Category : PULSE Revival
Blog post, PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival, SHIFT Happens, Social Exchange

Letter to the Participants at the First Annual Alumni Conference on ADR in Ghana


Welcome past participants of the Executive ADR programme to your first alumni conference.

First let me say thank you to Austin Gamey for all the work he has done in your beautiful country of Ghana and for Africa as a whole.  His efforts have not gone unnoticed. It is by his good graces that I have this opportunity to share some of my own thoughts on ADR as you gather to affirm your knowledge, skills and attributes as the conflict resolution specialists you are becoming.

We are agents of change.  As mediators we guide people through the PULSE Frame to a new understanding, not only of the situation but of themselves and each other. We open them to reinterpreting past events. We invite them to a safe and structured conversation in the present.  We expand the field of the future to include positive, mutually beneficial outcomes that are sustainable by virtue of their voluntary nature … outcomes that neither would have considered possible at the beginning of their deliberations.

People may ask how we accomplish such things.  We do this through skillful questioning whish changes how people think, feel and experience their circumstances.  We do it by taking a positive stance ourselves and believing in the possibility of such outcomes and holding the space for them to choose, to act, to dream, to be known, to be heard and to be positive.  We do it by acknowledging that every person is unique and each approaches the world from their own perspective.  Unique does not mean wrong and so we teach people to value what they are not.  Often it is not necessary for them to agree with the other person but if they can acknowledge and understand each other than the cycle of conciliation and reconciliation can begin.

And as we become skillful mediators we can the courage to make changes in our own lives and the confidence to make a difference in the world around us.  We begin to apply these skills, this stance and this appreciation for the uniqueness of individuals to all our conversations even those that are not high conflict or high emotions.  When we do we ensure that conversation have sustainable, positive outcomes in every instance.  And as more and more people learn the skills, the world becomes a better place in which to live.

If everyone could learn to speak gently so that the other person could keep listening; if everyone could learn to be honest in a gentle way and be open to hearing the other person’s story; if everyone would speak in specific terms using bahvioural examples rather than terms such as ‘always’ or ‘never’; if everyone could find the courage to talk, to bring up difficult topics and ask difficult questions in a gentle, honest way that clears the air; then wouldn’t that increase the likelihood of us all having peaceful, healthy, happy, productive lives at work and at home?  I believe it would.

The trick, I have learned, is in finding common ground.  My new book “Mapping the Space between Us” is about finding common ground.  In it you will discover paths that we can take in conversation, a compass and a map to help guide you and help you guide others.  We become wayfinders for our tribes, our families and our coworkers.  You will learn to identify the Direction and Orientation of people in conversation and how to plot those.  Once you have that information guiding questions lead to common ground and a firm foundation for strong relationships.

I look forward to sharing this new book with you soon.  I also look forward to working with you through webinars and on site courses moving forward as the PULSE Institute sets up its new home at the University of the Virgin Islands, on the Island of St Thomas, USVI.  Meanwhile be Sharp of mind, Happy of heart, Independent of spirit, Fit of body and cultivate a Trusting soul.  SHIFT to a place where you can guide others to common ground and sustainable resolutions.  I wish you luck and learning as you enjoy your first alumni conference together.

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Blog post, PULSE Conversations, PULSE Enneagram, PULSE Revival, Social Exchange

Looking for PULSE Stories

If you are familiar with the PULSe Frame and have used it to resolve an issue I would love to hear from you. In my new book we wanted to include some stories from other users of the PULSE approach.

The book is called “Mapping the Space Between Us” and has seven chapters.

1. Here be Dragons  – Moving into the unknown
2. The Travelers’ Creed – GHOST and other protocols
3. A Guide for Travelers – Ethnographies of the nine positions
4. EPS – Enneagram Positioning System
5. Plotting the Course to Common Ground with PULSE
6. Internal Guidance with SHIFT
7. The Map is not the Territory.
The book reflects the work I have done with PULSE but my editor is looking for more stories to explain how, when, where and with who(m) the PULSE Conversation frame has worked around the world.
If you have a story that you could share for inclusion in the book please send it along.
Also, please watch for an announcement about the future of PULSE.  Rumours of its demise may have been premature.  More to follow….

