Communicating Across Generations - Or What A Boardgame Might Teach The Boardroom

March 02, 2022 00:41:34
Communicating Across Generations - Or What A Boardgame Might Teach The Boardroom
I See What You Mean
Communicating Across Generations - Or What A Boardgame Might Teach The Boardroom
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Show Notes

My friend and colleague, Brenda Blackman, opens this episode with a funny story about how the communication of clues in a card and boardgame was challenged by differences in the players' ages. It's a telling story, too, because with five generations in the workforce, how much work communication is affected by age? In what ways? Is getting on the same page affected? Brenda and I discuss these questions and what she does about them.

 

With 28 years in the Air Force and another 10 consulting, not only is leadership important to Brenda but so is mentoring. Mentoring is near and dear to her heart, in fact, and in this episode we discuss challenges organizations face preparing young professionals for top leadership positions. Here are a few of my ahh-ha! moments:

 

1:48 - Clues, games and the ahh-ha! moment.

3:57 - Taking the extra step to make sure people on your team are as vested in the outcomes as you are.

7:42 - The difference between following orders when you understand - and don't understand - a leader's objective or endgame.

12:21 - How understanding a leader's objective or endgame enables better performance - and why good leaders never ask teams to bring them a rock.

20:00 - When a team is very close, can they really "read each other's minds?" And what probabilities and prediction have to do with it.

24:10, 27:27 - The importance of conducting an environmental scan.

31:15 - Why a leader must "pull the thread" to get everyone on the same page.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 Welcome to, I see what you mean a podcast about how people get on the same page or don't, or perhaps shouldn't today. My guest is Brenda Blackmon. Brenda's a friend in federal government consulting called egg with a career of military and civilian organizational leadership. Brenda, welcome to the show. Speaker 2 00:00:22 It's a pleasure to be here. Thank Speaker 1 00:00:23 You, Brenda. Why don't we start with just a short bio about yourself? Speaker 2 00:00:26 Sure. I was served in the air force for 28 years. It was a great career. My many friends, lifelong friends that I still have good relationships with. And in fact, one of my former bosses, one that introduced me to the consulting world. So, uh, he brought me and as a young consultant into a woman on disabled company, which was very close to my heart being a former military person. And so I've been serving in that capacity for the last 10 years with different companies, leading a team, um, continuing to use my experience, hopefully to make things better. Speaker 1 00:01:06 Absolutely. And that was why I wanted to talk with you because of the experience that you've had in the military, in military service, as a leader, we work together on the civilian side and I think you're great at what you do. And especially at mentoring young professionals and teaching on professionals, some of the ropes. So I want to recall something we talked about when we were preparing and it actually has to do with some generational differences. You told me a funny story about playing a board game with some family where communication was critical to the game and you, and you saw that there was a difference in the communication by generations of the participants of the players. So why don't we, why don't you recount that story and we'll start there. Speaker 2 00:01:48 Or for those that have not played the game of code names, it's a board game with, with cards and people you have to have at least four people dividing up into to, to change. So one team is a spymaster and the other team are known as the field operatives. So supposedly skills very important. But what we found out was playing with the young 20 year olds. And then there was two of us that were about four decades older than them. Um, the young ones were giving us the clues and we really, in most cases kind of had no idea what they were talking about, but as we went through the game, we had the aha moment that it's very important age does factor into how you communicate, how you get on the same page. Because again, with their clues, it was very important or very apparent that the other young one was like visually than ours. But if we had paired up by age, we may have done better. Speaker 1 00:02:49 Uh, the, I called the podcast. I see what you mean to capture that aha moment that you mentioned when you go, oh, I see what you mean. And that flash of insight of that perspective shift that does something to get two or more people on the same page. I know that there are many factors to that. I hadn't thought a great deal about, uh, generational factors regarding that. So the game is a fun illustration of that point, but it's an important illustration of that point. So it makes me want, it makes me wonder what there's been work experiences that you've had. We both had where, because of gender or generation or perhaps culture, or even bring the just professional