Posts Tagged NLP

Sunday Column (232)

This was an eventful week. Where to start?

Let’s have a look into the past first.

10 years ago I did my Master Practitioner in NLP. Writing about it this week I realised how time has flown past. Crazy to think that I was about to embark on my MBA and just finished my engineering degree despite the fact I never really liked engineering as such.

20 years ago this week I moved to Kansas, USA, to a small farm town, to a big farm, and learned a lot about life in the forthcoming 10 months. I guess that is where I got the appetite to leave Germany, explore the world and live a ‘wild life’. Did it ever happen?

Life has changed over the years. I have changed. For my Rotary Club I need to prepare a presentation about my professional and personal life. What to add? What has been important? I might just share it with you here.

I could get philosophical now. My wife and family of course are important and have changed my life all over again. And I am still learning to be a good dad and family guy. But I want to speak about something else.

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No, not the teddy on the picture. This week we had a rough night with R waking up asking for his shoes. I wonder what he was dreaming about? C was sick. And that before an ever so important interview. Never mind. We grin and bear it. My espresso consumption has skyrocketed since May.

This week I launched my book. A long time in the making, several attempts over the past few years, I finally sat down and put my thoughts on Productivity of Life together. A holistic view on how I think life could be a bit better, more organised, more enjoyable and ultimately more successful for everyone. It is a scary thought to put your brain’s content out there thinking someone might want to read it. What if people don’t like it? What if they think it is useless?

Confidence! I have enough experience in the field and put a lot of effort into this book. Lots of references to further deepen your knowledge. I am sure you must like it! 🙂 Seriously, a book is one of those life achievements, a lot of learning and a result where I hope I can help people with.

Have I achieved it all now? The house, the family, the book? Far from it. I am only taking off in life. Every time I stop and reflect on where I am in life I think of the next leap. I am eager, ready to roll up my sleeves, get on with what I need to do and work on myself and my career, not forgetting my family!

I just mentioned to the boys this morning that would like to take them to India, the Taj Mahal, and to Lhasa, Tibet. Whilst I started crossing things off my list of things to do in life, I suppose I only just started.

Life life balance. There is enough for everyone in the world, they say. A nice analogy I heard this week, similar to “follow your heart” or “true beauty comes from within”, was that whatever you reflect on the outside doesn’t have to be your inside. For me that means you might be shiny on the outside but inside you still need to work on some issues. Who you trying to impress? Do what you like on the inside, be who you are, reflect it on the outside, be happier and impress that way. Is that clear to you? I am still thinking about it, but like this personal development thought.

Now to some future news. I accepted a job offer on Friday. Naturally I am very excited. I am starting next week. More to come next week.

So we had a good week. We had friends to visit and tried another place in the South Downs for walking and lunch, and we met with friends at a National Trust venue. We haven’t met them for 2 years. Time flies. But life is good. That is the main thing.

Last but not least, two things to mention. My attempt for Schweinshaxen or pork knuckles didn’t go too well. On the other hand we watches Planes in the movies. That was just great.

Have a great week!

Volker

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Sunday Column (156)

It’s my wife’s birthday weekend. I am off until Wednesday, so a very long family weekend. I am loving it. Starting at the back of the week, we had friends over for curry and beers….way of celebrating the birthday 🙂

This week I got more positive feedback re my blog, Buddhist thoughts and coaching skills. Wow, I am getting a bit scared how many people read this blog, know me, and I might never find out. Just really nice to get acknowledgement. So thank you guys!

However, there were some sad moments this week too. A commuter died on the train I was on. We got delayed and I later found out that the ambulance that arrived couldn’t save the woman. I found that weird. Weird to think that you are just on your way home from work and for whatever reasons, it just hits you. Just like that. And your partner waits at home and you never get off the train. Isn’t that sad? Is that the life we are living?

Whilst not knowing the circumstances it makes me think what is important in life. I do that anyway. Having had the chance to spend more time with the family and kids lately, I can clearly see where my priority is sitting. Every minute I engage with the kids I gain more from it, and enjoy it more. And gaining is not so much about “personal gain” but that I enjoy the engagement and see how much they are me, and how much I can help them learn and grow up. I really want to be the best dad ever! I want to be good in anything I do, so becoming a great dad is on the list!

