I was inspired by a recent post by thought leader Seth Godin regarding fear and tension.
He talks about fear as a fast and easy way to create obedience.
In comparison, Seth describes tension as the process of questioning and taking a leap of faith: Will this work? Who will I become if I succeed? And, more importantly, how tension is required in learning a new skill.
“The tension we face any time we’re about to cross a threshhold.” I adore that observation.
Fear and tension play a large role in our network marketing businesses, too. Each has its place in the business journey.
The fear of missing out. The fear of what would happen if you lost your job. The fear of a mid-life crisis confronting the “waste” of many productive work years.
Many times we independent representatives present our businesses as the solution to all three.
Sometimes fear is the kick in the pants that people need to take that leap and join your team.
But fear can backfire, too. The trainer at the front of the room who says “bring a guest or don’t show up next time.” The sponsor who berates the rep with, “You should be working harder.” Fear’s motto is “My way or the highway.”
I think of fear as a sharp stick. You’ll get an immediate reaction, typically a visceral one of pain, when you use it. Some so-called leaders get a thrill out of that dynamic. But you’re thrusting that stick… and many people move aside or back away to avoid it… eventually.
In a confined environment such as a job or within the military, the stick can be a powerful motivator. But not so much with a “volunteer army” situation like network marketing.
Representatives in your organization don’t have to sit in the audience at your meeting. They don’t have to move at the speed you want. They can continue representing the company until they decide to resign, or the corporate compliance department boots them out for violations of Policies and Procedures.
On the other hand we have the rubber band of tension.
Who we are as a company and where we’re headed. (and you can join us on the journey). Imagining oneself receiving phone calls and congratulations for attaining the next rank. Encouragement by increasing the newbie’s confidence. The leader dumps her knowledge into the other person’s brain, as many times as it takes, and gives pep talks along the way. It’s typically a slower process.
I visualize the effect of tension as a strong rubber band, stretching and relaxing. I step one pace along the journey, and the band stretches. Then you step toward me, and the band goes limp again. Repeat.
Fear: You should be like me. You need to do it. But I won’t let you be better than me. And I will keep you at arm’s length to protect myself.
Tension: You could be like me. You can do it. I will applaud when you surpass me. Here, take my hand and let me assist you.
Each distributor requires a unique blend of fear and tension along the journey. Be aware of which technique you’re using.
And remember, fear creates pain and an initial shove, while tension creates trust and a long-lasting bonded team.
–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™
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