“One of the lessons we've learned about building community and building engaging gatherings is that in order to be inclusive, we actually often have to be exclusive.”
I mentioned this in an email I sent you on Monday (Subject Line: Your Community Needs YOU Now More Than Ever), and today I’m delivering a podcast to you on this topic.
As a society and as human beings, we’re facing unprecedented challenges. Like never before, people are disconnected, lonely, divided, and prone to conflict. In this moment, however, we have the power to step up and lead our communities—our families, our workplaces, our clients, and humanity as a whole.
But what does it actually look like to become that leader for your community? To help me answer that question, I’m excited to welcome Jon Berghoff back to the podcast. In today’s conversation, Jon and I walk you through powerful frameworks he uses to help leaders, entrepreneurs, and even companies like BMW unlock their collective wisdom—and how you can use them in your own life and work today.
You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about the FREE Workshop that Jon will be hosting for our community on February 9th, to dive even deeper into this topic. If you’d like to find out more and sign up, click here.
- Why people are so hungry for leadership right now.
- Why our brains react badly when the world changes faster than we can adapt.
- How an inner practice gives you the power to best serve your people, create meaningful connections, and have an impact.
- How to use the frameworks Jon has designed to encourage learning, collaboration, and positive interactions in groups.
- Why you have to be exclusive in order to be inclusive.
- What you can expect from our upcoming training on February 9th.
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)
Hal Elrod: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and thanks for being here today. I appreciate you being here. You're going to hear a conversation with my good friend, Jon Berghoff, one of my best friends for the last 22 years. If you've been a member of our community for a long time, you probably know Jon in one capacity or another. Jon co-hosted the Best Year Ever Blueprint, the live event that we ran for our community for six years. Jon essentially led that using a lot of what he's going to talk about today. But then also, when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, going into 2017, I was not in a position to lead or to host this podcast. And so, Jon stepped up and volunteered, and he hosted this podcast for essentially the entire year while I was getting chemotherapy, battling cancer, etcetera. So, if you've been a longtime listener to the podcast, you got to hear a lot from Jon during 2017. And of course, I've had him on the podcast quite a few times, and he also twice a year hosts a live training for the Miracle Morning Community. In fact, our next one is coming up on February 9th.
We'll talk a little bit about it today during the podcast episode, but February 9th, there is a live training for the Miracle Morning Community. I will put the link to register for the training in the email that this podcast is going out in. Also, in the show notes, and you can find the show notes for this podcast at HalElrod.com/415. This is Episode 415. So, HalElrod.com/415 if you want the link to register for the free training we're doing on February 9th and essentially today's podcast episode, which is kind of like, I mean, there's a correlation, obviously. It's kind of a preview if you will of the training, which will be a much deeper dive but it's about how do you lead your community? You know, right now, it goes without saying that we are facing unprecedented challenges as a society, humanity. There are so many things right now that we are facing that in my lifetime I've never seen, not at this level, in terms of division and conflict and people feeling disconnected and feeling lonely.
And so, right now, more than ever, I believe that each of us has to step up and lead our communities, whether that be just your family at home or be your workplace, your clients, or if you have an ability or desire to impact hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands or millions of people, whatever that looks like for you, I believe that we are all leaders. Human beings as human beings, we are all leaders and what you're going to learn today is needed right now more than ever before. So, that's that. And then also, by the way, if you can, if you want to go deeper into this, join the free training on February 9th. We did this twice a year. This is something Jon Berghoff has hosted for our community this type of training for the last, I don't know, two, three, four years, and so this year, we're doing it again. So, February 9th. I also wanted to mention before we dive in the new podcast, I'm sorry, not the podcast, the app, the Miracle Morning app. The app was launched a few weeks ago. You probably know this. You may already have it. You're using it. It's so cool. I love seeing everybody posting on social media screenshots of their Miracle Morning, their app they’re on day 4 or they’re on day 12, they’re on day 23 three, they just finished their 30-day challenge, et cetera.
And I will tell you, for those that have the app and are wondering what's coming in the future, we are developing the heck out of it. We actually just hired our developer that helped us create it. We brought him on full time because we have so many requests from you, from members of our community that, "Hey, I want a journaling feature so I can journal within the app. I want an affirmation feature so I can create my own affirmations in the app. I want meditation tracks,” on and on and on. So, we are going full speed to get every feature we possibly can out to you as soon as possible. We have a new update coming up here in the next few days and we'll be updating it at least once or twice a month until it's the app I always dreamed of. It's every app I've ever used for Miracle Morning, which I use like five of them if not more. One to track my SAVERS, I use one for my meditation, I use one for my extras, all these things, I've always wanted it to be in one app and so finally that is going to happen. So, you get the Miracle Morning app in the App Store, the Google Play Store.
And then last but not least is I want to just take a minute to thank our sponsor, Organifi. Organifi has been a longtime sponsor of the podcast. They make the highest quality whole food nutritional supplements in the form of powders that you scoop into a glass of water or your smoothie, or a cup of orange juice or nut milk, or whatever your favorite beverage is, and they give you a boost of adaptogens, which give you more the ability to adapt to the stresses in your life, gives you more mental clarity, more energy, and just boost your health overall, boost your immune system. Head over to Organifi.com/Hal and then use the code “Hal” at checkout to get an additional 20% off your entire order. And I'm a fan of Organifi. I’ve used their products for many years, and I hope you find something there that you love.
And speaking of love, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to or reintroduce you to one of my best friends, one of my favorite people in the whole world who is really the work he is doing, you're about to hear is profound. It's really making an impact in the world and he's going to teach you the most important aspects of what he's doing that you can immediately begin to do and implement into your life and into your work. Without further ado, here it is, the one and only, Jon Berghoff.
Hal Elrod: Hey, buddy. How's it going?
