So you know the John Lennon line ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’? I’ve learned in life to become really good at avoiding things or planning for doing something different. These so-called ‘opportunities/challenges or whatever, let’s face it when you’re running a business and who knows what else they are just a bloomin’ nuisance .
You know the situation – you knew exactly (more or less) where your life was/is going. You’ve done all the planning, all the strategy stuff and ……………….. well a multitude of things can happen, or may happen and sometimes they do. Or sometimes it’s just one simple thing that upsets the apple cart so to speak.
Client cancels, car won’t start, child throws up (sorry), child comes out in spots – school/nursery says sorry must stay at home, client goes bankrupt, loses funding (let’s be topical here), your partner is arrested, someone dies (ok it’s getting worse), partner breaks leg as you go on holiday, you miss the ferry coming back, next one is 2 days later, you find out you have cancer – you know those things some peple seem to take in their stride !
There are options:- headless chicken syndrome, sit down and cry (quite good for a minute at the most – trust me), scream, shout, blame someone else (worst one I think personally – trust me they won’t sort it out).
Being in a good and useful state is something I talk about a lot in my work. After all we can ‘get in a state’, and mostly we say things like ‘look at the state of him or her’, ‘why did you get yourself into that state?’, ‘what a state you’re in!’ So in the UK (because in the US and perhaps other countries a state is a place in which you live, so you could change state;)) and in the training we provide (you can find me at http://www.nlphighland.co.uk for more info) we encourage people to find a good and useful state.
When you have a moment think of 5 separate times in your life when things have been going really well ,and for each one think of a label. Do it one at time – here are some suggestions Confident, Peaceful, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Motivated, Excited, Powerful, Focused, Blissful, Empowered, Successful, Relaxed, Loved, Joyful, Healthy, Humorous or anything else you like.
Thinking about each time separately so for example Confident, think about that time see what you’re seeing, hear what you’re hearing, and feel how you’re feeling when you are confident then and when you have all of that in your mind and body; press on a point on your collar bone and ‘anchor’ that confident state.
Do the same thing for each of the 4 other ‘states’ you choose and press on or ‘anchor’ on the same spot. Then briefly think of something else like doing the dishes, just briefly. Then press on your collar bone again in that spot and notice what happens. If you need to, repeat the process until it’s all really powerful and now you have an unobtrusive ‘anchor’ for a ‘good and useful state’ that you can use anywhere at any time.
So if ‘life get’s in the way’ again, – press on your collar bone.
Do you like to be told what to?
Most of us don’t usually. We want to decide for themselves.
Depending on how we say and do something (or don’t say and do it), our ideas will be considered or immediately dismissed by the other person/other people. When people are processing life, the world and the universe in this way, they are have an Internal Motivation Pattern.
When people are in Internal Mode, they like to gather information and evaluate it for themselves and hate having someone decide for them. In fact, they love to make their own decisions, based on what is important to them.
So here are the Top Ten Things to Avoid Saying to an Internal (or someone who feels that way)
Words That Close Minds
1. You should …… (almost guarantees they won’t)
2. I need to talk to you. (especially unhelpful to say to your partner in life)
3. I have the solution to your problem.
4. I know what you did wrong.
5. I know why that won’t work.
6. I told you so.
7. I have a better idea.
8. You should have an open mind about this.
9. Here’s what everyone thinks about what you did/do/will do.
10. No one is doing that any more.
Top Ten Suggested Things to Say to an Internal
Words That Open Minds
1. I have an idea that I’d like to run by you to find out what you think.
2. May I make a suggestion?
3. What would you think if we ……?
4. When you are deciding about X, what are the most important things?
5. I have an idea that may not be completely useless.
6. Here’s what I think….. what is your opinion?
7. You said that X, Y, and Z were important, so that’s why I’d like to suggest ….
8. Here is something that you may wish to consider.
9. Here is something that you may wish to avoid.
10. You be the judge.
It’s interesting to note the differences between the two approaches. The first list is mainly about you deciding for the other person, while the second encourages the other person judge for his/herself.
Which list ‘makes you feel better’? Which list do you think would get you better results?
With thanks to Shelle Rose Charvet
For more info on Words that Change Minds please click here
The easiest way to spot limiting beliefs is to listen to your ‘self-talk’ when things go badly. Typical examples of limiting ‘self-talk’ are ‘I’m no good at …’, or ‘I can’t …’. Each time you talk or think in this way, the belief becomes more entrenched.
The good news is that this limiting way of thinking can be changed to ways of thinking that are truly empowering. The following process is a good way to do this:
1. Write down your limiting belief and ask yourself – ‘what will I get from changing this way I think about things?’
2. Ask yourself ‘Am I ready to change this way of thinking that’s holding me back?’ Check that the ‘yes’ is a true yes and feasible. If not, what is getting your way? Do you need to do some work on that?
3. Ask yourself ‘What would be a more useful way of thinking, instead?’ Write down that answer.
4. Turn your answer into a linguistic process, one that has progression in it – here’s an example – find something you can ‘do’ to make the statement more believable. Use words such as begin; start; prepare; establish; grasp; learn; master; realise; understand.
Such as ‘I can be good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’
5. Make it enjoyable. Find words that would make the more useful way of thinking motivating, such as comfortable; easy; effective; effortless; elegant; enjoyable; fantastic; magical; magnificent; successful; thrilling. For example ‘I can enjoy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s effortless being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’ ‘It’s easy being good at networking/meeting people/asking for my needs to be met.’
6. Write down the final version of the new more useful way of thinking and notice any objections that come up for you, any little voices in your head. Symbolically let them go by writing them down, or saying them out loud, until no more objections are left. They are no longer unconscious objections now, no longer getting your way.
7. Now take a minute to imagine living with this new belief for a whole day. Would it cause any problems? If so, fine-tune the new belief until it causes no problems. Do a final check: ‘If I could think in this more useful way would I take it on board?’ Check you get an answer from yourself that you are truly happy with, and that this new way of thinking is truly motivating. What evidence will let you know it is coming true for you? Practise acting ‘as if’ the new way of thinking is yours on a daily basis until it becomes so.
8. Finally ask yourself ‘What will be the first evidence (what will you see, what will you hear and what will you feel) that this way of thinking is coming true?’
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081, +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.
You know that scenario or that dilemma or that feeling? When you say ‘I want to this but on the other hand,’ and then you dither or put one foot forward and then you take one step back and probably end up doing nothing at all or at least nothing different.
Here’s a way of working with that Will I? Won’t I?.
First a brief explanation, it’s possible that the dilemma you are having is about your values being in conflict. Values are our criteria for what we personally consider to be worthwhile or valuable. Our values are deeply connected to our belief systems. The values embedded in our core beliefs are the key to our actions and to changing those actions. It may be that something you hold dear is not at useful to you.
When you are in a situation where you are saying ‘part of me wants to and on the other hand’ then try this method out.
1. Ask yourself: ‘what are the two parts or values that conflict?’ and give each part a name (anything you like).
2. Then resting one hand on each knee, palm uppermost, imagine one of these parts is each hand.
3. Now looking at one of your hands imagine you can see what this part looks like – is it standing, or siting is a person, what’s it wearing?, is it a thing?, describe it as you imagine it on your palm. When you have described one part fully, repeat the process for the other part imagining it on the other hand and looking at it there.
4. Looking at each part in turn what do you notice about its good qualities; strengths, resources and positive intentions. A positive intention is not its behaviour so for example ‘by not doing this – it will keep me safe from ….’ That’s a positive intention even though at times that might not be what will call positive see No. 5 on this page here.
Ask questions of each part such as:
What does this part do for me?
What is its job in my life?
What are its special qualities?
What is this part good for? What is this part trying to do for me?
How could this part be useful to someone else?
What are the good things I haven’t noticed about this part?
