work being separate from life and rebalance our perspective on what it means to live a productive life. I think the key is to be as balanced as you can possibly be in every aspect of your life. Easy yeah? Hmmm, easier to say, harder to achieve in the moments when choices and decisions are being demanded of us!

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It is the day after we have a new prime minister here in the UK. Now then we're not going to get into politics (heavens no!) but it is interesting to see how Boris Johnson seems to have won the electorate within the Conservative Party by sticking to a strong theme of giving Europe an ultimatum - the Brexit no-deal brinkmanship. It got me thinking about how brinkmanship and ultimatums are often used in all sorts of relationships, not just international political posturing! Whilst it might be appreciated by some people as a sign of strength and strong-minded leadership, is setting an ultimatum and pushing things to the brink of... (what? a cliff, a disaster, a radical change?) ... is that a "good" way of behaving. Has it been successful for you? Rachel and I are going to chat about it.

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Today's Genuine Chat is about RESPECT. The great Aretha Franklin sang; "R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me", well we're going to chat about what it means to us and how important being respectful oneself and expecting levels of respectful behaviour from others is in order to achieve a good sense of happiness and wellbeing. What do you think? What kind of disrespectful behaviour might you have experienced recently? What respectful boundaries do you think are important? Join in the chat and we'll help you find greater happiness with how you treat others and how they treat you.

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Today's Genuine Chat is inspired by the week-long "Faith in the World" programme that is running on the BBC at the moment. The general theme of the week is to celebrate being single. This is a growing demographic feature of our society, with 40% of the population in the UK ticking this box and reporting a sense of greater happiness and abundance because of it. This topic is of particular interest to me, as a long-term singleton I have a perspective on this subject that perhaps many of you watching and listening to this chat might not have. There are many reasons for being single in life - many of them transitional phases - and if you are genuinely happier when living life on your own then that is definitely something worth celebrating. But, many, if not most, of my clients - and I believe it is true of people at large - express a deeply held instinct to find a partner who can share their lives with them. So we're going to have a chat about this - and I would love to know what is your view on this?

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