Ian Hawkins 0:02
Are you ready, ready to release internal pain to find confidence, clarity and direction for your future, to live a life of meaning, fulfillment and contribution to trust your intuition again, but something's been holding you back. You've come to the right place. Welcome. I'm a Ian Hawkins, the host and founder of The Grief Code podcast. Together, let's heal your unresolved or unknown grief by unlocking your grief code. As you tune into each episode, you will receive insight into your own grief, how to eliminate it and what to do next. Before we start by one request, if any new insights or awareness land with you during this episode, please send me an email at info at the and Hawkins coaching.com. And let me know what you found. I know the power of this work, I love to hear the impact these conversations have. Okay, let's get into it.
Welcome, everyone. This week's guest Alan Stevens. Good day, Alan, how are you doing?
Alan Stevens 1:08
pretty good. Thanks. Ian, how are you?
Ian Hawkins 1:11
We'll just having a laugh before we came on about, about the work that you do and how you gave me a program to do which I still haven't got around to completing. But we'll come back to that we'll do full go full circle. And because you've got a really cool offer for people at the end to, to share with if they feel cool to that's awesome. I love any form of new way of communicating and looking at different things. What I also love is that you said you've been interviewed 41 times already this year, probably 100 In the last 12 months. And yet I still get a real sense of excitement of you talking about this sort of stuff. So I'm really, really pumped for this. What is a profiling and communication specialists? Alan, tell me more about what you do?
Alan Stevens 2:00
Well, there are two things that are profiling, being able to read somebody and then knowing how to communicate with them. So I profile people for the purpose of being able to build stronger communications. It's all about well, if you're talking to people, but you're talking a different language, they're not going to understand you. If you talk in a way that's different to the way that they need to be spoken to. That's also going to make it difficult for them to understand you. So what I do is I help you to learn how to tune your transmitter, indeed, other person's receiver might really listen to a radio, we try to tune our track receiver into the radio stations transmitter because all those receivers, a common point is a transmitter. But when you're communicating with somebody one on one, or even in a group, your transmitter has to be read tuned into each of those people you're talking to. So being able to read somebody by understanding their personalities, their emotions, and everything else, you're able to speak to them in the way that they need to be spoken to. That's the basis of it.
Ian Hawkins 3:00
Awesome. Now, I know we've already had this conversation, but for the benefit of those watching and listening, I would love you to profile me and then tell the audience about like what you get from me around that, which is a place of vulnerability for me. demonstrated, I remember that first conversation when you were telling me all the things that you'd already worked out about me. I'm like, damn it. So yeah, the audience. Let's do that.
Alan Stevens 3:30
Right? Yeah, well, first of all, just for everybody who's listening, what I'm looking at, it's not so much the movements or anything goes, the first thing I'm noticing is your facial features. And how that works is you lift weights, you're going to build muscles that we know do bicep curls, you're going to build your biceps, whatever muscles you exercise, you're going to build and you'll build a different shape in your body, depending on what you're doing. So then you turn around and you go radio will immediately feel inside, we express outwardly. This is why body language and the expressions tell us what's going on. So if somebody is feeling angry outside, they're going to show it on their face, I'm going to show them the rigidity of their body. So you put those two things together, you think in a certain way over and over again, you're going to build riches and crevices on your face by using the same expression time and time again. So your face becomes a roadmap of your personality. It's a history of how you like to think and process. Yeah, that's where I start the other sexy stuff like lie detection and things like that. I use that more as a truth seeker, then there's a lie detector. So I leave that towards the end. That gives me the feedback. Have I read you right? Is there something emotionally going on? And yes, are you telling me the truth? But as far as the face goes, if I've got your photograph, I've got your personality, which means before I become a talk to you, LinkedIn profiles, websites, Facebook pages, wherever I can see your face. I know whether I know your personality. And if I look at your profile, you've written about yourself I know whether you can do what you said you do, you could do or not.
Ian Hawkins 5:04
So a really powerful skill to have to navigate your own world. Right.
Alan Stevens 5:07
That's it. So one of the things that I noticed if I was meeting you for the first time, I know that in physical life real life, I know that you're going to come up and stand close to people, when you meet him for the first time. You're quite comfortable doing that. Yeah, I know that you find the errors in documents very quickly as well. Maybe sometimes when you write your own stuff, you may miss the the errors, but you come back five minutes later and look at it and they're jumping off the page and you go, Oh, cheese, how'd I miss all that? You're analytical, you like to analyze things before you make a decision. But once you've made that decision, that's pretty much a case of get out of the way. And let me get it. Yep, I know that you're gonna be fairly concise. When you're talking to people, you're not going to walk along with very flowery language or sentences embellish sentences, you're going to be fairly straight to the point. I know there's a bit of a dry sense of humor there as well. So we can have a light hearted conversation you like you get your teeth into meaty conversation, so you'd like to debate on different things. So there is a tendency of getting people drawn into a, a conversation or philosophical conversation, bait them. And that's when you dry see here that comes in have a lot of fun doing that. But some people who have got the opposite tray about they've more fussy about things, and they can get their nose out a joint. And that's what you know, why are you getting upset? I know that you're self reliant, happy to work on your own. That's when you learn something new for the first time. Let me have a look at it. You got to spend some time with you got to make sure you got it right before you go and tell everybody how it works. So you build your confidence on things. That's good. Now, just a few traits, there's still some more that I could see there as well,
Ian Hawkins 6:45
that the one that you mentioned, they're like, Yeah, that's like, I'll get into debate for the sake of getting into a debate. I like to I like to help people see both sides, not necessarily taking one side or the other, but just opening people up to different things. And that sort of have played out a little bit on social media this week. So there might be some people watching that will get an understanding and appreciation of the method in the madness as well a lover keep going?
Alan Stevens 7:09
Well, if I was drawing a character to rob you, I'd probably draw a picture of you with a fishing line reeling, I
Ian Hawkins 7:14
mean, very good. You've said too much, but keep going.