5. When you’re clear about all the positive attributes of one part, repeat the process for the other part. Check if any of the positive attributes need to be transferred (do this in your mind) from one part to the other.
6. Then imagine a third, central image (between the other two wherever seems right for you) incorporating all the best qualities of each part.
7. Bringing your hands up from your knees, bring them together behind this central image and scoop all of the images into yourself. Welcome this new improved image, close your eyes, breathe, and stay that way whilst your mind accepts this new way of thinking and behaving.
Be gentle with yourself and allow ample quiet time for integrating this process. Allow yourself to experience fully whatever body sensations, emotions, feelings or images come to you. This can be a powerful emotional experience, or deceptively unremarkable.
It can be you have clear insights during the process. It can be that it happens later.
This method also known as Visual Squash or Parts Integration in NLP operates simultaneously on so many levels that it subtly transforms our experience and expands our range of reactions with no further effort.
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here or contact me directly.
Eisenhower was a very astute man. And did you know that he came up with the Urgent/Important Matrix before Dr Stephen Covey? I didn’t, until I was reading the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) magazine Edge.
Eisenhower said ‘An intellectual is a man who takes more words than is necessary to tell more than he knows.’
The Urgent/Important Matrix is about using time effectively, not just efficiently, and in my experience the more effectively you use time the more efficient you become.
In this day and age there just never seems to be enough time. Is this really true?
How often have you taken time out to ‘Stop and Stare’? And perhaps realise what you are doing is getting you nowhere. We’re anxious, we can’t concentrate, everything gets in the way, and then, we simply blow. We tell ourselves that we can do so much because we have so many ‘labour saving’ devices, mobiles, PCs, laptops, we can be contacted anywhere at any time.
In spite of all these gadgets and online calendars (that everyone can set us up appointments with (if we let them) – do we really mange our time efficiently?
Do we spend our time on things that are important and not just urgent? It’s important to distinguish between important and just urgent.
- Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals.
- Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals (ah had you noticed that?).
We often concentrate on just urgent activities. The things that make the most noise, the things that demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate.
The Urgent/Important Matrix is a useful tool for thinking about this.
Eisenhower said, ‘What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.’ This so-called “Eisenhower Principle” is purported to be how Eisenhower organized his tasks. Dr Stephen Covey made the idea more public in his business classic, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Covey called it the “The Urgent/Important Matrix.” I use it often in coaching and on my business courses and on my NLP Business Practitioner Course:
The Urgent/Important Matrix is a powerful way to use to think about priorities. Using it helps you prevent the natural tendency to focus on urgent activities, so that you learn to keep enough time to focus on what’s really important. This is the way you move from “fire fighting”, into a position where you can grow your business and your career.
This is how it works
Divide and A 4 page into 4
Deadline driven projects
Recognising new appointments
Interruptions, some phone calls
Some mail, some reports
Proximate, pressing matters
Trivia, busy work
Some phone calls
Assess the importance to all the activities on a scale of 1 to 5
Remember Eisenhower also said: ‘Leadership – the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it.’
When people see you are clear about your objectives and boundaries, they will generally not ask you to do “not important” activities in the future, and at best do it themselves or find someone else.
This blog first appeaerd in 2012 on my then and now defunct NLP Highland Blog.
If you would like to know more about your preferred patterns and how you work with these and get things done on your own or with other people please contact me either here or via the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please ask questions or comment here.
Or are you just speaking in the best way you know how, because you are an expert on your subject and after all the that’s why they want to use you isn’t it? Well yes they do. Whoever you are contracted to does want to use you and they may well know you have the technical expertise. However they also want and need (more importantly) you to listen in a way that when you answer them they know you have really listened to them.
How might you do that?
Well ask your customer, client (significant other) ‘what’s important to you?’
Then listen, listen to their words (make a mental note, write their words, avoiding your version, write their words down, or ask for permission to record – saying you want to get things right for the client).
