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Brad Greentree

Anxiety about being a perfectionist

By | Overcoming Anxiety, Uncategorized | No Comments

Do you suffer from Anxiety due to your desire to be perfect? Is being a perfectionist causing you to not get things done which just leads to more anxiety?

The other day I was working with a client in a coaching session that had completed 10 blog posts on her LinkedIn profile that by all accounts was great content yet she was not comfortable publishing them as she wanted them to be perfect. The questions I asked to find out if this was warranted were as follows:

  • Have you had someone check them for spelling and grammar errors (one of my own personal issues)? The answer was yes.
  • Do you think that the content is of value? The answer was that she had a friend read over them who was in the industry that the content was intended for and her friend said it was very good.
  • So my next question was, if the content is good and will be of value to people that read it and you think it will help your business how do you sleep at night by NOT giving the information to those who will benefit from it? This was a bit of shift for her so as that question was working its way to an answer I asked her “are you a perfectionist?” She smiled and said “well yes I do believe I am”. It was at this point I rolled out my favourite line with our perfectionist.

“If you don’t put it out there how will you ever improve so you can get to perfect?”

You see by not letting yourself get feedback to improve you will never be perfect. Accomplishment and success are a process. You need to not be afraid to put yourself out there in order to improve. As a perfectionist you have to get feedback in order to be perfect (I would suggest that perfection is a worthy goal but shouldn’t be an obstruction), so by not publishing the articles you are not being a perfectionist.

What was interesting was that the real problem becomes apparent and that was that she had anxiety about what people might think so she wanted it to be perfect, however this was stopping her from putting her articles out for people to read and therefore get feedback and clients.

What is 100% for sure is that by holding back on tasks from being complete you are going to have more spinning plates and this burns up your energy and resources leading to anxiety.

So what do you do about this double bind, catch 22 about putting “it” out to get feedback vs being perfect? Well here are some steps.

  • Have someone who will be honest to give you feedback
  • Embrace feedback in whatever form to improve yourself
  • Understand that feedback is nothing personal, its feedback
  • When you are given feedback be it in person or via no response at all, say thank you!

This will enable you to adapt to improve. My last point is that in order to get to your destination quickly, whatever that destination is you need to take action. Taking action is not thinking, writing it down or talking about it. Taking action is doing something that is tangible, tactile and real. This creates completion towards feedback to improve. Now if you have anxiety about improving then get really specific with the thinking, take baby steps forward, they might be small however they are small steps.

One of the tasking options I give all my clients now is a 3-month task of setting daily goals towards their 3-month goal, whatever goal that is. This helps them get really specific on a daily basis. It also forces them to focus on what they want to achieve on a daily basis.

This eliminates anxiety, creates movement and taking action on the task in the future.

I suggest you do the same, set a 12-month, 9-month, 6-month, and 3-month goal in one context –  be it relationship, health and fitness or career and then set daily goals towards that 3 month goal; little action steps that move you towards the 3 month goal.

Now one way of making it real is to have someone hold you accountable, so if you are up for the challenge write your 3-month goal in the comments and like the Facebook post (link) here and we can all hold each other accountable.

What did I do with my client that was procrastinating on her LinkedIn blog post articles? I had her log in to her account and post one live! That’s taking action. Watching her fear dissipate at the time it went live was very interesting: “now that was not so bad was it?”

Mites vs Goliath : the 2nd of 3 small business coaching case studies

By | Improving Performance | No Comments
  • Growing stock (beans and mites)
  • Harvesting
  • Shipping
  • Sales
  • Research and development

Problems

His problem was that large, rich multinationals had developed another 2 mite products and bundled them up into a “super bug team”; the powerful 4 bug species that can assist in the war on produce. They were in a position to discount and/or add value for the buyer by getting four species of bugs for the price of two. Very clever on their part, it’s just business, right? This has made it hard for our bug farmer as he is being priced out of the market. FYI a bug is worth .008c each and he ships in the 100,000s.

So on my recent trip up north, I randomly had the chance to get up close and personal with three small businesses.  The first was the rose farm that I wrote about in a recent post. The second was even more out there; a mite farm! This innovative horticulturist provides biological controls for some of the most common bugs that destroy produce. Yep little critters that make the need for pesticides & other harsh chemicals null and void which puts him in direct competition with some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Hence the title of this post! Interesting to say the least and certainly not one I’ve ever come across before. But despite the nature of this unique business I was still able to look at it with a small business coaching approach.

