Showing posts from November, 2012

Influence Begins with Knowing All of What You Want

It's crazy hard to know exactly what you want. That may be part of the reason that the people who take the time to figure it out have so much power.  In a room where most people are a little fuzzy about what they want, the person who really knows is much more likely to move effectively.

Have you ever wished for more patience?

The true answer is no. People don't want patience: they want results. Patience is a sort of consolation prize at best.  When someone says they want patience, what they really mean is they want something they can't see unless they open their eyes to a bigger picture. What they want is most likely a combination of certainty within themselves and a positive relationship with someone around them. Patience indicates that the frame is too tight for them to see a possibility of moving forward together.

That tight frame makes patience much less likely. That tight frame makes it hard to see beyond a moment of irritability or conflict. That tight frame means th…

Can Influence and Leadership be Trained?

Of all the training available, there's a tremendous interest in buying training on influence and leadership.  This means two things. The first is that our conventional education system doesn't cover influence and leadership effectively.  The second is that both individuals and corporations recognize that the ability to influence effectively needs to be developed. It's not just an inborn talent available to a lucky few. It's a skillset that requires the same ongoing development as technical skills.

The problem is finding a model that works.  Sales training is well-developed and widespread. It teaches people to have more predictable influence in predictable situations. It works well when people can know their products and their markets. It works less well when markets and products are in transition.

Leadership training is supposed to train people to exert influence in situations where both outcomes and contexts are less predictable.  Our education system is designed to c…

What are you buying?

I am continually befuddled by the long-winded defence of a magic number of hours in NLP training.  I suspect that it is an easy out for organizations that can more easily show how long their training lasts than how competent their graduates are.  After many years (eek- it's almost 30 now) in and out of post-secondary teaching, I am well aware of the difference between putting in hours and putting out skilled graduates.

If you're looking for training in neurolinguistic programming (NLP), there are just two questions that you need to ask.

1) How do I know you graduate people with increased skills in building relationships, managing states, modeling excellence, and getting tangible results?

2) What support do you provide post-graduation to your clients (at no extra charge)?

Anyone who believes you can reliably build all the skills you need in 120 hours does not believe the research (10,000 hours to mastery of anything).  The point is not to be brilliant during the course: it'…

Changing Your Own Attitude

Have you ever known that you were absolutely in the wrong mood for what you had to do next?

You know that your attitude changes your effectiveness.  The question becomes how you can change your own attitude. Your current attitude colours all your perceptions. That makes it very hard to perceive the differences that would allow you to build a different attitude.  Many people don't even try. They just wait it out, hoping that the next mood that hits will be more useful. Or they pretend that attitude is something that only happens to other people.

A more useful approach has three steps:

1) Move your body.
2) Connect with a new rhythm.
3) Borrow the best available attitude.

It's hard to change your own mind. It's easier to change your body.  If you want to signal yourself to get moving, try moving.  A walk, a run, a climb up stairs: any of them will get the blood flowing, adjust your breathing and rhythms, and suggest to your whole brain that it look for ways of moving forwar…

Instead: A powerful word for moving conversations

It is the way our brains are made. We fixate on problems and danger and obstacles. Ask anyone about their pet peeves and you will unleash a flood of words. Ask someone what they want, and you are liable to hear about all the reasons that what they want doesn't matter. It is easy for a conversation to grind to a halt when it is carrying the weight of so much that is wrong.

If you want to move forward, you need the word instead.

Repeat some of the troubles you hear (to show that you are listening) and then ask: what would you like instead? Instead means in the place now occupied by the trouble. To answer the question, the speaker has to imagine a world where the trouble no longer exists. It has been replaced by something else.

The something else may, of course, be accompanied by new troubles.  Once again, repeat what you are hearing and then ask: what would you like instead? After two or three repetitions, the speaker will pick up the pattern and begin to automatically replace the o…