By John Ryskowski
Long before our team came together to share The Easier Way Formula™, we were intuitively walking the talk. Here’s a perfect example:
Some years ago, I was doing organizational-change consulting in Indiana with a division of a Fortune 500 company. At the time, some of the executives within this company were cruel to their employees, some were decent people, and some were just plain “bumblers.”
The division I was working with at the time did not have a vice president on-site. Their VP was “Joe,” whose office was in another part of the country, and Joe was a bumbler.
I worked with a half-dozen people at this Indiana division who were responsible for process definition and execution for software-development projects. It’s the kind of work that requires a solid grasp of soft skills. These folks were gifted with strength in both the right and left side of their brains—unique talents sometimes improperly valued in a technical environment.
The leader of this group was “Marlene,” one of the most brilliant people I have ever met. She was very quick, accurate, and had no problem joking around and getting some giggles amidst long, hard and intense days.
Along with Marlene’s brilliance came a degree of impatience, which materialized during a telephone conference with the bumbling VP, Joe. Present at the time were Marlene, her small group, their manager, and myself.
Joe was a good man, never (to my knowledge) ill-intentioned or malicious. But he was one of those people who easily got tangled up on a small matter, or he exuberantly showed concern for some trivial issue in an effort to try and be “one of the guys.” His intention was to show he cared for his people, but what it looked like from their perspective was a lack of leadership and a waste of busy people’s time.
In this particular meeting, we were about 15 minutes in—with Joe attending by phone—when Joe began to get himself tangled up on some matter. As this progressed, I observed impatience and even borderline disgust in the room, starting with Marlene and spreading to the rest of her group. Heavy sighs and eye rolling quickly became standard behavior.
I could have easily gotten pulled in, too, but my role was not to go along with the group. My role was to help them be excellent, even in moments like this. I was fully present and aware that I had to do something, right now! But what? (That’s actually a powerful question!)
I tuned in to inspiration and felt a powerful urge to focus on Joe in my mind and consciously state to myself that I loved him. No, really. That’s what the inspiration said, so that’s what I did. I told myself that I loved Joe and cared about him at a deep level, like a brother. I intently focused on this for about half a minute and allowed myself to go with it.
What happened afterward was fascinating: This notion of loving Joe began to work its way from my mind towards my chest. I began to actually feel the warmth in my heart, and then my soul.
I found this to be amazing: that, by using my mind, I was able to create an emotional transformation, right there in the room during the meeting.
Continuing to go with this experience, I then asked another powerful question: What’s the exact thing I could say that would get Joe out of the hole he had been digging for himself—something that would restore his dignity and re-instill respect for him in those around the table?
I received the inspiration and took action, saying those exact words. I wish I could remember exactly what I said, but the most important part is that it worked: A transformation took place in the room. Joe got out of his rabbit hole. The people in the room were smiling. And the meeting ended on a good note.
Lesson learned that day: The mind is powerful enough to produce an emotional transformation in less than 2 minutes, and that emotional transformation can profoundly impact your interactions with the world.
Looking back now, I realize that I experienced powerful results from The Easier Way Formula™ ... long before it had even been defined.