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  • philhutchinson

What was your favourite Christmas present?

I sometimes ask this question at the start of a session to get people chatting and opening up. There’s usually some entertainment to be had with the range of answers people give (it’s even funnier to ask what their worst one was but we won’t go into that!) but what I find fascinating is the look on their faces as they recount their beloved gift! It’s like they are back there, under the tree or wherever the present was discovered, tearing off the paper and remembering the excitement from all those years ago!

Why is this memory so vivid and rich? Because it is encoded with emotion.

If you really want your point to stick then you need to dual encode it. Visuals and tangibles are invaluable to this process of embedding the learning but you’ve got to tap into their values and feelings if you really want to get buy-in on an emotional level.

Sound difficult? It doesn’t have to be!

I admit that a natural sense of humour can be a real bonus but if that’s not your style, then explaining why it’s so important with a smattering of your own values or beliefs will set you on the right path.

The other remaining ingredient is a good dose of context so they understand how your point relates to their own situation or circumstances.

Chuck all these things into the mix and you will have a much better chance of getting your point thoroughly embedded into their consciousness. Remember, a change of consciousness is important if you want to influence a change in behaviour!

So there you have it! Give a little of yourself and you get a lot more a lot back in return, sounds like a Christmas message to me!

Wherever you are and whatever you find under your tree, I hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

All the best,


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