A former Consulting Actuary to Fortune 100 companies – including Sony Music, Chanel, and Exxon – David Wood left his cushy Park Avenue job 20 years ago to build the world’s largest coaching business. He became #1 on Google for “life coaching,” serving an audience of 150,000 coaches and coaching thousands of hours across 12 countries.
Alongside his clients’ successes, David is no stranger to overcoming challenges himself, having overcome a full collapse of his paraglider and a fractured spine, witnessing the death of his sister at age 7, severe anxiety and depression, and a national Gong Show!
He is the author of “Get Paid for Who You Are,” and most recently “Mouse in the Room – Because the Elephant Isn’t Alone.” He was nominated to the exclusive Transformational Leadership Council alongside such thought leaders as Don Miguel Ruiz, John Gray, and Marianne Williamson.
Name Your Mice
In this episode, David talks about the importance of naming your mice, the hurdle of instant gratification, and being unapologetically authentic. What does it mean to have 30% more courage?
Hear about the art of dealing with rejection, when not to follow your courage, and get David’s advice to his younger self on today’s episode of How’d It Happen.
And now here’s David Wood.
Full transcript below
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Podcast with David Wood. What to Do When Mice Are the Elephants in the Room (282).
mouse, people, naming, book, david, person, called, work, coach, happening, feel, coaching, world, collapse, risk, terrified, create, thought, transformational leadership council, discovered
David Wood, Mike Malatesta
Mike Malatesta 00:05
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast powered by WINJECT Studios. I’m so happy to have you here. And I have another amazing guest for you today. I’ve got David Wood joining me on the podcast. David, welcome to the show.
David Wood 00:22
Thanks. I’m feeling pumped already.
Mike Malatesta 00:25
Yeah, I am, too, because I happened to get a chance to watch a couple of your videos this morning as I was getting ready for this. And there’s something about the one video you have that explains your coaching program and your sort of philosophy about it. I was just I was watching it. And I actually decided that I was going to get the transcription of that because it was so well put together, David, just want to tell you, and so well delivered. So, I just wanted to give you that before we get started. You’re welcome. So let me tell you a little bit about David. So that you will get as excited as I am. David is a former consulting actuary to Fortune 100 companies, including names like Sony Music, Chanel, and Exxon. And he left his cushy Park Avenue job 20 years ago to build the world’s largest coaching business. He became number one on Google for the term life coaching, serving an audience of 150,000 coaches and coaching 1000s of hours across 12 countries, it’s probably more than that by now. Alongside his clients’ successes, David is no stranger to overcoming challenges himself, having overcome a full collapse of his paraglider with and a fractured spine, by the way is full collapse like a crash is that what that is, or what have flaps
David Wood 01:48
mean? Full collapse means that the paraglider turns into a rag that’s flapping in the wind, and it’s no longer holding you up. And then what happens after that is a crash could well lead to a crash and death or it might be other things can happen, you might throw your reserve chute, if you’re up high enough. And then you come down under a smaller chute and hope you don’t break a leg. Or you may be able to re inflate the wing before you hit the ground. And so I’ve had I’ve had two instances of a full collapse, well, once was a full collapse and I plummeted towards the Earth. And I was 300 feet above the ground when I had the collapse. So there’s not a lot of space. Whenever you say to a pilot, yeah had a full collapse. They always say how high were you? Because it they’re like, yeah, no big deal. That was all the time. But how high were you I said 300 feet, their face changes. They’re like holy, like that’s often going to end in depth in depth. But I reinflated it 80 feet above the ocean. And so I walked away from that one, the one where I broke my spine was I was only 10 or 15 feet above the ground and I had a postural collapse, and I fell 10 or 15 feet onto my butt. Not something you want. But again, I’m alive. I’m walking and I’ve decided to give up my wing and keep my feet on the ground.
Mike Malatesta 03:15
Okay, because I was just gonna ask if you’re still doing it if you’re one of those kinds of people where twice is not enough gotta know congratulate. Well, I’m glad that you that you are here to talk about both of those.
David Wood 03:27
Thanks, I got the message from the universe. I said to myself, look, if you want to keep doing this, you have to go and watch accident videos and actually get up close and personal with what can happen. If you’re still willing to fly after that. You’ll become one of the best pilots in the world and really trained and be super skillful. If you’re not willing to fly, then we’ll just let it go. And I went the second option.
