• Chemical Brain Freeze

Staying on Course with Relationships

Staying on course with relationships in retirement can be a challenge. It takes constant adjustment to maintain a good solid relationship, just like paddling a kayak.

As a baby boomer retired or getting ready to retire one of the key non-financial issues you will encounter is dealing with relationships in retirement. Working relationships will change just due to the fact you won’t be interfacing and connecting with co-workers the same way you did while working. The same with vendors, salespeople, customers, etc. whom you worked with for years. It’s just a matter of out of sight, out of mind and relationships drift apart.

Now you start to look for new relationships on your next journey and your new adventures. As you determine your next journey, who are the people resources you will be seeking to help you out? The people with similar goals and ideas who have some experience in the areas you are exploring. How do you engage them and get their perspective?

How about your partner and your new relationship with them now that you are retired and perhaps they are also? Maybe for the first time in years you are both home 24/7 and spending more time together than ever before? How do you handle that? How do you meet each other’s expectations?

What about other family members such as siblings, children, grandchildren and more? How do you effectively connect with them and gain value by having a good solid relationship with them?

Do you feel bombarded with questions about relationships? Well you should because your relationships are going to change for both the better and the worse depending on the situation.

One of the key tools that will help you out is learning how to effectively listen when having a conversation. I know that sounds trivial but it is a powerful tool that will help you communicate.

Our default behavior is to listen for a break in the conversation so we can cut in and provide our perspective. We really aren’t focused on what the other person is saying because we have a better story, better bit of advice, better tidbit to place into the conversation. But guess what? Once we jump in when there is a break in the conversation, we don’t connect or empathize with the person. The focus isn’t on them but rather it is on us.

Listening to Understand
Rather than listening with the intent to jump in when there is a break in the conversation,try listening to understand. One of the key phrases you can use to help you connect is a very simple one. “Help me understand.” That simple phrase is so powerful in a conversation. Try it in your next conversation and see what happens. You will be amazed at the response. Some connection question variations are simple also:
“Help me understand how you’re trying to deal with that issue?”
“Help me understand how I might be able to help you?”
“Help me understand a little bit more about what you’re experiencing.”
“Help me understand how that’s affecting you?”
“Help me understand why that’s important to you?”

Good relationships take a lot of work and learning how to use some simple tools can help make the process of building good relationships easier.

Check out the podcast on Chemical Brain Freeze “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” Show #3 at Anchor.FM/216-THE-NET. You’ll be glad you did.

Check out AdventureJerky.com for some great resources, like the book on dealing with non-financial issues in retirement.
Thanks for coming along!

Non-effective Listening – A Negative Default Behavior

 

Non-effective listening, did you ever think it was a major negative default behavior?  Working with Baby Boomers, I’ve found one very interesting characteristic of those retried or getting ready to retire.  It has to do with listening effectively.  Baby Boomers talk about their dreams and goals in retirement but (http://adventurejerky.com) sometimes they don’t express these ideas very distinctly with their partners.  Sometimes there is a fear of their goals not being accepted or even being rejected.  When this type of fear appears, we move into what we call “default behaviors.”  We actually avoid key conversations because we worry about what the outcome may be.  Maybe we worry the conversation may go in the wrong direction and we don’t get a chance to work on our goals.

Here is the key to having great conversations, it’s not about what we have to say.  That’s right, it’s not always about what we have to say.  But rather showing empathy and listening to what the other person has to say. It’s amazing what happens when empathy is applied to a conversation, especially key conversations.

So, what are the keys to really good listening?  First, we need to understand our default behavior when we have a conversation.  In most conversations, we don’t listen to understand but rather we listen in order to reply.  We actually wait for when there is a break in the conversation.  When our partner pauses for a breath, we jump in with our perspective or our bit of advice. We almost fear silence and jump in to squelch that silence.  This default behavior is believing the important part of communication is what we say.   When actually the listening step to hear what the other person has to say is most important.

It is fascinating to watch what happens when another person feels like they are being listened to effectively.  They open up and suddenly they are receptive to what you have to say.  All of a sudden goals and dreams get discussed in earnest and open, honest conversation takes place.

Think about the impact we could have with family members, friends and peers if we changed our listening skills.   Where we truly try to listen to what the other person is saying. If we listen with the intent to truly understand, people will share with us what their goals, wants and needs are.  They will also share the solutions they are looking for to possibly solve these needs.

Effective listening with the intent to understand, it takes practice but it is well worth the effort.

Be sure to tune into our new radio program “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” with your hosts Chuck Inman and Ron Hoesterey. We cover stories and concepts dealing with Baby Boomers plans for retirement. The program will be aired on 21.6 THE NET 11:00-12:00AM CST on Monday mornings and a repeat of the recorded program on Tuesdays from 7:00-8:00pm, Wednesdays 3:00-4:00PM, Thursdays 6:00-7:00PM and Fridays 11:00-12:00AM, again at 21.6 THE NET. You can also find the show as a podcast on Anchor.FM

Thanks for coming along

 

 

Announcing the launch of “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” radio program

It is with pleasure to announce the introduction of a new internet radio show that will start on Monday, September 10th airing from 11:00-12:00AM CST at 21.6 THE NET.  “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” will air every Monday during this time period.  Co-hosting the show will be author and speaker Chuck Inman along with author and radio host “Rancher Ron” Hoesterery.  We will be discussing the non-financial issues baby boomers deal with in retirement or as they get ready to retire.

