Thursday, December 19, 2013

If you think about your relationship with your mate, you might notice that you and/or your mate is really good at criticizing. And, if you are good at criticizing the prognosis for your relationship really stinks.  You are going to kill the relationship because criticism is continually toxic; it actually robs the relationship of its foundation. If you want to pretend that you are helping instead of actually criticizing you might want to adjust your perspective on things.  A relationship with continual criticism in it will actually die.  So replace the criticism with all that reinforcement that you did during courtship.  When you do that, you are building a foundation and you can repair things. 
Friday, December 13, 2013

You’ll notice that when you are stonewalling your need to avoid talking about it is more important than your need to resolve anything.  Often one or both of you have these off limit subjects in your relationship that now are so incendiary it is impossible to talk about them.  So therefore you avoid talking about it.  You say, “I don’t want to deal with it.” You’ll say, “There is no problem.” You simply stonewall. So, does it really make any sense to keep avoiding dealing with it, whatever it is simply because it is so difficult to do so?  Therefore, stop stonewalling.  Start talking about it.  Start resolving it.  And you’ll get some results. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Do you get defensive?  Do you defend yourself all the time? If you do, then you’ll notice that very often you have to be right or make sure you avoid being wrong. When you defend yourself, your need to be in the contest is more important than your need to resolve an issue with your mate.  Therefore, if you or your partner continues to be defensive, that creates a death-nail for your relationship. So ask yourself, do you need to be right or would you like to resolve the issue? If you think about resolving it then the need to defend yourself goes down and now you actually resolve issues and make progress, so consider that.   
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If you think about your life, there are a handful of items that are really important:  your health, your wealth, your sleep, your family, your relationships and your finances.  Those are important.  So, what is urgent?  Well, it’s putting out the latest fire, it’s the latest thing you get seduced by, it’s the “We have to clean up the house before the cleaning people arrive.” How insane is that?  If you get seduced too often by the urgent, you’ll notice that the important takes short shrift.  So write down a list of what is really important and set aside time to do those first.  When you do, you are in charge of your life.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

“The Benefit of the doubt,” when I hear people say that, I think it’s insane.  In what way is there any benefit in doubt? When you think about it, the moment you hear the word “doubt” you start getting nervous and you start thinking there is a real problem. Rather, the intent of "benefit of the doubt" is actually one that is supposed to repair things as opposed to making them worse.  So, change the wording from “the benefit of the doubt” to “the benefit of the trust” or “the benefit of the confidence.”  When you say that it seems like it is repairing things rather than making them more divisive. So, change it from “doubt” to “trust” and see what happens. 
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Let someone know that you understand what’s going on. Often when someone is complaining to you or fussing about something, you will want to solve it with the illusion that if you offer up the gospel according to you, and deploy it just in time that you are going to get a “Thank You” note. More than half the time they are going to get more upset. So remember, it is effective to simply say, “I understand.” “I understand how difficult it is.” “I understand how exciting it is.” The more you empathize with people the more they feel understood. The more they feel understood, you can actually begin to solve the problem. So instead of offering up the gospel according to you, simply empathize. When you empathize before you solve it, solutions are actually reached.
Thursday, October 24, 2013

When you feel sorry for yourself, in addition to wasting time, you are sucking life out of your relationship.  When you say “Life isn’t fair,” the reality is that is correct, life is unfair.  When you say, “Nobody knows the pain that I’ve suffered,” then you are seducing people into feeling sorry for you.  Decide that it is now time for you to become a grown up.  Quit feeling sorry for yourself and start validating what is good rather than whining about what is bad.  Poor me” will suck energy out of a relationship so turn it around and breathe life into it. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Love what you can love and let the rest go.  Do you ever notice that you have a relative… a parent, a brother, a mother-in-law, someone who you care about and yet they drive you out of your mind?  Their behavior is insane.  It makes you want to dip into the Prozac, or open a vein or go buy them a set of cement shoes.  “Come on darling, let’s go get some shoes.” Well, what do you do about that?  The reality is that it is hard to reconcile the gap between the fact that you really love that person and that you really have trouble with their behavior.  You might thrash around trying to figure out what to do.  Look at it this way… love what you can love and let the rest go.  Love what you can love and let the rest go, that’s common sense.  You can simply love what’s lovable and quit fussing about the rest.  It makes sense. 
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The final step to resolving conflict, once you have defined the problem, come up with multiple options, evaluated the options, chosen what you want to do and implemented the solutions is to follow up.  It is absolutely essential that you follow up.  You must meet again with the people with whom you have conflict.  If you fail to follow up the whole thing will evaporate. And, when you do follow up, fine-tune and keep going and the resolution is solid. Remember to follow up. 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In resolving conflict, once you have defined the problem, come up with multiple options, evaluated the options and chosen what you want to do, implementing is critical.  Now, you want to assign who is to do what and when.  Perhaps you are to take care of Option A and Larry is to take care of Option B.  When you make those assignments of who is to do what and when, you’ve got the traction you are looking for and the conflict can now be resolved.  So the key is to make some accountability and assignments and you are on your way to resolving conflicts.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In resolving conflict, after you have defined the problems, generated options, and started thinking about what the best options are, now you want to choose the options.  It is a good idea that you, along with those with whom you have conflict, after looking at all the options, start deciding which options are the best.  Take two or three options and put them together.  When you put them together then you can decide how to implement the options, however, you will want get clear on that before you do it.  If you get sign-up to the process of choosing among multiple options you will have much more forward movement.  That’s how you resolve conflict. 
Thursday, September 19, 2013

