The Profound Value of the Inside-out Understanding of How the Mind Works
13 Forward Thinking Insights from my interview with Michael Neill, Transformative Coach and author of The Inside-out Revolution and many other books.
Michael Neill: Transformative Coach at michaelneil.org. Best-selling author of six books including The Inside-Out Revolution, The Space Within, and Creating the Impossible. His TEDx talk, Why Aren’t We Awesomer? has been viewed by over 1 million people.
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13 Forward Thinking Insights
- People are educated in the inside-out understanding of how the mind works.
- Create space to hear something new.
- Give full attention to get full attention.
- Understand the natural variance in state of mind.
- Craving that sense of being part of something bigger.
- A purpose recognized by you as a mighty one.
- Do you really know what you’re capable of?
- Everything is hard until you’re all in.
- Help me see what I’m not seeing.
- When we see a better way, we’ll take it.
- Am I here?
- Notice when you’re not here.
- Coaching can help you be a better manager or leader.
Question 1: How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, everyone thrives & finds meaning, and change & innovation happen naturally?
- People educated in the inside-out understanding of how the mind works
"If people are educated in the inside-out understanding, then they are awake to that capacity to thrive and find meaning in themselves. I will then have a workplace where people thrive and find meaning. Now I might get lucky, and on a project that people buy into, they’ll have that sense organically. But, that’s going to be sporadic. That’s going to come and go. If I want to make the workplace a place where that consistently happens, then that comes from within the understanding of the people who are working there."
2. Create space to hear something new
"You know to me, a bad meeting is like a Facebook discussion where nobody’s listening, and everybody’s making points. A good meeting is a meeting where everyone is listening, and there is space to hear something new beyond what anyone brought into the room with them. But if you don’t fundamentally think that every voice matters, then honestly, you could have the best strategy in the world, and it wouldn’t work."
Question 2: What does it take to get an employee’s full attention and best performance?
3. Give full attention to get full attention
"I think to get an employee's full attention is a give-to-get game. I think fundamentally enough, human beings are pretty simple in that way. If you give them your full attention, you will wind up with their full attention.”
4. Understand the natural variance in state of mind
“Best performance is a function of clarity of intention, buy-in, and state of mind. If the people working for me know what their job is, they know what they're up to and they’ve bought into it, we’re more than halfway there. If they also understand the natural variance in a state of mind, so they're able to come from the highest and best place that's within them and do less damage when they're off their game, then you're going to get optimal performance.”
Question 3: What do people really lack and long for at work?
5. Craving that sense of being part of something bigger
“I remember years ago working with a weight loss group. I said to them "There aren't enough cookies in the world to make you feel loved and whole." It's the wrong tool for the job. The things we traditionally think of people wanting like better salaries, more beanbags, whatever, are sources of “imitation connection”, “imitation purpose”, and “imitation happiness” at work. What we're craving is that sense of being part of something bigger than us that matters.”
6. A purpose recognized by you as a mighty one
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” — George Bernard Shaw
Question 4: What is the most important question management should be asking employees?
7. Do you really know what you’re capable of?
“When I say, "Do you know what you're capable of?" I’m pointing to a deeper dimension of the mind—a deeper dimension of the human potential where creativity, resilience, and resolve come from. It's that irrepressible part of our human nature that bounces back as good as new no matter how many times it gets dropped.“
8. Everything is hard until you’re all in
"Until there’s commitment, at least half the energy is going towards questioning the relationship. Once it's resolved, once that's off the table, then both your minds work together to generate creative solutions."
Question 5: What is the most important question employees should be asking management?
9. Help me see what I’m not seeing
“This may sound a little bit idealistic, but I think it would be, “Could you help me see what I'm not seeing? Help me see what I'm not seeing that would make my job easier, that would make me better at my job. That would allow me to participate fully, express myself fully, give myself over to this more. To get more out of it and put more into it.”
10. When we see a better way, we’ll take it
"I use the analogy sometimes of if you've gone to work the same way every day and it's an hour in traffic, and I show you a shortcut that will get you there in 10 minutes through a meandering forest road with no traffic, you only have to see it once. It doesn't matter if you've been doing it the old way for 30 years – as soon as you see a better way, you'll take it.”
Question 6: What’s the most important question we can ask ourselves?
11. Am I here?
“This isn't how I expected myself to answer this question, but the question that's coming to mind is, "Am I here?" What I mean is, am I awake within my body? Am I actually here? When I'm here, I'm incredibly capable. I'm surprisingly wise. I'm oddly compassionate. I'm quirky, but quirky in a way that's perfect.”
12. Notice when you’re not here
"When I'm not really here, I'm a bundle of psychological impulses and conditioning. My behavior lacks heart and depth, and it doesn't impact the world in the same way. It's the best of both worlds versus the worst of both worlds. When I'm here—when I'm awake within myself—I have a much richer experience of life. I'm able to ride the stresses, strains, and variances with a lot more ease and grace. Plus, I'm just more creative and effective.”
Question 7: In closing Michael, what question is coming up for you right now after responding to our questions?
13. Coaching can help you be a better manager or leader
"I see coaching as the art of helping people get more out of themselves and their lives. It’s the ability to bring out the best in someone and make the best better – to help people to find capacities in themselves that have been largely untapped. Then you help them to not only tap into those capacities more regularly but to ground in them so deeply that it becomes their primary come from instead of an occasional burst of ‘peak performance’.”
Read a preview of my interview with Michael Neill at, It's Not About Working Harder or Even Smarter. The full interview is published in The Future of the Workplace.
"Congratulations!! on a brilliant book that I know has come from real-life experiences of experts in the workplace — enhanced by your unique ability to synthesize, distinguish, and expand on as practical wisdom. What an important work this is — as the Future is literally here now." — Dianne Collins, Do You Quantum Think?