training. If you, you know, you put an engineer in a customer service person in a room together, they speak different languages because they have different roles and responsibilities. Right? Tell me about some of your experience bridging those gaps and getting people on the same page where you, how you've helped people see that and then exchange information with each other so that they could have their own aha moments. Speaker 2 00:03:57 Well, some of that comes with one, always factoring in everyone clearly wants to do a good job. No one comes to work every day there, they don't want to be successful, but how do you communicate with them to make sure that they know that they're valued? Every human being wants to be recognized, believed in that kind of leads into mentoring and helping to grow people by valuing what they bring. But it also means that you have to take the extra step and the extra time to make sure that the people you're working with your team are as invested in the outcome as you are. And by clearly defining to them what success looks like, how do you get to a successful point and yes, culture, gender age, all the things that, you know, some of the things we're not supposed to talk about do come into play. Speaker 2 00:04:56 But again, as you say, taking a more mature adult that has had a successful career and leading hundreds and hundreds of people in charge of millions of dollars grants into a small team of 30, 40, or 50, but success for an individual, shouldn't be defined on how many people you lead or how many accolades you've had. It's still you, you gotta be hungry for that next success, but success is not defined by you as an individual, right? It is, it is a team. And the more you can engage that team and help them to understand what success means, then the more vested they will be. And if we're not clearly communicating or making sure we set the stage to make sure we're all on the same page, then the less likely whether it's work or personally, that we will be Speaker 1 00:05:53 Good point. And I want to, I think I have stepped back, but then come right back to where just left it because I'm going to connect a couple things I didn't serve in the military. And I probably had a mistaken, I probably misunderstood the command and control nature of the military before I worked with you and others pretty closely. I, I might've thought the ability of someone in the military to, to issue an order was how things were communicated and how things worked and they could be. But I think that I had a conversation with Bob Nunley once about that. And his answer was funny and you'll, you'll, you'll, you'll laugh. He said, you know, apart from a crisis or urgent situation to combat such where an order is the right way to communicate something, he said, and his voice went like this, it's the worst way to communicate with people, right? Speaker 1 00:06:42 I tied in my mind to what you just said, and I want to ask you to confirm it or explain it to me. You can issue an order. You're in a civilian, on a work, on a team at work. If you're the project manager of you're an executive in a company, you can issue an order that doesn't mean people understand enough about it to get on the same page. That doesn't mean they know enough about what you're looking for to bring their best to it. So comment for a moment, if you would about the idea of issuing orders and a different way to have a conversation about it, to start things off. Speaker 2 00:07:14 So, and I'll take it a different way of, I like to look at it as commander's intent. So, and it's understood that it's an order. I'd give you a direct order to do something that means you have no other choice. And as Bob, as Bob said, that's not a good way to operate. There are times when you have to say that, but those are very dire situations. It's usually again, and I have folks that'll say it now because they've been around me long enough to go, okay. We just want to make sure we have got commander's intent. And that is, do we understand what the ask is? And so sometimes the way to make sure they understand is you say it back to me, I need this deliverable. Can you explain to me how you're going to give that to me? So the commander's intent is that deliverable in five days, making sure everyone understands what that is set the stage, how will we get there? Speaker 2 00:08:16 How do we deeper and prioritize something else that's hot right now to get to that? So we look at it as, at the end of the day. Yes, it may be an order, but it's the intent of the ask. And that was one of the challenges I had when I transitioned out of the service and into the civilian sector that I thought, because I asked for it, it was going to be done, but it wasn't always managed that way. And I didn't want to have to say, well, that's an order because they'd go, okay, whatever. Um, but it, it was, you wanted them to again see you that they understood that you, why you had the opportunity to say why sometimes you don't have the opportunity to explain why Speaker 1 00:09:02 True, what to say more about the intent having to do with understanding means and ends. I think there's something about intent and the idea in commander's intent of understanding what is to be done. If