A Monthly Newsletter Featuring Bryan Dodge

December 2022 Edition


Today I am thankful to be able to share with you my "Promise of 7"


There are 7 promises each person can make to build a better life for themselves and those that depend on you. Last month I addressed the first promise of 7 which is the promise to be strong enough to forgive and forget. If you missed that Achievement Journal, go to my website: DodgeDevelopment.com and all the articles are posted for you to read and share. This month I am addressing the second of "Promise of 7”


"Promise to be impeccable with your words"


 Remember the childhood phrase “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?" It was supposed to be our defense, our response when people said mean things to us. Our parents thought that would protect us. Unfortunately, they were wrong.


 Always remember you cannot communicate that which you do not know. You cannot share that which you do not feel. You cannot translate that which you do not have. And you cannot give that which you do not possess. To give it and to share it, and for it to be effective you first need to have it. Good communication starts with good preparation. So, think before you speak and choose to improve your vocabulary. Choose to learn new words that can be used in ways that builds better lives and opportunities. Always remember it’s not what you say, it's what words do you use when you say it. Impeccable words show a stronger you.


 Words hurt. Rudeness often happens among people who are going through a series of misunderstandings and conflicts. Words do hurt us. What we say matters because our words express our emotions—what we are thinking and feeling. Those emotions are read by others, and influence how others respond to us, learn from us and reflect on us. This is part of the empathy process. We typically think of empathy as a caring feeling, but that is compassion. Empathy is neutral. It is how we interpret and experience others as a process. Words that are demeaning and insulting are felt by others as demeaning and insulting. That is the consequence of our ability to emotionally read others. If you just communicate you can sometimes get by. But if you skillfully communicate, you can work miracles.


 It can be a generational conflict when parents refuse to accept that their child is an adult. Parents try to control their adult children expecting them to follow their expectations. Because parents and adult children often desire different things in life, they might go through lots of arguments.


 Each side is trying to prove their opinions, but they don’t hear each other. Therefore, they are raising their voices and using aggressive intonation. They might accuse each other of being stupid or use some other disrespectful words. What each party really wants is to be heard and understood. This is a generational conflict. They don’t need to understand each other. What they need is to accept each other and allow each other to be different. They need to let go of their expectations. Parents need to let go of the idea that their kids are like them and therefore have to follow their steps. Adult children need to stop waiting for parental approval and expect their support. However, adult children need to understand the wisdom that parents have to offer, and parents need to understand adult children have wisdom as well that both can grow from. The biggest mistake in communication is when they no longer want to make an effort to listen to each other and accept each other’s needs. Partners do not want to hear each other’s opinions because they are just trying to prove their own ideas. They use insulting and disrespectful words trying to prove their point. They know each other’s triggers and they are using them to hurt each other more and more. It's the words you use that triggers emotions that doesn’t help the situation. So, use impeccable words that allows both to see a better outcome.


 We live better lives by communicating at a higher level. Anybody can use words that hurt. Remember you are not just an anybody. You are truly a somebody that wants to learn and grow with words that open doors of growth, not close them for people that need you. Isn’t it interesting that you would use words with people you love and those that have given their lives to you that you would never consider using with people you don’t even know or understand. The ones that love and trust you don’t have the barriers up. So, when you say things out of anger or hatred, those word cut right into the soul. Why would you do that? I think you might think it doesn’t matter, and that’s the opposite of the truth. It matters more to those that are closest to you. Your ability to growth towards a better life comes through your ability to read others. You need to promise yourself to use words that inspire and grows the direction towards a better outcome. Our emotions react when someone calls us an ugly name, because we feel the ugliness. Cognitive neuroscience shows us that we mirror the emotions of others, regardless of whether these emotions are positive or negative. The reason why mean words are so powerful is because the words used are said in ways that are mean, belittling, and diminishing. Furthermore, research shows that these words typically lack the full array of empathy. Your ability to read others in a better way fuels the use of purposeful meaningful words, and the importance of being strong enough with your emotions to grow the conversation through being impeccable with your words, not diminishing others with words that hurt. Empathy can help us choose our words carefully. The goal of effective communication should be for the listener to say, “Me Too!” Versus “So What!”