Mike Malatesta 03:51
Okay, fair enough. And in addition to those towels that challenge or those two couple challenges, witnessing the death of his sister at age seven, severe anxiety and depression and I’d like to get into that a little bit if we have time and a national Gong Show. Gong Show what is that I know what the gong show is here was here in the in the US what is that the same gong show you’re talking about or?
David Wood 04:17
Yeah, it was called. The segment was called red faces and people would go and compete. There’d be like three people and they do something interesting. And there was a judge ready to Gong them as soon okay, as soon as they thought it sucked it could be two seconds in they are I managed to last a whole minute before I got going which was quite an achievement. But terrifying. Like I literally just a little bit peed my pants. I was that scared to go out on national TV in a kilt. Playing guitar and singing a funny song. absolutely terrifying. But I tell people if I can do that, if I can face that fear, you can find As any fear,
Mike Malatesta 05:01
sure, why did you do it? Like what was the motivation?
David Wood 05:05
At the time I was expressing myself through music and I’d started as an actor, a one-man band called Mr. Woody. And I wanted to get some press for it. So I went and applied for this show and Mr. Woody got to be on national TV.
Mike Malatesta 05:21
Okay. It’s very Richard Branson, it shall have you. I’d say.
David Wood 05:25
It’s Thank you. Nice things anyone’s ever said about me. Yeah,
Mike Malatesta 05:29
like that. So let me finish. Sorry to get so distracted. But let me finish off the bat. David is the author of get paid for who you are. The foreword for that book was written by Jack Canfield, which is pretty amazing. And he’s a coach, as I mentioned earlier, but he believes that the tough conversations we avoid are our doorways to confidence, success and love. They become the defining moments which shaped our world. And David coaches, high performing entrepreneurs, executives and teams, and now prison inmates as well, to create amazing results and deep connections. I’d say in six words, David helps high performers achieve more by focusing on less. Now David’s newest book, which is coming out on June 13. is called named that mouse. Subtitle. I think the subtitle is because the elephant isn’t the only animal in the room. Is that correct? On the subtitle?
David Wood 06:31
Yeah, because it isn’t, isn’t alone. That’s the reason alone. Okay. Okay. Subtitle Yeah.
Mike Malatesta 06:37
Okay. And I’ll be honest, that when I get someone contacted me about having David on the show, it was that title, name, that mouse that really piqued my interest. And that was before I learned anything else about him. So I’m sure we’re going to talk a lot about that. You can find out more about David as his website, which is focus FOCUS.CEO, which is an amazing URL, by the way. Thank you. And he’s also got two podcasts. As I understand it, Tough Conversations is the name of one. And Extraordinary Focus is the name of the other. David, I start every podcast with the same simple question. And that is, how did happen for you? I think there are two answers
David Wood 07:24
to that. And from every person answering it, what came to me when you said this, before we hit record, what came to me is there’s the surface stuff of how it happened. And that might be okay, I quit my consulting job, I went back to Australia, I started singing and playing guitar. And then I discovered coaching. And I did a whole bunch of stuff that that failed, or a whole bunch of stuff that failed. And I did a whole bunch of stuff that that that worked. And those aren’t balanced. You know, you do 1000 things that fail and you do it two or three things at work. So I got to perform a national television and I got paid $10,000 for entertaining, even though I can’t sing. And then with coaching, I became number one on Google for life coaching added 23 million results at the time. I studied how to do it. And then I went and started speaking for clients. And, you know, so there’s the how, and people I go, Oh, okay, well, maybe I could copy that I could speak for clients, or I could do search engine optimization, I could then go and create products. So I have passive income. I could build alliances with people. That’s one of my secrets is that I’m good at networking, building relationships. So I have a dear friend who sends an email for me, once or twice a year, I get flooded with clients from that. So you could look at it at the at the house and go, that’s what I need to do. But I think there’s a second answer to it. And the second answer is the who. And the personal work. See, I spent the first half of my life getting good at numbers and business and systems and money. And so I’m a great consultant or coach to have when you want to double your revenue and work out systems and double your time off. That’s great. But I discovered at the age of 27 that I was missing so much and thank God I discovered it then I discovered that I was missing emotional intelligence, how to be relational instead of transactional or, or as well as transactional, how to be truly authentic and to take risks and expressing what’s going on with me. And thank God, I found that out and I quit my job And I ended up sitting with teachers and gurus and getting a lot of coaching, to unravel so much conditioning about hiding who I am hiding the mice in the room from people and learning how to artfully name what’s happening with me. And what happens is that that builds trust. And people may might not even know why. But they just know they want to work with you. They want to hire you, they want to promote you, they want to pay you, maybe they want to date you, or marry you. Good things come from actually doing this work. And this is why I’ve written mouse in the room. Because the elephant isn’t alone. And it’s coming out June 13. Because that is the true secret to my success. That’s actually how it happened. constantly finding, wait a minute, what are my mice? And I’ll explain in a sec, why we call them mice. But what are what are my feelings and thoughts that’s going on? Because we’re so conditioned to squish those down? What is happening? And can I bring that into the room and name it? So the other person has a clue. And then maybe they’ll name their mice? Oh, you know, hearing that this is what’s going on for me. Now your ping ponging back and forth in reality, life gets better. And business gets better. That’s the true answer to how it happened. Okay,
