we tend to play one of three roles in our business

We Tend to Play One of Three Roles In Our Business

we tend to play one of three roles in our businessWe tend to play one of three roles in our business (including relationships and parenting). They are known as ego-states and can be either an Adult, Parent or Child. This is based on Dr Eric Berne’s seminal theory from the 1950’s – and is very useful for us business owners looking to improve staff performance, productivity, and profits.

This is the first in ‘Your Inner Game Series’ to help you improve results in 2016 by improving the way you think which in turn improves the actions you take in your business. It’s not circumstances that will dictate your success in 2016, it’s your actions.


In the adult role we take 100% responsibility and accountability for results. Reactions are based on facts and logic. We don’t blame others or pass the buck. We manage our emotions. We handle criticism and negative feedback because we accept it for what it is and don’t turn it into a personal wound.

We recognise we are responsible for the current situation or state of the business and as an adult we can fix it. We don’t hesitate to look at what we can do better next time. When dealing with staff we treat them with respect and trust and don’t play games.

The adult controls the parent and the child. To change the parent or child, we must go through the adult.


As a parent, we believe we know best and we treat staff and others as our ‘kids’ that can’t be trusted, need to be constantly told what to do or to be nurtured. We respond to situations in the way we have ‘learnt’ to from our parents therefore our reactions are not always based on logic and the facts.

We may not delegate well. It’s ‘our way or the highway’. As a parent we can tend to want to rescue staff, protect them, and if they don’t do it right or at all, we get annoyed and tend to jump in and ‘just do it ourselves’.

We may hinder staff growth and their ability to work as adults. We don’t hold them accountable and responsible.


As a child we just want to have fun and avoid responsibility. When the shit hits the fan, we say “it wasn’t me!” “It’s their fault”. “It’s the market” or the competitors.

We find all sorts of excuses for poor results or not doing something. But when things are good, we take all the credit. We constantly seek and need pats on the back for doing a good job, in other words we seek approval of ‘parents’.

We just want to play and as a business owner this can mean just wanting to spend the income without proper attention to taxes and other financial responsibilities or keeping the marketing going.

If we deal with someone playing a parent role and telling us what to do, we can feel offended, resentful, and become obstinate and not follow orders or quietly sabotage the person.


Next time you are in a less than positive situation, or if you have a current issue, explore whether which role you are playing – parent, adult or child.

Don’t worry about what role the others were playing. Be an adult and take full responsibility, no matter how much a part of you may hate doing this…and explore your role. If you were being a parent or child, explore how an adult would have handled it. How can you move forward as an adult?

Mindfulness in business is key.

Mindful that the outcome is only a product of 2 things: an event and our reaction.

Event + Reaction = Outcome

Recognising whether we are being a parent, adult or child significantly helps us modify our ‘reaction’. Which unquestionably influences the ‘outcome’.

Give it a go. Love to hear your outcome.

Trick Your Brain To Help You Succeed

Use these 3 powerful strategies to trick your brain into helping you succeed by unlocking the solutions it has hidden.

# Trick 1

Instead of saying “I can’t afford it”, rephrase it with “How can I afford it?”

I learnt this technique 16 years ago when starting my property investing and in three years I went from regularly saying “I can’t afford it” to finding ways to afford property in WA, Qld and VIC.

Try it. When you say “how can I afford it?” your brain gets on task and works to help you see ways you CAN afford it. Saying you ‘can’t afford it’ can only cause your brain to do one thing and that is confirm how you can’t. Apply this technique in business when faced with an expense whether it’s hiring, marketing, new equipment, training, whatever.

# Trick 2

“I don’t know” versus “I don’t know…yet”.

Try it. Repeat each one and note how you feel after saying it. Can you feel the difference?
First one shuts done solutions and is a deadend. Second one triggers the brain to unlock hidden knowledge.

# Trick 3

“I’m confused” versus “I’m seeking clarification”

First one reinforces an unhelpful state that is a deadend. Try them and note how you feel after each one. This is a great one to encourage staff to use. Whether it’s in meetings, daily activities or conversation.

Start using one of these today.

