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Shock, Plan, and Action! Where are you?

These last two weeks have been interesting! I work very closely with the brains and psychology of business owners, leaders, and any kind of human you can imagine! That being said I have the opportunity to talk with a lot of people every day!

These last two weeks, the consistent cadence I’ve been seeing is:

-Shock (Oh Sh*t)
-Plan (What’s My Strategy?)
-Action (Strategy Execution Time!)

This is common to everyone I talk with, no matter what they do, or who they are.

We are all humans; all of our brains work the same way (mostly).

How can understanding this help you communicate better with others right now? And what are some strategies for each of these areas?

First, understanding this process can help you navigate any conversation that you are in.

By putting someone or even a business into these 3 categories, you can start to figure out where they fit in the progression, and then how to meet them where they are so that you can effectively support them!

In these challenging times, figuring out a way to organize the chaos is important and what you’ve been doing to train and prepare for these times is about to be tested, how will you do?

As the Managing Partner of Sandler-ESD here in KC, I saw this happen with my team.

Monday two weeks ago, we all sat down for our 8:15 AM Monday meeting.

3 days ago, on Friday, we had a 23 in-person Communications Bootcamp, and today, only 3 days later, the world had completely changed.

As I looked around the table, I could see the team was in Shock. They were wearing worry, fear, anxiety, doubt, uncertainty, etc. all over their faces, it was in their body language, and their voices.

Sound familiar to any of your meetings or interactions?

Shock is the most psychological of all three of these stages.

Things like Maslow’s hierarchy or the Stages of Greif are all at play, and Shock summarizes all of these complicated descriptions.

People are in their heads; at Sandler, we call it “head trash” and it’s the ultimate killer of success in anything.

What does it look like, feel like, sound like?

It looks like slumped over posture, shoulders low, eyebrows furrowed, it looks glum and dull, it’s hard to find beauty or anything positive!

It sounds like “We’re not going to make it!” “I don’t know what we’re going to do.” “I can’t believe this is happening.”

It feels like there is some impending dread awaiting us as we move about our days.

All of this head trash fills our head, and we get lost in the fog! How do we clear this away?

Here’s the secret, “If”, it’s the most powerful word in Neuroscience and Psychology.

The word “if” to your brain is like a vehicle to explore other regions.

New regions in your brain are made of neurons, and lots of them firing together produces different feelings, thoughts, and emotions!

By using “if” you can ask yourself and others “What if you could…?” “What if it was possible?” “Can you imagine if…?” “If it could happen…?” by switching people into these different paths, we can shift them out of the negative headspace they’re in and help them explore positive alternatives!

Watch the change in their bodies, eyes, rate of speech, all of their physiology changes, you can even tell over the phone.

During our Monday meeting, I had to quickly shift my team with these kinds of questions, and focus them on our plan for what is happening around us, “What if we could effectively use this, add value to others and come out of this stronger?”

This effectively shifted us into the Planning phase! Almost instantly the conversation exploded into creativity! Idea after idea flowed out of the whole team.

We were fully within the Planning stage.

What goals, plans, and actions can we all take advantage of right now?
The most effective thing you can do is sit-down, establish your current state, define your ideal state, and then figure out what tiny pieces can you drill it down into?

This means you as a leader will have a long-term vision you and your team are aimed at, define some short-term goals to hit as milestones, and then parse out the daily behaviors you and all members of your team will be held accountable for.

Where else could this be applied? Anywhere there are human beings.

1 or 1000 or a million, it doesn’t matter.

It could be with your family, best friends, pets, team, your grade in school, church, anyone, anything and anywhere!

What a relief, right? It’s not just for businesses, and CEO’s.

Every human being has the ability.

Taking these goals off the paper, and into the real world is where Action comes in.
Let’s dissect Action into 3 parts, we have a triangle we use for this at Sandler, and it’s 3 corners are Discipline, Guts, and Vitality.

That huge plan you just built is nice and shiny right now, huh?

Moving it into Action means that no matter what role you play, you will need to consistently perform in new ways quickly.

While doing this, having the Discipline to get your part done daily, no matter what or how small it may be, it’s important!

If you don’t understand this, ask your leader to help you understand how your piece connects with the vision!

If you’re a leader, connect your vision and values with those of your people, and help them see your vision more clearly!

Where do Guts come in? Making a call to a client or friend right now could be challenging, finding the time and knowing what to talk about is hard sometimes!

It takes a lot of Guts to reach out in this way, reaching into uncertainty and being the bright spot they see today!

This powerful action will pay off long-term, however, because our brains tie emotions up in our heads with memories.

If you are the one who is willing to reach out and have the conversation during this emotional time, who do you think they will remember best in the future?

YOU! That’s right, lock yourself in neurologically right now.

Finally, Vitality, the ENERGY, the strength to continue, the power to progress right now!

Where is that energy inside of you? What brings you those feelings? Is it something you see, or a certain sound you hear? Maybe it’s how a place or thing “feels” to you?

Pay attention to what you are taking in, and figure out where that Vitality lies within you, once you find it, you will have an unlimited battery of energy to execute on anything you set your mind to!

The power we all have to take control of our minds and conceive of innovative and creative ideas, take action on those ideas, truly believe those ideas are possible, and then produce the outcome we were striving to achieve, is uncanny.

Stay the course, my friends!