Dear Reader

Practising what you preach’ – ‘walking the talk’ – what do these sayings really mean? You might be a manager, parent, friend or family member who extols the virtues of certain ways of being and behaving. But how easy is it for us to ‘practise what we preach’? This edition of Inspire explores the challenges of doing this.

Take a look at the right hand column for more information about the Mastering Your Inner Critic, Releasing Your Inner Wisdom workshops coming up in the Autumn and January 2007. I am also running a one day Managing Challenging Interactions workshop, which has been very popular when I run it within organisations.

Best wishes

Melanie Greene

Melanie Greene

Do you practise what you preach?

  • Expert or practitioner? – I was inspired to write about this after a conversation with a colleague. I was saying that these monthly newsletters throw up a lot of challenges, as I believe in ‘practising what I preach’ and find that month by month I have to live what I write. Our discussion revealed differences in what we mean by this term. He felt that it implied that you had to be perfect and/or an expert. Whereas I feel that it is about constantly putting ideas into practice, sometimes with success, sometimes with failure, but always learning from your experiences. What do you think ‘practising what you preach’ means? Does it mean that you need to be perfect, an expert or does it mean that you can be continually ‘practising’ and endeavouring to put things into practise, even if it does not always go right?

In what areas are you trying to practise what you preach?

Are there areas where you find it harder to ‘walk the talk’?

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.’ Friedrich Engels

  • Self awareness as an aid to ‘walking the talk’ – there are things we need to assist us in this process. A level of self awareness is essential to be able to stop and reflect on our behaviour and what is driving it. Our self awareness can be assisted by some or all of the following:

    • Setting aside time to reflect on your day or week
    • Using a coach or counsellor to talk through issues, challenges and different situations that you face
    • Using a journal for self reflection
    • Using a friend or colleague for peer support and coaching
    • Creating reminders or triggers that will make you stop and think about what you are doing as you go through your day

What can you do to assist you in ‘walking the talk’?

‘It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.’ Franklin D Roosevelt

  • Being human - accepting mistakes – I was speaking to a friend who works in conflict management and they were very distressed because they had been seriously provoked in a situation and had lost their temper. Somehow they were expecting themselves to be perfect, perhaps even less than human. On my ‘Managing Challenging Interactions’ workshop I will often share my latest challenges and struggles that I face in communicating with different people in my life (no names mentioned obviously!). Like everyone else I am human and sometimes it is a challenge to stay calm and assertive. This can be because either I am under the weather, there are other pressures in my life or because a certain situation or person triggers something in me. In those situations it is about taking responsibility and learning from them. That for me is part of practising what you preach.

‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything.’ Albert Einstein

  • What stops you, stops others – Perhaps if we were honest about the challenges of ‘practising what we preach’ and ‘walking the talk’, we might have more compassion and patience for those around us who don’t seem to be following our lead – whether these are our team mates, children, partners or friends. For example, if it is hard for us to keep our temper, manage our time, be considerate of others all the time, we might have more compassion for others when they fail to do this. It might be useful to ask ourselves what do we need to do to support others in their endeavours?

  • Allowing others to do it their way – Practising what we preach might also involve accepting that there are different ways of doing things and ‘my way’ may not be the right way for someone else. And in fact we might be able to learn something from their way of doing things!

Want more Inspiration? If you want any support in practising what you preach, we can offer 1:1 support or group workshops to assist you in doing this. Just call 01865 377334 or email  to arrange a time to speak in confidence. For more information about Grovelands visit our website:

Feel free to pass this issue of ‘Inspire’ onto others – if you have been forwarded this issue and would like to receive your own copy each month, click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Our new series of public workshops

If you want practical, interactive training, in small groups, with on-going email support, we have three new dates for our public workshops (CPD certificates can be provided):

Mastering Your Inner Critic, Releasing Your Inner Wisdom

Saturday 4th November 06

Saturday 13th January 07 

The inner critic can either stop us from achieving and realising our dreams or it can stop us from enjoying the successes we have. This workshop is based on a book I have written and provides practical ideas and techniques to assist you in mastering your inner critic.


Managing Challenging Interactions

Tuesday 28th November 06.

This workshop is for anyone who in the course of their work experiences problems in communicating with others in particular situations. This might be with colleagues, clients or customers. The workshop will provide practical insights into your reactions in these situations, along with ideas as to how to manage your interactions with others.

These are one day workshops with follow up email coaching support, plus the option of telephone coaching.

For more information or to book a place email  or call Melanie on 01865 377334



Look out for October’s issue of ‘Inspire’ that will explore the questions ‘What is the difference between pressure and stress?’

If you hear people saying ‘if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen’ or that ‘stress/pressure is good for you’ September’s Inspire will clear up some of the myths and misunderstandings around pressure and stress.



Grovelands provides:

Consultancy advice

1:1 coaching and mentoring

in-house and public workshops

to individuals, partnerships, SMEs and national organisations.

See for more details

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