Mouse in the Room – Because the Elephant Isn’t Alone!


You may have noticed occasions where there’s been the elephant in the room – well, there is still another animal in the room. It’s the mouse.

When you’re dealing with a mouse problem in your life and relationships, you can find yourself outnumbered by the mice in your life.


  • How naming your ‘mouse’ can help you take back power.
  • Find the right approach to enhance communication and relationships to build intimacy and influence.

We can create true intimacy and influence by naming the mouse. It’s like the elephant in the room, just smaller.

– David Wood


To find out more about JP McAvoy, go to and view the full episode here.

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David Wood: [00:00:00] The book that, that seems to be wanting to come out of me right now is all about communication and relationships and influence. And it’s called Name That Mouse, because the elephant is not the only animal in the room.

JP McAvoy: [00:00:18] And is that the late? I like so, and that’s, I think the same concept like focusing in, is what your, is what your focus is.

David Wood: [00:00:25] Well, this isn’t. That’s an interesting question. I wonder where focus does come into this. This is about. Say between you and me, we’re chatting and whatever. There’s a lot of things that might be going on in my head or in my emotions or in my body sensations that I don’t reveal to you. There’s a lot that I don’t reveal to myself.

I may not even know that I just need to be aware.

It’s Oh, I just got some tension in my belly. Oh, I just felt a little sad when you said that, or maybe you said something and I felt a little bit judged and, Oh. This is happening all the time between two people. Now, we all relate to the elephant in the room.

That’s something where you know it. I know it, but no one’s saying anything, but a lot of animals are much more subtle in the room. Now I call them mice. And it might be simply like at the beginning I was wondering, were you five minutes late. Or, were you thinking that I was five minutes late because I couldn’t get into the room.

We addressed it that way. That was me naming a mouse. But so often we don’t name the mice and then they breed. And so this book’s going to be all about finding the mice in your life and your relationships, and then naming them so that they no longer have any power and they don’t separate you from the other person.

JP McAvoy: [00:01:48] I love it. It’s a great concept. And the. The thinking behind it strikes me as higher level as well. Let me ask my question this way, from your, where your focus is it’s high performers or people that are already at a certain level, you’re looking to take them to that next level.

Yeah. This concept is one really not for the beginner, is it? Everybody could be, everybody could be benefiting from it, but the reality is what you’re talking about are the types of things that somebody, that is holding in, or you’re focused on this. To realize, Hey, these are impacting things in this way.

And if I recognize it, I’m not trying to write the book here. We’re trying to just try to elaborate the concept because it strikes me as something that would be for an advanced learner and a concept that people can apply to take themselves to the next level. Would that be fair to say?

David Wood: [00:02:28] I like that approach. It makes me think about tennis as a metaphor. If you’re learning tennis, you’ll start with basic things like grip and just, can I get the ball over the net? My clients are usually looking for like, how do I serve on ice? How do I really work on my top spin?

How do I be excellent. And so it is true if you’re okay with just basic communication and all of the mind, the landmines. They come with that. And the, avoiding tough conversations and basically telling white lies, if you’re okay operating at that level, then. Yeah, you’re not going to go and read a book like this. But the people that I’m drawn to and that are drawn to me, they’re always looking for how do I be better?

I want more influence with my team. I want more influence and connection with my kids. I don’t want any mice  un-named with my kids, with my partner, with my business partner. Yeah, I like your approach. It is a little bit advanced. Any beginner could take the book and just start practicing naming mice, but it’s usually people who read self-help books have self-selected they’re like, I want to be better at what I do.

People who hire coaches have self-selected I want to be better. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I know everything. I know I’m good. But I know that with help, I can get better. That’s a winning combination.

JP McAvoy: [00:03:54] Should have that phone shut down. My apologies for that. We’ll be that Emmy cause that was his punctuating point.

David Wood: [00:04:00] And you just named a mouse.

JP McAvoy: [00:04:02] Exactly.

David Wood: [00:04:02] You could have had that happen and not say anything. And that’s fine. No big deal, but Hey, let’s just name it. Hey, I just noticed that happened. I apologize. We’ll leave it in.

JP McAvoy: [00:04:15] Yeah. And there’s, there is more power to that. As you say, recognizing that these things are moving forward, you talked about it and you certainly do it as say, I was energized by our last conversation.

I’m energized by this one again, David. For when you talk about being better, or working with people to be better. I’d like to dig into that. So when we say being better, what are some of the things we can do to be better?

David Wood: [00:04:35] I love that question and I want to name a mouse. That you see, I want this to become mainstream. A language in our society.

That’s one of the reasons I’m writing the book so that people can say, Hey, can I name a mouse with you? And people will know what that means. I’ve even said to someone, Hey, can I name a mouse with you? Do you know that expression? And of course they don’t. I said let me tell you about it. It’s like an elephant in the room, but it’s just much smaller.

And then they’re like, Oh yeah, exactly.

JP McAvoy: [00:05:04] As soon as you say it, a Oh yeah, of course. It makes sense. And then, yeah, certainly it’s certainly very quickly because as you say, name the most, not immediately, but it’s usually it’s not the elephant in the room. It’s the most immediately it takes it to where, the concept is going with it,

David Wood: [00:05:14] Yeah and it’s not a big deal.

So I just want to name a mouse with you. When I  first got on this call, you told me you were really looking forward to this call. And then just again, you said I’m energized by this and I’m energized by last conversation has me feel really welcomed here and and more relaxed. So thanks for saying that.

JP McAvoy: [00:05:33] That’s great. That’s interesting. I would, yeah, thank you. That’s triggered showing me as well that when you have a naming the mouse. Immediately. I was thinking it always had to be like the negative thing. Or when you talk about the elephant room, it always had the negative   thing, but you’re saying, no, it’s not just that, it’s actually the little thing that’s going on and what’s going on for me right now.

Yeah. Brilliant.

David Wood: [00:05:50] It’s reality. It’s my reality. I’m sharing a piece of my world with you. And then maybe that brings up something for you, which it just did. You’re like, Oh, I think that’s really cool. And. What you, let’s say you want to, we want to take this further. You might notice a sensation or you might notice a feeling that happens.

And so you share that and now what’s happening is we’re ping-ponging back and forth, sharing our own worlds and getting more and more connected. Whereas what normally happens. In relationship is I jump over all my sensations and my thoughts and whatever. And I come up with some kind of conclusion, like a computer program that spits out the output, but you don’t know how it got there, and then you do the same.

And then I do the same and it’s two minds trying to trying just connect. This is another way where we can actually create true intimacy and influence. And I keep saying influence because I care about intimacy. But I know that a lot of business owners like, like where’s the practical application and it’s I just want you to know.

Yeah. There’s a lot of feel good stuff that comes out of it, but you will have more influence and you will have more impact if you start naming mice.

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