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21 Reasons Why Successful People Meditate

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Russell Brand Meditation

A little over a year ago I was fortunate enough to learn Transcendental Meditation while I was staying in LA. I was very close minded about Meditation and felt that I was able to manage my day to day life just find without it. My fiance’ Charlene insisted that I give it a try, even if I just try it one time. So I did, and I am so happy I followed it through.

I have been meditating twice a day, ever since, and the benefits are  amazing and very evident when it comes to a positive change in mood/focus and energy.

I discovered this great article on Huffington Post about the benefits of meditation and thought that it would be a great read for all of those who are looking at getting a handle on their mental and physical balance.

 

1. It lowers stress – literally

Research published just last month in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

 

2. It makes your brain plastic

Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain’s ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input.

For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood.

But research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity and display an ability — continuing after the meditation session has attended — to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. That is, they’re automatically able to control their thoughts and reactiveness.

 

3. It lets us get to know our true selves

Mindfulness can help us see beyond those rose-colored glasses when we need to really objectively analyze ourselves.

A study in the journal Psychological Science shows that mindfulness can help us conquer common “blind spots,” which can amplify or diminish our own flaws beyond reality.

 

4. It can make your grades better

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that college students who were trained in mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory.

“Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences,” the researchers wrote in the Psychological Science study.

 

5. It improves performance and ability

The U.S. Marine Corps is in the process of seeing how mindfulness meditation training can improve troops’ performance and ability to handle — and recover from — stress.

 

6. It could help people with arthritis better handle stress

A 2011 study in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease shows that even though mindfulness training may not help to lessen pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, it could help to lower their stress and fatigue.

 

7. It changes the brain in a protective way

University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training — which is a meditation technique — can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.

 

8. It works as the brain’s “volume knob”

Ever wondered why mindfulness meditation can make you feel more focused and zen? It’s because it helps the brain to have better control over processing pain and emotions, specifically through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

 

9. It makes music sound better

Mindfulness meditation improves our focused engagement in music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the journal Psychology of Music.

 

10. It has four elements that help us in different ways

The health benefits of mindfulness can be boiled down to four elements, according to a Perspectives on Psychological Science study: body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of attention.

 

11. It helps us even when we’re not actively practicing it

You don’t have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain’s emotional processing. That’s the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region’s response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.

 

The Positive Benefits of Meditation

 

12. It could make going through cancer just a little less stressful

Research from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine shows that mindfulness coupled with art therapy can successfully decrease stress symptoms among women with breast cancer. And not only that, but imaging tests show that it is actually linked with brain changes related to stress, emotions and reward.

 

13. It could help doctors be better at his/her job

Doctors, listen up: Mindfulness meditation could help you better care for your patients. Research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that doctors who are trained in mindfulness meditation are less judgmental, more self-aware and better listeners when it comes to interacting with patients.

 

14. It makes you a better person

Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. But it could also benefit people we interact with, by making us more compassionate, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, “do-good” behavior.

 

15. It could help the elderly feel less lonely

Loneliness among seniors can be dangerous, in that it’s known to raise risks for a number of health conditions. But researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that mindfulness meditation helped to decrease these feelings of loneliness among the elderly, and boost their health by reducing the expression of genes linked with inflammation.

 

16. It lowers depression risk among pregnant women

As many as one in five pregnant women will experience depression, but those who are at especially high risk for depression may benefit from some mindfulness yoga.

“Research on the impact of mindfulness yoga on pregnant women is limited but encouraging,” study researcher Dr. Maria Muzik, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “This study builds the foundation for further research on how yoga may lead to an empowered and positive feeling toward pregnancy.”

 

17. It could make your health care bill a little lower

Not only will your health benefit from mindfulness meditation training, but your wallet might, too.

Research in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that practicing Transcendental Meditation is linked with lower yearly doctor costs, compared with people who don’t practice the meditation technique.

 

18. It comes in handy during cold season

Aside from practicing good hygiene, mindfulness meditation and exercise could lessen the nasty effects of colds.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health found that people who engage in the practices miss fewer days of work from acute respiratory infections, and also experience a shortened duration and severity of symptoms.

 

19. It also lowers depression risk among teens

Teaching teens how to practice mindfulness through school programs could help them experience less stress, anxiety and depression, according to a study from the University of Leuven.

 

20. It helps you sleep better

We saved the best for last! A University of Utah study found that mindfulness training can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night.

“People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress,” study researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.

 

21. It supports your weight-loss goals

Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight? Mindfulness could be your best friend, according to a survey of psychologists conducted by Consumer Reports and the American Psychological Association.

Mindfulness training was considered an “excellent” or “good” strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in the survey.

 

Meditation Quote

 

Article originally appeared on: Huffington Post

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lucy Miller

    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Even doing soliloquy is one way to meditate as long as you feel relaxed and stress-free.

