What Has Harry Potter Got to Do With Your Business?

The new Harry Potter film – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince- was eagerly awaited as it came out a couple of months ago now. It has been quite a while since we have seen the intrepid youngsters battle the forces of Voldemort and watched as his Dementors suck the soul out of everything … or is it?

Unfortunately The Dementors are at work in every business and every organisation.  We have all encountered those people who only seem to be happy when they are moaning about something and continually blame other people when things don’t work out. The ongoing negativity of some colleagues and clients can drain your energy, gets in the way of progress, limits what is achieved and frankly just gets on your nerves!

Does the following situation resonate with you at all?

You have a fantastic idea that will make your business or team or department more successful.

You are very keen to introduce this new idea/initiative/innovation to your staff/team/colleagues/ clients.

As a Leader you have spent time deciding on the best way to implement the change.

You have planned how it will be put in place.

You have worked out when it will be introduced.

You have designed how it will be monitored.

You are really enthusiastic and can visualise exactly how successful this will be.

You are now ready to sell it

You decide to present your ideas in a meeting.

You write an upbeat presentation selling the benefits.

The presentation goes really well and then …

…the Dementors go to work

“That’s all well and good but it won’t work here”

“It can’t be done”

“What’s the point? It won’t change anything”

“Oh, he/she’s been on a course again and got new ideas. They’ll soon pass”

“It’s a waste of time!”

“Yet more work for us to do. When are we supposed to find the time?”

“The clients won’t like it ”

“We’ll get complaints!”

… and so on, and so on

Sound familiar?

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books Dementors are described as beings who ” feed on positive emotions whose very presence makes the surrounding atmosphere cold and dark. They drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. The effects are cumulative with the number of Dementors present; they embody what I call “The Blame Culture” and they can be found everywhere.

The Dementors at Work suck all of the enthusiasm and energy out of every good idea. When you talk to a Dementor you come away drained by their negativity. You start off the conversation on a high note and end up feeling depressed.

Who are The Dementors at Work in your business/ team/organisation?

How can we change this ” can’t do” culture into a “will do” one?

By changing The Dementors into … Petronuses. ( A Petronus  is an “incarnation of positive feelings, such as joy and hope.  A Petronus can be viewed as the exact opposite of a Dementor”)

It is about challenging the view that “things are awful and will only get worse” and replacing it with a culture that seizes opportunities to improve, from the standpoint that ” we can achieve whatever we want to achieve”, that “anything is possible”.

To do this you need to help The Dementors change their perception of the situation.

These Negative Thinking Cycles can be transformed into Positive Thinking Cycles with sensitivity and care.

Time to Re-frame

” Reframing” is an NLP technique that I use to help bring about such a change.

Reframing involves exploring and challenging a statement to provide an alternative perspective. The emotional viewpoint is changed to another “frame” that fits the facts but changes their meaning. In this way a negative mindset can be transformed into a positive one.

When someone comes to you moaning about how bad things are or makes excuses for not being able to do something try using some of the following questions and listen carefully to their response ….

6 Questions To Help A Dementor Become a Petronus

1. What would you prefer to happen?

2. What is getting in the way of it succeeding?

3. What is stopping you?

4. How exactly is it impossible?

5. What evidence is there for that?

6. How can we make it work within our business/ organisation/with our team?

So next time you meet a Dementor at work try challenging their thinking by using one or more of these questions and see what happens. Listen carefully to their response and it may just surprise you!


About the Author: Cath Daley is the Managing Director of The Success Business and Learning To Be. She is a Motivational Speaker, Success Coach and Trainer. With almost 30 years experience, spending over 26,000 hours teaching, training and presenting, both nationally and internationally, she is an expert in Learning and Communication. Cath holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Physics and PGCE. She was the first Advanced Skills Teacher and Trainer to be appointed in Liverpool and is an internationally qualified Master Practitioner of NLP and NLP Trainer. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Coaching ( Distinction Level) and is a Master Results Coach.

She specialises in working with individuals to improve both internal communication  ( the messages that you send yourself) and external communication ( how you communicate with others)  so that you become a confident , resourceful and compelling communicator. She uses an approach that she has developed through combining the tools and techniques of several disciplines including Accelerated Learning, NLP, Advanced Neurological Repatterning  and Ericksonian Hypnosis. Through her coaching, workshops and training days she has helped thousands of people to accelerate their success and be the best they can be.

You can download a free copy of her ebook “ 6 Common Mistakes That Limit Your Success” at www.thesuccess-business.com .

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.


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