Jon Berghoff: Yo pal, what's going on, buddy?
Hal Elrod: It’s good to see you. We don't talk nearly as much as we used to, and we don't see each other nearly as much as we used to.
Jon Berghoff: I know. I'm glad we're here to change that, buddy.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, we've got a great conversation set for today but I want to start differently. You just did something for me that I wasn't expecting. Before we started recording, you asked if you could lead me or lead us in setting an intention for our conversation today. And it was beautiful. And once we stopped, I said, “Jon, I didn't know you were going to do that. I would have loved to record that.
Jon Berghoff: Neither did I.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, I don't know.
Jon Berghoff: I'm happy to do anything you’d like, buddy.
Hal Elrod: I’m going to set another intention after you've already set one. Can you set another intention or reset the intention? How does this work?
Jon Berghoff: Sure. Buddy, we could just set and reset for a whole hour here.
Hal Elrod: All right. Well, it put me in a really good mental, emotional, and spiritual space when you did that. And so, I would love to do the same for the person listening to this right now. So, yeah, man, the floor is yours, if you would. Let's set an intention for today.
Jon Berghoff: All right. Cool. You want me to bring in the background music again?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. That was nice, too.
Jon Berghoff: All right. Cool. Well, and whoever might be listening to this, Hal’s mom and kids. Sure. Why don't we take a deep breath? And inhale and exhale. Maybe for the next moment, we can slow down and deepen our breathing and just invite a moment of presence, a moment of pause. Selfishly, for me, I can always benefit from a chance to reconnect to the present moment. So, whoever's listening and if it's safe and you're not moving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery, you're welcome to close your eyes. You don't have to. So, Hal, I'm grateful to be with you here today, buddy. It has been too long. Maybe for the next moment, just invite an invitation, Hal, for you and I and anyone who's listening in as we breathe deeply to invite a connection between our breaths and our bodies to our hearts. And I'll offer an intention and invitation. I hope that, Hal, for you and I today we get a chance to reconnect to each other as brothers, as friends. And that whatever conversation we have, whoever is listening that we can be useful and be of service.
And if you're listening, I invite you to take a moment to breathe in to your own heart space and to imagine for a moment that maybe in this conversation we are invited to reconnect to a wisdom that's always been there. Maybe we're all given a gift to find what we need and moments when we're under pressure under stress. And maybe we discover the confidence, the courage, maybe the capabilities through this conversation to create even more value, be of even greater service in our worlds, in our communities, at home, and at work. I’ll invite all of us, Hal, you and I for the last moment here to just imagine in our mind's eye and our heart’s eye, somebody or somebodies who we want to help. And imagine for a moment that somehow this conversation unpacks something that allows us to help somebody else. And for those of you who teach, convene, lead, coach, serve in group environments or you're interested in doing that, I know that's one place our conversation could go today.
Imagine the feeling of being able to help somebody in their life or at work multiplied by 10 by, 50, by 100, by 1,000. If you breathe that feeling into your heart space for the final moment, you imagine looking into the eyes of somebody who you're helping and maybe rise up and move ahead into the future and see that person or so many of those persons through their eyes, through the eyes of those who they touch, in the lives and the souls that maybe this conversation gives any of us the blessing and the ability to create that kind of lasting impact. I just invite anybody who's listening right now from a place of self-compassion, courage, and commitment to serve, to give yourself the gift of not just seeing, hearing, or feeling what it could feel like, to maybe unpack and unlock a potential that you've known has been there. And then bring that feeling all the way back to this present moment and maybe one final deep inhale and exhale. And an invitation to be present. Hal, I'm grateful to be here with you, buddy. This is a moment that matters. Love you, buddy. Glad to go wherever we want to go.
Hal Elrod: I love you too, man. I'd like you to come on each of my podcasts every week and do that with me and for me. It’s helpful, man. That's beautiful. So, let's start. You know, we mentioned, Jon, that we don't talk as often as we used to, right? For those that don't know, Jon and I have been close friends for 20 years. We shared a bed for four months. We were roommates with only one bed in our apartment. That's another story for another time. We've told it many times. And then we ran The Best Year Ever. We ran a live event for six consecutive years and had thousands of members of the Miracle Morning Community come through that event in San Diego year after year after year. And intuitively, we decided that 2019 would be the last year we ran that event, and then a pandemic hit and we felt like we made a good move there.
Jon Berghoff: How smart were we, huh?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. The seeing the future the way we did was great.
Jon Berghoff: Oh my God.
Hal Elrod: So, let's just start there, man. Let's start with a catch-up. It's a genuine catch-up not only for the audience to get to know you a little bit but for me to catch up as we don't catch up nearly as often as we used to. What's been happening in your life and in your business and in your world the last few years?
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. Well, I mean, the story of my life and my business, I'll start with this morning and then go back to yesterday. I mean, I just dropped one of my kids at school and as a parent of my 12-year-old son, Ace, and my 10-year-old daughter, Sierra… Hal, are you like me where when you name or think of how old are your kids are, you question if you actually have the right age?
Hal Elrod: I only have two kids, so I don't have as much of a...
Jon Berghoff: And I've got Kaizen who’s seven.
Hal Elrod: It’s easier to remember two. Three, though, yeah, that's a whole new algorithm you got to figure out.
