The Best Show’s of 2018

“You have to look back to move forward” my gramma Tiny used to say and I couldn’t agree more. Today we are looking back at the top-rated shows of last year. In doing so, popular themes of interest popped out. Theme’s like;

Boundaries, how to fortify them, protect them and what to do when someone oversteps your boundaries.

What to say. Tough things are tough – duh, but when you have the right phrasing in your pocket for those tough situations, it helps to make those situations a little less ‘difficult’.

Reactions, emotions and the residue that is left from conflict, were several more themes that were popular.

This is not your typical “the best of” show. I break down the key points and some fun facts about each episode. As is per usual, I went off on a few “elaborations’ tantrums.

To listen to the full audio CLICK HERE

Wahoo 2019 – I am so excited to be here. Today we are going to take a look at the top 10 best episodes of the podcast Difficult Happens

I am so grateful to those guests who were gracious enough to come on the podcast and explore the different topics we have discussed this past year. They all fill the cup of communication. There are different aspects of communication. There are your mind, your skills, and your practices and they all go hand in hand.

Like I say personal development leads to professional development and vice versa. These best episodes were pretty evenly split between interview shows and solo, or more deep dive episodes.

As always, the links to anything mentioned will be in the show notes.

First, I am freaking out a little bit and I really wanted to share this with you guys. I can’t see reviews of the podcast from other countries, I think it was Melina Palmer of the Brainy Business, she told me about a service that you can sign up for where you can see all reviews of your podcast no matter where they came in from.

I am so excited. I have reviews from all over the world! I am so grateful to those who take the time to rate and review the podcast – it really truly impacts me and the work I am able to do.

So imagine my surprise when I finally got access to the international reviews and read this 5-star review from Anex65, she says, I’m assuming it’s a she, might be a he. She says –

***** “So informative and useful”

“I listened to episode 2 about triggers and found it incredibly interesting and informative. I will use what I learned in my day to day life, particularly the meaning, purpose and gifts we can get from emotions. The use of anger to mask emotions was very interesting and I loved how the host encouraged the listener to think about their own triggers. Pat’s case study helped clarify the themes of the episode and overall, I loved it. I have subscribed and will listen to more episodes!”

Anex, I am sorry it took me so long give you my thanks to you, I truly do appreciate it and thank you!

The 10th Best podcast episode of 2018 was episode #4 – Team Trust Busters

In this solo episode we took a look at the four types of events that set off a triggered reaction. Now a triggered reaction is something that happens to us every day and in many many different ways. A triggered reaction can be a positive one, like when you see your best friend and automatically smile, right, that’s a triggered reaction. Or when you see a difficult client come up on your calendar, yea, that’s another triggered reaction.

How to work through the fight, flight, freeze or flee response that may come when you are triggered and how to tell when an overwhelmingly emotional reaction is coming on and what to do about it.

We also dove into who is most likely to react strongly when their space is invaded and the four components that are present inside of every triggered reaction. Frankly, I believe that they are in every communication-loop that we have.

How our bodies respond when we are triggered in a way and some simple tips for what to do when you recognize that you have been triggered. Tangible ways to diffuse difficult situations when you or someone you are talking to has been triggered.

Understanding a triggered reaction is critical to the work that I do and it is usually the first or second thing I do with clients. The first thing I do is if you don’t know your conflict personality style we dive into that one, but understanding triggers or a triggered reaction that is a critical step for anyone who is leading a team. You want to know when you are adversely impacting the people around you or when one of your team members is adversely impacting others around them.

The 9th Best podcast episode of 2018 was episode 31 The Grand Simplifier with Dr. Laura Gallaher

I really had a lot of fun recording this episode. She was in Prague when we recorded this episode and I think she is still traveling. She decided to take a year traveling around the world working in different places and exploring amazing adventures, so that was fun to talk to her about.

It was even more fun to dive into understanding her inside-out concept, how change really comes from the inside, the inside of you to the outside world. And how micro-learning which is one of the things I love, microlearning understanding micro-breaches, understanding micro-concepts its all combined.

She talked about her FRIC methodology it was a lot of fun, you should check it out.

We talked about so many different concepts, from triangulation, to clarify & verify, to the conflict loop, to what psychological safety is, if you haven’t heard it already I sure hope you check it out.

The 8th Best podcast episode of 2018 was episode #18 The Avoider – Mastering the Art of Conflict, where we dove into the avoider conflict personality style.

