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Educating aliens

 My Twitter Account is @EducateAliens 

The rationale behind this is that people are very different,  it is a huge mistake to assume people see the world the same way.

 People have different life experiences and quite simply view the world from many different perspectives and their personal values will differ.     

In view of this people often have different preferences or approaches when it comes to their personal style.  This will impact on their approach to leadership, their approach to learning and indeed how they live their lives.

Thinking about this I recognised that a useful metaphor is that their needs are as different as if they came from different planets -  hence the links to ‘educating aliens’.


With  KADIA I try to treat people as individuals in accordance with their needs.    I recognise in my coaching approaches that people may need different things from me, as such I will be sure to really listen to them in an attempt to understand and support them effectively.

In my teaching practice I firmly believe that variety stimulates and I will use many different approaches to appeal to various learning preferences.   All with the intent of creating an enjoyable learning experience, one where people will be fully engaged, realistically challenged and encouraged to think around situations.

In embracing the approach of ensuring that I try to treat people as individuals and provide coaching, training or other services in accordance with their needs.   One size does not fit all – people are different and see the world differently.

 I also adopt another approach wherever possible to keep things practical and pragmatic, I call it Blue Spot Thinking:

Blue Spot Thinking

Blue spot thinking has a simple key message:  Keep things simple and be positive!

Over the years I have often been amazed at how much people can over complicate things, sometimes by over-analysis, or over-engineering their approaches.    Often dealing with things in a straightforward way reaps benefits.

I had been thinking for some time about the importance of keeping things simple at the same time as embracing approaches such as the power of the mind, a positive mental attitude and decent levels of emotional intelligence.

I try to incorporate these approaches in work I do in respect of individual and organisational development.

Blue spot thinking is simply an extension of the KADIA approach.  It is about:

  • keeping things simple
  • a positive attitude
  • being pragmatic
  • being fair
  • being realistic
  • learning effectively
  • turning learning into action
  • achieving your potential
  • making a  difference

Why Blue Spot?

Some time ago I was working with a group of colleagues who were banished to an office adjacent to the main building. This office was a converted shop, in a row of shops and still had a roller shutter across the front. Every morning someone had to find the correct key on a large bunch of similar looking keys and open the shutter. I watched this with some amusement every day as various individuals sifted through the keys, getting increasingly frustrated, and complaining they all looked the same.

One morning, without being noticed I found the correct key and with a permanent marker pen put a blue spot on it. The next morning colleagues were amazed when I identified the correct key first time and opened the shutter.  

Being a kind person I showed them why... and Blue spot thinking was born!

So, blue spot thinkers try to be pragmatic, not over-engineering solutions or overcomplicating answers. Wherever possible it is keeping things simple and using simple ways that work.

A good example of blue spot thinking is the apocryphal story about NASA, having recognised in the early stages of space travel, the need for a pen capable of writing at any angle and in zero gravity, spent many millions of dollars on the research. The Russians simply used a pencil.

A quick story that always makes me smile was told me by a policeman friend, who, following the activation of a shop alarm was checking the rear of the premises and trying to gain access to the rear yard. His colleague being slightly younger and fitter was first to scale the wall and with a deal of huffing and puffing managed to reach the top and jump down into the yard. Meanwhile my friend, always one to preserve his energy, simply tried the handle on the back gate and finding it unlocked walked into the yard. Guess which one was the blue spot thinker!

You have probably had some blue spot moments in your life and probably some more where blue spot thinking would have helped you.


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Headway - the brain injury association