The acronym BLISS™ delivers a recipe for organizations to follow to develop resilience and influence to address any circumstances that occur:
- Behavior: displays of how people manage themselves and others
- Leadership: the temperament that supports this environment, vision and way forward
- Insights: learning opportunities, including coaching and training embedded in culture, and receptivity to change
- Strategy: the plan for how ideas are applied across the organization (e.g., Is it interactive?)
- Service: what the company supports, including causes, volunteerism, community outreach, scholarships or awards
To create a cohesive BLISS strategy, apply the BLISS influence model across the enterprise. Start with a pilot department. Exercise the power of influence to make a difference. Then, make adjustments along the way. It simplifies the process to establish your system.
The beauty of BLISS influence is the simplicity.
It is easy to remember and opens a creative space to produce rewarding results rather than punitive actions. However, BLISS takes practice. Rather than stumbling upon the power of influence, BLISS makes actions conscious. It can build on self-awareness.
BLISS influence focuses on two-way communication.
Influence requires awareness and conscious intention to be effective. Long considered a soft skill, influence is often underestimated and misunderstood. It is a tool to encourage collaboration and establish a code to produce aligned best practices. It must be interactive to be effective.
Responsiveness and action are the desired outcomes that are positively self-fulfilling. Who wouldn’t want to be on your team when its members are loyal, happy, productive, respected, rewarded and enthusiastic rather than stressed, “handcuffed volunteers”?
The BLISS influence model transcends generations and cultures and boosts optimum communication within the organization, because there is trust.
It starts at the top, intentionally or not.
Leaders must realize they set the tone for the results they want to receive. If they want resilient team members, there must be room in the company culture to nurture resilience. They must demonstrate they care. Here is where the emotionally intelligent leader shines – because of empathy.
Empathy is the essential trust ingredient.
Empathy allows humans to connect so they don’t feel alone. It offers non-judgmental support and kindness in any situation. For example, consider the recent scenes of rescuers from storms, who, at their own peril, worked to rescue others. These people will be bound forever. Another exquisite example is the Canadian response on 9/11, when small towns took in the thousands of stranded airplane passengers whose planes were redirected not to land in the U.S.
Influence is a form of persuasion.
It is benign, conscious manipulation of perception. The BLISS influence model ensures that good intentions prevail, because it is transparent. How we “show up” projects our authentic persona and casts influence. Listeners are likely to trust us, because there is an emotional connection and authenticity. They know where they stand, so they have more confidence in the message.
Accountability is at the heart of BLISS.
The power of your influence enlivens your point of view to be more magnetic, attractive and safe. Influence enhances the “likeability factor” – the key for your audience to be more sympathetic to your point of view. It is the difference between first and second place.
Influence is a negotiation power tool.
When it’s used intentionally, emotionally intelligent self-awareness boosts power. Clarity of options is enticing and can lead to optimum choices. Influence is useful when creating memorable presentations and impressions in the boardroom, courtroom and lunchroom. You are negotiating for mind space.
Strategies help to fuel BLISS.
Begin asking pointed questions: How are people treated in the company? Is there respect for differing viewpoints? What is rewarded: numbers or behaviors? Who receives attention, and for what?
Preparedness is how we can cope under adversity and bounce back with a healthy response. Use these tips to fuel BLISS:
- Include influence in employee reviews. Ask employees to write how they influenced a project, person or outcome. This action raises awareness.
- Use a letter of authority to generate project buy-in and accountability.
- Practice stress exercises that provide roadmaps when adversity strikes.
- Debrief projects to capture lessons learned from setbacks.
- Understand and discuss the collective perception of a failure.
- Criticism relates to esteem and confidence. To contribute to resilience, expose the role of criticism, and teach employees how to provide positive feedback in negative situations.
- Envision different outcomes as a catalyst for creative thinking and solutions.
- Since relationships are essential, use assessments to identify different team members’ styles. For example, Edward DeBono’s book “Six Thinking Hats” is a lively method to learn more about your team.
- Train employees on self-talk: “So you were rejected in this moment; detach yourself from the criticism. Next!”
- Catastrophizing about swirling details makes situations worse. To combat this process, build mindfulness.
- Ask leaders, managers and supervisors to provide the criteria they use for feedback. How did they assign value? Sharing this information creates a level playing field.
- Distinguish between opinion and the merit of someone’s contribution. What are you comparing? Be cautious not to compare your best to the worst of others.
When the BLISS model permeates the entire organization, from the hiring process to social media and all touch points to the public, it provides a strong framework to build aligned actors, including vendors, filled with empathy, resilience and a focus on high performance.