On today’s show, we’re going to discuss where those boundaries are with confrontation, conflict & control; when to engage in a healthy way, and when to hold your peace. You’ll discover some practical keys to coming away unscathed, while learning the control issues that are usually at play.
If you’re like most people, you don’t enjoy conflict.
Quarreling can have some really negative consequences. Most personality types tend to shy away from conflict and confrontation whenever possible. But, it seems more and more difficult to avoid conflict altogether, especially in our social media drenched culture.
So, how do we know when confrontation is helpful or harmful? When should we engage healthily or just leave it alone?
If you’ll apply what we discuss on today’s show, then I think you’ll breathe a little easier whenever you have to deal with others who are feeling out of control.
person, people, control, situation, conflict, facts, struggle, feel, experiencing, feelings, lose, accused, life, battle, perspective, chris, personality styles, deal, receive, talking
Chris LoCurto, Brian Alex
Chris LoCurto 00:00
Confrontation, conflict and control, how to engage others appropriately, that is coming up next.
Chris LoCurto 00:16
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Hey, folks, welcome to the show. Hope you are finding the show less confrontational than other things in your life. Today, we're talking about confrontation, conflict, and we're talking about control. These are three big things that I think everybody is experiencing nowadays. It's a different world, right? But let me just ask this question. How many of you out there listening to this show love conflict? Anybody? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller? I see that hand. There's at least one guy out there that loves conflict. Really, I've been doing this for many a decade. And I can tell you, I've only found a couple people that actually just love conflict, they really enjoy it, that's the thing that they get a lot of work from. The rest of us actually don't like it, especially, you know, depending upon your personality styles, if you're a high S, if you're a high C, high I's hate conflict. D's really don't like conflict. You know, there are some D's that are like, "I don't have a problem with it." But if you ask them, Do you like it? Most of the time, they will say, "No, I actually don't like it, I just it doesn't bother me." For the other personality styles, it's usually a big pain in the butt. Right? So we live in this emotionally charged gaslit world today, where people are ready to go off at any time. There's a lot of folks out there and you know, for a lot of you, you see some of these folks is just being straight up bullies, you know, people that are just going around, you know, knocking heads because they can, the crazy thing is, is that we have this environment that's allowing it, we have this environment that's promoting it. And we have the ability for people. And I think you heard me talking about somebody that I was dealing with in a store, when I was trying to explain a situation and they just lost it, he just went ballistic, and never actually heard what I was going to discuss with them. So I just got my money back and left their store, right? We are living in this type of environment. So especially if your personality style is one that cannot stand conflict, then this can be difficult to navigate, I get it. Like I say, I am a very high S. I'm a high S, decently high I, about a 40 D and a 25 C. So for me, I get it, I understand what that's all about. The difference is, is that it's something that I've been working with and teaching people how to handle for a very long time. That's something that God showed me how to deal with this type of conflict and control issues. So the great thing is, is that when you have the tools, it changes the way you handle it, it does not make you like it. There are many situations in my younger life, where I just took on people's control issues. There's many times that because I didn't push back, I didn't have tools, it was easy for people to put their responsibility on me. This is not me being a victim. This is not me saying that there aren't things I screwed up in my life. I screwed up a whole ton of stuff in my life, this whole build, this whole business is built on screwing up but learning how to overcome those screw ups, right? So what am I pointing at? That if you don't have the tools, it is incredibly difficult to navigate. And you can do that. So, on today's show, I want to help you steer clear of, you know, a rational controlling people. And I also want you to recognize that it might be you. Think about the times that you feel out of control. You know, what is that like? So how do we handle this? How do we deal with this? And you know, hopefully, how do we recognize if it's us as well? And who's going to be joining me on the show today is Brian Alex, our resident controlling bully, confrontational person. He's like, "I can't believe you just said that." No, Brian is going to be joining us on the show because we've had some fantastic conversations about this. And just a hey, how do we deal with this? So when we come back, we're going to talk about what we risk losing when we avoid conflict all together.
Chris LoCurto 04:45
Hey, folks, if you're feeling stuck, anxious, not good enough, or held back in life, then you need to go through our Next Level Life. That's why we created this two day event process. The power of Next Level Life Is that it helps you discover your specific root system. Why you believe what you do, how you make decisions, and why you are where you are in life. You'll learn the things that are holding you back in life and how to overcome them. You'll come away having found healing, and ready to start living with purpose and authenticity. So if you're ready to stop struggling, if you're ready to find greater peace, then head over to chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife, the Next Level Life is waiting for you. That's chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife today. All right, we are back on the show. Welcome, Brian Alex.
Brian Alex 05:40
I'm here just to make things more controversial.
Chris LoCurto 05:44
I just want to bring a conflict to the show, right?
Brian Alex 05:49
Not to set anybody's reality, but this is going to be high conflict.
Chris LoCurto 05:56
So it's funny because neither one of us like conflict. Neither one of us enjoy it. But both of us have experienced an enormous amount of conflict in life. And I don't think we're any different than most-well, I don't know-
Brian Alex 06:10
It's the Sicilian blood.
Chris LoCurto 06:13
We're both Sicilian. That's what it is. It's just there. I mean, it's so funny to hear. I don't know about your family, but my family always used to say, "We're not angry. We're just passionate." And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I think everybody's pissed. We've both experienced a lot of conflict. And I think, you know, we have both put ourselves in situations throughout our lives that is focused on helping people. You've been a missionary for many, many years in ministry for many years, come from Ministry of family, I've been in ministry put myself in a place to lead, coach, guide, direct, even folks through you know, we've done over 400 Next Level Lives here, helping people through the most painful, difficult parts that-we've put ourselves in places for conflict. So we may have experienced this a time or two, but I just wanted to have you on the show to kind of walk through this. Because you had some fantastic questions about what do we do with this? Things that people need to hear, so take it away.
Brian Alex 07:14
No, it is true. I mean, as you were setting up the opening there, it is a gaslit kind of world that we're in. And, you know, the phenomenon that we're experiencing in this generation, with everybody having a platform, everyone has a mic in front of them. Social media has given everyone an outlet for their rage and venting and it creates, you know, it alleviates the necessity for a filter because, you know, we don't care what somebody else feels on the other side.
Chris LoCurto 07:50
I'm glad you said that, because there was a test that was done I wish I had it. It was done a few years ago, where they took people's responses on social media and compared it to their face-to-face responses. And man they were shocked at, "Go ahead and say this now, you said this to this person here, say it to their face." Oh my gosh, it's a different world.
Exactly. Yeah. And so what do we do with that? I mean, you know, for those listening, you know, we've been through a lot of conflict, everybody has been through a lot of conflict, you can't avoid the circumstance itself, but I wanted to tease out a few things that we've been doing or teaching here. Because I think it's so helpful to people to understand there's a difference between seeking out conflict going and looking for it. You know, Proverbs 26 talks about a person who is passing by and mettles in a quarrel that is not his own, it's like one who grabs a dog by the ears, you know, you just had that picture in your mind, idiot, you idiot, why you do that? You know, but we've all done that we all mettle in things or say things or don't have that filter and so you know if we're not being that idiot, okay, so we want to put that category aside. We're got a ton of other material out there-
Chris LoCurto 09:16
Which that is all social media nowadays.
Brian Alex 09:19
Yeah, it is.
Chris LoCurto 09:22
You're watching the corals and jumping in.
It's like Jerry Springer is everyday life now. But we actually dealt with this-
Chris LoCurto 09:29
What a great comment. I used to remember thinking, how do people sit down and watch that? And yet it's everyday.
Yeah, it's like something that we craved as just a species. And now it's just normal life. But we dealt with this a lot last year on the podcast. And so what I don't want to do is set this episode up to rehearse any of that, but I will mention, I mean, we did a two parter called "Surviving in a World of Monsters and Victims", we did another one about how to self-manage through tough emotions. And then also what to do when you feel out of control, but what I wanted to do in this episode is talk about what do you do when someone else is out of control? How do you keep your cool and not go off the rails along with them? And you know, there are things that we are after in this world, when you walked into that store, and you know, you just mentioned the instance, you were after something, there was something important to you a product that you had purchased, didn't work out the way you thought, and you weren't there to rail anybody, you were there to understand what had happened, maybe get a different product, a different service, give them more money, but instead, it went off the rails real quick. And so you stepped aside and let it go off the rails crash in the ditch and you just walked on. And I would love for this episode to be a stress relieving moment where we can understand what's going on improve our skill set for dealing with conflict. And the next time that it arises, it can blow up but we don't have to.
Chris LoCurto 11:11
Yeah, yeah. And I think if you haven't listened to that episode, you need to go back to it. Right now currently, I don't remember the title of it. But-
Brian Alex 11:21
And Chris is looking to me, and Brian's checking records.
Chris LoCurto 11:25
I don't know what the title was. Goodness gracious. It's not like we don't do a ton of these episodes. But just the concept of me going in and saying, hey, here's the thing. And where I was going to go was, we were talking about a speed on a hotspot, you know, it was a specific cellular carrier. And I was just gonna say, hey, here's the discussion that we had. And I was gonna say, I don't think I purchased enough. And just the assumption of where I was going, this person just lost it. I mean, just went ballistic, very controlling, accused me of accusing them I hadn't even said anything yet. But that it was an accusation of something that I was going to do, which I hadn't done. So just that whole situation if you haven't heard that,
Yeah. And it seems like, because I've heard the other side of that conversation as well. It seems like a lot of what that other person was feeling, whatever that was, it was triggering, however it came up, but they immediately went into a defense posture. And then after that incident, they kept repeating, "I just don't like being accused. I just don't like this. I just don't..." And there's this defense mechanism. And I wonder if a lot of us and I'm speaking for myself, I do. I wonder if a lot of us feel that way. I'm a high D, and you know, D is for the dozer, bulldozer, and you know, I can be like that guy. And I don't want to be that guy. But I can feel that sometimes. And, and that's a lot of that defense mechanism comes up. And so how do we not spring that trap? Or how do we not step in? So that's what we want to get.
Chris LoCurto 13:17
The first thing, you're talking about for the person who is losing control? So the first thing is, and one of the things that we discovered you and I a long time ago was, you know, if I asked you, do you feel out of control? When you're frustrated you're answer's "No."
Brian Alex 13:33
Yeah, that's the high C part of me.
Chris LoCurto 13:35
Yeah that part of definition matters, right? And if I said, well, are you frustrated? "Absolutely." Are you angry? "Yes, I am."
Brian Alex 13:42
Because my idea of out of control is I'm, you know, I'm going ballistic. I'm going nuts. I'm really in Italian mode right? Then I'm like, no, I'm very composed on the exterior. And then Chris would ask, "Well, how are you feeling inside?" Oh, yeah. I'm off the rails inside.
Chris LoCurto 14:04
Right. Yeah. And so I think the first thing we have to understand is this concept of being in control. We try to control people, we try to control situations all the time. And that's one of the things we teach in Next Level Life is, when you have a trigger a situation that happens, you try to either can- and if you aren't prepared. If you're not in a good space, then you immediately try to control either the people, or the situation, right? The crazy thing is, and everybody has heard this said, but it is true, control is an illusion. You can't control another person except physically. You can only highly suggest something to their mind, they have to receive it. They have to accept it, right? In this specific situation that we're talking about, or you know, any situation just like this, the key is, is that in that moment, this is my assumption, he assumed Something was going to be said that would potentially put him in an out of control situation.
Brian Alex 15:06
Yeah. And can I-I want you to pick up right there. I just want to insert here, because I just had the comment, the same conversation with one of my children, that when we assume, we make room for lots of accusations. And so in his mind, that was the first mistake that he stepped in. That's the landmine he stepped on was the assumption, which created space for accusations which he immediately began to launch.
