How to Handle Blind Dates:
Honest Tips

How many of us have been set up? It used to be almost a cliché or a joke—the “blind date from hell” a friend or well-meaning family member coerced us into.


 

Nowadays, the face of dating has changed. We’re connecting through online dating sites and apps, and we’re meeting through coworkers and at networking events, so in general, almost every date becomes a “blind date” in some respect. Rarely do we know more about our date beforehand than a general idea of his or her looks and location.

The positive side to this new face of dating is it gives us a chance to engage and interact with many different people. We all lead busy lives, yet it’s important we make time to connect with others. How fascinating that we get to meet and get to know others while getting to know ourselves in such an objective manner? Dating is like a social experiment: we can test out our yearnings and different aspects of our personality while seeing how those traits fit with another person (or result in conflict).

On the flipside, what we see in someone’s profile or read online, doesn’t always translate to what we find in person.

“My Dates Always Go Wrong!”

Sometimes we hold back because we fear our dates won’t “go well” or things won’t happen in the way we expect them to. You know what? This is perfectly normal—and a wonderful opportunity to test things out and discover more about our reactions, expectations and desires!

No dating situation is perfect. Even if we plan out every detail or if we strictly adhere to our vision of the ideal date, things will go awry. You can’t control the behavior of other people and this conflict for control can be the very thing preventing us from “clicking”—or at minimum, it can cause little annoyances to pop up.

If your date does something you don’t like or you do something your date is unhappy with, it’s a wonderful chance to look at the deeper story behind it. If you cringe when he answers his cellphone at dinner or you absolutely hate it when she interrupts you in conversation, then it’s time to explore why. More importantly, did you say something when those feelings arose and was it addressed directly? Were you feeling ignored? Was your yearning to be noticed and be a priority overlooked?

Ask yourself how you reacted to these situations and frustrations, and examine how your date reacted as well. It might not be a perfect date, but it’s a perfect time to explore your interaction. Did you speak up, express your feelings, state your yearnings and engage? Did you withdraw, become passive-aggressive or feel hurt?

When It’s Just Not There…

Some people can have great online chemistry and it’s just a fizzle in real life. Even if you’ve had weeks of exciting banter and great conversation, the spark might not be there in person.

Not every date is going to be a love connection or even a like connection. It’s totally okay to let your date know things aren’t going as you’d hoped. If you continue the date as friends, you might still have a chance to make a connection and grow. If you end the date, you know you haven’t held back from being yourself. You’ve been honest—and that’s what’s important.

Sometimes a friend might set us up with someone who leaves us wondering, “WHOA, what was she thinking?!” Rather than being upset by the mismatch, you’ll find a great opportunity to examine your relationship with your friend and you’ll get a glimpse into the ways others might view your personality and your yearnings as you present them. You can see what sort of personality you’re projecting out to the world and to others in your social circle.

Using Dates to Grow

What it really comes down to is: are you being honest and up front with your dates? What are your expectations of the situation? There’s no formula or set of questions you can ask to predict the outcome of any date, blind date or otherwise. Searching for an answer is like asking for a crystal ball. It may even reveal we’re simply having a difficult time accepting the uncertainty of dating.

Unfortunately—and fortunately—the world is an unpredictable place. If we can allow ourselves to let go of the idea we need to be fully in control of the ride, or we need to have all the factors laid out in front of us, we can find ourselves enjoying the journey of dating and the lessons it has to offer.

If you find you’re easily angered on your dates or frustrated, it may be a frustration with the uncertainty and your own inability to express your desires and expectations. Much of our anger and frustrations can be exacerbated by an underlying fear.

Instead, reframe your view of dating as an adventure and an opportunity. Are you sharing meaningful things and are you affirming your feelings and the feelings of your date? Engage in the messiness of dating, jump in, tell the truth and get to know each other. Conflict is ok—when we get it out early we can avoid superficial and meaningless dates and relationships. Stop looking for things to be comfortable and familiar—shake things up and have some fun!

You just may find yourself enjoying blind dates more and more, and looking forward to your next dating adventure!

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can pre-order our new relationships book: The Heart of The Fight, coming out next February.


About the Author

Judith-300x250

Dr Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Addicted to Conflict?
Here’s How to Save
Your Relationship

Many of us fear conflict. We take it as a sign our relationship is doomed or damaged, so we avoid it. We hold back from engaging with our partner because we’re afraid of fighting—yet, we end up feeling disconnected when we do.


 

What happens at the other end of the spectrum, though? What happens when it seems like all you do is fight or when it feels like the only way our needs are being met and we’re being acknowledged is when our partner is angry?

In our forthcoming book, The Heart of the Fight, Judith and I discuss some of these themes surrounding relationship conflicts. We talk about the rules of engagement and fighting fair. We also talk about the ways conflict can actually strengthen your relationship—because when you’re fighting, you are engaged.

In the first years of a relationship (even the first ten), we’re engaged in a control struggle and we’re trying to find our footing and balance of power. We want to be loved in an open and honest way, and to be seen for who we really are in the here and now. Our partner wants the same and we’re pushing each other back and forth in this battle to see if we can test each other. We’re trying to see if our partner will really meet our yearnings.

Through this testing and conflict, trust is built—and respect. I’ve talked about the ways our relationships are both a crucible that forms us and a womb that nourishes us. It’s a place for transformation, where we can learn and grow, and yes, transformation causes heat and conflict.

What to Do When You Want a Partner to Change

One common source of conflict is the desire to change or modify the behavior of a partner. Maybe you’re a vegetarian and they’re a meat lover or maybe they’re a sports fanatic and you want your Sundays quiet, spent reading The New York Times together and going to brunch with friends.

Whatever the behavior, we need to examine our own motivations. Are we jealous of our partners’ hobbies and habits? Do we want to change the behavior because we’re concerned about their health? Is it a moral issue?

Here’s the deal: if our partners change something simply for us, they’ll probably resent us for it. If we ask them to change and they don’t, then we’ll resent them. Thus, a conflict is born.

First of all, you simply can’t change your partner (but you will make each other miserable trying to force it). You can support your partner, enabling him or her to reach a place where they’re prepared for transformation, but even the most annoying habit in the world can’t be changed because you argue it so or withhold until they give in.

Reframe your approach and consider the work you need to do for yourself. What are your yearnings? How do they shape your feelings? We all bring yearnings into a relationship and a hope that our yearnings will be met. If we’re clear and up front about those yearnings, we can assume goodwill on the side of our partner and know they want to make us happy, just as we want for them.

You both may be different people who enjoy different things, but accepting your partner for who they truly are and respecting these differences will go far. If it’s a health issue (your partner overeats, smokes or drinks) then consider what comfort they might not be receiving on your end. The next time they’re going to reach for something to soothe their yearnings, how can you soothe them instead?

How to Break Old Patterns

We all come into relationships with baggage. Most of our early personality traits and desires are formed well before adulthood. If your parents withheld affection or modeled a relationship where fighting was the norm, you might see these patterns emerge in your adult relationships.

It’s not about dwelling on where this conflict is coming from and shifting the blame to our parents, but rather, it’s about understanding it and then figuring out if you’re using conflict as a platform to deepen your engagement. Ask yourself what you’re fighting for and if you’re making progress.

Some conflicts can be long lasting and in-depth. It doesn’t spell doom for the relationship. Fighting fair and honoring the rules of engagement will keep your fights from becoming a standoff where you end up spinning your wheels.

Follow These 7 Rules of Engagement:
  1. Minimize the negative.
  2. Accentuate the positive.
  3. No one gets more than 50% of the blame.
  4. You must take 100% responsibility for your own happiness.
  5. Express and agree with the truth.
  6. Always fight FOR something, not against; and
  7. Assume goodwill.

If you follow these rules, your conflicts will become more productive and growth focused. You’ll find you’re engaged in respectful discussion (even if it’s harshly worded and impassioned) and you’ll walk away stronger.

Meshing Your Personalities

We all have different personalities, different backgrounds and different yearnings than our partner. Judith is an Energizer and I’m a Regulator. We spent years in therapy and we’ve seen several different couples’ counselors—some who even told us we should just cut our losses because they couldn’t see we were actually using conflict to keep us more deeply engaged.

When it comes down to it, there are plenty of things that can irritate us in relationships and breed conflict. We are different people who are trying to work together on a shared vision. Understanding your personality type and your triggers, and being honest and open will help you work out anything that may arise.

The good thing about conflict is it means you are connected. You’re fighting for something. Make sure you’re both fighting FOR the relationship rather than against each other and you will find some common ground.

When a relationship is just starting out you want to test it even harder. You want to know it will stand the test of time and endure. Engage in deeper conflict as you’re figuring out where you’re headed. If you’re both committed to growing and transforming together, then conflict will make your relationship even stronger.

You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book coming out in February 2016: The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer. (Available for preorder now!)

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Want to learn more about more satisfying dates and relationships? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

About the Author

Bob-300x250

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Harnessing Intention:
Embracing Your
Authenticity and Experience

On October 17th, 2015, I had the opportunity to lecture at our Men’s Basic Training, at Art Silver Center on the Wright Graduate University Campus in Elkhorn, WI. I’d like to share some of the highlights and background that stemmed from this inspiring and rousing session.

—Dr. Bob Wright (Source: “Harnessing Intention.” Lecture, Men’s Basic Training, Art Silver Center, Wright Graduate University Campus, Elkhorn, WI, Oct. 17, 2015.)

Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre talked about man’s great freedom and individual experiential journey. Throughout his philosophy he discussed approaching life as a project, harnessing your intent and embracing your authenticity and experience—in other words, your journey.


Climb Your Mountain All the Way to the TOP

He likened this Life Project to a mountain. Whether the mountain is law or medicine or business, some hike a path up to a stream, they view things along the way, then go back and report, “I’ve been to the mountain and it was lovely.” Yet, they have not “climbed the mountain.” Others go up to the tree line, they look out at the surroundings, and they go back. They have not climbed the mountain.

There are very few that make it to the very pinnacle of the mountain—that tackle their Everest. The mountain becomes romanticized, lofty and unattainable.

When it comes to our own Life Projects, making money is the easy part. We’ve all got a few irons in the fire and at least one area that we’re working on, but very few of us will max out the journey and make it to the peak.

Harnessing your intentionality, dedicating yourself to your vision, choosing and being cognizant to handpick the next challenge—that will get you to your peak. Many people get out of Harvard, Wharton or another big-name college and think they’ve already reached the top of their mountain, but they’re still way back at the first stream….they haven’t even made it to the tree line. They walk out of school with an MBA or PhD and expect the world to be at their beck and call. They expect that climb to be an easy elevator ride to the top.

Then you have those who’ve had some success—they’ve made it to that first forest and beyond. They’ve made some money and they have it in the bank…and then they spend the rest of their life hording and protecting it, never pushing themselves to keep going and growing.

At Wright Living, we get these falsehoods shaken up and cracked as we go along. There’s a new approach to the mountain, which is in embracing the climb, the struggle and enjoying the Life Project as a journey. We delight in the good fight, the conflict, the engagement and the new experience that comes along the way.

Our entire research is about learning to embrace this conflict, delight in this fight, and stop feeling sorry for ourselves, licking our wounds. It’s about pride in the battle scars and taking up these marks, and supporting each other in harnessing the strength of experience and wounds.

We create this community of life-long learners who view the Life Project in the same way—who are willing to embrace the fight with us. They will continually go to the next challenge, ready to tackle it and overcome the fear.

This intentionality is critical—to understand our fear and still stand up in the face of disaffirmation. It’s about embracing life and going out to meet it as you climb higher on your journey.

When you meet a master, a winner—Pablo Casals, one of the finest cellists at 87 years old or golfers Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus—you realize that people who are on top of their game are willing to stretch themselves. They are highly competitive. They push themselves, and still they practice every single day. They love what they’re doing and they understand their drive and motivation. They embrace it and allow it to propel them forward.

When you study students who learn instruments early on or great athletes who have aptitude toward their sport, yes, some of that is skill but more of it is drive. If they put in the hours and the time and practice and hone their craft, they can harness their intent and use it as a springboard for success.

The question you need to ask yourself today is: Who is the person I want to be? Are you willing to settle for viewing the trees, then turning around and saying, “Well, that was a lovely mountain,” or do you want to go all the way?

As Plato said, “We live in a cave, just seeing a vision of the outside world from the light leaking in.” Realizing your vision and gaining a full understanding of your Life Project will push you to your peak. You will engage, embrace your conflict and let go of fear. You will push yourself through in ways you didn’t think possible and continue to tackle life with intentionality and the support of others who are focused on making it to their peak as well. It’s a journey we will take together.

If you want to know more about how to work on your own social and emotional intelligence and growth, join us for our next More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value weekend. [Click here to learn more!]

Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250-1

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user postscapes.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

THE One Secret to
Successful Online Dating

There is quite literally an app for everything today—and dating is no exception. There are so many options: Hinge, Tinder, Carrot, Coffee Meets Bagel…



The list goes on and on. One thing most of these apps have in common is that they offer us a chance to get a snapshot—a quick rundown on the basic stats of a potential date.

What do they really tell us though? Aside from age, location, and looks there’s really not many details. While attraction is important, shouldn’t we be looking for a little more?

Think of dating apps like making eye-contact at a bar. Swiping right is saying, “Yeah, maybe you should come talk to me,” while swiping left says, “Don’t you dare.” In real life, we do the same thing, it just feels a little less obvious sometimes. For those of us who are a little more reserved or have difficultly overcoming shyness, it can be really helpful because you get that awkward “meeting” out of the way. Online dating can be really fun and a great opportunity for growth!

Of course, dating apps aren’t perfect or the solution to everything. Just like so many things, they can become a soft addiction: we become so enthralled with the idea of that rush of excitement we get on a first and second date that we become serial daters. Suddenly we aren’t really taking things to the next emotional level with any of our dates, so we’re stuck with a full calendar and a lonely heart.

So where’s the balance?

Know What You’re Looking For

Like most things in life, knowing the outcome you’re aiming for helps steer you in the right direction. If you’re really looking to connect with someone and take things to a deeper level (i.e. beyond one or two dates, or even into boyfriend/girlfriend territory)—be up front about it. There can be the fear you might turn away the “perfect match” (which we know doesn’t exist, anyway) by sounding too demanding or too choosy, or by laying out your wants and expectations upfront.

Don’t fall into this limiting belief. Instead, pay attention to your yearnings and be real about them. Ask yourself if you’re using dating as a crutch. If you’re failing to put your expectations on the line because you’re too vulnerable—if the relationship goes awry you won’t be able to blame it on the other person, because you were honest about what you wanted.

It can be challenging to be this honest with yourself, but let’s admit it: dating is about gaining experiences and really, it’s about also getting to know ourselves better. It’s about finding out how you interact with people and what strengths they bring out in you. It’s about expressing your yearnings and finding people who can meet those yearnings in a way that is enough for you.

What If I’m Not Looking for Anything Serious?

Maybe you just got out of a relationship or you’re in the middle of your own transformational work, and you’d prefer to keep things casual. You know what? That’s perfectly okay, too. Word your profile and interactions as honestly and genuinely as possible to convey what you want.

Sometimes saying, “I don’t want to get serious right now” can be read as, “All I want to do is have no-strings-attached sex.” Unless that IS quite literally what you’re looking for, you might prefer to say something along the lines of, “Just looking to get to know lots of new friends right now, so I’m not looking to take things to the next level.”

When you’re in a place of growth and learning about yourself, you might find that dating is part of that. You need to understand the ways you interact with different types of people and how they make you feel. It might not be about future long-term plans, but rather just about observing yourself over coffee with new people and understanding your reactions and where they come from.

One thing’s for sure: dating should be fun and interesting. It’s a time to work on your social and emotional growth and get to the nitty-gritty of who you are so you can really know yourself. That’s something anyone can swipe right to!


You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer. (Available on Amazon now!)

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates– free!

If you want to know more about how to work on your own social and emotional intelligence and growth, join us for our next More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value weekend. [Learn more!]

Want to learn more about more satisfying dates and relationships? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.


About the Author

table-img-6

Monica is the Admissions Coordinator and Marketing Specialist at the Wright Graduate University. As the admissions coordinator and head of marketing for WGU, Monica oversees recruiting, student admissions, customer services and marketing efforts.


Blog post image courtesy Flickr user freestocks.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Pet Peeves:
How to Deal with
Annoying People at Work

We’ve all had to deal with annoyances in the workplace before. Maybe it’s the coworker who’s constantly talking or someone who’s always leaving the breakroom a mess.



We’ve all had to deal with annoyances in the workplace before. Maybe it’s the coworker who’s constantly talking or someone who’s always leaving the breakroom a mess. Maybe it’s the client who pushes their weight around, making you wonder when you signed up to be their personal assistant.

What can we learn about ourselves from these conflicts at work? When is it time to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH and confront the situation head on?

Oftentimes we have to pick our battles in the office. You shouldn’t shy away from engagement and confrontation, but if a coworker is seemingly innocent in their transgression (yes, maybe their nail clipping grosses you out but it’s not hurting you), then weigh out the merit of confronting them. Will bringing it up resolve the issue? Is it something within their control to fix?

For small grievances, a polite, direct approach will often be enough to defuse the behavior. Getting up and closing your office door will give the whistler the hint or saying, “I’m working on an important report right now and I’m having difficulty concentrating. Would you mind taking your lunch into the breakroom?” Problem solved. Most minor things can be resolved simply by bringing them up.

What About Workplace Bullies?

Sometimes the “annoyances” go too far. When coworkers are picking on another employee, they’re bullying. You know what? Bullies are insecure. They align with the overshared criticism of others, not out of higher value, and they feel more secure by teasing and being mean to those around them.

To really make a teasing bully step back, use a bit of humor in your approach and turn it back on them. What would most bullies do if you said, “Melvin, I wanted your help with something. What should I do about a coworker who’s picking on another employee and making fun of him?” He’ll know you’re referring to him and he’ll feel sheepish.

When you turn it around on them, bullies have no choice but to examine their approach. Unless they’re a real jerk, they’ll usually simmer down and get your point: their “humor” is hurtful and not everyone is laughing.

Give your boss a heads up before you approach a bully; not in a tattletale way, but so you have your boss’ blessing (and in case there are other formal complaints already filed). If you feel things are veering into dangerous territory or someone is getting violent or physically hurt, then it’s definitely a bigger issue requiring management intervention.

What about That Guy Who Always Has to Have The Last Word?

What do you do about pushy people who always want to have the last word? Maybe they aren’t bullies, but they’re certainly annoying. We can get stuck in a trap of one-upping time and time again. What a waste of time!

The reality is every “know-it-all” is coming from a place of insecurity and competitiveness. True experts rarely have to prove themselves by finishing every thought or one-upping anyone. In fact, the most intelligent leaders ask questions, listen, and guide their constituents to a shared vision they help them to understand. They don’t need to prove their leadership, because they’re already in the role naturally.

It can be annoying but what we really need to embrace is a mastery of ourselves. To learn and grow and maximize our time here on Earth takes work, and listening, and responsibility. Constantly talking and cutting off other people doesn’t make us win.

It goes back to ancient philosophy and as far as biblical times—finding fault with others doesn’t negate the fault within ourselves. It’s looking ahead with clarity on our own lives, rather than trying to point it out in others. If someone needs to have the last word, then be secure enough to let him or her have it. Everyone else, including you, will see through the transparent insecurity.

What YOU Can Learn From Annoying Clients?

What happens when it’s your client or your boss who irritates you? We’ve all had “high maintenance” clients who drove us up the wall. Do you know why they drive us so crazy? Because we know we didn’t do the right work upfront. They upset us because we’re mad at ourselves.

It sounds strange at first, but the truth is, clients are our bosses. They pay our salary and it’s our job to keep them happy. If they’re demanding more work than you can produce, then it means you didn’t clearly outline the agreement beforehand. You didn’t ask for compensation to cover the costs of doing business with them or the amount of work they would require. You didn’t value yourself enough to ask for what you deserve.

Granted, it can be hard to anticipate a job upfront and there are times when things take longer or require more effort. If you find you’re frustrated by the demands of a client, customer or constituent, then take a hard look at what you expected the job to be. More often than not, you’ll find your frustration stems from an internal conflict. Do you resent your client because they’re successful? Are you projecting something onto them?

You cannot change your customer. It’s not your job to point out to them that they’re facing a growth opportunity and should evolve accordingly. It’s your job to do the work. Your job is to keep them happy—so value your work and your ability to keep them happy enough to ask for proper compensation.

Look in the Mirror

We’re all here learning how to be whole, complete, conscious and more powerful so we can bring about rational systems and change. We must bring about our own internal systems and work on our fundamentals so we can meet the task. Difficult and annoying people are a blessing in disguise. They give us an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and grow.

Reframe the way you look at difficult and annoying people. How exciting that we get a chance to really roll up our sleeves and do some transformational work, since these types of people demand it of us. We’re amassing our internal power through our interactions with others to serve the world around us and bring about positive change.

If you want to know more about how to work on your own social and emotional intelligence and growth, visit us at More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value weekend.


Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques.


About the Author

Bob-300x250-1

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user cell105.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

3 Great Ways
to Show Appreciation
for Your Partner

Amidst the “everyday” of our relationships, we sometimes get too caught up in the whirlwind of life to remember to take time to show appreciation for our partners.


Do you show your appreciation for your partner? Have you shown your appreciation lately?

In our latest book, The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer, we talk about establishing the “rules of engagement,” fighting fair, and using conflict to bridge the gaps in your relationships.

If you’re sensing some distance lately, here are the first steps to getting your relationship back on track.

1. Accentuate the Positive

Accentuating the positive is an important component of the rules of engagement. It’s about assuming goodwill on the part of your partner and approaching your partner from a place of love, understanding and positivity. Most of the time your partner isn’t purposefully distant from you or purposefully misunderstanding you. Most of the time our partners have our best interests in mind.

Accentuating the positive isn’t about some happy-go-lucky false positivity you have just because you’re “supposed to.” It’s about creating new connections, building new neuropathways in your mind, and finding constructive ways to engage in conflict.

It’s also very much about understanding where our partner is coming from and expressing that in a meaningful and understood way. In relationships, we often have different expressions of appreciation and affection, and different needs when it comes to our own yearnings.

2. Understand Personality Types

This isn’t about typical romantic, Valentine’s Day fluff. It’s about seeing the truth of the person you love and understanding your partner as a person. Appreciation comes from defining the foundations of your own and your partner’s personalities (whether you/your partner is a Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator or Energizer) and understanding how these personality types shape the way you interact with each other. Seeing your partner in the reality of who he or she is in the here and now can help you fully express appreciation in a way that meets your partner’s needs while assuring you’re also meeting your own.

When your partner has a triumph, how do you express your congratulations? Energizers might need more than a simple expression of appreciation, whereas Regulators might prefer to see the way things are getting done and move forward. Analyzers may be immune to expressions of appreciation and may just want to know they haven’t made mistakes, whereas Cooperators want to understand how they matter and know that they’re an integral part of the relationship and that they’ve successfully contributed to the success of the win.

Once we understand these personality styles, we have an easier time expressing gratitude to our partners and giving out the form of praise they need to meet their yearnings. There are different balances between any personality types, so we must find middle ground and a spot where the two of you are expressing yourselves with equal give-and-take and working together to bring the relationship forward.

3. About the Struggle for Control…

In the beginning of most partnerships (and sometimes for years), there’s a great struggle for control. As we learn how our partners express their needs and where they can give and take, conflicts can and will arise as you both find your footing. This is a positive time of growth and learning as you start to understand each other and engage more fully.

Sometimes our partners can seem downright hostile because they feel the only way to be heard is by yelling. If we are truly listening and opening ourselves up to an emotional connection—letting the person we love know they’re heard—he or she will soften. Happy people aren’t attacking people (in most cases). Of course, it’s a two-way street and it takes practice.

It’s nearly impossible to flip a switch overnight and suddenly meet all of our partner’s needs, while still being true to our own. Just like any good practice, it takes recognition, realization and understanding—and then application.

You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book coming out in February 2016: The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer.

Want to learn more about more satisfying dates and relationships? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Help!
I Hired the
Wrong Employee

How many of us have found ourselves desperate to find the right employee to fill a role in our company?


We might be so desperate that we turn a blind eye to red flags in the screening process or we “go with our heart” instead of our gut. Sometimes the pool and sheer number of candidates for a position can seem overwhelming, so we become lackadaisical in our approach—thinking, “I don’t have time to screen 60 candidates for one position.”

Well, guess what? You don’t have time to deal with an HR nightmare either. It’s a lot easier to screen out the wrong candidate from the front end than it is to try to untangle the wrong person from the wrong position later on.

Let’s say you’ve done your due diligence but things just aren’t going well a few months in. Whenever we hire a new employee, there’s almost always a honeymoon period: the time when we’re first being “wooed” and “wooing.” Unfortunately, that period can leave us with some nasty surprises once reality sets in.

Be “fast to fire.” When you see things aren’t going well, it’s far better to lay it on the table right away than wait until you and the new employee have invested a great deal of both your time trying to make it work.

Better Candidate Screening: Here’s How…

When we did clinical hiring, we received hundreds of resumes, so we’d put 30 candidates through the interview process. That may seem like a lot, but it’s the only way to quickly separate the “can dos” from the “won’t dos” and prevent you from getting too deeply engaged later on.

Turn up the heat in an interview and ask the difficult questions. You want candidates who are able to show insight, reflect high emotional intelligence, and those who can think on their feet and respond well to others.

One of the biggest mistakes I see in hiring is when no one bothered to test the candidate to see if the had the skills for the job. You can use the Wright C.A.R.E. Profile test to assess personality, the Wonderlic test series which provides a wide range of skill and pre-employment testing tools to help you screen employees, or other tests that show outcomes and give you a general picture of whether or not this hire’s personality and skills match their resume AND fit the requirements of the position.

Emotional intelligence is one of the highest outcome predictors in terms of sales, client interaction and long-term employment. Not only that, but an employee’s willingness to go through the paces and prove themselves can be a strong sign of what’s to come.

One of my personal favorite screening techniques? A simple typing test. I find typing speed and ability can be a strong indicator of intelligence and a predictor of someone who has a skill set that fits with most basic office technology. Is it necessary in all fields? Of course not. But if it’s applicable to your office, it’s certainly doesn’t hurt.

Ensure Your Prospective Employee is Invested in “Our” Vision

Another major predictor for success? Does your new prospect or new employee refer to their team or to the company as “us,” “our project,” and “our team”? Showing ownership and collaboration right from the start is a strong indicator of how that person views their future with your business. People who continuously refer to things as “your project” or talk about their former employer as “they” are putting some distance between themselves and the work—and there’s likely a reason behind that worth exploring.

Ask the employee what they see as their vision for the first few months of employment with your company? How do they plan to collaborate with others? How do they see themselves as part of a team on the way to success? Get them to engage and discuss the ways they’re willing to join in and help.

Even if you’re running your own startup or you don’t have a big group to work with, the sign that they’re willing to and committed to investing time, intellect and emotion is a powerful notion. It shows trustworthiness and is indicative of a good reputation.

Read more on this topic: Vision Sharing at Work.

Getting a Second Opinion is Worth It

Once you know the skills you’re looking for and your prospect has completed the proper screening tools, have them interview with a panel of two or three others from your company.

Even if you’re a company of just one or two, getting a second opinion on your assessment of that prospective employee’s potential can really help to solidify the decision and weed out any issues you may have overlooked.

Your interview panel should represent a well-balanced team of Cooperators, Analyzers, Regulators and Energizers. If you’re an Analyzer, you might not notice the lack of emotion or investment they’re showing, but a Cooperator sure as heck will pick up on it. Likewise, hire people who offset your personality strengths so you have a well-balanced team ready to face any situation.

Ensuring new employees are well screened and invested in your team and your company can help you find the right employees more quickly and lower your turnover rate. You’ll connect with your new hire on things outside of just “working for a paycheck” and you’ll even find ways to push yourselves further and grow. It can be very exciting to find someone who’s enrolled in your vision, fired up about the same things you are, and holds your projects as dear as you do. Use your due diligence and put in a little extra work on the front end so you can have success for everyone long-term.

If you want to know more about how to work on your own social and emotional intelligence and growth, join us for our next More Life Training, January 15-17, 2016. Don’t miss our transformative high-value weekend. [Learn more!]
Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

4 Steps to Get
Conversations Back on Track

We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting, expressing an important point, all eyes are on you, and BAM…your mind goes blank.


Or you’re listening to a client talk on and on, and suddenly you realize you didn’t absorb what they were saying, or worse—you don’t understand what they’re talking about.

Instead of letting your voice get choked up as you try to make a save and find yourself speechless, or instead of risking offending a client when the conversation is going south, take a deep breath and step back.

When you feel things riding off the rails, it’s time to pause for a moment. Hit a timeout and reset. Engage your emotional intelligence to get a feel for everyone in the room. The important part is to be honest. Tell the truth by simply saying, “I’m sorry—I’m losing myself a little here,” or “I’m not following.”

Identify the problem and go back to the last thing you remember. If you’re in the middle of speaking, it’s perfectly fine to rewind and say, “Just to recap…” and give yourself an opportunity to right the ship going off course. If it’s a two-way conversation that’s spinning out, refocus the conversation by stating the problem again, and bringing it back to the main point at hand.

Once you’ve taken back the situation, part of your plan needs to be assessing where everyone is and ensuring you’re still working towards the common goal. Ask around the room: “How close do you think we are to resolution?” and, “How aligned are we on a solution?”

You may be going along in a conversation to find your audience in a completely different place. In sales, this can mean the two of you aren’t agreeing on the outcome (and you aren’t making the sale).

Think of it as driving. When you start to go in the wrong direction or take a wrong turn, you consult your map or GPS. You reroute and come up with a new plan and as you start moving towards your destination you assess how far you are from your goal point and your ETA. You don’t just pull over and say “forget it” or back out of your journey. Here are four key steps to getting your conversations back on track.

Step 1: Be Honest

First and foremost, be candid and honest with your audience. Most people can relate to getting off track and it will ease everyone’s mind within the situation. How many times have we watched someone struggle to bring a conversation back around and wished they would just say, “Give me a minute” rather than continuing to flounder?

Step 2: Explain

Step two is to explain where you think you are. Reiterate the main points of the conversation that got you to where you are. If you zoned out or drifted off, say, “I think I got lost when we started talking about x, y, and z…” Often when you repeat back the talking points, it will jog your memory enough to resolve the issue or it will spur your conversation partner to clarity.

Step 3: Regain Your Steering

The third step is to talk your way forward. Now that you’ve gone back to the last thing you remember, start to steer the conversation. Talk through where you are and where you hope the conversation will be going. If it’s a sales situation, let them know you’re hoping to find a way to find a mutually agreeable outcome.

Step 4: Assess Everyone’s Alignment

The final step is to then assess all participants and determine where you are in terms of a resolution. How aligned is everyone on the solution? You may think you’re almost at a conclusion (and state that!) and they may say you’re miles away from the desired outcome. Take an assessment and make sure you’re all working towards the same vision.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

If it’s not going well, you’re engaged in conflict or you have to make a tough choice, be honest with all parties. If you’re deciding between employees for a position, a potential job offer, or whether or not you should accept a sale, state the problem outright. It’s just like saying, “I’m getting a little off track here.” You can say, “I’m trying to weigh my options,” or “I’m just mulling over your offer.”

Then, again work to re-steer the conversation, hit the main talking points, and explain where you think you are. Sometimes articulating it can get you to reach your conclusion or give you direction. Talk your way forward in the conversation and then ask the participants where they are with things after you’ve stated the problem.

In any conversation or situation this will give you the tools to keep the ball rolling and help save you from riding off the rails. Think of it as the parachute or contingency plan when you need to keep yourself afloat.

Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Blog post image courtesy:Flickr user plantronicsgermany.nbsp;

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.