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Loxton Consulting Group
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We provide world class development solutions to enable people and organisations to grow and to realise their potential.
We provide world class development solutions to enable people and organisations to grow and to realise their potential.

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30 Second Insight - 5 April 2016: Happy First Birthday

I hope your week is going well.

30 Second Insight is one year old this week!

Since 7 April 2015, when it began, there have been 114 Insights.

Originally, it was a daily email, and then became weekly.

Where now? Does it continue in its current format, weekly, focusing on personal development? Or should it change?

Please let me have you views.

Just email me NOW - and let me know what you would like to read and what would be beneficial for you.

Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you.

For this week's Insight, let me suggest that, having just passed the quarter of the year point, now is an appropriate time to have a meeting with yourself to review your progress towards achieving your 2016 goals.

And maybe to challenge those goals - are there other priorities now that need your focus?

Good luck with this.

Have a great day and make it a highly successful week ahead.


Paul Loxton
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30 Second Insight - 29 March 2016: NLP Swish Technique

The NLP “Swish” technique is great for changing a bad habit you have or for boosting your self-confidence. It works by you breaking an image, in your mind, of the undesired you - your Start Point - and replacing it with the ideal picture of you.
Here are six steps to follow to use the technique:

1. Capture The Image You Wish to Change

Identify the situation that you want to change. You behaving in a particular way or needing more confidence. This is your Start Point.

Make the picture you have of you in this Start Point as real as possible, with sounds, colours, feelings, tastes and smells. Make the picture complete and alive.

Then put this image aside, in your head, for a moment.

2. Imagine Yourself In Your Ideal State

Develop the image of yourself that you want to be, in that specific situation.

Perfect, strong, powerful, harmonious, loving, happy - whatever you want.

Again, make it real with all of the trimmings. Make it look attractive to you.

Then put it aside, in your head, for a moment.

3. Make The Image You Wish To Change Very Bright

Focus on your Start Point image. The one you want to change.

Now, take the ideal picture you created and put it in the middle of the one you want to change in your head. Imagine it is in a slingshot and pull it back a little.

Then pull it back more, as far as you can, and feel the resistance of the rubber band. Keep it where it is for a moment and then let go.

4. Fire The Sling Shot

Say SWISH while you let the slingshot go and let the new image burst through your Starting Point picture and replace it completely.

Now only see your ideal picture and make yourself feel the feelings you attached to that image.

Focus on the new image, the new you, and enjoy these feelings for a moment. Enjoy being this new person.
5. Clear Your Mind

Think now of something completely different, in order to clear your mind. Perhaps do maths in your head.

Then repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 five times. Each time faster, until the ideal picture replaces the one you want to change in a fraction of a second.

Savour the new feelings each time.

6. Check Which Picture Is Now In The Starting Position

Test the result by looking at the Starting Position - suddenly think about that situation. What image do you see and what feelings do you have?

If the image has not been replaced by your ideal picture, and the feelings replaced by how you want to feel, repeat the whole procedure a few more times.
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30 Second Insight: 22 March 2016 - NLP Give Positive Purpose

A friend habitually smokes cigarettes. She knows the behaviour is frowned upon by others, is bad for her health and is costing her a lot of money, but she continues to do it.

Another friend works very long hours and relaxes by over eating. His weight reflects his over eating and his doctor has warned him about the health risks, but he carries on with his comfort eating.

As an outsider it’s easy to recognise the “errors” in other’s behaviours. We see that what they are doing isn’t good for them and sometimes, because we care (and we know better), we explain this to them so that they will recognise how right we are and change their ways.

But our well-intentioned advice rarely has any impact.

So we try again and again and maybe again, becoming progressively more forceful so that the advice giving becomes directive and almost threatening - "If you don't stop this will happen...". Yet still they carry on doing what we are adamant they should stop.

So, why don’t they see the light and change their ways?

It’s because their current behaviour works for them. It fulfills needs that they have.
Their behaviour gives them the feelings that they want to feel, and / or helps them avoid feelings they don’t want to feel.

Sure, their behaviour may have unwelcome side effects but it does the job they need it to do now.

In the case of the friend who smokes, maybe she gains stimulation or relaxation or escapism from it, or perhaps it enables her to behave in a way that plays to the self image she wants. Or maybe it fulfills another need.

Our hard working, over eating friend might need the comfort and predictability that food brings. It may be providing a break from the long working hours, and serves that purpose. Or maybe something else.

Until they have a better means of fulfilling their needs they won’t give up what they are doing, no matter how clever or forceful our arguments are.

It’s as simple and as complex as that!