A key component of the program will be discussing elements such as the impact retirement has on relationships, priorities, planning, default behaviors, decision making and much more.  You know all those things we wrestle with trying to figure out our best journey in retirement. There will be a key component concerning the effect of Chemical Brain Freezes and how to stay in the game during difficulty and stress.

Some of the most stressful situations we find ourselves entangled with in regards to retirement are dealing with facing the unknown of the future.  Retired or getting close to retirement there are plenty of unknowns which we encounter. Understanding how the brain works during stressful situations is key to positive self-leadership and providing a path through the unknown.

So be sure to tune into this new program “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” with your hosts Chuck Inman and Ron Hoesterey. The program will be aired on 21.6 THE NET 11:00-12:00AM CST on Monday mornings and a repeat of the recorded program on Wednesdays 3:00-4:00PM, Thursdays 6:00-7:00PM and Fridays 11:00-12:00AM, again at 21.6 THE NET.

 

Emotional challenges for Baby Boomers

Baby boomers face many emotional challenges as they retire or get ready to retire. A simple but dynamic sentence isn’t it! When you examine the dynamics of the US population we see a shift in demographics that our country has never seen before.
Baby boomers, the generation of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 began reaching age 65 in 2011 and will continue until 2029. This generation makes up approximately 20% of the US population. The staggering fact is that there are 10,000 baby boomers reaching age 65 every single day. That is someone turning age 65 about every 7 seconds of every single day.

The focus of this particular sector of the population and its relationship to the subject of chemical brain freeze is very interesting. It deals with emotional challenges that baby boomer will have in retirement. Let’s reflect back on what a career provides for you besides just a paycheck. At work, you had an identity and were a contributor. You were respected for the work you did and people relied on you. You had a social network whether it was being a mentor or hanging with your favorite lunch cohorts. With the demands of your career, you also realized you provided value to your associates and customers. You exchanged feedback and advice, praise and criticism. You were part of something larger than just you.

Now with retirement just around the corner or already having taken place we have some new things to think about. For instance, what provides that feeling of purpose in your new phase of life being a baby boomer. The place to look for that feeling of purpose is within, whether it is adjusting your lifestyle or adjusting to a new career.

This is where the personal leadership and emotional intelligence comes into play in your changing world. A simple example, is a married couple who both retire within a few years of each other. For the first time in their marriage they are both home at the same time roughly 24/7. They seem to get in each other’s way trying to figure what to do with this next stage of life. One of the spouse’s may be operating a small business out of the home and can’t seem to get the privacy needed for conference calls and business calls. Default behaviors, those automatic responses you have to specific stimuli, come into play and tempers get short. It doesn’t take too much conversation to anger either spouse because they don’t feel like they are being heard or understood properly. Sharp words are exchanged in a heated argument and then silence because someone doesn’t feel valued.

This isn’t quite the ideal mood that was anticipated for this stage of life. Everything was supposed to be relaxing, calm and tranquil. These are the golden years but they don’t feel too golden in a lot of cases. This is where the emotional intelligence and personal leadership material can have an impact. You now have the time to work on those difficult conversations. So how do you make those conversations happen?

One of the key subject areas in the Chemical Brain Freeze- How to Stay in the Game During Difficulty and Stress book, is understanding how the body works when the brain responds to stimuli. You’ve heard of the fight or flight syndrome, right? Where our brain gets ready to fight or flee it sends some chemicals to different parts of the body so we respond appropriately when we feel threatened. There are times when even a question is asked in a certain way which can cause us to get defensive in a matter of seconds.

Have you noticed there are times in our everyday lives where we feel stuck in a rut and we can’t move in the direction we want to go? When we question why we aren’t moving forward and reaching our goals, we realize there are default behaviors holding us back. Look at some of the issues baby boomers will be experiencing in the next several years:

o Caring for their elderly parents
o Health Issues
o Being Able to Afford Retirement
o 2nd career
o What to do with time
o Finding a sense of purpose
o Boredom
o Depression
Default behaviors will definitely have an impact in dealing with these issues because there are numerous emotions centered around baby boomers in a changing world.
You can click on the Chemical Brain Freeze book and buy a copy at the on-line store. You will be transferred to the Adventure Jerky website where the on-line store is located. Adventure Jerky – Fuel for the Journey, provides fuel for the body and fuel for the mind. The book “Be Your Best on Your Next Journey” will help you find your sense of purpose and passion. You will then be able to pick your adventure and ignite your activity.
In going through the stages of finding your passion, picking your adventure and igniting your activity, a little bit of personal leadership and emotional intelligence goes a long way!
Thanks for coming along!
Chemical Brain Freeze