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Damon Pistulka, Michele Gunn
Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the phases of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I’m excited. I want to apologize. We’re a little bit late, Michelle and I were just talking, and I look down at the time or a few minutes late. But today, I’ve got Michelle gun, and we’re going to be talking about building Positive Intelligence. Thanks for being here today, Michelle.
Michele Gunn 00:20
Oh, my pleasure. I’m so excited to share this with everyone.
Damon Pistulka 00:24
Oh, it’s gonna be fun. It’s going to be fun. So let’s talk a little bit about Positive Intelligence. I mean, you sent me some stuff ahead of time we talked about, just explain what, what are you talking about when you say building positive intelligence.
Michele Gunn 00:40
So we’ve often seen cartoons, right, with an angel and a devil on your shoulder, one’s telling you to do something good. And the other is telling you to do something bad. And a lot of times we want to do what’s bad, but we know we need to do what’s good. It’s kind of similar. Our minds can either be our best friend, or our worst enemy. So Positive Intelligence measures the strength of the two modes of your mind, the best friend, and the worst enemy.
And we are always hearing the voices in our head telling us what’s wrong with stuff with us. It’s, you know, it’s bad enough, we got people outside externally telling us what’s wrong and what we do wrong. But oftentimes, we have that, like we’re talking the self doubt, the fear, you can’t do it, you’re not good enough, that the term imposter syndrome syndromes flying around like mad. They’re all lies, right? They’re all lies that our own mind tells us. And we need to get that under control and be control of our mind so that we can be what we’re meant to
Damon Pistulka 01:51
Awesome. Awesome. And thanks for helping because I thought those two little things on our shoulders were real. See him every day. But no, it’s it’s it’s it’s really is. It’s like you said it’s bad enough that we have people all around us that may be doubting us. But when we’re doubting ourselves, even though we know it’s the right thing to do, or we know it’s, we really believe in what we’re doing. It just makes things so much harder.
Michele Gunn 02:21
Damon Pistulka 02:22
Yeah. Yep. So and again, like you mentioned, this does come from inside. So you talk about mental fitness. Let’s talk a little bit about mental fitness and how it relates to this.
Michele Gunn 02:39
So your your brain is a muscle, right? Oftentimes, we look at building habits, and we always give out, so we work on positivity, being positive, look at the the positive outcomes of things. But it’s something that we often give up on, it’s something that we really need to work at, you really need to build the mental muscles to be able to choose how to react in a positive way, versus letting the negative. So when we talk about that we talk about the sage is the good, the positive part. And the Saba tours are the negative. There are self taught self talk of doubt. You’re not good enough. Procrastination, the pleasers.
I’m a victim, I need to control everything. Basically, there’s 10 saboteurs, right, the judge, he is the master of all evil. I call him my Gremlin. And my husband’s like, do you really know what a gremlin is surrounded? I’m like, yeah, like, you know, the movie. The Gremlins go and they wreck everything. That’s my judge. They just go wreck everything. The judges there and we’ll take control and he’ll bring his buddies along the other nine saboteur say come out me, because this person’s going to do something good.
And we don’t want that anymore. Right. So basically, we were given a fear to for survival, right? So you learn that touching fire is bad, and you get that fear of touching fire. While a lot of times we have fear that’s not based on anything, it’s in our own mind. Don’t do that you’re gonna fail. That’s their self saboteur is talking. So the other saboteurs are like I said, anybody who knows me will say yes, this is you.
So my top three pleaser, I want to make sure everybody’s happy. All right. Got to make sure that Well, I do I do like to be liked by people. Yeah, why not? Right. So it works in that way. So that that will stop me from doing what I need to do because I’m worried about what other people think. The avoider, that’s somebody that works in procrastination, you don’t need to do that. You don’t want to do that the outcomes going to be bad.
The Restless, which I knew that because you know, we’ve talked before, I’m Clifton Strengths certified and I love the way this works with Clifton Strengths. It just gets me very excited. But I get bored and move on. And it’s because I’m restless, I have that restless, I’m easily distracted. So I’m confession time, right? I’m the person on the webinar who has their cell phone playing games while I’m listening.
So tell me how much am I getting out of that webinar? saboteur telling me, you know, don’t do it, you have other things to do, you’re going to fail anyway. So you need to work on that. There is hypervigilant, right. The one that’s always anxious there’s always doubting and self doubt about yourself and others. really sensitive to danger signals. There’s the victim we see people who always play the victim Oh, poor me, poor me, of somebody criticizes me.
