A useful tip in respect of reactions to ‘things’ that happen.
No one can ‘make’ you do anything, comments like ‘every time you do that you make me’, ‘that just made me’, ‘people like that make me’ – all of those statements are really just an excuse – we are refusing to be response- able.
It’s useful to remember that you are in control and therefore when someone else does something you have a choice to respond or not and when you respond it can also be useful to remember that you are response-able. Able to respond in a way that is appropriate for you. So when someone you are getting to know says or does something and it starts to ‘make you’ react in some way, perhaps you can use the ‘bubble’ (as in ‘Being in the Present’*) or use the ‘circle’ (as in ‘A Good and Resourceful State’*), think about what to ask next or question what the other person is saying (in your head first and think about the tonality, the words, your body posture). Check out is this some ‘programmed’ reaction from the past? How important is this person to you? Would you be willing to change your response, are you willing and able to make this change to the way you respond? And become able to respond in a better way.
* Refers to chapters in the book ‘Finding the Relationship you Deserve’
Case Study 1
An organisation intended that within 2 years its staff will work from home. To prepare them for this, they learned how to use the Language and Behaviour Profile and its language patterns.
In the first place the senior manager discovered as a person they were too fast for the remainder of the team. Good in some respects, yet when explaining to the rest of the team what needed to be done, the others were often still thinking about the first part of sentence A, whilst the senior manager was on sentence D. The senior manager learned a little more about themselves and what type of language and behaviour patterns they were using. As well as learning how to slow down and deliver what needed to be said sometimes using language that was alien to the senior manager (who was highly visual, focussed on getting things done, quick thinking, goal focussed). They also learned the right language that worked for their staff about prevention, avoid this or that, sometimes talking about the problems to be avoided rather than the benefits.
The result was cohesive team working and a better understanding of one another and meeting of objectives.
Another member of the team complained that the senior manager “doesn’t listen when I talk to them”. She knew from this learning that the senior manager prefers to see things, so the suggestion was made that team member put what they wanted to say either on a simple spreadsheet, or preferably on a PowerPoint slide with some neat graphics, printed it out and physically took it to the team leader and asked “May I show you this and talk you through it.” Did it work? Well the senior manager wrote in an email to the consultant (people with a visual preference like emails) “I see you’ve been giving my team tips. Guess what? It worked! I was more prepared to listen”.
A further team member is very good at getting work done, but more so than the senior manager leaves the others behind, whilst they bulldoze on regardless, with no regard for the culture they are working in, or the culture they are living in. There are conclusions to draw from that, as the person is not really ideal in this environment.
Some of this management team became aware that they are not suited for working at home; they need to be with other people. They work best with others around them, not because they want to chat, they just need human company.
This type of profiling requires skill and can be learned by a member or members of staff, it is always carried out face to face, either as a profile or in listening for what others say or how they write.
Case Study 2
Some individuals are ‘paralysed’ by options, opportunities, and possibilities? So many things they could do and if they decided for one or the other of them, they would worry that there might have been or will be a better option, opportunity, or possibility coming along than the decision they have made or are about to make.
A lawyer we worked with stated ‘when I heard you mention this that it sent a cold shiver down my spine, I can identify with that. I spend ages in inertia, and then I do miss out.’
His tendency had been to shrug his shoulders and say ‘oh well that wasn’t the right thing for me.’ ‘Another time maybe’, ‘that’s the way life is,’ ‘not my turn this time’. He had noticed that this infuriated others; these people wanted him to ‘get a move one’, ‘for goodness sake – do something’, ‘do it now,’ ‘do it before it’s too late’.
Working with this individual he learned to let go of his ‘gut feelings’, ‘his personal preferences’ and be clear when the work in hand was truly in the best interests of others and ‘client’ rather than what he felt was best. He was able to act in a more precise and cost effective fashion. (Freeing some time up for his work/life balance).
Case Study 3
who was receiving coaching (from another party) and wasn’t getting anywhere (there were many reasons for that). Listening out for this individual’s language patterns it became clear that in their previous position they had worked well because they motivated by deadlines given by others and that these patterns were effective for that individual and always had been. We set up an effective plan for that person that is still being followed through and has again not only impacted on work but also on their work/life balance, as they were able to take the decision to buy permanent accommodation and stay in the area.
Case Study 4
Local government officers implementing change management.
One of the traits of a great many local government employees is the aspect of a ‘job for life’. This has led to a large number of employees who have a requirement for things to stay the same on a continuous basis. One of the best anecdotal examples of this comes from someone’s personal life (this is easier than pinpointing an individual’s work)
These individuals like to do the same job over and over again. What might seem boring and repetitive to you is actually enjoyable to them. And similarly what is different and new may seem awful to them. So for an individual who likes a great number of things to stay the same; he’s lived in the same house for years. For years he also always purchased the same diary for week (he liked to get his own) it was always purchased at Woolworth. I’m not sure if you can imagine the how shocking it was – to him – when Woolworth closed down. However he assures me he’s found an almost identical one somewhere else. Careful use of the language patterns surrounding the Language and Behaviour Profile can keep this type of person employed in the right manner. If necessary the patterns can also be used skilfully to facilitate early retirement or to get things moving in other ways.
We have used these patterns to train continuous improvement officers to get a buy in from with teams entrenched in unproductive habits and then to ultimately get the teams to accept change. This also allows some individuals to self-select to leave without pain on all sides.