Relevance to Business—Building Bridges
Once we’re booked to give a workshop in a corporate environment, we find that bridge building is essential. When introducing EFT to this audience we have been deliberate to speak in language that the business market finds relevant. Most people in these roles work in a highly pressurized environment, both emotionally and mentally. Even if they have yet to accept the effect and importance of their emotional wellbeing on their physical health, by billing our workshops as Stress Management with EFT, or simply Stress Management Training, we immediately “speak to their pain.”
New techniques and alternative approaches are not necessarily welcomed by traditional corporations, or by the decision-makers within them. The use of Stress Management as a label puts the emphasis less on our employing a “weird technique” and more on adding a new tool to their various coping strategies. However, as seasoned users of EFT know, we so quickly can achieve lasting relief that management becomes a thing of the past. We deliberately use the term management rather than relief as people come to our corporate workshops not expecting to do away permanently with the root causes of their stress. So we start our presentation with language and concepts that are available and familiar to them. By meeting our audience from where they start we establish ready rapport and can progress to what can be compellingly possible with EFT.
A Typical Workshop
A typical workshop will last between one and three hours. First, we start with Stress Management, the effects of stress, and the problems stress can cause. Then we introduce EFT in a general way, to start gaining acceptance and to build trust. We briefly introduce ourselves as “one of them.” Both Lynne and Sejual have had careers in the corporate world. Lynne was publishing director at two of the Smithsonian’s museums and other large academic institutions for fifteen years in Washington, D.C. and Sejual was an antitrust law barrister for five years in London and Brussels. We explain how we came to EFT to help cope with our high levels of stress in our former careers and found it a compelling enough technique to change careers to work full time with it and bring it into other corporate environments.
We talk about areas that all can identify, explaining that EFT has a strong track record of helping with physical pain, emotional (or “stress”) upsets, and enhancing mindset and performance. Using language that notes the effect of the mind/body interaction we introduce the idea that we’re working with the body’s meridian system and stimulating it like an acupuncturist would do. It is important to be aware, however, that not everyone is comfortable with the idea of invisible paths of energy flow. So another approach we often employ is to talk about working with the body’s nervous system. We understand that each of the EFT points is centered on an accumulation of nerve endings more dense than at many other parts of the body. We explain this and note that by tapping on these points we’re stimulating the body’s central nervous system, and so are introducing beneficial electrical change while using the mind’s ability to focus.
At this point, we briefly introduce some of the health/mindset issues we’ve had success with in client work and personally. We have found, however, given the analytical nature of this audience that it is often more helpful to emphasize that we wish them to gather their own personal evidence of EFT at work, as that will be more meaningful to them.
The First Workshop
During the first workshop we have found that two exercises and one “instant” EFT suggestion provide plenty of content. We first get them to write down their intensity level around a stressful event that happened in the office a while back using the 0-10 intensity scale. It is helpful to suggest examples, which might include a computer crash, the loss of a document, or a photocopier jam. Most have experienced such a problem, and they will be able to experience the effectiveness of EFT without having to go into anything personal, which is too intrusive in a work environment. They then put this to one side to come back to.
Second, we take them through the constricted breathing exercise. This illustrates EFT’s efficacy with nearly everyone. And because it is not at all personal, and doesn’t highlight any weakness, people immediately start to relax. Given that this is the first time the group is tapping together, we bring humor into our wording. They usually feel silly and awkward tapping on themselves, and so we make a little joke of it. We’ve used wording like:
Even though I can’t believe I’m in the conference room, tapping on my hand and body, it’s a good thing that door is shut, I’m OK with this for now.
Even though I’m doing this silly tapping thing in front of my colleagues, I’m not sure it’s going to work, but maybe I can give it a go.
Even though this seems really out there, and I’m a logical person, I’m OK with giving it a shot right now.
We use reminder phrases like “this looks so odd,” “hope the cameras aren’t rolling,” ”I can’t believe I’m doing this”. It is always worth using transitional phrases like “I’m OK with this now,” or “I’m ready to give it a go,” instead of “I love and accept myself” as is traditionally taught in EFT. It is important to steer clear of language that feels out of place or too personal in the office. And we find when we bring humor into the equation, everyone laughs as we voice what is going through their minds. Laughter has the great benefit of easing their worries and releasing things quickly for them.
We then move on to the second exercise. We have them return to the incident they had picked at the beginning. We ask them to check their intensity scale, and allow them to switch to another incident if they prefer. By reassuring them that they will not need to voice their issue in front of the group, we provide more comfort. We choose a reminder phrase that will act as the vehicle, or umbrella term, for everyone, like “this stressful event” or “that time,” and emphasize the clear benefit of being able to maintain privacy even though we are in a group setting. Sometimes we’ll use a rambling style that’s broadly about feeling tense about the unknown issue, picking up on the general ways of feeling anxious that come up for all of us (e.g. using visual, kinesthetic, and auditory cues). We facilitate the rounds of tapping to make sure everybody achieves some form of relief with tapping, thus giving them a concrete, experiential way buy in to the possibility that there’s more to it than they might have thought.