You know, it’s not my fault. Everybody is so mean to me temperamental. The controller, as somebody who has to control everything. And if they don’t have control, they find something else to control. It’s yeah, hyper achiever, somebody who has to have everything perfect to get it all done. There, they adapt the personality to fit what other people think they need. The Hyper rational, that’s an intense an active mind, and they’re always looking at the rational side of things, and they’re ignoring the emotional side of things.
Yeah. So the Stickler, punctual, perfectionist can be irritable, tense, strong need for self control, and self restraint, these things get in our way of being productive, and getting things done. So you have to build your Sage muscle, which is the good part, your best friend of your mind, to kick the saboteurs out so that you do what you need to do, what you’re meant to do, and what you’re actually capable of doing.
Damon Pistulka 07:45
Okay, I just trying to digest this, because a
Michele Gunn 07:48
lot of information, a lot of
Damon Pistulka 07:50
good stuff, because you’re basically saying that you’re trying to do to figure out what your primary saboteurs are with Positive Intelligence. And then you’re going to then address those with work to be able to understand when you’re being affected by them, or intercepted before you’re infected by that. Yes. And change the way that you’re acting.
Michele Gunn 08:23
Yeah, that’s a key word the intercepting? Absolutely, so when we talk about that part of the the three core muscles of mental fitness is saboteur interceptor. Yourself command in your Sage, right? So you need to take control of your thoughts in your mind of how you do things and how you look at things.
Damon Pistulka 08:51
Yeah, yeah, good. Well, it’s just, it’s just so interesting here and hearing you speak about this. Because when you do this kind of work, you even if you’re, even if you’re bad at it, because I’m poor at it, but if you’re doing this kind of work, and you’re continuing to work at it, it you can at least see things happening. And sometimes intercept once in a while, which, but they’re not going to get all of them.
So I like this idea of building your, your the three mental muscles here to be able to do more of that interception and, and really change the way that you’re acting or the outcomes of, of, or just pushing the saboteurs away.
Michele Gunn 09:36
Yeah, and when you think about mental fitness, think about physical fitness. Right? If you want your body to be fit, you don’t go to the gym once and you’re done. Yeah, right. Yeah, generally go. So mental fitness is actually a lifelong process. It’s something you need to continue working on. And, you know, it’s recommended In what you learned, and I have a very hard time with meditation. So this differs from meditation a little bit that this really goes to the core muscles.
And I like it because it’s shorter. Now, the longer sessions you can do, they call them PQ Reps. And those allow you to build your neural pathways to form new habits through consistent daily daily practice. Yeah. And before big meetings, before anything big, especially if you have any kind of saboteur is popping up fears or worried about you’re not being good enough, you take the time to do those PQ Reps, you’re focusing your brain on thinking the way you want it to think you’re controlling your thoughts.
Damon Pistulka 10:53
Yeah, and doing Yeah, rather, it because of, I don’t know, over the last couple of months, I’ve been read, read a few different books on on the brain, how it works, and some of the things and it is absolutely fascinating. How much happens without us even knowing it, and how much of it is made up in our mind.
You know, fear the, the decisions that just happen naturally, and you go, Oh, what, what, and it happens without even realizing it. And the saboteurs are working like this too. So I can see where these kinds of repetitions on a daily basis can can begin to recreate that. So those those same things happen, but not the same, that things happen, but not the same things happen.
Michele Gunn 11:45
Right? Right. You need to work on training your brain and how you want it to think now I need of course, this is not my idea, my program. So I need to give credit where credit’s due. So the Creator shirt Sherzad shameen is well, he’s got a lot of credentials. He’s a Harvard graduate. This is his, it’s probably backwards. I don’t know if I put my own hours, right, great. But great, great book.
It’s all scientific, scientifically backed, it’s research based. So they actually did brain mapping and everything. And when you’re doing PQ Reps, you’re actually using a different part of your brain. Now, unfortunately, I can’t spit all that back out, because that is not my talent. But for anybody who wants to learn it. It’s on his website, positive intelligence.com. And you can see all the scientific research.
