Limiting beliefs

The dictionary says that a belief is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. The beliefs are the pillars of the expectations. These beliefs are built during our childhood, and after that they become strong and part of our personality.pillars

To discover and modify these beliefs is not part of the standard education. The acceleration of the change and the growing complexity of our environment makes that some of the beliefs that they were useful in the past, now the become limiting belief.

What can we do then?

  • To learn to substitute this belief by a non limiting belief.
  • To learn to relativize it.

The most difficult part of this process is to be aware that you are influenced by a limiting belief. To build your expectations on limiting beliefs will have negative consequences and it’s important to understand that sometimes we have to review them.

I found this nice diagram showing how self-beliefs trap or free us:


By the way, to work on the beliefs is in fact one of the main topics of coaching and NLP.

Houston we have a problem in Banana Island

This is the situation, big organization with issues in an office that is located in the other part of the world. The problems started to arise since months but the main office have been ignoring, underestimating, having other priorities…

But the big day came, the situation has exploded and have enough visibility to hide it. It’s time to send someone to fix the issue.

There are thousand of things that can happen, but here is what I have seen so many times.

What is the guy with the authority to decide (the one with the “problem”) going to do?

The situation is,

  • It’s a temporal issue, nothing that should take more than 6 months to be fixed. 6 months? it should be fixed in 3 +  some trips afterwards to ensure the things are calmed.
  • I have a Mid-senior management team between thirty and forty years old, some of them with children, some other with the ambition to stand out, some others accommodated…
  • I have really key priority initiatives, and I do not want to lose my key people on this.
  • You have team with individuals that you like and dislike.
  • This is going to cost me so much, and potentially it can erode my results.

Decision making process of the guy with the issue,

  • I will not send the key people I like will stay.
  • I cannot send the key people I do not like will stay.
  • For non-key people, initially I won’t make any distinction between likes/dislikes.
  • I have some people with ambition and willing to relocate to willing to stand out. But this is not a real opportunity for them, in 6 months s/he will come back with more experience and demanding more things.
  • I will not send people who is willing to re-locate as they will try to stay more time than required, and me paying the transfer.
  • I have some people in the comfortable zone and willing to stay.

He will send the person that fits in the following features:

  • Person working on no-key initiatives: this keep the real priorities aligned.
  • Person not willing to move:  basically the other will want to come back ASAP, and this will promote that a proper solution is found soon. This is risky because the cost can be lower or higher!
  • Person that if I do not see during next 6 months, I don’t care: this responds to a personal behavior.

That’s it!!!

Top performer and Plan B people

In the organizations, the succession plans are not always planned and there are so many funny situations when a person needs to replace someone. The option basically can be that you assign a top performer person who will lead and execute the work in an extraordinary way; or your option is to assign someone who is around, because you need a quick replacement, you don’t care, or any other reason.

When someone replaces to another person, the first question it comes to my mind is: is guy a top performer ? or is he a plan B? The second question is: where this guy come from?

On all of this is also relevant to understand who is the person taking the decision, let’s call it the boss.

It’s important to understand this, because it will enable you to understand some part of his/her behaviors and the network where he moves. You also need to understand that the other person will do a similar exercise.

In organizations where there is stability and there is a clear leader (the boss), he sometimes will cover some vacancies with “plan B” profiles, they do not need a top performer in every single position, they are not willing to pay for a “top performer” and they will want to control the decisions on that area (a plan B will require guidance and the leader loves this type of relationship).

In organizations where there are so many moves, the situation can be the opposite, the boss requires top performers to change the direction of the things and push the organization to the goals.

There are people who are always top performers, and they push their careers with a clear vision about where they want to go and they do it. To be a top performer is not only to achieve the results, it’s they are able to sell themselves very well and explain their abilities.

In general a plan B is not recognized to be a good thing, and it’s true, but you have to take care. For me, to be a plan B it is not intrinsically a negative thing. I have seen people who is able to have a success career moving in the organizations as a permanent “plan B”, making themselves irreplaceable, and making their personal value to be quoted always high; as consequence of all of this, they are successful. In this situations they play with an additional advantage: the other people look them as a “plan B”, and they underestimate they capacity to perform the role.

During your professional career it could be the case that sometimes you are a top performer, and some others you are a plan B. In my case I have been both things.

What about you?   are you a “top performer” or a “plan B”?

Mental hurdles

In every type of facet of life there are occasions where you suddenly are stopped and you cannot continue. You reach a stressful situation where you do not know what is happening and what is the reason you are paralyzed by something.

The first reaction is to look something outside as root cause of the situation, this external reason helps you to feel better, but it’s not needed so much time to find that this is more an excuse about what is happening.