Alan Stevens 7:24ainting by numbers, you know,:
Ian Hawkins 8:37
That's with one of my children. That's exactly right. One one, we must think the same, because it makes sense. The other ones like, like, I'm like, so obvious, but they like it, but it's not getting. So we've got an arrangement. Now my wife will help one with with the homework, and I'll help the other. Because we we think the same way. So that's brilliant. I love that kid get on
Alan Stevens 8:57
it. So he wants you you've got that when their conversation by presenting the way in which they need to understand it. It takes the pressure off you your life becomes so much easier because they get it faster, and they're happier as well. Yeah, love it. But I also know that with some people, I can know that you're some people have What are you so you have credit credulity, they take things on face value, you tell them something and they go oh, yeah, that we got that somebody else comes along to give them another idea. Oh, that's the new flavor of the month. In your case, you're more skeptical, you're going to be asking questions to find out why. So if I was selling to you, I'd be going, Okay, first of all, and there's a lot of information here. In my case, if I'm selling the big picture person, just want the overview. I'd be saying to you look, there's a lot of information here but what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you the overview, first of all, so I don't forget to hear what's got it all on the table. Then we can go in and you can ask all the questions you like and know and I would let you ask every question you could come up with because once you got past you got nothing summation of making a decision that's number one. Number two is, once you've asked all the questions that you need to ask, your skepticism is gone. You now understand how it all works. And everything goes, when somebody says to me, Alan, I'm a skeptic, I go great. But what type, open mind or closed mind that I already mean? I go close, mine means you're, you're looking for reasons for why something won't work. So if that's the case, in the conversation, if you're a skeptic with an open mind, who wants to understand what how it works, they really get their head, your head around it. I will sit there forever in a day while you ask every last question you can possibly come up with. Because once you come up with it, you've got all the information you need. You're the strongest advocate I can have. Because no one's going to change your mind. Because you're been through it all. You understand it. And you go, Alan knows his stuff. So everybody else can go and you know, go elsewhere.Ian Hawkins:
Experience, right. Yeah, it makes total sense.Alan Stevens:
And so that's a great trait for for me to have with somebody says they're a skeptic, oh, go great. But also know, when you're working on something, and you have focused on it, I wouldn't come over to you and tap you on the shoulder and say, Hey, and I need your hand, come over here and give me a Help help right now. I'd be saying to Ian, I can see what you're doing is fairly important. You seem to be very busy. How much time do you need to leave that to? It may sound you need to work on leave that and then be able to come and help it with five or 10 minutes be okay. If I said 10, I'm coming back. And I'll ever 11 or 12. And I'm going to tell you, I've given you extra time. Why because I thought that it looked really important and that you're really focused on it. But if you come over and help me now, we'll be able to get my problem out of the way faster. And you'll be able to get back to your problem and be able to fix that up sooner as well. If I just tapped you on the shoulder and told you you had to come over. Physically, you'd be over there. Yeah, but emotionally. I still don't mind the other problem.Ian Hawkins:
Nailed it. I welcome the distraction. But yeah, man, that's good. This is fantastic.Alan Stevens:
I know that you're adventurous, you're willing to try new things. So that along with the skepticism, I know that the more likely to be asking questions, I understand how somebody works, because there's a bit of an adventure straight there as well. Yeah, absolutely. Quickly sideways, look to your shoulder and then back again. Okay, forward balance you like to look at not so much being recognized for what you've done in the past. But what are you doing today? What are you doing for tomorrow? What are the things you're working towards? So your, your focus is moving towards the future? Yeah, you're not so much. Some people are very impulsive, they'll rush into things really quickly. And others will just take forever, and you don't know we're not going to try that, then you've got others. And that's one trait that's whether a person is impulsive or not. But you've also got the person who's tenacious or not tenacious. So somebody who somebody who's tenacious, will go well beyond where other people think they should have given up, they'd be working on something and they won't let it go. It's like get your teeth into a piece of meat, you just can't let go of it. Whereas somebody has a low tenacity, they always give up five minutes before the miracle so to speak, here, whereas just quickly look sideways again, for me, and then back again. Yeah, there'll be a lot of the road. So as far as Yep. So you'll stick with it fairly, fairly well, all the way through. There's a lot of other traits that if I've got a clearer photo, because as Ben was seeing on the screen at the moment, when we're looking at each other, it's probably an old measurement. Lucky to be an inch and a half high. Your whole face. Yeah, yeah. But what I also look at is the length of the body, your upper body compared to the length of your legs. So if somebody's got short legs, that tells me one thing, if they got long legs, like me, got long arms and long legs, the short upper body, then that tells me something about them as well. And there's a couple in the in the hand as well, as far as the not so much the lines, but the structure, the length of the fingers and other things that will tell me information as well.Ian Hawkins:
Fascinating. Wow, like we've had a couple of chats and I did not appreciate the depth of this amazing there's a couple of things like the one one you said really early on, you said about tend to be concise. Now sometimes I can tend to be concise but there are other times where I can like use more words and then no need to so what what could be a contributing factor to that? Is that me when I'm not operating it my most naturalAlan Stevens:
no more to the point that when you're working on something you're really keen wet about? Yeah, that's when you got to talk more. Right? And I know if you're just say working with a client, and helping them through understanding their situation, etc. You're not going to waffle on with big flowery language. You're just going to go bang bang bang Yeah, because you're trying to get your message across.Ian Hawkins:
There might be clients listening now, who can appreciate being on the other end of that where I've like, gone. Okay, come on, let's, let's get on forward. That's cool. There'sAlan Stevens:
probably a few of them there where it was said, yeah, you've talked to me so much with the analytical trait, what we do is we actually get the information across to somebody really quickly, if they're just a big picture view, they just want the overview like they're on a mountain peak is another mountain peak, and Utah, we gotta go from one mountain peak to the other, they want to know where the bridge is, where someone who's analytical, no, go down the mountain, get as much information as we can, across the valley get more stock going up the other side, and quite often do we even want to go up there, we've made our decision on that as well. And so when you're giving information to somebody, you'll give it to them in the way that you want to to get it. As I said, this is where we have to change our transmitter frequency to match their receiver. So instead, we will actually give you, you'll get the sale, and keep talking and walk your way out through the back door as well. So you've come in the front door, you've got this out. And with somebody like that, they will either switch off and just start nodding yes, I've got you or they'll try and finish your sentences. So if you're aware of who they are, if I'm talking to somebody who's big picture, when I say big picture, by the way, everybody's big picture, we can see concepts and see how we bring them together. But I'm talking about the least amount of information, they just won't, if it's a rainbow, they just want the top layer, whereas analytical, they want all the layers. And they want to keep looking at all the layers as you go across the top layer, explaining a little bit more, they wouldn't know the depth of it as well. So if you're talking to an analytical, sorry, analytical talking to a big picture person, what you would say to them is, look, there's a lot of information here, but what I'm going to do is give you the overview. And they go thank God for that. And I'm gonna then let you ask the questions that you want to ask and I go, Oh, you're not going to talk at me, you're going to let me talk. And then given the the so by the way, if there's something there that I think you need to know, but you haven't asked is Aurora? If I tell you that then so you're getting a verbal contract agreement with them? You're the overview, the Okay, what questions do you ask you got access questions? And then you go, Okay, remember, before I mentioned, there might be something there, you didn't ask that you need to know that boring stuff, we're there, now, you get a bit of a giggle from them. And you're given the information.Ian Hawkins:
