Rethinking Management Power To Get People On The Same Page

September 21, 2021 00:47:47
Rethinking Management Power To Get People On The Same Page
I See What You Mean
Rethinking Management Power To Get People On The Same Page

Sep 21 2021 | 00:47:47

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Show Notes

Tom Oates is Deputy Director of a national clearinghouse for child welfare best practices. With a team of 90 who work with customers in all 50 states, Tom has a lot of people to get on the same page to meet the program's mission. Listen to how he does it by sharing power up, down and across his team. Here are a few of my own ahh-ha! moments:

 

4:50 - The difference between empowerment and emancipating people from being told what to do, to be free in their thinking and communication

9:46 - Using commander's intent to create shared intent 

17:50 - How do you lead conversation to sort out differences in an honest way?

22:40 - What if someone isn't ready to get on the same page?

32:45 - Getting on the same page means creating that page with someone, not necessarily giving up your own

40:40 - As a leader there's a perception of your power you have to break

43:50 - "I see what you mean" as perspective shift

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to do you see what I see the podcast about how people get on the same page and stay there unless they shouldn't today? My guest is Tom oats. Tom was a friends and fellow consultant and manager who cares a lot about the culture he creates for and with his team. Tom has a lot of implications there for what we talk about. I see what you mean, getting on the same page. So let's jump in. You've been, you and I worked together. Um, you've got an interesting background in, in, um, uh, news and sports. Speaker 2 00:00:40 Yeah, I remember I'm originally a recovering sports Castro and now I, now I find myself, you know, deputy director of a government project that's surrounds child welfare. I see Speaker 1 00:00:53 Consultancy that Speaker 2 00:00:55 I only see on I turn around and look back and go, how did I get here exactly. Right. Path one, it looks clear from behind Speaker 1 00:01:03 And the rear view mirror. There's an interesting, some interesting variations there on the theme of leadership, leading management, uh, being a manager and getting people on the same page for different reasons for different purposes. So what do you do in these days that requires you to get people on the same page Speaker 2 00:01:24 Being as transparent as possible. Right. And we hear that a lot, but a lot of it is, um, really trying to create leaders out of everybody, out of your team, you know, in the, in the idea of, um, you know, training your successor or what happens when I hit the lottery or as a common friend of ours and say hit by a beer truck. Um, the idea of this is you'd love for, you know, I, I think it'll be Speaker 1 00:01:54 Great. I mean, you manage a team right now, right? I'm Speaker 2 00:01:57 Going to just, I'm in just series of teams that have, so I am, I'm, I'm at the deputy director of a project level that has about, um, when it comes to full-time equivalent staff about nineties. Right. And so, you know, you find yourself not leading the folks that do the work, but leading the folks who manage the teams and leading their managers, can we do work? So, you know, when you're high up on the org chart, but that doesn't mean you're high up on the knowledge of what's going on on the day. Speaker 1 00:02:28 But I wanted to situate that when you talked about transparency, you're talking about there's 90 people looking up a team structure or team up program, structure, teams, projects up a program structure to where you and the deputy director, the director are. So the transparency you talk about is, you know, on a decent size scale there. Speaker 2 00:02:50 Yeah. And it's really transparency up and transparency down. Right. Right. Uh, because to create that environment, really what you're talking is creating, creating trust and creating knowledge. And I don't like the phrase, but it's used a lot, you know, creating empowerment. Right. Um, but part of that is really getting a sense of, of having your team understand and really kind of value their purpose as a range to I'm going to do what I'm told, um, versus my voice matters. And having that kind of psychological safety to build that leadership to eventually you're making better decisions because they're not made by the idiot on top, who, who granted is the one on top and, you know, the buck stops here and blah, blah, blah. But let's be honest. I don't know what's going on in the day to day. Right. And so why should I national Speaker 1 00:03:46 Procedures? Right. Speaker 2 00:03:48 Um, naturals have a net scale. Oh. In terms of what we do. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's a, it's a national clearing house supporting child welfare workers. Speaker 1 00:03:58 So when you say you don't know what's going on in the ground, that grounds and a lot of places, Speaker 2 00:04:02 Well, no. What I mean by our teams. So what's being written on a day-to-day basis. What's going out in terms of marketing word, the decisions on what the plans are to be to the X. So really as a distributor of information, if somebody asks me on a day-to-day basis, Hey, what webpage is being updated today? What inquiries did we get today? We can, I can, I know who knows. Right. But, uh, but you're right there. So if it comes to, you know, having a wider vision, but not having the depth of what's going on on the day to day, Speaker 1 00:04:38 Say more about trust and knowledge, especially with the concept of same page. And tell me why you don't like empowerment. I think I know what you mean, but tell me more about that. Speaker 2 00:04:49 Yeah. Well