Brett Bartholomew Landscape

My guest today is Brett Bartholomew. Brett is an author, keynote speaker and founder of the Art of Coaching. Brett has been a long-time performance coach for professional athletes and through this experience, he understood and developed techniques for effective communication. His book Conscious Coaching: the art and science of building buy-in was a number eight best seller in business and leadership on Amazon. His passion for teaching people how to communicate effectively whether it’s at work or in a personal environment is unmatched. Educating people on how to navigate all different types of environments, people, and learning how to effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas regardless of the situation. He takes it even a step further to highlight the fact that context is equally as important as what you are trying to communicate. I always admire Brett’s ferocious curiosity and passion. Enjoy

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Convey Your Ideas in a More Confident Way & Navigate the Grey Areas with Keynote Speaker Brett Bartholomew

“Some people have power because of their title, “I’m the CEO of this company.” Some people have power because they’re relatable like a mentor. Somebody that you love and cherish could have what’s called referent power to you, they’re relatable, and you like them. That’s one of the biggest power bases that you can have. If you’re likable, you can get away with a lot more. Other people have information power, connection power, resource power, so on and so forth. Power is your capacity to create change. Somebody can have a lot of money but that doesn’t mean they make a difference in the world.”

“Somebody once said to me, “What are you going to say that hasn’t been said before?” I go, “My goal isn’t necessarily to say something that hasn’t been said before. There’s maybe somebody out there that hears it in a different way.” All the areas that I messed up in life, I didn’t have that book or resource for.”

“We have a society that has already made up its mind despite the fact most of these people have exposure to a thought, an idea, or a construct but not experience. You and I both know that if I’m a pilot, I can get in a simulator all I want. It’s different than flying a plane with 200 souls on board. If we get more people that can practice these things and put themselves in uncomfortable situations, then they might find out who they are and what they believe in and that’s what scares people.”

Welcome to the show. My guest is Brett Bartholomew. He started out as a performance coach for high-level athletes, college, and professional athletes. He became an author and keynote speaker. He is the founder of the Art Of Coaching. What I appreciate about Brett is his journey. He started in coaching and his book, Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In. There is where he starts to realize that having all the right information is important. It’s important to know what we’re doing or at least to be striving to know what we’re doing. If we can’t communicate that, if we can’t get our ideas across in certain environments, it’s almost a waste.

I’ve seen him over the years transition into this idea of, how do you communicate effectively? How do you get your ideas across? Who are you talking to? How do you pivot in a particular environment? What are your strategies? For example, let’s say I’m pitching an idea to somebody over me that has done something a certain way forever and ever and they’re not open to my new ideas. Brett will say, “Do you have someone in common that you work with, that they have a strong relationship with?”

He teaches you not only communication but also contexts. That added nuance, which life is full of, navigating the gray areas is important. Whether it’s for work, if you’ve got employees or if you’re trying to convey ideas to bosses, loved ones, children, communication, or contexts. He even is open to the idea of honesty is the best policy. Sometimes, understanding what you’re trying to accomplish and still being ethical means even playing around with different sides of your personality. I hope you enjoy.

Coach Brett, thank you for joining me. I am excited to talk to you. You are working on a new book but I want to start right away with your first book, Conscious Coaching. In a way, for me, these are representations of your own growth, which is what you’re trying to help other people navigate.

First off, good to talk to you as well. We don’t get to do it enough. My work in total focuses on the messy parts of leadership and how to help people navigate those things. One of the messiest parts is people. Everybody thinks they’re better than they are at two things in life, communication and sex. My books don’t go into the sex part of it but it does go into the human interaction and communication piece.

Part of those things is people think of communication as this wishy-washy and fluffy thing. Our area of expertise is in the power dynamic side of it. What makes people do some of the interesting sometimes manipulative things they do, whether it comes down to poor listening or power games and all these pieces?

We’re trying to give people a roadmap that says, “You need to be able to play in the gray area effectively if you want to have success as a leader in your home, in your small business, or on the broader landscape of things.” Nobody has ever written that book. I don’t know if you’ve read a lot of those. The closest for me was Robert Greene. More of the leadership books out there are focused on, “Stay positive and you’ll figure it out.” The fact is that’s not always real life.

It’s interesting you said that. I get a lot of people, and you experience this with your own podcast, saying, “Their life coaches.” I have a harder time trying to figure out how to navigate those conversations because it’s systematized. There are some great catchy slogans that get said. The other thing I start to realize is a lot of people learn this way. They want to be told, “Step 1, step 2, step 3, and step 4.”

Maybe we could start here. You can go anywhere you want in this conversation, that is my hope. How do you present somebody who’s simultaneously navigating life, which is scary and new? We’re all in, “Today is the first time I’ve ever lived this day.” Not knowing what we’re doing and still saying, “I’m going to claim some real estate. As we go, I’ll keep going.” What I’m interested in is if you have someone come to you and say, “ I would like to be a good leader in my home, at my business, on my team, and what have you. I’m a flawed human like all of us. How do I parallel path that? What are the things I should be looking out for?”

One, I can sympathize with what you’re talking about with pseudo-life coaches always saying these things. You’re right because it is. You ask a question and no matter what, it’s the same script that they’ve given on every other podcast that they’ve been on. I always have to nudge them and be like, “We talked about this before the show. I want to honor you. Get real with us a little bit. I’ve never heard anybody admit that on air. I appreciate that you do that.

Two, to color what you said, people that reach out to us, in some way, shape, or form, if you had to distill what they’re saying is, “I feel like I’m not succeeding as a leader. Something I’m doing is not working and I want to know why.” Part of that problem is, and this is how my next book starts off, the problem isn’t so much them as they’re playing the wrong game. Of course, all of us should ask ourselves, “Where might I be the issue?” That’s generally the sign of an evolved human being, it’s saying, “Where might I be the problem first?”

[bctt tweet=”Value is subjective and what and how we say it is subjective. There’s no way to be perfect at interpersonal stuff.”]

The problem is they forget the landscape of human interaction is one of misunderstanding. It’s not one where we can read each other’s minds. People are social beings. We live in a world where resources are scarce or inherently competitive but we like to believe, “Nobody’s going to stab us in the back. Nobody’s going to do this. Nobody’s going to do that.” They have to be realistic that the interactions between people are complex. You got to navigate that.

I’ll give you an example. We have somebody that’s working with us and has a fifteen-year career in the military. She’s having an issue where her superior doesn’t believe in her work and what she’s doing. Her standpoint in the military is important. She’s helping in training future officers and things like that. I’ll change some details out of respect for her privacy and everything. She’s like, “This gentleman has got a 50-year career and doesn’t believe my position should exist. I don’t know how to influence them.”

What we spend time doing is educating them on different power dynamics. We can nerd out about this. I’ll give you a couple of examples. Some people have power because of their title, “I’m the CEO of this company.” Some people have power because they’re relatable like a mentor. Somebody that you love and cherish could have what’s called referent power to you, they’re relatable, and you like them. That’s one of the biggest power bases that you can have. If you’re likable, you can get away with a lot more.

Other people have information power, connection power, resource power, and so on and so forth. Power is your capacity to create change. Somebody can have a lot of money but that doesn’t mean they make a difference in the world. What we help them do is say, “If you can identify forms of power dynamics that they use, then I guarantee you we can also help you figure out what influence tactics to use there.”

An influence tactic, some people are like, “I got back from the doctor.” He uses a lot of rational persuasions. He doesn’t talk to me like I’m a human. He’s an expert. He has expert power but doesn’t talk to me like a human. He wants to talk about, “The statistics show this and this.” People like that and that analytical communication style, you’re using certain dynamics to almost deal with that. You have to be rational and analytical back.

I look at you, your communication style is you’re a realist and you’re a relator. That said, you’re empathetic but you’re not empathetic in like a singsongy. I feel what you feel. You’re more empathetic. There’s compassion here. I understand you but there are consequences and I’m going to keep it real. When you identify people’s communication styles and power base as an influence tactic, which I know is a lot, that’s how we teach people to navigate it. We don’t go, “Take a moment, be grateful, be mindful, sit in a corner, self-love, and the answer will manifest.” Does that make sense at all?

Yes. I’m curious about the case of this young lady. The other thing is how do we navigate people? You’re not going to change the way they think and feel. If the guy has been there 50 years, maybe the cement is dry, maybe he came from the suck-it-up world, and he isn’t adjusting and adapting to the new world. What is she supposed to do?

Influence is the most powerful when it’s indirect. To your point, you’re spot on. Anything she tried, he had shut down. You do a good job of mentioning this. We all know that listening is foundational for great communication. Listening is the willingness to let somebody else change you, not just change your mind but change you. He didn’t give a shit. He doesn’t want to listen to her.

What we say is, who do you have lateral influence with? Is there somebody in that department or around there that he likes, he respects, and she’s like, “Yeah.” I’m going to change the names. Her name is Jennifer. They’re close. She is very much like him and sees this world as black and white and not gray. She understands my role as well because she used to be in this position before me. Now we know who to work on.

Lateral influence, indirect influence, whenever the game gets dirty, is generally the way to go. What do most people do if it doesn’t work? They try to beat down that one route with a bulldozer and then they say, “That person’s difficult. That person’s an asshole.” No, they’re not. They may be. You’re not getting creative and understanding the world as it is.

It’s like The Matrix, you’re not seeing 1s and 0s. You’re plugged into the illusion because that’s what all the leadership stuff has told us to do in the past. To your point, one of the systemic reasons for that is that stuff sells. People would rather be told to get on the energy bus and be positive and all this and they would dig in the dirt and play in the dark a little bit but that’s not the world we live in.

