The Uncommon Conversations We Need to be Having

Episode 315

The Uncommon Conversations We Need to be Having

Most of us are faced with concerns that we weren’t thinking about two weeks ago, experiencing major shifts in our lifestyles and our businesses, and facing new challenges as parents, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

On today’s podcast, Jon Berghoff joins me to discuss the conversations we should be having to find meaning and purpose, how to stop being paralyzed by uncertainty and accelerate your own learning, and how to step up as a leader and model great behavior for others – no matter what you do.

Jon is the founder of Xchange – a method that you can use to solve whatever challenges you’re currently facing. Over the past few weeks, he has been working on the front lines – not of medicine, but of group communication and collaboration – to help people make sense of their sudden and unexpected challenges, and to come up with solutions.

For the first time ever, today’s episode of the Achieve Your Goals podcast was recorded with a live audience, so that we could demonstrate for you in real time how to engage in the types of uncommon conversations that will enable you to solve the unexpected challenges you’re facing and create new opportunities.

Jon Berghoff

Any contemplated practice in this moment right now kind of rises to the top of what I think is important for people to develop.


  • Why right now is a time for hope and concern.
  • What you can do to get from surviving to thriving in this moment – and the internal mindset shift that matters the most right now.
  • The most valuable skillset that was born overnight.
  • The ONE question that everyone (especially entrepreneurs) should be asking themselves.
  • What specific type of leader is needed right now, and why EVERY one of us is a leader.
  • How Jon is using technology to take his work online – and why his methodology is proving so effective.
  • The three states of mind that a crisis throws you into – and what to do about them.


If you enjoyed this post and received value from this episode, please leave a quick comment below and SHARE with your friends. Thank YOU for paying it forward! :^)

COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.


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Jon Berghoff

The intelligence of the heart is hundreds, arguably thousands of times stronger than the intelligence of the mind.



Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and today will be a very unique episode as we are in the midst of a very unique time in our world right now. And I’ll actually let my guest explain a little bit more about that in just a minute. But today, we’re doing something that’s unprecedented. I’ll hand it over to him to lead you or explain to you what we’re doing. And my guest today is Jon Berghoff, good friend. You probably know him. He’s co-hosted the podcast quite a few times. If you don’t know what Jon’s doing right now, his work is transforming the world. And I know that might sound like a bit of hyperbole. It is not. He is the founder of the XCHANGE Community and the XCHANGE Community is centered around the XCHANGE Methodology, which is a methodology for unlocking collective wisdom, facilitating conversations in groups and organizations to bring people together to solve some of their greatest challenges, to unlock their greatest opportunities, to connect each other to a shared culture, a mission, a shared vision, by tapping into their collective wisdom and resources. 


And under Jon’s leadership, the XCHANGE team they’ve designed and facilitated whole system change efforts through large group summits for companies like BMW, Fathom, Boeing Corporation, the City of Cleveland. The list goes on and on. And I’ll tell you why I asked Jon to be on the podcast today. This was a real game-time decision yesterday morning. I’ve been watching Jon lead the XCHANGE community since this coronavirus outbreak or pandemic started a few weeks ago. And I’ve been watching him provide extraordinary leadership, where he’s not only showing the XCHANGE Community how to do the work that they’re doing rapidly for our world that is needing it now more than ever. They’re really on the front lines of designing and facilitating thousands of conversations. And so, I asked him to bring this XCHANGE method to our community today so that you can bring it to your family, to your community, to your company, to the people that you lead, the people that you love, to use this method to solve your biggest challenges in the midst of this crisis. So, Jon, can you talk about what’s happening right now in the work you’re doing, right now real-time as we’re recording this podcast and what today’s episode is going to be all about? 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah. I’m happy to, buddy. Can you hear me okay? 


Hal Elrod: Yeah, absolutely. 


Jon Berghoff: All right. Thanks. My eight-year-old daughter thought my microphone that I do these videos with was a toy this morning so she was playing with it. I’m now on a different mic because that one has been obliterated.


Hal Elrod: I can hear you loud and pretty clear. 


Jon Berghoff: I appreciate it, buddy. Hey, thank you so much for the intro, buddy. It’s good to see you and when we’re done with this, I want to catch up just see how the family is doing. So, yeah, you know what’s really interesting is right now live while you and I are having a conversation that’ll become a podcast episode and get pushed out in the next whatever few days, we actually have a live Zoom audience that joined us just a few minutes ago and we sent them in this small group, intimate conversations. And so, they’re having conversations right now. They’re going to be in these groups for probably another seven or eight minutes. And when they come back, we’re actually going to invite them right here on the show to tell us what that was like and to maybe even share some wisdom with us. 


And for anyone who’s listening to this afterwards, just so you know, the question that we gave them is we asked everybody in the middle of this crisis that we’re facing right now, which we all kind of overnight have found ourselves in the middle of, we asked them to think about a story or an example of anything that they’ve witnessed in the last week that gives them a sense of pride in humanity. And the reason why we wanted them to search for those examples is because, in the middle of a crisis, there really is an opportunity for us to choose how we respond, to choose who we are being, and how we take action and how we show up at home and how we show up in our communities and at work. And while there’s a lot to be focused on that really invokes a lot of fear, there’s also a lot that we could be proud of if we choose to put on an appreciative lens. And that’s what we did with that question. And so, they’re sharing some stories right now, buddy, and they’ll come back in a few minutes. And I think for the rest of our conversation, both before and after they come back, I think you and I are going to talk about what are the kinds of questions and the kinds of conversations that we think really could help people right now. 


And I don’t want to forget because I often forget this kind of thing. I have something that our company wants to extend as a gift to anybody who this approach that they hear us talking about and they actually see it experienced in real-time today. If this will help you, there are webinars that we’re doing for the public where we are every couple days right now, I’m getting on live and I’m sharing with anybody that this would help how to use this work to lead teams to move events from in-person to online, how do you help communities and groups of customers virtually right now. It’s completely free. We have this webinar that we’re doing every couple of days. And so, at the end of the call, I’ll tell people how they could go get access to that. And there’s even another gift where if somebody leads a community or a company, and this work they think could be the difference between saving them from going under and being able to actually thrive, we have a faculty of eight people, Hal, that these are professionals who have thousands of hours of experience with our approach. 


