Podcast 898: You Can Change Other People with Peter Bregman and Howie Jacobson

I recently had a wondeful interview with the authors of a new book entitled “You Can Change Other People: The Four Steps to Help Your Colleagues, Employees―Even Family―Up Their Game,”  Peter Bregman and Howie Jacobson.

Peter is a best-selling author and the CEO of Bregman Partners while Howie is the Director of Coaching in the same company and the Head Coach at the Healthy Minds Initiative.   

Can you change other people? Yes.  Find out how in this very engaging interview where we  talk about the 4 steps to help change other people and how to use them.  Also listen to the very helpful takeaways that they share in the interview.

To know more about Peter and Howie, please click this link to visit their website.

THE BOOK

In You Can Change Other People, Peter Bregman, the world’s #1 executive coach, and Howie Jacobson, Ph.D., teach you the Four Steps to help the people around you make positive change―even if they’ve been stuck for years. You’ll discover exactly what to say—and what not to say—to disarm people’s defensiveness and increase their confidence to act.

Full of sample scripts and diverse examples that make the process immediately actionable, the authors share a powerful process that until now, has been available only to the world’s top executives.

THE AUTHORS

Peter Bregman’s Bio: Recognized as the #1 executive coach by Leading Global Coaches, Peter Bregman is CEO of Bregman Partners. He leads the Bregman Leadership Coach Training and the Bregman Leadership Intensive, ranked the #1 leadership development program by Global Gurus. He is the bestselling author of 5 books, including Leading with Emotional Courage and 18 Minutes, a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Howie Jacobson’s Bio: Howie Jacobson, PhD, is Director of Coaching at Bregman Partners and Head Coach at the Healthy Minds Initiative. He is the host of the Plant Yourself podcast, and contributing author of the New York Times bestseller Whole.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

GREG VOISEN
Welcome back Inside Personal Growth this is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from, where are you Peter? I was basically asking Howie where he was before we got on.

PETER BREGMAN
New York City

GREG VOISEN
Is Peter Bregman and he's the CEO of Bregman partners. And for all of those who want to find out more about Peter, you can just go to Bregman partners b r eg Ma and Pa RT N ers comm to learn more about him, and how he add PhD how he Jacobson is an executive coach to clients, ranging from startup founders to established and raising fortune 100 leaders. He's director of coaching at Bregman partners and head coach at Healthy Minds initiative. Is that the one out of Wisconsin Howie?

HOWIE JACOBSON
That’s in California

GREG VOISEN
California. Okay. All right. Well, I appreciate both of you guys being on and we're going to be talking about their new book, you can change other people before steps to help your colleagues, employees, even family give up their game. This is the book, this is the book that we'll put a link to in our blog. This is where you want to go to pick this book up. You know, change has always been, I remember reading a book and I told you guys this in the pre interview, Immunity to Change they came out of MIT. And you know, people would go to the doctor, and they'd have a challenge. And they they basically had heart issues, right? They were studying them. And they say, Well, you need to change your diet, you need to go exercise, you need to do this. And you guys all know, because, you know, we've had atomic change guy on here, we've had tiny changes guy on here. Changes are tough. And they have to be made incrementally. Why do you guys believe a book about changing other people is so important, and why did you guys decide to publish? You can change other people now? Why? Why the book? Why now? What's your purpose?

HOWIE JACOBSON
Oh, I'll start. Okay. So the genre of change books has largely been about how to change yourself. Right? So you know, atomic habits and tiny habits and all that is, how can I change myself. And those are, you know, I use those books, they're on my on my shelf, they're very, very helpful. What we wanted to do was crew is for those people who are going around, say, like the people around me, I can see how they're self sabotaging. I can see how they're not getting what they want, in the outcomes in their life, in the real in their relationships in their careers. And I can see ways in which I could help them. And yet, when we try to help people, when we give them advice, or we criticize, or all the ways that we think we know how to do it, we actually generate resistance. So like people act, the way that people around them, act like community is probably the most important factor, social pressure, social support really will determine how people will act. So this book is really about how to give everybody the skills to help the people around them as you set up their game to become the best versions of themselves, rather than saying it's each of our responsibility to change on our own. Let's, you know, share the responsibility so that we're helping each other.