So it's, it's a lot of the things that we're taught in sales, in coaching in leadership, it's just been applied from a place of that's specific for the individual. So So I do that, I come at that in a different way more around. Like, and you won't be surprised to hear this, Alan, like the sense of the feeling and the language that they use, saying they're my greatest strengths. That's also how identify the patterns in people and, and identify a big picture person, like almost intuitively now, because of the language they're looking that's very visual language or whatever else. So I think it's like applying this to that it's actually more depth. To what and I guess a lot of people already already know, a lot of people have done that sort of personality work. Fascinating. So if someone's watching now, and they're listening to all of this, and maybe they're going, I'm not sure if I want to hear these things about myself, or whatever they're thinking, but it's like, how could they apply this? Let's take sales out of it. How can I apply this just their everyday life?Alan Stevens:
Well, I know everybody's interested in sales and everything else. But the thing is, if you don't have a relationship with somebody, you don't have a business, you don't have a, you don't have a you know, a partner, you don't have your kids grow up completely separated from you as well. relationships are the foundation of everything we do in life. We hear all the time that people only do business with those that they know, like, and trust. Yeah, well, that's like just saying know, like, and trust is like three cars jammed up behind each other. But what people don't realize is for cars to travel effectively, there's got to be a gap between them. So you have to know, get to know somebody, there's a bit of time in doing that, then you get to like them, then there's a bit of time to actually get to the point where you can then build trust. Yep, the more you're able to read somebody, the faster the more you condense that time between the know like and trust saying do it faster. But then what we do in sales, we don't sell a product or a service, we sell ourselves. And I know that a lot of people say oh, no, that's not true. I'm selling a product, talking to a financial planner the other week, and I said, Well, I said if you leave the company you're working with and go to another company, what happens to all the clients that you had, it's all based on will follow me. I go it's only they didn't buy your product or service they bought you. Yeah. So by building that relationship, you really connect with somebody and once you really can active with them, they will then buy from you, but you didn't have to sell to them. That's the difference. Yes, people are out there trying to sell all the time, they're getting trying to get the ROI, the return on investment. When you build a relationship, you get an ROI, a return on relationships, which always leads on to the return on investment, the greatest return on investment is actually the relationship itself. So whether it be raising your children being able to connect with them, because we know that kids, when they get into the teenage years started to separate from their parents, they started to get more towards their peer groups and things like that, then they're the ones that are having problems. We know that girls between the ages of 11 and 15. In Australia, more than 5%, sorry, one, more than Yeah, more than 5% will actually attempt suicide. We know that boys between the ages of 15 and 90 are the most successful at committing suicide, but all our youth, and they're completely disconnected. Now you imagine if the parent had a better connection, when they were when they were younger, the child is more likely because Dad and Mum understand them are more likely to come and talk to him about their problems. So they're not going to get out if they're being bullied or whatever, doesn't have the impact. So the child grows up happier. But if we understand the child, we know the hobbies and sports, it will serve them, we then know as they're going through school. So we know we're going to be like before they get to school, when they do go to school, we know what subjects are, what careers will suit their personality, because our personality with things we're good at is where our strengths are. And we apply that to the work we want to do, we're going to be happier in our work. So we can guide them into the right careers. And the right the right studies and what university degree or cocoa taste degrees course they do. From there, they then go into the workplace and more than likely to use a degree finish it first of all, then use it. And then staying in that industry may change companies but usually because of a promotion, they're not changing their actual careers, happier at work more productive company makes more money, then they they're happier in themselves. And with this also helps them find the the partner that will match their personalities, once they got the partner now how to keep that partner, because we get the upside of the traits, excite excite us. But after a period of time we get so used to the upside, our partner doesn't change, we just what we do is our awareness of them changes, we now realize that we recognize more of their downside, and we've changed that there's a problem well know how to talk to him. And when you talk to him in the right way, you can keep the romance in your marriage, in your partnership a lot longer. Yeah. And if you're happier, they're less domestic violence and other things like that. And if the parents are happy, then the kids are happy. So this works everywhere. It's not just sales, sales as a result, that's all well, whenIan Hawkins:
every moment of every day is a sale, we're either trying to convince ourselves or convince someone else, right. So, so actually being able to understand each other, it just flows into all parts of life. And so being able to come from a place of like, that's the message we got told often when when we were younger was treat someone how you want to be treated. And it's like, well, that's kind of only partly true, because we need to treat them how they need to be treated. So it really plays in nicely to what I've learned about the six human needs and making sure that you are meeting whatever their primary need is. And when you can do that, then everything becomes much easier because someone who's having their needs met, is so much more open to be able to have a conversation or to to be more open to looking at different possibilities, right?Alan Stevens:
