me kay cooke

Four F’s sake – dealing with customer complaints

This tip for dealing with customer complaints is a regular favourite in many of our business trainings – Feel, Felt, Found, Find:

FEEL – Identify with the emotion of the complaint, but not the complaint itself
(I can see/hear that you feel disappointed)

FELT – Distance them from the intensity of their thinking about it by offering a different perspective
(other people in this situation have felt similar to this at first )

FOUND – Suggest others have found a solution and even suggest your preferred outcome
(one man found a cool solution to the situation when he …)

FIND – Future pace their thinking towards a finding a new outcome
(I think you will find things … (much improved) next time)

From challenge to change – behavioural insights for kids

Kids and their behaviours huh?

A crucial part of growing up is to learn that you are neither ‘good’ nor ‘naughty’, nor anything else for that matter, it is the behaviour that may be judged as good/naughty/useful or inappropriate.

When we value the person’s worth whilst challenging their behaviour, the child becomes enabled to make adjustments to their behaviour without having to defend any perceived assault on their core self.

Facilitating the child’s exploration of different perspectives about their behaviour, can help percolate many isights which can only happen when the brain feels safe to explore options. Insights and self adjustment help build self esteem, confidence and more choices around self regulation. Keeping behaviour separate from identity is a smart way to de-activate a primitive flight/flight/freeze response.

Here is a game I sometimes play with kids I coach, it’s called ‘What would (they) say about (behaviour)?’
Your hero






Best Friend

Another child in your class

A fly on the wall/alien

Someone very critical

Someone very positive & encouraging

There are no right or wrong answers, just perspectives to explore. Add some dice and cut out the words to create a game – the more fun and unexpected the activity, the more the brain produces dopamine and acetycholine – neurochemicals crucial to learning.

Equine Facilitated Development

What a fantastic way to learn about oneself in relation to self and others. Equine Facilitated Development is a stunning activity because horses are so uncomplicated – they simply reflect the level you are truly resonating at rather than your perspective of identity.

Check out this short video made by Stepney Bank Stables, a children’s charity based in the heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne. I’ll shortly blog more detail about this marvellous way of developing people.

The Chamomile Lawn

dilston physic garden
on the right path

Early one sunny summer morning, seven juxtaposed minds gathered upon the waxy velvet lawn of chamomile in Dilston Physic Garden, they had been tasked by a question. As the cool breeze gently wafted calming aromas of fruity sweetness and they seated themselves comfortably, each began to contemplate the following question – how did people of old discover which herbs cured what complaints?

The scientist spoke first “There is no mystery here you know, people must have done what scientists always do. Simple process of trial and error to find out what worked and what did not. It may have taken quite a time to test hundreds of local herbs on all the symptoms but that is the scientific method.”

The enquirer spoke next “But lots of people must have got sick or even dropped dead in the process, swallowing plants they didn’t know were toxic? Maybe they first fed the plants to the oldies, as disposable members of the population? Or to animals?”

The Christian took his turn “ There is no doubt people received instructions about healing plants directly from God. All is known to the divine source & in those days, people were much more tuned in to that. After all, angelica got its name because an angel appeared in a dream to tell a monk to use it to cure the plague!

“Which god are you talking about?” Asked the enquirer, “and how can we convince the agnostics that this is the answer?”

The medical herbalist spoke to the group next “I think if you sit quietly beside a plant and let yourself become aware of more than meets the eye, you’ll get the message – what system or symptom the plant is for. This has to be how the herbal materia medica was recorded in the fist place.”

Enquirer: “OK, but did that also apply to which parts of the plant to use, when to pick them and how much to take?

The anthropologist then spoke, “Here’s my idea. Way back there were societies, just as we saw in Nazi Germany. Ancient peoples who experimented on captors or slaves in this instance to see what plants would do to them. Some might say that is no worse than experimenting with animals today…”

“But criminal cultures like that didn’t last very long did they?” Responded the enquirer, “and nobody really wants to know what they found out, surely? As for animal research it’s OK today isn’t it – lots of ethics and regulations in place now…”

The shamanic practitioner spoke next, “In many societies, shamans – healers who can access the spirit world – enter an altered state of consciousness to contact a plant spirit. They say that spirit talks to them directly, tells them what’s wrong with their patient and what to do about it – like what plants to use. This is the kind of knowledge that must underpin herbal medicine.”

“That’s a wonderful idea” enthused the enquirer, “how could we find this out for ourselves, and are plant spirits the same as elementals?”

They sat with this, and other thoughts, enveloped by, and enjoying their calmer states induced by the soporific aromatics of the lawn, and ignoring damp seats.

The animal lover resumed the debate, “Why don’t we think about animals. They often go and eat what is good for them when they get sick. They must use some kind of intuition, something we have probably lost. But our ancestors would have watched and copied carefully.”

“Hum” said the enquirer, “an interesting idea, but we’ll never be able to prove that’s how medical herbalists learnt their trade, will we?”

And as serendipity would have it, one of the garden cats prowled right past the seated group and began chewing shoots from the horsetail bed, right next to the chamomile lawn.

“You know that particular cat has always had a gut problem,” the enquirer spoke softly.

“That is very interesting,” said the medical herbalist, “Horsetail is rich in silicon and is a gut protective – the Romans used it to put on their iron cooking pots as a non stick surface.”

The group pondered inwardly once again and each was bathed in a moment of silence as the wind halted and all was still. The enquirer begged the obvious question, “how do animals know?”

Therefore, it was decided. The group would reconvene for further debate, alongside a vet, an animal psychologist, a pharmacologist, a philosopher and maybe even an animal ‘whisperer. After all, there was always room for more on the chamomile lawn.

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Dilston Physic Garden

What goes around …

When a bird is alive, it eats ants. When the bird is dead, ants eat the bird.

Time and circumstances can change at any time. You may be powerful today, but time is more powerful than you.

One tree makes a million match sticks. One match stick can burn a million trees.

Be in balance. It’s all energy circulation.

Thinking mind-fully, feeling heart-fully, doing body-consciousness.

Seems important today – note to self …