Chris LoCurto 15:33
Oh, yeah. So he's assuming I'm going to accuse him of something. He's flat out saying that I am actually accusing of something, which is not in the conversation. And then he accuses me of accusing him. And so the key is, is that again, I'm able to just stand there and watch it happen. I'm just like, it's like watching a movie. You know, just letting him do his thing. And when he took a breath, I just said, Are you okay? "Of course, I'm okay...." Still just raging, right? And the thing is, is that the reason why I'm able to watch this is because I'm not losing worth. What's the immediate thing that happens in his mind is, "Oh, heck, no, I'm not gonna have another customer accuse me of saying something that I didn't say.." You know, whatever the lie was that he told himself in that moment, and it is a lie, because it's not something that's happened, right? And so that's the key. He has this fear. What is fear? Fear is the assumption that something bad is about to happen. That's why we get fearful all the time, right? There's two types of fear. You're being chased by something that can eat you, legitimate fear, everything else is that fear that is fake. It's not real yet, it hasn't happened yet. It's an assumption. Doesn't mean that you're not going to be accurate. The problem is, it's wasting time. It's causing an emotional drain it's causing, you know, worth loss, it's causing you to go to into defensive mode. So it's causing all of these things to happen. And like you just shared, it also causes this process of how am I going to control the person or the situation? For some people fight or flight kicks in and leaving the situation just angry is their way of control. For other people it is this how am I going to control this person, I go into controlling mode. You know, "You're not going to accuse me of this thing. You are doing this. You're being a horrible person." So what is he projecting to me? It's a guilt transfer. Right? "You're doing something that is wrong." It is wrong. It is a lie, and total victim mentality. But it's, it would be different. If I actually said something that was accusatory, it would be different if I actually blamed him for something that he did not do. None of that's happened yet. So the problem is, is he's now projecting on me guilt. "You did this, you are a bad person, you're not going to make me a bad person. I'm not-" So he's actually trying to set a healthy boundary in a very unhealthy way. Had I said, you said something. And I was lying. If I had set his reality, if I had accused him of something, and it wasn't true, then hey, his responses actually halfway decent. It could have used a heck of a lot less anger. All that could have changed. And been, just push back, "No, sir. That is not what was said. I would never say that. That's not exactly.." You know, it could have been handled differently. But none of that happened. So the key for us to recognize is first that there is some sort of trigger. And I want to be careful with that term. Because a lot of people actually nowadays are actually holding on to, "Oh, that that triggered me now is my excuse to be a victim." Right? We're using great perspective to create victim mentality. It's just terrible, right? But triggers are real, a situation happened, something happened in his mind. And what we talked about on the other episode is it could have been he was having a bad day. Maybe he's having a fight with his wife. I don't know. I don't know. Either way, if I jump in at this point, if I take on his struggle, it now becomes mine. Now, I'm the one struggling, because then what do I do? I go into defensive mode myself. I didn't even say that. That's not what I said.
Brian Alex 19:27
Two people are battling it out in a defensive posture and it doesn't get anywhere. Nobody wins. nobody wins.
Chris LoCurto 19:33
So the key is to focus on when you see somebody struggling, this is the biggest key for you as the person on the other side of the control battle. On the other side of the conflict. The moment you see somebody else struggling and you receive it, you're done. You're now a part of-you just grabbed the ears of the dog. And you pulled hard, right?You are now now a part of this process, you're now going to be defensive. Everything you think, everything you say is going to be emotionally handcuffed to the other person's struggle.
Brian Alex 20:09
I think that's the biggest key right there. As soon as we get into that emotional posture, we lose perspective, we lose the ability to think logically.
Chris LoCurto 20:20
You can't get perspective at that point.
Brian Alex 20:21
And we go off the rails right with it. So now we're tied to it. And wherever that thing ends up, which is going to be a train wreck, that's where we're going to go.
Chris LoCurto 20:30
Surely it'll end up really well.
Brian Alex 20:31
I've been in a lot of train wrecks as I'm sitting here thinking about it. Oh, wow.
Chris LoCurto 20:36
"I'm amazed I'm still alive." But you know, so for us, if you can start by saying to yourself, this is the toughest thing, we said a lot around here, watch it like a movie. Watch it like a movie, watch like a movie, you know what's coming, you know what's gonna happen. If you're watching it like a movie, you're not emotionally invested, you're not emotionally handcuffed. Let me say it that way. So when you see the thing, in the moment, I see the person starting to lose control, I have to immediately tell myself, this is their struggle. Now, if I have done something, I must take responsibility. There are times that I will have said something in a wrong way. You know, and then there have been times I've seen somebody start to lose it. I'm like, I'm so I'm so sorry. I said that the wrong way. Let me rephrase that. And I can see that I said something now, should they be responding that way? No. But I said something incorrect.
Brian Alex 21:29
But you had a hand in it..
Chris LoCurto 21:30
I had a hand in it, I will correct it. I'm sorry. Let me rephrase it. And I'll say it a different way. And you can see them go, "Oh, yeah." And then it helps them to get out of that.
Brian Alex 21:40
And you're talking about mostly the C's in the office, when that happens?
Chris LoCurto 21:45
That's definitely a possibility.
Brian Alex 21:49
And you hear in the background in the cockpit, "Pull up. Pull up." And so Chris has to come in and rescue.
Chris LoCurto 21:54
"That is not 100% accurate, Chris LoCurto. You are wrong!" Yeah, I mean, seriously, when you see the struggle, the key is, if you are caring more about the other person, if you're thinking more about the other person, then you can see the immediate struggle and ask yourself the question, did I have something to do with this immediately. So coming from a very guilting background for the first half of my life, it helps me to be able to immediately check on myself, right? Because before I would just immediately take blame, I screwed something up, I hurt somebody, it's all my fault, where now it's a great tool to actually go, hey, did I just do something? And if I did take responsibility quickly fix it, right? If I did not, then is there a way I can defuse the situation? It doesn't mean that I can, it doesn't mean that it's going to work. But I'm asking the question, can I cut this thing short quickly? Right? If I can, jump in. There are certain situations where somebody is wound up so fast, it does not-there's nothing you can do. You just got to let that fuse, you know, burn out. And then you know, like I say, watching him just do his thing until he's done and then just go, okay. You know, just to see, where are you now? And so the key is, if I can take a look and see where they are, if I can see how they're responding, and I can make sure that I didn't do anything wrong, check myself, if I check myself, and I didn't do something wrong. And again, that's a key. Did I do something wrong? Because a lot of folks will become victims as well. "Well, of course, I didn't do anything wrong. You're just acting like a jerk." Well, maybe you set something, take responsibility, solve it, if you can't try to defuse it, if you can't, let it play out. Just don't emotionally get handcuffed. So.