Jon Berghoff: Oh my gosh. So, these little blessings just going through the pandemic as a father and as an entrepreneur, it's been wild. And then professionally, yeah, we just finished yesterday, a three-day immersion training for our community of coaches and teachers and on facilitation and for 200 people online. And it's like two years ago before the pandemic, we weren't doing that. So, it's been high highs and low lows and I have a feeling that there's a lot of folks that might be listening to this who a lot of us are in the same boat and it's revealed a lot of lessons, a lot of lessons. And I'd love to say that our company has grown and multiplied the way it has because we're so smart. Maybe we are but I think we were also a little lucky. But I do feel like the pandemic, especially for me, it's taught me more in the last two years than as far back as I can think in my journey to try and understand who I am and how to create value in the world. So, on a high level, it's been visceral, buddy. Where do you want to go with that?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, I think that for those that don't know what you do, the company you founded is XCHANGE and I got to witness it first-hand because you created it while we were working together for so many years. And actually, you practiced it essentially at our live events, right? Leading groups to unlock the collective wisdom, as you say. And so, I do think that it is interesting that the business that you run I feel like is so needed right now. It's people that are right now, our communities, people listening to this, that's my community, the Miracle Morning Community, the Achieve Your Goals Community, which kind of one in the same. But understanding how to lead communities right now in a way that people are really hungry for leadership. And if you're listening to this right now, I would challenge you to consider that you are needed right now more than ever as a leader in your community and your family as a community, your workplace as a community. You are surrounded by and part of communities. So, yeah, Jon, I feel like I actually talked to Brianna Greenspan yesterday and she was in that training and just saying, "Hal, oh my gosh,” she said she was in tears. Yeah, this is good for you to hear. Brianna said she was in tears as you were leading that 3-day online event because of the impact that it was making for people. So, yeah, and thank you for what you're doing.
Jon Berghoff: Thanks, buddy. Brianna, I hope, though, it was some version of happy tears.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, you just…
Jon Berghoff: Well, it may have been many emotions.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, so let's go there in terms of when we look at the world right now, what are the challenges that you see and what are the opportunities that you see for all of us?
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. I mean, that's a big question. And you know, I'm just one dude who's trying to find answers to those myself. And I think the first thing is a common thread for me when the pandemic came especially is the realization that a willingness for all of us to look within and to be willing to adapt, to be willing to evolve. You know, I understand. I am so privileged on so many dimensions and I'll be happy to unpack all those but not every entrepreneur was able to get through the way we were. And I think this is a moment in time where more than any other in my short lifetime for me and maybe for many of us, a willingness to learn, a willingness to let go and to be open to new possibilities. There's a quote we used to have on our wall at our office. I was looking for it this morning. I don't know. Somebody took it down. And it's something along the lines. I'm going to paraphrase that in times of change, the learners will inherit the future and everybody else becomes obsolete. That's like the essence of the quote. It's really interesting about that quote. I am frustrated that I'm not naming the guy but it’s here nor there. I think his name was Eric Hoffer maybe. Of course, I don't know a lot about who Eric Hoffer is. It's funny when we quote people and we should go find out who these people are.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I've had people rip apart my posts because they go, “I can't believe you quoted that person. He's horrible.” I don't know the guy. I just thought it was a good quote.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. Maybe Eric Hoffer created genocide or something.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, terrible human being. Who knows?
Jon Berghoff: I don't think he did. I think he may have been a doctor of some type. I could be wrong on that. But here's the point. The point is somebody pointed out to me recently that quote and that guy, that quote was like captured or stated in like the 1917, 1918 Spanish flu. That’s interesting. But here's the point. Now's a really important time for us to be willing to reinvent. A lot of people are seeing that. And so, you would ask like when we look at our world, what are the challenges and the opportunities? This is something we study and because I feel it's my responsibility, some would say it should be all of our responsibility. As an entrepreneur, I've got to look at what's happening in the world. And even if it's confronting, even if it's terrifying, I've got to understand what's going on. And I think a couple of things that are happening. One is the world is changing maybe faster than we as human beings are really equipped to deal with that change. Eric Teller, who is a long-time and may still be an executive over at Google, he was one of the first people that I learned that from a number of years ago.
So, what does that mean? In a lot of your listeners, they’re like they don't need the data. It's like you just walk around the streets in your hometowns and you look at the division and the disconnection and the polarization and all the possible issues that you could choose to look at. I think we need to wake up and we need some clarity on what does that mean. And so, a couple of things that it means, at least in my small little playground that I play on every day, is first of all, when the world's changing like this, we work with this training that Brianna was at this week. Our faculty, these are thought leaders who've been teaching many people all around the world for many years to understand the neuroscience, the biology of what happens in moments of stress, what happens when we're dealing with problems that we don't have solutions for. And the short answer is we struggle when we get into places of stress and self-doubt. When the pressure exceeds, the feeling that we have the tools to deal with it, it doesn't just disconnect us from our higher thinking. It disconnects us from each other and it ultimately can send us into spirals of reactivity. And then there are all sorts of unhealthy things that happen from that. The mental health issues right now, it's a huge deal. It's real. So, you ask what's going on and what are the opportunities?
For one, I don't know, Hal, that what you teach, which is teaching people that when they wake up the types of practices that help us to learn how to pause, to self-regulate, to strengthen our attention skills so that when we face our day at home or at work, we can be our best selves, whatever that means. I don't know if there's ever a more important time for us to be dedicated and committed to the kind of work that you've stood for, for a long time. So, that's a part of my journey and the stuff I stand for. And then there's another side to that. So, inner work is important, but it also might not be enough. There might be another skill set, and this is what we have seen and I feel like we've been blessed as a company because anybody who's ever tried to create value and we serve coaches, speakers, leaders of mastermind groups, communities, organizational leaders and you might say, "Well, that's a diverse group. What do they have in common?” Well, what we're teaching all of them is how to create value in group settings. And so, there's an interesting opportunity right now, and there's an obvious reason why somebody might want to learn how to help groups versus just one-to-one, just the economics are great. “Yeah, I can create a great living when I know how to create value and help a lot of people in the same amount of time.”