I was surprised that it too was going through very similar challenges of the rose farm and other more regular small businesses. Finding work life balance, hustling for the next customer and automating the automatable (my word) parts of the business were constant challenges and stopping this business from being able to do the necessary R & D it needed to keep on top of Big Pharma, its main competition.

So the farmer is a horticulturist who has taken advantage of a major gap in the market some 15 years ago. Bizarrely, I was Matt’s (the farmer)  SCUBA instructor many years ago. I had no idea he lived in the region and was informed about him by the rose farmers. Very small world.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at this classic David and Goliath story.

Solutions

I think that the bleeding neck of this business (the thing that is most urgently needing attention) is sales. There needs to be a long term plan to build on the sales volume with multiple customers. This can be achieved by the mite man positioning himself as the expert in the field. As this is a one man band the only way to leverage opportunities is to be the authority in this market  and create the process of people coming to him as the expert. This will not stop the effect of the price cutting but will in turn allow customers to feel they are dealing with the expert in the field as apposed to a sales person of a multi national company peddling package deals that are not part of their core or original business.

This can be developed by having a number of case studies of customers with the positive, profitable result in switching from pesticide to organic bug control.

These case studies can be turned into white papers and reports which are then published and made into articles for industry news and magazines, with a call to action embedded into the article,. Typically these local papers and magazines are looking for easy, already prepared editorials and news stories about local farmers that they can add to their publications.

So you would run a public relationship campaign with the intention of having a launch style product release. For example people could go to a link that is listed in the article to have a cost saving analysis report on biological vs chemical control sent to them. This is basically a link to a survey finding out how much they are currently spending on pesticides (for example) the type of bugs they are combating, size of farm and crop. Having a preformatted report that our farmer fills in the gaps to work out the cost saving with a trial option or setting up a call for a consultation on the phone enables you to collect contact details for follow up. This would use the farmer’s strength of selling on the phone.

From here you would leverage the 1 to many model through established farmer associations. You would offer your product to association members with a value add. For example a long term or bulk order discount. The intention is to build the relationship with the customer, position yourself as an expert as you develop your product to directly compete with the bug bundle pricing model.

Then making the most of the information you have collected from your case study start an online marketing campaign that is highly targeted to address the client’s problem that you know you have the solution to. This can be fully automated leaving more time for the follow up and expert building stuff.

Building on your position as the expert, you can then bring in the story of the “underdog”; how you are competing against the cheaper alternatives from apathetic, large corporates. This is only established once you have captured a good part of the market and once you have a steady flow of new client inquiries. Many people can relate to the underdog and want to support you.

Outcome

  • Learn as much as you can about the real problem that your clients have, on an intimate level;
  • Publish as much branded content both online and offline as you can – of you and your product or brand overcoming the major problems that your clients are facing;
  • Use this to position yourself and your brand as the expert in the field;
  • This in turn has people coming to you for advice, your product solves their problem;
  • This builds on your price value and market share;
  • This then builds your database, gives you to the ability to do further business development as sales have increased;
  • By being the individual brand you will relate better to the farmers then a multi national brand;
  • You can even have the value add that the client can meet their bugs as they are being grown to build on the relationship as an online gimmick!

Many small businesses underestimate the value of being personal, small and approachable. This really builds rapport and trust.

What was your biggest take away from this small business coaching case study, or what would you add? Feel free to share via the comments below.

My girls and roses

Stop and smell the roses: the 1st of 3 small business coaching case studies

By | Improving Performance | No Comments
On a recent trip to the north coast of NSW for a little break I had the chance to get up close and personal with three small businesses.  It was great to look at these business with a small business coaching approach.  All three are in a rural area and are based on primary production (you grow something!). Despite bumping into them quite randomly, I was surprised they were all going through very similar challenges, many of which could be overcome by adopting some new technologies to assist with improving inefficiencies to free up time to expand or improve their work/life balance, which is often non-existent for small business owners.
I found a range of learnings that I thought might be interesting and worth sharing in 3 different case studies. The first case study was a rose farm. This is a very well established business run with 2 full time people and 1 part time. Like most producing properties it had its challenges some of which include:
  • Inconsistent stock control, you can only sell what you have grown;
  • Labor of picking & packing;
  • Selling the product to end users;
  • No succession plan;
  • Very limited marketing, and what existed was very old school;
  • Zero use of technology including customer relationship management,  to make life easier.
What was clear from the outset was the limited investment going back into the business on a regular basis. The owners have bought a job, doing the hard work and handing the product themselves, from managing the plants to making customers happy.
The business had four components:
  1. Growing and maintenance
  2. Picking
  3. Packing
  4. Selling
Basically the owners are doing everything to save money and keep the profit for themselves. Now there is nothing wrong with this approach. However from a risk point of view, and a business point of view this is not sustainable in the long term. It also reduces the net worth of the business because if you take the owners out of the equation there is no business. The business needs to be able to work without the owners being in the business.
Now it is easy for me to say that having not worked in that particular business, however I was able to identify some easy to implement solutions to begin systemising and automating parts of their business. Like most business owners, I’m pretty certain they never really look at the value of working on the business vs working in the business. By getting a birds eye view on the way they do their business, I could begin to see how they could make life so much easier for themselves, with a potential to expand their business by anywhere from 5 – 10%, easily.

