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The Business Series Podcast
23 minutes | a year ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.21 – Achieving Excellent Results in Business with Ken Manning
In this episode, Ankush speaks with author and business consultant, Dr Ken Manning. Some of what they discuss include: – Why don’t more businesses achieve excellent business results? – Why is understanding the science of the mind key to excellence – Why are psychological operating principles such a big deal – A case study of a client Dr Manning worked with You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Dr Manning and find out more about his work, you can reach him at https://insightprinciples.com. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.21 – Achieving Excellent Results in Business with Ken Manning appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
27 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Podcast Series Ep.19 – How to Deal with Bullies in the Workplace and Not Become One Yourself
How to Deal with Bullies in the Workplace and Not Become One Yourself In this episode, Ankush speaks with social entrepreneur, business coach and consultant Jacquie Forde. Some of what they discuss include: – Learn how to see situations more impersonally – Looking at bullying from the perspective of both the employees and the managers – A case study of a client Jacquie worked with who felt bullied by his boss You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Jacquie and find out more about her work, you can reach her at www.JacquieForde.com. Full Transcript [00:00:01.24] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development, enjoy. Welcome back to another episode of the business series podcast. Today I’m joined by Jacquie Forde who is a social entrepreneur, business coach and consultant. And we’re going to be talking about how to deal with bullies in the workplace and not become one yourself. Welcome Jacquie. [00:00:42.19] Jacquie: Hi Ankush, thank you for asking me to do this podcast, it’s a really interesting topic and I’m delighted to be here. [00:00:51.17] Ankush: Well, thank you for joining us. And as always I love to just dive straight into the topic and this might sound really obvious, but what do we mean by bullying? [00:01:04.20] Jacquie: Well, what I see in my practice Ankush, by bullying I mean people are suffering from stress, overwhelm, and anxiety and are scared to go to their work, because they feel that they’re being unfairly treated or they don’t like another person at work, or they feel as through their own work as under some kind of examination by maybe a superior at work. And if you feel they’re being treated unfairly but they don’t know what to do about it. [00:01:37.27] Ankush: So you’re talking about the person experiencing bullying over there. But what about the person doing the bullying? What about that behaviour is it something about that behaviour that constitutes bullying? [00:01:50.27] Jacquie: Absolutely, I Ankush you know hopefully what we will look into this a bit more deeply in the podcast, when someone is bullying another human being. It normally means that they’re not in a very good state of mind and end up in a lower state of mind. They can’t see things very clearly and they’re actually just trying to hurt another human being without realising the impact of it to try to feel better themselves. [00:02:19.09] Ankush: Now in our title, the second part of the title is ‘not become one yourself.’ So have you found that people who have been bullied in the workplace often become bullies themselves? [00:02:32.18] Jacquie: Absolutely Ankush you know it can become a learned behaviour in organisations, where you know new recruits and managers see their direct line management behaving in a certain way and they think that’s normal. They think that is the way they’re meant to be. So, they actually don’t see as bullying. They just think that’s part of the company culture. [00:02:55.25] Ankush: And what’s the cost to this. I mean why we should care? Why should organisations care about this? [00:03:00.22] Jacquie: Organisations should care Ankush because, it leads to employees taking time off work because they’re stressed or they’re overwhelmed or they’re anxious. It means that employees do not do their work as well as they possibly could because they’re not in a fit emotional state to do it. So it has an impact to the bottom line. [00:03:21.05] Ankush: So how do we deal with this? I guess on two levels, so, on one level if someone’s listening to this and they feel they are being bullied how they handle it? And then on the level of an organisation if I’m a leader listening to this. How do I ensure that both I’m not bullying and ensure that there’s not a culture of bullying occurring in my organisation? [00:03:48.24] Jacquie: Okay I think I’m going to go with the leader first of all here Ankush and I’m going to suggest that often organisations they talk about well-being, and when they talk about well-being they look towards the band aid kind of solution, so they’re looking at things like well-being days where they look at massage and reiki but they’re not actually looking at the deeper cause of emotional unwell-being, you know people not being well. And when we teach leaders and we teach individuals and organisations how to understand, how their human operating system works, how their minds actually work. Then what we’re able to do Ankush is to understand that in any given moment in time employees are doing the best they possibly can given what’s actually happening to them in their life Ankush. So, I’m not just talking about my work life I’m talking about that bigger picture and it’s the same with a manager as well and a leader. When people understand how they’re creating their own moment to moment experience of life and how their state of mind can fluctuate throughout the day, they start to become clearer about whether it’s a good time to have a discussion with someone or it’s not, whether they should send an email or whether they shouldn’t. Should they hand hand in their resignation or shouldn’t they. When people understand if they’re doing something motivated by a fearful emotion or whether they’re motivated from that clearer perspective, then it becomes easier to make decisions in business and in life. When someone is being bullied Ankush, normally what happens to them is they don’t have access to that kind of intuition and wisdom about what to do and when to do it, because they’re so fearful of doing the wrong thing or being attacked or being intimidated again by the person that’s managing them or maybe even just a colleague who works alongside them. I think the first thing that is good for people who Ankush they don’t actually know, they’re being bullied they just know that they have an incredible amount of fearful thinking about what’s actually happening in their work and in their workplace. So the remedy is the same whether you’re a leader or you’re someone who’s being bullied Ankush, understanding the importance of the state of mind in business is absolutely crucial, because within that it gives people strength understanding how their minds work, understanding how another human being’s mind works and it teaches us whether to take things personally or to take them impersonally in any kind of discussion with a peer or with someone who is a colleague. [00:06:56.21] Ankush: So, are you saying that you know you could be working for someone who you know you’re trying to do your best, and let’s say they are undermining you, they’re shouting, they are displaying various behaviours, which don’t seem appropriate and you’re saying by understanding the role of the state of mind you can learn to take that very impersonally? [00:07:23.17] Jacquie: You can take it impersonally Ankush so that you can gather your resources together to do whatever it is that you’re meant to do about that situation. I’m not saying ignore it under any means whatsoever. If you are being bullied and you feel threatened at work then there are process is to go and speak with someone in your organisation hopefully. What I’m suggesting is that when you’re able to see clearly what’s happening without the emotion that often becomes attached to being bullied then you’re able to move forward, to speak to each other, to speak to another person at work, to get a different perspective on it, rather than keeping this fear inside of you, but also understanding how you’re creating your experience of whatever is happening to your Ankush, because often people misunderstand the circumstances that they have found themselves in and the replay over and over again what has happened to them and the kind of coaching that both you and I do is we point people to the source of that experience and how we can only ever create our own emotional experience of anything from inside of us it’s never to do with the other person. If someone is bullying us Ankush, say for example somebody sends you an email and you read that e-mail and you don’t like the tone of whatever it is happening. We go inside our own minds and then we start to make up stories about what that email means what that person is going to do to then. We often end up time travelling and in our heads where we enter the future and imagine ourselves losing our jobs or not being able to pay our mortgage. But really all that’s happened Ankush is in that moment you’ve received an email that you don’t particularly the tone of it and it’s making you feel insecure. [00:09:32.28] Ankush: So practically, how does someone get greater clarity around a situation? Because when someone’s feeling bullied, it can be like you said a very emotional time they can end up overthinking a lot, it can really get up into their heads and they may be listening to this thinking well Jacquie that all sounds great. I would love to have more clarity right now about this situation. I don’t. So what do I do about that? [00:10:02.09] Jacquie: What you do Ankush is you find yourself somewhere that you can gather your thoughts together somewhere in your organisation or within your own mind where you can start to get some kind of perspective. Understand that it’s normal to feel the way that you’re feeling but then start to look a bit deeper. Start to look at where is that experience coming from? Are you replaying that thought in your mind over and over and over again? Are you making yourself feel sick and become worried? What you teach Ankush is just like you, it’s an understanding of the mind that shows us that every human being, no matter who you are in the world whether you are a leader, a CEO or a toilet cleaner that we all experience our life moment to moment from the inside out. And, what I mean by that Ankush is that every human being takes a thought, and we start to add our awareness to it. And when we begin to add out awareness to it, it becomes something alive. And often when people are being bullied Ankush, those thoughts they start to add all sorts of other stories onto those thoughts and become more and more aware of them. And a lot of people I work with maybe have been bullied before. Maybe they’ve had an experience before that triggers something within them. And it brings back and floods back all these memories that they’ve had from the past. So, they immediately go into a state of mind that is like the state of mind they had years and years and years ago when this happened before it or last week when it happened before. And what I’m suggesting is that when you understand that you’re having this experience because your brain is incredibly clever at bringing up these memories to try to help you to understand what’s in front of you know. But it’s just a memory, most of it isn’t actually happening right now, and the trick is to see that all the thoughts that passed through our mind they’re actually transient. They move. And when you can see that, you start to be able to understand that this horrible feeling that you’re sitting in right know will disappear if you don’t dwell on it and you just let it do what it’s going to do, but you take from it the lessons that you need to take if there is action that has to happen, if there’s someone you need to speak to, if you need to go to see your doctor, if you need time off work, it’s important to listen to what you’ve been of shown and what you’re meant to do, instead of always pushing through these things being bullied at work often makes you really tired and, really emotional and when we’re in that state we just don’t make good decisions. And many of the people that I work with Ankush, when they recognise that their state of mind becomes a lot lowered when they’re tired and emotional and the best thing we can do is to look after themselves about better so whether that means taking time off work and maybe that means taking a holiday, maybe that means just going to speak to someone about this. Because often people feel as though they’re going off their head because the bullying is so subtle. Psychologically so subtle, they feel as though we’re going off her head and we question ourselves about is this really happening. So having someone give you a different perspective on it whether it is HR, a colleague or a friend is really helpful. But the thing not to do is to dwell on whatever it is you’re dwelling on in the moment. [00:13:52.24] Ankush: That’s really helpful. And I’m reminded of a time when quite a lot earlier on in my career, I was working for somebody and I found the approach very different to other managers I’d worked for in the same organisation. And I did go and speak to someone and said is this just me, in HR and they said oh no, they were quite shocked and surprised and turned out that the manager had an issue with the scheme through which I was employed at the company with. And so you know that’s, I can relate to that, and how helpful it was to me. Do you have a case study from the work you’ve done Jacquie, where you know you’ve either worked with someone who has felt bullied or worked with a leader who’s trying to change the culture of their team or their organisation where you’ve helped them get a better understanding of how the mind works and how we are creating our experience of the world through our thinking which has then led to a change a transformation? [00:15:04.02] Jacquie: Yeah Ankush and thank you for sharing that story. That was that was really cool, and it does it just supports what we’re talking about here. There’s one particular story that I’d love to share with you, I think because it’s so subtle what was happening and it was between a CEO and a new member of the senior management team in a large pharmaceutical company that I worked with and the CEO had a background Ankush, in editing books that was a previous career that he had before he came to work in this pharmaceutical company and this senior manager was sending emails to the CEO about the changes that he wanted to make in the organisation, which was about culture and it was about staffing levels and it was about projects and he was so excited about beings of new to the job and it was it was obviously something that he was really excited about to be able to come into company and start to shift the culture. And he would send these emails to the CEO and proposals about how he wanted to change things, and every time Ankush he sent an email to the CEO, he would get it back, and there were red lines through there were comments in the comments section all written in red about his grammar about the way that he punctuated his sentences. And, there was absolutely no comment whatsoever in the content of what he was proposing. So, every time without fail Ankush, this 45-year-old man would send these proposals and ideas to his boss, his CEO a man in his 50s and, each time all he got back were derogatory comments about the way that he wrote and the punctuation but nothing to do with the content of what he was proposing and he didn’t feel as though he had the guts Ankush to speak to his boss about this because he thought well this is strange perhaps you know he agrees with what I’m proposing but at every meeting that the two of them were at, the CEO always looked as though he was angry with this particular manager and he started to block him out of coming to certain meetings. So here we’ve got a 45-year-old male who feels as though he’s actually losing his mind because he’s being treated like a 15-year-old who’s about to sit and O-level or some kind of English exam and getting all of his punctuation wrong and he’s getting no feedback whatsoever on the reason why he was employed to do the job which was to bring in culture change and to add to that, his boss was not communicating with him and shutting him out of meetings that were to do with the changes that he was proposing. So he started to become very anxious but he still didn’t feel as though he could go and ask his boss what was in his mind, what was happening. The people who came out from the meetings were saying oh look; this is what we’re looking to do. And it was all the ideas that this guy had shared. But CEO was taking the credit for them. So he came to me, he didn’t feel that he could speak to a manager in HR, he didn’t want to speak to any of his colleagues because he didn’t really know them Ankush. He was getting more and more stressed. He was starting not to look after himself the way that he had done before. So his appearance was starting to change, I mean he’s appearance started to change at work, more people started to look to him and shaming him because of how he looked, he’d put on weight and he just became more and more insecure Ankush, and didn’t have the confidence to actually deal with it. And so he came to me he just said that he was suffering from anxiety. And he wasn’t sure, why he was feeling anxious but it was a situation at work where he felt he was being misunderstood and he was being closed out of what was happening in the organisation when in fact that was the reason he was brought into the organisation and he felt as though he was rubbish at his job because he was getting no feedback whatsoever. And you know he just had a new mortgage on a bigger house and he didn’t want to rock the boat in case he lost his job. So I started to speak to him about what we’re talking about here and about how our minds work and how he was understanding something about himself that was showing him that whatever was going on at work was not right. It didn’t make sense. And it was him that used the word bullying it wasn’t me because he could see how the behaviour of his boss was not inclusive. It was shaming him and his ability to communicate via the written word it was shaming him, because of the way that he had changed physically under stress by putting on weight. And when he realised how he was taking these experiences and he was watching them over and over again in his own mind and kind of adding all sorts of special effects to that by the stories he was creating and thinking that he was going to lose his job everybody hated that you know that his boss didn’t like him and nobody wanted anything to do with him and he was he was terrible at writing and he should never have got that job anyway because he obviously wasn’t good enough. When he started to see that the behaviour of his boss was inappropriate and that all he was doing was reacting to that behaviour through how he was creating his experience and the moment he then started to see that he could respond Ankush instead of react. And by that I mean he was able to see where his state of mind was at any given moment in time so when he was in front of his boss the CEO, he started to understand whether he was fearful thinking or whether he was relaxed and he started to see that fearful thinking was only ever generated by him. He was taking a thought, he was shining a light on it and he was making a big drama of it. So he started to feel calmer and calmer in front of his boss to the point that he actually confronted. And, confronted is the wrong word because he was calm enough Ankush to ask for a meeting with his boss to speak to him about what was going on. The interesting thing about the meeting that they both had was that the CEO was completely unaware that his behaviour and checking the punctuation and grammar would have such an impact on his employee and that was just a habit he got into when he was doing copy-writing. He thought his employee was too busy to come into the meetings with the senior managers because he always looked busy and he always looked as though perhaps he didn’t want to engage with the CEO. So here you’ve got two men, both making up stories about one another in the moment and the work organisation. And those stories kept them apart and they were all made up Ankush. [00:23:14.00] Ankush: So what happened after that? Did things improve for this guy at work or? [00:23:19.10] Jacquie: Yeah. No things that improve Ankush because he then began to understand how his mind worked and how his state of mind changed throughout the day too and how his boss’s state of mind changed throughout the day too. So he wasn’t fearful about what was going on. He told his boss he didn’t particularly like the fact that he would get his emails back with red lines through it, he was far more interested in his boss commenting on the content of what he was proposing and his boss apologised to him because he didn’t realise what he was doing either. He didn’t realise he was making this guy feel so insecure. [00:23:53.05] Ankush: So it sounds like a complete 180-degree turnaround, which came about through communication when the person feeling bullied was able to kind of get into a clearer head. [00:24:06.13] Jacquie: Absolutely Ankush. But that’s not unusual. That happens all the time but it can also happen as well when one person feels misunderstood and the other person uses that state of being anxious about being misunderstood to bully them, to make it worse because they could get some sort of kick out of it. [00:24:28.11] Ankush: I want to make sure we keep to our time and we’re basically at the end of our time now. Jacquie so my final question really is what are the key takeaways you want our listeners to leave this episode with? [00:24:44.09] Jacquie: I think the key takeaway Ankush, I want people to have is that innately, you know mental health has a huge stigma too it unfortunately still. And when people feel they’re being bullied in the workplace they can feel as though they’re starting to have mental health problems. You’re not broken. Nobody needs to fix you all that you need to do is to understand with a clear mind what is actually happening to you in your organisation and in your own mind, with that clarity you are able to then respond to it and not react to it to make sure if you feel you don’t really understand what’s going on, go and speak to someone in your organisation or speak to a friend – get clarity on it. Because often bullying in the workplace is very subtle. Take time for yourself, look after yourself. Often when we’re bullied we tend to speed up inside, which means that we don’t make good choices to do with our health or our well-being. My advice to you would be if you feel you’re becoming sped up in your mind at work, that is an invitation for you to slow things down and look after yourself better. So, go and speak to someone, understand how you are creating your experience of life moment to moment by checking out this understanding that you know that we are kind of talking about here either on Ankush’s site or my own, and also know that you’re going to be okay. [00:26:10.12] Ankush: Fantastic. And if people want to find out more and check out what you’re up to Jacquie how can they do that? [00:26:18.29] Jacquie: They can check me on my website Ankush which I’m sure you’ll add to the podcast notes or they can contact me on Facebook or my email. [00:26:26.21] Ankush: Excellent and could you tell us the website link? [00:26:32.06] Jacquie: Sure, the website link is: www.JacquieForde.com. [00:26:41.21] Ankush: Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure having you and I think that’s a really important topic. I’m glad we’ve covered it today and I will be back next time with another guest on another topic relevant to business. Thank you. Thanks for listening to the business series podcast. If you want to hear more you can click on the Subscribe button below. You can share this with someone else who can get benefit or you can like it and encourage others to listen. Also, it would be great if you left a comment below, as I love hearing from listeners and I want to keep creating great content for you. Thanks for listening. The post Business Podcast Series Ep.19 – How to Deal with Bullies in the Workplace and Not Become One Yourself appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
35 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.20 – The Invisible Factors Behind Effective Leadership with Dr. George Pransky
