Monday 1 December 2014

Did You Know That You Can Project The Positive With 4 Connected & Powerful Positions?

Would you agree that it's sometimes really tough to go into an appraisal meeting or a work revue and to feel that you can have some influence over the agenda?
If you've answered this with a "quiet yes" (or maybe not so quiet!), you should consider the following ideas. They will help you to develop a strong, forward facing and powerful dialogue that might just arrive like a breath of fresh air to your manager/supervisor! Here they are:

Four Powerful Positions in Establishing Yourself

·          Be able to talk about

o       A peak experience or high point when working here. This would be a time when you felt most alive and engaged and knew you were working “in flow”, getting great results, enjoying them and contributing to your organisation.

·          Be prepared to talk about

o       And without being modest-what you most value about yourself, the nature of your work and the organisation

·          Be able to identify, describe and articulate

o       The core factors that give life to your organisation, without which the organisation would cease to exist?

·          Be in a position from where you are able to state with confidence and purpose

o       The three wishes so you have to enhance the health and vitality of your organisation

Can you see how these 4 simple and powerful positions might help us re-frame our relationship with our work? Give this a try and if you'd like to know more about our work please get in touch, we're happy to help! 

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Do You Know What Some Visitors Think of Birmingham?

Cross Innovation: it's about bringing creative industries together with a range of partners to create exciting and sustainable outcomes that provide employment, training, economic growth, hope and aspiration. There's a tangible feeling of growth on the East side of Birmingham, as commerce, creative and service industries are growing and the City's education sector brings an energy, vitality and a message of ambition.

At DY 3Solutions we have an excellent working relationship with Birmingham City University's Research Innovation and Enterprise Team who were pivotal in arranging and delivering a two day conference in October. It was attended by delegates from 11 European Cities all of which has committed themselves to the spirit and outcomes of Cross Innovation. And here, in Birmingham over two-days, participants contributed, challenged and learned from each other.
The venues sent out powerful messages about Birmingham

Day 1

Held at Birmingham City University's Parkside campus: it's an environment that produces a "Creative Hum" created by students and lecturers across a variety of disciplines in a new and vibrant setting it's indicative of our new and growing Birmingham, outward looking and innovative and located in and amongst an area of growth and innovation alongside the City's more traditional buildings-the one we used the second day
Day 2

This part of the event was delivered at The Bond in Fazeley Street, Digbeth in the heart of Birmingham's manufacturing past and creative future.

The relatively short journey between the two venues creates a powerful snapshot of past, potential and energy. It was picked up and commented on by the delegates who had plenty more to say about Birmingham. Here are few of the observations I picked up on throughout the day

Birmingham is friendly
  • The delegates told me that they had met and spoken with pleasant, friendly and helpful people
Birmingham has great places to visit
  • This included our new and older civic buildings, our city centre, it's eating venues and pubs.
Birmingham has a vibe!
  • It feels exciting, there's a lot going on, there's potential here and it feels a great place for growth, ideas and creativity.
......and these were the outcomes of a few conversations held throughout day 2 of the conference; conversations held between a very proud Brummie  and visitors to our City who experienced it through different ears, observations, experiences and expectations.

I too often find myself saying that Birmingham and the Black Country is "much maligned by people who've never been here,". It was great to hear some very positive messages that will be carried back to across Europe about our energies, our potential and our future!

Monday 10 November 2014

Seeking The 18th Camel

We are often involved in "stuck situations", not the best piece of English in the world but it captures perfectly what is going on. Whether as individuals or as members of groups we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that there's "more to life" and that's because "issues" (whatever they are!) become problems that in their turn grow into deeply engrained responses that are toxic and destructive.

Desirable as it might seem the wisdom associated with "When you're in a hole, stop digging," seems to be one of the first escapees from the increasingly locked in behaviours.

We sometimes have to find ways of introducing some new thinking to free up the existing dialogue. Compromise is fine but it has to be remembered, as much a compromise will give you something you want, it will also require you to accept something you don't want! 

A shared solution works best, particularly when as in the clip, those involved feel that their individual wants and needs have been met.

These are the types of outcomes we work hard to achieve, they're also the one that "stick best".


Tuesday 28 October 2014

Self Sabotaging Beliefs

We've spoken about Self Sabotaging Beliefs and their capacity to stop you from:
§       Enjoying what you are doing
§       Developing and trying something else
§       Stop doing something that you know you shouldn't be doing but continue to through existing habits and Self Sabotage.

 This section of our work gives you some approaches and tools with which to challenge Self Sabotage and we’ll work our way through each of the “Not So Magnificent Seven” discussed previously

Self Sabotaging Belief
Try This
Notice This
#1 When I think about what I'm doing I tend to focus on what isn't working rather than what is

Stop-set yourself some short-term “wins” and write them down/put them on your phone/tablet and when you've hit your win just mark it off. Now here’s the next bit-put your achievements into a sentence and read it out. Preferably loud, failing that a bit of “quiet self-talk “is okay too.
How recording and recognising what’s been done makes a real contribution to your energy and sense of purpose.
How the next step is so much easier once you've taken the first one(s)
How the “doing and noticing” prevents procrastination.
You've achieved something-enjoy it!
#2 I am apprehensive about the future

Recognise that a little apprehension is okay. “Take ten deep breaths and hope for the best” isn't much of a strategy. Then look at your apprehension as friendly questions so, “I'm scared of delivering this presentation tomorrow,” changes to. “When I give this presentation, what’s the best way to introduce the theme, what do I really want people to know and how shall I wrap it up?”
How will I get some feedback?
And remember this; “There are only two days over which I have no control; yesterday and tomorrow”  It honestly pays you not to over-plan
When you've got an outline you are immediately in a stronger place.
Notice how you start to develop alternatives and other supportive ideas
Notice how you can shift the way you feel about the whole process. We’re turning a barrier into a scalable obstacle and an obstacle into a challenge. Next step? Turn that challenge into a success then write down how it feels.
Notice the way you receive and address feedback

#3 I tend to devalue myself and my achievements

I’d like you to think of something you achieved and write it down. Now, I honestly don’t mind if this is a list, a spider diagram or a mind map-anything-just write it down.
Then write what happened that was positive because of your achievement. Who was it important to and why? What did it mean to them, how did it make them feel?
The achievements we take for granted or devalue often have huge positive impacts on others and, if we just let them, they will do the same for us. Sometimes considering the powerful and lasting impact of a single act of kindness helps us to understand our significance and meaning “beyond the event” and that our achievements can have a massive impact on others
#4 I find that I too often compare myself to others

Consider this. Whatever field we think about there are going to be countless people who are better or worse than you.  Now, you can either use this knowledge to “big yourself up or beat yourself down” and I promise you that no-one outside of yourself and your loved one’s will notice.
Be realistic and without being complacent, be kind to yourself: try to hold on to this thought: comparison works well when we see strength and adapt it or recognise something we wouldn’t want to repeat and therefore avoid it. Also please understand: we’re not going to get it right every time! Honest.
Notice that when we chose to use comparison as a positive contributor to our behaviour it changes our relationship with ourselves.
Notice that relatively small adaptations have a big impact and that when you take ownership of them you begin to make them your own.
Notice how finishing “I could…” sentences about what you want to achieve soon turns from a thought, to an intention and then into an action,
Notice too the context in which other people succeed and be generous in the way in which you acknowledge their success,

#5 I find it hard to hold on to my gains and my achievements

Develop a “feedback friendship” with someone you trust and value. Ask this person to listen to you for 20 minutes twice a week and invite them to ask you questions. In your conversation, tell them about a gain, an achievement that really matters to you. Tell them how it has made you feel, tell them where it fits in to a bigger picture, tell them why you want more
Notice that the more you discuss what you’ve achieved in positive terms, the more it means to you.
Notice that your gains and achievements have values “beyond the immediate”.
Notice their impacts on others.
#6 I shy away from relationships