Brian Alex 23:45
That was good. That's a lot. That's that is. Yeah, that's in the nutshell, what we're doing. We're gonna try to unpack here in the next 10, 15 minutes. And so moving towards that practical side, it was funny. I know, you've been unpacking a bit of a storage unit, and there was some boxes on the floor. And I saw this old green notebook from Dale Carnegie. Now we both went through that course only 15 years ago, at least. Yeah. Back at Dave Ramsey's. Yeah. And I remember in reading through some of his materials, you know, he talks about how to win friends and influence people. And he's got some great stuff in there about argument. And one of the quotes that I pulled out was, you can't win an argument, it's just not possible. You can't because if you lose, you lose it. And if you win it, you still lose it. And the idea there is that even if you win, you know, and you were right, and you know, oh, wow, you were right. How good does that feel to us C's to be right? But even when you're right, you may have lost In the relationship, you may have lost something infinitely more valuable. And so what I want to get to-
Chris LoCurto 25:07
With the concept being winning an argument, right? Not perspective, not discussion, not so-and that's the key here. You never win. Nobody ever wins an argument. If you're right, it doesn't cause a win, it causes a loss. You only win when you can help somebody to see better perspective. So that's where you're going with that.
Brian Alex 25:31
Yeah, exactly. It's like, we have to take that off the table. And I know, I'm speaking to some other D or C's out there, when we talk about just taking the winning and losing off the table, because it's really not about that. So let's take that frame off the set. And what we're going to put on, is really gaining some perspective, understanding what's really at loss and how much we either need to engage, or we need to step back, because there are some things that need to be resolved at the end of the day. So sometimes you're in that situation where somebody's just being the bully, and they're blowing up, and you got to let that fuse go. And you let that you know, relationship go or you put a boundary there, it's just not worth going after. But there's other situations where in that one case, you had a product or a service to return or we're in a relationship that is valuable to us. And we want to maintain that. And so it's worth that confrontation coming to resolve. And so I want to help people navigate to resolve. And that's what we're going to get into with the three steps coming up.
Chris LoCurto 26:39
Yeah, I think the big key here is, you know, what you just said is, how can we respond? What can we do about it? Again, if I put myself in the shoes of the guy who lost it, if I just go, gosh, I feel out of control right now, I don't like this. I think this person's accusing me of something. And I just gained perspective. "Sir, are you saying that I said this?" And let's say that I said, "Yes, you did." Well, if it's about the argument again, now keep in mind, I'm somebody who actually walked in the store to give them more money thinking that I did not purchase enough of what I needed. If he would just stop for a moment and go, "You know what, it doesn't matter." You know, the old concept, the customer's always right, I don't think that is, you know, it's it's not accurate. What I say is the customer always needs to be honored, honor the customer, right? But if you just even don't look at it as a customer situation, just the, you know, two people talking. If I will just stop and gain as much perspective as I possibly can, then what I may find is, is one, I may actually be able to shed light on a misunderstanding. You know, "You said this, okay, so here's the thing, that's actually not possible.." Or you know, whatever the thing is, if I can shed light on a situation, then maybe I can shed light on a misunderstanding, I can help the other person to see something, I can keep myself in check and not put them on the defensive by me getting defensive. You know, there's a whole lot of stuff I can do, like, you know, so the way that I did respond, instead of getting in there and battling with them, it caused him to come down. Now, it did cause him to try and explain himself over and over again, about how you know, they never did say anything, which again, still was never something that was said. But still, the key is, is that it diffused it at least at that moment, and allowed him to see, "oh, crap, I'm acting like a jerk right in this moment." Right? Still can't let go. So if I'm that person, and I just go, "You know what, let's say I did just get accused of something. What if I don't lose my control, what if I don't lose worth, what if instead, I try to actually walk through this process, is the thing I was just accused of really that big of a deal? Is it?" You know, if I was accused, does it matter? Is it something big? Is it something worth fighting for? Is it something worth, you know, it's just not.
Brian Alex 29:11
It's almost like we feel like we have to go and take that opinion from that person and change it.
Chris LoCurto 29:17
Yeah, well, yeah. Yeah.
Brian Alex 29:18
Well, who cares if that's what they think? I mean, at a certain point, there's kind of this, you know, risk and loss that happens and you're, "Okay. Well, he can think that or she can think that and it doesn't affect me." But we let it, I think that's the emotional attachment thing is will we allow other people's perception or opinion, especially if the relationship isn't valuable to us, and there's nothing to go after there nothing to defend there for the the rapport for the relationship sake, it's okay and maybe this is freeing for some people. I know it is for me as a C. It's okay sometimes to just let people hold that perspective and not feel like I have to go and change that.
Chris LoCurto 30:01
Exactly, exactly that is the key. And the funny thing is, let's say I'm the one being the jerk, right? Let's say I come in, which of course is just absolutely ridiculous, that is terrible.
Brian Alex 30:11
That would never happen.
Chris LoCurto 30:12
But let's just say that I was, and I came in, and I did accuse him of something. What he may discover is that I'm feeling out of control. And I, you know, let's say I'm a high S, or a high C, and I feel like I have to puff myself up, and you know, build myself up to go, "I'm gonna have to attack this person to get my way. Because I know how customer service people are, they're just gonna bully me..." And blah, blah, blah, right? If he stays calm and doesn't react and doesn't receive, it doesn't mean he doesn't even have to receive the accusation. If he helps me through the process, guess what might happen, I might actually recognize that I'm being a jerk, I might actually recognize that I didn't have to say what I said. And that maybe I wasn't actually being 100% honest myself. And then I will change my tune at the end. But there's no way you could know that once you lose it. If you're not using the tools. If you're not trying to stay in control, you just can't figure that out. So what do we do about this? Well, how to keep conflict healthy and boundaries in place is what we're going to discuss when we come back right after this.
Chris LoCurto 31:23
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Chris LoCurto 32:21
Alright, so Brian, take it away. How do we keep healthy boundaries in place and keep conflict healthy?
Brian Alex 32:26
Right. So I know for me, and this is probably on the D side of things. I'm one of those that don't mind the conflict especially if there's something I feel like there's worth going after. And I you know, bulldoze through that. But I know that I'm also kind of in quotes "that guy" sometimes when it when it comes to, you know, I just got to get it done. And I'm just there to do the business. But I want to help folks, I want to help myself here.
Chris LoCurto 32:58
So just to mention Hi, D, C, high C, D, I don't remember which one's higher, is your C's higher?.
Brian Alex 33:04
It toggles, the D the D is higher in the natural.
Chris LoCurto 33:07
And the C's higher in the adaptive.
Brian Alex 33:08
I mean, but this is upper 90's on both.
