Once Upon a Time … How to Facilitate Change in Others

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach & Consultant

Once upon a time … all stories began that way. At least around my house. “Tell me a story,” I would beg my mother, or my grandmother, and they would sit back, with a twinkle in their eye, often pulling me into their lap, and begin … “Once upon a time.” [sigh]

Key torepparttar experience, there was no eye contact. I sat beside them, or on their lap, or they were lying down beside me at bedtime, or drivingrepparttar 126143 car. It wasn’t an in-your-face experience. This is part of it. Part of what? Let me tell you a story first, and then I’ll tell you about telling stories.

So settle back, close your eyes, and let’s begin …

Once upon a time there was a wise and powerful king who had two vassals. One, Sir Rodrick, was known for being stingy and mean. The king sent him out on a task. He was to travelrepparttar 126144 kingdom and find one good person.

Sir Rodrick returned after many days saying in allrepparttar 126145 kingdom he hadn’t been able to find one good person. He said he had found some who did some things that appeared to be good, but it was an illusion, and underneath they were all selfish and wicked. As to a truly good person, there were none.

Next,repparttar 126146 king sent Sir Roland out on a mission. Sir Roland was known for his generosity and love for his people. His task was to travelrepparttar 126147 kingdom and find one bad person.

Sir Roland failed as well. He returned many days later saying in allrepparttar 126148 kingdom he had not been able to find one bad person. He had found some who inadvertently went astray, temporarily, but underneath they were all good and kind. As to a truly bad person, there were none.


What do I have to say about this story? Not a thing. Anything I say would damage it for you. It speaks for itself, and it speaks to you in its own way, and that’srepparttar 126149 way good stories are. The ones that begin with “once upon a time…”


In a fascinating article called “Myth, Metaphor and Magic,” Patrice Guillaume exploresrepparttar 126150 power ofrepparttar 126151 Three Ms as related torepparttar 126152 functions ofrepparttar 126153 left and right brain. Our left hemisphere is analytical, logical and linear; it seesrepparttar 126154 trees and notrepparttar 126155 forest. Our right hemisphere is highly specialized to manage complex relationships, patterns, configurations and structures; it cannot seerepparttar 126156 trees forrepparttar 126157 forest. The two hemispheres function well together, and not so well alone.

Here’s how different they are. In research with individuals who’ve lostrepparttar 126158 function of one hemisphere orrepparttar 126159 other, it’s been discovered that when told to “match’ a picture of a cake,repparttar 126160 left hemisphere will match it functionally – choosing a spoon or a fork. The right hemisphere will match it according to appearance – choosing something withrepparttar 126161 same shape, such as a hat.


In their book “Left Brain Right Brain,” Michael Gazzaniga and Joseph LeDoux drawrepparttar 126162 conclusion thatrepparttar 126163 major task ofrepparttar 126164 left hemisphere (our “verbal self”) is to construct a reality based on our actual behavior. The left brain doesn’t always know why we’re doing something. “It is as ifrepparttar 126165 verbal self looks out and sees whatrepparttar 126166 person is doing, and from that knowledge it interprets a reality.”

So, somewhat simplified, you could say our behaviors originate inrepparttar 126167 right brain, while our left brain is left to justify our actions. I’m sure you knowrepparttar 126168 feeling of trying to explain something you did, when you really haven’t a clue!

Now, follow this line of reasoning: IF our behavior originates inrepparttar 126169 right brain (and is only explained intellectually inrepparttar 126170 left);

AND we want to change someone’s behavior (as a parent, coach or therapist, for instance) or change our own;

THEN why not save our selves some trouble and talk torepparttar 126171 right brain, notrepparttar 126172 left brain.

Makes perfect sense. But … ifrepparttar 126173 right brain doesn’t use words, how do we communicate with it? The answer is …


Analogic communication includes figurative language, puns, jokes, metaphor, poetry, art, music, ambiguities and allusions as well as non-verbal communication, such as posture, gestures, facial expressions, voice inflection, tone of voice, andrepparttar 126174 sequence, rhythm and cadence ofrepparttar 126175 words themselves.

It’s descriptive,repparttar 126176 stuff of myth, metaphor, dreams and “once upon a time” type stories.

In a way that’s hard to explain, because “explaining” is whatrepparttar 126177 left brain does, information take intorepparttar 126178 right hemispheres has far more effect on behavior. It’srepparttar 126179 way to “reach” someone, to “touch” them. Intuitively we know this.

Along with this isrepparttar 126180 NOT-IN-YOUR-FACE experience. When we get in someone’s face – literally and figuratively –repparttar 126181 guard ofrepparttar 126182 Other goes up. Down comesrepparttar 126183 reflector shield, and up comerepparttar 126184 defenses. We turn off and tune out. When a story is delivered, withoutrepparttar 126185 intimidation of eye contact,repparttar 126186 effect is different.


Want someone to get up and help you clean house? Try playing a march by John Philip Sousa. Go here: http://www.laurasmidiheaven.com/Patriotic.shtml and play “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Oh yes! (My son and I used to clean house to this when he was a preschooler. Not a problem.)

Ways to Increase Your Personal Power through Emotional Intelligence

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach & Consultant

Personal Power is an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) competency you’re probably familiar with by another name. It’s your sense of being able to handle yourself and your life. It’srepparttar opposite ofrepparttar 126142 “victim” position, where you feel helpless and hopeless. Instead, when you’ve developed your Personal Power, you feel confidant to help yourself, and to ask for help when you need it, and you feel positive about outcomes. You are more willing to take action, and to use solution-focused problem-solving, instead of emotion-focused problem-solving.

You may have thought when you readrepparttar 126143 title of this article, it was referring to your power inrepparttar 126144 external world and it is, but this comes only when you haverepparttar 126145 Personal Power within. You create your world by your thoughts and beliefs, and if you feel helpless and hopeless, you’ll create these outcomes. When you have a quiet sense of Personal Power, you are able to accomplish more, and will come to say, “If I couldn’t do it, nobody could’ve.”

So how do you develop your Personal Power? You can’t function fully until you know yourself, and to know your SELF is to know your FEELINGS. We are our emotions and they are there to guide us.

People inrepparttar 126146 victim position don’t know what they think or feel, and feel they have no rights. Assertiveness is believing in rights – yours and others. It means treating others with respect, and yourself as well. The cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence is self-awareness, and you begin this by doing an EQ Checkin often duringrepparttar 126147 day. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually?”

I’ve found in teleclasses that most people can talk immediately about how they feel physically, but don’t know what “mentally,” “emotionally,” and/or “spiritually” mean, so I’ll define them so you can get started.

HOW DO YOU FEEL MENTALLY? This refers to your ability to think. Are you alert? Full of ideas? Sluggish? Unable to process? If I asked you to do a math problem, or generate some alternate solutions to a dilemma, how would you do? This is what “mental” is about – your ability to handle information, facts, draw conclusions, formulate a thought, solve a problem, and perform other thought processes.

HOW DO YOU FEEL EMOTIONALLY? Everyone takes a stab at this one, but there are two ways to weasel out. One is to say, “I feel like a wrung-out dishrag,” andrepparttar 126148 other is to say, “I think I’m exhausted.” Inrepparttar 126149 first case, you’re begging out, and inrepparttar 126150 second case, noticerepparttar 126151 word “think” was used, which makes it a mental process. Sometimes we lackrepparttar 126152 vocabulary, and emotional expression is part of Emotional Intelligence. How do you feel EMOTIONALLY? Here are some answers, and they begin with “I AM” – sad, angry, frustrated, enraged, discouraged, tired, overwhelmed, elated, optimistic, or resentful. Of course there are many others. One thing you can do to increase your Emotional Intelligence is to learn new words for feelings. Then apply them to your situation.

It’s very common to feel “angry,” when it contains many layers. It could be from frustration, fatigue, being too hot, having had too much caffeine, righteous indignation, and a range from “annoyed” to “enraged” or “ballistic.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL SPIRITUALLY? How you answer this depends upon your understanding of a higher power in your life. Some people answer this with “I don’t know.” Others will say, “I’m very attuned with nature today. I had a long walk with my dog,” while others will say, “I feel very connected to those around me. Very warm and loved.” You could also say, “Close to God” or “I feel good about life and myself.”

Most of us recognize a deeper level in our lives, be it through religion, spirituality, art, culture, music, poetry or nature. Being able to answer “How do you feel spiritually?” may take some work on your part, but then so mayrepparttar 126153 others.

Being able to answer these four questions gets you centered on yourself. If you’ve been lacking in Personal Power, chances are you may have been exercising too much empathy, or ignoringrepparttar 126154 feelings of yourself and others, so you are not in touch with your feelings. You often don’t know what they are!

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