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Don’t Change, be Different

By | Organizational Development | No Comments

 

Get Unstuck

This excerpt is taken from “Get Unstuck, Stay Unstuck, and do What you are – Why people do What They do in Your Organization and What to do About it”

Don’t change, be Different

 Not Changing but Being Different Is an Extremely Important Concept

 

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As you may know, I have been in this, the people business for a long time.

At age 17, the summer before my first year of university and then throughout my years in academia, I worked in several drug rehab centers in downtown Toronto and then Montreal.

So from a rather young age, helping people “Get Unstuck…” has for me been a journey, an learning odyssey if you will, covering more than half a century.

And of all the concepts that I have learned, authored, developed, espoused or used in that time, I deem this, “Don’t Change, be Different”, to be, for people generally and leaders specifically, one of the most powerful, important and transformational.

Over the course of that time, certainly the last 30 years where the emphasis in my work has been executives and CEOs, I have been privileged to work with some very smart, good, ambitious and successful leaders who have needed or wanted to improve their situations.

But so often they either:

A. Don’t know how to “Get Unstuck…” or

B. Know what to do but don’t want to or think they shouldn’t have to.

In other words, they don’t want to change.

And, this is where I think that what I do, helping people get better leadership outcomes by being more of who they are, is rather unique.

I say this because I actually agree with people who don’t think they should have to change.

In fact, I quite believe that on measure, we can’t change and shouldn’t try to change.

But we can be different, when we need to be. Read More

A History Lesson on Human Emotion, our Relationships and the Brain – Part Four

By | Personal Development | No Comments

 

 Series-D-GREEN-Book-3

The following article is an excerpt taken from “The Key to Self Mastery: How to Master your Personal and Professional Life Circumstances”

A History Lesson on Human Emotion, our Relationships and the Brain Part Four

The Controlled System has Relatively Little Power to Cause Behavior

In the first two articles in this series we described the historical development of our three brains, the physical (reptilian survival) brain, the emotional (limbic social) brain and the thinking (cortical solutions-oriented) brain.

In the last article, we detailed the two kinds of thinking systems we have in our brain.

The Controlled System “thinks” very logically whereas the more immediate, visceral and powerful Automatic System primarily and fundamentally reacts on our need for safety.

In this article we shall discuss how to understand these two systems and how to leverage and optimize each of them to our advantage.

It serves us well to remember that the very powerful automatic system was shaped by natural selection to trigger quick and reliable action, and it includes parts of the brain that make us feel pleasure and pain (such as the orbitofrontal cortex) and that trigger survival-related motivations (such as the hypothalamus).

The Automatic System has its Finger on the Dopamine Release Button

The controlled system, in contrast, is better seen as an advisor; an unsure, unsteady, novice rider to be sure trying to help the animal make better choices.

The rider’s weakness aside, he can still see farther into the future than the noble but brutish beast; the rider can also learn valuable information by talking to other riders or by reading maps.

But the rider cannot order the beast around against its will.

The point of course is that self mastery, the rider and his rather feeble attempts control the primeval impulses within, is millions of years behind and has a lot of catching up to do. Read More

A History Lesson on Human Emotion, our Relationships and the Brain – Part Three

By | Personal Development | No Comments

Series-D-GREEN-Book-3

The following article is an excerpt taken from “The Key to Self Mastery: How to Master your Personal and Professional Life Circumstances”

A History Lesson about Human Emotion, our relationships and the Brain Part Three

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In part one of this four-part series of articles on how science tends to view human interaction, we gave a brief historical overview of how our brain and the emotions it generates developed so that we can know what to do about the rather strange and not always productive feelings that we experience from time to time.

In part two we described the development of our three brains and how the reptilian is the oldest, strongest most experienced and better, defending us at all cost, than the other two brains at what they do.

We also detailed how our three separate, truly amazing brains, from three very different stages of evolution, try work together.

To briefly review articles one and two, we have a physical brain (the reptilian brain), an emotional brain (the limbic system) and a thinking brain (the prefrontal cortex).

Although all three brains are chemically and anatomically distinct (neurosurgeons can separate them like sections of an orange) and have different purposes, they are densely wired together to get you through your day.

