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Setting Our Default Setting to Calm; A Conversation with Bob Burg

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Are we slaves to a Negative Operating System that we don't even know we have?

Are our assumptions and belief systems leading us into conflict situations by blinding us to the truth of a situation?

I had the honor of interviewing best-selling author Bob Burg for my podcast, Leading Beyond the Status Quo.  Bob recently released his latest book Adversaries into Allies; Win People without Manipulation or Coercion, which I consider to be a leadership guidebook for any one of us.  The book helps us understand and control our own emotions while providing specific tools that can help us understand others and do the best we can to help others understand us.  

During the interview, Bob explained that we are the slaves of an operating system that we are not even aware that we have!  This operating system influences us to believe our own assumptions about specific situations, while in the process justifying our beliefs and missing critical information.  


Bob on OS


Under the guidance of our unknown operating system, we are likely to distort reality based on what this operating system is making us think! (Tweet This)

This is a great example of why I feel so passionate about leadership tools.  In order to lead past our assumptions AND reset our Operating System, we have to be willing to look in the mirror and learn about ourselves.  This belief system is a pretty dangerous thing and it is definitely a huge reason behind all the conflict we experience, and why it is so tricky and difficult to lead effectively through conflict situations.

In order to become better leaders, we need specific tools.   During the interview, Bob and I talked about two specific tools he outlines in his book, Adversaries into Allies.  The first tool is:

~ Setting our default setting of our OS to calm.

As Bob explained, in order to lead through conflict, we can’t let our emotions take control of our reactions.  We have to understand this and ensure we remain calm during stressful situations.  Many of us have a default setting of frustration and, in order to lead through conflict, we must remain calm and ensure that we consider that we are more than likely believing our own assumptions about what is frustrating us.

As with all the tools we share on Leading Beyond the Status Quo, these tools are easy to talk about, but hard to use.  To help us set our default setting to calm, Bob also provides a simple list of 4 questions, which any one of us can use to ensure we are not believing our own assumptions and letting them frustrate us or worse, infuriate us.  

~ 4 questions to help us maintain our default setting on calm:

  1. How is my personal belief system distorting the actual truth of the situation?
  2. How is his or her personal belief system distorting the actual truth of the situation?
  3. What questions can I ask this person that will clarify my understanding of his/her version of the truth?
  4. What information can I give that will help him/her clarify his/her understanding of my version of the truth?

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It’s your turn!

What is your default setting?

How can these questions help us improve the quality of our leadership?

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Al Gonzalez

Founding Partner - GIVE Leadership Institute, LLC


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