Category Archives: News


Continually learning – the how!

I’ve read – over and over and over – that it’s important to carry on learning. I agree. Learning from your mistakes is better than fretting over them, worrying or just feeling guilty…

Of course, that’s easier said than done!

It’s human nature to worry about what went wrong and to compare ourselves to other people or (worse) compare ourselves to the fictionalised, apparently perfect, demi-god-like versions of other people. Comparison can be good, too – it helps us learn, to grow and improve.

The problem, it seems to me, lies in how we make those comparisons and how we learn.

If we have a system for learning it makes it easier.  Instead of just fretting over what we did wrong and saying to ourselves “Must do better next time”, if we have a process for how we plan to “do better next time” we can take those actions and close down the worry, knowing that we’ve learned what we can.

We use two systems here, which might be useful for people.  The first is our simply Ties and Flies lists and the second is the Rolfe methodology.

Ties and Flies is the generic name we give to all our preparation checklists. They got this name because the first one we created was called this – and in turn the list got it’s name from the last item on the list… things we check before we go on stage to give a presentation! (There’s nothing going to undermine your confidence more on stage than wondering if your fastened your flies or if your tie is straight! :) )

The thing that might need a bit more talking about is the Rolfe thing. We like to do a bit of self-reflection after every event, gig, training event, project, whatever, that we do. It’s easy to dwell on the negatives but having the Rolfe approach to give this reflection a structure is very helpful.

Essentially the Rolfe method consists of asking yourself the questions ‘what’ three times – or more specifically

  • what?
    What happened?  What is the incident of note that you’re interested in?  Did you forget to bring something? Was someone particularly interested in something? Did an attendee think the course started at a different time?
  • so what?
    What were the consequences of this? Were they significant and if so in what way? Were the consequences positive or negative?
  • now what?
    What can you do about the event? If it was a positive event/effect, how can you adjust your working to make it happen again? If it was a problem, how can you set up a system to stop it happening again?

We love it – not least because of its simplicity. Anything more complicated and we would resist using it after a long, hard training session! This is simplicity itself.  (Rolfe is now how our Ties and Flies lists get updates, for example.)

Speaking of examples, let’s work one through, using Rolfe.


A fuse blew

So what?

A data projector stopped working suddenly which means that a video the audience were watching suddenly vanished!  (And the life-expectancy of the projector’s lamp was also reduced).

Now what?

All our equipment has the correct spare fuse taped to the plug. It might not stop the fuse blowing but it means that we can replace it (with the right amp’d fuse) in the minimum time possible.

Nice, isn’t it! :)

Difficult people at work – 2

Genuinely difficult people!

Genuinely difficult people!

In the first of these articles (see our last blog), we looked at a few things you can do to reduce the number of times you have to deal with difficult behaviour.

Of course, there’s more to it than that, and it’s important to remember that different people often behave in response to particular things in particular ways. For example, one of the things that has been found to be most likely to cause difficult behaviour is if the person feels under threat in some way. The threat might not be real, of course – it’s how they feel that’s important.

So far so good – obviously, if people feel that they can’t cope they are more likely to behave badly. The trick there lies in recognising what makes people feel threatened or challenged and dealing with it.

But there’s something which is a bit more complicated than that – because people often behave even more badly than you’d expect if they’re responding to a threat on behalf of other people. Let me give you an example: if you push me, I’m likely to try and walk away or talk to you – however, if you push one of my children I’m likely to behave in a way that is far, far more difficult for you to deal with.

Of course that’s quite an extreme example but it does serve to illustrate the point.

What it means is that when you ask yourself the sorts of questions we outlined in last month’s article you need to remember to keep in mind the possibility that people will respond on behalf of other people too – particularly if they feel ‘responsible’ or ‘protective’ of them in some way.

An experienced member of staff might feel that the newcomer isn’t being treated fairly, for example. Of course, if they say something about it you can probably do something about it… but all too often people don’t feel able to articulate exactly what the problem really is.
Instead of mentioning it to you, they behave badly (or talk about) something else.

Instead of telling you that there’s a problem with the way lunch breaks are covered they might sabotage someone else’s lunch break by going missing at a critical time.

Instead of telling you that someone else is leaving work early they might make a point of leaving early themselves.

Instead of drawing your attention to the poor working environment in someone’s office, they pick holes in the plaster.

