“Because relationships are mutual, partners share a single fate; no action benefits one and harms the other.” (Lewis, Amini and Lannon)
Have you ever read a book that you know will change your life? I think my understanding of who I am and what I do as a consultant, mother, friend and partner will be forever changed as result of reading the book, “The General Theory of Love” by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D and Richard Lannon, M.D.
This book explains love from a scientific and neurological point of view. Basically our experience of love does not live in the thinking, neocortex part of our brains. It lives in our limbic brain, which holds and stores our emotions, memories and our ingrained responses. Contrary to what we might believe, people don’t change as a result of simply encountering and assimilating information in the thinking part of our brains. Change happens at the limbic level as a result of limbic resonance.
When I was at Disney, we often talked about “shaping one another’s thinking.” Through the lens of limbic resonance (“the symphony of mutual exchange and internal adaptation whereby two people become attuned to each other’s inner states”), we shape thinking not through our words but through our relationship and connection. For years, I have proposed that work is really nothing business and all personal, in contrast to what many propose, and now I understand the source of this belief.
It is for this reason, as we go about our work as consultants, coaches and other personal providers, the primary instrument we bring to our work is not our techniques, methodologies or even our expertise. It is ourselves that is the primary source of our value propositions. It is how we show up; how we engage with those we serve that makes the biggest difference.
If you want to achieve not just greater success but also significance as a consultant or entrepreneur, realize that what you primarily offer is yourself. The more you can connect on a human level, the better positioned you will be to influence and help your clients. Command and logic only take you so far. It is your presence that takes you all the way.
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