Bob Donnell

Bob Donnell with Lisa Patrick on the Coffee With Lisa Podcast

In our digitally connected age, we can lose sight of the importance of connection.

Bob Donnell, human Behaviorist, founder of Everything Next Level, and author of Connectology joins Lisa to talk all about the power of connection.

Bob deep dives into questioning and how the context of your question will lead you to more profound answers.

How being present in the moment and at the right time, will provide an opportunity to be vulnerable and open the door to great conversations.

Bob shares a story about how he got a stranger to open up to him and ultimately gave the stranger the greatest gift of closure for a failed father relationship.

How changing the meaning of conflict can change the outcomes we receive and so much more.

Episode Notes:

00:01 Lisa Patrick

Good morning. Today, I have the Bob Donnell on with me with Coffee With Lisa. Bob is a human behaviorist who’s been invaluable in assisting companies all over the world, including their teams and individuals about how to reach the next level, both personally and professionally. Bob’s worked with celebrities and leaders in all types of industries, including the military. And we’ll be right back with Bob, in a moment

00:45 Bob Donnell

I see you, I see you. There’s one thing that’s more addictive than crack cocaine, heroin or any other substance put together. It’s called connection. When you’ve really had a connection, just nothing else will, will satisfy. When you’ve had somebody that looks inside your eyes and says, I see you see, so often in life, we’re just walking and giving motions and giving glad hand gestures. And Hi, how you doing? What do you do? Look, when you ask a bad question you get what? A bad answer. If you want deeper connection with people, you’re gonna have to learn to ask better questions. What you do just won’t cut it.

01:57 Lisa Patrick

Hi, welcome to the Coffee With Lisa podcast, I believe that everyone in business has missing structures, and endless possibilities to create new opportunities. The challenge is most don’t know how to leverage the relationships for win win. I believe that your relationships will make the difference in the results you’ll achieve the impact you will have and the speed in which you will make opportunities happen. I believe that you can see things through, but you often struggle to see through things. I’ll make the invisible visible, the complex, simple. Because of these beliefs, I created the coffee with the sub podcast, I’ve invited the best experts to join me and share their experiences and knowledge with you. So you can move faster and gain a competitive advantage in life and in business.

02:47 Lisa Patrick

Well, Bob, just before we had our out, before we open the show, you talked a little bit about you know your work with intervention,and working with first responders all over the world. But let’s talk a little bit about Bob, where where’d you grew up? Bob, you grew up in Southern California in the San Gabriel Valley. moved here when I was two, and I’ve lived there lived here most of my life. And what did you aspire to be when you were growing up?

03:15 Bob Donnell

Yeah, that’s a great question. And I was asked that at age 15 and a half my mom was diagnosed with cancer and was given six months to live. And a gentleman came up and I didn’t know my dad. So I’ve never had any any knowledge of who my dad is. And this gentleman came up to me and says, Hey, Bob, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I? I kind of, I was like, Why? I don’t know. But why are you asking a 15-year old that winning? Because you know, you can learn a product service or an industry. Or you can learn one thing that delivers value to any product service or industry. And I said, What’s that, and he said human behavior. He said, Bob, if you understand why people do or don’t do things, you’ll be successful. And you’ll be valuable to any product service or industry and as well as Sign me up kind of facetiously. And he said, Well, then go become a peer counselor at your school this year. And so at 16, I became a peer counselor. And that set me on a trajectory of really studying understanding human behavior and then founded a nonprofit organization at age 19. Working with suicide prevention, crisis intervention, so you asked, What did I want to be when I grew up? I really had no clue. I mean, I probably thought football police officer or something, but at 15 and a half, there was a complete change in it. You know, it was a it was a fascinating thing that that gentleman asked me a question at 15 and a half that you normally, you know, would answer police officer answer something off the cuff.


04:40 Lisa Patrick

Yeah, yeah. And really, truly, I mean, that was the start of you know where you are today.

04:47 Bob Donnell

Yes, ma’am.


04:48 Lisa Patrick

Yeah. So you’ve had you know, I’m, we’ll talk a little bit about you know, you’ve had a lot of tragedy in your life. You know, like, a horrific amount of too much tragedy for me. One person to really endure. But I do believe that we’re given these experiences in life, whether they’re good or bad. Because we can we are given what we can handle. And we got lots. What’s your thought about that? You know,


05:15 Lisa Patrick

I think I agree, I think we’re given what we can handle. I think at the time, you might ask, you know, Bob, can you handle losing your daughter in a car accident, witnessing the accident, I would have said, No, um, you know, or any of the things that you’ve you’ve kind of alluded to in, one of the things I found is that, and I talked about this a lot called price paid, I think the events in our life, become the price that we pay to become the people that we are today, some of us have taken the price that we’ve paid, and made it an investment. And we’re returning and we’re expecting an ROI. Some of us have taken it and made it an expense. I just challenged people to take their experiences good or bad, and put those together and put them in an investment category where you look for the ROI. And I think when we do that, we begin to see differently, you know, people can have the same exact set of circumstances you don’t get the you know, the old adage of, you know, two young girls growing up in Chicago having bad parenting bad everything. One becomes addicted to drugs, guys have an overdose one becomes Oprah Winfrey, what’s the difference? One, use that as a reason. Because of that, I will never do that one used as an excuse because of that. I’m a drug addict. So I think when we start changing the meaning to things, you know, the Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, when we start changing the meaning to things, we begin to change the outcomes.


