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Dealing with People You Can't Stand

Five Ways to Make Meetings Productive, Efficient and a Win for Everyone

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Dr. Rick Brinkman reveals helpful tips to maximize time and work productivity. 

C-suite executives spend 40% of their workweek in meetings, according to The Wall Street JournalHarvard Business Review found that 15 percent of an organization’s total collective time is spent in meetings. Just how much of that time is effective depends largely on how the meeting is run — but top managers and CEOs don’t get there by wasting their company’s time. They use strategies that maximize productivity, minimize frustration, and end with people motivated and happy. And that approach can increase people’s productive work time by a full 20 percent.

Continue reading here on the McGraw-Hill Blog

How to Avoid Conflict and Polarization at Meetings

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With all the conflict and political polarization in the world it’s easy to feel helpless. Our politicians and one-sided media keep a drumbeat for their own gain to keep us polarized. Ironically when James Madison designed the constitution it was to create a structure where people could disagree but have an intelligent discussion and remain friends. In the election to the first congress Madison’s close friend James Monroe ran against him but even then Madison maintained his friendship in public and private with Monroe.

 

The good news is you’re not helpless because peace begins with us and especially our relationships with the people and meetings we can’t stand. This article will show you how discuss touchy subjects, avoid conflict and integrate points of view in the meeting context as outlined in my book; Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand, Meet Less and Do More.

READ THE REST AT THE MCGRAW-HILL BLOG

What Difficult Behavior Type is Donald Trump and What to Do About It at Meetings

As the co-author of the McGraw-Hill book, "Dealing with People You Can't Stand" and the author of the new McGraw-Hill book, "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand, Meet Less and Do More", I am constantly being asked, "What behavior types does Trump fall into?"  Those would be a combination of two. One is the "Think-They-Know-it-All" which is very ego driven. Out of this behavior there is constant one-upsmanship. If you were sick, they were sicker, if you had a big inauguration, they had a bigger one.  The other behavior is the Tank (bully).  To make matters more difficult, he has significant positional power. 

In this article I will explore how you deal with this trinity in a boss and how the Meeting Jet process can control it. 

https://www.business2community.com/communications/5-steps-to-defuse-the-bully-in-the-room-and-have-a-successful-meeting-02073377

Dealing with Meetings is Now in Japanese!

I'm pleased to say my McGraw-Hill book: Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand, Meet Less and Do More has been released in Japanese. And because my process is called the "Meeting Jet Process", they gave the guy on the cover a jet pack.  haha. :-)

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Dealing with Relatives: How to Prepare Yourself for Family Gatherings

Dealing with Relatives: How to Prepare Yourself for Family Gatherings

THE RULES OF NON-ENGAGEMENT WITH RELATIVES: How to Prepare for Family Gatherings

Adapted by Dr. Rick Brinkman from the book: Dealing with Relatives, Brinkman & Kirschner.

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Relatives have a unique relationship with you that is different for three reasons.

1. You did not choose them.  Yes, you choose your spouse, so he or she is not a relative. But what most people don't realize is the spouse comes along with bonus people! Feeling out of choice can easily lead to feeling like a victim.

2. Relatives are also hard to deal with because they tend to cross boundaries that no one else in your life would cross including a good friend.

3.  And relatives who are immediate family can be tough because they themselves are triggers to the past. Just as you can hear a song that suddenly takes you back in time, so it is that a family member can trigger old ways of relating or conflicts.

Therefore the first thing to remember when it comes to attending family events is you always have a choice:

1. Go and Suffer

2. Don’t Go (and possibly feel guilty)

3. Go with a different attitude

4. Go with a different attitude and behavior

I would suggest #4, a shift in attitude and behavior. Keep in mind your ability to make that shift will serve you in many more places than just this one event. Think of it like going to the gym and you are going to work out your communication and attitude muscles. 

To support you I suggest The Rules of Non-Engagement:  

1. Decide In Advance
Make a conscious choice about the kind of experience you’re going to have when you get there, before you arrive.

Liam says:

“I make a conscious choice to have a pleasant experience, no matter what. By reminding myself what I want from this experience, I have more control over my state of mind and the tone of any conversations we may have.”                

But it isn’t enough to make the choice not to have problems with a predictably argumentative relative.  You also want to make a conscious choice about what topics to steer clear of, and what you will do if those topics come up.