Are you working on your business or in your business? Complete this very short questionaire to find out

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The mid-north coast of NSW has high unemployment rates and a multitude of government programs and incentives to improve employment outcomes in regional areas, so labor is plentiful. Finding good quality labour is the ongoing challenge.
One solution to improve productivity and get the owners out from under the business would be to break down the picking part of the business and develop a training program. Picking the roses, although an important part of the process, is very repetitive and relatively easy to learn. By developing a fairly simple, automated training system, the owners could begin to step back from some of the most time consuming yet labour intensive parts of the business in order to reclaim some time for other aspects. The systemisation and training aspects could even be funded via government employment training schemes and internships. Effectively you are getting paid to create the training program for getting people employed.
Once the first picking recruits are competent you can hire another couple of trainee pickers as contingencies. You are going to have staff turnover so you use that to your advantage with a consistent hiring system that is fully automated. Using technology like web based learning and video you can create offsite training programs as the induction/ interview tools. Online tests can be used to funnel applicants. Spending a bit of time to develop the recruitment and training videos with accompanying documents for systems and procedures will save significant time and provide consistency each time the owners need to recruit new employees.
If there are new additions to processes or procedures, or for any gaps in training they just do another video and add to it.
In order to retain staff once they’ve been recruited there’s opportunity to implement a promotion plan. As employment is on a casual basis to start off, and as there is only really 36 weeks a year of good productivity, the goal take the best of the casuals and make them full time, after their 6 month mark. They then become the full time supervisor of the pickers. This gives them access to  further education on the maintenance of the property and potentially do continued education, again funded by the government.
During the off time the full timer continues to  pick the limited number of stock available as well as general farm maintenance.
This process can be repeated for the packing part of the business. With this model the training can be automated  (with some hands on at the outset) and completely scaleable, running 1 to 5 days a week. These processes can then free up the owners to work on the business. The best part of this concept is that once the business is showing consistency in the picking and packing, the business can be expanded and sales can be increased. This is the area that the owners should be concentrating on.
Can you believe the owners actually told me that they say no to orders because they cannot keep up or want to work that hard!
Best of all the farm is now a business that does not rely on the owners doing the job. It is producing income without the owners and having employees doing the picking and packing, the most labor intensive part of the business.
I’m sure that the owners would have fear and objections to these concepts and would themselves need to change their thinking about how they do their business and adopting new technology. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. Having someone help you open up your thinking to new ideas and concepts can make a very big difference. So often as a small business owner, you’re so caught up in the day to day running of your businesses you never have the time to look at what you’re doing to identify where you can replace yourself and free some some time and space to work on the business or give yourself some much needed freedom.

Are you working on or in your business? Complete this very short questionaire to find out

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If you have a business that you would like to have a case study completed then please contact us by clicking on the button above.
Alternatively make a comment below on what you would do based on the information you have to improve the business.

Does a Life coach need to learn how to sell?

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On the weekend I ran a small workshop for a bunch of life coaches that are wanting to improve their business through improving how to sell their services. What was very clear to see was that these people knew their products and services were very valuable however being able to get this point across was a challenge.

So this post is about what I learned about coaches and their sales processes and how I think you can improve your selling by understanding a very basic step.

First up there are lots of “how to sell” programs and methods to improve your ability to sell. Fact is there are many different techniques for different products. If I was to make this easy as to what technique I would use for what type of sale I’d break it into two options:

1. Tangible product;
2. Intangible product, an outcome or solution.

So a tangible product is something you can hold, DVD, TV or book. The client gets instant gratification once they complete the transaction as they get to “hold” or “take” the item.

