We are selling something every single day of our lives. Whether it is a concept, an idea, a product or a service, selling is at the heart of every business. The salesman who closes deals effortlessly is one who understands the art of selling.
Exercising behavioural flexibility to match each client’s personality and style is paramount to achieving consistent results. So, it pays to learn and acquire sharp skills for this level of performance.
As an NLP Trainer I have worked with many teams over the years, where many stakeholders wanted me to help them create high performance teams.
These were exciting assignments for me. I knew it would be highly visible to see the difference between starting point and end of project. Unleashing potential in an individual was thrilling enough, what more a team!
Observing team dynamics over many years of consulting, having also been trained to work with the unconscious mind, I realised in many occurrences of miscommunication, that the root cause came from the mis-use of language.
So simple and fundamental to this, is the use of positive rather than negative language. As I command someone to “not think of a pink elephant” that can’t possibly happen. You can’t not do something. I have just instructed you (at the unconscious level), to create a picture, sound and feeling of a pink elephant.
Conflict in the workplace is a given so it’s time to get comfortable with it. Seeing arguments, disagreements and misunderstandings as run of the mill daily occurrences, will create a mindset that is ready to take anything on.
It’s all part of communication problems at work that are to be expected when a group of people get together for a common outcome. The diversity of minds makes me curious and accepting as a team manager.
In my years of installing NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) tools in the workplace, I have come across a large percentage of team managers possessing inadequate strategies to unleash the best performance from their teams. Often team members are expected to perform and meet KPI’s that have no or little support as to “how to” make goals happen.
For today’s context, it isn’t sufficient to just be a headcount with a title of Team Leader / Manager, if your intention is to produce exceptional performance. The bigger job is to understand behaviour, elevating teams to bigger outcomes.
It was Boss’s Day and I was listening to talkback radio. Driving out to do a keynote address to heads of private banks, my mind was intrigued by the string of callers responding.
Some loved their bosses and others dreading the day, as they felt compelled to take their bosses out to lunch. There was one caller who stood out. She said she did not really like her job but had stayed on for six years solely due to her boss!
“People are our greatest asset” a statement often heard at town hall gatherings and from the mouth of senior decision makers. Yet not remembered as time goes by. In fact rather easily forgotten.
In the past deepening employee engagement was seen as the job of Human Resources. Not anymore though. Today it has become an all-encompassing organizational initiative and ultimately the responsibility of all business channels.
A friend of mine asked her daughter as she graduated from University “what would you like to do” and her rapid response was “I’d like to work as a stewardess at Virgin Airlines.
After years of guiding her child to success, she was taken aback. When asked what led to her decision, she replied “I’d like to meet Richard Branson someday” That is what I call an inspirational leader.
Looking back on my career as an employee I had the pleasure of working with many leaders. There were intermittent bad ones no doubt but in the main most were the reason I woke up in the morning to go to work.
When life as an employee ended, my entrepreneurial skills included sifting for good leaders. I knew good leadership from afar and knew that if they bought my services, they would be a pleasure to serve.
Looking back now as a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer and business owner for 21 years, I know the traits that make a good leader. I attempt to explain these to you but they are by no means exhaustive. You could add to my discussion I am sure.
A good leader has to believe in continuous learning for self, and others working in the team. This includes keeping current with the environment and what it calls out for. In today’s world, resilience and adaptive capabilities sound out as number one on the list.
Language verbal and non-verbal can make or break a leader. Learning language that is two-way and influencing far outweighs directive language, though in some instances the latter is called for and needed.
Far greater than the power of academic excellence comes the ability to inspire, be passionate and purposeful. This requires guided expertise to tap into for a leader’s identity is dormant until activated.
Only once these are achieved is a leader truly able to develop people down the line effectively. The need to set up coaching infrastructures, giving managers the skills to coach and individuals the ability to self-manage.
A client situation comes to mind. Using NLP tools and techniques, everyone down the line were given coaching skills in tranches over a period of eight months or so.
It was striking to see how groups of people motivated themselves to achieve high performance. It was like lightning, how people awakened to their own sense of power.
The leader knew he had done his job, admitting to me that he could finally do his real work of taking the organization where it needed to go. He had stopped the flow of people into his office.
They were armed with applicable tools that heightened their performance and gave them edge over competitors. Wasn’t that what every leader should be doing?
Looking back as a consultant offering organisations’ services, I observed the following traits about leaders who hired me. They were;
Unlike most organisations that hire trainers to fulfil a “tick the box” exercise, these clients culled all other training to make way for budgets and give their people life skills beyond work.
This to me was what leadership was about. Giving people skills to do the job then having them perform. I saw too many organisations do the exact opposite.
Once their Emotional & Spiritual Intelligences had sparked, they became unstoppable. My question is wouldn’t every organization want that?
The action of leading a group of people or an organisation.” That's how the Oxford Dictionary defines leadership. In simple words, leadership is about taking risks and challenging the status quo. Leaders motivate others to achieve something new and better.
