Personal book reflection …

Book review of the month: October 2020

The Courage To Teach
by Parker J. Palmer

A book full of possibilities from which leaders, parents, mentors and teachers can learn.  Whilst focused on teachers the book can be applied further afield. Challenging the reader to consider their humanness and how technical training goes out of the window when the ‘person within’ shows up in the boardroom, home, workshop and/or classroom.  Acknowledging the deepest fears of diversity (recognising ours is not the only standpoint), conflict (when a different opinion emerges) and losing identity (losing a sense of self because we have become so attached to our ideas). Readers are invited to recognise they do not have to ‘be’  their fear, they can ground themselves from a different perspective and lead, parent, mentor and teach from a different inner intention…from a place of curiosity, compassion, truth and empathy.

The analogy of seeing yourself as a host to employees, family, colleague’s and students is counterintuitive  and yet opens up space to co-create a different social fabric of mutual hospitality for the leader, parent, mentor and teacher.  Personally, the notion of accessing the wisdom of more than what the leader, parent, mentor or teacher provides resonates, as it has been demonstrated that creating  a safe platform for mutual engagement enables growth  in intellect, emotional intelligence, and conversational intelligence.

Examples of how to put the student or a subject at the centre of the circle of a practice, based on the intention and focus of the courageous teacher, stimulates food for thinking and behaving in a different way.

With this kind of intention the practical tools that because YOU’RE worth it! offers in support of leaders, parents, mentors and teachers include, coaching circles, CoResolve leadership, the Lewis Deep Democracy conversation on your feet, compassionate communication, brain based integral coaching, INTENTional MENTORing and more.

This extract from the book sums it up, “teaching like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or for worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our own way of being together.”

Book review of the month: September 2020

Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology
by Daniel J. Siegel. M.D.
This handbook has been designed to be read one chapter at a time or from cover to cover. Forty three chapters of experience and learning for anyone who really wants to understand how the mind, brain and relationships are interconnected and shape our mental health.

The insights shared encourage schools and organisations to move beyond the classic ‘3-R’s of education related to reading writing and arithmetic, to understanding why reflection , relationship and resilience enhance the overall wellbeing of a human being, organisation and community. From a personal perspective – making a difference to how humans engage with life.

Expect to reflect on personal behaviours and personal links between mind, brain and relationships and explore personal possibilities to shift past learnt behaviours in response to caregivers at an earlier age. Relevance ranges from parents to teachers, mentors, leaders, coaches and psychotherapists. Content ranges from a proposed definition of mind, explanations on memory and different areas of the brain, to a mental wellbeing platter to making sense of trauma.

The principle of neuroplasticity and how our experiences and where we place our attention can alter the processes responsible for connections within the brain, provides fuel for why individual daily choices are so significant to personal wellbeing. The expertise is shared is direct and clear supporting the statement that “neurons that are fired together will wire together”. This is underpins other experts like Dr Carol Dweck, that encourages us to understand the move from a “fixed” mind-set to a “growth mind-set.”

This is a highly recommended read from a leading expert in his field.

For free access to Dr Siegel’s “Wheel of Awareness Practice” and explanation see

Book review of the month: August 2020


The new science of personal transformation
by Daniel J. Siegel. M.D.

The analogy that comes to mind when reading this book is a ‘rising sun’. My experience with each section is a like a new day which enables a ‘refresh and renew’ option when reflecting on for the  relationship with myself and when coaching clients.

This is a rich reference to be explored beyond the first read. It provides context to how we develop our concept of “self” through experience and time beyond the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch to include our sixth sense which is the ability to recognise our internal way of being and our seventh sense in recognising what is going on in our minds.

Dr Siegel provides the neuroscience behind the integral coaching approach we use with clients which focuses on the whole human being including mind, body and heart. The focus being on empowering clients beyond the specific issue initially motivating the coaching.

The advocacy of intentionally focusing on integrating parts of ourselves that we pay less attention to such as being ‘fully present in a moment’ which ‘when not being fully present’ can show up as a state of rigidity (being stuck/standing firm/inflexibly) or chaos (confused/overwhelmed/in turmoil), which impacts on our own ability to make choices and live our lives fully.

The case studies in last chapters of the book bring the neuroscience explanations to life and provide practical insights on how to relate the neuroscience to behaviours and relationship. This book inspires further exploration of neuroscience across various specialised applications including young adult relationships, mentoring and entrepreneurial success.