Tag Archives: Learner/Researcher

Pain and the Brain

From Volume 9, Issue 9: My friend Mary Lore likes to say, “We are not our brains.” Her thesis is that, while allowing our brains to manage us works in many situations (letting our Knower/Judger persona respond to our environment, carry on our conversations, react to threats, etc.), we can be far more productive in other situations when we manage our brain. She would have us use the brain as a tool instead of having it use us as its tool. So I began to think about this as it pertains to pain, because we could all use less pain in our lives.

Shit or Get Off the Pot

From Volume 9, Issue 7:There have been times in my life when no saying was ever truer than the title of this article. It’s not a spot I can say I’m satisfied to be in, nor does it contribute to my general happiness. So why am I there—wanting to do something but unable to do it? Because I’m torn between two competing messages in my self-talk….you know, that chatter in your head you use to build yourself up or sometimes completely denigrate yourself? Here’s how to determine whether it’s time to go for it or get off the metaphorical toilet and focus on something else.

Figuring Out What You Really Want

From Volume 9, Issue 6:With many of my clients, we get to an impasse when we try to figure out what they really want. The challenge with simply asking the question is that I almost always get a Knower/Judger, politically correct, react-rather-than-respond answer. And frequently the answer refers more to a need (which is K/J-based, egocentric, and satisfying) than a want (which is Learner/Researcher-based, present, and happiness-oriented). Here’s how I figure out what I want.

One Easy Way to Improve Employee Engagement

From Volume 9, Issue 6:Recently, several managers I work with have been concerned about how “engaged” their employees are in their work. I’ve long been bothered by the concept of employee engagement. Why is it a one-way street? Why is it only the employee’s engagement we measure (and everybody does…Gallup, AIAA, tons of others). I take a different view, and I believe that there is a way to improve not just your employees’ engagement, but your own.

Making the Old New Again

From Volume 9, Issue 5:“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” —Yogi Berra

Sometimes I see new things I want to try…tennis…bridge…fishing…sailing. Other times I yearn to just stay in my comfort zone…play the piano…eat at restaurants “where everybody knows your name”…visit the same towns on vacations. And often, I remember things I used to do that gave me pleasure…playing guitar…songwriting…dead reckoning rally navigation (I’ll explain this last one in due time). These are activities and places that used to be in my comfort zone, and they might represent a third tine on that fork between what’s comfortable and what will help us grow.

When You’re Angry about Being Angry

From Volume 9, Issue 4:“Would it help?” ~ Rudolf Ivanovitch Abels in “Bridge of Spies” when asked “don’t you ever worry?”

When I get angry… really angry because of some unmet expectation (yes, I fall off the wagon, too!), my reaction is frequently anger about my anger. I want to be a more present individual. I know anger is not a productive response to anything. So when I catch myself feeling anger, what happens? I get angry with my anger! What’s with this, and what can I do about it?

Dealing with Obnoxious People

From Volume 9, Issue 3:You know the guy. He flies by a line of cars crawling to an exit ramp on the Interstate and dives into a slot 40 cars ahead of you. Or it’s that woman who stands proudly in the “12 items or less” aisle at the grocery store with what looks like enough food for the 3rd Battalion. Obnoxious. Period. You can get furious and let it ruin your day or you can take another approach that involves taking a look at yourself.

May I Approach, Your Honor?

From Volume 9, Issue 3:For 40 years, I have skated under the radar of jury duty. But recently I was summoned to a serve at a criminal trial—two defendants were charged with a conspiracy to possess narcotics for distribution. I was one of 40 in the jury pool. Last time I was summoned, I was excused as soon as an attorney discovered I had a master’s degree in psychology. I thought the same thing would happen here. Not so. I survived to be named juror #6 of 14 (there were two alternates). Here’s what happened and why I’d happily do jury duty again.

Expectations and Aspirations

From Volume 9, Issue 2:My mentor, Jut Meininger, spent the last three years of his life attempting to get me to see the futility of having expectations. “Give up your expectations,” Jut would tell me from his Knower/Judger, “and you will completely eliminate frustration.” (I’ve been known to be very frustrated on and off during my life…many of you may have witnessed this!) My response from my K/J was, “How does someone with the goal-oriented K/J set of rules actually accomplish anything? Don’t we have to have expectations in order to succeed?” Jut’s been gone six years now, and his wisdom is finally sinking in.

Words Can Hurt You

From Volume 8, Issue 9:I enjoy GEICO ads. I think they’re clever and well written…I especially enjoy Jesse riding into the “THE END” sign and being tossed from his trusty steed while leaving his gal ’cuz a “loner has to be alone.” Yes, words hurt Jesse, and I’ve been thinking lately about how words can hurt all of us…not the words of others but those that we tell ourselves. Who would we be without words, and how can we keep them from hurting us?