Life’s Too Good to Be Bored: How to Cure Boredom for Good

Do you ever feel bored with life? Boredom and work or home isn’t uncommon. But when you forget how truly good life can be, it’s time to learn how to cure boredom for good.


Yes, I know. How can life be good if we’re still wearing masks? When there’s still great racial inequality and discrimination? When we have a climate crisis and a political divide so wide, we can’t even see the other side let alone hear it?

The challenges in the world right now might dissuade you from saying “life is good.”

But I want you to know this: life is good because YOU’RE IN IT, living it, right now. And, it’s impossible to feel your aliveness and be bored at the same time.

BORED, BORED, BORED

No, this is NOT all there is. Were you wondering?

But you’re bored. Bored, bored, bored. Bored at work. Bored at home. Bored in your relationship. Bored with YOU.

Is there a cure for boredom?

As a human being, you’re hardwired toward growth and adaptation. You WANT to learn, explore, and expand. Like your ancestors who forged new frontiers, you want to move forward, achieve, and discover. You’re constantly driven to interact, engage, explore, and transform.


Sometimes this desire for change might be loud and obvious. But sometimes, it manifests itself as a vague sense of dissatisfaction. A subtle nagging that your life as it is not “enough.”


As Psychology Today tells us, this condition is related to the “French ennui, an existential perception of life’s futility—a consequence of unfulfilled aspirations.”*

So perhaps you can thank boredom! You have unfulfilled aspirations that you might not have become aware of otherwise.

Welcome boredom as a warning signal. Recognize it as your mind’s alert system telling you that you’re not finding purpose in what you’re currently doing, so you’d better switch things up. The sooner, the better.

Boredom is like fear: No one likes feeling fear, just as no one likes feeling bored. But both give you crucial information. Fear pushes you away from harm. Boredom pushes you toward meaning.

Maybe it’s time to stop, listen, and learn how to cure boredom for good.

What’s the Point? Purpose

Purpose is the heart of the matter. It’s the “why” behind everything you do, whether you’re conscious of it or not.

Without it, you’ll never find satisfaction, no matter how fun, delicious, or pleasurable what you’re doing is. The moment it’s experienced, watched, ordered, or consumed, you return to the nagging sense of emptiness. Without purpose, you’re stuck in infinite “ennui.”

So then, how do you find it?


“Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.”
– Soren Kierkegaard


To find your purpose, you must understand yourself. And to do that, you must learn and explore your yearnings—your innermost desires and deep emotional longings of your heart. Perhaps you yearn to love and be loved or to touch and be touched. Perhaps you yearn to matter, to make a difference, to fulfill your purpose on this planet. Perhaps you long to create, connect, or serve.

Yearnings are universal, and they are the key to unlocking the mystery of the uniquely amazing being that is YOU. No one like you has ever existed before now, and no one like you will ever exist after.

Once you begin to believe that and act accordingly, you’ll see boredom backing off as aliveness starts filling up your days.

Is this easy? NO. And learning your longings isn’t a quick fix to boredom. But it’s a sustaining one. A transformative one. And the only one that ultimately matters.

Besides, you’re already familiar with the quick fix—soft addictions. Those seemingly harmless habits that distract you from your boredom long enough to make you think your life is thriving.

Twenty-five more episodes to watch? What a full evening of entertainment! Three new outfits on the way? How fun it will be to wake up and wear each of them! A new full bag of cookies? You deserve it after my long week of work. Zoning out on social media? What a great way to keep “in touch” with all your friends.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

But what’s more likely is what all of these have might have in common: pseudo satisfaction. A temporary high/buzz/thrill that comes and then goes, and before you know it, you’re left once again asking yourself, “Is this all there is?”

What’s a completely-bored-of-boredom human like you to do?

Forget Pseudo. Go for Authentic

The dictionary definition of authenticity is “genuineness; undisputed credibility; one who is worthy of belief.”

The existential philosophers defined authenticity as being true to who you could become, instead of being true to who you are—a view that suggests authenticity is being faithful to yourself internally as opposed to conforming to external ideas or norms.


Here’s MY definition of authenticity: forget what everyone else says and wears, reads, eats, and watches (take THAT social media) and find out what makes YOU tick.


How do you find that kind of sense of authenticity? Like Dorothy in Oz, you need to discover the answer has been inside of you all along. As you explore yourself and get to know yourself better, you’ll start to see glimpses and signs of who you really are. You begin “engaging.”

“It is the moment-by-moment practice of engaging that helps you become more spontaneous and more present in each moment. You step outside your comfort zone, try new things, take risks, and turn your life from a routine into an adventure…

…Just as emotions help us sense what we yearn for, they are the litmus test for full engagement. We feel an experience deeply when we’re fully engaged in it. So, when we ask if you’re engaged, we’re asking if you’re involved in a given activity with your heart, mind and soul. We’re asking if you are so intimately connected to a given task that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to get it done right. We’re asking if you’re taking risks and stretching yourself in ways that might feel uncomfortable but also provide you with such a spark that you feel as if you could set the world on fire with a touch of your hand.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Enter whatever you’re doing, intending to be involved heart, mind, and soul. Then you can connect with truly being alive. Once you do that, you may never be bored again.


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. Follow Dr. Bob Wright on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more updates.


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

Tips for Professional Networking Events You’ll Actually Enjoy

Professional networking events—we’ve all been there. Here are some new ways to think about making business connections.

 

Looking for tips for your next professional networking events? Here are some new ways to think about making business connections.


Professional networking events—we’ve all been there. Usually, we mull around the room awkwardly, a glass in our hands, trying to munch on a few crackers and talk to strangers between bites.

We’ve all read the tips for professional networking events, too, like “practice your elevator pitch” or “remember to ask for a business card.” Perhaps we follow a mnemonic device like picking out a color on someone’s tie to associate them with what they do or repeating their name three times during the conversation.

But do networking tips ever really work? Does anyone actually enjoy networking events, and do they even pay off? Are we just wasting our time?

The Secret to Better Networking

If we really want to be better at networking, we can throw most of the standard tips for professional networking events out the window. The goal of networking isn’t about how many contacts we can make or how many business cards we can collect. The real goal is to build a real, quality connection.

If we walk out of the room with one great, authentic connection, it’s far more valuable than ten business cards that we’ll toss in a drawer and forget. The truth is, we can build that great connection with almost anyone. Will it always be a relationship that will pay off professionally? Perhaps. But if we’re only looking for new customers and clients, we’re approaching professional networking with the wrong mindset.

We should look at events as though we’re the host. What does that mean? It means we assess the needs of others in the room. We may welcome them; we might ask if we can get something for them. Most importantly, we show a genuine personal interest in them—not because we want to “sell” them something or because we want to get their card, but because we actually see them for the person they are. We sincerely want to get to know them.


In many ways, professional networking events are akin to speed dating. It’s a quick snapshot of another person.


Most people try to “work the room” looking for someone who will be useful to them as a customer or who will be the next person who can give them something. But we’ve found that it’s far more engaging (and authentic) when we flip that idea on its head.

When we hold events at the Wright Foundation, we help attendees take a different angle. Even if our events are career-focused, we know that authentic engagement doesn’t simply come from reporting what we do or talking about the nuances of our day-to-day tasks. If we want to really network with people, we need to find better ways to connect with them on a deeper human level. We need to focus on human networking, not just professional networking. That means looking at who the person is. It means listening and engaging, not on a superficial level, but in a genuine way.


What if we look at networking as a chance to find out what the other person needs and how we can deliver it to them? What if we gave ourselves the challenge, not to see how many people we could meet, but how deeply we could engage with just one person at the event?


What if we went beyond the elevator pitch to discuss the real struggles our peers are facing in their careers? We might find out far more if we asked about the biggest challenge they have at their office or the largest roadblock they’re facing right now. Will we be able to help them with that problem? It’s hard to say, but chances are that when we start to really engage with each other, we’ll find ways to help each other now or in the future.

Engagement by Authenticity

When we begin many of our events at the Wright Foundation, we start by discussing and filling out the C.A.R.E. personality profile. The profile isn’t simply about what people do and their career goals, but who they are in any situation. It helps people understand how they interact with each other—are they Cooperators? Do they tend to be Analyzers? Are they Regulator types who want to be in charge? Or are they Energizers who lead the crowd with enthusiasm?

When people start to reach deeper into their personality type, they begin to talk about those bigger-picture concepts—who they are, what they value, where they struggle. It gets to the core of their emotional intelligence, their values, and their vision. In other words, things get real. Instead of putting forth a polished, professional, generic answer to questions, they start to really open up and talk about their approach and perspective on business and, more importantly, on life.

We may think that our business life and personal life are entirely separate and never cross over, but the truth is that most of us display very similar personality traits, whether we’re at home or the office. We don’t turn into a different person when we lock our office door and drive home. Many times, our relationships at work are similar to our relationships with our family and friends. We may have similar challenges, communication styles, and reactions. We may even find that certain work connections mirror certain relationships in our family life. Our boss might be very similar to our mother, or a coworker may remind us of the relationship we have with our brother. We often see these dynamics repeat in different areas of our life.


So it stands to reason that the personality we bring to the networking event should be the same personality we have all the time. Rather than presenting a curated “professional” persona, what if we were simply our true, authentic selves? What if we actually answered questions honestly and truthfully?


Like professional networking, when we go on dates, we often have this idea of putting our polished selves out there. We might dress a certain way, answer questions with what we think our date wants to hear, or we may try to order something from the menu that seems “appropriate.” But what if we were open and honest about who we were and what we really wanted? What if we weren’t trying to seduce someone with a concept of who we might be, but instead, we made it a goal to engage with them as our true selves?

It seems funny at first to think of walking into a date wearing sweatpants and saying, “I have $20,000 of student loan debt, four cats, and I would like to order the lobster, please.” But what if we did just that (assuming it’s reflective of who we really are)? After all, after a few dates, chances are our love interest is going to discover the cats and see us in sweats. Presumably, at some point, they will also discover our student loan debt, and we will eat something expensive and messy in front of them. What if we cut the crap and got to the truth right away?

Becoming radically honest in our interactions may seem challenging. Or we may even think, “Okay, maybe that’s fine for our social lives, but not in professional settings.” But if we’re living our best lives and reaching our fullest potential, why not embrace our authentic selves in our interactions?

Make Your Next Professional Networking Event Fun

So how do we apply these tips and ideas to our next professional networking event? In the past, many of us may have gone in with a goal like “get the most business cards” or “get x number leads.”

This time we can make it a game to see if we can instead push ourselves to have better engagement. Instead of thinking of a business networking event as a serious event when you need to generate leads, take the pressure off. Instead, focus on better human engagement and building stronger connections. Make it an event that’s actually fun and exciting—treat it as an experiment and a new adventure!

What will this mean when we’re working the room? Instead of rushing through conversations, really listen. Instead of asking superficial questions about the weather, what the person does, or general topics, really go for the deeper discussions right away. What if we asked people, “What is your biggest problem? What do you need right now? How are you REALLY doing?”

From there, we can listen with intention. Ask ourselves how we will see the other person for who they truly are? How will we hold space for them as they engage with us? More critical than practicing “active listening tips,” where we’re trying to retain information (and waiting for the next break in conversation so we can share), simply listen. Focus on what the other person is saying. Get to know them and when asked for information, communicate with the same openness and candor.


When we start to really see people not as business cards or potential leads but as beautiful human beings who are waiting to engage with us, we’ll experience a paradigm shift. The way we communicate will change.


If we want deeper engagement with others, we don’t need to wait for a special “networking event” either. We can find opportunities to engage with others throughout our day. Build your network of social connections by finding ways to engage with the barista at the coffee shop. Talk to the person next to you on the train. Strike up a conversation in the elevator that goes beyond, “nice weather we’re having.”

Our network builds our net worth. The more social ties we can cultivate and grow, the stronger our engagement skills become. Our circle of influence will broaden, and we’ll enjoy all the benefits of the networking event called life.

For more personal development ideas and opportunities to boost your career, explore our courses at Wright Now. We offer an array of class selections to help you discover a life of MORE.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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

Discovering Your Purpose: How to Find More Meaning Each Day

We’ve all gone through times when we’ve felt aimless, unfocused, or maybe a little empty. We might wonder what is the meaning of it all? Or feel like is this all there is?


 

Find more meaning in your life every day by discovering your purpose.


When life becomes challenging and sometimes even boring, we can become disheartened and untethered. We might feel empty or wonder if we’ve somehow lost our sense of purpose. When this happens, are we doomed to wander through the days as the years speed up and pass us by? Is there a way we can get back that sense of meaning?

For some of us, these feelings spur us to take drastic measures. We might take them as a sign we need to quit our jobs, end a relationship, or move to a different house. We might believe if only we made some change or had some “thing” new and novel in our lives, we would find fulfillment and happiness. But as most people find out, getting more stuff and even making drastic changes doesn’t result in discovering your purpose.

Discovering Your Purpose By Definition

What is purpose anyway? It’s a big, big question. The simplest answer? Purpose is the wonderful capacity in each of us to joyously take our place in the progress of humanity and do our part to help all of us reach our full potential.

Purpose is the heart of the matter—it’s the “why” behind what we do. Our purpose summarizes our reason for doing what we’re doing with our lives. Purpose is the answer to questions like, “What is this all for?” and “Is this it? Is this all there is?”

When we experience these seemingly hard-to-answer questions, we might find ourselves looking in strange places for the cure. Some folks buy a motorcycle, take a sabbatical, or quit their day job. Other people might simply try to drown out their feelings of dissatisfaction by turning to soft addictions—binging on television, zoning out on social media, overeating, shopping too much, and generally pursuing activities that act more like a salve than a panacea.

Without purpose, we won’t find satisfaction in our activities; no matter how fun, how delicious, or how pleasurable, the moment they are over, we’re returned to the nagging sense of emptiness. It’s like an itch we can’t scratch. We’re longing for more but try as we might quite hit the mark.

Why We Must Have Purpose

To be successful in life, we must find our own purpose. It looks different for everyone, and no two paths are alike.


Without a sense of purpose, we’re just floating around…lost. We’re going through the motions; we’re checked out and zoned out. We’re filling our lives with pacifiers. We’re disengaged and disconnected. Maybe we’re finding little successes and joys along the way, but without a true sense of purpose, we get the sense we aren’t quite there.


When we feel lost or unfocused (or simply “blah”), we should check our sense of purpose. Maybe we’re pretty fulfilled at work and love our job, but our marriage has lost the fire. Perhaps our marriage is okay, but we think our social life is lacking and dread going to work. Maybe all areas of our life could use some work, or perhaps there’s a specific part that doesn’t seem to be hitting the mark.

Purpose is something that’s got to exist in all areas of our life. It’s a 360-degree goal. Purpose transcends our entire being. It’s one of those things: we’ve either got it, and it spills over into all facets of our lives, or we’ve lost it, and it starts to suck the meaning and fulfillment out of all our activities. Yes, it’s true–if we notice a lack of fulfillment in one area, we can be sure that, like dominoes, other areas will soon follow.

Purpose matters.

Discovering Your Life Purpose: The Big Picture

You might be wondering, “what is the purpose of my life, then? How do I discover this great sense of purpose?”

A clear life purpose gives meaning to all activities. When we have purpose, we’re fully engaged and all-in in everything we do. We’re firing on all cylinders. When we find purpose, even mundane activities become opportunities to mindfully learn and explore. Our days become an adventure, and our world becomes anew.


Life purpose is the container into which we fit our goals. It’s our vision—the whole picture. Our purpose is the summation of what we’re working toward.


For some, finding purpose means connecting with God or religion or discovering a higher power. For others, it’s about making a difference, connecting with humanity, and feeling secure that we’re working from a place where we help all those we touch. It can mean engaging in challenging and stimulating relationships, connecting with others, and pushing ourselves in our work and our play. For many of us, it’s all those activities and more. Purpose goes even deeper than just participating in religion or giving to charity; it’s more than just finding success in our work and having all of the checks on our “bucket list” ticked off. It’s MORE.

At first blush, “finding our life purpose” sounds like it’s all about personal satisfaction and how we individually want to be fulfilled. But true purpose is beyond our own ego and super-ego. It seeps into and goes beyond the essence of our actions and personality. Purpose is everywhere.

Our purpose is about the way we’re fulfilled, but it’s through the fulfillment of others’ needs and our role in the lives around us. It’s about elevating those around us and bringing out their best—which in turn, brings out our own best self. Purpose challenges us and leads us to discoveries, insights, and realizations. Purpose connects us and strengthens our relationships.

If we think of a projector shining concentrated light through film onto a screen, life purpose is the lens through which life flows to project our highest vision.

It’s about becoming visionary leaders. It’s about being the light to those around us.

True transformational leaders have vision, but their singular goal isn’t to simply achieve that vision. It’s to embrace and share their vision with those around them. It’s to listen, connect and engage with those they come in contact with to help them realize their vision as well.


Transformers live purposefully and with intent. They don’t meander through their days; they are on purpose—to follow and fulfill their yearning to learn, grow, love, and be loved, to matter, to make a difference. Transformers care so deeply about living with intent and pursuing their purpose that they can preserve through extreme hardship. Their yearning is so powerful that they feel compelled to engage…To develop the sense of mission and purpose, dedicate yourself to follow your deeper yearning—substantial, real, here-and-now yearning—and your purpose will emerge. Purpose is not an escape, and rarely is it a charity or cause alone—it’s a way of living. It is something that is a unique expression of you.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Getting Fulfillment Now

Most of us wait, not feeling fulfilled until we accomplish certain goals or hit milestones—rather than experiencing fulfillment in every moment and every situation. By orienting to purpose, we see greater possibility in every situation and stop waiting to live and love because we are living and loving our fullest toward our highest, honoring life in all its manifestations.

Purpose provides the focus for the fulfillment of our heart’s desires, which automatically leads us to even more extraordinary accomplishments.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Well, that sounds all well and wonderful, but okay, how do I DO it? How do I unlock MY purpose?”

To find your purpose, you must truly understand yourself. It requires us to explore our yearnings. We must look into the history of where our innermost desires and the longings of our hearts come from and identify them. Do we want to be loved? To be respected? To be heard? What is our truth?

We need to dive in and explore our social and emotional intelligence to identify our yearnings. It takes work. Our selves are sometimes our greatest mystery. We can be so aware of those around us, the world we live in (current events, politics, the financial climate), and the state of our social circle—and yet, we might be blind to what’s genuinely driving us. We might not understand our capacity for emotional intelligence and how to unlock our hidden superpowers of empathy and understanding.

Is it simple to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves? No. It can take years of work and growth. It can mean facing some hard truths and working through the baggage and limiting beliefs we’ve been carrying around and laboring under. It means opening up and starting to change and grow. Finding purpose means pushing ourselves WAY outside our comfort zone and into a whole new world of possibility.

The first step of the journey is to WANT to change—to have a desire for more. By simply wanting to find your purpose, you’re already opening yourself to the possibility that there’s a greater answer and more to unlock than meets the eye.

So start today! Roll up your sleeves. Engage in the world around you! It’s never too late to find your purpose, unlock your hidden yearnings, and lead your best life!

To learn more about finding your sense of purpose, please explore our courses on Wright Now. We offer an array of interactive resources to help you learn more about your relationships, your career, and yourself. If you’re ready to start living a life of MORE, there’s no better time than now!

 


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.

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic?

Research has proven that authenticity is one of the most critical traits for good leaders.

Want to be a better leader? In order to be effective, you must answer the question: what does it mean to be authentic?

 


Displaying authenticity and integrity leads to better, more effective direction and management. But before we delve into the importance of authenticity, we must define it. What does it mean to be authentic?

On a similar note, what are the qualities of an authentic person and how can we implement those qualities in our lives every day in order to be more engaged and connected to those around us?

Honesty and Authenticity

Several years back, I worked with a guy named Ray, who attended one of our men’s basic training sessions. He worked with the top Fortune 500 companies. After attending our weekend retreat, he found himself facing a major client who was having some operating issues in his company.

Now, during our training, we tell hard truths. We get extremely honest with each other—very real and straightforward. We urge our attendees to start delivering honest criticism with vision and to stop holding back out of fear of rejection. The shocking discovery is that consistently, people trust those who are honest, even if they’re critical, more than those who tell them what they want to hear. Ray was so inspired by what he’d seen during his weekend coursework that he decided to apply it in his meeting with this big-wig client.

Rather than glossing over some of the harsher truths about how the client was operating, he went in straight-forward and laid it out on the table. He told the client exactly what his observations were about the business—what was working and what wasn’t.

He later related to us that he was absolutely terrified while he was doing it. Like many top dogs, this client was used to hearing people kiss up and tell him what he wanted to hear. He wasn’t as used to the harsh truths and honesty that Ray was handing to him. But lo and behold, the client absolutely appreciated the honesty. In fact, he thanked Ray right there on the spot.

Years later, their professional relationship was still going strong. In fact, this client trusted Ray more than any other consultants that he worked with and their work relationship formed into a friendship. The client often contacts Ray for personal advice and more—why? Because he trusts Ray to be an authentic, integrous person.

Dr. Tony Simons of Cornell University discussed the need for integrity in leadership in the hospitality industry. In his research, he discovered that integrity is one of, if not the most critical leadership skill that can lead to an actual bottom-line business return; he refers to as the “integrity dividend.” What’s more, the value of integrity is actually very high. Honest leaders that display integrity and authenticity in their interactions are rare, and thus highly prized.

Leaders who actually do what they say they’re going to do and who follow through with their plans are trusted by their employees, coworkers, and clients. As a result, their companies perform better financially. There is truly a payout for operating with integrity, honesty, and authenticity.

The Qualities of Transformational Leaders

Authenticity is one of the most important variables in leadership. When researchers Bass and Riggio did their study of transformational leadership, they discovered that there were universal characteristics of transformational leaders.

Transformational leaders have a vision. They are able to articulate and share their vision with those they work with. They have a clear idea of where they’re headed and how they plan to get there. In each situation, they’re working toward a larger vision.


Transformational leaders want people around them to be engaged. When they come into a meeting (even if they aren’t the one’s hosting the meeting), they engage with others. They rally the team and get everyone involved. They’re interested in others and approach them with understanding.


Transformational leaders care about each individual they lead, and those individuals feel that care and know it exists. It’s easy to say, “I care about my coworkers,” but how many of our team members really feel that care? How many of them know how much you truly care about them?

Most importantly, transformational leaders walk their talk. This means they’re genuine. They understand what it means to be authentic and to act with integrity. They’re honest and truthful. They face up to their mistakes, admit them and learn from them. They’re accepting of themselves and of others. They really live and practice what they preach.

Those who work with and under transformational leaders are less likely to suffer from stress. Transformational leaders have excellent team-building skills and this sense of comradery and unity benefits the entire group. The group is able to build off strengths and easily overcome challenges. Best of all, both the transformational leaders and those who worked with them experienced greater job satisfaction and happiness.

The good news about transformational leadership is that each of us can display these traits. We don’t need to be in a c-level position to be authentic. We can engage, connect with others, and lead from any position and in any role.

What Does It Mean to Be Authentic in Our Daily Lives?

Whether we’re displaying authenticity at work or at home, the concept is the same—we must be true to ourselves and our vision. We must be honest with ourselves and honest with those around us.

Authenticity becomes the primary variable in transformational leadership and one of the most important qualities of a leader, but this isn’t limited to our work lives. Yes, work is often where we think of leadership qualities and skills as being important, but we are still the same person at the end of the day. We don’t change when we go out the door to our 9-5.


Learning how to be authentic means being honest with ourselves in our social lives and in our interactions with our friends and family as well.


Many people may believe they have a separate “work personality” or that their work personality is separate from their home life, but the truth is we’re the same person at work and at home.

One of the biggest illusions that people operate under is “that’s not really me.”  The “me” people like to deny at work is the me that has authority issues. At home, we tend not to feel or identify the same authority issues, so we think that we’re different. This perception is really an illusion.

If you’re not integrous at work, you’re probably not integrous at home. At home, you get to go on “autopilot” but are you really up-to-date and present with your spouse? Are you operating with honesty? Are you holding back out of fear or a desire not to rock the boat?

It’s similar to our feelings of holding back at work. We’re afraid of rocking the boat or being honest because we don’t want to lose our job. We go through the motions-working to make money—but failing to fully engage and embrace our role with honesty and authenticity.

In all situations, authenticity and honesty will lead to stronger connections and leadership. While we may not think of transformational leadership as something we can display outside of the office, it’s a universal skill in all aspects of our lives—work, home, socially, and beyond.

Living honest, authentic lives where we’re true to ourselves and others will result in bigger dividends across the board. If you want to live a richer, fuller, more powerful life, commit to operating with authenticity and genuineness.

For more ways to find fulfillment and joy in your life, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking event where you’ll connect with others on their transformational journey. Go forth and ignite your world by living up to your fullest potential.


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

 

How to Strengthen
Your Social and Emotional Intelligence for
Career Satisfaction

There’s a lot of buzz these days about neuroscience and how it relates to learning and growth. You may have heard of “train your brain” apps, games and challenges designed to boost your social and emotional intelligence.


The idea is that by doing these brain exercises, your brain becomes “stronger” and thus, you become more satisfied and enriched overall. But does a stimulated brain really bring you more career satisfaction and happiness overall?

It’s no secret that social and emotional intelligence play an important role in transformational growth and living. As coaches, we see the way a positive, growth-focused mindset can enable a person to tackle life’s challenges. It can strengthen our relationships, drive us in our careers, and help us reach our leadership goals.

The best leaders are transformational leaders. They focus on growth and work toward a shared vision with their employees. They understand their employees from a social and emotional perspective. They display empathy and honesty, and they focus on a shared human connection. In short: they relate. They get it.

Transformational leaders also have high social emotional intelligence. They can work with and adapt to a variety of people and personality types at work. They don’t get bogged down in day-to-day drama and petty disagreements. They aren’t about their own egos and being right all the time. They are about fighting FOR a path that’s right for the company. They understand their own success is reflected in the success of their team and the group as a whole. They might not be the smartest person in the room, but they know how to bring out the best in those around them, so they have the smartest team.

These emotionally intelligent leaders also experience immense career satisfaction. It’s not because they make the most money or because they have the most power. (Although, they’re almost certainly the identifiable leaders in the office.) It’s because they’re continuously growing and learning new things. They seek new challenges and new experiences. They never stay static.

So how do we get there…?

Complacency Results in Dissatisfaction

As human beings, it’s very easy for us to become complacent and comfortable in our jobs, in our relationships, and in our lives in general. We engage in soft addictions: social media, “zoning out” in front of the television, going out and drinking, or spending money on things that bring us a quick, temporary high but then leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled. We look for fleeting entertainment and cheep satisfaction.

We’re comfortable, but we aren’t stimulated or engaged.

Even those of us in great roles in our jobs can find ourselves wondering, “Is that all there is?” We might get a high when we’re facing a deadline, pushing ourselves to set up a new sales system, or leading a meeting, but most of the time, after a few years of working the same job (even doing the things we do well), we feel like we’re simply phoning it in.

Think of it like training for a marathon. When you’re actively training for a marathon or race, you have to push yourself a little more each day. It’s exciting! You’re striving for your goals and you see results. You have to build new muscles, increase your stamina, and work hard on your speed and distance.

Conversely, if you simply go out your front door, lace up and run the same route every day, eventually you’ll hit a training plateau. You won’t stretch and grow those muscles and keep your body training. When it comes time to run your marathon, you’ll be slow and undertrained. You won’t reach your full potential.

How do we break out of these patterns and habits to achieve career satisfaction—and satisfaction in our lives as a whole?

The Lesson: We must challenge ourselves to grow!

Neuroplasticity: Behind the Scenes of Personal Growth & Satisfaction

The concept of neuroplasticity is one of the most widely accepted theories on social and emotional intelligence, learning and growth. Our brains, just like our bodies, must be continuously stimulated in different and new ways. We have to constantly grow and learn to form new neuropathways and keep our brain functioning at peak condition.

In a comparative study of London cabdrivers vs. London bus drivers, the cab drivers were found to have greater grey matter in the hippocampus of their brain. Why? Because they were constantly learning new routes and responding to new stimuli. Bus drivers, on the other hand, were routinely going through the same experience and thus, showed less activity.

Similarly, when Dr. Itzhak Fried at the University of California, LA replayed a video clip for patients, their neural networks showed the same activity as when they first viewed the clip. Patients also began firing the same neurons when showed associated clips, such as a person along with a landmark. As we form memories and repeat similar experiences, our brains use the same neural pathways. So, to form new neuropaths, we must discover and seek new experiences.


We are designed to transform. We have the amazing gift of neuroplasticity—the ability to build new neural circuitry, new selves and new lives. We can literally change our brains and our minds and what we believe, who we are, and how we live. We can transform.

Our brains are never “happier” than when we are learning new things, stretching, just beyond our current capacities. This is where we build new circuitry and develop mastery.

  Transformed!: The Science of Spectacular Living


Staying Engaged: The Key to Immense Satisfaction

The real secret to staying engaged, stimulated, and emotionally and socially growing is to continuously seek new experiences. We must stretch ourselves and push ourselves outside our comfort zone. Sure, there are apps, games and other “brain training” you can do to work out your brain, but true growth comes from fully engaging and constantly challenging ourselves.

When you walk into a room, do you find ways to listen to everyone there? Do you try to understand their vision and relate? Are you pushing yourself to grow and work on shared benchmarks and milestones?

Find ways to up your social and emotional ante by rolling up your sleeves and jumping in. Embrace new experiences and push yourself beyond your boundaries.

To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training. You’ll learn skills to become more alive, more connected, and fully engaged in your life and your career.

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.


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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.

5 Conflict Handling Styles for
Constructive Interpersonal Conflicts

Life is full of conflict—and we all have different conflict-handling styles. Whether you’re someone who dislikes conflict or someone who jumps in, rolls up their sleeves and engages, conflict is inevitable.


Conflict is a vital part of growth. In fact, one could pose that conflict IS growth. When a seed is planted, it must push its way through the ground toward sunlight. It must find a path through the dirt. It has to resist pests, drought and storms just to grow. Just like a seed, we must engage in conflict to grow and develop.

Growth is tough stuff. It’s not always pleasant and it doesn’t come easy. You might feel you and your partner are often engaged in conflict where you say terrible things to each other you later regret. Maybe you get passive-aggressive, shut down and give your partner the hidden middle finger. Maybe you play the blame game, telling each other things like, “You’re just like your dad,” or, “You NEVER do such and such…”

Whatever conflict you’re facing, one thing’s for sure: most partners have different conflict-handling styles, and some tend to play into others more clearly. In fact, just like a magnet, some conflict styles are drawn out by other styles. At work, you might be a Competitor or a Negotiator, but at home, you might be an Avoider. It’s important to identify these conflict-handling styles so we can better understand them and learn how to navigate the roadblocks that might come up as we’re stretching ourselves toward the sun.

The 5 Conflict Handling Styles: Explained

There are five conflict-handling styles: Avoiders, Competitors, Negotiators, Pleasers and Synergizers. Each of these types has specific traits—and there’s no type that’s “wrong” or “bad.” In many situations, different conflict-handling styles are appropriate and can even be seen as strengths.

We discuss the importance of conflicts and engagement in our new book, The Heart of the Fight. Conflict can actually strengthen relationships and help reenergize your connection. The goal of conflict should be to fight FOR the relationship rather than against, and to play by the rules of engagement—essentially to fight fair. To understand the way you fit into conflict, you must understand the different conflict-handling styles.

1. Avoiders

Avoiders can identify when a situation isn’t worth engaging in or pursuing. They pick their battles. Avoiders would also rather just put their head in the sand and pull back (unlike Pleasers). In most scenarios with Avoiders, we’re engaged in a lose/lose situation. The Avoider is too ambivalent to fight for a win, and the other party doesn’t have a chance to win because no one’s engaged with them. Some Avoiders think they are Pleasers, but if they become passive-aggressive, then the truth is, they’re simply practicing conflict avoidance.

2. Pleasers

Pleasers, on the other hand, want to make their partner happy. They tend to put their partner’s happiness above their own. While this is kind and very altruistic, it’s also a recipe for passive aggression and resentment. The Pleaser isn’t acting in a way that meets their own needs and yearnings—they’re simply doing what they think will make everyone else happy. They tend to be engaged in what we call a lose/win situation. They lose on the outcome so the relationship can win. While this is, of course, okay sometimes, it’s not ideal in all situations.

3. Negotiators

Negotiators are engaged in a win-some/lose-some balance. While this may seem ideal, there are times when negotiations can result in a mediocre outcome, pleasing neither party. For example, if a couple is arguing over dinner and one wants sushi and one wants steak, negotiating a deal where you both go to a burger joint might result in no one being happy with their dinner. It’s a small example, but when it comes to negotiation, there’s always the risk neither party will end up satisfied.

4. Competitors

Competitors are engaged in a win/lose battle. They want to win and they want to win all the time. While this can be great when we want to win the championship, we might be emotionally knocking our partner out, so we’re left standing alone holding the victory cup. The outcome doesn’t result in an ideal situation for the relationship. You might be the winner, but the relationship loses. Competition can drive us and keep us sharp. It can keep us moving toward the things we want. Maybe you’re right, but you might also end up alone.

5. Synergizers

Lastly, we have Synergizers. Synergizers are looking for a win/win situation. They’re working toward the goals of the relationship and trying to find a balance that acknowledges the yearnings of both parties. They listen. They share their vision with their partner. They acknowledge their partner’s role and the importance of the feelings of those around them. We should all be perfect Synergizers, but of course, the drawback is it takes time to get to that point. It doesn’t happen overnight.


You can read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s 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 now from Amazon!)


Conflict Handling Styles: Each Style’s Strengths

Each of the conflict-handling styles can be appropriate in certain situations. Getting down to the bottom of each situation can help you understand the heart of the fight. While synergy is the ideal state, it’s all about give-and-take and working together toward an ideal outcome. It’s not going to happen right away. It requires communication and understanding. It requires both parties to be on board and working together.

A skilled Negotiator can be a wonderful asset in a relationship when you’re raising teenagers together. In a work situation, you might find your Negotiator skills are highly valued and folks walk away from interactions feeling there was a mutual benefit.

If you’re a Pleaser, your caring and nurturing side is strong. You’re probably sensitive to the needs of others and you read their emotions well. Those who engage with you will be drawn to your fun and lively style.

Avoiders will have an easy time circumnavigating typical “drama” and sweating the small stuff as it comes up. At times, conflict avoidance comes from a place of suppressing your feelings and trying not to “rock the boat” per se, but it can also come from being able to quickly discern whether a situation merits addressing or if you can just avoid and move on.

Competitors can get what they want when they want it. Again, in business, this might serve you very well. You might get the deals you want, drive sales, and make purchasing decisions that can save your company big bucks. You might also drive certain types away because you push too hard. It’s a fine balance.

Understanding the different conflict-handling styles can give you insight into your relationships with your partner and your children, as well as at the office. It’s not holding back on conflict, it’s moving forward with it and learning to embrace it. It’s using conflict to propel you toward an ideal state within your relationship. It takes work, but it’s well worth the effort.

For more on engaging in productive conflict, moving toward the things you want and discovering your conflict handling style, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training. Learn how to strengthen your relationships, reach for the things you desire, unlock your potential, and live your best life.

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

 


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.

How To Love
What You Do
(What If Your Job
Was More Than
Just a Paycheck?)

Do you slog off to work every day just to bring home a paycheck? Instead, what if you were to make just enough to cover your bills and take your partner out to dinner once in a while, but love what you do every single day?


Which option sounds better? Truth is, if your job only serves as a way to bring home a paycheck, no matter how much money you make, it will never be enough. You’ll always be unhappy at work. On the flipside, if you truly love what you do, you’ll feel alive and fulfilled, so you’ll be focused on much more than just your next paycheck.

Oftentimes, we feel like we might as well throw up our hands and go through the motions in our careers and in our lives. It’s easy to go to work every day, do what you’re supposed to do, and come home. You can punch a timecard and bring home a paycheck, but are you really working toward a higher purpose?

When you reach the end of your life, will you look back and say, “I’m proud of all I did for humanity”…or will you feel regret?

Finding Your Purpose: Going WAY Beyond the Hollow “Mission Statement”

Before you reach “success,” you have to define what success means to you. We talk a lot about learning to lead from wherever you are. What we mean by that statement is that we’re ALL capable of leadership, whether we’re new to the job or a well-seasoned CEO.

Becoming a visionary leader requires you to unlock the depth of your personality and drive. You must understand and articulate your purpose—“the why” of what you’re trying to do. Not only do you need to have a clear understanding of your purpose, mission and vision, values and goals, but you must also be able to share it with your employees and/or fellow team members.

The majority of personal mission statements are hollow. They lack intent. They don’t take into account the full scope of human experience or our spectrum of strengths and weaknesses. Too many mission writing exercises insist we only examine one side of our personality—our wants and desires. We’re imagining what we think we “should be,” rather than assessing our abilities and aptitudes and exploring areas we may need to develop.

I can have a mission to change the world through theoretical astrophysics, but I need to be realistic about my abilities, experiences, and in this case, my intellectual capacity and education.

When it comes to finding and defining your purpose, THINK BIG. Is your purpose to create stronger families in your community? Is your purpose to bring more authenticity and honesty to journalism? Is your purpose to help more women escape domestic abuse?


Your purpose is your own. Find it, focus on it, and live it. Every day.


Escape the Trap: Love What You Do AND Earn a Living

Time and time again, I see people trapped with golden handcuffs. They make money, they look good, and they’re “successful” on paper, but on a very basic level they’re lacking satisfaction and happiness. They feel they can’t move on because they can’t let go of the money. We all love having abundance and feeling like our needs are well met, but if it’s only about the money, it will never feel like enough. You’ll keep spending more to try to keep up.

Like King Midas, you’ll end up locked in a prison of your own success: mortgages, bills, even vacations—but without purpose and devoid of joy.

I see others who have the vision, the drive, and the heart, but they forget they also need to find a way to make their company turn a profit. If you have a plan with no vision, you’ll soon find yourself left spinning your wheels. Or, you can have a great big vision and want to change the world, but if you can’t feed yourself and meet the needs of your family, you might need to reassess.

Fulfillment lies in your ability to unlock your higher purpose and balance it with your grand plans. It’s all about finding that sweet spot: the point where you tap into your full potential—when you become an asset to those around you AND fulfill your needs.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “I am a part of all I have met.” When it comes to unlocking your purpose and truth, you have to understand and factor in all of your experiential pieces. This isn’t always pleasant. It means growth, hard work, and self-examination…all things most of us don’t like to do.

Purpose is the Roadmap to Fulfillment

Purpose can be difficult to define for many people, but it’s so worthwhile—finding your purpose can allow you to achieve a whole new understanding of how you approach life.

I hear from people over and over who tell me they are successful. They say they’re doing well in their careers. For all intents and purposes they should feel excited to go to work every day, but instead they feel empty. They blame those in their life for shortchanging them. They blame their education for falling short and not providing the direction they needed.

It’s like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz: the answer was inside us all along. The roadmap to get to where you’re going, to understand the joy of intentionality, and to become a true blessing to your customers, clients, coworkers, bosses, and employees is to discover your purpose.

From newbie employee to CEO, those who are driven by purpose are excited to come to work. They’re eager to make each meeting their own—not to be the center of attention, but to own the room and help everyone around them discover their vision. They’re positive. They understand their limitations and challenges, and they’re actively working to overcome them. They are growth-focused.  They serve those around them and make the world a better place by bringing out the best in others every day.

To continue the conversation, unlock your leadership potential, and discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to join us for our next More Life Training.
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 125303894@N06.

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.

Stress at Work:
Here’s How to Deal

We’ve talked before about the damaging effects of stress at work and the healthy ways and unhealthy ways we can choose to deal with it.


Healthy ways to deal with stress include: meditating, keeping yourself energized, organized, and on-task, giving yourself a break, and most importantly, fully engaging in the task at hand.

People often think that stress means you have too few hours in the day and too long a list to tackle. More often, stress comes because we’re distracted. We’re giving in to passive behavior. We feel it’s easier to just complain and ruminate on what’s bothering us, than to speak up and say something about it.

Just like our muscles, our social-emotional skills need to be flexed and exercised to get stronger and more efficient. When a muscle is tense and tight, it can’t ever fully relax. But when you’re engaging, stretching and using those muscles, they relax and become looser and more flexible.

We have to do the same thing to our social-emotional muscles. We need to fully engage. Stop holding back when things are bugging you—speak up and say something. Don’t participate in eye-rolling and bad attitudes, because that’s not going to make things any better. In fact, you’re going to end up more stressed out and more exhausted. Tasks will seem even more insurmountable.

How to Be Less Stressed in the Boardroom

What are some of our most stressful moments at work? Meetings. Interactions with our coworkers. Why is that? These should be some of our best opportunities to engage—to share our vision with management, and to get energized and pumped up for the next task.

Instead, what happens in meetings? We allow one or two people to get us off track. Someone starts complaining or someone’s annoying habits and traits start to get under our skin. Suddenly, we’re not even focused on the purpose and message of the meeting—or worse—management and those running the meeting have lost their focus.

It’s up to every one of us to engage and get things back on track. Speak up, and let your coworkers and mangers know you’d like to get the conversation back on track. Ask to revisit the desired outcome and the purpose of the meeting, and repeat the objectives as you understand them. Sometimes those actions alone can keep things from running off the rails and getting stressful.

The worst thing that could happen? Well, you could be fired…but I haven’t heard too many cases where someone was fired for trying to get a meeting back on track. (Would you really want to work for a company like that anyway?) Really though, we hold back because we don’t want people to think we’re being “pushy” or “a jerk,” or we’re just afraid of what people think of us. The question is: are you really being true to yourself by holding back? Are you being honest and holding on to your values and integrity?

It’s better to speak up and let others know when something is bothering you, than to just let it become a “bitch-fest” where everyone voices their complaints and gripes, and attacks one another. Take back the focus and you’ll bring out your natural leadership.

What To Do When You Lose Focus

When it comes to being productive, we can end up our own worst enemy. I’ve talked before about the importance of meditation and having downtime—those activities outside of work where you can fully recharge. To keep your focus on your to-do list and the task at hand, you need these head-clearing activities.

Other times, distractions (like the Internet, social media, and email) can creep into our day and destroy our focus. Rather than allowing these tools to make us more productive, we let them get in our way.

Try something new. When you’re ready to start your day, don’t even check your email. Tackle your biggest, hardest task first, and get it out of the way. Then, you can let yourself look at your email and do the things you need to do to invite others into your mind-space.

People who are the most productive tackle difficult things first. They don’t necessarily work harder, but they work smarter. They keep their focus, they take breaks to meditate, they have outlets, and they nourish their yearnings with personal time and activities important to them. They don’t go back and forth responding to twenty emails every morning before they tackle important stuff.

We all have the power to make our work less stressful. By fully engaging and staying focused on the task at hand, participating in meetings, and speaking up and sharing our vision with our coworkers, we can make work a place of accomplishment, where we feel good about what we’re doing and ourselves. We can achieve goals that make us feel more powerful, more in control, and more engaged. We can find opportunities to be successful. Stress is the opposite of success. Keep yourself highly-focused and you’ll leave work with a sense of fulfillment each day.

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

If you want to know more about how to work on your own social and emotional intelligence and growth, join us for our More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value weekend of learning foundational skills and reawakening your social and emotional intelligence: the primary variable indicating career success. [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-300x250-2

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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Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user starsalive.

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.

Why You Should NOT
Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

In the last ten or twenty years, we’ve heard a lot about having your elevator pitch polished and ready to go: a scripted “story” you can share with potential clients at the drop of a hat, a canned slogan and summary of what you’re all about.


Listen: that idea is outmoded and unnecessary. Drop the idea you need a script to follow. Instead, evoke your emotional intelligence and skip the lines.

If you’re trying to sell too hard, customers will see right through it. Instead of trying to perfect and craft your pitch, try engaging with each person you meet. Give yourself a challenge: ask five questions BEFORE you start talking about yourself. Finding out what makes them tick, what’s challenging to them, and what their biggest concerns are, will lead you to the perfect method for meeting their needs organically. You’ll find out all about them and you’ll be able get in sync.

Find out about them and they’ll be interested in you.

Social intelligence is the key to unlocking any conversation, with customers or with coworkers. Try making the conversation about them and not about you. The most talented salesmen and leaders learn to share their vision with everyone they engage with, leading everyone involved to a shared outcome.

Pause, Listen and Hear…

We’re excited about our message! We want to share it with everyone we come in contact with. We get so fixated on engaging, we do all the talking and sharing. Step back and give your audience a minute to find their voice. Conversation is a two-way street and if you’re finding it tough to navigate with someone, you might not be fully listening.

The quietest people are often busy analyzing their next comment, they might be thinking out what to say next. They might be weighing outcomes and measuring their thoughts and trying to gauge their reaction. When I’m faced with someone who doesn’t seem to engage, who is putting up a wall or holding back, rather than trying to “talk” him or her into sharing, I find it’s a sign I need to shut up and listen.

Often the thing they share can be the most profound because they’ve been working it over for so long. Listen to your quiet customers and you will find out many surprising things. If you hear what they’re saying, they will reveal the way to continue the conversation.

Great engagement is about connecting and being interested. People often ask how I get people to open up about personal and sometimes painful issues during coaching sessions. It’s surprisingly easy, when you listen. Most people WANT to be heard and they’re just waiting for the moment to tell you their story.

Find Out What’s Holding Them Back

If you’re facing an uncertain purchaser, trying to convince your boss to get on board with your vision or rally the troops, you may feel like you need to reach into your bag of pat lines. Don’t. Be blunt. Say, “You’re holding back—why?”

Then sit back, listen and figure out what you need to do to get them on your side. Don’t rush to fix things or hand them a response. Instead hear them clearly. Ask questions to open their concerns up and encourage them to keep talking.

Every customer is different. Every person is different. Until you know and understand each person, there’s no set “sales pitch” that will win him or her over. It’s obsolete and actually drives them away. We’ve evolved to a point where we expect developed relationships in business.

We expect to be understood. Our customers expect the same.

Be ready to share your vision and help them understand, but don’t be so eager you don’t listen to theirs. The strongest vision is shared. Listen to the way they envision a perfect scenario and work with them to make it happen. You’ll find you end up with more sales and become a natural, transformational leader to those around you.

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:

About the Author

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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.