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Positives and negatives – the impact of outlook

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How can people get the most out of themselves, employees and even loved ones? Terry Hawkins from People in Progress is often recruited by big organisations to help them get the most out of their people.

Terry has had her training company for 20 years and has been training for 29 years.

She says people need to identify what stops them performing and what helps them perform, and to own that.

“That’s a big thing – not blaming but owning it and then to set about taking action to change the results that we’re getting,” she says.

People often start blaming, for example, the economy, or our location, or the product or even the boss.

“The moment [the blame] is outside, you can’t change yourself,” she says adding that people should take this “inside”. She says people should identify what they’re doing that doesn’t get result and then add the skills.

Stickman and Pitman

Hawkins got onto the speaking circuit because she had created two humorous characters called Stickman and Pitman.

“Stickman is actually the part of us that is dynamic, it’s results-focused – it’s the part of us that gets out there and actually achieves what we need to achieve,” she explains.

She says the character came about through a sales training program when she was teaching about the brain.

“I realised it didn’t matter how many times you gave people skills development, it was how they thought about themselves and what was happening inside their brain that actually affected their result,” she says. “So I drew a stickman on the board, and that’s how I would explain the whole dynamic of ‘thought-brain’, and then the ‘body-projection’.”

Next was the “pit of misery” or pitman.

“If you look at the world we’re in now, it’s a magnet. [For example] if we’re not making budgets and targets, we think ‘what else can go wrong?’ and then we start to have this total heaviness. So pitman is a magnet. Pitman and Pitpeople – they’re everywhere.”

Learn from tough times

So are people negative because of external sources, or do they have a pre-disposition to attract the negative? Hawkins says it’s both, but it’s not necessarily good to be too optimistic either – “they can have rose coloured glasses on”.

However, a great part of being in a pessimistic state, she explains, is there are some great things to learn when we have dark moments.

“Whenever we have a dark time or we go down that rollercoaster, that’s when people start to get honed,” she says. “Our training business goes through the roof when business gets tough because people don't make hay while the sun shines – that’s the problem – and we get desperate. So I think really at the end of the day if people are pessimistic, it’s a state that they go into. Sometimes we have a predisposition, but everybody has a stick moment or a pit moment.”

Hawkins says that “success happens in discomfort, not comfort”. Businesses should get their team comfortable with discomfort. Often people may go for a big client, but then they pull back because it’s more comfortable – “and then we justify it to ourselves that that’s all we ever wanted.”

So, if you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Thursday, June 17, 2010

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