• Chemical Brain Freeze

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.
Thanks for coming along!

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

“Chemical Brain Freeze® ” Book release

CBF Book photoF

New book just released – “Chemical Brain Freeze® -How to Stay in the Game During Difficulty and Stress”. This is Chuck’s new book that demonstrates how to reach higher performance levels.
Our behaviors are affected by the fast-paced world we live in and the stress and difficulties that come with this hectic pace. We need to be at our best during the most stressful situations but our brain isn’t on the same wavelength. Chuck teaches you how to stay engaged in those stressful situations and perform at your best.
Chemical Brain Freeze® explores what happens when we get stressed out and how we can handle situations more productively:
• How the brain works during difficulty and stress
• How we get derailed from reaching our goals

You will learn:
• What you can do to stay in the game during pressure situations
• How to overcome default behaviors
• How to increase performance both professionally and personally
Go to the Chuck Inman on-line store or Amazon.com and purchase your copy today!

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.

Thanks for coming along.

Exceptional Leaders don’t mumble

GrumbleWe have been discussing the difference between playing big and playing small. We generally see more people playing small than playing big. Playing small is the easy way out and it handles a situation on a short-term basis. Playing big takes some dedication and it’s looking the big picture and the long-term results. Sometimes it takes courage to play big and make an impact.

A recent study released by the Center for Applied Linguistics came out with this interesting fact. Nearly two-thirds of all human speech transpires under people’s breath. I found that very interesting. Exceptional leaders don’t mumble under their breath. Researcher Erin Wightman said, “Our data indicates that, whether in the form of hushed grumbles of anger, a half delivered retort, or quiet self-berating, the majority of all spoken language is delivered in barely audible mutters.” She went on to note that a sizable quantity of human vocalizations are imperceptible insults made while walking away from an argument, a meeting with one’s supervisor, or a pleasant conversation with someone the speaker does not care for. Talk about playing small.

Do you or do you know of someone who is constantly peppering in low-volume sarcastic comments when interacting with others? Several people I’ve encountered pop into my mind as I’m writing this. And to be totally honest, I can remember when I have done my fair share of sarcastic comments while playing small. Think about how different your work, family or social environment would be if people spoke up and played big and told you what was bothering them. (What a relief not to have to try and be a mind reader!) But it takes courage to speak up and express yourself and empathize with others. It’s much easier to mutter and grumble while interacting with coworkers or family members.

Take time today to watch for people mumbling and grumbling. You’ll be surprised how many you will see. If you see someone close to you doing this, take time to talk to them and see what they may be experiencing. You can start with a simple question like, “I saw you grumbling just a moment ago, is there something you would like to share?” Then play big and listen with empathy. You may be surprised with what you hear.

Thanks for coming along.

Playing Small during difficulty and stress

cropstopplaying smallLinda sat down in her boss’s office to update her on the progress of the project.

“How is everything with the project?”  her boss, Karen asks.

“We are going to miss one of our major milestones,” Linda comments. “We have a personnel issue that I need some help with.”

“What’s going on?” Karen asks.

“Mark isn’t meeting his commitments to the project. He has been behind on every one of his deadlines and it’s causing the entire project to get behind. When I try and talk to him about his performance he gets very upset and claims he is doing all he can do. I think it would help if you talked with his boss to help get him back on track.” Linda says.

“I don’t really feel comfortable talking to his boss right now,” Karen answers. “Don’t talk to Mark directly anymore this week and we’ll see if we can figure something out.”

Linda’s e-mails and phone messages to Karen during the week go unanswered and the project gets farther behind.

Exceptional leaders play big and do the proper things with the big picture in mind. When our primitive portion of the brain, the amygdala, kicks in during difficult times, we resort to default behaviors and we wind up playing small. Karen remembered an argument she had with Mark’s boss six months ago. Her primitive brain was cautioning her not to go there again. Her playing small best leadership move at the moment was to tell Linda not to talk to Mark.

How often do you see people playing small on a daily basis in business and your personal life?  We are going to be focusing on the ability to play big during times of difficulty and stress during the next few blogs and understand what our default behaviors due to us.

Thanks for coming along.

Change and Fear of the Unknown

Last week we talked about unmet emotional needs and the impact they play on our behavior.  We had talked about the five key emotional needs consisting of: Safety, Power, Acceptance, Respect and Value.  When we feel one of these needs is not being met, our brain sends out warning signals and our behavioFear of the unknown Ar can change.
Let’s take a look at how change can affect how we are feeling about ourselves, especially when dealing with the fear of the unknown.

I had a discussion with a surgeon who was complaining about a piece of equipment he had bought.  It had cost him $80,000 but his staff wasn’t spending the appropriate amount of time learning how to use the equipment and getting it into the patient flow process.
Think about why people struggle with change.  In the current mode people are recognized for their performance. Their rewards are based on this performance.  They know the process, can multitask, balance out the workload, understand the patient flow and all the various intricacies of the process.  Now you ask them to introduce a new piece of equipment that will interrupt the process as the staff goes through the learning curve.  The staff is not familiar or confident in running the machine and even less confident in answering questions by patients.
They begin to question their value.  Will they be as effective and be able to provide the same performance as they have in the past?  They second-guess quite a bit about having to use the equipment.  The piece of equipment begins to take on a negative nature.
As the surgeon watches the piece of equipment gather dust he realizes that if it doesn’t get into the process quickly, he is going to have a very expensive boat anchor on his hands.
The amygdala portion of the brain picks up warning signals about this piece of equipment and the staff ‘s struggle with getting trained on the equipment and getting it into use.  Many times one of the key warning signals is the fear of the unknown.  How will this equipment affect our process?  How will it affect our workload?  Will we be able to process more patients faster or fewer patients?  Will someone lose a job because this equipment is utilized?
The best way to soothe the amygdala is at the beginning of the change process.  Communication is key at this point and the time spent explaining why the equipment is coming into the practice is time well spent.  Don’t assume the explanation has to be done only once.  Get someone trained on the equipment fast enough so they can help train others and take away the fear of the unknown.  So many times sales reps show staff what the equipment can do but don’t allow for hands-on-training.  The hands-on-training takes the fear of the unknown away.
Anytime you can remove a fear,  you’re moving in the right direction.
Thanks for coming along.

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.

Exceptional Leader traits

In the last couple of blogGenuines we have been talking about the three traits of exceptional leaders.  The final trait to finish out this series is the often-used term “Genuine”.
We have an understanding of genuine as being something that is real and not false. In regards to products, you see examples of genuine used in situations such as: “With counterfeit software being prevalent in the marketplace, buyers often presume they have the genuine article.”  It defines things as being true and authentic, like “genuine leather”.
When discussing leadership, being genuine has to do with being sincere and up front with issues. I personally like the description of being free from hypocrisy or dishonesty and being sincere. Genuine things are true such as a leader being true to their word.  We talked about being transparent as having no hidden agendas and authentic as lining up your actions with your intentions for the best impact.  When you piece together the traits of being authentic and transparent the sum of the characteristics is the description of genuine to describe the exceptional leader.
When you look at the traits people use to describe you, have you heard the use of the words transparent, authentic and genuine?  If you have heard these comments continue to grow and lead. If you haven’t heard them, maybe its time for a leadership checkup to get a feel for what may be missing or not coming across to the people you lead.

Thanks for coming along.