Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Giving yourself "Permission to Succeed"

Here is a quick nugget for today.

Years ago when I was a strapping young facilitator chomping at the bit to work with groups, individuals and companies all over the globe I learned one of my most important lessons. It was at an AEE Conference in Spokane, WA and it came from Dr. Simon Priest. Simon was giving a lecture on "Facilitation skills" and more specifically on the concept of "Funneling". One of Dr. Priests root principles when working with groups or individuals is this (and I am paraphrasing here) "In order to move forward with any group or individual you must first gain permission to do so. If you fail to gain permission for each level of "Awareness" that you are helping facilitate, you will never allow groups to reach their full potential and blockages will appear in your path". This concept of "Gaining Permission to Proceed" would become a pillar and a foundation of my consulting practice to this day.

To break this down to a very simple level, look at the cartoon on this post of the blog. The doctor is simply putting it as clear and direct to the patient as possible. What would you prefer, an hour of fitness a day or a day without life. Pretty simple right. Here is another example. Imagine that I have a brand new client in my CrossFit training and fitness business (CrossFit Mastery - Be Strong to be Useful) and on their first day training I asked them to perform a workout that was considered a "Difficult" WOD (workout of the day). This workout is right in the schedule of rotation for my other clients and really isn't "That" hard so instead of thinking about my clients needs I put them through the workout. They crash and burn. They are over tired, over extended, they under perform and generally feel like crap and I have put them through this. What a horrible experience, Right!!. The client is left wondering what the heck did they get themselves into and wondering if they will ever come back. In this fictional example I had no right to give this client a workout harder then they were ready for and I had definitely not "Gained Permission" to proceed with this client. In looking at this from the "Gaining Permission" viewpoint I would plan a very different approach. I would first have a conversation with the client to gain an understanding of their goals and objectives (gained some permission), then I would look at their specific strengths and weaknesses (gained some permission), then I would set up a series of trainings that highlight those strengths and weaknesses (gained some permission) and finally I would sit down again with the client for a heart to heart about setting up a long term training plan (gained some permission). In this approach I am gathering input at every step. I am asking the client "permission" to move forward in the process. At every step the client can say NO, I don't want to go further, harder, faster etc. If the client does agree with my plan of action I can then and only then proceed to move forward. The real beauty of this skill though is the accountability hook. If they give me permission I can always "Call them on it". If they are dogging it in the gym I can push them - cause they gave me permission!!

I wanted to call attention to this concept because in working your own individual "The 365" programs you are going to have to find ways of gaining permission. I would prefer to look at it in respect to "The 365" as "Gaining Permission to Succeed". We all know how to fail. We all know how "Not" to do things, but what about the right way to do things. What about ways to give yourself permission to succeed!

I have been using the concept of "Permission to Proceed" for nearly 20 years but just recently found the book "Permission to Succeed" by Noah St. John and I highly recommend the read ( you can read it on google books - just search for it and viola it's yours). Noah was deeply impacted by a workshop on Anorexia that he attended and from this workshop he came up with the concept of "Success Anxiety". His book touches on many different psychological conditions and triggers but one that hits home with "The 365" is his chapter titled "Be willing to get what you want". In this chapter he really drives the "Permission to Succeed" point home with his insight on how people really NEED to become WILLING to get what they want.

When working your own "The 365" programs remember to always gain and give yourself permission to succeed. I know from my own experience with my 365, that I have constantly had to look inwards and "Gain permission" to succeed. I have been tested and challenged by the process at many different levels. It is only because of the permissions that I have granted myself that I have been able to succeed up to this point.

As always I welcome any comments and thoughts. If you are finding "The 365" interesting pass me on a note, make a comment and pass on this blog on to others. Spread "The 365 Effect".

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