So it’s not in I went through the program. I told my husband, I knew it works. Number one, he saw a change in me, I saw a change in me. And no kidding, I could actually, it I could feel the change. When I’m doing the reps, I can feel how my brain is acting different. And I know I might sound crazy, but I don’t care. Really. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 13:15
really? That is awesome. Yeah, that is awesome. Yeah, well, it’s, it’s it is it is without a doubt. True that people that understand how to use their brains differently, have different results. Yeah. And if you can get the the bad news, the bad things out of your mind and get replaced them with good it’s, it’s only going to be positive. Well, they’re gonna be positive. This is really interesting. So when you’re, what were some of the things that you you learned that you went? Wow, I never thought of that. I just would have never connected the two pieces together.
Michele Gunn 13:59
Well, I do have a story I want to share that will half answer that question. Very good. It’s not my story. It’s called the stallion story, and it’s in the book. So I want to read that it’s not real long, but it really, I think, let you see the perspective of the outcome. One of the things that Sherzad says throughout the program is nothing, nothing is ever good and nothing is ever bad. Which is what? Right? So let me tell you the story. I’m gonna read it. So an old farmer lives on his farm with his teenage son. He also has a beautiful stallion that He lovingly cares for. The farmer enters his stallion into an annual country fair competition.
His stallion wins first prize. The farmers neighbors gather to congratulate him on the great when he calmly says who Who knows what is good and what is bad. puzzled by this reaction the neighbors go away. The next week some thieves who heard about the stallions increased value, steal the horse. When the neighbors come to commiserate with the farmer, they find him again very common gathered, and he says, who knows what is good and what is bad.
Several days later, the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and finds his way back to the farm, bringing with him a few wild mayors he has befriended along the way to his neighbor’s excited rounds of congratulation. The farmer once again says, who knows what is good and what is bad. A few weeks later, the farmer’s son is thrown off one of these new bears he is trying to break in and his leg is fractured.
As the neighbors gathered to commiserate with the old farmer, he wants again reminds him reminds them who knows what is good, and what is bad. The following week, the imperial army marches through the village conscripting all eligible young men for the war that has just broken out. The old farmer’s son is spared due to his fractured leg. The neighbors no longer bother to come to the old farmer to congratulate them by now they know what his response will be. Who knows what is good? And what is bad? Wow, yeah.
Damon Pistulka 16:48
That’s something that’s something when you think about it, and any? Yeah. Because you really don’t know. You really don’t know. Because it may be bad at the moment. But it may turn out to be a much better thing. The moment after that.
Michele Gunn 17:03
Right. Right. Right. You don’t know. And we still don’t know. No, because obviously that story goes on. Yeah, what the end result is, but but we don’t know, what is good and what is bad.
Damon Pistulka 17:19
So how do you take? What do you take from that statement? We don’t know what is good and what is bad.
Michele Gunn 17:26
I take from that statement. You know, think first of all things happen that’s out of our control. But how we view it. Well, will actually how we view it will result in how we react and how things go moving forward. Mm. If you look at everything is being bad.
I mean, like obviously the soldiers leg was fractured. That’s That was horrible. The stallion getting stolen was horrible, but good came out of all of it. So if we always look for the gift or opportunity in every situation, then we can’t go wrong. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. You acknowledge when something bad happens? You acknowledge your emotions you acknowledge if you feel bad, but move on.
Damon Pistulka 18:17
Yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s good. That’s good. That’s quite a story. Who knows what is good or what is bad? And keeping that even tone, that even? Even position? Because you’re willing, you’re ready for what? What is coming? Yeah, yeah. So as you as you start working with this, what? What really have you learned from it? If you’re working with the Positive Intelligence, what are some of the things that you’ve really, you’ve really figured out from it?
Michele Gunn 18:59
Well, you know, some of it, we already know, but it just, it doesn’t think den because we’re so wrapped into our emotions and how we feel that we don’t really look at things the way they are, or the way they could be. So of course, I’m learning the big one to always look for the gift or opportunity.
No matter what happens. If somebody if somebody is giving you a hard time about something that could be a gift or an opportunity. The opportunity is to grow your PQ muscles, because you have to work on how you deal with that person. Right? And sometimes, they may just teach you a new way to deal with something that you wouldn’t have thought of before because you wouldn’t have had to.
Damon Pistulka 19:50
Could you wait because you could just look at it as somebody owes me someone’s given me a bad time or I’m in a bad situation rather than going I’m in a bad situation. But I’m going to find the opportunity within it and finding that opportunity. Yeah. That’s powerful when you can do it. That’s for sure.