Mike Malatesta 11:30
thank you for thank you for segmenting it to because that was really nice, because most people are sort of inclined to do to how the here’s my, here’s the how, and then we’re off to the races. But adding the why to the how, adding the who, yes, I’m sorry. Yeah, there’s sort of a why in there too, I think but ya know
David Wood 11:53
I’m gonna confuse people now but in in authentic relating training. A better way to say it is, the first answer was the want. This is the one I did. And then
Mike Malatesta 12:09
the how you show
David Wood 12:10
up with people is everything. And a lot of people miss that channel. They miss the house. So I know, I’m just confusing, because I gave one model. And this is another one. But you could say, the how I’m showing up. And the who I am, is, is everything. And people miss that. Just think Well, look, if I just do the promotion, then I’ll get the sale. Well, that’s true. You get the promotion, and you keep on going at it. Yes. But as an example, I am blessed to call myself a member of the transformational leadership council. This is a council that Jack Canfield from chicken soup and John Gray from Mars and Venus. And people like Marianne Williamson got together and said, We need a place where we can recharge and support each other in the transformational work we’re doing. They take about five members a year. I pinch myself sometimes like how did I get here?
Mike Malatesta 13:09
Right? Yeah, how
David Wood 13:10
did I get in that room that I was elected voted in? And that I get to like in July, I’m gonna go and be with an Oscar winning producer. I’m going to be Don Miguel Ruiz might be there. He’s a member, I believe now. And so like, how did that happen? I believe it’s mouse in the room. It’s because I take the risk to say what’s happening. And I’m not saying you’re just gonna blurt this out all the time, because you can create a train wreck. Now I’ll show you how in the book to do it. But I take the risk to name it. It has you stand out as someone that that that can be trusted. If you don’t do it, if you want to be a cookie cutter, and be one of the crowd. Sure, you can come up with the what you can come up with the strategies. But people aren’t going to vote you into those councils, people aren’t going to want to do promotions for your for your product, people aren’t going to want to recommend you to another podcast host because you’re the same as everyone else. Be more you it’s a book about taking off the mask. We don’t say that really in the book. But it’s about taking off the mask and I’ll show you how to do it. Life gets better. Business gets better.
Mike Malatesta 14:33
I delivered a commencement speech to a high school recently and I was talking to them about how you show up and I think it was something like you know how you show up is the most important thing. But the good news is it’s completely within your control because it’s intentional, right how you show up can be very intentional. It’s a choice Right. It’s not just a yeah, anyway. So, if you don’t mind before we get more on mouse in the room, you said at 27, you discovered what we then, you know, maybe said was your house, but we sort of put some other words around it and but discovered the discovery itself. How did you discover?
David Wood 15:25
Well, I went to a doctor and said, I got a pain in my belly. And the doctor asked a few questions and said, it sounds like stress. I was like, I didn’t have stress, I have a pain in the belly. But it turns out, he was right. And my marriage wasn’t going well. I was consulting all these companies. And I had an office and you know, at the age of 26, I can call myself a consultant to these big companies. And someone said, you know, why don’t you try this coaching. And coaching was very new back in 1996. Very, very new. But she said, Look, I’ve gotten coaching myself, go and get coaching. I think it’ll help you work out what you want, and who you are. And I’ll say, I can use some of that I’ve been focused on the what, all my life and it got me where I am like, it was working, I got paid to go to college. Some people in the US, have got $100,000 in student loans, I got to pay back, my college was free, and I got paid to go. So that’s the privilege that I had. So something was working. But it wasn’t working on the personal. I didn’t know anything about that. And so I went and got coaching and bit by bit step by step discovered, oh, my goodness, there’s a whole world out here of connection, and heart opening, and service, and transparency. I remember doing a seminar, participating in a seminar and watching the seminar leader, on the third day of the course, say, I’m terrified of people. And I, my brain stopped. I was like, what, you’ve been standing in front of people for three days, this is your profession. That was one thing, I’m like, You’re terrified of people, and you’re willing to do this. So I got his level, his level of service and commitment to transformation. But the other part of my brain is going,
Mike Malatesta 17:37
you can say that.