Chris LoCurto 33:11
Yeah. So we're talking about somebody who can be in all task mode, not people mode you do you have I and S.
Brian Alex 33:19
I have a 40 actally, yeah, it's decent.
Chris LoCurto 33:22
That can be there. But what we're talking about is, is when you are in all task mode, it you can you know, that's that concept of that pit bowling something. You just know, not gonna go it's something worth fighting for. And I think that's important for a lot of D's and C's to hear out there, is that sometimes you can go into the, "Well the person doesn't matter in this moment." Especially on the C-well, on both D and C, but especially on the C side, a lot of times it can be, "The person does not matter, the facts matter, or the what I believe the facts or the accuracy."
Brian Alex 33:55
Or if I'm feeling out of control internally, it's so funny. You know, for some of us like this that are wired in this way. We tend not to emote a lot. In fact, one of my daughters was was telling me the other day, "Dad, you don't really you know, express the emotion sometimes that you're feeling, so I'll ask you if there's something wrong and you're like, 'no, why would you ask that?'" You know, it's funny we were at a restaurant and standing outside waiting. And I remember in my mind feeling happy. I remember the emotion of happiness. I could even feel the you know, the tension in my cheeks where you know that there's some smile muscles happening. And I casually just turned to the side and the window on the outside was reflective and I saw myself and I was shocked. I had zero emotion on my face that even I could discern. And I knew I was smiling, and so I think for those of us that don't have a high I, you know, potential there, we need to be self-aware enough of how we're coming across, how we're transmitting, what it is that we're thinking or feeling at the time, and not get emotionally bound to where the conversation is going. So this is this is kind of the minefield that we want to walk through with the next couple of steps. So here's the question. You've mentioned already about keeping it about the other person. Okay. So I want to unpack that a little bit, because one thing that I've noticed about you, and we've mentioned, you know, some others, before that regularly engage in some kind of debate online in a public forum, I've mentioned, you know, a couple of different politicians or psychologists out there like Jordan Peterson, others, when when they're in some kind of an emotionally heated debate or something, they seem to keep their cool and you do it too. And you deal with people that are frequently even in what we do here, or in some of the other business situations that we're in, it can get tense and there's some heat in the situation in the environment, in the room in the circumstance, but you maintain your composure. What's going on in your head? How do we do that?
Chris LoCurto 36:21
So I don't do it all the time. There's a place that I struggle on that is excessive. Any measure of it should be excessive, but excessive victim mentality, that's where I struggle. Because I was raised, no matter what pull up your bootstraps, my gosh, you know, do not sit in the muck in the mire and continue to complain and you know, whine and all that. So I think that is probably my weakness is when it is non stop, and it won't stop. Right? The great thing is, is we have phenomenal clients that will see things struggle through it, but work through it, right? That's the key, you got to work through it, you got to fix it, right? But when I get to a place where it is a oh my gosh, this person, it doesn't matter what you do, if you poured you know, a bucket of gold in their lap right now, and gave them an ice cream on top of it, then everything else is-the gold's probably too heavy.
Brian Alex 37:23
Bucket of gold with ice cream on top of it. Okay.
Chris LoCurto 37:26
The gold's too heavy in their lap, and the ice cream with the wrong flavor. I mean, it's just like, come on, right?
Brian Alex 37:32
It's never perfect.
Chris LoCurto 37:33
It's never perfect. So I even can be at a place where you know, and you've seen Jordan actually, you know, be phenomenal and have a spot where it's like, oh, the, that's too far. The key is, is the reason why I'm able to stay for the most part, calm is because I'm watching the other person and not emotionally handcuffing myself to that person, right? So when I'm watching somebody else's struggle, the even when they attack me, that's the toughest part. Because doing what we do for a living, we help people get in out of control situations to discover things so that they can get control of themselves, right? Well, if you have the right person, especially D's, D's are by far the most that will attack back, it will become, "It's all about you. This is your fault, Chris is this, you're supposed to solve this for me and your.." You know, and all that stuff. And in those moments, it's like, "So it's my fault that you can't do this?" And they're like,"Dang it."
Brian Alex 38:31
I just can't win.
Chris LoCurto 38:33
And the key is, is not being not receiving the stuff. So I say it over and over and over again. And sometimes I watch people and they still don't get it. Don't receive it. Watch it like a movie, recognize that the person is struggling and stay focused on that, only receive anything that's your responsibility. If they do say something and you did it, take responsibility. But if they do it in a really jerky tone, maybe you can push back and say, "Hey, you're absolutely right. My bad. I'm so sorry. Take responsibility. Can you phrase that a different way? You know, could you be less jerky?" You know, you just say, "I experienced you as being really rude the way you just said that."
Brian Alex 39:15
And those are terms that we-phrases that I've learned, I've picked up since being here is "How are you experiencing x? What are you experiencing right now? And how are you receiving what I just said?" or "How did you receive that?" Those are phrases that we use, they're non-triggering. What it does is it allows that perspective to be gained.
Chris LoCurto 39:38
It does, and it takes away the accusation. So if I say Brian, I'm experiencing you as being rude right now, then I'm not saying, "Brian you're being rude."
Brian Alex 39:46
Because that would set that reality, and now I don't have the opportunity to say, "Well, here's what I'm experiencing. Here's what I'm sensing."
Chris LoCurto 39:55
Well, you just immediately are gonna be defensive. "No, I'm not being rude. You're being a jerk." Oh, okay, then it's just, you know, tug of war. Or, "How did you receive what I said?" Like, you know, watching somebody response. And for me again, it's not about you, it's about the other person, right? So if I can see that I said something and a person responded a way that didn't align, because we watch every bit of everybody's body language, you know, for what we do here, it gives you so much information. So if I see that somebody received something off, or you know, didn't receive it well, or whatever, then I'll ask the question, "How did you receive what I just said?" "Well, I think that was rude, Chris." "Okay, what part of it was rude, why was it rude?" "Well, I feel like you attacked me." "What part was attacking?" "Well, it wasn't actually attacking, it's just that it hurt." "Okay, well, is that the same?" You know, I mean, then it allows me to have the discussion.
Brian Alex 40:49
It's funny when we do self-examine, because that's what you're helping them, you know, to increase their self-awareness and self-examine. When we do that a lot of times we realize, oh, that wasn't the intention at all, that actually wasn't how I took it. And we realize that a lot of what we were just talking about earlier about fear, and just this imaginary world that we live in, and go back and listen to our two-parter on this, Surviving in a World of Monsters and Victims. We do this to ourselves all the time. So yeah, keeping it about the other person.
