• Chemical Brain Freeze

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

 

 

Being Your Best on Your Next Adventure

No coastingHave you ever asked yourself the question “What would it look like if I became my personal best on my next adventure? Most people just rise to a level of acceptability and not excellence. A great question Mike Rayburn (www.MikeRayburn.com) raised during a recent presentation. “Have you resolved to be your best?” What do you think that would look like?
In today’s world most people coast through life and that’s fine. The one thing you need to recognize and understand is that the problem with coasting is that it’s all downhill. If comfort is your goal, success is not in your future.
So what does it take for you to become the best at what you do? Interesting question because most of us know what we need to do but we just don’t do it. This why a sense of purpose is so important to us. What are those goals and adventures that are so important we don’t want to approach them half-hearted or in a coasting mode? Do you really want to be a half-hearted spouse, parent, friend or co-worker? Every adventure we embark on has an impact on others and do we provide a positive impact? Anything worth doing is worth doing well. But sometimes we need help and this can be our biggest stumbling block.
You’ve heard people talk about being self-taught and we all teach ourselves quite a bit and the Internet makes it easier everyday. However sometimes when we are self-taught we fail to notice that our teachers aren’t great in every area. Take the time and effort to find good coaches to help you with you adventures. It can have a big impact.
Sometimes when we set out on a new adventure we start by compromising when setting our goals. We aim too low and wind up settling for mediocrity and second best. Instead, continue to work on asking the question “What if? What would this adventure look like? How could I make this happen and what would be the positive impact on those around me?”
Tough questions to ask, even tougher questions to answer when you are true to yourself. But by asking these questions and answering them truthfully, you define who you are as you embark on your next adventure.
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What if, When Making Plans for the Next Adventure

Mike RayburnThere I was, working and planning away on my new adventure and feeling good about it. Then I had an opportunity to go see Mike Rayburn(www.MikeRayburn.com) live at a recent program. He was absolutely phenomenal. Not only a gifted musician and storyteller but he really got you thinking. He has a book titled “What If?” and I would suggest purchasing it on his website. I wanted to point out just a few key things Mike got me thinking about as I plan my new adventure.

He asks the question, “What if?” Not meaning that you are going to do it but rather just asking what is possible. What if I could? How would that work if I could?
He points out that our default behavior in life is that we look at or for reasons not to do things. Instead we should change our default behavior to where we look for reasons we can do things! A very simplistic but astute rationale on how we can get things done. He also points out the only way to manage change is to create change. Again our default behavior is to fight change. What if we shifted that to creating change and embracing change? It creates a completely different picture doesn’t it? The one thing we know to be true about our plans is that nothing ever goes according to plan! So embrace change.
Here is the reason for these default behaviors: We take problems and put them on a pedestal and worship them. Mike’s perspective is, quit driving through life with the brakes on and get creative. The world need’s our creativity. He lined out three steps to get started:
1. Outside Observation – get that 30,000-foot view of what you are dealing with and get a handle of the size and scope.
2. Take a problem or situation and say, “What is the Opportunity?” Then ask, “What if?”
3. Open up creativity and take physical action on it.
Here are a couple of his other thoughts, which will get your thinking moving in the right direction:
A. Set goals you can’t achieve, not 5-10% increases. What does it take to double what you want to do?
B. Don’t start with what’s possible?, start with what’s cool?. The type of goal it takes courage to think about.
A sense of purpose is the most motivating factor. What is your sense of purpose? Some good food for thought until next time.
Thanks for coming along.

What’s your next Adventure?

