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All Posts By

Joel Freeman

Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy ®

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A study at the Carnegie Foundation indicated that 15% of financial and career success can be attributed to technical competence, while 85% is due to good interpersonal skills. It is more than probable that just about every employee is profoundly competent and what he/she is doing for the organization. I am focused on the 85% — the human capital aspect of success.

We all are different. Some of us are thinkers, others are doers, some are passive, and still others are aggressive. Most people come to work with pretty good intentions, but we get on each other’s nerves just by being ourselves. We will have a lot of fun discussing how our interpersonal skills can be enhanced 7 days a week…especially designed to help at work…but also providing insights that can positively impact relationships at home.

For 20 NBA seasons I served as player development mentor and character coach for the Washington Bullets/Wizards team — which has given me a unique inside perspective regarding team chemistry, leadership, stress, change management, cultural competency, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and winning/losing at the pro level.


  1. We will identify and unpack three specific areas where conflict predictably emerges and then share strategies for conflict resolution.
  2. Enhancing awareness about one’s own strengths and learning how to leverage those personal skills and talents for the benefit of all.
  3. Becoming aware of five ways that blind spots that afflict successful people actually hide one’s strengths – revealed and addressed.
  4. Understanding that others do not respond to intentions. They respond to behavior. They will be able to better connect good intentions with behavior that positively impacts others.
  5. Humorous ways to better understand the somewhat predictable reactions of other people to stress.

The Mysterious Rosetta Stone: Cracking The Code to Problem-Solving

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Experiential and visual. A rather unique corporate event that addresses the topic of problem-solving. Very experiential & visual!
Freeman tells the gripping story of the history and drama surrounding the cracking of the code to hieroglyphics, which later unlocked the secrets of ancient Egypt. I have created the world’s first and only full size, 3D replica of the famous Rosetta Stone. One of my replicas was on the movie set of “Night At The Museum 3“….one of the last movies Robin Williams was in. Found in 1799 on the west bank of the Nile by French soldiers, this 1,700 pound fragment of an ancient slab gave up the clues that ultimately cracked the code to hieroglyphics some 23 years later in 1822 – unlocking the secrets of ancient Egypt – www.RosettaStoneHistory.com

I spoke on this topic a a number of times for NSA, RE/MAX, National Museum of Language and more. A few years ago in Iceland I did this presentation for WACRA (World Airline Customer Relations Association), with well over 100 airlines represented. They absolutely loved this topic. I took an iconic artifact and turned into a modern metaphor for problem-solving. They said that it was different from all other seminar events they had ever experienced. And those who weren’t previously interested in the history came up to me afterwards and said that they were engaged during every minute of the presentation. I was grateful for their response.

Here is the current project, with global impact – www.RosettaZone.com

A White Man’s Journey Into Black History

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www.WhiteMansStory.com – The website will provide a glimpse into what I do and how I do it. Documents and artifacts from my Black History collection have been showcased at the United Nations, Clinton Presidential Library. White House, Secret Service, FBI, Department of Justice and many other venues. I usually bring a small exhibit and even use some of the items in my presentation. This presentation has been very well received by all audiences.

When Selflessness, Purpose & Power COLLIDE

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— Over the decades, Dr. Joel Freeman has worked with world class professional athletes, Heads of State and CEOs – leaders who generally are unaccustomed to hearing the word “no”. However, people promoted to powerful positions quickly learn how impotent they really are. Blending the authenticity of that internal awareness with high-octane performance is an art form.

Just about every individual and corporation knows what they do. Many know how they do what they do. Very few know why they do what they do. Discovering your purpose…why you do what you do…is perhaps the most important part of leadership and followership. The time spent with Dr. Freeman will be both educational and fun. An important exploration into the purpose and implementation of genuine power – both individually and corporately.

IGNITE (or re-ignite) Your Entrepreneurial Passion

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This event is 25% inspiration and 75% education. According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (an organization that promotes entrepreneurship & education) there are approximately 10 million Americans involved in starting a new business at any given time. As the author of an intriguing book on this topic –….with humor, personal vulnerability and practical insights Freeman will share the wisdom lessons learned from the ups and downs of his many enterprises.