The Invisible Factors Behind Effective Leadership In this episode, Ankush speaks a pioneer of taking state of mind into business, Dr George Pransky. Some of what they discuss include: – Visible vs Invisible factors behind effective leadership – How does this apply across different industries – How to tap into this hidden factor as a leader – A case study of a client Dr. Pransky worked with You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Dr. Pransky and find out more about his work, you can reach him at pranskyandassociates.com. Full Transcript [00:00:01.23] Ankush: Welcome to the Business Series Podcast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. Welcome back to another episode of the Business Series Podcast. Today, I’m very excited to be joined by Dr. George Pransky. Dr. George Pransky is one of the mentors of a number of people who are on the show so I’m very excited to have him here. He was the first person alongside Dr. Roger Mills who took this understanding around the state of mind seriously and he’s been working with a significant number of businesses over the last few decades. And he’s been a pioneer in taking the state of mind understanding to business. I’m very excited to have him with us and to be talking about the invisible factors behind effective leadership. Welcome, George. [00:01:00.28] George: Well, it’s nice to do this program. I really liked what we’ve done in the past so this is a pleasure for me. [00:01:10.10] Ankush: Thank you. Well, let’s just get right into it because it’s an intriguing title the invisible factors behind effective leadership. So I’d love to kind of ask about that and what these invisible factors are behind effective leadership? What are they? [00:01:25.02] George: Well, if you don’t mind I want to talk about the so-called invisible and then it’ll be easier to talk about the visible ones so if you look at the brochure of leadership development companies, if you go on the Internet and look up leadership you’ll see a number of things: team building, you’ll see listening, giving feedback, strategic planning so you’ll have a working list of all the skills that are required for a good leader. And I’m going to suggest to you that you can’t do those skills unless your mind is right for those skills. So for example giving feedback like that’s one of the problems that people have. What are you going to do? How are you going to give feedback to people without them getting defensive? How do they want to hear your feedback, if they do get defensive, how do you avoid bad will? When I give feedback I get tense ahead of time. How do you deal with that? So the fact is that the effectiveness of feedback depends on the feeling state that you’re coming from when you give it. So if you have a dog in the fight, if you’re upset with the person if you’re impatient with the person you can count on them getting defensive and you’re going to see that feedback says it doesn’t go very well. You might say well that’s not a problem. Well, it is a problem because the reason you’re giving them the negative feedback is that they are doing something that’s hurting the bottom line. So it’s very understandable for people to be impatient or upset and then they go in and give the feedback and the person gets backed up and defensive. So the invisible factor behind effective feedback is the feeling state of the person that’s giving the feedback when they’re giving the feedback. Now if their feeling state is good and they feel warmly towards the person they’re talking to and they’re philosophical about the fact that people do need feedback and people do make mistakes and that’s part of their job you know, otherwise, they would be like a busboy complaining about dishes. I mean that’s why they get the big bucks is to give people direction. So if they have that warm feeling they set the stage differently they bring something different out of the person and the person responds, listens better, benefits more from it and leaves with goodwill. Now the same thing could be said of strategic planning. The problem with strategic planning is you have to get back enough from your business to see that big picture and that’s something that happens inside your mind, it doesn’t happen through reading, through discussion. People who have a leader who wants to have a vision for their company has to get into what we might call a reflective state, where their mind is free. And when their mind is free and they don’t have a bunch of fears and concerns and details, they can see the big picture. That’s why consultants work as consultants and their heads aren’t filled with the business and the concerns of the business and outcomes and all this, so they have, you might say a more circumspect view, now strategic planning requires a circumspect state of mind. If you don’t have it you’re not going to be able to do it. OK, another thing is the issue of managing people who are difficult and are resistant OK. And they have all kinds of courses on that. That’s the invisible factor behind that is the same as giving people feedback, is if you have a warm feeling and if you’re compassionate of people’s mistakes and their frailties you will have an ongoing good rapport with the people and with that good rapport you’ll be able to say and do what you want and you’ll be able to be as direct with them as you want and you’ll be able to listen to them and have conversations with them and get the truth out of the conversations, and it’s not because you have techniques for dealing with them but it’s because of where you’re coming from, your humanity is front and center and that’s what allows you to have a successful relationship with people. So everything that you’re trying to do behind it is the workings of the mind, what state of mind do you have. What’s going on in your mind? To simplify it, if you’re off balance everything’s difficult leadership wise and if you’re on balance everything’s easy. I’m going to give a metaphor for that I think would be very helpful. When I was in private school we would have lunch and we’d have half an hour after lunch for recreation and relaxation and a bunch of us would go to the gym and play basketball. But we were in our street shoes, so we would take our street shoes off and we would play in our socks and we didn’t have any traction so it was much harder to do anything in basketball when you’re playing in socks. Now one day this very uncoordinated not an athlete little thin frail guy, who everybody used to knock their books over came into the gym and he had his sneakers on and he was running circles around these varsity basketball players because he had this traction. Now when people are in a healthy state of mind, when they’re not insecure or upset or when they have their emotional bearings they will be like that kid with sneakers on everything they try to do leadership-wise is easy. And when they get, lose their bearings and get insecure even temporarily they are like the rest of us playing in socks with no traction. [00:08:24.07] Ankush: What would you say to people who are listening to this and say they might be thinking well that sounds very good in theory George but surely this is dependent on the industry you’re in, maybe this is just a leadership style because I know you’ve worked in lots of different industries and with lots of different leaders I’d love to hear you talk to that does this apply across the board with every kind of business, every industry, every kind of leader? [00:08:48.05] George: It applies not only to every industry and every leader but it applies to every aspect of life. This applies equally to your relationship with your wife. It applies equally to parenting, parents that lose their bearings bring out a whole different behavior in their children and parents who can keep their bearings in it and they have a warmth and an understanding feeling, find parenting would be very easy but no matter what the agency is, what the business is, whether a person is able to keep their bearings and stay in a healthy state of mind just depends on them and their understanding of how the mind works so there’s no such thing as a business or industry that’s inherently stressful. The stress has to be manufactured inside the mind of the person via their own thinking. Now ironically into the companies and the industries that objectively would have the most stress, like brain surgeons, for example, have very little stress. And if you ask them why they would say I can’t afford to lose my bearings so that every company and every employee and every company it’s up to that employee as to whether they feel tense and tight or disheartened or disappointed. So the internal mental life of a person is dependent on what goes on in their mind and that is always true. There’s no exception to that, there’s no way that what’s going on around you can affect you unless it comes into your own thinking. [00:10:48.25] Ankush: So is that the invisible factor you’re talking about. Is that state of mind? And you know how you feel the warm feeling you were talking about? [00:10:58.03] George: Yeah it is the invisible factor. It’s the foundation from which people live their lives and using that analogy, if your foundation is sneakers in traction, you live a very different life than if your foundations is socks on a waxy floor. Now the reason that I say it’s invisible is because the world is oriented towards behavior is what people do and what people say. In the end, all the strategies are based on what behaviors should we do, and what should we say and that’s what all the books are about. You know even like the books on values it’s how should we act? What should we say? Now what’s invisible to all of us is the workings of the mind and the feeling states within people, but those are our words making the world happen the way it happens the behaviors in what people say is after the fact. [00:12:08.14] Ankush: So if I’m a leader listening to this and I might be thinking how do I tap into that I might have some view around, okay when I’m in a good state of mind I’m a better leader and I listen better or I can give feedback better but they might not know how to tap into that state of mind for themselves. [00:12:30.06] George: Well, the key to the optimum state of mind is resilience and the reason I say that is because everybody has mood swings. Everybody its life is a full-contact sport. Business is a full-contact sport. So you’re going to take your lumps and you’re going to take your bumps and you’re going to take your bruises. What really matters is how you come back from that. How long does it last and how often does it happen that you get, that you lose your bearings. Everybody is going to lose their bearings sometimes but as you understand how the mind works the deeper you understand it the more infrequently you’ll lose your bearings and the quicker you’ll get them back. Now it’s not, it’s not difficult to understand how the mind works once you hear it and you look, you’ll see yes that is how the mind works and the way the mind works is that we are in continuous thinker’s, continuous thoughts throughout life, continuous thought processes OK. And the thoughts are brought to life by what we call consciousness through the five senses, well more than five senses of the senses so the thoughts that we have will appear to be true. So if the market turns down let’s say the economy gets bad and I’m a sales person and all of a sudden instead of making six calls to make a sale I have to make twelve. The question is what are my thoughts going to be if I have thoughts of discouragement, I’ll feel discouraged, my spirits will drop and when my spirits drop I won’t present as well to my prospects, I’ll look desperate to that, I’ll look insecure to them and they won’t like that, they won’t be inclined to listen to me or buy my product. So now it goes from making twelve calls to making 15 calls. Now if that memory of that bad experience of losing the sale, of losing sales that that gets to me I’m like a baseball player in a batting slump. My spirits go lower, my performance goes down, my spirits go lower, my performance goes down and it’s a spiral. If a person understands that all this is happening inside their own thoughts, and the only reason their spirits continue to drop is because they’re fighting themselves and thinking themselves down and they see that it’s a hundred percent thought, it’s not the economy, it’s not their success rate. The thinking is directly related to the discouragement, and that’s all it’s happening, they will become resilient because thoughts are transient by nature and their thoughts will turn around in a positive direction. And one company that we talk this to we did the company training and we did for the mental well-being of people because the company looked like it was going to go under, it was a sales company and they were in a bad market. Later one of the general managers, the owner of the company told me that the company had become discouragement proof, the salespeople and they even said I hope this bear market lasts for another three months because we can increase market share because we’re making calls and our competitors aren’t because they’re sitting in bars discouraged to any company sales company that’s discouragement proof, that’s resilient about discouragement is going to be very successful no matter what they’re selling that’s just an example. [00:16:55.26] Ankush: And I can imagine that would be an incredible trait for a leader to have if a leader was discouragement proof because it would set the tone for everyone else they were working with. [00:17:04.23] George: Absolutely. And not only would they set the tone but they can gently remind their people that the problem is happening in their minds and that discouragement is a freestanding variable it’s not tied to anything, it’s not tied to success, it’s not tied to success rate, it’s free standing. So every, any person, at any moment that understands that it’s just you thinking that that’s free standing well knows that without any effort the thinking will head north rather than south. [00:17:43.09] Ankush: So what I just heard you say George and correct me if I’m wrong here is that effective leadership is all about a leader seeing the role of the state of mind in their reality leading from that place and showing their employees the same thing in them too. And by doing so they become very resilient, very creative, very effective and in doing so they help their employees to do the same for themselves. [00:18:18.13] George: Exactly. Can I give you an example of this? [00:18:20.06] Ankush: Yeah please do I’d love to hear a case study about where you work with someone around this and the results of that. [00:18:25.07] George: Yeah. Let me let me give you a case study I mentioned the advertising company, I’m going to mention another one. I was hired by a defense contractor and it’s essentially a company of engineers. I mean they are really high tech particularly high tech company. And their problem was that they had a 100 million dollar engineering budget and a 40 million cost to poor quality which means throwing stuff out that you make. So, they were only selling 60% of what they were making because they had this cost of poor quality now. So, they were saying well the reason that this is that we have so much cost of low quality is because we’re very high tech. You have to make a lot of guesses. We have to bid on it and you know it’s tough to bid right. And when you bid wrong you want to skip steps and because you skipped steps you have cost of poor quality. We have a lot of processes but we don’t have enough supervision so we can’t supervise every single step and therefore things fall through the cracks. And this is just the nature of a high tech business, is the cost of poor quality and they even said to me I don’t even know why the management thinks this is a problem. That’s what they said. OK. So they start as all these visible conditions that make costs the poor quality high. Now when I interviewed them the invisible factor going on in their minds was they were frantic and frenetic. Their minds were going where they were so rushed that when they were meeting with me for a half an hour they were looking at their watches I remember saying to one of them John you have a pill to take or something? What do you mean? You’re looking at your watch every few seconds. What is it? Well you have no idea how much you have to do. I have to, I have work sitting on my desk. How long is this going to take? Half an hour to them was like an eternity. Now, this was true of every person. If you went into the corridor you’d see people rushing around. They weren’t walking, they were half jogging. OK. Now the implications of this is that rushed people in life make more mistakes than non-rushed people. When people rush, they make mistakes. That’s one thing. The other thing was they were so rushed that they would skip steps in the process, because they didn’t have time for them. And because they would skip steps it would end up as scrap. So what the company did to solve that is they put in more supervision. Well the more supervision took their time and they became more rushed and when they became more rushed, they skipped more steps. And when they skipped more steps they had more cost of poor quality and that wasn’t even the worst of it. The worst of it, you know how I said earlier that they felt that a lot of the cost of poor quality is because their bids weren’t right. Bidding too little to do the job. Well the reason that the bids weren’t right is because they were so rushed that they didn’t have time to meet and think through each project before they put in their bid, so you know what they did? Each person would send an email. And somebody would take the e-mails and try to come up with a bid. They didn’t think it through. They didn’t think what difficulties might we have that we’re not anticipating? What type of a slush fund should we have in there? How much is this really going to cost? What problems are we going to have with the suppliers. Everything was done on the fly and to their amazement the bids were either, they either bid too much, in which case they’d lose the case or they’d been too little in which case they would be up against the wheels, up against the blades in their way they dealt with up against the blades was to rush, so in my mind and in their minds once I talked to them, the whole problem was put into a six inch area the distance between their ears. So we did a program to show them how the mind works, show them how thoughts made their thinking very inefficient. The velocity of their thoughts, we showed them the relationship between rushing and being overwhelmed and making mistakes, they began to tell us about skipping steps and how that added to their problems. Now, when it was all said and done not only did they eliminate the 40 million dollars but they even found secondary uses for some of the things they made. Originally they would make it for one person for one time but they found some secondary users so they had they had a zero cost of poor quality. They even had a plus a little bit because of those uses. Now that factor of rushing what was going on in their mind of being overwhelmed, they would have a meeting and people would walk out and they wouldn’t even remember what was said in the meeting because they were distracted, that whole world of psychological functioning and feeling states was completely invisible to them. Once it was made visible they on their own made adjustments because every human being is connected to the intelligence behind life and that intelligence informed them how they could use their minds better and it kept them at a same pace. And that’s why they had no future cause of poor quality. [00:25:09.05] Ankush: So it sounds like this was not only costing them you know in terms of mentally mental well-being but it was a huge bottom-line cost, there that you’ve talked about. Now you’ve worked on a lot of businesses would you say that was an uncommon business or do you think that’s something that you see in a number of businesses that you’ve worked? [00:25:28.18] George: In my mind state of mind healthy psychological functioning psychological fitness is another way I talk about those things as synonyms. That to me is the last discriminator. The only discriminator competitive discriminator left because the other ones have been used up, you know like work ethic. Right. I mean every company has good work ethic. There’s not that much difference between the work ethic in companies. Technology, maybe you’re ahead in technology but I assure you the people are catching up as we speak. Credentials, people say well we’ve got people with good credentials. Well, every company is looking for good credentials you can’t get better credentials in your company than other people. Incentives was thought of that’s how you could improve your business, that’s a competitive discriminator. It’s not a competitive discriminator anymore because the people who don’t need the incentives are getting all the rewards. And the people who don’t work are not as creative as they should be, don’t even try to get the incentives because they’re competing with the people who are very good and much better than them and creative. So incentives is a wash, you see. So creativity is a discriminator but until you understand where creativity comes from, it comes from the mind, it doesn’t come from all from experience it comes from the state of mind that you’re in. So if you if you see state of mind as a competitive discriminator you’ll be able to see that it’s even behind all the things that I have mentioned, in other words the traditional discriminators are all state of mind driven. Work ethic is state of mind driven, people don’t have a poor work ethic because they don’t care about the company, they do it because they struggle with bad feelings, they don’t like discomfort so they come off as lazy. Logical advantages come from a state of mind, of creativity. So the healthier people are, and the better the climate is because people are in the healthy state the more synergy you’re going to have amongst your employees and that’s what’s going to give you advanced creativity that will give you a technological advantage. There isn’t a single competitive advantage that doesn’t rest and depend on people’s state of mind, it’s nothing you do that will improve your company other than the psychological fitness of your employees. [00:28:44.19] Ankush: What you’re saying is very interesting George because it explains why they’re now and we’ve seen them in recent years, huge companies both in the US, UK and further afield who’ve got great people working for them. They’ve got you know training budgets they’ve got everything else, they’ve got the brand name and yet they’ve folded, gone into administration and really struggled. And whilst we now certainly in the UK have seen people are taking wellbeing and you know trying to look after people more and more and yet the costs of stress anxiety etc are increasing. And what you’ve just started around, state of mind being the only discriminator well the last discriminator really makes sense because if that’s what’s being overlooked it’s no surprise and it explains why companies are failing to adapt and are failing and also why costs of mental wellbeing are going up. Would you agree with that? [00:29:42.04] George: 100%, I think if you step back from it you can see logically how it happens because once a business doesn’t do as well, what’s to say the business cycle and you’re in a little bit of a recession it feeds on itself, and you say well what about in good markets George? That feeds on itself too because people get fat and unhappy when their functioning isn’t good. Instead of taking advantage of a good market, they work less and they get lazy, because of what’s going on in their minds. So it hurts them on both ends, and the stress, and I’m not even bringing up the fact that the stress has a cost in terms of absentee, in terms of people leaving the company, happy to replace them. The medical cost of employee assistance programmes, now if you raise the level of psychological functioning in England say, by 10%, so people are more resilient, they have more freedom to reflect, they get over things faster, they feel warmer towards others, they have a good rapport with other people. That would have maybe a 50-60% increase in productivity because everything would get better all at once, costs would go down, and sales would go up. [00:31:16.26] Ankush: So what would be the one takeaway or the main takeaways you want people who are listening to this episode to leave with, what would you want them to kind of tie it with? [00:31:28.10] George: Well the one takeaway I would have is that there’s good news and bad news in this presentation, which do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news? [00:31:39.27] Ankush: Let’s go with the good news. [00:31:39.27] The good news is, what’s going on in your mind, is providing the script for your life, and in businesses what’s going on in the minds of the employees is their success factor is their potential, is a way to increase productivity, very quickly and very significantly. The bad news is what’s going on in your mind is shooting you in the foot, everything you’re trying. Like you know how they have these books on value, well it shoots you in the foot, you can’t do these values unless you have psychological functioning that allows you to do it. In order to be generous you have to have a certain medical well-being that allows you to get away from your own needs at some point and be generous with others, so to tell someone to be generous isn’t enough, so everything, the mind, and understanding the mind is what improves people’s psychological functioning. So there’s all kinds of resources I’m sure you can list on your site. You know we have online courses and there’s people that we learn from, there are webinars like yours, if you just understand the mind a little bit better, you’ll see an improvement in your day-to-day experience of life. [00:33:14.17] Ankush: Well that’s a good point and I know you’ve got some fantastic audios and products on your website. If people wanted to get hold of you George, if they wanted to find out more about the work you do, what’s the best way for them to do that? [00:33:25.18] George: Well, we have a website, pranskyandassociates.com, and if you have something specific like if you’re a business and you’re saying, well this is a problem that we have, we want something, not just general, you can call us, 360-466-5200, so we do calls with people to kind of scope out what we might do for them, and we also try to collect, if we don’t end up doing something for them, we will clarify what needs to be done, because we’ll show them what it will take in the minds of their people in order to solve this particular thing that they have, this particular problem that they have. [00:34:13.27] Ankush: Well thank you for joining again George, that was a fantastic episode, and I’ll be back next time with another interviewee for the Business Series Podcast. [00:34:22.27] George: Well I’m really glad you’re doing this and I love the cast of characters that you’ve brought in to do this, you have really top people doing these talks, I’m honoured to be among that group. [00:34:34.18] Ankush: Thank you so much George, really appreciate it. Thanks for listening to the Business Series Podcast, if you want to hear more, you can click on the subscribe button below, you can share this with someone else who can benefit, or you can like it and encourage others to listen. Also, it would be great if you left a comment below, as I love hearing from listeners and I want to keep creating great content for you. Thanks for listening. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.20 – The Invisible Factors Behind Effective Leadership with Dr. George Pransky appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
