In an Economic Crisis, Get Out of Mental Hibernation
by Shelle Rose Charvet
The news is bad. Few are the days when any positive announcements are made. Job losses are announced by the thousands in many countries. Even if you turn the news off, the negativity still confronts you from everywhere. Many people are walking around with high levels of fear, anxiety and panic. Perhaps you or a family member has lost their job, or maybe you are just waiting for your job to be cut. It’s very hard not to feel hopeless and despairing. Even if you pride yourself on making up your own mind about what is real or not real, the negative messaging gets to you in the end. And there is nothing you can do about the situation. Nothing.
This has to stop. How does it help you to live according to media dictates? Most purveyors of news no longer even pretend they are being objective, so there is no guarantee that you are even receiving the truth. When you think about it, the fact that you personally can do nothing about the external economic crisis means that you are free to do whatever you choose. While many people are suffering, wringing their hands and worrying, you will notice that there are people who have taken advantage of the collective mental hibernation to retool, rethink and restart.
The opportunity is here for you to clarify and create what you want. Why not? There are certainly no guarantees from employers, so waiting and hoping your job will not be eliminated will not help you if your job does get cut. When you think about it, you would be much better off to design the future you want, rather than wait and hope somehow it happens for you.
This is where psychology can help. There is a psycho-linguistic tool called the Language and Behavior Profile (LAB Profile), which shows how different people operate from different Motivation Triggers and Thinking Patterns. It is used in by marketers to understand and motivate large groups as well as organizations for hiring, managing employees.
For example, some people are only motivated when they get to take the initiative. This is the LAB Profile Motivation Trigger called Proactive. They love being active and getting out and making it happen. Right now they are really frustrated because they are being told everything is out of their control. When these people are unable to take initiative they become de-motivated and depressed quite quickly. To get out of their negative space they need to proactively create a new reality for themselves. The easiest way for them to do this is to go for a walk and ask themselves some important questions and creates compelling images for the answer to these questions. Here are some of the questions a proactive person needs to ask to get out of their own economic crisis:
• What do I really want in my life, or in my work?
• Why is that important to me?
• What are the steps I need to take right now to make this happen?
• What possible obstacles do I need to prevent now?
• What is the first step I can do today?
These questions are oriented towards action. A Proactive needs to act now and have something specific to do. These questions allow that person to get into action immediately and start getting results.
But this will not work for someone who prefers to think things through slowly and carefully. This person has a Reactive Motivation Trigger and really needs to thoroughly understand what they are going to do. Here are some questions a Reactive person can ask themselves to consider how to get out of their mental hibernation:
• What is important to me in my life or in my work?
• Why is that important?
• What steps will need to be in place to have this happen?
• What could be the obstacles that I will need to have a solution for?
• What are the solutions to the obstacles?
• What is the first step in my plan I can start today?
These questions allow the Reactive person to think their situation through, without feeling pushed. They need to spend some time creating a vision in their mind and working out the steps towards it.
Some people are only motivated when they have a goal. About 40% of the population has this pattern, the LAB Profile Towards Motivation Trigger. A Towards person will act when they have a goal to move towards, otherwise they can get stuck and not move forward. During a time of economic crisis and stagnation many Towards people panic because they see only problems around them and nothing to move towards. This can be disastrous for them unless they take the initiative to create their own goals. Here are some questions they can ask themselves:
• What do I want in my work and in my life?
• What will that do for me?
• What are the steps I will need to take to achieve my goals?
• What are the obstacles I will need to find a solution for to achieve my goals?
• What is the first step I can do today to move toward my goals?
If only 40% of the population are motivated to achieve goals, what is motivating the others? The other 40% of the population is motivated to act to prevent problem from occurring or to solve one that is already happening. This Motivation Trigger is called Away From because these people are motivated to move away from the things they do not want. In an economic crisis there are many things they could move away from and they run the risk of turning in circles, away from all the bad alternatives. The key for them is to make sure they focus on one issue to move away from and to identify what they want instead. Here are some questions that they can answer to help find their way and not get lost:
• What do I most want to prevent from happening?
• What do I want instead?
• If I do not succeed in that, what will happen?
• If I do succeed, what will I gain?
• What are the steps I need to take to move away from what I don’t want and to achieve what I do want?
• What are the obstacles I will need to overcome?
• What can I start today so that I won’t stay stuck?
The last question in each set is critical because it helps get the person moving and back into action moving towards their goals (or away from their problem).
These are four of the Motivation Triggers from the LAB Profile. You can see that it is important to match a person’s motivation to get out of mental hibernation. Ask the questions in a way that engages your own individual motivation rather than trying the “one size fits all” solution.
The Language and Behavior Profile is composed of six distinct Motivation Triggers categories and eight mental processing categories. Business leaders, marketers, human resource professionals, trainers, consultants and coaches are now using the LAB Profile around the world to understand, predict and motivate people’s behavior.
To find out more about the LAB Profile, please see, Words That Change Minds: Mastering the Language of Influence.
For information on training in the LAB Profile, please go to www.LABProfileCertification.com or www.WordsThatChangeMinds.com
Shelle Rose Charvet is known internationally for her breakthrough work in understanding predicting and motivating human behavior. Organizations engage her to help solve their most difficult communication and persuasion problems. She is the 2009 president of the Canadian Association of professional speakers, a certified speaking professional and a Certified Trainer of NLP.