Backpacking crossingThe great Helen Keller provided this prolific statement, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!” What a great way to look at our lives. Helen Keller overcame so much adversity and became an inspiration encouraging boldness and audacity. We may not have the adversity Helen Keller did, but we do have our ups and downs, our successes and failures and our starts and stops. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out exactly as we plan but the key question is, ”What do we do about it?”
I have watched people who have stumbled and they just struggle trying to get back up and moving forward. Sometimes they get moving again but its like they are in a fog and not really living life but rather just going through the motions.
What is it that we have to do to begin living the life we want to have and move in the direction of our dreams? In my book Chemical Brain Freeze, I talk about overcoming default behaviors and moving forward. These are some key thoughts to making a positive move in order to get you moving in the direction you want to go.
Sometimes it just makes sense to break things down into smaller steps.
Summer has just about come to an end and it was a great summer. We usually think of all kinds of adventures to be had during the summer months.
Now ask yourself the simple question; “What’s my next adventure?” What’s my next adventure for today? This week? Next month? Next year? Come up with an adventure and go make it happen. It can be such a positive experience. Don’t wait for something to come to you. Go make something happen and have fun with! You’ll be glad you did! In the weeks ahead I’ll fill you in on what I have been working on the last half of this summer and what an adventure I’ll be starting. Over 25 years ago I was told I couldn’t do something and I decided now was the time to go it.
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Teaching and Learning Need to be in Sync

Michael J FoxTeaching and learning need to be in sync to be successful. Whether it is in school or the business world. To be able to learn and then apply your learning is even better. Sometimes we have material put before us and there is just not a connection nor an application. Simon Sinek has a very good TED Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It’s a few years old but if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth watching.
Start with why — how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA

The Backwards Brain Bicycle

BicycleThere are times when we need to have a difficult conversation and it is just tough to turn that difficult conversation into a positive experience. Our brain does some very strange things during difficulty and stress and we wonder why it is so difficult to accomplish our goals.
This short video utilizes the skills of riding a bicycle to demonstrate how our brain works and the default behaviors we acquire. What is intriguing is the difficulty in overcoming these default behaviors. Consistency is a big factor in creating new constructive behaviors.
After watching this video think about the skill sets, behaviors and routines we have that come to us as easy as riding a bicycle but yet may be holding us back from what we want to achieve. We may not even be aware of these behaviors until we start to analyze why we haven’t reached all of goals.

Copy and paste into your browser to watch this unique video. (Smarter Every Day 133)

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=smarter+every+day+forget+to+ride+a+bike&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=F706017762DDD03B719DF706017762DDD03B719D

Default Behaviors and Resolutions

2015 resolutionsWe are midway through the month of January and I’m already noticing a decrease in people at the fitness center. Right after the first of the year, people flocked into the fitness centers vowing to uphold their New Year’s resolutions to get into shape and lose weight with their new memberships. How are you doing with your resolutions?
In my book “Chemical Brain Freeze – How to Stay in the Game During Difficulty and Stress”, I discuss default behaviors and how we get off track from our goals and resolutions. Sometimes it’s understanding the unmet emotional needs that drive our behaviors, which can cause these to become default behaviors. Everyone has sincere thoughts and ideas about making changes. Sometimes it is health related, other times it just to get the benefits from getting back into shape.
I hear people talk about feeling self conscious about going to the fitness center to work out. That portion of the brain called the amygdala is warning us we may not feel like we fit in properly. Our default behavior kicks in and we wind up talking ourselves out of going to the gym. Here is the interesting aspect of this type of self-talk. We get all worked up about what other people may be thinking about us. In reality nobody cares what you do, they all think everyone is looking at them. To overcome our default behaviors in this situation we need to understand why we want to get fit with our resolutions.
If you take just a little bit of time to work on what your fitness goals are, such as losing weight, muscle toning or increasing aerobic time and then figure out what the rewards will be from these workouts during the week. Write them down and keep track on a calendar. Give yourself benchmarks. Celebrate when hit your goals. Simple effective way to overcome default behaviors.
Guess what? If you can overcome default behaviors that keep you from exercising you can use the same strategy for any goal you have set for 2015. Don’t wait until October to start working on your goals. Start now and watch what happens.

Exceptional leaders understand default behaviors

AphephobiaOver the last several weeks we have been discussing how exceptional leaders play big by staying in the game during difficult and stressful times. We’ve covered how default reactions by the amygdala can cause us to act out and we may not even realize we are doing it. Exceptional leaders have self-awareness and understand the impact they have on those they lead. Last week I ran across a great little story on a default behavior we can probably all relate to at some time.

There was an old song by Sting, lead singer of the British rock group “The Police”, which had the lyrics “Don’t stand so close to me.”