In this article we will elaborate on the “small rider on a large animal” analogy that I mentioned in the last article,.

I have found this analogy to be very helpful to understand what this – three brains in one – means to us in modern (business) life and what we can do about the rather difficult  situations that sometimes arise because of the intrinsic conflict in our three brains.

Our Brain: The Small Rider on a Large Animal Analogy

To understand the relationship of the three brains, the physical, the emotional and thinking brain to each other, think of the physical reaction we have to anxiety.

That’s the limbic brain kicking your reptilian adrenaline into action.

This feeling is like a rider on a large, powerful horse; we think we are in control but when that large animal gets spooked and lurches, we are thrown ever so easily from that large beast to the ground.

Some authors use the analogy of other beasts, for instance Jonathon Haidt uses the analogy of a rider on an elephant.

As indicated earlier, my preferred analogy is that we are mounted upon and trying to ride a powerful stallion, our reptilian brain, which like any wild, unbroken and untamed beast has lurking within it a violent and very mean streak.

And it certainly does not like to be told what to do, where to go or what to say. Read More

A History Lesson on Human Emotion, our Relationships and the Brain – Part Two

By | Personal Development | No Comments

Series-D-GREEN-Book-3

The following article is an excerpt taken from “The Key to Self Mastery: How to Master your Personal and Professional Life Circumstances”

A History Lesson about Human Emotion, our Relationships and the Brain Part Two

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In part one of this four-part series on how science views human interaction and what we can do about that, we offered a brief historical overview of how our brain(s) and the emotions it generates developed, so that we can know what to do about the rather strange and not always productive feelings that we experience from time to time.

In part two, we will further describe the development of our three brains and how the reptilian is the oldest, strongest most experienced and best at what it does.

We will also discuss what this having a dominant reptilian brain, means to us in modern (business) life and what we can do about it.

To review article one, we actually have three separate, truly amazing brains, from three very different stages of evolution, all working together.

In simple terms you have a physical brain (the reptilian brain), an emotional brain (the limbic system) and a thinking brain (the prefrontal cortex).

Although all three brains are chemically and anatomically distinct (neurosurgeons can separate them like sections of an orange) and have different purposes, they are densely wired together to get you through your day.

Our Brain: The Small Rider on a Large Animal Analogy

To understand the relationship of the three brains, the physical, the emotional and thinking brain to each other, think of the physical reaction we have to anxiety.

That’s the limbic brain kicking your reptilian adrenaline into action, like a rider on a large, powerful horse; some authors use the analogy of other beasts, for instance Jonathon Haidt uses the analogy of a rider on an elephant. Read More

A History Lesson on Human Emotion, our Relationships and the Brain – Part One

By | Personal Development | No Comments

Series-D-GREEN-Book-3

The following article is an excerpt taken from “The Key to Self Mastery: How to Master your Personal and Professional Life Circumstances”

Module One: A History Lesson about Human Emotion and the Brain Part One

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If you have read any of my books or have been to any of my seminars, you have likely heard me say that “emotion changes what people do; logic changes what people think” or “we do not choose our feelings; our feelings change us”.

In other words, if we do not take into account that people are primarily emotional and self-interested then we will widely miss the mark in our interactions with them.

In the next next four articles, I will try to validate that point of view, people are largely driven more by emotion than reason, based on what science tells us about our brain.

In these posts I will try to give you a brief historical overview of how our brain(s) and the emotions it generates developed so that we can know what to do about the rather strange and the somewhat counterproductive feelings that we experience from time to time.

We have Three Brains, not One

We actually have three separate, truly amazing brains, from three very different stages of evolution, all working together.

In simple terms we have a physical brain (the reptilian brain), an emotional brain (the limbic system) and a thinking brain (the prefrontal neo cortex).

Although all three brains are chemically and anatomically distinct (neurosurgeons can separate them like sections of an orange) and have different purposes, they are densely wired together to get you through your day.

Of course these two more recent brains, the limbic brain and the prefrontal neo-cortex have further divisions, both left and right. 

 

1.  The Physical Reptilian Brain

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The primitive, physical, reptilian brain was the first to develop.