But there's also something interesting that happens when we ask ourselves, "What's happening in the world and how can I be in service of what is happening right now or the trends or the greatest challenges?” And a good friend, a teacher of mine for many years, he’s also a student of our facilitation methods. He's on our faculty. Raj Sisodia, who wrote the book, Conscious Capitalism, years ago and gave birth to a whole movement that said business should be a force for good in the world, a force of healing. You know, one of the things that Raj Sisodia has said for a long time is we have a crisis of meaning. People are missing deep meaning in their lives and in their work. And maybe some of your listeners have felt that. I also believe there's been a crisis of connection. I think people were lonely before the pandemic got here, and then look what that did. Look how divided and separated people feel. So, here's a punch line. What happens if we learn how to bring groups together in a way that creates meaningful connection, where people feel safe and authentic and real and connected in all types of group settings? Can we learn faster? Can we learn how to create value and help each other? Can we create a sense of belonging and safety that ultimately helps us to create the kinds of cultures and communities that maybe our world is begging for?
So, that's kind of a trend that we're very deeply curious about, and all the methods we're teaching are looking for the best answers we can find to help people who want to learn how to unlock what's available in any group gathering. So, I'll stop there and wherever you want to go with that.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, it makes me think about you mentioned how crucial practices like the Miracle Morning are for our inner work right now is crucial, more important than ever. You know, when life is going great and the economy is going great and everything's going great, you could skip the inner work and be like, “Yeah, it's okay. My bills are paid. Everything's going great.” But when things get a little dicey, a little bit challenging, we've got to really be at our best. And you mentioned the mental health crisis and I'm struggling with it. You know, there are certain days where I wake up with feeling…
Jon Berghoff: Me too.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the lack of clarity around the things that we can't control. But the other thing that you said when you said, "Maybe that's not enough,” right? Maybe that's foundational, yes, but we need the skill set so that we can lead groups of people. It makes me think about just going back to my own life. When I was a coach, I used to do one-on-one coaching and I would be able to fit like 12 clients at any given time. So, therefore I'm helping 12 people every week through my one-on-one coaching. Then I had a breakthrough of what if I went from instead of coaching one-to-one, what if I learned how to facilitate groups? And this was it was paled in comparison to what you teach. You know, this was like 1.0 but I decided to go from one-on-one coaching to group coaching. And within a few months, I had 220 something coaching members. So, it's like all of a sudden now, a one-hour call instead of impacting one person, that same one hour was impacting 200 plus individuals. And from the income perspective, I was able to earn income from 200 people for that one hour instead of one person.
And so, both in terms of impact and for those that it's relevant in terms of income being able to make that you mentioned reinventing yourself, being able to reinvent yourself from someone that helps one person at a time to being able to facilitate large groups of people create that meaningful connection and create impact, that can make all the difference in the world, especially with where we're headed right now in the world. I think it's what we need as individuals and it's what the world needs right now.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. And I appreciate the way you shared that, Hal, because so many of the folks that we have had the privilege to teach our methodologies to. And you may have mentioned this in the intro to this episode, but we might talk about some things right now that if anybody wants to see what this looks like and you want to meet me live in-person on Zoom, we're doing a special workshop just for the Miracle Morning Community, and I'm sure we'll give the link out at some point. I don't even know what it is. Our team will be upset when they hear me say that.
Hal Elrod: It's really long but it'll be in the email. It'll be on the email, the show notes. Maybe I'll give it at the end, but yeah, go ahead.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. We're going to do a two-hour workshop just for the Miracle Morning Community, where I will lead an experience of what we might talk about here because it's one thing to talk about what an orange tastes like. It's another for people to get to bite into it. So, just give that caveat. But, yeah, you talked about how important could this opportunity be to be able to bring out the best in groups. It's a big deal because, and I got to be careful where we want to go with this, it's a big deal for many reasons, but if we go back to some of these trends right now in our world and you look at this idea that maybe there's a crisis of meaning, maybe there's a crisis of connection, maybe when we look across our institutions, from education to health care to government, you can keep going and we see the collapse. Well, what's true to a system is almost inseparably true at every level in that system and in our workplaces at home, for any of us who have businesses where we're trying to help other people and we want to figure out how to do it in groups at the same time where there's a lot of despair in the world, there is an equal opportunity in an entrepreneurial sense to learn how to do what you're talking about, and it takes a certain set of paradigm shifts in understanding how to serve in group settings. Just new beliefs. We can talk about those.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. We’ll dive into some of those.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah, and there are some practical tools as well, just understanding the power of designing conversations. A lot of folks look at what we do once they see it and they go, “Oh, wow, what you're really doing is you're designing the way people interact in teams, in learning environments.” So, it takes both a change in beliefs and also some tools. And if you want, we can impact any of these if this can be helpful for anyone who's listening.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I want to give some specifics for people so they can actually really start implementing this. But I want to mention first, the way I've seen the XCHANGE approach and what you're doing applied in my world, just in my circles of influence, it shows up all the time. So, for example, I was on a summit last week with Front Row Dads. Front Row Dads being our friend Jon Vroman’s, you know, it's to me the greatest group that I'm a part of but it was led by Steve – how do you say his last name? Buche?
Jon Berghoff: Steve Bouchard. Yeah. He's our head of training at XCHANGE. Yeah.
Hal Elrod: I mean, there you go. So, like, I literally experience, I was at a six-hour summit and online, I'm like most people. It's funny. I saw you. I don't know where you mentioned this. You said people don't have Zoom fatigue. They have sh*tty meeting fatigue.
Jon Berghoff: It's true. It's true.
