Before delving into the world of coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and Neuro-Semantics (NS), I spent 23 years in the corporate world. How beneficial it would have been to have had all this knowledge and these tools in my daily life back then! In my final years, I found myself in states of low resources such as worry, fear, insecurity, and lack of self-confidence. My inability to manage these states effectively impacted my health profoundly.

I recall having a boss who induced the aforementioned states within me. Her facial expressions became what we call anchors in NLP, external stimuli that trigger states unconsciously. Understanding this phenomenon is crucial as it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; I failed to establish the professional trust required between a boss and an employee. I even heard her comparing me to other colleagues, labeling me as less intelligent. At that time, I felt exactly as she labeled me. While my relationship with her remained cordial, her words and actions made me doubt myself. I admit that this feeling I harbored was my secret because, in general, with everyone else, I was recognized and respected for “my intelligence.”

Of course, she wasn’t solely responsible for my states, but had she been more empathetic, she would have been aware of her impact on me, which ultimately affected my performance. She developed a bias against me, noticing only what I did wrong and exhibiting a blind spot, typical of biases, towards my achievements. Furthermore, she lacked the tools to recognize how crucial it is to understand each employee individually, with their unique characteristics, which should not be compared or labeled, but rather guided through those differences.

As leaders, it’s essential to understand how humans operate because it is with them that we work and achieve our objectives, or not. Realizing that we can induce states in them that allow them to comprehend objectives, learn the best techniques to achieve them, and desire to do so, with the proper motivation and commitment, is the greatest responsibility of a leader. Taking charge of this responsibility means seeking to learn how to communicate effectively, without judgment, but with the openness that each person understands and operates in their unique way, which doesn’t make them more or less intelligent. It’s simply a matter of inducing states that enable them to learn more easily, make better decisions, and perform better.

I hope this reflection resonates with you because I often hear many “leaders” passing harsh judgments about members of their teams without taking into account how much they have contributed to making the person feel and, therefore, perform this way. I now call it a lack of understanding of humans that limits them from being effective leaders. That’s why I love our mission at Goals & Vision, “Transforming humans beings into humane leaders.”