Tag Archives: problem solving

Regaining rapport with someone who is upset with you


Life ToolsEven in the best relationships your counterpart will likely become upset with you from time to time. This tool will help you to successfully resolve such situations, regain rapport and rebuild the relationship. You might even find that successfully dealing with the situation will make the relationship even stronger than it was before.

Episode Outline:

Important Points:

  • This tool will be used when the issue at hand is not a clear cut, “right or wrong” situation that can be easily rectified.
  • When listening to someone explain why they are upset is the difference between letting them know that you have indeed heard them, as compared to pointing out some of the possible differences in opinions you have in regard to what they just said. When people are upset, usually the last thing they want to hear is that you think what they have to say is somehow overblown or ill-stated.
  • You can’t go back and redo what you did or didn’t do, and this is especially important if you have done something that might have been lacking in forethought. What you need to focus on is making things better from the present onwards.
  • When a person is feeling angry or hurt, and they communicate their anger to you, it is actually a sign that they feel close to you and want the relationship to be better, and that is something positive!
  • In most instances when someone is upset with you there is some kernel of truth in what they say. The veracity of a criticism is often just a matter of degree rather than a matter of right or wrong. Within reason, look to say and do whatever will help to resolve the situation rather than getting into a discussion about right or wrong.
  • If you are ever feeling stumped about how to reply in the moment, or if you are definitely feeling upset by what was said, you might want to reply in the moment by simply saying something like: “Ok, thanks for this feedback. Let me take it to heart and then I will get back to you shortly with a well thought out responsible reply.” And, then revisit the person using this tool once you are in a calm, positive mindset.


  1. Listen, nod, and acknowledge what your counterpart has to say. You nod “yes” while they are talking and when they pause you might say: “I can definitely understand why you are upset”.
  2. Apologize for having upset your counterpart and let them know that the relationship with them is important to you. This is very different than saying “I am sorry that you are upset.” because when you say this you are not taking responsibility for having upset them.
  3. Acknowledge that you could have done better. This acknowledgement can be part of your apology.
  4. Pause, take a deep breath, and see if your counterpart wants to say anything further. And if they are still upset, you need to let them vent until such time that they finally “run out of gas”.
  5. Ask the other person what they think will be the best way to make the situation more acceptable to them.
  6. State what you will do going forward, and make sure you keep to your commitment.
  7. Think about what you have learned from this situation and how you can use what you learned going forward.


Learn from your past rather than being defeated by it


Life ToolsDo you find yourself living in the past and trying to understand why you did something, rather than learning from what took place? One thing is clear in regard to most highly successful people: They failed once, twice, or even many times three before finally hitting upon a plan that worked. What highly successful people do is learn from their past mistakes and then do things differently the next time around. We discuss 6 steps to help you learn from the past and move forward.

Episode Outline:


  • Best not to begin by asking “Why”, e.g. “Why didn’t that work?” The reason being is that your answers will usually be based on various suppositions that are not all that correct or accurate.
  • We will do well to stay away form asking ourselves “Did I do it right or did I do it wrong?” On of the main reason for this is that the potential answers wind up being too “black or white” with very little in the way of nuance.
  • Avoid asking yourself questions from a negative viewpoint. For example: “Why was I so unaware about what was actually taking place?”


  1. Make a simple statement naming the situation that did not go as planned and what you are wanting to learn.
  2. Ask yourself: “Did I make an overall wise decision when initially engaging in my situation?”
  3. Ask yourself: “Was my choice for this situation based on my insecurities and/or needs rather than choosing from a place of strength?”
  4. Ask yourself: “How could I have better managed my primary relationship in the situation I was involved in?”
  5. Ask yourself: “Did I have the skills and experience to properly support what I was attempting to accomplish?”
  6. Consider what you will want to do differently and the same in the future. In other words, cycle through the above questions, digest what happened, and then state what you would do differently in the future and also what you would do the same in the future.


How to change careers – interview with Nick Corcodilos from asktheheadhunter.com


Life ToolsDo you want to change careers? If so, this podcast can help you get started. We interview Nick Corcodilos, a professional career coach and author of the book “How Can I Change Careers – Answer Kit”, about the best strategies and methods for changing careers, including an interesting technique called “The Library Vacation.”