I'm walking away from a conversation, I know what I need to go. Do we know what we need to go do? But there's something about understanding why, what we do is a understanding of what we do as a means to an end that I think helps people perform, say, say, what's your experience with that? Speaker 2 00:09:32 At one point, yes, I had a boss that didn't believe in explaining why he always just said, you have this piece of the pie to work. And it was always hard to understand how, what you were contributing fit into the big picture. So as long as I had the opportunity to say to the people that work for me now, and so how to make people feel empowered, and that's the, you know, one of the big buzzwords is empower people to be successful, empower people, to know that they can do their job. And sometimes that's all they need is that positive influence of we've got confidence in them. I have a very young group of people right now about to lead a big project. They're stepping into the role of the senior PM and it's huge, but I have no doubt they're going to be successful because they've shown that they're hungry. Speaker 2 00:10:31 They've shown that they can deliver. They're a younger version of your daughter that, you know, you see that, that spark and then that, you know, all they need is just someone that believes in them. Not that your daughter didn't have many people that believed in. I w I was, had the pleasure of helping to guide and grit her. And most people take that very seriously because at the end of the day, they're the next generation they're going to be the next PM. They are going to be the next vice president of a company. So you, you invest in them and you have confidence in them and you help them understand, but you make it a two way street that they feel open to come back and say, do you have a minute? And sometimes you don't, sometimes you do, but you always want to find that minute because for them that's important. Speaker 1 00:11:24 Well, I think if you, it is important. And I think if, if I were given an order and I had had no more information, I could go off and do what I was told to do. I could turn it back on time and on schedule and on budget and the quality of the best quality I could deliver to let's say to you, Brenda, that I could in the time, I just have to, if, if what I was given was scoped that narrowly, this you're, the order is go do this, get, go, do this analysis, or go find this information, whatever I have to trust that when I bring it back, you are someone else's piecing the other pieces with it. Now that might or might not work well for you. But if that's how we communicated, that's all I can do. I would rather know why not, because I want to challenge it. Speaker 1 00:12:11 I'd rather know why you needed that piece from me and how it related to some other pieces, because it also about helped me do my job a little bit better to get you back something that's more useful or, or in, in, in the process. If we had a day or had a week communicate with some of the other colleagues on the, on the task, make sure we're coordinated and make sure we're on the same page. So you don't get back things that are sloppy or messy or disconnected that you've got, you had to fix. I think knowing something about the rationale and understand commander's intent is also to provides the rationale, like you said, not just a command, not just an order, but the rationale, because then it also engages the people who receive it. It engages their brains in a different way. Right? And I think that's goes to what you said, where, what you, your comment that you closed a moment ago, that it's important for people to feel like they're bringing value to what they're doing. Thinking, being, thinking beings, not just causing, we're not just doing, but thinking and catching things to be able to engage at that level is I think more rewarding for people. And I think improves performance. I mean, you tell me what your experience is, but I think it improves performance. And I think it brings people together in a way, Brenda, that they learned to do that together. So the next time they're keep building that skill of high functioning team Speaker 2 00:13:34 Agree, agree. There have been, you know, opportunities, very frustrating opportunities where you weren't sure that you had commander's intent or that the commander knew what they were asking for. And so you've got the perception of, okay, bring me a rock and we go, okay, we're going to go. We're going to Polish that rock. And we're going to bring that rock. And we bring that rock and he's like, or she's like, well, it's not quite what I had. And so that is just a huge challenge. When you go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and you finally go, okay, the words that you will never hear out of my mouth are I give up, I do not know what you want. Do you really know what you want? And that's always the challenge of saying, do you really know? And it's, sometimes it's not, but the joke is, okay, go Polish your rock and bring me another one. Well, it's still not the rock we want. So that is what I try to always avoid. I know it's human nature because you sometimes have in your mind exactly what you want, but you fail to communicate