051- Hot Mess |Brendan Hufford

High charged people are exactly the type of folks that I like to speak to for inspiration on how to manage chaos successfully and my guest on this week’s show will not disappoint.

Brendan Hufford is a multi-tasker extraordinaire! Listen to him discuss his morning schedule that begins at 3 am and allows him to hone his entrepreneurial DNA and have quality time with his family.

Brendan Hufford

Brendan Hufford’s morning ritual for getting the day going, begins with:

The 5-minute journal

3 –  things I am grateful for

3 – things I want to accomplish today

1- Affirmation

He listens and mediates with an App called Head Space App

This morning ritual is based upon Hal Elron’s book Miracle Morning

The goal is to tackle 1 major task per day.

Brendan says, “Don’t think you have time? Do a time audit.”

And follows with “Soon you will find all the time wasters.”

Leaving us all wondering: How can one person be more successful than someone else? We all have the same 24-hours!

Find out more about Brendan Hufford and what he means by being a “hot mess” and how he moved through addiction and onward towards success.

More info on Brendan Hufford and free resources go to:


Brendan Hufford’s Martial Art that he studies: Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu

Brendan’s Podcast:


via iTunes Entrepreneurs and Coffee Podcast

Brendan’s Twitter Feed: @BrendanHufford

Brendan’s Instagram page @theBrendanHufford

Brendan’s entrepreneurial spirit and love of Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu led him to start an online store for Jiu-Jitsu uniforms


Gary Vaynerchuk inspired Brendan. Check out Gary’s page too.

Please leave a Review and Ratings for the Leading Chaos Podcast via iTunes 

050-PT31- 10 Lucky Tips

These 10 Lucky Tips for Redirecting Conflict can help clear out chaos.

Tools needed: Willingness to Try.

No leprechaun charm required.

Think luck - Be Lucky

Think luck – Be Lucky

Over the past ten episodes we have been discussing each of the Ten Tips for Redirecting Conflict from Leading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management.  For this episode I have aptly renamed them the 10 Lucky Tips.

We are reviewing and recapping each of the 10 Lucky Tip… and offering up a bit of what I have learned in this mini series within a series.

The full series is called The Leading Chaos Story where we have been delving into my book and sharing some of the behind the scenes stories.

The Leading Chaos Story begins at Episode 18-PT1- The Leading Chaos Story

Here are the links to each of the individual episodes on each specific tip of the 10 Lucky Tips. And by the way, I like the name 10 Lucky Tips because when I feel conflict free – that is the most luckiest feeling in the world.

Review along with me in my book on page#90 to see each of the renamed 10 Lucky Tips below.

What’s that? Why did I rename these tips? I knew you would ask, so here is the short list.

1. Because it is fun

2. I’ve learned that a bit more of story telling sure helps when discussing conflict. I mean “sheesh” conflict is so not cocktail chatter.

3. The current names in the book are clinical – versus these new names are well, easier to remember.

I do discuss renaming of each tip in this episode and a bit more of why I call this episode 10 Lucky Tips

Meanwhile, here are the episode links to each of the 10 Lucky Tips.

Episode 40- PT21-Hello Mr. Angry a.k.a. #1 Say a Lot by Saying a Little

Episode 41-PT22-Silence & Chaos a.k.a. #2 Silence

Episode 42-PT23-Naked Emotions a.k.a #3 Acknowledge Emotions

Episode 43-PT24-Slow Dance a.k.a #4 Take One Step at a Time

Episode 44-PT25-Savvy Turtle a.k.a #5 Set the Pace

Episode 45-PT26-The Invitation a.k.a #6 Be Mindful of Words that Incite

Episode 46-PT27-Say What? a.k.a #7 Actively Listen

Episode 47-PT28-Having You @Hello a.k.a #8 Avoid Objectifying Yourself

Episode 48-PT29-Expose Yourself a.k.a #9 Tell it Like It Is

Episode 49-PT30-Create Opportunities a.k.a #10 Create Opportunities

Think Luck – Be Safe – Be Lucky

049- PT30- Create Opportunities

When a door opens before us, we naturally want to walk through. An open door presents the opportunity to let go of the past and move on. Forward movement screams opportunity – where as a closed door is, well…a closed door.

In this episode we are discussing tip #10 of the 10-Tips for Redirecting Conflict titled: Create Opportunities from my book: Leading Chaos: An Essential Guide to Conflict Management

Having an open door is an opportunity. Some opportunities feel like they almost magically appear. Take for instance the fall of the Berlin Wall. That big old wall separated East Germany from West Germany from 1961 to 1989.

create opportunity

Who would have thought that the Berlin Wall would be torn down. But on November 9, 1989 it did, and not because it was old and crumbling, but because a chain of events occurred that opened the door and made it so.

Check out this link for more info on the Berlin Wall http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/11/07/berlin-wall-facts/18668817/

I certainly look at the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall as a miracle.

But we don’t have to be miracle makers to create opportunites. All we have to do is find a way to open the door without expectations.

Let’s first look at Creating opportunity before a conflict.

Take the simple phrase: How may I help you?

The expectation is that you will have an answer and that is the first clue that maybe we might want to rephrase this question to provide a bit more opportunity.

Instead of How may I help you?

We can say, “I am willing to help and will stand back until you need me.”

Can you see how no answer is required for the person who is in despair or maybe just repairing a leaking faucet? Regardless, it opens the door to engage or not and that alone creates opportunity to remain open to communication.

Listen along as we discuss how to remain nonjudgemental and optimistic as we sort through the scenario from my book: Redirecting Michael toward a New Goal [new Opportunity]

Given the opportunity, miracles do happen.

048-PT29 – Expose Yourself

Expose Yourself is Tip #9 of the 10 Tips for Redirecting Conflict.

Smile and the whole world smiles back at you

Smile and the whole world smiles back at you

Actually this isn’t the title, but quite frankly, I wish I had called it so, in my book. Instead the actual title inLeading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management is “Telling it like it is”. yes I know clinical -oh well – that is why I podcast. To learn how to hone my language and move out of the analytical mind speak.

“Tell it like it is” is exposing our truth instead of hiding the fact that conflict is scary at times.

In this episode, we discuss the value of speaking our truth and telling a person exactly how we feel about the conflict. If that isn’t exposure, I don’t know what is.

I do know and I don’t mean to digress but when you think about it – humans and clams have one thing in common when it comes to conflict – clamping down and holding tight. For clams it is a no brainer that an open shell is a vulnerability. Humans though always lose out if their primary mode when under attack is to clamp down and shut out the world.

Exposing ourself might be counter intuitive, but it is always the right thing to do when intervening during a crisis.

I used this technique to help a young teen turn around his day and move on from negative leadership to positive leadership and all it took was being truthful and exposing myself to help the teen find himself.

Listen now and find out how you too can Expose Yourself and help other move on and out of negative repetitive behavior.

047-PT28 – Having You @Hello

Step 1 of connecting begins by saying, “Hello”. This single word delivers a clear message, “Yes, I see you. You are important!”

When the person you are speaking to is angry and upset, continue to use words that not only keep your initial connection  alive, but thriving.

Create connection by moving from our heart

Create connection by moving from our heart

This episode brings is on Tip #8 of the 10 Tips for Redirecting Conflict. Which in my book is Titled as:

Avoid Objectifying Yourself

  • “The rules are …”
  • “The Program says that …”
  • “In this house…”

Are three perfect examples of how we can immediately drop our connection and dehumanize ourself. If we are speaking to Mr. Angry then the chances are that we are no longer being seen as Ria, Joe or Laureen, but as The Rule – The Program – The House.

And worse yet it is very easy to commit violence against inanimate objects.

Instead of saying a rule statement: “You know the rules of this house! Wash your dishes.”

Try an I statement: “When I found the dirty dishes, I felt angry and upset. I’d appreciate it if you could wash them when you are done eating.”

Hello is a nice beginning, but you can shorten this to Hi, Hey – make sure it fits you, but isn’t so comfortable that you resort back to old habits of disconnecting.

Listen along to the episode as I detail more about this Tip with a story about a shoplifter and what I learned about Having You @Hello

046-PT26- Say What?

What – symbolizes disconnect. Keep communication easy by abiding by one simple truth: People like to know that they are being heard – Be an Active listener.

Say What? cover

We rely on active listeners to rely via physical and verbal clues that “Yes, Indeed I am heard.” There is really no better feeling that knowing your message was relayed.

And yet…more often than not…When we are stuck in the muck we disconnect and end up not hearing the speaker and need to ask “What?” “What’s that?” way too much.

Do not fear – their is hope for all of use to perfect the art of active listening. Not only is it pretty easy, but I have some simple phrases that help me when I need to listen, but might also be having a hard time.

Here is my short list for Instead of saying What?

  • – Please say more
  • – Say more
  • – Could you say more?
  • – Please go on

When you use these easy phrases with a bit of physical encouragement like:

  • Nodding
  • Open stance
  • Indirect eye contact
  • Tilted head

Yow! Life gets a whole lot easier.

Listen to this podcast and find out more tips on how to use Active Listening and avoid the “What?”

Listen to my interview with Rosie Mai Ep:034-Special-Great British Bed Push

Go Rosie - Great British Bed Push

Go Rosie – Great British Bed Push

Follow along on our twitter chat by using #GreatBritishBedPush

And @leadingchaos and @FullReach



045-PT26- The Invitation

Avoid inciting, use words that are inviting.

The Invitation

We are discussing Tip 6 of the Ten Tips for Redirecting Conflict in my book Leading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management.

In the book, I titled this Tip 6: Be Mindful of Words that Incite. There are a lot of words and phrases that come to mind, but to say “Calm Down” has to be the most inciting phrase of all.

The funny thing is that when we say this phrase we do so because we want to help. Unfortunately, our best intentions get railroaded and we not only incite the person further, but shut down our initial invitation to move through the crisis.

The person in crisis hears “Calm Down”

And they think: Calm What?

My actions?

My words?

My thoughts?