Yeah. So the treat somebody is you would have them treat you came from the point of where we didn't know how to read them. So if we treat them the way that we wanted to be treated, we want to be respected and all this. So we put us in the right path, but go to the next level, as they said, treat them into the way in which they want to be treated. And the only way you can do that is when you can read them. Yep. And that's when you take it to a completely new level.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. So I love what you said there, like particularly about the relationships, like the hallway was so much level taught, let's start here. Often, as parents, we want the best for our children. And if we're coming from a place of our own frustration, sometimes we may push them in an area that what we think is right for them, but maybe just an underlying part of what we want. Because if something we missed out, right, that's a real common problem. But I loved how you describe that whole flow. They're happier at school because they know how to learn in their way. They are able to then map out their path for the future in so much more effortless way because they know what feels right for them what looks right for them, the for them to get the best results and then choosing the right career path based on their personality so that they're successful, they're more engaged, they're happier in their work, and of course they're gonna be more Successful when all those things are in place. So it's actually a lifetime skill to learn this correctly. And so what you're offering at the end, and I think this is right, the program you're gonna offer is that is around the the for helping the parents to raise their children yet,Alan Stevens:
it's a free course that will teach them how to understand how to read the traits, heavy how to how this works, and read it a couple of traits in anybody, how to build rapport, etc. From there, there's a free course that I give away. I'll also I've got one for parents as well, if they come to me through and mentioned that they've been with you, I'll give them a code where they can get that at half price. Awesome. That was audible on that, just like on what you said about the kids, if I could, first of all, a great point, as you said that nurturing all the way through. He was the explanation what you were showing there was that, as parents, we are not carpenters, we are not sculptors, we're not designed to turn our kids into something that we think they should be. Because when we do that, this is why the kids end up unhappy and why they disconnect from us. We are gardeners, our job is to nurture them, to help them become the best version of themselves. Now I know there's a lot of parents who are helicopter parents over the coals, who protect their kids all the time, well, that robs the child from our job is to keep them safe after that, is to set the environment up so that they can learn from their experiences, they got to have a few knock backs and things like that, to be able to have the resilience that when they go into future life, otherwise, they're always going to need their parents. Now, if that's why the parents doing it, because they don't want to lose their child. Well, the thing is, kids grow up. And one of the greatest things, I've got three sons, and I've got six grandkids, the greatest thing that I ever felt from my sons as I was growing up, as they all came into men of their own, right, they're all different to each other, in that they've also become the leaders of their families. And so I can look at them and say, we've got three sons I love and respect. And I'm really proud of the type of men they've become. Now, I couldn't have done that if I'd been trying to be the carpenter or the sculptor, telling them what to do all the way through and protecting him and everything else.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, I love that gardener. Give them a space to grow, and help them to grow by nurturing and so on. But not sculpting, sculpting or building them in a way that's that's not flexible, man. That's magic. I love that analogy, Alan. And asAlan Stevens:
a gardener, don't just keep pulling them out of the ground to see how they're growing either just.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, help them with it. Help them with the ways perhaps.Alan Stevens:
Yeah, that's it, that's part of the nurturing you, you're keeping the weeds away from the mill, showing them how to deal with the weeds themselves as well. This is all about the resilience. You're doing that with your kids think about the bond that you have with them, because kids need boundaries. But you not barriers, but boundaries that guide them. And we put the boundaries around them, so we know where to guide them. But they then seek their own path. Yeah. And with that, they're always going to respect us. How many times do your kids push you to the edge, but don't push you over the edge? That's one reason they're actually reading you. But secondly, kids aren't trying to break us. They're trying to see if we can hold. So they will test usIan Hawkins:
you that they want to know where the boundary is.Alan Stevens:
That's it. Because then they have security with boundaries.Ian Hawkins:
Yes. Love it. And, like probably another pattern of recent parenting is to be the best friend instead of actually no, they want to parent and I mean, what you're human. And that's really interesting. They want to see that you will hold because it gives them that security.Alan Stevens:
Boys and they grew up with and forget about BV being your friend. I'm your dad. And that's the most important job I've got. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
So Alan, this passion for this side of what you do really oozes out of you. And I know how special I felt those tingles when you talked about that role that you had as a dad. I also know for you, like, you became a single dad. And and then there's also some me, let's start there. Like how did you navigate that as a single dad? This is before you knew this sort of material? Yeah,Alan Stevens:
long before I knew these skills. Yeah, I was. I heard a lot of things like bringing boys into manhood heard little stories here and there talking to different people. But I was pretty much when I started. I was definitely a boat without a rudder. You know, here I was three boys for 11 and 12. So one of the things that I did realize very quickly was that you know, not to bag their mother at the same time to try and build a relationship with her again, not as a as a romantic relationship, but one as a co parenting the boys. You know, I was raising them. I had them six days a week when she had them one night a week. And so with that it was then to build a relationship because she and I never bagged each other and one of my sons when he was about 18 going out the door going to school turned around And then said to me, we're lucky to have you and I went, what's going on? Where'd this come from? Because it blew me away. And he said, Well, you know, you don't, we've got two houses to go to, we can go to mom's, we can go here and neither I'll be back at each other. I know it will. What about all your mates and they said, their parents are married, he said, Yeah, but you notice every time you come home from, because I'd go to the gym, or God working from home or go the gym behind when they came home from school, there's 15 kids in the house. They want to be here, they don't want to be at their own homes. And so I realized that that was the first thing and to get rid of the Yanks. And the best way I could do that was to stop looking at her as what she was verbally telling me by divorcing me and saying, I'm not good enough to be a provider and all the rest of it. But what did she bring into the marriage? Now I've got three boys, as I said, I love and respect, I wouldn't have had those without that union with her. So I can love her for that without being in love with her. And once I've started to understand that, that was the beginning of it. But my boys because I was so I was I put boundaries in place, I was pretty much a very tough, tough taskmaster. I didn't have to have lie detection. And then they would come in, dug themselves in and they were doing stuff. They go, I just did this. I just did that. Or I think you better hear about this, because I've been going out with one of my best mates daughters. When you told me what they've been getting up to when I went, I got a bit of a chat with my best mate. Very good. Shortly. Boundaries, putting the right boundaries in, they felt safe enough, they felt that that was a they could do that. They know that there'd be a discussion, they wouldn't be put down. I wouldn't be given a hard time. We'd be talked about it and everything goes. And I'd make sure that, you know, there were no arguments with the maid either. Yeah, also, as he saw response was like he said, I thought something was going on. But I'm glad it was that particular son and one of the other kids are hanging around. Yeah, okay.Ian Hawkins:
