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Being followed by idiots...
30 January 2014
call was rather panicked and she said it was super urgent. She needed
to speak to me ASAP. I was highly curious and wanted to see what was
going on, although I had my suspicions that I knew what the call was all
To preserve the reputation of this gorgeous woman who has
experienced one of the biggest “ah-ha” moments in her life, I’m going to
call her Lisa, not her real name.
Lisa had recently started a new job in the financial
services sector. This was her 4th move in 5 years so her resume was
starting to look a little patchy. Her biggest concern this time that
prompted the move was that she had become impatient with the “idiots”
she was working with.
So I get the call… It’s 3 weeks into her new role and we
have a mentoring session planned for a few weeks down the track. It’s
urgent. I call her back and a deflated and anxious Lisa says, “why are
all the people I work with idiots who don’t get it?”
Okay this will be interesting. This is her 4th move in 5
years, so the only constant is Lisa. The company, geography, corporate
culture and the people are yet again different. How might it be possible
that Lisa has once again stumbled on her arch nemesis in the workplace…
In NLP we have a concept of something known as, “perception
is projection.” In the prime directives of the unconscious mind what
this basically suggests is that what you see in others is a reflection
What this concept allows for is to find a deeper
understanding of your personal role in the experiences you are having
with others on a daily basis. Appreciating what you notice in others by
reflecting this on what you are not seeing about yourself is a way to
gain personal freedom, reduce your stress levels, get along with people
more harmoniously, develop a mental toughness and be kinder to yourself
In the 1970’s NLP was developed by Bandler and Grinder. One
of their observations was not what people do, but how they do what they
do. Through observation and researching the work of experts like Milton
Erikson and Virginia Satir they were able to see how our behaviour
blindsides us to ourselves and through this discovery Bandler and
Grinder were equipped to create processes and concepts that enabled the
“ah-ha” moments of self realisation that are the pathway to lasting
change and personal freedom.
One of the simplest ways to experience your personal
behavioural blindness, which everyone has, is to notice what you see in
others and what your judgements and perceptions are. This is especially
telling on experiences that trigger you emotionally and for want of
another term “press your buttons.” This takes a willingness to look
kindly and honestly at yourself as the sorts of reflections you are
likely to see will be things you’ll find ugly and annoying. Instead of
labelling these observations as good or bad, ask yourself a better
question like, “how could I use this reflection to bring out the best of
who I really am?” What you see in others is often a reflection of you.
Have you ever heard someone say, “No judgement, but,….” Okay. That’s
going to sound like judgement!
What if this becomes overwhelming or you get a fright when
you see your own shadow? The biggest gift you can give yourself is self
compassion and empathy. Just recognising the reflection will go a
massive distance toward appreciating even more the behaviour that serves
you. Above all you are not your behaviour and you can change your
behaviour in a heartbeat. Speak to someone who cares to listen and if
needed find a mentor or coach.
Lisa saw the “idiot” in other people and being followed by
idiots this was frustrating and annoying to her. Learning about her own
perception as a projection was a moment of freedom for Lisa. All of her
life she had continually moved on… in jobs, relationships, even where
she lived hoping to find people that she felt understood her. Lisa has
discovered that she first needs to understand, and then be understood.
The first person Lisa needed to understand was herself.
Since this discovery Lisa has transformed and is happier
and more confident than she’s ever given herself the freedom to be in
the past. Her work situation is reflecting this shift and she’s never
felt more liked and more productive in her entire career.
Madelaine Cohen Author
Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader,
Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner
Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who
choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from
her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive
coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring
executives and training business leadership in large and small
enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create
lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with
even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick
Madelaine welcomes connection & networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.