Re-Invent Yourself in Your Relationships, Family, and Community
With the Total Win Mindset
Here’s an area that is often overlooked in personal growth and coaching, even by the best of professional coaches. You’ve been a process of Re-Inventing Yourself. You have much stronger ego boundaries and you’ve realized you can generally have what you want in life. You have a sense of being revitalized and lots of things are working better in all kinds of ways.
Then you begin to notice that some of the people around you have not changed their view of who you are. Quite the opposite, no matter how much they consciously seem to wish you the best, they do and say things that tend to anchor you back to the old behaviors and ways of being. You begin to realize you have to go on a campaign to reinvent yourself in their eyes just to maintain the positive changes you have worked so hard to achieve.
You will find that there any number of specific conversations you will need to reframe in order to build the kind of relationships you want and reposition yourself in your community. You want positive reinforcement coming back from the energy you put out into the world. You want receive positive reinforcement and you want your communication to have the impact you intend. In creating the Total-Win Mindset (bigger than just a win-win scenario) first identify the specific situations or conversation you need to negotiate. You will find a number of useful skills in the steps below.
You will want to prepare from the Others position (2nd Position) first with the person(s) you will be talking to or negotiating with; not your own position. Remember you are undertaking a consistent campaign over some amount of time to reinvent yourself not only in your eyes but also in the eyes of others. To fully achieve this outcome, you want to consider who you are and have been in your relationships, family, and community. It may take a while before people change their view of you. Notice interactions that haven’t felt right or appropriate to you. Choose a specific situation or conversation, not thinking about it in a general kind of way.
Preparation. Do your homework. No matter how well you think you know the other person, take the time to consider the current situation from their point of view. Go to the Other or Second Position (be them, act as if you are them) and understand the other person’s values and beliefs, what they want in the matter, and what strategies they will use. Pay attention to what states you will want them to be in. Find their Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), the point at which you have the most strength or limit beyond which you will not go. Then go to Self (1st Position) and consider the same for yourself.
Note: Steps 1-6 below are about establishing the Total Win Mindset.
- Start from Relationship. Shake hands, hug, smile. You can even bring up some positive moment or relationship-oriented event from the past. Anchor/Reinforce the positive state.
- Clean up. Clean up for past emotional baggage existing between you. The tool is Sincere Apology. Take any and every breakdown and use it to build the relationship stronger.
- Get Agreements on Principle. ”Can we agree that…” (i.e., “…we won’t yell at each other.”) ”If things should escalate to that, can we agree that I can signal a ‘time out’ and you will stop.” BTW – “I agree to stop when I notice it or when you signal me.” ”Can we agree that… (you will signal me anytime you experience that I am yelling.”) “Can we agree that…?” (“… we won’t argue or belittle each other in front of our children?)” “Can we agree that…(we will come out of the next 90 minutes with an agreement that will work for both of us?)
- State the Situation. Say what it is that the other person wants, what she wants to see, what she wants to hear, and what she wants to feel (smell, taste, experience, etc.), better than she can say it herself. When you get it right, you will see agreement, (i.e., full head nod). Then it is important to say what you want, and what you will to see, hear, and feel. Note: This happens only when the other person experiences being fully heard first.
- Get to the Real Issue. ”How is it a problem for you that…(X happens or doesn’t happen.)” “How is X a problem for you personally?” Chunk down until you come to the value underneath and then repeat it and check for congruence in the subtle physiological response of the person. NOTES: -Separate the Problem from the Person. Avoid getting into personal attacks. Redefine (reframe) attacks, like: -”You’re a Narcissist.” to “I’m a really good person, and sometimes I have selfish behaviors and motivations….(and rotate the conversation to) …right now I’m interest in…”or “You never tell the truth.” to “Yes, sometimes I have perverted the truth to get my own way,… right now what I want you to know is that I care about your feelings and want you to know you can count on me for X.” “You are angry all the time.” To “You are (I am) passionate about what you/I believe in.” -Deal with Hard Moves. Interrupt the pattern or conversation and rotate the entry point. Treat as unauthorized. Be gullible. Treat as unauthorized. -Go to the Balcony. Always give yourself (and other party) time to compose yourself. Take a short break. Never negotiate with yourself in the presence of the other party/parties. -Never decide things based on pressure. When things get heated, never, ever make hasty decisions and don’t put the other person in a pressured situation. Allow a way out and a way to have dignity. Ask the person for time in order to give them time to recompose. -“That’s An Option!” No matter how inflammatory or crazy an idea sounds, you don’t have to disagree, negate or resist it. Just say, “That’s an Option” and write it down or otherwise capture it. NOTE: The goal of The Total Win Mindset is get on the same side of the table brain-storming collaboratively about solving the problem.
- Generate Options. When you get to the Real Issue, solutions will naturally begin to fall out. Capture all of them without concern for why something won’t work. You want as many OPTIONS on the table as possible.
- Mutual Outcomes. When you have enough options on the table, (at least 8-20 each) then together figure out (get agreement on principle) about what will be done.
- Close. Backtrack what has been accomplished. Figure out an Action Plan including What Order/Syntax, With Whom and By When. Schedule future meetings to deal with any outstanding details. End with hand shake, hug, etc.
Overall, you are deciding about (reinventing) your Identity (being comfortable in your own skin), and redefining who you are in your Relationship, Family, and in your Community. It’s like a campaign to create a new you aligned with your own values and true to who you really are. The pattern above will give you a process for conversations that respect the other person(s) involved, and a method for coming to agreements and a habit of building the relationships in your life stronger. Remember, you can only hold people to account for what they have agreed to. Keep asking yourself what you can be counted on for by other people and what will be necessary to communicate that in a way people can hear and accept.
The Disclaimer: Some people won’t be able to change their view of you. The reasons for a relationship may no longer hold when one of the parties begins to grow and change. Some relationships will fade away as you begin to notice that you are attracting new, different relationships. You have to take on the changes and this campaign for yourself regardless of what anyone else may say, do, think or feel. Your changes cannot be dependent on others even though you want to build a new and better feedback-loop in your relationships and in your community that will reinforce the new you you have chosen to be.
By Bill Thomason
Your NLP Success Coach, Certified NLP Master Trainer