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trust. It is a listening exercise – you are not agreeing to whatever the other is saying, but you are seeking a deeper understanding. It is used in mediation because it helps resolve conflict. It is also a useful tool with people who tend to be ‘Ah-but-ers’, change- averse people who automatically object to new thinking. Tey are the ones who, just as soon as anything innovative is suggested, come up with a theory as to why it cannot work. Such people are on some level living in fear. When we make ourselves fully present and listen to them in an open way, they feel heard and supported and they begin to let their barriers down. Te effect can be so freeing and uplifting that they relax their resistance sufficiently to give the new idea a proper try. I have even seen cases where people have completely turned around and become strong advocates for whatever it was they were previously set against.


4. Nurture intuition


Te Universe is constantly trying to help free us from our negative ego and it speaks to us through our intuition. Unfortunately, however, pressures at work, being hunched over a computer all day, not taking proper breaks and stress generally all silence our intuition. When we consciously decide to


recognise our intuition, it willingly and increasingly communicates to us; by allowing it space and giving it focus, we





relaxed and centred that we allow space for our intuition to come through.


5. Ask specific questions of our intuition


Our intuition wants to lead us to places beyond our limited imagination. It seeks win-win solutions and shows up as a step-by-step guide as to what best to do next. While it is expressed spontaneously through intuition, it can also be consulted pro-actively. When we ask specific questions of our intuition, we usually get an answer. It is important to relax, take a couple of deep breaths and step back from any immediate emotional ties to the issue prior to posing the question. Te right answer will always carry more vitality and a deep sense of rightness. When people are first learning to recognise their intuitive voice they often ask what is the difference between the intuitive voice and the negative ego voice. I see the differences as follows:


Ego voice


Comes with a sense of urgency – a must-do


Feels restrictive


Sense of fear – if not done, X will happen


There is a degree of self-interest


Bit chaotic – one idea then another


Intuitive voice


Comes with a deep sense of ‘rightness’


Feels uplifting and yet relaxed


May be scary because it takes us out of our comfort zone, but is possible


Win-win solution/ all encompassing


Message gets repeated 6. Express our own vulnerability


Rather than face what we perceive to be our negative traits, we blame them on others


strengthen it. We nurture our intuition by regularly absorbing ourselves in activities that take us completely away from our routine thinking, out of our heads, and into our bodies. For me, this is through meditation and walking in open country. For others, it might be running, horse riding, or dancing to music. Te main criterion is that it be pleasurable and regular; it is too easy to get busy and make excuses. It is when we get back to our true selves and feel


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Te ability to admit our own vulner- abilities is a demonstration of our authenticity, and we gain respect for it when we do so. Tose around us expe- rience such sincerity as an expression of our trust in them. Tey feel drawn to us, and their loyalty is strengthened. When I realised it was time for


me to move on from my restaurant, I was extremely anxious. I believed that if I made it known that I wanted to sell, my staff would become worried about their jobs, and motivation levels would drop. I might also have been perceived as betraying them. Suddenly, everything came to a


head. We were in a team meeting, and I could not contain myself. I became emotional, told them I wanted to sell


the business, explained why, and said I felt I was letting everyone down. After a stunned silence, I was amazed: they completely understood and empathised. No one accused me of abandoning them. Te sale became a joint endeav- our, and there was no drop in energy or enthusiasm. All this stemmed from my being completely open and honest. By having the courage to allow myself to be vulnerable, I opened the door to others and allowed them to help me.


7. Away days


I’m a great fan of away-days for generating trust and letting go of the ego. It’s so good to get out of the office together, turn off all communication and talk. One particular exercise I have found beneficial is for everyone to write out on Post-it notes all their personal and work-related goals over the next one, three and five years. Tey then pin them on a time-line on the wall for everyone to read and ask ques- tions of if they do not understand, but nothing should be judged or criticised. Each person then talks through


their goals and says why they are im- portant to them. By the end, everyone has opened up and fully shared their dreams and aspirations. On the person- al front it might be that they want to buy a new house or meet someone with whom they can establish a long-term relationship; on the work front it might be to take some particular training or to progress to manager level. What emerges is a genuine understanding of what drives one another and a desire to help each other achieve their goals.


Conclusion


When we overcome our negative ego we metamorphose it into a driving force, the dynamism we need to make things happen. Its detrimental energy is realigned in our favour, and we replace tendencies to self-sabotage with courage, confidence, and commitment. Our business always thrives as a result.


John Reynard is now a marketing/ business coach and author of


The Spiritual Route to Entrepre- neurial Success – From Harassed


Sole Trader to Visionary CEO, AuthorHouseUK, 2016. Find out more at spiritedentrepreneur.com


| September 2017 | 19


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