Food for Thought from Mike Schwarzer’s Pearls of Wisdom, November 2012
If your business is the answer to a question, what is the question and why should you care?
How is your business showing up in the market place and how do you want it to show up? Is it a high performing or low performing operation? Is it where you like it to be or moving towards it or moving away from it? Does it serve and enrich you or does it hold you back and impoverish you?
Does it have the right culture and the mental and behavioural flexibility that it requires to operate in a competitive and uncertain environment? Is it a dynamic environment that is buzzing with energy or is it dead? Does it run on optimism, collaboration, resilience, creativity and innovation or is it textured with scepticism, lack of motivation and fear?
Think about it this way, if you were to look at your business from the outside in, what would you notice? What experience does it provide for your customers, the community and your people? What energy does it have? What feel does it have? Is it purposeful? Is it drawing people to you or pushing them away from you? Do your people and your customers believe in your organisation, what it stands for and what it provides?
Could that be a coincidence? The answer may lie in the questions that you ask!
Questions set your intentions, direct what you are paying attention to and drive your behaviours. And questions can be quite unconscious in that they are asked in the back of your mind. This is true for individuals as well as for the organisational psyche.
Why is that important?
Organisations are run by human beings, at least last time I checked. And human beings have a unique ability, they can think … yes I know a revelation! They can think in terms of creating mental movies about their circumstances through pictures, sounds and sensations. They can then think about and describe those circumstances in words and symbols. And not just that, they can give a meaning or meanings to those circumstances such as reflections, judgements and opinions. This then creates our inner experience about those circumstances in the way we see, hear and feel them on the inside.
It is that inner experience of our outer circumstances that makes the difference. How so you may ask?
High Quality versus Low Quality Experience!
If the inner experience is of high quality it creates a radiant energy around you, one that others want to be part of. An energy that opens your mental pores and that points your attention seeing solutions and possibilities. This type of energy creates mental and behavioural flexibility and movement. Often this energy is directed outwards with our attention pointing towards our environment, the people in it and the things we want to create. We do that through thoughts and questions such as … how can we best help to solve your problems? How can we make a difference? How can we best support or serve you? Who do we need to become to create an environment where learning, engagement, creativity and innovation can occur? etc?
If the inner experience is of low quality it creates a static or tight energy around you with little movement, one that others want to stay away from. And energy that closes your mental pores and that points your attention at the problems of your problems. This type of energy creates mental and behavioural rigidity and lack of movement. Often this energy points inwards turning at ourselves with thoughts and questions such as … why does this happen to us? What if we fail? What if we are not good enough? Why do these customers always give us a hard time? Why do we always get picked on? etc?
Think about it! Questions and their direction generate energy in the human body-mind-emotion system and therefore in organisations. Questions and the energy they generate determine how you are showing up in the world and what you are capable of achieving. If there is flow and movement, there is presence of mind and resourcefulness, its operating in the zone. When we operate in the zone, we tap into our inner resources that are beyond the limitations of our intellectual mind. If there is lack of flow and movement we can get stuck in our heads, the intellectual mind, and out of touch with our inner resources.
This might be the difference of showing up as an organisation of grumble bums or that of a ray of refreshing sunshine. One that just cares about itself and what it can get out of others or one that is purposeful and enjoys helping others to solve their problems? Which one would you rather work with and do business with?
So how do you want your business to show up in the world, as a grumble bum or a ray of refreshing sunshine? Then ask yourself, what are your highest intentions, the things that are important to you as an organisation? And what questions underpin these intentions? What are you paying attention to and how is that showing up in the way you as an organisation think, feel, speak and behave?
What high performing organisations know …?
As mentioned earlier, questions drive behaviours. High performing and self-actualising organisations know that and are skilled in asking purposeful questions or core questions, either consciously or subconsciously. Questions that generate creative energies, inner experiences and drive behaviours that are aligned to and supportive of their purpose. Questions that take them into the direction they want to move and that produce quality results.
So if your business is the answer to a question, what is the question? And does it serve you or limit you?
Curious to find out more about how to engage core questions that unleash creative energies and drive behaviours that serve you? Then contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to your highest learning and growth
About Mike Schwarzer
Mike is a Transformation Professional and an Internationally Certified Trainer in Applied Neuro Synergy & NLP with the Global Association of Applied Neuro Synergy, GAANS. An experienced facilitator and coach, with an ability to connect and align people, he helps leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere and create the results they want to achieve.