It's good. You create an environment where people want to be at your place, and then also that respect and that people are happy that others are spending time with your children as well. That's awesome. So I know part of this passion for for like even that what you'd explain the air around your relationship comes from your own experience when you were growing up. So you can you tell everyone listening and watching like a little bit about that experience and how that really helped shape who you are and the work that you're so passionate about.Alan Stevens:
That if anybody is first of all, thinking that I've got some magical power that I've, you know, this has been part of me since birth or whatever. Now, I was pretty much a loner growing up as a kid. My father died when I was three. So I had no male role models, except for one of my uncles. And I never really got on with him very much. And in fact, when I got engaged the first time in her engagement party, he told my fiance that she could do better than me. So that's what I grew up with. Wow. Wow. And I you know, I spend most of my time with pet pets like cats and dogs. So I spend most of my time with them while playing in the yard on my own. So pretty much a bit of a nerd when I played soccer a weekend, I was passing the ball to the same kids that used to bully me at school. So, you know, I hated school. So I really was bad at reading people and the wrong relationship after another when I met my first wife. We got together and at the same time, I just left Sydney and gone to Newcastle. We're in Sydney I was just finished my apprenticeship with the old PMG, which was Telstra today telecom before that PMG before that Postmaster General. So, telecommunications and the post office together, and I came from Sydney to Newcastle at the age of 23, put in charge of everybody that were older than me. But the reason I got that role was nobody else in Sydney wanted, they all thought it was a dead end job. And so the boss I had said Alex got to be good experience for you go. So I took it on. Within the following year, year and a half, we expanded new took on the data service itself. I was there for about going to be there for five months. I put in a permanent transfer. After two months. The old boss came to me and said, Well, I've been on long service leave the guy seemed to like you, you've told me that you're staying. Do you mind working for me? And I said, No, I don't mind that you said Well, as I said, the guy's really like you. It's not going to care a rest of my sick leave and everything else is I'll be gone for another year. Taking these old service leave and everything and so I was acting for another year. That then led when the physician came up I want it because everybody in Sydney who then saw it one to apply for it as well. But the guys were pretty cool. One of the guys, job pill rang me up and said, You were here that you have applied to the court position as well. And I went, Yeah, of course, I've been here for a year and a half. And he said, Well, we'll cancel, they will pull it out. So I walked into the position. Oh, wow, how come? It was unbelievable. So from that point that led me on to then I joined the surf club in my mid 30s. And at that point, became a surf lifesaver. They talked me into being a patrol captain. And I found out why they gave me everybody that nobody wanted. Turn that into the patrol of the year. And that's because I've always focused on the people. And my job in telecom was, you know, in the data services, so we still really look after our clients. But do it in a way that Telecom was looked after, as well. And the staff or staff work their tails off, he worked really hard. The we had the highest performance in Australia in our particular cell. At the same time, when I finally took redundancy in the early 90s of my staff, when to resign and come with me. So I proved that you can have high performance, your customers can love you, and your staff can love you as well. And so that's what I did that was in that role in the surf club where I really liked leadership, because they taught me to be in the patrol captain, then from there into being the club captain. And then we some issues with one of the senior examiner's at the time when I first took the club captains job on so he and I got together, we sorted that out, he became my advocate. And next thing, you know, Amanda's own looking after three beaches. So again, from a young kid, no experience, then going into that role. Well, I've same age as everybody else, but no experience in the surf club, but now in charge. So I've always been to the deep end. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
So as a youngster, and still with that passion to look after the people, whether there were clients or or people in your team, how did you manage to create a good experience for them that many people with at the time, that limited skills that you had?Alan Stevens:
Well, again, it was always focusing on the other person, if I had the skills I've got today that focus would have been, it would have been precise, it would have been so much on point. So a lot of it was trial and error. Some of the clients who I walked in and the client was, you know, are are angry, then going on another buddy technician coming in, you know, we just fix the problem before I learned to I'm an emotional person. So I always responded, and I found out that it was a good way to respond. So somebody went off, I go off quickly, and then say, Okay, well, I'm the one who's going to fix it. So let's work together. So it's like a dance, you know, the person who pushes you push back, then when they realize that you're not going to back down, then you just take them where you need to take them. And those clients ended up loving me. They were the most strongest advocate, because I made that connection with them. But in language, they say somebody is angry, and you got us okay, it's okay. Yeah, don't worry. They're gonna take your head off. Because you're telling them their attitude, whatever they're feeling, you've negated the whole thing. That means nothing. Because this is the way you should be like me. Yeah, you're gonna be if you're not lucky if you're unlucky. So it's a case of how do I match them to say, yes, it's okay to be angry, because you've just upset me as well. But how? Now let's look at a solution. And that's what I've been doing all the way through. I was doing NLP skills when I wasn't doing it. I hadn't been taught any NLP.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, exactly right. And it's interesting, because your natural way of showing up, you're attracting other people that there was no natural way. And that's what you created the best connection with. If you can then show up for everyone and know how to do that, then you can create a great connection with anyone. Amazing. What you described there, though, is when they're coming like this. And that's when boundaries come into it, right? Like what you're talking before it be able to create those boundaries, whether it's with your children, or in a professional relationship, where any relationship knowing the right boundary for the right time, depending on how that person shows up powerful.Alan Stevens:
And quite often it's just a matter of recognizing where their energies are, and then matching their energies. And then going right well, I've not I've acknowledged how you're feeling that I don't want to be there in that way. How about we move to here? See, people keep forgetting their three levels of empathy. You will have your cognitive empathy. I can see you're in pain. Now a torturer needs and a bully needs that if they haven't got that skill, they don't know where they get. How do they get their jollies? So you've got to be able to see you're in pain. So that's the first level that we all have. We need to be able to recognize someone's pain. The second one is emotional empathy, where we feel somebody's pain and we go and we see it on Facebook and other places every day. In the news. Somebody's upset. Everybody takes sides very quickly. They used to say that a problem have to sorry, a problem shared was a problem have no a problem shared, but not acted upon is a problem problem multiply, because now you've got everybody, and they're all whinging about it and building it up a problem that is acted upon that shared with somebody and then acted upon. That's a problem. That's hard. Because the second, the third level of empathy, the first one, as I say, cognitive, second one emotional, I feel your pain, but we don't want to feel the other person's pain. And so it's all about us, we want to get out of that pain. So we're telling them what they should do and everything else. No, hold that space for them. Let them tell you what they're feeling and then go to the third level, I can feel your see your pain, I can feel your pain. Now what can we do to fix it. And this is where men went wrong. We're really good at the compassionate empathy. woman comes up and tells us what they saw us talking to us. And we jump in and try and fix it. We had just taken that moment to acknowledge it, their feelings and everything else and go right, I understand that it all feels really, I can see how that's upsetting you. And then ask a question. Do you want me to just listen? Or do you want me to fix this? So then you can transition from the emotional empathy and the compassion and empathy? And the woman? If she says, Yes, I want you to fix it, there can be two reasons. One, you screwed up in the first place, and she wants you to put it right. Number two is you recognize as you are the fixer, and you can fix some other problem for her. And the other is, if she just needs you to listen, she just needs to need to be spoken to. She has already told you is not to do with you. But if you love that person, and you just sit there and hold this space, listen to them. Yeah. How much affection you're gonna get from him after that?Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, I was gonna say if you don't, then they'll find somewhere else to that's to be heard someone who will listen, someone who's not jumping in to fix it. It's a male thing, I think it's a it's a partner thing. There's is there's like, you know, plenty of wives who have a tendency towards masculine energy and can have that same pattern. So it's about it's finding that balance right about like, again, knowing how the other person shows up. I completely agree around that, like, it's actually okay, we can see how you are allowing them that space to actually talk about it, which is, to me is the part that's missing so much in so many areas. Part of what we're doing here now he's given like people an opportunity to for you to talk and for others to listen, a platform. And then then there's options. Now, one of the really awesome things that you do amongst the many is this campfire project you've got, which is a space for exactly that. So can you tell us about the campfire project? And? And then yeah, I've got a few more questions around that too. SoAlan Stevens:
okay, well, where it started from First of all, I realized that a lot of men were getting angry. They, when I asked, you know, I'm doing in my business, ask a lot of the guys well, what some of the things that are troubling you, etc. What's some of your feelings? A lot of were telling me that they were computers, and I said well confused with what they said, Well, we've always been especially baby boomers, and the Gen X were told to, you know, provide to the fan for the family. So here we are, we're out there. We're paying the bills, we're bringing money in with our providers. But now we've been told we're emotionally disconnected when we're physically absent all the time. We're always out at work. So the guys are going, I can't be in two places at once. What exactly do do I need to be doing? Then in the workplace? You know, the way we used to be able to talk to other men, and throw things out and get over it really quickly. It's not the way it works. When you've got a mixed agenda within the organization, we have to start changing the way we're speaking now, with political correctness. There's so much confusion I've got I've been given a speech to people. And while I've been trying to think of the right phrase, thinking, Who am I going to upset with the phrase that gives an that causes frustration, so these men were also frustrated in the workplace. Now, when men are frustrated, that can lead to anger, and then can also lead to physical actions, so like domestic violence, and I thought, right, we don't fix the domestic violence by beating up the perpetrators. We now understand why and we educate them. So give them an opportunity. So I thought, right, the campfire project was all about my past experiences, certainly in my own spiritual journey of bringing boys into manhood within once you bring them into manhood, how do you help them to become better men? Because the thing is, the more that we can help men to become better men, the recipients of that are their partners, their children and their community. So everything's connected. We don't just help men to become better for the sake of them being better. There's always a connection to everybody else. So in that it was a safe place for the men to be able to come in to tell their stories, where it's a closed group that was open. I've had women in there from day one. So I was open to anybody. I only care about gender. I don't care about culture. I don't care about religion or anything else. That One requirement and that is that you're respectful to everybody in there. If you don't agree with somebody, ask them why they believe the way they believe. Don't condemn it or anything else. Be that open minded skeptic and ask questions to try and to stand in that conversation. They'll either change their mind, you'll change your mind. Or you'll come to an agreement, or you'll just agree to disagree, but doing it with respect. So I started interviewing the men one on one, and they were telling horrific stories. Then I brought the men into panel discussions, we had a few in the group, who would have done their one eyes, because the thing is, you have to do a one on one first to get your credibility so people know who you are. Then you come into the panel discussions, we talked about masculinity, femininity, pornography, we covered all these different subjects. At that point, that's when the women in the group started sending me personal messages going never heard men talk this way, that the conversations are so deep, and we love it, and we'd be part of it. So I was waiting for the women to put their hands up. So I went in, started interviewing the women one on one, then brought them into the panel discussions. Now we've had over 270, something one on one conversations, we've had over 140 panel discussions, and not once has anybody been rude to anybody else? So from day one, no bigotry, no sexism, no racism doesn't exist in that. So it proves that through education and attitude, all of those other things get fixed. And it was under the hashtag of weed together. They are me too, when it came out was absolutely necessary. Because of the Violence Against Women that need to be highlighted, we need to take action. But that doesn't solve the long term problem, it only fix the immediate symptoms that we had, then we had men to start that was in 2003, then we had men to in 2018. And it was all then that came about because a lot of abuse that was going on from the other side, where some people were making false accusations and things like that. So now you've got two tribes, and they're looking at each other as the problem. Nothing gets solved under that. When you're standing shoulder to shoulder looking at the problem together, there's no egos, there's no condemning anybody about not being good enough. For shoulder to shoulder, we work on the problem. So we've gone to working on the problem to looking at each other as the problem getting away from that and going on to the problem. So that's what's been happening in the campfire project. I've got both men and women in a row running one on ones and panel discussion. So my job as a leader is to get out of the way, make myself redundant and get everybody else up to do what I'm doing. So I can go and do other things. The oldest person we've interviewed is 99 years old, one of the men, and the youngest person to interview anybody was one of the guys came in. He interviewed his father, first of all, who he had, who was in the 60s who hadn't really had much to do with because of issues when they were growing up. His grandfather, his father hadn't seen his grandson who's nine years old, more than four times in his life until recently, and not once where he was old enough to have a conversation with him until recently. And that young fellow Oscar at the knife age of nine years old, he wanted to interview his father. So he did, and came up with his own questions. And one of them was a killer, or they're all brilliant, but this one just looked at his father while he was on this Facebook Live while his son did it. And it was wise that day you can give to everybody else, but you find it so hard to receive yourself.
