In today’s episode, we cover changing ourselves and others with Peter Bregman. Peter blends his deep expertise in business, leadership, and people to deliver quantifiable results in business, professional, and personal development, and is the bestselling author and contributor of over 18 books, including his newest book, You CAN Change Other People: The Four Steps to Help Your Colleagues, Employees—Even Family—Up Their Game.
Changing other people is not easy, but there are steps we can take to make positive changes in other peoples’ lives and do so in a high value cooperative way, so why do people resist change so much, what are the four things anyone needs before they will change, and how do approach people about making a change without coming across as the critic or the bad guy?
What to Listen For
- Why do we struggle so much trying to change people – 1:53
- Why do we readily accept changes we make for ourselves but strongly resist changes that other people try to make for us?
- What is the most important skill you can develop as a leader in your organization?
- What are the misconceptions we have about changing ourselves and people around us?
- The 4 things people need before they’ll change – 8:30
- What gets in the way of people making changes in their lives and how can we help them make the changes they want?
- What emotion do we experience that makes it so much harder for us to change?
- Strategies to manage emotions in high pressure situations – 30:31
- How do you approach helping people improve themselves so you are viewed as a friend or ally rather than the enemy?
- Indicators of a thorough plan for implementing change – 46:13
- What can you do to implement change in your organization if you are not yet in an official leadership position?
Changing other people is not easy, and that’s a good thing. If it were easy to change other people, that would make it easy for other people to change you. As individuals, we cherish our autonomy. We value our ability to be ourselves and resist the changes other people want us to make. With that said, none of us is perfect and we all have areas in our lives that could be improved and make our lives better. But in order for us to be open to allowing other people to help change us, there are four things we need. Once we have all four, we can come up with a plan and be held accountable by someone other than ourselves.
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Resources from this Episode
- You Can Change Other People by Peter Bregman
- Bregman Partners website
- Peter Bregman on LinkedIn
- Peter Bregman on Twitter
Speaker 1: Well go back to the art of charm podcast. The show designed to help you communicate with power and become unstoppable on your path from hidden genius to influential leader. And we know you have what it takes to reach your full potential. And that's why each and every week, Johnny and I share with you interviews and strategies to help you transform your life by unlocking your own X factor. That's whether you're in sales, leadership, medicine, building client relationships, or even looking for love. We have what you need. You
Speaker 2: Shouldn't have to settle for anything less than extraordinary.
Speaker 1: I'm a J and I'm Johnny. Did you know that you could get the entire art of charm podcast back catalog? That's right. 15 years of podcasts, featuring expert guests and toolbox episodes. When you subscribe to Stitcher premium, we have the link in the show notes, head on over to Stitcher and use code charm to get a free month of Stitcher premium. That's right. All your favorite episodes. Ad-free at stitcher.com. We are so pumped up for today's interview today. Peter Bragman joins us. Peter helps successful people become exceptional leaders and stellar human beings. He blends his deep expertise in business leadership and people to deliver quantifiable results, such as turnarounds, revenue, and stock growth, executive team development, and even personal development. Peter's recognized as one of the number one executive coaches in the world by leading global coaches. He's also the best-selling author and contributor of over 18 books. Today. We're talking about his latest book. You can change other people, the four steps to help your colleagues, employees, and even family up their game. And it just came out. He's also the host of the top 10 business podcast, the Bregman leadership podcast. Welcome to the show. Peter,
Speaker 3: Thanks age. I am very excited to
Speaker 1: Be here. Now. We've all heard the truism that you can't change. Other people. You can only change yourself. Why do we believe this myth and struggle so much with changing others? You know,
Speaker 3: It's because we try to change people in the wrong ways. You know, people don't resist change. They resist being changed. You know, we all make changes in our lives. We change jobs. We get married, we have babies, we change careers. We build careers, we get education. We do all of this stuff, so I'm very willing to change. But if you try to change me, that reflects my loss of control, that reflects my loss of autonomy, and I'm going to push back. And so, so the, the way in which we try to change people often generate the kind of resistance that we end up complaining about. When we say you can't change other people, you can only change yourself. I have
Speaker 2: To completely agree with you there. And not only that, I see that in myself more than anything. And, and, and I have been working together for close to 15, little over 15 years now. And that is certainly how I am about things. I don't like extraneous pressures. And, and anytime I start to feel that at angers me, and it puts the brakes on anything that I'm doing, um, and I'm happy to change. And I loved to be growth minded and always looking for opportunities to grow. However, those outside forces certainly do number on me,
Speaker 3: You know, Johnny, I really appreciate that. And I appreciate you saying it. And also like I noticed that I react to my own sort of adult self, trying to control myself. I react with that way. And what I'm thinking about is, you know, I have a sugar thing. Like I love sugar. I like ice cream. And I know it's not healthy for me and not a good idea to, you know, like a whole pint of Ben. And Jerry's like, that's just not smart, but I'll start eating it. And then my, in my mind, I'll say, Peter, you know, you really shouldn't be eating this. Like, this is not healthy for you. It's not smart. It's not aligned with your goals. And my response will be screw you. You know, like I resist my own control that I try to put on myself. I resist that, which is why, you know, then we say, well, we have really weak willpower and it's not that I have very strong willpower it's that we resist being changed. Even when we feel like that strong hand of change is coming from ourselves,
Speaker 1: I've also found is that oftentimes when others are changing me, I feel the need to rationalize that I'm the one in control of the change.
Speaker 3: Absolutely.
Speaker 1: So when I think about my relationship with my fiance, she's definitely had an impact on me, but I will always rationalize that, that these were my choices in the change that this was my idea.
Speaker 3: Sure. I'm dressing completely differently, but that's going to, I want to dress completely differently. I look pretty good. Right?
Speaker 1: Exactly. Now we also know that change is a part of organizations growing and you argue it's really the most important skill that we can develop as a leader. Why is this ability so important in your eyes?
