Have you ever experienced this?…
You are teaching something that you love, and you get so excited about it, so into the passion of teaching, that you no longer want to call them to action or ask them to commit to doing something? I’ve been there myself and seen it happen with others too often. I’ve heard all the excuses - the room didn’t feel quite right, it didn’t fit, wasn’t the right crowd, I listened to my intuition and my intuition said not to do it. (That one cracks me up because I believe that’s not good intuition to listen to.) I call BULLony on all excuses (and that’s what they are – excuses)! Here’s why -
One of my first experiences with this was while I was serving a two-year mission for my church. My goal in teaching was for them commit to baptism. For many, many, months I'd be teaching people, and I'd feel the Spirit witness of the truths I was teaching. Deep down, I knew I needed to invite them to take action. There were many times I thought that the Spirit or my intuition said don't call to action, don't invite yet, and it would throw off the feeling of peace. I started to learn more about how powerful the Spirit is when you get into the flow of teaching truth. Then I got to experience what that same Spirit feels like when people took action and it was different! What I am attempting to teach you today is something I am still learning and it's a bit hard to describe how this happens. But I believe we've all experienced it.
Why It’s Bull
When you are teaching someone, and you know you need to invite them to take the next step but you continue to coach instead of offering anything because you think "Well, it just doesn’t fit right now. I just want to have a good session," you are justifying through good feelings. What’s happening is that we feel peaceful when we’re coaching someone and if you call to action there’s an opportunity for rejection. It also creates a shift in energy when you go from teaching to commitment. If you don't bridge the gap (I’ll teach you how in a minute), it seems awkward and out of place. So people justify with a myriad of excuses why they didn’t call someone to action.
Anytime you see that you’ve justified or rationalized not calling someone to action, I guarantee that if you looked back and asked yourself - what if I had offered, what if I would have committed them to action, what would have happened? - the change would be 10 times more powerful. I promise you. This is the key: When you are trying to help people take action and you are in teaching mode, if you decide not to call people to action, you are in a spirit of slumber! It's the state that we get in when we are teaching good things that can become addictive to people. When we are in this state of slumber, where we are in the same tone, frequency, energy, and superiority so to speak, we just go on and on and we don’t want to disturb it because it’s like having to wake from slumber. So how do you get out of it?
Awake From the Slumber
You get out of it with the spirit of action! By calling someone to action and helping them make a commitment. People wake up and they must choose whether they want something or not which puts them in the powerhouse. They are now capable of doing or not doing, which is where the true transformation happens. Yes, you can change people through teaching good principles but, to me, the biggest changes I've seen are when people act on those principles, when they do something about it.
In my life, I went through that slumber countless times. Tons of times on my mission I would justify why I didn't invite someone to baptism. "Oh, they are just not ready yet. Maybe one more lesson. This next time I will do it." As a coach and speaker, the same pattern emerged. Sometimes I am teaching and I don’t want to disturb the frequency of slumber that I am putting everyone in. Then I see it - oh my goodness! Red flag! Hello! Call to action! Call to action! Because that's the whole purpose. Your purpose as someone who is making an impact, who has a message that needs to be shared is to call to action! If you are allowed to make an offer and it's scheduled, never leave without doing it! You are not providing the biggest transformation unless you give a call to action. That is your responsibility and duty.
Think of it this way - the whole time you are teaching and finding out about their needs, it's like setting out a beautiful buffet of fruit. You teach them all about it and they are mesmerized. Yet, if you don't offer, you pull the banquet away and don’t let them partake. To me, that is very selfish. That is creating an addiction inside of them, and they will just keep coming back for tastes because you won't give them what they need. How can you give them what they need if you don't call to action, if you don't make an offer? Commit to yourself that you are never going to leave a speech or lesson without giving a commitment - because true change comes through action on commitments.
Understand Your Role
Now here's the thing, where big commitments happen, big changes happen. When I was on my mission, there was a guy named Christenson who was teaching us missionaries in a conference about the role of a missionary. I believe the role of a speaker and coach is the same. He taught that the role of a missionary isn't to prepare people, it's to convert. Meaning to help those who are ripe and ready and to harvest the fruit. The role is not to prepare. The calling of preparing is for the Holy Ghost and the members. One of the missionaries in the conference objected somewhat to this and shared that someone close to him was nurtured and prepared by the missionaries for 12 years until he was finally ready to be baptized. Christenson then made a bold statement that changed my paradigm about calling to action. He said that those 12 years were wasted. At first, I thought that didn’t make sense. Then he went on to say that if the missionaries had been bold from the beginning and called this person to action - and if he hadn’t taken action stopped teaching him - then he probably would have hit his pit faster and would have been converted within a year or two. The missionaries weren't living their calling by preparing him for 12 years. They were trying to do something lesser when their job was to call to action. They wasted so much time with somebody who wasn't prepared, who wasn't ready.
So, as a speaker and a coach, I see myself in that same way. Do I trust other people and God and the universe to prepare the people that I am here to serve? If so, it's my job to call them to action. Yes, teaching them a little bit here and there - that's all part of it. But it's not my job to prepare the people. It's my job to call them to action and help them make life transformations now, and if I don't do that, I am actually hurting their progress. Why? Because now they are going to confront their demons inside. Now they are going to confront their fears. If they decide not to do something that they know they need to do, they are going to have one heck of a ride till they are ready and then take action.
Bridge the Gap
If you are teaching and you want to offer something, whether it's monetary or spiritual or whatever it might be, you have to bridge the gap so the transition from teaching to your offer isn’t awkward. To do this you want to get two things from them - their permission to share and a micro-commitment. Ask something like - hey, do you want to take this to the next level? Or do you really want to get these results? Well, the best way is to commit to xyz. Is it okay if I share with you what you can do to take that action? Now you have their permission and some micro-commitments, so you can help them commit to something greater. Then you share and teach and commit them to something bigger.
Stop living in the state of slumber. I invite you to live instead in the spirit of action. Next time you give a presentation or are teaching, think about that. Ask yourself - what is the action I need to have these people take to transform their lives?
I would love to hear your feedback on this. This is a profound subject so if you want to have a deeper discussion, join our Enrollment Masters Facebook Group and post on the spirit of slumber versus the spirit of action. I welcome your insights and would love to get your beliefs and opinions because this has been a huge lesson for me.