and to make sure that the person you're communicating with is on the same page. You have not in some way develop that thought or the thought not be totally complete yet to be able to deliver it. And you'll know it when I see it. Oh, those are words that I Speaker 1 00:14:58 Don't like. Speaker 2 00:15:00 Yeah. That's such a waste of time, but yes. I'll know it when I see it. Speaker 1 00:15:07 Uh, no, no, no, no. That's, that's, that's my obligation to figure it out a little bit more before I ask you to go do it, do you, have you seen a difference in, let's say capability maturity, not of individuals, but of organizations or of teams of leadership between the military and civilian in the way that, and the thing that we're talking about where let's just say it's effective communication. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:15:34 Unsure. It is there. Because again, when you think about when we retire from the military, we all say, the first question you're ask is, do you miss it? And probably every person bar, none will say, I don't miss the work, but I miss the people. Yeah. The people that come together, your comrades in arms for the rest of your life, because you've lived through like experiences, you've been stationed overseas, that your military family becomes your family because you don't have access to your family. Right. And so you can communicate, you can go for years and not see each other and sit down over, you know, some mimosas and some brunch and five hours later just disappears. Whereas in the civilian sector, you don't have that. Right? Because people change jobs. People go home to their families, which is, which is different. So as a former military person, I had to make that mental transition. Speaker 2 00:16:44 That, that doesn't mean that they're not vested in the job. It's just a different way of thinking. And one of my young folks, you know, I always say, I try to find a way to say yes. So when I'm asked for something and if the time comes that I have to say no, then my client knows there's something catastrophic there that we can't support it. Right. So communicating the importance of saying yes, without it being illegal, immoral, right. It's a way of kind of cooperating to graduate and just getting along and trying to take that culture through my team to make sure that, again, it's not my success, it's our success. And it's our failure. If it comes to that, Speaker 1 00:17:36 I think I might be mistaken or maybe making it over the oversimplification. But I think that that to me, the military practice of the kinds of things you and I are talking about, we're more deliberate. There are more, not that they can't be in the civilian sector, but I think there was something about training in the military that led to that intentional, deliberate practice, like a best practice. Here's how we do things. And in the end, in the civilian side, there may be isn't so much of that training. Generally. It could be in any company agree with any leader, but it isn't that way. I don't think generally Speaker 2 00:18:11 Yes. In the military, we train in a Quip because unfortunately people's lives right. Could be at stake. Right. And most opportunities in the civilian side of consulting, I won't say all civilian opportunities, sending consulting a mistake or lack of communication is not going to cause something Speaker 1 00:18:31 You can recover from it. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. Correct. So you're getting on the same page with your team when you are getting on the same page with them and you're getting them on the same page with each other and you, how do you define that what's happening when people are on the same page? I think we've implied what it means by this, by what we've talked about so far. But do you have a, when you see it happening and you know, what's happened, what are you seeing? Speaker 2 00:18:54 I see people that one, we've had a chance to communicate what the ask is, what the expected outcome is. We, we, we get in sync, we get on the same page. I provide the intent. I come back and allow them the chance to ask questions, but it's no different when the client asks me for something to go, go hire someone, you know, what do they need to have? What experience do they need to have? So it's, yeah, it's always the back and forth communication to make sure I understand. There is also, and I have a young consultant that has been worked for me now for probably eight years. He's very good at understanding the commander's intent. Most times I can say to him, you know, this is what I need. He's he's right on. And he delivers every time. So that that's another thread there that based on who you're familiar with and comfortable with, sometimes you sit, you tend to go back to them. Speaker 2 00:20:00 As Bob said, when you get to the point where you're in charge, you have that little black book in, you bring people around, not people that make you feel good, no people that stand how you were. I had three jobs in my career that I followed someone around because he's like, okay, go get that person, that person I could speak. And they understand. But that doesn't mean that you have, don't have the time to stop and explain what the intent