first why I don't like empowerment because if I empower you, that's kind of like saying I've been knighted by the king. The king still has the power. So because of me, I give you the power. Well, then who's really got the power in the first place, you know, as a, as opposed to really it's, it's, it's really emancipating somebody from having to always be really micromanaged or having somebody feel like they always need to be told what to do. Right. As opposed to me saying, Hey, I'm on vacation. So, so any meanie meiny Caroline's insurance, you know, it's like now I've just given the power to somebody as opposed to, everybody's sort of emancipated to be free in their thinking and planning, knowing that if we are transparent with each other and our communication and our intentions and the reasoning behind it, then ideally it's a team that's always growing, always communicating with each other and reinforcing their own decisions and actions. And I'm here to help do what you're supposed to do at this level of provide overarching guidance. Speaker 1 00:06:07 So you got, yeah. You got some structure and process there with getting on the same page, kind of baked in. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:06:15 Yeah. The sentence. So the idea is how do you get on the same page with somebody? And the first thing I think, as, as a leader, as a boss is you have to be, you have to establish, you have to make it clear that I value the staff's viewpoint, opinion, expertise and knowledge. So, so I kind of have to start first being vulnerable and saying, I'm curious, being vulnerable and saying, I'm not sure teach me about this. And so then I'm really kind of already starting to give that power or value the employees, um, and demonstrate my value of, Hey, teach me, you know, tell me what I'm missing. And there were, this is where somebody can dive into their own expertise. And so then when I need to get a question of like, well, how would we do this best? Or here's an issue at hand, you know, what are you thinking? Um, I'm going to get some better insight because now somebody is not somebody doesn't feel like I've come in knocking on their door and saying, what are you doing? Cause I'm checking up on you. It's more like, what does this all get done? Speaker 1 00:07:28 Let's back up a half step there. Cause I know you and I don't think you've personally feel you used the word vulnerable. I don't think you feel vulnerable asking those questions. I know you, I know people who could feel vulnerable, right? Yeah. It's a vulnerability. It in the classic organizational management theory, higher up, you went into the org chart. You were supposed to know more, I guess, until you're supposed Speaker 2 00:07:52 To know everybody's job that I, that I made. Speaker 1 00:07:55 Right. And so if you didn't, if you looked like you didn't, maybe you could look bad, you could look uninformed, you could look, oh, what kind of leader is this? But, but yeah, that's been flipped around over a lot of years now to what you're talking about, which is if you got 90 people working for you, you got 90 people who you have to clear stuff out of the way so they can get their jobs done well. So they bring what you said a second ago. They're now subject matter expertise to something. Speaker 2 00:08:26 Yeah. And that's exactly how I define my job. As I'm knocking out the barriers to let the smart people do what they do. Um, Speaker 1 00:08:35 No, right there, I write right there. I think that creates trust. If they see the boss trying to clear the brush from their path so they can get the job done. They're like, wow, Speaker 2 00:08:47 Well, that's, that's the goal. That's the goal. I mean, that creates an environment of, I know that he's got my back, um, and that they're going to take my, my, my opinions or my guidance or my thoughts seriously. Uh, in fact, if they come to me for that, if my supervisor comes to me for that, um, then that I'm being listened to. And even if we screw up, you know, he's going to be the one to get, you know, get the hairdryer treatment, right. Get blown in the face. And I will, you know, it's always about my representation of my, of my teams up the chain versus me getting a pedestal and pointing down and say, here's what, you know, blah, blah, blah. Right. Um, though, at times, if you have to set up parameters on, Hey, we've got a deadline or it must have this and this and this, you tell me how we do everything else, you know? Um, or, you know, and then just let them go. Um, so that's the idea, Speaker 1 00:09:47 The concept, Speaker 2 00:09:48 You know, you just use the word that the intent, uh, you'd love for someone to say, you know, it might, my goal is really to get people away from tell me what to do. Right. So here's what I intend to do and why, um, because it means they're addressing problems. They're coming to me with the, with the solution. Um, and if they are, if they're at a point where they're saying why that means, they thought about the questions, I know I'm already going to ask and therefore they've now they've now taken, you know, they've put, they put my hat on and said, you know, here are the things that somebody will maybe thinking about, or the end client says this. And you know, it sounds, it sounds fatalistic, you know, train your successor, right? Yeah. I'm about to go on two weeks vacation and everybody knows already what to do. Right. Speaker 1 00:10:44 You know, well, you painted a pretty clear picture of how you get folks on the same page, um, who work for you. Let's break that down a little bit. You've got some kind of leadership team between you and everybody in the front lines. So how does that, how do you work that the same principles with that smaller number of people? I don't know, 6, 8, 10. And then how are they, how