Showing posts from February, 2013

Persistence is a superpower

There are lots of sexy gifts that we wish we had: wisdom, charisma, strength or acuity.  They are characteristics of the successful and powerful, the characteristics we associate with being better and doing better.  Persistence is not sexy.

Courage is sexier than persistence. We admire courage although if we are wise and honest, we hope that we won't need courage very much or very often. Courage is a gift that means you're in big trouble and it will probably hurt before it gets better. Courage is sometimes so like persistence that they might be twins.

Persistence is the quiet twin, the one who knows how to make herself inconspicuous when the company arrives. She is often found with her equally undesirable cousin, Patience.  The two are hard to notice and yet, when we look we find them both wherever people are able to maintain success. You might be lucky once, but if you are lucky repeatedly, it's because you have made room for persistence.

I think if I were a fairy godmoth…

Reframe. Relate. Recharge.

Bad stuff happens to good, smart people. There are lots of good ways to think about life, but there is no way to out-think life.  Stuff happens.

In my life right now, stuff is happening in my back. I've had significant back pain for two full months now, and I have to say that pain sucks. Given the choice, I would definitely wake up tomorrow pain free and able to move comfortably. I have tried rest, pills, chiropractic care, massage, nlp, hypnosis and EFT.  I still experience pain whenever I try to move: getting up or down or walking or standing. All hurt.

So, you might wonder, what's the good of NLP if it first allowed me to make the choices that got me here and second has not fixed me yet?

1) Reframing.  I am not happy about what is happening and I recognize that I have an opportunity to understand differently and make new choices.  Going back to the patterns that got me here is literally not an option at the moment, and that's a good thing.

2) Relating. I know that the f…

What makes information stick?

In his recent book, To Sell is Human, Dan Pink argues that everyone now spends part of their work day trying to persuade other people to do stuff. He says we are all in sales now. He might also have said that we are all teachers. Teachers all believe they are in sales, but not all sales people believe they have to teach.  And managers are as likely to regret having to train as they to see themselves as teachers. Yet none of us makes it through a day without giving instructions of one kind or another.

Yesterday, I watched a group of great young people give quite dull presentations. They were trying to do what they have been taught to do: to present information they found somewhere else about contexts about which they know almost nothing. When people think of education, this is the kind of experience that comes to mind. I read the text book. I repeated what I thought I found there. I got marks and moved to the next textbook.

No wonder people do not want to see themselves as teachers. No…

The hazards of friends who believe

Coaches are people who get paid to believe that you have what you need to be more successful at work or at life. They can do lots of good work, but there is always a sliver of an out: they believe in you because it's their job to believe. That leaves just a little room for doubt.

Friends are people who just believe that you have what you need to be more successful. There's no wiggle room.  They don't get a payoff for believing: they just do. This is why people who want to be depressed have to hide from their friends.  Friends would look at them and see possibility and hope and strength.  Accepting their belief would take so much attention and energy that there would be none left for being depressed.

It's also hard to give up, quit, or walk away if you hang out with people who look at you and see strength and skill and resilience.  You might change direction or you might change activities but you would have to be very strong to overcome their belief in you and just give…

Learning to sell

I will admit that it's taken me a long time to get comfortable with selling.  For many years I told myself a story that said I could be good at selling but it would take a lot of effort and a lot of transition between tasks. After all, my selling hat was different than my talking to friends hat or my working with clients hat. That was so obvious, it took a long time before I realized it did not have to be true.

It is true that interacting with clients and colleagues sometimes requires an energized focus and/or willpower. When it does, it takes me a little time and intention to recharge. Somewhat to the surprise of people who know me through my speaking and training, I usually test as an introvert. I love people and sometimes I also love quiet.  Selling requires energy because it is one of the interactions that requires I be very present to what someone else wants.

But my selling hat is no longer a separate hat. I have come to recognize two things: the first is that I am excellent …

Uncomfortable but not suffering

Here's something that you might have encountered: training in coaching or therapy that puts you through an emotional wringer.  Often, people that take courses that produce this effect end up saying good things about the course and much less good things about themselves. I'd like to think of this as a hint.  Don't let people mess with your head if they are not going to clean up after themselves.

Twice this weekend, I ended up in conversations about people who had taken training that they said was terrific but which clearly wasn't making them feel more able to function in the way that they wanted to function.  This is possibly a good marketing technique since it clearly has the potential to make people pay still more dollars to follow up the original training with more (terrific?) training so that they might finally be able to put the skills they are learning to work.  It's not as clear that there is value for the client.

Sometimes I make my clients and students unco…