Moral of the story is watch your language! Our brains are like the internet. Our language is like the search terms we enter. If we google “how to…?” we get all kinds of random ‘how to’ suggestions. If we use more accurate and specific search terms, eg “how to make chocolate cake” we get the answers we are looking for. No brainer! 🙂 Our brains may be complex and amazing but they are actually quite simple to operate…once we know how.


You matter by volunteer houstonby David J Lennon

Three top core needs we all have as humans (whether its work, relationships, as a customer):

to belong,
to feel significant,
to contribute.

Applying this to your customer relationships and courting prospects, we can explore ways to make them feel they belong and are significant.

Seems a bit esoteric perhaps, the belonging part. But we like to belong to tribes. There is security and comfort in a tribe.

I think one ‘tribe’ your prospects can be offered to ‘join’ is the tribe of customers who have used your service or product and are absolutely loving it.

This is how businesses milk the power of facebook and customers posting how much they love the product. It satisfies the need to belong to a tribe, to feel significant and contribute.

How to promote your tribe??

You can do this by statements such as:
“Over 5,000 happy customers” or whatever the number is. Testimonials are another way to demonstrate there is a ‘tribe’ that use your product/service.

“<your business> is the preferred ??? by leading Melbourne ???”

This demonstrates there is a tribe that trust you and its safe to join.

How else are you promoting your tribe? Or could promote your tribe?

To feel significant. It’s good customer service. Whether a prospect or customer.

Every touch point with them can make them feel significant or insignificant. We all experience this every week. A simple greeting when walking into a business can make us feel significant or insignificant. Review your touchpoints (eg emails to new enquiries, calls, meetings, brochure wording, website wording and ease of use, forms, followup service, etc etc)

The small touches often have the biggest impact on helping us feel significant.

If you are looking to increase conversion of prospects, review what you are saying or sending to them and grade it’s level of ‘specialness’. How special are you making them feel?

How can you make prospects and customers feel more significant when;


Visualisation Not Affirmations Is the Secret

Are affirmations to think positive or get yourself motivated not working? Never really worked for me either. The secret is visualisation.

And not really surprising considering research shows that the brain can’t distinguish between an imagined event and real event and still changes body chemistry accordingly.

Visualisation Not Affirmations Is The Secret

I think it’s one of the best kept secrets. Might do the trick for you as well.

For example, if you need to get yourself into a positive mindset to tackle a business task, simply spend a minute or two bringing up a memory of a time when you were super motivated. A time that you were on fire and raring to go. Spend as long with that memory as you need. You will find your mood immediately changes.

Visualisation can be used for any mindset – confident speaker/trainer, loving partner, focused and productive, or confident and positive seller.

David Lennon
Troubleshooting Expert and Business Coach


3 Great Ways to Boost Business with Your Vision

If you don’t have a vision for your business written down and regularly used, you are missing out. Here’s 3 ways you should be using your vision statement to boost your business:

1. Assess existing staff and candidates you are interviewing by asking yourself this question, “Will this person take my business towards my vision?”
You might be surprised at the answer! I’ve seen business owners that are chronic bad hirers – rarely getting the right people for the job – turn things around just by doing this.

Business Visualisation

You also attract better candidates when you include your vision in your job ads. It can scare away the one’s that are not serious and motivate the one’s that resonate with it.

And that is what you want. Employees are one of your biggest expenses in business and are like the wheels on your car, you will go nowhere without them – therefore make sure they are the right wheels to take you to your vision.

2. Test your marketing material with your vision statement.
Hold them side by side and ask yourself if there is a match. For example:

  • Does your website, your branding, your choice of wording, your offers, your pricing…match your vision?
  • Will your marketing and branding take your business towards your vision?

There HAS to be a match. And this technique of testing your marketing against your vision is a great way to reduce the time required deciding what marketing to do.

3. Share it!
Don’t hide it. Put it on the wall in a respectful frame, put it on quotes, on your website, in your email signatures. In essence if it’s your vision, it’s worth sharing.
And being proud of. If you can’t be proud of it, then your staff won’t be and guess what that means? You are not likely to achieve it.
Remember, to achieve any vision, you have to first be sold on it yourself. With any goal, you have to have it in your heart and head before you can have it in your hand.


If you are having trouble figuring out how to describe your vision, I have a worksheet that might help. Shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you.

David Lennon
Troubleshooting Expert and Business Coach