Tag Archives: Learner/Researcher

Would Worry Help?

From Volume 10, Issue 2:In the movie, Bridge of Spies, lawyer James Donavan (played by Tom Hanks) is astonished when his client, Rudolf Abel, an accused Soviet spy (played by Mark Rylance) remains calm while facing the death penalty in the United States.

Abel repeats: “Would it help?” three times during the movie, all while facing incredible psychological pressure. In addition to the death penalty scene, Donavon asks: “Do you never worry?” when Abel admits that he’s not an American citizen, and might not be a Soviet citizen either. Again, the same response: “Would it help?” The third time it happens is when the prisoner exchange is about to occur and Donavan asks: “Are you not worried that your own people might shoot you?” Again, he responds: “Would it help?”

Wanted: People who Know What They Want… and Why

From Volume 10, Issue 1: What do you want? Money? That tops a lot of lists. Lottery win? More clients? Vacations? Love? Great sex? I’ve discovered that many of the things I think I want aren’t my true desires, and you may suspect the same for yourself. Discovering why you have a certain want can help you get to the bottom of what will truly satisfy you.

Reinterpreting Trust Issues

From Volume 9, Issue 11:Recently, many of my clients are having “trust” issues with employers, supervisors, direct reports, spouses, and family members. Many of us have also had “trust” issues with our presidential candidates. So what is it about trust that gets us so worked up? In the last years of his life, my mentor, Jut Meininger, was attempting to teach me that the foundation of all frustration is expectation. “If you manage your expectations,” he would say, “the level of frustration in your life would evaporate.”
What is trust if not an expectation on steroids?

Hey, Maybe I Like My Rut

From Volume 9, Issue 10:.Over my lifetime I have frequently identified myself as being “in a rut.” I do the same things day in and day out. I eat at the same places for lunch. I pal around with the same people. It can be a little boring, but comfortable. And therein lies the rub. It’s comfortable. But does that mean I should stay in the rut or not? Here’s why we like our ruts and how to tell if it’s time to leave them behind.

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?