Let’s go there for a second. For me, the way you speak about your family, your relationship, and your work, one of your North Stars is goodness. This is especially interesting for females, sometimes we say something that someone’s not going to like or it’s going to end up the way someone’s not going to like.

A lot of women will be like, “That’s going to make me not a good or nice person.” Nice is a dumb word but that’s for another time. Sometimes our darkness or something can be good. You’ve spoken to this but I want to set the table first and make it clear that one of your big North Stars is you’re a stand-up and straight-ahead person, husband, and father but you’re not afraid to talk about this other stuff.

I appreciate that. Good and nice are weird terms. It is a binary way to think in a complex world. This is what that book is going to talk about. I want to think about how to put this concisely so I can honor the audience’s attention. There’s a lot I want to say here. To your point, I’m not trying to popularize darkness and playing. There are some authors out there that may popularize things like psychopathy or Machiavellian. They picked this topic because it’s titular and exciting. That’s not the goal.

My goal is to show people that yes, there is an upside to your dark side. The gray requires you to know the light and the dark. I would ask people to think right now, what’s generally the world that we live in? We live in a world where a lot of these things that were fed today are almost susceptisized. Do you know how super bacteria are created when we over-sterilize things?

There’s no politics in here. This isn’t about the pandemic. If we sterilize, we can have different kinds of resistant bacteria. It’s the same thing. Everything is so much about positivity and running away from pain and running away from anything that makes you struggle. People have lost the ability to get their hands dirty in a situation. Have some healthy conflict and healthy dissent, which is necessary to be a human being and call things as it is.

You’ve been married a long time. You’ve been in business a long time, Gabby. You understand that. Generally, if people were a little bit more direct, they’d solve some more of their interpersonal problems. We’re always careful about blanketing our words and about everybody worrying about us, “Are they good? Are they nice? Are they this?” it’s not always about being good and nice, it’s about being effective.

Sometimes I need to say something in a way that the other person might not hear. If you want to be poignant about this, the book is about context. You need to be with the situation and the context demands of you at that moment. Think of it this way, I’ll give you another tactical example because I hate it when people speak in vagaries. One of our workshops is big on true role-playing. People will come in and they’ll say, “Here’s my social dilemma at work or in my life.”

There was an excellent woman who works on the dementia side of things and she’s more on holistic health care. She was trying to get embedded in a hospital that treated dementia in this non-holistic way. There were some powerbrokers that didn’t want to hear her out. She had such a unique story. She had such a unique subject matter expertise. This was personal to her and she had success with a lot of patients.

Brett Bartholomew Caption 1

Brett Bartholomew – Use your words to complement what you’re saying. Meanings aren’t in words, they’re in people.

We’re running a workshop and we have a way to score people on different aspects of their communication. Things like assertiveness, tonality, clarity, their use of questions, and so on and so forth. Speaking about context, somebody at the end of the role-playing exercise was like, “In my opinion, you are extraordinarily assertive. I would have given you a three, which is a high mark.” She was like, “Thanks, so would I.” Somebody else said the same thing.

We then had a gentleman from Spain who was like, “Not in my culture. That is not a three. As a matter of fact, a three would have looked like this.” She’s like, “I could never act that way.” The point isn’t for her to be him. The point is to understand the context of the situation and say, “Here’s my context. Here’s how I communicate. Is it a fit?”

I don’t want people to think good, bad, light, and dark. I want them to think about fit. Are you being a fit in the way you act? Is it a fit for the situation of the moment? Quit trying to make other people bend to your will. At the same time, quit beating around the bush. Do you feel like this, Gabby? Do you feel like people know how to do that exceedingly well? Do you think they’re always worried about what somebody’s going to think especially themselves?

That’s a great question. There are two parts for me. For example, if she knew the players involved, then it would be easier to say, “Coach Brett, I need to understand the scenario and then try to maybe take myself and do a different version to make this a fit.” When you go cold into a situation, let’s say you’re presenting for the first time, you’re understanding the dynamics as they come. That is also an interesting thing.

When you go in and you don’t know who you’re dealing with, you can do your homework. Of course, if I have a presentation of any kind and whoever I’m going to go in the room with, I try to figure out who they are a little bit and if there are other opportunities to see them speak and what their communication style is. I feel not only prepared but I don’t get blown onto my heels if you will. If someone is direct or even has a strange voice or anything, I want to know some of this going in so that I don’t respond. That’s why it’s interesting because people are dealing with these two scenarios all the time.

No question. To your point, rule number one is to know yourself. Rule number two is to know your audience and your context. This is what that next book dives into. People have certain drives and a drive is a subconscious influence or behavior. Nobody’s ever static. We have this quiz on our website and we tell people to take it 3 to 4 times. You need to take it when you’re in more of a melancholy, laconic mood. You need to take it when you are in a great mood.

Our emotions and our behavior are two different things. Our emotions and our attitudes are two different things. Emotions are more short-term. They can change like the weather in the Midwest. Our general effect or attitude is a little bit more long-term. It’s almost like climate. When people think about these things, one example is a lot of our audience tends to be achievement drives.

They’re willing to do anything they can to get a little bit better every day whether it’s going to one of your XPT workshops, reading ten pages in a book, or depositing $100 in their savings. Whatever aspect that means, financially, physically, mentally, they’ve got to move the needle every day. You know what I mean by achievement drives. They’ve got to get something out of that.

There are people like me. Admittedly, I tend to skew more on the adversity drive. I perform better under pressure. I’ll put my back against the wall. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. The worst thing you can do to me is to challenge me in a certain way because it will focus me more. Within the adversity drive are also people that are inherently curious.

There’s significant drive, people that want to make a bigger impact on the world. It doesn’t have to be the world globally. Despite that nomenclature, they can be their local community. They feel like, “I want this. It’s not about me. I don’t need notoriety. I want my work to make a difference.” I’ll give two other examples. My wife is more of a security drive. She’s a planner. She wants to have information. More information, the bigger the security blanket for her.

Unity drive is another one I’ll give for the sake of keeping this clean unity. I want to be around people. In everything I do, I want to be oriented around individuals. I like working in groups. They’re going to want to get together with other couples on date night. They’re going to want to go exercise together. Whatever that is. They like being around people.

These unity drives give a little bit of insight as does the way that people tend to communicate with you to these conversational styles that I brought up earlier. Analysts, relators, empathizers, and realists, take them together. There are a lot of moving parts here. With people being complex, you can’t say, “They’re an Enneagram 8. I know how to communicate.” What the hell are you talking about? They’re an Enneagram 8 in what situation? When they’re home comfy in the winter with their hooga surroundings? What are they in all these other environments?

What people have to be able to do is say, “With Gabby, I use some choice language. I was straight to the point and we got into it.” That’s different when I’m going to speak in a hypothetical job interview or I wouldn’t deliver my wedding vows like this. This one-size-fits-all model of good and bad or this is how you interact is what poisons people’s self-confidence because then they think, “I suck at this.”

Gabby, your point about good or bad is interesting. One of our main demographics for this book would be like my friend, Andy. At one point in his life, he was a drug dealer. The dude did not have a great start to life. Now he owns a business, is a wonderful father, and has all this stuff together. He’s like, “I never felt fit to lead. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t have the traditional background most people do.” All this other messaging out there does is alienate people who could do something positive and move the needle.

We have a society that would rather vote for politicians that have no dirt and no skeletons in the closet for the majority of the time than somebody that maybe failed at marriage and wasn’t perfect but got things done. That becomes the tricky thing. Do we want leaders or do we want robots? What does leadership even mean anymore because it’s not about just one person?

It brings me to a lot of thoughts. There’s this whole idea about being grateful and the answers come. A lot of us are striving to be our “authentic” selves. You start to compile all these things of who you think you are and what you represent in this world. What you’re saying easily, which is difficult for most people, is that maybe within this, we’re a lot of different people and how we don’t feel bad or how if we can unabashedly be these other people at this right time.

I’ll give you a personal anecdote. Believe it or not, since I was 18 years old, I’ve had college athletics and then go into fashion. I don’t want attention. I’m not comfortable with amplification but it is a tool. I’m interested in work options, creativity, and 100 doors. If I do a little bit of amplification over here, this sometimes will give me these other doors. In reality, I haven’t done it all the way. It’s this weird you know it but you don’t go all the way because you think it’s against who you are as a human being and all these interesting things.

Time flies by and you realize that the only person whose time you wasted was your own. There’s something else and I’ve learned this living with Laird. I’ve only said this a few times, Laird is confrontational and direct but it’s because he doesn’t question if he’s a nice or good person. He’s clear that if you needed help, he would help you, which allows him to have the most uncomfortable conversations. Personally, you have to push me a long way till I get there.

I feel like I’m always managing this harsher side inside of myself. Going back to conditioning, it’s like, “You might want to control that directness or harshness.” I’m probably more careful about words and all of these things because I’m checking and rechecking my intention and my motivation. I live with somebody whose heart is pure and makes them brutally confrontational, which is interesting.

At first glance, you think, “This guy is a brute with rough edges,” but you realize it’s, at the core, a big teddy bear. There’s something interesting that you must see with people who are coaching because they’re unsure also of their own motivations and their own reasons and their own programming. When you’re in leadership, it all is going to show up.

[bctt tweet=”Our life is one of uncertainty and fast-paced change. If you run from that, you can’t hope to be a successful leader.”]

There are a couple of things I’ll address head-on. If I missed something, let me know because I always want to make sure I address all these points because you brought up some good ones. Thanks for telling me that. It’s always nice getting to know more about you as we do these things. Let’s talk about the authentic self first. There is a range of authenticity. People think that to be your authentic self means to be one version of yourself.

Our work at Art Of Coaching is there’s my authentic self when I’m with my 2-year-old. There’s my authentic self when I’m interacting with you. There’s my authentic self when I’m leading a workshop. There’s my authentic self when I’m with my wife on date night. This goes into context, setting circumstances in which an event occurs.

People need to remember that there’s a range of authenticity. You having more than one version of the self is important. We’re recording this towards the end of September. It’s going to be Halloween. Think of it like wearing different masks. There are many masks that fit. By the way, it is maladaptive to only wear one mask. I should not talk to everybody in my life the same way. Situational strength of whatever the context is matters more. Let’s say I go to a funeral. Situational strength is a term that denotes, “How should you behave here?” I don’t go to a funeral and I’m like, “What’s up everybody?” If I’m going to a public beach and seeing some friends, that might happen.

I liked what you mentioned too about some of the things you do that might vary compared to how some people perceive them. I deal with the same thing in some respects. If you were to watch me teach, then you think I’m this gregarious, charismatic individual who is always comfortable around people. I am comfortable around people but I am very much a hermit. When I’m not teaching, when I’m not doing my podcast, and when I’m not doing things like this, I am almost reclusive. I’m quiet.

If you were to come and hang out with me and Liz, we love people that want to have a great discussion and what have you but I’m not going to be the life of the party or anything like that. If people pay to come and see me speak, I owe this to them to then show up in that way. It’s still my authentic self. it’s an amplified variation of some of those characteristics because it’s what the situation demands. It’s what the situation demands in terms of my tone of voice and projecting across the room.

My level of confrontation, people need to realize isn’t always a bad thing. There might be somebody that has a question in the workshop or maybe they’re having a bad day and they’re projecting some feelings so you’ve got to confront them and say, “Is there something going on? Is this uncomfortable material for you? Let’s get your crap together so we can keep moving on to what’s going on here.”

That’s also the reason why we chose to do something that most people would say is silly, role-playing at our workshops. Role-playing allows them to try on these different versions of themselves. We’ll give people constraints and we’ll say, “You’re having an argument with your boss. I get it.” I’m making up this example. Let me see you try this for two minutes in the way that you normally would address it. We’ll watch it. To your point, we can run it back.

I’ll say, “Now I want you to try to use these influence tactics and I want you to increase your tone of voice a little bit or be a little bit more demonstrative in this way.” They might be like, “I would never do that.” I go, “Cool. Just try it.” There are actors in movies that would never kill somebody but in the movie, the role dictates it. Let’s not get crazy here. You know it. You’ve been in Billions. I saw you on Billions, by the way.

It wasn’t much.

They’ll try on three different things and then I’ll say, “What did you find?” They’re like, “That was uncomfortable but that would work against them.” Why haven’t we tried that? It’s because we don’t rehearse or refine for some of life’s biggest moments. Role-playing, even though we all play different roles, you’re a mother, you’re a wife, and you’re a host, we play roles in life. This is the promise. Human perception is that communication is a soft skill, you either got it or you don’t. “I’m not this way. I could never do that. I could never do this.” In reality, if you explore the range, to your point, you can. I’ll stop there and see if that brought up any points. Otherwise, I have another example.

It’s powerful to be reminded of it. You know this. You’re married. Every person in a couple is role-playing. Believe me, my goal of having peace, being supportive of my partner, being loving and kind, and respecting myself as a partner is something that I always have out at the forefront. When I pitch situations and face situations with Laird, my driver is usually that. It’s like, “What words would be encouraging or move this toward that?”

Having said that, there’s like, “This is enough BS and I’m going to throw down the gauntlet.” This is going to lead to something unhealthy. To your point, it’s when people can attach to the end goal. I’m not here to rape and pillage this other co-worker. I’m not trying to one-up on somebody. I have value and I can add to their business situation. when we can back it into that, it makes it much easier to change roles.

It’s like being a parent, sometimes you’re like, “I don’t care right now about the finger painting but I care deeply about what you care about.” I am going to be like, “This is amazing.” My daughters always joke though, they’ve said to me since second grade and they’re big now. I’ve had my youngest say, “Like you would tell me if it was ugly.” I’m like, “Seriously?”

You’re like, “Yeah. Do you want to play that game?”

That is helpful. Do you ever have situations? Someone reading would be like, “He’s had a lot of practice.” You come from coaching and high-performance athletes. I do appreciate the transition. To me, it feels like, you’ve gone from communication coaching, which more of us need. Do you ever have scenarios where you’re like, “I still have a lot of work to do in this area.”

All the time. I went from coaching people in a physiological sense. Of course, there’s psychological as well when you work with athletes and you know that better than most. Now we help people with a wider range of issues. The amount of different things that we get personal and professional always reminds me that even one of the pieces of communication I always have to refine is our marketing.

I’ll give both global examples of the marketing side and naming something with my wife. When we started Art Of Coaching, I didn’t realize how many people associate the term coach with sports even though that coaching is a term that is about teaching, leading, and guiding. There are real estate coaches, business coaches, and relationship coaches. There are some times I got picked over or somebody got picked over me to go do this big speaking thing or whatever because they thought, “You’re a fitness person.” That was a big glass ceiling that I had to work to break through.

One, I didn’t work in fitness but neither here nor there. Two, why does that matter? Why does that mean that you chose Jimmy Galavanti in a three-piece suit who’s going to tell you about why sales is the key to success when we’ve heard this speech before? We always have to think about our services and make sure that people know, “You got relationship stuff?” “Yeah. That stuff is for you.” “You got an asshole boss? That’s stuff is for you.” You can’t find yourself in this mess of a world and you’re trying to be more assertive. That’s for you.” You think you’re good. That’s for you, too.

Perception is interesting because you never get any of those things right. Perception is the way we interpret sensory-oriented experiences. There’s somebody reading right now that thinks they know the best pizza place in all of Northern California. There’s somebody else that thinks, “That pizza place sucks.” There’s somebody else that loves Little Caesars because that’s where they met their wife or their dad took them there. Value is subjective. What we say and how we say it is subjective. There’s no way to be perfect at interpersonal-type stuff. Never is that more apparent than, as you alluded to, marriage or being a parent.

Brett Bartholomew Caption 2

Brett Bartholomew – Objective perception is nearly impossible because that’s part of human experience and nobody’s going to interpret sensations and sensory-oriented experiences the same way.

Full disclosure for anybody reading, I have reached out to Gabby one time. My wife took a new job. We now work together. We’ve worked together for about over a year and a half. Our son is going to be 3 in December 2022. There were times when she and I were not getting on the same page. This alluded to something you said earlier. No matter what I knew about all these things, generally, anybody knows the experts are always out of town. People are not likely to listen to you.

My wife’s name is Liz and she was like, “Here’s the reality, I don’t feel like I know myself anymore.” She’s like, “I started a new job. This job is incredibly hard,” which it is. We have to juggle a lot of different things. She’s now our Director of Operations. Being a mom during COVID and trying to also manage our relationship as we both evolve into these things. I’m juggling a lot. I remember reaching out to you and saying, “Would you mind talking about how you navigated some of these complexities?”

My wife also comes from a family where you don’t share your feelings much. She’s the oldest. She never wanted to be a bother. Her siblings, if they needed help with something, she took a lot of pride in identifying as the independent person that didn’t need help. Therefore, some of this carried over in our marriage where she wouldn’t always tell me when she was struggling. She doesn’t always slow down because she takes pride in being the independent grinder who can figure it all out. She’s do-it-all Lizzie, that’s her alter ego. She doesn’t need to be that around me.

I’m in love with many aspects of imperfection. I’m like, “Who do you feel like you have to do this for?” “I want to do it.” “Do you understand that there are still times when we’ve got to do X, Y, and Z as a couple for this to be successful in these areas?” Navigating these things is challenging because I can sit here and know her drives and know what pisses her off and what makes her feel loved. If she’s struggling with her internal persona and adapting to these things and trying to make sense of stuff in her own mind.

Also, starting to see her family dynamics a little bit different now that she’s an adult and a mother. What I know doesn’t mean anything because the internalization is pretty heavy there. What I can do is the foundational skill of listening or communication, which is to listen more, observe more, use a lateral influence, that’s where you came in, and 2 or 3 other notable figures that balance a lot. We’re still clear on who they are that came in. I’ll stop there.

Whether it’s in relationships, something local in my household, or marketing our business to a continually changing market to stand out from these gurus and phonies to always trying to figure out what to say and how much is enough in situations like this to how to write. It’s a series of code-switching and ambiguity.

The fun part is, Gabby, that is par for the course, to steal the Hemingway quote, in communication and why you should be interested in it, to begin with, “We’re all apprentices in a skill that we’ll never master.” Most of the problems in the world are social. Nobody wakes up and is like, “I want to be a better communicator.”

They do say, “I want to have less drama. I want to get more stuff done. I want to connect with more people.” Yes, I struggle mentally. The difference is I don’t look at it as a failure. I look at it as a continual path to mastery and that’s why I document stuff and try to make resources for other people going through that so they don’t feel like, “I’m bad. I’m not good enough.” This thing is just hard.

You have a body of work that allows you to present and you’ve gone through some of the hard knocks so it’s an easier fit. You also have people who are younger that would like to be leaders. You’ve talked about this where it’s making that authentic noise in your work even when you’re younger. I would love to know how a younger person who’s like, “I don’t have that much experience. I do desire to be a leader in my space.” How does somebody like that bridge those two worlds?

I worked for an organization at the time, early on when the book was incubating that didn’t allow for any self-promotion. I understood. That’s not in every organization. If I was invited to speak, I wasn’t able to do it. I had to leave that organization because they told me, point blank, “You’re not allowed to write a book.” I couldn’t go speak because they said, “If you want to do it, then everybody else will want to do it.” It was this fairness to everybody, otherwise, it’s fair to nobody in here. You’re like, “How does this make sense?”

Strength and conditioning was a tremendously insecure field. I love my time in it but if you started sharing something on Twitter or Instagram, the idea is, “What do you know?” At the time, I was under 30. As if wisdom or perspective that’s valuable is age dependent. You and I know that there are people in their 80s that have plenty still to say and there’s somebody 18 that traveled the world three times and knows their stuff.

You need to be wary. The gardening and farming analogy is you need to worry about consistency. Don’t do anything big and expect immediate results. Try to find this balance. Be helpful and don’t be loud. At the same time, don’t be ashamed of what you know. Somebody once said to me, “What are you going to say that hasn’t been said before?” I go, “My goal isn’t necessarily to say something that hasn’t been said before. There’s maybe somebody out there that hears it in a different way.” All the areas that I messed up in life, I didn’t have that book or resource.

I dealt with supremely Machiavellian individuals and unscrupulous like a business partner, something like that, what teaches me how to do that? As I’m learning through this next publishing process, our publisher said, “You need to take this and that out of the book.” They don’t think people are ready to hear certain things. Can I give you an example?

100%. It’s one of those things that if you want to tell me, I want to know. I don’t want to get you into any hassles.

No, you won’t. There’s a part of the book that speaks to everything we’re talking about. That reference is a doctor named Susan Mackinnon. I don’t know if this will make it into the book. It’s in the book now. It’d be great to get your perspective on it because this encompasses a lot of what we’re saying. I’ll over-simplify some things for the sake of time. Susan Mckinnon is one of the preeminent neurosurgeons in the world.

A woman had gone to her after having several failed nerve entrapment surgeries related. This woman couldn’t walk and couldn’t play with her kids. Burning, searing, singeing, and God-awful pain in her leg. It was debilitating. Susan Mackinnon was her only hope. Susan Mackinnon takes it on and is performing the surgery. She’s having trouble locating where this nerve is trapped much like many of the other individuals prior to her had.

She sends her assistant into her office and says, “I need you to go get this reference material, take some pictures, and put it on the screen.” You’ll understand what it was here in a moment. They go do it mid-surgery. It’s this wonderful anatomy reference. To this day, it is the most accurate topographical Atlas of the human body ever produced. It’s weird because it was produced in the early to mid-1900s, around World War II.

The reason nothing better has made sense is that anatomy is looked at as very much a 19th to 20th-century medical topic. Now they’re looking at many more advanced things. Nobody goes back and revises to this level of detailed anatomical drawings but this one was unique. She ends up being able to use this text to trace the nerve, find it, and fix it. Happy day, the patient’s great. The issue was the text that she used. Do you think it’s okay that she had an aid go and reference material that helped her save this woman’s leg? What would you say offhand?

Of course.

This is the part that’s uncomfortable and people don’t want to listen because people don’t think completely in a complex way all the time. What if I told you that book was the result and the drawing of somebody that came from Hitler’s Third Reich in World War II? Part of the reason it was so detailed is it utilized cadavers from concentration camps and went against what are now considered strong medical ethics. You could never do these things at this level of detail being able to do skin this deep. This thing has evil origins. It’s called Pernkopf’s Atlas if people want to look it up. Does that change your mind as to whether Susan Mackinnon should have used it or not?

It doesn’t. First of all, if you want to talk about reality, it exists. Whether you mentioned it or she utilizes it or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it exists if it can be redirected to something that’s helpful. By all means, I appreciate that you don’t dress it up. The whole thing of it is what it is but not bringing it up or shushing it doesn’t change the fact that it has been created.

You’re not asking, “Should we create this Atlas?” You’re not asking me that this way, “Should we create it this way using these people?” Of course not. If you’re saying it existed and it was a tool for someone else’s healing, then it almost feels wasteful that you wouldn’t. Evil for the sake of evil.

When we interviewed other doctors, we looked at optometrists, other surgeons, and other areas. We have a lot of different professions within that realm and ask them the same thing. They said the same thing you said, Gabby. If people knew the origins of much of medical research or the things that we utilize, nobody would touch it. How do you know what the body’s capable of?

[bctt tweet=”Influence is the most powerful when it’s indirect.”]

Regardless of what people’s beliefs are in terms of their dietary habits, a guy goes, “I eat meat. I wouldn’t want to slaughter the cow. I feed meat to my children.” It’s like what you said. Here’s what I was told by the publisher, the minute somebody hears or sees the term Nazi, they will put the book down, and therefore, you must take it out. I said no.

There are a lot of things in this book that we’re going to have to get rid of because that’s the editing process. I was told, “Now you’re getting into a book about a moral dilemma as opposed to one about leadership and communication.” I go, “No. These are two in the same.” The idea of what’s good and bad, blanket terminology, one size fits all. The way that people don’t think about the complex chaos that is now in all of our contexts in today’s rapidly and fast-changing world and how people deal with uncertainty are all moral dilemmas and it’s why I’m writing this book.

It raises this idea and you’re like, “That’s part of why this narrative exists.” Anything that makes people uncomfortable, generally, doesn’t become viral. You can look at it the same way. I have what you would describe as maybe a healthy social media following. It’s certainly not like yours or many other people’s out there.

What the hell are you going to do with communication? I’m not sitting here like, “Here’s the exercise of the week.” You have some fitness influencers. People gravitate to things that make them comfortable. This is where you’re unique. You give it to people straight. You’re the individual I’d write this book for. You are a self-aware individual that has been through battles in life and you’re relatable. It was alarming to me when the publisher is like, “You can’t keep this.” We’re in the middle of that battle right now.

It’s an important point also for us to pay attention. I had a friend tell me that she had listened to a person that I know that has a public job that’s good that I had not the best interaction with. It was almost a power dynamic. It was another woman. It was somebody that I drove quite a distance to go watch speak. When I asked her a question, there was a dominance thing happening. It was interesting. It bummed me out.

I had a friend say, “I this woman on a podcast. It was this beautiful thing.” Instantly, I’m not kidding you, I could feel my eyes start to glaze over, like, “Screw her.” I was like, “Is that who you’re going to be?” You had some weird interaction or thing with this person. You’re not going to hear something that could be interesting or beneficial that you could learn from. It was so funny because if you can pay attention, you can feel it. I could feel my eyes start to glaze over, like, “It comes from that source? Forget it.” I was like, “You better watch out.”

It’s tempting because we get so vested, all-in, it’s all or nothing, and it’s not. I appreciate that point because it’s something I have to pay attention to all the time myself that I don’t do that. That was also probably my ego. There are some other things I could have attached to it. I’m curious when we talk about this. When you talk about leadership, you’re mobilizing people, and you’re influencing them. Ultimately, it might be towards a goal that you’re interested in but it also might be to the betterment of them, a goal for them.

Maybe you could explain the difference between influence and manipulation because it’s an interesting thing. Quite frankly, I think about it a lot in parenting. I always say to myself and I tell my girls this, “You’re not allowed to guilt me.” Guess what? I’m not allowed to use guilt as part of the thing that I use for parenting, which for me is a pretty high form of manipulation. When you’re in charge, when you’re a leader, you have bigger levers. Sometimes it will be easier to manipulate. It would be like, “I can get everybody to do what I want.” Maybe you could talk about that nuance.

To use some of the terminologies, I’ll take more of an analytical voice first. If somebody is reading and they want the true definition, I’d encourage them to look up the Oxford definition of manipulation. What you’re going to see is, of course, it’s a noun but the number one definition there is the action of manipulating something in a skillful manner.

Of course, there is the other definition of manipulating somebody in a clever or unscrupulous way but notice that first definition, the action of manipulating something in a skillful manner. We do that with thermostats. We do that with everything. Manipulate means to wield something, to alter, or to change. This is important. I promise this isn’t scripted. This is something worth bringing into. Meanings are not just in words, they are in people.

No matter what the definition of manipulation is, the empirical definition or the Oxford definition, some people maybe had a lot of gaslighting in their life, maybe they had a lot of situations in their life that color their perception a certain way. Not that it’s an inaccurate perception for them. Your perception is your reality to a degree. There’s almost nothing I could do to convince some people manipulation is not an inherently bad term.

I would ask you to consider it. I need to get my kid to eat celery and some other vegetables. It is manipulating if I’m putting peanut butter on that. That’s a vehicle to get something into his body that the little twerp needs and I say that lovingly. I have to manipulate constraints all the time to get him to bed. I have to manipulate constraints all the time. My wife, while we’re doing this podcast, is picking him up from daycare. She is taking him to the park. She’s manipulating his schedule to be able to have a utilitarian outcome, which is for us to have a clean and clear podcast, for him to have some fun and stay out of the house, and to get these things done. I’m going to start with that.

It’s more important to understand the dynamic between power and influence. Power is the capacity to create change in one’s psychological environment. It’s like a potential. Influence is one’s ability to do that. We gave some examples earlier. You can look at it as a synonym for manipulate. That’s fine. Don’t attach good or bad to it because it’s contextually dependent and also how you wield it. There are hard tactics like a pressure tactic, “Gabby, do this or you’re fired.” That same pressure tactic is beneficial. I have a deadline for my next manuscript. People need deadlines. Even a pressure tactic isn’t inherently bad. I got to pay my taxes. These are the reality.

There’s an ingratiation tactic, which is another hard one. Here are the rules, policies, and procedures. No no earrings in the weight room. No phones on when we’re doing the podcast interview. Those are the rules. There are softer tactics and inspirational appeals. I don’t think that needs a whole lot of description. Appeal to somebody’s values, morals, beliefs, or something aspirational. There’s also a consultation tactic where I say, “Gabby, you’re an expert in this. Would you mind giving me your advice?”

Me giving away power, you could look at it as increasing your own. It’s also making somebody feel good. It depends on which researcher. If somebody out there is a research junkie, you follow. You’ll have a Robert Cialdini who talks differently than a Gary Yukl. My job over the last several years has been to consolidate what the research says. Surprise, academics don’t always agree on terminology. Also, to make it useful for the average person, not the average person but the discerning person out there trying to navigate the messy realities.

The core of your question, to answer that more succinctly is manipulation and influence, one is to know how to define them. Two is to understand meanings are in words and not in people. Three, it comes down to how skillfully you deploy them in accordance with the context that determines whether something is good or bad or this or that. Be prepared to not always get a clean answer.

It’s funny, I would imagine after you go into this practice longer and longer and dive down deeper into it, science always goes back to miracles and God. The deeper all the scientists get, they all agree to the miracle if you will. You’re doing performance, strength, and conditioning, which is scientific and imperialistic but you are dealing with lots of personalities. I don’t think people fully understand. Almost the higher level of the athlete, almost the more intense you’re dealing with the personalities. To some level, it’s worked for them.

Without a doubt. To touch on that, when I worked in college strength conditioning, if an athlete doesn’t listen, I can go to the head coach. When I worked with pros, in particular, I had 29 guys on the field that collectively were worth over $500 million on their contracts if you looked at their whole contract. I’m a 5’8” white guy from Omaha, Nebraska that’s never played in the NFL telling them what to do. By the way, they’re paying me. Think of the power dynamics there.

No physical training happens until those power dynamics are managed. Still, those power dynamics are fluid and ever-changing. They may be managed at the onset of the warmup or within the first 30 minutes of the session. Anything from the wrong music you put on to giving somebody a little bit of constructive criticism that they’re not comfortable with to exposing them in a drill as opposed to letting them do what they’re good at, all that’s ruined. That’s no different than trying to alter the psychological environment of somebody that’s resistant to change.

They might be resistant to change because they’re, “I’ve never had to do things this way.” The whole traditional concept. It might be because of a lack of confidence. Somebody might come up with all these reasons they don’t want to change. They don’t think they can pull it off. They can feel threatened. They may not believe you.

I told my mom one time when she was going off on, “Why won’t your uncle change?” I go, “Mom, were you a pain in the ass?” People don’t change for simple reasons. There are about five of them according to this guy named Kurt Lewin. We were talking about it and she was like, “That’s interesting. I never thought of it. I am stubborn in this way and he’s stubborn in that way as well. It’s a different manifestation.”

Brett Bartholomew Caption 3

Brett Bartholomew – Let’s talk about the authentic self. There is a range of authenticity. People think being your authentic self means being one version of yourself.

What are the five reasons usually that people are reluctant to change?

I gave an example of a few of them earlier but let me write them down to make sure I don’t. We’ve altered some of the terminologies Kurt Lewin utilized because it was empirical terminology. We altered it to make it a little simpler but the meanings are the same. One is tradition. It’s the idea that this has always worked. Organizationally, maybe they don’t want to improve some new budget or tool or whatever because the way we’ve done it’s always worked.

That could also be like my family when the first time I told them, “I can’t come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is getting expensive. We have a kid.” I usually guilt-tripped heavy because that’s never how it’s been. I’m the only one from my immediate family that moved away. That was a different example.

Two is vision. I don’t know if I can pull this off. That could be a company filing for an IPO and some individuals fighting it because they’re like, “We’re good small. I don’t want to do this.” This could be my wife and I deciding to move to Arizona. It can be as simple or as complex. I don’t know if I can pull it off. It’s more of a confidence-related issue. The third one is suppression. That is where you feel threatened. It’s like, “We should give Jones a promotion.” “Nah. He’s an upstart. He’s brash. He’s a loudmouth.” Are they competing with Jones? Does it make them look bad?

To go back to your question about when you’re younger, what do you need to be mindful of? When I first started talking about these things, there were stakeholders out there who almost hated me because they thought I was coming for their market share. I wrote a book when I was still a strength coach that was saying, “It’s not just training, it’s communication and people.”

There are some people that were like, “Rah, rah.” They thought I was going to keep people from buying their certifications. You heard that a lot. I’m like, “What lane is that?” It’s like, “You’re not supposed to be a therapist.” I’m like, “I’m not diagnosing people.” We’re making a point that there are different people and you’ve got to interact with them in different ways.

Suppression is a huge one. There is suspicion, “Is this in line with my values?” Think about that. There are people reading and maybe they’re like, “I don’t like what this guy is saying. He’s making it sound like you can influence and play on the dark side but that seems bad. Honesty is the best policy always.” The last one is perception, “I don’t believe in you.” They don’t see you or me or somebody else as a credible source. It can be detached from the individual like tradition, more internal, vision, lack of confidence, or it can be directly at that stakeholder.

After this episode, if people take a moment and reflect, they’re going to find that one or more of those things is a reason why they or their partner are fighting these pieces. I can give an example. The last time we had a conversation, you were on my podcast, which is one of the most downloaded podcasts on our platform by the way. People reached out because you and I talked about intimacy a lot, which is something that’s often swept under the rug.

I don’t know if this is useful for your audience or not. This is something that helped my wife and I’s relationship, her being brought up in more of a reserved household and me being a little bit more of a derelict. There were some things I remember early on when we explored different aspects of intimacy. In her household, not only would they not have been talked about. Society would consider them naughty.

When we tried these things, look at my wife and me, we’re like, “What do you think? How’d you like that? Would you want to do this again?” What she had as resistance to change is a lot of it was more suspicion, like, “Does this make me a bad person if I explore my naughty side in this way?” It could even be vision, like, “Would my husband perceive me as sexy if I did this?”

Us being able to create a range of forms of expression, we’ve known each other for over ten years and we’ve been together for over 8 or 9 at this point formally together. It was like, “No. Now you’re making up your mind because you understand what it’s like given that you’ve had this concrete experience and reflected on it.” We have a society that has already made up its mind despite the fact most of these people have exposure to a thought, an idea, or a construct but not experience.

You and I both know that if I’m a pilot, I can get in a simulator all I want. It’s different than flying a plane with 200 souls on board. If we get more people that can practice these things and put themselves in uncomfortable situations, they might find out who they are and what they believe in. That’s what scares people. It scares people to think, “My concept of myself and how I protect myself was a facade.” If they go into that gray area, they might end up being happier. That’s at least what the book posits, lower likelihood of burnout, depression, and all these things when you embrace your full self and not just your positive self.

That’s an important point. It’s an interesting thing what we deem as clean or okay to exercise. We have a construct of who we are. The other interesting thing about this is a lot of us would be afraid that then we have to shift our lives in a way that we would have to probably get rid of certain friends. Are we in the right relationship? Everyone else will be like, “What happened to you?”

It’s an interesting thing where people go, “I don’t want to mess with the applecart. I don’t want to disrupt that. I don’t want to shock people. I want to tell somebody what I think and feel whether it’s in the workplace or personally but they don’t know me as that person.” It’s an interesting point. If we can get the skills and the courage to say, “This is who I am. This is what I’m curious about.” What they don’t realize is that the people that love us are not only going to be completely tolerant of it but they would appreciate that openness. We’re scared on a lot of points that we don’t need to be.

Let’s say somebody reading has a pretty unhealthy lifestyle and they’re like, “I’m going to eat better and I’m going to exercise more.” Some friends aren’t going to appreciate that. They don’t share that lifestyle or it might intimidate them or whatever. What would you say to that? Somebody wants to get out of debt and gets into a better financial situation so now they don’t go out to Tuesday Night Wing night every night.

They don’t go to fancy restaurants and have drinks like they used to. Is that going to cost them some friends? Can you find different things to do with that friend? We don’t look at it that way all the time in other areas of our life. If we do, we say, “Jeremy is pissed because I decided to get healthier.” What kind of friend was Jeremy anyway?

That’s a big one, what you said.

I have a neighbor. I know a lot of people read this but I hope he doesn’t. The guy cuts his lawn twice a week. The lawn is like this dude’s second kid. Lawns are a perfect representation of the fakeness and sterility of some of these things. They harvest nothing. They are completely covered in chemicals. There’s nothing healthy about a lawn but they look nice.

My wife and I are the weirdos of the neighborhood. I’ll mow once every two weeks but we don’t put a lot of chemicals or whatever down. I’m not trying to win the yard of the month, which oddly enough is a real thing in my neighborhood. I look at this and I’m like, “What does it take to win the lawn of the month?” It brings them joy by all means. This is a conceptual thing.

The thing that brings some people joy is working on things that might look nice but aren’t real representations or even useful representations of things that matter long-term in their life. What’s interesting is we’ve come to accept this superficial view of what you should be at all times. You’re told as a kid not to talk to strangers. No wonder we don’t know ourselves well.