do you see them getting on the same page with one another? Speaker 2 00:11:15 You know, it's, it's the same thing when you're talking with the entire team of, um, turning the intent over to them, you know, um, here's a perfect example. Uh, issue comes up or a problem comes up, right. And, and we have a meeting to discuss this. Um, the first thing I'll do is, you know, hopefully everybody understands the problem or at least if they do, I'm going to communicate that. And then I shut up because if we walk in and say, Hey, here's the situation. The client just needs this, this and this. I'm thinking we do a B, and then we do seek, right. I have taken any idea that somebody walked into that meeting with, and they're just deflated because here's what the boss said. Right. And now everyone looks at the boss and now, now the meeting has changed from what do we do to, how do we do what the boss asked? Speaker 2 00:12:13 Yeah. You know? And so by me shutting up or opening up and going, and my favorite phrase is, what am I missing? Yeah. You know what, tell me what, tell me what the gaps are telling me, what you see. And that just opens up everybody to be free with their comments and their thoughts and objectives. Okay. What does that look like? And again, what am I missing? Giving everybody a chance to, to really tell me as opposed to pointing fingers at each other, they get to tell me where you treat the issue as something separate. It's like in the middle of the table. So nobody's taking it personally about getting on the same page. And, and I think having everybody, having a piece of ownership in that is, is a big, is a big part of it because it gets so I, I am creating a solution and I'm doing my part is that Speaker 1 00:13:03 Ownership, that ownership comes from, I think I know the answer, but tell me where that for you, where that ownership comes. Right. So, you know, we, we hear that giving where's that ownership come from, how do you get that to happen with them? Speaker 2 00:13:22 You know, we're, we're in a situation where we're still under a corporate America where the factory floors, the factory floor, and the guy up in the office wearing a white college or, um, is the one that makes all the decisions. I mean, that's how our organization chart works. Um, but we're really in this, you know, we're really in this knowledge workforce. Yeah. So I have to kind of, you have to break the supervisor, supervisee, you know, factoring model. And now it's in terms of, everybody's got a role, you know, my role may be, you know, I really look at myself as more of the back seat navigator. Right. Um, because I'm because, you know, in the, in the, in an airline, you've got your pilots and your co-pilots, and you've got that, that guy in the back is, it was the navigator who was at least saying, Hey, by the way, we want to make sure we go from New York to LA. Speaker 2 00:14:18 And right now it looks like we're on path to go to Vancouver, you know? And the pilot is like, okay, well then I'll just do X, Y, and Z, you know, all right. Sounds good. We course corrected. Or, or to, to really say, Hey, it sounds like we're going to Vancouver and the poly can turn to you go, yeah, we just left the airport. Right. I still have to turn. Right. You know, so to get back to the idea of ownership, um, you know, it's, um, and I'm shaking my head. It's like, where did it come from? It it's like this buzzword that rolls around, but it's really who accountability responsibility who has the decision-making power. Right. So to speak, right. Or who's in the best position to lead the work to, to, to, to, to direct what's done. And for everybody else to respect that. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:15:10 And you call on people to do, to contribute what they contribute. Well, yeah. Um, they, there's an investment that they have in the proceedings, in the discussion and the task and the project. And, and, um, if you invite that and you, you know, you support that. So it's not just rhetoric that plays out into the meetings, over people are going to do what they said they would do. So if people can bring their knowledge, experience, subject matter expertise to the table in a conversation, um, and they know that you're inviting it, you want, you want it. Then they feel a motivation. I think people feel a motivation to, to, to lean in, to contribute to, Speaker 2 00:16:01 And just say to, to, to also it's like improv it's yes. And right. Because they will build the model. He say, Hey, they'll also come back and go, I thought about this again. Right. And we can do more. Right. Or somebody else is adding to it. And they, they feel like, you know, you walk away and you're like, well, the meeting was really there. Right. You know, somebody who's looked to look at the transcript, I just kind of welcomed folks in and let them build and 10 books, whatever. I came in with my D or C, they have added every other letter in the alphabet. And if, if we just went with my idea, it would not have been as innovative. It would not have been as creative. It would not. Speaker 1 00:16:44 Right. Right, right. Right. Well, it's certainly the case that someone in your position has a view up to chain of command that others won't have, you have knowledge of a you up to N and part of what you're saying is that you're going to, you're going to pass that down appropriately, dear. Speaker 2 00:17:01 Get to where you can, where you can. Speaker 1 00:17:04 Um, but you can't have a view of all of the work that each of them has asked because they're working with their members, the members of their teams who are really doing the work on the front lines. So we're, we're talking about a picture here of quite a bit of collegiality, which is what's hoped for, um, how have you dealt with differences constructive and that within that collegiality differences are going to come up and, and that's, that's you hope so, because otherwise you could have some group thing going on or you, you could be some blind spots that everyone's just like, we are just rolling on and people are missing some things and no one stopped to question them, how do you foster, how do you lead them to, I was still thinking of your management team through those conversations where there's differences and you wanted sort it out in an honest way. Speaker 2 00:17:52 Sure. Yeah. Because you could easily, you know, everything could look good to me, but then, but then let's say amongst that group of five or 10, that there's somebody who's really used to bring it. Cause they're the one that's talks all the time and they have just a dominating personality and you don't know that or something to that nature. I think the best way are still those still having those individual check-ins too right. To have that kind of deeper conversation and to where you're able to just turn to each individual and be like, what do you need? You know, what's working well, what's not working well, what am I missing? Uh, and if you've established that trust that hopefully they look at those one-on-ones, there's not a report out to me of all the things you're doing, but it's their ability to vent to me, you know? Speaker 2 00:18:45 And then let me know what's bothering them, what they don't have enough of. And there it's okay at that point for their problems to be my problems, or at least for me to be aware of those problems, it doesn't mean I have to solve, but this is where the coaching comes in. This is where you're able to coach people in terms of breaking down those conflicts, working with each other. Cause the last thing, what, what ruins the, the, the intent-based that whole relationship, the whole understanding is running to tell mom or dad and having mom or dad then run in and say, well, you don't have dessert. And you're, you know, you're you go to your room with no internet for an hour, you know? Um, because then that's, then that tells them, that's how I solve problems by going, you know, going up the chain and crying. Speaker 2 00:19:39 Uh, and then it's like whoever, whoever comes to my office at the most, uh, seems to get all their problems solved because that's, you know, no, we can't have that then and no triangulation. Right. Um, and so if it comes to that, I mean, he's, you have to have the hard conversations. You bring them together and you separate people from the issue, right? Hey, here are the facts that this happened. This happened, this happened. Talk to me about what went on, you know, talk to me what you, you, you mentioned earlier, I'm already covering sportscaster, uh, at a coast game. And if the football team loses the last thing I'm going to do, and you know, of course move knows I'm about five foot, eight, a hundred and fifty five pounds. I am not walking into the six foot five, 300 and you know, biscuit away from, you know, linebacker and saying, so how come you guys stunk today? <inaudible> playing hard enough. Right, right. Instead you separate yourself. Hey, in the fourth quarter they racked up 152 yards on you guys. What was the difference? And so it's almost on-point to a third party in the room, the incidents. Um, and that's an easier way just to have tough conversations. I know I drifted a little bit on Speaker 1 00:20:55 That point though, but, Speaker 2 00:20:56 But it is kind of like when, when you do talk about getting people on the same page, separating the issue and putting it out, let's say on a separate page. So I haven't put your names associated to this. I've talked about all right, folks, this happened and this happened and this happened. So walk me through, walk me through that thing that not, you got to do this better and you gotta do that better now. No, no shake hands and don't fight. Speaker 1 00:21:29 Uh, and, and in interest based negotiation, right. Which Roger Fischer and bill Ury developed in the eighties long time ago, separating the people from the problem is the first principle is really, and, and, and, you know, Demming talked about that in TQM back in the, the gees seventies, um, after studying the Japanese who were kicking America's ass at the time with auto production. Yeah. Because of the, the, the environment that they created in the factory. Yep. That was quality that somebody Speaker 2 00:22:06 Had the ability to go stop. Speaker 1 00:22:08 Right. Yeah. Right. So, so separating the people from the problem is as a great technique for a number of things, but one of them is difficult conversation. Yeah. Yeah. Have you had a situation where, uh, someone you didn't see a positive response to the approach that you, so you and I are talking about a general or a broad approach to leadership and, um, we could talk about the difference with leadership and management, but it isn't like, that's not known, you might have a particular take on that, but that's out there in a lot of literature. If someone doesn't have, if someone doesn't take quickly or warmly or, you know, enthusiastically, they need a little time to respond, even this approach of transparency of trust. Yes. So they don't want to get on that page yet. How do you handle that? Speaker 2 00:22:57 Well, I'll give me a kind of a perfect example. I was in, I was in a discussion. It was, it was a leadership forum, um, amongst, amongst some of the knowing some of the middle managers. And then the topic of that session really dealt with decision-making and control, you know, the, the undercurrent Dean, how not to be a micromanager. Right. You know? And so one of the things that was kind of posted the group is, you know, why do you micromanage? And all the answers were what you expect control