Its not usual to use a quote as a title but this one again from my friend and mentor Peter Thomson came to mind this morning as I was reflecting on some recent work with a client who seems to be procrastinating and changing their mind half way through a decision on a regular basis. Or indeed not really making decisions at all, they say they have but their language and just how they are indicate to me that actually, no they haven’t.
Looking back at the notes I made when talking to Peter about resistance he pointed out that it can of be due to our lack of clarity about our own identity when looking at all the neurological levels and that makes good sense to me. And on reflection encapsulates perfectly what’s going on with the client. And by the neurological levels I’m referring to the work of Robert Dilts and Gregory Bateman.
As a business coach and mentor my job is not make the decisions for clients but guide them and it occurred to me that whilst we are getting lots of good stuff done the most important thing – clarity on the whole business, its vision, mission, values and so on hasn’t been found by both of the business partners. And that’s impacted by their lack of clarity on their identity based on those neurological levels. And there I have failed them because I haven’t led the conversation back to this so that we can truly have that discussion and whilst it may be fine tuned some clarity will make a heck of a difference.
So on finishing writing this blog I’ll be following up with the client, I started the conversation yesterday but now is the time to take the time out to have a more detailed conversation. And when we next meet we’ll talk more about their identity based on the neurological levels.
And the neurological levels are these:
- Environment (where you are when you are doing the thing that you are seeking to change or need some guidance for)
- Behaviour –what it is that you do when
in that environment
- Capabilities – what are the things that you do, what skills do you need to do them, how do you need to use your mind
- Beliefs and values – why do you want to you use those skills? What values are important to you when doing those particular activities?
- Identity – who are you if you have those beliefs and values and use those capabilities to accomplish the behaviours in that environment?
- The final level is simply taking all that knowledge with you from the previous 5 levels and understanding what they all are to you or to out it another way what you have, see, hear and feel when you know what you know about the previous levels.
To be honest I haven’t used this model for a long while as for some reason I’ve shied away from these particular types of tools however, It’s a great exercise to do, one day I’ll share some thoughts about level 6 and what that may mean… just a few thoughts starting to ripple to the surface.
I’ve also noticed that when building a new business with little or no SME business expertise or experience it can be very daunting, Many of the people I’ve worked with have been senior leaders in large corporates but they had a full support system from IT and HR through to the Finance and telephonists, PAs and receptionists (if they aren’t too old fashioned a term to use) and so the business of the business means there’s often too much busyness and little clarity when it comes to making the decisions which in turn impacts on moving forward. Perhaps again a reflection on identity within the business.
Setting up a business can be very daunting; it’s a test of a person on so many levels and of course can make such a significant difference to the future of the individuals and their families including financial stability. And for some people starting out in the service type industries that may well be why they choose to keep business growth at simply filling their diary week on week. Where stability and perhaps familiarity are far greater drivers than growth and expansion and risk.
Resistance in hiring or outsourcing support staff and those who have better skills even in the business itself is often down to lack of clarity in the overall business plan and the numbers as well as letting go and recognising that absolute control of the finest detail in everything is not a recipe for business growth, or certainly to grow a business to its full potential. Indeed our lack of clarity and willingness to let go can be the biggest hindrance to any businesses growth.
Or maybe for some this from Marianne Williamson best describes how we feel
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of the universe. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of the universe that is within us. It’s not just in some of us: it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. And as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Who are we not to be? For playing small doesn’t serve the world and that includes those who are most dearest to you.
Please share your thoughts on clarity, resistance and playing small.