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Resources for Hypnotists

Articles by:

Patricia V. Scott, PhD, CMT
Fern Tausig, CH, CMT
Mark V. Johnson, CCH, CMT
Keli Henault, PhD LMSW, MHT, CMT
George Bien, PhD


Patricia V. Scott, PhD, CMT

“PAIN IS A BEHAVIOR”
by Patricia V. Scott, PhD, CMT

© 2011 Patricia V. Scott All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.UPHypnosis.com

Although some people's behavior may be a pain (couldn’t resist), I have come to think of the experience of pain as being an "expression", either of some disturbance within the physical body, or some disturbance in the thought process.  I'm convinced that people can get into the habit of having a pain on cue, so to speak.  They can literally program themselves to get the pain at certain times and in certain situations. In that way, it might very well be thought of as a learned behavior.

Recently I saw an ad in a magazine that I had to cut out and use in classes.  I MUST share this with all of you.  It was for a new migraine medication and showed a pondering woman at her work desk with bubbles of thoughts above her head.  The sequence went like this:

Bubble #1:  "If I get a MIGRAINE (their emphasis) tomorrow......"
Bubble #2:  "I'll never make it through that two-hour recital....."
Bubble #3:  "But Kate's counting on me to be there....."
Bubble #4:  "Plus, I've got that presentation for work due Monday....."
Bubble #5:  "Somehow I'll have to get it done."

Then the ad states the following:

"Thinking about migraines even when you're not having one?  Maybe it's time for a change.  TxxxxxX can help stop migraines before they start so you can get fewer of them to think about......"

It’s obvious to me that ad agencies know something about the power of suggestion.  And by the way, how do you "STOP" something that doesn't exist…yet???

I'm working with a gentleman who fell off a ladder 3 1/2 years ago and had part of his brain removed.  His wife was told he would be a quadriplegic the rest of his life and never regain his body or brain functions, and that she should put him in a nursing home and get on with her life.  She didn’t listen.  When she called me in to work with him on pain and attitude about 5 months ago, he had recovered a remarkable portion of movement of most of his body.  He still must be lifted in and out of the wheelchair, but is walking between bars with a physical therapist and astounding the doctors.

On my first visit, he had some pain going on in his back.  On a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the worst, it was at about 70.  Just talking with him and getting him to create some imagery to represent releasing endorphins from his brain and sending them down his back, he was able to immediately take it to 40.  A few minutes later it was insignificant.  His mind envisioned the endorphins as musical notes, so that is what we have used since.

Sorry to be so wordy (you know ME), but back to the point.  In speaking with him, it became obvious he had come to “expect” that whenever he sat for over ½ hour, the pain would show up.  I think pain comes from our belief system.  As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that ALL of our problems, conditions, painful memories, diseases, etc., are caused, exacerbated or affected by our belief system.  That may be a radical stretch for some to accept, but as long as I hold that “belief” in my energy when working with clients, I somehow seem to be able to help them consider that possibility, and sometimes that alone facilitates profound changes that help them to move forward.  The reason I believe that hypnosis and NLP are so powerful in dealing with the experience of pain is that it allows the person to go inside to discover the source of what really needs attention.  Change the beliefs and the expectations, and you can change the expression and experience of pain.

Patricia is a Certified Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist and President of UP Hypnosis Institute, a Division of Unlimited Possibilities Hypnosis Inc.  For more information go to:  www.UPHypnosis.com

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Ask a Hypnotist
by Fern Tausig, CH, CMT

© 2011 Fern Tausig All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://myHealingHypnosis.com

Hypnosis is an interesting word that comes from the Greek word for sleep..Hypnos. Hypnosis has been documented historically for centuries and used as far back as history has been recorded. It is currently accepted and used in the medical community for many things including, but not limited to: pain management, pre-surgical preparation, and relief of the symptoms of many chronic conditions that are related to stress and other types of emotional problems.

Although hypnosis is different than sleep, there are ways it is similar. Both require a feeling of being relaxed both physically and mentally and both can be monitored by a brain scan to identify the brain activity showing a trance like state or a sleep state.

Because there are so many misconceptions about hypnosis I have decided to share questions that have been asked of me to help understand the true nature and benefits of hypnosis

Sue from NY asked: I don’t think I can by hypnotized… how do I know if I can be?

Answer: That is the most common question asked…ever! There are a very small number of the general population that cannot be hypnotized. They include people with with some mental deficiency or very low IQ, infants or children who cannot understand or follow directions, and those who don’t want to be hypnotized. I cannot hypnotize anyone who wants to resist, as hypnosis is a team effort between the client and the hypnotist. Since all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, I am just a coach and a guide for the process.

Paul from CT asked: I have been to hypnosis shows and people did really weird things. I don’t want to lose control like that. Can the hypnotist make me do weird things? Answer: No, the hypnotist has no control over you. Remember, that at those shows the people came for entertainment and volunteered to participate indicating a willingness to do whatever they were guided to do. If at any time they didn’t want to, they would have resisted or come out of hypnosis. Therapeutic hypnosis requires a willingness to make a change in your thoughts and behavior to reach your desired goals, not give up control. The hypnotist has no power or control over the client…if they did, the whole world would be the perfect!

Roger from CT asked: My friend stopped smoking with hypnosis but I have a high-pressure job and wonder if hypnosis can help me handle my stress that keeps me awake at night? Answer: Absolutely! The problem with stress is not how much you have, but what you do with it. Are you more like Velcro or Teflon? Stress is a natural part of life. Without it you would be bored to death! However, are you like a sponge that absorbs everyone else’s stress? Do you create more stress by obsessing over things that are completely out of your control? Do you tend to focus on the negative “what if?” Do you expect the worst to happen? Do you turn mistakes into self-fulfilling prophecies? Hypnosis and self-hypnosis teach you how to relax at any time and any place. It also enables you to slow down your breathing and heart rate to shut off the flow of adrenaline that causes the symptoms that stress creates. With hypnosis you experience relaxation and can develop a Teflon-like shield to prevent negative energy and from being absorbed it like a sponge. Sleep is as important as food and water for a healthy existence and hypnosis can help you regain the peaceful sleep you need and want.

Feel free to call for answers to your questions about how hypnosis can help you change your life. 203-283-4567.

You can also submit your questions about hypnosis in writing to Fern Tausig at myHealingHypnosis@gmail.com.

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Catch a Healthy Habit
By Fern Tausig, CH, CMT

© 2011 Fern Tausig All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://myHealingHypnosis.com

Tap Away Emotional Baggage?
Hypnosis statistics…

If you have tried EVERYTHING else to get relief from those negative emotions and the physical discomfort they have created, it’s time to tap those old feelings away. If you haven’t already heard about the amazing phenomenon of ‘tapping’, let me be the first to enlighten you! Although tapping is not new, it is only beginning to find its way into the mainstream of health and wellness modalities. Tapping, also known as EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, has been one of the modalities used by hypnotists for a very long time. It is now also being used by therapists of all kinds, including chiropractors.

Why, because it works! It works on emotional, as well as, physical issues with amazing success. It is something you learn to do and then independently continue to enjoy its benefits.

So, what exactly is this EFT and how and why does it work? The theory that supports EFT is based on the Chinese system of Health that states that energy flows through our bodies along pathways called meridians. If the energy is blocked or disturbed for any reason, ranging from stress and trauma, to bacteria and toxins, it creates dis-ease which can evolve into disease at worst and negative feelings, at best. The Chinese use needles, massage and herbs to unblock or move the energy. Tapping is an acupressure technique that mimics those processes. EFT is a process that uses gentle tapping on the ends of specific meridians to alter the energy of the body. It is a process similar to rebooting your computer. The process is a combination of verbal statements and physical tapping. I have successfully used this technique with children who had nightmares and anxiety, as well as adults with migraines and emotional or physical distress of all kinds.