A big part of feeling more confident about relating to others is the health of your relationship with yourself. Some of the techniques and approaches we’ve talked about here and in previous areas of our work are focussed on improving the way we see ourselves. As you grow others will see your increased confidence, your kindness, your intentions and actions. They will recognise your authenticity and development, Relationships can’t be forced, they need time, space and consideration to develop. Our approaches will provide you with a great “starter kit” so that you might feel more confident in your abilities to be both giving to and receptive of relationships with others at all levels.
Notice how other people respond to you as you reach out and grow in confidence.
Notice how you feel about yourself and ask yourself “What’s different?”
Practice strong “self talk” where you express your feelings with purpose and clarity. Give examples to yourself. “I did x well because Steve and I had a really good feedback session and I can now understand…….” (You get the picture).
#7 Sometimes I feel there is no real purpose
Here are  things to do
1.      Watch the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”
2.      Make a quick list of the small kindnesses you have given today
3.      Make a quick list of the small kindnesses you have received today
4.      Get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to for a while and tell them that they crossed your mind and you thought you’d get in touch
5.      Deliberately increase your recognition of gratitude
1.        Make sure you get the message from the film: everyone matters!
2.        You will notice that you probably gave more than you thought
3.        You will notice that you probably received more than you thought
4.        Notice the response of the person you have reached out to. Notice the strength of your feelings and try to name them
5.        Gratitude is a strong element of emotional well being. Notice how it helps your appreciation of yourself and others.

And Now?

Think about which, if any of the above statements apply to you, work on the one you feel can want to change and PLEASE notice the differences. I’d like you to remember that none of us acquired our Self Sabotaging Beliefs over night and they’re not going to disappear overnight either! Take your time, be good to yourself and (once more) NOTICE what’s happening to you and others.

Good Luck!

Contact us:
0121 602 7191

Wednesday 22 October 2014

A Second Chance: Convicted Paedophile working in Jamie Oliver's Restaurant.

The Daily Mail reported this on Thursday 16th October:

To summarise the key points, David Mason was convicted of raping a 12-year old girl in 2010. He was sentenced to four years in a young offenders’ institution. He served two, and did two years probationary work. He is now six weeks into a year-long apprenticeship scheme in Jamie Oliver’s central London restaurant, Fifteen. This became public knowledge when he posted a photo of himself with Oliver on Facebook, with a caption that read “Top of the pile where I belong.”

This article was shared by a friend of a friend on Facebook, and there were the usual vitriolic comments: the sentence wasn’t long enough, what they would do to Mason should they ever meet him, and outrage at the number of disadvantaged people desperate for this opportunity that has been handed to a paedophile.

It is on the latter point that I note that it is not that simple.

I’m not defending Mason. I agree that what he did was unforgivable, I wouldn’t want to socialise with him and I certainly wouldn’t entertain his presence around any child I was responsible for. Few would argue the deplorable nature of his crime.

However, at what point do we let this arbitrarily control the rest of his life? Mason now has to make a living for himself. How will he have the chance to do that if the chances are not there? There are few enough opportunities for people who have been in prison; why not do an apprenticeship at a restaurant?

There is currently a prominent culture that people released from prison are almost unemployable. Jobs are hard enough to come by even without a criminal record, and convicted criminals struggle to find employment after they’ve served their sentence. At the risk of romanticising or defending criminals, some have little choice but to go back in to crime – either out of desperation or because it is all they know.

If Mason wasn’t doing this apprenticeship, what would he be doing now? Likely he’d be claiming jobseekers allowance, applying for jobs he has little hope of getting because of his background – and a significant portion of the taxpayers in the UK would be quick to point out their contribution to this. He might even, out of desperation or desire, relapse back into crime; this would help nobody.

I do not suggest that Mason will never relapse or re-offend because he has this opportunity. And his Facebook post was a mistake: what goes on Facebook is public and out of your control; something you’d be advised to keep in mind if you have an embarrassing history. But he has a chance to make a life for himself; a decent job and a career. What he does with that chance is up to him – but he has it. Many do not.