The Invitation was meant to help the person, perhaps slow down their speech, stop moving around, and to work with you. But instead of clearly saying, “I want to hear, please speak clearly.” We shorten our invitation to converse by saying “Calm Down”

Here are some other phrases to avoid:

Think instead, What is it about her person that is not calm and tell them directly. Not only will it help them, but it will help you and your invitation to open communication.

Go ahead and download The Invitation and let’s enjoy a bit of you and me time as we both polish our crisis intervention skills and continue to work towards keep ourself safe and the scene at hand safe too.




044-PT25- Savvy Turtle

Who or what…is best known for setting the pace, of any race, and always finishing on top? Still guessing – well, while you are trying to figure that out the Savvy Turtle is already two strides ahead of the game. Yes indeed, The Savvy Turtle always finishes first.

Admit it and save yourself some time. You simply won’t win a race with a turtle. Instead, embrace the pace. Be one with the Way of the Turtle.

Yo- time to get your Savvy Turtle mojo

Yo- time to get your Savvy Turtle mojo

The Way of the Turtle is undoubtedly a high level skill for many crisis interveners. Why? When chaos enters a room there is an immediate up swell of  fear, misinformation, and distress. All that yuck leads us to irrational decision making.

Irrational decision making is best known as: A Knee jerk decision. Meaning, we jump to conclusions and excelerate to a ridiculous pace that is not sustainable. This ridiculous pace in turns feeds the confusion and makes chaos very happy indeed.

Advance practitioners in the field of crisis intervention know that you embrace the Savvy Turtle Way

How to Find you Savvy Turtle Way

1. First you read Leading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management. Go to page 90 and begin practicing the 10-tips to Redirection Conflict. Tip #4 & 5 work well together.

2. Practice Taking One Step at Time

Once you get this practice down…or at least get a sense of what you can gain when you take one step at a time – you will love doing the Slow Dance. If you don’t know what the Slow Dance is listen to the previous episode 043-PT23- Slow Dance.

3. Set the Pace– this is covered on page 99 in the book.

To become the turtle you must own up to every time you ever allowed yourself to be swayed by another person’s frenetic energy.

Instead (as it reads from my book) – Avoid matching an angry person’ level of agitation. If a person get agitated because you are not going fast enough Be a Savvy Turtle – Your only goal right then is to keep the scene safe –

A person who feels that nothing and no one is helping him will not be helped by others who match his frenetic energy.

And – for those who listened and want to hear the Drop the Content episode- click Drop the Content

Okay time to listen to this podcast and get the tips and stories of Savvy Turtle tips – and begin practicing the Way of the Savvy Turtle.


043-PT24- Slow Dance

Learn the Slow Dance Methodology and turn your biggest challenges and toughest adversaries into smooth stepping partners on the dance floor of life.

We can all benefit from knowing how to ~ Slow Dance

We can all benefit from knowing how to ~ Slow Dance

You know you are a Slow Dancer when you maintaing the pace of “one step at a time” even as everyone around you is vying to make the dance go faster you continue with a steady and rhythmic pace of one step at a time.

Not only will that make you stand out on the ball room dance floor it will also make you stand out in a crowd when chaos is around.

Chaos fears the Slow Dancer, because he or she will not allow themselves to be directed by the events at hand.  Even when everything and everyone around the Slow Dancer begins to swirl out of control – the Slow Dancer remains steady-on.

Here are the 4-Key steps for beginning a Slow Dance with a distressed person

1- Normalize our rate of respiration – focus on inhalation and exhalation

2- Water – get or have the person get a glass of water

The act of drinking water requires us to drink slowly

3 – Sit down – have the person sit down while they are talking to you

4 – Ask, “When was the last time you ate?”

Food is grounding. They can get some crackers to chew on and help them get grounded before they do anything else.

The key is to slow down our tasks and notice each step along the way. As we practice we are able to call upon the skill of Taking One Step at a time

Read along with me. I am on page 97 of

Leading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management


042-PT23- Naked Emotions

When emotions are running high all thoughts, fears and truths are naked to the world. No need to cover up. Choose to set those naked emotions free.

When we acknowledge our emotions we release the reign of chaos.

When we acknowledge our emotions we release the reign of chaos.

We are discussing in this episode the 3rd tip in the Ten Tips to Redirecting Conflict the skills of “Acknowledging Emotions” from my book

Leading Chaos; An Essential Guide to Conflict Management

In this podcast episode, we review a real life intervention that took place while I was a crisis clinician at at local hospital. I described the scene in my book and titled it “Permission to Cry”. It is on page 96.

In Permission to Cry…Never before had I seen a man so naked to the world then on the night of a later crisis call. He stood stock still and was described as being catatonic.

With a soft hand on his shoulder we worked together to acknowledge his emotions and help him move on.

You have permission to cry – acknowledge your emotions – stand on top of the tree tops and yell out loudly “Im fed up and I can’t take it any more!”

 There are certainly easy ways to emote. Don’t you agree?

Naked Emotions is not a particularly happy state is it. And yet, we have all experienced moments of pure humility and despair.

Please listen along and feel free to send me a line and share your own thoughts on this podcast and the feeling of naked emotions.