Hispanic Chamber of Commerce St. Louis → on Redirecting Negative Behavior

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In this interview with Carlos Restrepo from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce St. Louis, Judy Ryan gives an overview of Redirecting Negative Behavior and why it is so valuable to learn and apply.

Interview Transcript

my name is Judy Ryan and i’m the owner and founder of LifeWork Systems which has been around since 2002 and we’re a performance management company so what we do is we help organizations who are struggling with things like turnover or how do they attract and keep good talent or how do they deal with all of these changes coming about with digital transformation or what about those millennials everybody’s complaining about those millennials so there’s lots of business problems and we really come in and help to bring a system so an organization can learn how to manage those kinds of business problems that are very costly using the tools and processes we bring them so today i want to talk about a topic that almost everybody has a reaction to and it’s called redirecting negative behavior and the reason is we all have somebody in our life who drives us a little nuts they either make us feel annoyed like they’re kind of sucking the life out of us or they make us feel angry and provoked or maybe they just hurt our feelings and kind of shock us or sometimes they’re those people that are behaving in a way where we’re worried about them and we’re almost like it’s like we’re pushing a rock up a hill because we care more about their well-being than they seem to care about and then we also have those people when they walk in the room and you think well who died made you god you know so when usually when i even say that whole groups go oh yeah i have somebody like that so that’s a topic that i think most people would be interested in knowing about redirecting negative behavior is is it’s an alternative to the way we typically respond when you think about it most people they feel angry or they feel hurt or they feel worried or they feel insulted or they feel annoyed and our typical reaction is to be harsh withdrawing punitive or to just kind of turn a blind eye and hope it goes away which is very permissive so most people they think if you take away punishment and you take away like inducements like carrots and you know trying to um bride people and you take away permissive what else is left so redirect is a technique where people understand a specific type of misbehavior what’s causing it and how to have influence on that behavior that ends up healing both parties and creating greater closeness while that misbehavior is funneled into you know a much better use of that energy it is a technique and it’s very powerful and most people have not really heard of it before really causes misbehavior is so core to everything that causes problems not only misbehavior but a whole lot of other things that we don’t even realize sometimes are happening misbehavior comes from feelings of inferiority feelings where people feel that they don’t belong or have significance in in their life or their work or both and the psychology we use is based on the work of a man named alfred adler and he was the guy who coined inferiority complex and what he basically said is if we don’t create certain conditions and conversations where people feel empowered like that they have a voice that they feel lovable which is different than loved like one of the problems with lovable with millennials is they don’t feel like people see them or want to learn from them and that they don’t empathize and that’s what lovable is compared to loved and people need to feel that they’re connected in meaningful ways and that they have contributions to make that people want and that they welcome and that they recognize so what happens is we set up our homes and our schools and our families and our workplaces to be doing all these crazy behaviors that actually make people feel the opposite of significance and belonging and when that happens you could even have an employee come to work and if they’ve had a bad experience with being discouraged in the traffic in their family or just in something that happened to them they could show up misbehaving and what most people do is they take it personally they don’t realize oh all people are discouraged even if they look like the arrogant guy or girl that uh doesn’t look like they’re discouraged at all they just look like they think they’re the best so if you understand the cause of all misbehavior you will approach it without adding more harmfulness or discouragement to people well it’s actually really an interesting question but it’s so much the same rules let’s say you get an email from somebody and you’re shocked and hurt you can know they’re in the goal of revenge and you’ll know how to redirect them even in the email that’s a goal where somebody’s in pain and they’re just striking out and and maybe they’re even saying something true like you parked in my parking spot but if they say it real mean it’s because they’re in a goal of revenge which means they’re in pain and they’re and they’re stuck and ashamed in it so your response by email would be it sounds like something’s going on for you what’s going on i’d like to hear about it or if you need to talk i’m here because it sounds like you’re a little stressed or tense or something but if it was a like i had a guy call me the other day and say this person won’t return my emails and i’m supposed to have a meeting with them and they won’t even confirm whether we’re having one or not and he said he finally wrote on a subject line i would appreciate the courtesy of an answer and he said um i go what was her reaction and it was a one short sentence i’m not available and i said well that’s because you actually played into the mistaken goal because what you would do is you would know that if you felt like that person was ignoring you and treating you like you were less important and you were feeling that feeling of insult you would say to that person i’ve been so excited to meet with you i think you have so many awesome talents i can’t get you to respond and i want your help on that because i i don’t want to miss this opportunity and i need you to give me some guidance on how i should handle this right now because we’re not having communication like he didn’t even know why she wasn’t communicating but if he would have handled that way and as soon as i said it to him he goes you know what i know that would have worked because i have done that at times and it has worked but what happened is he got angry and resentful and it came across in that subject line i’d appreciate the courtesy of a response which is exactly the invalidation a person in that mistaken goal wants subconsciously wants so really email is kind of the same if you suspect they’re in a mistaken goal knowing how to redirect it is more likely to get you a result and even if you it doesn’t get you the result you hope for it’s it does it will not cause harm because it’ll just mean you’re redirecting the wrong the wrong mistaken goal and you can even try another one so anything people do in redirect does not cause harm it’s always a harmless response part of the reason we react is we do think it’s personal because they might even be saying something that’s true like you did make a mistake or something but it’s never personal it’s always about their state of discouragement so like even that goal of significance if somebody’s redirected they are the most awesome employee to have when they’re not they’re wreaking havoc on the team and most people have given up on them over time oh that person will never change oh that person is just terrible we just have to put up with that person and in reality my favorite thing to show is oh my god i can’t believe that person is who they are now and they’re so helpful as opposed to so harmful so i would say if somebody emails you and you feel a jolt from it you’d probably know it was revenge and you’d know how to respond but you can also pick up the phone because if you respond with encouragement then it will always be more hopeful than even the withdrawal we sometimes do so sometimes we won’t react at all and that’s that can be a form of punitive back i would really benefit from this because then you would know oh that’s that revenge goal that person must just be in some level of pain and i could be the person to help them get past that i remember one time my daughter she was on a diet at the same time that i was and she lived a couple houses down and i knocked on her door and i said hey i lost four pounds this week and she said why are you always bragging and the first feeling i had was like i’m not bragging what are she talking about i hardly ever even talk about it but i realized in that second she was in the goal of revenge so i said oh i’ve been bragging that must really suck could you tell me more about that well yeah you act like you’re doing so well and i’m not and and like you’re so much better than me and i go well that must be annoying because when you’re redirecting that goal you don’t care if it’s true or not true you’re just trying to get them to their pain and then she goes on to say well doug’s having this big party and everybody that’s going is all slim and i haven’t lost my baby weight she starts crying about how she feels about her body and i just pulled her in and hugged her and she said i don’t know why i said that mean stuff about you i didn’t really mean it you’re not a braggart and i’m proud of you but you see how she had to lash out because she was rejecting her pain and she got tried tried to get me to reject her in her pain so you have to be in a state of emotional intelligence to recognize when somebody does something to you oh that’s one of those patterns of their discouragement it’s not anything about me so that that is why emotional intelligence is difficult you have to be self-aware and self-managing aware of the other person and how to manage the relationship with them so there’s a whole bunch going on in a little bitty exchange when we do this in projects we don’t do it the first months because if you create a really healthy workplace culture you have a whole lot less of things to redirect in a way though you’re actually enlisting your ego in service to something more true so in a sense i’m not against egos i think we need to redirect egos like redirecting egos might be saying i know that you’re a powerful force in me and i want to help you to use your reactions to be in service to people because that’s really more true is that the part of us that would react is the ego part of us that’s wounded the ego part of us that’s scared well and you know what most people want to be good people but they don’t know how to do it without getting mean people tend to treat all misbehavior as though there’s a one-size-fits-all answer and there’s not misbehavior actually has five different patterns to it and if you understand what pattern is in play you can have a much more effective response so i’ll tell you an example most of us know what it mean what it feels like to have mild annoyance at someone it might be like when a fly keeps landing on your nose and you just feel kind of annoyed you’re not seriously provoked but you’re just kind of annoyed well there’s a goal called the goal of attention and in that goal what we typically do is we say stop it or we might give a person a dirty look or we might you know interrupt what we’re doing that’s the complete opposite of what we should be doing so this is a quick story about a little boy named robert and he was um this is a true story when i had four kids and a friend of mine had three kids and robert was three and he kept coming up when we were talking and say mommy mommy i need water okay mommy mommy i need you know uh i want to go home okay you know and and it was very frustrating to her and she said i don’t know what to do we’re probably going to have to leave because robert always does this and i said if you’re open to learning this redirect i’ll show you how you could do this differently when robert comes in the room hold a thought in your head that says i know you’re there and i’m so glad you’re my son and as he comes over to you just put your hand on his shoulder with the intent of i know you’re there and i’m so glad you’re there but don’t look at him and don’t say anything to him so he comes up and he starts whining and and she puts her hand on him and you can see that she’s very relaxed in her body and everything but she continues to talk to me and he kind of gets startled like what’s