An intangible item is something that you do not get to hold, like a live training, online course or coaching.

With coaching everyone needs the product but it’s not like when you are sick and have to go to the doctor. In coaching the client does not really just decide to come to you. There are a number of things that happen before that takes place.

For example someone has a bad breakup from their partner. They are anxious and upset. At this stage they feel that it’s not going to get any better. The same can go with someone losing their job. As a result of this event other negative things may start to happen to them.

They may put on weight.
They may end up with self confidence issues.
Their self esteem takes a hit which may lead to mild depression.

They may then look for some answers to solve their problem. They talk to people, friends and family. Maybe they look online. It’s at this stage the person is ready to do something about it. Many people take years to get to the point of doing something about it.

If it was as simple as buying a pill or a “go away problem tool” they would. It’s at this point they start to look for alternatives.

I have found that the clients I often have are people that have tried many things, only to not get a result.

OK, so let’s get to the point here. A person is ready for coaching.

Now they have the option of talking to a coach about coaching. They start to way up the option or alternatives, do they go down the traditional path of Psychologist and Psychologists or seeing a medical doctor or an alternative health option.

So all this is going on with the client before they make the call

Here is the simple steps to the 5 step sales process that I teach in trainings so coaches can learn how to sell. It is ideal for anyone that does not feel comfortable with the process of “selling”. As it comes from a serving point of view rather then to “sell” them

So the 5 steps are:

  1. Build rapport
  2. Ask questions
  3. Find a need
  4. Link the need to the value
  5. Close

In this post I am not going to get into the detail of the other points I want to get into point 3 and 4.

These seamed to be the hardest part of the sales process for them to understand how to do it well.

Here is an exercise for you to do, make a list of all the reasons someone comes to you for coaching.

Is it:

  • Quit Smoking
  • Weight loss
  • Overcoming fear, like phobia or anxiety
  • Increasing confidence

Then make a list of all the question you would ask a perspective client in a specific context.

I will take the smoking option for this example.

  • How long have you smoked for?
  • How often have you smoked?
  • What have you done to stop smoking?
  • What does smoking cost you?

Then taking answer to these questions and looking for the need.
for example.

How long have you smoked for? I have smoked for 15 years.
How often do you smoke? I smoke everyday about 25 a day
What have you done to stop smoking? I have tried cold turkey and patches
What does smoking cost you? It cost me $150 per week.

So now we have a bunch of questions and some answers, so now what? Well we feed them back to the client to build value.

So its clear that you have been smoking for 15 years, that would mean you are consistent!
It’s also clear that you have been wasting a lot of time each day smoking.
When you gave up in the past for how long did you give up for? Client says “Well a few weeks”
Ok so you have shown that you can overcome the addition, its just the habit of smoking that you need help with, does that sound right? client says “yes”

So if I could help you change the behavior so you did not have the habit to smoke would that be useful?
If I could help you with finding the trigger that makes you want to smoke, would that help?
What would it be worth for you to stop smoking? how much would you save a year?
If we could do all that do you think that the need to smoke would be less or removed?

That’s the point that you then close the sale, that is ask for the booking or order. (remember this is just an example)

So I want you to construct a number of questions that you will ask your clients/ friend in a specific context then I want you to ask real people these questions and note the response. Then with that response pull out of the clients answers the “need” that you will feed back to them.

If you want help feel free to post the questions and response in the comments and I will help you find the key words and construct the response.

The good news is once you have a pool of questions you will have typical responses you can fine tune it for the best outcome

Goal setting – the secret of creating a life of your choosing

By | Goal Setting | One Comment

Goalsaredreamswithdeadlines

Happy New Year! Bit late I know. I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front but I’m back and ready to kick butt this year. And that includes helping you get goal setting to get the best out of 2015.

I’ve actually managed to have a proper break. And despite my best intentions to keep working on the business, I ended up switching off, completely, for multiple weeks. And it has been great. I’ve been using the time to check in with my kids, my wife, myself and to take stock. How fast did last year go? Each year seems to fly past faster, especially when you have a family, full time jobs and all that goes with them. But I love this time of year as it’s a great time to take stock of how things are tracking in your life. And to unplug was a complete blessing.

How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

If you’re like 25% of the population who set NY resolutions, you’ve probably broken all of them a couple of weeks ago. Data shows that 25% of people who make resolutions break them after one week! 60% of people have given up on them after 6 months. Many set the same resolution up to 10 times before giving it up unsuccessfully. To change is not easy. But to give up on trying is even worse.

