T.O.T.E stands for Test, operate, test, exit.
It is a dynamic feedback model that allows us to begin to understand what works and what doesn’t.
The tote model can be applied in just about every situation where you have a desired outcome in mind.
If you do have a desired outcome, that presupposes that you don’t currently have that result otherwise, it would be your present state or current situation.
Now to transition from your present state to your desired state, you probably have an idea of what you need to do. However, this is where the T.O.T.E model kicks in.
“If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Intelligently!
What if after the first try at obtaining your desired state or outcome, you don’t succeed? Well, simple. You try again. However, remember that great saying of Einstein?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
Each time you review the process, you change the operation in some way which will undoubtedly lead to a slightly different result, is that your end result? Is that the desired state that you are after?
If not, repeat the test, but this time change the operation in some way which will change the result, take the new closer and closer to your desired outcome or state.
Once you reach and achieve the desired outcome that you are after, then you can exit.
T.O.T.E test, operate, test, exit.
This is how Edison made the lightbulb with over 1000 changes in the operation, Edison persevered as his desired result was a working lightbulb. Each failed attempt was a lesson learnt. Each lesson learnt, gave new insight into how to change the operation to get the desired result.
People don’t like to be wrong. Often, people faced with failure will move on and ignore rather than change and adapt. The tote model is in perfect alignment with the NLP presupposition that there is no failures only feedback!
To put this into practice, think about the desired state you want to create, it could be confidence, it could be wittiness or even compassion. If your present state doesn’t match your desired state, then you can enter that T.O.T.E model and make adjustments as you go until you achieve the state or outcome that you want.
In true T.O.T.E format, everything is a tote. Think about every phone call that you have. Is the conversation going in the way you’d like? Then make that change based on feedback.
How’s your presentation going? Not to plan? If your performance isn’t going as planned, then, it’s not your desired outcome. So rather than bail and run away from the presentation or accept failure during it. How can you begin to change the operation which can incrementally lead towards your desired state and outcome?
Don’t just think of a T.O.T.E as a big achievement model to get an end goal. Think of it as more of a way to move and adjust elegantly to life’s challenges.
Discussions with your children or loved ones is a great example. If the conversation or tone isn’t where you want it to be because you feel it’s heading in the wrong direction, T.O.T.E.
In marketing terms, we call this testing and measuring. Just make sure you make the adjustments and continue to test.