Sometimes we " know " that we should give up smoking, or lose weight, or tackle our stress. Sometimes it seems that everyone else knows except us !The issue is one of awareness. It is not enough for the information to be there. We have to access it and accept it. We are not necessarily talking about objective facts, but feelings, emotions and beliefs. Simple stuff like that. No wonder it is easier to pretend it might never happen, or that we will do something tomorrow.

Asking questions, admitting doubts, genuinely seeking feedback from friends, family and colleagues - these are the ways we will become more aware of what the situation really is. And our position within that situation. Honesty is far more valuable than accuracy at this stage.

We need to know as much as we can in order to progress. It is tempting to extend this phase indefinitely, to put off the moment. The changes taking place at work, in life generally, tend to suggest that this is not a rewarding tactic. Knowing is preparation for doing.

If I " know " that I often leave my manager's office feeling I haven't said all I wanted to, or that I always come across as rude at meetings, then I " know " I should do something about it. I might also know that learning assertive behaviour might be a solution. There is a difference between knowing a solution and adopting it, which takes us on to Stage Two