Making 2010 your best year yet

There is still time.  So what has to happen?  The last post focused on recognizing  hidden opportunities. This one follows up with a thought provoking question.  Questions can be a powerful tool for activating your internal GPS, your Global Positioning System for achieving success.

  • The first question sets your destination. 
  • The rest lock-in the most direct path, providing detailed directions,
  • and just like using the GPS in your vehicle, questions provide ongoing feedback, a way of checking and adjusting your course from time to time.

So the question is …
What has to happen for 2010 to be your best year yet?

When was the last time you asked yourself a question like that and then thought deeply about your answer?

We may set goals, measure certain activities, even block time for specific tasks. Yet few of us take the time for deep thought about what it will take to get there. (Deep thought is the hallmark of experts.)

If you can, take a minute now and think about how you would answer the question. What comes to mind?  Write your answer down. Seeing it on paper is often an easier way of discovering the deeper meaning behind your words.

  • Is what has to happen something you’ll do, an activity or behaviour?
  • Is it a feeling or quality, like having more confidence, more energy or less stress?
  • Is there a hidden belief in what you wrote? About yourself, the people in your life or your business environment?
  • Is what has to happen within your own control? Something you can ‘do, or not do’ as Yoda would say.
  • If not, can you break it into smaller bites or contributing elements that you can control.
  • When and where will this be happening? How often? Is it something you’ll do every day? Once or twice a week? Monthly?

When you think about it logically and rationally, you probably already have the knowledge, skills and experience required. You know what to do and how to do it, right? And you may even know people who’ve achieved the results you want with less knowledge, fewer skills?

So … what are your sticking points?
What could possibly prevent you from doing what you know?

  • Distractions, lack of focus?
  • Lack of confidence during critical activities?
  • Competing priorities and time pressures?
  • Feeling overwhelmed?

‘Sticking points’ whatever you call them, drain your energy.

It’s like driving with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.  It can feel like you’re spinning your wheels, working longer and harder just to stay in place.

So the question is, what can you do starting now, that will begin moving you through those sticking points and towards your best year yet?

You can clear some sticking points using conscious, logical left brain thinking. For more see the note below.1

What about your deeper power?
There is another option, a quicker and some would say easier way of clear sticking points – by harnessing the power of your unconscious mind and right brain processing.

It’s also more fun. Because your unconscious mind is a wizard at handling competing priorities, reducing stress and handling hot button situations that can hijack your emotions and behaviour.

So if the idea of harnessing the power of your own mind sounds interesting, check out the NLP trainers in your area or look for someone offering Performance Breakthrough Coaching process. 

1 Neuroscience has demonstrated that as much as 95% of our decisions, our emotions and what we do, is controlled by the unconscious mind,  that we simply use our conscious mind to justify decisions made outside of conscious awareness.

A thought from that perennial font of wisdom …
“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.” Anon

And one more …
“It has taken a long time for us to reach the understanding that much of what we do is not under conscious control, even though we thought that it was.”
Michael Gazzaniga, neuroscientist and author of Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Different

Advertisements

Spring Cleaning For Your Mind

Long winter?
Lots of slush, salt and grime splattering around too. Real and metaphorical. Enough to keep anyone’s windshield washers busy.

Now the spring urge for clean has arrived. Shining surfaces, clear windows, whether it’s your home or the vehicle you drive. Things just seem to run better after a good cleaning.

So what about your mind?
A quick couple of minutes checking out your mental vision could be time well spent. Are you clear and focused? Enjoying what you see?

A quick self-test
Grab a piece of paper and you can put it to the test. Jot down three things in your life that are important for you right now.

That done, you can easily check for sludge and slush that could be blurring your thinking, impacting your decisions. Do this by looking at your beliefs about the relationships you have with the important things/people in your life. 

Take your career.  You have a relationship with your company, with your coworkers and with your clients. You also have a relationship with the actual work you do. Which ones are most important for you?

What about family and personal relationships. Or your health? Again, jot down the most important – with your spouse, your children, your friends. 

