You Can Change Other People with Peter Bregman and Howard Jacobson | PoP 651

A photo of Peter Bregman and Howard Jacobson is captured.Peter Bregman and Howard Jacobson is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast, where they talk about how you can change other people in a way that supports them and does not foster resentment.

How can you help people make meaningful changes in their lives? Why is directionality important when helping someone solve a problem? Can you be an ally instead of a critic to yourself?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Peter Bregman and Howard Jacobson about how you can change other people in a way that supports them and does not foster resentment.

Podcast Sponsor: Pillars of Practice

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Meet Howie Jacobson, Ph.D

A photo of Howie Jacobson is captured. , is an executive coach to clients ranging from startup founders to established and rising Fortune 100 leaders. Howie is featured on practice of the practice, a therapist podcast.

Howie Jacobson, Ph.D., is an executive coach to clients ranging from startup founders to established and rising Fortune 100 leaders. He is director of coaching at Bregman Partners and head coach at the Healthy Minds Initiative.

Howie’s mission includes helping kind and generous people grow their capability and scale their influence, sharing the joys of a healthy life, and reintroducing people to their most authentic, best selves.

He hosts the Plant Yourself Podcast, where he interviews remarkable people engaged in healing at the individual, institutional, and planetary levels.  Howie is the author of multiple books, including You CAN Change Other People, with Peter Bregman, and Sick To Fit, with Josh LaJaunie.

Visit The Plant Yourself Website and connect with him on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: Get your free copy of Sick To Fit!

Meet Peter Bregman

A photo of Peter Bregman is captured. is the CEO of Bregman Partners. He coaches, writes, teaches, and speaks, about leadership. Peter is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners. He created and leads the #1 leadership development program in the world, the Bregman Leadership Intensive, and trains leaders and managers on the Four Steps through the Bregman Leadership Coach Training program. He has consulted with C-level executives in many of the world’s premier organizations, including Citi, CBS, Showtime, and Electronic Arts, to name a few.

Peter is the host of the Bregman Leadership Podcast, with over 1.5 million downloads. He has given four TEDx talks and regularly delivers keynotes for associations including Coca-Cola, the Discovery Network, L’Oréal, Deloitte, and Fidelity.

Peter is also the bestselling author of five books including Leading with Emotional Courage and 18 Minutes.

Visit the Bregman Partners website. Connect with Peter on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • People are drawn to change
  • Four-step formula
  • Helping someone professionally and personally
  • Howie and Peter’s advice to private practitioners

People are drawn to change

People desire to change, especially now at the end of the year, where millions of people commit themselves to making a positive change in their life.

We’re drawn to change, and we’re drawn to growth. The question is how we can then help people do that and a lot of times what we end up doing is trying to force change on them or the changes we want them to make, and that creates resistance. (Peter Bregman)

The important distinction here is that people want to change but they do not want to be changed.

If you want to and are going to help people change, you have to do it in a way that supports their longing, desire, and growth process. For people to properly change, they need:

  • Ownership of their change; it has to be theirs.
  • Independent capability. They need to be able to follow through on the change.
  • Emotional courage. This is the willingness to feel.

When we don’t change, there is something that we don’t want to feel. If I’m not following through on having a difficult conversation with you, it is because I don’t want to hurt you or I don’t want to be hurt by you … if I am willing to feel everything then I can do anything. (Peter Bregman)

Four-step formula

1 — Be an ally instead of a critic

The critic:

  • Sees a deficit or something wrong in the person or with the situation
  • Nags
  • Gives unsolicited advice
  • Gives baseless motivation

These are all forms of criticism which lead to shame, and shame is one of the emotions we would do almost anything not to feel. So, we can become defensive and deny that there is even a problem. (Howie Jacobson)

Instead, be an ally.

The ally:

  • Is caring and them-focused
  • Expresses confidence in their ability to handle the situation
  • Is committed to helping them get better

2 — Outcome

Be in the conversation but do not start with what is wrong. Often the problem on the surface is not the whole problem but is instead a symptom of something much deeper.

Ask someone, “what is the outcome that you are going for here?” This change from the negative to the positive gives people a place to move towards instead of a place to move away from.

3 — Opportunity

Find the opportunity in the problem. Remember that the solution to the problem is not the absence of the problem. Look for the opportunity that lies beneath the problem as that is the real pot of gold.

4 — Plan

The plan is using the insight garnered from the previous steps into some new action of doing, being, and saying in the world that can lead to genuine transformation.

Remember that failure is data, which is vital to growth. Stay in the conversation instead of letting that put you down.

Helping someone professionally and personally

There is a difference between helping someone else and maintaining your boundaries, and this is true both in personal and professional relationships.

We get to advocate for ourselves. We don’t want to turn into an either-or. The idea of the formula … is that these are your best odds of getting them to take some ownership and begin to change in a way where they are not resisting you or resenting you. (Howie Jacobson)

Find the common ground between what is important to them and what is important to you.

Find a way to support one another to both get what each person needs, and this happens in conversation.

Howie and Peter’s advice to private practitioners

Howie — Your professional skills are useful in the wild. You do not have to put on your therapist hat to be able to influence people positively.

Peter — Be generous with your work because this work is in support of human beings and greater life. Can you also be generous with yourself? What is the change that you want in your life, and what is the support that you need?

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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