Michele Gunn 20:12
And well, that’s the thing. It takes practice. It takes a lot of practice. Yeah. Yeah. So obviously, I’m still working on it.
Damon Pistulka 20:23
Yeah. Well, it’s it’s interesting, though, because you, you you read about or know, people that have, you know, been had cancer, right. Cancer, common one. It’s, and some people take it as it’s, it’s the, you know, it’s just horrible, most horrible thing ever.
And other people, you wouldn’t really know, unless they’re, you knew that they just weren’t around a day or two, because they’re so violently sick that they can’t get up. And the next day that when they can get up, they look, they’re as good as they can be, you would expect the normal. Someone without that condition, I should say. Right. And it’s it is totally their attitude towards that. Yeah. Yeah. So the, let’s go. The, when you talk about these PQ Reps,
Michele Gunn 21:16
yeah. What? What’s that entail? That’s, that’s the practicing, of focusing on controlling your mind and your thoughts. It’s done in in various, various ways. You can do it using physical sensations, you can use it. Any of your senses, you can do it. So it’s focusing on something. And of course, when you start the program, it you’re merely focused on that.
But as you as you build your mental fitness, you’re able to do that why you live life, because obviously, you can’t just sit all day. Yeah, and do that. Although if you have something important, you might want to take 510 15 minutes to do it before. But it’s really practicing the focusing on certain things that you’re controlling your mind to block out the what we call the noise, right? The chatter that we hear. Yeah, it’s hard. It’s definitely hard. But it’s doable.
Damon Pistulka 22:25
Yeah. Yeah. So you’re, you’re trying to get those get those saboteurs before they can say anything?
Michele Gunn 22:31
Yes. Or kick them out when they do. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 22:36
Yeah. So you’ve been you’ve been coaching for a while, and you’re pretty excited about Positive Intelligence. So how does this change the way that you’re coaching? How are you incorporated? In what you’re doing? And so what is Positive Intelligence really meant for four years, that kind of things you’re doing?
Michele Gunn 22:55
Well, I think that it’s probably obvious to a lot of people, especially since COVID, that there’s a lot more negativity fear in the world. Because of some of the economic situations, people have a lot less confidence in themselves. So I see the great need for people to have this.
People that I’ve coached that sometimes it’s really, really hard to build up that self confidence, because the saboteurs are working so hard, telling them that what they do wrong, that I saw this as a great, great tool. So there is through Positive Intelligence, we do offer. They have a six week boot camp that I’ve developed into an eight week mental fitness boot camp, to help people first of all, learn about what it is they get into positive tell intelligence, they learn about it.
They practice the PQ, there’s an app that goes with it that has that, because we all need reminders. We don’t just do it, right. Yeah, especially through work and everything else gives you the notifications for exercises, and teaches you many different things. And then when you it’s a great tool, but put together with coaching, have coaching around it, and even more value and that’s what Sherzad wanted to do is he wanted to enable coaches to be able to bring this to people to help them build themselves up.
And then for me, I have that basic, that basic program for people who just need an introduction and I build on that into a longer program to work on that in the coaching would be around of course building your mental fitness and then whatever would come off Yeah. And then I had mentioned about Clifton Strengths, because Positive Intelligence is geared to allow you to be to utilize your strengths. And Clifton Strengths is all about what’s right about you and building on that.
So Positive Intelligence is, I’m going to use the term gateway to helping you really use your inner talents in your strengths. So I have another program where I can combine both of those, depending on what people’s needs are and where they feel comfortable. But there’s just an there’s just so so much depending in depending on what people need, and generally, the way I see it, we’re not a professional or whatever our work role is, and then and then, or a spouse or a parent, right?
We’re all of that wrapped into one person. Yeah. So usually, when people come for coaching, it’s usually one of the one thing that brings them but they really need coaching around more than one part of their life. And they don’t realize it. But this is good for stress, wellness, relationships, parenting, career planning, emotional intelligence, intelligence, conflict, management, creativity, leadership and performance. It’s just, it’s really, yeah, it can make everything better.
Damon Pistulka 26:38
When you get those saboteurs out of your head, there’s a lot of things that can happen. Good thing?
Michele Gunn 26:44
Yeah. And you have to know because even sure, that says, they’re never gone. Yeah, they’re never gone. They’re all they’re always there. So it’s, it’s a lifelong process that you need to work on in you need to remember that there is not like a one answer. Like, the six week boot camp is awesome. But I can tell you, if I only did that, I probably would have failed at continuing because of life. And I let Well, my restless my voice to a later yeah. So it’s really something that you really, really need to work on.