Whilst I sometimes regret that I didn’t enjoy the first few years of Colin, I just had to get used to things. Typical man I suppose. And I still enjoy travelling and being away as long as I make my time I spend with the boys worthwhile. And I will. And my boss is understanding to combine family with work. I don’t think I could be happier at the moment.

Just to chip in some more miserable thoughts, the Guardian published an article about the top 5 regrets of people dying. I would summarise it as “I should have spend more time with my family and friends instead of working my ass off and not focusing on happiness” – of course this only applies to people with a bad work life balance, and for people that don’t constantly reflect their life.

On Twitter we discussed whether you should act on it. If you feel like any of those things are true in your life, of course you should. If you don’t enjoy working hard, and get the reward, or if you think it interferes with your private life, then get on with it and change your life! Change your work for that matter. But anyone of us, and us refers to people like myself that want a career, know the trade off. And, as aforementioned, put priorities down. And I am still learning. And learning. And mastering. Slowly but surely. At this point in time I wouldn’t even consider any of those reasons as a regret. It is more about “not enough exercise”, “too much food”, and “being too excessive”.

Latter I suppose was true again this week. Not in regards to booze but more in regards to food. We took a few clients out for “media lunches”. Steak, more steak, lovely peanut butter shortcake, ox heart, sprats and dover sole. Wine, beers, and good company. Nice lunches, and good chats over lunch.

To stay with the theme, maybe I should quickly refer to Alastair Campbell’s Panorama episode this week. A fantastic 30 minutes about “the middle class” alcoholics. The ones that drink on a regular basis at home without giving it too much thought. Definitely worthwhile watching it on iplayer. It makes me think once again.

I suppose I came full circle tonight in my blog. Having more time this weekend made me reflect more. Two more days off. More time with the family. I will enjoy them.

Looking also at all of those topics above I realise that using NLP and coaching on myself I constantly benchmark what I want, how I want it and where I want to go. And whether life fits in with the greater goals in life. I am hoping to help a few more people with that in the next few weeks. You can make it all happen if you wish!

I wish you a great week. A safe week, a safe commute, not too much booze and some joy with your family and friends. Make it worth it.

Love and Happiness,
Volker

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Leadership & Great Companies

I recently revisited the book Good to Great by Jim Collins which I read a few years ago studying for my MBA. Now, with the TED talk about inspiring leaders and its affinity to both NLP and DBM, it was time for another post.

“It is your Work in life that is the ultimate seduction”, Pablo Picasso.

In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and DBM (Development of Behavioural Models), you drill down on actions by asking:

– What do you do?
– How are you doing it?
– Why are you doing it?

With more modelling this goes deeper, however focusing on this three questions, and looking at the TED talk, we are looking to answer the question what a successful leader is made of, and what are successful companies made of:

– What does s/he do?
– How is s/he doing it? How is he leading, managing and setting example?
– Why is s/he doing it? What motivated the leader and makes him so good in what he is doing and how he is doing it.

The latter seems to be key to a lot of discussions around leadership. Hence in Jim Collins book it is about “good to great”, the “level5 leader”. As of the graph above, the level5 leader builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. S/he differs from the effective leader, e.g. level4, through the input of personal humility and professional will: the main difference is the personal involvement and drive rather than “just following a vision and stimulating higher standards”.

Now my first question that comes to mind is “incentive”: why would a leader be like that? What are the incentives for that?

It seems to me that most examples of level5 leaders are either owner managers or they seem to have a big share package 🙂 Some of course just want to do it for the recognition but let’s be honest: does anyone really care if you have build a great company over a period of 5 years and you didn’t see any financial rewards from it? I don’t think so.

Of course there are personalities that focus on the larger goal of building a great company, and their ambition drives them on to be above and beyond themselves and only think and work for the organisation.

Another principle Collins introduces is the hedgehog concept, e.g. waiting and being on top of things rather than being a fox that tries all possibilities. Maybe not the best summary of the concept, but I am personally not convinced that this is the best analogy in the first place. It is about “focusing on one big thing” rather than diversifying (too much) and having not real focus.

Let’s have a look at the circles:
– What are you passionate about?
– What you can be the best in the world at?
– What drives your economic engine?