The age of nine, because of the relationship he's got with his father, and the note the nurturing and the as I said that the gardening work that Skype is doing with the son. He says a nine year old who's many years before his time, just shows the potential that every boy and every girl can be a bad boy.Ian Hawkins:
Oh, man, I got tingles through so much of that. So magic. The two that really sort of grabbed me that last one at the end. Absolutely. Giving them those life skills so they can ask those questions at that age. Well, powerful. We are standing side by side. To me, that's one of the things that you describe with the two movements you talked about. But it's happening all over the place. It's like everyone's got an idea and like just firings, that it's not going, it's like no, as you described, ask a question and understand why they coming from that perspective. Don't view out your beliefs to try and convince them that it should be another wayAlan Stevens:
that we're taking the ego out of things because, well, if we see it, we've got politicians today that you know, we just look at, we can't believe them. We've got sporting stars and everything goes. There's a lack of leadership. There's a lack of the male role models out there for people. So we've got the sporting clubs, pushing their sporting stars, to putting them on a pedestal and everything else. Making them all feel like they got to be the man so they're in competition with everybody else. They're not given the support and then when these boys go and do something wrong, because they haven't had the right guidance, the club then admonishes them and say that they're the, they would have done the wrong thing, take the responsibility, you're the club in charge. Now, if you kind of put these kids on his pedestal, guide them so that they consider becoming the man, they can work to becoming a man. And when you've got to hope and think about, if you're trying to be the man, you're in competition with everybody else. And this is when there's going to be people don't have the maturity, they're going to be cheating and everything else. But when you're trying to be the best version of yourself by being a man, who do you want also around you, other men and women who are trying to be the best versions of themselves as well, 100%, then you've got to community, otherwise, you've got a competition. And this is where all their problems are coming from. Just change the attitude and then become part of a community, be the best version of yourself and part of that for the guys, and that we just got to learn to be vulnerable as well, because in vulnerability, that's where we really show our strength.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, like you mentioned about the sporting environment, to me, they are spending a lot of time and energy, like trying to make a difference in that space. Having been having had an experience in that space briefly. Last year, it's only scratching the surface. And it's this this side of it, right is the emotional side of it. It's the actually being able to give them the skills to to, as you said, stand side by side. Like, man, this sounds like a conversation we have to have. At another time, Alan, because I think we're on the same page with so many of those those parts. So I want to I want to go back to what you talked about there when you're growing up. So how did those disconnects in those relationships? Like your dad wasn't there? Like, how did that go? Like, obviously your mum would have been going through her own trauma? Through all of that, how did that play out for you in terms of, of the disconnect from like a whole family environment, not just from that male? father figure, see,Alan Stevens:
my mother took on the role of being the provider and everything in cars. Now I got my carpentry skills from her. I got my work there ethics from her as well. Really strong woman. And in fact, I looked up to her appoint one day I was gonna go out my push bike for a ride, he says, No, you can't go. And as I took off his clear sky, within 10 minutes, it was black, and it was pouring. I even thought that she had a direct line to God when she was such a really strong person, but at the same time. In that strength, she was disconnected because she was trying so hard to raise both me and my sister. So when I would have had a much older sister who would have been 10 years older, but she died when she was 22 months for meningitis. And then I have a one other sister who's two and a half years older than me. So really growing up my older sister and my sister, and I've won Christine who's still alive. We didn't really connect. And it wasn't until I don't know why we're on a conversation. One day I was 38 I was driving back to my property that I was living on away from Newcastle. And we got into conversation I just told her that I had separated from my first wife. And as we're chatting and everything else, I remember, technology just as I get to the boundary where the phone's about to cut out, she says we are finally I think I've got a brother, and then the phone cut out. And so and that seemed to be the fact all the way through every time I started getting connected with in the past, something happened and got broken. Wow. So we were like two kids who were grown up in the same place. She didn't realize a lot of that because my mother was, you know, doing it tough being a on her own and being a pensioner. The end result was an award winning pension. My sister was getting hand me down clothes and my sister just recently. I'm 69. And she's in early 70s was telling me about how all of her clothes were hand me downs they were given from other people. And I went well guess who were your we wore your school Blazers after you meet a whole new appreciation for her. Right? Yeah. And so she didn't even realize what was like the I didn't get a skirt. But my short shorts, they were homemade. And they looked like they were home but my mother was a good sailor. And so I got that bullying from school as well. And so I hated school. In fact, I didn't feel like I belonged at all. I felt that my sisters who wasn't connected to me I didn't belong in the family. I was bullied being bullied at school. I hated it. So I was about nine years old. I climbed into my mother's pill cupboard and started taking some pills. I thought I'm out of here. What if I started to commit suicide by taking her pills? What age was that? 39 years old. And while I was doing it, I just had this I'm thinking to myself, they're going to be happy when I'm gone. And all of a sudden, that's when the anger kicked in. And I went, why am I making them happy. And that's when I stopped, or out in slow my attitude to live this way, maybe even more separated from people because it was anger that kept me alive. So it was appropriate, it was necessary, I wouldn't be around for them for their anger. But what it actually told me on the way it was that use the anger appropriately, every emotion we have, there's nothing wrong with any emotion we have. It's how we use it. If somebody went to attack my family, you can bet your life I'm going to get angry. I'm not going to turn the other cheek. So there's appropriateness for a bit to be angry at somebody just because my day is going bad. That's inappropriate, you know, knowing how to use at the right time. But that anger separated me more from other people. But it was the thing that made me move forward, but also made me an observer of other people. And I think a lot of the stuff that I started doing intuitively came from that understanding. And then later on in life, I realized that that's what people were teaching, how to do, how to learn to read people how to do different things. But it was the angle that guided me through and kept me here to do that.Ian Hawkins:
