This is an excerpted chapter from the Clinical EFT Handbook; vol 2, Energy Psychology Press, 2013. We’d like to thank the publishers for permission to reproduce this here. Find out more about the Clinical EFT Handbook here: Volume 1 / Volume 2
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As this chapter is quite long we split it into two parts.
Author: Steve Wells
The Process of “Connecting with Success”
One of the key strategies of goal achievement for many high achievers is to be able to see and feel themselves from the position of having achieved their goal. Tapping can help you do this by removing the barriers to accessing this feeling. Spending some time each day imagining having already achieved your goal, while tapping continually can be very productive indeed. Of course, you can also conduct more specifically targeted EFT sequences focused on the specific objections that come up for you when you attempt to connect with the success feeling. As you do this process daily, however, you will find that your success visualizations become more and more real to you, until the achievement of the goal is not only possible, it is also inevitable.
Connecting with Success is a simple process in which you form the intention to connect with the feeling you will have when you have achieved your goal—when you are successful—and use tapping to assist you in creating a stronger, more meaningful connection. As you do this, your energy and motivation to achieve your goal, your “vibration,” as it is often called, will increase. Connecting to your goals in this way draws you toward them energetically and emotionally, and it could be argued, draws them toward you as well! This process can also be used to help you connect with wellness when dealing with physical issues or illness, to bring the feeling and energy of being well into your mind-body.
The basic process of Connecting with Success is: (1) Define what success is to you; (2) step into success; (3) keep going; and (4) ignore objections for now (treat them separately).
- Define what success is to you. Think about what it will be like when you have achieved your goal.
- Step into success. Think of that success in the future that you are seeking, then “step into it” (if you visualize, you can “step into the image” in your mind) and allow yourself to feel how it will feel. Keep tapping while holding the intention to connect with the success feelings.
- Keep going. As you persist with this process, you will likely find it easier and easier to connect with the success feelings, as the negative associations and feelings are naturally desensitized by tapping.
- Ignore objections for now (treat them separately). When doing this process for the first time, you will almost certainly find that negative objections arise in your mind and tension arises in your body. These objections and tensions will likely aim to distract you from your intention to connect with success. Although it can work to focus in on those objections and tensions and apply tapping to them, I highly recommend separating that kind of “remedial work” into a separate tapping session. So in most cases, it is best if you continue tapping while maintaining the intention to connect with the real feelings of success, despite your negative objections. Typically, the continued tapping will ultimately settle down the intense thoughts and feelings, allowing you to connect progressively with the real feelings of success.
Tapping Protocols for the Corporate Sector
The principles for applying EFT and tapping generally to enhance peak performance in business are largely the same as building peak performance in any area, with some specific additional aspects for business. Work with the business owner or key managers and help them clarify their vision and values and goals. Use tapping to help them break through the emotional barriers to achieving it, and use it to connect with success.
I believe that managing negative emotions is the essential business skill for the new millennium. This is what I say to corporate leaders. The biggest stopping factor for business owners is their own belief system: their limiting ways of thinking about what is possible for them and their business. And what holds those negative beliefs in place are emotions (which tapping can release).
Key individuals in a business have a significant impact on results.
I consider that using tapping can confer a considerable advantage on corporations and businesses in the following ways:
Stress management. When the potential for excessive stress can be eliminated by a simple technique, then the incidence of stress-related accidents and illnesses must decline. As well, imagine a workplace with a higher degree of emotional harmony.
Emotional resilience. Emotions influence people and drive behavior, and management of emotions has never been more needed than in today’s turbulent times of economic uncertainty. Learning to manage your own emotions is one of the most powerful ways to influence the emotions of your clients and customers. Employees who can influence people’s emotions positively are highly valued, as are managers and leaders who can inspire people with enthusiasm. Consider the effects of grumpy, upset staff in terms of their interactions with customers. What if people were able to deal with these emotional reactions as they occurred, modify their response to emotional triggers, clear the negative effects of talking with an angry customer, and negotiate such situations from a position of calm?
