Cathy's story

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I am often asked about my communication skills and how they emerged, and while my time as a police officer and more so as a negotiator absolutely influenced that development over the decades, a lot of credit goes to my parents and the way they taught my brother, sisters and myself.

Growing up, there were two strong ladies in my life, my mum and my gran who consistently taught me and my siblings to think of others before ourselves, to consider other peoples feelings, to be selfless and kind with the immortal words ‘if you can’t say anything good about someone, say nothing at all’.

I didn’t fully appreciate until recently that those wonderful ladies who practiced what they preached were the start of my strong communication foundations.

The idea of being so thoughtful may seem a bit weak to some, but in all honesty there is nothing but strength in that approach and it stood me in good stead as a police officer who defused many violent encounters through the right choice of words and actions.  Identifying with the person behind the behaviour was absolutely key.  ‘Good people do bad things and bad people do good things - fact’.  Being non judgemental, (or at least controlling that judgement) is an essential element to communication and that’s what my mum and my gran taught me.

 

Early in my career one of my bosses asked me about my communication as he felt it was exceptionally skillful and he shared that I had strong emotional intelligence. I had never heard the term before, let alone realise I had ‘strong anything’, I was just ‘me’ and did what was natural and fitting.  Reading people, recognizing their emotion and taking time to be ‘appropriately curious’ about their perspective was something that had developed quite naturally.

Fast forward to 2004 when I trained as a hostage and crisis negotiator and my skills were developed further.  The training was amazing and I realised on that course just how powerful, effective, and enlightening communication can be – from that day I completely connected to my role and that was my official start as a ‘professional communicator’.

Over the years I have learned so much from those I have worked with as well as the vast number of experiences I have had.

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I consider myself a true practitioner in communication with a continuing energy to share and help others through my business. Sharing this fascinating world of human behaviour, communication and influence is a joy and it really helps those I work with. I simply love what I do but I also enjoy being active. Fitness features strongly in my life, and my gym, Good Health & Fitness in Dundee is where The Art of Communication was born. The owner, Stephen Dale and the GHF trainers were the first to invite me to create a ‘communication package’ to help them in their line of work and since then my business has built through word of mouth and has gone from
strength to strength.

Socially I am truly happy when I am running, jumping, cycling, hanging from monkey bars or climbing and I pretty much embrace a fit and fun lifestyle – I know that I am lucky and I am truly thankful for it.

Above everything, I value my husband, family and friends and finding words to convey my feelings on how important each and every one of them is to me, is nearly impossible.  Being lost for words is probably not the best business promotion for The Art of Communication but it is honest and heartfelt.  Thank you for reading and please contact me of you have any questions or you feel I can help.

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