In NLP jargon - every behaviour has or had a positive purpose. Why “ had”? Because sometimes the behaviour begins positively, fullfilling a need, but then becomes a habit and self perpetuating, even though it no longer fulfills its original purpose.

Rather than continue with our repetitive advice, try these approaches to get people to break free from the damaging behaviours that they cling to:

(1) Stop giving advice. Not only does it not work but it frequently has negative consequences. For, example, the more you advise somebody to stop doing something, which emotionally they are unable to stop, the more they are likely to defend doing it or feel guilty about their inability to follow your advice.

(2) Help them find other ways of fulfilling their needs and values. Coach the person in identifying all of the feelings that their current negative behaviour is enabling them to feel or avoid feeling. Then help them find more constructive ways of fulfilling each of these needs and values.

(3) Recognise your limitations. You can’t change everyone. Sometimes people have to learn from their experience, so the best we can do is to wait patiently. Perhaps whilst we are waiting, we can look at ways of dealing with our own less useful behaviours.

Good luck with this. Let me know how you get on.

More from 30 Second Insight next Tuesday.
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30 Second Insight - 15 March 2016: NLP Eye Access Cues

Watching someone’s eye movements can provide useful information about how they are processing information and thinking. This can enable us to understand and engage with them more effectively.

Being conscious of our own eye movements provides useful information for us too, perhaps prompting us to consciously think differently.

The majority of people process information in the following ways, in NLP terms they are called “normally wired.” Some people process information in the reverse way.

Visual System Processing

Looking up and to the right means they are constructing a picture. Looking up and to the left indicates they are remembering a picture.

Auditory System Processing

We access remembered sounds by looking straight to the left, while new, constructed sounds are straight to the right.

Kinesthetic System Processing

Looking down to the right indicates we are accessing our feelings.

Auditory Digital Processing

We look down and to the left when we talk to ourselves.

Looking down, alternating left and right, indicates some conflict in someone’s thoughts, possibly anxiety or confusion.

Try watching other people's eye movements and listening to what they then say, to find the correlation between the two. Once you become competent doing this, start interpreting their eye movements before they speak.

The concentration you use and the understanding of their thinking process that you gain helps you connect with them better.

Watching actors is an easy way to start developing your awareness in this area.

More from 30 Second Insight next Tuesday.
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30 Second Insight - 8 March 2016: NLP Anchoring

Remember a time when you felt and acted really confidently and self-assured?

Identify one of those times, when your confidence resulted in success for you.

Search for and find a specific memory.

Go back to that great memory now and relive it. See again what you saw, feel what you felt, and put yourself into that wonderful time.

Shut your eyes and immerse yourself in and enjoy the experience you had again.

Let the empowering, positive emotions you experienced wash over you. Notice what you are feeling and thinking now, and in the memory, that makes you feel so good.

Notice your posture and your breathing.

Make the experience in your mind more vivid, brighter and bigger. Double the brightness. Double the size of everything you can see in your memory. Then double them again!

Make the sounds you can hear in your memory louder - your voice, others’ voices, other sounds. Turn the volume up to maximum and hear all of the sounds at full volume.

Whilst you’re reliving this wonderful memory, pick up on every little detail of what you are doing and how great you are feeling.

Now save that wonderful, vivid, loud memory in a new folder in your head. Somewhere you can access it quickly. Give the folder a name - “Awesome Feelings” for example. Give the memory you are filing in the folder a name too, something that represents it, for example, “Great Negotiation” or “Incredible Presentation”.

The memory is now there to enjoy and make you feel great whenever you need it! Just go into the folder, open the file and step into your memory again. Feel great, act confidently and achieve that same tremendous success!

The memory is an “anchor” - something strong and accessible and powerful that you can leverage upon whenever you need a confidence boost.

As an additional take out from your memory, think about your actions in the memory - your voice, words, stance facial expression, breathing and gestures. They worked for you in your memory, so use them again and again and again. Copy what you did when you need to replicate that success.

More from 30 Second Insight next Tuesday.

Enjoy your memories and have a great day and a highly successful week ahead.
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Here are some great influencing techniques for everyday use.


If someone says to you: “Let’s do this” it’s more difficult to resist than if they say: “Shall we do this?”

The first approach is an embedded command. The second is a question that provides a choice.

Professional waiters use embedded commands. When you order your meal, they ask: “What would you like to start?” - an embedded command. Rather than: “Do you want a starter?” which provides a choice, and the option of saying “No.”


The clever waiter then follows up with: “Red or white wine?” or “Which wine would you like?”

These are restricted choice questions that give the illusion of choice, but really limit your response only to the type of wine, not whether you would like wine or not.

Contrast this with: “Do you want anything to drink?” or “Would you like any wine?” Both of which can be answered with a “No”.

