a Christmas trunk call

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With another useful and enjoyable two-day Professional Presence and Impact – Personal Brand workshop completed for one of our biggest corporate clients, the REDgum team can join you – our valued friends, colleagues and clients – to unwind and enjoy the festive days ahead.

This year has been our most exciting yet, with an increase in clarity around all that we do. One deeply resonant element of this is the REDgum Model, which we present to you as our Christmas tree! No baubles or pretty lights, but we think it has merit.

You might be familiar with the Iceberg model, which says that your history, gender, cultural influences, needs, values and other internalised factors determine how others experience you. I believe this tells only half the story, and allows us to cop out – to lay the blame for ‘the way that we are’ at the feet of factors beyond our control. I am this way because of where I grew up, what happened to me when I was 10, what my parents believe, what I eat…

The REDgum model gives us all the option to change, and is backed by strong research. For a tree to be healthy, it requires the roots and foliage systems to feed each other – to live in symbiotic balance. The process of photosynthesis, represented by the equation 6 CO2 + 6 H2O plus sunlight and chlorophyll —> C6H12O6 + 6 O2 demonstrates this exchange of energy that determines the health and growth of the tree. C6H12O6 is glucose, which helps the root system to grow. The roots in turn suck nutrients from the soil and feed them through the trunk to feed the canopy. There’s an essential exchange of energy between the above-ground foliage of branches, leaves and flowers – where we experience the tree – and the subterranean structures that provide the flora’s foundation.

Psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesan mapped combinations of muscular movements in the face to identify universally representative emotive expressions. Ekman identified forty-three distinctive muscular movements that the face could make and called these ‘action units.’  By combining action units, Ekman discovered ten thousand visible facial configurations, most of which carry no real meaning. He and Friesan practiced these action unit combinations without any emotive context (often needing to use electrodes to orchestrate muscular contractions.) Their taxonomy of facial expressions comprises around three thousand recognisable expressions.

In creating the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), the researchers found their emotional states reflecting those of the facial expressions they were practicing. Ekman recalls;

When I lower my brows,which is four, and raise the upper eyelid, which is five, and narrow the eyelids, which is seven, and press the lips together, which is twenty-four, I’m generating anger. My heartbeat will go up ten to twelve beats. My hands will get hot. As I do it, I can’t disconnect from the system. It’s very unpleasant.

Further investigation confirmed that their brains were creating emotional states that reflected the expressions their faces were being manipulated to represent. This is where the REDgum Model’s assertion that the experience of yourself that you create through your visual, vocal and verbal communications will induce an aligned, corresponding feeling for you. Add to that a feedback loop where your scans of the way others are responding to you contribute to your emotive state and you have a strong argument for increasing your awareness of the ways in which you’re experienced in your interactions. To extend the metaphor, we can add the chemical equation for respiration: C6H12O6 + 6 O2 —> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O+ energy which takes the Oxygen released by trees into our lungs to be converted (with the aid of glucose and the magic of life) to Carbon dioxide, water and energy. And Voila! Humans need to be in harmony with their environment and themselves and each other to function effectively.

Have a wonderful break. We look forward to helping you grow and thrive in 2014, with all-natural fertilizers!

From James Freemantle and the REDgum team.

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James Freemantle

Company founder James Freemantle has worked internationally in communications and training for over two decades, helping people to experience dramatic improvement in their abilities to express, influence and inspire. Professional sportspeople, entertainers and executives rely on him to enhance their abilities in presentation techniques, personal branding and media training.

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