Radio and TV Interviews

See and hear Bob being interviewed by the panel on Studio 10

Hear the latest interview with Libbi Gore on ABC 774

The art of using the right words to get your message across by 774 ABC Melbourne _ Free Listening on SoundCloud

You can hear previous interviews with Bob about his new book “Don’t”:

  • Monday 6th June, 8am EST, Radio 2ST with Graeme Day


Bob Selden – short bio

Does management training have to be painful

Bob is Managing Director of The National Learning Institute, an international training organisation specialising in helping managers become better managers.

He’s the author of “What To Do When You Become The Boss”, a best-selling book (55,000 copies sold and published in four languages) for newly promoted managers. The book has received worldwide acclaim, particularly from trainers and practising managers who appreciate its practical tips for getting things done through people.

The Boss CVR Front Final
What To Do When You Become The Boss

He’s also coached at one of the world’s premier business schools – the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne Switzerland and the Australian Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Australia.

Bob has conducted successful assignments throughout Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia, across a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sectors including, finance, insurance, legal, computing, manufacturing, brokerage, real estate, health care, transport, building and construction. He has consulted and worked with first line supervisors through to Chief Executives in these organisations.

Bob’s enjoyed remarkable success designing and developing executive and senior management development programs, applying his own experience together with recognised instructional design techniques to provide sound and effective learning and development experiences. He has a particular interest in the development of customer service cultures within organisations

During his career, Bob has experienced first hand the challenges of both line and senior management roles. Prior to commencing his consultancy work, his previous corporate role was as Senior Manager Policy & Planning for the State Bank of New South Wales where he was responsible for setting the HR policy for the bank. This hands-on managerial experience together with his extensive consultancy work enables him to provide advice and assistance to organisations that is always practical and applicable.

On returning from a seven year stint in Switzerland in 2009, Bob and his wife Anita spent two years in the Manly area of Sydney (to get Australia back into their system) before finally settling in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Bob’s a keen cyclist and gardener and really enjoys the great outdoors.

Bob’s now launched his second book “Don’t: How using the right words will change your life”. “Don’t” sets out those negative words and phrases to avoid – the ones that create negative thinking in our brain and result in negative behaviour – and then suggests some words and phrases that do just the opposite. The end result? People start to use positive words which activate the positive parts of our brain which then results in positive behaviour.

Bob will welcome your questions and comments on all things to do with management and communication – please contact us.

“Don’t” – Chapter 1



Following is the Introduction to the book plus Chapter 1.  This should provide a good overview of what “Don’t” is all about and what you can expect to gain from puchasing a copy of “Don’t: How using the right words will change your life”.



Introduction: Are You Positive or Negative?

  • Does your behaviour impact those around you – and can you change it?

Some years ago in the sports section of my local newspaper I read a report by Spiro Zavos which described the behaviour of a football coach during a very tense finals game. The antics of the losing coach gave a clear insight into why his team did not win and in fact why it continues to lose many close games.

In part, Zavos’ report read:

“He was at his over-emotional worst at Lancaster Park on Sunday. The eyes rolled more wildly than ever, he stalked the sideline. Not even the television cameras were safe from his flaying arms. His antics sent a damaging message to his team; that the fates are conspiring against them and they are, somehow, destined to lose. And for the second week in a row they lost a critical game. The winning coach on the other hand … sat impassively in the stands. The sign he gave to his players with this emotionless posture was that if the players wanted to win, they had to do it themselves. And they did. Just.”

Both these coaches were very experienced and knowledgeable about the game. Both had got their teams to the finals. But why did one coach’s team always lose the close games and the other team always win?

It depends on the positive or negative outlook we project which can dramatically impact those around us. Often we are not aware of the messages we are sending through our language and actions. Psychologists call this a Locus of Control (first developed by Julian Rotter, 1966).

Locus of Control refers to a person’s perception of the main causes of the events in their life.  For example do you believe that your destiny is controlled by you – “I did it myself”- or by external forces such as fate or other people – “It was their fault”, or “It was just a lucky break”? Put simply, if you believe that your behaviour is guided by your personal decisions and efforts then you are said to be more internally focused, that is you have an internal locus of control. On the other hand, if you believe that your behaviour is guided by fate, luck, or other external circumstances, then you are said to have an external locus of control.

Is one better than the other? Continue reading ““Don’t” – Chapter 1″

“Don’t” signs

I’m collecting pics of all the “Don’t” signs from around the world.  Please send yours in.  Oh, and if you see a really good positive sign that has done away with “Don’t” I’d love to see that.


Bob Selden








Don't signs
Don’t signs











Tired Self Caption
Tired Self Caption

To see the Yiutube video this comes from, go to Negativity





And here are some positive signs …

Below is an excellent, positive sign used at pedestrian crossings in London







And here’s another good one …


Here’s an excellent sign sent in by my good friend Andrew O’Keeffe on his travels in Canada …

Smoking - Canada
Smoking – Canada

Hello readers!

Ever wonder why your one-liners flop?

“Don’t: How using the right words will change your life”
By Bob Selden, author of the best-seller “What To Do When You Become The Boss”

So you’re at that great party meeting new folks and you suddenly drop it – your newest, bestest, one-liner – and there’s dead silence.  And I mean dead silence.  What’s happened?

Maybe you misjudged the audience.  Maybe your one-liner wasn’t as good as you thought it was.  Maybe your new friends don’t like you.  Or just maybe, just maybe, you got the words wrong – the joke may have been OK, but the words cruelled it.

Bob Selden’s new book “Don’t: How using the right words will change your life” will show how you can communicate and really connect with anyone by using the right words.  And it’s not difficult to learn.  In fact the first simple thing Selden suggests in his latest book is to get rid of the word “don’t”.  Why?  Simple really; “don’t” only provides the people with whom you are trying to connect a visual image of what you want them NOT to do, NOT to think, NOT to feel or NOT to say.  For example who of us has not touched the wall, fence or seat that has a sign ‘Wet Paint – Don’t Touch’?  Selden demonstrates how our brain processes the words we hear and then uses these to impact how we think, feel and ultimately act.

“Don’t: How using the right words will change your life” starts by providing five simple techniques to improve your conversations – eliminating ‘don’t’, ‘priming’, making best use of our ‘mother tongue’, using metaphors and the word ‘and’, and words to use that change how you feel.  Not only will they improve your conversations, in the process these five techniques will undoubtedly provide you with a more positive outlook.

The second short section of the book provides some tips on ‘conversation busters’ and how to turn these into positive statements by using proven methods such as ‘framing’ and ‘reframing’.  The final part of the book then has individual chapters on how to use the right words in some of those really difficult conversations many of us have – for example parents with teenagers (and vice-versa), giving a good friend some critical feedback, and perhaps coping with the conversation with an aging parent.

Throughout the book Selden includes plenty of practice exercises, tips, suggestions and examples of how “getting the words right will change your life”.  And all of this is backed by the latest brain research in a simple and clear way that we can all learn from.

Unlock the ‘do’ in ‘don’t’!  After applying the messages in “Don’t: How using the right words will change your life”, perhaps your next one-liner will hit the mark.Cover jpeg file

Unlock the do in don't
Unlock the do in don’t