7 good minutes, bullshit, your brain, and caring…

Yesterday, during practice 142, a bright, young, bulb asked me a curious question. She had just completed 7 good minutes with her SEAL buddy and was curious if she was allowed to call bullshit when you don’t believe your buddy is responding honestly to your questions. My jaw dropped.

7 good minutes, remember, is where two humans talk, BTL style. One asks curious questions for 7 minutes and one responds. The aim of the one questioning is to understand, period. After 7 minutes in one direction, the buddies exchange roles. Again the aim is understanding. Bright, young bulb wanted to call bullshit. Bright, young, bulb wanted to continue becoming a master at rushing to judge; listening and taking it in, not so much.

Bright, young, bulb I see every day – she comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Bright, young, bulb, you see, is a leader and leaders gotta rush to judge, make just decisions, hire, fire, and decide who gets promoted, looked over, and demoted. Leaders gotta smell bullshit before they step in it. And, leaders gotta learn to listen and tune in like an animal being stalked. 7 good minutes is aimed at mastering the latter. Are you getting this. This is some good sheeeeeeet.

And, when you practice listening to understand you gotta focus the brain in one direction only. You set the brain to receive without judging. You turn off the bullshit detector. You open the ears and get lost in the language of another. You get curious and go wherever the other human wants to go. You fire up your amygdala and set it in full CARE mode. 7 good minutes is so hard to master because your survival wiring sees it as secondary. So, next time you try to practice 7 good minutes with a buddy or a loved one, take three deep breaths, look your partner in the eye, read their face, relax, and start with something genuinely curious and caring. Ask them to tell you more. Go where they go. Care enough to follow their lead calmly and curiously. Care. Understanding will come. Good.

Leaders understand the teams gotta know how much they care before the teams gonna listen to whatever the leader may know. Got it? Good…

2 thoughts on “7 good minutes, bullshit, your brain, and caring…

  1. Toto — this is such an important “rules” clarification lest team members never trust again practicing 7 Good Minutes having just experienced the ultimate “bait & switch.”

    Two other reminders you’ve taught me stand out here. The first is HOW we listen BTL-style. Do NOT listen “like an animal STALKING.” DO listen “like an animal BEING stalked.”

    The second comes from a book on our BTL reading list, “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life” by Marilee Adams. To keep 7 “Good Minutes from becoming 7 Minutes of Inquisition (where it feels like what I say can & will be used against me in your court of law), questions MUST be Learning Questions, NOT Judging Questions — check out her link at http://inquiryinstitute.com/CM.pdf

    God, we confess we need your help with this one. As a third reminder, before every practice, let us spend 7 Good Minutes with you to get our own hearts right, and our 7/38/55 in alignment with your Spirit which will lead to becoming more ONE within and with each other.

  2. This is super helfpul, Chet and your comment, John, as I jump into 7 good minutes with my team for the first time in two days. John, I like your “learning” vs “inquisition” wisdom…that’s helpful. And, I’m not sure there’s a better response than “tell me more” – so good. I have 5 high performing salesmen coming in. As you say, Chet, our default state is not to listen…we always want to “chime in” and get our point across…especially the avg sales person…we’re looking to be elite, not avg. So, excited to jump in and learn from this exercise. RH has been instrumental in helping me prep, btw! You guys are doing great work…keep it going! Thanks for sharing the wisdom!

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