Please email your stories to me


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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival

The End of PULSE

PULSE has flat lined.  We will slowly be moving the PULSE intellectual property and website into mothballs.  It is sad but necessary.  All things must end.  PULSE is no different.  It has run its course, training people around the world how to speak and listen to each other in ways that make peaceful productive workplaces and relationships possible.  It has been a great run.

I have had opportunities to work with people in Europe, Africa, the USA, the Caribbean and sometimes even in Canada.  I have learned how difficult it can be to be a profit in your own land.  PULSE has really gained more attention away from Alberta and Canada than it has here.

PULSE is more than a conversation Frame.  It was an Institute that studied People Using Language Skills Effectively.  The client list is impressive and the number of PULSE professionals created over the 13 years of operation gives me hope that PULSE and its teachings will continue.

As a business it has failed.  I take responsibility for that and that is why I have signed the “do not resuscitate” order.  This could turn into confessions of a reluctant entrepreneur but most of you who know me have heard those confessions and don’t really need a recap.

It has been fun and interesting and the BEST part is the people that I have been privileged to meet along the way. We made videos.  We wrote books.  We created learning opportunities in person and on line.  We gave people tools like GHOST and HEART and POWER and more recently BEACHes and SHIFT AND we brought people to resolution … again, and again , and again using the specific techniques embedded in the frame.

I want to thank everyone who has ever participated in any kind of PULSE event and invite you to continue to use any of the tools you learned to resolve issues for yourself and others.  The world needs skilled communicators like you.

I will ask Andrew to send this out as a newsletter to our list on the weekend.  There is a webinar scheduled for December 4th. It would be great if you could join us.  A champagne toast to end a fantastic journey.  Any one can join. A Wake for an old friend, a acceleration of the life of an idea.  Hope you can make it.

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BEACHs, Blog post, PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival, SHIFT Happens, Social Exchange

I Write Everyday. Why can’t I finish a book???

So what shows up in my life lately are movies and invitations about story telling and writing.  I am always fascinated about how what we focus on appears.  I believe it is likely always there but we don’t necessarily see it until our attention is drawn by some inner need to complete something.

This weekend I watched a movie called Sunshine and Shadows.  It is set in England and Tuscany.  It is about a publisher who is also a fledgling writer who is assigned to find a writer who hasn’t written a book in more than 20 years and convince his to write again.  I loved the story.  It was funny and compassionate and well written.  I also am a fan of Tuscany and the people there.  the other movie I watched this weekend was Under the Tuscan Sun.  I had seen that one before and just needed to watch a good story with a happy ending again to bolster my faith in humanity.

The line from the Sunshine and Shadows movie that has stayed with me is “Writing is hard work.”  Why that is news to me I can’t really figure out.  I know that writing is hard work.  I also know that GETTING TO THE WRITING is harder for me.  The two books that are in my head are heavy.  I feel as if I am nine and a half months pregnant with twins. I can block time and set deadlines until the cows come home but it doesn’t really move the book along.  I need help.


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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival, Social Exchange

PULSE Change – Saving lives with PULSE

How can you change your PULSE?  Pulse rates are usually pretty stable and predictable but once in a while your pulse rate changes. What are the triggers for that?  Could be physical exertion or it could be emotional response or it could be your brain creating threats for you … real or imagined.  What can you do to lower the impact of perceived threat and normalize your physiological response?

One of the most important outcomes of using PULSE to structure your conversations is that you rarely get so excited by words that your PULSE changes.  Because you have a clearer understanding about what to do or say and how and why to do it you are less likely to trigger the physiological responses of fight, flight or freeze.  You might be curious about what is being said and why.  You might find the courage to ask the question in your head and test that assumption you  might be making.  You might feel confident enough to feel compassion and a real connection with the other party which moves your body to relax, release and relate, thus lowering your pulse rate.

Learning PULSE definitely keeps your blood pressure and your heart rate healthy.

How can I say that?  That is a pretty wild claim.  How can a Frame for Social Exchanges change your life?

I know that getting excited  rather than curious can change your physical state.  I also know that remaining calm and in control is a lot easier if you have a plan and a structure for the difficult conversation you are in.  When you have confidence in a peaceful sustainable outcome because you know what to do you are less likely to feel threatened by any situation.  You are more likely to use your training to de-escalate and resolve thus lowering everyone’s heart rate.