Then you find that the issue is you, it’s the way you think, the way you act or the way you look that aspect in the wrong angle. You feel frustrated and this is the worst feeling you want to have. There is a mental hurdle, that every time you think about it. Initially you do not what is behind it, what is the real reason because you are in that situation. You feel completely frustrated. Mental_hurdlesAvoid that frustration is easy, you are busy with tonnes of daily activities, but again this pursues you and you cannot avoid that bad feeling.

Finally you are opened to look at that mental hurdle in front of you, to fight against it; it’s not easy, it’s not pleasant, it’s harder than you thought, but you are there, you cannot avoid it.

After weeks?, months?, years? you overcome it, you find the reason you behave in that wrong way, you understand the stimulus that puts you in that situation and now it’s time to look for the way to leap over it.

Once you solved it, exactly at that moment, you are happy, you feel invincible, you find you can do everything you decide.

Unfortunately for you, some time later, the cycle starts.

My question for you is, how much times you find yourself on this situation? once a month?, once a year? once a decade? perhaps everyday? How demanding you can be with you? are you willing to discover new things? are you motivated to face more hurdles?

Understand which type of person you are with respect your personal limits, how you face them, how you break them or how you feel comfortable living with them.

have fun!


Survive, this is the more powerful fuel you can have, the need to survive is a basic instinct that is there and when it’s pushed, it works and put people on motion.

People often move or react by different reasons, some have positive connotation (motivation, love, ambition…) or negative (fear, risk of accident, ambition…), anyway.

In modern professional live, the situation is quite similar. Depending how small is your comfort zone, you will have situations where you need to survive. You and the colleagues around you are under the same situation. You can look around and see:

  1. People who are in the comfort zone 8 hours a day, and they have no intention of go away from there. The day they are pointed to change, they burn out or survive.
  2. People who have cycles, being some periods of time on the comfort zone and then accepting challenges.
  3. People who is used to be out of the comfort zone, and are willing to continue in that way of life. They understand that situation as “another day in the office”, they cannot understand what others are doing.

This third group of people, when you combine them with the right skills and with the right motivation, then the result makes the difference.

In modern professional live, the reasons to survive are different:

  1. People hate to talk to others, they move to back-office positions or developer roles.
  2. People willing to do not stress, they will take service support or administrative jobs.
  3. People with lack of analytical skills, they will look for jobs where they can put in place their other intelligences.
  4. ….

Look for the needs of the people around you: what they hate, what the love, what they fear…


Career plan

Read this article, it talks about the different phases of a professional career.

I see so many interesting comments and details on the article: 3 phases of a career, how to balance it with your live, comments about how to move from one place to other.

It’s really a nice and clear analysis.

The only thing I can add is, that if you are changing from one company to other, you should try to do the last big jump when you are around 42-45 years old. This was a suggestion commented to me by an HR person doing recruitment for her company.

Challenger Sale Workshop

I have assisted during the last month to this workshop that was so much useful to learn about the purchase life-cycle and the way to focus the messages.

An useful place to look into documentation is here.

The main topic we have been working on is the elements to construct the sales message with respect the emotional level of the customer and the evolution of the deal.

Commercial Teaching pitch

Doing the technical side of an interview

I remember the first time I did an English test for job vacancy in a big corporation. There were a written exam and an oral exam.

The written exam was a test model with just 40 questions that went from easy questions to very complex questions. The difficulty of the questions increase and increase till question #40 that was related to English literature words that belonged to the ancient times.

For the interviews, I call the expert that will do the technical interview and ask him this process and build with him a list of ten questions that goes from the easy ones to complex ones.

I look for the way the person replies, how honest is the person when I ask something he does not know, how the technical answer is described in detail or if it is just beating about the bush.


Reward and recognition rules

A reward can be simply defined as a financial or not-financial award that reflects the recognition to a good performance at work.

Having said that, the road to obtain these rewards is a complex process full of written and non written rules that needs to be known.

These are some of these mistakes and tips you should know when you are looking for being rewarded or recognized.

  1. If you want to be recognized, ask for it. You will not be rewarded if you don’t look for it.
  2. Your performance at work and the consequent rewards have to be aligned. If your performance is great and you are not rewarded, it’s your fault, and your managers will see you as an idiot. You are not pursuing it with the enough attention.
  3. As you are the owner of your professional career, you are the responsible of pursuing the rewards behind this evolution.
  4. You have strategies and plans for your projects, business initiatives… in the same way, define your own 3 horizons vision for your professional career and your strategy with the company you work with. Define milestones.
  5. Companies always talk about employee commitment, what is the commitment of the company with you? what is the commitment of your line and functional manager with you? If you don’t know, ask for it.
  6. There are different type of rewards, understand them.
  7. All companies have a reward strategy and plan. Do you know it?
  8. Everytime your line manager change, you have to ask the basic questions again and look for your position. Do it as soon as possible, because otherwise the reward cycle will be delayed.

Any other one?