06:41 Lisa Patrick

Yeah. And when you see that so often, because you’ll see children have addictive parents or abusive parents, and you think, to yourself now growing up and you you’re engulfed in that your entire life, when you become an adult, you’d think that the behavior would change, because you wouldn’t want to adopt that behavior. Because you know, how it feels?


07:02 Bob Donnell



07:05 Lisa Patrick

Most often that’s not the case. Right? Like, truly at the at the core of that, why do you believe that to be? So?

07:12 Bob Donnell

I think one is the, you know, the short answer is a lot of people would say, Well, it’s because they don’t have the skills, the tools? Well, I didn’t have the tools either. And a lot of people didn’t have the tools, but they develop the tools. And so it became a sense of urgency for them to create a set of tools that worked for them, instead of against them. Yeah, they have tools, the tools are just not working for them. They’re working against them. So I think short, the short answer is they don’t have the tools yet. And they the bigger answer, though, as they have not created a sense of urgency about creating the tools so that they can master those environments in those situations.


07:50 Lisa Patrick

And do you think that they don’t have the resources to find the tools? I mean, that would be a crazy thing in today’s day, right? Like considering how much knowledge is out there? Or, you know, what, what do you think else prevents them from not really stepping up?


08:06 Bob Donnell

I really think it’s a matter of what I was talking about the sense of urgency. You know, it’s like people who say, you know, Bob, I’m a procrastinator, and I’m working with them on a behavior. And I said, Well, you know, if you’re a procrastinator, and that’s the identity of women, yourself, what happens when you’re sitting on a curb? And a car jumps? The curb is coming at you, you move? Well, yeah, why you’re tired, you’re exhausted you, you’ve been up late all night with the kids, we move, Okay, I’m gonna run over a greater sense of urgency will always determine a greater sense of action. And so when somebody’s still and sitting still, it’s typically because they are in a bad behavior, and they’re staying in that bad. It’s because we haven’t created that greater sense of urgency. So I teach people a couple things. One is ask what if you do and what if you don’t? What if you do change that behavior? Or that mindset, or that idea, that thought process? And then what if you don’t, and then play the tape really, really long? So don’t go well just won’t make as much money? No, what if you don’t make as much money? Well, then I won’t have what I want. What is it that you want? Well, I want to have a nice house and I want to be able to provide security for my family. So you want to provide security premium? That’s what’s at cost if you don’t get it. Oh, yeah. Okay, that’s, that’s bigger than I don’t have enough money.


09:18 Lisa Patrick

Yeah. And sometimes I think people just need to need to obvious pointed out to them. Yes. You know, you can’t see that’s an old cliche if you can’t see the tree through the forest. Right.


09:29 Bob Donnell

Yeah, I think one of the challenges with that is it really boils back down to that whole thing of power of association. You know, next level by association is a program I’ve offered for over 10 years. And the bottom line is, if you don’t have the right Association, that’s going to call you on it and pointed out to you and say look, that that thinking is skewed or that thinking getting you the results, or as Dr. Phil says, how’s that working for you? When you when you have people going, how’s that working for you, Bob? Yeah, well, then you can do it. But if you don’t have the right associate I think there’s probably one of the biggest things that challenge people today is that they don’t have the right Association. They’re getting by with all kinds of bad behavior and a lot of bad things that aren’t helping them.


10:12 Lisa Patrick

How does? You know? I think that’s a great segue, because how does urgency fit into connecting into making a connection?

10:22 Bob Donnell

That’s you know, I love that question. Because I think one of the biggest things that, that people struggle with in connection is they don’t understand the purpose of connection. So they go to a networking event, they go, Hey, how you doing? What’s going on? What do you what do you do, and they don’t really have a game plan, they don’t have a strategy. And so when I talk about strategy, I’m talking about a criteria. So I have a criteria for everyone in my life, personal or professional, strategic partners, clients, or, or otherwise personal people. And because of that criteria, that creates a sense of urgency. So for me, when I talk about sense of urgency, in connecting, what is the purpose of my connection with Lisa today? What is the purpose? Is it for me to get information out? Is it for me to receive information? Is it or is it to help her reach an audience in a different way than maybe anybody else has helped to reach an audience. And if that’s my purpose, then that helps create that sense of urgency. So when I walk into a place, if I’m if my mind is just there to get coffee, that’s one thing. But if I walk in and go, you know, who can I connect with in a meaningful way, while I’m standing in line at coffee, so that they literally feel like they’ve been seen, that they’ve been heard, and that they have value on their life because of something I said, or the way I related to them, then that changes that sense of urgency. Without it, it’s just another another errand to run?


11:47 Lisa Patrick

Well, and you said a couple of things that that sparked my curiosity. So first, you know, I think being intentional intentionality in connection is so important. And I think, you know, this being strategic Yes. But being intentional about what you’re doing, even just as, or maybe even perhaps more important, what do you think?


12:08 Bob Donnell

I think intention becomes, is the first part of that. So I think we go hand in hand. Without it. I don’t think intention does anything. It’s kind of like the Bible talks about without faith, faith is dead in its own. So Faith without works is dead being alone. So it’s the same thing without intention. The criteria isn’t going to be met. And without criteria, intention is going to be fulfilled.


