"The important thing to remember is that, no matter what the life setting, asking and answering good questions is essential in achieving success and in providing support to help others succeed."
Dr. Bob Maurer, MASTERING FEAR
I want to share a sad story, and I would like to do it in a unique way. Would you please help me in writing it, and, if we collaborate successfully, we may be able to give it a happy ending? It is sad for so many reasons. Sad because it does not need to happen. Sad because when it happens, it not only has a devastating effect on the person it is happening to, but it has the potential to devastate any number of people connected with that person. Sad because it is so recognizable in others, yet almost impossible to detect when looking at ourselves. Sad because when you read the story, you may unfortunately think I am talking about someone else, and I am not. Our story could start out like any other, so let's see how our co-authorship goes.
Once upon a time there was a (leader, manager, supervisor, employee, teacher, parent, spouse or please fill in as appropriate) who consistently struggled with their (work, health, relationships or all of the above), and it has gone on for (months, years, decades, or all of their life). This individual unknowingly spends most of their time (complaining, justifying, or blaming others) for their lack of (success, recognition or happiness). All of this ended one day when (the company went out of business; the relationship ended; they suffered a serious illness; or they courageously asked for help, valued the response, took action, and achieved tremendous success).
That introduction to this week's newsletter may seem a bit (strange, presumptuous, arrogant or dramatic). I promise I will hold off on the multiple choices for a while, yet whatever words you chose all created a true story if the main character failed to ask for help for whatever difficult situation they were in. The saddest of scenarios to observe is to see the individual that is not willing to ask and answer good questions in order to find the solutions they are looking for. They struggle through a life of missed opportunities, wasted talent, and self-inflicted setbacks because they lack the courage to ask for help or the self-esteem to offer support to help others succeed.
This sad but true story is why I am excited about the potential of the book MASTERING FEAR. In it, author Dr. Bob Maurer cites numerous examples and studies of how those individuals who are willing to ask for and offer help to others consistently excel in their work, relationships, and health. The book consistently validates the most encouraging ideas with scientific studies, some lasting over decades. I am not sure my observations over the years of working with successful people could be deemed scientific, yet in contrast to the sad story above, there is no more inspiring story than the young entrepreneur who approaches the successful business owner or manager and asks for help. It is also validating when that successful veteran willingly offers their time, experience, and resources to help the individual who asked for help. I have observed this happening hundreds of times and have been doing this long enough to see that young entrepreneur grow a successful business and willingly share their expertise with yet another generation of leaders. In fact, if some of you reading this newsletter right now think that I might be talking about you . . . YOU ARE RIGHT ! ! ! ! Thanks for your example, and consider how many people have built careers, provided for their families, and enjoyed success because of the help that was asked for and the support that was given. It goes without saying this does not just apply to business, but also to our contribution to our community, a charity, raising a family, improving at golf, or making great desserts. It is essential to be willing to ask and answer good questions.
The Drama Triangle
I would like to give one more example from MASTERING FEAR that was meaningful to me. Dr. Maurer cited a concept from psychiatrist Stephen Karpman called the DRAMA TRIANGLE. This is an interesting term, and one that I can only touch on here, yet the understanding of it will not only help us find resolutions to issues, but also help us find the purpose for asking great questions. The triangle describes three possible role people play in any conflict: the victim, the persecutor, and the rescuer. Conflicts between people or departments are hard to resolve because when an issue happens, our first tendency is to fall into the role of the victim because of what "they" (the persecutor) did to us. This initial scenario uses up incredible amounts of energy as both parties try to retain their role as victim, each trying to cause the other to admit that they are the persecutor or wrong. One victim becomes the rescuer by causing the persecutor to admit they were wrong. Neither is seeking help, and both are pursuing their need to be right. To find resolution and ultimately acceptance and collaboration, there is a need to step outside of this triangle to ask good questions and provide support.
To consider this example, I will resort back to the multiple choice approach. There are two (departments, co-workers, or spouses) that are struggling with (poor quality, failing efficiency, or lack of understanding). The first says to the second, you are ruining (our reputation, chance for a bonus, or marriage) because of your (poor quality, inefficiency, or lack of understanding). It is not our fault says the other; it's because we always have to (fix your mistakes, wait on your last-minute delivery, or listen to your constant complaining). To which each reply (no we don't, yes you do, no you don't . . . or all of the above) without resolution.
Dr. Maurer's tremendous writing and teaching style, his credible research and his understanding and compassion for people and their well-being has me hoping that everyone reading this email and those that you care enough to forward it to will join us for the free webinar described below. Writing the newsletter the past two weeks has once again validated the importance of digging deeper into books. I look across my office at the bookshelves filled with great books and realize it takes more than just reading a book to gain the most from it. The extra effort of discussing it with others and thinking how to articulate what you've read to share with others is important to understanding how to apply the concepts we read about. Please join us this coming Tuesday as we benefit from asking and answering questions on MASTERING FEAR!
Mastering Fear Webinar
Jim Paluch will interview Robert Maurer, Ph.D., about his newest book, Mastering Fear.
August 18, 2020
3:00 p.m. EST
2:00 p.m. Central
1:00 p.m. Mountain
12:00 p.m. Pacific
Dr. Maurer, Clinical Psychologist and Faculty Member at UCLA and University of Washington School of Medicine,author of the international best-seller One Small Step Can Change Your Life, is the founder of Science of Excellence. He has served as a consultant to Walt Disney Studios, the Four Seasons Hotels, Costco, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and Habitat for Humanity. His life-changing strategies are presented in more than 40 seminars to diverse audiences worldwide. His newest book is Mastering Fear and in it, he explains why some people struggle to achieve or sustain success and the single most important skill necessary to achieve maximum results. Dr. Maurer will share insights from Mastering Fear during our webinar on August 18.