The Daily Mail – thriving on its sense of righteous indignation it feels is generated by people who think they’re doing the right thing by agreeing with its controversial points – asks: Why has Mason, a convicted paedophile, been given this opportunity when there are many other disadvantaged youths desperate for a similar position? The comments below the article suggest a lot of people agree with this ideal. Many have stated that Oliver’s judgement was poor in taking Mason on and they would boycott all future TV programmes/publications/restaurants. But there is a more balanced way of viewing this:

There are many ways young people can be disadvantaged; having a criminal record is one of them. If the scheme helps those young people who have made some poor decisions when they were younger to make a life for themselves, it is no bad thing. It might even be argued that people without criminal records have opportunities elsewhere that those with records do not.

There is no evidence to suggest that Fifteen, Jamie Oliver or his management acted irresponsibly in giving Mason the apprenticeship; quite the contrary. They will have checked his background to make sure he is no threat to anybody. His job means he is unlikely to come in to direct contact with children. He will be ‘behind the scenes,’ and if he hadn’t posted the photo it is unlikely that his apprenticeship would be common knowledge.

David Mason is a convicted criminal who has done his time. He has a chance to turn his life around, whether he deserves it or not, and he his not a threat to anybody in the course of his work. I offer the opinion that it is no bad thing that David Mason is now an apprentice at the Fifteen restaurant.

- Matt

Wednesday 15 October 2014

An Awful Reminder of The Need To Look Further Than Ticks In Boxes -Or Registers

This article is a painful reminder of the folly of a “one size fits all” approach. What works for general and low-level non attendance is unlikely to work when non-attendance is the manifestation of a deeper, complex and more troubled situation. 

It’s not that long ago that during an attendance review we spotted an erratic attendance pattern in a bright Year 10 pupil. This at a time where Education Social Workers were a vital link between school and other agencies; their role looked at engagement, development and assistance: these vital areas were never the servant of compliance, Our bright Year 10 pupil took time off when he believed that his dad a perpetrator of domestic violence, was likely to assault his mom. His dad wouldn’t carry out the assaults when his son was around. Our Education Social Worker found this out, organised a multi-agency strategy meeting with a series of “Who does what” outcomes. Result? Perpetrator out of the house and banned from the area, Mom gets some assistance with enabling her to understand what has happened to her and how to move forward, Year 10 pupil attends regularly and grades improve.

Although I’m certain that the bean counters who have authored the current raft of compliance that floats on a sea of manure mean no harm, it is clear that they cause harm or are a part of harm being caused. Whereas it’s true, they didn’t bully the boy to death it is unavoidably clear that they are an unnecessary function of a bizarre culture that insists on measuring the wrong things for the wrong reasons, producing a flawed “devil take the hindmost” culture is so doing.

This child-yes child-is dead through no fault of his own. He is the victim of bullying, aided and abetted by a system that seems to have forgotten how to care and why it should.

Monday 13 October 2014

Safeguarding and Child Protection. It Needs To Be Taught, Not Caught!

DY 3Solutions is pleased to announce that we are developing a separate identity to deliver our work that addresses many facets of Safeguarding. This will be delivered under the trading heading of URIncluded. But for now, here's a write up some training we delivered last week. There's a mixture of really positive outcomes and a few serious concerns about how and when training is accessed.

Safeguarding Related issues seem to be bubbling close to the surface again in Birmingham. We recently delivered our standard “Awareness Raising” programme to a group of enthusiastic and committed teachers within a Primary Training Partnership.
Here’s the feedback.

First, the group was asked to comments on how well we had met the Learning Objectives for the session

Second, the group was asked to comment on how we had contributed to Competencies

In each area 84% "Excellent", 16% "Good"

Here are some of the evaluation comments received on the day:

In dealing with the issue

  • Dealt with issues in a ‘nice’ manner.
  • In detail, approachable with a difficult subject.
  • Very professional and friendly manner used to approach a difficult subject.
  • Good content/approach to difficult topic

Taking back to the working environment

  • I feel confident about my role in School and what I should expect from the School.
  • I can leave with a much clearer understanding of safeguarding in schools and peoples responsibilities and duties regarding children.
  • Feel a lot more confident about what we should look out for in a classroom situation.
  • Confidence to trust instincts
  • Gave so many hints and tips I can use in the classroom – links to the curriculum.
  • All relevant to schools and settings we work in.

General safeguarding

  • The ‘signs’ of problems and what I can do about it are clearer.
  • Great insight into the role of safeguarding.
  • An eye-opener as to how easily child abuse can slip through the net.
  • Highlighted main issues/areas for concern.
  • Gave us very clear indicators to look out for.

Case Study

  • Case study was particularly important to me.
  • Case study was interesting
  • Good use of case studies to highlight areas of concern.
  • Good case study activity.
  • Case studies to look at – to pick apart the signs.
  • [The case study] makes you think of warning signs and then in discussion what you can do about them.
  • Case study really interesting!
  • Case study – being able to pick up signs for ourselves.


  • Informative
  • Very informative lesson.
  • Very straight to the point and full of a lot of good information.
  • Information about the process you should follow and what should be done.
  • Informative – what we can do, where we can go – process.
  • Do and Don’t on how to keep your notes very helpful.
  • Do’s and Don'ts about notes.
  • Great information on policies, signs, what to do if you spot signs etc.
  • Good content – essential information.
  • Extremely useful information.
  • A full-on experience, really informative.
  • Very informative.


  • Enjoyed being referred to as ‘colleagues’ and included in lecture as opposed to just being spoken to/at.
  • Good information delivery.
  • Delivery of the lesson
  • Good pace to the afternoon.
  • Good slides
  • Engaging speaker.
  • Lots of information presented well and clearly.
  • Really good afternoon. J
  • Well explained
  • Presented himself well, [and I can] clearly see his passion for teaching and learning.
  • Interactive.
  • Engaging
  • Clear Objectives
  • Clear Instructions.
  • Key information presented well and clearly.
  • Educational
  • Really highlights the importance but not in a statistical boring way.
  • Eye opening.

Improvements for next year

  • Safeguarding updates would be useful around the year.
  • Heavy session. Maybe break up part 1?
  • Longer time spent working on this area.
  • Maybe have him teach other sessions.
  • Longer session – maybe on when we should be concerned – difference between attitudes of children.

The programme was delivered over 3 hours.  I was supported by an experienced co-facilitator and we helped 19 people who are beginning their journey in the teaching profession to understand a few key points. Here they are:

  • Front line workers are the “eyes and ears” of Safeguarding
  • Children and young people will talk to people who they feel are “safe and can be trusted”, this could be anyone on the school community.
  • How to deal with disclosure-what to do/what not to do
  • How Child Abuse cuts across socio-economic, ethnic and cultural boundaries
  • Healthy organisations accept that “It can happen here”
  • Policies are one thing, knowing how to implement them is another
  • There are clear protocols for reporting suspected abuse and there’s no excuse for not following them
  • Abusers hide in plain sight.

There were 19 people in our group that day: this was the first exposure they have had to Safeguarding Training,  We both reflected with incredulity, sadness and anger that this vital area should be "Taught Not Caught" prior to members of our the Education Workforce entering the classroom in any capacity.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Self Sabotage-Why Let Other People Mess You Up When You Can Do It Yourself?

This particular quotation has been around a while yet it seems to have enough about it to avoid falling into the cliché category.We’re adding to our resources that focus on assertiveness and have opened some ideas up about the relationship between assertiveness and confidence. I guess it is well worth stating here my observation that misplaced over-confidence is frequently accompanied by behaviours the outcomes of which are limiting and carry a degree of risk. However, the direction of this piece of work is to look at the traps we prepare for ourselves when our lack/absence of confidence expresses itself in Self Sabotaging Beliefs. Let’s take a look at the “Stand Out Seven” what they might mean and their potential limiting impacts

  1. When I think about how I'm doing, I tend to focus on what is not working rather than what is
You know, let’s focus on the times we've dropped the pass or missed the deadline. Let’s haunt ourselves with the presentation that didn't go as well as it might have and dismiss all the good ones as “adequate at best”. It’s a sure-fire way of blocking your own productivity, whether at work or on personal projects.
  1. I am apprehensive about the future
In all honesty you might be right to be apprehensive and as long as we’re in a place where we are exercising caution and consideration that’s okay. I see caution and consideration as a way to identify risk so that we “risk aware” and not “risk averse”. We do however need to keep this in a pragmatic and helpful space!
  1. I tend to devalue myself and my achievements
This isn't about becoming a hysterical self-promoting narcissist, it’s about accepting your achievements, owning them and using them in a manner that establishes your authenticity and credibility with others and most importantly-you!
  1. I find that I too often compare myself to others
Here’s an idea for you: keep on doing this and you will begin to understand that either you are much more capable than others and  they fall beneath your contempt or they are much more capable than you and you open the door to all sorts of self destructive ideas. Then again, you could chose to accept that each end of the continuum presents us with an opportunity to either help someone else or learn from someone else-either is good!
  1. I find it hard to hold on to my gains and achievements
“As soon as I reach my goal, it’s gone!” Sound familiar? Look, you've got there, you've secured it and as long as you've done this by an ethical and legal route it’s yours. So hold on to it, be proud of it and help others to reach their aspirations.
  1. I shy away from relationships
I have a good friend who does just this and this person’s self talk is sometimes painful to hear: “Not good looking enough,” “Who’d want to be with me?” “I'm a loner and I'm happy with it”, “There’s no-one out there for people like me.” And every time I hear this I witness a perfectly decent human being deny themselves and others of love, warmth and relationships. I hear them regurgitate the very negativity that has imprisoned them and in so doing honour only their gaoler.
  1. Sometimes I feel there is no real purpose.
There are days when this seems to be the case, we all hit the rocks occasionally. But we don’t need to “stay stuck” and when this becomes a dominant belief there’s a concern. It’s a concern because if we really, really see the world this way I can promise you that the outcomes of belief number 7 will exceed the total negativity produced by adding beliefs 1+2+3+4+5+6

Next time we'll give you a chance to assess your own thoughts and feelings and look at some countering behaviours.

If you'd like to talk to us about any of the ideas raised here you can contact us on.

Mobile     07984 409937
Land Line 0121 602 7191
Twitter      @DY3Solutions
Facebook   Dy3SolutionsLtd

Thursday 18 September 2014

Stay On The Assertiveness Ladder

Staying On The Assertiveness Ladder

Confidence is a key component of assertiveness and vice-versa. For some, confidence is also hard to acquire and easy to lose. So, it's useful to begin to understand some of the elements that can increase your confidence: what is it you'd like to be confident about?

When we've worked with clients whose personal and or professional confidence is in a bad place, part of the challenge is to help people to understand that they have some "rights." Now, whereas the list below spells some of them out, we're not always going to feel good about asking for them to be met. Nonetheless, here we go:
  • I have the right to say no
  • I have the right to ask questions
  • I have the right to express my opinions
  • I have the right to make my own mistakes
  • I have the right to put my own need in front of others
  • I have the right to ask for help and support when I need it
And it's fair to state that some of our work is an outcome of individuals feeling that they are not recognised, that they have in some ways "ceased to exist" and that their rights are denied

We believe that we can be more confident and assertive if we have a go at contextualising what it is we actually want to experience happening to us. Doing this gives us access to a much clearer and clean conversation with those who we feel are denying us.
It's also important to remember that this is an "Upwards/Downwards/Sideways" process that can be used with colleagues across the organisation. Upwards intimidation happens too!

Here Are Some Questions for You:
If you are not being heard, you are going to suppress some really important ideas and feelings; if this happens:
  • What impact does it have on you?
  • What impact does it have on your team?
  • What impact does it have on the quality of your work?
  • What impact does it have on your happiness and well-being?
  • What impact does it have on your family and friends?
It's really helpful if we set this out in a format that helps to be clear about what we want for example:

My rights
  • I have the right to:-"Challenge Ray when he sets short deadlines"
  • I have the right to:-"Turn off my work mobile at leave it off until 7.30 a.m
  • I have the right to:-"Be given time to develop my ideas and be heard"
So here are 3 prompts to get you thinking:-
  • What would you out on your "Rights List"?
  • What would you prioritise?
  • If things changed for the better, what would you notice?
Good luck! And if you'd like to know more you can contact us at You can find out more about our work on our web-site