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We give you actionable advice so you can elevate your influence through purposeful negotiation—helping you overcome the hurdles you face in business and life to become even more successful.
Welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx podcast! This week, your hosts are joined by Coach Andy Riise, an expert in leadership and the psychology of resilience in elite performance. A presidential leadership scholar and a member of the American Psychological Association, Andy spent over 20 years in the military leading soldiers in a variety of overseas combat operations. Now, when he’s not working with clients ranging from professional sports teams and corporate leaders, Andy spends his time as a youth rugby coach and troop leader for Boy Scouts of America.
We begin today by understanding what the psychology of resilience and elite performance actually is. When an elite player is injured, they must go to a doctor or a clinician and get the medical attention they need to recover. To prevent further injuries, they would have to go to an athletic trainer to get on a regimen that would strengthen that particular localized area. This is what Andy describes as resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity. His work is focused on the mental and emotional spectrum, the psychological training that people need to overcome obstacles and perform at their peak regardless of the outcome.
Andy was part of the class of 2001 at West Point. His entire training upto the point of his graduation had been focused towards linear warfare in the Balkans. But after 9/11, his platoon was deployed to Baghdad where he suddenly had to pivot to an asymmetric threat that they had not been prepared for. It was difficult to adapt to the situation, but Andy found that confidence, concentration in extreme circumstances and situational awareness helped him mitigate what he perceived as a blindspot in his training. It was important for him to train his brain and to help the soldiers under his command train their brains as rigorously as they trained their bodies to face the asymmetric threats in the Middle Eastern theaters.
Confidence and interpersonal skills are essential for all leaders, both in military and civilian spheres. When Andy decided to bring his mental conditioning skillset to civilian clients, he borrowed concepts from elite sports psychology to create filters in one’s perceptions. These filters can be used to separate one’s emotions from the circumstances and environments they find themselves in. For negotiations, this is particularly useful because it allows leaders to have a deliberate and intentional process regardless of the chaos that surrounds them. Success in negotiations is not dependent on behaviors alone, but also how inter-personal feelings affect individuals and their performance. This is what Andy refers to as “psychological momentum” and emphasizes that it’s possible to control it by controlling how leaders think and respond.
Frequent listeners of the show will know that Nolan and Aram always focus on the importance of mindset in conducting negotiations. For Andy, mindset is not only a pattern of thinking but also a “neurological superhighway” to achieving one’s goals. Without the right mindset, it is very difficult to build trust and rapport with a counterpart. An example of this is a coach calling shots on the sidelines of a match: there are multiple aspects of the game to focus on, decisions to make in the split second that can have major consequences. In that position, the coach has to not only trust himself but also his players and the drills they have done in the lead up to the game.
The Four C Model of framing mental toughness was the work of Dr Peter Clough in his book “Developing Mental Toughness”. It is a framework that Andy often uses with his clients and students. The four C’s stand for control, commitment, challenge and confidence.
Control has already been in the discussion earlier, but Commitment is where things like goal orientation and achievement orientation can be developed and fine-tuned. In popular psychology, goal setting has recently developed a slightly negative perception, but it can’t be disputed that it is very effective in seeing results. The real goal pursuit, according to Andy, is about the process itself. Using a road trip analogy, he describes goal pursuit as the destination and the misdirections, traffic stops, fuel changes as the hurdles along the way. If one is committed to reaching the destination, then all the rest will be easier to overcome. Ultimately, goal pursuit isn’t necessarily about achievement, but about growth and understanding. Even if one does not achieve what they set out to, through the experience of the pursuit they will have developed a mental toughness that will help them in the future.
With Challenges, Andy sees it as an opportunity to better oneself and the need to constantly improve. Weaknesses can always be overcome, which he knows personally through his struggles with anger management. Even great leaders like Eisenhower had to overcome his anger issues to become the famed general and president we learn about in history textbooks.
Make sure to check back in next week as Aram and Nolan continue their conversation with Andy. We’ll continue where we left off with the framework and go into detail with Confidence.Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and leave us a review wherever you listen to podcasts.
Thank you for listening.
NM : Welcome to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. I am your co-host and co-founder Nolan Martin. And with me today is my co-host, co-founder... Excuse me,co-founder Aram Donigian. Aram, introduce our guest for us.
AD : I'm gonna do that cuz you sound a little tongue today, but you are looking sharp. Okay.
NM : I’m sick. My voice is dark or deep. I'm just all over the place.
AD : Hey, welcome to adulthood Nolan. [laughs]Voice getting deep. That's a great thing. And for anyone who watches the videos, you should know that Nolan always dresses so sharp.
NM : Thank you.
AD : And Idon't, he was the one that really brings the class to this program, but everybody probably knows that. I'm intentionally trying to dress athletic today, which is a challenge, but because our guest is gonna take us through some sports performance psychology. And so we're gonna get there. This is gonna be a fun program. I'm really excited for today's program. A few weeks ago, we had Mike Farag on to talk about how we might learn from the world of marketing and how there may be applications to negotiations. Well, today we're gonna step into another field outside, maybe the normal bounds of negotiation and don't know exactly where that's gonna lead, but I know we're gonna learn a lot and have a lot of fun.
So today our guest is a former army football player. Thus why, if you're watching the video, I'm wearing my army hat.My beast roommate was an army football player and ever since I've been a fan of my best students, when I taught at West Point were army football players. So it is a pleasure and honor to welcome another one to our program. Today, we are joined today by Lieutenant Colonel retired, Andy Riise. Andy is a mental performance coach and an expert in leadership in the psychology of resilience and elite performance. As I mentioned, he's a West Point graduate with over 20 years in the military.During that career, he led soldiers in a variety of overseas mesh to include combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Andy has a Master's degree in exercise psychology with an emphasis in sport performance.Sport and performance I should say.
He is also a presidential leadership scholar and a member of the American psychological association and the association for applied sports psychology. His research and coaching expertise is in evidence-based best practices of sport and performance psychology and various applied behavioral science disciplines with an emphasis on mental toughness and stress inoculation. Andy was one of the Army's first master resilience trainers and facilitators and helped launch the comprehensive fitness program.As a mental skills coach and consultant,he has worked with a wide range of, of clients ranging from professional sports teams, corporate leaders, first responders and healthcare practitioners. Andy serves as the program director for the National Security Innovation Network at Texas A&M, go Aggies! He also serves as a youth rugby coach and a troop leader for Boy Scouts of America. He himself is an Eagle Scout. He and his wife, Katie have been married for over 19 years. They have four extremely active children, Andy and I, our paths have crossed throughout our military careers. We had the opportunity to serve together in Colorado. He helped me out in numerous times, when I, while I was teaching at the air force academy. So with that, Andy, thank you for joining us. Welcome to the program
AR : Gentlemen. It's an honor and a pleasure and I just want to comment on the, uh, the awesome haircut that Nolan has. You know, I, on he looks and the, the bald beard look is outstanding. Aram, I love your retirement beard and you're a great friend and I'm a big fan of the podcast. Thanks for having me guys.
AD : Thanks, Andy.
NM : Yep. And always, as you said, enjoy seeing another man that has bald and bearded on the show, so that Aram doesn't just give me shit all the time.
AR : Hey that's what you're here. Let's just get it right.
NM : Alright. So Andy, we love to kick this thing off by first, asking about your personal journey. And so basically what exactly is the psychology of resilience and elite performance and how did you get into this field?
AR : Sure. So when we think about psychology, I mean, that's a study of human behavior, right? Everyone knows that. And I think we traditionally think of mental health, right? So we think about the psychology of injury or illness or psychopathology, right. And that's really kinda the medical model. And then if we were to compare this to the physical side of human beings, that would be like medicaldoctors right? So I'm injured. I have pathology injury illness. I have anxiety, depression. I go see a doctor, right? A clinician. Well, what if I have, you know, I wanna prevent an injury? I wanna be able to rehab to get back on the field or get back in the arena, as I say, right? Well then you would probably go on the physical side, you would go to athletic trainer, you know, someone who's a therapist, that type of thing too.
Think about that as resilience, bouncing back from adversity. Bouncing back from an injury. So because of that adversity that I get better. And then the other aspect of that too, is you think about on the physical side, if I wanna get bigger, faster, stronger, then I go to a strength coach or a personal trainer. And that is the performance side of things. And so the opposite of that on the psychological spectrum or the mental side of who we are as humans is where I reside.So when you think about the psychology of elite performance, that's, that's about, Hey, what are the mental and emotional skills that out people to be able to execute tasks at the upper range of their potential consistently, regardless of the scenario or the outcomes?