Chris LoCurto 41:25
And something else that's, I think, is really important. What speaking of personality styles are speaking to the C personality style. And we're talking about a very high C. And it's only you know, I have done this for 20 some years now, with personality styles. And I still don't understand this piece, I understand it a lot more than I think most people do. But there's still a piece that is a struggle. So something that is the more you recognize this, the better you'll be able to communicate with C's the definition is important. Like we talked about earlier, if I say, "Are you feeling out of control." "No, I'm not feeling out of control."
Brian Alex 42:05
I wouldn't phrase it like that at all.
Chris LoCurto 42:06
Right? Exactly. Well, you sound angry. Well, of course, I'm angry. Okay. So definition matters, when we make the jokes about if it's not 100% accurate to the C, and-if a C is doing good, and it's not 100% accurate, they can have a conversation about it, they're still gonna struggle with it not being accurate. If the C is losing control, if it's 1% inaccurate, it's 100%. inaccurate, and that becomes the battle.
Brian Alex 42:35
If you're guilty of one part of the law, you're guilty of the entire law.
Chris LoCurto 42:39
Brian Alex 42:40
Chris LoCurto 42:44
Alright, God's amazing.
Chris LoCurto 42:46
So, when you look at this, I have had to spend time watching somebody battle something that I have said, and then go, you know, like, "Are you feeling out of control?" "No, nothing out of control." Okay, shoot, I have five questions that I now have to ask before I can get them to see that they're feeling out of control. And we joke about it's like a circle. I'll walk the person around, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, now about that control thing. "Oh, my gosh, I didn't I never thought that way." So all of that is me looking and caring about the other person and asking the question, okay. They didn't get what I just said, I could battle the crap out of it. Right? Because this is what I do for a living and I absolutely know this person is out of control. Does it do me any good to try and prove that I'm right? Zero. None whatsoever. So instead of going, "Yes, you are out of control. Brian, I can prove it to you. Look at how angry you are. Look at you know.." That is a waste of time, because it just causes-
Brian Alex 43:46
Brian sounds like a jerk. I'm a nice guy.
Chris LoCurto 43:51
You are a nice guy. We're not talking about you.
Brian Alex 43:55
Some other Brian?
Chris LoCurto 44:00
So seriously, when I can look at the situation and see that I've said something and they're not gonna agree they're gonna battle they're gonna do whatever, that I have an opportunity. I could jump in. I can battle I can try and prove that I'm right, which most people will do. "Yes, you are out of control. Yes. You did say this thing. Yes. You did just, you know, make that accusation. Yes, you did." I can jump in and battle or go, you know, maybe they don't maybe they they're not receiving the thing that I'm saying because the definition is off. And I have found time and time again. Now there's two things here. If they're really out of control, I will push it off. I'll come back to it in a half hour or an hour from now. Right? But if I can get them to the same definition quickly, then I will do that. "So you don't feel out of control. How do you feel right now?" "Well don't feel anything?" "Okay. Well, do you feel angry?" "Of course I do." "So you do feel angry. Do you feel frustrated?" "Well, yeah, of course. I felt frustrated. This situation is stupid." "Okay, so you feel frustrated and angry." "Yeah, I can see where you're going, okay, oka." You know, and then all of a sudden, they come around to it right? There sometimes that that even that doesn't work, and I have to just back off completely and let it go. So everything about me staying calm everything about me not jumping in and battling everything-I mean, there's there's things that I've posted on social media that people have gone ballistic on, I'm not gonna say anything, there's just sitting there waiting to bait me into a, you know, a battle. And I'm just, they're surprised that I don't respond. Because I don't care, I didn't post this thing for your little battle, right? So when you look at it, it's not about I must engage, I must defend, I must, I must, I must. If you can recognize what the other person's experiencing, what they're going through what they're struggling with, if you can watch like a movie, you can stay detached, at least emotion, don't get emotionally handcuffed. And then instead, decide how you're going to approach this, do you wanna just let it go? You know, do you know no matter what, that store that I went to, will not get my money. Even if I gave money to their parent corporation from a different store or something else, different story, but that store is definitely not getting my- and I'm not sure that the parent company would get my money either. But the point that I'm making is, is that that is now over within it's done. And the great thing is, is I could just get my money back and walk out the door.
Brian Alex 46:27
Speaking of moving on, we're still on point number one. So let's just distill this down a little bit. Keep it about the other person. Think about the other person, what is the other person experiencing? What are they going through, helps us not be emotionally handcuffed to the situation and think about how practical that is even being you know, if you're at a restaurant, the waiter or waitress, the server comes by and they're feeling out of control, you have no idea what they're going through, you don't know what their life is like, could be a single parent had a crap day, and they're, you know it, this is an opportunity to think about other people. Yeah. And so that's helpful. Moving on to point number two, I want to look at keeping it about the facts. So we keep it about other people. And we keep it factual, keep it logical. So if we're able to stay out of that emotional pit that we can fall into, and then we're just duking it out, you know, two defensive people arguing about something and neither wins, you know, if even if you win, you don't win. And so if we're doing that part, right, and we're going to keep it about the facts, this is what I want to get to, because there are some things that we legitimately, we have to do business in the world, we have to interact with other people, even with a spouse, and when they're feeling out of control, coming back to facts is really helpful. So help us understand when is it okay to defend our position, or what we're really after, when we just take our loss like you did, and just say, "You know what, I'll just take my money back, thank you very much." And walk out the door?
Chris LoCurto 48:03
One of the things we talked about a lot here is feelings versus facts. A lot of times we will respond with our emotions instead of the facts around the situation, the moment we start responding with emotions, we're losing.
Brian Alex 48:16
That's what you were just saying a minute ago, about, "Well, I'm not feeling out of control well.." and then you walk them around, they gain perspective. And they realize, "Oh, I guess I am." Because it doesn't register sometimes that that is a fact that is actually happening in the moment.
