Welcome to this briefing.

“Change happens, black swan events happen – we have to adapt”


First, before I write anything – I hope you and your family are well and will stay well in these difficult and challenging times.




Today we have a real black swan event.   An event, no one saw coming.

Why are they called black swan events?

Because until an explorer went to Australia and saw a black swan, everybody believed that swans were white.

This black swan event throws up many challenges which are so well documented in the press. Today I am going to address a couple and hope you find them useful.

I have been asked many questions over the last 10 days and on a Zoom call Friday I was asked by Sophie Hansen-Reading, a project manager at Challengers, a play centre that has had to close –

“Derek – Can you give me some tips for staying motivated when working from home, when I get my energy from the children and doing a fantastic job for them?”

This got me thinking.

Most of us have a motivational issue when working from home.

So I have set up a zoom link to address this and answer questions.


6.30 pm (GMT) tomorrow night, 24th March 

I will be live to do a short presentation and answer all your questions.

This is a pilot so we may experience a few technical issues, which we will iron out, so please be patient and let me have your feedback




Working from home needs a different discipline than when you are not surrounded by colleagues.

In fact, it’s very easy for Parkinson’s Law to come into play.

Parkinson’s law says,

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion” 

Here are five ideas which have been tried and tested by others and have worked for me.

  1. Get up at your usual time. Don’t lay in just because you haven’t got any travelling to do. Instead, go for a brisk walk, if possible and hasn’t been banned, to get the juices flowing.
  2. Keep your lists of to-do jobs even sharper and even more focused.
  3. Make a specific time for phone calls, or Zoom calls to get some interaction with other people.
  4. Reward yourself with a cup of coffee when you have finished a task, rather than during the task.
  5. Podcasts – play them in the background – audio can be an effective way, of learning and it often works subliminally. Only listen when you are doing light work rather than important work that you have to concentrate on.

PLEASE SEND IN your working from home tips in and I will publish them next time and listen in tomorrow night for more ideas.




There are 20 interviews on the Negotiators Podcast for you to listen to at your leisure when you are travelling or just in the background.

I have been privileged to talk with “game-changers” in the business world.

My webmaster Keith says,

“Derek asks searching questions which will enable the listeners to take away snippets, ideas and wisdom to use in their careers and lives”.

Alternatively, you can watch the interviews here, on the video Vlog part of our website Click to Watch Vlogs

 In the latest podcast HERE – physiotherapist Alison Grose tells us how important it is to keep standing up and stretching when we are concentrating.

Alison says,

“Weekend warriors (people who exercise only at the weekend and don’t warm up first) end up at the physio and wonder why”.

Additionally, why if we take care of our body it will help take care of our minds and our mental health CLICK HERE

Let me tell you a little about Alison

I met Alison after a hockey injury and I have been visiting her practice on and off ever since then. Alison is a former NHS physiotherapist and now runs her own clinic in Woking, Surrey employing 6 other qualified practitioners

In the podcast Alison shares with us

  1. The mind-body connection
  2. Stretching at your desk
  3. Why you must keep hydrated
  4. Repetitive strain injury and a condition called text/tech neck
  5. The value of Cranial Sacral treatment

LINKEDIN – Last month’s podcast with Sam Rathling was very popular.



This week in our local Sainsburys I have never heard quite so many people being rude to the staff.

What does it take to be courteous and polite to people who are doing their job?

My wife said to one helpful lady, “Thank you for all the work you are doing today”

She beamed and said you are the first person who has been grateful for what we are all doing.




BODY LANGUAGE – FACE TOUCHING – Advice from the Chief Medical Adviser on Coronavirus says we shouldn’t touch our face.

Research says we do it 25 times an hour. Here is a short clip from the BBC on how to avoid it.

Don’t touch your face




1 – The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now – Chinese Proverb

2 – Appear weak when you are strong and strong when you are weak – Sun Tzu, The Art of war

3 – Sometimes on the way up, you have to stop and let people get off




Below are the key links to our educational resource library.

www.derekarden.co.uk – Main Website

www.negotiatorspodcast.com – Derek interviews leading experts

www.youtube.com/derekarden – Videos

www.slideshare.net – Slides


Derek has been voted the #1 Negotiation Speaker in the UK by a Professional Speakers Association survey.
Awarded the “Founders Award” for inspirational business speaking.
Best selling author of twelve books, MC, coach and masterclass leader.
Have a fantastic weekend and very best wishes for your success