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Karin H.

Hi Steve

'Speak to the heart', best remedy in any stagnation. Reminds me of a post written by my good friend (and who's constantly edging me on by following his own advice): Be truly passionate...

(Passion can never come from the mind, can it now? Has to come from the heart!)
I'm at the moment passionate to launch our 'new division' Wood You Like Furniture - which is part of the new found aim: 'Life-Style Boulevard'. This means loads of changes to existing websites and systems - it might not get the results we're hoping for, but we do know that just talking and hoping about it doesn't work. We have to get doing it, with heart and passion, then mind (facts/results) will follow suit.

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

Joe Raasch

Hi Steve,

You have a stellar memory! Thank you for the reference.

Early in my career, one of the first salespeople I worked with when I was in the municipal bond industry told me, "Facts tell, stories sell." I didn't completely get it then. Over the years this has become a mantra for me, whether working internal or external. I've used this with people to help them explain their reporting to senior management. Yes, they need the numbers - but without the 'story' - the speaking to their hearts, you won't get to where you need to be.

Thanks for illuminating an important part of the change paradigm Steve!

Steve Roesler

Karin, your energy and ideation (I've always wanted to use that word) never cease to amaze me.

One of the upcoming articles on change has to do with "doing" then reflecting, vs. reflecting then "doing". I'm all for a bit of reflection to get a sense of an idea's soundness. Yet the learning and growth comes as a result of trying and tweaking. Heck, the worse that can happen is that you find your current configuration of things is serving you perfectly well.But the possibility of a 'Life-Style Boulevard' is absolutely intriguing and my bet is that you will create something very special.

Thanks for the link to Richard's post. It was well worth the visit and a comment...

Karin H.

Hi Steve

Already looking forward to the next publications on this.

Your mentioning of current configuration made me smile - have been trying all afternoon to get the configuration of my online shop software to work the way I want it! ;-)

Richard and you have a lot in coming I think, the way you both think, explain and encourage.

Karin H.

Steve Roesler

Hi, Joe,

Well, I'd like to take credit for having a stellar memory but my follow-up notepad is the real star:-)

"Facts tell, stories sell" is a wonderful phrase to carry around. Like you, I've tried to get that point across to people making presentations at all levels, whether one-on-one or in groups. It's fascinating--all will acknowledge the validity of that phrase. Yet from a psychological perspective, as you know, there remains a percentage of people who cannot differentiate facts from stories. They still list the facts and genuinely believe they have told the story. Even when it impacts their career, it is a concept that they do not get.

I've watched some of these folks outside of the business arena with family and friends. They are master story tellers. Once they walk through the office door, something clicks in their brains that puts them into "business" mode. Perhaps it's time--well, long overdue--to start educating young people differently about what really works and what doesn't in the world of "business".

As always, thank you for taking time to stop by and add to the conversation...

peter vajda

Hi, Steve, this one piques my interest...so a couple of thoughts.

Often times, "reflection" for many folks means, thinking faster, "trying" to be logical, and using the "mind" to "make sense", all the while staying in the "logical-comparative", ego mind, a simple database of information and facts.

For me, true reflection means dropping down from the mind into the body. Few really get that the "wisdom body" is more a source of "right knowing,", "right understanding" and "right action" than the "logical" mind. The heart actually contains brain cells (see the HeartMath.com folks for more info. -- and I have no connecton with them), and the Japanese early on referred to the belly as "the brain of the body." And where do all the famous Buddhist monks "go" when they are referenced in the neuroscience literature as "lighting up" parts of the brain that reflect "presence", when they are in place of "no mind? Certainly not "in their head."

Often in a state of true reflection, we access "information and thoughts" that are quite counter to what our ego/brain wants, assumes, expects. But, for me, this is the place where "truth" lies, the state of presence. Here, in this place we are "being" not "doing". Here we access a "felt-sense" of what is true, right and appropriate when it comes to taking (right) action, considering alternatives, and seeking guidance and direction.

The "context" as you point to it, for me, is the context of the "wisdom body", the deeper place where real and true reflection takes place. I believe that reflection points more towards, and occurs more aptly in, "consciousness" than it does "the brain." Reflection, for me, is not "thinking" and does not imply "doing anything"; it reflects being "passive" and acting as the "open container" in which consciousness flows. Reflection is not about, "I had a thought" as much as it is about "a thought came to me."

The unfortunate condition is that when folks are living life at 90 miles an hour, one rarely, if ever, makes time for true refletction.

Thanks for piquing my interest, Steve...a wonderful post.

Karin H.

