Influences, Acknowledgements & Gratitude
Relaunched: 24 February 2019
Along the way, certain people have been particularly influential in terms of career progression and/or personal development; so it’s appropriate to acknowledge as many as I can remember. So here goes…
Close friends and relatives
My parents Ted & Betty Rice, of course. My uncle George Chandler who, playing guitar in a nightclub jazz trio and building a yacht to sail around the world, epitomised ‘cool’ to an impressionable 10-year-old. Rita Smith, always the aunty I was closest to and her daughters Norma (now Norma Klunder) and Maureen (now Maureen Williams) who embodied the mysteries of ‘teenage girl’ to their younger, only child male cousin. Ex-wives Linda Rice and Jane Rice inevitably have left their marks on me – as have ex-fiancees Jennie Beasty and Val Horsfall. Liz Olson was an American and a fellow Jefferson Starship fan who flew across the Atlantic to challenge some of my precepts!
My 2 oldest friends, Chris Scurrah and David Burnby have been hugely influential in very different ways – Chris for inspiring me and supporting me to become a musician and Dave for supporting me in applying the Gravesian approach to real life.
My stepdaughter Viki Harris has sometimes forced me to think about things differently – in the most engaging way! – while her cousin Rob Webster has proved both an erudite political commentator and receptive to the Gravesian approach. Rob’s brother Kit is a first class demonstration that you don’t need to go to university to be highly successful; social skills, charm and intuitive thinking can take someone a long, long way. Viki’s husband Adam has the makings of an extremely-complex thinker.
The person who influences me most – on a daily basis! – is, of course, wife Caroline Rice who is expert at hoisting me on my own petard. (“What do you mean you ‘need’ beer?! That’s just a schema!”)
Teachers, lecturers and trainers
Cowley Grammar School (St Helens) History teachers Mike Holland and Iain McCorquadale were far more interested in developing the school rugby teams than teaching History but each impressed me in his own way: Holland for his impenetrable sang froid and McCorquadale for his ‘screw you’ attitude towards the school authorities.
Then there was ‘Ken’ –
Around 1999-2000 I did my NLP training with Hidden Resources Change Management Ltd and was majorly impressed with their trainers: John Lavan, Suzanne Wade (now Suzanne Roberts) and Ann Slack.
Wendy Baxter and Steve Gorton shared the last year of running the Humberside MESH Network with me. Jean MacEwan also needs crediting for supporting the Network, her Centre 88 in Hull becoming the de facto home of the Group for 3 years.
The religious phase…and its echoes!
John Bentham and Dave Twist were teen friends who were ‘converted’ to Christianity at the same time as me – John didn’t last more than a couple of weeks but Dave was still praising the Lord long after I gave up. John North (Warrington) and Peter Parris (Shipley) were pastors of churches I attended. Their coaching helped me navigate some of the pitfalls of the later teenage years.
Although I had long since ceased to be a believer, doing consultancy work with the Hospitaller Order of St John of God in the 1990s raised more than a few echoes of the Christian ethos I had once adhered to. Brother Stanislaus Neild impacted me particularly, being almost the perfect model of dedicated service. Brother Robert Moore and Brother John Tonner also had an influence. Kay Wright, the Order’s ‘civilian’ Human Resources Manager was inspirational in a different way, in her courageous fight against the debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis.
More recently I have been much impressed with the work of Amjad Zaman, father of one of my tutees. He is a prominent figure in and former mayor of Keighley. His pious dedication to Islam is matched only by his efforts in zakat (charity).
Friends along the way
Steve Smith #1, was my flatmate during university days and a lot of fun. Steve Holton, shared barwork with me and, briefly, his house when my second marriage broke up.
Nick Taylor was my GP for a few years and kindly agreed to read and comment on a working draft of Knowing Me, Knowing You. Another GP who has been a great support to me is Claire McCormack. While acknowledging professionals, I also need to mention Michelle Bradley who was involved in counselling me – see The Counsellor gets counselled! I was so impressed with Michelle;s work that I have redirected at least one client her way when I felt her approach was more appropriate to the client’s needs than my own.
Ian Taylor, my accountant and a collector of veteran horns, has become a valued conversationalist about music and worked hard to educate me about jazz in the 1920s and 1930s.