David Wood 17:40
I didn’t know you could say that. Because if you say that people think you’re weak, and you know, who wants to be with someone who’s terrified of people. But that also wasn’t my reaction to him. My reaction wasn’t Oh, you’re weak. My reaction was how courageous? Yeah, in that moment, I wanted to be him. I wanted to be like him, and able to discover my mice, that while hiding, and name them, so that I could come into deeper connection with whoever I’m talking to whether it be an audience on a podcast, or in a room, or my girlfriend, or, or a child, or a coworker, or my boss, I want to be able to identify what’s happening, and artfully name it because things get better.
Mike Malatesta 18:29
And what is the power of openly identifying and artfully naming these things you had said earlier, and I think this is important, because there are a lot of people who are very willing to maybe not artfully name but point out these mice in other people particularly not necessarily themselves. And, and it’s often the people who do that often feel like they’re doing something powerful, but they often are not. They’re not doing anything powerful at all. In fact, they’re sort of shutting down everything else because they’re, let’s say, quote, unquote, unfiltered. And you had mentioned that there’s a nuance to this. So first of all, I’m just curious what, why is it important to do it? And then how do you do it in an artful way?
David Wood 19:28
Yeah. So let’s do that in reverse order. So how not to do it. Firstly, if you say to someone, you know, you, you talk too much, or you’re a bit too loud. That’s not a mouse. That’s a criticism. And that’s an assessment of someone else. It’s got nothing to do with you. That’s not your experience. Your experience might be when you speak at that volume. I feel anxious.
Mike Malatesta 19:56
That’s a mouse.
David Wood 19:58
You see the difference? And rather than you talk too much, if we check in with our own experience, like what’s actually happening for me, I feel like I have a desire to speak more, I’d like there to be more space for me to share as well. That’s a mouse. So just want to make the distinction, okay, hugely different. This is all about what’s your experience, not about what someone else should do. Now, you might have a toleration mouse on your hands, that’s bugging me, I feel bugged by that, okay, that’s a mouse, I have a desire for to have more space, so I can speak, that’s a mouse. Now, the power of naming, this is an exciting topic for me. We don’t generally have a culture, at least in the US and Australia. I’m familiar with both of those cultures, we don’t have a culture of just naming something for the sake of naming it. Normally, if you name something, something’s got to happen, hey, I’m attracted to you, you trying to get somewhere or I’m feeling unhappy in this relationship, you might have an agenda of I want you to fix that. But sometimes, there’s such power in just stating it so that the other person can observe it as well. And we can relate around that, for example, you’re on stage, and you’re terrified. You’re about to give a speech, you can ignore the fact that you’re nervous, and try and push through a cover up, which is what most people will do. Or you could decide to name a mouse in the room. Hey, I’m nervous. I get nervous when I speak. I don’t need that fixed. I’m totally fine being nervous. But if you notice, you know, my hands shaking a little bit. That’s what that’s about. And I’m here, and I’m excited to talk about this today, because I really want to serve you. What do you imagine happens for the audience, when you say that?
Mike Malatesta 22:01
Yeah, I guess they say like, oh, you’re no different than me. It sort of ingratiates you to them.