GREG VOISEN
Yeah, I get that. And I get that it's a Support Center, especially when you're at work, to have people help you. Peter, do you have anything to add to that? Because obviously, the two of you work together and how he's a coach for your company. You're doing kind of the same thing. And it's, it's a challenging task at best to get people to change but even to support them to change. This isn't this isn't a new topic by any means. So you want to add anything?

PETER BREGMAN
Yeah, I'm sure. A few things. One is, you know, we always talk about wow, you know, change has never been happening so fast. Like we've never experienced a time where change was moving so fast, right? I heard someone express it differently to me. The other day they said, Change will never again, be so slow. Like you will never experience the time in your life when change was happening so slowly as it is now because it is only going faster, right? Like Pete, like changes happening. And so, you know, we we need to change, we need to grow, we need to, you know, I mean, the pandemic disrupted everybody, there's massive changes going on in the world. And, and, and in order to stay kind of connected to each other in order to stay connected to ourselves in order to sort of continue to grow and develop in the ways that we want to. It's, we need to change, I mean, we could have written it five years from now, and it would have been even more important, one of the basic premises of this book is that which I'm sure we're gonna get into, which is that mostly we approach change as a critic and not as an ally, right, we, if I want to change you, I'm going to criticize you, I'm going to tell you what you're doing wrong. And we give you feedback, I might give you constructive criticism, but they're all showing up as me criticizing you and telling you, you have to be better, you have to do something differently. And, and that actually creates resistance to change, what we're saying is be an ally actually shift the dynamic. What I want to say about these books that say change yourself, is even when I am changing myself, when I'm trying to do something like stop eating sugar, I'm trying to be a better communicator, and I'm just doing it for myself individually, the same dynamic happens, which is I am just being a critic of myself, I am telling myself, Peter, you shouldn't have had that ice cream, Peter, you shouldn't have eaten those chocolate chips beforehand. Like you know what's going on with you get better. And, and even when it's projected, certainly, when it's projected onto someone else, it creates resistance to change. What I'm discovering is even when we try to change ourselves, when we act as a critic to ourself, that voice in our head that saying you're not enough, you're not doing it, well, come on, you're better than this. That actually creates a resistance to change also. So what we're talking about relates to any kind of change, which is the first step is you got to be an ally, you got to work with, not against?

GREG VOISEN
Well, as you both know, you know, there are changes that people will make, but it's their decision. There's a difference between making a change, that's my decision, versus making a change that's in a corporate environment that somebody wants to see happen. Would you guys like to comment on that? Because they think that there's more resistance to somebody telling me a corporate to go change something because I'm not doing it right. versus you know, how we look, you're you've got a business where you help people change and become plant based eaters. They're doing that for their health. Frequently, that's a lot easier to do. Because they've made a choice, then they made a decision, right? I mean, if I want to change houses, or buy a new house, that's great, or move across the country, or I'm going to go through a divorce. That's a choice that then I'm making when someone isn't making it for me. But that's a great change.

