Be a terrorist empathiser

I’m not a terrorist sympathiser. I’m a terrorist empathiser.
Sympathy suggests an assumption of shared values. “You have my sympathies, I would feel terrible in your shoes. Poor you.” It projects assumptions onto another party.
Empathy suggests an understanding of those values, even if they are not shared. It asks ‘How do you feel about that?’
Having the courage to take the journey to understand how someone arrived at their point of view – no matter how horrifying or sickening, frustrating or questionable – informs us on the most human of levels and greatly improves our chances of finding solutions that improve difficult conflicts, rather than reacting to them and making matters worse.

By |December 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Preseli growing

I thought I’d write a quick post to let people know why I’ve been so quiet on this blog – it’s because I’ve been loud elsewhere. Preseli Training, Coaching and Consultancy has been my major focus for the last three months. I have been working on the STORM training program in preparation for some new materials and resources Preseli Training are releasing soon.   For more information, check out the website.

It’s also worth having a look at, a new support website for creative professionals looking to get their idea up and running. We are winning sponsorship and working with some heavyweights like Business Link and SE2. Things are moving forward and I am happy to say that this provides me to do more of what I want to do – helping people make the difference.

By |March 30th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

When a loss is hard to bear

Losing someone you love is a desperately painful experience. It was for this experience that words like ‘desperate’, ‘harrowing’ and ‘grief’ were invented. And they seem empty when you say them because they can’t come close to describing the feelings we experience at this time. We are left in pieces, and surrounded by people who struggle to hold it together while the world falls apart. Nothing can be the same again. We are left with a million connections in our brain that want to turn to the one we love to joke about the whole thing. We want to quarrel, play, watch something on tv, kick back, go out, do something. Anthing other than sit around trying not to think about it, feeling guilty when we do. Feeling guilty when we don’t. And of course we want to do all those things with the person we miss so terribly, even if they were driving us up the wall only days before. For me the most difficult pain was in the empathy I had with the people around me. While they were struggling with their loss I couldn’t help but feel their sorrow as acutely as my own. This left me confused as to what was mine and what was other peoples. I remember shutting down from the experience. I figured if I can just get through the first few hours, days, weeks, months, years, eventually it will go away.

The drama goes away. The emotions stabilise. But the feeling of loss is hardest to bear. It is a constant, always ready to suck you in, should you choose to go there. And whenever I went there, I would be there for a long time.

So I […]

By |December 2nd, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Coaching as a gift

With Christmas on it’s way I thought it might be worth highlighting an issue that comes up from time to time. When my clients experience the value of coaching first hand they often come up with a number of people they think would benefit from the experience. Gifting coaching can seem like a great way to introduce someone to the process. It’s a great idea with intentions coming from a generous and compassionate place.

It’s worth bearing in mind two things here before you jump to the decision to go ahead and grab a half price coaching voucher for a friend.

The first is that the agenda of the coaching will be set by the client, and not yourself. I have heard it said so many times that ‘coaching seems like a great idea! It would really help my relationship with my wife if she came to see you.’ The fact is, as well we know, change can only take place from a personal level. If you want to help your relationship with your wife, then start by working on yourself. A great aim to shoot for when dealing with relationship issues is the state of ‘I’m ok and you’re ok.’ If you are at that place, then you are doing great. If, in your mind, she is a wonderful, human being capable of great happiness and that you are a wonderful human being capable of great happiness’ then your relationship will probably deal with most issues that arise just fine. If on the other hand it is a case of you thinking ‘I’m fine, she’s a mess’ or ‘she’s great, it’s all me’ or even ‘we are a disaster, the pair of us’, […]

By |December 1st, 2009|life, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Web host trouble

I’m a great fan of free hosting, especially given the number of social enterprises I work with and advise. I was disappointed when, without warning, my host of over a year now, flooded my websites with advertising that was, at best, inappropriate.

I have changed over to and have been pleased with the service they provide. Thank you!

I did have a little trouble in the changeover and the website was down for a while. Apologies to anyone who wondered where I had gone.

Wishing all the best, as ever,

Andrew Tilling

By |November 17th, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Voucher Offer – Feedback appreciated!

I’ve just put together a pdf of a leaflet I’m having printed to let people know about my coaching services.

I’d really appreciate any feedback you could offer. You can download the small file version of pdf here.

Remember, it’s two pages! So be sure to use your cursor keys to see the ‘other side’ of the leaflet.

You can leave your feedback below, or send me a mail using the contact page.

Of course, to say thank you, I would be happy to extend the voucher offer to you!

Check out the new leaflet now!

By |October 8th, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Transforming Blame into Responsibility

When the blame game gets going we can all really add weight to the buck. No-one wants to be left with all that accumulated bad feeling. Truth is that blame kills creativity, significantly reduces the ability to teams to work together and can destroy our relationships at home, at work and in life. In this guest post for ‘’ I explore stategies we can apply to nip blame in the bud and get some advice from a smiley tibetan.

Where thoughts go…

I have a client with a headache. This isn’t just an ordinary headache. It’s not even just a migraine. This is a permanent headache that has lasted seven months and may well last the rest of her life. She has been to doctors, alternative healers, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners… You name it, she can tell you her experience of the treatment about the hope, the raised interest, the disappointment. The fact is, her headache has stayed, and no-one has the foggiest idea what to do about it.

How do you begin to work with someone in this predicament as a coach? Many coaches like me will advertise their work as being able to help you make your dreams come true. We structure our lives under the knowledge that if it is humanly possible, together we can make it happen. We have more stories than we can count of people who said they couldn’t do it, believed they couldn’t do it, had PROOF they couldn’t do it. After a few weeks of coaching we receive beaming photos and overwhelming feedback in gratitude for helping them to see that not only is it possible to achieve our dreams, if only we get out of the way of ourselves it is even likely we will achieve them.

And yet here is something that seems truly insurmountable. A coach has no magic wand and understanding the limitations of your coach is crucial in any process. I have to say it took me a long time to accept the reality that this may not be something I could help her with. But I knew there was something I could do and that was to focus on something other than […]

By |July 31st, 2009|life, solutions|0 Comments

Play the What If? Game

Play the ‘what if?’ game with yourself or with someone that is fully supportive of your overall brilliance and general ‘fab’ness (like a coach!)

For every thing you see as an obstacle in your life, ask yourself what you would do if it wasn’t an obstacle. This game is very effective for helping you to invest quality thought into the future you would like to see without being bogged down with how to get there. Remember, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”. I’m sure he didn’t mean to write that second line quite like that, but it goes to show how badly things can go.

The point being that it doesn’t matter right now how you are going to get there. What matters is that you entertain the possibility.

Example lines of questioning:

What if I could have any job in the world? What would I go for?

What if I had the money? Where would I be?

What if I could give myself the space I deserve? What would my life be like?

What if I was really good at what I love to do? How would I live my life?

This tool is great for entering into a dialogue with your constantly active unconscious mind who is creating a future for you right now this very second. Questions like ‘What if?’ can tease out a little more information about what this life of yours you are creating could be like.

Ten Steps to Make a Change

1. Find a piece of paper and a pen

2. List all the elements and experiences your life wouldn’t have – given the choice.

3. Throw the piece of paper away.

4. List all the qualities your life would have given the choice.

5. Spend time getting a kick out of imagining that life you would choose.

6. Choose that life.

7. Give zero attention to anything on that piece of paper you threw away.

8. Give one hundred percent attention and any more you can muster on the things you do want to see more of.

9. Enjoy the process.

10. Remember to look back on how far you have come from time to time.