Key Topics Discussed:
1) Why do people change careers?
2) Try to get in front of the hiring manager and avoid HR if possible.
3) How to find out which career to go into: The Library Vacation.
4) The cost of a career change – look at the change as an investment.
5) Change to a career that really motivates you – not because the job is “there”.
6) If you cannot afford your new career choice, look for alternative ways you can accomplish your objectives.
7) Don’t use the online job boards!
8) Pick a company you really want to work for and talk to their vendors, employees, etc. about their business – don’t ask for a job.
9) How to network – focus on creating relationships and spending time within your field.
10) Some thoughts about LinkedIn – the world’s best online telephone book!
11) HR Screen interview – expect nothing.
12) Don’t pursue jobs – pursue the company


About Nick:

Nick Corcodilos is the host of Ask The Headhunter® and author of Fearless Job Hunting (2013), How to Work with Headhunters (2009),  How Can I Change Careers? (2009), and Keep Your Salary Under Wraps (2012).

Nick is also the author of Ask The Headhunter: Reinventing The Interview to Win The Job (1997), the #1-selling interview guide on Amazon for 26 consecutive months, published in the U.S., the U.K., Taiwan, China, and Brazil. (This book is no longer in print)

Nick started headhunting in 1979 in one of America’s most competitive job markets: California’s Silicon Valley. Using the methods described in his books, in the ATH Newsletter and on the ATH blog, he has helped people win management and staff jobs in companies including IBM, GE, Hewlett-Packard and Merrill Lynch.

You can find Nick’s website at http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/.

Brainstorming new ideas and solving problems using the Walt Disney Creativity Model


Today’s podcast teaches you a strategy that Walt Disney used to come up with some of the many brilliant concepts he hatched over the years.

Walt Disney fascinates me for a number of reasons:

He was a high school dropout and certainly wasn’t successful right from the beginning. He suffered through several business failures and bankruptcy. But he very definitely learned from his early mistakes, and wound up creating a process that fostered not only creativity, but overall business success as well. He came up with a process to turn his dreams into a concrete reality and we will teach you the basics of this process in the podcast.

And I wanted to mention about Disney’s early failures because I think it’s important to note that people who wind up being hugely successful, often achieve their success only after having failed one or more times in the past. It is as if their early failures are like a flu vaccine that inoculates them from making the same mistakes again.

Disney learned something positive from his hardships rather than getting down on himself, and I think this in itself can be a great lesson for all of us.

When you are ready, scroll down to the Musings section of this newsletter and I will share some of my further thoughts on Disney and what we can all learn from him.

If you have already subscribed to our free podcasts via iTunes or another podcast player, open your player and today’s podcast will show up automatically. That is the beauty of subscribing to a podcast!

If you would like to listen to today’s podcast on our site (and you can download it there as well), then please click here.

In Community,


The Disney Creativity Model involves exploring new ideas from three different perceptual positions or viewpoints: the viewpoint of a dreamer, the viewpoint of a realist, and the viewpoint of a critic, and then eventually synthesizing these three different perspectives into one workable, successful plan.
The Disney strategy can also lead to not carrying through on a particular project because of any number of factors that show up when using the model.

In everyday life, dreamers, realists, and critics often tend to clash with each other. But in Disney’s strategy, each of these three different kinds of thinking were seen as crucial, utilized, and blended together at some point in the overall process. This was one of the important aspects of Disney’s brilliance. To create magic out of what could have easily been chaos.

Part of the process here involves getting the three different types of thinkers to offer their viewpoints while remaining respectful of the skills that the other members of the team bring to the table, the idea being to find the weaknesses in another person’s thinking, while not equating this with the other person being flawed.