At Hellmann Mitchell Cotts Jeremy Gilson and Ian Foster schooled me in understanding management. From there Andrew Michael, Tom Stock, Steve Bleasby, Wal England and Tony Brown at Bridge worked to turn me into a management consultant and trainer. Iswar Kautick, Gizelle Harrison, Carol Stretch, John Slack, Carol Lloyd, Vanessa Lindsay-
Diana Johnson, Angie Patterson and Kate Dallas-
From the 21st Century Group came HemsMESH, with Christopher Cooke leading the project and Henrie Lidiard, Iain Wilkinson, Dave Yaffey and Richard Royce all having involvement at some stage.
Behavioural scientists and gurus
Don Beck and the late Chris Cowan will be heroes to me for the rest of my life. Not only did they expose me to the work of Clare W Graves but, with the Gravesian-derived Spiral Dynamics, they showed me how to manage my own motivational and emotional states. Beck, in particular, has been a real source of sustenance, psychologically and on one occasion financially.
NLP ‘gurus’ whom I’ve dealt with directly include Robert Dilts, Wyatt Woodsmall, Penny Parks and L Michael Hall. Dilts’ Neurological Levels has been a key model for me in looking at how people interact with their environment and is an excellent way to open people up to the ideas of Clare W Graves. Parks’ Mistaken Belief Visualisation has proven repeatedly to be one of the most reliable and effective exercises in my therapist’s toolkit. Penny has graciously corresponded with me on occasion to discuss clients where I was having difficulty getting to the core issue.
Leading Evolutionary psychologist Tim Birkhead corresponded to help me understand how evolutionary forces can shape human behaviour – especially with regard to sex. Similarly, through dialogue with ‘queen memeticist’ and former emeritus professor at Bristol University Susan Blackmore, I came to an understanding of how to use the concepts of schemas and memes as complementary ideas about ideas!
I was introduced to the groundbreaking work of Nancy Newton Verrier by Jane Wild – and we subsequently entered into a fruitful dialogue.
Eric H Chudler’s Neuroscience for Kids website was an invaluable resource for me when I was first getting to grips with brain anatomy and function. Graciously Eric allowed me to pilfer his material for my own use. Similarly C George Boeree gave me unrestricted permission to use his adaptation of Hans J Eysenck’s Eysenck Personality Inventory. Steve Riecher and Alex Haslam, often working together, have proven to be 2 of the most important research psychologists of the early 21st Century – challenging many of the previously-unquestioned givens in Social Psychology. They have conversed with me on several occasions – most notably with regard to my account of the Robber’s Cave study. That led eventually to contact from Joseph Trimble who in turn facilitated dialogue with 2 First Nation psychologists, Ryan Heavy Head and Sidney Stone Brown. Their revelations about the less well-known aspects of Abraham Maslow’s work gave me some new insights into the Hierarchy of Needs and the development of 2nd Tier thinking.
Much of my work has been in and around education. An early influence was Paul Edwards who was so successful at developing the North Wakefield Education Action Zone that I chose him to model for my NLP Practitioner qualification.
Headteachers in whose schools I worked included Sheila Kaye, Anne McErlane and Pat Hunter. McErlane it was who persuaded me to teach A-Level Psychology at her school. While Hunter certainly had her share of critics, I found she not only created opportunities for me but stood by me when I was under criticism. Teachers I particularly benefited from working with included Nick Bull, Kevin Murphy, Graham Sykes, Jonathan Taylor, Steve Atkinson, Kate Coulter, Maria Bowers, David Hunter, Claire McIntosh, Mike Benson, Emma Dunmore, Elizabeth Clarke, Martin Hulland, Sula Cameron-
Martin Patrick got me briefly involved with the prototype Humberside Connexions project and had me write How the Brain develops the Mind for him. Martin Evington was the first educationalist who challenged me to think from the defiant teenager’s perspective: how to find a way for them to back down without losing face – protecting their RED self-esteem from shame. Mike Leigh, from Woodhouse Grove, was one of the most supportive school governors I have ever come across.
