Friday, March 25, 2011

How will you know that you know?

Results Rule! Are You on Track?

Our success and credibility in life are directly proportional to our ability to produce results. A key difference between successful people and people who are struggling is the application of something we call an evidence procedure in NLP Coaching. An evidence procedure is how we know that we are on track or that we have achieved a goal. It is external, measurable, and therefore has nothing to do with our feelings.

Almost every coach I have every trained and every client I have ever worked with begins with their emotions as their evidence procedure. “When I feel more confident, then I will...”. “When I'm less overwhelmed, then I will...”. “I'll know that I'm successful when I feel...”. Healthy people feel all of their emotions. This means that you will feel a range of emotions during any set of tasks. Some days you will love your business development tasks, and some days you won't. Your emotions are valid. You will feel however you feel while you do what you need to do. The problem happens when we only DO based on how we FEEL.

The easiest way to wrap our hands around this is to pay attention to our own words and deeds. Do our deeds match our words? When it comes to comparing words vs. deeds, that we have to give more weight to deeds. This is where the saying “Talk is cheap and deeds speak” really applies in terms of personal success. This concept is highly empowering.

Teachers use this concept all the time when assessing student progress. In teaching they are known as benchmarks. By a certain date students will be able to... and we will assess this through exams, papers, and vocabulary increases, for example. If the student makes each of these benchmarks, then it is fairly certain that the student will make the goals for the semester. If the student is challenged at any benchmark then the teacher can intervene as necessary.

Evidence procedures greatly reduce the inner-judge dialogue by creating awareness and freeing us to focus on their specific steps and tasks. If someone says, “My goal is to be happy.”, your redirect is to explore that statement in terms of actions and behavior; “When you are happy what will you be doing that is different from what you are doing now?” Each named behavior has a skill set attached to it. Aquiring the skills becomes a new goal and the skills also act as benchmarks.

Remember your feelings are valid. Process them. Choose to ACT based on what results you are seeking. All journeys begin with a single step. Keep it simple and take small steps daily and you will be surprised at how quickly you get to your goals.