What Has Harry Potter Got To Do With Your Business?
The eagerly awaited new Harry Potter film – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two is out this week. It has been quite a while since we have seen the intrepid youngsters battle the forces of Voldemort and watched as his Dementors suck the soul out of everything … or is it?
Unfortunately The Dementors are at work in every business and every organisation….
We have all encountered those people who only seem to be happy when they are moaning about something and continually blame other people when things don’t work out. The ongoing negativity of some colleagues and clients can drain your energy, gets in the way of progress, limits what is achieved, affects business relationships and frankly just gets on your nerves!
Does the following situation resonate with you at all?
You have a fantastic idea that will make your business or team or department more successful.You are very keen to introduce this new idea/initiative/innovation to your staff/team/colleagues/ clients and as a Leader you have spent time deciding on the best way to implement the change.You have planned how it will be put in place, worked out when it will be introduced and designed how it will be monitored. You are really enthusiastic and can visualise exactly how successful this will be.
You are now ready to sell it ………
You decide to present your ideas in a meeting and write an upbeat presentation selling the benefits.
The presentation goes really well and then …….
The Dementors go to work…………….
………” That’s all well and good but it won’t work here”
………” It can’t be done”
………” What’s the point? It won’t change anything”
………” Oh, he/she’s been on a course again and got new ideas. They’ll soon pass”
………” It’s a waste of time!”
………” Yet more work for us to do. When are we supposed to find the time?”
………” The clients won’t like it ”
………” We’ll get complaints!”
………and so on, and so on………….. Sounds familiar?
In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books Dementors are described as beings who ” feed on positive emotions……. their very presence ……….makes the surrounding atmosphere cold and dark. They drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. The effects are cumulative with the number of Dementors present…”
They embody what I call “The Blame Culture” and they can be found everywhere.
The Dementors at Work suck all of the enthusiasm and energy out of every good idea. When you talk to a Dementor you come away drained by their negativity. You start off the conversation on a high note and end up feeling depressed.
Who are The Dementors at Work in your business/ team/organisation?
So how can we change this ” can’t do” culture into a “will do” one?
By changing The Dementors into ……………….Petronuses.
( A Petronus … is an “incarnation of …..positive feelings, such as joy and hope. …. A Petronus can be viewed as the exact opposite of A Dementor”)
It is about challenging the view that “things are awful and will only get worse” and replacing it with a culture that seizes opportunities to improve, from the standpoint that ” we can achieve whatever we want to achieve”, that “anything is possible”.
To do this you need to help The Dementors change their perception of the situation. These Negative Thinking Cycles can be transformed into Positive Thinking Cycles with sensitivity and care using a coaching process called The 5 Step Strategy.
“Reframing” is an NLP technique that I use as part of the process to help bring about such a change. Reframing involves exploring and challenging a statement to provide an alternative perspective. The emotional viewpoint is changed to another “frame” that fits the facts but changes their meaning. In this way a negative mindset can be transformed into a positive one.
When someone comes to you moaning about how bad things are or makes excuses for not being able to do something try using some of the following questions and listen carefully to their response ….
6 Good Questions To Help A Dementor Become a Petronus
1. What would you prefer to happen?
2. What is getting in the way of it succeeding?
3. What is stopping you?
4. How exactly is it impossible?
5. What evidence is there for that?
6. How can we make it work within our business/ organisation/with our team?
So next time you meet a Dementor at Work try challenging their thinking by using one or more of these questions…….. and see what happens.
Listen carefully to their response and it may just surprise you!
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