12:33 Lisa Patrick

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, so tell me tell me a story. Because I love stories. And stories are always the best right? To tell you a story of a time when you went because we’re talking about networking when you went to a networking event. And when you walked in the room, you made an immediate connection with somebody walk us through how did that ever happen? Because I know what a bob, I’ve heard so much about you, over the years from so many of our colleagues that you have this charismatic aura about you and connect people just connect with you automatically. So walk us through, you know, a time when that happened to you. What was that like?


13:16 Bob Donnell

Well, I appreciate the kind words and you know, I think one of the things I give you an example of maybe not a networking event, but just any event it is imagine .. I can

13:32 Bob Donnell

it goes back to that intention. I was sitting in a coffee shop sitting in the Starbucks. Yeah, yeah. And I think I talked about this a little bit on my TED Talk. So you can go back and listen to more in detail. But I was sitting in a Starbucks, there was an empty Starbucks, which is rare, right? in Southern California. But it was, you know, seven o’clock at night shift was over, everyone was, you know, kind of doing their thing. And there was maybe three tables in the whole Starbucks full. And I’m sitting over on a bench seat with my back to the wall and a table that literally led right to the window. So there was no place to sit to the right of me except one spot. And you got this whole thing. A gentleman walks in, young man walks in with a girl and they walk up to the counter and get in and out of the whole place. They come and sit within two feet of neck. And I’m like, why would they sit? I mean, this whole place is empty. And wow, whatever.


So I just was sitting there doing my work, and I could hear the conversation. And I could hear him say, Well, thanks for coming, you know, picking me up. I wish all my stuff was still here. But when I went in, I didn’t you know, I didn’t think any of my friends would steal all my stuff. And he’s all tatted up. I mean, clearly, gang gang, gang member and he’s talking about his, you know, his gang and some of the people and And all of a sudden, I just I became attuned to what he was saying. Mm hmm. And the mention that he when he went in, when he got out, and all of that, and I think one of the things is to be to be present to a conversation and or be present have a sensory acuity, if you talk about NLP have a sensory acuity about what’s going on around you, not to eavesdrop but to be present to it. And I think one of the, one of the things I teach is the quality of your connection will be determined by the quality of questions you ask. Yeah. And that’s in Connect ology. So I think one of the things was I was sitting there going, Hmm, interesting that he’s choosing this dialogue with me so close to him. And so I just turned to them. And I said, you know, can I ask? Where did you just get out of? And he looked at me and kinda was like, and friend was, Why are you talking to us? And he says, just got out of jail. And I said, I assume what, which Which one? And he’s kind of looked at me. And he told me and I saw, I said, Well, you know, the reason I asked is because I know, you know, My son has been in and out of jail. And, and so I’m always curious as to the situation he goes. So it goes back to talking. And I think the quality of your connection is determined by the quality questions. Yes. But I think you have to ask the right questions at the right time. Um, and you have to make it, make it apparent to them why you’re asking the question or, or they won’t answer. So I said, I said, Can I can ask you another question. No. What were you in for? Now, what I had done was I had laid the foundation by telling him that my son had been in Yeah, by doing that, it opened the door for him to say, Well, okay, he’s not just trying to pick on mean, his sons at that same situation. So he said, He’s, well, drugs. And I said, what was the drug of choice?


He told me, I said, Okay, I sit down. It’s been sitting there still going, why are you talking to this guy? And he’s like, what are we Why? And he says, he told me the drug. And I said, Well, I said, So is this the last time? And he looked at me, like, he looked right at me. And he goes, No. And I go, how come? He says, because I make a lot of money. Doing it? Yeah. I’m not willing to walk away from the money. And I said, Hmm. And I know some of the audience people right now are going well, that’s just that’s stupid. That’s crazy. But how many things Am I not willing to walk away from? As of the benefits side benefit, negative, even positive benefit that we we get, we’re what unwilling to walk away from that behavior. And I said, why I said, You know, I appreciate your honesty. And and then I went to this next question. See, I think, I believe that a good question begets a better question. Yeah, start with a question that they can easily answer. Then it opens the door for a better question. So the next question was the depth. And I said, you know, what are your mom and dad say about this? What do they think? And he said, Mom and dad, he was, well, my dad, or my mom. Last time I talked to her. She said, um,


18:35 Bob Donnell continues

don’t even don’t even bother coming to my funeral. And I said, How did you respond? He said, I told her, I won’t. And I should. I should, but  when that happens, do you think you’ll be there? He goes, Oh, yeah, I’ll be there. So I said, What about Dad? He says, My dad, my dad said, I don’t even have a son anymore. And I said, I am really sorry to hear that.


And he goes, Oh, it’s no big deal. I said, No, no, that is, that is not true. It is a big deal. And no man has a right to ever say that to his son.