Well guess what? The amygdala really doesn’t like people getting too close to us. In different societies personal space is varied. In parts of Asia you never look someone in the eyes, because it is considered very offensive. In western society we have about a two-foot circumference of personal space. Someone encroaches on that space and our amygdala triage center starts shouting, “Warning, Warning, trespassers!”

In Australia they did a study on shoppers and the change in attitude of the shoppers when someone encroached their space. The study group hired “relatively attractive” phantom shoppers in their 30’s to ever so lightly brush up against shoppers or just stand near them. The results were those who were targeted, either lightly brushed by the phantom shoppers or had their space encroached, spent less time in the store and when surveyed they had a more negative brand evaluation of the store. The amygdala had gone on high alert due to encroachment of space or touching.

The results showed that people who didn’t get crowded were more likely to linger and buy something they liked. The amygdala was soothed and customers could focus on what they were shopping for at the moment.

Just an example to show how even exceptional leaders have to be on high alert for default behaviors. We are constantly being bombarded with stimuli and our brain will react to it or if we are aware we can respond to it.

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Exceptional leaders know the combination to “Playing Big”

Combination

Last week we discussed how the amygdala part of the brain can affect how leaders can either play big or play small in dealing with stressful situations. One key point that we focused on was how easy it is for the amygdala to “awfulize” and think of all the bad things that can possibly happen. The amygdala naturally does this to prepare for the worst that can actually happen to us. In some situations it can be a great benefit. In other work environment situations it can stop us in our tracks. To understand why the amygdala reacts in certain situations it’s important to understand what the baseline is for a non-reactive amygdala.
We all have emotional needs. Maslow in his work mapped out the emotional needs of humans. People have added to his work and changed portions but Maslow’s work still provides a solid foundation. I like to keep it simple, so I focus on five key emotional needs. They are:
• Safety
• Power
• Acceptance
• Respect
• Value.
These five needs are applicable to children and adults. When these needs are met the amygdala is pretty content. When these needs are not met, people will act out. Watch what happens to a small child when they try and interrupt talking adults to show them something. When the adult says, “Not now, can’t you see we’re talking.” The child will walk away and pout. They don’t feel accepted or included and the amygdala will go into action and they pout and withdraw.
Now watch in a business meeting when people are sharing ideas and when one person finally gets a chance to speak up and the meeting leader says, “Sorry Cindy, but we need to move on.” Cindy will typically do what a small child will do. She will sit back, cross her arms and withdraw. I have watched men and women do this in meetings for years. They don’t feel like they are accepted or treated fairly (respect) or valued (feeling heard). The amygdala goes into action and the person doesn’t even realize they have sat back and folded their arms.
Exceptional leaders know the combination to Playing Big by recognizing unmet emotional needs and the acting out by the person who experiences this situation. A quick comment by an exceptional leader can bring Cindy back into the meeting in seconds. “Cindy we are short on time but I would like to get your input after the meeting.” In seconds Cindy feels valued. Simple example but the combination to playing big is not complicated. When you see people acting out, whether its children or adults, you can be pretty certain that there is an unmet emotional need not being met. We’ll share some more examples in the next couple of blogs because observing and understanding what is happening in stressful or difficult situations can help you work on becoming an exceptional leader.
Thanks for coming along.

Small Business Success (SBS) Coaches Network.

Chuck Inman has become part of the Small Business Success (SBS) Coaches Network. This small, select group of coaches and consultants work with business owners to achieve the results they want
 in order to grow their business to meet their visions. Small Business Success is based on nine best practices essential in growing your business. This provides a personalized, workable business model blueprint, which is measurable and enables owner’s to meet their business and financial goals.
This SBS blueprint is solid for business owner’s who want to start or grow their business. It covers three main areas.
MONEY – 2 key segments
FOCUS – 3 key segments
MARKETING – 4 key segments
Included are the “Nine Best Practices for Marketing your Business.”
From the www.ChuckInman.com  “coaching tGYB Coverab”, register and download a free copy of Mark LeBlanc’s popular and successful  “Growing Your Business” e-book.

Chuck Inman has spent 30 years in a career, which has covered sales, marketing, training and coaching.  In his sales and marketing leadership roles he has successfully launched key products and grown various businesses.