They are on standby as just a donation of their time to have a private one-to-one chat to help anybody with how to use this approach right now to convene groups of people of all sizes and facilitate conversations that matter right now. So, just want to get that out of the way, buddy, and we can go wherever we want. We got about five, six minutes before we bring the group back in, and then we’ll see what they have to say and then we’ll keep going. This is fun. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. And I appreciate that, Jon. I want to mention that I experienced what you’re talking about right now that you are teaching and leading because you taught a mutual friend of ours, Jon Vroman, how to use this Zoom technology, not just Zoom, as most people know it but this ability to break large groups into smaller group breakouts. And we had dozens of Front Row Dads on the Zoom yesterday, I think it was or a couple of days ago. And then within a click of a button, we were all broken out into groups of three or four and it created this ginormous Zoom call where it felt very impersonal and you can catch yourself playing with technology on the side, checking Facebook, checking email, whatever. And we were really engaged and, yeah, it was a really cool experience and that’s what caused me initially to reach out to you over the weekend and say, “Hey, let’s talk about, let’s bring this to our community, to the Miracle Morning Community, the Achieve Your Goals Podcast Community, your XCHANGE Community.” So, thank you for the leadership right now that you are providing because I’ve been, I guess impressed is maybe the word but just really, really happy to see what you’re doing for people. 


Jon Berghoff: I appreciate it, buddy. I appreciate it. Well, it’s kind of unusual for us because up until two weeks ago, our work was mostly focused on helping groups of people in a room and then all of a sudden we realized how well it worked online and I think it’s just a good example of within a challenge there can be unexpected gifts blessings, opportunities. You can call it what you want. In fact, Hal, I’ll put you on the spot, buddy. What for you in the midst of all of this, I mean, you do a lot of speaking and that obviously is shut down and unfortunately, you help a lot of people through your books and through the online community, but your world is also turned upside down. Within all that, any gifts or unexpected surprises or opportunities that this has brought up for you, either professionally or personally? Just curious. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah, and I appreciate the question. And for me, I would say it’s really about what matters most, typically, which is the work that we do but really it comes down to the relationships that we have. It comes down, to me, it’s self-care. There are so many elements that often get put on the back burner because of our work or because of the mission that we’re on. I’m now spending much more time taking care of myself, taking care of my family, engaging with the kids, playing kickball during the day. Yeah, it’s been a blessing. Also reading a lot more. So, yeah, I think I’m more engaged in my self-care and just more present with my family and I call my grandma. You know, I’m calling her once a week. I haven’t done that ever. I’m calling my family more often. So, yeah, I think that it’s really gotten me in touch with what matters most which for me, it’s taking care of ourselves and the people who we share this life with. 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah, that’s awesome, buddy. As you say that, I’ve always enjoyed learning from you is over the last six years when we ran the Best Year Ever Event and all the other partnerships that you and I have had. One of the great teachings that I and so many people have enjoyed hearing from you is, Hal, your own personal crisis created a space for you to totally reconsider what mattered. And I think for a lot of people, they can now relate to that, unfortunately or fortunately, in a whole new way because I think when we hear somebody talk about what a crisis did for their perspective, it’s one thing. When we’re globally thrown into a crisis, I think we can all relate a lot more and, yeah, I can tell you, same things happen for me and, yeah, that’s one of the questions that we’ve been asking here at XCHANGE is in a time where people are afraid and I mean, to an extent, afraid even if we don’t consciously think of it this way, think of unconsciously how many of us are having concerns that literally fall into the category of survival concerns that two weeks ago we weren’t having. 


And I think what you just said when we’re facing that fear for survival, a great antidote or remedy to that is to ask the question, how do we turn our hearts and our minds towards a noble purpose, an honorable sense of meaning in all of this? And I wonder how many people just like you and I, it’s like, realizing that our well-being and the loving connection we have with our families, it matters so much more than all this other stuff. So, I appreciate that. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah, it was the other day I had just kind of the distinction that this is the first time that I can remember my lifetime where the entire world is focused on one thing, when if that ever been the case. Now, maybe our nation is often focused on one thing if there’s some crisis in the nation or something, but it’s usually pretty regional. You know, if there’s a natural disaster going on one part of the country, well, mostly that part of the country is the only people really focused on it. First time that I’m aware of that our entire human species have been focused on one thing, one challenge, one crisis, and we’re rallying around it. And, yeah, I mean, it’s interesting to see what’s happening in real-time where we’re all seeing humanity, some of the best of humanity, which I know that’s what everybody participating right now that’s going to come back and share in a few minutes, that’s what they’re talking about, which is, what’s the story, what’s an example of the finest aspects of humanity they’ve seen? And I’m excited for them to come back and share what came up for them. But I think that we’re just scratching the surface on the good that’s going to come out of this. 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah, no kidding. I just sent them a two-minute warning, by the way. 


Hal Elrod: It pops up on my screen too. I love this technology. I love this. 


Jon Berghoff: Isn’t it cool? Yeah. 


Hal Elrod: After they come back, they’re going to share. You and I are going to have a conversation though about this. I’ve heard a lot of powerful narratives that you’ve been saying and I’m just going to tease these right now so people listening so you know what’s coming up. And some things I’ve heard Jon saying, I’ve seen him saying, and I want to ask him to expand on these. One thing Jon has been saying, there is a reason right now for hope and concern, both of those. So, we’re going to dive into why is that. I’ve heard Jon talk about the world needs a very specific type of leader right now. And again, I’m going to ask him what type of leader is the world hungry for right now. I know Jon has said that every entrepreneur so if you’re an entrepreneur listening, that’s the majority of our audience about 70%-ish, Jon has said that all entrepreneurs we should be asking one question more than any other to go from surviving to thriving. So, I’m going to ask Jon what that one question is. 


And then last but not least, and it won’t be the last. I’m sure there’s a lot more, but I’m going to ask him. He said the single most important skill set that was born overnight we all need to be aware of and we need to be developing this skill set. So, we’re going to dive into that as well. I don’t know if you have time for I’ve got a question for you which do we have time to ask or we got…


Jon Berghoff: Yeah. Go for it. I just told the group they’ve got one minute left. So, fire away. 


