One Word Suggestion: Assholes

I was going to write this suggestion off as inappropriate and off-topic, but the reality is all of us probably know or work with at least one person who is, in fact, an asshole.

Welcome to One Word Suggestion

Hosted by: Eran Thomson
This week's word is: Assholes

Links:
Yes And by Tom Yorton and Kelly Leonard
Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
TV Show Justified

Learn more:

LMA Professional Development
Improv Training for Business Success - Serving Australia and Asia Pac.
www.lma.training

Laugh-Masters Academy
Australia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedy
www.laugh-masters.com.au

Thanks for checking out the show notes.

This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it.

The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one word suggestion, and there's no reason it shouldn't come from you.

As long as its not "dildo."

So give us your best, and in the meantime, thanks for listening.

Transcript:
Hey welcome to One Word Suggestion,

I’m your host Eran Thomson and this week’s word is… Assholes.
 
Welcome to the podcast, for those of you who don’t already know, every week I take one word, suggested by you, and use it as a leaping off point to explore the benefits of improv as they relate to life on and off the stage.
 
This week’s word, “assholes ” was suggested by Richard.
 
At first I was going to write this suggestion off as inappropriate and off-topic, but the reality is all of us probably know or work with at least one person who is, in fact, an asshole, and I got to thinking, one of the things that makes an asshole an asshole is the need to always be right.
 
In their excellent book, Yes, and,” Tom Yorton and Kelly Leonard from Second City Works write “The need to be right among individuals, institutions, and organisations is one of the biggest barriers to creativity and innovation.”
 
If you know someone who always needs to be right, I’m guessing you hate dealing with them. 
 
Because they’re difficult. Because they don’t listen. Because they behave like they’re the smartest person in the room, or the world’s best subject matter expert, even when they can’t possibly be. 
 
Because they're an asshole.
 
The thing is most assholes don’t even realise they’re the problem. As Raylan Given said in the TV series, “Justified,” "If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." 
 
And assholes usually behave the way they do because they’re insecure, have some deep-rooted conflict within themselves, or simply lack solid social skills. 
 
And it’s a problem because it doesn't matter how smart or “right” you are, if you’re not “people smart” you’ll never go far in life.
 
In public speaking guru Michael Port’s “Book Yourself Solid” he writes: 
 
“Understanding the concepts people use to make sense of their social relations can help you improve your social awareness, presence, authenticity, clarity, and empathy. 
 
Bottom line: you’ll be more attuned to the needs and desires of others, which will make you more relevant and influential.”
 
And less of an asshole
 
I had a former colleague who used to go around all the time telling anyone who would listen that people are stupid. He proved this to himself by exaggerating and overselling his own talents and abilities, while knocking down others, and always being right. Even when he wasn’t.
 
It’s true there are people out there who are “educationally deprived,” but I maintain that even though we may not all be Einstein, we are all doing our best. 
 
People aren’t stupid, they’ve just had different life experiences. 
 
And once we get comfortable with that - and with ourselves, life gets a whole lot easier.
 
So my suggestion is, if you can, avoid them, if you can’t, learn to deal with them. Because the reality is even assholes have something to say, so it’s on you to be like Buddha and practice patience, presence, authenticity, clarity, and empathy. 
 
And of course I’m going to say that improv can teach you all of those things, and it will. 
 
The soft skills we teach in our Level 1 classes and corporate training workshops will absolutely help you learn to deal with assholes. 
 
And stop you from being one. 
 
So that’s my take on assholes. Thanks for the great suggestion, Richard.
 
If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments or better yet, write a review and include your word there.
 
I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz. 
 
And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team. 
 
You can learn all about LMA’s programs at www.lma.training.
 
Thanks for listening.
 
---
The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. 
I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.

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