AD : Ah, that's beautiful.
NM : And how'd you get started in this field.
AR : Yeah. So, you know, it kind of goes back to when I was playing army football. And so as you guys know, Aram and I crossed paths, he was in BSNL when I was in the Center for Enhanced Performance, goes back to 1989. That's when the West Point center for enhanced performance was founded by Colonel Lewis Joka. The first captain to work there was, uh, general Robert Brooks-Brown who just retired recently. And the idea was to take this psychology that made elite leaders, performers in sports, whether it's Olympics or professional sports, it's a field that's been around about a hundred years, a little more than that.But how do we bring this into the military to deliberately develop these intangible attributes, to help make future army leaders better, what they do in and out of combat? So how do we develop the intangible attributes of leaders?
So BSNL was doing that and we were taking a different from the performance psychology side of things. And so by the time I got there in 1997, it just was another resource available to us as cadets that you guys couldn't relate to. So sophomore year changed position. So I was a fullback, what better office to be in, to be in the triple option, right? You know, to be the human battering ram and be the first option, triple option. I was loving it. Positions on me. And now I'm in my sophomore year, which you guys know yuck year. It sucks. The yuck year sucks as it's the hardest year. You're getting your buck kicked academically. I just switched positions. I was struggling. So at the time, my coach who played for the University of Michigan and the Rose Bowl, was a very elite performer himself was a fan of the West Point EP.
He referred me to captain Carl Olson, shout out to Carl who's at Penn State at the Athletic Department now. And just started working with him. Just kinda like you guys did, just like you worked like you worked with Aram, when he was a captain, a major and we started doing one on one training. I started learning these mental skills that I'd, you know, I'd maybe had some idea about when mental toughness was, but then all of a sudden I'm, I'm learning, I'm getting a lexicon, I'm getting a process, a system that develops into specific attitudes and behaviors that then turn to add the, be to habits that could help me get outta my own way on the football field. Because my biggest thing was, you know, first of all, my concentration was all over the place, right. I had a really difficult time transitioning from the cadet area up to the football field, you know, so developing routines, where to put my attention, when it needs to be, where it needs to be there.
Then I had some confidence issues too. So I was very much in my own head. Couldn't get out of my own way. I was overthinking things. I was learning a whole new position and playing at a really high level and oh, by the way, you know, no kidding. Right. Understatement of the year West Point's kind of hard, right? So I had all these other things that were distracting me. So all those led to like this challenge that turned into an opportunity that then became a set of skills that I was practicing. And again was a survival mode at West Point. But what I didn't realize is that when I graduated now, guess what happens? 9/11 happens. I'm the class of 2001. All of a sudden we've been training and Aram knows this full well, cuz he was already commissioned four years ahead of me, right Aram?
AD : Yeah.
AR : You know, he's already, we're already preparing for kind of this fight in the Balkans. Right?And we are also were fighting the way that we were linearly to where we have overmatch and overwhelming firepower in terms of air to ground integration right? So now all of a sudden, we went from a conventional fight to transition to at the time with stability and support operations. So I was a Miller Platoon leader. We were in the race to Bagdad and all of a sudden we had to make that pivot. And then now all of a sudden we're facing a asymmetric threat. You guys know it really, really well that we're finding an enemy that doesn't fight fair. And all of a sudden we're not prepared for, we have not trained for what we prepared on.
So what did I fall back on?If I can't train for the operating environment in the situation,what I fell back on was my attitudes and my behaviors. And I quickly found that my confidence was fight setbacks, my composure and extreme circumstances, my concentration in extreme circumstances, my situational awareness all affected how I made decisions on a moment to moment, day to day basis that that could lead to whether or not my soul-not only did we accomplish the mission, but whether my soldiers were to come home alive or not. And you guys appreciate this cuz you had been there, but for everyone else who has not been the military quickly, you realize, or there's no field manual or training plan to be able to develop mental skills, you know, FM 6-22 or ADP 6-22 talks about confidence like 66 times.