Parents learn how to provide restricted choices to get what they want.

When a child is reluctant to go to bed, they may say: “Would you like me to read you a story when you are in bed?”

The only choice for the child, in that question, is whether they would or wouldn’t like to have a story. Going to bed is taken for granted.


The order in which you share information, and use of the word "but" can be powerful persuaders.

If you say: “This candidate is extremely good at her job, but she is rarely punctual”, she appears to be not a good candidate for promotion, because she frequently arrives late.

If, instead, you say: “This candidate is rarely punctual, but she is extremely good at her job”, the punctuality seems to diminish in importance compared with her ability to do the job.

This is due to referring to the positive aspect second and using the word "but".

Try these simple, yet highly effective techniques out. (An embedded command)

Good luck with them. Please let me know how you get on. (Another one)

More from 30 Second Insight next Tuesday.

Have a great day and a great week ahead. (Two more...hehehe)
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We're proud and delighted to announce the arrival of our new baby - Blue Square 360.

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We have Ready To Use 360 Surveys addressing frequently assessed behaviours.

Additionally, we cost effectively design 360 Surveys to address your precise requirements.

Whether you need one or a thousand 360's, you can relax and let us professionally handle everything for you.

Including questionnaire design - rater briefing - administration - report production - report debrief.

We make 360 easy.


Actually, were seriously experienced at 360 and have been providing it for over 20 years - yes, pre internet! But now we use a slick, top of the range online system.

Do please take a peek at the Blue Square 360 website - - for more information.

If you'd like a quote or a demo, please let me know.

Thank you.


Genevieve Chow
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30 Second Insight - 23 February 2016: NLP Yes Sets

Yes Sets are small talk that develops trust and increases your chances of getting agreement to something important that you are moving towards.

They are statements that cannot be denied. You make the statement, phrasing it as a question, and the other party has no option other than to respond “Yes”.

By asking a series of Yes Sets (three is a good number), you move the other person to a more positive / accepting position than they were in before.

Since they have answered affirmatively a number of times, they are likely to continue answering affirmatively. Contrast this with you having asked mixed questions, some leading to a “Yes” and some to a “No” answer, or all questions leading to a “No” response.

Here are some examples of Yes Set questions:

“So you managed to get a response today?” - “Yes”

“You found your way here okay?” - "Yes"

“It looks like it’s still raining outside?” - "Yes"

Avoid statements that can potentially be denied. “It’s raining outside” cannot be denied. However, “It’s a nice day, isn’t it?” can be, because it’s more subjective.

After a couple of Yes Sets, some people may feel they are being too agreeable and want to resist a little and assert themselves.
Look out for them telegraphing this through their body language (looking away, shifting in their chair, folding their arms), or by introducing something unrelated to what you have mentioned to moan about.

Don’t wait for this negativity to ruin the positive work your Yes Sets have done. Give them something that allows them to use a negative response (so they feel they aren’t being “Yessed”) by using another linguistic device called a Negative Frame.

A Negative Frame is a language pattern that prompts a negative response whilst still maintaining agreement. So the other person actually says “No” in response to a question, but the meaning is still agreement with you.

For example:

“Let’s get straight into the important things, because we don’t want to keep you waiting, do we?” - “No” meaning “I agree”.

A useful formula for Yes Sets and Negative frames is: Yes Set + Yes Set + Yes Set + Negative Frame = progress towards getting the yes you really want.

Good luck with this. Let me know how you get on.

More from 30 Second Insight next Tuesday.
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30 Second Insight: 16 February 2016: NLP Empowering Questions

The type of questions we ask ourselves impacts the answers we get, and how we subsequently feel and behave.

Ask yourself positive questions - get positive answers, feel good, behave up beat and with a feeling of being empowered.

Ask yourself negative questions and it's a different story.

Practice asking yourself positive questions, to see how you feel and react, and then try the empowering questions approach with other people.

Here are some example questions to ask yourself:

- How am I going to enjoy my work more?
- What's the most fun thing I am going to do today?
- Who can help me develop my effectiveness at work?
- What am I going to stop doing today, to save me time for important things?
- What's the most useful thing I can do right now?

Contrast the above empowering questions with negative questions / mindsets such as:

- Why don't I enjoy my job?
- I'm bored - how long is it before I can go home?
- Why is everyone else better / more effective than me?
- I can't see the way ahead, I am so busy.
- I don't know where to start.

Use empowering questions to change your own and others' mindsets from negative to positive.

Good luck with this. Let me know how you get on.

More from 30 Second Insight next Tuesday.

Have a great day and a great week ahead.
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Gong Xi Ca Fai!

Wishing you a happy, successful and prosperous Year of the Monkey.
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