up with this and then he goes downstairs kind of bewildered like i don’t know what just happened and i said now just so you know every time you redirect misbehavior a person that’s in that pattern will up the ante they’ll get worse before they get over it so just expect robert to come back in and really turn it on for you so sure enough he comes in and he starts really getting loud and he’s pulling on her sleeve and he’s trying to turn her face toward him and she just continues to do what she’s doing in fact she even kind of like pulls him into her arm and just kind of does this and he finally just settles and then he leaves and he stays gone about 10 or 15 minutes later she hears him laughing and playing and she goes why did that work robert never does that and i said because you did not give in to his mistaken belief that he had to get attention to be loved so you and you also taught him the way you did that you taught him that i don’t have to be disrespected and you don’t have to be disrespected and you didn’t teach him that it was okay for him to disrespect you and that’s a that’s a tough situation in work because people come to your office they stand in your doorway or they come over and tap a pen on your desk and we don’t know how to handle it it doesn’t necessarily mean that you physically put your hand on their shoulder but it means that you maintain body language you might even call them over to sit next to you but you’re making it clear in your actions i’m not rejecting you but i’m rejecting the interruption because the way i’m doing it is just to continue what i’m doing and give you some very simple signal that five minutes or something like that where i’m not i’m training you out of doing that demand for undue attention that’s an example that at work in at home a harder example is when people are in a goal called the goal of significance it tends to be people that are very high asset very smart very talented and you really can’t usually fire them or get rid of them sometimes they’re even in leadership or ownership and what happens is their subconscious goal is to get people to invalidate them but what they do the way they do it is they act very superior very critical very entitled and everybody does want to take them down you know but if you understand that redirect what you can say to them is i know you’ve done all these wonderful things and i would suggest that you maybe ask our group if what you’re saying right now is helping the team or if there’s something else you could be doing to help the team so you’re acknowledging them you’re acknowledging their assets you’re acknowledging their strengths you’re acknowledging their words because they’re going to up the ante they’re going to say well why do i have to do that i know what i’m saying is important and everybody should learn it so you’d want to mirror that you’d want to say so i know you think that what you have to say is really important it is and i can see where you’d feel like we should just kind of get on board with that and listen the challenge we’re having is we need to feel like everybody’s on the same page as a team and we need your help with that so you’re you’re not invalidating them but you’re inviting them to be in service rather than competition and that’s very hard to do when they’re playing out their misbehavior because we tend to want to run the other way and just go i’m just going to ignore that person and hope they go away but it they don’t and in fact if you give them the invalidation it makes them worse they become more critical more smug more superior more competitive so what a lot of people ask is what is kind of the essence of redirect and what it really is is that you’re remembering who they really are when they don’t remember who they are and as you help them break through a limiting belief like that limiting belief might be i’m not enough unless somebody gives me attention or in the other example if they didn’t need me they wouldn’t want me so by not invalidating that person i’m actually breaking their fearful belief and in that they’re so relieved and they’re usually so willing to come around because you’ve made your awareness of their greatness more important than their own fears about themselves and that’s why when you redirect another person you not only heal them and shift them you heal any part of yourself that’s in that belief system if you punish them you reinforce any part of yourself that is in that misbehavior so that’s that’s the beauty of it it is multi beneficial so what i’d really like for people to do is to contact us at info lifeworksystems.com you can go on our website lifeworksystems.com and you’ll find find outlines you’ll find tons of articles on redirecting negative behavior but also a lot of other topics but what i’d really like to be able to send people is a sample of the actual course and that’s something that i would need to send directly to them or have someone from my team send so if they could email us at info lifeworkssystems within us.com then we’ll make sure to get that free sample of about 30 minutes of an online program and we’re also looking to be offering that program locally soon the reason this is a good investment is that 16 of every 100 people is actively disengaged meaning that they’re not just disengaged they’re actually misbehaving they’re gossiping they’re negative they’re pessimistic they’re critical they’re causing a lot of negative activity they’re underperforming in a very big way and what happens is it’s been found that that costs sixteen thousand dollars per person per year for every hundred that’s almost three hundred thousand dollars a year and what happens is because of their misbehavior all your top talent won’t stay around in a workplace where they’re tolerated where they’re not redirected so that group that’s the fully engaged brings about 928 000 per 100 so you’re putting at risk over a million dollars from the misbehaving people and all the people that’ll leave that you don’t want to have leave well thank you so much for this opportunity to share something that i believe is so needed right now in our world and i just want to remind you i’m Judy Ryan from LifeWork Systems and i’m here to help you if you would like to reach out and talk with me about this thank you

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