Energy plus Engagement = Power!

Tom is struggling with getting the car in gear. It’s a small Kia, manual, right-hand drive. As an American he’s used to automatic, left-hand drive. Actually he’s a World traveller and has driven cars in all parts of the World. But this Kia’s gearbox holds some challenges for him. I’m in Eire, in Wexford, guest of my good friends Christine and Tom Harvey who are enjoying a house swap for 6 weeks; and a rented Kia!
So the engine is revving but we’re not going anywhere. I know there’s a message here for me – it’s fine for me to have lots of energy and enthusiasm but if it’s not connected to anything then I’m not going anywhere. There’s energy but no real Power. I need to engage my enthusiasm with a vision, a plan, a project timeline, or whatever I call my method of getting going. Connect your enthusiasm to a plan or a vision and you’ll get Power – potentially an unstoppable force to accomplish something worthwhile. Now it is also true that simply creating plan or a vision can create an enthusiasm to achieve it, but if you’re not getting to where you want to be then you might want to look at your enthusiasm or your engagement, or both.
Empathy Styles ( shows us that each of the 7 styles has its own way of combining these two elements of life. The most powerful with the most focus is the Politician who’ll be very clear about what needs to be done, and it will get done. The Hustler has a different way of getting things done but will still be effective.
The Engineer will have both the plan and the willingness to engage with it although the final result will take its own time. At least having the Engineer involved we know the final solution will work! The Normal also has an orderly way of getting things done – it may not be exciting but it will be logical.
The 3 styles who have most difficulty with combining Enthusiasm with Engagement are the Mover (lots of energy but if there’s no plan will easily be distracted); the Double-Checker (quite capable of creating a plan but will need help getting started); and the Artist (great at dreaming of a great vision but little sense of urgency – “I’ll do it when I’m ready”!)
Of course we’re all a combination of Empathy Styles (thank goodness) which gives me, at least, hope! As a strong Normal, Double-Checker, Artist I have my own challenge to engage my variable enthusiasm. I know that I can create a great vision but I also know that I have to work to overcome my inertia and doubts to create value for myself and others.
So where do you sit with this – what are your strong Empathy styles? And how does that relate to your enthusiasm and your engagement? If you’re lucky to have two or more styles that combine well to produce both Enthusiasm and Engagement you are indeed fortunate. I’d love to hear from you about how you get to produce things worthwhile.
Visit to discover your strong Empathy Styles, or to learn more about Empathy Styles.
Or contact me at or +44 (0) 207 100 2520

Watching spiders – they don’t need to understand Empathy!

So there it is – just outside my window – a garden spider, of the larger variety. And I notice 3 things: how perfectly it creates its web; how easily flies get caught in it; and the speed at which it moves from the centre of the web to wrap up the ensnared prey. Two things occur to me in relation to Sales.
First, if you want sales or contacts, you’ve got to have a device for getting them. You have to create something that’s going to work!
Second, when something does come within your ‘catchment’ you have to move fast to capitalise on it. (It’s amazing how fast the spider moves across its web without getting caught up itself)
When I think about my own sales experience over 30 years, I realise that I’ve done both. At times I’ve had superb sales mechanisms for generating business and at other times I’ve been in a muddle with leads and lacked the enthusiasm or drive to follow them up. My understanding of my Empathy Styles profile (see helps me to see what happens.
Of the 7 Empathy styles, I’m a high in Normal, Double-Checker and Artist. Now, we know that these are very powerful underlying drives and as such they’re not logical, they’re emotional. And when I allow myself to be taken over by them, I can find myself worrying whether it’s the right thing to do (the Normal); whether I can do it (the Double-Checker); and whether I can do it perfectly (the Artist). Anyone of which can halt my progress immediately, if I let it.
But when I go back to my training in sales then I pick up the phone, start making contacts, get on with it, and in no time can inspire myself to keep going. Then something really magical happens. I start generating business!
So my invitation is for you to notice your Empathy Styles profile (your emotional drives), but don’t let it rule your life, particularly your sales or business life. Instead follow the spider’s example, which knows how flies behave and builds its web accordingly. Notice how other people get ‘caught’ in their own Empathy Styles and allow themselves to be driven by their emotions. With a greater understanding of Empathy Styles you can understand yourself better and more importantly can realise how to appeal to your prospects, emotionally, which is ultimately what appeals to us all.

Empathy Styles and friendship – how does that work?

I caught Thought for the Day on the Today programme on Radio 4 last Friday. The speaker was talking about Cardinal Newman and his up-coming beatification on Sunday. The discussion was around the search for truth about which the Cardinal had written: “men must have chronic familiarity to understand each other for truth slowly sinks into the mind”. And while I didn’t get the complete sense of that immediately the phrase “chronic familiarity” seemed to strike a chord with me as it made me think of friendship.

Years ago when I used to give a seminar on Time Management we spoke about the value of friends and how easy it is to get busy and lose touch with those we love. I would ask the audience if they remembered about friends. I joked that friends were the people who knew all about us and still liked us (I don’t claim that that is original!) – they didn’t want to sell us anything nor did they want to marry us.

My own recollection is of Peter, my best friend until we went to different schools and somehow lost touch, even though we still only lived 200 yards from each other. He was the youngest of 7 boys so his mother was used to having kids in and out of the house all the time. I could have knocked on their door at any time and would be welcomed in and given a biscuit and orange squash without any reason being asked for.

So what now of friends? I literally thank God for all the people that know all about me and still like me. And as my thoughts turn to Empathy as we develop a new website, I’m wondering how many of our friends are actually very different from us in Empathy terms. In other words having very different temperaments from us and we still like them. How come we know and like these people and yet can so easily scorn the behaviour of others who may be similarly different? Could it be that in taking a moment longer (or maybe in some cases, several moments!) to get to know someone of a very different Empathy style they could eventually become a friend?

So perhaps looking to understand friendship through an understanding of Empathy is one of those life situations, like romantic love, where our Empathy style is not the most important element. Perhaps something else is going on which may have to do with understanding or love or helpfulness or maybe it’s just plain ‘chronic familiarity’. (And for me, I discovered a year ago where Peter is now living, or rather he found me, and although we haven’t met up yet, we will. But I know that we will have lost that ‘chronic familiarity’ that we had as 9 year olds.)

Please contact me for more information on Empathy Styles – I’m always happy to answer questions – or 0845 122 7117