Earlier I mentioned which is a common theme in a lot of the episodes I do, about your conflict personality type. There are four main kinds, there is the avoider, also known as the innocent, there is the pleaser also known as fixer, there is the perfectionist, also known as the controller, and there is the victim, also known as the blamer.

The avoider came in as the 8th best podcast which tells me that either we all suffer from some avoidant tendencies or we are all very frustrated when dealing with loves, or clients’ or team members who are avoidant.

What types of conflict crop up and these are internal conflicts that you have with yourself and external conflicts. Some of the practices you can use when dealing with an avoider or if you are an avoider how you can work through that.

How to communicate effectively with an avoider and some key phrases that you can use that will help break down some of their avoidant tendencies.

We also talked about the critical importance of natural consequences. This is a theme that comes up over and over again. I believe that to rob someone of natural consequences is a grave error.

We took a look at the bravery of an avoider personality type who is working through, you know, walking the walk of the skills that they need to learn and practice while kind of breaking through the barriers that are holding the avoider back from really communicating effectively and making those connections that we all want to make.

The 7th best episode of 2018 was #6 Bossing and Boundaries

Boundaries come up over and over again I’m going to really dive into some skills and practices in 2019 for handling boundaries whether you are an employee, or a leader, or a client, a solopreneur. Boundaries are so intricate, we really drove into what they are. There are four main types of Boundaries. Material, physical, mental and emotional. And when you have boundary-creep it can really impact your mental state around these four boundaries.

So, we go into what boundary creep really is and how it can lead to conflict. And why it is harder to set boundaries with smaller teams. When you have a close intimate friendship type of relationship with your staff, your coworkers your employees, It can be difficult to set up firm boundaries or to reaffirm your boundaries.

Talked about how boundaries are not built in a vacuum. Why you need a strong Support Network.  When it comes to boundaries if you have uncertainty or a lack of clarity around your expectations it can lead to this thing that’s called The Mind read, right. Where are you hope that other people can read your mind or you try to read their mind and make some assumptions about what they expect of you, and that is costing you time, money and energy.  It doesn’t matter if you are the head of the company or if you are low rung on the ladder.

We went into the concept of intermittent reinforcement. What that is, what that looks like, how it can impact your boundaries. Why your boundaries need to grow and change as your company grows and changes or as your team grows and changes. You know I have a good friend Kara who owns a company Peppers Personal Assistants in Seattle

Not only do I just adore her as a human, but I love her company and her model. She is an amazing leader, and in the past year, this is like 2018, she has grown exponentially. When you go from a team of three or four people to like 30 people the dynamics really change. You have to have different boundaries, you have to have different rules. And I help you in this episode take a look at what that looks like.

I also talked about consequences, and the neutrality of consequences. This is a really important theme that I hope you understand, that consequences are neutral they are not positive or negative. If they were they wouldn’t be consequences. If you touch a hot stove, you’re going to burn yourself. What if that was negotiable and it could be a positive experience? Well, you’re not learning the lesson you need to learn from that right?

You know I didn’t think I would nerd out so much when talking about these episodes, but I am so passionate about talking to you about how to communicate in a more effective way. Because we all want to connect with one another. We all want to have less defensiveness have ease in our life, we want to make those connections and grow to become who we are meant to be and we do that by understanding and learning the skills, putting them to practice when it comes to not only communicating effectively but your growth mindset and your interpersonal skills.

Nerd Alert.

Check it out it’s a great episode, can I say that? I just did.

The 6th best episode of 2018 was episode 3 How to avoid alienating clients with Nikki Rausch

She’s the Sales Maven, I just adore her and the work she does. We took a look at a lot of different things on this episode, and we talked a little about neuro-linguistic programming. Now neuro-linguistic programming is well it can be a real rabbit hole to tell you the truth. Because there is so much involved in it. But when you understand that the way that you speak, everything from your diction, to your Canter to the words that you choose, and how it may impact people oh, it’s pretty fascinating.

We talked about patterns and communication. And there was a blog post that she had done that was called “Take What’s Offered”, that I found fascinating. It was actually an interaction that between her and, I think it was someone who wanted to hire her, or she possibly was going to hire them, I’m not quite sure. But she became so turned off, she became triggered by this interaction and she became alienated. And how that refers to the work that you do, sorry I keep hitting the microphone. And the interactions that you have, and so triggers again another common theme.

How women entrepreneurs are more prone to a negative triggered reaction with another female entrepreneur.

We talked about Nikki’s number one way to overcome “I’m just not that into it”, She’s got so many. She is so genuine and creates a genuine rapport with the people that she works with, they become her rating fans and go out and almost proselytize for her.