PETER BREGMAN
yyeah. It's a great, I love it. I love I love what you're saying. And, and and here's the way we sort of talked about in the book, anyone who runs a company is part of a company, anybody who feels like you're in a position to create boundaries, and tell people how they need to change so that they shouldn't change. People will change when they choose to change. So even when you think, even if you're a parent, I'm a parent, I've got three kids, how is the parent, even when I think I have the power, and I tell my kids, they have to do something, I can tell you from firsthand experience, they will find ways to not do it. If they don't want to do that, ultimately, people will change when they choose to change. And what I would say also so by the way, so what that requires is that we have a process, that when we want to align people, when we want to move people in a certain direction, when we want to support them in changing, we better have a process that enables them, that enables our relationship to help them get to a place where they're making their own choices about change. And we can support that, as opposed to us kind of coming off as trying to force them to change. And what I would say is, even with the plant based diet and Howie I would love to get your perspective on this, a lot of people with a plant based diet, you know, I have a cousin, a close friend of mine, someone I'm having dinner with tonight, who just is going plant based. And what he said is I've gotten plant based, because you know I'm well in that 55 to 65 range where my risk of a heart attack is really high. And I really want to make sure that I don't get a heart attack. So is he choosing to be plant based because he's so driven and attracted to it? Or it's his choice but as the choosing because he's afraid of getting a heart attack and he realizes that the consequences of not making that choice might be more drastic. So I think there's so much complexity even when we're making our own decisions. And what we have to do is to create an environment in which people take ownership for and, and allow and make their own choices around change. I'm curious how we whether you agree with that or disagree with that.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Yeah, well, I'm going to jump ahead into our four step process, which we did to the second step, which some of we've never done before. We've never like just picked out a step. But the second step is asking, what's the outcome you're going for. And I find that this is what really aligns people, whether it's our own change, or something we want somebody else to do, is that it has whatever the change is, it has to be aligned with an outcome that's important to the person. So if your friend is like, I want to avoid a heart attack. Like that's we talked about in the book, like that's kind of a negative, like an outcome. That's like what I don't want. Right? Right. So one of the things we try to do is get to an outcome that they do want, what's not an outcome that's positive, clear, and meaningful. So Peter, in conversation tonight, you could probably you know, you might get your friend to say, you know, I want to be a loving presence in my children's and my grandchildren's lives. For the next 20 years, I want to keep going on great vacations with my spouse, I want to keep running my nonprofit and making this difference in the world. Like, the not getting a heart attack is for the sake of what, right, right. And then when the first is like, you know, so let's say the first like, I want to be a positive role model for my kids and my grandkids, then in the moment, when they want to go, they want to eat, you know, a salad, but they're tempted to order the steak, you know, the burger and fries. They can send say, Oh, my goal is to be a positive role model, not just in 20 years, but right now. And that actually can make it easier to maintain the change, when we are focused on the outcome. That's values based,

GREG VOISEN
I think it's a matter of, and how just add to this, it's kind of like feeling forward. Great. In other words, if you're projecting into the future, Peter, what it is you want, whether using visualization, affirmations, whatever it might be, you know, after 15 years of doing personal growth podcasts, you get a pretty good idea from all the books that have come through what works and what doesn't. One of the techniques is, what do you want to feel like, into the future? Right now, it sounds silly, but it's really kind of an interesting concept. You guys skipped one thing. I'm glad that you brought up step two, though, Howie, but you state that when you solve problems for others, now this is whether it's at home, you know, you get your kids, and you say, Okay, this is a way to solve this. Or it's at work. Hey, guys, this is the way to do it. Right? You take away the ownership of those solutions. Right? So now you kind of feel disempowered, because it's like, we didn't let the kid do it. And my wife used to be a school teacher for 23 years, she used to tell the kids love and logic. It was what? Rep what kind of reprimand would you choose for yourself? And they always chose the worst one than what she would choose if they were bad, right? And so why is inclusion so important? And why is creating a plan? So imperative, because that's one of your steps, that's the fourth step in your four step process.

PETER BREGMAN
So, you know, maybe it makes sense to put this in the context of the four steps, right?

GREG VOISEN
So the, there are very simple steps.