You see, after his early failures Disney realized that relying completely on himself and the great creative ideas he did have was not going to be enough to get the job done. He realized that he needed the input and support of others. This is a wonderful learning. None of us needs to be great at every aspect of the work we are involved in. What we need is to be aware of our weaknesses and get support in those areas. And I think this realization is important in most every relationship. Maybe your spouse is a dreamer, and that might even be what attracted you to them in the first place. But in many instances, dreamers are not great at planning and execution, and that leaves you with a choice. You can either criticize them for their weakness in carrying through with their dreams or you can support them as the person that helps make their dreams more logical and realistic.

So I think that each of us will do well to consider what our strengths are and then ask ourselves what areas we need support in. Once we have done this, then we need to go out and find the people who can best support us. With the help of others we can all be successful, and it is wonderful to realize that we don’t have to go it alone in the world. That is what I mean when I often say, “We each have all the resources necessary to accomplish what we desire, if we call on the help and support of others.”

So, if you would like to understand more about how to be successful in your various life pursuits, please have a listen to our podcast.

In Community,

Brainstorming new ideas and solving problems using the Walt Disney Creativity model


Walt Disney discovered that creativity on its own was not enough to be successful. He pioneered a multi-faceted method of teamwork and synergy that led to his phenomenal success, which we present in this podcast.

What to do when facing failure


Everyone has failed numerous times in their lives, and indeed some degree of failure is inevitable. So rather than trying to avoid failure I think the important point to consider is what we do after having failed. When we learn something from our failure and thus alter what we do in the future, then “failure” can be an important life affirming learning experience. On the other hand, when we believe that the failure we faced today is a sign that we simply are not all that competent, then we wind up limiting what we are capable of in the future.

In today’s podcast we are going to look at failure as feedback, rather than looking at failure as a sign of incompetence. We engage in an activity or relationship and the world around us gives us feedback. Sometimes positive and sometimes not so positive. The task we face in life is to adjust and adapt based on the feedback we receive. Failure can be a great teacher, letting us know what works and what doesn’t work, and what we need to continue doing as well as what we need to be doing differently.

So, without further ado, If you would like to listen to today’s podcast on our website (and you can download it as well), then please click on this link: What to do when facing failure. If you are already subscribed to our podcasts via iTunes or another podcast player, the podcast should already be showing up in your feed. And, as always, you can find our back catalog of podcasts by clicking on this link: Life Tools.

In Community,



amazonI have been traveling in Peru and Ecuador for the last three weeks and I have once again had the opportunity to look at life from a new perspective. I have seen stunning beauty while traveling for 24 hours round trip on a ferryboat on the Amazon river. I have lived for five days in a remote jungle camp that taught me a lot about living close to nature, and I have made my way through numerous cities along the way.

I am sitting here now in Cuenca, Ecuador, thinking about how to describe my experience, and I feel that the best way to do this is to share some random thoughts and feelings with you-

Many people throughout the world live in great poverty. Although this is rather sad to see I am also heartened by the many folks I have come across who live with a wonderful sense of happiness and dignity, regardless of their economic condition. I realize that I have much more than I often appreciate.

Nature can offer us a great sense of wonder and give us a powerful experience of just how “tiny” we are in the overall scope of life. The Amazon river is teeming with life, change, and constancy.

In our jungle camp we went out late in the day to set the fishing nets, and then returned to the nets in the early morning to harvest our breakfast. Not unusual to take in 20 or so small fish and have them served with some local plantains harvested nearby. It led me to understand just how “simple” life can be. Simple but not easy!

amazon_monkeyI met many wonderful people happy to share a few moments or a few hours with a gringo, and at the same time whenever I was on crowded streets I needed to be wary of pickpockets. Sometimes the pickpockets were young children working as part of a team.We stood on the second deck of our ferryboat after arriving back to Iquitos and watched in wonder as many people surged off the boat and many others then surged onto the boat to buy the cargo on the main deck. Lots of fresh fish and fruits, and lots of bargaining going on.

Whenever I travel I am amazed by the differences and similarities I find in various cultures. Japan and the United States offer a very different experience of life than South American culture, and yet there is always something that is the same. The “sameness” I find when traveling is the kindness that people often gladly offer to strangers. One of the richest experiences in life is to ask someone for help, when you don’t share a common language. Perhaps, as one of my fellow travelers remarked, the universal language of life is love.

I have met many wonderful young children along the way, and had several fantastic experiences of giving an impromptu harmonica performance to kids I met while waiting for a boat to arrive, and also playing for people while taking our ferryboat ride on the Amazon. Certainly music is another universal language that can easily be enjoyed and understood by all.

ButterflyMy trip has given me the opportunity to pause and ask myself “Where am I, who am I, and where am I going?”. Certainly the journey is much more important than the destination.

amazon_butterflyMy trip has also once again made it clear to me, that the people I share my life with are so important to me, so crucial.

If you go to the Seishindo fan page on Facebook you will be able to see some of the pictures that my friends and I took.

I hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Tony and I are so thankful to be able to share with you what we have learned along the way. For your convenience, the link to the podcast is here: What to do when facing failure

In community,

Reframing your relationship to change


Today we have a small surprise in store for you. Today’s newsletter Musings is being written by my good friend Tony Padgett. Tony and I are doing the Life Tools Podcasts together and I thought it would be great for everyone to get to know him a bit. Also at the time you receive this newsletter, I will be in the jungle in Peru, not too far from the Amazon river. I checked and there are no internet connections, no cellphone towers, and no convenience stores. At some point in the future I will write some about my trip, but for now, let me introduce Tony….

Tony has been working and living in Asia for the past 23 years, the first 17 of them in Japan and the last 6 in Singapore. In addition to his study in Hypnosis, Aikido, and NLP, Tony has worked for a variety of companies including Toyota, Seiko, and Canon as well as few financial institutions. He is currently managing a team of 100 people and has seen an led a variety of change management programs during his career, so I thought it would be appropriate for him to write this version of the newsletter.

Which brings me to the point…this week’s newsletter and podcast is about “Reframing your relationship to change”. We look at how to reframe our relationship to change and engage our challenges from a positive, self-empowering perspective. Due to the nature of the topic, this is one of our longer episodes, so we recommend you listen to this a few times in order to fully absorb and understand each step.

If you would like to listen to today’s podcast on our website (and you can download it as well), then please click on this link: Reframing your relationship to change. If you are subscribed already via iTunes or another podcast player, the podcast should already be showing up. And, as always, you can find our back catalog of podcasts by clicking on this link: Life Tools.

Without further ado, I’ll let Tony take it from here.

In Community,


In my 23 years of business, I have seen a variety of change programs implemented. Some of them have been good but most not-so-good. And the reason I would say most of them have failed is because they did not capture the emotion of the teams involved. They try to rely way too much on the logical reasons behind the change (e.g. pull out the PowerPoints and show the cost savings, gains in efficiencies, etc.) rather than speak to the teams that were going through the change and give them an emotional reason for why they should buy into the change program to begin with. The change may be good for the company, but why was it good for the employee? Moreover, when a change program is implemented to save costs, I am sure most were thinking…I had better watch myself since if they are looking to cut costs, maybe I’m next!

And, while a change program may have been technically completed, I would say many of them still failed because they left most employees feeling neglected or dis-empowered since they felt no direct connection to the results or were not engaged in the process. The change effort may have changed people on the outside, but their internal behaviors didn’t change.

While change is sometimes obvious as with a change program, another type of change is the ability to grow and adapt to the environment around you–a more indirect type of change. I am sure we all have seen companies that have failed because they kept to the status quo since it’s always harder to start change than it is to sustain it. In the podcast, we discuss one of the more well-known stories…..Kodak. Kodak missed the opportunity to change–they did not move into the digital film arena, and now they are struggling to remain relevant, and there are even reports of the company going bankrupt by September this year.

The key to being open to change is to accept that change is inevitable and that we need to be open to change to adapt and grow. There is no way that we cannot not change! Our bodies changes, the weather changes, and even our opinion changes (especially as we get older, at least in my experience!) The challenge will be is if we change in a generative way or simply change because we are forced to. The former way will bring a lot more positives into your world while the latter will not be lasting.

We tend to not be open to change just because it makes “logical” sense. We tend to change when we feel good about the change itself, as discussed above there is an “emotional” component that influences us to change. Our podcast addresses how to take our limiting reactions to change and modify them into a more positive, generative way to viewing change and thus the way we feel about change overall. By changing our limiting behavior and being open to change, we believe we can then live our lives to the fullest potential.

I hope you enjoy the podcast, and thanks for listening! For your convenience, the link to the podcast is here: Reframing your relationship to change.

Yours truly,


Reframing your relationship to change


We look at how to reframe our relationship to change and engage our challenges from a positive, self-empowering perspective. Due to the nature of the topic, this is one of our longer episodes, so we recommend you listen to this a few times in order to fully absorb and understand each step.

Creating and achieving the goals you desire


Today’s podcast is going to teach you a great method for setting and achieving goals. This is one of the core models in the Seishindo Life Tools Podcast series, and a core part of the coaching I do with people. You will come away from this podcast feeling a good deal more confident about your ability to get done whatever it is you need to get done, by learning how to set goals that point you in a positive direction.

Read through my “Musings” further on down the page, and also our offer of a free digital version of my book.

And then when you are done… Please listen to today’s podcast-

If you have already subscribed to our free podcasts via iTunes or another podcast player, today’s podcast will show up automatically the next time you open the application you use. That is the beauty of subscribing to a podcast!

If you would like to listen to today’s podcast on our site (and you can download it as well), then please click on this link: Creating and achieving the results you desire.

In Community


What happens for many of us is that we often set negatively oriented goals for ourselves.
When setting goals, few things could be worse to say to ourselves than something like, “I no longer want to get depressed.” Or, “I am sick and tried of being overweight, and thus I want to lose weight.”

When setting a goal you will tend to get the best results when you focus on the positive results you do want to achieve, rather than focusing on what you no longer want. When you focus on what you do want, you keep your thinking mind and spirit moving in a positive direction, which means you will be that much more likely to achieve your goal.

If you say to a child, “Don’t be so loud and noisy.” You will get them thinking about being loud and noisy. Much better to suggest, “Please be calm and quiet.” If I say to you now, “Don’t dare think about what you are going to do this coming weekend.” You will need to think about the coming weekend at least a little bit, to make sense out of what I am telling you to NOT do. The words and images you use direct your thinking mind in a particular direction, and then your thinking mind tends to follow the direction you point it towards.

That is why it is really important to keep your mind moving in a positive oriented direction when setting goals. Otherwise you are going to have to do a lot of extra work to change your direction in the future. Focus on what is life affirming. Focus on what you do want. Focus on what is right in your life. Focus on the plus and not the minus.

When you point towards a negative, you mind moves towards negatively oriented thinking. When you point towards a positive your mind will move in a life affirming direction.

When creating a goal, be sure to take into account, all the many resources you have that can support you on your path. Keeping in mind that your network of family, friends, loved ones, and the various communities you belong to, can be of great importance in supporting you.

These are my thoughts for today, and I will talk about this and a lot more in today’s podcast, so please do have a listen.

And we would like to ask for some help please…

The more positive reviews we get for our podcasts on iTunes, the better we will show up in the iTunes search results. Better search results leads to more people joining the Seishindo community, and benefitting from what we have to share. So, if you are enjoying our podcasts, we would really appreciate a favorable review!
If you already have iTunes installed on your computer and you have an iTunes account then please use this link to leave a review-
It will open iTunes for you and then you will want to click on the tab for “Ratings and Reviews”

And as a way to thank you for your review, we would like to offer you a gift. The pdf version of my book, “Pure Heart Simple Mind- Wisdom stories from a life in Japan.”
After leaving a review on iTunes send us an email at life-tools@seishindo.org with “Podcast review” as the title of your message, and please tell Tony what country you are in, so we can keep track of where people write from. After receiving your email Tony will send you a link to the book.

For those of you who have the time and interest, thanks so much for helping out!

In community,


Creating and achieving the goals you desire


We will teach you how to create positively-oriented, clearly defined goals, and how to use those goals to achieve the results you desire. You will come away from this podcast feeling a good deal more confident about your ability to get done whatever it is you need to get done, by learning how to set goals that point you in a positive direction.