I read an article in Forbes magazine recently that said that 98% of managers thought that managers at their company needed more training to deal effectively with important issues such as professional development, conflict resolution, employee turnover, time management and project management. On top of that 87% of middle managers wished that they had received more management training before first becoming a manager. When I worked as an accountant it was assumed that a good accountant would naturally be a good person to manage other accountants and therefore training about doing so was limited. It would appear that very little has changed. I guess that this comes from the idea that, if you know what you need to do to be successful at a job then, by extension you should know what other people need to do too. This doesn’t always follow, sometimes people don’t actually know what it is that they do that others need to do too. On top of this you also need to be able to actually tell someone else what they need to do. Fundamentally, a manager of people needs to know how people think and how they produce their behaviour. From my experience, gained by teaching thousands of people just how to do that, it is apparent to me that not everyone develops an intuitive sense of this growing up and it certainly isn’t being taught comprehensively through the schooling system.
So how do you do it? Well first of all let me reassure you that it is a skill set that can be learnt. Before I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) my people management skills were somewhat basic. I couldn’t understand why it was that if I could do something why others didn’t just do it. If I was motivated to work hard, why wasn’t everyone else? Everything starts with awareness, first of all I needed to understand that I wasn’t good at managing other people. Fortunately for me I had a great people manager working for me and she took it upon herself to give me some “feedback” about some of my interactions with her. Apparently I was in the habit of putting my hand up in her face whilst she was in the middle of talking, simply because I wanted her to stop talking so that I could process what she had just said, and I didn’t even know that I was doing it, until it was pointed out to me.
That was almost 15 years ago, and what I have discovered since I have been studying and utilising NLP is that though everyone is unique, there are certain processes and patterns that you can adopt in your own thinking that will greatly enhance your ability to get the most out of others at work.
• Overserving others. Take your attention outside of yourself and place it onto the person that you are interacting with. As you learn to do this more and more you will begin to notice that you can pick up changes in their physiology and be able to match that with the content of the conversation. That way you can sense more easily how the conversation is going.
• Build rapport. This is state of trust and understanding that you can develop with others. It is predicated on the idea that people tend to like people who are like them. On our NLP trainings we show people how to build rapport effectively and authentically.
• NLP Model of Communication. This model allows you get a sense of how people think and what it is that influences their behaviour. It is a good way to understand yourself as well as getting a much better sense about where other people are coming from.
• Language skills. There is a whole raft of questioning, reframing and motivational language patterns that we teach on our trainings too. My aim is to help people to use their listening and language skills more consciously.
And this really is just the tip of the iceberg learn NLP and become one of the 2%, before your competitors do.
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” Chinese Proverb