By Bobby Barzi, Pathwise Member, Fodada Founder 


“I don’t know how this can help.” These are the words I heard from the Ambassador of an Asian country while on a conference call. I nearly leaped through the phone in disbelief and disappointment. Eighteen months of work was about to be lost. At that moment, I thought about suspending attention and removed my mind from the intensity of the discussion, while taking a bird’s eye view of all the participants and their priorities. Returning to the call a second later, I was able to engage the Ambassador on what she needed to hear and complete our mission of putting on a free self-defense class in remote villages in her country. 


Six years ago, I decided to start an arduous journey because I wanted people to think about how they thought about things. Talk about getting cerebral. Two years later I found myself in Pathwise, trying to understand how I could do that better. 


My newest venture was about changing perspectives, garnering more from existing relationships and efforts, and promoting positive impacts. 


To give you some context, nine years ago, I became a father and it was, is and continues to be a surreal experience. One that I draw strength and opportunity from and saw as something that was under-leveraged in the community. I saw that if you promoted, celebrated and supported the relationship between fathers and their children, there would be benefits for the child, the father, the partner and the family as a whole. We would change perspectives about the role of dads and raise the family unit across the board. We decided to have clothing be our mechanism for connecting with supporters, but we didn’t stop there. The funds raised were used to put on free dads & kids programming we thought important and relevant. With success came opportunities to work with organizations and corporations. We engaged with CSR initiatives and made our programs relevant to the group’s CSR focus. 


But the expansion was not smooth. We were looking to connect two disconnected parts of organizations and that required tremendous effort. Interestingly, at around the same time, I found myself going through the Pathwise program. It was a perfect blend of practical techniques and cerebral information, and it allowed me to better maneuver these new situations. 


Specifically, I found myself with three main takeaways from Pathwise:


– Suspending attention – Many of our conversation seemed progressive and foreign to our counterparts. By practicing suspension of attention, I found myself better able to assess the situation not just from my perspective, but from all angles and vantage points, better allowing me to determine the appropriate approach and resolution.


– Psychodynamic Personality Types – I found that an understanding of common personality types was very important for predicting our partner/client hot buttons as well as assessing responses and reactions. I’ve also used this in my personal life to better navigate relationships. 


– Transference – To reach desired outcomes, I had to become increasingly aware of the interpersonal dynamics within discussions and meetings, and to simultaneously accept/assess the various needs and their psychological roots. 


In our business, we constantly ruffle feathers in how people view opportunities and options. It is imperative that we leverage the tools learned from Pathwise in order to maneuver the evolving landscape we’re helping build for us and our clients. 

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