Are You M.A.D.?

Crazy woman

Crazy womanNo, I’m not questioning your emotional state or sanity.

I’m asking you to reflect on whether you are really M.A.D.

Now before you think I’m mad for writing this post, I’ll say that here the acronym M.A.D. stands for Making A Difference.

Do you?

Make a difference?

It’s certainly what we try to do every time we work with any of our wide range of clients – whether they are school students, teachers, low care or high residents in aged care centres, or staff and management in various organisations.

In our experience, as professional facilitators and trainers, making a difference can mean provoking a wide range of reactions from the smallest ‘aha’ moment to a profound change in thinking and behaviour. The initial reaction may be just a smile or a nod.  But even this can mean a much deeper resonance on a theme that has touched people’s hearts and minds.  And it may be the start of some transformational change. We hope so because that’s what we get paid to do. :)

To me, the greatest experience in facilitating and training is to see participants’ lights go on.  To see them ‘get it’ – whatever ‘it’ may mean for them in that moment. It’s that awareness and deeper understanding of a particular issue that has perplexed them. Or perhaps a skill they are trying to master becomes crystallized. And they then start to realise they’ve taken the first step towards transformational change

When this occurs I’m glad I’m M.A.D.

Are you M.A.D. too?

If so, send us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Change: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Dog reacting to magic

Dog reacting to magicThis is a fun clip where magician José Ahonen use magic on various dogs.

You can almost hear what each dog is thinking … even if Sällie is the only one who tells José exactly what she thinks of him. :)

We figured it’s also a great analogy for how folk react when change happens – particularly when they feel they’ve been tricked. 

And we reckon we’ve seen people – including ourselves – reacting to change in the same way as every one of the dogs in the clip.  ;)

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Useful Websites: Personal & Professional Development


KeyInDoorSmallWe’ve gathered a number of links on our Useful Websites page for those interested in personal and professional development.

Each section has a number of links under the following headings:

  • Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Community Development
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Customer Service
  • Goal Setting
  • Leadership
  • Presentations & Public Speaking
  • Resilience
  • Time Management
  • Youth Leadership

We hope you find these resources helpful.



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Just Appreciation


I was running a Chair Chi session for an aged care centre and we had a new resident join the group.

He sat there in his wheel chair, watched with a blank expression, did not join in and I could just hear him mumble ‘it’s all @#$!’.

Rather than confront him I decided to continue on encouraging the group and occasionally glanced over to see if he was partcipating.

He still sat there motionless.

Then it happened.

WheelchairEmpty2After a while he followed one of the Chi movements I had demonstrated. I expressed my appreciation by simply saying, ‘that’s good Bob’ and continued on teaching.

I complimented him, as I did with other residents, but I was careful not to overdo it. He responded by joining in and slowly relaxed into the group activity. I think he even enjoyed himself.

I’ve found when I’ve worked with challenging participants, whether they are aged care residents, students, or staff and management in the workforce it’s best to allow them to join in when they are ready to do so.

And one of the ways of encouraging people to join in activities is to be patient, encouraging and just appreciate their presence.

Of course if their behaviour is disruptive to the group then I use other assertive skills to defuse or deflect negative Chi.

But usually what works for me is ‘just appreciation’.


Footnote: Program Schedule for  aged care staff, carers and volunteers ; Chair Chi Level One Workshop  and Falls Prevention – the Tai Chi way.

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Chi Europe

Well, some exciting times ahead.

chair-chi-training-picI’ll be in Europe in September/October for research purposes and I’m looking at extending the trip by a week if I can find paid work for our staff aged care Chair Chi Training Level One  and Falls Prevention – the Tai Chi way workshops.elderly woman's hands on walking stick

The week I’ll be available for work covers 13th-17th of October.

I’ve already contacted friends in Europe for an expression of interest and will also contact staff I work with at the local aged care centres here in Melbourne, Australia, where I run my Chair Chi workshops.

What I’m after are contacts in the aged care industry in Europe such as managers/decision makers in aged care organisations who provide staff training. So if you know of anybody that fits that criteria I’d appreciate you letting me know or even sending the links above to those who you think may be interested.

