The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

67 Mindful Leadership: Creating Safe and Innovative Workplaces with Lisa Nordquist

June 10, 2024 Dr Nia D Thomas Episode 67
67 Mindful Leadership: Creating Safe and Innovative Workplaces with Lisa Nordquist
The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
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The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
67 Mindful Leadership: Creating Safe and Innovative Workplaces with Lisa Nordquist
Jun 10, 2024 Episode 67
Dr Nia D Thomas

Discover the transformative power of self-aware leadership and emotional intelligence with our special guest, Lisa Nordquist, a certified health and wellness coach. Lisa shares her personal journey from struggling with self-care to fully embracing holistic wellness practices. Learn how the intrinsic connection between mind and body, mindset, and limbic learning processes can lead to sustainable well-being. Gain insight into the broader scope of self-awareness, encompassing mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical states, and the crucial role mindfulness plays in managing these interconnected aspects of life.

Explore the pivotal concept of psychological safety in leadership development. Drawing on Amy Edmondson's research and Google's Aristotle project, we discuss the creation of a safe environment that fosters innovation and collaboration within teams. We then shift to practical coaching strategies, emphasizing the balance between empathy and authority. Using engaging analogies, like the Mutant Ninja Turtles, we illustrate how leveraging individual strengths and addressing weaknesses can enhance team performance.

Delve into the nuances of personalized appreciation and its impact on employee engagement. We uncover how tailored recognition can significantly boost workplace morale and performance. The conversation extends to adaptable leadership styles and the importance of maintaining self-awareness and thoughtful responses. Additionally, we address effective coaching techniques for different generations, the necessity of social and relational intelligence amidst technological advancements, and the ongoing journey towards self-awareness in leadership. Join us for a compelling discussion that promises to enrich your leadership journey and equip you with practical tools for fostering a thriving and collaborative team environment.

Access Lisa's website here

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Discover the transformative power of self-aware leadership and emotional intelligence with our special guest, Lisa Nordquist, a certified health and wellness coach. Lisa shares her personal journey from struggling with self-care to fully embracing holistic wellness practices. Learn how the intrinsic connection between mind and body, mindset, and limbic learning processes can lead to sustainable well-being. Gain insight into the broader scope of self-awareness, encompassing mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical states, and the crucial role mindfulness plays in managing these interconnected aspects of life.

Explore the pivotal concept of psychological safety in leadership development. Drawing on Amy Edmondson's research and Google's Aristotle project, we discuss the creation of a safe environment that fosters innovation and collaboration within teams. We then shift to practical coaching strategies, emphasizing the balance between empathy and authority. Using engaging analogies, like the Mutant Ninja Turtles, we illustrate how leveraging individual strengths and addressing weaknesses can enhance team performance.

Delve into the nuances of personalized appreciation and its impact on employee engagement. We uncover how tailored recognition can significantly boost workplace morale and performance. The conversation extends to adaptable leadership styles and the importance of maintaining self-awareness and thoughtful responses. Additionally, we address effective coaching techniques for different generations, the necessity of social and relational intelligence amidst technological advancements, and the ongoing journey towards self-awareness in leadership. Join us for a compelling discussion that promises to enrich your leadership journey and equip you with practical tools for fostering a thriving and collaborative team environment.

Access Lisa's website here

Support the Show.

Find Out More
Thanks for joining me on my learning journey! Until next time...


Rate and Review
Once you've taken a listen please leave a rate and review on your favourite podcast player. A little word from you means a big deal to me!

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the Knowing Self Knowing Others podcast, where we discuss self-aware leadership with thinkers from around the globe. I'm your host, nia Thomas. Join me as we talk to today's guest. Today, I'm joined by Lisa Nordquist, and she's a certified health and wellness coach with accolades from prestigious institutions like Mayo Clinic and the International Coach Federation. As the founder and CEO of her own enterprise, lisa brings over two decades of expertise in behavior change, mindset training and program development to her clients. With a background in psychology and a plethora of certifications such as a safe conversations leader and core dynamics coach, lisa specializes in fostering emotional intelligence and refined communication for individuals and teams. Her book Love Yourself Fit earned her a silver medal in the Global eBook Awards, showcasing her dedication to promoting holistic wellness. Lisa's impact extends way beyond her business and she's been featured on major media platforms like CBS News and ESPN Sports Radio, captivating audiences with her passionate presentations. So join us as we explore Lisa's journey and insights into building sustainable well-being and fostering productive relationships. Lisa, it's so good to talk to you today.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, what a wonderful introduction. And thank you for having me, dr Nia. I am excited to be here, so tell us about these two parts of your areas of expertise.

Speaker 1:

So you have fitness and well-being on the one side and psychology on the other. How do those two things go?