What do you believe about those relationships? Are they getting better? Are you spending enough time with those people? What is true for you?

Once you see those beliefs in black and white, you can decide if they are useful or not. If they have a negative aspect, they are probably hindering your progress.  And if they are not moving you forward, challenge them!

Removing you own roadblocks
Now that you’ve identified the beliefs you’d like to challenge, can you take a minute and play? Run one of those beliefs through the following questions. (One belief at a time works best.) 

  • What are you focusing on when you believe that? What image comes to mind? Are you focusing on a task, a person, number or result?
  • Begin noticing what else is in that picture? Who else?
  • Now ask yourself, what is happening that you were not noticing? As you bring that ‘something else’ into focus how does it begin shifting that belief?
  • What about time? Are you focused on the short term? Then switch to the long term.
  • Ask yourself what you have learned from the feedback you’re getting – what will you do differently the next time? 
  • Now go ahead and imagine the future – one, three, even five years have passed – and you’ve been using what you learned.
  • How valuable has that feedback become over time? How much better off will you be now because of what you learned? Think about that for a minute.

Thanks for taking time to play.  Because a simple shift in perception is often enough to dissolve the sludge from our mental vision … so you can see clearly when opportunities call, and they will. 

 I’d love hearing about any ‘aha!’ discoveries you made, just don’t expect them immediately. It can take a day or two before you begin noticing you have more clarity around important issues.

And if you have a few stubborn smudge spots left, perhaps you’re ready for Performance Breakthrough Coaching, an investment in yourself!

If you have questions about the process, you can contact me at 416-492-3200,  or visit the Innergize website.

Unconscious Communication And Job Fit – Part 5

Difference ways of relating at work
In part 4 of this series we looked at Sam’s perceptual filters for tackling tasks and getting things done at work – his need for procedures, tangible things and details. 

Now let’s decode the filters Sam’s boss Roger uses to achieve results at work – his passion for options and preference for working with general concepts rather than concrete details.  Once again think of decoding the subtext of language and other unconscious behaviours. (See part 4.) 
 

Decoding non-verbal behaviour
Roger usually drives with one hand on the steering wheel and a blackberry device in the other. At the same time he’ll be carrying on a conversation using one of his manycell phones.  Hands-free, of course.  On the scale of his career, he’s the consummate multi-tasker!  Juggling several projects at once gives him the variety he craves and the freedom to enjoy it. And that’s a clue signaling Roger’s passion for spontaneity and creating options, choices, alternatives.

Another tip off
Taking Roger through a methodical discussion leading to a final decision is impossible. He jumps from topic to seemingly unconnected topic, interrupting the flow of conversation. Making leaps of logic and generally racing ahead to insightful conclusions.

No decision is ever final. He can change his mind and his plans in an instant, and numerous times. Yet Roger intuitively knows when ideas will jell. He makes brilliant connections because he thinks in not just big, but huge pictures.  

In addition to options, those behaviour patterns signal a resistance to procedural activities and a preference for thinking in very general terms.  (And Roger does prefer leaving the details to others.)
 

Decoding language – structure and process
The words Roger uses reveal more.   He peppers his language with phrases like ‘creating alternatives,’ using ‘multiple approaches,’ having ‘the freedom to choose’ and keeping his ‘options open.’ He talks of ideas and concepts like ‘taking advantage of opportunities,’ ‘getting people on board’ and ‘high impact results.’ Intangible and general terms rather than concrete ‘things,’ you can see, hear, do and measure. And the details are conspicuous by their absence.

A mis-match of filters 
Roger and Sam are polar opposites in the way they filter information and function at work. So it’s little wonder they find it less than easy to communicate. It also explains why Sam is struggling to fit the role Roger expects him to fill. 

While there is no one right or best way to filter information, the key to motivation and productivity is to match people with jobs where core competencies and essential tasks fit their natural way of filtering information. They in turn will be able to function in ways that meet your criteria for success.