There are few models that are as beloved of management trainers as Robert Dilts’ Logical Levels of Awareness.
It is popular among those who have learned it as part of formal NLP training, through reading books, or by osmosis. The logical levels model is pervasive and hard to miss if you are alert to these things.
So, in this article, I want to explain what it is, how it came about, and why it is a big idea that merits your attention as a manager.
What are you really capable of? And what holds you back from achieving it? Competing against your own mental obstacles is the ‘Inner Game’.
Although many people in the world of work have never heard of the Inner Game, nor of Timothy Gallwey, its founder, this big idea has been extremely influential.
Because Gallwey and the ideas behind the Inner Game are very much the immediate progenitors of modern performance coaching. It it is hard to over-estimate the impact that has had on management and organisational life.
If you are in the business of selling, who are you selling to? Do you know the characteristics of your customers? To target your marketing well, you need an archetype, which marketers call the ‘Buyer Persona’ or sometimes the customer or marketing persona. And sometimes they use ‘Avatar’.
Each of these terms means the same thing. If you do the work, up front, of characterising the people you want to sell to, you can better target your marketing.
The story of stakeholder engagement is a familiar one.
The term stakeholder starts as a new coinage. It becomes a word of art, understood by a select few. It then takes on a very public persona, widely used and at the heart of public discourse.
So managers seek to manage their stakeholders because it’s what they do. That’s their nature. Until we start to realise the category error that represents. And so, a gentle revolution brings us to today, and stakeholder engagement.
For some people, the idea of networking seems less appealing than dental extraction. You’re in a room full of people you don’t know, and you have to ‘make contacts’. Business networking gets a bad rap.
But let’s look at it objectively. Talking to people, making alliances, helping others, and finding people you can trust… They are hardwired into whatever it is that makes us human. We are social beings.
The ‘Social Network’ that is Facebook did not become a global colossus because it invented something new. It did so, because it gave us an easier way to do what we do naturally: connect with other people.
Strip it of its management-speak baggage, and networking is not just a big idea. It is The Big Idea that gave humans our route to world domination. It is the source of our common humanity.
How can your organisation build the reputation it chooses? Certainly through its deeds and through paid advertising. But one way trumps all others: good PR.
PR, or Public Relations is exactly what its name suggests. It’s about building relationships with your public. And it works whether you are a business, a not-for-profit, a political or governmental body, a product or service, or a celebrity; minor or major. Good PR gets the right part of the public interested in you and pre-disposes them to think in the way you choose.
So is it manipulative? Is it just an appealing term for what we now call spin and used to call propaganda? It can be. But in this article, we are going to stick to PR done with integrity. So the answer to those questions is: ‘it depends’. And what it depends on is the integrity of how your PR is carried out. And therefore on the integrity of the people who do it for you: your PRs.