Hi Steve

'Ideation' (finally had time to look up the meaning - am still adding many words to my English vocabulary list)
= the process of forming ideas or images

I like that ;-)
And reading Peter Vadja's comment makes it even more accurate as a form of 'reflection'. I like your thoughts on this very much Peter, it's what the Gallup publications talk about too: knowing/feeling almost intuitive which action is the right action = strength.

Karin H.

Steve Roesler

Greetings, Peter,

It gives me joy to be connected again...I didn't realize just how much I looked forward to the online relationships each day.

What is it that stops people from doing what they "know" is in their best interest?

For example:

The 90 mph lifestyle is interrupted every so often by "I really need to slow down, relax, and regroup." But it doesn't happen.

People will wax poetic about the importance of the ingredients that make up what is known now as EQ. Then, they will act in opposite ways.

The collective "wisdom of the ages" is available in written and audio form from numerous sources. Yet the human condition somehow overrides what has proven to be true century after century, resulting in painful personal situations.

Truth be told, the whole notion of head stuff occurred to me years ago while in the midst of a headache. I'll bet I've had a dozen or fewer headaches in my lifetime. I realized that I was causing them by "straining my brain" when my body was telling me to be still.

When I see people aggravated and holding their heads in meetings, it's a signal that what needs to happen is not more logic, fact, and debate, but a long break without any attention to the situation at hand. Yet the notion of emptying one's self is counter to the Western cultural norm of "more".

While I've never been one to shy away from hard work or a challenge, the idea of banging one's head against the wall until it feels good seems a bit strange, eh?

Much thanks for taking the conversation to a deeper place...

Steve Roesler


Glad the comment added to your vocabulary :-)

Peter's comment is, indeed, related to what the Gallup folks (headquartered up the road from me here in New Jersey) get at in much of their literature.

That said, psychological data show that, while everyone has the capacity for intuition, only about 40% of people trust it. That means that the other 60%--even with the capability available to them--will not rest without having a pile of corroborating data, charts, and graphs. This is a major source of conflict in organizations and organization decision-making.

While I would never suggest that one ignore facts and reality, the gift of intuition and the potential results are wasted while waiting for the results of a final printout.

Tom Haskins

Thanks for the link to the Fast Company article. I made some connections between what you've said here and what Dean Cornish and George Lakoff said in the article.

Cornish found that drastic change is easier than incremental change. (elsewhere drastic change called second order change, paradigm shifts, changing how we change). That can be explained as changing the frame we're operating in instead of what we're doing inside the frame of what we think we're doing, where we're coming from, and how we expect this to get results. Talk of change keeps us inside our same old frame. We become incrementally smarter, more informed, capable of speaking to the issue. We become more understanding, bit by bit, without drastic change.

Drastic change occurs when we FEEL understood. People get how our frame makes sense instead of trying to convince us to change. They speak of what we're doing in our cozy, familiar story about what we think we're doing, where we're coming from, and how we expect this to get results. They give us permission to carry on, do what makes the most sense to us and go for the results we want. There's no resistance, opposition, or manipulation to get us to change.

Speaking to our hearts instead of our heads, as you've encouraged us to do, gives that feeling of being understood. We're not incrementally improving so we eventually change. We're changed. We're not trying to move off dead center. We're moved. That's drastic!

Steve Roesler


The drastic vs. incremental thing is probably a topic unto itself. I like your line: "Talk of change keeps us inside our same old frame."

If we think about it, there are probably situations in which either type of change would make sense. In the case of making major changes, though, I've been watching a client recently who is a master. And the approach mirrors what you are sharing here.

1. After diagnosing the organizational situation, he made a well-informed, unilateral decision to implement certain systems. These are all new to the employee population but make sense to them. However, they are also radical.

2. He spends huge amounts of time traveling, listening, acknowledging, and coaching individuals and groups. He doesn't move from the message at all. It's clear what needs to happen.

The result, as of now: People are following his lead, believe in his decisions, and are willing to do what it takes to make the changes for the greater good. There is no question he won't answer, no phone call or email left unreturned, and all involved FEEL understood. Even if the discomfort level is high because of the learning curve it doesn't matter. People will tell you that things have already changed as a result of his willingness to move ahead while constantly expressing his trust that they will "get it" and look back after each step.

That is, in fact, coming true.

Thanks, Tom, for the addition to the change equation...

Jim Stroup


I, amazingly, am married, so I also had plenty of time to read the post (and I'm glad for both!).

The use of the idea of contextual change to promote an attitude of adaptation - especially of anticipatory adaptation - is a great way to combine the characteristics of facts and fears. I've enjoyed the series, and am glad to know you are continuing it - looking forward to it!

