If you keep in touch with The Mann Group, you’ve probably heard us mention ORBiT a lot recently—and with good reason. Since Dan published ORBiT: The Art and Science of Influence, we’ve heard from so many folks—from customers who have worked with The Mann Group to strangers, retailers to writers—just how practical, implementable and simply useful the information in ORBiT is for leaders of all types. That’s why we’re bringing you the basics every month in our newsletter.
There are six steps to ORBiT, a technique Dan’s been refining over the past decade to help bring his learned power of influence to the leaders who need it most, like managers, teachers and even parents. The first step of ORBiT, “Establish Context,” reminds leaders to outline their intention to their students to help gain buy-in and purpose. The second step, “Negative Simulation,” guides the teacher through a negative simulation, which is integral for establishing the reality of the lesson for the student and for helping them see the error in their current ways.
The third step of ORBiT is “Positive Simulation.” This is the point at which many trainees try to begin, but it’s essential to both establish context and perform a negative simulation beforehand in order to set the tone and wipe the slate for influence.
So you’ve established for your students what not to do and, if you’ve done it well, left the perfect channel to insert information of what to do. They’re asking questions, and they’re finally the right ones; not “why are we doing this” or “why is my way wrong,” but “what is the right way?” And now you can show them.
In order to effectively demonstrate a positive simulation, you as the trainer must effectively and honestly take on the role and wholly commit to those correct behaviors. By involving the trainee in the simulation as the receiver, they’re able to absorb your appropriate conduct and integrate your ideas into their own habits. After seeing the negative simulation, it’s also easier for them to appreciate the better qualities of this new approach, plus they’ll actually have a desire to adopt these new techniques into their own methods.
Through this early series of ORBiT steps, you should be able to effect a very important paradigm shift in the mind of your student. We like to think of it as an “a-ha!” moment. They’ve seen the wrong way to do something (and perhaps seen some of their own habits in that method), which is then viewed in stark contrast to the right way, with all of its advantages now easily identifiable. It’s in this moment that the shift occurs and that their viewpoints change, even if only subtly, for the better. They don’t just see the wrong way and the right way—they understand why the difference is important and why they should change.
Dan also suggests one other element as you near the end of Step Three: a pop quiz. If you’ve followed steps one through three well, and if you have a good student on your hands, this quiz should simply verify that the lesson is being learned. But if your student isn’t invested in the training—if, in other words, step one was unsuccessful—this will be your time to realize their
lack of commitment and reinvest in their buy-in.