The first thing to do to resolve conflict is find the problem.  Then you want to generate options and as you are generating enough options you are going to want to evaluate them.  The best way to evaluate the options is to look at all the options and rate them 1 to 10.  Ten means it is a great idea, one means it stinks.  When you use a 1 to 10 scale to determine the value of each of the options, the highest numbers become self-evident.  I recommend using the 1 to 10 scale and the best options will emerge by themselves. 
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If you are going to resolve conflict, the first thing you want to do is find the problem.  After you have done that, you want to generate possible options.  Let’s suppose you are in conflict with some other people and you’ve agreed to sit down to work it out.  Their first impulse is to come up with what they think is the “right” solution.  My recommendation is to come up with multiple options; certainly more than two, preferably three or more.  If you have paper, write them all down.  You will have a temptation to evaluate the options as they are suggested.  I recommend that you withhold evaluation and that they do so as well.  Generate multiple options and you will see that the more options that are available, the less conflict there is. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

If you are going to resolve conflict, one of the first things that you need to do is define the problem, particularly with the person with whom you have conflict.  The way you do that is you ask them, from their view, what the problem is.  When they tell you, you listen and play it back and simply ask for clarification.  If there are more people with whom you have conflict, you ask them as well.  The more you ask, the more you find out, from their view, what the conflict is.  Then listen for the nature of the conflict in the form of a question as opposed to a statement.  So rather than saying, “The problem is we don’t get along.” say, “The problem is, how are we going to figure out to get along?” When you put it in the form of a question, you are much more likely to get answers and then you will get better results.  This is step 1 in resolving conflict.  
Monday, August 12, 2013

One of the things you will want to do if you are going to resolve conflict is to review the way you think about compromise.  If you’re a them vs. us, win - lose, black - white, kind of person then often you think that any kind of compromise is a loss.  Compromise is, you give a little and I give a little, and we make a quid pro quo kind of deal.  But, if you think that anything less than what you want is a loss, then you are going to associate weakness and loss with compromise.  My recommendation is to remember if you are going to resolve conflict, compromise is one of the essential tools to do it.  When you learn to compromise, you are probably going to resolve the conflict and move on. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

One of the things that you want to do if you are going to resolve conflict is you must adjust your view on conflict.  Lots of people think that conflict is bad and therefore, destructive and you must avoid it.  The reality is, conflict is inevitable and it’s what happens with people.  If you understand that it is inevitable, sometimes when you actually resolve conflict, you feel relived; it feels like the air is cleared.  Rather than deciding that conflict is bad, consider that conflict is normal and right on schedule.  If you think that way, you are much more likely to confront it and learn the skills to resolve it.  So conflict is inevitable and you can learn the skills and you’ll get better results.
Thursday, July 25, 2013

One of the beliefs that are very counter-productive in resolving conflict is them vs. us.  That means that you think in the terms of win or lose, right or wrong, good or bad and them vs. us.  If you have that notion, it is very unlikely that you are ever going to resolve conflict because it’s now them vs. us.  So, think about us and us.  Think about demonizing "them" less and about trying to work with "them," whoever they are.  When you do that, you are much more likely to resolve conflict and them vs. us will become less toxic.
Thursday, July 18, 2013

When it comes to resolving conflict, most of us are ill-equipped and unskilled to deal with it effectively.  Most of us do either “fight” or “flight.”  “Flight” is where you run away from the conflict hoping that it will take care of itself.  “Fight” is an opportunity for a contest where there is an adversarial outcome that goes on and on.  The first thing to think about when it comes to resolving conflict is the “third option.”  The “third option” is to resolve.  Resolving the conflict means we have to have the skills to do it and we want to come up with an outcome that we can live with, something that is less than perfect but still workable.  So think about resolving conflict rather than flight or fight. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

