Over the past 15 years, I have used tapping (EFT and SET) in a large number of corporate organisations. I would like to offer the following insights for those intending to apply tapping in an organisational setting:
Tapping "as is" is much too way out for the average corporate manager to accept without a great deal of consideration being given 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 it IS - it's their perceptions that are important.
There's plenty of research showing that people who have fun are more productive too but how much fun is in the average workplace? And how willing are most managers to embrace fun and games for their workers? Not many.
Even those managers who do accept tapping because they have been to a workshop often need help in structuring proposals so that the others in the organisation (eg The board) will be prepared to accept it.
I have typically integrated tapping into a presentation on peak performance, resilience, stress relief, conflict resolution, and/or change management. These are the sorts of things that corporate people can identify with. They love things that teach them how to deal with difficult people and how to resolve conflict in the workplace. And 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. This is my opinion, but as a former Certified Speaking Professional member of National Speakers Association of Australia I have seen many examples of people who tried to market something they personally were sold on without considering the other person's needs and worldview. If you are not able to discuss the impact your work will have on improving productivity, boosting profits, bottom line results, etc, then in my experience you will be shown the door or not even allowed to enter it in the first place.
Many if not most organisations are suffering due to large amounts of stress and anxiety caused by restructuring, work changes, uncertainty about the future, etc. They are full of conflict, communication challenges, and frustrated groups of managers and workers who are "at each other's throats". In other words, they provide the perfect environment for a bit of tapping - and if we can introduce it to them in the right way we can really help the organisation and the people in it to move forward. But we need to present it in context.
I introduced tapping to one organisation as part of a 5-module training series a colleague and I were conducting for vehicle examiners. These guys (they were all men) regularly deal with emotionally charged situations as people who have to have their vehicles examined are often anxious and frustrated about the situation they find themselves in. They do not want to be there. Not only that, this government department had been threatened with outsourcing and restructuring for the previous 3 years and the workers were in a constant state of uncertainty and anxiety about their jobs. Initially, they were cynical about even doing any training - they felt we'd been sent in to prepare them for losing their jobs!
We had contracted to provide training in change management, customer-focused communication, conflict resolution, and stress management. Of course, the section on stress management is where I introduced the tapping - as one of several strategies they could use to manage and reduce stress. I knew that the tapping would do more for them than all the other techniques combined, but I have found that groups such as this more readily accept the tapping if it is presented along with other mental techniques for relieving stress, such as self-talk, visualisation, and mindfulness, and other body techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and so on. Then, once I have taken them through what I see as the formalities, we can really get into the technique.
Having introduced the tapping in an initial stress management session, we were then able to include it in a separate follow-up module as a stand-alone technique. In fact, they requested it, having seen the value from the introductory session.
This follow-up session was held when staffing in the department was at a crisis point. We had to work hard to get management to agree to hold the sessions because of the pressure that this put on the system. However, the manager we were working with could see the benefits of tapping, having experienced these benefits personally. He went in to bat for us with upper management and they reluctantly agreed to allow us to proceed.
I ran the session and had each of the participants identify all of the situations at their work that were causing them emotional stress. They really got worked up, and included things such as aggressive customers, long queues, run-ins with bosses and co-workers, frustrations with departmental inaction, anxiety over the future of their jobs ... all the stuff which you'll see daily in workplaces all over the world causing untold amounts of stress, downturns in productivity, increases in stress-related illness and injury, and heaps of angst amongst workers and management alike because it is not being acknowledged or managed at all. (Read: There is opportunity here!)
I had them each describe their most intensively upsetting negative situations and stresses at work, then we started tapping on them as a group, stopping occasionally to focus on individual issues that were common, or which were particularly intense, and then sent them away with homework to apply the process on additional issues and aspects. We did this with all four groups.
What was the result of a morning's tapping with each of these four groups? They were able to manage a difficult time at their workplace with flying colours. The senior manager later wrote to me that, although the decision to proceed with the training at this time was a difficult one: "in hindsight we could not have planned it any better, our people who initially were having difficulty in managing change responded well during the staffing crisis. The follow up training allowed them to discuss issues that were actually happening to them each day in the workplace, (and as a result) they all responded to the challenge and allowed us to progress through a very difficult time."
He further reported improvements in both attitude and service delivery levels, along with an overall sense of achievement. The improvements were recognised "across all areas".
And all this from a little bit of tapping!
However, I would like to point out a few things that I feel were crucial to achieving these results:
Firstly, we had a rapport with these guys that was developed over several sessions of working with them. I have no doubt that had we introduced the tapping in the first session when we were dealing with their mistrust of all training and cynicism towards the training process that we would never have got as far as we did. Since we did have rapport they were prepared to go much further in discussing their hurts and upsets than even I expected. It was wonderful to have such openness and honesty, and to be able to follow this with real healing.
Secondly, the way we got into this organisation was by convincing a key senior manager that we could provide solutions to some of HIS problems. We then got on-side with the other managers in a separate session to discuss THEIR problems and needs, and followed this up with the workers (I call it talking to people and listening to them, but for the sake of the exercise we called it a Needs Analysis. The difference is that we wrote it down, put it into a report and were able to charge them for it!) Then we gave them what they asked for in terms of the training. We have used this Needs Analysis strategy many times with excellent results each time.
There is much much more I could say here but this article is long enough. I'll write again about a program at Alcoa where we taught tapping to over 800 workers, the great opportunities and needs I see for this work in workplaces everywhere, ideas on how to structure proposals and get to meet key people, etc, etc...
Note: Since I wrote this article I've created a Corporate Tapping program to support those who want to take tapping into the corporate world. You can find out more at: corporatetapping.com