Your job, as a manager, leader (whatever!) is to figure out what’s causing the problem and sort it out. Remember that it might not even be their own problem that someone is ‘protesting’ about…
… which is, of course, easier said than done!

None of that, of course, means that you can’t (or shouldn’t) deal with a problem when it arises in a robust and constructive way!


Not enough time? Really? Eh?

I delivered a half day training course this week on time management. It was for PhD students… smart people who don’t have an upward limit on how much time they can spend on anything they do and whose work is (by definition) unpredictable and difficult to plan.

In other words, both the very people who most need time management but also those who are most able to take on board the learning from a training course.

Like all our courses, there was a lot (seriously!  a lot!) of research behind this one, to make sure we didn’t just churn out the same fallacies, misconceptions and assumptions as most courses on time management. And at the start of the course I checked the research against the expectations, needs and experience of the smart people in front of me. The feedback was pretty close to unanimous, varying only by details which were related to individual circumstances.


Well that’s obvious. We can’t manage time. Unless we’re God or Dr Who we’re working on the assumption that time just ‘is’. What we need to do is figure out how to use it most effectively.

So far, so obvious.


Pretty much everyone in the room agreed that, deep down, they knew at least a few things they could do to make themselves more effective and more efficient. What they needed wasn’t more time, it was

  • a better sense of priorities
  • more self-discipline.

There was pretty much a round of applause in the room for this quote from H Jackson Brown.

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur,Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.


It turns out it dosn’t matter what system you use for sorting out your time: the key thing is to

  1. have a system
  2. use it
  3. stick with it

In other words, anything is better than nothing, and chopping/changing between systems is as bad as not having a system at all.

That said… here’s the big, big thing that we agreed would make people more effective and efficient at what they do.

You’ve got to know why you do it

The motivation from knowing and understanding why what you do makes the world a little bit of a better place (we agreed) is absolutely fantastic. It helps you get your lazy arse out of bed. It helps you do that extra half an hour when you’re tiered. It helps you concentrate when you want to go out to play.

So why do you do what you do?



At long last! Our new corporate responsibility programme.

Special Training Programme for the Third Sector


We’re going to be running a series of one-day workshops for you if you’re in the third sector.  The material is the same exceptionally high standard we use for our commercial work, customised especially for not-for-profit and voluntary organisations etc. To help us, we’ve pulled in the specialist company in this area, 26-01 to do our admin! So your enquiries and applications should go to  If you want to book tickets directly, using eventbrite, be our guest!


Friday 11 October 2013

Bamboo and Oak; staying strong when it’s all going wrong
This course is designed to equip people with tools that can be used to increase the robustness and emotional resilience of staff – absolutely critical in times of change and uncertainty. Feedback from a survey found that over half the audience had applied at least three of the techniques used in Bamboo and Oak after only three weeks.


Friday 8 November 2013

Time management and prioritization tools
Time management is a myth. Unless you’re Doctor Who! The best you can do is manage yourself and your use of time. This course looks at the tools and techniques for self-management in a work context.


Friday 10 January 2014

Dealing with difficult people
The basis of this course is the research evidence that the best approach for dealing with difficult people is to deal with the situation. An intensive course and recommend people only attend if they are coming voluntarily.


Friday 7 February 2014

Negotiating and Influencing
Negotiating and influencing are key communication tools, without which some one can be at a severe disadvantage. During this training participants are introduced to the basics and key elements of negotiating skills.


Friday 14 March 2014

Motivating and delegating
Motivating is about finding the buttons to get us going what we do and pushing them: and if you delegate anything, it’s about pushing other people’s motivating buttons too.

Without motivation we get very little done. Without delegation we’re limited to how much we can get done the benefits are huge, so are the risks. Our training looks at how to mange the risks of delegating by motivating those people we delegate to, as well as how to motivate ourselves.



Charges £45 per person £35 per person if booking three or more places

Courses run from 10.00am – 3.30pm and includes buffet lunch
Venue: The Castlegate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2JQ. Parking nearby
To book please email:

Genuinely difficult people!

Difficult people at work – 1

Genuinely difficult people!

Genuinely difficult people!

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – people who just seem to take offense easily; or who give offense just as easily; or who are just plain out-and-out rude! The amount of productive time that gets lost at work when you’re trying to deal with people like that is staggering.

And the cost in terms of staff morale and happiness is incalculable!