and getting it done. Right. And protecting people. Okay. And then, then the follow-up is, you know, where are the impacts? And, and you, you got, I, I got a different opinions from, from you're suppressing people and you're causing distrust all that too. Speaker 2 00:23:51 I still see kind of a need for this. And it was, you know, the old thing is based out of wanting to get it right though. Rarely are, is anybody in that field? I mean, this is why when you go to the hospital, everybody who talks to you asks you your name because they want to make sure if they've got medication for Lou, that that's, they're actually right. Right, right. Um, but most fields mistakes, aren't always super, super critical or can't be backed away. Right. And so, but we treat them like they are afraid to fail, uh, and that fear is what's driving things. And so you could sense that in people who were a little bit more reluctant to be, Nope, I need to look over the shoulder of everybody who's doing work. No, because either it's my ass on the line for, um, or I just want to make sure it's done. Speaker 2 00:24:50 Right. Um, or, but you could see folks kind of struggling with the real rationale, which was, I'm afraid they won't do it. Right. And, and, and then, and then, and then it's bad. And then, and then, you know, it's bad on me and it's, you know, we've got stuff to do. And so I'm going down this rabbit hole of basically saying, you know, you gotta be transparent, open and vulnerable with yourself. Um, and so the fear behind it. So you're asking what happens at that point. If someone's not there, you may not get the answers. You would like, Speaker 1 00:25:30 Well, you touched on some, you said something I want to come back to. I think at central. And we talked about before, we've talked about leading oneself. So let's just say, as a manager, project lead, whatever a role of some authority is where work's being done under your, you are, you are accountable for what comes out of, Speaker 2 00:25:52 Well, the client, the client just comes to you first for everything, something like that. Speaker 1 00:25:56 And you do, you, you, if you're worried that something won't get done right. Which is the motivation to micromanage, that's just so step back to that. Does that point, you're worried something won't get done, right? Your worry could be valid, or you could have legitimate reason to, or, or not. And maybe you don't know, maybe you've not been thought about that. You're just the type. That's going to worry a micromanagement. It's possible to go to someone and say, Tom, we're going to kick off next week. And you got this part. I've got some concerns I want to talk to you about. So now this is where you're leading yourself. This is where you're making, you're holding yourself accountable for what you want others to do. I'm going to, I got to fess up. I got to open up and say, I'm worried about X because of Y you knew that the team, um, you, you know, you just got your certification, whatever the reason is. Speaker 1 00:26:49 Yeah. If it's, I don't like you, you got a different issue to deal with. That's something else. And if you don't like somebody, you have to, you have to deal with that in an honest way with yourself, because you could prejudice the work and that's okay. But apart from that, if there's reasons that you could articulate why I'm worried, it could be a fair discussion to have with somebody. Absolutely. And you could negotiate a way through it, like, so, because you could put some controls in place that are agreeable. I don't want to micromanage you, but can we talk more off initially? Can we talk every couple of days about how things are going? Or could you tell me if you're struggling with something, could you just kind of raise your hand, like in the, you know, on my, raise your hand and say, Hey, I got that. Speaker 1 00:27:36 Let's go over something. There could be some ways through that that are good for the relationship. That's important. Good for the work, right? Yeah. Good build trust instead of trashing it. Um, but this is, this comes back to something you've said, we've talked about before. If you can't do that for yourself, you can't do that with them. Yeah. If you can't be honest with yourself, you can't be vulnerable with somebody else because that is a bit of a position of vulnerability to say, I'm a little worried about something. Can we, can we talk about and see if we can come to a greater way, a way through it, because you don't know how that's going to go. Speaker 2 00:28:14 And frankly, as you brought that question up, uh, that question can come from client that can come from your staff. That's right. But you know, your boss could say this to you. Somebody else let's say I'm a project lead. And the other project lead also says that about me could come from your staff to you. Right. No matter what there's, there's that, there's that like, all right. Let's, let's see where we can understand our strengths and weaknesses perfectly. And I think it helps to, to stress that right. To say, Hey, listen, I totally see it. And then negotiate your, your, you know, what's a better way for me to develop this. And if it is, I'm going to give you a weekly status report, we'll do it just touch base every week or tell you what I'm going to do. We'll we'll tag up whatever it is. Here's the thing where I think about developing trust is whatever we come up with, Speaker 1 00:29:17 Do it, do Speaker 2 00:29:20 What you say you're going to do when you do it. And that in that alone builds trust of, I can count on every Thursday. I'm going to get this in my inbox. And Thursday by nine o'clock thing. Gosh, darn it. There is Speaker 1 00:29:35 Again. No, it is important. Speaker 2 00:29:38 Yeah. That predict. And so that's, that's an aspect of trust, but I think