Gratitude – such a simple thing

Dr Marshall Rosenberg is the founder of ‘Nonviolent Communication’ and someone I consider the best communicator I’ve ever met. Just by developing NVC he elevated himself to near genius status. A woman once came up to him at the end of a seminar and said ‘Dr Rosenberg, you’re great!’ He said ‘Thank you, but it would help me more if you explained why you think that.’ It’s not the way most of us act; most of us would have said ‘Thank you’ then carried on or talked about something different.

The woman had a think for a moment and then said ‘You said something that means I can now speak to my teenage son in a way I haven’t done so for a long time.’ Rosenberg then asked ‘What did I say?’ The woman rooted round in her bag for a few moments and found her notebook. She quoted him a couple of phrases that she had written down and Rosenberg said ‘Yes, I did say that. How exactly does this help you?’ The woman then explained how communication had broken down between her son and herself and how using the phrases she had learned could see how to unlock the impasse. Rosenberg then gratefully accepted the woman’s thanks.

It seems all a bit long winded, but the fact is we react to praise and rejection in pretty much the same way – superficially. We are either happy or sad. When someone truly explains why they are grateful, or annoyed, it makes it easier for us to connect. With that thought in mind I would like to express my gratitude to the following people. The primary reason is that we are now at a critical stage in our relationships with the upcoming release of the Red-Scar Productions documentary ‘Straight Talking Guy’ (formally known under the working title of ‘More than a Motivational Speaker’).

To Jamie Rae, Dan Anscombe and Martin Steed of Red-Scar for having the vision and the commitment to make the film possible.

To Lisa Blackler of Honesty Marketing for her input, ideas and passion for the project.

To Sarah King (my Virtual Assistant) for keeping me on the straight and narrow and helping to keep me organised.

To Deana Burgoyne for being the best accountant ever. Sounds a strange one, but what a woman, helping me to keep my books in shape.

To Kwoklyn Wan for his support in interviewing me for ‘Combat’ magazine and allowing us a platform at the Martial Arts Show for showing the film for the first time on Sunday 23rd May.

To Mike Willis of the Business Club (Northants) for allowing us to film at the Corby venue and getting in such a large crowd.

To Brad Burton of 4Networking to allow us to film at the Cambridge and Elstree venues. Further thanks to Katie Millman and Aegean Thompson for making the events run so well.

To the students and black belts of Unified Fighting Systems for their support over the years and their enthusiasm for this project. What an inspirational group.

Finally to Jo Pearson, for loving me, supporting me and backing me even though I know she sometimes wonders where all this is going.

To give thanks is important. To tell people why they have made a difference makes the difference. Tell people why they make you smile, why you feel loved and wanted, but equally tell a person from the heart when you are upset so that they understand why. Eloquence in communication is vital for relationships to succeed. I wish you all well.

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