 I have been studying empathy in its various forms for years. The more I study interpersonal and social empathy, the more I am careful about what I say because I know that my words send a message that is felt, that is repeated, and that shapes how people react. We have neuroscience evidence that backs us up on this, so we need to take it very seriously.


 We use words to convey our emotions. Of course, when we are caught saying something that might be ugly, we often say we didn’t mean it, or we were just kidding. But I find that most of the time that is an after-the-fact cover. We did say words we mean, and those words conveyed a feeling that was ugly or demeaning and falling back on that sticks and stones theory is a way to claim it was just words and nothing else. But if you feel it, pay attention. We are better at picking up people’s intentions and meanings when they speak than we realize. We are built to mirror those emotions. So, words do matter, they reflect who we are, and they give rise to feelings in others. If you don’t want to be an ugly person, if you don’t want to hurt others, don’t use mean and ugly words. Be strong enough to find better words that inspires oneself.


These 7 steps that will help you be stronger through tough and more difficult conversations.


Step 1) Don’t adopt a desire to be right, grow a desire to be fair.

Step 2) It’s so important to make sure it’s the right time to have this conversation, don’t just have it because it comes to you at that moment

Step 3) If you want it to end in a positive way, then you need to start the conversation positively

Step 4) Stay focused on the challenge/problem on hand. Don’t add to it. Those additions only find their way to put both of you out of control

Step 5) When one is speaking listen for WHY they are saying what they are saying first, before you focus on HOW they are saying it.

Step 6) Reflect what you understand by feeding back what you have heard, so both can clarify a better understanding

Step 7) Have a goal to find something you both can agree on even if it’s outside the topic.


 In my newest book titled “The Principles of an Unstoppable Family Business” I cover the 37 Be 4’s. My heart says it’s important for me to share a few with you before I finish. Here are the first four of 37.


1) Be 4 you can lead you need to learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

2) Be 4 you can lead you must understand no progress is made by being offended.

3) Be 4 you can lead you must understand that a relationship is more important than the issues.

4) Be 4 you can lead you must always accept responsibility for the misunderstandings.


Leadership matters and is needed.


 Inspiring leadership is defined by an inspiring attitude. Inspiring words and actions are preceded by an inspiring attitude. Like it or not, our thoughts and interpretations of people and circumstances directly influence our beliefs and ultimately, our leadership actions. Yes, bad things do happen, and they sometimes just show up. Any leader would be hard pressed to remember a week when no curve balls were thrown at him or her. However, it’s our interpretation that makes a situation negative or positive. A surprise event or a challenging moment doesn’t have to drag us down as Lee J. Colan points out in his Leadership Matters book. The way we choose to think about what happens determines the ultimate outcome. Henry Ford once said,” Whether you think you can or cannot, you’re right.” In other words, your attitude reflects your past, describes your present and predicts your future. Always remember our experience is less important than our attitude toward them. How you choose to interpret what happens is how you shape your future. Do you see yourself as a poor leader that is maxed out? Or are you a strong leader getting stronger everyday who is learning some tough lessons that will help ensure success for those that depend on you?


 The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude. Be kind, but not weak. Be bold, but not a bully. Be thoughtful, but not lazy. Be humble, but timid. Be proud, but not arrogant. Have humor, but without folly.


 As a great leader, I’m sure you are planning on investing time this coming year to hold meetings with your team with the goal of making a positive impact with the greatest asset your company has, and this is your people. If you would like me to participate in helping you to achieve that goal towards personal growth, and team unity, please don’t hesitate to email Raymond@bryandodge.com to see if those dates are available.

Please forward to anybody you feel might enjoy this newsletter!

Dodge Development | 800-473-1698 | contactus@bryandodge.com | www.dodgedevelopment.com