But nowhere in that manualdoes it say how to develop confidence, right? But we know how important confidence is for great leaders. Great leaders are confident and make better decision makers, great leaders make, who are confident, not only still confidence themselves, but confident in others when they enter in negotiation. Right? So these are just some of the reasons why this inside out approach to developing the tangibles leadership became really, really important to me. And it really kind of highlighted this idea that, “Hey, I had to train my brain and help my soldiers train their brain as much as they trained their body.” As much as we trained it's cohesion as a team and as much as you know, we were trying to influence the people who were trying to help in Iraq and Afghanistan or across the world.
AD : So Andy, you're describing maybe in a general sense of things that we, we would call or I know you call intrapersonal skills very specifically. I mean, do you have, like, what are these interpersonal skills that you are essential for people to learn to make, to make better decisions? I love that connection.
AR : No, absolutely. I think there's quite a few of them. I mean in sports psychology, which is not the only field that I borrow from,a lot of times we think about, Hey, well, let's pick confidence again. I talk about selective perception, about interpretation, about what happens to me, you know, and having a strong mental filter as far as what I allow, that's useful for me, I understanding, you know, what my thoughts are, how do I separate myself from my thoughts? And then how do I get composure in terms of things like, you know, using breath in using present moment focus to then not allow my emotions to control me. But I'm in control of my emotions. And then in other words, like what are the things that allow me to have self-awareness and self-regulation from moment to moment, that creates what I call “you becoming the barometer” right? And I think this is really relevant to them to go construct, right? Because if you can control your attitudes and your behaviors, right. And when everything else is chaotic going around you, whether you're in negotiation or not, if you can have a deliberate and intentional process in terms of how you think and how you act and react in deliberate and effective ways, that's gonna lead to an optimal outcome, nine times out 10 or more often than not.
AD : Yeah. And certainly allow you to respond better. Right. And one other thing I hear you saying is doesn't sound like it's like this is the elimination of those emotions. It's about managing them. I mean, they, they're good. They're there and we've gotta learn how to manage'em. Is that, is, is that what you're saying?
AR : Absolutely. Right. And I think it's kind of how fundamentally, how humans work and I'm happy to share this model with y'all. Right. And I think it's relevant to kinda what's going on in social media and the news, right. With the whole Will Smith and Chris rock slap incident. Right. You know, and without taking sides, what do we see on the surface? In terms of performance, we look at performance is really the intersection between a behavior and an outcome. Right. And then there's a result right there. So that's about, let's say that's 10% of the equation. And if humans are like iceberg, we see the behaviors, all that's on top. Well, what's beneath the surface, right? And a lot of times in the military we say intent, but really what's below that is the attitudes, how we think what's going on between our ears, our emotions, or how we feel, not only from an emotional standpoint, but also physiologically what's going on inside ourselves, the next order level of things it has to do with things like your motivation, your purpose, and then at the core of it is your values, which are your principles right?
And I know this is a big part of what we learned at west point is the character development piece that kind of gets lost out in our career development after that, too. But if 90% of who we are as human beings what's going on beneath the surface,the key task to be successful in negotiation is for you to penetrate as far as you can, based on what you know, and what you can prepare for down into that iceberg, that human being.Coz if we're just relying on behaviors alone, to be successful in a negotiation, chances are you’re not to be successful. So I think you have to understand how that works because how we think affects how we feel, how we feel affects what we do, how we do affects how we perform. And that's a cycle called psychological momentum that could help us and it could hurt us, but we can always control is how we think and how we respond.
AD : That's a great model. I'm really curious, can you actually train this? And if you can, do you have metrics that you're looking for to know that, to be able to see that somebody's progressing and improving?
AR : Yeah, absolutely. And, and that's the good news too. And I think that's, what's been great about behavioral science in general, especially, you know, in the last 50 years, is that, I mean, obviously there's no causation, right. And we know that because we’re in business and when you're dealing with the people in business, there's no cause and effect relationship. There is a relationship, right? In terms of how things are influencing each other in terms of known variables or variables that we can control. So I think there's some really good psychometrics that are out there. I don't think there's one size fits all kind of depends on the, behavioral outcomes that you're looking at. But ultimately, you know, we wanna measure the behaviors that we're talking about, there's really that 10% that is driven and influenced by the rest of that 90%.
And the iceberg model that I described, I like a few of 'em that are out there too in the baseball world. And I know this is in corporate side as well too, in terms of like personality, looking at the big five and the Neo, for example, they're valid and they're reliable. Another one that I personally like I use in my practice is the mental toughness questionnaire. Cause it's based on the foresee model that I know we're gonna talk about. And then there's a short and long form of that. There's one for leaders as well too. And I like it because it's simple. It's the construct that I knew, it applies to all the arenas that I work in as well, but there's a lot of really cool science that's going out there that I'm involved in on the side in terms of the assessment of selection of professional athletes that really borrows from how we assess and select the attitudes and behaviors from elite tactical athletes, and our special operations community and those best practices that have been validated over years are now being exported out into professional sports and also into the corporate arena, like for executive search and so and so forth.But also to kind of find the right fit for your organization based on whatever your mission is.
NM : Yeah. I think finding the right fit is, is crucial, especially for any other organizations, you kind of mentioned this four C model. I think we'll get into that right in a second. I first kind of talk about this aspect of mental toughness. So I know that Aram and I have talked kind of on the pre-show about what are we gonna title this episode? And I think we decided to call it approaching negotiations from the inside out. So can you share with us a little bit about the connection that you see between someone's ability to influence their own thinking first, before they can influence anyone else's thinking?
AR : Do you mind if I tell a story as it'll lead up? Yeah,
AD : Yeah. That'd be great.
NM : Absolutely.
AR : Yeah. Cause I think this is really kind of how I entered the space then, because, you know, although I have a sport and performance psychology background and I try to impact leaders.Specifically, one of the things I realized about the field, it was very individual-focused. And as a leader, as we know, it's about influencing other people. So I found that a little bit lacking. And so I was trying to find the intersection between what happens with me on the inside in terms of self-awareness and self-regulation, but then beyond self or what's interpersonal skills. I was trying to understand what the art and science of influence was. And it was something I was very curious about.And about the time that I left west point went down to seven special forces group and like Aram, I was a special operation support soldier. I was a fire support officer.
So my job was to bring in indirect fires from mortars or artillery, bombs and missiles off of rails and to jump outta airplanes with Green Berets and, and put on enemy foreheads. Right. It was great. What more do you want? And stand up a special force of time from scratch was just an amazing opportunity as a leader, especially when not being a Green Beret. And what was cool about it is that I had some really transformational leaders who were very progressive and forward thinking. Um, one of 'em was, his name is Colonel Marty Schmidt. I think he is getting ready to retire, shout out to him. His dad was a psychologist when he grew up and he had this idea. We were building this fourth battalion from scratch, right? And as you guys remember at the time we were building fours of everything in order to meet the demands of finding wars on two fronts, we were building fourth brigades, fourth battalions.
We were the last of the five active-duty special forces group. Aram and I served in 10th group together as well too. They were one of the first ones, but we were the last one to do a fourth battalion. So we're talking about four, three or three people in 18 months, standing up from scratch and sending it to Afghanistan, to fight and combat. Right. Good luck. Well, we're getting all these new team leaders who were like us. They were from another branch, another functional area, and they became, they spent two years becoming a green beret and they're brand new in this role. And now they're deploying a combat in this role. And at the time for most of the war, a lot of what the special forces mission was doing was counterterrorism, right? So we think about direct action and shooting people in the face and coming in the middle of the night landing on the X and the objective.
AR : And then, you know, you're on the ground for 30 minutes to an hour, then you're gone. Well, that's not exactly what those guys do. They train, advise and assist. And they're working by, through and withan indigenous local partner, in this case is the Afghan local piece, the Afghan commandos, Afghan special forces, right? So guest what, the art science of influence is imperative and critical to their success. And here you have a population of leaders who don't understand the core competency of what influence is all about. So we had the opportunity through a contracted gentleman, Dr. Stewart Diamond, wrote Getting More, say what you want about that model. I like yours better, but we'll leave that for another time.But this is my first entry point into negotiations. And my boss said, okay, you're this, you know, guy, you just got down to teaching at West Point.
You're a psychology guy. I want you to bring this in and incorporate this too. And I want you to assess its effectiveness and what the feedback was. And so he did brought Dr. Diamond in and I was like, this guy is gonna get it slaughtered by these guys. And Green Berets are like wolves. This guy is a corporate dude coming in, working with like green Berets. My boss set it up, he's he, one of the most skeptical people to see whether or not this, this training is gonna be really effective. And we spent three days together. And I gotta tell you, like I was blown away, not only the relevance and the applicability, but you know, the feedback from these guys, a lot of 'em had been in combat, you know, six, seven times about where has this been my entire career in terms of my core competencies to be effective in combat as a green brewer, like a combat coach in this case too.
