[Video] Work Life Balance

One of the things that often comes up in conversation as soon as we start talking about goal setting, or time management, or just getting anything done, is the idea of work life balance. I don't particularly like that phrase because it sort of suggests that there's work, and then there's life. And I think that work and life are part of the same thing really. So perhaps a better way of putting it is that it's about managing the balance between your professional life and your personal life.

I've got two things for you to consider…

To Dream or Not to Dream?

Several people I know are in the process of moving house.  They’re all at different stages but two have actually sold their current home.  The others are still waiting for a buyer. A conversation with one person who has been showing prospective buyers around her home for some time now, I noticed an interesting pattern of thinking.

It goes a bit like this:

The agent has just called and booked a second viewing next week for the people who came to see the house yesterday.  That’s really good news – they must be considering putting in an offer.

I won’t get my hopes up.  I don’t want to be disappointed if they decide they don’t want to buy my house after all.

But it would be great if they did buy it…

No, I won’t think about that…

And so on.

I started to think that this is a great way to cause yourself a lot of stress.  All that ‘trying’ not to daydream about getting what you want.

Why not assume that the prospective buyers WILL put in an offer  – and it WILL be one you can accept  –  and you WILL be moving soon?

That way, you can spend the whole week looking forward with enthusiasm.  Think how productive you could be with that thought in the back of your mind all week!

And if they don’t put in an offer?  Well, you’ll be disappointed.  But wouldn’t you be disappointed anyway?  Even if you’d spent the week resolutely NOT imagining that you might be about to sell your home?

So, what you and I can learn from this and practice in everyday situations, is that if we assume that we’re going to achieve our goals, we’ll be happier and more motivated.

And therefore more likely to achieve our goals!

So, go ahead and dream a little, imagine a rosy future and enjoy the anticipation of good things to come.  In that frame of mind, you never know what you might achieve.

‘Fortune is merry – and in this mood will grant us anything’ Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)

[Video] What happens after you’ve attended a training programme?

Lots of people enjoy going on courses and discovering new things and understanding more about themselves, experimenting with different ways of doing things, and very often will come away feeling motivated to do some things in a different way. Have you ever felt just a little bit concerned that if you suddenly change what you're doing people around you are going to notice and perhaps judge you unfavourably because of it? You know that old thing where you do something and somebody says: "Oh… been on a training course have you?" Well nobody wants to be on the receiving end of that, do they? So if you've ever been in a situation where you've held yourself back a little bit from trying something new because you're concerned about how people might react, I want you to think about this…

Start with Why

I’m reading a great book.  It’s  ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek.  The sub-title is ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action’.

Sinek’s core premise is that people are inspired by WHY you do something, not by HOW you do it or by WHAT you do.  The WHY springs from beliefs and values and engages others at a primitive, emotional level in a way that WHAT and HOW do not.

(To get a flavour of Sinek's work, have a look at his TED talk here.)

So, inevitably, I’ve been thinking…

Why do I do what I do?  Why do I take NLP to audiences of Engineers, IT Professionals, Scientists and Finance Specialists instead of the more usual (and often more enthusiastic) audiences of salespeople, coaches, marketeers and entrpreneurs?

And the answer is this:

The people I work with are often among the brightest in their organisation.  They usually have high IQ, they’re well educated and well-qualified.  ‘Wall-to-wall PhDs’ describes one of our client companies very well.

And often, but not always, those same people are quite introverted personality types.  Not surprising really.  Anyone who is paid to think probably enjoys thinking rather than talking.  That’s a classic trait of introverted personalities.

Also, ever since Daniel Goleman published ‘Emotional Intelligence’ there has been a drop in status of people with high IQ.  It’s EQ that determines the personal success of an individual, according to Goleman.  That may be true, but what about the success of a team or company?  Can it survive without technical experts?

What typically happens is organisations that employ technical specialists only get part of the value they could, from having this brainpower in the team.   The experts have knowledge and skills that others don’t share.  That’s what makes them experts.

The problem is, how do you communicate effectively with people who don’t understand what you’re talking about?  If you’re strongly introverted, it all might seem like too much trouble, and often there is a big divide between technical teams and ‘the business’.

Now, I believe companies need experts.  Companies need brainpower to devise new products, new strategies and solutions to problems old and new.  I’ve heard so many smart people explaining the reason why their company isn’t doing well and what should be changed.

Then ending with, ‘but they don’t listen to me’.

So I’m on a mission.  I want to get all parts of an organisation (your organisation) communicating with each other.  I want to see technical expertise recognised and utilised, instead of sidelined and derided.  I believe intelligence matters and I want to see intelligent people contributing all they can to their organisation’s success. 

The key is in communication.

And what better tool for increasing communication effectiveness than NLP?