Dr. Mark Goulston returns to 33voices to discuss why unreasonable people act the way they do and how to reach them.
A Rational Way to Talk with An Irrational Person
In Fast Company’s ‘Secrets of The Most Productive People’ November, 2015 issue, Oprah Winfrey gave insight into how she handles procrastination: “I procrastinate with confrontational things and uncomfortable conversations. I’ll give myself a deadline. And then I’ll change that deadline when that deadline shows up. ‘Okay, by 3, I’m going to make that call.’ Four o’clock comes around – ‘Okay okay, by 5 today. Oh, everybody’s left New York! Can’t make that call’ So now I sit and ask myself, ‘What’s the worst that’s going to happen here, and why do I fear the confrontation?’” As we’ve come to expect, Oprah tells it like is. Never one to shy from her vulnerabilities, she reminds us that not only is she human; but that she, like the rest of us, have a natural tendency to resist confrontation; especially when it involves an irrational individual.
Lucky for me, a few hours after reading that Fast Company article, I was scheduled to reconnect with Dr. Mark Goulston to discuss his new book, ironically titled, Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life. If you know anything about Dr. Goulston, you know that he has an uncanny ability to ‘hack’ people’s minds. Not only is he a master psychiatrist, he’s an even better communicator. As you’ll hear during our dialogue, there’s no easy way to deal with difficult people; however, there is a proven discipline, that with the right practice, can help you turn these challenging conversations into productive and worthy dialogues.
Here’s what we discuss:
Identifying the behavioral patterns of irrational people
Leaning-in to change the conversational dynamic
Acknowledging our own moments of irrationality
Difficult conversations with an irrational friend or family member
Difficult conversations with an irrational boss
The power of conversation deepeners
The one question that will always crystallize your outcomes