Hal Elrod: Right? But it's true because I actually was like, “Okay. I'm doing this. I'm committed. I want to be a better dad so I'm going to the Front Row six-hour online summit.” But it was led by one of your head facilitators, and it was like diverse. I was in a group and I was by myself and I was journaling. It was like I was nonstop stimulated and engaged the whole time. So, there's that and then the other is when I talked to Brianna Greenspan yesterday and she was mentioning that your training had her in tears, she right now is leading a huge initiative, a monumental initiative in the Miracle Morning mission. And for you listening right now, by the way, everybody listening, I want to share this with you in case you don't know because you'll probably hear more and more and more about this. But Brianna Greenspan is bringing the Miracle Morning into schools at a level that no one's ever done before. And that was a vision that I had in like ten years ago that, wow, what if every student in the world started their day with the SAVERS? You know, they meditated, they did affirmations to build their confidence, they visualize to be in a peak state, they exercise to get the blood flowing, they learn something they read, they journal what they're grateful for. I thought that could change the world, right?
The same way the Miracle Morning can change the world, well, getting it in schools, where better to start? And Brianna's using her, she's a certified XCHANGE trainer. She's using your methodology to both get the Miracle Morning in school and then she's now using it to lead groups of people so that we can have groups of people bringing in the Miracle Morning into schools. So, yeah, I don't know. I just wanted to acknowledge you, thank you, and just let the community know like this work, the skills that you're teaching that you're about to teach, let's dive into this, but they're making a huge impact.
Jon Berghoff: That's awesome. We love to hear that and Brie is a superstar. Yeah. You began by mentioning you just last week attended an event that was guided using our methodologies. And Jonny Vroman, he's one of my living heroes and Steve Bouchard is an incredible teacher. We can use even that event as a great example. So, this isn't theoretical to talk about what does it look like for someone to develop the skill to be able to create massive value in groups which can generate great returns as an entrepreneur, but most importantly, be of service to people and help them? So, how do you want me to unpack it?
Hal Elrod: I mean, yeah, talk about the 3C framework, the 4S framework, some of the frameworks that you actually teach in XCHANGE. Let's teach those to folks so they can start to understand them and apply them.
Jon Berghoff: Okay. Cool. So, excuse me. Forgive me for coughing right into the microphone. I just wanted to keep it real. Just choking on my own oxygen there. Yeah. So, first of all, there's a need for us to let go of some old beliefs and paradigms in order for the tools to work, and we'll share the tools. First, let's talk about this. We at XCHANGE, you know, Front Row Dads’ a great example. Jonny Vroman just like you and I, we've been friends for a long time, and when he founded that group, we kind of hardly knew what we were doing but he invited me to help get that group off the ground using our methods very early on since then. And I'm going to say this, Hal, so your listeners understand the ground that I'm standing on as we speak. You know, we've been brought into the largest organizations in the world from Facebook to facilitate a high-stakes internal collaboration to teaching self-driving engineers at BMW how to unlock their collective intelligence. And we train all the chapter chairs for Women Presidents Organization. We led what we were told was the highest-rated training in their history at Keller Williams, teaching their master faculty these methods and I could go on and on.
I'm saying this because while as a parent and a human, I'm on the same path as everybody and I have no idea what I'm doing half the time is what it feels like. We know what we're doing and BMW looked at our methods after we spent 11 days in Munich. They said, "This is the future of collaboration.” And they said, “Put that on your websites if you want.” So, I'm going to own that what we're about to share, it works. And it works first by understanding that when a group of people are brought together, there is a measurable thing that we can claim that is a collective intelligence. Now, people use different labels to talk about this, a oneness, a connectedness, collective wisdom. And that might sound a little woo-woo but this stuff is measurable in many different ways. So, what's the usefulness of knowing that there might be such a thing as collective intelligence? Well, when we bring a group together like that Front Row Dads summit, that Front Row Dads’ six-hour online summit that I'm certain was rated a 9 point something out of 10 for a lot of reasons but one is because the tools that we used unlock the collective wisdom of the however many, probably 100 dads like yourself that were in attendance.
And it begins with the first understanding, which is when we bring a group together in that setting that we call that a learning community, a mastermind group, a conference, a workshop, a training, call all these a learning community. When we bring that group together, it begins by understanding that the idea that Jon Vroman like my guess, I don't know, my guess is Jon did not sit there and talk to everybody for six hours. In fact…
Hal Elrod: I know.
Jon Berghoff: I do know that there's a good chance he didn't say anything, even though he founded the group. And there's a good chance that you didn't sit there and listen to five or six or seven speakers in a row. I have a good feeling of how the day was designed because it was based, first of all, on an understanding that the idea that a few of us have all the answers is an outdated, obsolete, industrial, patriarchal, you could use all these labels. It's a 1.0 understanding of how to unlock what's possible in a group. So, where do we go from there? So, let's ask the question who is it that we're really engaging and how are we engaging? So, how do we move away from a few of us have all the answers to how do we unlock the intelligence of everybody? And part of how we do that, and it starts to reveal the method is we move away from the idea that it's all about answers to what are the questions that we can design to facilitate conversations so that we can actually unlock the wisdom of that whole group. And I know that how you probably spent a good portion of that day was learning from teachers and great teaching. So, it's not about getting rid of those that do have great insight but it's about amplifying that information by then inviting that group into what we do with it.
So, you asked, "How do they bring their experience and their wisdom and how do they discover that they already have a lot of the tools, they just needed to remember that and learn from each other?” You asked about what's called our 3C model. If you want, I can impact that real quickly although listeners can take the over on how quickly “quickly” is for me. So, when a group of learners come together, there's a handful of reasons why you went to that summit. And here's the most obvious. You wanted some ideas. You wanted to be a better dad. Right? And one of the fatal flaws that we make when we bring groups together is we over-prioritize the content that is being presented in workplace meetings, in learning environments. We think, "Well, it's all about the content.” And I'm not dismissing the value of great content. That's one reason why you were there to get some ideas to help you out. We call that intellectual capital just so we can sound smarter than we are. The second reason people may have shown up to that summit is what we'd call social capital. You may have wanted to be around and meet other dads like yourself. Great. That's obvious. Those are often the two reasons someone might come into a learning environment.
