I See What You Mean

"I See What You Mean" is a weekly podcast about how and why we get on the same page with ea ... more

Latest Episodes

June 01, 2022 00:40:20
Organizations Might Benefit By Zero Trust For IT Security, But They Need A Trusted Environment For IT Projects. Part 1 Of My Conversation With Richard Spires.

Organizations Might Benefit By Zero Trust For IT Security, But They Need A Trusted Environment For IT Projects. Part 1 Of My Conversation With Richard Spires.

If you're not a technologist (I'm not), you might think success in a technology field hinges on technical knowledge. Technologists know exactly which technical knowledge and skill is required for success, and they know there's more. Working with people? Check. Understanding business needs? Check. Listening, negotiating, problem solving? Checks all around. And my guest this week will tell you that's not all.  Richard Spires is an accomplished technologist who will tell you that in every leadership position he's held, getting people on the same page was key to success. It wasn't the only key. But team and stakeholder misalignment will sink a small technology project or a major modernization, just the same. As happens in great conversations, Richard and I lost track of time and ran long, so I'm publishing it as two episodes. Part 1 examines the people skills organizations need in their technologists. Part 2 will focus on what it takes for government to operate effectively and efficiently. Please forgive the occasional audio "scratch" I couldn't edit out.  Listen in and be sure to visit Richard-Spires.com to check out his first book, "Success in the Technology Field - A Guide For Advancing Your Career." Here are a few of my favorite ahh-ah! moments from Part 1: 2:45 and on - Technology is delivered through projects, and one's ability to manage projects effectively is critical to technology's success. And that requires the leadership of people. 5:55 - A definition of "technologist" that might surprise you - but makes perfect sense. 10:03 - When very senior people see very large technology projects… very differently. 12:15 - Constant communication is critical in part because project plans change the moment a project is kicked-off 19:34 - Why creating a trusted ...

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May 25, 2022 00:48:35
Can A "Same Page" Emerge If We Manifest It With Others? Susan Parente Says, "Yes."

Can A "Same Page" Emerge If We Manifest It With Others? Susan Parente Says, "Yes."

When I teased Susan Parente about the eight designations behind her name - eight! - her response said a lot about her. She laughed and said she not only loves learning, but she teaches subjects which lead to certifications. So all the letters are a selling point for students who would think it fun to take a class from someone who loves certifications. And that about sums it up. Astute. Insightful. Self-aware. Passionate. Susan's sees black and white with an engineer's mind, while helping students find their way through their own gray areas, with a lot of heart. She creates an environment for students to discover things about themselves, while teaching them the rights and wrongs of project management and cybersecurity to pass certification exams. She loves working independently to produce a deliverable, and loves extra time with students who seek her assistance. I had a lot of fun talking to Susan, and I learned a lot. Here are some of my favorite ahh-ha! moments: 1:00 - 4:00 - How I switched from "I don't want to be a teacher," to "teaching is my passion." 5:28 - When I started my business but before I made any money, I did pro bono work to literally speak my future into being. 9:53 - "Students say, "What I'd really like to do is…..but…." And it's the "but" that stops them. 17:05 - To teach is to create a safe space for learning not just a topic, but to learn about oneself. 19:54 - Maintaining a beginner's mind to facilitate learning 24:13 - We can't learn if we're afraid of failing 36:14 - I grade for class participation but never grade someone down for saying something wrong. Discussion is when ...

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May 05, 2022 00:33:22
Another Admirable Bundle of Contradictions - Part 2

Another Admirable Bundle of Contradictions - Part 2

This episode begins with Lola Stith and I recounting a time when, as a company exec, I turned down an offer of help from her in a way that made her wonder if being a woman of color was one of the reasons. We talk about how she sorted that out for herself at the time, and what we learned discussing it years later. We discuss key attributes of misunderstandings between people, and how those attributes take on different nuances in different situations. We discuss respect for oneself and others, and how getting on the same page in situations can strengthen trust in relationships. Here are some of my favorite ahh-ha! moments from Part 2: 1:29 - "You didn't do anything that made me think gender bias....but....there was one time...." 6:11 - How getting on the same page builds trust and strengthens relationships 12:25 - "How did you maintain composure when you felt attacked, and keep asking for more information?" 16:56 - Your feelings in a situation are also legit, so what's a good way to work them into the conversation? 23:10 - Showing children respect so they respect themselves 26:21 - Disrespectful behavior toward others begins when you stop respecting yourself ...