Improving productivity. How many salespeople and managers are being held back by fear, indecision, and the procrastination and “call reluctance” they cause? How many decisions are not being made because the person who has the authority to make the decision is fearful of change, fearful of the consequences of failure, or even fearful of success? Potentially, tapping can facilitate the removal of much of the effects of these fears from the workplace. Staff would not be reluctant to make phone calls, conduct presentations, or confront issues if they all felt more comfortable in dealing with problems, changes, and adopting new technologies.
Clear corporate vision. Many managers and CEOs who drive the future vision and set the direction of the company are also working hard to avoid emotional pain. Fear of failure often drives lack of clarity, inertia, and slow or no decision-making on their part. If they overcame the emotional tension associated with their role in getting things to happen (or their fear about what might happen), everything would be different.
Tapping Appears Weird, But It Really Helps
It is important to keep in mind that tapping “as is” is too “way out” for the average corporate manager to accept so you must give a great deal of consideration to pacing. Pacing means fitting it in with their belief systems and their views of the world—and their view of what is important and useful. It does not matter how good tapping is; it’s their perceptions that are important. Even those managers who do accept tapping because they have been to a workshop often need help in structuring proposals so that others in the organization will be prepared to accept it. The key is not to emphasize the technique, but instead focus on the results that the technique can achieve. And that requires you to fit tapping into a program that focuses on solving problems and achieving goals that are important to those to whom you are introducing it.
I have typically integrated tapping into a presentation on stress relief, conflict resolution, and/or change management, or alternatively, and most frequently, within a peak performance program. These are the sorts of things that corporate people can identify with because issues of stress, conflict, and resistance to change are perennial challenges in the workplace, and motivation and enhancing performance are also important to them. So this is often where we need to start.
When marketing tapping to corporations, we need to focus on what we can do for them in terms of solving their problems, rather than focusing on telling them about the technique, at least initially. If you are not able to discuss the impact your work will ultimately have on improving productivity, boosting profits, or bottom-line results, then in my experience you will be shown the door (or not even allowed to enter it in the first place).
Unless you can do the following, you will never be able to apply tapping in the corporate sector! You must be able to:
- “Get a foot in the door” initially
- Structure a proposal
- Meet key people
- Work in the world of business
- Gain rapport within the corporate system
- Focus on results that are important to them
- Know how to apply the techniques of tapping with people on real issues
- Leverage your results
- Get paid what you are worth
There are many different models of delivery: individual coaching, group programs, corporate training, and consulting. The main issue is to work with the people who can make the most difference. These are the “influencers,” decision makers, business owners, CEOs, and managers. Pace their understanding and adapt your approach to them. Working with these people and helping them change will cascade that change through the organization. Here is the approach that I have found will have greatest leverage: (1) Work first on vision, values, goals; then (2) deal with the emotional issues preventing them from moving forward.
- Work first on vision, values, and goals. Apply tapping to objections and blocking beliefs, as in the individual work. Have them visualize succeeding, stepping into the image and feeling how that will feel. Then help them to realize this vision by translating it to goals and strategies and using tapping to treat anything that is aiding resistance. This resistance is both personal and also applies to their employees.
- Deal with the emotional issues preventing them from moving forward. Typically, these include: presentation fears, fear of confronting people, financial fears and worries, and dealing with the “people issues” of conflict, resistance to change, and lack of emotional intelligence.
Most work is on breaking through blocking beliefs. I have found over years that many key people in corporations are very cognitive, which means they are used to focusing on concepts rather than emotions. They are often low on emotional intelligence and have low levels of emotional self-awareness. Therefore starting with emotions as a focus can be confronting. Consider simple methods of tapping here, emphasize scientific facts, and start with negative thoughts rather than feelings. I also typically start with problems and challenges and move toward goals.
My experience tells me that I must focus on results that have meaning to the person.