Hal Elrod: All right. You’re so long-winded. Here we go. So, here’s the question, What are the most important internal mindset shifts that matter most right now? I don’t know if you can ask that in a minute. We can always come back to it. 


Jon Berghoff: Sure. Yeah. Well, I’m a big fan of a mutual friend of ours, Julianna Raye, who’s really the leader of the Unified Mindfulness practice and she’s trained thousands of people and also teachers in her approach to mindfulness meditation. And I actually believe, Hal, that the most important personal competency or skillset that anybody could choose to lean into right now would be anything that would fall into the category of now’s the time to nurture and develop a contemplative practice, whether that’s mindfulness. It could be prayer. It could be various forms. Yoga is a form. There’s various forms of contemplated practices. And one reason I appreciate Unified Mindfulness, Hal, is because, in particular, it comes with a vocabulary that reminds us that at the end of the day – see, here’s how I see it. There’s not one particular quality or emotion or feeling right now that I myself could say here’s the most important one. I mean, I’ll give you a list and we’ll talk about this on this episode but there’s something underneath that. There’s something behind that which is our ability to actually manage the quality of our attention. That’s what sits behind all of our internal experience. 


And so, having a mindfulness practice right now, for so many of us, is the thing I believe we should lean into. Because if we do that, it develops our concentration power. It develops our sensory clarity. Concentration is the ability to stay focused on what matters. And in a crisis, it’s really easy to get distracted. I’m going to bring everybody back here. The other attention skill or there’s three that this practice develops. The other is called sensory clarity, which it’s the ability to detect or discern or distinguish what’s going on inside of me because if we don’t notice it early on, it gets so big. It takes over our ability to respond effectively. And then the third is what we call equanimity. And I think that’s the superpower of all superpowers and in a crisis, I don’t know that there’s an internal skill set that’s more important than our ability to nurture our capability to have equanimity. What does that mean? What it means is, can we allow the push and the pull of our internal world to come and go without taking over control of our attention? 


And that’s really easy to say on a podcast episode and I’ve failed at it at least five times today yelling at my own kids. So, you asked what do I think matters for all of us as individuals? We’ve got to go all the way deep on the inside and we’ve got to realize that our ability to nurture our attention capabilities, and again, I’m a fan of how Julianna teaches it. That’s why I share her practices. But any contemplated practice in this moment right now kind of rises to the top of what I think is important for people to develop. Now, this is cool because, Hal, you and I are both looking at a screen of 24 beautiful faces. This is our live Zoom studio audience. They’re all on mute and, Hal, can I turn it over and invite a few of them to share? 


Hal Elrod: Yeah, please do. 


Jon Berghoff: Alright. So, if you want to unmute yourselves, love to hear from two, three, four you and you’re welcome to share maybe either a story that you heard that was uplifting and keep it relatively brief or you could share maybe just in general, what was meaningful about all the stories that you shared. If you’re watching this live or just now tuning in to this episode, these 20 or so participants were broken into groups of three. They were sharing stories of when or where have they’ve seen kind of humanity at its best in a way that they’re actually really proud of what they saw, and they’re sharing those stories with each other and then they had a dialogue about it, and they just came back. So, I’m now inviting anyone who’d like to kick us off. Any one of you who want to kick it off? I’ll start with Shauna and then Mike. I’m just using the hands I see raised, so forgive me and I’ll try and get to as many of you as I can. Shauna, go ahead. 


Shauna: Thank you for the opportunity. I’m not going to share a story but I am going to share the content. There was a thread of generosity and giving when I talked with Pretty and Alex. We talked deeply about all the giving we see that is going on in the world right now, which has really been uplifting and heartwarming and the ways it’s impacting us to want to continue to give more, but then it evolved into this beautiful conversation about making it as easy to put the request and the ask out there, which is much more challenging for us than the giving. It’s so easy to give, but it’s so much more challenging to actually do the asking like here, I need this thing. And hopefully, one of them will be able to pipe in at some point but I think that this is where we need to go like getting confident and comfortable with asking for what our needs are in a moment and recognizing confidently that people may or may not be able to show up but the ask is going to give somebody else the opportunity to do the giving. And that is sort of the meat there. 


Jon Berghoff: Shauna, that is so awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And, yeah, beautiful to hear that the three-line of your stories of generosity and giving is something that we can be proud of that has arisen in this time of crisis. And I love that your conversation went all the way to the point of, “Hey, you know what, we’ve got to enable generosity and giving to be possible because if we all give, but we don’t enable ourselves to ask, we’re missing the other side of the same coin. So, that’s a beautiful perspective. That’s great to hear. Mike, I called on you earlier. If you wanted to go next, please do. 


Mike: Yeah. Hey. So, we had a really great conversation in our group and there wasn’t that there was one story that stood out above all others, but it was this general prevailing theme. We talked a lot about resiliency, about how resilient we’re noticing that our children are now that they’re home from school. Personally, I’ve got 11-year-old twin boys that fight nonstop. Well, they’ve been best friends for the past two weeks like we thought it would go the other way. But the resiliency and the adaptability, we just wanted to honor like all of the teachers in the school systems that immediately pivoted and went over to Zoom and started creating online lesson plans are showing up and doing video calls with the kids and just how quickly all this came together was really encouraging. Another thing that prevailed in all of our conversations was healing, that we see this healing going all over the place. The earth is healing, relationships are healing. Parents and children and siblings and Republicans and Democrats, there’s an overwhelming sense of healing that’s happening if you tap into that, if you choose to find that and look for that. It’s all over the place. Compassion, right? Charissa gave a couple of great phrases. She sees an uplifting of compassion and radical shared compassion. Those are things that I think are opportunities to focus on. 


And then we talked about opportunities, we have such a great opportunity now to model the behavior that we want to see in the world. The most difficult thing about getting people to think differently and behave differently is getting them to overcome their natural resistance to change when society is naturally wearing down our resistance. So, we need to use this as an opportunity not only to drive the change we want to see but to be the change we want to see. And then we talked a little bit about somebody who had to shut their business down and doesn’t have the ability to perform their business. And we talked about, hey, what else can you do right now? How can you reach out to perhaps a new segment of the market and do something through online training, even though you don’t have your primary resource available? So, that was just really cool. It was really uplifting and just so much great opportunity out there right now so thanks for that. Thanks for facilitating that.


Jon Berghoff: Well, I think we’re going to wrap the episode up because, Mike, that was so beautifully shared. Thank you to you and to everyone in your group that contributed to those insights. Yeah, the witnessing of resiliency. Wow, what a perspective on the healing of the earth and of relationships. So powerful, the compassion and the opportunity that has been inspired. And I love what you just said there, Mike, about how we’ve all been kind of forced to accept and embrace change. And so, let’s take advantage of that in positive ways. That’s really, really cool. Maybe one more. We’d love to hear one more share from their group. And forgive me, I can’t see all the boxes on the screen. I’ll go to Kimberly because I don’t have them all on my screen so thanks for understanding. 


Kimberly: So, for us, one of the values is recognizing the value of connection that because we’re not able to touch how automatic that was and that loss of being able to touch and connect in that way, finding other creative ways of connecting. But also raising the others, really connecting with the values that we hold as human beings differently. We’re now much more conscious and of the things that we have taken for granted, such as touched, such as accessibility, such as the freedom just to do, such as the connection to assist each other in personal responsibility, social responsibility. Raising those kinds of questions and conversations and seeing the enormous wisdom that is rising from that and how to engage radically differently with wisdom, creativity, and really stepping outside of our own comfort zones to expand into the world a little bit differently.


Jon Berghoff: Kimberly, so well said. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. Talk about appreciating the ability to go to a local coffee shop. I mean, gone, right? I mean, this is the kind of thing that two weeks ago you would have said this only happens in the movies. And now we’re given the gift of, hey, we can really appreciate all these things that are gone and let’s all hope and pray that it’s all coming back at some point. But we might talk a little bit more about that. I will tell you what’s going to happen later on this call because I am vegan at the moment. So, I know exactly where the future is going to end up. Hey, Hal…


Hal Elrod: Kimberly, thank you for sharing. 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah, Kimberly, thank you. Hal, before you and I dive back into our dialogue for a little bit, I have one question for any of you as a group and I might have one or two of you answer this. I would love to know what was that experience like. Like when you just reflect on, what was that like? What did you notice? What did you feel? What did you appreciate? What didn’t work? What was that like? What did you notice about that experience being given a question brought into a group? Brett, I’ll go to you. I saw your hand pop up there.


Brett: I would say it was an immediate heart connection that is so surprising. It happened so fast and the first person that is willing to go they start talking and then you suddenly just start noticing a softening of the heart and an invisible connection as super strong. It’s just like so much love so fast. It was an amazing experience. 


Jon Berghoff: That’s awesome, Brett. Love hearing that. Kimber, go ahead.


Kimberly: As you all know, I come from high tech and so we are used to hiding behind our profile picture on Zoom. Because I’ve become a member of XCHANGE, I’ve been following along with the Zoom technology, put some time into doing live videos and Esther and I connected. We were saying this was just like we were sitting together in the same room. We could feel each other and I think when you’re behind a profile, it’s easy to say things that maybe you wouldn’t say if you were face-to-face with someone. So, I’m actually going to start instituting at work against the grain that as a company, and especially for our culture’s sake, we need to start dropping the profile picture and I had kind of heard it last week on the few things I participated on with this group. But now I get it and Esther is now mi amiga and my friend. And by the way, she’s wanting to say something too. We don’t know how to raise our hands in the call. The experience was almost as good as being together and the same. It was awesome. 


Jon Berghoff: Kimber, thanks for sharing that. Esther, did you want to add something to that?


Esther: Same that Kimber said. It’s like, we feel this instant connection. Not only that, but we found out that we have the same roots from Panama and that was amazing. And we basically also talked about a little bit about our backgrounds because we were only two in the group, so we had the opportunity to talk a little more. And we bonded on common themes like how people are helping each other, how we have discovered that people are friendlier to each other. Yeah, we all seem to have that need for human connection inside the walls that we build around ourselves in our lives. We build this wall but we really all want to connect. We want to feel others close. So, it was really an awesome experience and I was kind of like a little hesitant about this Zoom thing, but it actually works pretty well. I like it. 


Jon Berghoff: Thank you, Esther. That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And for any of you who are listening to this as a recording later on or watching this live as a recording later on, one of the things that Hal and I wanted to inspire you to consider is that what we’re doing here right now is really important in the world. And when you can hear and, by the way, nobody on this call was told here’s what we want you to say when you’re broken into groups. And that was everybody’s organic, authentic response to what was that like. And when you listen to Brett sharing an immediate heart connection, Kimber talking about how it’s like we were sitting together in the same room, and Esther reminding us that that need for connection even with all these walls that we build, physical and technological and I love the point, Kimber, of how so many people hide behind the screen. If you’re listening to this, I just want you to know that without asking this group that showed up, at least I don’t think we asked, every single person is here live with the video on looking into the screen. It makes a big difference. 


So, Hal, let’s keep going wherever you want to go, buddy, with the conversation here. I’m happy to go back to some of the questions you brought up. And then we’ll do one more activity before we get out of here. And I don’t want to forget, we have a webinar that I’ll be running tomorrow. We’ll give out the URL in just a few minutes. And then also a team that if somebody really needs this technology to help a community, especially if you have a larger community, if you have big events that you ran in person that you need to figure out how to bring them together online or if you lead a large team or an organization, our faculty has donated their time to give away some coaching. So, I’ll give out a way of scheduling with them literally right now in the next 48, 72 hours. They’ve got time available. I don’t know how quickly that will fill up but, Hal, where do you want to go from here, buddy? 


Hal Elrod: Well, first of all, thank you, JB. Thank you for leading that and having experienced it as I said as a participant a few days ago with the Front Row Dads group. I can tell you what I experienced which everything that they said I would echo was this instant, immediate connection in a group of four guys that are all dealing with this thing called the coronavirus and dealing with all the challenges that come along with for many of us working from home and we’re not used to. Some of us, we realized that quarantine’s just our lifestyle, but dealing with being with our spouse all day when some of us that’s not the norm. Everything, our normal routines for most of us have been thrown out of whack and so immediately to have that common bond and that shared experiences, yeah, it was a really powerful thing. And I wanted to also follow up on what you said, when I asked you what are the most important mindset shifts that people make right now and you talked about the importance of having a contemplative of practice, such as a mindfulness practice or some prayer, or I would add journaling to that. 


