The Culture Alignment project was in design phase as Sylvia carved out different teams within the organization who had specific needs. She was working on high performers at every level of the organization - creating a mindset to blitz production and fast track their career path.
She reminisced about her mum who was a housewife and a definite high performer though the term wasn’t used then. Some of the things she thought and said to her mum were laughable. Being a very sociable family they entertained frequently.
One night they were having friends over for dinner again. Mum was the ultimate entertainer. She loved to cook and did it effortlessly. The lovely aroma of food and sound of the wok clanging was like a cacophony of sounds Sylvia was used to. The sound could have been invasive for some but for Sylvia it receded into the background.
As backdrop to Sylvia’s childhood she looked forward to her favourite cousins coming out for a sleepover. It was the little reward that Dad, the disciplinarian, afforded his kids. The deal was work then play - homework had to be complete before they arrived on the weekend.
Sylvia only realized that her parents were creating high performers in their kids. Philosophies like “accomplish what you set out to do then have fun loaded at 100%” These were installed at a young age. Sylvia had the task of installing new behaviours in the organization with adults who already had bad habits.
Like her parents who reinforced behaviours that they wanted, Sylvia now understood the lessons she had been grounded in. She had modeled her parents unknowingly and as a business owner today was using her expertise to focus on creating effective people.
She recalled an instance when she was 12 years old. Mum was as usual slaving away in the kitchen to achieve her target of ten dishes or so. Guests were arriving for dinner that night.
Sylvia recalls feeling annoyed and she asked “Mum why don't you cook less dishes? You’d have a bit more time to enjoy yourself?” She replied “This is me. I love doing it and seeing our guests enjoy the variety.”
Many years later shock horror! Sylvia remembers the moment she realized she was doing the same thing. She had modeled mum. What a laugh she had. The process of osmosis was to blame. She had absorbed mum’s behavior programming unconsciously.
It brought to mind a significant philosophy that dad had harped on for a while. Hang out with progressive people and you will learn to think like them. This is what high performing teams did. They fed off each other. The best thing anyone could do for themselves if they were keen on being high achievers!
Modeling not on the catwalk but replicating mum’s talent and passion in cooking and entertaining. There were so many other skills that Sylvia had learnt unconsciously. She had observed and emulated without knowing.
Today she knew the process of modeling. The structure of replicating talent was coded and well documented in the field of NLP. Through the power of structured observation teams now had the ability to model the best brains around. There was no excuse to not create excellence.
Sylvia, a Master Trainer of NLP today, had the privilege of attending John Grinder’s (co-founder of NLP) modeling program where students attempted to model an opera singer, a drummer, a dancer and a martial artist over 5 days. It was a fascinating experience as they followed movements of these artists, imagining they were in their bodies. It was no different to modeling a leader in an organization. Actors were expert at this as they prepared for their roles in upcoming movies.
Decision makers had the wherewithal to design and create a culture of modeling high performers in the organization. Sadly, Sylvia had not encountered many. A learning culture was one of the most powerful she felt. It installed openness to learning from feedback and indulging in empowering activities.
Just like the organisation, Sylvia knew that Mum and Dad aligned human capital in their family. Each child was shown their strengths and transference of skills happened organically. These programs helped tremendously in achieving results and gaining higher productivity.
It was interesting that with this head start, Sylvia became a catalyst for change in organisations.
Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers established in Sydney in 2002. She is a corporate NLP trainer and consults in creating effective people in the Asia Pacific Region.
She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat – Turn Your Luck Around to Realise Opportunities – to be launched on the 23rd October 2014. Go to www.viafrontiers.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.