Anyone having achieved a Master Practitioner in NLP and has worked with coaches, coached people or is interested in personal development knows what s/he is passionate about. The fundamental will to live and what makes you tick and cry, what makes you feel complete. What gets you out of bed in the morning. Collins however looks at the company perspective here.

Same with the next circle, from a corporate perspective it is all about: what you are good at? Don’t try to build an engine if you don’t know anything about engineering and don’t try to be a doctor if you cannot see blood. What is it you are good at? What are your skills? This could be something your company is currently not involved in.

Now the economic engine: money and share options? Maybe if you look at this model from a personal perspective but Collins refers to the ROI of your business, how do you measure economic success for the company.

Let’s reflect for a moment: the circles don’t only apply to corporate success but can be equally used to look at personal success. Then, once modelled for the individuals of a company, or maybe founding members of a company, transferred into a model for a successful business. As one of my managers used to say: “I recruit people that I trust and I can work with, I can then teach them the details they need to learn” – personality plays a key role in who we work with and how we (and a company) become successful.

Reading the Collins book, he goes on and describes the use of technology and its importance for further greatness of companies. Definitely a must read book for any manager and aspiring leader.

And the latter is then responsible for keeping the momentum going, or as Collins calls it the “flywheel effect”. Once a company is going, and growing, one needs to look at the results, energize the people and build the momentum to drive the company forward. Not too fast, not too slow, and always looking at the underlying processes. Companies without the right processes, monitoring and feedback tools are prone to fail as control is everything. If you don’t know where your profits come from or whether you make money, you are doomed straight away, becoming a fox.

This sums up the key principles of successful companies by Collins and shows the resemblance between successful personalities/leaders and companies. Maybe another pointer to make a company “more personal” and look at it from a different perspective. What do you think?

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Use your brain

On the OPEN Forum I discovered an article about brain usage and the 10 tips on how to improve your brain.

I have written about “Train your brain” before and always encourage people to use their brain. Not only when parking their car at Tesco, going around a round about, going shopping or making a comment at a conference….and you will find more examples if you actively listen. No, you should train your brain any chance you get. Ever tried to go around the shopping aisles and memorising what you have in your trolley. Make up a story to better memorise things, e.g.:

When I picked the SALAD I also thought of APPLES and BANANAS that would then go together with the CHEESE sandwich and the HAM on top of it. However, the BBQ with the PRAWNS, the CHICKEN and the little cats, who were eating their CAT FOOD, ……

Ok, this is not rocket science. You memorise words, particularly ones that have nothing in common, much easier if you actually think of a story. It has been 2 years since I wrote the article about the brain training and I have written about brain draining in regards to GTD too. The weekly brain sweep as they call it.

The best part is still that things you do go from your unconscious incompetence to your unconscious competence. A simple way of learning new things. When I first started in SEO I had to memorise that Link Building was put together of directory submissions and link sourcing, e.g. approaching websites to link back. Nowadays you don’t need to tell me that and I added more to that knowledge. Anything you learn goes from not being aware of where it fits all in to it fitting in automatically when you worked with it.

Maybe this was not the best example but I found an old note last week with “what is link building” 🙂 However, if you question things and look things up that are new, memorise them, write them down, revisit sites etc, then you get your brain working. That is what the article on the OPEN Forum suggests too.

I particularly like the idea of learning a new word everyday. My birthday’s word was “compedious“, meaning “Containing or stating briefly and concisely all the essentials; succinct.” Now, I will try to memorise that, revisit this blog post and then make sure I use that word when I can. If I manage to learn a new word every other day, then I add almost 200 words to my daily use – and this is for English only. That can make a difference to the way I can express myself, impress others and train my brain too. And, as you can see below, teaching others (which I did at university), gives you the extra benefit!

learning_pyramid

Also, I am a big fan of the 20 minute power nap they suggest. Not very practical in a day job. But when I was at uni, I used to study for 60 minutes, took a nap for 20 minutes to let things sink in, then had a cup of coffee and studied for another 60 minutes. That helped me a lot in getting a good degree.

Coping with stress, stress management and turning stress into success are key to being efficient and productive as well.