PETER BREGMAN
They’re simple, right? So the first step is shifting from critic to ally, right, which is, instead of approaching this with, I'm frustrated, I'm angry, find the place where you know, if you're frustrated or angry about something you really want someone to change. There's underlying that if you ask sort of why you're angry, or frustrated, it's probably coming out of a place of care or love or support. Right that if I'm, you know, if I'm frustrated that, you know, we were talking about the way someone's eating, you know, that's because I care about them, right? If I if I'm annoyed about how someone's communicating might be because I care deeply about the outcome that we're trying to achieve together collectively as a group, or I want them I'm wanting to support them in their career. And so so to find that place where, where we actually want to help them succeed. And by the way, even if you can't find that, realizing that if they're in your way, helping them to be more successful and how they approach things will probably not be in your way, right like that, that if they're communicating really aggressively. You know, if you help them to communicate more effectively, that's probably going to be supportive of everybody. So finding that place where you really want to support them and then you ask their permission, right? You say we have a formula for this, which is empathize. express confidence and ask permission. Which is to say like, you know, I understand you're struggling to be heard in the meeting. And I can see how frustrating that is. And I've seen you being very, very effective in how you communicate, would you be willing to think about it with me or talk about it together? Right? So you get them to say, yes, that's the first step where they're going to get they have choice, right? They could say, No, I've done this with people. And they say, No, oftentimes, when I accept their No, they'll come back to me, because they know they're in control, and they have power. Second step is the outcome, which is what is it that I really want to achieve how he described that beautifully, you're going from a frustrating problem to an energizing outcome that you're looking forward to like for the sake of what the third step is opportunity, which is to sort of find the opportunity in the problem often, that allows you to achieve the outcome that helps you to achieve the outcome. And and then finally, a plan because you can have great conversations and this is the question that you're asking, Why is this plant, so important, you can have great conversations that bring massive insights and mind blowing discoveries, and then go back and just do the same thing you were doing beforehand, right? Because there's a massive gap between what we know and what we do, the way we think of this work, is getting massive traction on what's most important to people helping them to get massive traction, what's most important to them. And so the traction part, the translating into action becomes really important and really critical. And so that happens in a plan. And the plan, by the way, it doesn't have to work, it just has to be followed through on. That's one of the discoveries that have been made, which is what's most important is forward momentum. If you're worried about having the perfect plan, you probably won't move forward. If you act like a scientist and say I'm going to try some stuff, I'm 100% confident this is what we call, you know, a level 10 plan a one to 10, I'm a 10. On following through that I'm going to follow through on this plan, and I'm 100% covered, I'm going to follow through, I don't know if it's gonna work, but I think it's got a pretty good shot, let's explore it, we're gonna learn something, and then we'll figure out what the next step is. So those are the four steps and it's why each step is important.

GREG VOISEN
I think your four step program is very simple and very effective for people to basically implement, right. And how we, if you would speak about something that's called the opportunity step in action, I pulled that out of the book. And it's built around three lines of inquiry. And I thought those lines of inquiry were really important, because that is an important way to get to that to get to the opportunity. So we you share the lines of inquiry and why this helps people accept change more easily.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Sure, so we've just gotten to this outcome, so the person's kind of excited about it. And now we still have to face reality. So reality is there is a situation there is a problem of struggle and obstacle. So then we return to the problem, but with the outcome in mind framed by the outcome, so we're not just because we just started with the with the problem. Okay, Gary, I have your permission. Now, let's talk about, you know, why you're interrupting in meetings, or why you keep eating sugar, or why you're having burgers and fries all the time, where they've already thought about it, right? Whatever we struggle with, we tend to to ruminate over some, but now that we have the outcome in mind, we can then return to the problem and say, so tell me what's happening now? What's going on? What does it look like? And we ask for sort of very specific examples. And like, Take me there, let me be a fly on the wall. So the person isn't just regurgitating a generalized story, but they're actually reciting facts and details that very often can start to undermine their story, the story that's been keeping them stuck. After that the second line of inquiry is, so what have you tried? And we asked this for two reasons. One is they may have tried things in the past that worked, right? We all we all have done things that worked, and we just stopped doing them. Who knows why, like, we got bored, we went on vacation. And when we came back, our schedule was was interrupted or something. But but we often have good strategies from our past. The second is, we want to get everything out of out on the table. So we don't start thinking about suggesting things that they've already tried and failed, like, right? Because then you know, Hey, have you tried this? Or what about this? Have you tried that we lose a lot of credibility. You know, if they start saying, Yeah, I've tried all that stuff. So we we want them to tell us what they've tried. And very often, they'll get to a kind of creative dead end. Like they realized everything I've been doing so far hasn't worked. So now they're open to a new approach, rather than continuing to double down on the things that they've been doing in the past that didn't work. And once we have those two, we then say, so where's it Where's an opportunity here. And sometimes we can ask it, but we often we can suggest it, we can notice things. Right? So if the opportunity for Peters friends is, you know, he wants to be plant based, but he keeps getting tempted by other foods to take you to say, well, the opportunity in that moment to achieve the outcome I want, which is to be a great role model is to be a great role model right now, as I make a choice in for my long term interests, as opposed to my short term interest, which is presumably something as parents, we want to teach our kids to delay gratification for fun, you know, so they can get the two marshmallows, rather than, rather than just the one. So and these opportunities can take a bunch of different forms, we have sort of four or five different categories that are very, very common, like the opportunity, there's always always an opportunity for emotional courage, which I hope I hope Peter is going to talk about in some length, there's almost no, there's an opportunity to look at the problem as a symptom of an underlying system that you can improve, there's often an opportunity for in this moment to increase capability, generally, to handle this problem. So there's, you know, there's a bunch of different ones that we highlight, and most most, that we've seen fall in one of these, but it really is the point at which we explore with the other person and say, okay, given your outcome you want, given this problem? How can we use the situation that we find ourselves in, to move forward to what you want?

GREG VOISEN
Well, Ithink your four simple steps are very helpful in both family, you say in the book that this can be used for families can be used in corporate world can be used almost anywhere, and you guys used stories throughout examples? Uh, two people, I think it was Steven and Octavia. Is that right? If I remember correct, but I would like to get to this distraction. We talked about it a second ago. But you mentioned that it's easy to get distracted from the objectives. And I think that wasn't Peter, when things get hard or complicated or a little confusing, or distractions are tempting that we said the distractions, can you speak about the different kinds of distractions, and how to become distraction proof, we're in a world that's always on, we have cell phones, we've got our computers, we're getting notifications, we get texts, we get bombarded in every different way. And it's it's very difficult to not get distracted.

PETER BREGMAN
Distraction, the you're talking about, which is that you know, you know, I the probably the most maybe not the most famous but the the article that at the moment got the most attention that I've written was when I had just came out this is I mean, I guess now 10, 11 years ago, and I wrote I bought an iPad, and I returned it. And and I wrote an article about why returned it, which is that I have lost all my moments of boredom, which actually feel important, it feels important for us to get bored, and the newspaper was man returns the iPad in favor of boredom. And it but you know, it's like, you know, like, oh, well, he's so excited about being bored. But there's another kind of distraction, which is the kinds of distractions in in the conversation around change. You're trying to help people change, right, you're trying to help someone change. And some of it's hard how we mentioned the emotional courage is, you know, there's all if we're, there's a lot of, we're going to feel a lot of things when we start doing things differently, when we know there's a risk if I'm going to start to act differently with other people, if I'm going to communicate differently, if I'm going to eat differently, if I'm going to any of this stuff. I'm gonna feel stuff, right. I mean, to just use those two examples that we've been using, throughout the interview, don't indulge feelings, we dismiss them. That's the thing about feeling the drivers to act, when when I'm driven to act by a feeling the reason i i follow through and that action isn't because I'm fulfilling the need of the feeling increasing our emotional cards, our willingness to feel things makes it very, is very necessary in terms of our following through on on actions that can be difficult, but there's all kinds of distractions that happen when you're in a conversation with someone and you're looking for opportunities and they'll do something like blame other people. Or they'll say like I might say, you know, the reason we'll keep the sugar thing going, how he The reason I eat and let's see how he does with all these Zhi Ling give you let me give you what we would call distractions, Howie how the reason I eat ice cream I was asking is because my wife buys all of this ice cream and she buys and then when it's on sale, so buy like 10 pints of It'll all be in the freezer. And it's, you know, like, how am I supposed to resist it when there's some fights. Plus I buy frozen vegetables, but there's no place to put the frozen vegetables in the fridge unless I eat the ice cream and make space for the frozen vegetables. So it's not my fault. Really?