I just want to remind our listeners, most people listening are members of the Miracle Morning Community and that is for most of us, that’s our practice. I’m just reminding you that you already have that contemplative practice that Jon’s talking about and realize what’s important is why are you doing the practice right now? Meaning, what do you want to gain every morning from your Miracle Morning? Do you want to be more at peace? Do you want to feel happier, feel better? Do you want to increase your clarity? I think that going into your Miracle Morning practice each day with the question of what do I want the outcome to be? In other words, who do I want to be one hour from now? After I go through my SAVERS, after I do my Miracle Morning, who do I want to be? Do I want to feel happier? Do I want to be more confident? What’s going on today that I need to prepare myself for mentally, emotionally spiritually, physically, that I can utilize my contemplated practice that is the Miracle Morning for? 


So, I would just tell you to be more precise, more intentional with why. It’s a good word though, right, intentionable? 


Jon Berghoff: Works for me, buddy. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. Intentional with why you’re doing your Miracle Morning and what you want to get out of it. So, Jon, I’m going to go right into this one. I’ve heard you say, I’ve seen you type this out. There is a reason right now for hope and concern. Why both?


Jon Berghoff: Well, so here at XCHANGE for the past, going back nine years, I’ve been enamored with trying to learn about the nature of a system. So, there’s a whole field of work, that’s referred to as systems thinking or systems theory and you and all my other friends just made fun of me and now all of a sudden, here’s some interesting trivia. The absolute best systems training videos that are available online, at least in our opinion, guess who they were created by? The CDC. So, we’re now facing – they’re there right now. They’re amazing. If you want to understand systems thinking, the best videos you’re going to find in our opinion, the CDC produced them all. They’re really great. But it tells you something. We are facing a systemic issue of magnitudes that most of our minds I don’t think mine can comprehend. And so, why do I say there’s hope and concern? Well, because when you immerse yourself in studying something that is systemic in nature, you realize that there is no such thing as a truth, the way we want there to be a truth like I want to know. 


I want to know like when do I get to go back outside? And what’s going to happen? We want to know like what’s the answer? What’s the truth? But when you’re talking about complex system issues, that kind of truth doesn’t really exist. Systems Thinking is about understanding the relationship between different parts so that hopefully we can be less and less wrong about our predictions around what will happen. And so, that’s what leads to the hope and the concern because the concern is none of us really know and a lot of people that are making decisions, whether it’s in our government or elsewhere, I would encourage everybody to think twice about beating people up for the decisions they’re making because it is impossible to predict with a high level of accuracy, how this all plays out. That’s the concerning part because you don’t need me to tell you one direction things could go. Now, here’s where there’s hope. Where there’s hope is that the world is a living system and a living system is different from a mechanical system. A mechanical system you can predict and control everything. In a living system, you can’t predict and control.


Why does that bring hope or possibly good news? Because the single difference between a living system and a mechanical system is a living system knows how to learn. And because it knows how to learn, it has the ability to create a future that is beyond the sum of its current parts, meaning no matter how doom and gloom people say things are going to be, it could be what people say they’re going to be, it could be worse. We have the ability to tap into a collective resourcefulness, a collective creativity, a collective wisdom, that is also not predictable. So, that’s where the hope and the concern comes from. So, at the end of the day, you either feel better or worse from whatever I just said. Or you feel more solidly right in the middle. 


Hal Elrod: Right, neutral. Yeah. Nothing has changed. I’m exactly where I was before. Well, I think you’re right. And if human beings have shown anything, we’ve been through and we being humanity in different regions, different geographical locations, different times, we’ve been through extraordinary adversity and we’re still here, and we’ve come out typically better on the other side of our challenges and our adversity. So, I think with the unlimited creativity that’s available for humanity and the resourcefulness, yeah, I think that we’re in good hands being our own. You said right now that the world needs a very specific type of leader. What type of leader does the world really need right now? And before you answer that, I would go as far as to say that every single one of us, if you’re a human being part of the human family, the human race, you are a leader. And I think that we’re all needed. So, I’d love to understand from your point of view what type of leader is needed most right now.


Jon Berghoff: Yeah. I’m going to hold up a book in front of the screen and the title of this book is called Who Do We Choose To Be? And this is written by one of my favorite mentors, and the subtitle is Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity. And this is written by Margaret Wheatley, who so much of her thinking guides a lot of my life in our work. And if you’re curious what’s in this book, it’s really a combination of what happens when you look at all the science of a living system and you overlay it with what history tells us about how every civilization basically self-destructs within 10 generations. And if you want to know where we were on that track, well, go read the book. And what I take away from teachings like the teachings of Margaret Wheatley, is that we don’t need more entrepreneurs. We don’t need more technological solutions. We need leaders who are asking, “Who am I going to be as a model for others?” And there’s not one answer to who should we be. 


As an example, on this very call. I mean, I’m just looking at my own notes. We need to be resilient. We need to see the opportunity for healing. We need to bring compassion. You heard Brett mentioned the idea of heart connection. There’s some great tools available from the HeartMath Institute, which is another variation of what I could call a contemplated practice. And, the intelligence of the heart is hundreds, arguably thousands of times stronger than the intelligence of the mind. If you want to see all the science behind that, go look at the great work that the HeartMath Institute has done, but connecting to these qualities of the heart, these are the kinds of qualities and ways of being that here’s what’s cool. None of you needed me to say that. This is what you are revealing through your own stories of what you’re most proud of right now. When I look at the notes from when we sent all of you to ask yourselves, what are you witnessing in your communities, in your hometowns, and in your work? 


When you share stories of generosity and giving, when you talk about creativity, when you talk about reconnecting to our values, when you talk about connection with each other, when you talk about compassion and healing and resiliency, these are by definition, qualities of the heart. And so, those would be my encouragement for anybody who’s in a leadership position. And I think in a moment of crisis, I hope we realize that the leaders aren’t defined by title. They’re defined by who we choose to be because every one of us is going to influence change. And that’s what a leader is. It’s anybody who’s going to choose and actually influence any kind of change and it’s got to start with influencing who we’re going to be right now. And what that leads to are even more tactical opportunities because in those states of being, we’re now able to actually be more resourceful. We’re now able to actually be more creative. We’re now able to actually be more innovative. And every one of those qualities that was identified by this group, we’re able to be more collaborative. 