Also, as of my earlier posts on training your brain and the OPEN Forum, the idea of being open minded and turning your view 180 degrees around is very powerful. Imagine you had the best idea in the world. Now, try to change your point of view and think you are the person that has to work with that idea, or if it was a product idea, you are the person that would buy it. Be creative and find different angles of anything you do. NLP is very powerful, e.g. putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and can help you a lot, with sensory acuity in the forum being another example.

So bottom line is that the OPEN Forum does a good job of summarising various techniques I introduced before plus some key points of personal development. Keep going, you are doing a great job!

Let me know if you have any questions and how cb consultingg could help you!

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Turn your dreams into reality

If there is a dream, there is reality!

But let’s start at the beginning: Coaching is based on 3 supports.

1) Beliefs – challenge your limiting beliefs and reinforce supportive/positive ones!
2) Values – know your values and live them.
3) Goals – what do you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it?

People say that goals are dreams with legs – they go somewhere. Or, you can put it differently, if you are dreaming to achieve something, then you can support this dream with actions and turn this dream into a reality, a goal. This goal becomes achievable when you are putting your efforts and beliefs behind it.

Coaching is based around goals. We all start in the here and now and have a reality check of our current life. What is our present state and what do we like or dislike about our current life. This could be the job, the love life, the amount of exercise we do etc. Check for the wheel of life to identify what you might want to change.

From there you define your goals and the desired state. This state is now your aim, your goal, something you need to put your mind to. As we say in NLP, now imagine you are already at your desired state and look back to your present state, how did you get there?

That might sound complicated, but if you want to cross a river, you can either think of building a bridge or you can imagine that you already crossed the river and look at the problem from the other side. You might discover a new way across, something you cannot see from your current perspective.

bridge

NLP uses that technique quite a lot. Put yourself in the corner of the room and watch yourself having this conversation or interview and evaluate yourself whilst doing so. Also, you can then watch the reaction of your opposite conversation partner and act / amend your conversation accordingly. This enables you to build stronger rapport and more effective conversations, communications and connections.

In regards to goal setting, always set positive goals. Move towards a positive goal rather than away from something negative. You don’t want to loose weight, as you focus on the weight. Focus on the healthy aspect and formulate your goal “I want to be fit and healthy”.

Also, be specific about your goals. That means it has to be measurable and reward yourself by achieving part of the goal. stepping stones are important. These stepping stones will provide you with the right feedback and you can see whether you are on track for your big goal.

And, whilst pursuing any dream, any goal, any stepping stone, think of the 3 coaching supports. Be true to your beliefs and values. Be cautious what some actions might mean to you and your environment. What costs are involved, what time etc.

By making an action plan and making sure that you have a can-do approach, you eventually will achieve your goals. If you need help defining them or setting stepping stones to reach your goals and turn your dreams into reality, please give Coach Volker a call.

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career coaching….continued

Hello,

This last week was quite busy so I thought I pick up the topic of career coaching again. Found this interesting blog, Grow Rich Me?! It’s all about following your dreams and making the most of your life. Which in all fairness is good.

But, looking at coaching, you structure your dreams. You need to really. If you search for Career Coaching you find all sorts of sites. But what would it mean for me or cb consulting?

I have written a lot about coaching in this blog and for me it means to really give yourself some focus.

Starting with a good hour of sitting down and writing up what you want to do? What you like to do? What are you good in? What are you not good in? That gives you a good basis for defining your goals.

Goals: where do you want to be? What drives you? What gets you up in the morning? Where do you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years time – or 20 even?

From there we work backwards. NLP does that quite often. Imagine you were already in a situation you want to be in, how did you get there?

And work it out. Step by step. Baby-steps. And, we will help you planning steps out. Where to look for a new job, how to tune your CV and cover letter, how to prepare for the interview.

That is what we do. And, in a recession that becomes more and more important.

stepping-stones

On the one hand you want to stay put and do not move, on the other hand you want to see where is the recession going. Be ready when you get made redundant or if you think your company is going down. Be the first to hit the road running. Maybe just to be prepared to do nothing as you might have more influence once you get out of the recession with your current job.

What ever motivates you, contact us today and we sort something out!

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new website live

Hello All,

My slightly revamped cb consulting website is live. What do you think?

cb consulting

Volker

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Good Reading – Motivational Reading

As mentioned in a post a while back, I was reading Christopher Howard, Turning Passions into Profits. This book is a must read for anyone who likes to know what you can do with NLP.

