Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People [Webinar]: Part One

Earlier this week we had a webinar on ‘The Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise  Brilliant People’. Above is part one to the webinar, below is the video transcript.

Five Benefits of this Webinar

  1. Less anger and less depression
  2. Better health and resiliency
  3. Ability to painlessly resolve tough issues
  4. Build life long alliances based on loyalty and trust
  5. Leave a legacy of success, integrity and respect.

This talk is built on more than 300 success stories in reversing mistrust and tension in a variety of organizations.

Over the years there are couple things we have learned

  1. A handful of behaviors that destroy cohesiveness on the team. 
  2. And the beauty of it is we can learn to avoid them.

Two types of fundamental Energies

Let’s talk about groups and how they come together and where they draw energy from. And in order to understand conflict we are going to talk about emotional energy. Emotional energy has two fundamental types; High Negative and High Positive. And there is the possibility of not having any energy or disengagement and that is in the middle of this continuum and we’ll get there towards the end of this discussion. First I want you to know that we can place people, groups of people, so individuals and groups so it might be a department it might be a family, it might be a society, it might be a government anywhere along this continuum. 

High Negative

So let’s first talk about that high conflict. In groups, high end conflict initially have their energy anchored at this left side, this hostility place. There is a group in California called HeartMath and they do biofeedback. They shared this ECG, which is advanced for electrocardiogram of negative energy, they actually hooked up someone when they were angry and frustrated and measured the beat of their heart. As you can see that energy and frustration is like an engine that is out of tune. It is working really frantically but not efficiently and the thing of it is, our body cannot sustain this over time. As a matter of fact, researchers called this severe emotional distress. Another way of looking at it is a sugar high of energy. It boosts us up, but it is temporary. It is like that sugar high and then drops us down.

High Positive

Lets talk about the energy of pulling together and appreciation, or the high positive side of this continuum. So again, our friends at HeartMath took an ECG of something who is in this positive stage. You can see that it is a better place to be in terms of health, energy and working with the group.

Here is the middle

Now here’s the middle of that where you find that feeling of helplessness, that feeling of indifference, unfortunately there is no way to measure this, so here is an image. (Someone sleeping at a desk)

How does this impact our groups - 3 cultures

So lets talk about how this impacts our groups at work. And if we were together live i would break up into small groups and talk about this but since that isn't possible in a webinar format, we are going to poll the groups. 

Poll Question 1: Which word would you choose to describe a highly negative group?

So let’s talk about words that describe a highly negative group. Here are your words to chose from; Anger, anxiety, irritation, cynicism, or indignation or resentment? So the word is cynicism...that is really interesting. 25%, some felt anger 20%, resentment 20%, nobody chose indignation.

Poll Question 2: What happens in a highly negative group?

So let’s talk about what that looks like in terms of the group. What happens in a highly negative group? Is it low productivity, low morale, project fail, or people leaving? The votes are in, let’s look at the results. 76% said low morale. That is exactly what many of the industry newspapers are reporting. Low productivity, and high turnover -  and we know the costs of turnover are pretty dreadful.

Poll Question 3: What word comes to mind in a highly positive work group?

So let’s look at the high positives. What is it like to work? What word comes to mind when you think of a highly positive work group? Is it camaraderie, commitment, pride in work, or is it harmony. Make your vote.

The results are in. Most everyone described it as camaraderie then commitment, then harmony, then pride in work. All important things. And all the benefits of working in a group that is working well together. 

Poll Question 4: What is it like to work in a highly positive team?

So what is it like? Is it optimal productivity, project succeed, people work together, what is it like to work on a highly positive team? #1 people work together, they are there for the success of the organization, it is a great place to work, optimal productivity, and projects will succeed as a result of that. Thank you very much your feedback. And those results are not much different than what we get with a live group.

Most everyone wants to be in a positive group

Most everybody wants to be in a positive group, but there are thousands that are not. And it really doesn't matter what the group is part of, in other words it doesn't matter the kind of business or organization, or the size of business or organization or the industry.

Regardless of the setting disagreement becomes destructive in 9 reliable stages

Regardless of the setting, disagreement becomes destructive in 9 reliable stages. The good news; we can work at the very beginning of the process to make some corrections and we will talk about how to do that to see different results at the end. 

For our discussion today we are going to talk about a mythical Jill and Jack. And we are going to pretend Jill is the Vice President of Sales and Jack is the Vice President of Operations. Those two positions in any organization should be working well together, working along side together to benefit their teams as well as the organization as a whole. 

1. Disagreement or Disappointment

What we know is the first step there is a disagreement or disappointment. You may also use the word trigger. Something happens that causes a disconnect between Jack and Jill. Maybe Jill over promises or over commits to a customer and Jack’s team finds it hard to deliver what sales promised. So he is disappointed, he is frustrated, and upset. Now if Jack is skilled, he can go to Jill and talk through the problem. The challenge that many of us have is that these are hard and difficult conversations. 

2. Avoidance

It’s much easier to avoid. Now Jack doesn't necessarily avoid Jill in terms of speaking to her, he still says good morning and is still polite in meetings. But what Jack stops doing is sharing important information with Jill. Information that she needs to help her and her team to be successful. And once that starts happening, often times the other parties (Jill in this case), picks up on that and she does the same. 

3. Assumptions replace facts

When we begin to avoid one another, assumptions begin to replace facts. In the absence of information, we will fill in the gaps. Humans are such social creatures and we really crave information. And when we don't have information, we make it up. The other mistake we make is we vent. I'm frustrated, I’m upset, things aren't working. Jill is not cooperating. Jack is not cooperating. So I go to my colleague or my boss, and I need to vent. Venting is much different than problem solving. Let me do some comparing and contrasting. If I walk down the hall and complain to somebody about Jack’s actions and what a jerk he was and how mistreated I was. Often times people are going to follow that same line of thinking. If i say to somebody, hasn't Jack been mean to you too? Yes of course! And we commiserate together and start bashing Jack. 

Check back next week to view the rest of the webinar on ‘The Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People’.