New Year’s Resolutions have come to be treated as a bit of a joke due to the lightning speed at which we break them. But that’s OK. The last thing we all need is find another thing to feel bad about ourselves.

However goal setting is probably one of the most important exercises you can do for yourself. And you don’t need to wait for New Year to do it. The common thread amongst successful individuals, and companies for that matter, is that they’ve spent time creating a vision of where they want to go, and a map, broken down into achievable and measurable goals and associated actions that will get them there.

Reflection time is crucial for mental and physical well-being, to have that sense of control over your life, about where you’re going, where you’ve been, and how nice you’ve been to yourself and others whilst on that trip. It gives your life purpose when you have an understanding of where you want to go and why you do the things that you do.

When you do feel a sense of purpose many other things seem to fall into place. You feel engaged, motivated and energised. Setbacks and disappointments still occur but your drive and focus to live the life you created enable you to bounce back more quickly and easily, becoming stronger and more resilient as a result.

On the other hand, a lack of purpose can be destabilizing; that feeling that you don’t really know what you want and so end up doing things that don’t necessarily give you pleasure or satisfaction. These feelings can lead to a sense of frustration and even more seriously, to things like anxiety and depression as a result of feeling apathetic, lost or hopeless. A significant number of people in my trainings are there because they have emotional or physical issues and come to realise this is a result of not living the life they want. And this is because they’ve not actually created a plan of what they want for their life.

But we’re always so busy, and exhausted, that we never give ourselves that opportunity to take stock of where we’re at from a bigger picture perspective. Do you even know what you want for your life with respect to family, career, fitness, financially? Are you a goal setter? Statistics say probably not.

The importance of creating a vision for your life, and goal setting to get you there cannot be underestimated.

As Tony Robbins said “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”. Are you happy with what you’ve always gotten? If not, it’s time to do something different.

To help you start you need to spend some time thinking about what you want for your life in the areas of: career, family, health and fitness, finance, community, social and spiritual. Once you’ve spent some time dreaming of what it is that you want in each of these areas, how you want to make your life better, and more fulfilling, and what it is that will leave you feeling content and satisfied, write them down. That’s the important bit. Because what happens after you’ve put them down physically into the world is that you’ve created a focus. The next step is to create the plan that’s going to enable you to realise that dream. The plan consists of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) goals that will get you where you want to go.

You can easily find goal setting templates online (there’s thousands on Pinterest) or create your own way but breaking your goals and associated actions down into 5, 3, 1 year and 6, 3, and 1 month will ensure you keep your tasks actionable whilst working toward your goals.

It’s not a test and no-one has to see them although sharing them and putting your goals out there starts to make things very real. It’s likely you’ll begin to feel a bit of buzz and excitement about what lays ahead, no matter how small your goal is. Remember, this is about creating more of what you actually want.

You’ll be amazed at how once you set the compass direction, everything you do both consciously and subconsciously begins to move in that direction.

Goal setting not only provides clarity and focus but it informs your purpose which, once you find what that is, is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.

If this is the first time you’ve thought about any of this, and believe me, many people don’t give a nano-second of thought to what they want to achieve in this life, which is quite sad, you may find yourself a bit stuck. Or you may just have no idea of what it is that you want for your life, again you’re not alone. Check out ‘Create Your Future ™ ‘ an easy, accessible programme that is all about helping you through the process of creating the life that gets you jumping out of bed each morning. You can check it out here.

Overcoming anxiety – can a medical doctor do it naturally?

By | Improving Performance, Overcoming Anxiety | One Comment

Anxiety has hit epidemic levels within Western societies, and it’s indiscriminate in who succumbs to its effects. Young, old, male, female, CEO, secretary, teacher, doctor. For a number of reasons our world is full with more stuff to do and things to keep us extremely busy. Not to mention that our own expectations that we set are often high enough to make us feel less self worth than we need to do. On a day by day basis, more than ever before, we are in need of tools to enable us to overcome anxiety. No wonder so many people are looking for techniques for overcoming anxiety.

Over the last few months I have been privileged to work with a few really great clients that had come to me with anxiety as their major issue. Each of these clients had different symptoms and each was very different in how they reacted to it. But the common thread was that if left unchecked, the impacts of their anxiety was on track to ruining their lives.

Over the next 3 weeks I am going to go over the sessions that I completed with them and give you some insight into how we achieved the results we did.