We’re supposed to have good relationships. We’re supposed to have good relationships with ourselves and others. It’s odd to me. It’s time that people lean into that other side of it a little bit and get away from these extremes and realize, “I’ve got to be better at how I manage some of these interactions in the context.” We call it being socially agile. We’re not saying be good, be bad, be light, or be dark. Be socially agile.

[bctt tweet=”My goal is to show people that there is an upside to your dark side. The gray requires you to know the light and the dark.”]

Is there something that seems consistent that shows up for people that are good at leading? What are the traits? Is it that they’ve identified their styles or they can adapt quickly to whatever situation they’re navigating or a combination?

The short answer is no. The research will support this, there are no traits that guarantee successful leadership in all situations. Even if you look at being charismatic, empathetic, decisive, and this and that, that looks different for somebody running for President of the United States of America, somebody ruling El Salvador, and somebody in Japan. There are cultural representations as we know of like Eastern and Western ways of living.

If we take it back to sports, I can be great at training NFL athletes. That doesn’t mean I’m great at training 13-year-old female soccer players. There are things like listening and this and that at play but there’s no trait that guarantees successful leadership in all situations. There are behaviors. There’s a difference between traits and behaviors that’s not just semantics.

A trade is something that is stable and consistent over time. It’s like, “So and so is a narcissist. They think they’re the smartest that this.” Versus, “So and so believes themselves to be one of the best brain surgeons in the world but they know they suck at Parcheesi.” A behavior is a situationally deployed representation. Thank God there are some people that believe themselves to be the fastest humans on Earth. The Olympics would be boring. If they think they’re the best at everything, that’s like a DJ turning the bass, the volume, or the treble up whether they’re playing in Vegas or dinner music. It’s inaudible.

When I hear that though, it makes me more hopeful. You realize there’s something you can do about it. There’s something that is not these ten things you have to have in order for it to happen. You have to become more self-aware and situationally aware. I would be more excited. I say sometimes I am the farmer and sometimes I am the flower. I move in and out of different roles all of the time in work and things like that.

You talk a lot about how you can impact or influence somebody when logic is not working. I’m curious about that. We’re in an interesting time where you can even get mathematical with people. There’s a little bit of hysteria culturally. If we could back it into dealing with one other person, if there were things one could do.

This goes into your last question. If there’s no trait that guarantees success, what do you need then? The overall thesis is, one, embrace your inner gray, which is what we’ve been talking about. Make sure that you understand there’s no good. Learn about different power dynamics. Learn about different influence tactics. Try these things on. Get comfortable acting at the edge of chaos. Understand that our life is one of uncertainty and fast-paced change. If you run from that, you can’t hope to be a successful leader.

Three is getting evaluated on these things and trained on them. This isn’t a plug but the goal is to get people to do this stuff as much as they go do workshops on the other things they enjoy. We tend to find that at our workshops, generally, people come retroactively after they’ve screwed a thing up. We need more people that come and do these things before and say, “I know that, in life, I’m going to put my foot in my mouth. I’d like to learn and get feedback from other people in this space.”

It’s a safe space. We normalize these conversations and failure. It’s not some big concert where 20,000 people are clapping their hands. This is an intimate setting. Let’s work on situations. Let’s learn more about human dynamics and whatever. They do have to get trained on that. I want to say that. That’s not for us to make money. That’s the reality that you can’t learn everything from reading a book and listening to a podcast.

To your point, yes. One, people need to realize that rarely does logic changes behavior. Aristotle taught us this 3,000 years ago, logos, ethos, and pathos. People by and large are emotional creatures. Emotion is like the limbic system. If we look at where a lot of our emotions, fears, and reward areas of the brain and all these things are processed, it’s always whispering to our prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain, which is the seat of logic, the seat of personality.

To try to get somebody to change a behavior in a way that does not involve an emotional appeal is going to be difficult because research shows people generally make decisions first on emotion and backed by logic. They see the new iPhone, “That looks cool. It would also be good for my business.” To use a term from a gentleman named Dan Ariely, people are predictably irrational.

There’s this joke and sorry, this is probably graphic but we have a slide in one of our presentations that speaks to when you’re talking to like adolescents or teenagers. There’s a sign that says no trespassing. Most kids cross right over that sign. The researchers are like, “What would be a more effective sign?” They’re like, “You could never do this in society.”

Let’s say they’re trespassing in an electrical area. If it said, “No trespassing. You can die. It’ll hurt the entire time you’re dying.” That is a visceral graphic way to explain things. Look at advertisements, Gabby. Look at things centered toward teens. Even anti-smoking used to be like, “Smoking is bad for your health.” Now it’s Gertrude with a plug in the hole in her throat. You’re like, “I’m trying to make breakfast and I see a woman with it.” That’s an emotional trigger in my brain. Now you’ve got my attention. For me to change my behavior, you have to have my attention first.

Emotional appeals are critical to know how people think. That’s why we tell people to understand their drives. With my wife, I have to target my emotional appeals at the security drive, “We don’t want to get lost, do we? We’re then going to lose a day and our plans are going to be screwed up.” She likes planning. Rather than being like, “We’re going to be late for dinner with the Jeffersons.” She’s going to be like, “Screw them.”

Know their drives and deliver them in a unique conversational style. Everybody flexes but we tend to gravitate towards 1 or 2. It’s the content aspect of the message itself and then the packaging. It’s much like brands. You buy a new set of headphones. There’s the headphone, that thing is in half. That’s analogous. What you’re trying to say is, “Milk is good for your bones.” The packaging is as important. People get paid millions of dollars on YouTube, they have unboxing videos. That is how you color it in accordance with drives and conversational styles and all these pieces. You then ship it. That’s what people have to practice because they think saying it, “Gabby, this is bad for your health.”

Do you think this is going to work when your son is older? You have a lot of tools. When I hear you, it’s interesting. Also, what about the days you’re tired and you’re like, “F it. I don’t feel like being strategic. I feel like blurting it out. Liz can suck it. The kids are a pain in the ass.” We’re humans. We all do this in certain variations, especially personally. All day long, professionally, I’m going to be appropriate. I can barely think of the last time I was “inappropriate” professionally.

My daughter came to my office for the third time in 30 minutes and I was irritated because I was trying to get something done but she came in to get her computer and I was like, “Yes?” She’s like, “I came to get my computer.” I was like, “Sorry. I’m an asshole.” I’m wondering when you’re at this fork in the road. You’re more aware and you have more strategy than 99% of the population. Do you go, “I know what I’m doing here.” Are there times when you abandon it and you go, “Let’s see what happens.”

The boring answer is yes. Keep in mind, this is my life’s work now. I’m getting my doctorate in power dynamics and communication. It’s “unhealthy.” It’s an obsession at this point, it has to be. You’re a parent so you know that’s a trick question. My kid is not going to listen to me. It’s not just the message, it’s the messenger to your point.

If I say, “Communication is important. It’s the one skill guaranteed to make your life worse if you don’t practice it and refine it.” That will get a different reaction than if Joe Rogan said it. If Joe Rogan decided that he was going to start workshops on it, these sell out. Thankfully, the majority of the time, ours do as well. Who do you think is going to sell out more and bigger?

There’s a whole separate bit of research right now. This is why referent power dynamics are huge because of those that we perceive to be like us. Their words have more gravitas. Their ties bind us. Also, when you’re like, “Cool logic doesn’t always work.” Another effective tactic is what’s called a coalition tactic. This is where you find influential others.

I’ll give two examples. One, I had an athlete who talked a big game about wanting to win a Super Bowl. He didn’t know how to recover. In his world, he’s never been injured yet. He’s untouchable. He’s 23. I’m not getting him to take care of himself whether it’s foam rolling or ice plunge or nutrition. Having three other people five years as senior that have all won multiple Super Bowls go tell to get in shape. Who do you think they listened to?

When they’re not going to listen to you, that’s where you’ve got to utilize a lateral influence or something out. I often use that a lot with my kid. I’ll have to use that a lot with him as he gets older. You do have to be manipulative around these things. Still, that’s a great example. I want the best for my kid. If you don’t think I’m going to manipulate the environment, the timing, the message, the medium, and all these components of communication to get him to have the best end result, you are whacked out of your mind.

The thing is it’s not just words, it is timing, and it is the medium. It is what I had you do with my wife. It’s like, “You see these things.” I’ll give a critical example of this. I have to be on all the time. I do need people to be appropriate around. I do need people where I can say a joke and they know what I mean and they’re not going to play the gotcha game. That happened with a family member. I’ll give you a real and clear example. My wife’s got three sisters. My sister-in-law used to be off the wall. She comes into our house one time and she’s apparently going through a phase where you can’t say anything without being offensive.

Was she the younger sister?

Yeah. I had said something that was in the context of we’re watching something on TV and I’m like, “That’s a stupid idea.” Although I use a different phrase. She’s like, “You shouldn’t say that.” I go, “Alex, why should I not say that?” She goes, “Because you shouldn’t.” I go, “Did you know what I mean?” “Yeah, but that’s not the point.” I go, “Yes, it is.” I’m in the confines of my own home. I said something that was contextual to that and the words around it colored in the meaning of that.

This doesn’t make you smart, wise, or better than me to try to act like what I said was inappropriate. You created conflict for no reason whatsoever. I had it. I had it with somebody. I was in no mood. It was super petty. I’m not above admitting that I was petty. the pulmonologist was checking the spot on my lung and he was talking over me. I let him ramble on for about ten minutes.

I said, “I have a quick question.” I asked my question. He was like, “Your family history is clean. You shouldn’t worry about this.” I said, “Doctor, you did tell me to get it checked out in three years.” He said, “I would have never said that. That would have never come out of my mouth. I’ve been practicing this for medicine.” He’s in his 70s.

