Cameron Gott, PCC
ADHD Coaching for Leaders & Professionals
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The Global Creative Blog

Expose Best New Practices: Bob Releases his "Inner Lebron"

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Bob is a Global Creative and has a stake in a placement agency.  Recently, he was struggling while shepherding a client through the process of landing a new position. It seemed that as the stakes got higher and the candidate moved closer to landing a job, Bob tended to let things slip. He likened the experience to a rookie in an NBA game and when it came time to seal the win, the ball would slip out of his hands.

Bob saw an opportunity to have a different experience.  Exposing oneself to new experiences is a good idea for anyone but especially good for the Global Creative.  Exposure is one of the 5 key elements of REBEL.  Our black and white thinking can reinforce either continuing with a practice that produces sub-par results or delaying a practice that may produce better results (another version of our friend procrastination, right?).

In addition, inconsistent follow-through can inhibit the process of turning good practices into essential habits which shift the heavy lifting from the pre-frontal cortex to the mighty cerebellum.  New experiences are full of new learning that can challenge old stuck beliefs or narratives like "I always blow it!"

You, like Bob, can follow this simple process to expose yourself to a different experience and develop better habits and new best practices.

Start with being aware and mindful

Step outside the experience to objectively evaluate what is happening and what is not happening.  Pay attention to your own internal (thoughts, feelings) and external (behaviors and actions) responses.

Changing jobs is a big deal. Bob realized that emotions (his and the client's) were very present as the client moved through the process of landing a new job interview.  Bob noticed that his emotions were not serving him well here.  As the process moved along Bob felt elation and joy and when the process didn't reach the desired outcome (for many reasons not related to Bob's efforts), he would be left with a feeling of rejection and despair and all the work that was not to be.

Do a quick cost/benefit analysis

Bob noticed that the roller coaster of emotions was getting in the way of working the process and being present to the needs of his client.  He noticed the short term good feelings were beneficial in the moment but not serving him going forward.

Re-resource the challenge to fuel a better outcome

Emotions are not the bad guy.  They are necessary for effective activation and learning (see resources below).

For Bob, his emotions were just not well placed.  He decided to monitor his emotions and save them for when the event (or game) ran it's course.  In a sense to celebrate after the buzzer sounded. Bob also diversified efforts to not let everything rely on this one sale (building and tending to his pipeline of work).

Use a playful metaphor to reinforce the new practice

Bob wanted to develop his 'Inner Lebron' - Stay cool and calm and work  for the last shot.  Is Bob Lebron?  Of course not but this gave Bob a strong visual reminder in the heat of the engagement.

Envision a positive outcome

Super stars like Lebron win because they envision a picture of success.

Bob crafted a different picture envisioning a successful outcome rather than a botched outcome.  He also envisioned staying true to his proven process.

Step into the new practice (Exposure)-

Success will not happen by strong visions alone.  Look at the consistent theme of superstar commercials (Nike - Just Do It).  They show the superstar relentlessly practicing to prepare for the buzzer moment.  We may never perform at Lebron's level of excellence but we can certainly embrace a philosophy of 'practice to improve'.

While Bob moved a client closer to a possible job interview, he literally noticed emotions as they entered the room and either tempered them or dismissed them.  He actively returned to the facts and working his proven process.  He returned to 'cool and calm' and continued to work for the 'last shot'.

Evaluate objectively

Desired change is not possible without effective evaluation.

After 2 weeks of practice Bob evaluated himself.  While working,  Bob felt more even, less stress and more energetic when he chose not to ride his emotional roller coaster .  He noticed that even when things didn't go the way he hoped he was able to channel his new energy reserve into making new connections and building his work 'pipeline'.  With his 'Inner Lebron' Bob was keeping an eye on the bigger prize.  Bob deemed the experiment a big success and is now making it a new best practice.

Resources

ADHD makes it hard to regulate executive functions like organizing and prioritizing for task and emotion management.  Bob finds success by dialing down his emotions.  This is not to suggest dialing down emotions will guarantee success for all.  Some may need to dial up emotions to make important relational connections or overcome ambivalence.  Passion is a huge motivator for those of us with ADHD.  Passion is rich in emotion.  Your challenges and opportunities are unique to you but exposing yourself to small 'new experience' experiments can give you valuable insight to better manage your ADHD and experience a better workday.

Dr Tom Brown writes a great book on ADHD and emotion regulation and management.

Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD