How do you feel when you meet your best buddy from college after 20 odd years?
Most exciting and amazing experience and so joyful which can just be felt. Right?
It happened to me few days back when I was looking for a good pair of shoes in a mall, I heard someone calling my name but from where, I was clueless. I turned around twice to identify but I could not find anyone known to me. Then someone tapped on my shoulder and I looked up and asked “Yes, are you looking for someone or some help?” He laughed and said he was looking for his friend from college whose name is Deepak Vyas. I got a hint that he was someone from my college but after 20 odd years, his face changed a lot, he had gained too much weight, and was totally out of the shape. He allowed me to guess for some time and gave some more hints and I was bang on and with a punch on his shoulder I gave him a signal that I remember him ….and then a tight hug. We walked through the mall’s gallery and came to a coffee shop and had a blast, remembering all the bizarre things we used to do in our college days.
While chatting about the personal journeys from college to the occupation, I observed that he had changed a lot many professions in these 20 years and as he was talking I was getting more curious to know about the reason behind. To my surprise, the only motivation to this behavior was internal insecurity and threat due to competitions to him in his area of work which made him to hop from one job to the other and then from one business to the other almost every 2-3 years.
While he was talking, my sensory acuity was at peak and I observed his shoulders dropping, voice going deep with shallow breathing and a clear restlessness was visible in his complete personality. It appeared like he always wanted someone to lend him the ears to listen him with open heart and no judgments about him.
I wondered what happened to such a cheerful human being back then in college days. All the internal conflicts, stress, anxiety, fears were clearly visible in his verbal and non-verbal communication. He was just going on with his story and with each word he used he was going down and down. Deep inside, I felt to help my friend and all of a sudden I splashed some water on his face. He was caught up with a surprise and came out of a negative trance but being a friend, he could not get angry on me as we used to do these strange things in college days.
Immediately I suggested him to come along with me on a ride and grabbed his hand while getting up, not giving him a second chance to think.
I took him to a market where there were too many shops selling floor tiles. We got down and inquired about the designs and prices and all the shopkeepers enthusiastically entertained us along with few other customers in their shop. They all tried various ways to identify the need, favorite colour, design, budget and many things and accordingly suggested few new arrivals on their display shelves. Few also offered water or tea-coffee and chair to sit while we saw the album.
Then we did some window shopping in the furniture market, fruit market etc. Almost everywhere we were welcomed by the business owners/shopkeepers and they gave utmost value to us.
While coming back to drop him on his venue, I asked him about the setup of the market. Each market was full of competitors and yet each one had their customers. Each one displayed huge flexibility in giving value to their customers, innovative ideas to display their products, please their customers, understand their requirements all with an ultimate purpose to win the customer.
I also reminded him about one shopkeeper to whom I mentioned that I did not like his designs at all and to that he just gave a smile and updated that next week he will send snaps of new arrivals on my mobile and if required he can drop to my house and show the new album as well.
All I wanted to do was reframe the meaning from my friends mind for “Competition is Bad” to “Competitions Creates Opportunities”, and I could clearly see a positive shift in his body language and his verbal communication as I saw him hit his fist to the other palm. I instantly advised him to repeat this act whenever he feels low. He was feeling free from his anxiety and i could see glitter in his eyes and dilated pupils, probably he started thinking on some big plans which he must have dreamed about some day in his early life.
I was feeling so good for my friend…I could use my knowledge of NLP to add value to my dear friend.