This week I am going to talk about a doctor, that had finally finished all his training to be a qualified surgeon, only to be overcome with a strong level of anxiety. His anxiety was to the point that he had physical effects of dizziness and shaking. Imagine if your surgeon had shaking hands? He would find it hard to eat breakfast in the morning and would have to deal with high levels of anxiety as he was driving to work. This in turn was affecting other areas of his life. His wife was worried about him and his father could see that he was on a path that was not anywhere close to what he had planned.

At this point the doctor began to doubt his ability to be a great surgeon. In contrast once he started operating he did a great job, with no anxiety, and was fine. After the day of operations he was reflective and wondered what the fuss was all about, only to do the same behavior the following day. One particular day of the week was the worst; the one with the greatest number of operations booked.

Once he decided to come and see me for a breakthrough session we started working on his pre-session tasking. Here he was able to reduce his anxiety from an 8 or 9 out of 10 with physical symptoms, to a 2 or 3 with no physical symptoms. He had completed 30 days of tasking before he got on a flight to Sydney to see me over two days.

My first mission was to find the trigger and look for any secondary gain. For example, he felt he was made to be a doctor by his family, (they are all doctors),  and now that he has achieved that is he looking for a way to not be a doctor? Or was there a traumatic event that had happened that has left him with anxiety? Or was it just that he had been studying for over 15 years and now that he is qualified and does not have the expectation and plan for the future being his study, that he has an idle mind and is just bored and thinking about what can go wrong more than what can go right?

What I found is that he did like being a surgeon and he was very happy to be qualified. I did find his strategy of how he did the anxiety; I was able to map it out. I was able to find the connections of emotions and how they worked with the anxiety.

What was good about this particular client was that we were able to pinpoint the exact time that the anxiety started. This was a breakthrough in the session as I had content to work with that would enable me to remove the fear on this event and in turn dial down the anxiety in the future.

His first job as a newly certified doctor/surgeon was to go and visit all the medical doctors in the area to promote his services. This was a massive thing to do. Effectively it was like doing door to door sales selling his services. As you can appreciate that is not something medical school would cover – “ OK in this class we’re going to cover the 5 step sales process to selling yourself”. I would imagine that would not be a lesson at med school! Surely you do all those years to become a surgeon so when you finish you go and be a surgeon. The business side of things was not a consideration and not his strong point, understandably.

It was during this time that he spent a lot of time in the car driving around talking to doctors that were not overly welcoming. Some were but many doctors had built their own relationships with specialist surgeons and gave, what he felt, a cold reception.

It was in the car on the way home he had his first anxiety attack. Bingo we had a significant emotional to deal with.

Once I had this we set up our outcomes from the session. We had two:

One was to think of a long operating list and be free of anxiety;

The other was to be able to have breakfast and a coffee in the morning as he had his appetite back. These two outcomes would be our evidence procedure.

At this stage I elicited his values in the context of career and we worked out if his values are motivated by away from what he wants, or towards what he wants. As predicted he was mostly motivated away from what he wants.

This is also my guide in the process to see if I had made the necessary changes, as we would compare this at the end of the session.

Once this was all completed we started the intervention starting with removing the negative emotions from anger through to guilt. Funnily enough fear was the emotion I was expecting to be the big game changer but it turned out to be guilt.

Considering he was a doctor I was thinking that I may have a hard time getting the concept of active imagination and the mind body connection and how a process taking 10 – 15min could complexly change his life and his thinking. Quite the contrary; he was super good at it! As with anything having investment in the process makes a key difference.

Over two days we put all his goals in a positive towards fashion, built up some resilience to the old triggers, and I even completed some hypnosis with him to tie everything up. He was very impressed and shocked by how powerful hypnosis was.

He achieved his results as per the evidence procedure. As we tested it he was unable to feel anything except excitement and confidence as he thought about his future operating lists.

We then gave him some tasking and sent him home to achieve some goals. He, by his own measure, was 98% better but still had some reservation that the anxiety would come back. I reminded him to focus on what he wants and to keep on task with his goals.

Now this is an intelligent man, he should be in charge of his thinking but what he did was allow that 2% to reach 10% and that 10% to reach 30%. We had a few calls on the phone and further confirmed that he was much, much better than before, but he was still putting himself into a negative state.