I said, “Here’s the thing, I promise you that three years ago, I did not make up something so that I could take an hour and a half of my morning and pay you $250 because you’re not covered by my insurance to address a figment of my imagination.” I was like, “I got sawed.” You know what, Gabby, it felt good. There’s sometimes you got to give it to people how it is. I wasn’t having it. He wouldn’t quit talking over me. I didn’t need to be the educator or the strategist. Sometimes you got to scratch that carnal edge and it is what it is.

Brett Bartholomew Caption 4

Brett Bartholomew – I struggle mentally. The difference is I don’t look at it as a failure. I look at it as a continual path to mastery. That’s why I document stuff and try to make resources for other people going through that.

That’s an important point. A lot of times, I am measured. Sometimes I’m always like, “How can I say this to get my point?” There are times when it’s like, “I’m danced out. Here it is.” That’s important. It’s important for you because the more information you have and the more tools you have, get reacquainted continuously with how you feel in the moment, and what words come to you. That stays important so that it stays out of the can, it stays off the list. It’s like, “Use your words.” It’s like, “Give me a break with that.”

Use your words to complement what you’re saying. Remember, meaning aren’t in words, they’re in people. There’s one piece when we get to the end I’ll give you that is gold. We’re going to do a whole episode on our podcast but you’ll be the first person I’ve told it to. To that point about inappropriate and appropriate, you’re one person, one of a small handful that understands.

You talk about things that the rest of society sometimes considers taboo but shouldn’t be. That’s why you and I always end up talking about intimacy or sexual relations and things like that, things that are completely healthy but few people want to go there. Somehow we’re in a functional society. There’s a great example even in that aspect of things.

We always talked about with your partner, make sure that you still date them and you say this and you say that. There are some things I’ve told that have kept my wife from initiating in the past because she didn’t know how to frame it up. I gave her a tool that she had asked for that we created together. We made it so it’s like, “You don’t even have to worry about that. Utilize this.” We’ll go there when you’re ready as a final coup de gras for the episode.

I am curious because there’s an oasis and now it’s fuzzier with males and females. I do think it’s important as somebody who coaches men and women and has them as leaders. I would love for your experience or observation about maybe some of the nuanced differences. Usually, it’s not as easy for us women to be confrontational. Of course, usually, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

We don’t want to have a confrontation or hurt people’s feelings. It’s harder for us to stand up for ourselves or ask for what we think we deserve or all these things. First of all, coaching some of the differences you’re seeing and then coaching the leaders of these two categories, some of the things that you would remind. I direct this more towards females because sometimes we need a friendly reminder and permission.

If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re talking about some of the differences between males and females when you’re talking about some of these things or, in general, processing things even and different styles.

For example, if you were to coach female and male athletes, there are different systems. If you are coaching people who are going to be leaders in their area that are male and female, they would need different cues and reminders. For a female, she could read a room or be more empathetic easier but it would be harder for her to be super direct and worried about maybe hurting someone’s feelings.

No questions, there are differences. No matter how much society wants to blend them now, we forget that these differences are what make us. We’re the preeminent social animal on this planet. People forget that like different parts of the animal kingdom, males and females have different tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. It is not weak or weird to say that human beings are the same way. We try to blur those lines.

We try to say sometimes that that’s not inclusive. We shouldn’t say there are differences. How is that not inclusive? That’s more inclusive. We’re inherently speaking to some of the strengths and abilities that are going to make certain people better fit in certain situations. Of course, there’s a range here. There’s no N equals 1. You can’t make a blanket statement and say, “Men are always good at this.”

I’m going to quote a stat here because I want to honor her work. There’s a woman named Louie Anne Brisendin and she says, “More than 99% of male and female genetic coding is exactly the same.” That small percentage of difference influences every cell in our bodies from the nerves that register pleasure and pain to the neurons that transmit perception, thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Effective communication does, many times, come down to not only adapting to context but perception. We’ve already talked about that truly objective perception is absolutely impossible. One, that’s part of the human experience. Two, nobody’s going to interpret sensations and sensory-oriented experiences the same way.

To go a little deeper, and I promise I’ll get concise with this, I want to honor some of the research on it. Of all people, Sacha Baron Cohen’s cousin, Simon Baron Cohen looks at autism spectrum differences in males and females. He’s at Oxford and is one of the leading researchers in this area. In some of his research, he says, “Men, by and large, due to the presence of testosterone in vitro, tend to be more systematized oriented.” In vitro impacts gray matter and some other things. It doesn’t matter who’s got more gray matter and white matter. One thing doesn’t determine intelligence. He’s speaking to a point.

They’re driven to analyze or deconstruct systematic relationships and non-social domains. There are a lot of male engineers but there are not always as many females. It does not mean a female cannot be an engineer. Men are driven to things in the field of mathematics and engineering a little bit based on some brain structure and brain chemistry due to things that happen in vitro.

Women, by and large, because even though they don’t have as much gray matter as men, are tremendously adept and way better at a lot of the things you and I are talking about than men. They are better at these cross-hemispheric connections that allow them to dance in the empathize world, the sympathize world, or a systematic world a little bit better. They specialize in the area to understand mental states and situational changes and can surf the curve of state management better which is why females tend to make better CEOs. They do tend to have a grasp.

Even if you look historically, women are much better at influence and persuasion. Cleopatra is one of the preeminent archetypes of this. People recognizing this is huge. It’s been refreshing, because look at me, I’m a bearded strength and conditioning-looking guy that’s rough around the edges. We have tremendous female representation in our work. A lot of them come to our workshops and it’s growing every day.

When I was speaking about strength and conditioning, it was 70/30, male to female. Now that is changing rapidly every day. A lot of the women that come in are strong-willed, determined women who love to explore these things. By the way, they do extraordinarily well at role-playing. They have a fascination and strong draw to this, as do other professions, professions where the stakes are higher. First responders and things like that tend to come to these things because they can dance in both areas and understand the need for it. Women do exceedingly well if they allow themselves to.

I deal with my wife. She’s restrained but she‘s a monster. I go, “Let dark Liz out because you’re more socially adept in many of these situations than I am.” You don’t want to dip your toe in that area but it’s changing day by day. Hopefully, that addresses it from a research way but also got down to brass tacks. Did I explain that correctly?

I always was curious about this as an athlete. Is it also giving permission to the female to go to her savage a little bit and say, “That is what is warranted for this situation and that’s good and okay.”

No question.

With guys, I don’t feel like they need that permission quite the same. Even competing against somebody, it’s like, “The goal is to win. We’ve been training and getting our asses kicked in practice but I don’t want to be so bad.” With guys, it never occurred. It’s like, “We’re here to win. We’ll drill you into the ground.”

I want to bring that up because I want to remind people. The interesting thing is not to forego your femininity, love, and compassion. To be competitive, you don’t need to. Sometimes the problem is we think it’s an either-or. It’s like our apparel. Women have a lot more options. We can wear shorts, skirts, pants, and jumpsuits. Guys have slacks and shorts. In a way, there’s a dance that we can do if we allow ourselves.

Also, embrace having these male counterparts because sometimes you could be in a group of women and we talk about things all the time but somebody has to go, “Let’s make a decision now.” A lot of times, that’ll come from a masculine voice. It’s like, “Alright. Great. We got all the chatter now. Let’s get it going. Let’s decide.” Bringing that up, both are beautiful and complimentary and not to abandon that.

It’s helpful for anybody that you’re spot on about all those things, which is why we think role-playing is so critical because people think, “If I dance in this arena, It’s going to feel bad or dirty.” You then realize that was a fit. We don’t practice for those things. We practice shooting hoops. We practice artwork. We practice the piano. We don’t practice the communication piece.

From the visualization, and this is from a research article in 2006, people think of general tendencies, male and female. This is going to complement exactly what you said because it was well-said and adept. Wook at general tendencies in areas of distinction. There are three columns, there’s our area of distinction, which we’ll talk about male and female. If we look at intellectual tendencies, due to a variety of factors, males tend to be analytical, a little bit more linear, and systematic.

Females tend to be big picture and whole brain to perspective. Base reaction male, action. Base reaction female, feeling, intuition, thoughts, and reflection. Base reaction male, fight or flight, challenge, “Let’s see what’s going on.” Base reaction female, tend and befriend. You see this with how women band together to speak about things like breast cancer to a whole host of things.

[bctt tweet=”Good and nice are really weird terms. It is a binary way to think in a complex world.”]

We might have mentioned this in the first episode we did together. This isn’t meant to take away anything, we’re speaking statistics. Breast cancer is serious. Nobody needs me to say that. I’ve lost two family members to cancer and what have you. Statistically, it is not the most deadly form of cancer. That would be things like pancreatic cancer, which I lost my aunt to.

It’s funny, you see more support and more voice around things like breast cancer than you ever do for males with prostate cancer because that’s a little bit more shameful. Guys don’t like to talk about these things the same way. Even when I trained athletes. When I would want to do something in the training session or the workout, finding individual challenges was huge. With a lot of the female athletes, they wanted to bond together. They could still be individually competitive but they loved when we did Team A versus Team B and got to work in groups.

The innate interests of males tend to be things and the deconstruction of those things. For females, it’s people. We start to see this survival strategy. Males are much self-interests and competition. Females, relationships, community, and collaboration. This isn’t Brett Bartholomew School of BS. This is from researchers that look at this stuff. This goes to the five reasons people don’t change. There’s going to be somebody that, for some reason, feels threatened or somebody talked to them in a relationship or they didn’t get a job a certain way.

What I’m saying is it’s black or white. Males are always this and females are that. That’s not what I’m saying. Please, don’t color it that way. We’re saying that the research shows general tendencies, predispositions, predilections, and things like that that are fluid culturally, are fluid for other things based on nature and nurture but these are tendencies.

By the way, it’s me telling you that is true. You guys are the fairer sex. You have your crap together more. Nobody should be that mad about it. People should say, “Let me explore this other range too.” It doesn’t matter what you are. It doesn’t matter what you know. It matters what the other person understands and how well you can flex. You’re spot on. This is why we get along, Gabby. We’re biased. You know how to play in the gray well. I can call you and have an intellectual high-level conversation or I can say, “Cut this crap. What do you think about this?” That’s also because you’ve been through a lot of battles and you know who you are.

Sports and parenting are some of the greatest training grounds. It’s embracing everything. The only way to make improvement from where you are is to try to understand where you are and how you act in those situations versus being in denial, “That’s not fair. I don’t do that.” Those helped me. I want to let you and your family come home. Are you allowed to tell us the title of the book for 2023 or should we wait? Is it coming out at the end of ‘23 or is it going to be in ’24?

We have working titles. Otherwise, I’d, for sure, tell you. What they can do is, and if you’re okay with it, go to Art Of Coaching and that will get you on the list to stay up to date with these things. There are generally going to be probably about 10 or 11 chapters. I’m on chapter eight. The rough manuscript is due in 2023, even though it could probably be done in December 2022. When you work with these publishers, it’s their time.

The crappy thing is they’ve told me, “It’s going to come out in ‘24 even if it’s done in ‘23,” because of their slate of releases. That’s good. That allows us to put more things into it. We’re looking at tentative summer or fall of ‘24. We’re going to be releasing a ton of content before then. We talked about this stuff on our podcast.

These are things that we’re already teaching actively. If these are things that are interesting to folks, is a great place to stay up to date. We’re running workshops around the world all the time that are open to every profession, every gender, and every age, it doesn’t matter. You can learn all about those at

Do you have different lengths of workshops?

Yeah. Most of them are two days because we try to honor people’s work week and things like that. There are probably some that we could easily make for three days. As you know, it’s a balance. There are workshops that we want to do that are four days. Bring your partner or bring this and let’s get a little bit more. We’re mainly doing two-day workshops to try to honor people’s constraints in time.

These workshops fit different avenues. The one that we’ve spent a lot talking about like how to play in the gray and role-play, we call it the apprenticeship. The idea is you’re never going to be a master at this but come get your hands dirty and meet some good people. In the role-playing, I played wives that are shut down and won’t give their significant other an edge. I have played guys. People play all these roles. What’s cool is you get to meet.

We had somebody that was like, “I can’t get my partner to open up about this.” There’s another woman that was in another profession and she goes,  “I got you because I’m that type. Let’s go practice this.” You find good sparring partners. The funny thing is, and I got to be careful how I say this, is we’re not saying that this is a replacement for therapy. People will go to therapy and you’ll get asked a lot of questions and whatever. You still got to do the thing.

People either do nothing or maybe they do therapy. We’re this middle ground where, one, it can be fun, serious, and whatever you want it to be. It’s not always this big issue in your life. Some people have social anxiety. The number one thing is people don’t get feedback in their jobs. We’ve had people that are like, “Nothing bad has happened in my life. I don’t get feedback. I want to come and learn.” There’s that one.

We have one called Brand Builder, which is for people that feel like they have some goodness that they want to share with the world but they’re uncomfortable self-promoting. They don’t know how to scale this thing. They’re trying to figure out what’s the best idea to get out of their head and do it. We do events on that.

We have a speaker school for people who want to do a podcast or go speak more or they want to be better at giving toasts at weddings. The underpinning aspect of this is they’re all based on social psychology and they’re all based on a lot of hands-on learning, real-time feedback, and supportive environments where you’re going to come out of it and be like, “I have a blueprint now. I didn’t get lectured at for two days straight.” It’s very hands-on.

Remind people to go to the website for all of it and even to find your podcast, Art Of Coaching. There’s no way you’ve bitten this much off and not thought at some point or many points, “I’m over it. I tap out. I quit.”

In terms of doing this many things?

Yeah. It’s also unchartered. You’re quasi-switching or morphing professions. With responsibilities, how did you say, “I’m going to keep at it even if the future is not lit for me, not perfectly clear, and the path is not paved.” What inside of you not only keeps going but is like, “I’m not going to quit.” It’s not easy, what you’re doing.

Brett Bartholomew Book

Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In

I appreciate that. It was a lot easier to sell out workshops when I’m teaching sexy things. People wanted to go learn more about training and doing this and doing that. When we first started running our apprenticeship workshop, that was slow sailing in 2018. As we got more and more people coming, we focus on keeping them small. In all of our workshops, we try to keep twenty or under. I looked at the workshops I went to that were crappy and they were all huge, not tactical, a lot of yak-yak circuits, and whatever.

The benefit of that is we were able to give people a lot of attention, break down some of these misconceptions, grow it, and build it. It grew as a business would in the 1950s, organically through word of mouth. Our stuff doesn’t show well on social media. My social media, if you follow me, is more about me as a human being. I’ll share aspects but I’m not like, “In a fifteen-second real, here are five ways…” I’d started sweating and losing my mind.

We do rely on people spreading word-of-mouth and network power and people saying, “I went to this. You got to check it out.” As these things built and started selling out more and growing organically, that got me fired up. We’d have people be like, “What about this?” To your point, I’ve now had to hire more staff because I don’t want this to be about me. You don’t want people, anything that you guys teach, need you and Laird all the time. That’s not empowerment.

We have six staff. When you talked to my wife, we had one. We have six staff. It is scary. We don’t have an investor. We’ve never gone that route. It’s not to say that we wouldn’t. We’re bootstrapping this. We’re not trust fund babies. Everything is based on what we make from our book. Our entire life savings is in this business. That drives me. The idea is that people need this and always will because people are always going to deal with relationships and communication. It’s a perennial issue as opposed to if I was selling some high-tech fitness device. These things are important. Gravity still works and fundamentals still matter.

The final thing is my goal is not to always do this much. After the next book and after my next doctorate, I will continue to teach, speak, and whatever. My goal is not to then write another book. I don’t have the sickness of more. This has been a lot being a dad, a husband, a business owner writing a book, and doing a doctorate.

We wanted to make sure people knew when they came to our stuff that it wasn’t wishy-washy and that it was research-backed so the doctorate honors the work. My next book is either going to be one with you on people watching in the airport or a children’s book. If it all fails, I’ll end up becoming a sex therapist because that’s the only thing I like talking about as much as power dynamics, leadership, and people’s crap.

Maybe that’s because you’re bubbling with testosterone. There was a person who went through a transition, a transgender male, and he said that he’d be on the train and he’d be like, “I wonder what book she’s reading,” and all these things. He then started transitioning and taking more testosterone and it was like, “Her ankles are sexy. I would like to have sex with her.”

Especially when people are in a committed relationship, it’s such an important and healthy thing how we keep that going. Coach, I appreciate the layers of work that you’re doing and how quickly you have branched it out. Even since I’ve known you, you have built-in quite a few more layers. It’s a work that a lot of people can benefit from. Thank you so much.

Likewise with what you’re doing. I want to find more ways that we can collaborate and stay in touch in the future with one thing. I’ll bug you about and then I’ll let you go. We’ve had people ask to do a course on no BS and how you deal with relationships when you’re a leader. When you’re giving so much to everybody else, how do you make sure you’re still giving that at home?

People are hungry for non-inspirational, wishy-washy stuff. I could think of nobody better to do one of those with some time than you. I know you have a full life. If we do one thing in the next couple of years, it’s to find a way to maybe ideate about how we can give that to folks. I want to thank you for being open.

It’s been a struggle point, Gabby, to find people that want to talk about the messy realities of things. You’ve always been supportive. This stuff isn’t inherently the thing that go viral. You’ve always given us the time of day. You’ve always given us your genuine interests, your thoughtful questions, and your time. I both love you and Laird and we’re grateful.

Thank you. I would love to do that. What dawns on me is if you want to be successful but have this at-home balance, weirdly, that is a big conundrum because the relationships are the most important and take the most time and have a different type of return. It starts maybe with the definition of what people think is a success. Lastly, as the children get older, I can feel as a female that at a time that maybe I’m supposed to be like, “I’m mellowing out,” I would like to take more on. That would be fun things to talk about.

Thank you again for your time and thank you to everybody reading.

Brett Bartholomew, Art Of Coaching. Thanks, everyone, for reading.

Thank you so much for reading this episode. Stay tuned for a bonus episode where I go deeper into one of the topics that resonated with me. If you have any questions for my guests or even myself, please send them to @GabbyReece on Instagram. If you feel inspired, please hit the follow button and leave a rating and a comment, it not only helps me but it helps the show grow and reach new followers.

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About Brett Bartholomew

Brett Bartholomew Headshot

Brett Bartholomew is a strength and conditioning coach, author, consultant, and Founder of Art of Coaching™. His experience includes working with athletes both in the team environment and private sector along with members of the United States Special Forces and members of Fortune 500 companies. Taken together, Brett has coached a diverse range of athletes from across 23 sports world-wide, at levels ranging from youth athletes to Olympians. He’s supported numerous Super Bowl and World Series Champions, along with several professional fighters in both professional boxing as well as the UFC.