It is our extraordinary, automatically runs-your-body-perfectly brain

Nature hardwired our reptilian ancestors for their own individual survival.

Apart from a drive to have sex, reptiles have no parental instinct.

 Most of them cheerfully eat their young, which is why they’re programmed to lay eggs and get out of town before they hatch. Read More

We do not Have Free Will, Only Free Won’t

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Series-D-GREEN-Book-3

The following excerpt is taken from “The Key to Self Mastery: How to Master your Personal and Professional Life Circumstances”

We Don’t Have “Free Will” Only “Free Won’t”

“A human being is a deciding being. Between stimulus and response there is a space.

In that space is our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor E. Frankl

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In my book “Self Mastery” after citing and detailing the five steps to self mastery I provide 19 strategies we can use to develop a deeper capacity for Self mastery.

We Don’t Have “Free Will” Only “Free Won’t” is strategy number three.

To what extent can we exert free will or are we at the deterministic mercy of environment or heredity.

For obvious reasons, having a good (the right) answer) to this question is crucial for any leader.

Subjectively, we have the experience of sitting at a desk and then, without any sense of being “made” to do so, voluntarily “deciding” to take a sip of tea.

This feels like free will. However, many of our behaviors, such as shopping selections, can be predicted so well that there is a science of product placement.

Neuroscientists Libet, Gleason, Wright, and Pearl (1983) came up with good news and bad news regarding free will.

They found that the brain generates a signal, a “readiness potential,” to pick up our teacup about five-tenths of a second before we actually pick up the cup.

 

We Are Not Conscious of this Signal until About Three-Tenths of a Second Later

The bad news is that if we define free will as the ability to consciously generate readiness potentials, we don’t have it.

Some of those thoughts have to do with “voluntary” actions.

We do not voluntarily think these up, as we do not even become aware of them until three-tenths of a second after they register on instruments in the lab. Read More

Sales: Don’t Write Proposals, Write Confirmations

By | Professional Development | No Comments

Series-C-NAVY-Book-3This excerpt is taken from Naked is the Salesperson who has no “Close” – The Principles, Practice and Profitability of “Perceptual” Selling

Don’t Write Proposals, Write Confirmations

One of the most odious, frustrating and difficult parts of being in sales is going taking the time to put together a proposal only to have it rejected, scoffed at or to get no response at all.

This article is devoted to making sure that never (again) happens to you.

And paradoxically enough, we do that by not writing proposals at all, rather we write confirmation, summations if you will.

Once you think you are nearing the closing of a sale, one of the best questions you can ask a client is, “What are the specific (sequential) steps that you (your company) normally goes through (for us) to get a deal or sign a contract?

The information you will get in the answer to that question will tell you exactly where you are at and what still needs to get done.

And more importantly, what do you do if in the course of the conversation, the client says those ghastly words, “Why don’t you send me a proposal”?

Do not take the bait.

This question does not mean what most of us would like it to mean.

We think it means “Aha, we have a deal.”

It might mean or even more likely means that he is trying to get rid of you, nicely.

When this happens, immediately count to four steamboats, and then respond: “I would be happy to….

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Are you Asking me?

1)   To confirm what we have agreed upon today, in that we have a deal,

2)   Or are there still people we need to speak to,

3)   Or issues that still need to be addressed?”

If he/she responds, “No, this needs to go to our committee (I do not have final authority etc.) or there are still things that need to be done, or I’m still not sure”, then simply say…. Read More

How to Communicate Effectively with a “Feeler” – Don’t Be Understanding Rather Show Understanding

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How to Communicate Effectively With the Feeling Decider

In the last newsletter, we outlined how to reach the analytical and conceptual mind of Thinkers” whose dominant cognitive and neurological happens or is located in the cortical brain.

The realization, the principle that for the “Thinker” the complex question we pose to them connects them to us in ways that are very powerful, is the foundation for effective communication with a “Thinker”.

Similarly, I have found in my practice and this was certainly verified in my doctoral research as well, that we can heighten communication with “Feelers” by speaking the specific language that they tend to prefer and giving them the deeper thing they really seek in a relationship; understanding and connection.