It is curious that all the surveys continue to confirm that everyone wants more listening… listening from your partner, a service provider, from a manager; the reality is rarely do people actually listen.  When you listen, its more than just hearing what someone says.  It means that you play back to them what you thought they said.  When you do that, you reduce the margin for error between what you heard and what they said.  And, more important, when you play it back, they feel understood. If they feel understood, they are much less likely to get defensive.  Spend more time listening to what people say and then play back to them, particularly when it is important what they said. When you do that, you actually make progress because listening is the best way to get your point across. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Think about the way in which your spirit can soar when you do something wonderful for someone else, particularly someone you barely know.  For example:  it looks like someone in a public place is very unhappy; buy a flower and give it to them.  If there is someone in front of you at the supermarket and they are fumbling for change, pay it for them.  Go to the hospital and spend some time with a sick person who wants company.  It is really remarkable how you feel so much better about life when you perform a random act of kindness.  So pay it forward, show some love, show some care, and your spirit will benefit enormously. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Generosity of spirit has to do with forgiveness, compassion, going the extra mile, the bigger picture, etc.  You know that people are imperfect, as are you.  So, people screw up, as do you.  Therefore, what you have to do is demonstrate generosity of spirit that is the extra mile, forgiveness, caring, empathetic dimension of yourself.  In order to do that means you go the extra mile, you reach out, say “Thank you.”  You say “I’m sorry.” You forgive and you let it go and you move ahead.  You let go of the stuff that’s irreconcilable so that you can get on with your life.  Show that generosity of spirit and you will see results.
Monday, June 24, 2013

Responsibility is all about owning whatever decisions you have made.  When you are a fully functioning grown-up, you take responsibility for your behavior, your actions, your decisions and your initiatives.  So, responsibility really is learning to be a fully functioning adult.  If you say you are going to do something, do it!  If you say you are going to follow through, follow through!  If something is broken on your watch, take ownership for it!  Follow through, show commitment, and avoid the blaming, the whining, and that somehow thinking that making excuses is going to get you results.  Take more responsibility and others will as well. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Character is everything. When you hire somebody you hire them based upon their background and skills and when you fire somebody, it almost always has to do with character. At the end of the day everything comes down to your character, your principles and your basic governing values. What is one of the ingredients of character? It is your integrity. It is what everybody wants out of a co-worker or people in their family; even if that somehow means that you are going to be unpopular by telling the truth. If you tell the truth and refuse to lie, you are generally going to get better results in the long term. So, I encourage you to commit to more integrity. Tell the truth and you will get a reputation accordingly.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Regardless of whether I am talking to a parent or a businessperson, people really want discipline out of their children, co-workers, and subordinates. What is discipline? Discipline is the willingness to stay committed to do something even if you are disinterested in doing it. Whether it is discipline at exercise or discipline in following through with your education. If you think about discipline, and you have some way to influence yourself or someone else, simply say, “Discipline is doing it anyway.” If you are going to exercise and you are disinterested, just do it anyway. If you are going to follow through, do it anyway. When you do it that way, you are going to learn discipline and you will get a lot more done.
Thursday, June 6, 2013

People are often uncomfortable getting criticism and it makes them feel bad.  Sometimes we set them up and it makes it worse.  We say, “Well, gee, Bob, you are doing a good job… but… this isn’t very good and that’s pretty bad too.”  If you set them up that way, it makes the situation worse because even if Bob is doing a good job he is unlikely to hear that.  My recommendation is when you tell people what they are doing right; make sure you tell them the good news after the bad news.  Say something like this, “Bob, I really want you to work on your customer service skills, and I am telling you this because your technical skills are absolutely brilliant and you add so much value around here.”  If you tell them the bad news first and then the good news after that, you’ll get by far better sign-up and changed behavior. 
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
When you think about life, whether at work or at home, you really would like to be told more often what you are doing right. Most of the time there are three options of what you can get: criticism, you can be told what you are doing right or you get nothing (silence). Mostly we get criticism or very little of anything. We want more reinforcement. I encourage you to give more reinforcement. Tell people what they are doing right, write them a note, tell them out loud, or make a toast of them in public. Whatever it is, tell them what they are doing right and be specific. Instead of just saying, good job” say, “I want you to know that you did a wonderful job it added a lot of value and here’s specifically how well you did…” So remember, tell people what they are doing right. You are at low risk of doing it too much.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
If you want to keep your marriage healthy it is important to remember this acronym: 2-first. 2-first stands for the following: Tolerance, Openness, Flexibility, Investment, Respect, Support and Trust. If you can remember these, you’ll think, “To first get my relationship healthy, I have to remember those items.” Tolerance, Openness, Flexibility, Investment, Respect, Support and Trust. When you think of it in those terms, you are more likely to keep it on your radar at which point you are going to improve your marriage’ health.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Do you ever notice yourself returning to the fridge?  You have just finished eating something and you go back to the fridge to see what else is in there.  You looked in there for the last three minutes; on the other hand, maybe something else magically appeared.  The deal is that you return to the fridge out of sheer habit, and often because you are bored or have little to do.  The way to change that behavior is to do something different.  Instead of saying that you are going to stop going to the fridge, you say that you are going to start doing something else; take a walk around the house, take a walk around the neighborhood, or read a magazine.  When you do something other than return to the fridge, you are going to break the habit.
Friday, May 10, 2013