GREG VOISEN
I like your analogy, Peter. So let's see what how he says.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Yeah, so I would, I would at that point, I'm feeling a lot of sort of defensiveness and resistance. So my, my, my knee jerk reaction is to fight back is to, first of all to say like, do you hear yourself? How ridiculous is it you're going to eat? You have to go through the ice cream to get to the vegetables, essentially, or have a conversation with your wife for God's sake. But like, like, like, I'm feeling that. But instead, I don't I don't want to. I don't want to be oppositional. So I'm just going to remind Peter. So, Peter, tell me what you'd like your relationship to ice cream today? Remind me what do you want? Right? Because I want I want Peter to, I want Peter to just to take his side rather than me having to do some sort of martial arts here yet,

PETER BREGMAN
The most useful thing to do is exactly what how we did, which is ignore the distractions. There's so many things, here's another distraction that gets that gets people all the time. Why do I do that? Why do I always eat the ice cream instead of the vegetables? I want to really understand what's underlying my struggle with this, let's, let's spend the next six conversations trying to figure out why I do this. Right? To which Howie responds?

HOWIE JACOBSON
Well, um, we, you know, that's a fascinating question, Peter. But I want to kind of come back to like, what would you like to do instead?

PETER BREGMAN
Yeah, we could speak forever and unpack why, but it's a distraction to the actual move that I need to make, which is to not eat the ice cream. And we think if we understand why, and if we really unpack that, and maybe I go back to the fact that as I was a kid, my mother never let me have sweets, except on special occasions. And so we never had in the house and I'm deprived, right. And in the end, I'm still going to be looking at a fridge with ice cream going. Hmmm….tasty.

HOWI JACOBSON
right. Something I sometimes do when people really are fixated on getting insight is asking them like if you had that insight, what would you be doing differently?

GREG VOISEN
Yeah, well, that brings me to actually, there's a great question right around this that I came up with and you state the move from insight to traction and requires a plan. That is the fourth step. Right? How do we create a plan that has a reasonable chance of success? Because you said the plans could fail? I heard you guys earlier, as long as there's a plan, but the plan could fail. Let's say it didn't work. Well. Let's say in your example, you created the plan, and you ate the ice cream. Anyway, it failed. But you add ice cream, but you had a plan. Right? So your plan was to dig below and find the vegetables but instead, you went ahead and ate the ice cream and you found the vegetables later.

PETER BREGMAN
I know it sounds like it's my fault. It's not my fault, it’s my wife’s fault

GREG VOISEN
She put all that ice cream in there. That was so extreme and the Fred's there was no room for all that cheap Ben and Jerry's in there. So so if you guys would from insight detraction, right, I mean, yeah, I can have an insight. That's what you just said, and an insight, I shouldn't need the ice cream. Traction is don't eat the ice cream, eat the vegetables. That's a successful plan, because that's what you want to have happen. So how do you what do you do to make a reasonable chance of success? I have a plan.
How are you?

HOWIE JACOBSON
Okay, no, I'll start. Well, I mean, the first thing you do is, you know, presumably, both of you are bright.

GREG VOISEN
Remove the ice cream, take the ice cream out and throw it away.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Well, maybe I mean, that's, that's the that's one of the questions like a great way to not eat ice cream.

PETER BREGMAN
It might not be a great way to stay married.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Yeah, right. So you can you can say, Do you want to be the sort of person who never eats ice cream as long as you're not in the presence of ice cream? Right, like we could, you know, like, what's the saying you can you can carpet the world or you can wear shoes, right? So, you know, it might be a great idea for a month to do He talks. And then the client, the the plan might be a conversation with Peters life or, you know, by by a dorm fridge with a freezer for her office where she can have all the ice cream. She was like, there's, there's infinite number of ways we could go with the plan. But then we're looking for like, what's the outcome you want? You know, again, who's the sort of person you want to be? And and in that moment, so there's a moment where you're either going to go left or right, you're gonna have the ice cream or the vegetables. So what can we do around that moment? To increase the odds? And then when Peter tries something, and it fails, he comes back with new information and say, Okay, well, this, this didn't work. But you know what, I had this feeling I had this thought in my head at that moment, and it was a new thought it wasn't one that I had recognized before. And it convinced me, so now he Oh, great. So now, like, do you agree with that thought? Do you want to change your thoughts? Or do you want to change your plan, you know, your, your, the outcome you want, and then we then we can work on it from there. So it becomes very iterative, which is a relief, because none of us is smart enough to know what's going to work.