There's a third reason what might not be why you came but it's often why people will come back. And before we unpack that, let’s just take a step back. If someone's listening, you're going, “Huh, this is starting to sound interesting.” On the way out of the outgoing president of the National Speakers Association, she was with us all week and is a very active member of our community, she said, "These tools that we're talking about, this might be the solution that the entire professional speaking industry has been waiting for. They just need to discover it. Why? Because what we're doing is we're moving away from the idea that the sage on the stage is the way to honor groups. What happens if we become the guide on the side?” And so, when we do that, we realized that content is important but instead, what if we prioritize connection but ultimately, the spirit of community? And that's the third source of value when a group comes together. It’s not intellectual or social capital but communal capital. What is that? It's the feeling that I belong to something that I want to belong to. By the way, biologically, people are dying to feel belonging right now.
And we can impact so, “Okay. How do you do that and what creates that?” But those are the three reasons why someone would have come to a group like that, that sense of community is often what might bring them back even if it's not why they showed up. And what we call the 3C model is it's three questions that we ask to create the experience that you had. Number one, from a content perspective, how do we learn how when groups come together to move the way that people learn from passive to active as often as possible? I love, Hal, that you just revealed that you don't like sitting on Zooms all day. Neither do I. Neither does most of the world. Not because Zoom is the problem. Not because being on a screen is a problem. You can't say that being on a screen is a problem. How many of us have binged a Netflix series in the last seven months? So, it's not the screen. It's what we're doing on the screen, right? So, I appreciate you bringing that truth forward. It’s true for all of us, I think, many of us. So, why was it that you were captivated? Well, because we understand some basic, experiential learning theory that frankly, nobody's learning when someone's talking. They don't start learning really until we have some interactions that are designed around that.
So, that’s the first question is how do we move these experiences from passive to active? Second, there's a lot of ways to do it but we got to ask the question. Second question is how do we move the teaching from the stage to the audience? So, from time to time, we ask the audience members questions around, "What's been your lived experience? What's working for you? Where have you struggled? What can you learn from that?” And we turn them towards each other. That not only engages and makes it interactive, help solve the first question, but it builds connection at the same time, meaningful connection. You know, we've helped a large global conference last year. We had the privilege of helping to design and facilitate at the Women Presidents Organization conference. They were able to pull it off in person. And I got up on stage in front of 450 women CEOs. It’s probably the most concentrated group of global women leaders in the world. What an honor. What a privilege. What an incredible network. The intelligence, the care, the way that group operates, it's a model of a learning community. And I was given the gift of 80 minutes on the keynote stage and then like two or three more hours over the course of the event.
And when I was given that gift, you know what I did? I didn't talk. I gave them questions and I asked them to turn to each other and I said, “You're dealing with change right now. What have you learned about adapting to change? When have you overcome a challenge and what can you learn from that? And teach it to each other. And what do you want to be celebrating a year from now? Because that kind of question invites us to see a future which it can unlock energy and inspiration and ideas in the present.” And they said afterward, the WPO, like we thought that was a risk to have them just talk to each other for 90 minutes in a professionally designed way. But what we're doing is the learning is coming from within the participants in that case. We're building extraordinary connection. But if we're doing it right, we're also answering a third question, which is whenever a group comes together, how do we realize that it's not about helping them just as individuals but it's about seeing that there's a system at work or a community?
And how do we connect people in a way where they ultimately feel safe and like they belong? And one way to do it is just let people connect. Now, it needs more than that. It's professionally designed and guided facilitation. We can talk more about that. But when people are eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart and they get to know each other and they're not looking at the stage the whole time, special things happen. So, that's the 3C model, and we can keep going wherever you want with that. Let me just pause before I keep going.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, I mean, I think that's actually really helpful and it's a general paradigm shift and some techniques around changing. There are so many things you said that I really, changing from learning from the guru in front of the room, the one person with all the wisdom. And I think that there's really a correlation there right now in our world with listening to “experts” versus our own experience. So, yeah, I think that drawing that wisdom from each other is so, so so, so important and I don't know where it's taught. I mean, I'm sure there are some places but it's not something that I ever learned.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. Raj said that yesterday, Raj Sisodia, because he was on our faculty this week and he and I did a session and he shared about his journey of awakening just for himself very personally. He’s very personal with our 200 students. And at the end of it, he said, “Hey.” By the way, the way that we're facilitating this training is like and this is a guy who literally has created a global movement in business in an extraordinary, beautiful way. And he just said it. He goes, "The reason I'm here learning how to facilitate this way is they never taught us this even as professors.” And let that sink in, right? Yeah, you're right. Maybe, Hal, one of the things we could share with people are if someone's listening, going, “Okay. I'm starting to get it. Wow, that 3C is like a compass. It's a paradigm shift in how we gather.” If I can, I can try and make it even more practical so that if somebody can't come to one of our free workshops, like, here's a few things you could do.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, please. Perfect.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. So, if you go back to what you did in the Front Row Dads event last week, so here are some examples if any of us want to create more value with groups that come together in a human way where we pull humanity through that screen and it's really alive and it's real and people are learning, but also connecting and sharing. And how many different environments could that help us in organizations, not just these learning environments? So, here's one, the most important learnings, and we'll unpack two or three here. One of them is if we want to bring groups together. And nowadays we're doing a lot of this online. But by the way, everything we're saying, these are all models that we built in person. This is not how to do this online. It actually just seems to work really well online in some ways, even better. But all this works in person too. Just make that clear. If we want people to be engaged, I'm guessing, Hal, that you may, you may not remember, but before that one day summit, I'm guessing that Steve and Jon, conveners of that group and Jon, the head of that community, they probably set some expectations and even asked you to agree to show up in a certain way.