Do you ever notice when food is in front of you it just starts automatically getting stuffed into your face?  A lot of people with weight problems unconsciously eat.  The food is there and they start grazing and they are talking or watching television and they automatically shovel it in on automatic pilot.  Start noticing how you eat.  Start keeping a journal.  This will point out what you are eating, how much, and when you are eating.  Do this for two weeks and you’ll start noticing how automatic it is.  When you keep a food journal you become more conscious of what you are doing and you now have control.
Monday, April 29, 2013

Do you feel deprived?  If you are like most people who are on crash diets, you feel deprived and what happens, right on schedule, you sabotage your diet.  The reason why diets fail, in addition to you feeling powerless to control your lifestyle, is because diets are so restrictive.  You might lose weight and then you gain it right back because you felt deprived for so long.  Then you want to reward yourself.  So, avoid feeling deprived by eating smaller amounts of what you want as opposed to huge amounts of everything.  Then when you do, you feel much less deprived and much more in control.  The idea is to change your lifestyle on a permanent basis, so eat in little bits as opposed to huge amounts at which point you will avoid feeling deprived.
Monday, April 22, 2013

Are you eating too much sugar?  If you are like most Americans… you are.  You are ingesting huge amounts of cookies, candy, ice cream, cakes, and on and on.  Think about how much sugar you are ingesting.  You are creating problems with potential diabetes.  You are over weight and you are addicted to the sugar.  So what do you do?  Give yourself three weeks to detox from the sugar.  It is very difficult at first because the cravings are huge.  When you take three weeks and you stay away from the refined sugar you will begin to feel better and have more power.  You will finally begin to lose weight.  The whole notion is to off-load the addiction to sugar and when you do, you will have more control.  Try it!  Three weeks! 
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Most experts say that you need to drink about eight glasses of water a day.  If you drink more water, you have by far better digestion, you are going to sleep better, you are going to flush your system better and you’re going to feel full.  So, instead of over-eating, drink a large glass of water and you will feel less likely to want to over-eat.  The idea is that if you spend more time drinking water, you’ll notice that you actually feel better, you lose weight sooner, and you are more alert and conscious.  All the way around, it is better. So, take more water, eight a day and you will see more results.
Thursday, April 11, 2013

If you’ve decided to improve your health, lose some weight, and get in shape you are going to have starts and stops.  You are going to have trouble; you are going to fail... everyone does.  When you fail, you quit.  Get back in the saddle.  So instead of just quitting, ask yourself, “What am I noticing?  Did I over-stuff?  What do I do now?”   Think in terms of recovery as opposed to quitting.    Most people set unreasonable goals for themselves then when they are unable to complete them they just quit.  So if you think about recovery, you are going to get back in the saddle. 
Friday, April 5, 2013