Like the CPR training you took to help people having heart failure, your PULSE training takes you into situations to calm emotional responses so that people can get the blood back into their brains.  CPR gets the heart going again.   PULSE slows it down.

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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival, Social Exchange

Fast and Proven Results with PULSE

I am working through Cd’s from Experts’ Academy with Brendon Burchard.  He is dynamic and  interesting.  I like him.  Some of the points he makes are insightful and informative and I would like to publically thank him even though I am not finished with my instruction on how to be an expert.

Brendon makes a point about what I would call operationalizing your expertise.  He suggests using frameworks and checklists.  Hmmm.  We do that.  He says that one mistake that experts make is to offer conceptual approaches to solving people’s problems rather than the “fast and proven” step by step method.  That got me thinking.  When I talk about what PULSE is I know I stay at the conceptual level.  Rarely do I say ” PULSE is five easy steps for managing any social exchange.”  That is what PULSE is… Five easy steps

1. Prepare by setting Purpose and Protocol for the exchange

2. Uncover the Topic

3. Learn the Criteria for a wider future

4. Search the possibilities that meet the criteria

5.  Explain a plan of action

You can do this by using five easy and proven questions to guide each stage of the exchange:

1. What is the purpose of this exchange?

2. What do we need to address today?

3. What about that is important?

4. What could be done in a perfect world?

5. What are we/you committed to doing next?

Collecting the answers to these questions gives you a sustainable outcome.  The process can be applied in any situation.

Using the PULSE Frame gets FAST and PROVEN results.  It improves the quality of conversations, relationships and organizations.  It gives individuals the courage to make a change and the confidence to make a difference.  It contributes to peace and harmony in the workplace or  in the family with a deliberate five stage approach to any social exchange.

Thanks, Brendon, for helping me think through what expertise we have at PULSE and forcing me to identify the operational advantage, not just the conceptual one that the PULSE Frame offers to those who use it.

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PULSE evival, PULSE Revival, SHIFT Happens

Canmore 2014 – A PULSE Revival

I love having a place in Canmore and I often consider how wonderful it would be to live in this mountain paradise.  It is a winter wonderland right now.  Fresh snow has covered the mountain peaks and the roads of course.  Skiers are smiling broadly. Motorists … not so much.

While my friends and I were wondering downtown through the shops yesterday I saw two signs that I will remember for a long time.  One said “If you were looking for a SIGN, here it is.”  The other said “You cannot leave where you are until you know where you are going.”  Both are true and thought-provoking … especially if you are considering making a move to a new location.

Canmore has lots to offer.  It is has a large active retirement community.  It has an institute dedicated to studying aging.  It has a new world-class recreational centre.  It is next door to the most magnificent National Park in our country.  It has four and five-star restaurants.  It is an outdoor active place and after a long cold winter it offers a change in attitude toward weather and being out doors.  To learn that you only have to look at the clothing stores in town.  Not much office wear there.  The stores are full of gear for any weather and any outdoor activity.  That is very telling.

People move here because people move here.  They are active and engaged with nature and the community. What would it be like to live here full-time?  Having lived in Grande Cache, another albeit less populated and less famous mountain resort town, I know that life would not necessarily match the utopian image we have for being on permanent vacation in a resort town.  But there is a lot to be said for mountain living.  Hmmmmm…..

In the past we have conducted PULSE programs here that are very well received by the African and American participants in the program.  There may be opportunities to create some interest and attract people to the mountains to contemplate the wisdom of PULSE once again.  Here it is possible to meet needs for every BEACH.  There is experience for the body, inspiration fro the heart and instruction for the head.  A well balanced program that could inspire and instruct through the mountain experience.  It is a perfect place for us to study the SHIFT program together.  We can create a space where we can become SHARP, HAPPY, INDEPENDENT, FIT, TRUSTING people.  SIGN me up.  I have seen the sign. (smile)

It seems as if I have just arrived and it is time once again to pack the car and go.  I will be back soon for my monthly fix of mountain air, and if we can pull it off, we will plan a get together for the PULSE professionals over the summer in this wonderful mountain paradise.  Are you in?

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