And it was so cool because it made me better and it really kind of allowed… it brought in these interpersonal skills that I had just learned about in terms of the intrapersonal side, too. So really it kind of made this other piece of the puzzle. When you think about emotional intelligence, that everything beyond self, in terms of interpersonal influence of what a leader to us effectively towards common goals started to come into place. And it was like the light bulbs came on. And what was even cooler was that when I was deployed, I would go do these, you know, go with my boss. And I would go to all these fire bases all over Southern Afghanistan. And it kind of be kind this cool, like little thing, like, you know, to where we had our own hidden language and lexicon. They're like, “Hey, Major Riise, I used negotiation the other day when I was talking to my wife and she was buying a house, you know, I used it on my teammates. This stuff really works!”
You know Like it was like this kind of like tongue in cheek, really, really cool thing. So when I got back, I was like, man, there's something to this. And so then I had the opportunity later on to bring it back to the conventional army and, so all that's to say is that Ithink that going back to the original question, you know, is that, I think this skill is really, really important. And I think that you have to be able to enter into it first by being able to negotiate with yourself. So we're talking about our playbook here and all this is really outwardly focused. But what's really cool about this, is you could flip the script in the lens and use this to be able to then, you know, how do I negotiate with myself, right?
AR : And if Iapproach a negotiation from the inside out, in terms of how I think about how I perceive the other people, what is their interests? What's in it for them? Well, first of all, I know myself first, right? I know what my goals are. I know what my level of commitment is. I know what I'm willing to compromise in order to reach the optimal outcome or the BATNA, right. If I can get that really, really solid. And I know how I wanna show up to the negotiation with empathy, with openness and, and the willingness to be able to then expand the pie and not shrink it, or just be an asshole, you know, then that is really, really important to your successful, right? Because ultimately in negotiation, you don't control the other person at best. You can influence them. But if you can't control yourself in terms of how you think, what your emotions are, and then what transpires, even when things go sideways, you're dead in the water. So that's why I say you gotta be able to negotiate with yourself first from the inside out to be a
AD : Yeah. And that, that feels, I know we've talked before, right? Mindset. It's a place that Nolan and I will start when we work with clients, certainly a place I work with students taking on your own self first, before you can try to affect someone else's mindset. And I would assume that you see a lot of challenges for folks, maybe resistance to doing that, to taking themselves on first, because they, the problem is always outside of us. It's never inside of us.
AR : That's right. That's right. Yeah. And the mindset is incredibly important. A mindset is a pattern of thinking, right. You know, and it's neurological in nature. I think those are like the super highways in our mind to where you can actually buy how you think. So, for example, the trust and training mindset, right? So we think about trust is a great example. I mean, ultimately you're trying to build trust and rapport, and we talk about that. Right. But to build trust and confidence are closely interrelated, right? So if you are willing to trust yourself, in other words, when I'm showing up in… if I'm in the training mindset, then I'm thinking actively, right. You know, as I'm kind of going over my script, it'd be like, if I show up the negotiation and I'm like looking at my playbook, like I'm Andy Reed calling plays on the sideline,
AD : 😊
AR : That’s not gonna be authentic. Right. Because now I'm gonna have an active brain and leads to a tight body, and I'm not gonna be focusing on one thing which maybe should be listening or should be trying to, Hey, what is, what is the goals that we're trying to achieve here right too? So if you look at a negotiation as a performance, you know, there's a four phase approach to that. You gotta have you plan how you prepare, how you execute, how you assess. Well, you're more in the training set, you know, to where I have an active mind that allows em, me to be able to critical analytical judgmental. I should be doing that with my playbook, which is, this is an outstanding tool, by the way, I love this. I totally stole it. I'll give you credit the first three times.
AD : thanks.