is, right? Because lack of communication leaves that person out there delivering that rock that might not be what you want. So it's imperative as, as a supervisor, as a manager that you communicate to them and make sure, and you do the interim. Check-ins, it's something that, you know, familiar for them, that they are making sure that the door is open. The communication is there. Open door is always the most important way to make sure we're clearly communicating Speaker 1 00:21:04 Something important. There's something too to people like you've described sort of being on the same page with each other in a general way that they read each other's minds where they, they understand each other. So they work well together. There's something about that that has to do with the ability to make predictions. I don't, we don't often talk about that way, but I've been, I've been reading about this and thinking about this. And I was, I was thinking about examples of like summit I'm in Tampa. Tom Brady comes down from new England after a career. And he's with new receivers in Tampa. You know, everyone's saying, he's got that. He and the receivers have to learn to get on the same page. They had to learn to be in sync, not like guys that he played with for 2, 3, 4, or 10 or more years, and then Gronkowski joins him. Speaker 1 00:21:49 And the comparison was those to read each other's minds. And the other receivers were learning how well they don't really read your minds. What you do is, you know what someone's going to do in a situation. So Brady's dropped back to pass and he sees the field that, that Gronkowski is in. He sees space between Gronkowski and defender. He knows where Gronkowski has got to run, but maybe he knows he won't make that move and go in that direction because there's no space there. He knows he's going to do, or he can predict with some probability what he'll do differently. And it looks like they're reading each other's minds, but really what they've done is played together so much. They know how each other is going to operate in a certain situation. Now, if you've not thrown a ball to a receiver ever before, you don't know that about them, they don't know that about you as a quarterback. Speaker 1 00:22:38 They, the receiver don't know what the quarterback would be thinking as the play unfolds and unfolds in a couple seconds and a few seconds, I think in the work world where you and Bob or you and others have worked well together, you knew that once the conversation was over and like you said, there's, it continues, but it's over for the time. And you're off to do things. And you are leading others in a lot of activity. As things come up as circumstances evolve. I think you've got some knowledge about what, what, what, what Bob would hope has done or anybody, any commander I'm thinking of someone in particular, because we work together, what someone hopes would be done under a set of circumstances, or if you handle it in a certain way and explained why you handle it that way, they'd go, oh, okay. I get it right. Speaker 1 00:23:25 There's that knowledge with each other of you're always working to me are always working needs and ends to get to the outcome and means, and ends can change. Interim means and ends can change on us all the time. But when you piece it together to get to the commander's intent, I know how Brenda will go about this. And even as things come up, I know she's going to, there's a problem person, or is there a problem situation? There's a problem with the budget or the schedule change. I know what I can think of what she'll do without having to talk to her. There's a little bit of a prediction going on when people can work well together in the way that you described in, they're kind of on the same page with that knowledge of each other of I know what they're likely to do, and that's what I would need them to do. Have you ever thought about it that way? Speaker 2 00:24:10 How about thought about it that way, but I totally agree. And that's why when I talk about an environmental scan, it's important that we are helping people to realize how to do that. Not that I'm right and you're wrong. Right. But respectful enough that says, okay, she knows this space. Let's hear what she has to say about this space, this client, this stakeholder, this commander, this situation. And it has a little to do with, with age, but not totally right. It's it's experience. Right. And it's difference to someone has done this before, because I'm a firm believer in, let's not create something just to create it. Let's check our brothers and sisters to see, have you created something like this? Have you had this situation? So it's shared experiences, whether it's within our team, within our company or within our networks. And that's one of the biggest things that I had to do. And I kept going back to Bob and he was my seeing eye dog. I had a situation it's like, okay. So he would make that translation of, okay, do you remember when you did this? And we did it this way, this is what they're asking for. So it's like, ah, Speaker 2 00:25:35 Okay. That's what it means. So it's the communication of a different type of acronym, a different type of deliverable. But again, bringing that brand new person in or