Set the Frame … and Sometimes Reset It

Guest Post By Bob Burg and John David Mann

Jackson Hill and his mentor, Judge Henshaw, are back at Rachel’s Famous Coffee for another lesson. One that Jackson badly needs as he’s about to continue his negotiations with the formidable Gillian Waters later that day. And his first meeting with the buyer at Smith & Banks had not gone well.

“Set the frame,” the Judge said. “The frame is more important than the content, because the frame is the context. Whoever sets the frame of the conversation also sets the tone and the direction in which it will go.

“Before Abraham Lincoln became president he was a very successful trial lawyer with a very unusual style. He would typically begin his opening arguments by summing up the other side’s case, pointing out the positive aspects of their position and how worthy they were of sober consideration. In fact, it was said that if you’d walked into the courtroom at the moment he was giving his opening remarks, you’d have assumed he was representing the opposing side.

“Sounds strange, I know. But by doing this, Mr. Lincoln was establishing his credibility with the judge and jury, and demonstrating that both sides had a legitimate view and that he was seeking only the truth.

“When it came time to present his side of the dispute, he would really pour it on, offering up point after point, fact after fact, to make his client’s case. By this point his credibility level was quite high. After all, if he was so forthright about the strengths of the other side’s position, then he must be honest and speaking straight from his heart, right?

“And here’s the key: when he presented that other side, he was being sincere. Yes, it was clever, and yes, it was calculated. But it wasn’t phony.

“Which is one of the central tenets of effective frame setting. You have to mean it.

“Do you remember how this conversation began? I mean right now, this morning, when you first sat down?”

Jackson blushed. “Yeah. Sorry about that. I was upset. Nervous about this meeting coming up today. I didn’t mean to be rude.”

“So who set the frame?”

He didn’t say anything for a moment. Then: “I’m not sure. You?


“But … I don’t see how you set any frame at all. You didn’t say or do anything! I was the one who snapped at you and sulked over my oatmeal. Didn’t that set a frame?”

“Well,” she said, “it could have.” She took one last swallow of coffee and raised one finger to signal she was ready for their check. “Sometimes, though, not reacting is the most powerful statement you can make. When you go to your default setting of calm, that is itself a frame reset. Or at the very least, it sets the stage for one. So yes, your mood did set a certain frame—but I reset it.

Excerpted from The Go-Giver Influencer, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, about which legendary business coach Marshall Goldsmith says, “This may be the most important Go-Giver book yet—and in today’s polarized world, it could not be more timely.” Download the first two chapters at

Having now listened to and read the next book in the Go-Giver series, The Go-Giver Influencer, I hope these short snippets will pique your interest so you will do the same. If you missed the first three you can find them here How to Cyber-Influence – Even When You Disagree and Master Your Emotions and Listen with the Back of Your Neck.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 4/17/18

Listen with the Back of Your Neck

Guest Post by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Gillian Waters, a buyer for Smith & Banks, a national chain of pet accessory stores is listening attentively to her mentor, the Coach, a short, stout fireplug of a man. They’re at the Juice Caboose where, after draining most of his glass (“Celery juice: best when drunk in the first sixty seconds”), he shares his next lesson with one word his protégée finds surprising.



“Listen. Not just with your ears. Listen with your eyes. With your posture. Listen with the back of your neck.”

“With the back of your neck,” she repeated, feeling ridiculous as she did.

The Coach cocked his head and regarded her for a moment. “When I say ‘boxing,’ what do you see?”

“Someone throwing a punch.”

“Throwing a punch. Okay. And a CEO, a person responsible for a major business employing hundreds, maybe thousands of people? What does she do there all day in her Corner Office?”

“She makes tough decisions,” she replied.

“Aha,” said the Coach. “So you’d think. But it’s not the case.

“Here’s the interesting thing about boxing: Most of it is not about throwing punches. Most of boxing is watching the other guy, sensing what he’s about to do. Sensing what he’s even thinking about doing.”

“Listening with the back of his neck,” she said.

“Exactly. And the CEO? Yes, you make the tough decisions, write big checks, take big actions. But if you’re a smart CEO, mostly what you do is watch what’s going on. In your company. In other companies. In the market. In other markets. In the world. What’s happening, what’s about to happen. What’s even thinking about being about to happen.”

“You listen,” she added, “with the back of your neck.”

“The mistake so many make when it comes to persuasion,” he said, “is that they think you do it with what’s in your head. Mostly, though, positive persuasion is about tuning to what’s in the other person’s head.”

Gillian flashed on her meeting with Jackson Hill. Whatever was going on in that guy’s head, it was still a mystery to her.

“But people can be so … opaque,” she said. “How can you know?”

He looked at her and spoke one word.


She sighed.

The same is true for the most effective teachers—and the most effective parents, too. They are experts at listening.”

