How can you reach a beautiful state of control during your most stressful business meetings? How can you make time stand still to allow all of your words to be effective and powerful? How can you attain precisely the outcome which you could only dream? In fact, how could you control your role in business conversations, sales calls, or negotiations as though you were in a lucid dream?The reason that this is so important to me is because there were so many times that the opposite would happen. The opposite, the anxiety state, would sometimes lead to full blown attacks. By the time I would get into the meeting after having worked myself up, I would fear passing out or revealing how insecure I was or unprepared I felt. Perhaps I really didn’t deserve to even be at the table, and everyone would see right through my panic.
Having worked my way up the ranks throughout the years, I realized that my job as a sales person gets easier — not harder — the further I went. Why was this? Because I have learned how to coach myself into a positive space. I have learned what I am good at, and what I need to get help with, prior to any meeting. I have learned how to rely on my process to help drive the meeting and techniques to jump back into a state of control when things go awry. Most importantly, I have learned how to achieve a state of flow.
In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi theorizes that people are happiest when they are completely immersed in what they are doing. When you hit this zone state of flow, time, hunger, and ego seem to no longer exist, and you achieve a dreamlike state of using your skills to perfection. He describes the components of this state as a merging of goal clarity and using the maximum skill challenge level. In other words, focusing clearly on your objective and challenging yourself to stretch as much as possible is how you can achieve this beautiful state.
To achieve this ever increasing state of self control and confidence in business, you become your own business coach. Focus on adding a new technique or tool that builds upon something which you are already great at. Now stretch that objective as far as you can (but not too far that it is out of the realm of achievement). Now imagine how you will respond to success. Once the meeting is completed, rate yourself on (only) what you did well.
In my book, The Authentic Sale, A Goddess’s Guide to Business, I speak about how to know which segments of the (somewhat) universal sales process are your natural strengths. I also include all of the other components of the process (that are perhaps not aligned with your strengths) to lay out the roadmap. By understanding where you are and where you want to be, you can create an optimal coaching plan for authentic mastery.
This last week I had a few important meetings. I self-talked myself into achieving the beautiful flow state of control. The conversations got better and better throughout the week. That same process might have worked in the reverse had I allowed it to.
Rena Cohen-First is a VP of Sales who has sold in the Food Ingredient Industry for the past 18 years, selling to the largest food and beverage manufacturers in the world. She is the author of The Authentic Sale, A Goddesses Guide to Business. She has taught online business and leadership classes as an adjunct instructor, studied Professional and Executive Coaching, completed her MBA and Served in the US Army. She resides in San Diego with her two children and husband
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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on November 24, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com