bringing that right out of college or bringing that person new to the team, making them feel part of the family, part of the team and having the same interest and success as everyone else does. Whether it's been someone that has been with me for eight years or not been with me for eight days. Right. Speaker 1 00:26:07 Right. I I've used, uh, something of a working definition of getting on the same page here on the podcast, which is pretty simple, agreeing enough to take the next step together. And I think that leaves some things out that it can mean to be on the same page, but I was trying to get something. I was trying to get the concept down the definition down to something very granular. I was trying to get away from the notion that getting on the same page means, always means agreement. Cause it doesn't, if you and I had different ideas, if we were looking at a situation, Brenda, and we had different, we saw different things in it and had different ideas of what was going on, what might be done about it. We could agree to take some next steps together to even test our own hypothesis, separate hypotheses about the situation and come back to share with each other, what we learned. So Speaker 2 00:26:55 There's different ways to getting on the same page. Okay. Speaker 1 00:26:58 Good point. Speaker 2 00:26:59 So the, I think for me that's important and hearing what someone has to offer is are we on the same page? Yes. How we got there may be different than what I expected. Right. So being, being open to that, it's always a growth opportunity for me that I I've listened. And at the end of the day, we're, we're there, especially with, Speaker 1 00:27:27 Especially in a task, that's got some complexity to it or some novelty to it, something that's, it's not a, not something we've done a hundred times, we a team. So that there's there w you would expect to be some amount of individual and team learning. Like, look, we're going to operate in the environment. We're going to see what happens. This is the situation. I mean, so the environmental scan notion too, we're operating in the environment. We impact the environment. The environment is impacting us. Are we noticing those cause and effects? Are we noticing what's happening? And are we using that? Are we bringing that information back to each other to process it, to, to kind of chew on it together and say, well, then in that case, we better try it. Right? Isn't that what you thinking of with an environmental scan or one of the things you're thinking of. Speaker 2 00:28:12 Right. And we all have to go through that storming and norming phases, storming and norming phases to get to the end game. Because again, unless we've worked with everyone, our whole life, right, it's going to be a little bit of storming and norming each time. Speaker 1 00:28:29 So I'm trying, as I, as I launched this practice, and it's going to be a little bit more coaching than consulting, but in a way, in a particular way about a leader with a team in a situation. So there's a, there's some situation they're facing where they need to be on the same page and the communication, some communication techniques to help them do that quickly. And it's built on this notion that we, each of us sees something a little bit different in a situation that might be because of gender or not. It could be because of generation experience and, and search or not. It could be because of our training. I mean, I mentioned, I mentioned before in a situation, let's say it's a business situation. When I'm more familiar with, in military situations, somebody responsible for the budget and the funding will see certain things in a situation differently than what someone responsible for the it, or some other technical aspects of the situation that different than someone who understands the customer in a really intimate way. Speaker 1 00:29:36 People see different things in a situation and make different things of them, of what they to think about, to decide what they think should be done as a means to the end of accomplishing something. But what each of us is doing, at least initially is lining all that up for our own, with our own knowledge and space, the space we're in the subject matter expertise we have, or the role of the team we have. What we're also talking about is doing that at a step up at a team level, not just four or six or eight people doing it individually, but bringing that together as a team, that's where we're building some shared knowledge. So if we share different pieces of the puzzle or the pie together to put a picture together, that looks like it makes sense to the team. I think it changes each individual's understanding of the situation. Speaker 1 00:30:24 It even could be. If people could get passionate about some things at times, right. Right. Then we can take that as a good sign that they care about what they're, you know, they care about this, but, but we've got to, we've got, gotta teach people to work through it in a way that they have some aha moments along the way they go, oh, okay. Now I'm broadening my lens. I'm broadening my individual perspective, building a team knowledge of something. So, but sorry, I wandered a field a bit. I just I've I've. I wanted to share with