And isn’t that what you want to create?  Is to have such honest open valid rapport with the people that you interact with that they become your raving fans.

How high-stress, high stakes, high conflict and why they are the norms for the sales field as well as so many so many other fields. That was how to avoid alienating clients episode number 3. 

The 5th best episode of 2018 was episode 23 What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

You know, I did this episode because so many people they’ll say to me ‘I understand that, I can see what I need to do, I know I need to draw this boundary or affirm this boundary, but I just don’t know what to say.’ So I wanted to give some really tangible things that you could do and what you could say when you really don’t know what to say I talked about complex communication and why it’s complex and how you can avoid chasing the shiny trim these complex interactions.

I talked about emphaticals, and how communication is completely derailed by an emphatical.  And when you think of that it’s basically they are verbiage like “always” and “never” you know, those are emphatical words.

I talked about reframing and emotion language, and what the heck kinesthetic emotion language is. Along with auditory and visual language, and how it impacts the way that you communicate especially when you don’t know what to say.

When you feel confronted and defensive and what you can do strategies that you can employ so that you can stop, think and react from a place of intention.

The 4th best episode of 2018 was episode 26, Mission Vision and Value with Jana Lundquist

We could nerd out all day long. I always enjoy talking with her and we are such on the same page when it comes to teams and communication. We talked about how imperative mission vision and values are and how they can help you guide your decisions, the choices that you make in your business. How clear intention is needed and if you want to grow and scale you absolutely have to have clear intention.  We talked about how there is always a context to the relationships that you have and how as you grow there’s the idea that that you want to maintain the character of the organization, so how can that be done?  How can you be flexible and influence one another, right?

An organization really is a living organism.  And it’s made up of the individual leaders and Founders they are the drivers, right? And if you have a fixed mindset it can cripple an organization. Especially one that may need to deal with change. In order to get the most out of an employee or a team member you have to allow them to flourish and in flourishing they must have psychological safety. This was something I touched on with Dr. Laura Gallaher, which was the ninth most popular episode of last year and psychological safety is huge I’m thinking about doing an episode all about it.

And as I do in so many episodes we talked about boundaries. Boundaries are ever-changing, boundaries are critical, boundaries need to be readdressed and looked at, and things change. They also may need to be strengthened in many ways.

In episode 26 we really dove into culture, planning, and decision-making.  If you haven’t heard this episode yet, I hope you check it out.

We’re getting close!

The 3rd best episode of 2018 was ep 7 bosses and bad behavior

We touched a little bit on boundaries in this episode because boundaries and bad behavior are interconnected, they are critically tied to each other and they go hand and we took a look at it at the extinction burst behavior. Now I am fascinated by the extinction burst behavior, especially when it comes to changing, drawing or reaffirming your boundaries. Reactions of other people, when you understand the extinction burst behavior that other people may employ when you draw a boundary or affirm a boundary, or when change is present, then you can navigate those situations with Grace

Check out this episode and find out what an extinction burst behavior is all about.

The 2nd best episode of 2018 was ep 22 How to speak so that someone will listen in a conflict

I gotta tell you, I went back and forth with that title because I was like ‘you know what it really is about, it’s like how to talk to someone so they will listen to you when you’re in a high-conflict conversation’ and finally my girlfriend Sarah, Sarah Frink of real Marketing Solutions,

said why don’t you just call it how to speak so it’s someone will listen in a conflict?  Brilliant

And really this goes along with number five best episode at what to say when you don’t know what to say so I’ll be doing more of these episodes going forward getting you just concrete drill bits to use so that you can work on the skills that you need to work on and in the safety of your own conversations.

That was a nerdy sentence.

Now in this episode, I actually did a whole bunch of tips they are video tips

that go along with it.

What we talked about most in this episode is how important pre-framing is. What ‘clarify and verify’ and curiosity can do for you. It is huge when you’re in a conflict with someone. You are defensive, and they are defensive. You both want to get your point across. If you’re fighting with, well not fighting, if you’re in a conversation with a “right fighter” well you’re going to have to make some adjustments in the way that you speak. Because that person, their main goal is to be “right” and this is when you got to keep your intention Crystal Clear.

What is your intention in your communication with this person?

I really like this concept because conflict happens. Sometimes you have to talk with one another person and sometimes you do not. If you are being disrespected, spoken down to, you can nip that in the bud and you do not have to communicate with someone who is tearing you down at that moment.