Because if you look in nature, collaboration and cooperation is how nature has preserved itself. It’s a way of preserving energy and actually advancing into a more complex capability. And the way that we survived through anything like this is only through collaboration. But we could roll out all the playbooks on collaboration like what we did on this call earlier, and what we’ll do in a few minutes. You could argue this is the textbook for how to collaborate right now. And we’ve got thousands of literally businesses and business owners who today and tomorrow and the next day, we’re teaching this method to but it won’t really work if we’re not also doing the inner work right now that has to be kind of underneath it all. So, hopefully, that helps to address kind of what you’re asking about, buddy.


Hal Elrod: Yeah, it does. And I think that what it does is it also extends the role of leadership to all of us. That’s what I liked about your answer, Jon, is if the type of leader we need right now is someone who’s asking, “Who do I need to be right now? How do I need to show up? What qualities, what values do I need to exemplify, to embody, to express, to share, to impart for others in the midst of this crisis?” Well, if you’re a mom or a dad, that definition of leadership extends to you. And as I said, really, if you’re part of the human family, it extends to you showing those qualities and values, generosity, service, love, compassion, so on and so forth. Jon, another thing I’ve heard you say and I don’t know if it was covered in your last answer, but you say that entrepreneurs should be asking one question more than any other right now to go from surviving to thriving. Is it that same question that we just covered or is there something else? 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah. I wouldn’t add anything more. I think it’s around when we get in a place of scarcity, we’ve got to counter that by asking how do we unlock our resourcefulness or collective resourcefulness. When we get fixated on problems, we’ve got to counter that by asking how do we come up with actionable solutions. When we get paralyzed by uncertainty, we’ve got to ask how do I accelerate cycles of implementation and learning? So, there’s states of mind that a crisis throw us into, and there’s a remedy question to every one of these kind of natural places that we get sent into and I just shared some of those examples. So, I mean, those kinds of topped the list for me for all of us, not just an entrepreneur. I mean at home, my wife’s teaching yoga to her friends over Zoom and my kids are learning how to paint and have their own video chats and that requires resourcefulness, creativity, all these things. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah, absolutely. Last thing, and I think that this really speaks to what we’re doing right now because we’re living it. And I’ve heard you say that the single most important skill set that was born overnight and this is for anyone who leads a group, a community. You know, if you have got clients, customers, and the most important skill set that was born overnight, you say it’s the ability to facilitate powerful conversations at scale using digital platforms because frankly, we’re at home. You are doing that right now for CEOs, for entrepreneurs, for cities, for communities, for the Front Row Dads. And I invited you on today because we do want to learn how to do this for the Miracle Morning community. We’ve got this huge community but having a Zoom with 1,000 people on it or 10,000 people on it is not very personal, not very effective relative to the way that we are utilizing these breakout rooms today. So, I’m going to turn this back over to you and I know we’re going to do another exercise for our current group, and then you and I can wrap up this podcast. 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah, sounds great. Well, the short answer to the question of what is this skill, this leadership competency, that overnight rose to the top of the single most important competency, you could even call it a strategy for leaders of companies to help their people to not just make it through this, but maybe even thrive, for entrepreneurs to bring their customers together and facilitate the kinds of conversations that will help their customers and their communities to not only turn around their inner world but come up with the kinds of solutions that will save lots of businesses. The skill that was born overnight is the ability to design and facilitate conversations on this platform. It’s literally what we did with this group 15, 20 minutes ago and it’s what they’re about to close this out with in about three minutes here. So, I’ll share a couple of things about this. I mentioned earlier there are some resources we’re going to give away and I just found the URLs. So, I’ll share those now. 


So, we’re doing webinars every other day. We might start doing them every day. We might start doing them all day long right now because the demand. If somebody goes to XCHANGE Approach, the letter X, the word “change”, and then the word “approach”., we’re going to start doing these webinars for the public. Now, if you’re already a part of the XCHANGE community, you’ve got access to a whole bunch of other conversations that we’re having on how to apply this work. If somebody is in dire needs, and there’s a lot on the line so I’m really trying to say please don’t take advantage of this unless you have access to influence with ownership of a community, a large community or a group of customers, fans, students, for educators, and you want to figure out how to facilitate conversations that create transformation right now at scale, we have a faculty that is available to give you some direct one-to-one coaching. There’s eight people who put aside time on their calendars. The heart for them to do this is amazing and you can schedule directly with them at XCHANGE. It’s the letter X and the word “change” and then the word “conversation”. And these URLs should all be active and working by the time this gets released to the public.


And so, this is the skill. We’re actually embodying it right now, Yo Pal. So, I’d love to actually demonstrate one more example. You and I can talk while they’re talking for five minutes and then we’ll get out of here. How’s that sound? 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. Absolutely. 


Jon Berghoff: All right. Cool. So, I’m going to admit, I hadn’t actually chosen yet. I hadn’t actually chosen what… 


Hal Elrod: Which question you’re going to ask? 


Jon Berghoff: What question I was going to ask. So, why don’t we do this one here? Knowing that this is going to be broadcast out into the Miracle Morning galaxy and multiverse, I would love for all of you to think about we’re going to send you into groups of three. And in those groups of three, we’re going to ask all of you to share with each other what is the most important gift that we could give to the world right now, a phrase, a sentence, a question that they could ask. And you’re going to come back and we’ll have a few of you share that. So, again, you have a chance to express a gift to the rest of the world. We’ll send you into groups of three. What would be the question, the phrase, the advice that you would like to give to the rest of the world? And when you come back, we’re going to give you a little challenge here. In your groups of either three or four, we’re going to ask you to come back in five minutes and express the greatest gift you could give to the world in 10 words or less. So, you’re welcome to carry the torch for about 30 seconds. 


