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?