We are constantly bombarded with social media posts telling us that if we only used the secret formula to selling, we’d have raving clients ready to do business with us.
You can’t fault people who have found a process that works for them wanting to share it with the world. But, what often is missed is the growth and development they experience along the way. So, whilst the process might work for some, others might struggle to have the same success because they are in compliance mode, rather than embodiment mode.
In my work with CEO’s and their direct reports I find that there is a similar tendency towards process and solution focused initiatives with out the attendant embodiment of the principles that lead to higher performance and success. But what do I mean by embodiment?
We’ve all experienced how embodiment works and how natural, or not, that can feel. Take for instance gravity. Since being born to present day we have developed an increasing awareness of gravity. Whether it’s learning to walk, or tomb-stoning from a rocky outcrop, we get how gravity works. It’s predictable, universal and gives us leverage.
Having an embodied understanding of the principles behind performance, helps us to predict results, know what performance looks like in our and others organisations and gives us leverage, or what some might call competitive edge, if we are able to deepen our understanding of the principles beyond that of the average organisational understanding.
The benefits of an embodied understanding were commented on by Herbert Kelman, Emeritus Professor of Harvard University, in his 1958 article in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, where he refers to three levels of adoption necessary to drive a change in attitude, those being Compliance, Identification and Internalisation. I like to think of these three levels when considering embodiment which is aligned with internalisation, the point at which your internal compass is aligned with the principles behind your topic of interest, which in my case is higher performance.
Living the embodied life requires discipline, but most of all it requires insight at a personal level. Following a process is one thing, even having an intellectual understanding can be helpful, but until you experience embodiment, the gains can be quickly lost or you can be tempted to move onto the next ‘secret formula’ to achieve what you are looking for.
Embodiment isn’t a quick fix, but it is effective, subtractive and leads us to higher levels of performance beyond our current understanding or comprehension.
If you’d like to discover more about the embodied life, or high performance, feel free to contact me for an initial conversation.
Kelman, Herbert.C, 1958, Compliance, identification and internalisation three processes of attitude change, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol.2, Issue 1, pp. 51-60