from the


from the Top of the Mind


from the
Top of the Mind

“Dr. Crawford’s presentation was the highlight of the conference and a much needed reminder for all of us (especially nurses) to keep it all balanced. Bill’s psychology background surely protruded through his messages and I know it was well-received by all!”

Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL

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“The first thing we need to influence if we want to influence others is our state of mind.”

~ Bill Crawford

The #1 Block To Influencing Others

Most of us have had the experience of becoming angry or frustrated with someone, and attempting to get them to either hear us or change their behavior. Unfortunately, if our anger or frustration leaks into our nonverbal behavior (our tone of voice, body language, etc.), they are likely to hear “You stupid idiot” at the end of our communication whether we say it or not.

For example, let’s assume that you have been trying to explain to someone why you can’t do what they want, but they aren’t getting it. We might say something like, “No we can’t do that. I have told you this five times, I just don’t know any other way to say it! (you stupid idiot).” Or, “It’s in the manual, didn’t you read the manual? (you stupid idiot).” Or with our kids… “How many times have we talked about this, what were you thinking??!!!”

Can you see how easy it would be for the other person to put “you stupid idiot” on the end of any of those statements? And, further, can you see how this would get in the way of their wanting to listen to us, or cooperate with us?

If so, let’s ensure that we have done everything we can do to maximize the potential that those we wish to communicate with and/or influence are open to what we are saying. This means taking more responsibility for how we are thinking and feeling when we talk to people. In other words, if we are indeed feeling angry, frustrated, or resentful, we must be willing to either change our mindset or postpone the conversation until we are in a better frame of mind.

For those who follow my “Life from the Top of the Mind” philosophy, you know that this literally means shifting from the resentful brain (the brainstem) to the clear, confident, creative brain (the neocortex) before going forward. In my books and seminars, I give people a five-step process that is designed to do this so that we engage others in a way that doesn’t convey our frustration, but instead conveys our desire to connect with them in a way that they hear as valuable, and that allows us to create a more solution-focused conversation.

Easier said than done? Absolutely! And, isn’t everything? The question is how important is it for you to be heard and understood by others. If the answer is, “it’s essential,” then we must take the necessary steps to minimize any stress or frustration we experience when dealing with others so that they don’t put “you stupid idiot” at the end of anything we say.

To do this, we must be coming from the purposeful brain versus the reactive brain, and this is what I help individuals and organization learn. It’s not just about listening and being nice. It’s about influencing who we are so that we can be influential with others.

If you would like me to help you and/or those in your organization become more skilled at communicating with others by accessing the best of who we are and bringing out the best of who they are, feel free to contact me. The bottom line is that we must learn to minimize any stress or frustration we experience when dealing with others so that they don’t put “you stupid idiot” at the end of anything we say.

~ All the best, Dr. Bill

Dr. Crawford's Info Packet

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