Participants will leave with their heads pounding with new information and hearts pounding with a new or renewed passion for the entrepreneurial journey. The seminar is designed for anyone desiring to take an idea to the marketplace. Anyone. Inventors, writers, musicians, performers, speakers, film makers, and/or business enterprise owners, etc. (youth or adults) – designed for pre-entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs, seasoned entrepreneurs, corporate entrepreneurs, and/or turn-key entrepreneurs. We will also address Social Entrepreneurship — the umbrella under which the aforementioned individuals choose to operate. A social entrepreneur wants to be socially responsible, with business enterprises that allow them to “do good while doing well.”

DIVERSITY: The Value of Mutual Respect

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My philosophy in presenting the subject of diversity is best understood when considering an onion with its many layers. Cultural. Professional status. Religious affiliation. Disability awareness. Generational influences. Gender differences. And so much more. Each layer presents another opportunity to discuss the best ways to work together with greater harmony, understanding and mutual respect. This is relevant in counseling, leadership, teamwork and when dealing with interpersonal conflict.

Everyone approaches workforce diversity in their own style. Some folks are more blustery and blunt in their approach while others are more quiet and reserved. It’s hard to know what they are really thinking. Attitudes may be strongly felt, but are not as readily accessible to co-workers. Still others deal with diversity as a task to be accomplished. For some their task is completed for that day when they leave to go home — picking up the next morning with the desire to continue with the completion of the task.

In these sessions I will administer a Diversity Awareness Personality Profile (DAPP). Everyone is tuned into Wii FM(What’s In It For Me). The DAPP will provide a very personal approach that will make the training experience more fun, memorable, and personally meaningful.

Understanding diversity begins by awakening the understanding our own “hot buttons” and discovering how and perhaps why we behave the way we do. People around us do not respond to our intentions. They respond to our behavior. Regardless of our individual values and convictions, it is paramount that co-workers treat each other with respect, compassion and integrity. (When we deal specifically with Cultural Awareness, we address eleven Symbols that impact every organization.).

My initial focus is in helping participants take an inward look, understanding more about their own strengths and vulnerabilities. This is done with a certain gentle artistry in which no one has his or her dignity or self-respect stripped in the process. It’s a lot of fun.


Then I help participants take an outward look — how they interact with others around them. Here we show participants how they can, not only understand their co-workers, but also have the skills necessary in exporting this knowledge to their other relationships. People who are happier at home tend to be happier and more productive at work and vice versa.

This gives everyone a deeper understanding of Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect.

Working in a diverse environment stretches and challenges everyone’s internal world. Gender, race, religious differences, generational issues and other layers cause all of us to take a brand new look at personal prejudices and narrow-mindedness. At the same time, each new layer provides another wonderful opportunity to seek to understand before seeking to be understood. – www.DiversityCrazy.com (Near the bottom of this website is the difference between a proactive and reactive approach to diversity.)

Training, education and skills determine the “what” we do. Values are the “why” we do things the way we do them. Behavior and emotions are the “how” we do what we do. Co-workers do not respond to intentions, they respond to behavior. That is why I focus most upon the “how” and what sponsors it from the inside out.

  • HOW: Determine your personal approach to diversity
  • PROBLEMS – How you approach the diverse problems and challenges
  • PEOPLE – How you interact with and attempt to influence others
  • PACE – How you respond to change and activities
  • PROCEDURE – How you respond to rules and regulations set by others

Cross-cultural competence benefits in obvious ways in the therapeutic setting. Civility in any organization must be expected and is imposed externally by any organization wishing to remain competitive. But there is higher level of success that emerges from harnessing the power of mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding. Mutual respect must spring from the internal structures of each individual. For this to truly capture the culture of the organization this must cascade down from the senior leadership to every level of the organization — enhancing creativity, productivity and an emotionally safe environment.