21 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.18 – How To Retain Your Talented Employees and Allow Them To Shine with Gabriela Maldonado-Montano
How to Retain Your Talented Employees and Allow Them To Shine In this episode, Ankush speaks with an international coach and trainer, Gabriela Maldonado-Montano. Some of what they discuss include: – How to retain talented employees – How to let talented employees shine – A thought experiment on employee’s input – A case study of a client Gaby worked with and her approach You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Gabriela and find out more about her work, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org Full Transcript [00:00:01] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain and I’m a state of mind coach working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. Welcome back to another episode of the business series podcast. Today I’m joined by Gabriela Maldonado Montano, who is an international coach and trainer, who has a passion for helping people shine at work. Welcome Gabby. [00:00:39.04] Gabby: Hi, Ankush. How are you? [00:00:39] Ankush: I’m good, I’m good, I’m very excited about our topic today which is, how to retain your talented employees and allow them to shine. I think this is something that’s obviously right up your street. It’s something that you’re very passionate about. I think it’s going to be very interesting and very fascinating for people to listen to this because both from a point of view of people who want to help their subordinates, people and their employees who work for them helping them to shine as well as people who are listening to this wanting to shine themselves. I’ll start off at the beginning which is, it might sound like a silly question but why is this important? Why are we discussing this of all the topics we could discuss why this one? [00:01:24.06] Gabby: Yeah, this was very personal for me. I started working, oh my gosh, a long time ago I think I entered that workforce in 1991. And what I noticed right away, is that in all the organizations that I worked, there were people that were shining, that they were really juiced at work and that there were people that were not. I wanted to be the people that shine. And then I also noticed that there were some leaders in organizations that knew about this and that helped their teams and their employees do their best and that there were other teams that seemed to struggle. And I noticed that both teams, both sets of employees, had a capacity, they have the skill, right? They had the experience but something was going on. And so, from the beginning really, I was very interested in finding out what was the difference. How come there seems to be an environment or an element where people shine and then there is another environment, that there is another factor that actually makes people most like get very very dim with their experience and the possibility to to work. And so, the reason why is because what I discovered just even in my own personal work is that when I feel engaged when I feel part of the team, my production is better but I also, I enjoy the work. You know, and it seems like I command with better ideas. From working in a team it seems like everyone in the team just performs at its best and it’s fun, you know, as a person working and so I just think today is very relevant. We spend a lot of time at work. [00:03:24.16] Ankush: And it’s really important for businesses as well, you know, I hear things, you know, phrases are banded around like the war for talent and a lot of companies whether they’re large companies or not so large companies. It’s really important to not only find good employees but really really keep good employees. And once you’ve got good employees is to get the best out of them and I know I’m not am I’m not a massive sports fan but I certainly see this in the world of sports where, you know, people are buying soccer players, for example, and you know there’s one thing getting a great player. It’s another thing getting the best other out of that player and the same thing can happen, you know, in the workplace. So, I’m looking forward to us unpacking this a little bit because I think it can be really really relevant to people listening. Let’s kind of jump in because this two parts to this so, or maybe I’ll ask you this seems like there’s two parts to this. There’s one part which is, how do you retain talented employees? And the second part is how do you get them to shine. Do you actually see them as two separate things or is it the same thing? [00:04:35.01] Gabby: That’s a great question. I think when you help your workforce, your team, to feel engaged, there is retention and a side effect is the shining. You know, and there is definitely a way to do that. Then I think you know I live in the Silicon Valley and so, what I’ve been noticing is that, there is this effect of people being in a job for like six months. You know, and then getting another job, getting another job and getting another job. And these are very talented people and they’re expensive people. Right? So it’s just very interesting because in the work of large companies retainment is an issue. People aren’t paying attention to retainment. Except that it’s done through a very superficial level, in my opinion, you know, like points and we’re not going to give you, you know, Starbucks cards if you do well and all of that. And so even though there seems to be an attention to it, it is not to the point where really people feel committed, you know? What we want is we want our workforce to develop the mentality of ownership. Like, you know, we own the business we are willing to really put our best foot forward and so that’s what we want to do. So I don’t see them as two different things. I think there almost a side effect, right? We want to retain people but we don’t want them just come to work, right? We want them to actually perform at their best. We hire people because of their skills. We hire people because of their experience. And there’s the third element. We are betting that these people are going to bring something into our companies that are going to make our companies better, right? They’re going to be putting out products, are going to be increasing sales. That it’s almost like a bet that if I hire you you’re really actually are going to increase the value of my company. And that’s the element that we want to talk about because that’s the element that companies put to lease effort on. You know, it’s like invisible element. [00:06:57.13] Ankush: That’s so interesting because, you’re right, I know, you know, I haven’t been in a corporate job for a few years but I remember when I was looking the last time I was looking for a corporate job and you’re looking around at who are good employers and what do they do. It was always things, okay, this company is a good employer because they allow flexible working because they give discounted meals at lunchtime because they’ve got, you know, good benefits in terms of maybe they give a company car or things like that. But actually if I think about even my own career, where did I feel the most engaged where did I feel the greatest sense of ownership? Where did I do my best to work? It was it was almost the opposite. It was, it was had nothing to do with that. It was really a different energy, I would say, of the team that I was working in so I can really understand where you’re coming from. Would you say that, that stuff, you know, because you talked about people bring the energy in the wrong place, would you say looking at things like, you know, flexible working, would you say that has no impact or would you say on its own you know it’s kind of really missing the key ingredient? [00:08:15.27] Gabby: I think you can have two companies with flexible time and you can see a really different performance, right? So, if you have a company that understands, that understands that their employees are valuable. And as part of that, comes with an initiative to have flexible time, right? I think that’s fantastic. But I think you’ll see companies that will have flexible time but they don’t have an understanding and their results will be different. So, I think anything that comes out from a real, a real sense of understanding the value of your employees and value of your workforce. And you know it’s very fascinating because employees understand when their companies value their work or not. And with my client it’s like the number one element of wanting to stay in the company. When an employee feels like you know what, maybe it’s a demanding job maybe I don’t have flexible work hours but I feel valued. My, and I feel like, the company really understands that the way that I contribute is important. They’re willing to stay, right? And so any idea that comes from it whether it’s, you know, giving discounted meals or, you know, we’ll do your laundry or whatever, if it has the tone of appreciation and value it’s going to work. But if you have it just a simple technique without that understanding the results are different. [00:10:05.16] Ankush: So what I’m hearing is, if it’s without the genuineness, without the feeling of you are valued and what I hear you saying is that, any one whether employees or not we know when we’re being valued or not, we know when other people feel that way about us. [00:10:21.15] Gabby: Absolutely. You know I think in preparation for this interview, you and I talked about an experiment that somebody was doing about. What is the best way to get people to work at their best? And they did an experiment where they would give them a toy, i think they had to put together. And the people that developed that sense of ownership, you know, that mentality of ownership were the people that their project got integrated into the the next step. The people that showed up but they were not as engaged, were the people that their toy, in this case, was not considered as something important and their next step, right? So, it is important for employees to realize this. To realize that you are paying people to do work, right? That’s why we pay people. And so, if we are not considering their output important, then why are we paying them? Why are you hiring them? And so, it’s really essential, I think for companies and for business owners to get very clear as to why are we hiring the people that are hiring? And if they are working, right? We really need to incorporate that in the large picture, so it’s essential. [00:11:56.02] Ankush: It’s a very good question I’ve never really thought about it that way. Also, clearly, as you’ve put it, you’re hiring people to deliver an output that’s valuable. Now, if it’s not valuable why are you hiring them? That’s a very succinct way of putting it. I’d love to, have you got any case studies or examples? I know you worked with so many people of either where, you know, there’s been a shift and it’s brought out the best in people or maybe where companies don’t see this and no matter how good someone is they, they end up leaving. [00:12:24.17] Gabby: You know, I have actually a case study that really shows both. With this executive level person. Lots of years in her field, I think like 30 years, has worked for the top companies here in Silicon Valley, and left the workforce for a little bit due to a personal situation. Came back into the workforce and actually people were head hunting her the whole entire time that she was off, right? And they would, they would, you know, the honeymoon period in the company where it’s like a come to work with us and offered her a great plan, financial plan, a bonus, a hiring bonus, I mean, just a real solid package. There was something very interesting because right after that, like six months after that, I talked to her and she was just like well, you know, I left the company and I was like what happened? It’s like, they’re not letting me do my work. They’re not letting me do what I do, right? So, she would do all this preparation and then nothing was incorporated. Her work was not incorporated because the person above her had her own plan, had her own agenda. This happened, at like for two years, every six months. So now I’m thinking this because this is what you tell me they’re asking me for the bonus, right? Well through the negotiation that she did because she’s very bright, she would always get her bonus. So now you have four companies losing the bonus, a hiring bonus, and not only a hiring bonus but an excellent person with lots of experience. I mean, this is a do-er. She is intelligent, she’s bright, she’s productive. And so finally, she had lunch with another another company and actually was the CEO of the company and said you know, this is what I can offer you. She did not, he did not give her a hiring bonus. And so she’s been there for a while. The difference that she’s talking about is, they actually incorporate and value what I’m doing. You know, it’s almost like they hire her to do a job and they’re letting her do her job. And so she’s engaged. She’s productive and I cannot tell you the number of companies where that doesn’t happen. Right? Both actually in the for profit and non-profit. I have been with, you know, the top management or executive management and they’re doing things that any one of their employees could be doing. And so, that is the fastest way to get people disengaged. [00:15:04.05] Ankush: So what would you say to someone who’s listening to this who knows they’re good, who knows they’re talented and maybe they’re finding themselves in a company where their work’s not being integrated. They don’t feel valued. What would you say to them? [00:15:15.00] Gabby: It’s a great question. You know there’s always think the possibility of having a conversation with your supervisor. There’s another case there, study actually that’s coming to mind, where I was working with, with an employee, and she referred to this term of managing up. Right? So, she was actually a manager. She says, “I have my team that I help with but then I’m also in the position of having to help my supervisor in managing her.” Right? Helping her see how I could shine. So, I think that’s a real possibility that the idea how do we help either our team or our supervisor to see something valuable in the process of valuing the work, right? Because at the end of the day, in this case her manager was freed to do the work that she was supposed to do. And so it just as a win win situation when people understand this. [00:16:23.22] Ankush: I love that. I’ve been working with someone who is a senior leader within an organisation and, you know, he was feeling stressed and undervalued and I agree with you. I think there’s there’s two parts to it. One part is having a conversation and letting people know, I love the way you put it, letting them know how they can get the best out of you and I think that’s always you talked about again ownership earlier on. I think if you really take ownership of your situation and where you’re at in your career then that’s kind of the first step. And when my client did that, it really change things in his organisation and he found that his superiors were really valuing him way more than he even thought they were. But that wasn’t immediately obvious to him. So, so I totally agree with you. What’s also interesting is, I think the flip side can be true that sometimes I found clients of mine who, the real, the best thing for them would be to leave because they are not really valued and sometimes what’s happened on the flipside is the fear has kind of overtaken them around. I don’t know how it’s going to work out. And they’re also not they’re not letting themselves shine. And so I think it’s probably useful in it maybe in the context of this conversation is, have a think around what it would really take to let yourself shine and at the first that it might be having that conversation internally. But if that’s not happening it’s like, well, allow yourself to shine elsewhere. Would you agree with that? [00:18:02.12] Gabby: Absolutely. You know, I have a client right now that this became really obvious to her. Really obvious. And you know, it’s really wonderful to see her journey of, you know, her having conversations with her superiors and then having conversations with HR and then at one point realized and you know what? This is just never gonna happen in this environment at this time. And so she’s taken herself out of the, out of the equation, out of this company. And she’s she’s doing it as we’ve been working together with more clarity and less fear, right? And she says, you know, it’s not going to be rush, it’s going to be a process where I need to step back and just really assess what is the best company for me. And so, I love that. There is never I think a one answer, you know, sometimes in having conversations with your upper management or with the person right, you know, that’s supervising you. That will happen and sometimes it will be evident that this is just not the company for you, right? And so, I think there is a way of realizing that and seeing what would be the next logical step to take with clarity and a sense of equilibrium and uncertainty too. [00:19:15.12] Ankush: So what’s the one takeaway you want our listeners to leave the show with? [00:19:22.05] Gabby: You know I just really want for companies or business owners to realize that we spend so much time and money hiring people and strategic planning, in setting goals, in acquiring these technical tools. And all of that is powered by people. All of it is powered by people. And if we understand that valuing the work of our employees is the best way for the employees to value coming to work, right? They feel engaged, they feel passionate, they feel inspired, they will put out the best work possible and so it’s in our best interest to pay attention to that element because that is the element that will fuel the success of the company. [00:20:16.15] Ankush: Thank you so much for your time today, Gabriella. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. If people want to get hold of you if they want to find out more about the work you do, how can they do that? [00:20:28.16] Gabby: Yeah. So, it’s email@example.com [00:20:34.06] Ankush: Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show and I’ll be back next time with another interviewee and another topic relevant to business. [00:20:41.13] Gabby: Thank you so much Ankush. [00:20:41.13] Ankush: Thanks for listening to the business series podcast. If you want to hear more, you can click on the Subscribe button below. You can share this with someone else who can benefit or you can like it and encourage others to listen. Also it would be great if you left a comment below. As I love hearing from listeners and I want to keep creating great content for you. Thanks for listening. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.18 – How To Retain Your Talented Employees and Allow Them To Shine with Gabriela Maldonado-Montano appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
24 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.17 – How To Stay Relevant in Business with Rich Habets
How to Stay Relevant in Business In this episode, Ankush speaks with leadership consultant Rich Habets. Some of what they discuss include: – How do we stay relevant in such the fast-paced business world? – Slowing down internally to get more done – How can we slow down right now? – A case study of a client Rich worked with and his approach You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Richard and find out more about his work, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Full Transcript [00:00:00.00] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain and I am a state of mind coach working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career and your personal development. Enjoy. Welcome back to another episode of the business series podcast. Today I’m joined by Rich Habets who is a management consultant who works with a range of organisations both large and small. He’s had a varied career working both in functions and as a consultant and done a number of different jobs and I’m really excited to have him with us today. Welcome Rich. [00:00:50.18] Rich: Morning Kush, good to be here. [00:00:51.10] Ankush: Good to have you. Good to have you. Today we’re talking about how to stay relevant in business and this topic really comes about because I know that you do a lot of work with leaders around change and we seem to be in a world right now where there is so much change happening and it’s going faster than ever. So my question to you just to start off with is how do we stay relevant in such a fast-paced world right now? [00:01:24.00] Rich: It’s an interesting question. Well, first of all, it depends of course how you define relevant. But the way I describe “relevant” is the way normal leaders would think about, so how do stay with the ball? How do people hear what I am saying? How do I make sure that my vision is out there and people actually function in the way that I see them function right. Let’s see that as relevant. What I see is indeed that like what you see that change is, it’s still an enormous space with the invention of I.T. systems somewhere in the 1970s. And the first microchip was produced, it’s become everyday. I see organizations who go from you know they buy another company and then they have to integrate the system then they buy another company they have to integrate the systems and they go through organizational change they rearrange the processes and people are just overwhelmed by the amount of change. So they’re doing their normal job and then they also have to participate in the process reengineering job for instance. So there is a lot of change going on and I think that most people that I meet are happy with getting the things done they need to do in a day and I’m not talking about the strategical or the tactical stuff I’m thinking about the very operational stuff. So they have to do lists and at the end of the day they have the to-do list but nothing more and I see a lot of frustration with people because they’re just running in their little hamster wheel and they don’t have time to even step back and think there’s the right wheel at all? And it frustrates people and it frustrates leadership and is really hard to get out. And so you’re right I think change is, I think it’s the number one thing right now in companies and it’s really hard to handle that in a very healthy way. One of the things I’ve learned in this and it’s work that I do is that the outside world is going faster it’s going from 200 to 250 kilometres an hour, the best way to handle that is to go slower inside. But unfortunately, most people don’t do that. Most people think that if the outside world goes faster they go from 200 to 250, I speed up to and it’s very hard to see in that mental speed if you’re relevant. What’s relevant? What has priority? What’s strategic? What’s operational? Does that answer your question? [00:03:57.02] Ankush: Well tell me more about slowing down internally because that sounds very counterintuitive. [00:04:01.16] Rich: It does. Now it is actually very counterintuitive. You know you wouldn’t know the amount of people that when I get into a room and I tell them OK so what we’re going to do to handle the business we’re going to slow down. Most people think that means they have to talk slower, and if they walk slower actually take a longer lunches and all that stuff than even though that’s nice, what I’m talking about is if there’s a thousand things to do and you think you have to do all thousand of them before you go home but you don’t do them at the end then you feel unsatisfied. Right. But it’s the thinking about the thousand things that’s actually the problem, I’ll give you a very concrete example. I had a guy in one of my rooms and he said every day I have 300 e-mails waiting for me in the morning. He works for a global company so they work 24/7. You know he gets emails in the evening and night all the time. And he says I’m getting heart problems because of the 300 e-mails, I’m having heart problems. So the guy was serious so people started laughing in a room like are you serious and he was serious you could see it was, his face was very serious. So he said sometimes the only thing I can do is to delete all the 300 e-mails and people started laughing. Like what are you doing why are you deleting 300 e-mails? But you could see that for him, that was the only way to get rid of the stress. To slow down. Right. And then a woman at the other side of the room said, you know it’s funny I have a thousand unopened emails in my email box and I don’t have any of those problems, and the guy was like yeah but you know lucky you. She said well I don’t know, what do you think. Why do you have those problems and he says well because it’s 300 e-mails. She said I don’t think so, she went through more programs already, so she knew a little bit. And so the guy eventually came to the conclusion after like half an hour that it’s not the 300 e-mails actually it’s the level of perfection that he was asking from himself. So he thought that if he didn’t do the 300 emails that would mean that he was doing a lousy job. Now I think everybody who would have that kind of belief that if I don’t finish the 300 e-mails before the end of the job I’m doing a lousy job. If you have actually believed that you would actually mentally speed up too if you have only 100 mails done and it’s 12 o’clock already you would start to feel stress. And you would start to speed up and you would start to make more mistakes. Well you don’t read the e-mail as well as you could, you make misinterpretations you assume a lot, so the quality of your work goes actually down and then you answer somebody. It’s not the best answer and then you get an email back. Because of the answer that you did your answer was because you didn’t read the e-mail very well you get an answer back of somebody who is a little bit agitated because of the way you react. So you create your own work that way. And at that speeds people up mentally and I don’t know if we could go into why people slow down or speed up, I don’t think that’s the purpose of this podcast. But I think it’s the number one thing that people don’t see in business. Is that the way our minds really work if we see it or if we don’t see it if we don’t see it, it creates a lot of problems, creates a lot of inproductivity, creates a lot of stress and at the end the bottom line suffers. And if we start to see how it really works we become much more one with ourselves. We understand how it works, we start to work with the system instead of against it. And that’s what I really mean by slowing down, slowing down actually means that you start to see it for what it is and not for what it not is. You become much more productive as a leader and as you may be in general. [00:07:51.03] Ankush: I remember reading somewhere or I don’t know if it’s conventional wisdom that if you want to be really successful in life you know do the opposite of what most people are doing, and I think that’s in true in investing in business in so many things and I really heard that from what you just said that most people are speeding up and the opposite of that is really to slow down. And because it’s so the opposite of what most people are doing, it really works. [00:08:25.21] Rich: It absolutely does. And it’s not only slow down to slow down, slow down in order to speed up but that’s so counterintuitive for most people to see, they think I don’t have time to slow down because there’s all is work that needs to be done but once people get their own realization once they start to see that, wait a minute. When I slow down and have a fresh perspective I have fresh ideas on stuff that actually speaks up because I make less mistakes, I have better observation I set priorities better have more connection with people. So I also involve them in the way I make decisions and that actually speed stuff up. But it has to become a realization for them personally. I think that’s the biggest challenge in the work I do, the biggest challenge is to get people to see that for themselves, because as a theory it sounds beautiful, slow down to speed up it sounds beautiful, but it doesn’t mean anything as long as it is theory. It only starts to become of value if people start to see for themselves waw I slow down this project here, I slowed down I took the time, I saw and I mentally took a step back and I saw the priorities it was easy, it wasn’t a lot of effort and we got beautiful results, wow, this slowing down thing really works and that’s when you start to see not incremental results but exponential results. But it is a challenge to make people who are really rushed slow down for a little bit, although forcefully sometimes before they see that for themselves. [00:09:56.05] Ankush: So if someone’s listening to this and they agree this is a beautiful theory but they feel very rushed and they’re kind of struggling to keep up with all the change and struggling to stay relevant, struggling to keep up with their prior performance, perhaps, what can they do practically to slow down and change the results they getting? [00:10:19.21] Rich: You mean as in right now? [00:10:22.08] Ankush: Sure. [00:10:23.03] Rich: …what they can do? There’s all kinds of stuff out there that can definitely help you to slow down and the number one training in business right now is mindfulness training so that helps you to slow down. There are all kinds of things leaders do. I used to work with people in Silicon Valley and there was a lot of meditation going on, a lot of meditation and yoga classes and all that stuff. That definitely is beautiful to start to see how fast you are actually going and how you can slow down. So that’s beautiful you can do that. But in the end, Kusk, I think you know one thing that you really need to understand is that slowing down is not a doing it’s not okay let me slow down now, it’s not a doing, not a formula or a pill or a three-step program. It’s something you got to realise for yourself and you can only do that by, I would almost say by stepping out of your daily job for a couple of days and this is by the way what I do with businesses I take them three or four days out of their business. And we have a conversation about what’s really going on for versus what you think is going on. And we show them how it works. How bad it is to rush, how bad it is to mentally speed up so that they can have their own realization. And that’s what eventually will stick the most. But if you’re looking for quick fixes now mindfulness is definitely good, spending more time doing what you’re actually doing, being more present, like meditation practice and all that stuff. Chanting, it helps but it’s not the most permanent solution I would say. [00:11:45.03] Ankush: I really like that what you just said and how you described it. Because I can imagine someone who is really rushed wants the quickest solution and the counterintuitive answer to that is you can’t rush the solution. [00:12:08.23] Rich: There’s this old saying like you cannot make grass faster by pulling on it, just grass grows and then it doesn’t matter if you pull on it just grows like that. [00:12:20.13] Ankush: Do you have any case studies that come to mind where you’ve perhaps worked with with an organisation or with some leaders who have really been struggling to stay relevant or struggling to just keep up with their work and you’ve taken them out of their day to day. You’ve really helped them see this for themselves and it’s had a very concrete change on themselves and their result? [00:12:48.13] Rich: Yes sure. Sure. And I have to be careful not to share too much because of my work is very very private. I always promise not to share anything but I can share this with you. There was a company I used to work for and one of their departments was in a very uncertain future this was a financial services institute and in other words they weren’t sure if they were going to be, if the business was sold or not and if it was sold then what was going to happen to the people. So that had been going on for a long time and people got more and more nervous. The best people already left because they had lots of opportunities to work anywhere else so they already left the organization. The morale went down, production went down, other stuff went down and the decision of what was going to happen to the company, they make no announcement on if they were going to do it in three months, six months, nine months, so you know we’ll tell you when we know. So they call me and they said what can we do about the morale? So like I said, I brought them together for four days. We talked about a lot of things but at a certain moment, the group dropped so deep, what I mean they got so calm, they fell down so much, they saw for themselves that they as a leadership team, they withdrew from the people who were working for them and they’d been doing that for the last couple of months. And they freak them out, they said we’ve we’ve become so afraid to hear all the complaints or hear all the people on the floor having such a negative time, that we just go in the morning we come in we go to the office we sit in a little glass cube and we don’t come out because we don’t want to engage with people anymore and now I see what’s happening because if we don’t do that, people will see that they will make their own stories. They will start to see management as the one who is withdrawing, you know there must be nothing good in our future. And they are like wow we’re not doing the one thing we are here to do we’re here to lead. We’re scared, we’re afraid. Right. And at that moment day they made that realization that wasn’t obvious for them. It just became clear that that’s what they were doing. So they decided in that moment you know what. I don’t care how bad it looks. We don’t have the answers, but what we’re going to do we’re going to go into communication again with our people and we’re going to share what we know. We’re going to be connected with them and we’re going to tell them you know up front, we have no idea but we promise you that when we know something we will let you know. But in the meantime, our door is always open instead of closed right. Now, six months later the decision was taken, the company was sold and 50% of the people lost their job. This was in a country where there was a lot of labour unions. So if anything like that is happening then the labour unions go on strike is very very bad for business. But because this management team stayed so well-connected with the labour unions with their people with each other as a management team, had a common vision common goals. Because they did that, it was flawless. People lost their jobs, of course, they didn’t like that, but it was, it never went better than this time in that whole company they had a history of lawsuits, people leaving, anger, frustration and lots of bad morale because the management team took that decision and started to really communicate, really connect, it just went beautifully and the people who lost their jobs were they got a whole package where you know they were helped to find another job and they mostly all did and actually afterwards I got a compliment and that people said to me you know this saves millions of euros. I’m just I’m happy for that because it’s not that what I did, it’s what they saw. And that might sound simple to somebody listening to this podcast like of course, you know that if you don’t talk to people they will make their own stories, but they were so stuck in their own fear and their own anger and uncertain future that they didn’t see that anymore but they saw it when they slowed down. [00:16:53.15] Ankush: This is a great example Rich and you’re reminding me about when I talk to my clients about blind spots and the very nature of a blind spot is that we don’t see it. It might be obvious to other people but not to us. And what I am reminded of is when when I’m sped up and when my clients are sped up and when anyone’s sped up that’s when we start having more blind spots because we’re not seeing what’s going on and what I hear you saying is this isn’t about a strategy of okay if you’re in this situation this is a strategy, there are so many factors and variables that were unique to this company and to those people and to the country and everything else, but slowing down helped that team that management team those leaders approach that in exactly the right way that they needed to, to have the best outcome for for their company and for their employees. [00:17:54.08] Rich: Yeah that’s exactly right. And it doesn’t mean that when you slow down stuff will always work out. But when you slow down you’re just using your full brain thinking, you’re present. You see what’s actually going on. So you make the best decision in that moment, that doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot of stuff going on, losing clients can mean your business is still sold, I mean you go bankrupt, but at least that’s your best effort. And I don’t see and this is you know me being quite honest. I see a lot of stupidity going on in business. I see a lot of rushed people, and I’m not exaggerating I think 95% is rushed, I think even more depending on the culture. 95% is rushed running from one meeting to another, nine to ten, ten to eleven, eleven to twelve, twelve to one and they’re always late because they have to go from meeting to meeting, people are frustrated, people are not listening to each other. It’s a madhouse Kush honestly, it’s a madhouse and I’m walking around and I see this happening and I’m like how can it be productive? And then they start complaining that their customers are complaining. And from standing from where I stand, of course they are complaining because you’re only busy with yourself you’re not, who’s listening to a customer when you’re only listening to yourself? That’s a beautiful thing when people start to see that. [00:19:04.28] Ankush: That makes so much sense to me and I really see the slowing down to speed up. I was recently talking to a client who was struggling with with one of his employees. We really helped him slow down and in the next conversation he had with his employee, he made more progress than he had done in the previous two months of trying to change him, whatever because he moved from focusing on himself and slowed down to being able to focus on his employee and really ask what’s going on, what’s the challenges here do you not want to be here and all sorts of stuff started coming up that he wasn’t even aware of because the focus was taken off himself. [00:19:55.29] Rich: Beautiful things happen when we, you know there’s this whole thinking that we have the matter of self, get out of the way. There’s actually room for other people when we get out the way but it only makes sense when you’re slow down actually. [00:20:12.01] Ankush: And would you say this is becoming more and more important in business than ever before? [00:20:15.04] Rich: Absolutely. You know this all goes back to when I said in the beginning crazy world out there right. Just look at the news, look at what’s happening in the US, look at what’s happening with the whole U.S. Russia thing. Look at what’s happening in the Middle East, look what’s happening everywhere. Look what’s happening in technology how fast that’s going. Look what’s happening in you know with all the trade and everything. Stuff is crazy out there and it’s only getting busier and busier and busier and busier. The only way and this is my firm belief from doing this work for the last 20 years my firm belief was the only way to stay sane and to be serving your clients instead of pleasing them. The only way to stay sane is to slow down because if you start running with all that madness that’s a recipe for burnout. That’s a recipe for bankruptcy. And, you know I put it black and white because I really believe that if you just keep running with everybody else, it doesn’t work, doesn’t work. You can’t keep up, and I don’t care how brilliant you are, how smart you are and what your IQ is what your titles are, what you’ve done in your experience, I see so many brilliant people just burn out because they think they have to know everything, fix everything, keep up with everything, understand everything that’s not the way to go. Honestly people see this, people see this in business, they almost beg me to say so how can you help right? They see it, but most people don’t understand what’s really going on behind the screens. So they go to self-help right. A lot of people read self-help books, I’ve done that for five years. It didn’t help me really a lot. I got more and more confused. It’s crazy world so I think slowing down is the only option. But you have to understand a couple of things before that makes sense to you. So my question is do we have three more hours or? [00:22:06.20] Ankush: Well I normally ask people what’s the one thing that you’d want people to take away. But what you just said was such a beautiful summary and really you know I know we’re just scratching the surface of the work that you do and the work that I do and like you say it can’t be rushed. This is just a kind of a taste and a glimpse into that. If people did want to talk to you for longer wanted to find out more about the work that you do, how might they do that? [00:22:39.16] Rich: They can contact me of course. So you can contact me at email@example.com, that’s my personal email address. So if people want to know more a little bit about this I can always do something like this, talk with them maybe help them on their way. I don’t have any books or fancy websites or all that stuff, I just have a website but I do do a lot of marketing, just so busy with this work already. But if people wanted to talk I’m glad to make time. [00:23:10.20] Ankush: Thank you Rich and I know you really are very very busy so I appreciate the time that you’ve put aside for us today. I hope people get value from this and really listen to this and look in the direction that might be the opposite of where they were looking before they listened to this. [00:23:26.23] Rich: Thank you Ankush for making a stand for this, understanding and putting these podcasts, I know you’ve had some amazing speakers on your podcast, and I really think it makes a difference. Thank you for that too. [00:23:37.08] Ankush: You’re most welcome and I’ll be back next week with another episode relevant to business. Thank you. Thanks for listening to the business series podcast. If you want to hear more you can click on the subscribe button below. You can share this with someone else who can benefit or you can like it and encourage others to listen. Also it would be great if you left a comment below. I love hearing from listeners and I want to keep creating great content for you. Thanks for listening. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.17 – How To Stay Relevant in Business with Rich Habets appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
32 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.16 – The Leadership Equation – How to Bring out The Best in Your Business, Yourself, And the World with Mara Gleason Olsen
The Leadership Equation – How to Bring out The Best in Your Business, Yourself, And the World In this episode, Ankush speaks with Mara Gleason Olsen about leadership. Some of what they discuss include: – What do we mean by “bringing out the best” – Leadership being very simple – How to bring out the best in others – A couple of case studies to demonstrate how simple leadership can be You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Mara and find out more about her work, you can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org Full Transcript [00:00:03.01] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. [00:00:24.27] Ankush: Welcome back to another episode of the Business Series Podcast, today I’m joined by Mara Gleeson Olsen, who is the co-founder of One Solution, a global non-profit dedicated to solving the world’s problems at its source. And today we’re going to be talking about the leadership equation, how to bring out the best in your business, yourself and the world. Welcome Mara. [00:00:45.17] Mara: Hi, thanks for having me, it’s a pleasure to be here. [00:00:49.27] Ankush: Yeah, I mean you have got a very big remit with your non-profit, solving the world’s problems, so hopefully this podcast should be nice and easy and a lot more focussed. [00:00:59.23] Mara: Sounds good, keep it easy on the soft Friday morning, we’re heading into the weekend, don’t want to stress ourselves out. [00:01:08.08] Ankush: Absolutely. So with this podcast I always just like to jump into the title, because it’s an intriguing title we’ve come up with, “The Leadership Equation.” So what do you mean by “bringing out the best,” because it’s quite, again it’s quite a broad topic, we’ve covered business yourself and the world, I’m assuming you mean that they’re all related? [00:01:27.12] Mara: Yes, it would be an ambitious half hour we’re going to have otherwise. Yeah, I think it kind of occured to me, I spent the last 12 years of my career working heavily with, not solely, but heavily with leadership teams, and it was actually my work with leadership teams that inspired me to want to do the global change work that we do now, because I do see that it is all really one thing, and what occurred to me is that it was way simpler than it appeared, leadership and really leadership on a business level, but also just in our personal lives and how we are as humanity in the world, and what we’re creating in the world, and, the reason I say it was simpler, is that it started to look really basic to me, is that if you could bring out the best in other people, that was the most powerful thing you could do in an organization. But then it occurred to me that that’s kind of true for anything, if you’re running a county, or if you’re a participant in your community, or if you’re a religious leader, or if you’re running a Fortune-500 company, it’s all the same thing, it’s how can you, as a leader, really lead, to bring out the best in others, because if you can bring out the best in others, then you’ll be successful. You can’t do it alone, we as human beings collectively on this planet can’t do it alone. We are interconnected, we are working together and when I worked in business for 12 years, it looked really clear to me, okay, all you gotta do is know how to bring out the best in others, and it turns out in order to bring out the best in others, you just have to know how to bring out the best in yourself, and so that’s really what we focussed on and that’s kind of the source that I’m talking about, when we talk about one solution is our solving the world’s problems, it’s really what can any human being, individually or collectively group of human beings, understand about themselves, to bring out the best in themselves, because it makes total sense just between you and I Ankush that if I can bring out the best in myself, then I can see that much more clearly and effortlessly how to draw out the best in you, but if I’m suffering, if I’m stressed, I’m going to be all of those things that we see in those leaders that we don’t like that much and that we don’t admire, the ones that are stressed out, distracted, like a chicken with their head cut off, just have that kind of burdened by life, and when humans are burdened by life they can’t help, innocently, naturally, be looking after themselves more. You know, you can’t really bring out the best in others, when you’re just trying to get through the day yourself. So it looks really simple, and therefore really hopeful and therefore really inspiring to me when it occurred to me that it’s kind of a very basic equation to leadership, as it’s bringing out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself, and so how, what can we illuminate for people about their own mind that allows them to consistently and unconditionally bring out more in the best of themselves. [00:04:43.12] Ankush: You made some really big statements there, so a couple of big statements you said was, 1) leadership is really simple, and I guarantee you it doesn’t look that way to many many people, 2) you said well it’s really simple because we just need to bring out the best in others, and again that’s a very bold statements because I’m sure a lot of people don’t see that as the easiest thing to do, so, given those two bold statements and for anyone listening to this show, who’s thinking, that sounds great, but how do I do that, could you talk a little bit about what that might look like? [00:05:16.02] Mara: Yeah, I mean I say it’s simple not in that it doesn’t have it’s fair share of challenges, but if you know what really underlies it, what’s really at the foundation of it, then that gives you a constant home base to come back to, that’s the simple part, it’s knowing where to look no matter what, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have all of the normal challenges that occur, but if you look, like if I just look at myself for example like, I have started and run two organizations now myself, and it’s not that I have all the answers, but I know that when I’m clear, when I have the ability to bring out the best in myself first and foremost, like if that’s the number one thing on my to do list, it’s my own clarity of mind, my own ability to bring out the best in myself, all the other business challenges just get sorted out from there, so if I’m clear for example, I know how to set someone up in our organization that might be struggling with something or not doing something, I know how to do that, pretty, I don’t want to say effortlessly, that’s too dramatic, but it’s not hard to see how to do it when I’m clear, and so it’s not to say you won’t have the things that you’ve got to deal with in business, like potentially a struggling employee or a project that you launched that just isn’t going well or, all the different things, budgets, blah, blah, blah, but, we all know, or I guess that’s what I’m trying to say in this interview, is if we all knew that your mind when it’s clear is unbelievably capable of dealing with that stuff, it really is, and it’s not as complicated as it looks, the problem is is when we forget that that best of ourselves, that clarity of mind ourselves is the key, that is the source of it all when we forget that, we start focussing too externally, we start looking at, oh well maybe I don’t have the right processes in place, or maybe I’m not hiring the right people, or maybe I’m not, and the truth is maybe you do need better processes, maybe you do need to hire differently, but, if you forget your own clarity of mind-peace the further and further external from yourself you go, the more and more challenging it is, the less trash in you have. So, the simplicity I’m referring to, the simplicity of leadership is not that it’s easy all the time, it’s knowing where to look for your leverage, and that is really your own mind, your own clarity of mind, and how you can have more of that unconditionally, I think that’s the piece that is often very illuminating for people that we work with, is we’re trying to show them how the mind works, all by itself, before your business, before your employees, if you can see how your mind works, and that you’re really just thinking dictates what’s going on each day, then the more people see that that is not negatively affected by other people, externals, numbers, things like that, then we can help people see how they can have more clarity of mind, more consistently, they can bring out the best in themselves, and then the rest of the equation falls into place from there, can’t really do the rest of the equation until you’ve seen your own clarity of mind-peace first. [00:08:38.07] Ankush: How long does that take, is it something that, again it sounds very simple for people who maybe have not come across this before, so how long does it take for someone just to see the clarity of their own mind, is this something that is, takes a second, takes a day, is this a long training that people need to do? [00:08:56.15] Mara: It’s shorter than people think, but it’s ultimately a mystery to me, because in my years of doing this work, I’ve seen in anywhere from 10 minutes to 4-5 days. But usually people see it quicker than you think, and the it that I’m referring to is just being able to point people in the direction of the fact that you’re not really dealing with all the things you think you’re dealing with on the outside, you’re dealing with your thinking, period. And so if we can kind of press the pause button on all the outside stuff and just show you the mechanics of the mind in what you’re really dealing with, then you’ll realize you have way more going for you, way more resources available to you just in looking at your own mind and nothing else, and I’ve seen people kind of have this aha moment of like, oh my god, that’s true, there was one guy in particular, it was crazy and Aaron – my former business partner – and I would joke, his name was Dan and I swear to god, it was like in the first ten minutes of us kind of presenting that this is what we were going to focus on, his whole face just kind of went, oh my god, and he just, we sort of had to pause and say, what’s happening with you…? “I just realized my whole life I’ve been trying to do things on the outside, and it doesn’t work that way,” it’s just like, we haven’t even started… but I dunno, he just sparked with something, some little thing and he got it, so that was a freakishly quick example, but then you know I find other people, it just takes a few days of being willing to look in a new direction, because I think most of humanity is busy looking external to ourselves all the time, we kind of forget that we have a mind and that actually our mind is the projector of life, we’re so used to being lost in the movie as the character going through it, that we sort of forget that we’re the director and and projector and the special effects team and all that stuff in our own minds, and I find that most people, given a few days to look in that direction can really see it and can really start to have some insights around how to change the way they’re operating in their life or their business, or the world just from looking in that direction. [00:11:21.26] Ankush: One thing I ask all my guests, is do you have any case studies of, you mentioned this guy who got something very quickly, but do you have any other case studies of working with someone, perhaps in a leadership role, who you pointed to the dynamics of how their mind works, and therefore it had a really tangible impact on their leadership style and how they showed up with themselves, and how they showed up with their employees, and how they showed up in the world? [00:11:46.23] Mara: Yes, yes, there’s one guy that comes to mind that I worked with, years ago, and then a woman also that comes to mind, I’d love to share both if I can but, this guy was sent to me, he worked for a tech company that does something extremely cool, my layperson version of it, is they’re trying to design a more fuel efficient rocket, that can go to outer space but with significantly less, when you look at what rockets are made of today, I mean they’re these massive beastly pieces of equipment, and the fuel that that requires and the machinery that it requires… so they were really looking at inventing something radically new and lightweight and small and fuel efficient, and blah, blah, blah. So, pretty cool stuff that requires some pretty smart people, and the boss of this guy I ended up working with reached out to me and basically said, in no uncertain terms, he is our worst employee, but he’s the team lead of this specific technology development that really truly he’s one of the only people in the world that has the expertise that we need, so, believe me if I could hire someone else I would, but there’s so few people on the planet that can do what he can do so I really need him, and yet, everyone on his team hates working for him and good people are starting to leave because of him, so I really feel trapped, stuck between a rock and a hard place with this guy, is there anything that you can do to help us with him, and funnily enough, I had a phone call with him before he came out to work with me, and he was fully aware that this was how they felt about him, that’s why I’m not even worried if he hears this interview, he’ll be like, yeah, that was me. There was no sugar coating about how management felt about him, but he was really, but I say this and I mean it, he was very innocently arrogant about it, he just saw that the way he was was right and the way the other people on the team were, were wrong, that he had more knowledge, more skills, more expertise, so his ideas were better, so he really didn’t want to listen to anybody, he really didn’t value their opinions or their contributions, so he had this very arrogant attitude which understandably is why good people were leaving, they just didn’t want to be around, they didn’t want to work with someone like that. And I was really surprised because when he came I had that phone conversation with him, and then he came to work with me in person in New York, I was so surprised when he walked through the door he was like my age, which at the time, I was in my late 20’s and so was he, and I thought, oh wow, when I talked to you on the phone, I just assumed you were like 60, very ageist, shame on me for saying this, but I haven’t met many people this young that sound as hardened and crotchety as you sounded on the phone. Long story short, we worked together one-on-one for four days, and for the first couple of days he really pushed back as you could imagine because he knows better, right? He knows everything, but ultimately at the same time, and I find this is true of all human beings is, we’re really pointing to something neutral, it’s not personal, we’re not doing personality tests and telling people how to tweak their personality in order to be a better this kind of leader or that kind of leader, we’re really just pointing people very neutrally to how are we all creating an experience of life from inside our minds and casting that outward onto the world? And is there more leverage and clarity and juice to squeeze, and understanding mutually how that works? So there were some key moments for him where he really saw, oh, I live in a world of my own thinking and that looks like reality to me, and therefore I assume that superior and right, but so did everyone. Like, everyone is living their own thought-created versions of reality, everyone has the experience of thinking they’re better and right, so, who is actually better and right? And he just always lived in, I’m better and right, I’m smarter, I’m this, I’m that… and it was really cool to see him, because obviously he’s an extremely bright guy, consider that there was some logic and truth to that, like, yeah, of course I feel my thinking as more right, but it’s just my thinking. And so he started to have this kind of openness sort of wash over him, and there was even, there was one really cool moment, I’ll share this because I thought it was so cool, he went on a lunch break during one of our sessions, and he had told me in one of his very flippant, very strong statements about the world, he’d said something about not liking police, in a very, again, sort of arrogant mean crotchety way, saying, I just don’t think they’re very intelligent people, and so they run things for this country very badly, some sort of very blanket statement like that, like they’re not smart, they don’t do a good job. And so during one of our breaks he went to lunch and while he was sitting having lunch in a deli, a group of police walked in, and he noticed because of our conversations about the mind that he started having thinking about them, like you would of a group of people you don’t like, like, ugh, here’s the police, look at them they’re so… and he just realised, I’m living in a movie of my own thinking right now, I’m inventing all of this stuff about them inside my head, they’re not doing anything, they’re just in cop uniforms in a deli, that’s all that’s happening right now, but I have this whole narrative in my head that’s telling me, they’re bad, they’re stupid, they’re this… and he saw it for what it was, he saw that it was thought not reality, and if he didn’t believe in it or put any more life into it, it just went away because that’s one of the things we talk about, is that thought that you don’t believe in and put stake in and put more energy into, naturally fades, it can’t survive without your focus, and so he came back from the lunch and he’s like, I had the most bizarre and beautiful experience at lunch, and he describes to me that when he caught himself doing this and he stopped, he suddenly found that when he wasn’t in that thinking, all that was left was this feeling of love, and that’s one of the other things we point to is that underneath the kind of fragmenting and separating and judging and analyzing that out thoughts do, we’re not in any of that, we’re just in the moment without our thinking slicing and dicing it, there’s often this amazing feeling, people throughout the ages have talked about this, of just kind of presence or peace of mind or love, and he had that feeling because that is the feeling that’s left over in all humans, when they’re not all open they’re thinking, right? While looking at these cops, it really touched him and it really did something for him, and that was, I don’t know, day two or day three, and then from there we just kind of were able to continue to explore this and to my absolute delight, when he got back to work, I tried desperately to follow up with his bosses, they were very busy companies, so they kept kind of putting me off, oh yeah, we’ll have a call about this, this, that… No joke, like almost a whole year went by and I heard nothing about how they felt about him, I’d done follow up with him but not his bosses, I knew he was doing really well, I knew he was doing much better, but it wasn’t until a year later I finally got an email from his bosses, that said, oh my gosh, we’re so sorry, we’ve been meaning to follow up with you to tell you that he is now our star employee, everybody loves working for him, it’s like, waw, okay well thanks for letting me know. [00:19:58.20] Ankush: So the guy went from being the worst employee to the star employee in just a few days of seeing how his mind worked? [00:20:07.18] Mara: And the CEO of that company said, okay I know we’re really bad because we always think we’re busy but me next, I need to come and learn this for myself, and so he did. And he was a Russian-born physicist who’d had a really hard life coming to the States as an immigrant and it was just amazing talking with him about this and he had this huge shift of thinking that New York City was such a harsh terrible place because he’d had a bad experience when he first came over as an immigrant, to really seeing the whole city of New York differently, it was really interesting, they were a fascinating group to work with. [00:20:47.15] Ankush: You said you had another story of a woman, because that story’s actually great and it really kind of brings to life everything you said, so if we’ve got time I’d love to hear about the other story that you had. [00:20:58.06] Mara: Yeah she came to mind only because it was so beautiful and it’s a different angle and that she really saw something that dramatically transformed how she was with her child, which I thought was very cool, and she was a great example of, I worked with her together with one of my colleagues years ago, when I was really just starting out, and I was, I think I was still an intern, so I think I was just sitting in observing her working with one of our colleagues named Keith, and she was sent out for three days, three days or three and a half days, something like that, and she was a very successful executive, I don’t even remember what kind of company it was but, for the first two days, she basically was like, why am I here? I do a really good job, talk to anyone in my company, they’ll tell you I do a really great job, and it was true, everyone in her company thought she was great, she was super hard working, and when we asked the CEO why he had sent her, he said, look I don’t have any complaints about her, she’s an absolute power house, but, I want her to be here for a long time, and I’m scared that the way she’s going about it, she’s destined to burnout. Because we know she’s a single mum, and I know she works long hours here, she’s the kind of person that we’ll give her any project and she’ll say yes and do it, I just don’t know if that’s sustainable, so I don’t have any issue with her other than that I want her to stay here for a long time. So if there’s anything that you can help her discover about herself, that will make her more resilient over the long haul, I think that would be great. So it was really hard to kind of get her even curious to look in the direction of how her mind worked and how learning about that could help her, because she was so great, you know? It was one of those, her greatness was in the way of her seeing anything new, but it was really cool because, and this is why I say it’s a bit of a mystery, I don’t know why Dan for example heard it in the first ten minutes and other people it takes longer, but, if you just keep pointing in the direction of the fact that there is this profound potential for human beings to see beyond the world they’ve already created, you know, like that there is more to life than what you think and what you’ve thought so far, if you just keep kind of casting your fishing rod in that direction, eventually something bites, because it’s true, not because of anything other than that it’s true. And so if people keep looking in that direction they’ll see something, and so, we spent a few days with her and then something happened to her which is that, she had a phone conversation with her son that night, and she was on a business trip out working with us in Washington State, so I forget where she was from, but her son was at home with a babysitter basically and so she was calling and checking on him at night, and he was 11 years old and she said, she came in the next morning, she looked very emotional, and she looked like she had been crying, and I wondered, like, uoh, is she okay, but it was a good cry, it was one of those, she’d really seen something powerful and she said, “I had a conversation with my son last night,” she was very teary and she said, “he was just telling me about his day, and homework and who he played with,” and she wasn’t saying anything startling or magnificent, and she just started crying and she said, “but I had the most amazing experience hearing him, like, really hearing him, and I could feel he’s growing up, like he’s not my little boy anymore, he’s turning into this little man, you know he’s 11, but, he’s funny, he has this sense of humor, but I can also feel like he has all these concerns and I don’t know how to say it other than I feel like I felt my son, in a way I haven’t since he was a baby,” and she said, “you know in those first months when you’re just with your baby, it’s like nothing else exists and you’re just really able to feel the person” and she said, “well I’ve been so busy with work and then when I come home from work, I’m in this mode, like, okay, I’ve got to get dinner ready, and then gotta do laundry, and then we’ve got to do homework, and I sit down with him and it’s from this space of like, we’ve gotta get this shit done, because then I’ve got to get back to my laptop and do this other work, and…” And she said, “I don’t remember the last time I actually just felt my son for who he is.” And she said, so, “I don’t know frankly what we’ve been talking about the last couple of days, but I know it has something to do with why I felt and heard my son in a way I haven’t,” and then she got really emotional and said, “I don’t want the next time to hear my son, to be when he’s 25.” So, she goes, can we start over, can you like go back to the beginning and now I really want to listen to what you’ve been saying, because I think I can really use it. And so what was beautiful is that I did follow up with her a couple of months later and she ended up sharing that her son has learning disabilities, and was in these special classes and one of the things that was always really challenging for her was sitting down and doing homework with him because of his learning disability, and because it was always kind of a struggle, but amazingly she said since she had been back from our retreat and learning about her mind that that presence and being with her son and just feeling him had stuck and she said, “it’s so crazy, I just get home from work and I just sit down with him right away and we do homework, and he’s actually really smart and he’s really good at it and I’m beginning to wonder how much my own distractedness played in his so-called learning disabilities.” She said this, and she said, “I’m beginning to think my son doesn’t have any learning disabilities at all.” And she said not only do we sit down and do homework and it’s way more fun and it’s way more rich and we’re just there and we’re doing it together, because I’m there, because I’m present.” She said, “then we have time to go outside and play together,” she said, “I never would go out and play,” now she says, “it’s hysterical, I’m terrible at it but I’ll throw a football with him, and he loves it.” And she said, “or if I have to go do laundry, I invite him to do it with me,” and it was totally transformative, it’s a brilliant example of bringing out the best in herself, brought out the best in somebody else, in such a dramatic way that she was saying, “I’m beginning to question that my son even has learning disabilities.” Which blew me away. [00:28:14.01] Ankush: That’s such a powerful story, and it’s funny because it’s reminding me of the very first time I sat in when I was very early on in my career, and sat in on a colleague who did some work with someone I knew, and he was a very wealthy business owner, and he was so up in his mind, and he kept seeing all the problems, but with the staff and with the circumstances, and when he was asked in the start of the few days, like, why are you doing all this? Well to spend time with family and my kids, and what he hadn’t seen was, he could do that straight away, he didn’t need to wait, and it’s beautiful, I’m just reminded of that as you were talking, how, I’m sure so many people can relate to that story of, we’re thinking that we’re working so hard, and pushing and striving and stressing, in order to provide or do something for someone else, whereas we can actually have that relationship with the other person there and then, and you can replace the word son with, employee, or husband or anything. So yeah, very very powerful, thank you for sharing that. [00:29:22.15] Mara: Yeah, no it gives me so much hope that that is really what humanity is really looking for and if these people that I’ve seen discover this relatively quickly are any indication, it’s not complicated, it’s not far away, it’s really possible that we could be living in more of that best of ourselves, bringing out the best in others, bringing out the best in the world. [00:29:45.13] Ankush: If there’s one thing you wanted our listeners to takeaway from this episode, what would that be? [00:29:49.07] Mara: I think the one thing that would dramatically change the world is if we realised that we’re creating the world from our minds, and that that is both beautiful, both misunderstood, very destructive, and so if we could all just look to understand that where human beings are a mind, a level of consciousness, a state of mind, a level of clarity, rippling out and creating in the world, then, all that we need to do is look after ourselves and look after our own clarity of mind, and if we did that we would solve so many of the problems that we have in our personal lives and our businesses, in the world, so yeah I just think there’s so much hope and leaving people with the idea of, look into your own mind instead of everything outside of yourself. [00:30:45.25] Ankush: Beautiful. If people wanted to carry on this conversation with you, they wanted to maybe explore more about state of mind, how would they get hold of you and keep in this conversation? [00:30:55.17] Mara: Yeah, so people can email me directly at: email@example.com, or you can follow along, we have our own podcast called, “One Solution Podcast,” we have a Youtube Channel, One Solution Global, and a Facebook Page, so all of those, again, One Solution Global, all of those have all kinds of resources, we put out videos and podcasts and things like that, so yeah, people can learn a lot just by going to those sites if they want, of if you want to have another conversation with me, feel free to email me directly. [00:31:32.19] Ankush: Thank you so much it’s been a pleasure, and I’ll be back next time with someone else talking about another topic around business. Thanks for listening to the Business Series Podcast, if you want to hear more, you can click on the subscribe button below, you can share this with someone else who can benefit, or you can like it and encourage others to listen. Also, it would be great if you left a comment below, as I love hearing from listeners, and I want to keep creating great content for you. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.16 – The Leadership Equation – How to Bring out The Best in Your Business, Yourself, And the World with Mara Gleason Olsen appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
28 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.15 – Improving Collaboration in Your Teams with Dr. Mark Howard
In this episode, Ankush speaks with Dr Mark Howard about collaboration in the workplace. Some of what they discuss include: – What do we mean by collaboration – Utilising a company’s most valuable resource – The role of leaders in creating a collaborative culture – A case study to demonstrate how to create a collaborative culture You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Mark and find out more about his work, you can email him at:firstname.lastname@example.org Full Transcript [00:00:03.01] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. [00:00:24.11] Ankush: Welcome back to another episode of the business series podcast. Today, I’m joined by Dr. Mark Howard, a clinical psychologist who’s helped numerous businesses help their employees move to feelings of well-being and health. Hi Mark. [00:00:39.02] Mark: Hi Ankush, nice to be here with you. [00:00:42.19] Ankush: Great to have you on the show, and today we’re going to be talking about a different topic than the one we’ve covered already and that’s a topic of improving collaboration in your teams. So, excited to talk about that with you. [00:00:56.26] Mark: Yeah me too Ankush. [00:00:58.25] Ankush: Why don’t we just jump straight in as I usually do, and sometimes I like to jump into the title, which sometimes we can take for granted, what do you actually mean by “collaboration?” And why is that important? [00:01:14.13] Mark: Well collaboration is really a positive way of working together as a team, or as a leader of a company or an organization, in that it is a different way of operating with other people who are part of your staff, different from arguing points of view, or who’s got the right answers, or, even using analytical thinking, so, if really calls upon the group wisdom to come up with something that takes care of an organizational issue or problem or programme. I see that in my working with companies to develop collaboration, there’s three areas that are valuable about collaboration. One is, everybody in the team, let’s just use a team, but it could be an organization or company, has a wisdom that can be called on in the right climate, that can contribute to the organization’s goal to solve the organization’s problem, to come up with a new way of reaching customers. So that’s something we can rely on, it’s also that another point that’s helpful in collaboration, is realising that everybody in a meeting, everybody working on a project, is effective by the quality of thinking they’re in, so in a meeting if you have a member who’s in some insecure thinking, they’re going to behave differently than somebody who’s excited about an idea they have, and that helps a great deal as a leader coming into a team to form collaborative kinds of communications, and the other point that’s really helpful in collaborative work, is that the listening you do is to listen for wisdom, so it’s a different kind of listening that really allows people to feel understood, be able to be forthcoming with the ideas they have, so instead of listening to people’s ideas, I mean people’s opinions or qualifications about things or reactions to things, you’re really listening beyond that to try to hear the language of wisdom that’s present in each staff member, so, the movement then is to acclimate in a meeting that we would call collaborative, that nurtures the creative process, so that’s what I mean by collaboration. [00:03:54.00] Ankush: Yeah that’s great Mark, because you know, as you were talking, it really helped me think about some of the other podcasts we’ve done in this series and you know how pretty much everyone has either said or inferred that the greatest assets that a company has is the people they hire, and as you were talking what occurred to me was, well if we can get our employees to talk to each other, we’re in essence, maximizing our most valuable asset. And yet if we aren’t able to get collaboration working, especially in, well I was going to say especially in larger organizations, but I guess it could be organizations of any size, if people aren’t talking with each other effectively, then companies are wasting or leaving money on the table, because they’re not utilizing the most effective asset effectively. [00:04:50.14] Mark: Yes when I did programmes for BAE Systems, which is a large engineering company when we introduced the four day programme of collaborative developments in teams, the president of the company would always introduce it as saying that every engineering company in North America, hires the same quality of talent, he’s saying that the edge this company has, is in developing collaborative communication among it’s teams, and he said that’s the edge we have in the marketplace, and I thought that’s a beautiful point about beginning to work in teams, particularly as the leader, setting the tone of collaboration rather than competition or ego-driven conversations. [00:05:42.23] Ankush: I’m reading a book at the moment by a guy called Tom Peters, who wrote In Search for Excellence, or co-authored that, which has been I think voted one of the best business books of all time, and I’m just at the start of it, of his new book and he’s writing about how he feels cross-functional teams, or cross-functional working, is one of the most important things that companies can address, and making that more effective. So, I think what we’re talking about today is something that’s very very relevant for organizations and companies, so, you talked about a few things around listening really to people, looking for the best in them, but, what can someone who’s listening to this that either manages a team or leads a team, or even who’s in a team, what can they do to foster a culture or a spirit of collaboration? [00:06:41.19] Mark: Well again, the first thing is that it starts with us, I was a leader of a team of eight PhD psychologists, so, collaboration starts with us wanting that, and, what that requires is that we really do begin to see that our team has the capacity to go and develop ideas that will help team or the programme or the organization meet its goals or solve a problem or create something new. The other piece about it is that the leader has to have understanding for its team, you have to, yourself have understanding that like you, everybody operates from the way they’re thinking, and there’s no right or wrong about that, you just have to see that that’s happening, I’ll tell you a story of how that worked for me in my team, but that’s another piece, we have to see that, including ourselves, the thinking we’re in in the moment kind of dictates how we’re going to work with one another, having some understanding for that as a leader, you can help people who’s thinking might be bit insecure for the, during the morning meeting, or even in working in the project with members of the other team, and you can support people that you know are thinking in more positive fruitful ways. So having understanding about that particular aspect of our – of how people function, helps create a climate of collaboration because you’re not looking at people being wrong with the way they’re operating, you just see that, you’ve got to speak to the way people are thinking. But the most important piece is the listening piece, and it really requires that when you’re listening in a team meeting, or visiting your team as it’s working on a project, you’re really listening beyond what they’re saying or how they’re operating, to the language of wisdom in them, the ideas that could be helpful to the team. So you’re being careful yourself, not to listen with your own personal thinking, your own opinions about what someone’s saying, your own critique about what someone’s saying, your own idea about how wrong it will be, but you’re really listening with more curiosity to see what is the grain of wisdom in what team members are presenting to you. And so if you look at all three aspects of that, it really leads to a feeling of collaboration in the staff, and when people get into the feeling of collaboration, I know we’re talking about feeling here, but it’s really just that people are feeling relaxed, peaceful, capable of having outside the box thinking, feeling safe to offer what their thinking is, those kinds of things, and when people have that climate, that’s where creative wisdom lies. [00:10:05.28] Ankush: So just to kind of pull out a couple of points from that, one, what you said, it really starts with you, so if you’re a leader or even a member of a team that you want to foster better collaboration with, I think what I heard you say is, it’s number one you being open to that, and where you’re coming from, if you’re coming from a positive place where you’re looking for collaboration, that in itself kind of helps create the culture of the team, is that correct? [00:10:33.10] Mark: Yes, that’s where it has to start, because, and it can’t be fake, because people will read genuine collab
28 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.14 – Building Effective Relationships Within Business with Cathy Casey
Building Effective Relationships Within Business In this episode, Ankush speaks with Cathy Casey about building effective relationships in the workplace. Some of what they discuss include: – Why is it important to build effective relationships for both individuals and the organisations they work for – Technical competency vs People skills – The role of state of mind in engaging with others – A couple of case studies to demonstrate what it takes to get in connection with someone else You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Cathy and find out more about her work, you can email her at: email@example.com Full Transcript [00:00:03.01] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. [00:00:24.08] Ankush: Welcome back to another episode of the Business Series podcast. Today I’m joined by Cathy Casey, who’s a training consultant, who has worked with both public and private sector bodies, all around the world. Cathy is someone I’ve known for some time, and today we’re going to be talking about building effective relationships within business. So welcome Cathy. [00:00:48.12] Cathy: Hi. [00:00:50.01] Ankush: So I’d like to jump straight into the topic, because we like to keep these nice and short and bitesize. Why is it important to build effective relationships within organisations? [00:01:00.00] Cathy: Well, it’s interesting, when we think of organisations, we think of these huge complex bureaucratic organisations with systems and layers and all of that hierarchies, but actually when you think about any organisation, whether it’s private or public, what it boils down to is, human beings are working in that organisation. So, any time you engage with any person, no matter where you are, it boils down to getting a connection with that other human being, whether it’s your colleague, whether it’s your manager, whether you’re managing people, it’s all based on how those relationships go, and if relationships are great and things are going smoothly and people have open discussions and rapport with each other, you can bet that that organisation’s going to be successful. If on the other hand, it’s the other direction, then you’re going to see an organisation that’s very bogged down, can’t get things done, it’s very adversarial, so to me, it’s really really important. It boils down to human relationships, regardless of where a person is in the company. [00:02:20.19] Ankush: So just what had occurred to me Cathy is, is this important both on an organisational level, where an organisation might want to facilitate or encourage effective relationships amongst their employees, but it’s also important, would you say, on an individual level. If I’m working within an organisation, and I want to do well in my career, or even just maybe I’m not ambitious, maybe I just want to get stuff done in my current role, it’s also important on an individual level that the more effective I am at building those relationships, the more effective I will be at my job? [00:02:54.27] Cathy: Absolutely, and where I see the wear and tear with working with people within an organisation, is the amount of, I would say, energy people have at looking at what’s wrong with other people, looking at difficult people or trying to work around them, or trying to get them to perform or avoiding them. Every organisation I’ve ever worked in, this is the biggest problem, is just being able to navigate through working with all different kinds of people, because we assume once a person has a job title, that they’re competent, that they’re able to do their job, when that’s not true. So, how do I function if I’m working with other people who are not at the level that they should be at? Or have some weird things that are going on about them? Or causing problems in the organisation? So, to me, me on knowing how to navigate through all of that, and having an understanding of what set of eyes do I want to have on that, can make a huge difference. I wish I knew this when I worked in organisations, because I finally left because in my mind it was too much work, it drained me, when actually, the organisation did not drain me. It was how I saw it that drained me, and now I see it totally different, and that’s what I do now is, help people understand how they operate in the organisation, but why other people are operating the way they do also. [00:04:27.28] Ankush: So is this, are you talking about sometimes people get promoted into a position because they might be competent at their job, but that doesn’t mean they’re able to also effectively manage or interact with other people in the organisation? And it sounds like what you’re saying is, we don’t need to wait for them to change, because it’s very difficult to get your leaders or other people to change the way they are, but the more that we can see how to build effective relationships, that’s the kind of greatest leverage point. [00:04:55.14] Cathy: Absolutely. It’s funny, I intuitively knew this, I saw that happen a lot where people would get promoted because they were good at something, but yet when it came down to them managing other people, or helping organisations do tasks or make things happen, they didn’t have what you call the people skills. So, when I saw that, I thought, I need to get connected to this person. Now at the time I would have a lot of judgement about it, oh, there’s another one, there we go again, he shouldn’t be in this job, he’s not good for his position. Now me sitting in judgement about that, is not going to do anything for me or that other person, so now I look at a person who’s innocently been promoted, and not allowed to even say, “I don’t know how to do this,” I mean there’s a lot of pressure on people, so my job is to get an understanding of them in general, and get that connection, and I cannot express enough the power of having a connection with anybody. The lowest functioning employee, all the way up to the highest functioning employee or person in a company, my connection to them is where my impact and power comes from. [00:06:13.25] Ankush: Is this about just putting yourself in someone else’s shoes? I mean how do we build effective relationships, is it as simple as that or is there something more to it? [00:06:24.08] Cathy: It’s a combination of both, so there’s a word I like to use regardless of where people work. It’s the sense of being of service to another human being, and what that means is, I come out of Cathy, and I just want to get an understanding, well who is this person, how do they see their world, how do they see what they’re doing that I may totally disagree with, so my job is to get an understanding of that. Now that doesn’t mean I agree with it, but if I’m trying to hold, say an employee accountable, who’s not performing their job, I want to find out, well why is that? Now, that doesn’t mean I get into their whole history, I’m not a social worker, but I still want to get, well what’s going on within them that’s making it difficult for them to produce, and let me tell you, most people don’t even bother to check in. They may just try to tell them longer and louder and try to say more of the same thing over and over again and the person keeps bouncing back, so my job is, what’s going on within that person? And then, kind of helping them realise that, in whatever makes sense to me in the moment. So, I know a lot of managers in this big defense company who people get promoted because of their technical skills, but yet they can’t deliver on deadlines for their team. Well that boss needs to find out, well what’s holding that up? But see we don’t see that as part of our job description, talking about this intangible piece, meaning, where is the person’s state of mind? Are they listening, are they with you, or are they zooming in their head about anything else but being present with you? So there’s a piece that we don’t consider when we engage with other human beings, and that’s, are they with me, listening, present with me, am I present with them? Or is my mind going a million miles a minute about, this person is driving me crazy, I’m tired of saying the same thing over and over again, or, whatever thinking I’m going to have and then they’re in their thinking, and so the connection’s not going to happen, so it takes me coming out of me to get a hit off of, well what’s up here? And then I take, then I decide what I’m going to do about that, see that’s part of being a boss or even a colleague. How am I going to work with this person if they’re not present with me, or I’m not present with them? So, that’s to me, the most, getting that connection, getting an understanding, and again, that goes a long way, more than people realise, somebody who’s a problem in an organisation, people want to run in the other direction, so my job is to go in, and get curious with it, now tell me how do you see this? And most people never get listened to, they never get heard, and that to me is a big piece of it also. Now if it’s still not working out, and they’re still not performing, then you have to do what’s necessary, but at least you’ve looked in that direction enough to see what’s going on here, and maybe it turns out the person’s not right for the job, and you do have to take measures, but to me that’s really important, it’s to get that curiosity. [00:09:50.04] Ankush: And I’ve seen, you and I have done some work together and I’ve seen you do this first hand, and you’re brilliant at it, so this is not something you’re just saying as a nice thing, I’ve really witnessed this, and what occurred to me as you were talking Cathy is that, actually how, if managers or leaders or just individuals, if we don’t see this, then what occurs out of that is we kind of push more, and assume, and I’ve done this myself, I kind of hold my hand up to this, and the impact of that is always negative, whereas the impact of what you’re saying, of really, well what’s going on for this person, why are they acting in that way? Because it will make sense to them, often has the opposite effect and is likely to get you closer to what you want and facilitate that deeper relationship. [00:10:44.08] Cathy: And can be so simple, somebody could be sitting across from you and all of a sudden it dawns on you, their mind is… they’re not with you, and you can even say, now help me understand… are you able to hear what I’m saying right now? Or what are you hearing right now? It’s just a simple, well what are you hearing right now? That can go a long way. A lot of times we just sort of talk at people, assume they’re hearing us and they go off and they haven’t heard a thing, and then they bounce back and you’re like, okay, I just need to say it slower and louder, and then we do it again, as opposed to checking in, noticing are they with me, and even bringing it to their attention, you know, John, I notice when we get together, I sense that your mind is on other things, what do you think? Even helping them realise it, because they don’t see it either, and it could take a moment to do that, just a moment, but see, I have to have eyes for it, and that’s what a lot of people in leadership positions, they don’t have eyes for that. [00:11:50.07] Ankush: So what would you say to someone who’s listening to this, and is thinking, well, that sounds great, but some people are just better at building effective relationships, and some people aren’t, and I’ve tried to put myself in other people’s shoes, I’ve tried to listen, and it’s nice in theory, I wish I could do it, but that’s just not how I am. [00:12:13.14] Cathy: Okay, well I’ll give you a great example, I got to work with a group of engineers, and when we first started talking about this, you can imagine, they’re like, why would that be a concern of mine? The guy just needs to know his job, and if he’s not doing his job, then I’m stuck, I’m just stuck with this, or I’ll try to move him out of my shop as soon as possible, and so we got to work with this group of engineers, and it’s interesting, we had them role play it. We actually had them role playing, meaning, instead of talking at a person, so we set up a scenario where an employee wasn’t working out, they’re not getting anywhere and they’ve talked to the guy three times, I said, okay, let’s look at it differently, let’s look at, well where do you think this guy’s state of mind is? Well, it’s on everything but the task at hand, it could be a lot of insecurity, it could be they’re feeling pressure, it could be there are problems on the home front, whatever, now, how is your state of mind as the manager? Is your mind going a mile a minute about, oh, I’m stuck with this guy, what am I going to do with this guy? So if you’re sitting there with that on your mind, and they’re sitting there with whatever they have on their mind, how well do you think that’s going to go? See, so when the engineers got a sense of that, I said, when there’s noise in the system, then things aren’t going to click, they’re not going to run smoothly, and they got that pretty quickly like, well yeah, when you think about it in terms of mechanically, so, I said, yeah, you need to kind of make sure there’s no noise in your system, and then, well is there noise in their system? And woah, that was huge, just having an awareness of that was a big deal, and then, it was like the idea of coming out of your own thinking about what you think is going on, because a lot of times we assume what’s going on, and literally kept checking in, well, now what’s your take on this? With the other guy. And a lot of times they either have their own take or they don’t even have a take, well, I’m not sure… And that tells you a lot, like they don’t even know what they’re doing or what they’re thinking, so fleshing that out is huge, to me that’s what’s been holding everything up, and so when I say have a set of eyes, I mean, getting a sense of, am I present, and is the other person present? If the other person isn’t present, then my job is to somehow help them get present with me, either bringing it to their attention, or me seeing that and then helping them understand that maybe that’s the problem, but the invisible piece is never addressed in management. There are a lot of techniques which can be very helpful, there are a lot of ideas, but this piece to me is the foundation for everything else. [00:15:24.10] Ankush: Do you have a case study where you’ve maybe worked with an organisation and you’ve helped them build better relationships with each other and what the impact of that has been? [00:15:39.02] Cathy: Well it’s sort of like that, I came up with an example a situation I was involved in, where I had to engage with a very difficult person, okay, somebody who is like really difficult. I became colleagues with a woman who was in charge of, she was the head of the union for professional people in this huge county government where I live. It’s a big deal position. She’s like a labour boss but not blue collar, but white collar, and we just had a relationship. We would get together for coffee, whatever, she heard me speak somewhere, she liked what I said, but we just talked about life, there was no agenda. Well one day she got a call, apparently the director of nursing in this huge public hospital, where I reside, one of their top nurse managers commited suicide, well loved, well liked, and she committed suicide, and so, the entire organisation was just freaking out. The head of the professional organisation recommended me to this director, she said, I think Cathy Casey could be helpful. Now, the first thing that dawned on me was, oh, somebody committed suicide, so you would think right away, oh, they’re going to want something around grief, or they’re going to want something around depression… You could easily go in with kind of a preconceived idea of what’s needed. I was also warned this woman’s difficult. She came up through the ranks, she was an emergency room nurse, she’s from New York, tough cookie. She’s had to work in a mans world, so she was a very tough cookie, so I said, “fine, thanks for the information.” So when I went in, the first thing she said to me, she looked at me and she said, “I only have 20 minutes,” very intensely, “I only have 20 minutes,” and I said, “no problem, so please tell me, what is it that’s going on?” So she started talking about what happened, and the impact it’s having and, well an hour and a half later, I was still listening to her. The woman who only had 20 minutes for me. Now I didn’t go in to kind of present a package on – I could do a training to help people deal with their grief and help them understand what happens when we lose somebody that we’re… I could have done a whole programme on that, but I went in clueless. I went in 100% curious, what’s up with this director of nursing, like, how does she see this whole thing? An hour and a half later, she just… every now and then I tried to come in asking, well tell me more about this or, now what do you mean by that? So I did those kinds of questions but, which helped her even share more, and so at the end, she kind of looked at me, and I looked ah her and I said, “given everything you just shared with me, what do you want for your nurses? What do you want for your people?” And she said, “dammit, I want them to be able to bounce back. They need to know that this is a tough job, and yes things can go wrong, and yes we’re under a lot of pressure, but I want them to know how to bounce back.” And so I looked at her, and said “then you’re speaking of resiliency,” and she said, “yes,” and then we designed the programme from there. Now I sat with her without anything on my mind about what I felt was needed, and she told me all this stuff, which nobody ever spent that much time with her, and just got present with her. People, when I came out of the meeting, her office people looked at me like, how did that happen? Nobody gets that much time with her. See, what happened was, when I walked in, I felt her intensity, I felt it, so I knew I had to go in the opposite direction, like super present, meaning, okay, what’s up here in front of me, what’s up with this person? And I had to forget everything I’d heard of how difficult she was, and I had to get that connection with her, and she felt it. That’s why she kept talking, that’s why she kept sharing, and believe me, I think even she was surprised at the end, because she looked, she said, “oh my heavens…” even she was surprised, because there was no sense of time. So to me, that’s what it takes, if you want to get any kind of impact or leverage with another human being, the first thing you have to do is get outside of you. Literally clear the decks, just your in, you don’t know, you’re going into a whole new culture, you’re like an anthropologist. Okay now, why is this person seeing it this way? That’s interesting, they eat their food in these leaves, and they have a special ceremony about how they do this, now why is that? See if we went to another culture, we would be very curious, now why are they doing that? As opposed to, oh well man, that’s not cool, we don’t do it that way at home, why are they doing it that way? This is the way they should do it. Why would they waste all that time when…? See if you’re listening to somebody through the lens of your own thinking, you will not get them, you will not understand them, and they won’t feel you either. So to me, this is the secret. This is my secret. Me knowing this has allowed me to work in more environments than most people do, from prisons to corporations, to governmental programmes, do defense programmes to scientific organisations, because, I know what it takes to make that connection. [00:21:57.05] Ankush: This is a really fascinating example because, I’m listening to you and I’m thinking, if I was listening to this and I’m working in a large organisation, there might be someone that I know in that organisation, whether it’s someone I report to, whether it’s a senior leader, whether it’s someone who works for me, where I’ve already got an opinion of them based on my experience, but what I’m hearing from you is, that if you go into every interaction, every conversation with your existing judgements and opinions and beliefs about someone, you’re going to end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the only way to get past that, and get to a more effective, a deeper, a more useful relationship with another person, is to drop all of that like you dropped it with this lady. [00:22:41.26] Cathy: It’s absolutely necessary, again if you want to be of service to that person, one last quick example, I’m working with a married couple, but my job was to work with the wife, and it came out that the husband had been doing all these bad things, I won’t even get into all the horrific things, and so when I got the call from her, and I had been working with her a little bit, and then she tells me all this stuff that came out when they were working with another therapist as a couple, and I heard all this stuff, my first thought was, get the best lawyer you can get, and take him for every dime he has. That was my first thought, you know, as a woman. I couldn’t help it, I absolutely was beyond upset hearing what she shared with me, but then right after that went through my mind, I realised if I was going to be of service to her, this is not about Cathy and Cathy’s beliefs. I needed to get an understanding and help her get clear within her own mind what she wants to do, not what I think she should do. And I’ll be honest with you, in all the work I’ve done over the years, this was the most challenging for me, because it really, you know how you say, “walk your talk,” you know what I mean? I really had to walk my talk, it was an opportunity, every time I worked with this woman, to see, okay, clear that Cathy, this is not about you, this is about her, and I’m so grateful for that experience, because she did get connected to herself and she’s this amazing grounded person, and she’s still in the relationship because of her culture, where divorce is not allowed, but she’s now a fully functional, happy human being, and the husband is changing also. So, that was a beautiful example of me seeing how much of my personal thinking that was going to be of no use to her, and that I had to realise that, and if I couldn’t get past it, I would have to refer her out. Seriously, if I could not get passed my own thinking about it, and really be neutral enough to work with her, I would not, it wouldn’t be ethical for me to continue. [00:25:01.05] Ankush: So what’s the one takeaway you’d like people to leave this episode with? [00:25:05.25] Cathy: I think the biggest takeaway is, to get a sense of where you are, meaning, I’m not telling people they have to be neutral or that they have to be present to get a connection, to have impact and have leverage, but I want people to start to become aware of the fact of how much we aren’t there, and just appreciate how much we have in our minds about people we work with or even people within our own families. Just start to appreciate that. Just seeing that it’s even there to me is 98% of it. Sometimes I have no idea how much thinking I have on a situation or another person, until I’m in reaction, until I can feel a tightness or I can feel this urgency or pressure. Just see that and appreciate that, wow, am I too much in my head about this? And you can’t make yourself come out of that, like with this woman I told you about, I couldn’t make myself not have those feelings I had about, in my mind, how horrible he was as a husband. But ultimately I knew that that’s just Cathy, and if I really wanted to be of service to her, then that’s what it would take, and to me that’s what we’re here for, whether we’re in coaching mode or therapist or a manager, or just being part of a family, we’re here to be of service, to connect to others, and to me, that’s the most important thing. So, don’t be hard on yourself, we’re all human, and it’s inevitable we’re going to think certain ways, but if we can just get a tiny sense that that piece might be getting in the way of the connection. [00:27:00.12] Ankush: Thank you so much for your time today, if someone’s listening to this and they want to connect with you or find out more about the work you do in organisations, what’s the best way to get hold of you? [00:27:09.29] Cathy: Okay they best way for me is email, which would be: firstname.lastname@example.org [00:27:22.15] Ankush: Fantastic, thanks for joining us, and thank you for this discussion, and I’ll be back next time with another episode. [00:27:27.26] Cathy: Thanks so much Ankush for having me. [00:27:30.13] Ankush: Thanks for listening to the business series podcast, if you want to hear more, you can click on the “subscribe button” below, you can share this with someone else who can benefit, or you can “like” it and encourage others to listen. Also, it would be great if you left a comment below, as I love hearing from listeners, and I want to keep creating great content for you. Thanks for listening. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.14 – Building Effective Relationships Within Business with Cathy Casey appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
27 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.13 – Creating Space to Think in a Busy World with Alison Sheridan
Creating Space to Think in a Busy World In this episode, Ankush speaks with Alison Sheridan about creating “space” to think at a time when we find ourselves busier than ever. Some of what they discuss include: – Why is it important to create space to think and the downsides of not doing that? – Slowing Down to Speed Up – How we create more space for ourselves? – A case study of working with a client to reduce business and an example of the cost of not doing so You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Alison and find out more about her work, visit enlightenedleading.com Full Transcript [00:00:03.01] Ankush: Welcome to the business series pod cast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. [00:00:23.24] Ankush: Welcome back to another episode of the business series pod cast. Today I’m joined by Alison Sheridan, who works with senior corporate executives and business owners and she’s done so for 20 years, and designed and facilitated leadership development programmes. I’m pleased to have Alison with me, and today we’re going to talk about creating space to think in a busy world. Alison’s someone that I did a training course with several years ago, so I’m really glad that we’re managing to catch up today and discuss this topic, so welcome Alison. [00:00:55.19] Alison: Thanks Kush. [00:00:57.16] Ankush: So let’s just jump in as I always do on this podcast, with just discussing the title a little bit around creating space to think. Why is this actually important? Don’t we just need to be getting on with stuff? Why do we need to have space, surely we should just be doing more and more and more? [00:01:14.14] Alison: Absolutely. That’s one of those unexamined myths of the business world isn’t it? It also for, clients I’ve worked with, it almost seems like an impossible luxury, to be able to create any type of space to think, and yet, from what I experience with them, I would almost view it now as a business necessity, because of the busyness of the business world. So, if the people listening are anything like my clients, they’re probably meant to be on 24/7. There’s no breaks in that, weekends included now these days. They have back-to-back meetings every day, they have email, they have client-employee issues, they have initiatives coming after them left, right and centre, and then a lot of people now, as you know Kush, work in matrix organisations, which is a very different ball game about how you navigate your way through that. And there’s many other things, so that all leads to what I’ve seen them having really really busy minds, and no space in their heads for anything else. The down side of that, which we never really notice because we’re so busy, is that they’re rarely present, they’re often distracted, so they’ll be in a business meeting, their bodies might be there but their heads are elsewhere which then means they don’t listen so well, somebody maybe says something they don’t agree with, but they don’t have the capacity to hear maybe the wisdom in that, so they’re defensive and reactive. They tend to be stressed, they tend to think it’s normal, but with all that going on, particularly in their own inner space, it’s very hard for them then, well they make mistakes, they’re exhausted, and they crave, it’s funny the number of times it’s like, only if I could have time to think, and I often, wonder well who’s it going to start with? Who’s going to break the mould and realise the upside of creating space to think in a busy world? Where in whatever way it works for you it brings you off automatic, it gives you back perspective, because when we’re in a really…when our heads are really busy, we don’t see very clearly, or our focus is very narrow, we’re very engaged with our own thinking, so, our peripheral vision disappears, our clarity of thinking disappears, or becomes cloudy. It takes longer to make decisions, and often the decisions people are making aren’t optimal, or they make a decision and then it doesn’t work out and they have to go back and spend even more energy and effort fixing what went wrong as opposed to when the mind’s settled, they see clearer, they actually get more done with less effort, so I think there’s, it’s not a luxury, it’s almost an imperative. It’s smart, my people are really really smart, so when they start to see this for themselves, they start to make different choices, and they start to see different things happening in their worlds, they start to feel differently as well. So there are huge implications for either choosing to create space to think in a busy world or not, and as you say, we all just are on automatic thinking it’s normal, it’s good to be busy. I get promoted by being busy. No, you have to get good results, any results, so that’s my take on it, that it’s priceless, and I don’t know of any other profession, I could be wrong, but if you think of artists or sports people or people who create things, I don’t know of any other profession like that, that we just think it’s okay to be on 24/7, and to think that that’s actually got to be helpful and sustainable, not only for the individual, or the people in the organisation, but actually for the bottom line of the business as well. [00:05:31.15] Ankush: We were talking just before we pressed record and you’re also talking about the cost of not doing this because, people might be listening to this going, yeah that’s very nice, I can relate to that, well wouldn’t that be nice to have Alison, but let’s get realistic. We don’t have that luxury, but what was really interesting was what you talked about, you mentioned a couple of times that it’s now a necessity, but maybe it would be great if you could talk a little bit more about, well what’s the cost of not doing this? [00:05:59.03] Alison: Well the cost of not doing it, and I like to talk, Kush from what I’ve seen from the experience of my clients rather than theory, because you can go and buy lots of books, but that doesn’t actually help very much, so, what I’ve seen with them is when they don’t, well invariably, when they first come to me, they don’t, because they’re in all these meetings, somehow they’re meant to get from one meeting to the other in a matter of minutes. It’s really really weird, so what I’ve see is they get lost in their minds, and they’re projecting usually forward into the future, into their imaginations of all the things they have to do. So meetings that are going to happen next week, or, so I had one lady who came and she’s just moved across to the States to build up a whole new division for her organisation, so she is now away from head office, so there’s that as many people working that virtual world, and when she came on the coaching call, here’s another thing I noticed, they don’t breathe anymore, so it’s really really fast speaking, I wondered when she was breathing, and it was all about this meeting next week, and what she was going to do and the tactics, and it was all, how do I get my way or anything, and what I noticed when she calmed down, she was much more able to see it was about building relationships, not about getting what she wants so, in a way, your thinking gets cloudy and you start to think silly things, you start to think things you wouldn’t normally think when your heads clear, and that one, let’s say hypothetically if that conversation hadn’t of happened, and she hadn’t seen for herself, what her mind was doing, she then would have gone into that meeting from a totally different place and it wouldn’t have built relationships, it probably would have damaged them because she wasn’t clear, so just taking that time out to think, well hold on a minute, what’s that going to create, what do I really want to create? Really helped bring back focus, so I see it as, that’s one thing, when people don’t take space to think they operate on automatic, they operate on best they’ve got even though their minds are full. So when they take space to think, it’s like going on holiday for a short period of time, the mind can relax and then they have new ideas and insights about how to handle challenges that they’re having, that they would just not possibly be able to have in their normal day-to-day. The other one I see is a big one, business is about relationships, and the other big thing I see is, when we don’t take time to think and come off automatic, the stories we have, running in our internal space that we then project out onto the world, keep running, so we always see people the same way, so if I think, oh yeah that guy’s just an idiot, and I never question it, I never reflect upon that, I’m never going to see actually when he’s doing really good things, so I had a leader once who, it was his number two, and he was literally going to sack the guy, because he had this huge big story about him not showing up, he doesn’t answer emails, he’s off doing something, and when he chose to just take some space to think about that situation, so that had been his mindset probably for a good six months, when he took time out, because obviously he was about to make a very big decision, suddenly from out of nowhere, he started to realise, well hold on a minute, this guy’s actually doing, he might be away and not visible in the office, but there are some things that he is doing and he is doing things that I wouldn’t normally do, and he started to see the guy in a whole new way. Remember this was a really bad dysfunctional relationship, they were not getting on, his number two was about to get fired, and as he saw more and more of what he hadn’t been seeing before, or fresh, he was thinking differently about this guy, all of a sudden of course his mind started to see more and more and more good things this guy was doing. He wasn’t doing what my leader had been expecting him to be doing, but he was doing a lot of other really good things, and instead of firing him when they came back together, which I thought was pretty cool, my leader was really honest about, and told this guy straight up what had been happening in his world, in his mental process, and they cleared a lot of that story between them out of the way, and they rebuilt and re-created a totally new working relationship where the number two got to thrive, where he did thrive, and they had to negotiate on things that my leader did want him to do that he wasn’t doing, but it wasn’t huge, and the guy became a rock star, so that potential was always there, but because, and this is true for all leaders, when we get caught up in our heads and we have a story about somebody, that’s what we tend to see, until we take space to think, hold on, is what I’m seeing actually really real or is it, made up in my head? What am I not seeing? And that I’m sure had implications for that businesses bottom line as well, what they then created together, because they had a working agreement, let’s say, as opposed to when they were pitted against each other. [00:11:42.19] Ankush: As you’re talking Alison, I’m reminded of the saying in my world, in the coaching world which is, “Slow down to speed up.” [00:11:50.26] Alison: Yeah. [00:11:51.24] Ankush: Because it sounds like, what I sometimes don’t see and what my clients sometimes don’t see and everyone doesn’t see sometimes is, when we’re going so fast, our tendency is to speed up even more, and if we look at, is that actually effective… [00:12:07.20] Alison: Well everybody else is doing it, so… Somebody once told me, I think it was Bill Petit I heard it from that allegedly we’re the only species that when we’re lost or confused, we go at it harder. Every other species stops, settles, finds it’s way again and then moves, whereas we just go at it harder, you know? Thinking that that’s the smart way to move forward, and it’s innocent, it’s just like this machine, until people step off the machine for a certain amount of time, and then go back on consciously and with greater awareness. [00:12:51.13] Ankush: So, let’s say I’m a leader or anyone working in a large organisation, I’m finding myself being really sped up, and I know this is intellectually a good idea. [00:13:01.20] Alison: Yeah, absolutely. [00:13:02.00] Ankush: How do I do that, how do I create the space for myself, or how do I create the space for my employees? So that we can actually be more effective and get more done? [00:13:11.08] Alison: Yeah, that’s a great question. Yes, because I can imagine Kush you’re right, for some people it will seem like quite a radical act, being the person who turns left, when everybody else is headed towards the right, and what I’ve seen happen is that they start off doing it, and then it sort of, they have to prove it to themselves. They do it once or twice and then they see the benefits, and then it starts to become, I will answer your question. They then start to see the benefits and what it gives them, and then it starts to become, it actually goes into their calendars. So, let me give a couple of case studies of what has happened, people who have done it, and then let’s do the how-to’s. I’ll be quite brief, one guy who came, so this is now part of, he sees it part of his responsibility as a leader actually to create space to think, and for all of his – he’s a CEO in a German organisation – and the same for his employees, but he didn’t think that when we first met. He was one of those people, he wasn’t a CEO at that time actually, who works seven days a week, even worked Saturday evenings, and he had a young family. But he believed that that’s what he had to do to stay on top of everything, because so much was coming at him. So roll on probably three or four years, he started to play with it, and he now blocks time out, he actually blocks time out daily, and what it’s given him, it was a very beautiful way he said it, he said to me recently that what it’s given him, now, this was what it came from, he lives in a waterfall of insight, and because it’s been so powerful for him, he has encouraged all, certainly his leadership team, to do the same, and for the teams to do the same, so it’s becoming part of their culture, but it did start with him. There’s no prescription, so this is usually when people want to “give me the seven steps to, how to create space to think…” You know, “tell me how to do it.” There isn’t a prescription because, what’s happened to all of my people is, once their awareness becomes more acute as to the downside, what it’s costing them not to do it, they really think about the upsides because they haven’t experienced them yet, but they see and they feel the downsides, awareness itself, awareness itself, ideas come to them, so, and my people are real practical people, so, I had one guy believe it or not, he put four bottles of red wine on his desk, that was his version, which of course, created quite a lot of consternation, you know people would come in and go, “what?” And he would explain, “that reminds me to take space to think.” Somebody else had the idea of, this was a really practical one, she realised that she was at too many meetings, so she brought her team together and said, “okay, which meetings do I not actually need to be at, but I’m showing up because I’m sort of meant to be there?” That culled about 30% of her meetings I think. She then again in collaboration with her team said, “okay do our meetings need to be this long?” So all her meetings now are 45 minutes, so she has reclaimed 15 minutes from all of those, which obviously then gives her a chunk of time every day, where she has much more space to think. So that’s a real practical one, but the important piece is, those ideas came from them, they didn’t come from somebody outside. I didn’t tell them what to do or what was a good idea, I didn’t even tell them what anybody else did. I have another guy who leaves work, still works, but he goes home on a Friday at 2pm, and he works from home, and that’s where he reflects on his week, how have I been? What’s happened? What’s worked, what hasn’t worked? What’s happening next week, how do I want to be with my people next week, what do I want to be focusing on? And the beauty about that is it frees up his weekend, it’s like it ends his week, but those are things they have, and they try and test different things, you can create space to think that way, you can create space to think in a second. It doesn’t have to be formal, but what I love about when you turn awareness in this direction, ideas come to you that are right for you, not somebody else. So yesterday I had a busy mind about this interview at one point, right, so I had to go, oh, what am I going to say? I thought well, this is not going to be very productive right now if I’m going to write from this place of fear and insecurity, and ego, and the thought just occurred to me to go for a walk. So I happen to live in the country and I went to go for a walk and naturally my mind just quietened, and I still took my busy mind with me, I’m not that smart, but I had ideas and I just saw so much clearer, and I thought it’s just four chunks, and this is probably what would make sense. So that probably took say, 10 minutes, and I could have sat here and flogged it to death for about an hour, but I was in swirl land, you know, whatever I would have created would have been incomprehensible or not very helpful, hopefully this has been helpful obviously, just the assumption that it is, but equally the thought could have occurred to me to just take a breath or go make a cup of tea, but the key was the first realisation that, alright I’m lost in my head right now. I could feel the effects of it, and then the next bit was the idea to, didn’t come from my thinking, it was just an idea to go have a walk, this is not clever. [00:19:08.19] Ankush: What I’m hearing from what you’re saying, I’m reminded of the pareto principle, which you know I think headline if people don’t know it is that, 80% of our success, 80% of our results come from 20% of our effort, and what I’m really taking away from this is actually when we’re being really really really busy and listening to that case study or example of that lady who took out 30% of her meetings and cut down the length of her meetings, is actually to look back and say well, I’m doing all of this work, I’m spending all of this time, I have no time left for space, but do we really need to be spending all of that time, and actually is only 20% of what we’re doing really contributing to the vast bulk of the success we’re having in our role? [00:20:02.17] Alison: And I don’t think people realise because I suppose are living in a bubble or my people are maybe living in a bubble, the corporate bubble let’s say, or the corporate juggernaut should I say. I was working with a big client, it was early the start of this year and we were going after a really difficult business challenge that they hadn’t been able to solve, so there was a team there and everything like that, and we were talking about the mind and the power of the mind and after a couple of days of that, day three it was over to them and for them to start creating ideas and I was really shocked and I checked this out with a couple of execs when I came back, so this team were like coming up with ideas and I thought, okay well they’re coming up with ideas, that’s good, and as judgemental as this was, my head said, my children could be coming up with these ideas. And it was only the next day, where really meaty innovative ideas came through, and when I came back from that, I saw a couple of clients I’ve worked with for years, and I said, “is it only me, or I’m just seeing the corporate world really suffering because of this churn?” People are just churning, doing what they do everyday, thinking that’s what gets them results in the busyness, attending the meetings. I think my husband told me House of Fraser is in trouble now, apparently in the BBC last night, their head of purchasing I think it was, was saying that her reality was that she was stuck in head office all the time just attending meetings and she was never able to actually do the job she was paid for, to be out in the stores, see what was working, what should we be buying, finding out. At what cost? You know, at what cost? [00:22:06.17] Ankush: Yeah and it’s fascinating because, certainly in the UK, what we’ve been hearing in the news a lot, is so many large stores and brands really suffering, so you’re right, recently at the time of this recording, it’s been the House of Fraser, in recent months it’s been, years ago we had a big iconic chain Woolworth’s go into administration and we’ve had Jessops and we’ve had, more recently, Toys ‘R’ Us in the US and the UK, but what’s been really fascinating for me is, in each of these cases, there is some competitor of theirs, who has actually been really thriving, so when I read the article about House of Fraser, and there’s also another brand called Debenhams who are suffering, at the bottom on the same year Selfridges was doing pretty well and Harrods had had record profits, so it’s not about, oh well… Because you always here the market’s changed, the economy’s poor and shoppers are like this, but actually there’s always people who, regardless of what the circumstances are, can rise up to meet them and address them and actually make very good money in doing so. [00:23:23.00] Alison: Absolutely, and I think that loops back Kush, well for me anyway, to, how critical it is to create space to think, to step out of that maelstrom and enable oneself or your team, wisdom can arise anywhere, ideas can come from anywhere. Isn’t it interesting that generally leadership teams don’t go to the whole organisation and say, “who’s got some ideas?” I was once told, I don’t know if this was true or not, but it was a factory floor worker who, in Apple, in days when all phone joys held them vertically, who it was a factory floor worker, who had the idea of, I’d quite like to view this horizontally, it transformed the whole of that market. Didn’t come from a think tank, didn’t come from R&D, it was just somebody who had an idea, and how many ideas are getting lost? Whereas if we take time to think, then new ideas, radical ideas, fresh ideas, can come through that we just would never cross our minds when we’re being busy. [00:24:32.17] Ankush: If someone’s listening to this, we’ve covered a lot today, what’s the one thing you want them to take away from this interview? [00:24:40.12] Alison: I was about to be really superficial and say, to create space to think because it will make you a lot of money. That’s a by product. Just to not underestimate the power of taking space to think, and test it out for yourself. Dare to test it out for yourself and see. I’ve never ever worked with anyone who hasn’t had huge shifts financially, personally, career-wise, when they start to embrace this and do it, and it doesn’t’ have to be huge big thing, we’re not talking about taking hours out, it can be 10 minutes like I did yesterday, but have it, what if it could become part of your modus operandi? And then seeing what it gives you… that was a long one thing, wasn’t it? [00:25:37.00] Ankush: No that was great and I’m taking away a lot from this. If someone wanted to stay in touch with you or find out more about you, what’s the best way that they might be able to do that? [00:25:49.06] Alison: Oh best way is to email me, at email@example.com, I’m just revamping my website, so when it’s live, my website’s enlightenedleading.com, but easiest way at the moment is firstname.lastname@example.org. [00:26:05.28] Ankush: Well thank you very much for your time today, it’s been a fascinating conversation, and I’ll be back next week with another conversation. The post Business Series Podcast Ep.13 – Creating Space to Think in a Busy World with Alison Sheridan appeared first on Ankush Jain Limited.
29 minutes | 2 years ago
Business Series Podcast Ep.12 – Creating Impossible Results in Business with Dr. Aaron Turner
Creating Impossible Results in Business In this episode, Ankush speaks with Dr Aaron Turner about creating “impossible” results – outcomes beyond what were reasonably thought possible. Some of what they discuss include: – What do we mean by “impossible results”? – How understanding more about our mind can lead to unusual results in business – The difference between mindfulness and other techniques vs Aaron’s approach – A number of case studies from organisations that Aaron has worked with. You can also listen to this podcast and all the episodes in the series via iTunes: iTunes or Stitcher: Stitcher To receive an email informing you of when a new episode of the Business Series is released, please click this link: SUBSCRIBE To contact Aaron Turner and find out more about her work, visit www.onethought.com Full Transcript [00:00:03.01] Ankush: Welcome to the business series podcast. My name is Ankush Jain, and I’m a state of mind coach, working with businesses and individuals. On each episode of this series, I’ll be speaking to a coach or trainer on a different topic relevant to your career or personal development. Enjoy. [00:00:24.22] Ankush: Welcome back to another episode of the business series podcast. Today I’m going to be talking to Aaron Turner, about seeing impossible results in business. Aaron is someone who works with organisations and helps them to see the relevance of how the mind works to their objectives, and he’s got some great case studies and some wonderful things to share with us today. So thank you for joining us, Aaron. [00:00:50.20] Aaron: It’s a pleasure. [00:00:53.17] Ankush: So I’m going to jump straight in as I always do, into the topic. I always like to address the question that we’re pondering today. So, what do you mean by, “impossible results”? [00:01:05.27] Aaron: Just exactly that Ankush. Results that people who achieve those results would have said were not possible. So results that are outside of what the people themselves would have expected and would have thought was possible. I can give a few examples if you want just to give a feel for that. [00:01:24.01] Ankush: Yeah please do, because what we’re not talking about is, iterative change, kind of a small process change, we’re talking about really large differences and beyond what people thought possible. [00:01:35.02] Aaron: Yeah, so in the realm of, I’ll start more in the realm of normal. So within a sales organisation, over years and years and years of experience, they have a range of return per salesperson, that they think is a given. So, you can expect a certain return per sales person and if you want a higher sales return, you have to increase the cost of having more salespeople. Well as we’ve worked with that organisation, they start to see higher sales return, which is not something they thought was possible. They thought that the sales return ratio average was a complete given. Turns out, it was possible for it to improve. Within a hotel, the GM in a boutique luxury hotel, had a budget that was given to him by his bosses, that he thought was completely unrealistic. After having a better understanding of the mind, with him and his heads of department, not only did they achieve it, but they achieved it without any change in strategy, technology, personnel, or organisation process. Purely with a change in understanding of the mind, and that in and of itself is not seen to be possible. That you can have a change in results, without doing anything, just by understanding one of the variables differently, that that in and of itself is not seen to be possible. It’s very common for entrepreneurs to start businesses in partnerships, and it’s very usual for those partnerships to disintegrate quite acrimoniously, and having worked with entrepreneurs, we’ve actually had really un-acrimonious business partnership partings, where both parties were able to go their separate ways without impacting negatively on each other, their shareholdings, the value of the company, and they themselves said, “I’ve never seen that happen without this understanding, that wouldn’t have been possible.” As we’ll talk about in the case studies, we’ve seen organisations that staff below what the industry thinks is possible, but have an above industry client service experience, which is two impossibles. Firstly, how do they staff so low, and get everything done while growing aggressively? Which adds an additional to-do burden on things, but, in the face of that, they have great client feedback. Usually you have to have more staff, with less on their mind in order to have a better client experience, but they don’t. They have staffing below what the industry thinks is feasible, but yet they have way above average client experiences. So we have, there’s one more that I thought was really funny Ankush. So we’ve had leadership teams that we’ve worked with, that when they go on leadership training, and the trainer says to them “what keeps you up at night?” All of them say, “nothing,” and he’s like, I’ve never come across that before, I’ve never. Usually, when I work with leadership teams, they always have stuff that keeps them up at night. It’s a very rare exception, that someone doesn’t. Here’s a whole team in a growing, aggressive, committed organisation, and nothing keeps them up at night. So, what we’re talking about is, possibilities beyond what is seen as realistic or normal, or possible, and all of a sudden, they emerge as achievable, not because people are trying, but because they’re getting an understanding of the role of the mind in what they’re doing, and they’re navigating that variable, in addition to all the other variables that they’re already aware of. [00:05:23.05] Ankush: As you were talking, I was thinking we could call this, “unusual results in business,” but, unusual in the best possible way that this almost sounds like the holy grail of what businesses are looking for. And you started talking a little bit about, well how you do that is help people have an understanding of the mind, now, I know we haven’t got an awful lot of time today, but, could you really talk more about that, because if I’m listening to this, and either I’m a senior executive or I work in an organisation, or I own an organisation, it almost sounds like what you’re saying is too good to be true, but if it works, I’d like to know more about that. [00:06:02.02] Aaron: Yeah, so in a way, given the understanding that we currently have, which is missing, that there’s the understanding of the role of the mind and the way that works, is a missing piece currently, and given that missing piece, it is too good to be true. So, most professionals and organisations I work with, the assumption is, is that if you want performance to increase, you have to increase skills, knowledge or effort, or you have to improve technology or processes, or, you have to do something differently, that’s kind of the prevailing model. And you have to be able to do what you do better, you have to have better technology, better skills, or try harder. Now what’s missing from this picture, is that, and I’m going to say it my way, and then I’m going to explain it because obviously, this is something I’m already aware of. The state of mind in which you do things affects how well you do them. Because one of the aspects of our state of mind, and what I mean by that is, the clarity of mind in which we are doing anything. Right? So, for example, a really really simple example is, if you’re threading a needle, and you’re thinking about something else, it will be very hard. The clearer and less distracted and rushed your mind is, the easier it is to thread a needle. And what people don’t realise is, that variable, your clarity of mind, affects everything you do, and how well you can do it, and therefore how much struggle, effort and thought it takes to do it. And at very high levels of clarity, and I know your listeners will have experienced this, because everybody has experienced very high levels of clarity at some point, your mind is so clear, your bandwidth is so wide, that everything is obvious, and without any effort, you kind of have a very clear idea what to do. There’s no stress, there’s no agitation, it’s just very very simple. And if you take an engineering model it makes sense, it’s like, the more processing bandwidth you have, the less challenging every piece of information is to process in a meaningful way, and the same goes for content. So in a way, the clearer your mind, the more simple and obvious everything is. So if you look in the sports arena, when athletes are in the zone, one of the things they tend to say, is firstly, it came easily and effortlessly and it would have had a lot of flow to it. And the other thing that they say, is that they know exactly what to do, without thinking about it, before it was time to do it. And a lot of people that have been in emergency situations say that, even though things are happening very fast and there are complex variables at play, their mind is so quiet that time seems to slow down. Again, as you’re processing bandwidth increases, the information is less challenging, so time, you seem to have more time. And as your clarity of mind decreases, your mental bandwidth is more obscured, time seems to speed up. And one of the things that people don’t realise is, the normal state of mind in which most people go to work in is not a clear state of mind, so everything is more complex and challenging than it needs to be. And that’s something that people are not aware of. It’s funny as well Ankush because they see it in sports, that everybody knows you can have the best players in the world, play on a team, and if their state of mind is not right, they won’t do very well. And you can have an amateur team in the FA Cup, and they’re totally on fire, their state of mind’s great, and they totally out-perform themselves, they could beat anybody potentially. We’re including an understanding of that variable within a business, but in a very nuts and bolts workable way, it’s a very very simple system. There’s only one thing that clouds our mind, and that’s the way we think, and if you understand that, you logically and naturally, stop thinking in ways that cloud your mind, and you’re left with a clearer mind, so you’re effortlessly higher performing. [00:10:21.01] Ankush: Just to be clear, because people might be listening to this and thinking, “well, Aaron this isn’t new, we’ve heard about clear minds in business before, we’ve got a mindfulness programme,” some forward-thinking companies might even encourage other ways of clearing the mind but you’re not talking about that are you? [00:10:45.09] Aaron: No, I’m not, so these programmes are great, if your normal state of mind is not a clear mind. So, if you think in ways that creates stress and agitation, which are the symptoms of an unclear mind, then having corrective mechanisms like mindfulness and table tennis tables, and longer breaks and nap pods and all that is great, but what people don’t appreciate is that a clearer mind, is a more natural mind, it’s an unobscured mind and that means that left to its own devices, our mind gravitates toward clarity. So, the problem that we’re solving is that most people are unknowingly getting in the way of their own clarity, and it’s the unknowingly part that we’re addressing, because once they see how that works, very few people knowingly mess with their own clarity, if they know it doesn’t work well. And that’s the other part of this impossible results, is people don’t realise that they could effortlessly have a clearer mind, and that would effortlessly lead to higher performance, better communication, better relationships, and it’s that part that we’re uncovering, it’s our natural potential for a clearer mind. So from my perspective, just to sum it up, because we don’t understand that the mind plays such a big role, and because we don’t understand the ways in which we’re using our mind in an unhelpful way, we unknowingly think in a way that gets in our way, and when we understand all that, that stops making sense, we stop doing it. [00:12:27.19] Ankush: So I’d like to go onto a case study, but before I do, or maybe you want to combine this with a case study, I’m really curious as to how long this takes, because this is sounding really great so far for businesses, but is this something that’s challenging for people to get? Because you know, it almost sounds, like I said, too good to be true. [00:12:49.18] Aaron: Yeah, well, I’ll give you a case study that illustrates what you’re talking about, and so your listeners can follow along. It’s both easy and challenging and it’s challenging because, in business none of us are used to stepping back, and looking at anything other than what we’re trying to do. In a way, one of the challenges of business that people are always talking about, is everyone’s so busy chopping down trees they never sharpen the saw, let alone, step back and look at the grip they have on the saw, or whether they… see, you get what I’m saying. That’s a challenge, because people’s minds are unclear in a kind of little bit of an overwhelmed and stressed, and speeded up, that’s the normal lack of clarity in the world today, people are not inclined to step back, and look at their state of mind, so that’s the first challenge. The second challenge is once you step back and take a look at your state of mind, in order to understand it, you have to be willing to see that we have misunderstandings of the mind that stop us from appreciating it properly. So, I’m going to give you an example. So, in my previous practice where I used to work, we worked with quite a large engineering firm, and one of the problems that they had, as they had a massive cost of poor quality, so it was around 20%. It was somewhere between 18% and 20%, which means that 20% of the cost, was taken up in mistakes, right? Now, because they were an engineering firm, they, and they didn’t see state of mind, they basically troubleshoot all the mistakes, and they found the points in the process where people most frequently made mistakes, and they created extra processes, that if followed, would prevent people from making those mistakes, and they felt like, job well done. And to their surprise, the mistakes increased, which, technically should not happen. Which shows you there’s an unappreciated variable at play, right? And every engineer knows that. If you make an adjustment to a system, and it has the opposite effect you expect it to, there’s a variable you don’t appreciate, right? So, we did interviews with these people and what we saw was, they were all frantic. Now if you step back for a second, everybody knows that frantic people make mistakes. If you’re frantic and you’re looking for your keys, you can look right at them 9/10 you won’t see them. You drop things, you miss steps, and this is what was happening. So firstly, they didn’t realise that your state of mind, your level of agitation, your lack of clarity, will translate into lack of efficiency in mistakes. There’s nothing you can do about that, right? So that was their first misunderstanding. The second was, like most people, they believed that their state of mind, their feeling state, was being created by their environment, they said, “look, if you’re really busy people, that have complex processes, that are really important, that you have a time pressure in order to achieve, everyone in that situation would be frantic.” Now what they didn’t see was, even though that was fairly true, it wasn’t completely true. There was the odd person involved in that process that wasn’t frantic, and all the frantic people had varying levels of franticness, and their level of frantic average, varied between them. So, the fact that you’re experiencing your clarity of mind and not your external circumstances, the evidence is there, but we share an assumption, that your environment, your circumstance, your life challenges, creates your feeling state in your clarity of mind. I even had a global HR director say that to me, she said, “you know Aaron, I know that the two problematic teams I’m dealing with, where I spend 80% of my time, you’re right, state of mind is what’s causing all the problems, but let’s face it, our state of mind is created by so many variables beyond our control, there’s no point focussing on it. Now that’s a common misunderstanding, because actually what we’ve discovered, that we’re showing organisations, is that your state of mind is 100% completely determined by how you use your mind, so it’s completely in your hands, and this is a hugely underappreciated fact. So you have a major performance variable, that is completely under the influence of the person, that they believe is out of their control. It’d be like someone driving a car thinking they couldn’t touch the steering wheel and then wondering why it was so hard. So, this is the situation, so we go in to talk to these people, we say, “look, we’ve diagnosed your problem, you’re frantic.” Now half the people got really amused and they said, “what kind of idiot would tell us that, we already know that, but there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s our circumstance.” And the other half got really angry and said, “what kind of idiot…” They said the same thing, but what was consistent among the group is, not a single person thought that their state of mind came from them, not a single one. So there was literally nothing they could do about it. Now the challenge for them, was to start to consider that they might be wrong about that, that’s not easy for people. Like you don’t get to 30/40/50 years old, and think that maybe there’s something I misunderstood, right? So that can be hard for people, but once they did, because the evidence is there, there’s evidence that your state of mind varies when your circumstance doesn’t, and people have rotten states of mind in great circumstances. Like I was recently at a gorgeous tropical resort, and most people there were not having a good time. They just looked like they were barely coping, you know, what should we do, I don’t know, lunch is fine, and there are people in rotten circumstances, with very clear states of mind, so, you start to see that independence. Now when this group started to see that independence and they started to understand how they could have a healthier relationship to unclear states of mind, the cost of poor quality dropped and dropped and dropped, until it was slightly positive, because of all the great ideas people were having for efficiencies and reuse. Nothing else changed, processes didn’t change, engineering didn’t change, physics didn’t change, the machines didn’t change, the personnel didn’t change, the only thing that changed was their understanding of the influence of their mind and their influence on their mind, that was it. Does that illustrate what you were asking about Ankush? [00:19:36.00] Ankush: Yeah and I’m curious how long did that change take to occur? [00:19:39.17] Aaron: Well it’s interesting, because the overall process by which they became aware of this understanding, was three days, but the evolution of the cost of poor quality started to go down immediately, but it went from around 20% to 0.1% or 0.2%, that was over a couple year period that that happened, but, it started a trend downward immediately after those three days, and so it depends on the process. So there are, like cultural conflicts on teams that resolve from one day to the next. So one team within the same firm was in the red, so, green means you’re on schedule, you’re on target. Orange means you’re kind of bobbling on the line, red means you’re behind schedule, or behind target, and they had been for several years. And the executives in the company said, “Aaron, they really don’t communicate well, but they’re definitely very stressed. We don’t know whether to put them on a communication course, or to do a state of mind course.” I said, “well the thing is, people who are not in a clear state of mind, can’t communicate even if they have the skills, so you might as well put them on the state of mind course first.” So, on the second day of that course, when they realised, hold on, we’re not stressed because we’re a red programme and we’re under pressure and we’re behind budget and behind schedule and we’re stuck on several technical issues, we’re stressed because we’re thinking in a way that’s tormenting ourselves with pressure, and that’s making a difficult situation really hard, and they stop doing it, and from literally within the next five minutes, they went from stress and pressure to very high spirited, and they started having a conversation and their communication was excellent, literally from one moment to the next, and after that three day programme, they went from the team that was hidden in the basement when the customer came, “don’t take them to that team whatever you do.” And they became the kind of the show team that they would tour customers around their area, because they communicate so well. Now, within two months of that three day, they solved the major technical problem that they’d been struggling with for two years. But even then it was hard for them to see the link between their state of mind and that technical problem. So the director said, “well Aaron, you’ll be pleased to hear we’ve solved a major technical problem we’ve been struggling with for a couple of years.” So I said, “oh you’re welcome.” They said, “what are you talking about, you didn’t teach us engineering, you don’t know anything about our technical problems.” I said, “well do you think that people’s, the degree to which people are frantic and stressed and essentially running around like chickens with no heads, versus having a clear mind has anything to do with solving technical problems…” He said, “oh well I guess there might be a link.” [00:22:48.01] Ankush: What if someone’s listening to this and thinking, ‘Aaron that’s a great case study, but my team, my employees, my colleagues, they’re beyond help.’ Would you say this works for everyone or would you say, some people they just, they’re not open to this? [00:23:05.25] Aaron: Well, it’s really interesting, there’s two things to say about that Ankush. The first one is, is that every single living human being, is at the effect of their state of mind, and what’s fascinating is, if their emotional experience is negative, and usually the people that are most far gone, are the most intense, the most negative, the most stressed, the most intense. I want people to consider, that’s just a state of mind, and if it’s not a clear state of mind, it’s not being held in place by anything other than the way that the person’s thinking. So firstly, everyone’s in a state of mind, everybody’s natural state of mind is a clear one, so, everybody’s capable of really unclear difficult states of mind, and very clear states of mind, everyone, so nobody’s beyond help because everybody’s in that same arena of their state of mind. So that’s number one. And then people say, well you know there are some people that are just really committed to really negative, agitated, reactive states of mind. And it does look that way, but the thing you don’t realise is, they’re suffering the effects of that. Their relationships don’t work well, they get a lot of pushback from people, they’re having unpleasant experiences that they have to adjust for, either by going on holiday or drinking or having hobbies that take them away from it… they’re suffering. So what happens is, when we talk to people, they always want the things that come with a clearer state of mind, but they didn’t know that’s how to get it. And once they realise that, I’ve yet to meet someone that didn’t want to have a clearer state of mind, either to do a better job, or to have better relationships, or to just have more energy and well being and mental ease, even happiness within their own life, and what’s interesting is, these are three dimensions of the same thing. So there’s something in it for everybody, and I’ve yet to meet someone that ultimately wasn’t looking for those things, and if they’re willing to consider it might come from their state of mind, we find that most people start to learn and as they start to learn, they discover it, so, that’s another one of those impossible results, is it applies to everybody, and sometimes, it’s the most difficult people within teams that take to it the best. So, a few years ago we were working in a media company and the team was terrorized by their boss, the CEO, and he was very intense, he was very impatient, he was very agitated, he was very aggressive, and they really wanted to do the course, because they were all suffering, and they thought they were suffering because how intense and negative he was. So they said to us, “well look, you’re going to have to talk to him, you know, good luck, he’s not going to like this,” because in their mind he was even worse than he was in reality, because they had such a bad experience of him. And when we talked to him it made perfect sense to him. “Oh yeah, clear our mind, that makes perfect sense.” And it was so funny because, he was the most enthusiastic in the training and took to it the most and they were shocked. So there’s a logic behind it that I found to be true, and to the degree that people catch a whiff of that and they get interested and to the degree that they get interested, they see something that’s already true, that they hadn’t appreciated, and that allows them to be wiser in the way that they go about things. [00:26:40.11] Ankush: So just to wrap up, what’s the one takeaway you want people to leave this podcast with, what do you want them to take away from this? [00:26:48.16] Aaron: Well what I’d like people to take away from this podcast, is to consider that your feeling your clarity of mind, and that that’s directly affecting everything in your life, including your job, and just to consider that if you were thinking less intensely, you would have a clearer state of mind, things might get easier, and just to kind of consider that, that you’re experiencing your state of mind, a freer mind is a clearer mind, and you’ll start to notice your level of agitation and ease vary, as the intensity of your thinking varies. [00:27:28.20] Ankush: Fantastic, if people like what you have to say Aaron, and they would like to get in touch with you or carry on this conversation with you, how might they do that? [00:27:37.18] Aaron: Well that can email me at email@example.com or look at www.onethought.com, and reach out to us that way, and there’s also, if they look at, there’s a section on there Ankush called, in our video section, public videos called business and performance, and there are lots and lots of short videos on how state of mind relates to different aspects of life and work that they can take a look at. [00:28:02.15] Ankush: Fantastic, thank you so much for joining me today Aaron, and I’ll be back next time with another episode relevant to business. Thanks for listening to the business series podcast, if you want to hear more, you can click on the “subscribe button” below, you can share this with someone else who can benefit, or you can “like” it and encourage others to listen. Also, it would be great if you left a comment below, as I love hearing from listeners, and I want to keep creating great content for you. Thanks for listening. 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