AR : By the time I get to preparation, I should be more in the trusting mindset, which is more in, in line with being, you know, uh, letting go synthesis, or I'm having fun where time slows down a little bit too. And I'm thinking about one thing, and I have a quieting of the brain. If I were hook you up to an FMRI, right? Well, there's a way that you can rehearse that. So by the time I'm executing, I should really just be thinking about one thing and that's to be in the present moment focus, and I'm listening, I'm engaging, I'm mirroring, I'm matching, and I'm doing things authentically. And then when I'm done now, you know, when it's over, the negotiate is over. Now, I go back into the really high on the training mindset to where now I'm reflecting back on critical, analytical judgmental.
I'm looking at the game footage in my mind. I can use imagery, which is a mental skill to look back and use all of my senses to be able to synthesize what just happened. If you're gonna get feet, you definitely gotta get feedback from somebody else who's also in the negotiation. Maybe it's a witness. If you're training in this purpose, who's grading you and giving you that feedback. And then you're taking that feedback and you're taking the information that's useful and you're moving it to feed forward. That goes back into your plan. Right? So I think there's, there's a way to incorporate mental skills in that four phase approach from an interpersonal side, they'll make you just as effective as interpersonal skills when you're executing your negotiations game plan.
AD : Yeah. And for, for folks that aren't watching the video, they're listening, Andy's holding up our prep sheet. So thanks for that. We, we were huge believers in the role of preparation, and everybody always wants to get to the game, the conduct piece, the table. I'm sure that's the same way in sports and yet so much importance in preparation. We talk about four phases of the negotiation game: preparation conduct, measuring your success, review. So it similar there.You've shared with us beforehand, the four Four C model framing mental toughness. Could you maybe share that framework in a little bit more depth and maybe how it enables someone to put their best self forward regardless of the conditions or the situation they're facing?
AR : Absolutely. Yeah. It's, uh, I love this. I found this through good friend of mine, Dr. Mike Gerson, shout out to him. And this actually comes from Dr. Peter Clough who's a professor from he's from Scotland and studied in, in England.Also came from the work and research from Dr. Jim. Larry's a very famous sports psychologist known from the Johnson and Johnson Human Performance Institute. And these gentlemen kind of came up with this idea about, hey, what are the components that come up that are, that are the core competencies of mental toughness? What are the four factors, that really matter in terms of, you know, mentally and emotionally being able to execute those tasks at the upper range of your potential regardless of circumstances and, and outcomes. So the four C’s are control, commitment, challenge, and, and confidence. And I'll have that up for your readers as well, too. It's delivered through, uh, it's proprietary to AQR international. And I think it's a great model too, cuz it's really easy to remember and I could, you know, deep dive into those. And I think the ones that jump out when you guys actually look at your tools, are things like having to do with commitment, for example, you know, so we can, we can discuss whatever you guys want to talk about.
AD : Yeah. So under, under commitment, you talk about kind of goal orientation, achievement orientation, is that keeping our eyes on what we're trying to achieve and not getting distracted by the noise?
AR : Yeah, a hundred percent. Like when you look at the research or the efficacy of mental skills, and this really comes from social psychology, like goal setting is what it's called, but I like calling it goal pursuit, right? The goal setting, especially coming from Lock and Letham, their research is amazing. It's one of the most efficacious, mental and social skills that there that there are. And it's interesting cuz like in, in popular psychology, goals have gotten this bad name for whatever reason, cuz mainly people are focusing on the smart acronym, which is like describing the destination. So can you imagine, you know, someone showing up to your hometown and you giving them directions, then all you're doing is like giving them a really good target description of like, oh the house is blue and it's two stories and it's got green gables and it's got a two car garage, good luck.
See you later. That's what a smart goal is, but really the goal pursuit is about the process. Right. And I think that's what I love the, the metaphor that I used to love to talk about. And this is your guy's game. Not mine. I used to talk about negotiation being like going on a road trip. And I think that you have to start with what Stephen Coby talked about, which is that having the end in mind, what is the outcome that I am trying to achieve as a result of that? What are the effects in my old world, in the fires community and in your community about that we wanna affect. And it's really about behavior change somehow trying to change attitudes and behaviors. So what are the effects I'm trying to achieve?