Then assuming you have their words, you can simply repeat their words back i.e. ‘having fewer breakdowns’, ‘having less problems’, ‘having uninterrupted work time’ and add on to their words in a ‘pass the salt kind of voice (politely)’ – what’s important to you about that?
Do this three (yes 3) times.
Your client, customer significant other will know, will feel listened to and you could be surprised, as often the first thing we say is not what is really important, the more important thing comes later.
You will have much improved information with which to work and you’ll get it right for the client and be their contractor of choice.
You may also hear about problems, about things they want to avoid. The worst thing to talk about in this case, is what they will gain or achieve, because they want to know how you will help them avoid, steer clear of, not have, get rid of, exclude, move away from these issues.
On the other hand if your client wants to know about what they will gain, will achieve from your services, tell them just that.
Try it out and things might just work better (and by the way the majority of the world of work likes things to improve, be less of a problem, easier, rather than new and different).
If you’d like to know more faster, please take a look at my LInkedIn profile and some of the Slideshare presentations on my Summary there, as well as previous articles on LinkedIn or contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please comment on this blog too.
It’s all very well talking about Managing your Millennials, is it not also appropriate that Millennials (those born between 1980/82 and 1995 or thereabouts) learn how to work with Gen X?
Life and work is a two way process, it’s not just about what each individual thinks they are entitled to. It’s a pretty good idea to get on with people and make some effort to understand and communicated better, or what do you think?
Gen X classifies those of us born approximately between 1965 and 1984. X denotes the unknown generation. Taken from Deverson and Hamblett’s 1965 sociology book on British youth, Generation X. The Gen X philosophy is about leading people which means taking people with you. Following is a voluntary activity, you follow something or someone because there is something in it for you.
John C Maxwell in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership sums leadership up as being ‘influence – nothing more, nothing less’.
Warren Bennis defines leadership as ‘a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential.’
Gen X has a set of values, the most important of which is Emotional Intelligence. Many of this generation grew up in a time when their mothers were going out to work and working long hours (the film ‘Made in Dagenham’ typifies the experience these mothers and families had). This generation was introduced to the home computer (Commodore 64 or the Sinclair ZX 80 being prime examples), as well music videos and the in the UK the general downturn in manufacturing and the shift to service industries.
Gen X learned to be more self-sufficient because Mum was not always at home when they finished school. The first generation of so-called latch-key kids. This leads them to like others to go and think about how to do something, then to get it done. Even if the others get things wrong the majority of Gen X will be pleased that you have tried (there are always exceptions). Gen X may come across as sceptical at times.
This generation was brought up to question, brought up with more readily available resources than their parents ever had. The change in their lives was proportionately as monumental at the time as it is now for millennials.
Gen X is a more sceptical generation, which does not mean that they don’t accept change so easily, it does mean they question more; they give the benefit of the doubt. All the above means they value trust and may take more time to trust others. They also value long working hours because they experienced their parents working long hours and they are programmed to believe this is the ‘right way’ to do things.
People of this generation like to understand, they will question and will seek to understand. Trust works both ways. Gen X will trust you, if you trust them.
Gen X is results driven, but not overly competitive and not loyal to any particular company, be that in respect of brands, in purchasing or employment. They will however not change job as often as millennials, but more frequently than previous generations (there will always be exceptions).
Due to the fact that this generation probably experienced both parents working long hours (or one being absent) a good work/life balance is important to them. They like to work hard and play well, but they believe that play comes as a result of hard work and not that work is there merely to facilitate play. At work Gen X will appreciate enthusiasm, willingness to try things out and to discuss.
In brief Gen X likes equally to get on with things as well as to consider and analyse. They are goal oriented and focussed on achievements. They are good at relating to others, at ‘standing in others’ shoes’ (mostly). They value their own territory of responsibility and when needed will work together with others. They appreciate an understanding of others and how they are thinking and feeling (they don’t always get that right, because unless they have truly learned to understand others from the other person’s point of view, they only understand how they themselves would feel).
