Episode 69 Pyramid Of Influence What Other People Feel Pt 1 (1)

The Pyramid of Influence – What Other People Feel, with Brent Bartel, part 1

Tina Gosney and Brent Bartel continue their discussion on Stephen R. Covey’s Pyramid of Influence and in this episode they focus on the 2nd level of influence – what other people feel when they are around you. If you are wishing and wanting to have more influence in the lives of your family members, influence in a non-controlling, authentic, and loving way, this series of discussions will be very helpful. 

This episode is the 3rd in the series.
To listen to The Pyramid of Influence, What Other People See part 1: CLICK HERE
To listen to The Pyramid of Influence, What Other People See part 2: CLICK HERE

9:40 – Be influenced by them first
26:15 – The emotional bank account
33:15 – Clarify expectations
39:15 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood

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Full Transcript

Tina Gosney 

Welcome back to this podcast, I am very glad to have you here. So glad that you guys are listening and finding so much value, I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from you. And I really appreciate that. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the episode 65 and 66 that I did with Brent Martell on the pyramid of influence. And in those episodes, we focused on the bottom level of a three tiered pyramid. And that bottom level is what other people see. It’s who the person you are being in the world and what you’re showing to other people, and how that can be influential in other people’s lives. If you haven’t listened to those episodes, I urge you to go listen to those first. You don’t have to, but it would be a good reference for you. Before you listen to this episode 69 and Episode 70, where we talk about the next level of the pyramid, which is what other people feel. Now, Brent Bartel is a Stephen R. Covey expert, he has been facilitating workshops and teaching Covey principles for over 20 years. He really knows his stuff. He’s also my brother in law, and I love having conversations with him. And I knew that we needed to do some podcasts together. And you guys get to be the beneficiaries of that. So I hope you enjoy this episode 69 and 70 the pyramid of influence what other people feel part one and part two.

Hey, Brent is so good to have you back today. And we’ve I’ve received a lot of good feedback from the episode that we recorded last time actually divided it into two because it was a long conversation. It’s hard to boil these things down into really concise, you know, short podcasts. But I think it’s worth having a longer discussion about. And so it just so good to have you back.

Brent Bartel 

Thank you, Tina, so much. It is really good to be back. I did not expect you to renew my contract. It’s very exciting for me. But yeah, don’t

Tina Gosney 

leave your contract with an open clause.

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, you should. You should. But yeah, I had a great time, the last time we were together. And, you know, I really learned a lot in that context in the process. So I appreciate that. And the model of influence is pretty expansive. I mean, literally, you could do a week long Symposium on it. So it is kind of it becomes a sort of this kind of exercise in selective neglect, like, you know, what, don’t we talk about that? Right, right and challenging.

Tina Gosney 

Maybe there will be a day that comes that we go back and pick up all the things that we left out of these, who knows, not ruling that out for the future. But we are focusing on the pyramid of influence by Stephen R. Covey, it’s his model. And if you haven’t listened to the episodes that we’re talking about, I just advise you to go and listen to those pyramid of pyramid of influence part one, part two. So we’ll be doing part three, we’ll see if this gets divided into two sub two additional sections, just like the last one did, it might be part three and four, I’m not sure. But the first level will probably just give us a like a really brief overview of the pyramid itself again. Sure.

Brent Bartel 

So just to refresh, the pyramid is divided up into three levels. And there’s obviously the top the middle and the bottom bottom level is to model by example. And so within that level, Dr. Covey, I think have like eight or nine methods for how we do that. And that essentially, is what other people see. So that’s the example piece. The middle level of the pyramid is to build caring relationships, and that’s what we’re going to focus on today. So the mantra here was kind of they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. And this is what others feel. And then the top part of the pyramid would be our overt efforts. or attempts to influence you know, this is mentoring and teaching, telling, explaining that kind of thing. And this is what other people hear. And we talked about the alignment, the alignment, and that can grow as we sort of need to be effective. You know, in the model. I think one of the other things is important. Let me just add real quick, Tina, is that Dr. Covey talked about the issues, we face kind of fall within one of these three domains in terms of influence. And we talked about this liberally last time. But the first one would be direct influence or control, we’ll kind of use those interchangeably. And those are things you know, involving ourselves, or own feelings, or thoughts or behaviors, that kind of thing. The second level was things over which we may have indirect control. And that would include other people’s behavior, other people’s issues, and that’s what we’re going to focus on today. And then that next level was things over which we just don’t have any influence at all. And that would be sort of that that domain of no control. So what we’re focusing on today, is that second level of the pyramid, what other people feel, kind of relational life? And how do we, how do we grow that indirect control or indirect influence in the lives of people, particularly those people that are closest to us?

Tina Gosney 

Okay, that’s great. I think that we live in a world that wants to ignore feelings. And when you say like how other people feel, just want to bring in that feeling worried here for a second. And we live in a world where we like to ignore our own feelings, we don’t think that feelings are super important. Oftentimes, they just get in the way. And they’re kind of annoying, and we want to push them away and not address them, in ourselves and in other people. But I think that they are such a hinge point in relationships. And although we can’t determine how other people feel, we can certainly show up in a way that can affect how they might feel about us and our relationship with them. So that’s what we’re talking about today is how do we affect how somebody else perceives us how we the kind of feelings that make it possible for them to have when they’re around us? And that is such a point of influence that we can have in a relationship with somebody else?