As a certified hypnotist and coach, I am dedicated to helping clients become their personal best and I always use the most effective technique to accomplish that end. I use EFT, however, with almost every client because it is effective in most situations. The results are always immediate. The issue to work on is measured on a scale of 1-10 of intensity and then measured again after tapping. It is the only therapy I know that has the benefit of immediate relief

You may wonder how you can use EFT. First observe where you are in your life. Look at the chronic physical or emotional discomfort you may feel in your body. Most people convert emotional distress into physical distress and don’t know how to release it... Listen to your self - talk, if it is negative, you can also change that with EFT.

If you would like more information on EFT, hypnosis or hypno-coaching, contact Fern Tausig at myHealingHypnosis@gmail.com or www.myHealingHypnosis.com. You can also call 203-283-4567 for a free phone consult with Fern.

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Why Hypnotherapy Is The Best Way to Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
by Mark V. Johnson, CCH, CMT

© 2012 Mark V. Johnson All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.GoodVibesHypnosis.com

Hypnosis has been discovered to be the best way to quit smoking and remain a non- smoker for the remainder of your life. People decide it’s time to give up smoking every day, and today you have made that decision. Those who find themselves wanting to stop will keep reading the entire content of this article, those who’re not willing, are going to be when they finish reading.

Prior to discussing Stop Smoking Hypnosis, we’ll look at the alternate options. By minimizing the physical pure nicotine addiction, the patch can help you stop smoking. By chewing nicotine gum, many cigarette smokers can stay away from smoking cigarettes. The physical addiction has been found to be a small part of the challenge when it comes to quitting the cigarette smoking habit. The physical obsession with nicotine is simply a minor part of the challenge in terms of stopping smoking. Numerous studies have confirmed that only 10 Per-cent of the problem is due to the physical addiction, while the other 90 % is within the depths of the mind, and this is where hypnotherapy is quite powerful.

Medical Doctors are ın a position to come to the aid of their patients by using a accepted prescription medication known as Chantix. Everyone knows drugs commonly include negative effects, and Chantix is not an exception. Combine this with the point that the major benefit is working with the physical dependency, and you get yet another method that isn’t really effective. Stop smoking for FREE with the cold turkey method. Well, if it worked then everyone would be able to stop quickly and easily whenever they want. While many individuals ultimately come to a decision that they choose to stop smoking and also have attempted everything else unsuccessfully, they find that Quit Smoking Hypnosis is their final stop, and this time will be last time they’re going to ever quit, simply because they quit once and for all.

Sure there are men and women who can kick the habit making use of patch or nicotine gum or Chantix as well as going cold turkey, but none these approaches are as successful as Quit Smoking Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy will allow access to the subconscious mind and that is where the other 90 % of the problem is located

The mind has been compared to a computer, and this also includes the subconscious mind. For a smoker, there’s a program that might be referred to as, I ama smoker, that is installed in there. It operates on a number of guidelines, then when certain signals are received, this program suggests that it’s time for a cigarette. Once installed in the subconscious, these programs function time and time again and can be tough or impossible to take out under most conditions. The cigarette smoker software exists inside the subconscious allowing it to be changed or eradicated so the client becomes a non- smoker. A lot of people realize that after the hypnotist explores their smoking habit and is going to produce a personalized program that’s completely unique and provides recommendations regarding their situation, that they’ve no option but to be the the non-smoker they truly desire to be.

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Past Life Regression and Phobias
by Mark V. Johnson, CCH, CMT

© 2012 Mark V. Johnson All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.GoodVibesHypnosis.com

Could a Phobia be a result of a Past Life?

There are events that occur in past lifetimes that can bring forward physical, mental and emotional challenges in our current life. Many times these create fear, phobia and even physical pain into the current life, and quite often this is the result of what happens at the end of the past life. By paying attention to the death scene in the past life, it is possible to understand why these challenges have been brought forward into the current life. Sometimes it is not even necessary to release the effects as just knowing the root cause is often enough to provide relief from the events.

How can a past life affect the present life in terms of fears and phobias?

Quite often the death scene in a past life is the root cause of fear, phobia, pain and other challenges we face in our current lifetime.

What are some common phobias that you have found to be associated with a past life?

Fear of flying, heights, water, loss, intimacy, starvation, success, failure. Claustrophobia is also a common phobia that can result from being locked in a small place or even being strangled.

Is it possible to release effects that create the fear or phobia?

There are multiple release techniques that can be used with these challenges, however many times they are not necessary because just having an understanding of the root cause can often allow them to release themselves.

How can someone be sure they are not just making up the whole story?

This is what happens when the conscious mind is engaged during the regression session. Quite often there are emotions that surface during the session and these

Would not be there if you were just making things up. The conscious mind wants to understand and figure things out and if given the opportunity it can get in the way and create problems in terms of accessing past life information. There are many powerful techniques that assist us in terms of allowing the conscious mind to remain present without allowing it to take control of the session.

When returning to the root cause of a phobia is it always from a past lifetime?

Phobias can be the result of a previous lifetime or they can come from an earlier time in the current lifetime. Past Life Regression allows us to access the information from a Past Life while Age Regression is what allows us to discover the root cause in the current lifetime. It is best to use what I call an open ended regression in most cases of phobias because there is no way to know exactly where the source of the problem lies.

How can a past life affect the present life in terms of fears and phobias?

It may or may not be a past life that has created the challenge in someone’s life. It could come from their past in the present lifetime. For example I had a client with claustrophobia and fear of flying and we found he had been locked in a closet at the age of 6, though he had no memory of this ever happening to him. Once he understood where it came from the claustrophobia and fear of flying were no longer an issue in his life.

Fear of Flying . . .

Carole Lombard was married to Clark Gable, and in 1942 she died in a plane crash. My client found she was Carole in a past life and had a fear of flying, but she never told me about it. After the experience in the past life, she no longer had a fear of flying.

I had a client who had problems with water, she was not afraid of water, but if she was in a hot tub and someone came near her she would freak out. When we were speaking to her guide asking questions, I asked about this and she was taken back to that past life and was re-experiencing being pushed under water and held there, she was actually reliving the experience. This was released to the past and now she no longer has these problems.

Client had a problem with heights and her neck.

She would not wear jewelry or any tight clothing. She would get a rash around her neck when allergies would flare up.

We discovered that she was hung for being a witch from a high scaffolding. Apparently there were other problems related to the fear of heights, from other lifetimes. These things can grow stronger and stronger as more and more events add fuel to the fire.

Boats or ships in a bad storm may result in the loss of life, and these situations often lead to fear of water. The intensity of the fear may vary from slight to severe, and this often depends on the moment of death and the emotions at that time.

Typical fears and phobias involve heights, water, starvation, success, failure. Pain is also common in terms of being carried over from the end of a lifetime.

Final Thoughts . . .

More and more people are open to the idea of Past Life Regression. While there are some people who reject the idea of reincarnation due to religious beliefs, there are actual quotes in the Bible that reference reincarnation. The more people accept the belief that it might just be possible that we do reincarnate and that past lives are a reality, the more people call me for sessions, and I have had an unusually high number of people contact me for Past Life Regression this year.

Is it real or not? I tend to go along with Dr. Brian Weiss, one of my teachers. After the first time he was able to resolve his patient’s issues using Past Life Regression he decided that it does not really matter if it is real or not if it works and helps people resolve the challenges in their lives.

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Are You Carrying Around Your Emotions in the Form of Fat?
by Dr. Keli Henault, PhD LMSW, MHT, CMT

© 2006 Keli Henault All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.austinhypnosishealing.com

Tired of carrying around those pounds? Sick and tired of diets that don't work? Are you ready to shed that unneeded fat once and for all? Hypnotherapy may be the answer for you. If you are more than 25 pounds overweight, there is a very good possibility that you have an emotional connection to food and eating habits. How would you like to reduce or eliminate emotional eating, as well as change and improve your eating habits, through the use of advanced hypnosis techniques?

I frequently ask my very overweight clients the question: who are you feeding? Sometimes who we are feeding is an emotion, such as happiness, or depression, sadness, and loneliness. Sometimes it's our petulant inner child who only cares about eating that candy bar right now. Or we're feeding our rebellious adolescent, who knows this particular food may not make us feel very good but goes ahead and eats it anyway! After exploring this question for themselves, nearly all of my clients discover that they have been unconsciously feeding a part of themselves that wasn't nourished. For instance, when most of us feel like we aren't being taken care of—usually when we're experiencing an emotional need—we immediately turn to the foods that were gratifying in childhood. These foods tend to be sweet, salty, or starchy. Many people feed themselves based on an emotional need, whether the emotions are negative or positive. When people eat this way, they usually have something that's fast, easy, and requires almost no preparation. We are feeding ourselves quick fixes that usually have little nutritive value, and we're eating when we are in a state of emotional imbalance when hunger doesn't even come into the picture. Many of us are caught in old patterns of how we feed ourselves, and we don't even realize it. The question, "Who are you feeding?" can be a simple antidote for this unconscious, compulsive behavior. Hypnotherapy can help you discover who and what you're really feeding and allow you to quickly heal that part of yourself so that you easily release excess weight.

It is important to have a good understanding of the difference between real hunger, which is physical hunger, and emotional eating. Real hunger occurs when the body is in need of refueling. It is a deep growling sound that comes from your stomach that says, "Feed me!" It is not selective in its food choice and does not wonder if it wants something sweet or salty, crunchy or soft, healthy or soothing. It doesn't really care if it eats American, Italian, Mexican, or Chinese; it just wants you to put something in your stomach. Slim people often consider it a bother to eat and sometimes even forget to eat. When slim people get upset, they will tell you that they are too upset to eat!

Emotional eating, on the other hand, is an entirely different entity. Emotional eating occurs in response to a feeling that you may be having, such as loneliness, boredom, anger, anxiety, frustration, or depression. Somewhere along the line, generally prior to the age of 15, the emotional eater picked up the idea that food was more than fuel. Some even confused it with love!

A good example of emotional eating goes something like this. Susan is a typical weight loss client. One of the reasons that she is overweight is because she snacks at home in the evenings (she snacks other places, as well, but we will use this to simplify the scenario). She suddenly gets a feeling and thinks, "Hmm, I think I want something. What do I want? Do I want something sweet? Do I want something salty? Maybe it's ice cream that I want." She then eats a large bowl of her favorite ice cream and thinks, "Nope, that wasn't what I wanted. I'll have some chocolate cake. Maybe that will hit the spot!" She eats the chocolate cake and then thinks, "Nope, that wasn't what I wanted. I'll have some potato chips. That will do the job!" She eats the potato chips and then thinks, "I'll have a few cookies now, because the chips didn't really satisfy my craving!"

Remember, when you say, "I'm craving something," it's just another way of saying, "There's a feeling inside me that I don't like, and I'm going to try to satisfy it with food." Most of the time you are not consciously aware of the feeling you are trying to "eat away". Cravings are not real hunger, and responding to a craving when your body is not in need of refueling can cause you to be overweight. It is easy to avoid emotional eating once you realize that you are not actually physically hungry but, instead, are trying to satisfy a feeling with food.

Was it food that Susan actually wanted? We can confidently say no, because she tried it and it did not work! She was still not satisfied, even though she ate a variety of foods. Perhaps Susan was lonely or bored. Through the use of hypnotherapy, we can help her discover what the feeling was really trying to tell her to do, break the association between feelings and food, and give her alternative and healthy ways to satisfy her inner most needs. The end result is progressive weight loss.

The key issue is that most overweight people do not realize that they are eating in response to emotions. The reason is because it was likely a long time ago that their subconscious mind created the association between a particular feeling and food! One of the essential things that I do in my weight loss program is to help people discover the underlying feeling that triggers them to want to eat.

Most diet puts you in a state of deprivation, and you long for the day when you can eat "normally." It's a natural response to want more of what you've been deprived of, so that's why, once you stop depriving yourself, you eat more than ever before and gain back the weight…and maybe a few extra pounds!

All fad diets are band-aid approaches to weight loss. Hypnosis for weight loss is not a diet and will help you satisfy yourself in many new ways! You are going to distinguish between real hunger and emotional "hunger." You are going to break the connection between food and feelings. You are going to lose weight! Now you can have the change that you have always wanted…a slimmer, healthier, more satisfied you!

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Effective Leadership—10 Vital Questions
by George Bien, PhD

© 2011 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.georgebien.com

Sometime ago, I discovered a web site listing, “10 Qualities of a Leader”. According to the site, the source of this listing is unknown. I changed these qualities into questions, expanded the questions, and applied them to my life. Perhaps you can benefit from them as well.

  • Are you willing and able to accept constructive criticism?

The dictionary defines criticism as, “. . . the judgment of the merits and faults of the work or actions of an individual or group by another.”
Nobody enjoys being criticized, especially when the criticism is severe, and I am no exception. Years ago, if I was ever criticized, especially if it was harsh, I’d do my best to get even. I’d look for the first opportunity for “payback”, and I’d use it “ten-fold”! In time, I realized that, “you cannot take back anything you’ve done or said”. You can say, “I’m sorry!” But the damage has already been done! So I’ve learned to do my best to quickly cut away from my emotions when being criticized; to control any anger or hurt by going into third person (dissociating), and asking myself, “Is this criticism constructive and useful from which I can learn? Or, is it malicious and spiteful, which I should completely ignore?” I also keep reminding myself of what Elbert Hubbard said—“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.”
There’s no doubt that being “great” is no easy task. Perhaps that’s why there have been so few “truly” great people in the world. As a leader, there’s a great deal for one to endure.

  • Are you willing to stay the course in times of difficulty and adversity?

We all know that things don’t always go as planned. When I was in my 20’s, during my musician days, my band and I were scheduled to perform at an outdoor Fair. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled we were. We arrived early, set up our equipment in the tent, did a sound check, and boom!!! My amplifier made a strange loud noise and died on the spot! To make things worse, as I jumped from the shock, I dropped my $1,500 guitar on the floor. I could have cried!

As a professional guitarist, I played with numerous stars—Shirley Bassey, Rowan & Martin, Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Nancy Wilson, Leon Bibb, The Fifth Dimension, Bobby Humpfrey, Valerie Simpson, and many others. For over a year, I worked as the personal accompanist and musical director for Prentice T. Minner (Mr. Sunshine). Which reminds me of one of my most trying and embarrassing moments. It was my first gig with Prentice, and it was opening night in the main room at the luxurious Nevele Hotel and Resort in Monticello. I played a few chords, giving Prentice the key, and continued to accompany him during the introduction. I then gave the orchestra the cue, and oops!!! My guitar was not tuned to the correct pitch (thanks to our roadie)—there was approximately a half-step difference! As a result, Prentice was “not in key” with the orchestra! I wanted to disappear right then and there! Instead, I stood up straight and continued to conduct the orchestra. You can bet that, from that moment on, I always double-checked the tuning! As Branch Rickey said, “Problems are the price you pay for progress.”

I’ve also experienced a number challenges as a presenter! Here’s just one example. It’s a great feeling—NOT!—to barely make it on time to do a corporate presentation, and just then realize that they didn’t supply you with a projector for your PowerPoint. Why? Because they claimed that you never asked!!! Not true! But you certainly don’t want to argue with the people who hired you. The statement, “The show must go  on!”, couldn’t be more appropriate!
Bernard M. Baruch said, “The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.” If you’re looking for everything to be perfect, you’re inhabiting the wrong planet!

  • Can you delegate authority to trustworthy people? Or, must you always be in control?

Who doesn’t want to be in control? Children want it as soon as possible. Even the great Gurus want to make their own decisions. I don’t know about you, but for years I’ve believed that, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” The problem is that you simply cannot do everything. Andrew Carnegie said, “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”

There’s no doubt that there’s a certain level of pride in accomplishing things. However, there are 86,400 seconds in a day. No more. No less. So, the more you want to accomplish, the more help you need. In 2010, Microsoft had an estimated 135,000 employees in 139 countries. And I’m sure that Bill Gates wasn’t paying them for doing nothing.
There can never be any serious growth without delegation. Of course, you shouldn’t delegate simply for the sake of delegating, or simply because you’re overwhelmed. But ask yourself, “Am I willing to share or even relinquish control?” Naturally, it would depend on the situation. However, there is a specific mindset that comes into play. Jane Adams said, "Parenthood is one long exercise in relinquishing control—or the illusion that we ever had it.” This can also be applied to business, and life in general.

  • Are you able to make decisions quickly, especially when time is critical?

It’s not easy to take a stand, and most of the world is filled with “fence-sitters”, who fear the possibility of making a wrong decision.
In 1997, I was contracted to teach an IACT Certified, Hypnotherapy Seminar, and other programs, in Singapore. The programs were a big success and my promoter did everything he could to get me to relocate. He said that he could work it out that we’d get approved as the only bona fide, Hypnotherapy Certification Program, in the area. But I continued to “sit on the fence”. The money was excellent, and the opportunities seemed to be exceptional. Yet, I simply could not make a decision. Result? Following my lead, trainers for other organizations came in. And, when I came back to Singapore in 1999, rather being welcomed as “Singular”, I was competing with a number of other hypnosis trainers. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve lost opportunities simply because I couldn’t make a decision. Jim Rohn said, “It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”

Sometimes, it’s better to simply pick an option and just do it. And, if you fail, simply say, “Next!”.

  • Are you free of prejudice, bias, favoritism and partiality?

It’s not easy to be free of bias and favoritism. Parents often leave their businesses to their children. Hollywood is known for its nepotism. Neighborhoods have clusters of individuals of the same nationality. You know the old saying, “Birds of a feather, flock together,” a proverb in use since at least the mid-16th century. Of course, people are attracted to people who are like them. Can we really break this habit? I don’t know.

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to speak with people from around the world. And many of the people who talk “a good game” of diversity, are the very same who bond most quickly with people of the same nationality, race, religion, sex, and interests. Yes! “Like attracts like.” But as a leader, can you put this aside, and reward people simply based on their willingness, productivity, and ethics?
In her book, "The Tall Book", Arianne Cohen says, "The truth is, tall people do make more money. They make $789 more per inch per year." Is this fair? No! It just is! The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ researchers found that beautiful people tend to earn 5 percent more an hour than their less comely colleagues. In a study, reported in the Journal of Economic Psychology, University of California researchers found that people deemed the most attractive, make 12 percent more money than those regarded as less good looking. Is this fair? Again, no! It just is!

Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” Where do you fall in this spectrum? Can you put nationality, race, religion, sex, height, attractiveness, or lack of, aside? A “true” leader not only should, but must not let these aspects color his/her decisions.

  • Are you willing to give and/or share credit, and praise others?

Have you ever done something that you were proud of, only to find out that someone else took credit for it? This happens too often. “It’s a ‘dog eat dog’ world”, they will tell you. It’s, “Every man/woman for him/herself.” “You’ve got to look out for number one,” they’ll say. If the corporate grind itself isn’t enough to frustrate you, the back-stabbing, plotting, intrigue, scheming, will do you in. And this is not limited to the corporate world. I’ve witnessed similar underhanded dealings in the fields of music, dance, acting, education and others. Sadly, there are some pathetic souls who display the above characteristics under the guise of leadership.
Nelson Mandela said, “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

A true leader gives credit where credit is due. How nice it is to hear the words, “I could not have done it without them!” Arnold H. Glasgow said, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” Where do you fit in?

  • Can you maintain your focus under trying and frustrating conditions and circumstances, without losing sight of the objective and goal?

Research Psychologists estimate that we average about 60,000 thoughts per day. With all that typical chatter, concentration becomes no small undertaking. And when we face various difficulties and challenges, our ability to concentrate becomes an even greater task. Brian Tracy said, “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.” It’s important that we “stay the course”, a phrase used by many politicians meaning, “pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism”.
My wife Elena, calls me the “ultimate multi-tasker”! My desk is often so messy, it’s a wonder that I can function at all. I’m usually working on several projects simultaneously, exhibiting moments of “fixated attention”, followed by episodes of complete bewilderment. Yet, when “push comes to shove”, I virtually always come through, often displaying “laser-like” focus—it’s amazing what a person can accomplish when they’re “under-the-gun”. This is certainly not an ideal method, but it’s worked for me for years—does anyone know a good hypnotherapist? LOL.

Your work-style might be similar to mine, or very different. It really doesn’t matter. The important thing is, “Do you get things done in a timely manner?” And, “Are they done to the best of your ability?” Conditions around you might be very trying. The environment might be drenched with negativity. People around you could be “losing their heads”. But you have yours strapped on so well, that nothing can interfere with your objective.

  • Are you willing to accept responsibility and accountability for your personal slipups and mistakes?

Many of us have become desensitized to the lies and lack of integrity of many of our political leaders. “Hey, it’s just that. Nobody’s perfect! They all do it,” are common statements I often hear from voters. Standards have been lowered to such a degree, that if a candidate says three true statements in a row, they are ahead of the pack. These scoundrels say and do whatever it takes to get elected, and are the first to take credit when their party is in favor. Yet, should the tides turn, they’re also the first to “jump ship”—“It’s not me, it’s the ‘other party’!” This is not leadership. It’s cowardice!


How do you rate within this spectrum? Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” I don’t know about you, but my life has been filled with blunders, slipups, mistakes, and excuses. And like the above-mentioned politicians, I would rarely accept blame. After all, it wasn’t my fault. So who was to blame? The “world” of course! “Oh, what a cruel world!” It wasn’t until I had a revelation—no, it wasn’t an Angelic Messenger— it was the realization that I couldn’t control the world. Many years ago, I heard a quote attributed to William H. Johnsen, “If it is to be, it is up to me!” Constant repetition of that quote changed my life. I learned to not only accept responsibility, but also be “first in line” to do so. My decision?—My responsibility! My life?—My responsibility! Henry Ward Beecher said, “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” This is the attitude of a “true” leader.

  • Are you willing to accept responsibility for blunders and mistakes of others on your team?

Wow! This is a tough one. After all, YOU didn’t screw up. It was your team member. You know the English proverb, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. Likewise, an organization, society, family unit, is only as strong as its weakest person. In business, a group of associates is only as strong as its laziest member.
I’m certainly not saying that you should live your life feeling responsible for the actions of everyone else. But as a team leader, you’re responsible for your team. Ken Blanchard said, “Too many leaders act as if the sheep.. their people.. are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.” So if someone doesn’t cut it, it is your responsibility to lift him/her up, or in extreme cases, replace them. I witnessed so many so-called, “leaders”, constantly complain about people on their team, and do nothing to change the situation.

So, whether things around you escalate or change, if you’re in charge, you’re responsible! I look at it this way. My article published in Unlimited Human Magazine?—My responsibility! My class?—My responsibility! My legacy?—My responsibility!

  • Are you willing, eager, excited and motivated to grow and learn?

Denis Waitley said, “All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners... Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they're not learning, they're not growing... not moving toward excellence.”
Stagnation, inactivity, dormancy, do not equal leadership! Only motion will help you to attain your goal(s). The wonderful thing is that once there is movement, the momentum eventually takes over, as stated in the second segment of Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion—(1) “A body in rest tends to stay at rest, (2) and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Many of us however, often fall in the trap of the last segment of that law—(3) “unless the body is compelled to change its state.”

Momentum has won battles, political elections and the hearts of loved ones. It has literally changed the course of history. And its power lies in its movement, as it attracts others to come aboard! One’s eagerness and excitement to learn and grow puts that “body” in motion. And it’s up to us to maintain that momentum. Rekindle the curiosity, eagerness, excitement, motivation and willingness, of your childhood years. As Denis Waitley said, “Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”

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Creating Seminar Momentum and Gaining Audience Permission—the “DO’s” That Are Often Overlooked!
by George Bien, PhD

© 2011 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.georgebien.com

I recently returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Needless to say, it was an exciting stay. The seminar attendees were some of the most enthusiastic participants I’ve ever experienced. One of the programs—a one-day training, entitled, “Hypnosis Mastery”—had over 140 attendees. It was the first day of an 8-day, Hypnosis Certification Program.

Like many trainers, I often begin a seminar with having the attendees do a self-evaluation. Questions like the following help them clarify their goals. They also help me tailor the program to participants’ particular needs.

  • What specific skills/abilities do I need to take me where I want to go?
  • What internal/external obstacles/hurdles are preventing me from achieving this right now?
  • What quality, skill or ability do I already have, that having more of would excite and motivate me, and make my life more compelling?
  • What skill, ability or behavior do I need in my life right now that would make me feel more purpose-driven?
  • Are there any qualities that I’ve observed in others, that if I had, would enable me to more quickly attain my goal?
  • How do I measure disappointment and failure? Accomplishment, achievement and success?

I then usually tell them that there are basically only two questions you really need to answer in terms of getting what you want:

  1. What do I want?
  2.  What stops me?

The material to be covered remains the same. But the presentation style and/or interaction centers around many of the answers to the above questions, and this calls for some flexibility. Although I am very serious about what I teach, my style is very playful. This establishes a more engaging momentum, and gives me valuable insight into the specific needs of the group. Plato said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
There are at least four levels that we go through in any communication.

  1. The first is the content. This is the “what”. Do you know your subject? Do you know what to say next? Can you easily move from one idea to another? Are your responses unconscious and automatic?
  2. Second is the process, which is the “how”. It is what the seminar participants usually pay attention to. This should flow from you without evaluation.
  3. Third is the “perception” and “timing”. These are the insights, awareness, cognizance, understanding, and the “when”.
  4. Fourth is the “permission”. This is the ultimate level! It is the level of receptivity. To what level is the person/group receptive? Are their minds accessible? Can they be reached and influenced? Using this model, your success in communicating is measured on the level of permission you are able to obtain from the person/group. How open are they to you? Are they malleable? Have they let down their guards? If not, ask yourself, “Have I let down MY guard?”

As a trainer, you are the “role-model”. And people respond “in kind”. If you don’t project approachability, don’t expect your seminar participants to do so. So, how else can you extend the permission of your group? Exuding a presence that portrays invitation, engages people to feel a level of comfort that gives them permission to truly be themselves. Imagine yourself as a “living magnet” extending throughout the seminar room, and literally pulling the attendees towards you.

A 1996 study done by the Carnegie Foundation, Harvard and Stanford Universities, showed that only 15% of a person's success in a job can be ascribed to their professional competences. 85% of their success is related to their personal and individual competences. These are at the very core of who they are—their appeal, charm, allure—often called, “charisma”.

The word “charisma” stems from “Charis,” one of the “Three Graces” in Greek Mythology. It means “favor given”, or “gift”. The Christian Church later picked up the term to describe wisdom, prophecy, or healing, all attributes bestowed by God. Charisma isn’t necessarily something you feel in yourself, because charisma is a phenomenon that occurs from the perception of the observer.

So what makes a charismatic trainer? There’s a silent message that we all send out unconsciously to others. And it’s the observer or spectator who allows himself to feel attracted to the captivating individual. Do you exude a comfort of looking (not staring) people right in their eyes? Or do you avoid eye contact because you feel that it might appear confrontational, or you personally feel uncomfortable with it? Some years ago, I teamed up with another hypnotist. He was technically excellent, but would literally stare up in space when in close proximity with another person. His silent message? “I don’t give you permission to really get to know me!” Other trainers stare more at their shoes than the group that they’re addressing. Do you smile naturally, or is your smile forced? How about the way you shake hands? Do you feel comfortable hugging virtually anyone in your class? And I’m not talking about the “burp-the-baby” kind of hug! Do your gestures reflect approachability? These can all shape your silent message, your image, your charisma.

The importance of creating a level of comfort in a seminar room cannot be overstated. How comfortable are you while speaking? You may have a terrific idea, but who will know if you can’t articulate it in a way that penetrates? What if you say something stupid? Can you recover quickly from a totally absurd statement? Better yet, can you incorporate it into a joke, and genuinely laugh at yourself? And how effective is your use of space and time? Territories can make or break relationships.

Your ability to adapt to others is impossible without first understanding other people’s personalities and needs, then adapting your own behavior to this awareness. “Listening” is rarely taught and infrequently practiced, yet is a key to communicating and making others feel special in your presence. Are you a good listener? How flexible are you? When interacting with a seminar participant, go into “second perceptual position” (second person) initially. This will help give you a clearer understanding of the person’s concern. Then move into “third perceptual position” (third person), and in a more detached manner, evaluate the situation and circumstances.
And there’s more. To what level have you perfected your skill at motivating others to follow your lead or adopt your idea? What is your vision? In the final analysis, no matter how strong and persuasive a speaker/trainer you are, how adept you are at building rapport, how well you listen, use your space or time, or send out silent signals, you’ve got to have something to say––or you’ll just be an “empty suit”. No idea, however great, ever gets anywhere until it’s adopted.

You cannot expect others to shine if you don’t take the lead. Marianne Williamson said, “. . . as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (A Return to Love, 1992).

When the seminar momentum is high, I often engage the group in one or more kinetic exercises. Here’s one of my favorites—a “Personal Power Workout”. It’s a take-off (with modifications) on an exercise I’ve learned from Master Hypnotist, Ormond McGill. To do this exercise effectively early in the program, you will need to have built some serious rapport.

I tell the group to sit in their chairs, close their eyes, and imagine that their bodies are becoming filled with dynamic, vibrant, pulsating energy, stamina, strength, and vigor. I tell them that they have the power to mentally direct this universal energy. I then say, “Extend your arms and shake and/or jiggle them freely and loosely in any direction you wish.” I continue, “At first you might have to consciously direct the movement, but soon you will notice that the shaking becomes natural and effortless. It will feel as though it were occurring by itself naturally—sparked and ignited liberally. As you allow your mind to let go and relax, you will notice that the movement and shaking extends to your whole body—not just your hands shaking, but YOU, yourself becoming completely immersed in the movements, pulsating inside and out. There’s no need for concern, as this is a natural process, allowing your complete body to become part of the experience.” I continue, “As you dramatically pulsate and become the shaking, feel the dynamic energy filling and enveloping you completely. Feel yourself becoming the energy—feel your strength, vigor and vitality.”

I continue, “Now stand up. If you’ve opened your eyes, close them down again. Continue to feel yourself becoming the actual energy, wrapped and enveloped by its power—YOUR power! It’s as though you are a spinning vortex, a whirlwind, vibrating naturally, mind, body and spirit. You don’t have to do anything, just allow whatever movement that wants to surface and emerge to materialize, and come forward. You may twitch, shake, quiver, vibrate dramatically, or make gentle, delicate and subtle movements. Simply allow your unconscious to take full control.”

I continue, “Now slowly and comfortably begin slowing down the shaking and vibration, bringing it to a stop. As you do so, breathe slowly and deeply, and direct this vital energy into the higher aspects of your mind. Imagine your mind/brain radiating and glowing like a ball of shining, luminescent energy. Imagine that vitality flowing through every nerve, every cell, every organ—throughout your entire body, until it saturates and permeates every fiber and crevice—your very being—and you are alive and fully replenished with vital, life-energy.”

I then have the group complete the exercise, ”Now, open your eyes and sit down. Know that you are ready to learn and absorb, completely captivated by your ability to enhance and enrich your strength and vitality.” Let me tell you, it’s quite an intense sight to watch over 140 people engaged in such a process—shaking and twitching—as I witnessed in my June 2011, hypnosis training in Kuala Lumpur. The energy was “intoxicating”!

Can an exercise like this create some issues? Yes! I’ve had two situations where a participant was unable to stop the shaking. Some people carry so much “Character Armor”, a concept of Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Wilhelm Reich. Reich believed that to achieve full health, one must eliminate rigidity and pent up energy ("character armor”). Reich’s method of choice was for a person to frequently achieve powerful and lasting orgasms. As exciting as that sounds, it might not be appropriate for a public seminar.

So why would a person continue shaking? There are a number of reasons. (1) They could simply be taken up with and engaged in the momentum of the exercise, and might continue shaking after being instructed to stop and relax. But these people usually calm down fairly quickly, soon after. (2) They could enjoy the opportunity to be the center of attention and be singled out as someone other than the norm. Once the need for attention is satisfied, they also calm down fairly quickly. (3) They could be experiencing an “abreaction”. In this case, an intervention might be necessary. Yet, in the 20-plus years of utilizing this exercise, I’ve only had two instances of an abreaction, both of which were dealt with fairly quickly.

Naturally, before you assign any exercise, pace the group. Remember, you are giving them permission to be who they are, then by “pulling-all-the-stops” helping them become who they want to be! Thomas Edison said, “Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.”

The more your participants feel the permission they receive from you, the more permission you will receive from them. I love what Elbert Hubbard said: “Do your work with your whole heart and you will succeed—there is so little competition!” In the final analysis, the success of your talk, workshop or seminar, is directly proportioned to the amount of permission you receive from its attendees. My wife Elena often says to me, “I can’t believe what you get away with in your classes.” To which I answer, “They give me the permission.”

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Exude Entrancing Charm and Charisma in your Trainings!
by George Bien, PhD

© 2009 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.georgebien.com

There's a Spanish proverb that says, " Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence." But improving on the silence is more than just opening your mouth and letting your lips, tongue and breath, form words. While presenting has a lot to do with the ability to speak correctly, and refer to the appropriate subject matter and content, it also has a lot to do with exuding a certain charm and charisma, which is truly entrancing, magnetic, compelling, captivating and persuasive. Some presenters stand out from the rest, and command and grasp our attention, while others, even though they seemingly remain correct on all basic dimensions, fail to make that one big impression that would make all the difference—speaking straight to the hearts of the group.

It reminds me of what Nelson Mandela once said, "If you talk to a man in your language, you speak to his mind. But if you talk to him in his language, you speak to his heart." Charismatic speakers always speak to the hearts and captivate the very being of their listeners. They have an intuitively, active pulse and rhythm in their words and inflections, tuned into on what moves their audience, creating and feeding off an entrainment, that enables participants to feel—"he/she is talking to me!" Which goes well with what William Butler Yeats said, "Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

This is particularly true of many self-help and business coaches, as well as spiritual gurus. Keep in mind the fact that these people cannot even hope to progress in their profession, without the aforementioned charisma, charm and magnetism. Their emotionally-charged words have to have the power to sway their audience in the direction in which they would like them to move. As Pearl Strachan said, "Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs."

So, does it imply that these individuals are "con men"? Are they out to fool us? Yes, some of them are. We can also answer, "No", at least not necessarily. Just as there are good and bad apples, there are always the wily and deceptive lot, who are out to fool people and make unscrupulous gains by manipulating their emotions. Yet, there's a lot to learn from both. And I would hope that there are many— and a lot more— good apples, good people, than the bad ones—good people who are genuinely out to help others attain the goals, hopes, desires and dreams, they have sought out for themselves. These people legitimately need the assistance of the above mentioned coaches and gurus, and us, the trainers.

Charisma helps magnify, expand, and bring to the fore, the support that we were talking about. Without this charisma, even the most honest, direct, sincere and genuine of attempts to lend a hand to those in need of assistance, often fail to make the desired impression.

In a business context, you can compare charisma to marketing. Can you equate marketing to cheating? In some cases yes, but in most, probability not. Marketing is simply about highlighting the benefits of various products, and also making sure that there is the much needed visibility and awareness around, and understanding of that product. It is this top-of-the-mind recall that can determine frequent purchases by potential customers, of the product in question. In the same way, a charismatic trainer manages to enthuse, stir up, stimulate and motivate his or her audience to such an extent and frenzy that it simply cannot have enough of him/her. Things get to a stage where the audience equates charismatic presenting with the imagery of the presenter. Attempts are often made to even emulate the person, as he or she manages to attain a levitated state of existence, being and reality, seemingly on a higher pedestal from the norm.

So, if being charismatic can be such a coveted, desirable state of existence, especially for presenters and trainers operating in the field of hypnosis, why is it that only a handful manage to attain this heightened state of charisma in their talks and seminars while the majority somehow fall behind? What is it that these individuals possess?

Number one is Originality. Originality, uniqueness and freshness, are some of the primary characteristics that charismatic speakers and trainers possess. They may have  role models, but do not become carbon copies of them. They have their own unique, intuitive style of speaking and approaching the whole process of addressing public gatherings and seminars. They are the "real deal!" It is this very originality that manages to ingrain and ensconce the personalities of these individuals into the minds of their seminar/workshop participants, deeply. If it weren’t for their originality, they would be just like all other people, and have nothing special for which they would be admired, respected and revered. Therefore, if you are looking to display an image of a charismatic trainer, make sure that you are original in your style and approach. And remember that original does not have to mean weird or bizarre, unless that's the uniqueness for which you're striving.

Next, you need conviction. Charismatic speakers always have conviction, certainty and assurance, and exude unbridled confidence in what they say, and how they go about conducting their presentations and trainings. Their tone of voice and it's inflections, their content and knowledge of the material, their mannerisms, their body language— all evoke conviction, i.e. there is a very strong element of believability and trust in all that they do.

They don’t need to say things like, “You must believe me…”, “I am being honest when I say…” etc., because their audience already believes and connects to what they are saying. Without that conviction, fervor and certainty, they would probably not have that audience in the very first place—people come to hear them speak, simply because they have been pre-tuned to believe and accept that all that they would hear would be true. These presenters are also careful with what you say. They don't profess to know what their group is thinking, and are aware that there are some very sensitive people out there who could easily be offended by a simple "off-the-cuff" comment. So they have created a "real-time" editing ability. As Earl Wilson said, " If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it."
Dynamic presenters focus on their listeners' dissatisfaction with the status quo. They create feelings of dissatisfaction or make the listeners aware of pre-existing feelings of dissatisfaction. They get their listeners to use their imagination, then move and take action. Geothe said, “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”
Next, your body language must be congruent with the works that you speak. Never underestimate your audience, and neither doubt their intelligence. Always remember that every move, every little gesture that you make, is being noticed by them. Hence, make sure that your body language and your speech are in perfect sync. If the twain happen to tell two completely different stories, then it is quite likely that you will not have the charismatic appeal that you so passionately desire.

As important as all the above is, the number "one" rule in presentations is, "Never be boring!" I don't care how informed you are; how well you know your subject; how many facts you've put together; how large your staff is; how magnificent the accommodations are; or how expensive the clothes are that you are wearing. Hmmmmmmm. Nice cufflinks! Are you getting my drift? All that doesn't matter if you come across like someone whom they just "dug up for the event," literally and figuratively.

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"You are just fooling people to feel better", he said!
by George Bien, PhD

© 2006 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.georgebien.com

Here’s an experience that I want to share with you.  About two weeks ago I was conducting a seminar on Stress Management for a company.  During one of the breaks, I was approached by a very well-dressed, articulate man, with an extremely determined look on his face.  He told me that he was a corporate trainer and stated that what I was teaching was not “reality”.  I asked what he meant by that statement.  And he responded, “You know as well as I do that all the people here are really being fooled into feeling better”.  The statement took me aback momentarily.  I was so tempted to say, “I’m sure that you don’t mean ‘all’ the people because you are leaving the two of us out of the scenario”.  “George, hold your tongue”, I thought.   This would have sounded like a “smart alec” response, and I was certainly not about to share my “Blink”.  How do I get myself in these situations anyway?  It’s been said that, “We attract what we project”.  So maybe it’s because I absolutely “love” a good debate.

I’ve mentioned in previous ezines, that when dealing with a perceived verbal attack by someone, I instinctively step into “second person” as quickly as possible.  This enables me to better understand a person’s motive.  Naturally, it’s just my perception of their motive, but it helps soften any of my potential defense mechanisms.  The corporate trainer said, “Fooled”.  By definition “to fool” means to “deceive, trick, or dupe”.  Was I really fooling these people?  And what if I were?  They were learning a lot of useful techniques, feeling good and having fun.  Shouldn’t that be what’s important?  I asked “Mr. Corporate Trainer” whom I’ll call “Joe”, what his specialty was, and not surprisingly he said, “Stress Management”.  Gee, I just love having a learned critic in my class – NOT!   This man did appear to be very articulate, and seemed to have a great deal of knowledge and experience, so I decided to have a good, healthy interaction.

“Joe”, I said, “This is a program in stress management, something in which you are an obvious expert.  What would you say stress actually is?”  Joe said, “Stress in something unresolved.  That’s the professional definition”.  I just loved Joe’s added “stamp of authority”.  It almost seemed a bit condescending.  I answered, “With all due respect Joe, something unresolved can be stressful, but it’s not stress.  According to Dr. Hans Selye, considered by many to have been the world’s leading expert on stress, stress is “response to change”.  And since the only thing that is constant is the “certainty of change”, we’re always experiencing some sort of stress, be it eustress (good stress) or distress (bad stress).  Dr. Selye also said, “The only time we’re not responding to stress is when we are dead”.  I guess that makes sense.  Dying is “a change” but “dead” is “dead”!  Joe began listening.

“I’ve been telling the people in the class that there are two types of people: ‘racehorses’ and ‘turtles’.  If you're a racehorse, please realize that you have to run.  If you're a turtle, make sure to stay out of their way.  Where is the fooling in that?”  I continued, “And Joe, there were some statistics gathered by life insurance companies to help discover the main causes of cardiovascular problems and heart failure.  It was an eye-opener for me when the research showed that 40% percent of people worry about things that never happen; 30% percent worry about things they cannot change; 12% worry needlessly about their health; 10% worry about petty and unimportant things; and only 8% actually worry about real problems.  Joe, you mentioned the word, 'fooling'.  What do you think is causing 92% of people to worry and stress out so much?  They are being 'fooled' by themselves”.

I continued, “The subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between reality and fantasy.  This is easily seen when someone is terrified while reading a horror novel, or watching a horror film.  I’ve had many a sleepless night because of a movie I watched.

“While on the subject, let’s discuss dreaming a bit.  The main functions of dreaming are learning, memory enhancement and coping with traumatic experiences.  Freud said dreams were wish fulfillments. Jung believed that dreams restored psychic equilibrium.  They made up for the deficiencies we had in our life.  In the Gestalt view dreams showed us in a concise way where we were in relation to ourselves, to society.  Every image in a dream is an alienated part of yourself that you projected on to that image, therefore the goal is to reclaim all those parts and to synthesize them into the whole.

“A nightmare occurs during REM sleep.  And what happens when a person has a nightmare?  They usually ‘freak out’.  Yet, they’re completely safe, but their mind didn’t know that.  It was ‘fooled’!  By the way Joe, only humans, mammals and birds have REM sleep.”

Joe looked at me and said, “You’ve obviously done your homework George, and you seem to be OK with fooling people to make them feel better”.  “Joe”, I answered, “A day represents 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds.  How much of that time do we actually spend in true reality?  There are always four realities, your reality, my reality, the social reality, which is the fusion of all the you's and me's on the planet, and the reality of the basic nature of the universe.  All realities change, except the basic reality.  The idea of successful living is having a personal reality that is in agreement with the basic nature of the universe.  Have you noticed that when you are on a path, be it spiritual or practical, which is in keeping with universal harmony, life seems to be easier and much more enjoyable?  The 'Law of Belief' tells us that whatever one believes with feeling or emotion becomes their reality.  The 'Law of Expectation' tells us that whatever one expects with confidence becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The 'Law of Attraction' teaches us that we inevitably attract into our lives people and situations in harmony with our dominant thoughts. Hence everything that is in our lives we have attracted because of who and what we are.  Nobody likes to be fooled, but if someone is fooled into believing that they can change their lives for the better and that they deserve more than a humdrum existence, don’t you think that they’d enhabce their ability to attract more wonderful things into their lives?  You call it ‘fooling’.  I call it ‘perceptual shifting’.”  Joe and I have since become friends.

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Dealing with Troublesome Seminar Attendees
by George Bien, PhD

© 2010 George Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to http://www.georgebien.com

I'm often asked the following questions: "Do I ever get hecklers or trouble-makers in my talks or seminars? And if so, how do I handle them?"

I feel blessed that I haven’t had a real trouble-maker or major problem person in my seminars for longer than I can remember. I’ve happily been attracting people of great quality and character. Occasionally, there are a few who really need more therapy than training, but a display of compassion and a little "tough love" usually takes care of any issues. Yet something happened a few years ago at a Conference that was quite the contrary.

I was excited about giving my talk on “Celebrating Opportunity”, yet the equipment problems and a disruptive table in the back of the room were enough to dampen any speaker’s sparkle. The wireless microphone had a popping and buzzing sound, so I had to use a hand-held, wired one, with a short cord no less. To top things off, a table in the back of the room was getting more attention than my speech, due to the loud conversation of one of the attendees. Normally, I would have simply walked up to the table and do my best to win over the talker by engaging in the conversion, but the short mike cable didn’t allow for much mobility. I tried a “dramatic momentary silence”, but that only opened the door for the person’s even louder conversation. In hopes of disarming the talker, I was about to bring the obviously needed attention to the table by acknowledging its “wonderful celebrity”, when a sudden hush took over the room and the attention was back on my talk. It was smooth sailing from that moment on, and I enjoyed delivering the message in a passionate and fun way. I found out the next day that a conference attendee actually walked up to the table (out of my view) and scolded the loud-mouth perpetrator. She said to the loud-talking woman, “We paid to come here and hear George speak. You are a presenter at this conference. You should know better!” Pretty strong words, don’t you agree? There’s no need to tell you who the “attention-seeking-talker” was. I’ll just say this, “She must have needed more attention than she was getting!” How sad.
In this case, I don’t deserve the credit for defusing the disruptive individual. The talker was put in her place by a conference attendee - an even better scenario.

There are basically four types of people that you will have in an audience. The concept of four temperaments is centuries old, and can be traced back over 5,000 years to the traditions of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Dr. Carl Jung described four behavioral styles-the Intuitor, Thinker, Feeler, and Sensor.

In their book, "The Platinum Rule: Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities and How They Can Lead You to Success", Dr. Tony Alessandra and Dr. Michael J. O'Connor, discuss four basic business personalities, the "Dominant Director", the "Interacting Socializer", the "Steady Relater" and the "Cautious Thinker".

Another popular business model is that of the "Emotive", the "Director", the "Reflective" and the "Supportive". More proof that there's really "nothing new under the sun". Let's use this model for its simplicity.

“Emotives”, as the name implies, are people who are emotionally-driven. They are "people-people", who are usually well-liked and are fun to be around. They don’t like details, and can see the "big picture". They are process-oriented and enjoy interaction. They are extroverts who smile and gesture enthusiastically, and like getting attention.

“Directors” deal specifically with facts. These people are process-oriented, and are very good at separating business from personal relationships. Their gestures are forceful. They take command, and often come across as being aggressive, insistent and pushy. They might say something like, "We'll do it with you, without you, or through you, but we'll get it done"!

“Reflectives” are precise, calculating, exact, methodical and scientific. They do a lot of study and research and are very detail oriented. They often get bogged down with specifics. If they have a weak point, it would be “Analysis-Paralysis.” Their work often defines who they are. Be careful with "Reflectives". If you tactlessly insult their work, it’s like killing their children!

Finally, “Supportives” are light-hearted, well-liked, laid back, and may not speak a lot in seminars, workshops, meetings or gatherings. They are superb listeners, and like to know the ground rules and policies, and take great pleasure in having things spelled out.
As long as your seminar, workshop or talk reaches each of the above personalities, you’ll most likely do a great job. For example, to reach all four of these types in your program, you could say something like, “This is what we are going to cover in the next two hours . . . . . . . . . . I know that it’s important to have the facts, so here are the important points . . . . . . . . . . Now let’s look at the big picture, so I can fine tune each segment in detail . . . . . . . . . . I will then put its usage in your hands with a few exercises . . . . . . . . . . ", etc.

Let me now address problem attendees. As I mentioned above, it’s been years since I had a really challenging situation in a workshop or talk (I was once actually physically attacked by a seminar attendee) but as the old saying goes, “Never say never!” And sure enough, that Conference I mentioned is a reminder that helps keep me on my toes.

First of all, understand that attacks are opportunities to see what heights our development, as speakers/presenters, has reached. The personification of presenting is when we are able to turn the repartee into a win-win situation. When you are doing your welcome and introductory portion of your presentation, consider creating a specific spot (area of the room) for answering questions. This will help you to more easily maintain control if an attack comes. If you are faced with an attack, the first thing is to try to preserve the presentation location. So if you see an attack coming, do your best to move away from the presentation location. A good idea would be to tell your group, in the beginning of your seminar, to raise their hands when they want to ask a question or make a statement. This way you can see the question coming and, if necessary, move away from the presentation location. If the attack happens when you are in the presentation location and you cannot get out of the area, then stay there. Just remember that the negativity was anchored to that location, so when the exchange is over, consider moving to a fresh, new location for the continuation of your delivery.

It’s difficult not to take an attack personally, so do your best to mentally distance yourself, dissociate (go into third person/position), to decrease the intensity of your internal feelings. If you haven’t attained enough flexibility to switch back and forth between the five basic perceptual positions, practice the skill of dissociating ahead of time. When the aggressor is talking do your best to be still and tranquil, look intelligent, and breathe deeply. If the group senses that you, as the presenter, are calm and in control, they are more apt to also be calm and in control. Remember: It’s typically not the content of the attack that is disturbing but the delivery of the attack, and especially the group’s reaction to the delivery. Does the group perceive the attacker as inappropriate and different from them or are they siding with him/her? Your job is to protect the group and yourself. Remember, it's YOUR room!

There are a number of basic things that you can do with the irritants. The “Excessive Talker” is a common one. He/she talks nonstop to you or someone else and ignores what you’re saying while talking with you. Get this kind of person involved a quickly as possible. You can occasionally ask for his/her view about the topic, and quickly move on. Ask for opinion occasionally and never prolong it. You can also cut them off in the interest of time, and suggest that they follow up with you during a break. If all else fails, stop talking and stare at them. As I said above, it's YOUR room!

The “Co-dependent”, is very needy and dependent, does not participate and displays low self-confidence and self-esteem. Do what you can to help open this person up. Occasionally, ask him/her easy questions (which you are certain that they can answer without difficulty). Repeat the questioning every so often to keep them involved.

Then there's the “Egomaniac”, one of the most annoying in any group. This is a wretched, pathetic individual who constantly challenges and contradicts what you are saying and offers opinions that differ from yours every opportunity he/she gets. Call on this dismal individual early in your seminar/workshop. They desperately, and frantically, need the attention. Acknowledge that they made a good point yet make it clear that others may differ. One more time, “It’s YOUR room!!!” If they continue to be disruptive you might need to have them escorted out!

Then you have the arrogant, self-important, “Pretentious Irritant” who arrives late, appears restless and irritated, looks busy, enjoys interruptions and often tunes out. Wow! Don't you wish that these types would just stay home? Tactfully talk to him/her during a break and ask for their help. Do your best to involve this "joker" in a task that requires their help and their follow-up as soon as they come back in the room after lunch, dinner and breaks.

Then there’s the “Unvarying Complainer” or “Grouch” who focuses on the negative, complains repeatedly and habitually, and expresses displeasure about everything. Remain patient and tactful with this nuisance. Take the initiative first. If feasible, recognize, address and handle possible problems such as, room temperature, breaks, lunch, etc., before they get a chance to find them.
And here’s one of my favorites, NOT! Mr./Ms. “Know-It-All”. This person emphasizes his/her position of power, authority and influence, by telling everyone how significant he/she is. “Know-It-Alls” need to have the last word on every matter, and may even confront you. Use care with this pathetic, feeble soul. He/she evidently has extremely low self-esteem, so acknowledge his/her status and position, and express gratitude to them for attending. Find opportunities to ask them to share their opinions and/or experiences.
The above will give you a jump-start on dealing with situations that all speakers/presenters dread, but may experience some time in their careers. I've personally survived some scary moments, and close calls, during my first years of presenting. So according to Friedrich Nietzsche's famous quote, since they didn't kill me, I've certainly become stronger. And so can YOU!

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Articles by:

Patricia V. Scott, PhD, CMT
Fern Tausig, CH, CMT
Mark V. Johnson, CCH, CMT
Keli Henault, PhD LMSW, MHT
George Bien, PhD

 

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