I see the words passion and purpose so much today. I don’t think my parents ever thought of living their lives charged with these concepts, in the forefront of their minds. But looking back on their lives, they did live with passion and purpose.
We were lucky enough to have a family where joy and laughter prevailed amidst the seriousness of excelling in studies. Not everyone came from that type of family though.
So the New Year has arrived and you are hopefully wondering how to manifest a life that you love. You may think this is only for the elite few who are lucky. What if I told you luck is created?
There is a formula and strategy to this. I know as I even wrote a book about it called “Bye Bye Black Cat – Turn Your Luck Around And Realise Opportunities” This came from an innate desire to prove people wrong.
The opportunity to re-set stares us square as we enter a new year every year. Some make use of this refreshing energy that affords a boost and a clean start. Others see it as just another year to do the same thing over again.
How do you feel? Will it be the same or different from the last? Are you a fatalist who does not believe in creating what you want or a manifester who knows that paths can be changed?
As Annabelle welcomed the new year she reminisced about things that she had already let go of in the preceding year. She documented them in her diary. These experiences would augur well for others on the same journey. She had the intention of collating these experiences into a book someday. What to let go of;
1. YOU’RE TREATING A MARATHON LIKE A SPRINT
You’re treating a marathon like a sprint Setting a New Year’s Resolution is a wonderful way to start the year ahead. I would encourage everyone reading this to do so. If you have not started it is never too late to do so because there is a stark difference between people who set goals and ones who don’t. People who set goals are effectively re-directing their mind to what they want. This is fundamental to success. People who don’t set goals get easily distracted as there is no structure to what they really want to achieve - their mind is haphazard, over-active, not focused.
Annabelle was learning fast. Sandy her NLP coach had helped her transform out of a bad relationship and she was ready to learn self management skills so she could be independent.
The more reliance on self, the faster she would achieve what she wanted. The more she depended on others, the less control she would have on her outcomes.
The concept of achieving work-life balance is very personal and subjective as it is determined by so many variables;
· changes in family status
· family commitments
· state of health
· personal events
Factor in the busy and uncertain world we live in. Are we yearning for too much? Is this achievable or just pie in the sky stuff? Definitely a tough call but one we need to make a choice about.
Over the years of observing people straddle a job and home, I observed that the ones who “perfected” work-life balance were good time managers. Hence my first focus in this series is time management.
So which bucket are you in? Do you manage time or does time manage you? Do you often feel that there are not enough hours in a day? Or are you someone who marches through the day like clock-work?
“Make my people happy at home and they will come to work happy. Don’t worry about company performance as that will happen automatically” said one of my CEO clients.
He very much believed in the power of people. I was hired to mobilise the workforce towards the organisation’s vision. Why me? Because I had the tools to work through any emotional or mental issue that blocked individuals from reaching their full potential.
Petra walked down the street and came to a crossroad. She had to choose – left or right? Having already been through hell in her life, she knew the wrong road would only make her suffer more.
Her heart said right and her thinking mind said left. She decided to go right. After all she had been training her soul intelligence to find its way towards self-management and was beginning to see some success through the otherwise closed blinds of her life.
So the question remains “how do I find myself, my identity?” NLP was the saviour for me. It was many years ago when I went through a life transition, reinventing myself from a corporate job in banking, to running my own business.
It took 5 years of tumbling through jobs, upskilling myself through personal development courses and eventually stopping because I had found my passion.
Many calamities came our way, from a pandemic to repercussions from global warming. All of these caused pain and discomfort which had people squirming in their circumstances. Some lost jobs and others were forced to reinvent themselves.
It is situations like these that pushed people into a corner, forcing them to make change. Choice was limited. Opportunities abound but they had to turn around. This rise in consciousness was the ultimate goal that opened doorways in minds. This method was the old way. No pain no gain as the old adage goes.
The recent pandemic came swiftly like a swipe of the hand to either help or debilitate different segments of society. If you happened to be on the wrong side of the swipe, many suffered from it.
I for one was hit like other training providers, by the shutdown of face-to-face interaction. Speedily, many of us in the field garnered resources to reinvent ourselves into the online space.
Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. An astonishing statistic! A leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, depression and other mental health conditions are on the rise.
From experience as an NLP Master Coach, I feel we could do more to stem out this disease. The scary thing is that many people who are depressed don’t even know it. It seems to attack under the radar. It is at the end of the day, our responsibility to help ourselves, improving emotional wellness to inadvertently close the door on depression.
I taught NLP to many groups of people from corporate, to individuals throughout the Asia Pacific Region. Those seeking to better their lives came to learn NLP as they wanted to work on discovering their internal selves. It was a good start. That is how NLP worked best - applied to self first, then others.
This was how individuals who were convinced that NLP processes worked possessed conviction to work with others. It was a good way to learn, applying new knowledge to a context and seeing results from it.
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.