Speaker 3: Yeah, that's what a leader does. I mean, the role of a leader is to set vision it's to align people behind the vision it's to sort of collectively aggregate the work of everybody and move everybody in the direction of, you know, what they're trying to achieve and help them collaborate. I can tell you countless stories of turnaround leaders who come in and without changing over the workforce. Uh, give the example in the book of Brian Gaffney, who I worked with as a coach and Brian was the CEO of Allianz global distributors. And he went in and they were losing tens of millions of dollars. They were losing, I think, $130 million, $140 million. And he turned that around in a few years to a $30 million profit. And he did it with all the same people. So meaning he didn't just fire everybody and hire a bunch of new people, the same people who were losing hundred and $30 million before he came in as CEO, we're suddenly instrumental to making $30 million of profit after that.
Speaker 3: And so that's his job. His job, the job of a leader is to go into an organization and see what's happening and help change the way people are doing things so that they are aligned, connected, committed, and driving towards a common goal. That's what leaders do. We better learn how to do that? Well, also the one other thing I'll say is that, you know, leaders, when they're really effective, help everybody around them perform at a higher level, like what I call up their game. And so, you know, like that's our job as leaders is to bring out the best, the best of the people who are working for us so that they perform at a level higher than they were performing beforehand. That's changing. I think
Speaker 2: The easiest example for everyone to see what that is in sports. And a lot of times you'll have the same rag tag team that didn't put together a winning season last year, but maybe it's a new coach who came in, who got them motivated and focused on the same vision or perhaps the coach who was there had figured out a way to get everybody on board with that vision.
Speaker 3: Yeah. A hundred percent. And you know, you also see that with a player who comes on and it's not that the player him or herself, you know, changes everything because they're so amazing. It's actually, you see, you know, Tom Brady's and it's an example, I'm pretty sure he's not deflating all the balls. Right. I think when he, you know, he joins another team and suddenly that team's winning the super bowl, you might just say, wow, he's amazing. You could put a group of, you know, gorillas on the field with him and he would win. That's not it, but he's having an impact on the team. And the team is playing in a way that is much more effective as a team, based on some things that he's doing.
Speaker 1: What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that we have around change? Obviously in writing and researching this book, you have a model, but many of us, as we talked about were resistant to change. We even bought into this truism that you can't change others. So what are those misconceptions around change?
Speaker 3: So why don't I lay the foundation of what it takes to change. And then, and then I'll share what I think is the biggest misconception. So I'm going to try to build some suspense here. Awesome. The biggest misconception that I think is, especially in corporate America, we get totally wrong and we get wrong in our relationships. So it's all over the place. So what people need to change is four things, ownership, independent capability, emotional courage, and what I call our Howie and I, on my coauthor, we call it a future-proofing or resilience, right? So ownership is I have to own it. Like if I own it, if it's coming from me, then I'll make it successful. If I have an idea that is a hundred percent perfect and you gave it to me versus an idea that's 75 there, but I invent, I created it myself.
Speaker 3: How much more likely am I going to work and put everything I have into it in order to work, make my 75% ideas successful than to make your 100% idea successful, right? Way more like if your a hundred percent idea doesn't work, you had a stupid idea, right? If my 75% idea, you know, works, wow, I'm brilliant. So that's, you know, I'm going to work that time out independent capability means we've gotta be able to follow through. We have to be able to execute. You know, it's not just an idea, but it's executing emotional cards is the willingness to feel something which is critical to follow through. Right? So my, the book I wrote before this one is called leading with emotional courage. And that's the, that's the underlying idea behind that book. If you think of a difficult conversation, you're not having right. One that you need, you know, you need to have, but you're not having consider why you're not having it.
Speaker 3: I bet you know, everything you need to know to have it. I bet you're perfectly skilled enough to have it. And I bet you've had time and opportunity. And that's usually what we try to solve for when we're helping to execute. But that's not the stuff that gets in the way. And what gets in the way is you're going to have to feel something. If you have that hard conversation, you might have to feel their anger or you're hurting them or shame, or that weird passive aggressive thing that happens when you give someone feedback and they go, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. And then they don't talk to you for three weeks. Like you have to be willing to feel that stuff. And if you're willing to feel everything, if you're willing to feel the shame and the embarrassment and the anger and the path, if you're willing to feel everything, you can do anything.
Speaker 3: So emotional courage is a key piece of this. And then finally future-proofing or resilience, which is if you get very, very good at solving certain kinds of problems and performing what that buys you is more difficult problems and a higher need to perform afterwards. And so, you know, like that's, the gift of succeeding is you get more challenges to succeed with. And so, so in order to really change in a way that sticks, you have to be able to continue to do that. So that's that what we need is ownership, independent capability, emotional courage. And future-proofing, so now the, the reveal, right? Like what, what's the big thing that gets in the way actually the big thing is that almost always, when we try to change people, we approach it as a critic and not as an ally, we are not approaching it as someone who's helping them.
Speaker 3: We're approaching it as someone who's trying to point out what they're doing wrong and, and in organizations, the place where we get so stuck in this is feedback, right. And, and we get stuck in this, in our relationships too. Right. Which is that the sense that, okay, I'm going to be brutally honest with you, right? Cause I'm a good guy and I call him straight and I believe in transparency. So I'm going to be brutally honest with you, which as someone who just put a comment in, in a, I did a LinkedIn live this morning and they put a comment saying brutal honesty is almost always 90% brutal and 10% honest. Right. I love that. I think that's totally true. And, and it's like, you know, brutal honesty, just knocks people down. It has the opposite effect. And so we were building these cultures and organizations where, you know, the whole idea is radical truth and I'm going to be totally honest and it's very, very destructive and people spiral down and we approach change by being critics, which by the way, takes away all ownership, mute, mute their independent capability.
Speaker 3: It limits what they can do afterwards, because now they're in defensive mode and they're not going to take chances to build and learn and growth mindset. And it, it, you know, emotional courage, it makes it even like it creates the bar of emotional cars. Now you're going to have to take massive risks, which is going to risk being knocked down again by this destructive feedback. And, you know, you're never going to be able to perform in the future after that. So if you think about what, what is required in order to make change, right? Ownership, independent capability, future-proofing emotional courage. All of those things get knocked down. All of those things get reduced when we just come in as a critic, or we give you feedback or where, you know, transparently, brutally honest with you. That's I think the biggest mistake that I see happening,
Speaker 1: Well, we all want to have an impact. And in large part, those four traits or pieces to actually change are tied directly to us feeling that impact seeing that impact. And when we are faced with a critic immediately, our impact is diminished. We feel less than, and that doesn't inspire change. That requires us to start to retreat and feel less of an impact. And of course, that cycles and hard to break when he talk about team members and really trying to bring people into a plan to execute, to enjoy that change
Speaker 3: Hundred percent, hundred percent I'm with you.
Speaker 2: I think the other thing that is important there is if there is not a larger vision that you can attach the values and the work that you're putting into, then it's easier to get the take any of that criticism. Personally, if you, if you're, if you're along for the vision and the, and the, and the main goal you can focus on that you can put aside your hurt feelings in the moment, because you understand there's a, there's a bigger thing here. And for myself in the last 15 years of the art of charm, certainly there's been a lot of growth moments that didn't come without a lot of frustration and fighting and, and criticism and, and, and honesty. And what made it easy to deal with is, well, there's a, there's an ultimate vision and goal here that is more important than how I feel in this, in this moment. And I have to push those, those things aside, but still, it's not easy.
Speaker 3: Absolutely. Johnny, one of the first questions I ask and we're actually getting into some of the steps, right? Because the first step is shifting from a critic to an ally. And there's ways of doing that. But shifting from critic now, the second step is what you're talking about, Johnny, which is to move away from the problem and towards the outcome. One of the first questions I always ask when I'm coaching is someone will come to me and say, I'm struggling with this, or this is a problem. And I'll say, well, what's the outcome you want? Like, what are you going for? Let's go for something that's energizing. And that's exciting that, you know, if I'm coming to the conversation, I'm complaining about this terrible person on my team, they interrupt they're aggressive. They're, you know, they won't let something die. They'll raise uncomfortable issues. Like they're really annoying if I just try to solve that problem, the easiest solution is great.
Speaker 3: Let's fire them. No more problem person, no more problem. Right. But if you stop and you go, okay, got it. I hear you. I get it. What's the outcome you want? And they say, well, I want this person to stop being disruptive. And you know, that's not really an outcome. I mean, that's an outcome, but it's just the negation of the problem. So you gotta, you know, for the sake of what, like for the sake of what for, you know, because I would like some peace on this team. I would like this team to collaborate and get along. Okay. So if the team just like greed with each other all the time, is that going to be the outcome? Well, no, I don't want that. You know, what I actually want is a high performing team. That's what I want a high performing team. Great. That's exciting. We can get behind this idea of, I want a high performing team, right? So once I get that, and that's what you're saying, right? You're saying like, let's get to some outcome, let's get to something exciting, something greater that we want. Great. Then we can go back to the problem and begin to solve the problem in light of this outcome that we want
Speaker 1: That key distinction between a negative and a positive outcome. I think we have to highlight because a negative again comes with criticism and cuts directly into our emotional state. Don't do this. You can't do that. And of course, naturally as humans, we see this, a children with someone's told, don't do something, you're highlighting the wrong thing. You can't call it.
Speaker 3: I will eat that pint of ice cream,
Speaker 1: Right? We're threatening their agency, their ability to make the choice that they want to make. So in those moments where we now understand moving on to step two, and I do want to double back to ally, but understanding the outcome piece, I get it with teams, but let's talk a little bit about personal relationships and how that plays a little bit of a different role because outcomes in a company setting, they're usually pretty clearly defined and easier to find the positives, but when it comes to our personal relationships, that's a more difficult challenge.
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Speaker 3: Great. So, so, you know, in personal relationships and, and I agree with you, and I think the, it ops the auntie, like in the, the emotional courage that we need in, in personal relationships is, is the greatest, right? Because, you know, because it's like, it feels like our life depends on it. Like this is the person that we're most vulnerable with, or this is, you know, are these people, even friends that were like, you know, this is, this is not just a compartmentalized part of my life. Uh, this is my whole life. So let's take this step back to the outcome, sorry to the critic, ally. And let's just take an example of that. Let's say that I'm frustrated that my wife who's perfect by the way. So this is totally a made up situation. Um, my wife is on her phone often and, and I'm frustrated and like we're having dinner and she checked me to phone and a beep comes and she checks her phone.
Speaker 3: And, and so the critic would be like, stop it, like stop it. Like we're together, put down your phone. Like, it's like, you can't be away from your phone for three minutes without having to check your phone. Like, that's really frustrating and annoying. Like, please stop that right. Total critic approach. Right. So the first thing is to say, okay, so I, you know, like, what is my positive intent? Like what, what do I, I want to be able to connect with her and yes, I could criticize. And that will make me feel better than her and make me feel right and she's wrong, which makes me feel safe and is completely and totally ineffective. So, you know, instead of that, let me say, okay, so I want to help, like, I want, I want to help in this situation. I don't want to just attack her.
Speaker 3: I want to help. And then the next thing would be what is her I have to in my head, just so that I can understand what is her positive intent? Like what, like, why would in her mind, why is she doing what she's doing? She's not doing what she's doing in order to be distant and disconnected. Like, there's some reason that she's doing it, right. So why is she doing she's checking she's, she's in charge of the, we have three kids. I'm not checking the emails for the kids in that moment, like she is, or she's worried, you know, and also like she, and I share this, but it's like, if I've got too many things going on, I have to close loops. I'm super uncomfortable with like open loops. And, you know, if an email comes in, I want to get to it so I can understand that I don't need to be right about it.
Speaker 3: I just need to understand it. So that I've softened my approach to her. And then, and then the third step is what I call the permission formula, which is to empathize, to express confidence and to ask permission, that's the most important part to ask permission, right? And to be able to say, Hey, you know, like I get how distracting I do it all the time too. I get how distracting phone beeps can be an et cetera. And, and I know that you're sort of tracking a bunch of things that are going on. Um, I also know that you, you know, at other times are really able to put the phone down and, and to like really be present to our conversation. Are you willing to, can we talk about this? Like, are you willing to be in a conversation about this? Right. And if she says, no, then I have to accept her.
Speaker 3: No. Right. But I've done this a lot of times and I've done this with my kids, especially, and my kids will sometimes say, no, no, I don't want to talk about it. Hey, you know, you just say that an entire plate of chocolate chip cookies, there's a theme in our family. Obviously you just ate an entire plate of chocolate chip cookies. I know that, you know, I could tell by the look on your face, that you're feeling a little guilty and not feeling great about that. And I know that you've managed your eating differently in the past. Is this something you want to think about with me? Do you want, like, I have some thoughts. Do you want to, do you want to talk about it? No, dad, I'm good. All right. Okay. That's your call. I'm here. If you ever want to that afternoon, she came back to me and said, Hey, I would like to talk to you about it right now, which by the way is great.
Speaker 3: Cause it's her control. If I don't get permission from her, I'm controlling the situation. If I get permission from my wife, if I get permission from my daughter, now we're in a conversation. So that's step one. Then step two is what is the outcome? And this is where, you know, to your point, it it's, you know, it's easy to find positive outcomes in business. Is it as easy in personal relationships? I would say absolutely. If we approach it as an ally, not as a critic. So at the point in which I could approach it as an ally, I could say, what do you want? Like from this dinner, what do you want? Like, what do you want from this dinner? Like, what's the outcome you want? Like, what do you know? I really like, we don't go out on dates enough. Like I really want to connect.
Speaker 3: Great. I want to connect to now we're totally aligned on the outcome that we want. And then we could problem solve. Right now we can go back to the problem and go, how is this, you know, an opportunity? How is this problem of the phone ringing, you know, or beeping every three minutes? How is that actually an opportunity to get closer? And now we're off and running and, and, you know, we can talk more about that step also, but, but the idea is with your personal relationships, you are far more aligned than you think. And you can be if you approach it, if you're willing to overstep your hurt or at least not overstep, because you have to feel it, but recognize that behind your heart, behind your anger, behind your frustration, the reason you're feeling those things is because you care is because you have love is because you, you, you know, have, uh, you're, you're vulnerable in those places.
Speaker 3: And that that's where that comes out. Frustration comes out of care. We're not frustrated about something we don't care about, right? We're not free. We're not angry at someone that we, you know, who's close to us, our relationship, who's blocking some kind of a connection with us if we don't love them. Like, and it's, it's just, we protect ourselves by, by going to anger and frustration and hurt. We protect ourselves because then we don't have to be vulnerable and going, wow, I really love you. And it's feeling vulnerable right now because you're not paying any attention to me like that. A very different place to come from.
Speaker 2: Peter. I'm curious if you have seen this, when you discussed that, there's only the reason that you're frustrated is that you care. And I, I agree with that, but I want to offer a caveat and where I've seen the anger and the pushback is also when somebody is trying to create a character or a facade that they want you to see in that facade gets broken or it's coming apart. There's a lot of anger pushback, which they will, they will use to dis to the sky as they're caring about the outcome or whatnot. But it's because the facade that they worked so hard and putting together has been disrupted or, uh, is, is coming apart. And so now they're, they're angry about that. More so angry at themselves in the situation that they're in. Have you experienced that? Or is there anything that you can say to that? Yeah,
Speaker 3: I, I think that's very, I mean, I think you're articulating something that happens a lot. We have the self-image and, and any time that we, um, and this, this is why coming in as a critic is so hurtful, which is, um, if you like this, and by the way, this is the job of a leader, and this is actually the job of someone who's going to be successful in a relationship is to be willing. Now, this is on the other side to be willing to say, this is what a mentor of mine told me. Once. Peter, you have to be willing to see yourself the way other people see you. You cannot fight to have them see you the way you would like to be seen. You have to see how they see you and you have to have a thick skin around that. So that's part of it.
Speaker 3: So part of it is to say, I feel misunderstood. I feel like, you know, like not seen. And, um, and, and I, and this is my emotional courage. I have to be willing to feel that like, if, because not everyone's going to use my process, right? So like they're going to come at me as critics. And if I want to be successful in that dynamic, I have to be willing to say, okay, they're coming at me as a critic. I can correct them and help them come at me in a more productive way. Um, I could tell them to read my book. Uh, but instead I'm just going to say like, okay, so what's the outcome we want here. I'm going to S I, for me, I'm going to skip that step and go to the outcome where I know I could begin to create a collaboration.
Speaker 3: So that's on the other side of it. And I think the reason, like the reason I'm proposing here build some skill at coming to someone as an ally, as opposed to a critic is to soften the blow to the self-image. Because when we have a blow to the self-image, we go to shame and the number shame is the most difficult emotion for anybody to feel. And we will do almost anything, not to feel shame. And the easiest go tos to avoid feeling shame is denial and defensiveness, right? If I, if I prove you wrong, if that way you're seeing me as wrong, then I have no reason to feel shame because you're just wrong, right? It's your problem, not mine. And so the, one of the things like when we approach as an ally, we bypass the shame and we can get into a real cumbersome.
Speaker 2: What's important. There is that shame mechanism, because if this person that you had worked to be an ally with want to upgrade with what they're doing and help them so that they can contribute, contribute more to what is going on into this vision, that if they are seen in the wrong way, rather than trying to defend this character that they had put together, or this facade that they want you to see going in and correcting some of the things that they are doing, that shows that they are changing, how they're operating, could contribute to the vision more so, so that they wouldn't change certain behaviors that are leading you to see through the facade.
Speaker 3: Absolutely. That's absolutely right.
Speaker 1: Well, I think another big challenge in this, and we can go back to your Allianz example. Obviously that's a massive turnaround, and there's going to be a lot of issues causing emotional reactions in that leader. And part of being an ally is managing your own emotions and compartmentalizing that, and I think that's really where the rubber meets the road between a critic and an ally. And we've all been there where our emotions are getting the best of us. So what recommendations do you have when you're in those really high pressure situations? I mean, even the example with your wife, maybe you had a difficult client who wasn't handling the coaching well, and he was peppering you with emails and that emotion is now carried over into this conversation with your wife. We could see how that has an impact. So do you have any exercises that our listeners can use to help manage those emotions to more effectively become that ally?
Speaker 3: Yeah, I think it's a great question. It's a deep question. And the answer is, you know, there's a whole camp that says repress your feelings. I'm not part of that camp. There's a whole camp that says express everything that you're feeling. I'm not a part of that camp, right? Like I think both of those are, are, um, are dysfunctional in their own particular ways. So what I I'm part of the camp that says, feel everything, be willing to feel everything recognize that you are bigger than any one emotion. So be willing to feel all of that energy become comfortable and experienced feeling lots of this kind of energy and this emotion and in, in a way in which it doesn't overwhelm you. Right. And then make choices. And then from that place, make choices. I can be furious at you. And I could feel all of that fury and then breathe and say, okay, so w what's what's needed now?
Speaker 3: Like what will be helpful in this situation? Probably screaming at you. Wouldn't but what would be helpful? Like what, you know, like what would be appropriate and useful and help us to move towards an outcome that I want. So that's not repressing the feeling. I'm not pretending I'm not sitting going, oh, I'm not angry. No, no, I'm not angry at all. Right. And we've all met those people. So no, I could be furious, but I don't have to get mad at you. I didn't have to tell you that I'm angry. What I have to do is do, and say the things that will change the trajectory of the way that we're moving, and by the way, an exercise that could be helpful. If it's hard in that moment is go into a room and we could all do this. Now that we're, you know, at home in zoom, go into the room and hit on your bed, as hard as you can and scream and scream and scream as loud as you can put your face in a pillow and scream and move some of that energy that is building in your body.
Speaker 3: That's a little hard to contain. It's physical energy in your body. You know, I run a leadership intensive, this leadership program and, and it's, you know, it's, it's interesting. It was literally ranked the number one leadership program in the world by global gurus, you know, over Harvard's program and Duke's program. And, and it's all about emotional courage. And so what I, the reason I find that funny is because, you know, H and I write for HBR, and I know, but all these programs are like, we're going to give you a ton of knowledge. That's going to help you. And I'm in my leadership program. I'm like, I'm not going to give you any knowledge, like I'm going to not, I'm going to share as Lee, you will hear me lecture as little as possible, but I'm going to give you a ton of experiences that allow you to feel a ton of stuff that is going to grow your capacity, to feel which will then grow your capacity to act.
Speaker 3: And the most effective people in the world have a bias towards action, and you're going to be able to act effectively. So I don't care if you know more, when you leave this intensive, I do care that you can do more when you leave the intensive. And that's all about having. So for me, when I, when someone, uh, you know, someone said to me recently, I don't want to hurt you. And my answer was hurt me. Like, that's okay. I could be hurt. Like, it's okay for you to hurt me. I don't, I don't need to live a life in which I don't get hurt. I'll be responsible for that. If you're hurting me too much, I might tell you to go away. Right. But it's okay, we're going to hurt each other in this world. And so to be able to not let that overwhelm us, but to actually be able to engage in conversation around, it feels like it's the most important thing.
Speaker 1: All of that knowledge and the world is not helpful if it doesn't inspire action. And even if we have a desired outcome, we know just because it's an outcome as humans, we're not going to move towards it. Unless we see some positive payoff, some carrot that's going to excite us. So let's talk a bit about the opportunity and how we in that third step can elucidate an opportunity that gets the team excited. That gets the person we're working with on board with this change that we both need.
Speaker 3: It's a great question. And, and, you know, once we've done the critic to ally, and once we've done, what is the outcome? And then we're still faced with a problem, right? The problem still exists. This person who's disruptive, and the team is still there. You know, the phone beeping every three minutes is still there. And so, and, and the question isn't, so how do we solve for that? The question, and this was the hardest chapter to write and the longest chapter in the book, because it, you know, when Howie and I were working, it was sort of unpacking, trying to unpack what I do and you know, how I would say, well, so what's your technique. I'm like, I, this is what I do. Like, here's what, give me an example. Here's what it would be. And it was, it was sort of hard. And we came up with, you know, a number of six or seven things that cover 80, 90% of the situations.
Speaker 3: So one of them is what is, if someone's behaving badly. One of the questions that we ask is what is good about their bad behavior? Not good about them. We're not saying, oh, they can't all be bad. You know, like, what is the good stuff? Now, what we're saying is you've got this outcome, right? You want to ha you want to a high performing team. And, and you've got this person who's disruptive. And, you know, forcing us to talk about stuff we don't want to talk about. And I understand how that behavior is disruptive. How can that behavior be helpful to you in getting to a high performing team? Right? And that conversation becomes really interesting. And in the end, that conversation as well, you know, we're a bunch of lamps. Like we were, we care so much about politeness and, and peace. And this thing that we're frustrated with that will never contradict each other.
Speaker 3: And so we actually need someone, we need her boldness, and she could probably use some of our civility. And if we can combine her boldness with our civility, we will be an unbeatable team where now we're of now we found an opportunity. That's kind of exciting. I mean, I don't even know this person. And I'm kind of excited to work on that problem, which says, you know, we can be an unbeatable team. If we just, you know, up each of our games, both incivility and boldness, we could be really effective. We have to have that conversation. You know, another common opportunity is oftentimes there's a problem. And I'm scared. I'm scared of having a conversation. I'm scared. And always, if there is an opportunity to do something I haven't done before, that's always an opportunity. There's another opportunity. Let's go back to the example of, of, of texting.
Speaker 3: You know, the, the opportunity is to connect is to feel, feel connection. Like, I'm sorry, that's the outcome. The outcome we're going for is feel connection. We both want that. And so there's a way in which perhaps that phone, first of all, putting away the phone is an opportunity to actively show commitment to the connection, right? Actively show commitment to the connection you go. Like, yeah, I'm going to put it away, but there's another thing which actually could end up being kind of a fun, funny thing. And I actually haven't tried this, but maybe we should do this, which is leave the phone there and actually turn it on. And then every time it beeps, let that be a reminder to go, are we really connected or reconnecting? You know, like, are we really, is there something we could say? And, and they're like, it's, it's almost, you know, it almost becomes a joke, but it becomes a joke that actually deepens our connection. Now we've got this like little private joke. Now we're going to be in a group of people and their phone's going to ring, and we're going to look at each other. Right. And we're going to use it as an example of action. So it's about creatively finding where the problem, isn't just a problem, but it's also an opportunity
Speaker 1: Problem in a sense becomes part of the solution, right? So it's not demonized, it's not vilified. There's not judgment tied to it. If it's a problem, it is elucidating for us that there is an opportunity behind it. So it's not something to run from. It's not something to blame, shame, or create these feelings of guilt. Now this then leads to, of course, how in these situations where it's not clear cut where the other person is getting defensive, no matter how much we've tried to be an ally, no matter how much we've showcased empathy, where they're just unwilling to see that as the opportunity,
Speaker 3: You know, and it's interesting, even in your question, um, we're not the one finding the opportunity. We're stoking them to find the opportunity. So the truth is sometimes I will help them with like, well, how about this? Or how about that? But it's really, we're asking questions to say, given this new energizing thing, and by the time you've gotten to this energizing outcome, and you've established credibility as an ally, and you've gotten to this, uh, energizing outcome, you you've already changed the energy in the room. Like you've already met. You know, now, like at this point, you know, you're not fighting someone you're kind of aligned with them and they see that and they believe it. So now you're sitting together and you're saying, you know, if we were like this beforehand, now we're like this, how can we look? How can we look together at this problem and find the opportunity to get to our outcome?
Speaker 3: What might it be? No idea, you know, let's just brainstorm. Like no idea is bad. Like let's, you know, look through what would it fall into one of the categories that are listed in the book or would it, or we just invent something like, what could it be? How could it be an opportunity? Let's get creative and let's come up with four or five different ideas. We don't have to hit on the right one right away. And when we get to that fourth grade stage, which is planning, we talk about a level 10 plan and a level 10 plan is a plan that I am one out of 10, 10, confident that I will follow through. Not that I'm a 10 confident that it'll work. I don't know if it's going to work, but I'm confident that I could follow through because we're scientists here.
Speaker 3: So we don't have to get this. Right. We could say, let's try it by the way, every time, like we have this idea that the phone's going to beep and every time it beeps, you know, like, Hey, let's connect a little more. And after the third time, it beeps, I'm like, you know what, not working like, let's try and stop now. It's cause I'm just getting frustrated that this phone keeps interrupting my compensation, you know, or maybe it does work. I don't know, but we're going to just follow through on a couple of ideas, try something and keep doing it. And it reduces, it releases the pressure that we feel to like, get it right and make it perfect and show up exactly the way we need to show up. So it's like, you know, we reduce that pressure by, by experimenting, by, you know, being willing to say, Hey, let's throw out a couple of ideas and try some stuff. And maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't.
Speaker 1: Well, I really liked that idea of the brainstorming, because again, it's not you just coming with the outcome and the predefined opportunities that you as a leader, see, you're in a sense, getting the buy-in and the commitment from team members, uh, those who have been harmed by the problem and those who might be causing the problem. So we can all get to a place of working together again, instead of just highlighting that one person in their inadequacies. Yeah.
Speaker 3: It's funny because I, I, for myself, I was on a bike ride and I thought, okay, I'm going to try to use this process on myself. Like I don't, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm the world's number one executive coach, you know, in the world. Right. I was ranked that in the world. I'm going to try this on myself. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it because we're caught in our own loops. So like, what I need is an ally. I need somebody. They don't have to be an amazing coach. They can ask me questions. We could collaborate together. The greatest gift in the world is to have someone there. Who's saying, Hey, let me help you with that. Like the person who's our greatest enemy becomes our greatest gift. If, if we're aligned and they can say, Hey, I'm happy to help you think this through. I care that you succeed. I'm happy to help you think this through. And so I really found the usefulness of like being a coach or the usefulness of like having someone help you through a process like this and the brainstorming. Like you need someone to brainstorm with. We can't, we're not going through life alone. We can't figure this out on our own.
Speaker 2: I don't feel good about ideas unless I bounce them off several people and go, where are the blind spots? What am I not seeing this? This makes sense. Where am I tripping up? How solid is this eight? There'll be times where I end up age. I'm like, I just need to run this by you. This is what I'm thinking. What's gone on here. And I, that needs to be of multiple people before I can feel good about it. Right.
Speaker 3: And you know, of course, conceptually, we might say, I want a J to say, it's a dumb idea. If it's a dumb idea, it's entirely true. Like you like, you, you, yes, you want him to help you poke holes. But as soon as you felt like AIJ was above you or Aja was saying, oh, that's a stupid idea. Whatever you're going to be far less likely to show him the next idea. Even if you sort of want the criticism, it has to come as an ally. It has to come as well. It's interesting. I can see where this idea is coming from. You know, let's explore it. Like what's the outcome you're trying to get to, like, you know, you have this idea, what's the outcome. Great. And so how is this going to get us there? Well, maybe we could refine it a little bit. Maybe we could build on this. Maybe we could take away that piece. And now you're a couple of people really collaborating and that must feel really good.
Speaker 2: Well, the AIJ, it's always in the context of the greater vision and goal that w we have agreed upon in order to work together. It's much different when you, when you go out outside of that, it's easier to feel that you're being attacked rather than having an ally who's working with you.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. And it's really, by the way, it's, uh, it, not only is it a gift to the person you're helping, it's a total gift to you as the helper. I mean, rather than be frustrated with someone, you emerged the conversation feeling really good and feeling like you could be helpful. And ultimately we all want that. Like, it feels good to help people. It feels good to be in collaborative relationships and their heart, you know, it helps to have a path to it, but it's, it's really a gift to both.
Speaker 1: Can we drill down a little bit on the plan itself, because I know that some are very open and okay. With a loose plan and some want very specific details to be part of a plan. Are there any indicators that you have that you look for that allows you to feel like great. We have a level 10 plan that we can all commit to and execute on.
Speaker 3: Yeah. I always want, I always ask the sort of newspaper questions. What, when, where, how, why, you know, like, like I, you know, that first paragraph that you learn in high school as like a good essay should answer all of these questions in the first paragraph. So I generally look for like my eighth grade, first paragraph as, as a way of assessing, you know, is this a good plan? And then I really, that, that last question is super important. Like one to 10, what is your, you know, we, we have a plan now we know what you're going to do when you're going to do it and how you're going to do it. You've sort of identified some risks. What's the likelihood you're going to follow through one through 10. Sometimes they'll say 11, which is great. Great. Sometimes they'll say six. And then my question is, all right, so what would make it a 10 what's missing between the six and a 10?
Speaker 3: You know, once I said that I was coaching someone and they said, you know, it's a, it's a, what's your likelihood. You're going to do that this week. It's a three. And I was shocked. I'm like a three, like really we did all this work and you're giving me a three, you know, I thought we were aligned. Why is it a three? Well, the person I'm, uh, needing to have this conversation with is on vacation this week with his family, I was like, oh, well, well, it should be a zero. Then please do not call them on vacation to have this conversation. It should not be a three. Right? What is the likelihood you're going to have this conversation in the next three weeks? Oh, it's a 10. Okay, good. We're you know, but it, it really clarifies things. If you sort of asked for a number and then you figure out where the gaps are
Speaker 1: Now, everything we've discussed in terms of change has either been coming from someone who's a leader who's above or someone who's an equal, but many in our audience are striving to become. Senior leaders are noticing gaps in senior leadership are identifying problems that they would love to change. What role do the power dynamics play in this? And how can we impact change if we're not quite at the leadership level?
Speaker 3: Um, yeah. So first of all, it was, so we've talked about like with colleagues or with personal relationships and, and, and with employees, first of all, that's, it's, it's really good to have that impact at whatever level in the organization you're in. So what I will tell you, having worked with a tremendous number of CEOs and a tremendous number of aspiring C-suite people, you know, people who are in the C-suite and people who are aspiring to be in the C-suite is the number one challenge that I have seen people face when they're expecting and wanting and, and, uh, have the skills to be promoted to C-suite, but they're not getting promoted. And the question is why the number, one thing that I see is their peers will not accept to report to them. Like I can't promote them because their peers don't want to work with them.
Speaker 3: And, and the reason I see that often is because it's often the very ambitious, the driving, et cetera. That's like, all right, I'm going to do that. And I'm going to be better than everyone. I'm going to be up there. And what you realize at that level is that's not going to cut it. You know, it's like my friend Marshall Goldsmith wrote this beautiful book called what got you here? Won't get you there. And the title is terrific, right? Like the things that got you to that point, you can be an amazing individual contributor, but you know, individual contribution, ambitious, aggressive individual contribution, doesn't make it as a leader. And so to be able to use, to be able to help the people around you be successful, which feels counterintuitive because you think you're in competition with them. But to be, to help the people around you to be successful is the number one predictor in what's going to get you promoted. And everybody around you saying, I'd love to report to this person. I'm indebted to them for my career. They've helped me tremendously. Right? But if you're being competitive with them, they're going to be like no way, this a worst thing for my career ever. It would be for this guy to be my boss or this woman would be my boss.
Speaker 2: Again, that comes back to the beginning of this conversation of somebody walking onto a sports team. Who's elevating everyone around them, rather than getting in competition with everybody for that next spot or the, or
Speaker 3: Attention they can get from, from media or fans. Yeah. And it takes emotional courage and confidence, right? It takes a willingness to go. You know what? I know I should do this. It feels vulnerable. If I help this person, I might be not helping myself. Like it feels vulnerable, but I know, I know if I were advising someone else, this is what I would advise them to do. But to me it feels vulnerable when I'm doing it. So that requires I have to be willing to feel that risk in order to do the thing that's in my best interest. And we, you know, that happens all the time.
Speaker 1: I think it's such an important point to make, because many in our audience right now are trying to get to that next level are seeing it as a competition and are often seeing problems and not feeling comfortable addressing them. And then what ends up happening inevitably, is those problems can turn back around and get, get pointed on you because you saw them, you were aware of them and you didn't action them. And anyone who does takes that opportunity then to leap, frog you, to get the promotion to get ahead,
Speaker 3: It's a hundred percent right. And, and here's what people do in those situations. What they do is instead of helping, they try to protect themselves and they try to say, how will this person's poor behavior, not reflect badly on me and the moves they make when they're trying to protect themselves, alienates them from everyone else and makes them look like they're just a CYA. And like, who wants that person to be a leader? So our gut reaction in a situation where someone around us behaves poorly is to do the thing that doesn't make us look bad, which makes us look bad. Right. And, and it's much more successful to go, Hey, you know, I notice you're and to say it nicely, like not in a judgemental way, but I noticed, you know, you've had this run-in with this person and I could see how hard it is.
Speaker 3: And I've also seen you amazing, right. I'm using my formula, empathy, confidence, permission. I've seen you, you know, be amazingly effective, you know, with, with kind of holdout. Um, do you want to think it through together? Like, I'm very, very happy to think it through with you. And, and if they say yes, then you're off and running. What's the outcome I want. Well, I want, you know, a better relationship with this person and, you know, a, I need to get my needs met. I need my stuff delivered on time. I need that. Okay, great. So where's the opportunity and we're often running
Speaker 1: And the last caveat there that I think, you know, I don't want the audience to miss is that patients tied to it because you may get a, no, I don't have a minute. No, I don't want to discuss this. Now they have seven other priorities, especially as they get more and more senior, but that open door with patients and emotional courage creates the opportunity. It just may take a little longer than you hope
Speaker 3: You're present. And you've done the right thing because you've shown yourself as an ally and you've let them have the control. So you can say, no problem, I'm here. If you ever want to talk about it, I'm really like, it's, I'd be more than happy if I could be helpful and here, and here's my advice. Don't leave that meeting going. What a jerk. They didn't want my help. Right? Cause that's not going to help, like keep your positive intent and their positive intent. They're busy. Probably the reason they're in this is because they're not spending enough time on their relationships, you know, because if they were, then they would probably have a better relationship with this person. And so they don't have time because they're really overwhelmed. Maybe that's the thing that I could possibly help. Maybe I could take some of the work off of them in some way. Maybe I could support them in some way so that they have a little bit more
Speaker 2: And our company we've called maintaining in the box, which you know, all the rules, you know, what you need to do to be a high value contributor to the team. And you do those things. And no matter how you feel inside emotionally, you do not divert from what you know is right. And you allow it to play out. And if you, if you maintain in the box, then it will usually play out in your favor. If you dive, if you move out of the box and allow your emotions and go by the women of your emotions, you tend to mess things up, not only for yourself, but for the whole team.
Speaker 1: I think the underlying thread in all of this is your ability and understanding that you could be wrong no matter what the plan is, no matter what, the opportunity that you identify as, and what Johnny and I really enjoyed about the book is really coming at this as a scientist and being willing to experiment. Instead of coming at this from on high saying, I know the solution, this is the only way this is going to work. I already put a plan together. You just need to go and do it. And I think unfortunately, when it comes to awful leadership and much of the leadership that we encounter, that damages us in our career, it's not with that scientist mindset. It's with that do, as I say, act on it and I'm above you, therefore you must follow along. So I'm excited that our audience got to hear not only this framework and ideally check out the book. Do you have any other resources for our audience that can help support them in these difficult conversations?
Speaker 3: Sure. If you go to Bregman partners.com, B R E G M a N partners.com, there's a ton of resources on there. We've got, you know, uh, videos. We've got, we've taped conversations that we've done, you know, coaching people and, and, uh, we have dialogues that we've annotated. So you could say, this is what it might look like with the boss. This is what it might look like, you know, with your spouse. So there's a lot of resources on the site.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sharing Peter. It was great chatting with you,
Speaker 3: Aja and Johnny has been so, so fun. Uh, having this conversation with you really, you drew out all the important stuff. You're great interviewers. Thank you.
Speaker 1: We appreciate the book and I'm glad our audience is going to have an opportunity to work on changing themselves and those around them.
Speaker 4: [inaudible]
Speaker 1: Johnny. That was such a fun episode with Peter. And this is an, a very important topic. These days. We talk a lot about fostering change in ourselves, but let's be honest. There are a lot of people around us who need to up their game too. And I love that he laid out the alley model for us to start having that impact today.
Speaker 2: Uh, team is only good as its weakest link, and you want to be able to motivate and lift up everybody around you. And this book gives you a direct path in doing that.
Speaker 1: It was so great having Peter on can't wait to have him back now. We've got a big shout out this week, Johnny. So we talked about a few weeks ago. We were in Las Vegas for a weekend bootcamp. And of course, if you heard any of the news, there were some flight delays. There are a lot of hiccups at the airports. And in fact, one of our graduates of the bootcamp, William had quite the experience, right?
Speaker 2: Yes, William was stranded due to the cancellations. It wouldn't have been able to leave to get home until the very next day, but because he was at bootcamp and was so used to talking with people and in our programs, we encourage people to, to have up to 200 conversations during the weekend, using the tools that we've laid out so that they can perfect them and learn how to use them to their advantage. Well, William was still in that mood. When he went to the airport, he began talking to the other travelers, found a couple other families who live near him in San Diego. They had decided to rent a SUV and went to families. He didn't know, they drove back to San Diego and got home at a reasonable time. And it was due to William's newfound confidence and conversational Jedi mind tricks. And he was able to open up new opportunities and doors. He didn't even realize existed.
Speaker 1: And he wrote us to tell us that in the past, that crisis would have sent him into a tailspin, but instead he now has the confidence to turn it into an opportunity. And that's the great part about everything that we teach in our bootcamp and our X-Factor accelerator. If you love to learn more information about our upcoming boot camp schedule for 2022 text bootcamp to 9 1 7 7 2 0 4 1 0 4 that's plus 1 9 1 7 7 2 0 4 1 0 4, to get on the wait list for our upcoming boot camps. Next year, before we go, could you do us a huge favor head on over to apple podcast rate and review the show. It helps amazing guests like Peter. Come join us on the show. And we love hearing from our fans. The art of charm podcast is produced by Michael Harold and Eric Montgomery until next week I'm AIJ and I'm Johnny have a great one.
Speaker 4: [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible].
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