Chris LoCurto 48:32
The fact is, you're feeling something, right? So there's two parts, we've talked about this a lot in the willpower power episodes, about the two distinct areas in the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which apparently mine's not working right now. I can't speak English, the desire reward section and the decision making section. And I like to call it the better decision making section. Because when you're not in that desire reward section, you can actually make better decisions. The moment I am stuck to my feelings and driving my decisions by that desire reward section, the battles on I will fight, I will defend I'll do whatever I need to. The thing is, is that if I get stuck with my feelings, then it makes it really difficult. I cannot-once I'm in the desire reward section of my brain, all perspective-gaining quality perspective is gone. Because what is gaining quality perspective? I already have my perspective, I need your perspective. So I can find out what's the best solution I could find out. You know, maybe you're right, maybe I'm right. Doesn't matter. How do we solve this thing? Right?
Chris LoCurto 49:05
I mean, and that has to be a goal in mind. Winning is resolving the conflict, winning is resolving that situation, winning is the outcome that is mutually beneficial and not who was right going into it.
Chris LoCurto 50:01
Exactly. It's diluting the conflict as fast as we can to get to a good solution. And if I understand your perspective quickly, then I can speak to that. Right? So I love what Ben Shapiro's always points out is that, you know, certain things don't have feelings he was he was on a show, I watched this interview once with him, where he was on a show and he called somebody who was claiming that they're no longer a man that they're a woman. He said, "Sir" and this gal goes, "You're offending the pronouns." He looks at her, he goes, "Pronouns don't have feelings." And if that person could understand that the feelings are the issue. The offense is the feeling, not the fact. It doesn't matter what the facts are, it doesn't matter that biology already set this in place. The facts don't matter, what matters? Feelings. When people operate on feelings, then they can't possibly have good perspective. Perspective doesn't matter. It's all about how I feel. And I will battle with my feelings. Well, you can't battle somebody with their feelings, because they can't see quality perspective.
Brian Alex 50:06
And they're fickle too, those feelings can change on a dime. And you go from one feeling to another and they're hard to pin down. And so even if you're able to identify them, they can change and hopefully they can change with better perspective, and immediately resolve the tension in a situation because the feelings are going to follow the facts.
Chris LoCurto 51:36
Yeah, going back to victim mentality, one of the things that we experience a lot in a lot of people, so if you're listening to this show, there's a really good chance you have victim mentality somewhere.
Brian Alex 51:46
No I don't. How dare you attack me? We all do it is the point.
Chris LoCurto 51:49
"How dare you attack me with the victim mentality? I can't believe you're making me feel horrible, Chris." This is so much funnier in our heads that a lot of people are thinking right now. Here's the deal. Nobody can make you feel anything. That's the point of the joke. Nobody can make you feel anything. One of the interesting things is that as we are helping people on they're struggling with victim mentality man it comes out, "No Chris you're wrong. This happened to me. No Chris this was, this situation, my life these things all this stuff is happening to me. No, Chris, you're wrong." And as we walk through it instead of going, "No, you're wrong." Instead, we'll walk through "Okay, but so let's say that it has happened to you. What do we do about it now? You're an adult now. Can we make different decisions?" "Yeah, but that's affected me." "It totally has, completely agree with you, but what can you do about it now?" And as we help people to see that all of a sudden those who aren't really living life by victim mentality can go "Crap, man, you're right. I keep making decisions based on that and that's that was 20 years ago." "Right, absolutely. Well, how do we make it healthy now?" Somebody who's really stuck will battle and battle, we call it fighting in a wet paper bag. They will keep keep keep keep, "No I'm going to be a victim no matter what."
Brian Alex 53:15
Wet paper wet paper bag because they could get out-
Chris LoCurto 53:17
Right. You keep fighting and you can't get out of the bag. Yeah, you just keep fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, and you don't realize if you just stop, you can actually climb out the bag, get out of the bag, right? And so when somebody is really, really stuck in victim mentality, it is 1,000% feeling. It doesn't matter what you say, "I refuse to take responsibility. I'm a victim. I'm a victim. I'm a victim." "Okay, there you go. You're a victim. Okay. Now, what do we do with your life?" "Well, I don't know. You're supposed to help me." "Well, okay." So it's this funny thing of feeling, feeling, feeling says "I'm a victim." When you get to the facts, and you go, "Oh, crap, you're right, man. That was 20 years ago, and I'm still living as if it's happening to me today." "Yep." "So can we fix this?" "We sure can. The first thing is we have to recognize how we're receiving that even to this day." And we put in tools and you know, we got a lot of stuff we would do.
Brian Alex 54:21
Alright, so we probably need to take a break. And we'll come back with the third point after this.
Chris LoCurto 54:30
Hey, folks, here's the deal. Every business has a culture. But are you leading yours intentionally, or settling for whatever comes in the door? If you're finally ready to create the company culture you've always wanted, then you're gonna want to sign up for my free digital video series, Creating a Culture of Champions. I will personally guide you for 10 days to get clarity on the culture you desire and lead your team to embrace it. You sign up at chrislocurto.com/culturelesson. Again, if you're ready to make a change, sign up for my free digital video series Creating a Culture of Champions at chri locurto.com/culturelesson.
Brian Alex 55:17
All right, we are back. And we're going to deal with the final point. But just to recap, we're talking about keeping it about the other person, understanding what's going on in the situation and what they're going through. Keeping it about the facts was our second point. And knowing that feelings are fickle, they change on a dime. So bring it back to something more tangible, something more concrete, which is the facts, what are we really talking about? What are we really dealing with.
Chris LoCurto 55:44
By the way, there's a tool, when you are stuck in that desire reward, center those feelings, press your tongue up against the roof of your mouth as hard as you can. There's also a way of just patting like your legs, because when you pat, you're shifting your brain, you're having to put your brain into the logic side, that decision making side of your brain in the prefrontal cortex. So if you find yourself really heavily focused on feelings, press really hard the your tongue to the roof of your mouth. That should-
Brian Alex 56:13
I'm using it right now.
Chris LoCurto 56:14
How's it working?
Brian Alex 56:15
Yeah, it's great.
Chris LoCurto 56:19
Brian Alex 56:20
I can't feel my tongue.
Brian Alex 56:23
Alright, so those are the first two points that we covered coming to. This third one is, is really developing this idea of the facts and resetting the situation, back to facts, because even in that conversation, there's a little tug of war that happens and, and things can kind of go off the trail a bit, we want to bring it back, how do we reset the situation, to the facts that are at hand, especially if we're dealing with manipulative and controlling people that are going to come back to what their angle is, and their limited perspective, because they're not interested about anybody else, but themselves and defending their own position? So it's easy to get away from the facts, we want to bring it back to where we're trying to go in the conversation. How do we do that?