You see ultimately it’s up to the client to follow the instructions (that they’ve had input into to) and if he chooses not to then he gets the results he gets. Once this was made clear we had another few phone calls and did some short coaching and set up a task that he will do to enable him to focus on what he wants in the context of being a great surgeon. This task was to document every surgery operation process that he does in a way that makes it go well. And every time he performs that surgery to go over his notes and improve them.

The good news is that he did have an incident during surgery with a patient and something did go wrong as is expected in this kind of surgery. He was able to be cool, calm and calculated in his response to the issue, and solved it without it becoming a life threatening issue for the client. Given his track record of anxiety if he had not have been able to be in charge of his thinking I am sure the outcome would have been different.

What tools have you used to overcome anxiety? Does someone close to you suffer from anxiety and you don’t know how you can help? I’m keen to hear your experiences so feel free to express them in the comments section below.

Can you really use one technique to improve communication?

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Welcome to my first “Drive to Work Video Blog”.
I am doing this for two reasons. First because it’s a great use of time, and second to prove to people that talk about not having time to do content for their website.

In this video blog I talk about a conversation I had with my 5 year old daughter’s kindergarten teacher regarding the techniques I use and how they assist in communication. We talk about how by using one set of skills I can assist and train so many people in so many different areas.

I hope you enjoy it and please join in the conversation.

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Anger Management Techniques to use when it’s all too much

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This week I received a call from a client that was going through a crisis. Let’s call her Kate. Kate was in such a bad way that she was not using any of the Anger Management Techniques she had learned. However after a few moments of talking to her she was able to take control of her state and became calm.

When Kate came to me she was on stress leave due to a bullying incident in the workplace. Kate was very much at the effect of what happened to her and it was turning her world upside down. During the work I had done with her about her workplace issue, Kate had a number of realizations that she needed to take control of. All of a sudden she realised that so many parts of her life were unfulfilled:

  • Her relationship with her partner and children;
  • Her health;
  • Her career;

Just to name a few.

Once she was away from the workplace she started to feel better and started to make changes in her relationship with her kids. Kate decided that her partner was not the right person for her and it was time to separate, something that had been on the cards for some time, but now she was willing to take action on it. She even started to set up her own business and could see the need to develop herself and head a different career path. Everything was in turmoil; however Kate was in control and working through it.

It was not until her return to work that Kate was truly tested and gave me a call on the Monday morning of her first day back at work. It turns out the mediation was not going to take place until the following Thursday. This was inappropriate from a mediation point of view as she felt as though she was in hiding in her office with nothing to do apart from wait until Thursday. She was not able to have closure on the initial issue, the workplace bullying incident until the event had been completed.

One of the points I make clear with clients going through a difficult time in a specific area of their life such as a relationship break up or court case, is that the best results are achieved once the “event” is complete and hence the reason why Kate was in a complete state. We applied some of the simple yet effective techniques she had learned, and of course in a short five minute conversation I had her at a point that she could talk about the situation and not get upset.

One of the points I made with Kate, and during this post, and it’s a critical point, is that you can only work on a problem of an event once it has been completed. For Kate she had worked on the workplace situation but it was not yet complete until the mediation had occurred. So as soon as she was in the environment it all sparked up again.

So we applied one of the simple tips I recommend in my free three tips to control your anger in the Make Anger History product for anger management and anger management techniques. The one that I used that had the fastest and most effective results was to stop and recognise the emotion you are feeling which is a three part process:
1. Name the emotion you are feeling.
This is a very powerful process as it quickly turns your attention to the fact that you are indeed feeling something that may be overwhelming you. You see, feeling negative emotions such as anger or anxiety is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong and to take notice. Just like an injury, you feel pain that in turn brings it to your attention. The emotion of anger presents when your boundaries have been crossed. And this is a very personal thing as everyone has different values and boundaries. So stopping and saying to yourself ‘I am feeling anger’ is the first step to controlling it.

2. Once you name the emotion you then are acknowledging it.
When I did this with Kate her state of anger and anxiety dropped to a point where she could control it. Simple as it may sound, it’s often difficult to practice when in heightened negative emotional states. “I am feeling anger” and then following it by acknowledging the emotion by thanking your unconscious mind for enabling you to feel that something has crossed your boundaries is step 2 of the process.

3. Set a time to “deal” with it.
If you do not actually deal with the event or emotion it gets buried in the interim but will come back. This is where you habitually react to a certain trigger, as you hadn’t dealt with the initial incident. Sometimes it may not be possible to deal with the emotion at the time so you need to set a time to deal with it.

The entire process goes like this:

You feel a negative emotion or get upset so you ask “what emotion am I feeling?”
You name the emotion – “I am feeling anger”.
You then acknowledge the emotion and set a time to deal with it – “I will deal with this on x date and x time” and make sure you actually deal with it.

For Kate we set a date after the mediation so that she could have completion on the event, then address all the emotions she had to deal with the days before the mediation. The result was that Kate could talk about the issue at work and discuss how it made her feel, how it had affected her without getting “plugged in” to the negative emotions, then and into the future.

If you are feeling anger at certain triggers or have not dealt with anger from the past please try this super-effective process. I have taught this process to hundreds of people and it has helped to alleviate a lot of the angst around anger around situations that have happened in the past. It is also effective at dealing with anxiety.

Be sure to tell me how you go with the first Anger Management Technique. We have had great feedback from people that have used our three free tips.

The Need for Anger Management Techniques in Domestic Violence

By | Anger Management, Anger Management Techniques, Life Coaching Tips, Tips for Coaching Clients | No Comments

This week in Australian politics and media we are seeing some much needed attention on domestic violence. This has led me to be even more determined to educate people in the need to learn anger management techniques which work, even in the context of domestic violence.

The shocking statistics reveal that there is an average of one woman killed each week as a result of domestic violence, in fact it’s slightly more than that at approximately 70 women per year. These are women being killed by a current or ex partner. Six children have been killed by a family member this year in Victoria alone (as at July 2014). The statistics are horrifying.

Surely this can be prevented. The cost to society is some $4.5 billion annually, and that’s just for NSW. This does not even take in to consideration the other part of the story that we do not hear or see and that’s the women and children that are injured at the hand of family members, or the children who witness the violence and the associated trauma they take into their adult lives.

I heard one statement from an advocate for change say that if a level crossing had this much carnage it would be in the media every other day and something significant would be done about it.

So is this a cultural problem? Is this a societal problem? Is it a sign of the times? Or is this just an example of a world going wild with people lacking resources?

On reflection I had to go through the process of perception positioning, and looking at other examples. This in turn sparked my own memory of my history, that lucky for me, led me to a path to deal with it rather than let it take control of my life. In my current model of the world I could not imagine hurting another person physically or emotionally.

But that was not always the case.

There was a time where I was very capable of doing serious harm to another human being. I didn’t, but I felt as though I was very close, on numerous occasions.

Back before I had started my journey towards becoming who I am today I was in a bad way. They say that in order to make change you have to be in a really good place or a really bad place. For me it was being in a really bad place.

I was going through a major break up with the same person, who I believed was the “love of my life”. This was the second break up in 10 years with the same person and in both cases I had been “betrayed” as she left me for someone else, each time it was someone that I knew. At that time I was lacking a lot of understanding and had zero tools to deal with it.

On top of that my business was in a bad way. So I focused all of my negative energy and rage on to her; and I felt some serious rage. I think the point I knew I was in trouble was when I tried to cross 3 lanes of traffic to mount the curb to run her down. Thankfully I failed but I was at that point where I could not reconcile how angry I was. The notion of anger management was not even a term I knew.

I did not have any anger management techniques that I could lean on; I was blindingly angry, and had no way of knowing how to control it.

So am I surprised by the statistics? The fact is no I am not. Do I see a way to reduce the statistics? Absolutely. But it will require people (both men and women) to be aware of their behavior.

How does that happen? Education and the need to want to do something about it. From my own experience the feeling I was going through was painful, really painful. I would do anything to make the pain stop.

On the other side, the release I experienced when I decided to let go of the anger was profound. I physically and mentally changed, and on a spiritual level I felt that I had evolved.

I had been tested again about 18 months after that disastrous split where a new partner had been unfaithful. In this case when I confronted her about the “other guy” she tried to walk away. I had just had a civil conversation with him face to face, something that I would never have been able to do in the past. If that had happened and I had not gone through my journey of discovering anger management techniques I would have felt an overwhelming urge to throw her from the open 6 story balcony window; something I doubt I would’ve done but would’ve REALLY wanted to do. Unfortunately in too many situations, the urge is played out.

So is there an anger management technique that works? I can tell you there is.

I would love to hear your thoughts on domestic violence and anger management. What are your stories – has there been a trigger that was clear before it ended in violence?

As I have experienced myself, I am sure there are cases where women have provoked anger in a male, but there is never an excuse for violence against anybody. Can there be a space to diffuse the situation before it gets to violence and who is responsible?