David Wood 22:06
That can be one thing. Like, I totally get it. And oh, this person is being vulnerable. Notice I wasn’t collapsing from it. I was like, freaking out and you’ve got to save me. I’m just saying you don’t have to do anything about it. I find that naming it allows me to relax. So there’s such power people get it don’t have to fix it. All it’s done is it’s been named. And now it can move on. And I find that in so many relationships, if something can be named. I was on an interview this morning. And after five minutes, I’m like, is that guy wearing a skin-colored t-shirt under his jacket? Or is he got no shirt under his jacket? And he’s bare chested? Right, so yeah, I got a curiosity mouse. And finally I named it is what is that? He said, It’s no shirt. That’s my style. That’s who I am. I’m like, Alright, I’m glad that’s been names. And now I can let go. And plus, I liked hearing that that was his style. And that’s just how he shows up. But it was named instead of wondering about it. In fantasy books. In magic, there’s always power in naming. There’s power in names, there’s power in stating something, there’s power when we say I want to go here and do this in the world. There’s power in it. So sometimes you’ll name a mouse just to name a mouse. Sometimes you do want to fix something or change something. So you might have a request or a desire. But my good. Let’s suppose you’re in a meeting. And the meeting is gone. 10 minutes over. And the person running the meeting hasn’t said anything, or no one said anything. Maybe everybody in the room is thinking God, this is on 10 minutes over. I wonder when this is going to end. If someone names it, hey, ideally, the person running the meeting, hey, I noticed we’re 10 minutes over. And I think this is important what we’re doing. What do you say we go five more minutes, and then we wrap this up. Now everyone can start with their own mice about it. And we come back into alignment. There’s power in naming.
Mike Malatesta 24:19
So I appreciate the power and naming and I’m what you said you know, name it and then move on I thought was really great advice too. But it also made me think or and it also made me think what if there’s someone else won’t let it go though, David. So oh, what Yeah,
David Wood 24:42
yeah. So when we say you know, and then you can move on. Maybe you can move on. Sometimes when you name it. The other person might have a reaction. They might have their own mice come up. So it’s really good to also check for impact. If I did something last night, I was about to go on stage and someone was joking over on the side of the stage. And I wanted him to shut up. Because I was trying to get into character. And I was clumsy about how I said it. And so this morning, I created a little video on loom loom.com is a great tool, just create a little video and send a link. And I created a video saying I apologize, I could have said that a lot better. So I named it I named that I was feeling bad about how I did it. And I wish I’d said it better. But at the end of the video is said no want to check for impact? How was that for you? You know, you might have thought What an asshole here telling me to shut up. I just want to check for impact. So when you name a mouse, I could also say, How was it to get this video? Give the other person a chance to share their minds. So yeah, maybe, maybe they can’t let it go because they haven’t had a chance to speak. So these are magic words. How is it for you to hear that? Now that I’ve said this, all often even go further. If you want an advanced tip, give them a menu. i You inspired, are you embarrassed? Are you annoyed that I brought it up? I just really want to know how it is for you. And then they can name their mice, then I’m like, oh, hearing that I can totally get that. And now you’re ping ponging back and forth in reality, instead of trying to present a front to the world and they’re presenting a front end, they don’t know what’s going on with you, and you don’t know what’s going on with them. That’s how we generally live in the world. And we get by, but the magic we see in movies. And I don’t mean fantasy. Now I just mean when you see a deep moment someone reveals something takes a risk. And everything changes. We watch movies to get that. Well, we don’t have to do that we can get that by practicing the art of mouse naming.
Mike Malatesta 26:59
And how well I’m just thinking like how well do I need to know someone before it’s appropriate to name a mouse that involves them. So, you know, I’m thinking like a meeting sort of environment. Sometimes I’m in meetings with people, I know all of them. And sometimes I’m in meetings. Like, for example, you’re you could be at your transformational leadership council meeting. And maybe you don’t know everyone well, right. So how well do you in your experience? How well do you need to know someone for this to work? Well,
David Wood 27:36
I’m gonna rephrase the question to how well do you need to know someone before you can tell the truth? Yeah, okay. And I find that question valid and sad at the same time. Right, what culture and world are we living in? That that’s a valid question. How well do I need to know this person before I can tell the truth? What if we lived in a world where that wasn’t even a question that we just assumed that it was okay to tell the truth as a default? Now, you also bring up I think there are really good issues here about is it always appropriate to name a mouse? And how much is it appropriate to reveal? These are all good questions, and I will answer those. I’ll give an example though. Because I don’t want listeners to be too careful. You might be thinking, Oh, I couldn’t do with this person. I don’t know them. I just sat down on the park bench. I couldn’t say that to a stranger. Or this is a work situation. You can’t I can’t say I’m concerned that we’re going in the wrong direction with a company. Right? We have that all the time. We’re too careful. When I went to my first transformational leadership council meeting, I didn’t know I think I knew one or two people at that hall meeting. And they said, Welcome to our new member. Is there anything you’d like to say? I stood up and said, I’m freaking out. I’m starstruck. I’ve admired so many of you. And I really want to say something profound and deep that has you think this guy’s a wonderful guy. I really want you to like me. And this is embarrassing to say and that’s this is my truth right now. I’m hoping this is going to pass now that I’ve named it so I can relax more and just enjoy hanging out with you guys. Okay, no, those people at all. Was that appropriate? Was it inappropriate? I say it’s taking a risk to tell the truth and allowing people to get who I am in that in that moment. I think