Oh, man, I can totally relate to that particularly been the observer, like, as a shy kid sitting there and just watching and I don't know if you have the same experience, but But sitting there going come the rest of you see what's going on here. Like, just just like, and so you described awareness of another nine year old, but that's incredible awareness for for a nine year old to go through that. That's amazing. So what Don'tAlan Stevens:
worry is nothing compared to a lot of people. That's what I realized that we all have our story. Yeah. And it's our story. And that's why it's important. But then also with with the campfire project, and even before that, listen to other people's stories, I realized that to be able to sit there and hold somebody else's face while they share their story. And do it in a way in which they're not just whinging about things, but they're, they're talking through things. That is a gift to be able to receive that when somebody asked me to sit and listen to their story. I see that as a gift. Thank you very much for asking me to do it.Ian Hawkins:
It's 100 100%. I would add Alan, you do yourself a disservice every time you say, you unfavorably compare your story to someone else's all favorably because everyone has their own journey. And they've nailed up different skills to deal with it. So one person's version of you may look at it and go, Oh, that was way worse. But their journey may have allowed them to have resilience to cope with whatever went through at a far higher level than what you did. So no matter what people like they were listening. Despite this, I think this is really important if they will listen to other people's stories and going, Oh, what am I going to complain about? You dismiss your own pain and you don't get an opportunity to express it? So like,Alan Stevens:
I have not complaint? It's a case of don't complain, but do express? Yeah, absolutely. Do it in the right environment with the right people. That was one of the things I learned along the way was if I needed or had something, and I needed to say it, then have the right people around me. Yeah, yep. My research clients I was our boys are sitting around the campfire with a whole group of Aboriginals and one of the young fellas came in 14 years old. I hadn't realized at the time, he'd been through his rite of passage. In those days, I was still a boy at the age of getting under 50. I hadn't been through mine at that point. And he was talking about the pain he was having in his in his leg. And he only been crying and other things. And I watched these men with total compassion, listening to him talking to him and everything else. And that's when I and these men seem to be so tall and so strong, by taking that softer approach, and just giving him that safe space to be able to share his story that, as I said, I'm an observer. I am a teacher, yes, a part time teacher, but I'm a full time learner. And I will be till the day I die.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. To me, that's, that's the thing that you just talked about a safe space to be able to talk about what's going on. To me, like, that's just the most powerful thing that we can all do is to find that space, safe space, and talk about those things that we haven't talked about, to anyone ever before. That's where the healing starts. What you said there before about your mum, she was she became disconnected from herself because she was having to be like, the the moment that everything and then you describe so what played out for you as you, you and your sister disconnected from yourselves, like who you were as each other and then disconnected as siblings. And it's like that disconnect. So actually the work that you do the work that I do, helping people to connect with who they are. So this is not just so you can learn other people. But so you can learn yourself. Because when you know, self, then you can go out, start learning about other people. And only when you are connected to self, can you connect with others in the way that you're describing?Alan Stevens:
That's it, as I say, you can't like someone else's path without lighting your own. And that's so true. Yeah, absolutely. Connection is important. But, you know, when it comes to coaching, I always say, make sure you're working through your own stuff before you before you try and work on help somebody else is working through something similar. So I've always got to be that point in France, I've been put on training people how to repeat well, they go, Well, when do I start teaching other people I go, when you fully understand that bit, you may have these bits set to learn. But when you fully understand that, then teach it because in the teaching process, you've given to them as well. But you're also anchoring that you know, your stuff. You don't know how good you aren't anything until you teach others. So you have an obligation to teach other people as I'm teaching you. So make sure that you understand that before you show up to somebody else.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, absolutely. And we learned our own stuff. Yes. And you learned so much from from being the teacher as wellAlan Stevens:
said, Well, I can't teach, as I say, you know, people come to me, so I'm going to learn Yeah, I heard that from one of the elders, our bush, but many, many years before about 1968 60. It's already 1969 and 1970. I had a an instructor down in Sydney, because when I first started my career, I used to walk in and Jimmy Pearson, he used to look at everybody go, what am I going to learn here today? And we just thought he was just being funny. But then years later understood what he meant, because he was learning from us. Because if we can't learn from the person you're teaching, how can you teach them to the best of your ability that taught me about needing to read people to understand them so I can turn my transmitter into their receiver?Ian Hawkins:
Fantastic. Alan, I can safely say that, for me, that was the fastest hour that there's ever been. I feel like I can keep asking you questions for hours and hours. But maybe that will give people an opportunity to come and check out what you do and find out more. We'll drop those details for the program. In the comments for the for the posts for this chat. They thank you so much for sharing so openly for reading me so in depth, giving people that opportunity to see the magic of your work. Really cool.Alan Stevens:
Thank you very much. I've enjoyed it. And as you've noticed, I can talk all day as well.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, I had to jump in a few times. And then wait, because yeah, very good. I was awesome. Cheers, Alan. You're welcome. I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Grief Code podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Please share it with a friend or family member that you know would benefit from hearing it too. If you are truly ready to heal your unresolved or unknown grief. Let's chat. Email me at info at Ian Hawkins coaching.com You can also stay connected with me by joining the Grief Code community at Ian Hawkins coaching.com forward slash The Grief Code and remember, so that I can help even more people to heal. Please subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform