Going forward by looking back

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  • Looking Back... GOING FORWARD BY

    The issues facing professionals today are

    many and varied; the constant barrage of

    technology reminds us all of the need to stay

    relevant for our clients, but in the quest to

    do so, perhaps weve missed the obvious?

    Theres no doubt that consumer trends have

    shifted and the way that people receive and

    process information has changed. Or has it?

    We know the business model and leverage

    aspects for professionals will shift; as firms

    that have failed to adapt try to hang on to

    their clients theyll be forced to do so via

    price war tactics which in the end, will force

    prices down on the rest of us.

    So if were not mistaken, we can assume

    that all professional services will be

    delivered in a blur of electronic reports and

    downloadable apps, or will they?


    ...forming or relating to the most important

    part of something; serving as a basis

    supporting existence or determining

    essential structure or function.

    (Webster Dictionary Source)

  • Take a look at the model below and youll notice the sweet spot thats always been there and always

    will be because in the end, were dealing with people, dealing with change.


    Youll notice the aspects of professional delivery that are computer capable and as such, are easily

    provided by web based or mobile apps. Templates and fuzzy logic logarithms (the most prominent

    being that of the deep learning variety) will enable a myriad of accounting, legal, insurance and

    financial services to be delivered with consistent ease.

    But there, right in the middle is the part that doesnt change. People dealing with the emotions of

    change, conflict, opportunity and fear

    And this is where you fit in, (provided you know the fundamentals) as it stands to reason that this will

    be the new frontier upon which professionals will seek to distinguish themselves.

    The problem then, is the same as its always been. Professionals need to learn all of the technical

    aspects of their role without losing sight that in the end, those skills are only as useful as their ability to

    influence behaviour. To make change, to make a difference.

    Few professionals actually take the time to learn to become more effective in their communication,

    choosing instead to focus ever more on their technical abilities in the blind hope that somehow, their

    clients will notice and discern the difference between them and their competition.

    So here we are again, back at the start of our issue.

    Computation is eating the lower level advice engagements; leveraged activities are harder to generate

    on a consistent basis so in order to move forward and remain

    relevant, we need to get back to the fundamentals behind the

    profession in the first place...

  • So lets break it down to the 3 things we all need to focus on going forward

    1. Self-Awareness (contextual) Be aware of your Orientation (Who you are, where you are, where

    you want to get to) Know your Personality Strengths & Weakness (Be able to observe your own

    Coping & Manipulation styles and that of those around you) Practise the Art of Being Present.

    2. Frameworks (conceptual hierarchies) Frameworks make it easy for you to break down a

    problem, reduces your learning time, increases your clients ability to recall and understand complex

    information, and improves collaboration. (They also make developing your team a darn sight easier)

    3. Influence You need to know the common drivers of human behaviour; at a conscious level you must understand the Filters applied to block your message and practise the P.I.F.T model when communicating. (Physiology, Intent, Frameworks, Tonality) Being consciously aware of these influence drivers will be crucial if you wish to compete in the last remaining sweet spot for professionals.

    Dealing with change is always uncomfortable but like any transformation, must start with a level

    of acceptance. As professionals we must accept that rapid change requires Behaviour by Design.

    In short, we need specific skills or behaviours to replace our old ones so we can focus on the

    aspect of adapting rather than the issue of letting go but in the end, as everything changes

    around us, we notice everythings still the same

    Humans being human.

    Fundamental Principles...

  • Mike Barnes


    Mike regularly consults throughout NZ to increase the leverage within professional

    services firms and speaks on a variety of topics, including Closing the Skill Gap and

    What Blocks Professionals From Selling.

    Mike considers himself a coaching addict Its WHO I am, not WHAT I do explains

    Mike, Its how Im wired; its in every part of my life.

    Mike is a passionate exponent of The Enneagram Personality Profiling System, (He

    attended in New York at the hands of the masters Don Riso & Russ Hudson) which

    allows Mike to explore the blockages that stop people from reaching their own true


    I coach professionals to do the things they wont do on their own says Mike, my

    greatest sense of self-worth comes from watching others grow and knowing I played

    a critical part in it.

    Married to the love of his life (Natalie) and so very proud of his 3 kids, Mike still finds

    time to coach and mentor NZs fastest motocross riders. Its an extremely demand-

    ing and dangerous sport and the professional riders I work with have everything on

    the line every time they race. Want to learn how to focus the mind and overcome

    fear? youve come to the right place

    I coach

    professionals to do

    the things they wont

    do on their own


    The learning from this has been amazing! says Mike. The very real threat of serious

    injury combined with the pressure of being a professional athlete is the perfect place to

    find what really works, and throws out all the garbage that most of the self-help books