With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, our heads will now spin even faster from rousing rhetoric and personal attacks. But one factor is constant: Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump are the two most unpopular presidential candidates in history.
Polls also ask: Who is most qualified? Who has the right temperament? Who is the most trustworthy? Who understands how Washington works? Who will change the way Washington works for the better?
But first, many voters wish that Clinton and Trump would change themselves for the better.
If I were coaching them, I would introduce an "inside out" dialogue that could lead Clinton and Trump to consider how over-dependent they are on the most highly-sculpted and magnified aspects of their character. Success validates the dominant parts of our personalities. It makes it harder for quieter, less-dominant voices to surface. These muted voices, or aspects of personality, have the resources we need for balance.
The inner dialogue is based upon a new model of the human psyche, described in a Harvard Health book, Organize Your Emotions, Optimize Your Life, which can be described as an adult version of the Academy Award-winning film Inside Out. We posit that the human psyche has nine internal life forces sculpted by evolution, speaking as our inner "voices," with distinct agendas and emotions. I introduced the nine inner team members in "Nine Ways to Vote." I do an inner roll call every morning to settle agitated emotions and get the wisdom needed for the day. I help my clients use the roll call to help them identify what and how to change.
Here's how an inner roll call with Clinton and Trump might reveal the over-used and access the under-used members of their inner teams.
Trump Inside Out
Boy did the Trump confidence win big in the primaries. Even surprised me. I crushed the others. A whole lot of people really believe I can translate the Trump brand into being a great President. They are right.
I am having a lot of fun. Just being myself, saying whatever I damn well feel and think, and they love me. Doesn't even matter if I keep changing my mind.
The Trump brand deserves to be on top. I'm crazy good at finding anyone's, I mean anyone's, Achilles heel. Imagine what I could do as President.
Not so fast boys. What got us here isn't going to get us to the White House. You've neglected your organized, disciplined bro forever. Bring me out of the back room. I am ready to serve, perfectly able to deliver a dose of discipline and order here. I can help us tone down the "big three," bullying confidence, self-indulgence, and nasty critic.
I agree. The overpowering voice of Confidence is pushing us to take unsafe risks. We need to shake things up, but we need to be more curious, open, tuning into what's too risky. If you give me a chance, I can tell us when it's safe enough to rattle the china cabinet.
Man am I exasperated. Do we really believe that we can win the presidency by insulting everyone not on our side? Really? We've let the "big three" run the show for too long. The only way I see any hope is if the rest of us step up to save the day. I've got a big heart. I am really good at listening, I'm compassionate, connecting with everyone and respecting their interests. You need me to lead now!
I've been trying to speak up for inner balance for a while. Good luck in the Trump inner boardroom, with its one-sided dedication to winning and the emotional roller coaster ride that brings. How about we shift to helping everyone be a winner and connect with a lot more people?
I need a bigger job too, a promotion in this inner team. I am really good at assimilating others' ideas into big creative ideas, really getting us out of the box. People would see us as competent to change Washington if they could see me in creative action.
Well, well. The "big three" are being called to loosen their grip so we can be more disciplined, creative, and connected. We can take risks with more insight and care. Let's do an inner reorg.
Clinton Inside Out
We've really got this election under our belt. Our competence has never been more impressive. Lots of relevant experience. Even leading Republicans think we are more competent to be President.
Wow, are we organized - well-funded, well-organized, solid ground game, sound strategies. Executive management is our top strength. Feels good.
And...my focus on self-determination is driving us to be President. I can't wait to sit behind, not in front of, that big desk in the Oval office.
Not only do we have high competence, great organization, and a fierce drive to be No. 1, I'm on top of the ambition part. Look how far we "inside four" have gotten together.
Hey girlfriends, you can all pat yourselves on the back all day long, but it's not all that rosy out there. Lots of people don't trust us to put self-interests aside, don't think we are authentic, and genuinely interested in their interests. And many people don't like us very much. It's about time you brought me in to connect with people in a heartfelt, compassionate way.
I'm not happy either. We used to be grounded and down-to-earth. Now we are more like a chameleon. Can't we get back there? I remember how. Then more people would like us.
It's my turn to gripe. Glad the "inside four" running the show are letting the quieter members of the team get their turn for a change. Executive Manager has way too much power and has for a long, long time. Keeping everything disciplined and in order. I've got lots of new ideas that could really change us and the country. Just give me my voice!
Real change would come if the "inside four" would step aside some of the time. I am the one with the wide open mind. I know how to tune into people and the energy of a place and time. I can't do that unless the "inside four" give up control once in a while. I could really help us read people and situations and nudge us safely out of our comfort zone and really be genuine.
Good. More balance is emerging. We are bridging an inner divide. My subtle voice of wisdom is also outgunned by the "inside four." Here's my take as the inner sage and coach on the team: let's put our second string on first now.