19:21 Bob Donnell

And he just looked at me. I said, you know, can I give you probably the greatest gift you’ll ever receive in your life? And he said, Sure, I said, but you know, you have to receive it. It won’t do any good if you were sitting in the Starbucks, but remember, it’s kind of empty, so nobody’s there to listen to him. I said, you know, can I can I just the gift I want to give you is I want you to you may never, ever, ever, ever hear this from your dad. You may never ever talk to him again. I don’t know. But you’ll never maybe hear this from him. But I want to tell you as if I was your dad, I want to tell you this I am sorry that I ever said that to you. I want to tell you that, above all else, that I failed you as a father when I made that statement, and I asked for forgiveness, because I truly am sorry, that I ever said that to you. And I said, If you receive that, if you’ll just let that sink in. And you find it in your heart ever to be able to forgive him for that, that failure. And that moment, it will be the greatest gift that you’ve ever received. And I said, but you know, I just got asked, Are you going to receive it? And he just looked at me, and he just went? Yeah. Wow. And I think it’s those moments, you know, it can be in a coffee shop, it can be at a networking event, it can be whatever.


But when we take the time to be present to our surrounding, when we take the time to ask good questions with an open and honest heart without judgment. You know, I’ve seen this over and over again, with the politics, you know, who do you vote for? And you’re not asking to find out who you’re voting for? Or why they’re asking because they want to prove you wrong, or they want you to be on their side. And I think one of the biggest things, when we ask questions, we have to ask questions, because we really want to know, not because we want to convince them otherwise.


21:24 Lisa Patrick

Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, so did he ever have? Did he ever follow up with you? Like, did you exchange information or not?


21:33 Bob Donnell

knowing what’s in that situation? It wasn’t, we stayed. I mean, literally, it went for, he wanted to keep talking. So we talked for like, minutes. Yeah, I finally had to go to another meeting. So I sleep but I was like, Oh, my gosh, this guy went from absolutely closed off, didn’t want to talk to wanting to work. And I think that’s one of the cool things is when we open ourselves to, to understanding another person’s position in life, we literally open ourselves to a greater understanding of not only them, but ourselves, but also a greater understanding of the world around us.


22:07 Lisa Patrick

Yeah, absolutely. Well, and as you and I were talking about me, I consider that being an eligible receiver, right, when we’re when we make ourselves in algebra receiver to what’s around us, and that we’re open to looking more at the edges of the situation rather than what’s in center of us, right of us. Great things can happen. Right. And, and that’s the perfect story of exactly that. That’s what happened. You know, you talk, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, because as I listened to the story, I watched, in my mind, I can see that the progression of trust that occurred, it went from a place of you opening up and being vulnerable in the moment, right? To allow him to be to understand that that’s acceptable, that you can now be vulnerable back and I think people miss that in connection, do you agree, but it is about a moment of vulnerability that really does open the Segway, and the flow for so much greater to happen.


23:11 Bob Donnell

Yeah, agree. Agree. I you know, I love what Bernie brown talks about vulnerability, right. But I also love after everyone claimed about vulnerability vulnerability, she came out and said, You know, I believe that you need to be vulnerable with, with people to the degree that they’ve earned. Yeah, something to that effect that I’m misquoting. I think that being vulnerable is a huge caveat for people having a deeper connection. But you want to have vulnerability with a person at the level that they’ve earned. And you don’t just go out and spill your guts and tell your whole life story. But more have that ability to be vulnerable in that moment, even if it’s just a sense of vulnerability, like, Yeah, I know what you’re saying. Yeah, I yeah, I get that. Totally. Yeah. Yeah.



But your level of empathy right now. Yes.


24:05 Bob Donnell

I think you’re right. I think empathy and vulnerability go hand in hand. Yeah. And yeah, so I love the idea of vulnerability. I just caution people on just what their what their thinking is vulnerability is really just guilt into trying to get off their own chest. And in that case, the intention isn’t pure. So it’s not going to be received as well.


24:29 Lisa Patrick

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s the thing too is people are so worried or not worried but are so self focused and not because they have a self fulfilling prophecy but that just is naturally it’s innate within us to be you know, want to share our story share what we what we need, right? And it takes practice to be able to step out of that and you know, Dr. Tony Alessandra, business partner, my man, I know, no, Tony. You know, it takes practice. To practice the Platinum rule, and that is feed the behavior, and it’s not about giving up who you essentially are at the core. It’s really just about adapting so that the message that you’re that you’re gifting somebody else, and I say gift not giving. is received. Yeah. Really important.


25:21 Bob Donnel

Yes. Yeah.


25:23 Lisa Patrick

Oh, if you’re tuning in, and you don’t know what the Platinum rule happens to be it’s treat others how they’d like to be treated not to be treated, which is a lot about sensory acuity previous. So walk us through, what’s the process to become more sensory, aware? What is it that you use?


25:46 Bob Donnell

I think one of the biggest things I use is, it goes back to that intention, why am I here? What what’s my real purpose in being on this on this interview? What’s the real purpose in being in this networking event? What’s the real purpose? For me being in line at Starbucks? You know, we’re the meaning. I alluded Dr. Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for me, when we change the meaning of something, we change how we respond to that something. Yeah. And then it can be changed for good or bad, right. But I think the first thing is just have a have an intention, or having a meaning attached to what it is that you’re about to do, then I think it’s really about saying, Okay, can I be present in this situation? There are situations that make it very difficult to be present to another person, right? You’re in a crowded room, people are tugging at you. Or maybe you just got done speaking, you come offstage. And now you’re 25 people asking you, right, and it’s like, okay, it’s tough to be present. And, and so I think you have to be really intentional about that. And then you have to have really firm boundaries, enabled to do that. So one of the things I’ll say sometimes when I’m speaking on stage is I’ll say, you know, I’ll share this story. And then I’ll say, you know, so if you come up to me afterwards, and you’re standing there waiting, just realize that my attention is not going to be on those people standing there around me, my intention is going to be on the person I’m talking to. And I’ve learned that from Garth Brooks, and I’ve learned that from Joel Osteen, I’ve learned that from jack Canfield, the brilliant of being present. And I think one of the things that is being intentional, the other thing is being disciplined and having boundaries enough set up so that you can be present, and then positioning yourself in a place of presence so that you can actually be there, ask a question and wait for a complete response. And then again, going back to Am I asking you a question to learn RMA asking a question to speak. And when you when we change that, it always boils back down to that meaning What’s the meaning of this conversation?


The meaning for this conversation has to be bigger than myself? Or it’s just, it’s just limited to me, it has to be bigger than even you, Lisa? Or it just is a conversation? Can we have a conversation with meaning I, I held a meeting online, we had over 200 people online about three months ago. And I put it out to some of my friends. And I just said, Look, I just want to talk about this whole racism thing. And I just want to talk about, you know, Black Lives Matter. Yes, Black Lives Matter. I want to talk. I don’t want to talk about the movement. I want to talk about the conversation. And so I do this under the conversation matters platform that I do. And we had over 200 people and it’s been distributed to all kinds of organizations. Now it was two hours long. It was only supposed to go what 45 minutes right now. And it just kept going. We had people like Tommy Baylor who wrote She’s out of my life for Michael Jackson co produced We Are the World we have people like urban Raphael, who is the one of the heads of the Genesis motor Corps.


We had cassette was good and Corey miner both played in the NFL, we had amazing people on this on this call. And they shared their their feeling about it. It’s when we put ourselves in a place where we can have genuine real conversation, a conversation that matters, that we begin to ask better questions, we get to begin to get better answers. And a connection is really, really formed to a degree that is is never formed without some intention to it.


29:14  Lisa Patrick

Yeah, absolutely. Jeffrey riddles on and he says he thinks computers have dealt our senses and scattered our presidents. What’s your thoughts on that?


29:24 Bob Donnell

But you know, Jeffrey, I appreciate the comment. And I agree. I mean, it has, but it only has if we’ve let it so pewter didn’t do it. Computer didn’t wake up when they say I’m gonna just really interfere with this, but it’s our allowance of that. And so that goes back to one the next level pillars I teaching it says whatever becomes acceptable becomes inevitable. Once we make something acceptable, it becomes inevitable. And I’ve had that happen with all kinds of different environments. People that I’ve worked with on human behavior staff standpoint, and you know, I’ve had people come and say, you know, Bob What you know, I don’t know what to do I keep gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, and so well, when did it become acceptable to be fat? Now I said fat on purpose, I said it to jar them away from what they overhear, they always hear and that’s overweight, whatever it is challenged. And so she just looked at me and says, it’s never been acceptable to be fat. You know, Lisa, it is so funny. But every time I ask the question, what does it mean acceptable to be broke? Or when was it acceptable to become in an abusive relationship? The answer is always the same. Never. Oh, no, the moment of acceptability. And I said, let me play. So I told this lady, I said, you know, for example, when was last time that you took something out of your closet to where it didn’t fit. And so you put it back, and you reach for a looser pair? She was this morning. And I said, Thank you for being honest, I understand that. I said that. That was the moment of acceptability. She’s why and I said, because you didn’t reach for another looser pair, you didn’t reach for that pair of pants tomorrow. or the next day, you went and said, I’m not going to go through that embarrassment. Again, I’m going to reach for another pair that I know is looser fitting, and you did that the next day.


And then that became acceptable to wear a looser pair of pants. And she. And I said, so just what do I do? She’s What was I supposed to do wear those pants that were so tight. And I said, Honey, the tighter the better. The tighter the better, the more uncomfortable you feel in that place, the less likelihood you’ll continue in behaviors. Tony Robbins talks about so you know, you got to get uncomfortable. jouett Oh, man. And so I said, you know, when? When did you start wearing baggy pants? And she goes, I don’t really know. And I said, When was the what was the youngest age that you ever felt like an older gentleman, or older man looked at you in a way that made you feel uncomfortable? Again, quality of your question determines the quality of your connection. She said, Wow, I never thought about but probably when I was 15. I said, explain. She was walking through the mall with my mom who was very, very large breasted. And I was developing and we walked and I saw a man look at me longer than he looked at my mom for the first time as well. That wasn’t the first time but as first time we recognize it, I said that also wasn’t the last time was it just no.