that's, that's an aspect of anything. So if I'm gonna do the same thing with a teammate, you know, if I'm going to do the same thing with the, with the floor and be like, Hey, you know, this parts, this part is completely yours to innovate. Just what, you know, your deadlines. Um, you know, I'm clearly not going to walk away from anything and you establish how, how that looks. You build, you build it, Speaker 1 00:30:07 You know, Speaker 2 00:30:07 You build it Speaker 1 00:30:08 With them. So, because something could come back to you and if they could say to you, Hey, look, can you do something for me? Can you let me know how you think I'm doing? Can you give me some positive feedback? And they could have a request of you that you wouldn't have thought of it like, well, hell yeah, I'll do that. Of course I'll do it. Yeah. You just touched on something. It's a really important in a good conversation, a quality, one, one characteristic of a good conversation. Whether it's one-to-one or the team, it has an emergent property. Something comes out of it that wasn't planned. Wasn't mechanical. Couldn't have maybe even couldn't have been predicted, emerges from the interaction of people. Yeah. Right. So fresh ideas can come out of that. Solutions to problems can come out of that. Something innovative could, and maybe something that helps people connect. Right. Speaker 2 00:31:00 That's I mean, it doesn't become, we've all been in the meetings. Heck I think you and I will, probably anybody who's listening to this we're in one today where the meeting is just somebody reporting out the report Speaker 1 00:31:15 Out is deadly. Speaker 2 00:31:15 So something I could have read already or something I could have recorded, you know, now that all our meetings are unlike zoom or Microsoft teams, I should have just recorded it and sent it to you. It's deadly. It's like the it's like from airplane, I just hit autopilot and the guy pops up and just, you know, reports and walks away. Um, Speaker 1 00:31:35 I didn't drop any classes in college, but I dropped one because the professor read his lecture notes to the class and it was so deadly. It was just so deadly. So even if the information was good, uh, the, the, the delivery was so, so uninspired, Speaker 2 00:31:53 Uh, yeah, it's a one way street. It is. Speaker 1 00:31:56 And he's not even looking at you when he's reading. Right. And so you, you don't even have the feeling of a professor. I got a quote. Right. And you, there could be some engagement. It was just deadly. And the report outs are that way, the report outs were just mind-numbingly deadly and they don't, they don't engender any interaction really? That may maybe a Q and a, Hey, could you clarify? Speaker 2 00:32:18 But normally that's somebody saying, okay, your thing now affects me. So I now want to have a one-on-one conversation with you in this group setting that's so that, that that's even better. Um, uh, but to, to get to you to get your point when you it too. Well, I think, I think I, well, if you really are talking about building something with somebody, yeah. I mean, literally you're getting, Speaker 1 00:32:50 Yeah, that's right. It creating it, you know, you're creating it. And in fact, that's a really important point because we're all only on our own pages. There's nowhere else we can be. We can broaden and deepen that as much as possible, but still we've got limits to what that's just, it's a human Speaker 2 00:33:09 And it's not me putting a page in front of you and saying, do you agree? No, it's one we built together. Literally. There's no other page for us, as opposed to, here's my idea. I, but I need your feedback. What do you think of my idea? You know, I've just walked in and been like, here's the page? You know, this is a manager walking in and saying, we're going to do a, B and C. This is me walking in, dropping a piece of paper and say, okay, folks, here's our page. How do we, how do you all agree to get on my page? As opposed to like, you, people are all smart, what should we be doing? Speaker 1 00:33:48 Sometimes, sometimes even the phrase getting on the same page can make, can, can cause someone to have a reaction of, oh, that means I got to get on someone else's page. That could be explicit thought that could be an intuition. Oh, I've got to get off my page and under someone else's page. Speaker 2 00:34:06 And this is, that really leaves Speaker 1 00:34:07 My mind behind. Speaker 2 00:34:09 Right? Exactly. It's that it's that it's going back, that old hierarchy model of how do I get on the bosses page and how much of my soul is going to get crushed by it. Right. You know, I may have these ideas, but here's what it is or this knucklehead wants. Um, or maybe I can influence his page a bit to have something of it. Right. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:34:34 That's just different than it feels different than if you're really genuinely engaged in creating something that you're all getting. You're all, you're all creating together. Speaker 2 00:34:42 Yeah. It's like when you ask, um, so right now, diving in a little bit about the human service field and especially within child welfare, there is a push to really stress incorporating those with lived experience, right? Cause you have a lot of people who may not have had exposure to the foster care system, making decisions. They decided in college, they wanted to change the world. They got their MSW and they went out there to save kids. God loved them. Um, but their perspective is different than the families that they're serving. They're understanding their background. Okay. So now finally gel welfare is getting into the, it's the sense of, we really need to incorporate their voice to help develop policies that really suit their needs. Great. Well, how do we do