I’m booked out for the year regarding Chair Chi workshops here as it has become very popular and it would be a great experience if I could run workshops in Europe.

Hopefully the Chi will be with me – fingers crossed.


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A Day in the Life of a Tai Chi Man


Clock25.15am – Alarm sounds – have 3 seconds to reach over and turn it off before I end up sleeping in to mid day

5.15.03am – Success. Alarm off, out of bed. Huge effort. Shower and get myself ready

5.45am – Tai Chi practice – embrace the tree (standing) and then massage knees

6.07am – Breakfast, brush teeth, shave, iron shirt (should have done it yesterday, running out of time :(

6.40am – Grab my Tai Chi gear, folder, bag

6.45am – Start car, connect my android (audio book) – George Orwell’s ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ to the auxilary outlet so I can listen to it on the way to a private Tai Chi lesson in Toorak. Driving down the Hills – driver in front of me very slow – ‘come on, wake up’. Driver wakes up and accelerates to the 60 kmph speed limit.

7.45am – The drive was reasonable and I’m happy I beat the start of peak hour traffic. Arrive at my client’s place and sit in the car for 10 minutes to settle the Chi before I enter the premises

8.00am – Private lesson starts

9.00am – Lesson ends – very enjoyable – always a pleasure to work with a highy motivated individual (Managing Director). Drive through heavy traffic along Toorak Road up to Warrigal Road and then on to  pick Sue up for her staff development workshop. She hasn’t got a car at the moment so I’m the chauffeur for the day.

10.15am – Leave Sue’s place for Mulgrave where my Chair Chi workshop is scheduled

10.40am Drop Sue off at a shopping centre nearby where she will wait for me to pick her up after my workshop

10.45am – Change in the car for the workshop

11.00am – Chair Chi workshop starts

12.10pm – Finish my workshop, another enjoyable session, pick Sue up and drive to Hallam for her workshop

12.40pm – Drop Sue off and head for Subways to get a quick lunch, and then drive to my next age care centre workshop in Montrose

1.25pm – Just make it into Montrose in time

1.30pm -  Start my workshop

2.40pm -  Finish workshop and head home which is close by

3.00 – Dive on the couch for a brief rest planning to get up and do some more of my own Tai Chi training later – unsuccessful – couch wins and so does a chocolate milkshake and a cherry ripe

4.30pm – Head back to Hallam to pick Sue up from her workshop

5.10pm – Sue and I drive back towards home, petrol gauge showing empty, not a good sign. Make it to a petrol station and then we decide to go to Knox City for tea (lovely chicken schnitzel) and a cup of coffee afterwards – a pleasant reward as all our workshops were well received.CoffeeMugs2

7.00pm – Take Sue home, have a cuppa

8.30pm – Head for home for an early night

10.00pm – Head hits the pillow and very quickly I’m off to La La land


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Blog Posts: Do You Have Something to Say?

Feather Quills2

Feather Quills2Trying to keep up with all the blog posts on our various sites, like BJ Seminars International, Chris Chi and Chris Chats, is quite demanding.

Initially, the experts advised that you need to blog regularly – some advising almost daily and others at least 2-3 times a week. Well, I’ve tried to follow the 2-3 times a week formula across 3 blogs, but so far I can only manage that rate sometimes across two sites – BJ Seminars International and Chris Chi. I haven’t written a post for Chris Chats for a while.

So I’ve decided to follow the advice of Ivan Lutrov who, in his post Blogging At Your Own Pace, offers some very good advice for small business owners.

One of the key tips Ivan suggests is ‘write when you have something to say’. I’d add to that by saying, write if you have the time to write and don’t beat yourself up because of a self imposed schedule.

To save time Sue and I could hire some one else to write posts, but that’s not really an option for us. Writing our own blog posts gives an authentic voice to our business and another advantage is that prospective clients will get a better idea of who we are.

So now, instead of getting locked into this 2-3 posts per week mentality, I’ve given myself a break and allowed myself the luxury of posting when I have something to say and have the time to say it. If that means a post every now and again then, so be it.

Most experts say “content is king” and I now believe this too. It makes sense to post less frequently so the content is of value to the reader and not just a “fill in” because of a self-imposed schedule.

As Ivan says, ‘less is more’.

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