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, I think that’s a really critical point. And we kind of beat this up last time, you know, the distinction between determined and influenced, and, clearly, we cannot determine another person’s feeling or thinking or even behavior. Even infants, you know, even they have all kinds of choices that they make independent of us, even when we think we have control, we really don’t have nearly as much control as we think we do. So this is not ever about manipulation, or anything like that in order to get somebody to be or do what we want them to do. Right. It’s, it’s about optimizing positive, sustainable, you know, mutually beneficial levels of influence. Yeah, and so whenever determining, you know, what anybody does, we’re just trying to move them in a direction that’s sort of good for us and good for them.

Tina Gosney 

Okay, so I’ve had Brent shoes, there’s, I think, 10 different methods within this level to have the pyramid that we’re focusing on today. So Brent is the covey expert, I had him pick out his favorites, I had trouble narrowing them down. I thought, I want to cover all of these and live I’m so grateful he had me constrain and not do all of them, because that would have been about a two or three hour conversation. So we’re going to focus on six that Britain has chosen for us today. And these are really great ones. I’m glad that he chose these. So Brett, I’m going to let you start.

Brent Bartel 

Awesome. Yes, it is sort of an unenviable task to have to, you know, eliminate any from this list. But I think these six are really foundational and really seminal to having influence, you know, within this interpersonal domain. So the first is to be influenced by them first. And I think this is one of the grand keys to optimizing our levels of positive, sustainable influence with others. And he just simply this did we have influence with others, to the degree that they feel that they have influence with us? And I dare say that I did not get that for most of my lives. That that is a very dynamic relationship. So I’m gonna say that again, that we have influence with others. To the degree that they feel they have influenced with us. Okay, you can just edit this out, but I’m just gonna go there because I really love poetry and buried in one of JRR Tolkien’s books, you know, the the towers, return to the game, there’s nothing, there’s this little poem, this is all that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost. The old that is young does not wither deep roots are not reached by the frost, I always love that. And I really think that these are the deep roots of influence in that interpersonal domain, that we have to be available to another’s influence before we can certainly have influence with him. So Stephen says, quote, unless you’re influenced by my uniqueness, I am not going to be influenced by your advice. So again, my ability to teach counsel advise at the highest level of the pyramid, certainly be ineffectual unless I have influence at that second level of the pyramid. When another feels that you genuinely care about them, and want to understand them, they become incredibly open to your influence. And just I think, in a sense, it becomes safe for them to trust you, they trust your intentions, they trust your motives. So for instance, I may say that I appreciate and care deeply about my 19 year old son, which I do, and he may desperately want to believe that. But he may say, in his own mind, how can you truly appreciate me when you don’t even understand me? Or if he does not observe in observing me kind of genuine efforts to understand him, I think you’ll see those incongruent ease in my life in it certainly will undermine my credibility and trust within the relationship. So does that make sense?

Tina Gosney 

Yeah, I want, let’s just dive into maybe help a little bit more about how that might look. And I think it’s kind of it’s a great concept, I think it’s harder to understand what it actually looks like, in a practical sense, in our lives, though, so you gave an example of your, your 19 year old son, and I know he has an interest in great interest in cars, loves cars, cars, yes. What if, like, let’s just maybe go to an example of like, him wanting to share with you his love of this great car that he just saw driving down the road? Or maybe a friend came home with? And like, what does that look like for you to be influenced by him first?

Brent Bartel 

You know, what, and I think we’re gonna kind of roll into that as we get into more of the method of that in this second one, when we talk about seeking first to understand, but it’s a graceful

Tina Gosney 

tide, those are tied together, aren’t they? Yeah, they’re, they’re almost hard to pull apart.

Brent Bartel 

They really are. And I think, you know, I think the second is almost sort of an expression of the first. But I think, essentially, what we’re saying is simply that I need to be influenceable. And that requires a measure of humility, I need to be teachable, and open to discovery. I think sometimes Tina, we kind of work or Ashley, if I work from a paradigm, and have this mental model that I do not know. And unless I am open to receiving I can’t know. So that’s an invitation to influence me, I become open, I’m humble and teachable. I think that is so important. So in the context with my son, it would really just be a matter of listening, and being interested, and allowing my mind to be changed. And to me to be influenced by virtue of what he’s doing or what he’s been or what he’s saying. And sometimes it just takes on greater gravity, you know, and the really jugular things of life, you know, the challenging difficult things, or perhaps we have disagreements, or, you know, just some of the big things of life, you know, this can be more challenging.

Tina Gosney 

Yeah, that’s actually where I was gonna go next. Because last night, I was on a group call with a lot of parents who, struggling with their adult children. In gospel related matters. Brett and I both belong to the same faith tradition, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and this was a call with parents that are in that same tradition, parents that are struggling with our adult children, not believing the same as them. And it was really interesting that one person expressed how this person was quite a bit older than me. And is I think His children are almost my age are pretty close to my age. But he was saying how he was so dogmatic in his insistence that this is the only way you can live your life. And everything has to look like this. And I can’t listen to you because you’re wrong. And he mentioned he said, he said, I found out that I am not the truth police. And I thought, Oh, I love that term. The truth is, because what he was described describing was like a tug of war between him and one of his children. And I think does that fit factor into like what you’re talking about right now?

Brent Bartel 

Oh, profoundly, yes, profoundly. Because if I don’t understand another, you know, I shut myself off this so much, both in the context of the relationship. And just in terms of receiving information, it’s critical for me, you know, to be able to relate better to that individual. It’s such an we’ll talk about this, but it’s such an art and a skill, to be able to kind of suspend judgment. And that’s really hard, particularly when we have very potent feelings around an issue. But to be able to suspend that just for a minute, and just to be able to listen and try to get inside another’s reference, and to listen without judgment. So listening is sort of the expression, I think of this. And it’s kind of the vehicle that gets us to that level of understanding. But the concept is that I never going to affect that kind of influence with that individual. And last, I am open to it in my own life.

Tina Gosney 

Yes.

Brent Bartel 

And this plays out in so many different ways. Go ahead, please.

Tina Gosney 

Yeah, that, especially in matters of faith, and with so many people struggling with their faith, at this time, as the person who’s been will ask you asked to open their mind, and be humble and just willing to listen, it feels often quite dangerous to do that. Feels very real and very threatening to be able to open your mind and be influenced by someone who is maybe struggling with their faith.

Brent Bartel 

Oh, absolutely, yeah, there’s a tremendous amount of vulnerability around that. And sometimes we just can’t be that vulnerable. And it’s hard. And we have a deep sense of certitude around our own beliefs or way of being. I think sometimes it’s our ego, or maybe our perceived role in the relationship or identity, or even since the security sometimes drives this orientation of I do know, I do now. And then we can descend in this position of, you know, sort of, I teach you learn, or I tell you do, or I know, you need to know, sort of that kind of thing, and our personal arrogance, and even self sufficiency can close us off to the need of learning about another. And it’s really dangerous. And I’ve been guilty of this probably my whole life, you know, in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways that we take on this orientation, and we become sort of impervious to another’s influence, because I simply don’t need it. I already know what I need to know when I have what I need to have. And I just don’t necessarily have a need for that kind of thing. So I know, for me, at least when I’m in that place, and sort of in that middle space, you know, I say things like, well, I know what you’re gonna say, or I know exactly how you feel, or your thinking is obvious on this matter are lots of other derivations around that same theme. Yeah.

Tina Gosney 

Which feels really dismissive to be on the other end of that, right? Yes. Yes. It feels like, I can just see myself thinking like, You’re not listening, you don’t understand?

Brent Bartel 

Yes, yes. So and I want to continue to kind of bring this back, because sort of the thesis here is, is growing healthy influence with other people. And what you’re seeing is just really antithetical, or, you know, the opposite clearly, yeah, of developing and growing, you know, that kind of mutually beneficial influence. When I get in that space, I know there’s red flags, and at least any more that I can see the red flags and I slow down kind of go inside and they really check myself. But I found for me, it’s just this really amazing adventure. If I can just kind of open myself up there is so much to learn. And so often these preconceived notions and assumptions that we make about things and people, you know, are so quickly to bond We can just open ourselves up and be available to another’s influence. It’s really powerful. I work on things like well developing greater teachability. And for me, it’s even in in the language like, Well, how do you see it? Or help me see things the way you do? Or what do you think? I just love that question. Just what do you think? And so often, it’s like, I know what I think I don’t really need to know what you think. But that question via to your four year old or your 94 year old father, you know, I think can can just elicit all kinds of really rich conversation? How can I help? You know, let me see if I understand what you’re saying. Just those kinds of things, you know, it’s indicative of this openness. Yeah, that I want to know, and I’m willing to receive, and I don’t know.

Tina Gosney 

And you can correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re both trained coaches, trained in how to hold space for someone else, to allow them to express what they need to express without any judgment or preconceived notions about whether what they’re saying is right or wrong or any judgment at all. Just giving someone some space to say what’s in their heart and in their mind. Is that am I getting that right? Is that factoring into what you’re saying here?

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, profoundly. Absolutely. And there’s maybe a little technique involved. We can talk about technique, we won’t, but in terms of listening, but so much of it’s just attitude, and it’s just a desire. Yeah. And it is, it is holding space, I didn’t really understand what that meant when I first kind of got into the coaching realm I think they do now. And it is respecting wherever they’re at. And being open to accepting that without judgment, and maybe with a healthy level of curiosity. So honestly, undergirding and overarching all of this stuff, Tina, that we’re talking about, I think it’s this basic paradigm. And this is perhaps the take away, okay, if we can operate from this basic kind of paradigm? I don’t know. And I want to know,

Tina Gosney 

I love that. Because

Brent Bartel 

Because so often, it’s just the other way around, like we talked about, I do No. I don’t know. And I want to know, that kind of orientation, at least for me, personally, it keeps me open. It keeps me humble, curious and available to influence and even wanting influence. It becomes this phrase, he tracks you just don’t know where it’s going. And it can be fraught with danger and adventure. But when you are really allow somebody else to get in, you know, and you open yourself up to that. It’s astonishing what you’ll learn, and how it can change the nature of the relationship.

Tina Gosney 

Well, and full disclosure here. Brent and I had like an hour and almost an hour, hour and a half conversation, before we hit record, which we weren’t all only talking about the podcast, we were talking about some other things. But I like your your takeaway was like, I don’t know. And I want to know, and the just leaving it open to uncertainty that I don’t already know what you’re going to say. And we were talking about certainty, belief, doubt, uncertainty, and how certainty just leaves us in a really stagnant position where it doesn’t allow for further growth to happen. And how we’re meant on we’re meant to grow on this earth. And as soon as we’re certain about something, we almost put a stop to that growth. Because we’re not allowing ourselves the room for there to be more. And for the room for maybe I didn’t quite understand this, the way that I should, even in our own understanding of something maybe but that we believe, where we’ve shut ourselves off to even further understanding on that same belief.

Brent Bartel 

Isn’t that a beautiful concept? And it also, it almost seems a little counterintuitive, like you said, doesn’t it? Yeah. Because the goal is knowing and, and I have really shifted kind of some of my thinking in that context. And I just know, with other people that if I go into it, thinking, I don’t know, I just don’t know. And it’s amazing when I think about, you know, so many years of my life that I just operated from a very different perspective. That I do know. And you know, how that changes things. Sometimes it’s just a little shifts in thinking and really have some dramatic benefits sort of downs. Dream.

Tina Gosney 

Right? Like those. I love how you said downstream. Because it’s just like opening that door just a little bit. And but the trajectory I think Elder Uchtdorf has talked about just like altering that plane destination, just what does it call it like 1%? One way it can take you to a totally different country, a totally different destination that you had planned before. But opening yourself up to letting that kind of grow inside of yourself, is really opening yourself up to more growth.

Brent Bartel 

It is, yeah, yes. Yes. It’s beautiful. It absolutely is. So what I was going to say, if we’re moving forward, I actually throw in a bonus metaphor, can we do that? I actually had, I actually had six of the methods. But there’s a metaphor he teaches within the seven habits, and I think he’s just so salient to what we’re talking about today. It’s like, I cannot not share this. So I’m sure a lot of your listeners, you’re quite familiar with the emotional bank account, but perhaps some of them aren’t. And I think one of the most impactful models in Stephens work and we talked about this last time was this sort of notion of the circle of concerns circle of influence. But there is another model, and perhaps more rightly, a metaphor that I found really impactful. And that is this emotional bank account. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective teens book, they call it the relationship bank account, same thing. But the emotional bank account is a metaphor for the level of trust in the relationship. So it’s just like a savings account. balance in the account is a function of the deposits we make, and the withdrawals we take. But unlike the few accounts that maybe we have at our local bank, we open emotional bank accounts with just about everyone we meet. So there’s a lot of accounts out there. So obviously, the key is to maximize deposits, and to minimize withdrawals, and to keep the balance high. And particularly in the most intimate relationships of our lives. And clearly, not all of our emotional accounts are of equal importance or equal value to us. So I just love the metaphor, I know when I when I walked away from that, thinking, Okay, I have this account with my wife, with my children, with my boss, with my co workers, you know, with a neighbor. And, and there’s no currency where the currency actually is trust. And obviously, the higher the trust, the richer, the easier, the more satisfying the relationship becomes. So pretty simple mind, you know, get around that. I like that. So what can I do to increase the balance in this specific accounts? And I have just found that just even looking through that frame, you know, makes me mindful of things I can do. And to be able to see when I do take withdrawals. And conversely, that I can be more mindful about, well, how do I make deposits? And what kind of change is that creating in the relationship? So I have a few ideas. Can I just throw these out? And these aren’t even my idea? Yes, but yeah, I’d love it just for just for them real quick. Okay. These are ideas for making deposits. And some of this we’ve kind of talked about, but first one is just understand the individual. And this is just key to all deposits. I think we sometimes interpret what is the deposit based on our own needs and desires. So essentially, who decides if the action is the deposit, or the value of the deposit? And clearly the other the other person has to Write Right? You know, I learned that when I bought my wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas, my husband day, that was a good idea, not so much. And so part of it is just really like if I’m going to make a deposit in here, in this this sort of relationship account, I just need to know what’s important you what is the deposit because often well intentioned, well meaning deposits just don’t have the value that we think they do, because we just don’t understand what the other person wants or needs. Okay, second one. We talked a lot about this last time, it’s just keep commitments. You know, breaking promises can constitute significant withdrawals. keeping promises, on the other hand, can obviously constitute, you know, significant deposits. Third one, what I would say is just attend to the little things. Sometimes in relationships, the little things are really the big things. I mean, just little kindness is courtesies. are so important. So there was a time in my life, long seasons of my life and things have been very busy. You know, we have four children. And we’re a little different place in life right now. But very busy in the context of my professional life, very busy in terms of my civic life involved in some apparently demanding church responsibilities. And my job is always to take out the garbage. I mean, that’s what dads do, right? We take out the garbage. And there was a time I remember that I became rather neglectful in that specific duty responsibility. And I can remember multiple times going to take out the garbage and find out it was already taken out. It’s like, you know, and I know better. My children were not taking the initiative to do that. As much as I love them, nobody’s taking out the garbage if they’re not told to. So anyway, it became apparent, you know, kind of shorter that my wife had been taking out the garbage. And it wasn’t a big thing. But for me, it was. And I just, you know, we get all come up, hopefully, we can come up with 10,000 examples of when people have made those deposits into our emotional bank account or relationship account. And they’re just the little things that wasn’t a big thing. And you know, by all right, she said said, Hey, honey, come on, you’re not it’s not our job. Can you just pay off like artists? That she would have had every right, but she never did? Yeah, I think it’s like, look, you know, he’s in the whitewater right now. And I can take out the garbage, it’s not a big deal..

Tina Gosney 

Well, then how many more? How many more opportunities? Do you have to do those little things than the big things? There’s, how many 10s of dozens a day, do we have an opportunity to take those little things and to make deposits into that bank account? Versus the big things that we might be thinking of that are going to make a bigger impact? But I think it you’re right, it is the little things that make a bigger impact, especially compounded over time?

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, sure. How would it Yeah, what do they concept? Yeah, on a compounded interest in our in our relationship? Yeah, account. I love that. And it’s true. And if we start looking for him, it’s kind of like the philosopher said, we see what we see. You know, if you start looking for those, you can do all kinds of things. You know, I have a mission statement. I mean, you can’t be a COVID, devotee and nonstructural mission statement. There’s a line in my mission statement that says the rising tide lifts all boats, I’ve always loved that aphorism. And I think it’s often in these little things, you know, as we, as we look for ways to make deposits, and you can just be the person who the checkout line, you know, your local grocery store, and it can be a smile, or calling them by me, or engaging them in conversation. That’s a deposit into a relationship account, but I just opened up. So okay, so that’s three. And the last one I would offer is just simply clarifying expectations. It seems like the cause of so many relationship challenges is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals. And I know this seems pretty self evident. But you know, I don’t know I’m sure you never do. But sometimes I find myself saying or hearing sort of things like, Oh, that’s not what I said at all. Or, you know, what, you know, what I meant? Or, you know, how am I supposed to know, I’m not a mind reader? Or since when does that become my responsibilities? Or? Well, I just assumed that you would, you know, and it goes on, and on and on. Right. And I think so often, we have these implicit, kind of assumed or even tacit meaning just unspoken expectations, that are just not well understood. And they’re not shared. He’s run the continuum from well, whose job is to defeat the dog and how we arrange the cars in the driveway, to how we handle conflict in our marriage, who manages the finances, or the discipline and all those really important things. So I have found and I think this is really profound. If you want to take something away, take this away today. It’s that taking time to establish and managing our expectations is so powerful. This removes the ambiguity and the confusion. And so often in the domain of human relationships, you know, Steven used to say that slow is fast and fast is slow. So as I take the time upfront, as I go slow, we discuss we agree upon, and then we manage our mutual expectations. It is amazing how much better life goes. Yeah, and how much less discord and conflict we have.

Tina Gosney 

Right? In fact, I was just thinking about expectations today. And what then what real happens, there’s a gap really often between what we expect, and then what reality shows us. And when we don’t, when we just live inside that gap, there’s a lot of suffering there. There’s a lot of suffering for ourselves. We have disappointment, we have anger, sometimes resentment, sadness, frustration. And then we just kind of spill that out into suffering on other people. Because we take it out on other people, when we haven’t really managed our own expectations around something. And really kind of looked at what is possible to even happen in the situation, or what do I need to adjust my expectations? To manage them more according to like, how am I bringing them down to reality? Maybe my expectations were not. Were not actually what I should have been expecting in the first place, because maybe they were out of line. I feel like I’m rambling right now.

Brent Bartel 

No, no, you know, I think that’s, I think that’s such a salient point. Because I suggested that, you know, we need to talk about and kind of agree upon and then manage our expectations. And I think that’s what you’re saying. Because, yeah, clearly, sometimes our expectations may be misaligned with reality. Or maybe they’re an ordinance not even appropriate to the situation. And so often, they’re not even known or shared. And so yeah, so you know, if we’re high on that continuum of ownership, and so much is about, well, these are my expectations, and how do I manage them? And then how do I respond? If they’re not met? Because there’s a whole domain right there, I have all kinds of choices, really. And so, so often, I think we just, we act out a pattern, we act out of habit, you know, we get upset, we do this, we do that. So I have all kinds of options there too. So I think that’s a really important point, Tina, that, yes, it’s incumbent upon us to manage these expectations. But we don’t do it in isolation, we deal with the other person in the relationship. I have found honestly, I think this is one of the roots of, of human relations. Because it just seems like this is the antecedent of so much pain and suffering is that we just are not aligned in terms of what we expect for the other person and what they expect of us. So just a little shift in really go a long way here to

Tina Gosney 

Yeah, when I’m coaching people in relationships, especially, like marriage, or intimate partner relationships, we talk about, we’re making room for two people in this in this relationship. And that has a lot to do with how do we manage the expectations of the other? And how are we making? How are we making room for both of us to have our needs met, and to come together in a way that this relationship works for both of us and not just one deferring to the other. And when we left to be disappointed or manage X manage their expectations without the other ones? Input or even? What’s the word I’m looking for? Or even knowledge that you had the expectation to begin with? I like how you said like, it takes two people, it takes partnership in managing expectations.

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, yeah, it does. It does. And it’s amazing the dividends that it pays, there’s a really quick return. And you know, and then it’s sort of facilitates the communication process, too, because we got to tie in you really, and you have to listen. And maybe you need to step down from judgment just a little bit, you know, and in, like we just talked about, and you’d become more open to influence, you know, as we go through the process, so, yeah, love that. Good stuff.

Tina Gosney 

Hey, the next one, and we kind of already went there a little bit, but I’m sure we have some more that we can talk about, with a seek first to understand, you kind of tie that in with the influence being influenced by them first, but let’s focus a little bit more on the understanding first,

Brent Bartel 

yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think we can move through this probably pretty quick. Um, this is this is how it five so if you’re familiar with the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this would be habit five, and it’s seek first, to understand then to be understood. So there’s two parts of that habit. And we all want to be understood. I think it’s just sort of human nature that we sort of invert the order in the sequence that Stephen has written well, that this means seek first to understand is the single most important principle I have ever learned. In the field of human relations, for me, that’s a pretty weighty statement. Because it’s been his whole life in this field. You know, he said, This is the single most important principle. I heard a story years ago. It was simple story, just a dad and he’s out front with his little toddler. And, you know, he’s just learned to ride a bike, this little guy actually a tricycle. And the dads working out in the front yard and tells his little son, he goes, I just want you to stay on the sidewalk, right in front of the house, you can ride your trike on the sidewalk, I don’t want you to go around the corner. And so that’s pulling weeds and kind of looks up a few minutes later. And there’s a little toddler is just, you know, riding that trike right around the corner, while he hastens over there, and he and talks to him and said, Hey, buddy, remember, we talked about that you can’t go around the corner, I just need you to stay right here in front. So it redirects and gets him back from the house, goes back to his yard work. looks up a few minutes later, what does he see? Well, guys, just just pedaling right around the corner. No, it’s over there this time and a little more frustrated, he talks to him and he says, Hey, man, when we talked about this, I need you to really stay right here in front of the house, you don’t go around the corner. Okay, you got that. He’s got it. Well, you know how this goes, that’s back to his garden. And he looks up again, it’s little guys now descending around the corner out of you. So this time is quite frustrated, he goes over there. And he says, I’ve told you repeatedly don’t ride around the corner. And as a little boy looks up with him kind of with a little quivering lip. And he says, Daddy, what does corner mean? I love this story. And I think it can be amplified sort of into the adult level. You know, a well intentioned, probably amazing father just didn’t understand that. That little son just didn’t even understand the word quarter. And so we kind of make these assumptions. And I think, honestly, I think communication is perhaps the most important skill in life. And I don’t think I’m out on a ledge by saying that there’s four types of communication, you know, there’s reading, writing, speaking and listening. For most of us, probably we have spent years working to kind of hone the reading, writing speaking part. And yet few of us have probably had any formal education, or training and learning how to listen, we kind of tend to think it’s axiomatic right? It’s just self evident, we all get, right. Which is really, which is really not true. Right? Most of us know most of us can hear, but listening is a very sort of different competency altogether. So I think for many of us seeking first to understand represents kind of this seismic paradigm shift, our tendency so often, is to seek first and then often last, just to be understood, because we have a need for that, too. And if we do listen, we don’t listen with the intent to understand we listen with the intent to reply. Yes. So while you’re talking, I’m considering my response. In fact, I’m constructing it.

Tina Gosney 

And what happens when you’re just listening to respond, is you’re not actually listening to what the person is saying. You’re not really taking it in, you might hear the words, you might be just, you know, what I’ve noticed also is that people will listen long enough to find something that they disagree with. And then all of a sudden, the listening stops. And they either interrupt the person to tell them that they’re wrong. Or they’re going to wait until they stop speaking so that they can then rebut what the other person said.

Brent Bartel 

That is so good. That is so good. Yeah. And I was just gonna go there because I, I absolutely see that tendency, I see it myself. I think sometimes, you know, we’re engaged in a conversation, and we sort of get we’re in their head, I’m listening to you until I get the gist. And that just means sort of the, the essential message or maybe the direction of the conversation. As soon as I get to that point, and it can be very early in the conversation. Then I disengage. Then I’m in my head, and I’m working on my response. Yes, sometimes we go there really quickly, and we stay there. We stay there. Can I I apologize for reading something I wanted to read this to you it was just sending a half second is from page 239 In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And so this is Stephen R Covey, and he’s just relating an experience that he had. And I think this is really going to illustrate the point. He said a father once told me, I can’t understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me at all. Let me restate what you said. I replied, You don’t understand your son because he won’t listen to you. That’s right, he replied. Let me try again. I said, so you don’t understand your son because he won’t listen to you. That’s what I said. He impatiently replied. I I thought that to understand another person you needed to listen to him. I suggested. Oh, he said, there’s a long pause. Oh, he said again, as the light began to dawn. Well, yeah, but I do understand him. I know what he’s going through, I went through the same thing myself. I guess what I don’t understand is why he won’t listen to me. Then Stephen says this man didn’t have the vaguest idea of what was really going on inside his boy’s head. Right. He looked into his own head and thought he saw the world, including his boy, I really liked that. I’m indicted by that. I think perhaps we all do a little bit of that. Yeah. Oh, go ahead, please. Well,

Tina Gosney 

I heard it a quote yesterday, and I’m not even sure I have the purse can attribute it to the right person. Because I’ve never heard of him before. But it said, being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable. It’s beautiful. And just just think about that, to actually listen to someone to add to them, for them to know that you heard them, is a way for them to know that you also love them. But how bad are we at listening? So how hard is it for us to communicate that we actually love people when we’re not actually listening?

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. What a great point, Stephen used to talk about kind of the greatest need of the human body is air. You know, he said, like, if we, if we suck the air out of this room, you’re not going to be terribly interested in what’s going on in this podcast right now. It’s the unmet need motivates, you’ll meet there. He says, he says, in the psychological sense, he said, listening is air. He says that a psychological air to people is probably what we need most of all in the interpersonal domain is to be listened to, and then the extension then to be understood. Going down, it’s really powerful. We so often get caught up in this sort of collective monologue, we call it or maybe the dialogue of the Deaf. And it’s so easy to make assumptions and judgments about other people and what they think and what they believe. Right. So I think this is, this is kind of fun. And I’ll just throw this out real quick. But you know, when another person speaks, and there’s certainly different models we look at, but we usually listen at one of four levels. So the first one would be ignoring. Thanks so much. Good. Pretty good about that. We know what that feels like. We know what that looks like. Yeah. Yeah. The second one is pretend listening. And most of us become really accomplished with this.

Tina Gosney 

I know I’m really good at that one. Yeah, yeah, I

Brent Bartel 

am, too. It is an art form. It really is. So the words, the pair of verbal how we say the words, and even the nonverbal cues, kind of create this impression, we nod our head Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s amazing. Oh, yeah, that’s interesting. All the stuff and we’re not listening at all. The third one, then would be selective listening. And this is when sort of I’m in, I’m out, maybe it hits on something I’m interested in, I engage that I disengage, you know, I’m with you for a minute, then I’m not. The fourth one would be the attentive listening. So this is kind of that level that I’m engaged and focused on the words that are being said, and this is a good place to be, this isn’t a bad place at all, kind of like it’s, you know, three siblings there. But there’s this all important fifth level of listening. And it’s talked a lot about kind of in Dr. Covey’s work, which is called empathic listening. So we’re listening through a frame of empathy. In the first four levels, I’m listening and trying to understand through my frame of reference, and this is, this is the operative difference, my own frame of reference. But empathic listening, I’m listening to understand through your frame of reference, I am listening not to apply for the frame a response, but to really simply just understand what you are saying. I listened with my ears, and almost more so I listened with my eyes, if that’s possible. And there’s perhaps some technique involved, like we talked about before, but but really, it’s just far more about attitude and intent. It’s driven by this desire that I don’t know, that we talked about and I want to know, and like you mentioned before, that you are important enough to me, that I want to understand what you say is that’s important to me. You know, and think about how enlightening would it be if we were just able to take sort of this metaphorical lens or maybe pair of glasses through which another sees the world and put them on our eyes. Can you imagine if we could just take our glasses off? And I could put your glasses on?

Tina Gosney 

Wouldn’t things make so much more sense? If we could do that? Somebody’s somebody’s actions, words, whatever would make so much more sense if we could wear their glasses for a few minutes. Oh, they absolutely. What?

Brent Bartel 

In Can you imagine how astonished we would be? Oh, my gosh, that’s the way you see this had no idea. Yeah, yeah. And unfortunately, that’s not quite available to us, you know, maybe Apple will develop that in time, they probably are working on it right now. They probably are. But you know, the closest we can come is to just give that deep engaged listening, and ask them out. I also think that in the context of this emotional bank account, it’s a really powerful deposit. Just to be willing to listen to another, when you listen at that level, it almost or when you weren’t listened to at that level, it almost feels like you’re in this kind of sacred space, you know, not to overstate that, but it’s sometimes you just almost feel you’re on a sacred pilgrimage. And the amazing thing is, when you listen at that level, you hear things that you would never ever hear, unless you get to that level. Because people open up and they share and they disclose, and it becomes honest, and it becomes raw.