And I said so you felt uncomfortable shoes. Yeah. So what do you think would be the natural inclination? She goes? I probably Yeah, she was probably within a year I was wearing baggy clothes. And I said, there you go. She goes. Well, so what do I do about that? I said, Well, you made the ball for men not to look at you. That’s why you start wearing baggy clothes and not putting makeup baseball hot or whatever you did. You made it acceptable. For now, do you want a relationship with a good man? Do you want a relationship with a man who adores you loves you and cherishes you? She’s Yes. And I said, then you have to make it acceptable for them to see you be attracted to you. Love you. And she wouldn’t let them tear your pants on baby. Oh, yeah,

33:07 Bob Donnell continues

yeah. And so all we did was I said, just just put a little bit of makeup on this next day. And just, you know, take the ball cap off, and just wear a little bit tighter clothes, not not tight, but just not not just like bags, and shoe. Within six months, she had an amazing relationship. She had dumped several pounds. And she felt so much better about herself. And it was because she goes what’s the what’s the mystery behind that I said, Because whatever you becomes acceptable becomes inevitable, good or bad. It becomes acceptable for a man not to look at you becomes inevitable. It becomes acceptable for a man to cherish you and love you and becomes inevitable as well.

33:52 Lisa Patrick

Yeah. Well, and I do believe you know, complacently we have choices right and complacency, you know, will breed this problems that you have. And so it’s interesting, you know, Kathleen Todoruk hi, Kathleen says that and love yourself as well. And and I mean is an amazing fashion designer here locally in Edmonton, and some of her designs are phenomenal. But so very true. You need to love yourself, because if you don’t love yourself, how can anybody else love you?

34:23 Bob Donnell


34:23 Lisa Patrick

Every call. It’s a difficult choice. You know, we have choices in our lives. So, you know, I mean to ask you, I’m going to I’m going to say some words and a little game with you. And I’m curious to see your response to the words. Okay, so the very first word is sacrifice. Okay.

34:48 Lisa Patrick

Let me give you my word. Sacrifice means to me that you’re willing to do something for yourself or for someone else. That is could be possibly construed as, as maybe not even beneficial to you. But you know that the outcome is beneficial as a whole, and then it’s going to be beneficial.

Do you believe that in every relationship in order to make a deeper connection, there has to be at some level a sacrifice made?

35:31 Bob Donnell


35:33 Lisa Patrick

No, I do to 100% Yeah. Okay, so the next word is going to be belonging.


35:43 Bob Donnell

belonging, you know, I think for for belonging for me is that no matter the most, hermit type of style for people, the biggest thing is my TED talk you alluded to is that it, we all have a sense that we want to have a sense of belonging, even if it’s worse to a small group of three people, we want a sense of belonging. And I think belonging is one of those things where we have to, we have to, again, be willing to make it acceptable to belong. And that come that comes with the unfortunate part is, and the fortunate part is that comes with also being willing to be excluded. And you have to be applying for membership. And in applying for membership in this, that group, that society or that click, or whatever it is, you’re trying to, that application can be denied. And so there’s vulnerability in that, that I think that leads itself to a greater sense of belonging to the right groups.

36:50 Lisa Patrick

Yeah, absolutely. So tell me a time. Because of course, like I said, I love stories. So tell me a time, Bob, when you either felt a great sense of belonging, or you didn’t belong?


37:05 Bob Donnell

Hmm. Well, you know, it’s interesting, because I was raised by a single mom, as I talked about before, and we moved a lot, I went to six different high schools and over 20 different elementary and junior high schools. And so there was always this element of walking into a school, being the new kid, and not feeling like I belonged. Um, people say, wow, that’s, that’s a really tough situation. Well, it was tough, until I learned a behavior that allowed me to, to develop an ability to ascertain whether someone was for me or against me in a really quick order of time. And in that process, it’s enabled me to do so many great things in my life, because I can go into a situation and quickly ascertain who’s with and who’s against, and then be able to develop the right relationships in the room. So that that was one, those were a lot of circumstances where I just did not feel like I belong walking in a school, new kid, you know, maybe sometimes it would be in the last two months of the school year. All the relationships are formed everything. But I can tell you one that really stood out to me, Jim Rohn, who is a great, great gentleman that I learned a lot from. He when he passed, I was invited at the last minute. Hey, Bob, would you like to come to Jim Rome’s Memorial?


And I’m going to Yes, yes, I would love to. And I was I was seated right behind the front row of the other guest of honors that were there to speak on behalf of Jim Rohn, which was like Denis Waitley. Tony Robbins, you know, just amazing, all these great, great people that have so much respect for. And I sat there and I was literally within arm’s distance of all these great speakers and mentors that had mentored me in one facet or another. And I left their lease and I left and I called one of my good friends, Wesley, and I said, Wesley, I just slept this, this memorial for Jim Rohn. And he goes, wow, what was what was that like? And I said, I literally sat there, and I felt like, I belong here. Wow, I’ve been long here. And I said, these were all people that I’ve maybe I’ve met them in the past, maybe I haven’t, but I’ve listened to theirs, you know, CDs or whatever. I admired him I read their books, but I literally felt like I belonged. And Lisa, that was a pivotal moment for me. I thought, what get what gave me a sense of belonging there versus someplace else. And so I did some analysis on that, but it was really, really interesting. And that moment, I felt like I truly belonged in that in that room with those people,


40:06 Lisa Patrick

I have goosebumps. That’s an amazing story. So what did you and Anna analyzed that? What what? What gave you in a room full of strangers in many ways to you know, you were that real true sense of belonging?


40:24 Bob Donnell

Yeah, you know, the, the analysis that they came up with was I started asking myself again, what’s the question? Right. The question is, why did I belong there when I don’t feel like I belonged someplace else? And I said, what was it the people? Was it the atmosphere? Um, and then I realized that the greatest thing was, yes, the people were great. They’re gracious, they’re loving their hands down. The number one thing was that the the purpose of us all being there was to honor Jim row. Yeah, that’s crow. You know, there’s a great quote that says there.