My interest in the work of Clare W Graves has made me many contacts both in the UK and around the world who have influenced my thinking at one time or another. Such as Jerry Coursen, Gregg A Lichtenstein, Gareth Lucier, Max Herold, Barbara N Brown, the groundbreaking Gernia Van Tonder (Gernia Van Niekerk), Matthew Kalman, Natasha Todorovic, Hilde Rappe, Rob Geurtsen, Fabien Chabreuil, Patricia Chabreuil, Alan Tonkin, Bill Hajdu, Barbara Larisch Nadel, the truly courageous Ramla Akhtar, Bruce L Gibb, the always-stimulating and challenging Albert Klampt, Jon Freeman, Dave Watkins, Elza Maalouf, Ian McDonald, Jon Twigge, Nicholas Beecroft, Eileen Conn, Trey Harris, Neri Bar-on, Marc Lucas, Fred Krawchuk, Tom Feldman, Robin Lincoln Wood and Bjarni Snæbjörn Jónsson.
Probably something approaching 1,000 people have passed through my workshops over the years. Those who have particularly made an impression – possibly by challenging my thinking or steering me in new directions -include (but are not limited to) Chris Massender, Joan Sanders, Peter Fryer, Jacky Wass, Tony Cosgrove, Andrew Mills, Dave Lowe, Carol Thornton, Joanna Russell, Val Smith, Rachel Harland, Sarah Wilkinson, Rachel Anderson, Marilyn Sugden, Penny Pickles, Paul Harrison, Jill Baker, Dariel Pitt, Becky Pilkington, Lynette Barnes, Helen Chandler, Jayne Tooke and David Darby.
Students and tutees
Emma Simmons will always stick in my mind. In frustration with all the contradicting schools in the behavioural sciences, she yelled at me: “Psychology is shit!” I then showed her the Gravesian approach – to which her response was: “Well, that makes sense. Why can’t you teach us that?!” Linzi Hanlon (now Linzi Nicholson), a contemporary of Emma’s, was a great encouragement too during those early days of teaching A-Level Psychology.
Kelly Robinson allowed me to use her superb piece of coursework as a model for showing tutees how to write a study report. Sam Thornton had the courage to challenge me about some of my attitudes, forcing me to re-evalute my approach. Adrian Boyce was one of the most difficult students I ever dealt with – though I always believed in him and championed him against his detractors; in the end he did well and proved those detractors wrong. Harry Simpson was one of the most enthusiastic A-Level students I had the privilege to work with; his own desktop research on racism informed part of the writing of Is Racism Natural..?
Jinnie Powell, Amy Bolland, Zara Sekhavati, Avnish Chana, Beth Aitken, Jessi-
Private tutees who have left their mark include Siobhan Fojt, Tom Kemp, Yasmeen Begum, the always-entertaining Faz Shaghouei and Caitlin Owens. The late Helen Hawcroft was one of the most courageous young people I ever met She fought a crippling illness to become an outstanding A-Level student.
Angela Ogilvie and Lewis Lynch enabled me to teach the Gravesian approach to teachers in Hull. Jennifer Crossland and then-husband Duncan Harper, Cathy Byrne and Helen Ezard were all so impressed with my workshop programmes that they created – or tried to create – opportunities for me to work with their organisations. Said E Dawlabani, is one of the hardest-working people in what Don Beck calls ‘ the SD Constellation’ and the organiser of the Spiral Dynamics Summit on the Future at which I was a keynote speaker in 2018. The late Russ Volckmann, the late Tom Christensen and Eugene Pustoshkin all created openings for me to publish material.
John Newton hunted me down to present a workshop on Spiral Dynamics for his NLP networks. Similarly Beryl Kelsey got me to do a 2-day workshop for the Hull Optimists whose Pamela Crofts has been a consistent supporter of my work since.
Tim Roberts was interested in opening the door for my courses to become accredited via Chester University. Jane Walton got me a couple of workshops with the local branch of the Chattered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Malcolm Howe at Rossett Adult Education – succeeded by Melissa Horberry – and Anne Rowe at Shipley College (through a link via Alison Coles) – her responsibilities taken over by Wendy Rowan – opened doors for me to carry out Integrated SocioPsychology evening workshop programmes marketed as ‘Psychology’. Lynda Lee was an excellent photographer at Rossett and contributed significantly to the marketing of my courses – as has Joan Russell at Shipley College.