PETER BREGMAN
And, you know, let me add something to that how we, which is, first of all, I feel like I need to say this for anyone who's listening. I'm the one who bought the 10 pints of ice cream, not my wife, I did it because it was on sale. And it was you know, it was her favorite ice cream. So I was being a good husband. But I'm the one who said, Oh, wow, $2.50 for a pint of Haagen DAAS, we should buy out the store. So that I'm just I just want to own that, you know, I'm no wonder to that. And we can so totally unpack that. But here's the most important thing about a plan, that it comes from the person who's making the change. So if you're helping someone change, and you're throwing out all these brilliant ideas, it's not going to work. If they are throwing out ideas, it doesn't matter whether they're brilliant, right? All it matters is that they're the ones throwing them out, they will have ownership over the ideas that they come up with, they will follow them through and they will learn from them. And they are much more likely to succeed. So the most important thing in terms of a plan that is going to be followed through on is that they say, Hey, I could try this or I could now you could offer ideas, but very tentatively, right? So have you thought about this? Or what about that? Or do you think that might work or what probably wouldn't work about this, you know, you could sort of unpack it and be in conversation with them about it. But people follow through on the ideas that they come up with themselves. So that's a really important thing.

GREG VOISEN
I think that's the most important thing to accentuate here is that when they take ownership, they're going to succeed. If it's my good idea, nine cases out of 10, it's not if you have older children like I do, and you and you counsel them, you want them to come up with the solution, not you. Otherwise, if you say this is the way you should do it, there's going to be resistance, I've had it happen all the time. And I have a younger son that I go through that with. So the examples that you're giving are great examples. But if if people took away just that, that if you were going to counsel your kids, or you're going to counsel somebody at work, let them create the plan and the solution. You're just there as a guide. You're there to help them but you're not to put what they want to call, you might make suggestions, hey, you might want to do it this way. But it isn't, you want them to make the decision.
Right?

PETER BREGMAN
100% and, and that there is still a role for you, you are critical in the process. I've tried to use this process on myself and I fail, because I need someone we need each other. We need each other to bounce ideas off of we need each other to ask the right kinds of questions. We need each other to make suggestions. But so often, when we step in, we step in as the boss guy, right? The boss man, the boss woman, we step in in that way. And that's a way that ends up being ineffective. So there is a very important role for us, but it is not as director of the ship. Yeah, it's the guy.

GREG VOISEN
It's like when the CEO steps in the room with his ego and tells everybody the way it's got to be you know that, you know, we've been having a meeting and he's 15 minutes late, and then he comes in he hasn't heard what's going on. And he goes well, but this is the way it's got to be guys. That doesn't really go over you don't get you get a lot of resistance, right. So the shift I just want to tell for my listeners. The four steps are shifting credit to ally identify an energizing outcome, find a hidden opportunity and create a level 10 plan. Those are your four steps now, for both of you. And we'll start with Howie, because he hasn't said much lately, if you were to leave the listeners with three things that could implement for themselves and their teams that would make change something that people would not resist, but embrace. What would you tell him? What would you tell our listeners is a takeaway? Howie?

HOWIE JACOBSON
Yeah, so I would say the first thing is to work on yourself. So before you try to change someone else recognize if you want to change them, because you're frustrated, because you're angry, because, you know, because there's some there's some negative emotion that has been driving you to want them to change, like, Ah, right. So first, before you just implement the four steps, work on your self so that your intentions are positive. So which means what is my positive intent behind wanting them to change? What do I want for them? What do I want for myself? What do I want for the world and become generous with yourself? Like, yeah, I, I may have these negative emotions, I may feel angry and frustrated and sad or whatever. But it come, it's coming from a good place. And then take that energy and practice it on them. What's that person trying to accomplish? Even though they're doing it poorly, even though they're interrupting in the meetings, they're still trying to have an impact. They're trying to prevent problems from arising they're trying to do to express due diligence. If they're eating sugar, they want to feel good in the moment, they want to have more energy, they want to be connected to the people in their lives, who are also eating sugar. Right? So a generosity of spirit. And then the third thing I would say is, start relentlessly focusing on asking about outcomes before you get into the problem.
Good advice. And Peter, off to the same question, what what would you like to leave the listeners with we've talked about your four step process, we've talked about opportunity, we've talked about all the process, and again, for my listeners, here's the book, you can change other people. And these gentlemen are doing it successfully with their four step process.

GREG VOISEN
Peter, what would you actually tell the listeners to take away

PETER BREGMAN
I think my Three Things would be stop tolerating people's weaknesses, tell them what they're doing wrong, and raise your voice and get angry at them. And that that usually, you know, ends up how's that working for you? Okay, so No, those are not the things that I was.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Just, I was I was scribbling notes, man, it's like, another book.

PETER BREGMAN
Exactly. Um, you know, I think, first of all, I love how these three things, so I could I could just sit with how many things but I'll throw out a few.

GREG VOISEN
Now we're going to get six.

PETER BREGMAN
A few. Yeah, exactly. Um, you know, the first thing I would do, and this is sort of a method that helps putting the kind of how your approach like what how he's talking about very much is like, how do you approach as an ally, not as a critic, I think the first thing I would do is put everything in perspective. Like, whatever is happening, whatever change, like, when we feel desperate, we end up acting poorly, almost always. So take some steps back and say, you know, what, if this never changed, it would probably be okay. But if I recognize that I don't have the power here that any kind of control I have, is an illusion of control, but not actual control, then I can soften, I want to help them, but it's them, it's theirs. And even if this is really hard, even if it's my child, and they're doing something that is unhealthy for them, like in the end, I do not have control over that. I can help I can support but I don't. So recognizing that. Take a breath, slow down. Right. That's the first thing. And then the second thing is to say is to ask yourself, what role can I play in support of this person? Right, like, what role can I play? Like, what can I do? I can ask them questions. I realizing the rules that we've said people don't resist change, they resist being changed, ownership has to stay there. They need to build their emotional courage. Like, you know, what, what role can I play? What question Can I ask? And then the third, which is going to seem incredibly self-interested, but it is the reason that we wrote the book is you don't trust yourself to do this without some kind of a structure and some kind of a process. I mean, we wrote the book in order to to offer this structure in the process, but I know from myself, when I am not following a story. Yes. You know, like Halloween, I created this, we wrote it, I've been teaching it for decades. If I don't intentionally, really follow the process. If I don't say step one, step two, step three, step four, even after decades of doing this, if I don't intentionally follow the process, I will fall into habits that inevitably create resistance to change as opposed to support it. So, you know, that's, to me, the most important thing is, you know, follow a process that gets you reliable results. And, and be transparent and follow it.

GREG VOISEN
Well, I think the two of you have given our listeners a lot of wisdom and thoughts to think about change, and the fact that we can change other people. And I think the four step process that you gave, is really quite good. I think that, uh, you know, all you got to do is ask a manager that's listening to this podcast right now. How is the current way you're trying to get employees changing working for you? Okay, because you'll probably find out that it's not working real well, because they've used the same old thing. In that business, we used to say, is it the carrot or the stick? This one happens to be the carrot, not the stick. And for those of you who would like another carrot, it's going to work. This one will work, go out and get the book, we'll put a link to Amazon. Do you also have a book website or just is it Peter Bregman or Bregman partners.com? Or is there a book website?

PETER BREGMAN
No, the book website is on Bregmanpartners.com. So if you go to b-r-e-g –m-n-p-a-r-n-e-r-s, and there's a book, another topic on resources and bucket and the books on the top,

GREG VOISEN
But you don't have you don't have a separate book site for now. Okay. Okay. No. So we will put that link for our listeners. Thank you both for being on and joining me today on insight, personal growth and sharing your insights about how to change other people. Obviously, you both have lots of experience doing this. How we with your background, and getting people to go plant based, obviously you use these techniques as well. And, Peter, through your job as a consultant working in big companies, getting people to change. You've obviously been quite successful at that. Thank you both for being on insight, personal growth and spending some time with us talking about your new book. You can change other people.

PETER BREGMAN
Thanks, you Greg, such a pleasure.

HOWIE JACOBSON
Thank you.

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