Part of You Is Not Going To Like This

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For a long time I thought the concept of a life coach was a bunch of woo woo nonsense, but a few years ago I downed the Kool-Aid and hired a guy out of Seattle. He had a psychology and religion degree, and primarily worked with business executives and pro soccer players. 

On paper we had little in common, but I’d been following him on Facebook for a few months, and just had this undeniable sense that I could learn from him. 

We had 12 sessions together, and what he taught me during our second session, not only shaped the rest of our following conversations, but it has stuck with me over the years.

I came to that second session frustrated about a conversation with my wife, Cara. At this point I don’t even recall the substance of it, but I was bent out of shape. He opened the meeting with, “so where would you like to start today?” and I replied, “I’m really frustrated with my wife about [insert common marriage struggle].”

He stopped me with this statement, “You are not frustrated Chris, a Part of you is frustrated about this. The difference is important.”

At first the distinction felt very forced and new-agey, like he was just shuffling the deck chairs on me, but he went on to explain.

“Your ego is lit up with this story about your wife, and the story has taken over in your head. Can you agree that there’s other parts of you that are just fine at this very moment Chris? Part of you is upset, what’s happening in the other part?”

That last question is what unlocked the discovery for me.

What it has taught me, is that in every situation, my ego has an immediate and well-defended reaction that it compels me from. It has “real” justifications for why I’m mad, irritated, scared, offended, feeling small, etc.

If I choose to pause just long enough to tap into the “other part of me”, I immediately start gaining a wider perspective and thinking of better responses, possible solutions, and the consequences that would likely have come from my initial Ego-based reaction.

After a few years of working at practicing this, I’ve found it to be useful in virtually every negative or stressful scenario I encounter in work and family life. I have found the more often I investigate my thoughts like this, the more I naturally default to it.

I really think what my coach Seth ultimately taught me with the whole “part of me” thing, is how to access wisdom. Maybe the leaders I admire never had Seth explain it in this way, but I think they’re applying a similar practice. Great leaders have learned to doubt or discount their initial reactions just long enough to zoom out and investigate, allowing them to grab a hold of the wisdom in that situation. 

Another thing I’ve noticed about great leaders in my orbit, that goes a step further on this idea, is that great leaders don’t let any single situation define them. Our egos tend to jump to reputation and identity, “This is what this situation says about you”, or “If you let them get away with this, this is what will happen to you.” Great leaders have learned how to manage those egoic reactions.

The ego part of us loves to catastrophize- it goes to the most extreme negative outcome or the most sinister motive of the other person or people. The ego fills in the blanks and makes all kinds of assumptions. Skilled leaders have learned to investigate these thoughts, before responding. 

The best thing about practices like this, is you can immediately put them into action. The next difficult conversation you come out of, bad behavior you discover in your business, or bad news about a deal or job that went sideways, consider/practice saying to yourself- “Boy, part of me is feeling really ___________ about this.” And see how just that small pause and reflection changes the direction of your thoughts and attitude about the circumstances.  

During this latest episode of the Head Heart & Boots podcast, Brandon and I break down a few examples of this, including disappointing news we got the morning of the podcast recording. Plus we throw in a William Shatner story for good measure. Check it out! 

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Chris Nordyke

Chris began his business career in direct sales, selling Cutco Knives for Vector Marketing at age 19 while going to school. He was a personal sales leader, and subsequently a Top 20 branch office manager in Los Angeles, directly responsible for all recruiting, training, team development and revenue across a team of more than 40 sales reps.

Vector proved to be a foundational training ground in entrepreneurship, team-building, and sales leadership that Chris continues to draw on in his work with restoration teams. 

Chris’s primary B2B sales training came during his tenure as a Contract Sales Rep for Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 500 laundry services firm. Here, Chris was introduced to Requirements Based Selling (RBS) which informed the Pain-Solution selling model Chris continues to use today with clients. 

Prior to joining Summit Cleaning and Restoration in 2014, Chris spent 8 years with State Farm Companies, 5 of which he spent owning and running a successful agency. 

From 2014 to late 2019, Chris served on Summit’s leadership team overseeing all business development and marketing with a special emphasis on developing Summit’s customer experience and service culture. He’s a founder and Co-host of the Head Heart & Boots podcast, co-founder of the Floodlight Consulting Group, and co-founder of the Floodlight Leadership Circles. Chris resides in the beautiful state of Oregon with his wife of 20 years, Cara, and their 3 children- Lily, Jack and Simon.

Email Chris at: chris@floodlightgrp.com

Listen to the Head Heart and Boots Podcast on Apple iTunes and Spotify.

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