Damon Pistulka 27:26
Well, any of these kinds of things. I mean, it is it, you’re going to do it and you’re going to do it a long time and you’re going to reach plateaus, you’re going to go I don’t really feel like I’m progressing. There’s all kinds of things. And again, those avatars are just saying, Why do you want to keep doing this? Or, or it’s not really making a difference? And you know, sometimes just the fact of trying is making a difference, you may not realize it, but just the fact of trying is yeah, it’s the end.
It’s so It’s so crazy, as you think and I talked to people like yourself, you’re coaching, you’ve got a lot of training in this and, and just understanding how many negative things come through our mind automatically. I just I know I said it before, but it is, you know, whether it’s just to try to protect us or whatever it is, it’s they just come through and it’s so hard to stop them unless you you’re really working on on holding them back.
Michele Gunn 28:29
Right? Because it is initially to protect us, right? So we get a fear of heights, because we think we’re gonna fall. So we never try anything, right? We don’t want to be the volunteer to do the presentation at work. Because we don’t think our presentation skills are good. But how do you get them better? Right, you got to do it.
Damon Pistulka 28:52
Great point. That’s a great point. That is a great point. Because it it is it’s and and that’s, that brings a whole different subject that I think that when you when you start to get the saboteurs out, you really begin to understand that. Listen, I’m not afraid as afraid of trying new things like that presentation. Because I know that if I keep doing those presentations, I’m gonna get better at it. And that’s what I really want to do is be really good at those presentations. But if your saboteur is holding you back from doing the first one or the 10th, one, it can really be a problem.
Michele Gunn 29:29
And not only that, if you do it, and something happens and you make a mistake. I mean, we all make mistakes. What’s the gift and opportunity out of that mistake, right? Most likely, most likely you learn something from that. Yeah, so it’ll be better than next time. Whereas if you never did it at all, you would probably not ever learn that.
Damon Pistulka 29:51
Yeah. Yeah. It’s good stuff. Good stuff. So if you had one thing to tell some About Positive Intelligence, what would it be?
Michele Gunn 30:04
Um, I guess that you have it within yourself to control your thoughts to live the life you want to live.
Damon Pistulka 30:18
I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know what to say, say hi. Agree. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Because you do. And I think that we walk around ourselves, sometimes we see others around us that are not happy, not not satisfied, whatever it is, you know, got, you know, compared to, you know, compare against everything else and don’t realize where they’re at. And it is in our minds to be able to it’s in our control and within our minds to be able to do this.
Michele Gunn 30:52
And when you’re, I’m going to say foolishly comparing yourself to other people. Think about what is good and what is bad. Right. Somebody in a big mansion, you might think that’s wonderful, but you have no idea what’s going on. No idea.
Damon Pistulka 31:11
Yeah. Yeah. Who knows what is good or what is bad? Yeah, I that that is one that I think it everyone is guilty of once in a while. I was like, Oh, if I had if I had all the money I wanted, right. And that, that really doesn’t mean happy. Right? Doesn’t mean happy? And or it does mean satisfaction. It doesn’t mean that. So? Yeah, good stuff. Good stuff. Oh, Michelle, thank you so much for stopping by today and talking about building Positive Intelligence. If somebody wants to talk to you about building Positive Intelligence, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?
Michele Gunn 31:48
They can find me obviously on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, I have my website michigan.com went out to ns. Yelp, and probably the website’s probably the quickest, but I pay attention to social media. So just reach out.
Damon Pistulka 32:06
Awesome. That’s great. Michelle, thanks for being here today. I want to thank everyone for stopping by. We got Judit, she was here. Lots of great comments. She was here early. Sorry. We were talking early. Ronald. Ronald, I’ll see you soon. I think. Not for sure if we’re doing that in few minutes here, but we had Kyra? All right from Algeria. Awesome. Good stuff.
Thanks, everyone, for being here today. And thanks, Michelle, for stopping by today. And again, if you want to reach out and talk to Michelle while building Positive Intelligence. Michelle Gan one L two ends on LinkedIn. And she’ll get back to you. Thanks so much, everybody. hang out for a moment. Michelle, and we’ll talk
Michele Gunn 32:55
thanks, Damon. Thanks, everyone.