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April 27, 2022 00:26:07
Another Admirable Bundle Of Contradictions - Part 1

Another Admirable Bundle Of Contradictions - Part 1

Meet Lola Stith and she's quiet, unassuming, cooperative, hard to read. Know Lola and she's focused, determined, uncannily perceptive, catch-you-off guard funny, and perceptive. Said that twice, didn't I. Because she is, twice.   I had the privilege of working with Lola 10 years ago. We caught up recently when I called to ask if I ever exhibited gender bias toward her. That question came up in preparation for an episode with Karen Newnam, and I reached out to ask women who'd worked for me. Lola's answer surprised me and we had a great conversation about it (we get into this in Part 2). We also discussed gender in the workplace, implicit bias, difficult conversations and a few more getting on the same page challenges - and decided to keep the conversation going and record it. So here are a few of my favorite ahh-ha! moments from Part 1:   5:41 - Letting my team know I hear them is the most foundational thing I can communicate. Getting on the same page as alignment. 7:46 - Managing reactions to change ranging from personal to business issues. 10:05 - Leading change and listening to my team - because I don't know everything! 14:33 - Opening the door to getting on the same page. Opening the door to see what's there. 20:40 - Differences are opportunities - if you know how to discuss them. ...

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April 20, 2022 00:48:59
I Might Have A Master's Degree In Conflict Resolution, But This Guy's A Master At Resolving Conflicts!

I Might Have A Master's Degree In Conflict Resolution, But This Guy's A Master At Resolving Conflicts!

I love knowing people who don't fit typecasts. Analytic types good with emotion. Tough leaders who care for their people. I love working with them when I can, and interviewing them for podcast episodes! Enter Rami Hago.  I had the pleasure of working with Rami a few years ago, and here's my version of his short bio: Laughs easy. Penetrating thinker. People person. Laser-focused. Easy to work with. Won't settle for less than individual and team best. I could go on but you get the idea. He's living proof that being a bundle of contradictions can make you solid, not a mess. (Although I did edit out a short exchange hinting at what his wife would say if I interviewed them together!) Rami's getting-on-the-same-page lessons from military and Veteran's health IT are timeless and apply to work of any type, anywhere. Listen in for a few laughs and tips. Here are a few of my favorite ahh-ha! moments: 3:39 - What are some of the most interesting challenges you've faced getting people on the same page? 6:59 - Compliments will get you somewhere….getting good requirements from a difficult system owner - to replace her system. 15:03 - Finding what to not change in a change effort. 20:00 - Sandboxes aren't just for developers. Let the customer play, too. 26:46 - If communication is an art, who are the artists? Meaning and intent in software development. 37:00 - A lesson in conflict resolution - changing the context for decision making. 43:20 - A picture really is worth 1000 words, and some laughs. 45:18 - There is no one person who knows everything about how a plane flies. ...

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April 13, 2022 00:25:26
We've Talked Politics, Religion, Work and Relationships. With Rum. And Lived To Tell About It - Part 2

We've Talked Politics, Religion, Work and Relationships. With Rum. And Lived To Tell About It - Part 2

In Part 2, Dan Morford and I pick up our discussion of power, control and the nature of honest, open dialogue. We talk about how bad our country's divisiveness might get, and what it will take to climb out the hole we've dug for ourselves - for our kids. Quick fixes won't do. "Sides" can advocate all they want, but real solutions will take time, compromise, and some amount of inconvenience, pain and sacrifice. But what are our options? More divisive rhetoric? The solutions we need - solutions that work for our democracy and country - will come from our differences if we figure out how to dialogue about them. Part 2 opens with Dan answering a question I asked at the close of Part 1: When you ask questions to learn, rather than fire your views at someone, have you seen conversations develop differently and go in a better direction. Here are a few of my favorite ahh-ha! moments: 00:06 and on - Honest, open, reasonable dialogue can't occur until we put aside control 4:29 and on - Real solutions take almost as much time as the real problems they fix 7:40 - We have a very short-term, fickle mentality here 11:27 - Extreme voices get covered. Centrist voices not so much. So what do we do? 16:32 - Politicizing everything is easy. But taking "I" out of rhetoric and putting trust back in.....that's hard 21:06 - Agree to disagree? Agree to how we'll disagree? Or disagree today but continue the dialogue tomorrow. ...

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