Ouch, she thought. Was she an “expert at listening” with her daughter, Bo? She thought so. She hoped so.

“Gotta run,” said the Coach.

As she got up to leave, a thought occurred to Gillian about this man who always seemed to know exactly what she was thinking: Maybe he doesn’t read minds. Maybe he’s just a really, really good listener.

Excerpted from The Go-Giver Influencer, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, about which legendary business coach Marshall Goldsmith says, “This may be the most important Go-Giver book yet—and in today’s polarized world, it could not be more timely.” Download the first two chapters at

I am excited about this next book in the Go-Giver series, The Go-Giver Influencer, and hope these short snippets of what is to come has piqued your interest too. If you missed the first two you can find them here How to Cyber-Influence – Even When You Disagree and Master Your Emotions.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 4/09/18

Master Your Emotions

Guest Post By Bob Burg and John David Mann

The scene is a coffee shop called Rachel’s Famous Coffee, one of a widely-regarded worldwide chain. Jackson Hill is learning his first big lesson while in conversation with his new mentor, the honorable Judge Celia Henshaw (retired).

“Your reaction wasn’t based on the facts of what happened, but purely on your own feelings. Which are not always entirely trustworthy.”

“But he could have gotten us both killed!” said Jackson.

“But he didn’t,” countered the Judge. “He cut you off, and as far as the evidence is concerned, the facts stop there. More to the point is what you did.”

“What do you mean, what I did?” said Jackson.

“You shouted so loud you thought it might crack your windshield,” she said, smiling. “You shouted your feelings out loud, inside your car. In your meeting, you shouted them silently inside your head. Either way, it’s still shouting.

“You were out of control. You could have gotten you both killed.”

Jackson was silent.

She put her hand on his arm.

“It’s okay to have your feelings, Jackson. You don’t even have to change them. All the first clause says you have to do is set them to the side. They can be along for the ride—but in the passenger’s seat. Because if you let your emotions drive the car, then you’re at the mercy of a drunk driver.”

The Judge poured herself more hot coffee from the carafe.

“When you go downtown at rush hour,” she said, “what do you hear? A grand cacophony of car horns—bleating, honking, blaring. It’s the quintessential urban sound signature, right?”

Jackson nodded.

“All those feelings, driving all those cars.” She shook her head sadly. “It’s no wonder the world needs judges and mediators.

“Conflict is everywhere. Alas. And it’s entirely understandable. It’s how we’re wired. Fight, flight, or freeze.”

After a moment Jackson said, “So if that’s how we’re wired, what do we do?”

She smiled. “Rewire. Scientists call it neuroplasticity. I call it … well?” She raised her eyebrows at him as if to say, What would you call it?

“Mastering your emotions,” he said.

She smiled. “It takes time to retrain your default response. Time and repetition. Practice. But it works. Every time you’re successful at responding by unruffling your feelings, it strikes a chord inside. It’s like thrumming the low E string on a guitar, and you are a song in the key of E. You experience a sense of a trueness, a sense that says, This is me, the real meThis is how I am in the world. And it changes your brain, a little bit at a time. It wires new connections, cuts new pathways.

“In time, you make calm your default setting. And as you do” she concluded, “you become more you.”

Excerpted from The Go-Giver Influencer, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, about which legendary business coach Marshall Goldsmith says, “This may be the most important Go-Giver book yet—and in today’s polarized world, it could not be more timely.” Download the first two chapters at

I am excited about this next book in the Go-Giver series, The Go-Giver Influencer, and hope these short snippets of what is to come has piqued your interest too. If you missed the last one you can find it here How to Cyber-Influence – Even When You Disagree

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 3/30/18

How to Cyber-Influence – Even When You Disagree

Guest Post by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Social media allows us great opportunities to connect with others. It creates the context for democratizing influence, giving voice to individuals on a mass basis.

It’s exciting just to consider the good that can be accomplished as various (and yes, opposing) political and other viewpoints can be communicated intelligently, respectfully, and persuasively, and without the filter of the usual authority figures. Imagine the potential for mutual understanding!

Unfortunately cyberspace these days is filled with vitriolic, insulting “exchanges” between people who in person may be kind and thoughtful, yet who online express opinions and defend views in ways that do nothing but repel.

While viciously and brutally attacking others may elicit a shot of dopamine that provides an instantaneous high, it doesn’t lead to lasting rewards. Assuming one’s personal values include kindness and respect, you just can’t feel sustainably good when that short-term high comes about viciously through attacking others.

Have You Seen This Person Anywhere?

We’ve noticed an interesting correlation in many attack-style tweets and posts: those with the strongest opinions and most insulting comments often seem to be the least informed regarding the issue they are discussing.