In order to get a corporation to succeed, you need to get everyone aligned with a goal. The challenge truly is getting people to align with one common vision and do the things necessary to achieve that goal.
My own corporate approach requires me to:
- Gain rapport and empathize with current situation.
- Focus on the problems, needs, and goals.
- Present myself and my techniques (including tapping) as a possible solution.
- Start small and build.
I like when possible to work mostly with key people (individual coaching work) and also to set up group programs. In groups, you can teach tapping for general stress relief then build from there, or introduce peak performance concepts. I often introduce tapping on less emotionally challenging issues and “get some runs on the board.” Then I apply tapping on deeper issues, working individually where necessary.
Practical Coaching Examples
I once worked with a business owner who was faced with having to take the lead role in his business due to his partner becoming pregnant. I started by asking about his challenges and then sought to identify the negative beliefs and barriers to him being able to be successful. I’m particularly interested in identity beliefs. In this man’s case, he had negative beliefs about not being “smart enough” and not being “strong enough” to manage and lead the business on his own. I taught him the tapping and we began to apply it to these beliefs and the emotions they provoked. I asked him to identify how true these beliefs felt to him, as well as the emotions they triggered. Then after a few rounds of tapping on each belief I checked to see how true they felt. Within just a few minutes of tapping, the beliefs started to feel less true to him and he was much calmer.
Next I asked him to identify the opposite beliefs, which were quite simply “I am strong enough” and “I am smart enough,” and we did some tapping on those statements. Then we tapped interchangeably on both the negative and positive belief statements. This is important because both sides can feel “true” and “not true” to the person, and spending too much time on one side stirs up the other. Tapping on both sides of the continuum releases the attachment to the entire belief concept. Alternatively, trying to make one side win sets up a resistance to acknowledging the inner emotional “truth” of the other side, and leaves the person stuck with an emotional attachment to a constricting self-concept. It can be just as constricting to have to continually prove that you “are smart enough” as it is to believe you are “not smart enough.”
Tapping interchangeably on both positive and negative sides ultimately frees up a lot of energy that can be used for goal achievement, as it did in this man’s case. I then sought to identify significant emotional events in which he’d learned to evaluate himself in terms of smartness and strength, and we applied tapping to those emotional experiences using the Movie Technique (see Chapter 27). Each time we did this, it freed up a lot of energy. We then moved into some heavy-duty goal setting and I was able to ask him about his “ultimate” goals for his business and his life. This is typical of my approach: starting with the problems, freeing up some energy, and then moving to goals. Moving to goals too quickly can be a trap with such individuals, and hamper progress. The key is always to start from where the person is. When energy is freed up, the person tends to set bigger, more inspiring, and more congruent goals.
With this gentleman, we worked through a values clarification and goal-setting process. If goals do not relate to high values, there will be no energy and power for their achievement, so we tested his goals against his important values to ensure alignment and congruency. Once we were clear that his goals would take him and his family to where they really wanted to be, I then worked on helping him access and build commitment to those goals. He identified some big, exciting goals for the business, and we applied tapping to the resistance and objections to achieving them. In this case, apart from a little remaining self-doubt, he had a lot of fear of the unknown. After applying tapping to this fear, it was replaced by excitement, resolve, and confidence in his abilities. Not only was he able to take the helm of his business with ease, his newfound focus and confidence led him to create an ambitious plan for expansion that resulted in the creation of several new centers and a period of massive growth for the business.
Corporate Example 1
A CEO of an engineering firm contacted us because he wanted to train his senior management team in presentation skills. This was just after the global financial crisis and the company had decided that they wanted all senior managers to assume responsibility for internal training in their respective areas as a cost-saving measure. They also desperately needed to build new business and wanted to learn how to conduct more effective presentations to potential clients in order to secure the work.
We designed a program that incorporated training in presentation skills and included tapping as a tool for overcoming presentation fears and allowing the presenters to focus on their audience’s needs and objectives. I also followed up with some individual tapping sessions with key managers to address their specific aspects.