41:04 Lisa Patrick

Say, the common thinking of it. It’s like a tension, right?


41:08 Bob Donnell

Yeah, is that like, you know, anything doesn’t stand a chance to win, there’s a common enemy. And the common enemy being loneliness, or the common enemy being, you know, afraid of fear any of those things. If you have more people in the room, that with a common enemy, they tcan overcome that enemy. And the thing there was, I just sat there, and we were all there for one purpose. That was to honor Jim Rohn. You know, Denis waitley, did it his way. Tony Robbins did his way. And it was interesting to watch all these people that had all these experiences with Jim Darren Hardy, and see them have a different relationship with Jim. And at the same time, they were all there to share their stories about Jim. And, and I got to meet Kyle Wilson that night, and Kyle, and I’ve become really good friends since then.


He was Jim Roan’s business partner for 18 years. And just the people. I mean, some of those, like I said, some of those relationships have have been in my life now since that night. And we wouldn’t think that that would be a place that you would actually meet, you know, and connect with people. But the connection was because we were all there for the same thing. We weren’t there for me. Kyle wasn’t there for him, you know, that we were there to honor Jim Rohn. And I think that was the biggest thing that I took away from that. And so then I look, when I walk into a room I go, what can I find in common with someone? And then that is one of the catalysts to have a deeper connection.


42:46 Lisa Patrick

What an amazing gift that Jim gave you from the grave?


42:50 Bob Donnell

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Yeah.


42:55 Lisa Patrick

Wow. Like I’m, I’m just sit like that is probably I asked that question quite often. And I have to say that’s the most profound of an impact that that’s had on me of a story of belong. Incredible.


Thank you for whatever question for you. So as, as you and I were talking earlier, Jim Cathcart night, we’ve just finalized and sent to the publisher, our book called intelligent curiosity. Very exciting. Well, you know, Jim, and I’m, you know, he’s an amazing man, amazing human being, as you discussed. So tell me what you believe intelligent curiosity is? And how does it play an active role in creating connection?


43:41 Bob Donnell

You know, I love the title one. So, congrats to you and Jim, because both of you, I can tell will bring some great synergy to that subject. I think you know, intelligent. Those two words are so, so interesting that you pick those but I think that the idea of intelligent curiosity, is it’s one thing to be curious. It’s another thing to be curious with an intention of going we go back to that intention, right. So when I look at intelligent curiosity, I think, what is it that I want the outcome to be? What do I want to learn from reading this book? What do I want to learn from the conversation with this person? Who do I want to be on the other side of this? That intelligent curiosity? Being able to say, what is it that I want? And then with questions can i formulate so that it my curiosity is met? And not only that, but it’s exceeded? And so intelligent curiosity is being intelligent, being smart about the questions and then mate, knowing for sure what that outcome is that you’re looking for, so that you make sure that you ask the right question at the right time with the right person. And intelligent curiosity. What a great topic love that.


44:57 Lisa Patrick

Well, and it’s about seeing more, right. It’s about that taking action on more. It’s about, you know, a good friend Merle neurol Hodge, and he’s the running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And he wrote a book called way. Right? I don’t know if you’re with it or not, but or his story. But one of the things that he taught me in a coffee with Lisa show was that in order to really see more, do more or think more, you have to be an eligible receiver. And and he’s a perfect example is your running back. He’s not in the huddle of the situation. He’s on the on the edges, he’s on the outside waiting to be a receiver of the ball and that particular situation, but when you look at things differently, and you’re intentional about it, and like you said, you ask the right questions, you will be on the edge as an eligible receiver giving getting the greatest gift of all, which really is more knowledge more of something that you’re intentional about. So thank you for that. How does it play a role in making a connection?


46:03 Bob Donnell

I think people want to know that you genuinely care about the question you’re asking, and that there is a reason behind it. And if you start just firing off questions, they don’t respond well, right. They feel like that’s a machine gun approach, and they don’t like it. But if you start asking questions, I believe, like I said, a good question, we get a better question. If I walked into you, Lisa, and and walked down the street and says, Hey, would you like to have sex? I’m probably gonna get slapped. Right? So that’s your inappropriate words, you have to have the quality of your question has to be in alignment with the the level of relationship currency you have. And so that relationship, currency has to become first. But if I want to begin, I said, you know, and we started dating, and all of a sudden, then we got married, then that whole thing becomes a different thing. Why? It’s the same question. But it becomes under different relationship currency levels. I think a lot of times when people are asking questions, they don’t have the level of relationship currency that’s required for the question they’re asking. So the answer always becomes No. And I do a lot of sales training with people, they ask the wrong question at the wrong time, that they don’t have the relationship currency for and then when the answer is no, they Oh, well, that didn’t work. Well, sure it didn’t. Because you just asked for snacks, you know?