As a manager or leader they find it easy to create a vision, they may benefit from skills for getting others such as millennials or those Baby Boomers to follow Gen X. They are interested in other people and will name them by name, unless their environment forces them to look on staff as a cost allocation. They like their own territory of responsibility and work well together with others for short periods of time. They can both act and consider.
So how would Gen X like to be communicated with? They are happy with evolution and revolution. They like to hear that things are more, better, less, same except, evolving, with a smattering of new, totally different, completely changed, switch. Although some of that will depend on the working environment and local, and regional and country culture. They will change jobs or responsibilities or departments sometimes very three years, more often every five to seven years.
More next time on Baby Boomers and some ideas of how you can improve things at work. Or if you’d like to know more faster, please take a look at my LinkedIn profile and some of the Slideshare presentations on my Summary there, as well as previous articles or contact me Rosie O’Hara via the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please comment on this blog too.
Remembering the Satir Categories this is by far the best place to be, it’s not always the easiest place to be. Our default behaviours are often governed by nature and nurture.
Levellers have few threats to their self-esteem. Words, voice tone, body movements and facial expressions all give the same message. Levellers apologise for an action, not for existing. They have no need to blame, be subservient, retreat into a computer behaviour or to be constantly on the move. They are great communicators and have the ability to build bridges in relationships, heal stalemates and build self-esteem.
How does a leveller think and behave?
The leveller response is a real-time congruent response. All the other responses are as a result of negative internal feelings causing words and actions to be incongruent. It is very easy, under pressure, to respond to a situation with either ‘it’s not my fault’ or ‘I’m sorry, it’s my fault again’, or to laugh inappropriately or show no emotion at all. None of these behaviours allow you to seek out rational solutions. The leveller response is the most effective behaviour for solving problems creatively:
– Look for solutions
– Have a conscious positive intention (for everyone and everything) behind everything they do
– Hold strong positive beliefs about themselves and others
– Operate from strong personal values
– Store positive mind images (of self and others)
– Have flexibility of behaviour when communicating with others
– Establish rapport before trying to influence
All these attributes can be learned through coaching and effective communication (which is with yourself and others), only by changing yourself can you change others.
It’s useful to bear in mind that emotional maturity isn’t all about behaving and acting professional. It’s also about controlling your anger and your personal feelings in a work context, getting the two things confused is counterproductive. You might disagree with a fellow worker, but that doesn’t mean that you can get angry -or attack them in some way – because they shoved you out of their way. Simply let it go, (breathe) relax, and focus on the task at hand, which is your work. Of course it’s nice to make friends and be sociable at work, the best work environments however are those where there aren’t tangled webs of gossip and relationships that are keeping people from being productive.
If you really want to be professional in your job, you need a professional attitude and environment to work in. Needing to deal or work with people who are less than professional can become stressful, but avoid wasting anyone’s time trying to deal with them or even paying attention to them. Instead, you just let them go and do your job the best that you can. Work is not intended to be boring and repetitive by any means, it is called work for a reason. Socialising and acting silly with your friends after work is fine. Those who are the most emotionally mature (or appear to be so) so the Levellers will be the most successful in the workplace, after all.
So last time I mentioned the Satir Categories, well the Blamer. So here a little more on these categories. What I think is interesting about Virginia Satir is that she was a family therapist, so why mention her in the context of work? Well we often spend more time at work than with our families so work becomes our family. Sobering thought.
Virginia Satir was one of the people modelled in the early days of NLP. She was a highly effective family therapist. Virginia identified, in her book People Making, the following behaviours; they are not exclusive to dysfunctional families. We can notice them everywhere.
Virginia had four behaviours that were responsible for many conflicts and one used for resolving conflict and bringing people together.
There is an NLP Presupposition or Operating Belief ‘Mind and body are part of the same system and what effects one affects the other’. For example if you hunch up when sitting at the PC and trying to meet a tight deadline, you will feel stressed and then that stress will manifest itself physically in your shoulders, back, or elsewhere. Our bodies react to whatever changes our minds go through and vice versa.
