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How to make learning comfortable for those who feel uncomfortable
Communication, training, learning, skills, manage emotions, leadership, confidence.
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Black Jelly Beans and Brussels Sprouts

Black Jelly Beans and Brussels Sprouts

I only like black jelly beans, and I’ll pass on other colours when offered.

There is an idea in business training like this. Focus on your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. Do the things that you love and are good at, and find people with strengths in other areas. After all, that’s what teams are for; the sum of the parts produces more than the whole.

It’s generally good advice except if you want mastery over whatever you are training in or you are training in leadership.

You may have a vision. You might be very astute at your technical skills. But, unless you can build relationships, influence people to get on board with you, handle your own emotions, and handle the inevitable conflict that happens when groups of people assemble, you are going to struggle as a leader.

Over the last 16 years of training Emotional Judo® tools and other skills in communication and leadership workshops, some people will devour the whole pack of jelly beans. They know they need to master the skills, despite the discomfort. I’ve also found that some participants simply want the black jelly beans. They say, “this is how I am”, or “I’m not good at that,” and only go for things within their comfort zone.

We can even do this as general staff or in life in general, and these skills of being able to have difficult conversations are important for everyone.

This is where brussels sprouts come into the picture.

When I was growing up, I hated brussels sprouts; they were the antithesis of black jelly beans. But, we had to eat them, or we got no dessert. I would mix them with mashed potato, combine them with my lamb-chops, try and wash them down with lemonade. It didn’t matter how I tried to disguise them, I would start gagging when they entered my system.

It was only when I got married that I realised it wasn’t the brussels sprouts that were the problem, it was the way my mother cooked them. She would boil them within a millimetre of their nutritional value.

When I steamed them and added butter, not only were they tasty to me, my own kids would eat them, no worries.

Emotional Judo®: Communications Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence “serves up” ten tools to manage your own and others’ emotions, so you can have successful high stakes conversations. They are those skills you know you need to eat, but despite that, you go looking for black jelly beans.

If conflict and difficult conversations are things you avoid, or you find it difficult to manage your own emotional reactions when stakes are high, (or you are responsible for people development in your organisation), perhaps you need to find a “palatable” solution.

By having structure and memorable tools to use, you will be more confident and in control.

Send me a message to start a conversation. 

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