Chris LoCurto 57:13
Yeah, so one of the things is you cannot reset the situation with facts, if you're not listening, if you're stuck in the feelings mode, if you're stuck on selfishness focused on you, this third piece will not matter. It won't happen. You can't do it. You battle facts. And you're both wrong, right? When you are not emotionally handcuffed to the situation, you can listen to what's being said. How is it that I'm able to do this all the time? Because I'm not grabbing hold of the problem that the other person is experiencing? Right? So instead, I will just listen. What is inevitably going to happen is the person who's struggling like crazy is going to start restating facts or adjusting facts, or and I'm not saying that they're intentionally lying, although a lot of times they are. What's happening is they will hit something, because in their mind, this is the way it was said, or this is the thing that was done or this is the thing. And if you're just listening and paying attention, you can go, "Is that accurate? Is that what was said? Is that what happened? No, you can keep that that's not what happened." Like so what will happen a lot of times with us is as we're helping somebody through a process, sometimes they will throw something but "Well, Chris, you said this." "Nope. That is not what I said at all." "Well, what did you say?" "I said this." "Well, isn't that the same thing?" "No, it is not. Let's walk through it." And it's all about how they received it. But what they need immediately is a push back. What you're saying is inaccurate. If it's somebody who's really controlling now, I will gauge this according to how much the person is struggling. There times I will go, that is a lie. You can keep it that's not true. That's a strong pushback, very strong pushback to help that person go, Oh, crap, I'm not going to get up. Because a lot of times people will see, "Oh, I see Chris has those high S tendencies, I got this." Chris has been doing this stuff for a long time. And he has a lot of healthy boundaries now. So there are times that somebody will push and I will push right back and let them know. And it depends on the person. If it's another high S, if it's another high C, a high I, then there's no way I'm pushing like that. If it's a high D, there's a really good chance. It's funny, high D's that go through Next Level Life go, they're like, "My spouse could never do this." And it's like, "Why not?" It's like, "They could never take it." It's like, "Oh, we wouldn't leave them the same way we lead you." And like "Why not?" "Because you're the D!" If it's somebody who's the highest, it's very soft. "Hey, listen, let me push back on the thing that you just said there. That's not what I said. I said this over here." "Oh, you're right. You're right. You're right." So it's all dependent upon the personality style and how much they're losing control. If it's somebody else who's like, "No, I'm going to control you Chris." Boom, right back hard. And you know, if you're listening to this, you know which one you're going to receive. If you're not somebody who's big and attackee, then you're not going to get hard pushback.
Brian Alex 1:00:25
Well, okay, so in here's another way that that scenario plays out is I've heard you say, several times in various conversations. Okay, I get what you're saying, I hear what you're saying. You might even repeat what they're saying. And you rehearse it back to them. But you still haven't answered the question. So you're bringing it back to the point at hand, because it's so easy that these conversations, especially when the other person's feeling out of control, that it goes off the path, goes in the forest of feelings, off of the path, and and bringing it back to the question at hand. Okay, but help me to understand, and you rehearse the question, you still haven't said the answer to this piece here. So you're resetting it back to the facts, which is where you're trying to get.
Chris LoCurto 1:01:13
Yeah. And again, I need to restate, because we're hitting a lot of things on the heavy duty controlling person, and giving heavy pushback, there's a lot of folks listening to this conversation right now, where this is just their blood pressure's up right now. Just listening to it, they're like, "I could never do that." Everything is dependent upon the person who's losing control and trying to gain control. Everything. If it is a high S, they're probably not doing this at all, unless you push the living crap out of them. And then they finally exploded, you back them into the corner so many times, and then they finally exploded, right? So that personality style is probably not going to be experiencing this. So when you look at the person, the situation, it's all dependent on that. So if it is somebody who is trying to gain control, and they refuse to answer the question, I'll just go, "Did that answer the question?" You know, depending upon the person, if it's somebody who is not trying to be a jerk, trying to be controlling, but trying to deflect then, I'll say, "Hey, help me to understand. Did that answer the question?" It's all a gentle, it's a different way of handling. So I think as we keep giving these answers, we have to also take into account who you're talking to matters, you don't go and bully the S or C with, "Did that answer the question?" If you do that to the S, or the I, you've just lost, forget it, there's going to be you know, that's. So instead, if you do it in a, in a way that works with the personality style, "Hey, help me understand that that just answer the question?" "No, it did not. Okay." "What is the actual answer to the question?" "Well, this is the answer." "Okay." "Why did you struggle on answering that?" "Well, because I knew this or this, this this.." Right? And then if it's the person who's super controlling, and again, that's the concept of this whole episode has been the controlling person, right? The really out of control person. That's the person that is like, "Did that answer the question?" They hate it, because I know. How did you know that? How did you see through what? I'm a good soft shoe dancer? And when they see that you can see their tricks they settle down. The crazy thing is you can actually calm down the controlling person by not engaging emotionally. If you just watch the thing and reset the facts. "Hey, that actually didn't answer the question. Hey, you're deflecting, hey, you're misdirecting. Hey, you're...." you know, if you do these pieces, then the person goes, "Well, I'm not getting away, I better settle down."
Brian Alex 1:04:05
Yeah, again, we're not giving a step by step how to be controlling, we're talking about dealing with controlling people, and bringing the conversation bringing the confrontation to a healthy resolve. That's what we want. And so just to start wrapping up here, because we are way over time, but this has been so good. There's so much that we've drilled down into I love it, we want to number one, keep it about the other person. Number two, keep coming back to the facts. And then the third is keep resetting and keeping it on track coming back to what the resolve is keep coming back to resolve. I think that's so healthy, and it keeps those healthy boundaries in place. And it could actually preserve or keep the relationship and I think that's beautiful.
Chris LoCurto 1:04:59
Yeah. If it is stuck in feelings, you will never be able to do number three, reset the situation. Get back to the resolve the solution, get to solution, get to solution. That's the goal.
Brian Alex 1:05:10
Love it. Alright.
Chris LoCurto 1:05:12
Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, folks, hopefully this has been helpful for you today. Again, our goal is to help you to get rid of the conflict, our goal is to help you to have the best life you possibly can the best relationships, the best business that you possibly can. So take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.