You can re-address it. You can come back to it.

There are some situations that you cannot communicate effectively with someone else. You are one person, you can only control you. You cannot control the other person.

That really sounded like a soap box moment, and I don’t know what I did there.

And the #1 Best top A-plus show of 2018 was episode 12, Civility in the workplace with Karen Cooley

I adore Karen, and Karen if you are listening, I hope you feel better. Karen had a fall a little while ago and when she does something, she does it all the way. She broke her wrist she bruised her arm she broke her hip, she had a whole bunch of stuff happening, so Karen if you’re listening, I hope you feel much, much, better.

So, I found this so interesting and I thought I should probably share it with you cuz I know you’re probably a nerd like me.

Incivility the definition is ‘the quality or state of being on such a rude or discourteous act.’

Me, loving a rabbit hole. There’s no rabbit hole I won’t go down it appears. I looked up the definition; ‘not civilized, barbarous, lacking in courtesy, ill-mannered and not civilized.

Let’s take a look at what the definition of civilized is. I look up civilized ‘characteristic of a state of civilization’.

Are you kitten me right meow?

Okay so here we are, let’s look up civilization the definition of civilization ‘a relatively high level of culture and technological development. The cultural characteristic of a particular time or place the process of becoming civilized.’

Oh no you don’t, you’re not sending me back to civilized.

What I took from that one rabbit hole that I went down is ‘the culture characteristic of a particular time or place’ what is civilized in the workplace right now, would not be the same as what was civilized in the workplace 40 years ago. Frankly 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago. The workplace is ever-changing and that is why I feel like effective communication is so imperative for each and every workplace.

When you’re at Boeing it’s going to be different than when you’re at Amazon. If you are at Starbucks that’s going to be different than if you work in an office at the University of Washington. If you work alone in a cubicle that’s going to be a different work environment than if you are on the road reading meters are workplace really does impact what civility means right?

There’s a statistic going around that incivility is costing American companies 350 billion dollars annually. I have my own theories on why this is because really, the cost of an unsatisfied employee, a mistreated employee, is not just the time lost, the productivity lost, the medical bills that you’re going to pay because of all the stress and anxiety that that person is enduring and needing to get help for. Because your body keeps the score, trust me.

Well Karen and I really dove into the cost of this uncivil behavior and what you can do about it. What incivility looks like. There are subtle forms and how it leads to really ‘bullying’ type behavior.

We talked about what you can do as a large organization or as a small organization. How this term incivility has really helped to paint Millennials with a paintbrush as being spoiled or entitled and we talked about what the facts are around that.

We talked about the theory of the Platinum Rule and why it should replace the Golden Rule I don’t know if you remember but the golden rule is to treat others the way you want to be treated and the Platinum rule is to treat others the way that they want to be treated what that looks like and how that plays out.

We also took a look at scarcity and abundance and what that has to do with civility or incivility.

We talked about Millennials and how they are different from one another but can you can paint them all, you know my theme right? We are all unique, but with a theme, that’s my theme.

We all have so many different facets and we have similarities there are things that we connect on. It may be a personality type, it can be a conflict personality type, it can be a general region, it can be a year that you were born.

It can be a hobby that you have, these are all the ties that bind us together. But there are also schisms, there are tears in the way that we communicate with one another. When they really can’t understand each other.

That’s why I effective communication is so important to me it can help bridge that Gap, it can help you find a language that’s common to you both so that you can connect.

We talked about emotions and how all emotions are a gift and what companies need to do and what they need to make a priority within their value statement.

So as I sit here behind the foam matt that Seth made me, in our office on in this new year, I want to thank you for being a listener to this podcast one of the reasons that I wanted to do the 10 best episodes, the top episodes of 2018, was to see what y’all want. What do you want to listen to? What do you want to hear more of? What would help you with your interactions, with your Communications, with your relationship building, that I can bring to you.

And the things that I saw over this, that the past top 10, and actuall,y there are quite a few more that were really helping to tip the scales frankly, but they are

  • triggered reactions
  • boundaries
  • verbiage to use when you’re at a loss for words and
  • some of the skills that you can use in communicating with people maybe you don’t relate to
  • maybe you are defensive around

so those are the types of shows that I am going to be bringing you more of.

Is there something that you specifically want to hear? Is there maybe a theme that I have not touched on or one that you would like to see me take a deeper dive on?

You know I love to hear from you so send me an email, send me an instant message, reach out to me and I may do an episode on the thing that you want me to dive deeper into.


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