Showing posts from January, 2015

Managing your outcomes when you are sick on game day

You've been waiting for this day for weeks - actively preparing so that you'll be at your best when you need to perform. You've researched and rehearsed and you are ready. Until the bug hits, the one that has been going around the office or the school. You're all set and you're sick.

Now what?

There are times when there is no choice. You're too sick to carry on and so you miss it. Other arrangements get made.

What I want to think about now are the majority of days, the days when you have a wicked head cold and you have to face a 2 hour commute before presenting to a room filled with important people you want to influence. You have choices. You could cancel and begin the long, hard process of preparation again.  You could muddle through miserable and hope for sympathy points from your audience.

Or you could excel despite the bug. You could be so committed to your outcome that you show up fully and let go of most of the rotten feelings until after you're done…

Commands are less reliable than you might think

I've been developing two courses at the same time. One is our new course on Hypnotic Language and the other is the Business Communications courses I teach at Sheridan College. Theoretically, teachers fall into the class (joke!) of people who can tell other people what to do. Teaching is a great way to find the limits of that theory.

Here are three ways I make it more likely that my students will do what I tell them to do:
When I really need compliance, I use a tone of voice that lets them know it's time to do what I say. This is a voice that rings out with my determination to get an outcome. It's not really about them: it's about presenting an outcome so clearly and compellingly that they are likely to do what I've asked before they notice that they have started or stopped.When I don't really need compliance, I suggest or offer or encourage or give permission. I frame - which means I tell stories or give explanations that put people into a mood (or state, in NLP

Hypnotically delicious words

There's a lot of misleading information about how to use language to make the kind of suggestions that get carried out without resistance. The first step, the one on which everything else depends, is to understand that anything you say is only a suggestion.

The Oxford online dictionary defines a suggestion as an idea or plan put forward for consideration. If you keep reading, it adds what seem to be paradoxical dimensions to this word. In psychology (and hypnosis), a suggestion is not supposed to trigger conscious consideration. This is true whenever suggestion involves talking about one thing to call up another.

We can resolve this paradox if we add an element of playfulness to a suggestion. Playfulness is never mistaken for either commands or appeals for help. When we are playful, we suggest (meaning imply, meaning make a connection) that we are doing something together, something that will engage us both. Whatever is being suggested is part of an interaction designed so that we…

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose and Connection: A Well-Lived Life

The new year is still a baby, and we don't want to load it with too many expectations. Most of you will not be working because it is an official holiday: one of the few shared by people of all faiths and backgrounds. This is the pause before the downbeat, the moment before 2015 really gets going.

I think it's a good day to look forward and backward and think about what makes life worth living. It sounds like a big, important question (and it is) but it is also a question we answer every day with the choices we make and the things that we do. Your answer is not what you would say if asked: your answer is what you choose to be important from one day to the next.

Once I had a business partner who always said his ultimate goal was to not have to work. He had no concept of work being something that shaped you as you shaped it into something of value, something of influence, something that was inherently worth doing. This caused a certain amount of difficulty, since I believe that s…