Tina Gosney 

Because they probably feel safe, telling you those things when they know that you’re listening at that level. People don’t open up and share things that are really very raw, and, and hard for them to share when they don’t feel a sense of trust there. And, and it sounds like what you’re saying is, like when you’re doing empathic listening, you’re actually listening a lot for the emotion that’s behind what they’re saying. And understanding what they’re saying. Trying to understand the emotions that are there, underneath the words that they’re saying.

Brent Bartel 

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s why I say you, you, you listen with your eyes, because sometimes the nonverbal tells you way more, you know, than the words that we use, that you are absolutely listening for the whole package. You know, and we’re not going to get into technique and you know, then I reflect back. And, you know, I think there’s some really helpful techniques. I think one of the important things you just recognize, look, empathic listening isn’t always needed. You know, if somebody I’m in the grocery store and asked me, you know, I didn’t where the bread is, I would just say, you know, hey, since you’re really hungry right now.

Tina Gosney 

That would be a little bit creepy.

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, yeah, where’s the bathroom I sent you’re really hurting. That’s probably not the response, it’s needed. So we discern that, you know, empathic listening isn’t always needed. But when when there’s high emotion, when I don’t know if I understand when there’s a high need to understand or be understood, if I have that, if I have that Tina tool, sort of in my toolkit, I can use that. And I can use it. So efficaciously it’s really powerful. Like you said, it is such a beautiful things for the relationship. There’s this thing that I observe all the time, and I’m a little more because I kind of look for it now. You know, they call it what about ism? Okay, oh, I’ve heard it. What a boundary.

Tina Gosney 

I’ve never heard this, I want to know more

Brent Bartel 

as we get in these conversations. And you know, when we will start sharing something. So this is this is the extreme opposite of kind of empathic listening, we’ll start sharing something about ourselves, you know, went to the doctor the other day, I’ve had this lower back pain. Sometimes it takes point two seconds, and that person we’re talking to Oh, yeah, let me tell you about that. I got out of bed the other day and my back was killing me.

Tina Gosney 

That’s like, 99% of conversations that you’re describing, right? Yes.

Brent Bartel 

Yes. So we call that I like that. I’ve heard it said, What about hurry? What about me? Or sometimes in an argument with a spouse? Well, you know, I don’t know why you can’t just come home on time. Well, what about all those times? You never come home on time? Yeah. And so what about I have one that I kind of claimed, it’s just sort of current about ism. And that’s what that’s more we just turn the conversation to us. I come to share something with you and you turn it around to be about you. Yeah, sometimes it takes two seconds and sometimes it takes two minutes, but often we get there and I think sometimes Tina we have the sense that look, this is kind of the common ground. This is this is how I connect, tell you about my experience because it’s similar year experience. And generally just just not helpful. I mean, how how well do you feel understood or listened to? When when I heard it around in the first 18 seconds?

Tina Gosney 

Well, you feel completely cut off and unheard heard and then dismissed. That’s what ends up happening. Yes, yes. Even though I’m sure that like in general, I believe people have, like you said, the best intentions and like we can connect on this because oh, we to the ME TOO thought, right. But we don’t want to know your we don’t want to know about you, too, until we’ve heard been heard on our site as well. We can connect with other people in common ground, but not until we’re, they feel like they’re listened to in the first place.

Brent Bartel 

Yeah, yes, yes, absolutely. And that’s the whole seek first to understand. And then we want to be understood, and we want our turn to share. Absolutely. Yeah. Like you said, you make sure that you fully understand. And I think these are just patterns. And so often, they’re invisible to us. We just don’t even see it. And if we can just say, hey, heard about him, Hey, did a turn about today, you know, I can slow that down. I can think about that. Now it can be a little more mindful, I think that can really be helpful.

Tina Gosney 

Yeah. And I think we just need to be aware of that that’s even a thing that we do. I don’t think most people are aware enough of the way that they’re interacting with others or conversation in general to even recognize that that’s what they’re doing. But I think once that we are aware, then we start seeing it more and more in our conversations with others, and we hear ourselves do the same thing. And that’s when we’re like, Okay, let me backtrack here. I’m sorry, I just hijacked that conversation finished. Tell him your story. finished telling me about your back pain.

Brent Bartel 

Oh, I love that. You know, and if somebody says that to me, if they admit, hey, I’m sorry. Let me get back to what you were sharing. That is really powerful for me. Yeah. Because I know, I know that the intent is there. The self awareness is there the recognize they weren’t there. Another back and yeah, I think you know, that can be really powerful too.

Tina Gosney 

As you can see, there’s so much to talk about in this second level of the pyramid, what other people feel when they’re around you. And there’s so many important things for us to remember, as you saw with Brent and I, my conversation. I hope you tune in to part two, Episode 70 when it’s released, thank you for being here with us today.

And remember, it’s never too late to start implementing the things that you’re learning in this podcast. Keep showing up. Keep working and keep showing lots of love. Have a great week and we’ll see you in the next episode for part two.