In a way, this makes sense. The more people allow their emotions to control their actions, the less room there is to involve logic and thoughtfulness.

Our guess is that those who have the most emotionally charged opinions likely obtain their information only from sources they already agree with.

While this is natural, that doesn’t make it productive — not for the tweeting-posting person, for the one with whom they are exchanging hurled invectives, or for society as a whole.

The Path of Influence

We offer two suggestions:

  1. We can always speak tactfully and respectfully to others without compromising our own values. In other words, yes, you can disagree and even attack an issue without personally attacking the other person. 

  2. Actually make a study of the issue from the opposing side’s point of view. This was one of Abraham Lincoln’s persuasion secrets, and today it’s easier to do than ever. Watch, read, and listen to the media outlets that have the opposing views to yours, watching not to scowl and point out their flaws but to genuinely understand their point of view.

As the saying goes, “You don’t truly understand an issue until you can argue both sides.” Please don’t misinterpret this: we’re not suggesting you agree with them. We’re saying you’ll come away with a much better understanding—and communicate your own viewpoint much more effectively.

By all means, let’s continue to communicate, to have our opinions and express them. But let’s do it based on mutual respect. And that begins with us.

Bob Burg and John David Mann are coauthors of The Go-Giver Influencer.

Legendary business coach Marshall Goldsmith says,

—and in today’s polarized world, it could not be more timely.”

Download the first two chapters at The Go-Giver Influencer Ch 1 & 2.

I am excited about this next book in the Go-Giver series, The Go-Giver Influencer, and hope this small taste of what is to come has piqued your interest too. 

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 3/15/18

2 Simple Smartphone Hacks to enhance your productivity & your life

Who is in control of your time? You or your smartphone? Are you constantly reacting to a new alert from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Messenger or some other social media or phone app? If the answer to that questions is yes then your smartphone is controlling you. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

I’ve tested this & it will work if you persist

I often had these thoughts myself and then decided to do something about it that has helped me. Maybe this can help you too. About a year ago I saw a suggestion in one of the blogs I read or maybe I heard it in one of the podcasts I listen to. I can’t remember.

Be forewarned, the simple tips that follow have the potential to help you take more control of your time and your life instead of abdicating that responsibility to your smartphone. If you do choose to implement them your results will vary but I do believe they will all be positive.

iPhones…I don’t know

I am not part of the iPhone team. I am on Team Android so I don’t know much about iPhones. The principle applies to iPhones too. I just can’t tell you the specific steps to implement these changes there. I am sure, if you are interested, you can figure it out. I expect they are similar.

I will just check this one…

OK. If you are ready here it is.

These distractions are more detrimental than beneficial to your life and productivity. Often what happens to me is I think to myself, “I will just check this one notification and then get back to life”. What happens more often than not, is 30 minutes later I am still glued to my phone because I clicked this link then that link and so forth and so on. I think you know what I am talking about.

I did this myself at the beginning of last year and it has made a significant difference in how I spend my time and I am confident it can do the same for you.

I plan to share more on that in a future post. This simple action on your part will provide many benefits including being more productive at work, spending more time talking to your family and friends, building relationships and eliminating a lot of unneeded stress and drama in your life.

Here’s how

There are multiple ways to accomplish blocking notifications. You can go into each application and modify the notification settings there. However, I recommend starting with Settings on your phone and scroll down until you see Notifications.

Click on Notifications and you should see all of the applications that can potentially notify you and interrupt your day. If your phone is anything like mine, there will be a lot of apps listed. I have 211 so I probably need to pare down that number some too. Click on the app you want to block and then select “Block all” to stop notifications from that app. This will be similar but different for everyone. You know the apps constantly distracting you on your phone. For me, it was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger & Amazon Kindle. You can adjust this as needed so if you miss one just go back and block it when you get the next notification.

Global Setting

Making the change here is a global setting that supersedes or overrides the individual app settings. In other words, your app notification settings within the app will not work if you have selected “Block all” from your phone Notification settings. If you want to use the notification options inside specific apps you will need to leave the app unblocked here. Then you can tweak or fine tune notifications within the apps themselves so you can get the important weather alerts or text messages that do really need to alert you.

Simple but effective

That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? You will be amazed at how quiet your phone will become. You will probably pick it up occasionally to check to see if there is something there you missed until you get accustomed to the quiet. It is really a freeing feeling. At least it was for me.

But wait, there’s more…

One more tip to help that I added, and need to add back again, is to use one of those apps on your phone called Clock or Timer. I added this to my home screen to make it readily available.

Use the stopwatch feature and set yourself a timer, 15, 20 or 30 minutes, whatever works for you.