There are normally a lot of questions once people start getting changes, so we allow time for questions and discussion. We provide them with a tapping chart handout, a generic script on “this stress,” and give them an ultra shortcut. We show them how to gently tap on the fingertip and hand points with hands in their lap so that no one can see what they’re doing. We call this “stealth tapping,” and everyone likes this notion and always wants to know about it.
Questions and Answers about EFT
Once we have our audience’s awareness of change, the questions often start coming in about how EFT works. It is important to remember that this is a highly logical audience. We’ve found that to maintain rapport it’s best to be honest and say that science is still trying to conclusively understand how exactly EFT delivers results. Nonetheless, we’ve found it helpful to draw on the work of Bruce Lipton, Candace Pert, and Dawson Church in referring to possible explanations. We’re also grateful to Carol Look for having brought the work of neurologist Dr Robert Scaer to the EFT community. Scaer’s discussion of the surge of adrenaline in “flight or fight” situations is a handle that most can accept with regards to the origins of high stress levels.
Having copies of these authors’ books with us allows members of the audience to page through them afterward if they are interested enough. They also demonstrate our commitment to finding out further answers as a practitioner of this stress management tool.
Turning the question of how EFT works back on them can also be revealing. It allows them to offer suggestions about what’s happening based on their outlook. When presenting a Stress Management with EFT workshop at Merck Pharmaceuticals, Sejual found that staff decided it was a method for calming the body’s stress response, which then helped them think more clearly and so logically. As a result her audience were more able to accept EFT as a tool they would like to explore further. This ongoing interest is important to helping them continue to grow in their EFT knowledge.
Private Concerns/Public Stress
In a work group environment, it is simply not appropriate or possible to cover private issues. Individuals are understandably loathe to admit to any of their weaknesses in front of colleagues. In normal EFT group shares within our private practices we’re not so restrained. People come from unrelated backgrounds and so feel comfortable sharing more intimate details of their lives. In an office environment we showcase EFT in relation to the group’s shared stresses. This helps indicate how EFT can be used to improve team performance leading onto peak performance.
Here’s the fun part. When we introduce peak performance we’re also able to inject humor, and increase interest in and desire for more change. We do this by talking about how EFT accelerates sports performance—we’ve referred to golf handicaps, tennis serves, weight workouts, weight loss, stamina in running, and flexibility in yoga, so that we’re touching a broad range of interests. The group sees a “fun” benefit to the workshop. It’s not just about dissolving stress so that they can be better office drones. These associations are positive and upbeat and we tie in sports language with performance at work themes. By working on an area that’s personal but accessible in a work environment we are still able to clear limiting beliefs or old worries. This information can be introduced in a couple of places—during the question-and-answer segment, as people often ask about what else EFT can help with, or during the closing comments, as we open up even further possibilities with the people in the workshop.
What is perhaps most helpful about bringing in the performance improvement element is that it makes it permissible for staff to be seen talking with us and going to our workshops. This is because they are demonstrating their desire to do something concrete that will increase their abilities. By doing this we keep EFT in a positive space that encourages participation, ongoing interest, and pass-along value. Consequently this has led staff to also come to us for private sessions.
Given the extraordinary stress levels people are under in the current economic climate, now is the best time for corporations to integrate EFT into their approach for success and wellness. EFT has the potential to significantly reduce stress, increase effectiveness, improve morale, and reduce health care costs, as employees at all levels begin to use EFT routinely. Workshops are the simplest way for corporations to begin exploring the rewards of EFT because employees can personally experience the benefits on the spot. Companies find that by bringing in EFT, they gain a real competitive edge.
EFT is also sweeping the social media world, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, where business presence is growing. So it is simply a matter of time before EFT will be routinely used as a stress-management and peak performance tool in the workplace. Until then, however, forward-thinking firms that adopt EFT will reap the significant advantage of being early adopters of a profoundly effective technology that their competition may not yet have. And that could make all the difference to their success and leadership within their fields in a still-challenging global business environment.
Co-authors Sejual Shah and Lynne Shaner are both EFT International trainers and advanced practitioners.
Sejual Shah is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer and Advanced Practitioner in the UK. She helps execs with career growth and confidence issues. Since 2008 she has pioneered ways of delivering business EFT courses to large companies at home and abroad and loves coaching other practitioners to do this as well. She is the co-founder of Business Energetics. Her website is www.healthyinmind.com
Lynne Shaner, PhD is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer and Advanced Practitioner in Rockville, Maryland, US. She is also a certified hypnotherapist and holds a PhD in the field of Mind-Body Medicine. You can visit her online at www.eftpraxis.com
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on April 10, 2010.