Mike Malatesta 29:50
yeah, I’m sorry. So I love the way they you explain that. Because you for in that situation. You being the newbie you being, you know, the one coming in? You made the mouse about you. I named this, you named your mouse, your Yeah. And that seems to me to be easier than perhaps naming a mouse about someone else in the same type of circumstance that I brought up originally was where you said, you know, it’s, it’s a valid question, but it’s also, you know, sort of a shame that we can’t do that. But it’s but yeah, so help me with that, that the part about me being the one that says, Yeah, you know, David, man, it freaks me out that you’re even here, a guy is so successful, and you’re here on my, you know, little podcast, right? That’s easy. But if I, if I were to say, name a mouse about you, I probably wouldn’t. If I felt like you were, let’s say status or wealth or whatever it could, it could be, like,
David Wood 31:01
an example of something you wouldn’t. You might not name about me. I don’t have one,
Mike Malatesta 31:06
particularly right now. But I’m just using you as an example of someone coming into my world where I’m if I if there was something when I don’t think I would be that successful naming something unless I was really artful at doing it. And maybe that’s the key to URL too early.
David Wood 31:26
It’s a distinct distinguish, though, is it your mouse? Is it your mouse? Are you talking about your experience? Or are you telling someone else how you want them to change? Well,
Mike Malatesta 31:36
if that’s and that’s a great comeback, because you you, when you first started doing the mouse’s, I noticed that everyone was was was an i statement, whether it was ultimately about you, or whether it was about how they could make you feel it was an i statement to start. So that’s got to be a key to
David Wood 31:53
huge Yeah, in the book, I make that very clear. Do’s and Don’ts. And one don’t Y.eah, because don’t blame the other person. Don’t be talking about them. Don’t make universal statements that you can’t back up like you, like you’re always late, may not be true. Maybe they were on time once, right now you got something that can be debated. If you say, you know, you talk too much can be debated. Right. So when you start using I statements you are now speaking in, arguably. And that’s a powerful communication technique and leadership technique. Let’s talk about how you feel and how you’re impacted. I’m in an acting class. And yeah, I see all sorts of things that I think the other person could change, like, oh, you’re a bit stiff here. Or you can bet that that’s not my role. They’re not paying me to coach them on that. So a lot of that I just keep to myself, and I let the teacher do it. But if it’s impacting me, I might say, I noticed when you said it like that, I felt a little more contracted. Whereas when earlier you said it this way, I felt really emotional. I felt my cell phone open up. So now I’m using I statements and sharing my experience. Now, I want to talk about like, how much truth is appropriate. You’re not just going to look, you have a right to privacy. That’s one thing. I don’t share everything on podcasts. There are some things I’ve done in the past that I feel ashamed of. Sometimes I share it in a private conversation if I think it’ll be of service to the person, but I don’t just blurt it out to 1000s of people who don’t know me. So that’s an example. In a boardroom, if you freak out if you’re the CEO, you don’t go in and say, I’m freaking out. We’re going off a cliff. I don’t know what we’re going to do. Oh, right. Right, right. You don’t do that you do that with your coach. And then you might go into the boardroom and say, some of you might be alarmed and scared in the current economic climate. I don’t blame you. Sometimes I am, too. We don’t have all the answers yet. But we’ve got the beginnings of a plan. And together we’ll work it out. You can name things without bleeding from them. Okay. I went had a someone who was going to come to my birthday party, because I’d invited a group of people. And it was weird to invite some and not the other. So I invited them all. And then I was like, boy, she really tends to take a lot of the attention out of the room. She sucks the attention out of the room, and I want this to be my night. Well, do I know her well enough to speak the truth? No, because I barely know her. And yet, it’s important. It was important to me. If I stayed silent, I’m setting it up for real problem. Um, it’s a setup. So I called her and said, I said can we chat? And I tried to use I statements I noticed sometimes when I round you, it feels like the attention goes to you. And tonight, I want it to be my night. And so I’m still happy for you to come. Can we have a signal? If I feel like that’s happening? I just give you a signal. So you’re aware of it. Now, that’s risky. She said, Let me think about it. She thought about it for an hour and came back and said, I don’t think I’m going to come. It doesn’t feel good. Doesn’t feel good to me doesn’t feel right. I said, Okay. That was that was the last communication we had, until, you know, for like, a few years until a couple of days ago, when I reached out, that was appropriate. I say that was what was supposed to happen. We weren’t good friends. And if she didn’t want to come and and fit into what I wanted for my birthday party, she should not come. But it wasn’t about did I know her enough, or whatever. And I’m saying this, because I don’t want people to think, oh, I don’t know the person enough to tell the truth to name a mouse? No, there’s always a way for you to be yourself in the world. There might be times you choose not to name it. And here’s if you want I could give some examples of when you might say I’m not going to name it. Yeah, sure.