When you do go to check the apps to avoid getting lost again and spending your time chasing links or likes, start your stopwatch. When the time expires be disciplined and stop, close the apps and get back to life. You will be surprised at first how fast this time goes but, with practice, you can learn to get in, check the things that are important to you, and then get back out and into life. You will also discover you did not really miss anything. But the best discovery will be the people and life you were missing with your attention focused on your smartphone.

Don’t do like I did and think, “I don’t need that stopwatch anymore. I can keep up with time myself.” If you do, you will find you are are slipping back into your old habits, those you were trying to change.

Reminder to self here!

This is just one of the many things I know I should be doing but am not consistently practicing. I still get sucked into that black social media hole that on my smartphone too often.

Other benefits

Additional benefits of implementing these changes on your smartphone include longer battery life and fewer distractions while driving, eating, reading or even cleaning out the garage.

Try it and let me know how it works for you

I challenge you to try this for a month and see how it works for you. I think you will be amazed at what you learn about yourself and your time and maybe even your friends, family and co-workers.

If you do try this I would love to know how it worked or did not work for you.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on February 25, 2018.


The Book of Mistakes – And Lessons Learned

Present Day

David is worried about his job and his life in general. He has just been given a warning by his new boss about actions he was falsely accused of by this same boss. On his way home, he found a note he thought he would return to the young woman he had bumped into that morning. He had helped her gather several similar pages scattered by the wind. However, after reading the note, an invitation to a meeting, he decided to attend this meeting himself and hoped to see the young woman with the contagious laughter and twinkle in her eye again too. Little did he know Continue reading The Book of Mistakes – And Lessons Learned


Football Mistakes

Well, it is Super Bowl Sunday and before and even during the game there will be mistakes made. Mistakes are part of the game. Some will say the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win and that is often true. However, I think it is more often true the winner is the team that learns from its mistakes. Continue reading Mistakes

10 Days in May

In my last post, One of 250 Million, I wrote about my first impressions of Zig Ziglar and the peace of mind his words have brought me over the years and the second most impactful book I have ever read, See You At The Top. This post picks up about 8 and a half years later.

Ten Days in May 2000

A lot happened in the 10 days between May 10th and May 19th in the year 2000. Continue reading 10 Days in May

One of 250 Million

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine, Zig Ziglar. 

You may or may not know that name. You may have heard the name and never really knew anything about the man or the message he shared over the 40+ years he was sharing it. I hope I can help answer both of those questions as I tell you my Zig story. You may have heard he is a sales trainer, a self-help author, a goals trainer, an attitude changer, and positive attitude evangelist. All those descriptions are accurate but not complete when considered individually. Continue reading One of 250 Million

Still Peculiar…Still Here

Belated Happy New Year Greetings!

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start and it becomes your best year so far.

2017 was a slow one here at Peculiar Perspective. I only published 7 blog posts. As most of you probably know, I do this in my spare time and there didn’t seem to be much of that last year and my writing brain shut down from lack of use. I did get more reading done last year than previous years. I actually set a new high for me for the years I have been tracking this – since 2012 – and am on track to set another new all-time high in 2018. I expect to share more about that later. Reading does help with ideas for writing.

Still peculiar after all these years

I wanted to send out this short post to remind you I am still peculiar, I am still here and do plan to write more in 2018. My goal is to average 2 posts per month but that can fluctuate up or down based on many of the factors mentioned above and as 2018 unfolds.

Unsubscribe? I hope not

If you received this post via email, unless it was forwarded to you from a friend, at some time in the past you subscribed to this blog with your email address. I know everyone’s time is valuable and limited and don’t want to clutter your email inbox with another message you don’t want or have time to read. If you no longer want to receive emails when I publish a new post, use the Unsubscribe at the bottom of that email and let me know.


On the other hand, if you want to make sure you do see all the peculiar prose that escapes my head and ends up being published here, you need to make sure you are subscribed. You should see a popup asking you to do just that or if you are viewing this on your computer there is a subscription box in the left sidebar.

I do normally share on Facebook and Twitter as well but with all the changes always taking place on those platforms I never know who gets to see the posts and who doesn’t. So, if you normally do get to this blog from a Facebook or Twitter post or forwarded from a friend please sign up with your email address to make sure you don’t miss a thing in the coming year and beyond. You can always unsubscribe at any time. There is no long-term commitment required.

You never know what you may see here

I hope if you do read I will be able to share something that makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you think, makes you reminisce or might even make you mad from time to time. I have found in doing this over the past almost 5 years now my perspective is often not as peculiar as I once thought it was. It often matches up with many of your thoughts, but I do have my peculiar, along with senior moments.

I love YOUR feedback

Well I said this was going to be a short post, so I need to stop rambling. As always, I love getting your feedback so if you have any please leave a comment below or send me an email and let me know what I am doing right, what I am doing wrong, what I can do better, what you agree with and what you disagree with.

Happy New Year!

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 01/11/18.