I think that means it’s pretty important to deal with this. Chances are you think it’s important to get these difficult people sorted out, too… but before jumping in with looking at how to do exactly that, it’s helpful to look at a few things that happen before anyone is difficult.

After all, no one thinks they are being difficult.

Inside their own heads, everyone is reasonable.

From your own point of view it’s always the other person who’s being difficult – by definition. What that means is that the tools for dealing with difficult people and difficult situations aren’t always the ones we think they are.

As John Barth said “Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.”

… so right back at the start of things, it’s always a good idea to look at why people are being difficult. Statistically, there are some things which are known to be more likely than others to trigger difficult behaviour.

On the grounds that ‘prevention is better than cure’ isn’t it a good idea to spot these triggers and do something about it before the difficult behaviour arises? To use the old saying ‘forewarned is forearmed’ – so you can at least avoid being taken by surprise!

If you’re running a business, a department or even a team, you can quite significantly reduce the likelihood of having problems whenever you make a change (of any kind!) by asking yourself a few questions before you start. Don’t be deceived by how apparently simple the questions are – and how much like common sense they sound – they’ll help you more than you expect.

Before making any changes, ask yourself:

  • who is going to benefit, who is going to suffer and (much more importantly!) who is going to believe they are going to benefit and who is going to believe they are going to suffer?
  • if you explained why the changes are going to take place and what the final benefits are going to be. Have you also explained the process? Actually, forget that – it’s not about whether or not you have explained it, it’s about whether people have understood it! All too often managers assume these are the same thing… but they aren’t.
  • whether you are tapping into anyone’s hidden agenda. For example, you might think that moving offices to a brand new, smarter, cleaner and nicer workplace is a good thing for everyone – but have you forgotten to take account of the hidden hierarchy of the office!? Certain locations in offices have subtle, but real, perceived hierarchical benefits and there’s a good chance that someone is going to feel demoted by the move!
  • if the change you’re thinking forced or intended. People are much more likely to respond negatively to a change that they didn’t initiate.  Can you get people to initiate the change you need – or to feel they’ve been involved, at least?
  • whether you recognise that there’s even a change at all! What you might think of as ‘business as usual’ doesn’t always feel that way to everyone else. If circumstances change outside of your team (such as a bus stop moving or a competitor doing something different) it can feel like a change-by-comparison… and one that you might not notice. Of course, some members of your team will.

Our experience is that the last question is a really common cause of difficult behaviour!

None of this is to say that personality doesn’t play a big role in whether or when people show difficult behaviour – and we’ll talk about that next time. But it’s important to remember that there’s a whole raft of other things to think about too – more systematic and predictable things… and that means they’re things you can use to do something about, so that you reduce the chances of problems!

New Company Social Responsibility

We’re proud of what we do. We’re proud of the way we do it, too.

What I mean is that we don’t just take our training seriously, we take our other responsibilities seriously too. We’ve got a strong Corporate Social Responsibility programme – despite not being very ‘corporate’! ;)

It’s new, and it’s a development on our old 13% policy. What’s more, it wasn’t written by us. It was written for us by a specialist in helping the charity and not-for-profit sector called Gerry Beldon, and his company called 26-01.

It goes like this… We’re going to provide five full days of training per year at absolutely no charge what-so-ever, for people who are working in the charity or not-for-profit sector…  That’s five days that you can sign up for… either one day or all five days… or anything in between…

We’re going to be launching this fab new approach just after the summer, so watch this space for the details of what courses we’re offering and how you can get onto one (or more!) of them!

MBTI case study 2

In the last post about MBTI, I looked at a fairly in-depth element of MBTI step two – where one of the MBTI-subscales was what we call and OOPS – and Out of Preference Score. For this example I’m going to stick to a more straight-forward example of how Extraverts and Introverts interact.

Please note that for all our training, case studies are real, cleaned and anonymised and used with the necessary permissions. For this article however, I have pulled together several different examples of how things can go wrong when an Extravert comes to seen an Introvert, in their office. In the first instance I’m going to write it from the point of view of the MBIT-Introvert (in which the Extravert is exhibiting challenging behaviour). Then I’ll turn it around and write it from the Extravert’s perspective – where the challenging behaviour will be that of the Introvert!

Ah, the joys of MBTI!