Carissa told us:

 “My mother-in-law has strong opinions about everything. If I responded to the troubling things she said, just for the sake of discussion, I was guaranteed an argument, and more likely an attack, which almost always led to a fight with my husband in the car on the way back home after visiting her! But I now realize that I have a say over what ultimately gets discussed, because I can avoid the problematic topics when they come up.  Now, on the way to her place, before I talk with her, I do a little talking with myself.  I tell myself exactly what I am willing to talk about and what I’m not willing to talk about no matter what, and I stick to it.”                                 

2. Plan for Sore Subjects

 Joseane:

"My husband’s former mother-in-law is a sore subject with my in-laws. Her name was Maggie.  Mention her name to either of them, and they spin off in anger.  To make matters worse my mother-in-law somehow, she finds a way to bring up Maggie’s name to me in every other conversation. We could be talking about food, travel, pets, children, whatever, and then for no obvious reason, she brings up the subject and starts reacting to it. Next thing I know, she’s telling the same story for the gazillionth  time about how inconsiderate she was, how mean she was, how absolutely awful she was.”

"I used to try and convince her that she should live and let live, but my efforts never worked.  Now when she starts talking angrily about Maggie, I just nod my head, wait till she’s done, and then change the subject to anything else!  I am purposely vague.  I just say ‘uh-huh.’  And if she asks me, ‘What do you think?, I know she isn’t really wanting my opinion, so I say ‘Well you know what's best for you.’  And the funny thing is when I do that she tells my husband, ‘I’m crazy about that girl.  She is so wise.’”

Joseane’s plan is simple.  She acts like she’s listening, and when she’s asked to take a position, she defers to the questioner for the answer.

This is also the way to deal with criticism from relatives. You can speak to their intent instead of getting caught up in the content of what they’re saying. If your relative says: “You should dress up more,” you can say, “Thank you for caring about my appearance.”

If your parent asks you, their adult child, whether you are brushing your teeth, you can reply, “Thanks for caring about my hygiene.”

By refusing to get caught up in the content of what they’ve said, you have time to breath, gather your wits, and create a cushion of non-engagement around yourself.

3.  Keep Your Perspective & Use Reminders

Garth told us: 

“Whenever we find ourselves obligated to attend some kind of family function, I’ve developed the habit of reminding myself that ‘all things will pass’.  I get a small red stick-on dot that I put on my watch to mark the time we’re leaving. It’s a perfect stealth reminder that helps me keep my perspective.”        

You should also partner with other family members who understand the difficulty of dealing with that special someone.  Develop a signal system, exit strategy, or other method of mutual support that can get you through the worst behavior without engaging with it.

By developing your options in advance, you support yourself and transform the stress of a family event into shared success.

I wish you good luck.

;-)

Dr. Rick

US Daily Review of "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand"

Here is the full review as published in the USDailyreview.com

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If you want to make everyone on your team at work feel like you’ve gotten absolutely nowhere, just hold a meeting. Meetings have a knack for bringing out the worst in us, from disengagement to irritation to that post-mortem eyeroll at the watercooler. Yet we can’t stop having them — and shouldn’t we have them? Dr. Rick Brinkman’s new book, Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand: Meet Less and Do More proves there’s a far better and more productive way to hold meetings, and it lays out a proven approach in a highly entertaining style.

Brinkman is an expert at “conscious communicating” with a roster of previous books, including Dealing with People You Can’t Stand. His new book is filled with similarly clever illustrations and charts, witty phrases, first-person tales, and it’s both a great read and an effective method. First of all, the next time you plan a meeting, don’t even think of it as a meeting. Instead, think of a meeting as a plane flight — and that you’re responsible for everyone having a safe, pleasant, on-time journey. All those people sitting around the table or in those little thumbnail images on your remote meeting app are your passengers. And you can take this analogy as far as you want it to, since Brinkman enthusiastically covers all the angles: metaphorical hijacking, too much baggage, unpleasant passengers, confusing directions, headwinds, and the consequences of landing too late for people to make their next“flights.”

Back up a moment, because rather than spoil the fun — and it is a fun read, and very refreshingly so —  let’s just talk about the why we have to have meetings in the first place. The reality is, we don’t, according to Brinkman. Most of us don’t ask if we should even be having a meeting, since we’ve come to believe that meetings are a part of the day like rain is a part of weather. But Brinkman insists we do ask why. we’re calling that meeting. If it’s to present information, he asserts, don’t do it. Meetings are not the time to present the new 25 page instruction manual or corporate identity report. They’re the time to talk about it. And there are just way too many pointless meetings being held, he says.

There’s a key difference between information and interaction, in other words. If you’re holding the meeting to get everyone discussing and strategizing about that document, terrific. First, send the materials out well ahead of time, and make it clear you expect it to be reviewed and understood before people walk in the door. This may well ring a bell with some readers, and it should: Brinkman is a master at illuminating just why common sense should prevail and doesn’t when it comes to gathering us all together. He also explains the immense importance of a well-thought-out agenda, which should include every single item to be covered, realistic time allotments for each one, the purpose of discussing them, and also what is expected of the people talking about them.

The bottom line is control: of time, of discussion, and mostly, of people. If you want to control the meeting, you have to frame it clearly, set expectations, and have tools in place to help rein in the variables, such as that “what exactly are we talking about here” confusion that makes everyone shift a little farther back in their seats. Brinkman provides savvy and subtle ways to control those disruptive personalities that tend to hijack the goings-on. We’ve all been there to listen to the ramblings of a Know It All or a Think They Know It All — as the author labels them. We’ve all heaved a sigh when someone starts seizing control of the discussion because they don’t have faith in the ability of the facilitator — a bullying personality type Brinkman calls a Tank. Those naysaying headshakers who frown endlessly at every single idea? They’re judges, notes Brinkman.

As guidebooks go, this is a good one to set prominently in your office and refer to frequently. It’s meant to provide you with better techniques that you can improve on with time. The more you craft a workable agenda, the better you’ll get at it, for instance. And the more people see you able to defuse the disruptions, the less disruptive they become. Master the tools in this book and use them to run your next meeting, and you’ll feel a remarkable transformation take place: people may actually ask you when the next meeting is. But if you’re not the one in charge, don’t despair. Brinkman provides a script for making tactful yet convincing suggestions for trying a better method. In this book, he’s thought of everything.

Learn more about Dr. Rick Brinkman at drrickbrinkman.com

US Daily Review Loves "Dealing with Meetings"

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Quotes from the article: "it lays out a proven approach in a highly entertaining style."

"His new book is filled with clever illustrations and charts, witty phrases, first-person tales, and it’s both a great read and an effective method. First of all, the next time you plan a meeting, don’t even think of it as a meeting. Instead, think of a meeting as a plane flight — and that you’re responsible for everyone having a safe, pleasant, on-time journey."

"But if you’re not the one in charge, don’t despair. Brinkman provides a script for making tactful yet convincing suggestions for trying a better method. In this book, he’s thought of everything."

"As guidebooks go, this is a good one to set prominently in your office and refer to frequently. It’s meant to provide you with better techniques that you can improve on with time."

" and it is a fun read, and very refreshingly so —  "

 

Dealing with People You Can't Stand #2 iBooks Bestseller

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Publisher's weekly has just released the stats for November 26, 2017 and my book, "Dealing with People You Can't Stand, How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst" (Brinkman & Kirschner) is #2 on the business book bestseller list. 

iBooks US Bestseller List - 11/26/17 - Business & Personal Finance
1. Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss - 9781328994974 - (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
2. Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, Revised and Expanded Third Edition: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst by Dr. Rick Brinkman & Dr. Rick Kirschner - 9780071785730 - (McGraw-Hill Education)
3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki - 9781612680187 - (Plata Publishing, LLC.)

see more here

It also has been translated into 25 languages. The bad news is I guess many people in the world can't stand each other. The good news, it's great for business! ;-)

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The Art of the Apology

Dr. Rick Brinkman teaches you how to apologize with the help of his two cats. Watch as he coaches Neelix to apologize to Leela. Learn the one thing you absolutely must NOT do when you apologize or it will not work and in fact will backfire and make things worse.

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The Art of the Apology

With the help of his two Cats, Neelix and Leela Dr. Rick will show you how to avoid the #1 mistake made when apologizing and a 3 step strategy to have everyone let go of the past and move forward.

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