that? And the process of policy development goes on, and then there's some point where they ask somebody who's opinion. Speaker 2 00:35:38 What do you think? You know, we're okay. And we hear from those stories and oh, okay, great. Thanks. And then we keep moving on. So it's like you gave somebody the microphone and then they walked away, but we haven't incorporated everything. Right. Right. Where is it a point where now you really do it right? They're there at the table at the beginning giving perspective, they're there at the review stage and front, and they're there at the approval stages. That's weaving somebody in as opposed to just hearing somebody. So when I walk into that meeting or when we attack an issue, I walk in with my page and I ask you what you think, which is really, you gotta do this or not. Right. You know, as opposed to all right, let's build this page together. Yeah. You know what I understand? There's the, the, the, the, the breaking, the mold of the loss is going to tell us what to do. Speaker 1 00:36:39 There's different vantage points that different parties have. So if you have been, if you've lived in the child welfare system, um, if you supervised, if you managed something about it at that frontline level, all the way up to the top of the chain of command, where somebody let's say it's a government program. So someone has got to be accountable to OMB or Congress, right. It's a valuable role and perspective too, but we get, we get top heavy with that. We lose sight of the fact that, you know, we really, I mean, there's literature about bureaucracy and, and, and, and unintended consequences of, of national policy is it's just, it's massive. It's a library full of, of literature. And, and it, it comes not only, but in part, from not really knowing what's going to happen when the rubber meets the road. In fact, there was a policy, um, development process or method that came out of that decades ago called backward mapping, where you started with an articulation of, of, of what was supposed to happen, where the rubber met the road, where that policy is implemented in a community or in a, in a, in a, in a, in a, uh, housing development, right. Speaker 1 00:37:53 Where, where, where it happens. Right. And if you looked at, what, if you looked at what behaviors, the policy was intended to change down there, you could quickly see if it would, if it had had a chance or not, or you could see what would enable where it would constrain the change you're trying to bring about, but you had to look at it from that granular level first, because then if you got it right at that level, even just conceptually, I don't mean an actual program. If you just got it, right. Conceptually you could back up, this is the backward mapping you could go to. Our policy usually starts, was it top of an organization, right? And then you could look at, well, what are the things that are going to enable constrain what we need to do at the ground level? It was just trying to flip it around and get a different perspective on Speaker 2 00:38:42 It's. One of the things that I think, um, if you're working with, let's say you're in a, in a, what somebody would call a skip meeting. So I'm not meeting with my direct report who manages a team, I'm meeting one quarter of the team members, right. As they're walking in, oh, this is so-and-so is Boston boss. But if you turn around and say, Hey, um, here's this issue that happened, or even better, here's the problem at hand? What would we need to, you know, to, to solve this? What would it, what would the environment look like? Right. And they'd say, and they they'd give you things that they may think are impossible. Yeah. But if I'm, my job is really to knock that stuff out of the way. It's like, no, this is what I want to know. This is what I can affect. Right. Speaker 2 00:39:32 And so getting that, that input changes things from my perspective, because if I look at it and be like, well, clearly either they're not doing something right. Or they've got the wrong information, or they're just not equipped to whatever it is. And they may turn me say, no, if is, is this, that, and this, and I could do that. In fact, if we had this thing, we could do this, this and this. And you're like, well, what's stopping us from doing it. And then they'd look and go what I thought we weren't allowed to wear. It's like Speaker 1 00:40:06 Right now, Speaker 2 00:40:09 Now, now I can help. Now as the manager, I can help. Hey, that's my job. So, and so I think then they've then developed, you know, if you're talking about getting on the same page, I mean, it's just a continuation of the discussion of intent based leadership, right. The same day. How do you get people on the same page is by walking in with a blank one, right? Yeah. Um, yeah. And as the leader, you have a position of power. That's already bestowed upon you that you need to pull back from. I mean, it's not like your very first very new hire. They're totally blind to the organization. You think it's a clean slate. They're walking in with kind of this systemic idea of what my boss is. And you have to break that you have to break that to be like, Nope, you're a part of this. You know, you're awesome. You do what you do. There's a reason I hired you over those folks. Speaker 1 00:41:15 The bottom line is a decision will be made. I can make it. If you leave me to my own devices, I'll have to make it. If we pull together and come up with some good stuff that no one individual was going to come up with. And perhaps not even a subset of the team, what a team works well, there's contributions from each part that produce what emerges and I'll make the decision to go with those best ideas. So I have the authority and I would choose to not exercise my authority that way. I'm going to