Let’s call our Extravert Suzie and our Introvert Steve. At the start of this interaction, Steve is sitting at his desk, concentrating hard on a report he’s typing. It’s about two months after the whole team had an away-day which included working on MBTI profiles for everyone.

Version one – our poor, put-upon MBTI Introvert’s story!

Suzie arrives and breezes into his office, unannounced. It breaks Steve’s concentration, which makes him a little annoyed, especially because he notices that Suzie didn’t feel the need to knock and wait on his office door! She just barged in unannounced!

What’s more, once she’s inside the office, she stands too close to Steve, causing him to lean back in his chair – not only does that make it hard to concentrate psychologically but it’s uncomfortable too!

To make matters worse, Suzie’s talking (ten to the dozen!) before Steve has had a chance to stop thinking about his report and ‘get his brain in gear’. For the first minute or two of Suzie’s chatter, Steve has absolutely no idea what she’s talking about and is trying hard to figure out what’s so urgent (and about what project!) that Suzie needs urgent help. Once he’s figured out what the project is that’s got Suzie so fired up, he can’t figure out what the crisis is!

It must be, a crisis, mustn’t it?  She wouldn’t walk over to his office, barge in and start talking at him unless it was urgent, would she?

Shaking his head to clear it, Steve tries to interrupt Suzie to ask what it is, specifically, that she needs from him. Suzie, however, is now talking about the weekend – perhaps it wasn’t a crisis after all.

Steve frowns and just as he’s about to say something rude about Suzie’s weekend activities, she’s back talking about the Bridges project and asking “So, anyway, what do you think?”

Perplexed, with no information, Steve can only venture the most vague of responses: “I wonder if we shouldn’t wait for a while and see if we can link it to one of the other projects.”

“Just what I was thinking” says Suzie as she’s half way out of the door…. leaving Steve annoyed that he can still here her talking to some new victim, shoes clacking on the corridor outside.

“If she’d shut the bloody door” thinks Steve, “I”d not need to put up with hearing her talking at David! Poor sod!”

Finally, Steve can stand it no more and gets out of his chair to close the door with a bang, noticing as he does so that Suzie is now telling David the same things as she’s told him!

Annoyed, confused and unable to concentrate, Steve turns back to his report but can’t concentrate for another ten minutes!

Version two – our poor, put out, MBTI Extravert’s story!

Suzie’s stumped. She can’t seem to make up her mind about what to do with the new information on the Bridges Project. She’s been staring at the email with the data in it for about 20 minutes, until the numbers are swimming, but she’s no nearer a decision. She needs a fresh perspective.

If only Steve hadn’t turned his phone off she’d be able to ask him for help: he is often wise and helps her clarify exactly what she should do. Smiling, she thinks of what a good friend Steve is and how helpful it is to talk with him: she’ll tell him as soon as she gets to his office…

Hitting the print button, Suzie grabs the data output and heads over to see Steve. When she arrives she’s excited by the possibility of hearing what Steve has to say and gets into her stride as soon as she can – after all, she doesn’t want to waste any of Steve’s time!

Oh yes, time; that reminds her, she must make time this weekend to see her sister!

Suzie notices that Steve’s a bit distracted; maybe she hasn’t been clear enough in what she was asking, and she knows Steve likes a bit time to think (hey, she listened at the MBTI training course!) so she puts the print-out in his lap. As he grabs the paper, she asks what he thinks.

He’s shaking his head! Is there a problem? Has she not spotted a mistake in the data? Nervous, Suzie steps a little closer to Steve for some reassurance. If only he wasn’t so flipping stand-off-ish it would be a lot easier to chat: how can you chat to someone who’s continually trying to push you away!

There’s a long, long silence after she asks for his opinion. He must be worried about what he’s going to say! Surely it’s not that serious! Surely there can’t be such a big problem that she didn’t see it! Anxiously, Suzie fills the painful silence: “So… So… What do you think? Am I right about the next steps?”.

Finally, with the irritating habit Steve has of speaking like he is bloody God Almighty himself Steve gives his verdict!  Half annoyed at the fact it’s taken so long to say anything and half relieved that it’s not a disaster Suzie reassures Steve that she was thinking exactly the same thing. Exactly the same. She wasn’t sure until now but now that Steve says it, that’s what it ways – she just couldn’t put her finger on it.

Excited to know she’s on the right track Suzie gets out of Steve’s way as soon as she can! Oh, look, here’s Dave…

…. “I wonder” thinks Suzie “What Dave thinks of the problem. I’ll just float my ideas passed him to firm them up!”

Summary – the MBTI perspective

It’s harder for me to write one of those perspectives than the other: does it show? Have I got the kinds of things that go on right?  With my own MBTI preference, I’m instinctively more sympathetic with one of the people here and – frankly – more experienced in their point of view.

But that’s the point of MBTI – there’s not best Type, no worst Type, just different Types. With a little more sensitivity to the MBIT Type of the other person, neither Steve or Suzie would have needed to feel so miffed at the other person, or so anxious.

The point is, Steve’s productivity was shot to pieces for half an hour and Suzie still needed to talk to Dave. Neither of them got what they wanted.

Looking at it from an MBTI perspective, what could either or both of them have done differently?

MBTI case study 3

In the last case study, I looked at a semi-fictional interaction between an Introvert (in MBTI terms) and an Extravert.

This time I’d like to very briefly look at how people who have an iNtuitive preference (MBTI uses the letter N for intuitive because the I has already been used for Introvert) and someone they work with, who has a strong Sensing preference.

In MBTI terms these preferences can be summarised like this:

  • iNtuitive people instinctively look first at potential, linkage, pattern, change and what could be
  • people with an Sensing (S) preference tend to look first instinctively at detail, realism, precision, what is actually there.

It’s a short and sweet little MBTI case study.  Our hero’s MBTI Type is fairly strongly iNtutive, and he had what he thought was a brilliant but admittedly radical idea. Unfortunately it was going to take him a couple of days to write it up and he didn’t want to spend two days sorting out and writing up something that might (when other people looked at it) be a dumb idea.

His solution was to cobble together, very quickly, a single side of A4 which had the barest outlines of the plan so that he could get a second opinion: let’s call this second person the ‘Checker’. If the Checker thought the plan was a good one, our hero would write it up, properly.

The person our hero asked to give his idea the once-over happened to have a Sensing preference – an MBTI preference for detail and practical stuff over ideas and concepts.


As our hero passed over his one-side of material (as a typical MBTI N-preference person with diagrammes included as well as text) what our N-preference hero actually said was

“What do you think of this?”

However, being an MBTI N-preference what he heard in his head was:

“What do you think of this idea?”

And being a typical MBTI S-preference person, what the checker heard was:

“What do you think of this document?”

Documents are real, actual, concrete and tactile. No wonder Checker (who had an MBTI S preference, remember) concentrated on what they’d actually got in their hands. The unfortunate (but entirely predictable) consequence was that instead of giving feedback the our original hero had wanted and expected, the reader/checker of the document/idea gave him a proof-reading.

No useful result and a lot of wasted effort, where (with a little more MBTI orientated thought) the outcome could have been very different.

An MBTI step two case study.

A quick note before we start: all the case studies we use in our training etc are real studies, anonymised, cleaned and checked and used with permissions. This example, however, is a stylization and shouldn’t be taken as being indicative of any given client or organization. In other words, I’ve made this one up! :)

The MBTI step two is a remarkably powerful psychometric tool.  It takes the MBTI approach to an even more powerful and sophisticated level. In this article I’d like to briefly unpack one example of how the different elements of the MBTI-2 profile build together and interact. I’m going to assume you know quite a bit about MBTI in general, a lot about MBTI step one and even a bit about MBTI step 2.  (You may want to skip back to this article to check up on the step two stuff if you’re not sure.)

Let’s call my stylized MBTI client ‘Peter’.

Peter’s overall preference for Extraversion vs Introversion was to be an Introvert. All his five subscales were on the Introvert side of the scale – although one of them, the last – was only marginally so, suggesting that the way Peter recharged his batteries was fairly conditional on what he’d been doing that made him need of recharging his batteries! :) )    (The scale of Enthusiastic to Quiet measures how people typically tend to prefer to recharge.)

Peter works in a research team, with some administrative and leadership responsibilities which mean interacting not only with the people he works with on a day to day basis, but also with his peers (in terms of seniority) from other departments.

So far so good. Introverts can, after all, be just as good at leadership as Extraverts and can handle meetings just as well.

This is where the power of the step 2 for MBTI comes into its own. Peter’s overall preference for Thinking vs Feeling as clearly as a Feeler. He did, however, have one strong OOPS (something that is a-typical of the overall preference). In Peter’s case this was a high Questioning score. Questioning is typically a Thinking preference score (with the opposite end of the scale, Accommodating, being more typical of ‘Feelers’).