you to get your reaction. I have this notion of, we see different things to a degree. We size them up in different ways, and we think we would do something differently as a means to an end of accomplishing something. And that doesn't all automatically line up across a team. We've got to work to get that to line up Speaker 2 00:31:15 Because we're individuals first working to being a team. We each come with our different baggage experience, thoughts again, whether it's culture experience or whatever, right. But there's always someone or something that threads that needle through it all to get to the end point of a successful delivery, successful mission, whatever that happens to be, there's always got to be either an informed leader or someone else. That's pulling that thread through to make sure that everyone knows they're being heard and understands what they're bringing to. Speaker 1 00:31:56 That's a good point to somebody who, who can, who can guide that process along. I think, I think what happens. I, and I love, I love this when it happens. You see, you see individuals on that, like you said, we're individuals first, we're sort of on our own pages, first creating a same page that we're getting on. What I love about that process is when people share observations insights and something new or novel emerges out of it, it wasn't something that any particular individual on the team was already thinking. Some new insights, some new observation, some, a new hypothesis, a new something emerges the conversation there. Wasn't what somebody wasn't Louis saying, Hey, I think it's black with white stripes. And then at the end, everybody goes, wow, it's black with white stripes. No, some people thought it was white with black stripes. Some people thought it was other things, but as we talk somewhere along the line, someone goes and maybe it's the leader who goes, Hey, wait a minute. What if you know, what about, Hey, what if we thought about it this way? And there's, there can be that aha moment. Tell me about you seeing teams do that or how you've helped teams do that, where you pull that thread along and then something new comes of it. That truly is a team result. That wasn't any individual, like you use the pie example. All you put the ingredients together, they're all separate ingredients and then outcome something different, right? Speaker 2 00:33:25 Well, that comes from again, commitment from the team team individuals bringing their best foot forward and being professional and willing enough to see that there's more than one way of seeing things, right? That we can't be convinced that we have the right and only answer because there may be one, a different approach to getting to the end game of being a professional, making a delivery. But yet we've missed the mark on what the expectation is. So by being willing to practice your briefing, by being able to get there early, which again was a different culture for some of the folks that I was leading you, you've gotta be prepared to come across as being informed and you gotta be prepared to be the expert. So if you haven't done your preparation, then you're not going to be successful on the other end. So if you're not there, you're, you're, you, you don't have your cigarette together. Speaker 2 00:34:28 Uh, you're not making a professional appearance, which again, it's not all about how you look, but if you don't come prepared and look the part, then you're not going to convince someone of what you're trying to do. So by setting up some small practices like that, uh, doing some dry runs, doing some practices, making sure we're dressed appropriately, making sure we're early has helped to lead the team to a different mindset, simple things, to help guide them into not necessarily my definition of success, but what I've seen that has been successful in the past and the person we're delivering to. I know it won't be lost on him. That w we are prepared. We look the part, we can provide the story successfully and have the credibility that we need as we kept wasn't coming to the test. Speaker 1 00:35:23 Well, I like what you said about an it's a challenge. I like what you said about you can't believe you have the whole answer yourself, but sometimes we do, right. Or maybe we really don't believe we have the whole answer. I saw it, but maybe someone feels so passionate about what they know that's they would concede as a piece of something larger often when they're not being heard or they don't feel like they're being heard, they keep getting louder or they keep getting more insistent, or they look like they're digging in their heels. Right. They don't, they haven't had that feeling yet of, if you're not heard, you can feel like you keep beating that you want to beat that same drum to be heard. Speaker 2 00:36:00 One of the, again, the aha moments I had is some of our young consultants aren't taught to see that they're so invested in the answer that they worked so hard to get to, that they can't see that. Not even necessarily talking louder, but just saying it again, they've missed the point. So another practice that we have is if you're delivering or you're briefing, it's like we sit and dry run it and it murder boarded. As we would say in the military