What is the destination we're trying to get to?Then that kind of frames, as far as where we're, we start the backwards plan from there in terms of what is the process to get there? What are the way points that are along the way? And then how do I wanna show up and start on this journey? And inevitably if I have some really good technique and I'm using this game plan that you guys have, Hey inevitably, like Murphy's gonna show up, right? Things are gonna go sideways. Maybe someone may get hated somebody be way and walk away. There may be a curve ball that happens, right. It's just like going to combat, right. Or just like being in the VUCA operating environment that we're in now, you know, you may be up there telling it what you think is a perfectly good joke and someone who's about to get an Oscar that night is gonna show up and slap you on national television.
AD : Yeah.
AR : what are you gonna do about it? Right. You know? And so I think that if you have a really good game plan and you're psychologically flexible with keeping the end in mind and being empathetic and compassionate, right. Coz empathy is being able to understand the pictures in the other person's heads, understanding what are their needs, what's in it for them? And you keep that in mind, then you're more likely to reach an optimal outcome towards what you want. But it's ultimately like that, that goes back to the measurement of success. Goal pursuit isn't necessarily about achievement. It's not about, being able to… to what you get out out of it. And determining, you know, was I successful or not? It's really, you know, and this is where the growth mindset comes in. It's really about how did I develop this connection through this relationship that allowed me to show back up, you know? So if maybe if I didn't achieve what I wanted the first time I've now developed a connection that will increase the likelihood that I'll be able to achieve more of my and more of their goals later on, if that makes sense.
AD : Yeah, it does. I mean we spend a lot of time talking about measure of success, to think more robustly about it than we so often do and then executing that through process. And I think I really appreciate your comment with regards to the process, you know, and I know there's this three other CS don't know how far we'll get into 'em. I did want to ask you, as you think about challenge and I'm, you know, looking at the model, risk orientation, learning orientation, failure in negotiation occurs. No one is ever gonna achieve a hundred percent success rate every single time in a negotiation. I get asked by students, it's kind of a funny way the question gets phrased, but the question is, how do you deal with rejection? I don't think they're talking about the history of my dating life. [laughs] I think they're asking, what do you do? How do you deal with failure? And I don't know if that falls underneath the challenge piece, but how do you take a, like, rather than a risk minimizing approach, an opportunity maximizing approach?
AR : Yeah. Like again, this kinda goes back to the growth mindset, but I think it's what the essence is, is that am I am choosing to see everything that I encounter in this process of the negotiation as an opportunity to get better regardless of the outcomes. And when things go wrong, regardless of the consequences, what is the explanatory style that I have? What is the argument that I'm having between my ears that is allowing me then to say, okay, this didn't turn out the way that I wanted to. And again, I'm looking back hindsight's 2020. I did this, well, this is what I need to stay. And this is what I need to improve. You know, man, I really screwed that up and I left a lot on the table or Hey, this really left us in a place where I don't even know if I can recover from this.
And we've all been like a place where you've had catastrophic loss report and I'll just be vulnerable for a minute. Like when I've had cast struggle loss words, when I lost my cool, like I'm a very passionate guy. I'm very touch my emotions of people's emotions. There's a shadow side of that. It's called anger. Right. And I have like a, you know, very go zero to 60 really, really quick. And I, uh, I always struggle with that, you know, and I read about people like Eisenhower, which like, you never would think from a historical figure. Eisenhower had a, I mean, when we look at him as this iconic guy with his hands on his hips and the smoking jacket and he's talking to the paratroopers or before D-day, could you ever imagine him being a guy who lost his temper? No, but like the people closest to him talked about this, it was his Achilles heel, you know? So it made me feel better about my, so, and I'm not saying I'm Eisenhower, he wouldn't full he's. He was an army fullback by the way.
AD : And he now the, the head resemblance is there, so yeah,
AR : Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's about where the that's about the resemblance stops. I mean, he was an amazing leader and I can only pale in comparison, but which I wanna even compare it. But long story short is that I think that when I have law lost my cool, I've completely undermined any rational thought, you know, in regulation. I've now completely lost the control element of what I'm going into the, you know, so leverage is not even a possible cause I I'm not, you know, I might as well be, you know, building a sandcastle with the tide coming in. So I think those are some of the things that are really, really important for us to is to understand about, how well we can, how our wellness and our, our awareness of ourselves and our regulation of ourselves is that is the underpinning as far as how well we influence others,
NM : Hey everyone Nolan here, I'm gonna have to jump in and end our conversation on today's podcast. Make sure you join us next week as we've finish up our discussion with CoachRiise.
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