The result of this particular combination was that Peter didn’t say much in meetings – particularly at the start of them, until he had ‘found his feet’. However, later on in a meeting Peter was inclined to allow his Questioning score show itself.

A high Questioning score is associated with such features as:

  • being an independent and critical thinker
  • using questions to sort out clarify what you think you understand
  • using questions to sort out what other people are thinking
  • asking questions even if you agree with what other people are proposing and saying
  • being quite stubborn about getting answers sometimes.

Because Peter is intelligent, his questions often cut right to the heart of the matter, incisively.  People often found them challenging, even when Peter intended them to be simply for clarification or to be helpful.

The issues were that

  • the questions came later on in a meeting – because of Peter’s Introversion. If Peter had asked the question earlier in the meeting, a lot of time could have been saved as his questions often uncovered an assumption, problem or mistake. People felt he was just being spiteful by allowing them to make fools of themselves before ‘pulling the rug out from under them’.
  • the questions were precisely targeted. What I mean by this is that they weren’t vague but instead were well thought out, incisive and perceptive. Again this is because of Peter’s MBTI Introversion, which means he didn’t speak until he’d thought out what he wanted to ask. The effect, however, is that the question often looked malicious, pre-meditated and carefully crafted for maximum embarrassment – especially to the other people in the room who were Extraverts and who tended to think out loud!
  • Peter was known to be, generally, someone with a clear, strong preference towards Feeling. Challenging questions from people who routinely ask challenging questions is one thing: challenging questions from people who are perceived as being much mores supportive, warm, people-orientated people is quite another!

Another way of looking at this is that Peter’s OOPS (Out Of Preference Score) for being Questioning was taking people by surprise and making his questions seem more negative than he intended them to be. His Introversion was acting as a kind of multiplier of this effect, making it more dramatic; his questions are targeted and more noticeable because of the fact that there weren’t many of them!

By looking at Peter’s MBTI-2 subscales as a whole (looking at their pattern) it was possible to explore with Peter where the issue arose. Peter himself, up until this point, was aware that there was a problem – but had been unable to put his finger on what was causing it: his questions, after all, were intended to be supportive and helpful… and besides, he commented, there weren’t many of them!

Platinum and diamonds

I just bought my wife an Eternity Ring. (Technically it’s a semi-eternity ring because the diamonds only go half way around.) It’s wonderful how nice and polite people are in shops when you say you want to spend a lot of money on platinum and diamonds. :)

Eternity ring

Eternity ring - not my wife's but like it! ;)

Why platinum? Because our wedding rings are platinum, that’s why.  But what’s important is that platinum is a lot more expensive than gold.


Because it’s a lot less common than gold.

What’s this got to do soft skills? Cialdini’s six principles of influence include one called ‘Scarcity’, that’s what. On this list it’s number six.

Let’s take an example, which will make things a bit more obvious, I hope. Because people want things more if they can’t have it (why do you think sales “must end this weekend”? Or why do you suppose there are limited editions of cars, collectors cards or… well almost anything!). A lot of our work is done in-house for what we call our internal client: this internal client is responsible for selling places on our courses to the workforce where they work. Often this ‘internal client’ is one of the company’s HR team.

Instead of sending and email around everyone in Workplace X saying ‘There are are 18 places on the training place next month about MBTI, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator” our internal client says “There are only 18 place on the training place next month.”

The difference is critical.

By implying that there’s not much of me to go around, it makes people want us more… :)

The only hard part to using this technique is finding a way to describe what you’ve got as relatively rare.  For example, when you email us, one of the things we might mention is that we’re currently totally booked up for the next two months.

Oh yes, something else… A moral point!

You have to be ethical. We won’t be telling you that if it’s not true. It is. It’s just that we decide to to say it… ;)

As an aside, saying how busy we are not only hits the mark in term of Cialdini’s ‘scarcity’ tool, it is also a good example of another of his principles, that of ‘social proof’. After all, if lots of other people are using our training, it implies it’s good.

The trick for using it in your working environment is to find people that the person you’re talking to regards as peers and agree with you. Something like “After all, it’s what they’re doing on the day shift now, have been for months!”

Again, be ethical: it has to be true!