My journey with NLP started at my appraisal last year. My line manager and I had identified the need for some training in assertiveness. Although I was confident in my role and communicating with my teams, my self confidence was low and I had difficulty expressing myself and offering my opinion, especially in formal meetings……….
I searched on line for assertiveness training but nothing really stood out. Luckily for me, my line manager had worked with Florence on a number of occasions and suggested that I attend the Personal Effectiveness at Work course. (Whilst this course is not solely NLP based, it is accredited by ANLP for the NLP content.) She spoke very highly of Florence and the difference the learning had made to her.
So, it was with some apprehension, and (I must admit!) scepticism, that I drove down through very heavy rain and strong winds to the training venue at Ullswater. The question I was asking myself was “how is Florence going to make me more assertive?”
The venue for the course is beautiful (despite the weather!). The welcome I received and the atmosphere for learning that Florence provides is like nothing I had experienced before and I was put at ease straight away.
After introductions, the first exercise was looking at the Johari window – what we know and don’t know about ourselves and what others know and don’t know about us – then on flip chart paper, we wrote about ourselves and then compared our findings. As I looked at the other delegates work it dawned on me that I had hardly written anything. My hidden areas and unknown potential were dominating who I am. This was the first of many revelations that came to me throughout the course. I was a turtle – withdrawn, a closed book, bogged down by limiting beliefs.
With the support from Florence and feedback from the other delegates, by the end of day three, I had the pre-supposition “I have all the resources I need” firmly in my head. Florence wasn’t going to make me more assertive……. but was facilitating my learning and providing me with the tools to unlock the assertiveness that was within me……my journey had well and truly started !
The day after the course I had been invited to attend an in house performance management workshop which would be attended by managers and senior managers. This is the sort of environment that would normally see me retreat into turtle mode! With the usual limiting beliefs kicking in – no one wants to hear what you have to say – I mustn’t say that, they will think I am stupid etc etc.
This time I was determined that it was going to be different. I visualised how it was going to feel to contribute more and offer my opinion and how good it would feel to be the one who confidently offered to present the group work feedback to the rest of the workshop. I hit the ground running and answered the first question that was offered for discussion. My strength grew and it felt great!
Several colleagues’ fed back that they had enjoyed seeing a change in me and that they wanted to see more of it….fantastic.
I drove home really pleased with the positive changes I had made and reflected on the positive feedback rather than driving home frustrated again because I hadn’t spoken up and made a contribution like I knew I was capable of.
Positive feedback from my line manager and colleagues continued which was really encouraging and when part two of the course came around, I couldn’t wait!
Being back in the environment that Florence provides is a special place which makes learning and sharing your experiences so easy. The first exercise on day four was to draw a picture of our journey from the start of the course until now, (Florence explained the link between symbols and the unconscious mind). I was the first to share my picture although I started by apologising for not being good at drawing! (Still need some work on those limiting beliefs?)
My drawing was of me with a padlock on my mouth and a closed book – moving on to a light bulb surrounded by a big smiley face representing Florence and the other delegates – moving on to another picture of me with the padlock off and an open book…….how my perceptions of myself have changed!
A key feature of the course is giving and receiving feedback from Florence and the other delegates and again, this was something that I found much easier on day five than I had on day 1
The feedback I received was wonderful to hear and giving feedback to others was really enjoyable….. and this is another piece of learning that I will continue
This course has changed my entire way of thinking and I will carry on my NLP journey, continuing to learn, grow and eventually be able to coach and mentor others, especially those with limiting beliefs
I have all the resources I need
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