Do you lie to yourself to justify and rationalize about everything when it comes to being over-weight?  Do you say things like “I don’t over-eat.”  You know you over-eat!  You sneak it at night.  “Well, these cookies are small. I think I’ll have about three dozen,” or “I can eat this now and I won’t eat dinner.”  You know you are going to eat dinner.  “I can eat more because it says “light” on it.”  Oh, please!  “I’m big boned.”  When was the last time you checked how big your bones were?  If you spend more time telling the truth, you’re going to have more power.  It’s time to take more action as opposed to just rationalizing, when you do, you now are beginning to lose weight. 
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Do you notice how often you’re reluctant to lose weight because it’s hard to picture yourself slim and healthy?  Perhaps you’ve been overweight for so long that the idea of imagining yourself slim is just unthinkable.  Start rehearsing in your mind what you would look like and how you would feel if you were slim.  Imagine yourself slim and healthy and do it on a regular basis.  What are you wearing?  Who are you hanging around?  What are you doing?  The more you imagine and rehearse yourself being slim and healthy the more you are going to begin to believe that it’s actually possible.  So, rehearse and duplicate and you will begin to see results. 
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When you eat you generally eat for one of three reasons: 
  1. nutrition
  2. connection
  3. medication
When you are medicating, you know you are upset because something happened.  Notice how often you eat when you are upset with the illusion that that’s going to help.  Instead, do something other than medicating through eating… write a letter, clean the garage, or go take a walk.  Simply do something other than medicating and you’ll begin to lose weight and have more control. 
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How often do you eat when what you really want is connection?  How often is eating over a social event like lunch or time with the family?  Most of the time when people are eating for connection purposes, they are mindlessly eating because what they really want is to be connected with other people.  So start paying attention to how often you are using connection as an excuse to eat.  You will notice that you really do want to spend more time connecting with people and it is really unnecessary to overeat.  So spend more time on connection and less time on over-stuffing, you’ll start noticing more control.  
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Most people who have trouble losing weight and more important, keeping it off, generally feel pessimistic.  So how do you overcome your pessimism?  You have to reprogram your state of mind to be one of more optimistic and powerful because most people when they feel pessimistic generally give up, feel defeated, and sabotage their diet.  You want to learn how to change your state of mind by changing your language from what it is not to what it is.  So instead of saying “diets never work,” you would say “sticking to a diet is a challenge.”  Instead of saying, “I can’t eat that,” say, “I can eat this.”  Concentrate on changing your language.  Talk about what it is instead of what it is not and then you will see by far better results.  
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
If you are going to lose weight, you know you have to exercise more and eat less. When you want to move, you want to spend more time doing something with your heart and with your muscles. So park farther away from the store or take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a walk with your loved ones, take a run, take a swim or some form of movement. If you get into the habit of moving on a regular basis you are going to increase your heart rate and you’re going to lose more weight. Plus, you are going to live longer and be healthier. So move, move, move. Put your sneakers on and get going!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
One of the ways people can really improve their ability to lose weight and keep it off is to monitor the way they feel at the time that they eat. When you put gas in your car, you only do it when the gauge tells you that you are low. Rarely would you ever over-fill it. As a matter of fact, it seems kind of dumb to do that. So, if it is dumb to over-fill your gas tank, why would you over-fill yourself? Think about the gauge. Think about when you are hungry, when you are content, when you are full and when you are stuffed. If you start taking inventory of your gauge, you are much more likely to stop eating when you are full without feeling deprived. So pay attention to the gauge that way you’ll be unlikely to over-stuff.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

If you are like more than half the population out there, you are over-weight.  One in three is obese in this country; two out of three is seriously over-weight.  This means that if you are slim and in shape, then you are the exception!  Well, that has changed in the last 30 years.  Now, virtually everybody is over-weight.  What do you do about it?  The first thing you need to do is take responsibility for the way you are living your life.  Your health is at risk and you generally avoid doing the things you really like to do because you are over-weight.  So take more responsibility for now deciding to do something about it and start anew!  
Thursday, January 31, 2013
A summary close takes place after everything is all said and done, and you think you’ve reached agreement; it’s always helpful to summarize to the person your understanding of the agreement. If you do that, it actually puts a bow on it. The summary close is extraordinarily valuable even when you are just making an appointment. So, if you are talking with someone on the phone, and you know you are going to meet them next Tuesday at nine, just before you hang up say, “Well, once again, to confirm, I’m going to see you at your offices, on Tuesday at nine.” It is remarkable how a summary close can help people feel like you now have confirmation on everything and sometimes they say yes, and they want to buy something more.
Monday, January 28, 2013

Often when you are talking to someone trying to persuade them to do something, you are going to have subjects meandering all over the place and you need to keep track.  What is helpful is simply say, “Let me interrupt you for a moment and tell you what I think I understand so far.”  If you do that, you keep the relationship on track, the conversation makes sense, and you summarized what you understood in components.  When you do that, the person actually is relieved, because you are managing the conversation.  So a component close is dividing up the conversation into bits by saying “let me tell you what I think I understand so far and see if I’m right.”  When you do that the person is going to feel relieved and you are going to stay on track.  
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Lots of people have trouble with the notion of closing because it creates all kinds of fear of rejection. You can calm down your fear of rejection by remembering that closing starts at the beginning. Remember the open-ended questions and use them a lot. When you ask open-ended questions, the person is going to come to conclusions sooner and you get them signed up to buy. Remember questions like this, “How would you like to proceed? What’s the next step? How would you like a proposal? How many would you like? When do you want to start?” If you remember those kinds of questions, you are going to get much less anxiety and you’re much more likely to close the deal sooner.