Your body gives signals to other people and sometimes people will read these signals incorrectly. However when you create a smokescreen and gloss over your problems in your mind, others will intuitively know that something is incongruent and their reaction to us may not be the one we intended, they might ‘write us off’ or they might ‘treat us in a way we didn’t want’.
Distracters seek attention to compensate for their feelings of loneliness or inadequacy. The positive intention (‘all behaviour has a positive intention’ – another operating belief) behind this behaviour is to protect them from facing up to things. Distracting behaviour includes removing a hair from your jacket while talking, sabotaging a conversation by making a joke, interrupting a conversation, frequently changing the subject. There are many types of distracting behaviour that people use to deflect attention from a subject that may be reminding them of their feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. (Over time this becomes a pattern and they are not consciously aware of what they are doing)
The placater is out to please – talking in an ingratiating way, never disagreeing and always seeking approval. Feelings of an inability to cope alone create a martyr or ‘yes man’ (or woman!). A placater is often the first person to accept blame when things go wrong. (Over time this becomes a pattern and they are not consciously aware of what they are doing)
See the previous blog post;)
Computer-like behaviour is very correct and proper but displaying no feeling. The voice is dry and monotone and the body often very still and precise in its movements, which are at minimal – masking a feeling of vulnerability. (Over time this becomes a pattern and they are not consciously aware of what they are doing)
And there’s the Leveller but that’s for next time
My youngest grandson was playing next to the slide, being the dare devil (polarity responder) he is, he decided it would be more fun to climb up the slide rather than slide down it. He started up it. No sooner was he on his way, a boy about his age came running over to him and started to put him to rights, ‘you can’t do that. You’re not allowed, stop it now or I’m going to go tell my Mum.’ My grandson jumped down from the slide and thought about what he was going to do next. Interesting thing was that the telltale began to follow him. Whatever my grandson did, there he was with a new threat to get his mum if my grandson didn’t do exactly what he said. The telltale was going to make sure others followed the rules even though he had no direct authority. And if he could out them for not following the rules, he might just turn out to be the ‘good’ one in the eyes of the ‘boss.’
When it comes to your working life, you need to be emotionally mature and able to act professionally in every situation so that you can be viewed as mature or professional by your managers and bosses. If you act like an immature child, it’s likely that management will see you as immature, and treat you accordingly. I’ve noticed curiously that in organisations where the words professional or professionalism are bandied about that’s where the concepts of professional or professionalism are applied least. (And the words are also used to blame others for people’s own shortcomings).
What does this mean at work (or life in general)? In both of these cases, the behaviour got the person something (the swing to themselves, the power to influence the boss). The problem is that in the end these children had no one to play with. Well no one who is into healthy relationships.
NLP uses something called the Satir Categories based on the work of Virginia Satir, one of the categories (more about these next time) is called –
Blamers find fault – never accepting responsibility themselves, always blaming someone or something else. They feel unsuccessful and lonely. They will sometimes have high blood pressure, (or other disorders and/or feelings of inadequacy) and come across at times as aggressive or tyrannical. They will tell you what is wrong with things and whose fault it is, and in doing so become powerless to do anything about it. By blaming external factors they have absolved themselves of responsibility. (Over time this becomes a pattern and they are not consciously aware of what they are doing)
In respect of work (or life in general) ask yourself
• Are you doing things that may be costing you ‘friends’ or just people to get on with (who are mature and responsible)? If so, what could you be doing differently to ‘play nice’ with those around you?
• If you come across one of these patterns in your playground (at work), what do you do?
Say ‘No.’ They probably won’t like it, but they’ve got to learn eventually that real adults ‘share their toys’ and play nice with others around them.
Unless you want to do the same job for the rest of your life, get the same results as you always have done (which blamers inevitably do) no chance of promotion, then it’s a good idea to pull your socks up, grow up, and prove that you are emotionally mature enough to handle moving up in the company to a better position.