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The Biggest Problem I Face With Clients At The Beginning

“At this critical junction in the history of humankind, leaders that are proficient in magical thinking aren’t going to solve our problems. Creating alternative realities is not the answer.

We need a very different kind of leadership— leaders who can resist the calls of regression and whose outlook is firmly based in reality.

The problem we all have is that what most people ‘think’ is reality, is not. It’s their ‘thinking’ about reality. In fact, getting my clients in touch with reality is the first challenge I face when working with them.”

– Manfred de Vries, Professor of Leadership at the renowned business university Insead

My experience of working with people over the last 20 years has been the exact same as the Professor above. The first big problem to overcome with every client is to help them get in touch with what’s actually going on and not what they ‘think’ is going on.

I remember taking some clients to a virtual reality gaming experience a few years ago when it first came to Ireland. Run by a company called Zero Point Latency based in Dublin, they run their experiences out of a warehouse and what’s different with this virtual experience is that you have the freedom to move around and explore – all of course with a laser gun in your hands!

At the start when we put on the headsets, I knew it was a made up experience and marvelled at the graphics and the freshness of a new experience. And for that reason I wasn’t completely IN it.

But 5 minutes later it was my complete reality.

Zombies were swarming around me and my life was being threatened. As a result my breathing and heart rate increased.

The most memorable moment came when our team of 4 had to walk up a narrow plank of wood to get to a higher floor. One of the people in our group had a fear of heights and couldn’t do it.

Remember, that in actual reality, what I’ll call Reality, we were walking around a warehouse. We were walking on a flat floor. There was no plank. No threat of really falling.

There was no real danger.

But in the virtual world they were in, they assumed it was their reality and behaved accordingly. Existing fears, phobias all came to the fore and they could not move forward.

This is the power of your thinking and your mind.

It is a virtual reality experience creator.

He knew it was made up but his unconscious mind wouldn’t allow him to walk!

Maybe consider that today and this week as you go about your life and work.

With meetings…

With people you meet…

With projects you’re working on…

Our minds are virtual reality machines and are doing something similar every moment of every day. But just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s actual Reality!

Where can you explore the difference between reality and Reality this week?



PS – This is an example of some of the material I’ll be sharing on a webinar this Wednesday with renowned communications expert Dr. Michael Gerharz. I hope you can join us. Details below.

Do you know someone who would benefit from reading this? Feel free to share it with them. To make this super simple, I’ve included some share buttons a little further down this page.

Free Webinar This Wednesday: ‘Flip The Script – Re-Write Your Success Story’.

If you’re keen on raising your game in your work, leadership and life then join me and renowned international communications expert, Dr. Michael Gerharz for a 60 minute webinar packed with insights and inspiration. We will:

  • Share why it’s more vital than ever to examine your ‘inner script’
  • Discuss key learnings on how to make real breakthroughs in your work and life
  • Discuss the key elements in re-writing your leadership story
  • Give you an opportunity to ask any question you wish

Register for free now here to hold your webinar place.

Latest Episode on The Inner Edge Podcast: Flipping Your Script

All episodes are between 10-15 minutes in length and the podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can listen on my website here also.

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