Because if anybody who's listening to this has been on a Zoom meeting in the last two years where half the cameras are off, how many of us have been in a meeting like that where we're sitting there thinking, “Why are we here? This is demoralizing.”
Hal Elrod: We have people just checking their email the whole time.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah. And we know that. We know that, right? So, one of the lessons and this is going to be a sharp stick of truth, and I’m going to encourage everyone to sit with this. One of the lessons we've learned about building community and building engaging gatherings is in order to be inclusive, it's a nice buzzword, we actually often have to be exclusive. What does that mean, in order to be inclusive, we have to be exclusive? What it means is if I'm trying to run a gathering of any type where the way we want to run it is where people are present, they're interacting, they're sharing with each other, I can't accomplish that if I allow people to show up who've not agreed to show up with a certain type of presence. So, we teach our facilitators, "Here's how you set expectations ahead of time.” So, we can't have a human experience if people don't show up ready for that. Oftentimes, like this training I just ran this week is 200 people. They paid a lot of money to be there. It means a lot to them, means a lot to our company.
In the first 10 minutes, you know what I did? I said to everybody, “I know coming here we made agreements, but I'm going to check in one more time. If you sincerely have other things that are pulling at your attention, I'm going to ask you to ask us to give you your money back right now and ask you to not be here this week because we're not going to stand for that. And we know we've already agreed, but just want to check in one more time in case you missed all those emails.” Literally, Hal, we uninvite people so that they realize, “I've got to decide. Am I really ready to be?” And we continually check in on that present. So, that's one practical lesson is if I want to bring a group together and we want to be engaged, we got to have agreements ahead of time on how we're going to show up and then we got to hold each other to those. Here's another quick practical idea. Hopefully, somebody is hearing this thinking this sounds practical. That gathering that you were at with the Front Row Dads, it was interactive. Here's a riddle. If there's a ship out at sea and that ship all of a sudden finds itself in the middle of a storm, and, Hal, how do you think most people answer this question? There's a ship out at sea. The ship finds itself in the middle of a storm. In that moment, who is the most important person or persons? There are some answers that come up that are obvious and understandable and practical. What do you think people would say?
Hal Elrod: The captain of the ship.
Jon Berghoff: The captain or the crew or people would say God or whatever and it's like here's the deal. Those people are all important but I'm going to make an argument that if anybody's listening to this and they want to learn how to bring groups together and to create magic and build community, which, by the way, it's one thing to put all the effort in to get people to show up once. The economics, the sustainability, the healthiness of a business, if you want to do this is really about getting them to want to come back. If you want people to come back, you have to know how to lead people through experiences that build connection and community and all this stuff that they can't get by watching videos and reading books. Well, when that ships out at sea, the captain and the crew, that's kind of like saying, "When I'm leading a group, what matters most is me the facilitator.” But I'd like to make an argument that at that moment, the most important person or persons or role is the designer of the ship because the ship was either designed to be able to deal with that storm or it wasn't. No matter how skilled the captain and the crew are, if they're dealing with a rowboat, what are they going to be able to do, right?
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Jon Berghoff: So, as a group convener, one of the most under-respected, underappreciated skills is understanding how to actually design what we're going to do when groups come together, understanding that, hey, if we are going to share some information passively, how do we right before it or right after it or both create interactive activities so that we're balancing the way we spend time? Because if we don't balance the passive and the active learning, we don't balance how much they're learning from one person versus each other. So, we have to become designers of these experiences. And I would just ask anybody, before you bring a group together, how clearly have you planned out how you're going to spend that time so that it feels healthy? Hal, I'll share one more thought on, and again, if somebody wants to see an example of what we're talking about and an actual design in action, I know there's a free workshop that we're doing for your community. I'm personally leading it. Whatever the URL is, someone will find it.
Hal Elrod: It's on February 9th and we'll have, yeah.
Jon Berghoff: Cool. It's on February 9th whenever it is. And if somebody is listening to this after that, I'm sure the link we’ll send them to maybe another opportunity to come to one of those. But here's the last thing I'll share, Hal, and this is something that I think is maybe the most useful thing of anything we've talked about. Like, you're leading a family meeting in a few minutes, aren't you?
Hal Elrod: I am. Yeah.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah, you're leading a family meeting. So, when we design gatherings using our methodologies, a lot of the interactions we design are based on designing questions to ask and then how do you choreograph the conversations people have around this. So, you're going into your family meeting and if I was designing that family meeting, I'm sure you have your own design but one of the first things I would ask is, what are the questions that I might present to my family? And the goal is not for the questions to be overly complicated. Beautiful questions can often be simplistic by design so that they're accessible. And so, I might think what are the kinds of questions we could ask? And depending on the emotional tone or the flavor of the meeting that I want or the goals of the meeting, there are different questions that make different sense. You know, it could be inviting us to celebrate whatever we want to celebrate over the last week. Or I know you guys probably have family values you've created. It's, "Hey, let's recognize each other or ourselves for whenever we live these values.” Or maybe it's not always about trying to invite something that's positive or celebratory. It's, "Hey, if any of you had a struggle and what have we learned from that?”
Or maybe it's what is it if you want to appreciate that you've learned about yourself or about each other? Or what are you hopeful for, for the next week? You know, these questions while they sound simple, embarrassingly simple, they follow scientific principles like you're looking at me right now, you can see my background. I got these sunflowers. So, in life, everything grows towards the sun. There's a print. It's called the heliotropic effect, and the heliotropic effect means we grow towards that, which gives us life. Why do people love the Miracle Morning practices? Because it's life-giving. That's why it's a positive addiction. Great questions are life-giving. So, think about the questions that we ask when we come together. Last point I'll make, Hal, and then I guess we got to wrap to get you to your meeting is that in the last year and a half, I think we've taught 1,500 coaches, consultants, leaders of communities, mastermind groups, organizations, our methodologies, and I'm of the opinion that every one of those folks that we've had the privilege to teach, they have a privilege if they are given the chance to lead a group and we have to give a reverence to that.