This book is not for a novice to NLP who think that one could read this book and all your motivation comes true and you know NLP. However, for the experienced practitioner/master practitioner, this book gives a good example of case studies and how to use NLP in a “world context”. Almost too basic for the Master Practitioner it still gives a good overview and idea, or reminds you of topics you should reread, such as sensory acuity.

Me personally, I liked the book. Gives it great examples of sales and negotiation techniques based on NLP and other tools/techniques. The “wow” factor was there, the “I need to revisit that chapter” factor was there, so overall, a very good book to read.

I am sure you will find his websites useful too:

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sensory acuity

Inspired by the book I am reading Turning Passions into Profit – 3 Steps to Wealth and Power and my NLP Master Practitioner with Sensory Systems in Glasgow, I revisited the term of “sensory acuity” today.

Christopher Howard writes about the importance of sensory acuity as people with outstanding communication skills are able to notice things in their sensory awareness that others do not. Being able to notice on all levels of senses gives you an advantage and the ability to notice things that most people don’t even realise exist. It will unlock your potential to create the results you desire in your interpersonal communication.

Which senses are we speaking about:

* sight – visual sense
* sound – auditory sense
* feelings – kinesthetic sense
* smell – olfactory sense
* taste – gustatory sense

And, what impressed me with Howard is that he differentiates, as a true NLP professional, between the inner and the outer world. Depending on our models we perceive the world differently. Being aware of the different senses and being able to read (and write) them, will make us better communicators.

NLP has the model of input (senses) that then “relate and compute” (pattern/map) into output (behaviour). We also add the “feed-forward”, a prediction what will happen in the world. And, all of that is put back into a feedback loop to how we perceive the world and being “sensory acute” about it.

Our internal voice is referred to as “audio digital” input rather than the audio sense, analog, of the external world.

How is that useful?

We can use those senses for goal setting by visualising an outcome and then put that picture in our head. And, it will feel good and you might want to imagine a certain smell, taste or music with it. You can talk to yourself as well and really get a goal into your head. A vision! This vision can be turned into a nice state of mind and something to look forward to. It will sink into your unconscious and your actions will be working towards that goal and objective.

Also, another example, would be if you remember a certain situation. Your last holiday on the beach? You remember the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea and the image….. Don’t you remember the good old time when you turn the radio on and they play a song that you have not heard for ages and it reminds you of your “wild days”?

Sweet memories 🙂

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books to read this autumn (or not to read) – and NLP ;-)

You remember I was writing about this NLP book I got at the train station.

I now finished it. The author is: Lindsey Agness, Change your LIfe with NLP. Why am I happy to reveal the book now? Because I want to warn anyone to read it.

Sorry, Lindsey, I don’t wanna say you did not have good intentions to write this book. But, this book talks about how NLP helped you through relationships and how it helped your kids to anchor nice situations and being less afraid. My personal opinion is that you should have written a book about “how NLP helped me” and then recommended some really good books on NLP.

Anyone who asks me about a nice introduction to NLP I recommend this NLP book by O’Connor and Seymour.

Of course, maybe I am not the target audience having a Master Practitioner in NLP for over 5 years. And yes, Lindsey’s book was a nice recap of some techniques, but sorry, it was not a good introduction to NLP. Maybe it was not intended to be one and just a marketing tool to attract people to your courses?

What really annoys me about books like this and many others (and I know there are millions of them out there) is that people read it and think “wow I can change my life and all I have to do is to learn NLP”.

YOU DON’T!!!

Learn NLP because you are interested on how you can change your life and that of others but do not learn NLP because you have some problems. If you have some problems go and see a doctor or psychiatrist. That is what you need and not something that was an add-on to psycho therapy in the 70ies. NLP does not heal you from cancer or makes you a better person. However, some NLP techniques are helpful for motivational purposes and for getting on with life.

Enough of a rand about those NLP books that just try to tell you that NLP is good for anything.  Saw another one at WH Smith the other day. Don’t buy it!!!

Further on my reading list is a book I bought about 1 year ago. I admit, it is another “guru” book but comes highly recommended by a friend. I let you know how I get along. The title is:

Turning Passions into Profit – 3 Steps to Wealth and Power!

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