share the authority with this team. Meaning I'm still will make the decision. I'm still accountable for it. But yeah, I don't want to design the solution. <inaudible> do that as a team, Speaker 2 00:41:57 You know, they've developed this and they've demonstrated their competency and they've demonstrated the ability to pick things apart. And now they finally felt that they can be trusted to share that Speaker 1 00:42:12 That's, that's critical. That's critical. I call the show wa I see what you mean because of something that you just touched on, which is I did some consulting one time for somebody pretty high up a organizational chart who wanted a team to be more innovative. And I talked to him pretty thoroughly about what that meant to him, but then when I could, I could go down the down the food chain to the, where the work was being done. And I could say, Hey, the boss wants some things around here to be more innovative. Tell me what that, what do you hear when I, when I say that? Yeah, yeah. The point was the conversation illuminated one word means different things to different people and it's all relevant. So if, if innovative to them on the front lines meant they could solve some problems, but innovative to somebody in the CFO shop meant something would save money. Speaker 1 00:43:06 You know what I'm saying? Yeah. Right, right. All right. Who's to say that someone's right or wrong. Sometimes as a consultant or sometimes in the work I've done as a third party, you can see the different vantage points are different perspectives of different parties. It's always nice when you can bring that together and they can see it for themselves. Yeah. Right. Because that's when they can go, oh, I never thought of it that way. That's the emergent property of a good conversation, because then things start to come together and people are having their own aha moments going all right. Now I understand. And I, and just what you said a second ago, even as the manager, when you said, all right, I can take care of that. Speaker 2 00:43:46 Well, because now I see exactly. Speaker 1 00:43:49 And now I can control. Speaker 2 00:43:50 Right. And that's, that's an idea of taking the perspectives, right. Taking the others through a policy development. And it's like, what do I see from the top versus what do I see, you know, at the grassroots level, the problem is, and, and I guess, um, a lot of it is, is extrapolated really well from things like, um, books like Freakonomics or Simon Sinek's books, you know, where somebody goes in and looks at a problem from whatever it is. It's like, you know, it's not like people are bad drivers, it's you have no stop signs, you know? Speaker 1 00:44:28 Oh, no, there's some great, there's some great techniques for things, things like that. Like, um, uh, uh, pretend you are a piece of your data point and you're moving through an information system. It's just a device to make you shift perspective. Yeah. If you're going to argue that the world is black with white stripes, and I'm going to argue, it's white with black stripes, somebody might ask us to argue the opposite that didn't do that. You're not going to debate school at bay class. Yeah. Argue the opposite. It's not to be facile with the argument or, but to be deceptive, you know, to be it's to go, uh, juror, play chess and turn a chess board around. And in the middle of a game, it makes, it just makes you see the board differently. And your brain quickly starts to reconfigure. If you're trying to do some problem solving with people, there's lots of techniques like that, that, uh, that, that, that will are intended to get at what you just said, that perspective shift, the more we can sh we can shift perspective or broaden perspective, the more, I think sometimes it feels like it might challenge us, but if you're, if you're patient, you just sit through it and you realize I don't have to abandon something I believe or something I think I know, or I care about, but if I be patient and just sit through this conversation, that's a good conversation. Speaker 1 00:45:53 So I don't hold back, let myself in engage. I might find out some things that helped me better do what I think I was out to do, or keep me from making a mistake. All right. Maybe we should try it. Let's try it your way first, because I think if you're right, then I can bring this in, whereas before, Speaker 2 00:46:17 Yeah. Sorry to interrupt. But I think it's also where, when you're dealing with like organizational conflict where somebody, not the ball's not moving in the right direction, if we want to just hurl cliches. Right. Um, but understanding what's holding somebody else back. Right. You know, why are they always so defensive about this or whatever it is. And I think that having that understanding of the other side of the story, or just one of the things and having a communication background, you know, taught me just really, really early. It's not about what I have to say. It is about what somebody else hears. And so my, my goal in the message isn't to spout my part, it's the it's to connect with them. Right. There's plenty of times when I walk in with my idea, and then I walk ethic and my idea was so stupid, you know, I'm glad I did, because they were better than they were better when they combined them. Like you would think of that. Speaker 1 00:47:20 That's right. That's right. All right, brother. Thank you, sir. Thank you. And that's how we see it. My friends, I want to thank Tom for joining me for today's episode, send questions and suggestions through the app, subscribe and give me a five star rating unless you can't which case, tell me why and join me next week. But we take another look at how to get on the same page and stay there unless they shouldn't.

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