The tapping was warmly embraced by many of the senior managers, including the CEO and the COO (chief operating officer) who had previously been quite anxious over their presentations, both internal to employees and external to potential customers. Each manager was videotaped doing a presentation before and after the training and the before-and-after results were profound. Many of the managers reported great success in using the tapping to overcome their presentation fears and all were able to transition to conducting successful internal and external presentations.
The scope of the program was expanded to include some consulting regarding overall direction of the company, and included some individual tapping coaching programs with key executives including the CEO and COO on their goals within the company as well as life goals.
Shortly after this, the COO secured a multi-million dollar contract through a successful client-focused presentation, the results of which he attributed to the combination of tapping and basic instruction on how to design an effective presentation. This contract safeguarded the future of the company and allowed them to come through a difficult financial period with a positive balance sheet.
Corporate Example 2
I introduced tapping to one organization as part of a training series a colleague and I were conducting for a government department. The main aim of the program was to develop a positive customer-focused culture within a department that had previously focused on enforcement with a very authoritarian approach. We worked with about 75 participants in four groups of 15–20 participants, which included managers, supervisors, and employees. Two members of the senior management also participated, which was one factor contributing to the success of the program.
We were able to identify quickly that many employees were very anxious about restructuring within the department, which had been threatened for several years. In addition, their working environment typically involved interaction with people who usually did not want to be there, and often involved verbal abuse and resistance from their “customers.”
We designed a five-module training in change management and incorporated tapping in one of the modules focused on stress management. I presented tapping as one of several approaches they could use to reduce stress. It has been my experience that when tapping is presented in this way rather than as the only approach, people are more readily able to accept it. In this introductory session, I simply introduced them to the tapping and demonstrated how to apply it to general emotional issues and stress.
The response to the initial sessions was so positive that the management, several of whom were participants in the program, requested a separate tapping session be conducted focusing on specific work-related issues. This of course was my aim. I should point out that a key to getting this second round of training approved was that the most senior manager had experienced personally the benefits of tapping from the initial sessions. This was particularly important because the programs were conducted at a time when the department was at a real crisis point and there had been several instances of conflict between employees and their depot supervisors and managers over work timetables and shifts.
In these follow-up sessions, I had the employees identify all of the work situations that were causing them emotional stress, and then we systematically applied tapping to their emotional reactions to those situations. We focused interchangeably on issues shared by the group and then focused on individual reactions that were intense and specific to certain employees. For example, one employee, who had started out threatening physical harm to his supervisor because of a shift dispute, left expressing willingness to approach him and talk it through calmly, which he subsequently did. He was astounded at how well the discussion went, and all the issues regarding his timetable were resolved amicably. This sort of result was typical.
The level of frustration and anger when these groups of employees began to list their challenges was replaced with calmness, focus, and openness by the end of each of the 4-hour tapping sessions. They took this back to the workplace and were able to come through a very difficult period for that department with flying colors. The senior manager was excited to report improvements in all areas of service delivery and significant improvements in customer service ratings. He was particularly impressed at the shifts in attitude, which enabled the department to confront the challenges they faced and “sail through” them, and were reflected in a newfound positivity across the entire section. This department became a “poster child” for positive change management, and led to further change management work for us in several other sections in the department. A large part of that fantastic result was due to tapping on the specific emotional issues affecting people in their daily work.
Corporations all over the world are desperately in need of the results that tapping can effect in reducing work-related stress claims, dealing with conflict, battling internal resistance, overcoming anxiety and confidence challenges, and myriad other issues currently preventing businesses and their employees from achieving their highest potential. When energy is freed up from the emotional resistances that are currently blocking progress, the way will be open for individuals and the businesses within which they operate to achieve their peak performance.
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About the Author:
Steve Wells is a psychologist, international peak performance consultant, leadership coach, and co-creator of Simple Energy Techniques (SET). He regularly consults worldwide with business achievers and conducts unique personal and business success programs.