Steve Roesler

Hi, Jim,

Glad you had plenty of time to read for all the right reasons :-)

I'm actually getting caught up here as much as possible and will be using some of your recent posts, as well as Wally's, to add to the Change topic. Haven't had time to comment as much as usual and hope to be back in that groove fairly regularly next week.

When the Change series started I had about 5 distinct posts in mind. However, the conversation around it has taken on a life of its own and it's becoming somewhat organic, which is fine. It's virtually impossible to separate Change and Process Improvements from Leadership, Management, Communication, and all of the other systemically-related topics.

Let's see where this goes...

Jim Stroup

Hi Steve,

Yes, I can see how the treatment of the subject is evolving so interestingly - as always you are doing such a great job of presenting it and drawing in lively comment and conjecture. I hope it continues to grow and evolve as a topic we can all use your posts to consider more thoughtfully than we might otherwise be able to do.

Thanks again!

ann michael

Steve - this is a great topic - both in the post and the comments. Do you know David Maister? He has a book out called Strategy and the Fat Smoker that also offers some tremendous insights into why it's so hard to change. I think you'd like it. There's a ChangeThis manifesto about it as well:


The points about reflection are "right on" too. I love Peter's comments, especially: "Reflection is not about, "I had a thought" as much as it is about "a thought came to me."

I'm really enjoying this series!


Galba Bright of Tune up your EQ

Once upon a time a talented blogger took a brief enforced break. Those who enjoyed his conversations understood that this was necessary, yet they longed for the day that he would return. Imagine their joy when he sat back at his writing desk, exceeded himself and carried the conversation to an even higher level.:)

Peter's comments are fascinating. We have bought into the "head thing," yet research (e.g. Robert Cooper's book "Get Out Of Your Own Way") shows that we have:
1. A brain in our head
2. A brain in our heart
3. A brain in our stomach - this is the enteric nervous system, the source of our gut feeling, moreover these systems are integrated. The head/heart dichotomy is understandable, however, the complexity of today's business world shows that we need to make a wise integrated use of every gift and faculty that we possess.

Steve Roesler

Hi, Ann,

Glad you are able to check in and add to the conversation, especially with your own focus being on change.

Peter always lights up the screen, doesn't he, when he takes things to a place that is profound and, as a result, simple and straightforward.

See you again soon here and at "Managing To Change."

Steve Roesler

Galba, you are too kind.

Your mention of Cooper's book about having a brain in our head, heart and stomach has started me wondering: In your daily work with EQ, are you using this information to help people better understand multiple intelligences as well as their own EQ predispositions? It really makes sense to me.

In the '70s I worked in broadcasting and one of the station owners was a woman who drove her partners crazy. During meetings involving capital spending and acquisitions, she would say "Let's do it. It makes my tummy tingle."

The partners would go crazy trying to get her to show them facts and figures. She just smiled.

Her tummy made them millions of dollars.

Steve Roesler


Yes, I am familiar with David Maister. His experience with professional firms and their organization development is always a treat to read about. I do know about his new book but haven't had a chance to read it yet. You've just lit the fire:-)

Karin H.

Galba, your "once upon a time" reflects IMHO everyone's thoughts exactly!

Never heard of the expressions 'A brain in your stomach' but do recognise so the 'feeling' - gut or intuition? Or both? It's like the reference Steve brought in: tummy making millions of dollars.

so there's not only more between heaven and earth we should 'rely' on, but also more between brain and stomach.

Karin H.

Steve Roesler

Karin and Galba,

There is some reason why, although the notion of "gut" feeling is familiar to everyone, it is not accepted as "best practice." The probable cause is the inability to quantify it and put it on a Powerpoint slide. It's ok to say "I have a good/bad feeling about____"; but in business settings, one has to "line up your ducks"in order to be taken seriously.

To me, a feeling is a fact. That is, it is a "fact" that something is causing me to feel a certain way. While I may not make a financial investment or business decision without investigating a bit further, I am nevertheless confident that the feeling is not without merit.

What's your experience?

Karin H.

Hi Steve

IMHO trusting gut-feeling or intuition comes also through experience. As long as you're open to it and indeed investigate that gut-feeling on something further until you can rely - through experience - on your gut-feeling/intuition.

But on the other hand, how much of our brain do we use effectively (5 - 7% I believe) - or how much of our brain capacity are we consciously aware of? We do know more about how a brain functions now than ever, but it is still 'undiscovered country'.
And because we live in a 'factual' society (for many centuries now) 'facts' still seem to rule over 'feelings' most of the time. which is somehow a shame, we should trust our own (unconscious) feelings (reflexes?) more. 'They' know sometimes more than we ;-)

Karin H.

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