A few weeks ago a senior manager came to me and asked if I could help him prepare for a presentation that he was requested to give as part of an interview process for a software Vice President position.
The coaching work was meant to prepare the candidate for an effective presentation from defining the concept of the slides deck, how to speak in front of the jury, what to say, in which entonation, doing a private SWOT analysis and much more.
I knew that by the moment we are done he had a good chance to get the job, so I wanted to be sure that being accepted for that position is something he really wanted.
It was important to analyze his true motivation for two main reasons:
1. Sometimes we want something for the wrong reasons, and when the "dream" comes true we don't know how to cope with it. As one famous saying "beware of what you dream, it may come true".
2. Being aware of your true desire can help you to better focus on achieving that goal from the one hand , and better cope in case of failure in the other hand.
In order to understand how much this manager really wanted the VP position I wanted him to actually be there, to sense how it will be to be an actual R&D VP.
For that purpose we did an NLP exercise using the Timeline technique.
I brought him into a semi hypnotic state and asked him to imagine a time line with the past, present and future, and place himself on that line in the current present.
I asked him to imagine himself in his current work and sense all the aspects of it now. What he feels, hears, sees.
Then I asked him to assume he gets the job and put himself in the timeline one year from now , and again asked him to sense , feel, hear and see all there is in his new VP position.
He immediately started to sense an unpleasant feeling, fast heart rate, strange feeling in legs and hands, unpleasant noises, envisioned too much work, and images that were not nice to view.
Then I asked him to imagine himself two years from now working in his perfect job. And again, sense , feel, hear and see everything in this new point in time.
The results were again surprisingly amazing.
He suddenly felt light, his heart rate was regular, he heard pleasant noises and viewed pleasant images.
By the end of the NLP session it was clear for him that he didn't really want this job, at least not for now. Further analyzing the candidate's values and intentions it was also clear that he would like to proceed with the interview process in order to make a point and get some experience in such a screening process but not to actually get it.
Having that in mind we did another 4 hour simulation session where the candidate presented to me a real presentation and we polished it until he was ready for the real thing.
A couple of days later he got a superb feedback from the interviewers as one of the best presenters they had till now.
He succeeded making a great impression having clarity on his true goals and objectives without expecting too much from the process itself.
Eventually , a friend of the new General Manager got the job (that's the way things work over here), but my client was happy knowing that a better opportunity is waiting for him very very soon.
A few weeks later my client called me that he was hired as Vice President of Development in a software startup company.