47:18 Lisa Patrick

Yeah. And I think too, you know, you interesting and with you the sales, you know, I sat in many sales, sales meetings, and I’m not talking about sales meeting, as in, you know, buy my product I’m talking about, you know, you’re selling your ideas, you know, everything is the situation, right. I think one of the big, I think two of the biggest things that people mistakes, people make one, they’re too busy talking, as opposed to listening. And listening in hearing is two different things. When you hear somebody say something, when you’re not present in the moment, which you talk about, you actually technically aren’t listening to what they’re saying, in order to have a great conversation and have and foster a deeper connection, you really have to listen and be present in the moment like you talk about. And that’s really where great questions come from. So from a sales perspective, I think people are so busy chit chatting about, you know, everything else, but really paying attention to the other person. And when you start paying attention, the other person, definitely things, you know, will evolve from that.


48:18 Bob Donnell

I agree. And I love what you’re saying there. Because, you know, I just had a great example of this. I was at Costco recently. And the whole mass thing and, and I picked up on something Costco asked everyone, when you walk into a store this you need to have a mass, you have a mass, Costco, reframe that same question, the same statement, but they said, Do you need a mask? Would you like a math rather than a demand? It was a question. And then people would go, Oh, no, I’ve got one. Or people would be like, Oh, no, here, let me pull it up. Just the reframing rather than you need a mask? Do you need a mask?



Well, and it is so important framing of the question will determine it’ll be more likely to get you the outcome you want.


49:10 Lisa Patrick

Well, and it’s brilliant, because what Costco has done is they’ve allowed you to allow the individual to have control over the choice. Right? And I think that’s really important, right? is when you allow winning, control, even have the conversation. Many times though, the questions that you ask, they don’t realize that you’re actually controlling the conversation. That way for sure. So I’m going to end the show, because it’s an hour show with one last question, and I’m dying to know, how do you handle conflict in your life?


49:49 Bob Donnell

You know, I came to this resolution many, many years ago because of my board of directors when I was 19. And my board of directors, I might say College of psychiatrists marriage, family therapy. Sargent necrotic, Villa county PD, I had this great work an attorney. And they really infused in me a lot of everything that I know about human behavior from that board of directors. But I learned from them that conflict in itself is not is not bad, it’s a good thing. So again, attach meaning to it, you get a different outcome, I realize that conflict is good, a match does not get lit, lit, or a knife does not get sharpened by butter. They only get sharpened by something that’s harder than themselves. Friction can produce an amazing result when you learn how to harness that friction. And so I’ve one as friction conflict is not bad in my book.


Two is how can I harness this conflict so that it produces a better result? It produces the match being lit or it produces the knife being sharpened? I think so one changing the meaning of conflict to is to say, How can I ask a better question? How can I use this to become better? How can I use this to say, who do I need to become in this process? You have a conflict with your spouse, we have a conflict with your kid or you have a conflict with somebody?


You know, can you ask the question that? How can I become a better person out of this, so that when I leave this conflict, I’m better. And I think the military, you know, I’ve had some great interaction with US military and I am so honored by the the opportunity to spend time with our military overseas. And you one of the things that I just believe that their goal is to and this is gonna hold be political, there’ll be a lot of people that disagree, and that’s okay. But their goal is to leave a country better than than it was to leave and have something stay in place. Well, it doesn’t always happen. And, but the goal is not to go in and destroy everything, the goal is to go in and do something of value for mankind or for the country or whatever, for in the future. I love the fact that, that when you change why you’re there, why you’re in the middle of that conflict. It just produces a whole different result than if you just go into the conflict for the sake of fighting. And there are people that will literally fight. So let me just cap off with that. And I feel like somebody wants to just fight, I don’t engage.


If somebody just wants to fight I’m not gonna engage, I’ll just let them say their piece and then move on. I have boundaries, well enough, affirmed that I don’t need to have a conflict. But if I truly believe that there’s a value in that conflict, for them for myself. I’m all in. And I think that goes back one of the next level pillars that says, any minute that you and I are less than our absolute best. And I mean, our absolute best. The world is operating from a deficit.


52:59 Lisa Patrick

Wow. Yeah, very true. Very true. And I think I think, you know, he talks about, you know, it’s a choice again, How does accountability play in the role of resolving the conflict?


53:15 Bob Donnell

But again, I don’t, the accountability part for me is, I don’t necessarily believe that it’s my responsibility to resolve the conflict. Again, the meaning of the conflict, far exceeds the, my responsibility to resolve the conflict. I think there’s some conflict that can be can be of great value left unresolved, and for people to challenge themselves with. So I’m not always looking to resolve a conflict. But in those situations, the accountability for me is, am I being true to who I am? And am I am I giving extending grace, unbridled grace to people who have a different opinion than me. And when we operate from that, I think that the the world begins to operate from from a benefit rather than a deficit.


54:14 Lisa Patrick

We’ll recently on my other podcast Culture Uncorked, I interviewed Garry Ridge, and one of the things that Garry Ridge talked about. So for those of you who don’t know, Garry Ridge, the chairman and the CEO of WD40. And one of the things he talked about was, regardless of the situation or the circumstances that you find yourself in, everything is a learning moment.


54:36 Bob Donnell

Amen. Agree. Amen.


54:39 Lisa Patrick

I agree. I would agree. So I would say that that in itself is really how I want to close the show, that everything is a learning moment, this entire hour has been a multitude of learning moments. And so I want to say thank you, I appreciate it. And God bless.

54:56 Bob Donnell

Thank you. Appreciate it, and God bless as well.

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