Hal Elrod: All right. Sounds good. All right. Goal achievers, if you’re still listening to do this or if we didn’t cut this part out, I guess, goal achievers, I just want to acknowledge that what’s needed right now, that’s a really loaded question, what’s needed right now? And obviously, there’s a lot of logistically, you could answer that question in terms of what’s needed medically and what’s needed in terms of testing and what’s needed. There are a lot of answers there. The way that I looked at that question, though, is what’s needed right now from each of us? What’s needed right now from you and from me, regardless of all the things that we can’t control? What are the things that we can control? In the last couple of podcast episodes, I’ve really talked about focusing on our inner world and focusing on those elements of the one thing we can control is how we are experiencing life. I love what Jon said in terms of leadership right now, who are you going to be today? And that’s been big for me with my family because there’s a lot of different areas of stress right now with this outbreak, with the financial uncertainty and other elements. 


And so, for me, it’s really, before when I finished my Miracle Morning, during the Miracle Morning, and when I finished it, when I go to my family, it’s who am I going to be right now. I’m going to be a source of strength and I want to be a source of love. I’m going to be a source of compassion and patience and so on into connection. So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, whether you lead an organization or you just lead yourself or your family, who are you going to be today? I just want to echo the question that Jon asked earlier. Jon, you’re back. 


Jon Berghoff: I’m back, buddy. I’m great. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. 


Jon Berghoff: Hey, you said something just now and I just want to give an acknowledgment that I had intended on giving earlier but I just want to say thank you to all of our healthcare workers. While all of us are likely facing some sort of inconvenience or worse, those who are literally on the front lines, they’re being put in a position where their own personal well-being is put at risk in a way that I think a lot of us probably can’t relate to. I was thinking about that this morning but even though I’ve thought it and I’ve even said it, I thought I probably don’t fully appreciate what it’s like to be in a local urgent care or a local hospital and having people starting to come in and just imagining if I was in that position, what could be coming up next if that healthcare facility started to get flooded and we don’t have the equipment, we don’t have the beds, we don’t have the masks, we don’t have whatever, I don’t even know all the things they need, how scary that would be. So, if this message makes its way to anybody in that space, we appreciate and thank you so much because you’re in your own category in terms of heroic acts that you’re conducting right now. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. I agree. I mean, what’s happening in other countries with their hospitals, which I think it’s happening in New York already. I think New York, aren’t they over flooded with patients and they don’t have enough respirators and beds? 


Jon Berghoff: That’s the case. Yeah. 


Hal Elrod: I believe so. Having spent a lot of time in hospitals myself from age 20 on, just the appreciation that I have for healthcare workers, for nurses and doctors is immeasurable. What are you doing right now, Jon? I know you’ve stepped up to lead with your work via the XCHANGE method. What are you doing right now to thrive at home?


Jon Berghoff: Yeah, that’s a great question. Well, you know, because our work is in such high demand right now, I’ve been kind of cooped up in our office, which is not at my home but I’ve also made sure that like the kids not being in school has actually created some cool opportunities. So, my 10-year-old son, Ace, typically he’s literally two feet away from me but he’s gotten a little tired of hearing me talk because I’m literally on these Zooms all day long. So, he went to the office next door where if he’s done with his schoolwork, it means he’s probably on his own video chatting with his friends or playing Fortnite, one of the two. So, I’ve actually gotten a lot of time with him and it’s cool because between my calls, he and I just have like real authentic dialogue. And I’m like, “Hey, what do you think of all this?” like a very straight, very direct dialogue. I talk to him the way I would talk to you or anybody else. I don’t sugarcoat it. I don’t try and make it better or worse than it is. I ask him what his take is and we have real meaningful interactions and I love that. 


And our whole family has been spending a lot of time in nature. I was out in our national park that’s right down the road every day already but kids not being in school, I’ve started to bring them with me and we’ve created whole new ways of being in nature. I’ve gotten in nature with our family in the last probably four or five days more than I had in the prior four or five years. And you know what’s funny is I’m actually only realizing this as I say it. If somebody would have asked me what’s the greatest pain in my home life, and there’s lots of places where I could find pain and challenges either in being married or having three kids or just making it all work, the biggest source of pain for me is that how much I struggled to figure out how to get my kids out into nature. And for some reason, it was real easy to do over the last week. So, that’s been a big blessing. Mara, my wife, she teaches yoga. Well, she’s out of business until she figured out how to do it over Zoom and helping her to get it dialed in so she can stream the music through correctly has been really cool. She had I think 15 maybe 20 women in her class this morning. A lot of them wouldn’t have been there in person. So, she’s sitting there looking at it going, “Wait a minute, like this is actually working out really well.,” So, it’s been cool.


Hal Elrod: I will say it’s funny. She texts me and Jon Vroman the other day and said, “Hey, I want to do video streaming for yoga. What do I do?” And I’m like, “Oh, your husband is like…” I said, “Why are you asking us? This is what Jon does.” And she’s like, “Really?” I’m like, “Yeah.” She said, “Oh, yeah, you’re right. Jon actually has this all figured out.” I’m like, “He’s teaching us.” So, yeah, really funny moment that me and Vroman kind of laughed together. 


Jon Berghoff: Oh my gosh, it tells you how well my wife and I communicate in this crisis.


Hal Elrod: I’ll always tell my wife something. I’ll tell her something as if she already knows and she’ll be like, “Wait, what?” and I go, “You know, the ginormous thing going on that I told you about where Miracle Morning…” and she’s like, “You never told me that.” I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t? I told everyone else.”


Jon Berghoff: Oh, yeah. That sounds like one of those conversations that I had in my head or that email that I wrote in my head that I never sent and now I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t get it. Oh my gosh. Well, I’m going to bring everybody back in a second here, buddy. So, they’ll all start to come on back here in about the next minute or so. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. And remember, everybody, that question that Jon asked them is what’s the one gift they would give to the world? What’s the one gift whether it was a question, an idea, an action step, what’s the one gift they would give to the world? So, I’m excited to hear what comes out of this. 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah. This would be cool. If you’re listening to the podcast, Hal and I are looking on the screen. And as people come back from these breakout rooms, it’s kind of cool because you see these faces pop onto the screen and it’s like, you know, when you facilitate group interactions in person, you know whether or not somebody walked away and left the meeting. When you do this virtually, there’s the first time. It’s kind of like, what happens if they don’t come back? Like are they going to come back? Because you can’t see people. So, there’s, I don’t know, three, four, five people. In the next 20 seconds, they all are forced to come back. Charissa, I see your hand. I’ll call on you first to share on behalf of your group, but give me just a sec because let’s let others pop back in. I imagine it’s going to be in the next 10 seconds or so they’re all going to be back in the room. Here they are.