Mike Malatesta 36:11
But I do want to say first of all on that one courage. A, most people even if they were feeling the way that you said you were feeling, I think we just hope for the best they would, they would not have that conversation with the person, they would be anxious about it. And when the person showed up, that anxiety would increase. And then when the attention started going to the person, they would be like, tap, I knew that was gonna happen. But they didn’t do anything proactively about it.
David Wood 36:43
Yeah. And if you don’t name your mice, they tend to breed. You know, in the book, I say you can choose the discomfort of wearing a mask, or the discomfort of telling the truth. One of these has much greater upside.
Mike Malatesta 37:01
Yeah, okay. Okay, so, examples of when not to use it or when or how to,
David Wood 37:09
yeah, so in the book, there’s, there’s a process I call the three D process. And the first D is discovery on mice, because they’re one of the biggest reasons we don’t name a mice, we don’t know what they are. We don’t know what’s actually going on. So there’s a process to help you discover what’s what’s happening in a given interaction. And the second part, which we’re up to now is decide, should I name this mouse, so you can weigh the scales? What bad thing could happen if I named this mouse might feel awkward? Let’s take that example with the person coming to the to the party. Now, let’s use a business example. Since we’ve done a personal one. So you’ve got an employee who’s not performing the way you’d like them to, you want them to up their game. If I don’t name the mouse, what bad thing could happen if I named the mouse? Well, they could feel awkward, they might feel offended. They might quit. I might feel uncomfortable. Okay, these are good things to write down. These are the bad things that could happen. What good thing could happen out of naming this mouse? Well, the person could understand more of what’s needed from them. They could up their game, they could improve their career. I could look better because I got an employee who’s shining now. Okay, so now I see the the scales. Am I willing to risk those negative consequences for the upside? Then you choose? No, I’m not willing to risk the consequences. I’ve had examples where me naming a mouse could have sent me to prison. When I was younger, I did some things that were illegal. And it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. But later on, I was like, wow, that wasn’t cool. I tracked it someone down and confessed and said that was me. I’m sorry. Can I make it right? You may decide, look, if I’m going to go and confess to a crime, I’m not willing to risk prison. So that’s, that’s done. You’re not going to name that mouse. If you go until your partner name or confession mouse, since we’re on the topic of There are eight different categories of mice, by the way, okay. In the book, if you name a confession mouse to your partner, that you broke an agreement, maybe you cheated, you might lose the relationship. You might lose custody of the kids in a divorce, so it’s good to mock that up and say, well what negative thing could happen? I want to coach someone on admitting to adultery 10 years earlier. She committed adultery and she kept it secret. Her husband had committed adultery 10 years Is earlier, and she’d been using that to manipulate him for 10 years. And I coached her on the possibility of coming clean. I’m just going to reset my video because sometimes it goes blurry. There’s me naming a mouse. I coached her on what would be the upside of coming clean. And she decided to go and name that mouse with him. Big mouse, we call that a rodents of unusual size for any Princess Bride fans. She came back and reported that they felt like they were floating on air, six feet above the ground in love for the first time in 10 years. Now, you’re not always going to get that. You may say no, I’m not going to risk that. I’m not going to risk losing my job by by saying this. But often the mind will hide from us the upside. I could feel at peace. I could be in integrity. Yeah, I can be a role model for other people. We need to write those things down to so that we see the upside and then that will pull us forward often to say, You know what? Yeah, I’m willing to be uncomfortable for because
Mike Malatesta 41:09
your mind is going to go to why is it not safe? First? Yes. What? Why is this? That’s
David Wood 41:13
why we need the book. Yeah, because the mind will do that. We need to generate the upside and go, Oh, wait a minute. Look what I’ve done it countless times where I thought no, this is a bad idea. And then by taking a risk and being vulnerable, deep connection, the bully from high school, I called the girl who dumped me twice in high school and gave me the cold shoulder. I called the boss that I sued. I called the person I committed a crime against I’ve done this over and over. And it’s it may be one in 50. Even if it was uncomfortable, and even if I didn’t get what I wanted, maybe one in 50 I thought I wish I could go back and not mean that. So we need to shift the shift the proportion, you’re probably naming about 10%. of have your mice right now. And they’re probably the easy ones. I’m suggesting what would life be like if you named 6070 80% of those mice, and especially the difficult ones. And don’t worry, I’ll show you how in the book, because that’s the next piece of the 3d process, how to disarm the person so that they’re positioned to receive your mouse, and they’re less likely to get their back up and be defensive.