and teach you how to speak John, or how to speak, Jane, what are they looking for? What are they Speaker 1 00:36:39 Expecting one hour, they going to Speaker 2 00:36:40 Do it chronologically. And if you get a number wrong, you've just lost your credibility. So how do you recover from that? How do you almost laugh at yourself in a very respectful way? Not to get embarrassed and totally shut down. That's like so important. Speaker 1 00:36:56 That's a great point. And that's, and that's also that leader helping teaching it to pulling that thread, helping the team learn to do that. I think once people learn, have done it once or twice, I think it's a very distinctive experience when we've been part of a team that worked well together. That's a wow experience and behaviors that we exhibit in contributing to that as a means to the end of that, I think are very highly positively reinforced. Like, I'll do that again. I like how that felt. I wish I could have worked that way all the time. And we know that not every team does, but boy, that becomes the gold standard. We're always striving for, if you're a team member you're always hoping, or the next task or the next project, I want it to go like that. If you're the team leader or a leadership position, that's what we're trying to create for people all the time. It doesn't always work, but that's, I think we'll be in for, Speaker 2 00:37:47 And it's, you know, you gotta learn when to pay it forward and someone has helped you be successful. So how are you helping the next person be successful? How are you making them feel like they are valued? And they have something to bring to the table. Very, very important. I blessed with mentors in my past. I try to pay that same thing forward. And you know, when someone says, you know, you're great. I go, well, thank you very much. But if that means something to you, then you go do it for someone else. And so helping someone else succeed, whether it's individual or a team, right, is it's so simple. Speaker 1 00:38:25 So, and that's w we should probably wrap up here because, oh, we could dig into this for a whole discussion in itself. I certainly think a difference between the military, as a profession of, of, of, of leaders and teams, uh, and the civilian world is the military, I think is very intentional about succession planning and about preparing the next person for a role or, or paying things forward into it. Every, every individual in the, in the military. No, that's just human nature. No. Are there some maybe selfish or narrow minded folks everywhere in that? Yeah, but I think the military has a practice that says, we, we, we bring people up because they're going to become the leaders or because we're rotating out and people have to be ready to continue this responsibility, task, project, piece of the mission, whatever it is. And, and, and it'd be the failure of a leader if they left and people behind them, weren't ready in the civilian world. Speaker 1 00:39:24 I don't think there is that much of a, of a mindset of succession planning or, and maybe partly because people could stay in positions for long periods of time. They don't rotate out. They don't go to another assignment. There isn't the need to keep preparing people behind you. But I think what you said about the value you place on paying it forward, there's no downside to that. That's something we, we would hope to all do all the time, but I think it, I think it might be more exceptional in the civilian, the civilian world. What do you think puts you on a spot? What do you think? I know you tried to do it. Speaker 2 00:40:01 I do. Because again, it's, it's all about making, uh, the place you leave a better place and making sure you're preparing someone to step into your role because sooner or later, we need to step out of those roles. Yes, you haven't. If you haven't set someone up for success, then all your hard work won't go away, but it will certainly suffer in the short term until everyone gets back on the same page with that new person, Speaker 1 00:40:31 Here's the truth. And we can close with this tasks, come and go, projects, come and go, budgets, come and go. Right? Those things come and go in the end. It's the people who came together because people are so committed in their hearts and souls and their DNA to a cause. It's very powerful to be a part of that. It is the people that often matter the most. Well, we've got to get you onto your next activity. I thank you very much for spending this time with me. I enjoyed it and learned a lot like I always do when we talk. It's my Speaker 2 00:41:03 Pleasure. Thank you for having me. Speaker 1 00:41:05 You're welcome. Thank you, Brenda. Speaker 2 00:41:07 Thank you, Lou. Appreciate it. Have a good day. Speaker 1 00:41:09 Goodbye. And that's how we see it. My friends, I want to thank Brenda for recording today's episode. You can find it at, I see what you mean.casto.com. Plus all the usual places, send questions and suggestions through the app. Subscribe and give me a five star rating unless you can't do much case. Tell me why in joining next week. When we take another look at how to get on the same page and stay there, unless we shouldn't.

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