Hal Elrod: There they go. They’re coming in, 21, 22, 23. 


Jon Berghoff: Charissa, were you opting to share first? Is that what you were doing? Hold on. There you go. Wait, I got you. There you go. Go ahead. 


Charissa: I can share first. 


Jon Berghoff: Cool. And then Bree, we’ll come to you next. Oh, never mind. I thought I saw you raising your hand.


Charissa: I think one of the most important messages for everyone right now is navigating your inner engineering and having an acute awareness to your inner world. Your life is at the effect of your internal world and your mind. And so, noticing, allowing, investigating and nurturing is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves at the effect of the collective. 


Jon Berghoff: That’s beautiful, Charissa, and thank you. 


Hal Elrod: Well said. 


Jon Berghoff: Thank you for sharing that. And I’m definitely going to call that was 10 words or less so I appreciate that.


Hal Elrod: Thank you, Charissa. 


Jon Berghoff: Hey, thank you for that. Navigating your inner engineering and that your outer world is a reflection of what’s going on inside. Who’d like to go next? Alex, please. Yeah.


Alex: Yeah. So, we came up with how can you elevate your state of being and infect the world with that positive state of being? 


Jon Berghoff: Yeah, a positive infection. There you go. 


Hal Elrod: Yeah. Let’s get a positive virus going around. 


Alex: Yeah, because that encompasses a lot. And if we raise our frequency in our vibration, then we will not only protect ourselves, but we can affect the world. 


Hal Elrod: Say that again, Alex. What was the initial statement? 


Alex: So, how can you elevate your state of being and use that to infect the world around you or the world at large? 


Jon Berghoff: Beautiful. Monica, go ahead.


Monica: I had to unmute. So, Mike and I had a great conversation very much aligned on how it’s our thoughts that are creating our reality, and not necessarily what’s going on out there. But a question I think combining what we said that everyone can ask themselves every day is, “I was put in the world for such a time as this. Who can I or who will I choose to be in this moment?” 


Jon Berghoff: Beautiful. Love it. Love it. Gabriela, please.


Gabriela: Bound together was the theme of connection and so noticing, allowing, investigating the connection to our hearts community into our inner world. 


Jon Berghoff: Noticing, allowing. Say that one more time. I want to get that. That’s great. 


Gabriela: Noticing, allowing, and investigating connection to our hearts community into our inner world. 


Jon Berghoff: Beautiful. Wonderful. Maybe one more? Who would like to go next? No one wants to go last. So, who’d like to be second to last and last? Pretty, go ahead.


Pretty: Some of the things that we came across in our group was to smile and to pause, and same thing, noticing and acknowledging others as we cross paths with them as we’re maybe walking outdoors in the neighborhood, being present in that moment.


Jon Berghoff: From a safe distance, of course. Yeah. By the way, I really appreciate that you said smile because for many of us who are going from not doing this to being in front of a screen, it’s really important that if you are having a decent time on the inside, don’t forget to remind our faces. How many of you have learned something about how you look and you’re like, “Wow, I had to really be thoughtful around what am I exuding?” The smile is part of it. Maybe one more. Carol, last one.


Carol: So, we talked about leadership and ours was use your leadership skills to spread positivity. 


Jon Berghoff: Beautiful, beautiful. Well, you know what I really enjoy, thank you, Carol, for that, is that there are two Carols on this call. And I was calling on another and then you jumped in. So, we all learn in real-time. It’s like, oh, pay attention to what’s going on, on these Zoom calls. Hey, thank you for those of you that joined our live studio audience. And thank you so much for your presence, for your gifts, for your collaboration, for your strength, for your resourcefulness. Hal, anything you want to say as we jump off here? 


Hal Elrod: I want to echo what you just said, Jon, which is thank you all for participating. This was members of the Miracle Morning community, listeners of the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, and members of the XCHANGE community that joined us today. And thanks for sharing your time and your energy and your attention because you brought a lot of value to each other, to Jon and I and to the countless people that are going to listen to this. Jon, was there anything you wanted to share before I close this out? 


Jon Berghoff: No, thank you, buddy. Anyone who’s here live, we’re going to stop the recording, stop the stream and we’re going to do an in-person live debrief right now. 


Hal Elrod: But don’t stop the recording yet so I can close out the podcast. All right, goal achievers, thank you for tuning in today. By the way, Jon, I want you to give the two URLs one more time. If you would like to learn how to facilitate group interaction via Zoom utilizing breakout rooms and utilizing the methodology known as XCHANGE to create powerful questions and conversations, to rapidly connect with each other and solve problems, you can get those at… go ahead, Jon.


Jon Berghoff:  XCHANGE. It’s the letter X, the word “change”, and then the word “approach”. And if somebody leads an organization or a large community and you’re in serious need of figuring out how to bring everybody together, we do have a faculty that you could directly schedule a call with at XCHANGEConversation and one of them will have a conversation with you. 




Hal Elrod: Beautiful. All right, goal achievers, I hope that you are taking this time during this pandemic to connect deeper with yourself and connect deeper with the people in your life because this is while there’s a lot of challenges that we’re facing, there’s also opportunities within every challenge and I hope you are taking advantage of those opportunities. And the theme that came up a lot today in the shares was around that inner world, right? The one thing we have control over is how we feel what we focus on, the questions that we ask ourselves. And what I found is that even in the midst of these crises, if you can find a way to still be positive, to feel joy, to feel loved, to generate feelings of compassion, and understanding and connection with other people and love for yourself, then you win, right? You win. At the end of the day, if your outer world destroys your inner world, you lose. If your outer world you allow it to be, you accept it, you’re at peace with it, and you focus on the feelings that you want to feel, to be at your best, to experience the best that life has to offer and to give your best, you win. 


So, choose to focus on that inner world and choose to be the person that you need to be to positively affect those around you. I love you, goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning community. I love you and I will talk to you all next week. Take care. And, Jon, thank you so much for today.


Jon Berghoff: You bet, buddy. 



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