Mike Malatesta 42:37
Okay, so discover, decide, disarm. Nice. I know we’re coming up against time with you. And I just wanted to ask one final question, if that’s okay. The please. How did you come to make the choice to put this crowd-sourcing effort around the clock? Because it’s it? I didn’t I wasn’t expecting that when I saw when I saw that. And I thought to myself, Oh, that’s interesting. I don’t you know, I wasn’t sure why you decided to do it that way. So how, how did that come about?
David Wood 43:17
You mean, why do we have a Kickstarter campaign? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I did it not for the funds. I did it as a test to the to the universe to see if the world wanted this book. So what we did, what I did is created a, a teaser, a preview a trailer, which outlined the mice and outlined the concept, whatever. And then I created a Kickstarter campaign. And I put it out to my audience, my friends. And I said, this is a test. If you want this book in an existence, if you believe as I do, that this can shift the culture in our world, then donate something as a sign. And we set a very modest target $1,500. And I said, if we don’t raise $1,500, I’m going to take that as a sign that this trailer is all that all that we’re going to do. But if we hit it, we’ll take it. I wanted to see does it two people share it to people rave about it, but people say yes. And here’s what happened. We got to we were down to the last week and we weren’t even 50% funded, I think out of 1500 We got to $700 and I’m like, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. One woman donated $800 to the Kickstarter campaign. She just said, I just don’t want you to have to worry about funding. I want this book done. I want to take this off your plate. Here you go. And I said, that’s assigned to me. I’m gonna do
Mike Malatesta 44:55
Okay, cool. Yeah, it’s like a little market research thing, but you also, it also seemed like You were creating a community around it like people could contribute, and maybe get their name in the book too if they?
David Wood 45:07
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so we and we did we, we’ve added, I’ve added the name of Kickstarter backers in the acknowledgments. And you’ve just reminded me to reach out to the backers, because they’re the original people who, who made this happen. And they may want to be they want to be mouse naming champions and help us promote the book. Yes, I want to I want to make some noise. I’m out to start a mouse naming revolution in our culture. All right.
Mike Malatesta 45:36
Well, David Wood, Mouse in the Room and comes out on June the 13th. I mentioned earlier, his website is Focus.CEO
David Wood 45:45
will send them to the book site. Yeah. What do you want to do? Yeah, I mean, site. Yep. Yeah, thank you. So you can get the book at mouseintheroom.com. On June 13. And if you know, get it for yourself to change your life and work. And if you would like to be part of starting a mouse naming revolution and make some noise, so that we can actually shift our culture, you can help us make it a best seller. And here’s my desire mouse is that you set an alarm for noon Pacific on June 13. And if you come out, if you’re hearing this, after that, that’s totally fine. Get your book, Mouse in the Room. But if you’ve got this in time, go at that time, and buy, we’ll have a Kindle special for 99 cents because that’s how the game is played these days, buy 15 copies on Kindle for 99 cents. And if you love the book, as I do, you’ll be able to go into the back end on Amazon and gift those as copies to your family, to your friends, to your coworkers, your team. It’s a lot easier to be mouse-naming when the people around you are also mouse-naming. So mouse in the room.com Get one copy for yourself or help us make some noise during that launch week.
Mike Malatesta 46:58
Brilliant. Brilliant. David, thank you so much for coming on the show.
David Wood 47:01
My pleasure. Thank you, Mike.