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There is a three-step process for the Thinking Decider to engage the Feeling Decider:

1. Identify the Feeling Deciders Emotion:

2. Support that Feeling

3. Offer Reassurance

1. Identify the Feeling Deciders Emotion:

Please note the Thinking Decider does not need to understand the feeling, but merely identify the emotion the Feeling Decider is experiencing in that moment.

In other words, as a Thinker you do not possess in a natural sense “emotional empathy” but you can develop “cognitive empathy” which means you can read what people are feeling and respond accordingly, show understanding or treat them with empathic language.

Suggested language for this phase would be something like, “You must feel (worried or upset)…”

These two words, “worried or upset” represent and embody the wide array of emotions that feelers experience.

Telling the Feeler “Not to worry” is like asking them to stop breathing.

Worrying about things, is what they do.

As a Thinker, not having natural emotional empathy does not mean that you are anti-social at all.

It just means that to break the relational logjam, there will be moments when you need to have in your language repertoire connective, empathic language.

By the way, what would a leader or anyone be willing to choose such different language?

And further more and especially when the other person is “way too emotional” and you see emotion as at best secondary data, at least much inferior to logic and reason?

Well, here is are several reasons, that if you logically think about might help you consider such a radical departure from your current approach:

1. You are good person who enjoys the challenge of getting better.

2. You are a smart person who likes to solve problems.

3. This approach, if you are in an intricate and ongoing relationship and you need the target person’s cooperation, is the best and most effective way – my doctoral research demonstrated that it works 93% of the time, even in the most difficult situations – to change their reaction to you from a negative reaction to a positive reaction.

4. You understand that the world is infested with people who do not always see things your way, and learning facilitative communication is only serves to enrich and expand your repertoire such that you will use it (almost every day for the rest of your life. Read More

How to Communicate Effectively with a “Thinker” – Seven Golden Facilitative Questions

By | Professional Development | No Comments

 

How to Communicate With the Thinking Decider

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If you are at all familiar with my books or have attended any of my seminars, I have likely made the point that my doctoral research clearly suggested that of the four neurological predispositional scales in Jungian psychology that the Thinker – Feeler deciding scale is the most conflictual.

Kilmann and Thomas conducted a study of the MBTI, the contemporary indicator and application of Jung’s work on Typology, correlating it to three conflict instruments and found the Thinker – Feeler scale to be a significant contributor to conflict, while the other three dimensions did not significantly do so.

I have found that by speaking the specific language that is comfortable and compelling for Thinking Deciders, the Feeling Decider can better communicate with the Thinker.

I encourage Feelers to ask open-ended, problem solving questions, such as “What do you think we should do…?”

The Feeling Decider continues to ask this open-ended, problem solving question process and quite interestingly as the problem is being addressed analytically and logically in the conversation the Thinking Decider becomes more considerate, empathetic and understanding toward the Feeling Decider.

This happens without the Thinker realizing the change that has occurred in him/her.

This empathy, understanding and connection of course are precisely what the Feeling Decider wanted in the first place.

In other words, the Thinker took the Feeler where the Feeler wanted the Thinker to go, without strain or conflict.

Remember, this is not an exact science, but an art form.

It does not make things perfect, it makes them better.

At least it does so relative to what might otherwise have been the case had you not used your T:F facilitative language. Read More

Communicating across the “Thinker – Feeler” Divide

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Communicating  across the “Thinker – Feeler” Divide

As you likely know, there are four scales in the MBTI.

Because the T and the F dimension in Jungian psychology tends to be the most volatile and difficult for most people, we will address it in greater detail than the other preferences.

Research indicates that 96% of the time people with either the T or the F conversational style want different language than the other because their fundamental decision-making process and goal are so different.

As you will see, the words and language they need from each other must be formatted differently and accordingly.

Before we talk about the specific language that each type needs, let’s take a deeper look at the disparity between the Thinker and the Feeler.

Facilitating Thinkers and Feelers When You Hit a Speed Bump

The following chart describes the precise language needed by the “Thinker” in the left hand column and the precise language needed by the “Feeler” in the right hand column.

We will expand on how and why in this newsletter/article and because it is such a crucial concept we will likely discuss it more fully in future newsletters as well.

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Read More