There are some strategies in life that work no matter what your issue, goal or motivation is. They are often the simplest, most obvious techniques - yet so many of us overlook them, undervalue them or take them for granted.
Well I'm here to encourage, no, Demand that you open yourself up and take advantage of some tips so simple that huge multi-national corporations like Disney have made billions of dollars from them, as have many of the worlds most successful people. You can use them in your personal life, intimate relationships, business, school and in your parenting style - they work no matter where you apply them.
Tip 1. Smile!
I know it may seem silly, but what most of my clients need most are "smiling lessons". As adults we often get so caught up in our minds that we over-focus on work, stress and responsibilities. Because of this, we tend to develop perma-frowns, where we are forever frowning or we have these apathetic expressions plastered on our faces. I had this problem myself (and still do sometimes!) and I will tell you that one of the single greatest tips I ever developed or brought into my coaching practice - was learning to smile.
And no, I'm not just talking about smiling when something is funny, or when you're happy or saying "cheese" to the camera. I'm talking about learning to smile most of the time - on the phone, when writing emails, when conversing with your clients, when you're working on a project and when you're by yourself. You see, smiling is a powerful thing, and even though it might not seem like much at first, within a short while you'll soon find that you are more attractive to everyone around, you'll become a magnet of abundance - on all personal and professional levels of your life. Truthfully though, the best way to find out if I'm right, is to try it out. In fact, I DARE YOU to prove to me that it doesn't work!
Tip 2. Meet People At Their Eye Level
There was recently a news story about how high level corporations and business were taking advantage of customer service coaching from Disney's consulting firm. Hospitals, restaurants, car dealerships and even airlines took advantage of Disney's wisdom, which in nearly all cases included learning how to meet people at their eye level.
This is another powerful tool, because when you meet people at their eye level, you automatically send the subliminal message to them that you are their equal. You are neither above nor below them, making you neither their superior or inferior - which quickly develops a unique rapport with them that you can't develop in any other way.
A great example of this is with children. All to often we adults find ourselves tower over the "little people" as we try to teach them self-discipline, life skills and try to help them avoid the mistakes we made. The only problem is, not only is it hard for a child to listen to someone so far above them, but it's hard for us to communicate with anyone we are literally looking down upon. So when you bring them up to sit eye level with you, or you get down onto their eye level, not only does that automatic rapport open up with them, but you'll naturally find yourself better able to listen, respond and effectively communicate with them.
This is a tip that I use consistently when helping my clients overcome parenting issues, dealing with problems in the workplace, developing strong professional relationships, providing superior customer service and in learning to negotiate. It's a small skill that goes far.
Tip 3. Colors Matter
Seriously, colors are a very important part of our lives. They are a basic utility provided naturally and synthetically in all areas of our environment. We wear them, paint them, use them to design, engineer and create. They are in front of us, underfoot and over head. They're everywhere!
Why am I being so overexertive about this? It's because all to often in my practice I find that people don't realize the power that color offers to them. The way a black suit with the lightest pinstripes can portray power and harness the qualities of Saturn. The ways that a simple canary yellow scarf tends to make us feel more confident in ourselves, or the strange way that a small pair of deep red gloves can seem to warm our whole bodies.
If you'll take the time to notice, in nearly all of Disney's ads, in their theme parks and in their logos, they play mostly with only primary colors (yellow, red, blue, green, black and white (the last two being hues) - one in particular will always stand out though, and that color is BLUE. Now, that's the obvious part. What isn't as obvious, is that using blue was never a coincidence for Disney. It's was purposefully used because blue gives off the energy of honesty, truth, verbal manifestations, health, abundance, knowledge, melody, relaxation and inspiration. Basically, the color blue reaches out makes us want to relax, trust and accept - all things that most of us naturally do when we think about Disney. All their movies are great for kids, no one ever worries that they over charge for their theme parks and high profile businesses flock to receive advice from them that just about any kindergartner could teach them for a tenth of the price.
Using primary colors is also another tactic they employ specifically, and not just because of a lack of hues. Using primary colors is a subliminal way of giving people the message that they are "natural". Things that are "natural" tend to instinctively make us feel more comfortable. You'll notice that food products also use this - red coca cola, blue oreo's, yellow eggo waffles, green treetop apple juice - they all silently scream out "I'm natural, I'm safe, you can trust me!".
All this corresponds to natural energies that already radiate through out our physical, mental and energetic bodies. And you don't have to take my word for it. Just look around and the white coated doctors (white is the color of "purity" and "enlightenment"), blue suited politicians (trust, honesty and acceptance), black clad police (power and authority), red dressed divas (passion, lust and groundedness), yellow taxi-cabs (humor, control and practicality) and green money (prosperity, love and resourcefulness). Now, from here, I hope you can already see the usefulness in developing a deeper knowledge for the power of colors. Once you open that door, there are acres of opportunities available to you through the simple and purposeful use of colors throughout your life. Use what you learn to redecorate your office, give your wardrobe a shake up or knock em dead at that next meeting.
Tip 4. Be Silly
This tip is especially for those looking to turn their businesses or intimate relationships around. Although life holds plenty of acute moments for us, that we do well to take seriously, many of my clients find that more often then not - they are taking life so seriously that they are creating negative consequences in their lives.
Think about it, the more serious the conversations are in your relationships (business or personal) - the less you or the person you need to talk to - wants to have the conversation. This is where what should be simple conversations about relationship status, getting a promotion or signing contracts - can become arduous tasks for either side to stumble through. Though life doesn't have to be such a large challenge as that, when you remember to include in your success strategy - the skill of a humorous perspective. For through humor we are able to see that not only are things not as bad as they sometimes feel, but that we were once in worse and better positions before - and that brings the realization that life is not something that ever stays in one specific state. It's a roller coaster with endless turns, drops, climbs and near-collisions. You can either close yourself to the experience by clenching the handle bars, keeping your eyes tightly shut and tuning out all the laughing, screaming and enjoyment - or we can let loose, scream when it's scary, laugh when it's fun and use the experience to better our relationships with ourselves and with others.
So the next time you find yourself at a point where you have to make a tough decision, have an icky conversation or deal with some of life's more devastating experiences - remind yourself not to take life so seriously - it's not about winning or losing - it's about the experiences you accumulate along the way (both bad and good!).
Tip 5. Be Dramatic
Being all little more dramatic in your demeanor has many underutilized benefits for everyone. Disney knows this, and has been teaching the skill of "being on-stage" in the workplace to all their clients. Though I feel we should take it a step further and be at least a little more dramatic in all areas of our lives. Children respond better to their parents when they are more obvious about their emotions, clients are more trusting when there is no confusion about the messages you are sending them, advertising is much more memorable when something exciting and dramatic happened, people rate a businesses customer service as "stellar" or "superior" when the CS rep made sure to add extra sugar to their approach, couples are better able to communicate when they are more open about their feelings at the moment they have them, debates are more exciting when dramatics are involved and my favorite part about dramatics (something I learned through NLP) - is that being just a little over-the-top is actually HYPNOTIC. If you learn when and where to use your newly developed skills of drama, you can find all sorts of ways to use the skill to heighten your romantic relationships, beef up your business and develop a stronger and more effective relationship with your kids (or youthful clients).