BS with Bob Schmidt

E3 Michael Gelb – The Art of Connection


Things you’ll learn in this episode of the BS With Bob Schmidt Podcast.

1- That Michael Gelb juggled on stage with Mick Jagger and other rock stars.  (he’ll also walk you through how to juggle)

2- You need to listen to learn

3- And that emotions are contagious, that things you do really do affect other people.

Find Michael Gelb here:

michaelgelb.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gelb/

@MichaelJGelb 

Transcript of BS With Bob Schmidt Podcast “E3 Michael Gelb – The Art of Connection ”

Bob Schmidt: 00:00 The Art of connection, a, everybody tries to make those connections. Seven relationship building skills. Every leader needs to know Michael. Gelb is joining me on The BS With Bob Schmidt Podcast Bob. It’s a new book that illustrates the importance of creative thinking and effective communications and relationship building. Michael, I appreciate you being on with us today. So what made you a good, let’s just say a good listener
Michael Gelb: 00:25 Gosh lets say working on it, realizing that it’s not something that we can take for granted and it requires constant monitoring and humility and curiosity and the desire to improve, to have any hope of being genuinely considered to be a good listener by other people because it doesn’t matter if you think you’re a good listener. What matters is do other people think you’re a good listener?
Bob Schmidt: 00:55 That is ah, That is so true. I know that in the past I’ve had conversations with people and uh, I’m a talk radio host and a podcast host and people just think you just talk for a living. It’s actually a lot of listening and following through with communication. So not only does it have to be a skill as a, as a, as a person that talks for a living, but also for a good leader, right?
Michael Gelb: 01:13 Very much so. It’s, it’s, it’s one of the core skills of life. If you want to be happy, that’s going to be a function of your relationship and your ability to listen and connect is going to be a very important key to the happiness and success of your relationships. So it’s, it’s why it’s one of the key elements, one of the seven skills we go into pretty deeply in the book because this is something that we all can work on. And that process really is something for the rest of one’s life.
Bob Schmidt: 01:51 Michael Gelb is my guest. Michael Gelb.com. For more information, the, uh, the book is called the art of connection have you written many books, Michael?
Michael Gelb: 02:01 Well, this one’s number 15. I guess that means I wrote 14 before that one, before this one and I’m working on number 16.
Bob Schmidt: 02:13 Is that what you, is that what your goal was as a child? Is to be a writer. It
Michael Gelb: 02:16 never occurred to me. I became a writer when I had to do my master’s thesis and it was quite a challenge. Fortunately I met a fellow who invented mind-mapping, guy named Tony Buzan I actually was his juggling teacher and his martial arts teacher and he taught me mind mapping, which is a method for generating organizing ideas, and I applied it to write my master’s thesis with great success. My thesis became my first book. It got translated into 16 languages. It’s now been in print for thirty six years, so I thought, OK, it looks like writing is something that I can do, and I liked it because it was a great way to learn about a topic until you really write about it. It’s hard to say that you’ve understood it. When you write down the words and then you read them critically. Sometimes things sound OK when you say them or think then, but you look at the written word and you read it critically and wait a minute, that’s not quite clear.
Michael Gelb: 03:30 It’s not as logical as I thought it was. You have to support that argument, so it makes, I’ve found it to be a great way to clarify my thinking about a subject and deepened my understanding of a topic and learn more and more about it. So I just write about the things that I find most interesting and also my other criteria about what I’m going to write about if somebody else has to find it interesting and I have to think it might be helpful for someone else. So if I’m interested in it and I think it’s helpful for someone else, then I’ll probably write a book about it,
Bob Schmidt: 04:09 kind of step back and ask about juggling. You said that, uh, uh, you’re uh, juggling teacher.
Michael Gelb: 04:14 I worked my way through graduate school as a professional juggler. I juggled on stage with Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones on multiple occasions and with Bob Dylan and I wrote a book about juggling using it as a metaphor for the process of learning whatever we want to learn. And I still teach juggling to my students around the world. I get a juggling demonstration for 700 people at a big conference a couple weeks ago, so yeah, juggling is that is just one of those things that I fell in love with thought might be interesting for people, wrote a book about it and I get paid to do it, which is really cool.
Bob Schmidt: 04:55 Well, let me ask you this. Can most people that put their mind to it?
Michael Gelb: 04:59 Oh yeah. If you can toss one bowl, you can juggle you toss and catch it and most people can do it. Just it helps. It helps to have the methodology and to focus on the toss and your own poisoned balance rather than on trying to grasp after the ball. People try catch the balls before they know how to throw the. So I focused on teaching how to throw them in, how to relax when you throw them, and then before you know it, the bulls are landing in your hand. The other thing we do is we get people to work in teams so they pick up the balls for one another. So instead of a competitive environment that we create a cooperative environment and all of a sudden people are helping each other and having fun and they’re laughing and they’re learning much faster than they might have imagined. So then we debrief the juggling process that we look at how we could apply the same principles to learning anything that you want to learn.
Bob Schmidt: 05:55 Have you written a book on the Juggling and basically the art of connection? Like this book?
Michael Gelb: 06:00 Yes. I wrote a book was called lessons from the art of juggling and then that went out of print. So I wrote another one called more balls than hand that went out of print. So I wrote another one and that one’s called the five keys to high performance juggling your way to success and it’s available as an e-book. So we just have persisted in getting the message out there because I think it’s just such an important and delightful thing to learn.
Bob Schmidt: 06:33 Well, it’s kind of metaphorical too about the whole, you know, cause you to be a leader, you have to juggle a lot of different things and have a lot of things going on.
Michael Gelb: 06:42 I’d have to juggle so many things. Say, well, let’s learn how to juggle and then we would then we debriefed the metaphor and it’s really profoundly transferable to so many areas of our life.
Bob Schmidt: 06:55 Wow. So you just asked the right question. You can get a lot of things out of an interview. Uh, the art of connection. So I know that there’s seven relationship building skills. The first one I started with was, was listening because last time we actually spoke, that was one of the, that was one of the topics that we talked about. So I thought I’d start with that one, but there’s a lot of, uh, six other relationship building skills that every leader needs to know that we’re, we can probably touch on today.
Michael Gelb: 07:22 Sure. Well we do all six or we can just spend the whole time talking about any one of them because they’re so profound. I mean, each one of these skills is something that all of us can explore and improve for the rest of our lives, so I was aiming in the RF connection, not just to write another guide to how to shake hands and say something clever, but really what are the deeper inner qualities that we need to cultivate so that we’re. We have lines that are filled with rich, soulful, meaningful, and enjoyable connections in every aspect of life.
Bob Schmidt: 08:02 Let’s start with. Let’s start with the first one here. Then let’s do. Let’s just start about the embracing the embrace humility.
Michael Gelb: 08:07 Sure. This is the reason that one comes first is that if you don’t have humility, you probably aren’t going to read the rest of the book, right? If you think you know it all, then you won’t go any further, but you definitely don’t know it all. Whoever you are, and we do some exercises with people to help everyone realize this. One of my favorite exercises which actually put in the book is one where we get people to do their association on a particular word, so if you ask people to write down 10 associations with any work in the book, we use the word aren’t. You could use the word run or dance or play or rock or a brick or anything, but get people to write down the first ten words they think of with a word, and then put them in groups of four and have them share their associations with one another and ask them to make a chart of the number of words they all have in common and the number of words that three of them have in common and how many pair have in common and how many of the words that they associated were unique.
Michael Gelb: 09:20 And what you’ll find overwhelmingly is that people’s associations are unique. People have almost nothing in common when they free associate on a particular word. So this can be very disturbing for people because they’re suddenly. They’re shocked at how do we communicate at all? Or if we all live in our own world. If we all have our own association, it’s very challenging and it helps us understand why people misunderstand one another so frequently, especially if we rely primarily on words for our communication and as people do more and more texting and emailing. Emojis and emoticons do not substitute for body language and voice tonality, so misunderstanding is only becoming greater because it’s just so easy to misinterpret a word. Now, the good news about this is that if you get a group of people together, each person has a different way of seeing things and learn how to access the different ways that people look at things.
Michael Gelb: 10:27 You can do some very powerful creative thinking with groups. It’s really how we leverage diversity of thought, but if we’re going to get anything done, we need to communicate about it. We need to be able to agree on what we have communicated and the simple takeaway from this word association exercise with every group I’ve ever done it with is people realize that communication is fraught with misunderstand, so they come away a little more humble, a little more careful, a little more thoughtful because they recognize just how easy it is to misunderstand others. That is, as you can see, that’s a logical first step to the art of connection and improving your relationship building skills is to don’t take it for granted. Recognize that you’ve got to work on it and you’ve got to monitor it. You got to follow through and then if something can be misunderstood and probably will be misunderstood, so you’ve got to be diligent and careful.
Bob Schmidt: 11:36 Those words just kind of hit it right out of the park. I’m thinking that every parent that’s listening right now has had that same issue with their children. Every bosses had it with their employee. Every. Every shopper has had it with the clerk at the grocery store, at the store that they’re buying something from every has had same issue because you’re right, a you could say something one way and means something completely different and this is what I meant, but then somebody takes it the complete, the complete wrong way.
Michael Gelb: 12:05 I mean that happened day after day, every day in personal relationships, business and government in critical things where money is at stake, where lives are at stake, where feelings are at stake. We’re children’s education and its stake. So this, this is it. So important. And the benefit of doing immediate you will, you will avoid the, the habit of just assuming that you understood what somebody else said and you’ll avoid the habit of assuming they’ve understood you and you’ll just be a little more little more careful and you’ll get better results. So yes, it’s, it’s one of those simple sweet spot points that can keep you busy for the rest of your life.
Bob Schmidt: 13:04 My Dad always had a saying that says, uh, W, W we’re busy keeping ourselves busy. We’re busy. Being busy is what my dad always says. Then the next point here is a via glow worm. What does that mean, Michael?
Michael Gelb: 13:16 Well, emotions are contagious. For better or for worse, what are you going to catch? This is obviously very important for each of us to decide on a daily basis the most people underestimate the effects that they have on others, but your mood, whether it’s a positive or a negative one, really is contagious, and what do you want to spread? Do you want to spread negativity and unhappiness? Do you want to spread optimism and courage? And if you think about, think about your state in this way, it’s empowering because most people don’t remember that they effect others. They just notice the way they are affected, so the result is they are passively soaking up what comes their way and mirroring it back. But if you think about actively glowing with whatever it is you want to glow with you, you are taking the initiative in your life and you’ll find that it really does effect other people.
Michael Gelb: 14:31 Now, in order to do that, it helps if you consciously, carefully choose the influences that you subject yourself to on a daily basis. Some of those you can’t choose your, you know, certain people you just have to interact with whether you like them or but a lot of your discretionary time is spent perhaps on a website, on a social media site, and who are you following? Who’s posts are you reading? Be Very careful about making sure that you craft for yourself a menu of positive influence and that you avoid the toxic negative influences. If you want to be a positive influence yourself and the people around you and not a negative, toxic influence. So what do you want to catch? What do you want to spread? Emotions are contagious.
Bob Schmidt: 15:39 That’s kind of like what a parent tells their child when their children are hanging around with maybe the bad crowd, but people judge you by the people that you’re hanging around with
Michael Gelb: 15:47 well and and the reason they judge you as you will become like them. And now this is not just anecdotal, not just classic parental wisdom. There’s a lot of research behind it. Jim Roan, the famous motivational speaker, used to say, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with and we now know that he was right, so if the five people you spend the most time with are abusive, if they are diabetic, if they are miserable and depressed, if they’re alcoholics, well the odds of you being all of those things go way up, and if the five people you spend the most time with are happy and fit and healthy and in good relationships, the odds of you being happy and fit and healthy and in good relationship go way up. So choose those people carefully. Both real people and virtual people.
Bob Schmidt: 16:53 I haven’t even thought of that. On the virtual side is just like the old saying, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.
Michael Gelb: 16:58 Well, again, we’re now finally, this is research validated as well. That abusive person in an organization is toxic to the whole culture of the organization. It people used to think, oh, we could afford to have this person in our sales department who use different noxious because sales numbers are so good. It’s worth putting up with it, but it turns out that the pressure of other people’s performance and the loss of other customers who are affected by the unconsciousness is expensive. I mean, there’s one of the researchers to Christine Porath sums up all the research in this area and basically it’s incivility is expensive. You will not be successful. Especially because we’re so. Our world is so transparent that when you’re abusive, when you’re inappropriate, it gets exposed faster and to more people at it as we can see happening on a daily basis. In our world.
Bob Schmidt: 18:00 The book is called the art of connection. How did you come up with a name?
Michael Gelb: 18:03 Oh, thank you for asking. So the original title of this book was the innovative communicator, because I’ve written about innovation and creativity for many years and I was thinking, OK, these are the communication strategies that will be helpful if you want to apply innovation, creativity in your world. But I just didn’t. I just didn’t find a title to be as a resident as I wanted it to be because it was a little bit confusing like do you have to make up innovations in order to communicate and even know creativity as part of effective communication? I just thought I want to find a better title, so I did what I actually train people to do. I went into what I call the generation, phased out the solution finding process where you just think of as many ideas as you can and I wrote down as many words as I thought could possibly be relevant and even those that might be irrelevant to my search for a new title.
Michael Gelb: 19:20 And the way I teach people to do this is to think of as many things as you can, but don’t try to come up with an answer right away. Just think of as many things you can and then forget about it and go for a walk. Sleep on it. Come back the next day. So I was doing this for a few days and then I had a drive up highway one in California from Malibu up to so and where I was teaching a seminar and I thought I’m going to take this dry, which is about six hours and I’m going to bring together all of this generation phase work that I’ve done and going back and forth between generating ideas and sleeping on it, which I call the incubation phase. And I thought, OK, it’s all going to come together on this drive. So I just kept free thinking and coming up with all kinds of words and then just watching the light play against the mountains and the water as a on one of the most beautiful drives in the world. And as I was getting close to when I turned a corner and all of a sudden I just thought, oh, the art of connection. That’s the title for the book.
Michael Gelb: 20:37 So it just, it just came in in a classic creative epiphany. And I just thought that’s exactly what what I want. I want to be called because core of relationships, the core of communication, the core of making creative and innovative things happened. All of it begins with connection with yourself and with others. Except even though there’s lots of science and and, and you know, I put a lot of it in the book. I interviewed a lot of researchers, put a lot of references in the book. It’s an art, it’s an art and we can’t just, we can’t just take a reductionistic approach to it. We can’t just put it in algorithm. I’m sure artificial intelligence experts are going to be working on this for years to come to see how well they can do and there are some breakthroughs with a I in empathy and helping to figure out what people are feeling for us as human beings to deepen our ability to do all this. Well. I just thought the connection was, was what I wanted to write about so that bats had the title of burners.
Bob Schmidt: 21:58 Was it hard to come up with just seven relationship building skills? So as it this way more than seven, but these seem to be pretty fitting.
Michael Gelb: 22:10 So, so that was the next thing. OK, so now what’s the subtitle? So the original was a new, there was a different subtitle. The original subtitle was something like how to build relationships, resolve conflict and sell ideas, how to build relationships or is an off conflict and sell ideas because those are all things that I’ve thought a lot about and wanted to help people with. So I was talking to my publisher and we talked about the amount of words that I can have in the book and the limit was fifty or sixty thousand words and I had already written forty five thousand words just on the build relationships. So I thought if I, if I want to write, sell ideas that at least another 40th 5,000 word and I have probably about forty five thousand words, unresolved conflict. I said to the publisher, let’s, let’s consolidate this into basically the essence of building relationships. And I’ll weave into that some of the key information on resolving conflict. Because you’ve got to know that if you’re going to really build relationships.
Bob Schmidt: 23:18 Absolutely.
Michael Gelb: 23:19 So then I thought, OK, it’s about building relationships. What are the real skills? And I wanted to frame the context of leadership because the world really needs leaders at every level of life today because it’s such a challenging and fascinating high potential, but high parallel time. So I thought, well, this is what leaders need now, what do they need? What relationship? Building skills and now and then, OK, how many of them are there? And it just worked out to be seven, which is such a wonderful, magical number. And so that’s, that’s how it all evolved.
Bob Schmidt: 23:59 We’re talking numbers. Let’s, uh, let’s, let’s hit number three, which says, uh, achieve the three liberations
Michael Gelb: 24:05 yeah. Three liberations first is freedom from viewing everything from your own subjectivity. Freedom from viewing everything from the perspective of whether you like it or you don’t like it. So this is, this is so simple but very challenging because if you’re always looking at the world from your own, like, or dislike, which is, you know, it’s part of our evolutionary programs. Is it good? For my survival, is it not good for my survive, that’s it’s a hard wiring, but it is the lowest level of our evolution of our consciousness, so learn to put that aside doesn’t mean you can’t like her or not like things of course titled to opinion, but just learn to look at things the way they are and other people the way they are and not just through your filter of like or dislike. And that leads to the second one which is not to take things personally.
Bob Schmidt: 25:05 That’s hard though for a lot of people. I think
Michael Gelb: 25:07 it’s very hard. It’s very challenging and that’s why we need help. And then the third one is to be free from whining, blaming and complaining. So those are the three.
Bob Schmidt: 25:25 Just thinking about how much will rather than be better. Michael.
Michael Gelb: 25:28 The thing is I, I, I passionately feel that each of these [inaudible] if, if, if we could just get people to do any one of them, the world would be better than the seventh and we all did them. We just changed the world and start by changing with your own work called change your own world at by, by applying these. That is, that is the aim here is revolutionized your own worlds for starters and then and then that’s how you start making a difference in the world and start with the real world.
Bob Schmidt: 26:03 Well, that was the three liberations kind of slides right into the transcend fixations,
Michael Gelb: 26:09 so you see. Yeah.
Bob Schmidt: 26:11 Just the whole setting the spoke up. I bet you that. I mean it was a roadmap in itself.
Michael Gelb: 26:19 These things all started to flow together and it turns out to be a kind of systematic approach. Each one build on the other, so the order in which they’re they’re placed and approach and address is not. It’s not random. Transcending. Fixation is really another way to think about it. It’s the fourth duration I transcending fixations means as you understand your own personality profile, your own orientations and whether you’re introverted, extrovert, what number you are, and the Enneagram, Meyers, Briggs, whatever personality profile you’ve taken, and if you haven’t taken one, there’s lots of good ones you can take for free. Now on, on, on the Internet, to get them insight into yourself, figure out your habits, your tendencies, and then begin to free herself from them. So what are your fixations, your habits, your tendencies, your default, setting, your program, and then learn to move beyond that.
Bob Schmidt: 27:29 Is there a simple way to do that because I’m guessing every single person listening, myself included and yourself included, has those fixations that either eat at us on a daily basis or weave in and out of our lives on a very regular basis. How do you put that stuff aside?
Michael Gelb: 27:46 The answer is it’s sort of humorous, but it’s actually serious. It comes from the classic Seinfeld episode where George Realizes that everything he’s done in his life is wrong. So therefore the opposite.
Bob Schmidt: 27:58 One of my favorites.
Michael Gelb: 28:02 So, and I’ll give you a real practical example. Just take the simplest distinction between introvert and extrovert. So if you’re an introvert and you want to transcend that fixation, you want to do the opposite of introverted behavior. You will introduce yourself to people. You want to go out of your way to socialize. You want to do the opposite of your proclivity. I’m, I’m an extrovert, so it’s really easy for me to socialize and interact with people and the proverbial life of the party, so I really worked on doing the opposite. I learned. I just sometimes really quiet and listen for an outward don’t speak. I have a practice I do when I’m home every day the weather allows. I go for a walk. If Whitman’s nearby, I go for a walk for an hour. I shut off my phone and I talk to. It’s really the opposite of what my natural proclivity my fixation with being it beyond the phone, beyond the web, the emailing and texting, talking, be skyping, be facetiming, and instead I go myself that this is true. I mean my own experience that is tremendously liberating. Got a whole different kind of energy and insight, creativity that comes from doing the opposite of what my fixation might have.
Bob Schmidt: 29:35 The way you answered that flows into the next one. Then to the balance, the energy.
Bob Schmidt: 29:42 Can I. Can I just before we. Before you go into that one though, I kind of wanted to talk a little bit about the transcending your fixations because I find even though I’m a very social person, when I’m at work, when I’m quote on when I’m off, when I’m on my own, when I’m on my own time, I prefer now to go sit at my cabin and work down there and just kind of be by myself and when I get home from work. You know, after being on the air for hours, I tend to find that sitting in front of the television just kind of letting somebody else do the thinking for me for awhile sometimes seems to put me into that place of ease. Moreso than if I were to continually be on all the time.
Michael Gelb: 30:23 You’re seeking balance the skills which is to find balance in yourself, which you can see how the self knowledge. You don’t know yourself. You’re probably going to be able to find balance and if you don’t know your own dictations and proclivities and tendencies, you’re not going to be that skilled in knowing those of others and working effectively with others. So know yourself, know your own tendencies, and then become aware of the [inaudible] sections of the people in your life and this is by itself is very little room. Become aware that we’re all programmed to a large extent and other people are doing things not because they’re out to get you. I know it often seems that way, but it’s part of why you also get free from picking these personally. People do anything because that’s just the way they’re wired to do that and they’re usually doing them without even being aware that they’re doing and if you can see a tendency in someone else based on a fixation and if you can see attendance in yourself based on a habitual pattern or tendency or fixation, it just much easier to be compassionate.
Michael Gelb: 31:38 And when we’re compassionate, when we’re empathic, we have a little more free to. We have a little more consciousness. Then we can choose our behavior. Without that awareness, there’s. There’s no choice. So if you have awareness, now you have choice. Then you can monitor the balance of energy in your relationships and what you want is a positive abundant flow of gratitude and all your relationship and that that’s the best workplace. That’s the best marriage, that’s the best friendship where everyone feels grateful to everyone else and is looking out for one another and that heaven and hell of course is the opposite. So a lot of times people spend most of their time in purgatory where they’re going back and forth between these modalities, but you want to be moving towards a more heavenly workplace and we’re heavily relationship monitored. The balance of energy exchange and figure out how to adjust it so that it flows more freely and harmoniously.
Bob Schmidt: 32:45 Michael, I really think that a lot of us are missing out that piece, that gratitude piece that we, you know, we may, we may think that we’re gracious, but we don’t. Oftentimes they don’t think that we share that were gracious over something or that we’re thankful that somebody you know did something above and beyond or even did something that you know to to help you out or to make your life a little bit easier. A lot of times we just let that stuff. They’re just doing their job, but sometimes it’s above and beyond and we shouldn’t just say, Hey, thank you.
Michael Gelb: 33:13 Catching people doing something right. As Ken Blanchard likes to say, it costs nothing and it has a tremendous benefit to just way enhancing the flow of
Michael Gelb: 33:36 energy in relationship and as you catch people doing something right, they’re more likely to catch you doing something fight and you can see you’re a. It creates a cycle of acknowledgment and gratitude. What about when things aren’t going right? What about were there things that seem to be depleting the flow of energy? What about when something is inappropriate or not working in a way that you think is right or positive for good? Well, that’s where we have to learn how to give and receive constructive feedback and again, this is such a simple skill, but most people are utterly clueless about how to do it that just a note because they haven’t been training and people in organizations hate feedback sessions that can’t stand performance reviews because people haven’t been trained how to do it and it’s usually just a lifeless and torturous exercise. So I go in the book, I go you pretty deeply into what I’ve learned about how to do that. How did it get, how do you give it? How do you receive it?
Bob Schmidt: 34:43 Construct. I mean, I think your right, I hate those things because either they or somebody just kissing your ass the whole time or somebody being super negative the entire time,
Michael Gelb: 34:55 right? Both are. Both are expressions of just not being skilled at doing it. So when you learn the best environments, people, first of all, they asked for feedback because when somebody is good at giving it, then you want it because then you can improve. And the core issue for people is they want you to love them exactly the way they are and they want to improve, but what gets mixed up is the feedback because feedback about the person rather than about a particular behavior so people wind up feeling judged for better or for worse oftentimes for work and nobody likes that. So part of the art of giving feedback is to validate the being of another person and have them know and understand the feedback is being offered in a supportive and respectful and even loving contacts and then to deliver it in a way that’s actionable so that I can do something about it and rather than you can’t give somebody feedback that they can’t do something about it, that’s going to do is make them angry or depressed.
Bob Schmidt: 36:12 That makes a lot of sense. Surely does. Michael, I know that we touched a little bit earlier on on being a rare listener, is listening a skill that somebody that is bad at it, can they end up getting better at it just by practice? Or if somebody is a good listener, how can they end up being even a better listener?
Michael Gelb: 36:32 Sure. Well, the answer for both of those is they have to want to, if they want to, if you’re not such a good listener, but you, let’s say you’ve, you’ve met with somebody who is very good at giving feedback and they managed to get through, uh, your inability to listen enough that you finally realized, Oh my God, I really do need to improve. Then of course you can improve. If you’re oblivious, then obviously we can’t help you, but you’re probably not listening to this or reading the book. So although that’s my, my joke about this book, because I think this book is going to be, most of its sales are going to come as a gift because people are gonna say, well, I don’t really need it. Boy, you know,
Bob Schmidt: 37:13 I was there.
Michael Gelb: 37:14 I thought that really use this. I, this is my, you know, press presidents for whatever the occasion is different. Boston, my brother, my sister, my cousin to whoever. So Ha.
Bob Schmidt: 37:30 Hey, those passive sales sometimes are good sales, you know, hey, we’ll take it, we’ll take it, and then finally turn friction into momentum.
Michael Gelb: 37:39 Yes, well, this is all about resolving conflict and using the energy of conflict to stimulate creativity, thinking about conflict as an opportunity to meet people’s needs in ways that perhaps you haven’t figured out how to do before, so it’s different from a contest as a winner or loser in a different way of thinking about things. A lot of times people think about conflict the same way. They think about a content and that tends to make things worse. If I think about being a winner and my spouse’s a loser or my children are losers or my colleagues at work are losers and I want to win, but we all lose because we’re part of the same system, so it’s great to think about winning and losing or playing tennis or basketball because we keep score and that’s the objective. It’s a game, but conflict isn’t. The was not about keeping score or winning or being right. It’s about figuring out fundamental needs up to the parties involved and coming up with creative solutions to meet those needs.
Bob Schmidt: 38:47 Is that similar to is so basically the turning the friction and the momentum is kind of like taking a failure and turning it into a learning was a learning lesson.
Michael Gelb: 38:55 You could say that. Yeah, it is. It is. Just being creative in response to life challenges and, and, and, and being empathic so that you’re, you’re tuning in to the other side as opposed to just demonizing them, which is the tendency people have today when we disagree with others, we just, we make them into a source of all evil and then dehumanize them. And this doesn’t usually help us come up with solutions.
Bob Schmidt: 39:26 I think that happens in all, in all walks of life. Friendships to your, in your, uh, your boss to your family sometimes. Uh, you know, I think all that stuff kinda ties in.
Michael Gelb: 39:37 Great to have strategies to overcome that and that, that I tried to put everything I’ve learned about how to do that.
Bob Schmidt: 39:44 So Michael Does there always have to be a winner?
Michael Gelb: 39:47 the thing is in a contest. Yes. Otherwise, it’s boring in a conflict. We want everybody to win. That’s the idea. We want to look after the needs of everybody involved because we’re. We are connected. If you know you’re part of the same organization, you’re connected. If you’re part of the same family, you’re connected and that should be obvious to everyone, but it may not be as obvious that all of humanity and all life is connected. That’s more spiritual aspect of the art connection, but just start with your family. Just start with your, with your workplace, with the people where were clear that you are part of the same system and see if you can meet the needs of those people in ways you haven’t thought of yet and I have a follow-up call about how the rest of the world,
Bob Schmidt: 40:39 Right? Michael, I gotta ask this, so how do we go about getting copies of this book for our brother, our sister, our spouse, and a boss.
Michael Gelb: 40:49 People can come to MichaelGelb.com that’s G E L B, and they can order the book obviously on site. There’s also like the free articles and videos, interviews that people can get access to the MichaelGelb.com, G E L B.