  2. Corey Hinde

    Jun 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Good summary – I have really enjoyed the comments too which have some great concise tips on starting out. Thanks Joel

  3. Nigel Wraight

    Aug 5, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Great information, have only tried once since reading this (earlier today) and feel a little bit more in control. Running your own business can be over whelming at times and the opportunities which you created yesterday can be missed today because your head is all over the place. So far, much better than coffee.
    Great article,
    Thank you

  4. Louis

    Mar 14, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I meditate and have been for the last few months straight. I love it and actually love doing it in the morning. I started using something called ‘headspace’ and it is awesome for simple guided meditations.

    Thanks A2S!

  5. Naomi@business start ups

    Jun 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    HI Joel,

    There is nothing better than a good uninterrupted meditation session!

    All you need is 10 minute a day

    Great list. Most people really do underestimate the power of mediating. Start today if you don’t

    Naomi

  6. Ryan Biddulph

    Jun 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Amen Joel! Everyday meditating for years here. At least 10 minutes, most days more. Thanks!

  7. Heiko Lade

    Jun 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    To start meditation is very easy. You don’t have to go to some place or club or group to start. You don’t have to wear coloured robes or get funny haircuts or wear beads. You don’t have to look at deities , breath in a special way or say stuff over and over in your mind. You don’t have to pay anyone to learn to meditate.

    If you are a type of person that can’t go on a diet without doing it with someone else or need the social interaction of belonging to a gym to get motivation to train etc , then yes , go and find some Guru or place where you can meditate together.

    But the reality is all you have to do is sit down on the floor cross legged and close your eyes. Keep your back straight but without forcing it too much. Try resting your hands on your knees. If you have back trouble etc, just sit in a chair. Don’t try to breath more deeply , just let it happen. Just let your thoughts come and go. With time you will find that you don’t have to forcefully try remove unwanted thoughts or day dreaming. Ideally aim for about 1 hour. I have meditative type trance music like Steve Roach in the background. I know the CD is about an hour long long so when the music stops, you session is finished. When you start you won’t be able to (well most people anyway) sit for that long without the discomfort getting to you, sore buttocks, numbness in feet and so forth.

    That is why they invented yoga and kung fu to toughen and stretch the body so the physical body could stay in the lotus meditation position longer. For those really wanting to get the most of meditation, sit in the lotus position. Anatomically, it switches blood supply from femoral artery and sends more blood to the brain…

    How do you know when you are really in a deep meditative state. Get one finger now and block one nostril and breath and then do the other side. You will find that one side is more blocked than the other. In 2 hours time or so, it will switch around. This is normal. When you have reached a certain point in meditation, you will feel both nostrils suddenly open up as if you have suddenly cleared your sinuses, At the same time you feel centred , clear, relaxed etc all at the same time, and your breathing will automatically just be relaxingly deep .

    If you need an excuse and motivation to start meditation, remember all the great success books, Think and Grow Rich, Dale Carnegie, and numerous other “successful” people all talk about focusing and visualising your goals, and developing concentrating, being decisive etc. You can tell yourself to ” concentrate better” or be “decisive” all that you want, but if your constitution and brain power is lacking, you will never get it. But luckily meditation will build that mental strength. Some people will say, I can’t meditate because my mind is too busy etc. That makes as much sense as saying, I won’t take up running because I am not fit or I won’t start saving money because I am broke.

    If you have enough strength to just make one decision, decide to give up 1 hour of TV or checking emails and meditate each night instead.

    • gagan

      Aug 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      u r an angel to describe it so beautifully and kindly 🙂

  8. Frank Ciccone

    Jun 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I second Jazzel’s comment. What is the the best way to get started?

  9. Tyler McConville

    Jun 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I meditate every night before I go to bed. I find it’s not about just letting go of the stress from your day and life, but to reconnect with yourself and have some nice one-on-one time.

  10. Koko

    Jun 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I think it’s more than obvious that meditation, yoga, workout, and eating healthy foods can help you chase your vision x1000 times more than avoiding them. Everybody knows that, we all know the benefits, and yet we don’t do it. It’s like people don’t want happiness.

    Read this post, remember it, bookmark it, and wherever you feel anxious, sad, tired, just re-read it again and start meditating. It’s very easy sometimes.

  11. Jazzel Yousef

    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    how do I do it? How can I start?

    • Deane Alban

      Jun 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Jazzel, Here’s one way to meditate. Sit quietly and comfortably. Focus on your breath going in and out. As thoughts come – as they inevitably will – simply notice that you’ve had a thought, then get back to concentrating on your breath. Do for 10 minutes per day. Simple but not easy!

  12. Santiago Sánchez

    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hello, where i can found a good start course to learn meditation?

    Thanks

  13. Joel Annesley

    Jun 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Hey Joel,

    Thanks for sharing, and also glad to hear you’re meditating daily! I’m a big believer in the power of meditation, especially for us entrepreneurs who can easily burn out if we don’t get that much needed down time to defrag our minds! I’ve found it’s made a huge difference for me too and certainly helps maintain a longer term focus… It’s totally worth the time investment!

    Thanks again 🙂

  14. Matthew Ozolins

    Jun 17, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Steve Jobs loved it.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Lucy Miller

    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Even doing soliloquy is one way to meditate as long as you feel relaxed and stress-free.

  2. Corey Hinde

    Jun 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Good summary – I have really enjoyed the comments too which have some great concise tips on starting out. Thanks Joel

  3. Nigel Wraight

    Aug 5, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Great information, have only tried once since reading this (earlier today) and feel a little bit more in control. Running your own business can be over whelming at times and the opportunities which you created yesterday can be missed today because your head is all over the place. So far, much better than coffee.
    Great article,
    Thank you

  4. Louis

    Mar 14, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I meditate and have been for the last few months straight. I love it and actually love doing it in the morning. I started using something called ‘headspace’ and it is awesome for simple guided meditations.

    Thanks A2S!

  5. Naomi@business start ups

    Jun 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    HI Joel,

    There is nothing better than a good uninterrupted meditation session!

    All you need is 10 minute a day

    Great list. Most people really do underestimate the power of mediating. Start today if you don’t

    Naomi

  6. Ryan Biddulph

    Jun 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Amen Joel! Everyday meditating for years here. At least 10 minutes, most days more. Thanks!

  7. Heiko Lade

    Jun 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    To start meditation is very easy. You don’t have to go to some place or club or group to start. You don’t have to wear coloured robes or get funny haircuts or wear beads. You don’t have to look at deities , breath in a special way or say stuff over and over in your mind. You don’t have to pay anyone to learn to meditate.

    If you are a type of person that can’t go on a diet without doing it with someone else or need the social interaction of belonging to a gym to get motivation to train etc , then yes , go and find some Guru or place where you can meditate together.

    But the reality is all you have to do is sit down on the floor cross legged and close your eyes. Keep your back straight but without forcing it too much. Try resting your hands on your knees. If you have back trouble etc, just sit in a chair. Don’t try to breath more deeply , just let it happen. Just let your thoughts come and go. With time you will find that you don’t have to forcefully try remove unwanted thoughts or day dreaming. Ideally aim for about 1 hour. I have meditative type trance music like Steve Roach in the background. I know the CD is about an hour long long so when the music stops, you session is finished. When you start you won’t be able to (well most people anyway) sit for that long without the discomfort getting to you, sore buttocks, numbness in feet and so forth.

    That is why they invented yoga and kung fu to toughen and stretch the body so the physical body could stay in the lotus meditation position longer. For those really wanting to get the most of meditation, sit in the lotus position. Anatomically, it switches blood supply from femoral artery and sends more blood to the brain…

    How do you know when you are really in a deep meditative state. Get one finger now and block one nostril and breath and then do the other side. You will find that one side is more blocked than the other. In 2 hours time or so, it will switch around. This is normal. When you have reached a certain point in meditation, you will feel both nostrils suddenly open up as if you have suddenly cleared your sinuses, At the same time you feel centred , clear, relaxed etc all at the same time, and your breathing will automatically just be relaxingly deep .

    If you need an excuse and motivation to start meditation, remember all the great success books, Think and Grow Rich, Dale Carnegie, and numerous other “successful” people all talk about focusing and visualising your goals, and developing concentrating, being decisive etc. You can tell yourself to ” concentrate better” or be “decisive” all that you want, but if your constitution and brain power is lacking, you will never get it. But luckily meditation will build that mental strength. Some people will say, I can’t meditate because my mind is too busy etc. That makes as much sense as saying, I won’t take up running because I am not fit or I won’t start saving money because I am broke.

    If you have enough strength to just make one decision, decide to give up 1 hour of TV or checking emails and meditate each night instead.

    • gagan

      Aug 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      u r an angel to describe it so beautifully and kindly 🙂

  8. Frank Ciccone

    Jun 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I second Jazzel’s comment. What is the the best way to get started?

  9. Tyler McConville

    Jun 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I meditate every night before I go to bed. I find it’s not about just letting go of the stress from your day and life, but to reconnect with yourself and have some nice one-on-one time.

  10. Koko

    Jun 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I think it’s more than obvious that meditation, yoga, workout, and eating healthy foods can help you chase your vision x1000 times more than avoiding them. Everybody knows that, we all know the benefits, and yet we don’t do it. It’s like people don’t want happiness.

    Read this post, remember it, bookmark it, and wherever you feel anxious, sad, tired, just re-read it again and start meditating. It’s very easy sometimes.

  11. Jazzel Yousef

    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    how do I do it? How can I start?

    • Deane Alban

      Jun 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Jazzel, Here’s one way to meditate. Sit quietly and comfortably. Focus on your breath going in and out. As thoughts come – as they inevitably will – simply notice that you’ve had a thought, then get back to concentrating on your breath. Do for 10 minutes per day. Simple but not easy!

  12. Santiago Sánchez

    Jun 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hello, where i can found a good start course to learn meditation?

    Thanks

  13. Joel Annesley

    Jun 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Hey Joel,

    Thanks for sharing, and also glad to hear you’re meditating daily! I’m a big believer in the power of meditation, especially for us entrepreneurs who can easily burn out if we don’t get that much needed down time to defrag our minds! I’ve found it’s made a huge difference for me too and certainly helps maintain a longer term focus… It’s totally worth the time investment!

    Thanks again 🙂

  14. Matthew Ozolins

    Jun 17, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Steve Jobs loved it.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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