We have to give respect to when people give up their time, they need the best that we can give them, which some days is harder than others. But the last thing I want to share today is whoever's listening to this, whatever role you serve, whether it's at home, at work, at school, whoever you are, the greatest responsibility I believe we have outside of all these design tools and learning how to bring groups together and build businesses on that, it all comes back to the inner work. It all comes back to how you've been teaching for so long. And that is we've got to remember that when we are given the privileged opportunity to lead a group that whatever's going on inside of us is a quote from a former executive of Hanover Insurance, Bill O'Brien. He says, "The success of any intervention,” it's a weird word, but he said, "The success of any intervention is ultimately a reflection of what's going on inside the intervener.” In other words, when we lead others in the HeartMath Institute, they're dear friends of ours. Debbie Rozman, the CEO, is on our faculty this week. We do a lot of work with them. They've been measuring this for decades. Whatever is going on inside of us, energetically, measurably, will affect what's going on for others.
If we want other people to feel safe and present and connected and curious and open, we have to have the practices that nurture those qualities inside of ourselves. If we want people to be compassionate towards each other, we need to develop an inner compassion for ourselves because it will reflect outwards, refract outwards. So, when I go home tonight and I can say this really nicely on a podcast, easy to say, so hard to do, sometimes, whatever's going on inside of me, that moment my eyes connect with my daughter, Sierra, she will feel it. Questions matter, Hal, but I'll argue that when I ask her when I get home, “What's going on?” that whether or not those words are tethered to my heart is what's going to make all the difference. Because how many of us know what to ask but if we're not well-resourced, "What's going on?” could be, "What's going on? What's wrong?” Or I could ask, “Hey, what's going on?” And the difference there is where I'm coming from who I’m being. So, I just encourage every one of us the next conversation we have, pause, notice what's going on, and possibly choose a quality that some would call it quality of the heart. Because maybe you need that, maybe they need it, and maybe that's what's going to help the two of you or that group that you're with to be at their very best. So, I'll leave that right there.
Hal Elrod: Well said, brother. Good catching up with you. And thank you so much for all the wisdom that you shared today. For all listening, I do invite you if you want to go deeper into this subject, there is a two-hour free workshop, as Jon and I mentioned earlier, on February 9th. It's offered at two times. And, Jon, you're leading that live both times, right? It's not like you're leading one and then playing it again, right?
Jon Berghoff: Oh, it's fully live. There's no recordings because, again, you can tell people what an orange tastes like or they can get a bite of it. We want to model what we teach, so I will teach all of our frameworks there. Some people might hear some of this kind of expanded upon but I will give a live experience and people can see firsthand. And it'll be folks that don't know each other and watch what happens with a bunch of folks who don't know each other in just minutes, we will create a spirit of connection and community, and it'll be very eye-opening, hopefully.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And since it's all members of the Miracle Morning Community, I'm giving you a layup that I'm setting you up for easy work, man.
Jon Berghoff: That's true.
Hal Elrod: These are inspired individuals. So, here is the URL. It's really long. So, you could go find this in the email or the show notes, but it's XCHANGEApproach.com/UnlockWisdomTMM2022. Again, don't worry about writing that down. I'll put that in the show notes and in the email. But, yeah, we usually do this workshop twice a year for the Miracle Morning Community, and every time we do it, the responses, the feedback, the results are just extraordinary. So, love you, brother. Good to catch up with you, Jon, and fun to do it in this setting.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah, buddy. And if I can just acknowledge and appreciate you as we head out here, of course, you'll delay your meeting for that, right?
Hal Elrod: Of course. Yeah. We have extra time.
Jon Berghoff: Yeah, we've got time. I just want to acknowledge, Hal, I've known you as well as anybody could know you. Maybe I know you better than yourself. You know, we were roommates 22 years ago. And I know you got a lot of folks that listen to these podcasts, have read your books and they might have their own images and feelings of, "Who is this guy, Hal?” And I'm certain there are many of them that love you and some that they don't know who you are. And I just want to acknowledge that he’s a guy who shared a bed, which how does somebody not want that story? I'm not going to go there, but we shared a lot. And I just want to acknowledge that as a friend, you have embodied from the very beginning when people aren't looking, everything you teach you live. And that to me is one of the most important lessons for me and for any of us who want to help others, and maybe many of us get into helping others because we were trying to help ourselves. That's okay. But you live what you teach, and I want to honor you for that. And I want to honor one of the qualities that you live that I don't know if you teach this, but anyone who's been a friend of yours knows this is true. You embody generosity.
I know you've probably done episodes on selflessness and people might think, "Is this guy full of sh*t?” Man, I've watched you, when nobody knows, take care of your friends, take care of your family, want to figure out how to help, want to give back. And I've watched you do it without concern for what it does for you. And if someone is actually still listening to this long-winded rambling, I wanted them to hear that from someone who's known you as well as I have because I think that kind of generosity and humanity, I know I need that reminder and I think a lot of us could benefit from it. So, I love you, brother, and thank you for giving me that extra moment.
Hal Elrod: Thank you, Jonny. That means a lot. Thank you for the authentic acknowledgment. And, goal achievers, hope you enjoyed this podcast. I love you so much. Thank you for tuning in and I encourage you to register for the workshop, for the free workshop by Jon on the XCHANGE Approach on February 9th, and we will see you there. Okay. Talk to you next week.
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