Speaker 2:

together? Yeah, good question, and I actually get that question a lot of times from like corporate moguls. They're like wait, fitness, what are you doing here? You know what it all comes down to behavior change, because a lot of what we're talking about in this sphere you know, your guests, what I do, what you do, is helping people grow to a newer, better level. We can give them a ton of information about that, but unless they choose to actually change their behavior, it's all for naught, right? So what we're trying to do, what I'm trying to do, is actually get an adoption of new behavior and new mindset.

Speaker 2:

So when I look at the spectrum from that perspective, fitness and health and self-care and that behavior over the long haul is very similar to like taking on something like self-awareness or emotional intelligence. It's a limbic learning process in the limbic region of the brain. So it's going to have to be something that there has to be purpose behind. There has to be some internal connections and mindset to make it happen. And so my experience and background with fitness.

Speaker 2:

I really was struggling with self-care my whole life before I went into fitness and I realized that the things that we were providing as a society for people in self-care was extrinsic and all about the physical and wasn't putting the mindset stuff together, wasn't putting in the limbic elements, and so I came in and figured that out kind of for myself and started doing that. And that's what my book is about is how do you get yourself to practice that stuff and make those changes long-term? And so that is then naturally carried over to me to my real interests, which is people's internal, how they're operating, you know, in multiple areas of life.

Speaker 1:

I definitely see that connection, because often when we talk about self-awareness, people ask me where do you start with self-awareness? And I always say start with mindfulness, especially if you're new to self-awareness, because you need to understand how does your breathing change when you're stressed, how does your heart rate raise, and that is very fundamental to our operating system, isn't it? It's about how am I functioning as on the physical level, and and how does that then impact the way that I operate within the workplace and as a leader, etc.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And you know there's this thing that connects the mind and body the neck. You know we come from this in the western world, this idea that we're separate. You know that my mind is different than my body and we know, know with, I mean, there's been so much research, especially over the last 40 years, in this area. It's called PNIE, that connects our state of mind with our physical health and, to your point, things like, you know, pausing and meditation and becoming, you know, working those muscles, those mindset muscles, so that we can be more self-aware of what's happening physically when we're starting to have that emotional arousal. But both sides, to become more aware of the mental state we're in the emotional state, we're in the spiritual state, we're in the physical state we're in is really a different way of thinking. I think of the whole self and that is really self-awareness is checking in on your whole self of what's being triggered, what's my body doing, you know, like you just pointed out, where are my thoughts going.

Speaker 2:

All of it is kind of an awareness and thinking of yourself as a whole being, Because the reality is like if you're fighting with your spouse or you're going to have trouble at work, right, and if you have huge issues at work, you're going to bring them home. There's no separation really. There's an inner connection within and without. That's very prevalent and I think self-awareness is really starting to pay attention to that. Yeah, most definitely, and I think self-awareness is really starting to pay attention to that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, most definitely, and I'm interested in how you describe self-awareness there. I'm of the opinion that self-awareness is bigger than just one thing, so it's bigger than emotional intelligence. Which brings me nicely on to asking you how do you define self-awareness and how do you define emotional intelligence, which you talk a lot about? How are they the same? How are they different?

Speaker 2:

Gosh, I feel like I want to throw that question back at you because you're the expert on self-awareness, but I would love to hear more about what you have to say on it. But I do think. So self-awareness in itself is that to me, is that being aware of what is going on with me in all those areas, being like having a barometer, an internal barometer, where you can check on? Ooh, you know where am I at with this? Why is this stressing me out? Why do I feel myself getting elevated in those maybe physical markers? They might be emotional markers, or it might be a mindset where you watch a politician on TV and you start to get angry. That's BS or whatever it's. Noting that and then going a little deeper, hopefully with emotional intelligence on it is where did that come from? You know? Where's that coming from?

Speaker 2:

I think we all sort of walk around with these VR goggles on and we think everyone's has the same VR goggles. They don't. We have our own thing, we're watching. From our childhood, from our experiences, from our physiology and self-awareness, I think really is the foundation of oh my gosh, I'm walking around with my own VR goggles on, you know. And then I think that EQ is. I don't think you can. It's kind of this funny thing. I don't think you can have emotional intelligence without self-awareness. You know, but you can have self-awareness and not the full gamut of EQ. But I think if you're really like the I don't know that there's a rating system I would acquiesce to you on this but you're really self-aware. It goes beyond just checking on self and it goes into how am I landing with other people? How am I coming across? You know, I'm being conscious of that and then taking that into the fold of how you direct yourself and manage yourself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that's probably the description that I would give in terms of how is self-awareness different or how does it encompass emotional intelligence? And there is a really good example. I was talking to Garrett Peltzer and he was talking to me about a politician who was hoping to pick up Angela Merkel's job when she had left it, and he was spotted in a I think it was a region that had had some significant flooding, and he was spotted in the background of a video laughing and laughing Lachette. So if you look it up on Google, you'll find it. And for me, that is where self-awareness becomes different, bigger, beyond emotional intelligence, because your awareness of how you come across to others in that context. How does that impact your reputation and your future career chances in his situation? And that's how I see that there is a difference with self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, that makes sense. You know, in our world today you need to be, especially as a leader, almost hyper-vigilant about how you are coming off in multiple situations and then it can be almost really difficult to navigate, like the cancel culture, and you know the world we live in, where people are very hypercritical. It's hard to sort of please everyone. You have to be authentic, you have to be aware of how you're coming off for sure, and then I think that leads leaders to really look at what is my mojo going to be, what is my vibe, what is my pulse, and being authentic with that.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and doing it from a place of conscious awareness and choice. And I think that's the difference, because if you don't know and you aren't aware that others are aware of you and your impact on others, you're not in a position to make a conscious choice, and I think that's the difference. If you want to be laughing in the background of a video, that's fine, but as long as you know that the impact that that potentially has by the media that is looking upon you without understanding the context, Absolutely Like.

Speaker 2:

I hope you're a comedian leader right, making other people laugh and relieving the stress of the situation, or something.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Definitely yeah.

Speaker 1:

So tell us a bit more about psychological safety. This is something that you talk about. How does it fit in with collaboration within teams and, well, innovation within teams too?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So psychological safety is a beautiful thing. It's a newer thing, amy Edmondson, at least newer in my purview and her work on it has been significant. And I'm sure you're familiar with the Aristotle project that Google did with that and they found that there was just this tremendously strong link between psych safety on a team and innovation. I think what it does is it just makes it real. It makes a team real where it is an environment.

Speaker 2:

When you have that going on a team, it's like this intangible and visible vibe of of it's okay to make a mistake, it's okay to throw out an idea, it's okay to ask for help all of those things at the same time. And I think it's to what we were just speaking about. It's sort of the opposite of the media world and the pressures of the world is that you're under a microscope as a leader in the world and it becomes very hard to step out of the box and create new things. But if you create a bubble in your team where it is safe to throw new things on the table, to question things, to disagree, then that creates a space where people can be real and they can be creative and they can interact at a different level that is outside of the box, because they don't have to stay in that safety.

Speaker 2:

And I think that the way that you I mean the way that you created it is you become uncomfortably vulnerable as a leader. You talk about your mistakes, you talk about how this feels uncomfortable to me right now To talk about this. You become authentic, real and open, and I think that's really hard for leaders, because they don't want to be vulnerable. They want to be the tough person leading the way. I'm a tough one, but the truth is they're human too, and when you end up talking and coaching with leaders the way I do, you end up seeing, oh no, they don't know how to handle things. Sometimes they're scared. They're human too, right? So I think it's a matter of leaders creating that vibe, that invisible vibe, on their teams, with their teams.

Speaker 1:

You've talked about your coaching work. How do you help leaders to go from that position of I've got to have all of the answers to the point where they are able to be more vulnerable, to be able to be open, to say I don't have all of those answers?

Speaker 2:

yeah, well, so when I come in as a coach, I come in very person-centered, very neutral. If I come in as a consultant or a trainer, it's more okay, I'm the expert and I'm assessing more and things like that. So, but either way, I'll be honest, I have this. I have this like stick drawing that I do with leaders. So if you imagine that you draw, drew a mountaintop on a piece of paper and on top of it, the very peak, you draw a stick figure man, so he has one leg on each side of this little mountain, one side of that mountain, say, the right side, is empathy and connection and vulnerability and friendship almost, and on the left side, the other side, is authority and vision and protection and boundaries and clarity and like. It's like two sides of the same mountain and leaders have to learn to have a foot in each one and balance them beautifully.

Speaker 2:

And I think that when I work with leaders and you'll probably recognize this in all of us we tend towards one side or the other, right. We tend to be more authoritative people or more like empathetic people, right? So I think for leaders it's very dependent on which side they favor. And how do we? I mean going back to the fitness analogy. How do we help strengthen those muscles, those leadership muscles on the side? They tend not to go to, because we need them to, to be as balanced as possible and be able to to go to one side when they need to, go to the other side, more when they need to, depending on the situation.

Speaker 1:

So it's really like being a balanced person and interesting because we've also we've mentioned authenticity earlier and I think that's a challenge because, you're right, we will go to one side of the mountain or the other, but as a leader, you have to develop balanced skills and you have to take your authentic strengths and skills but also develop the other side so that you can have that balance.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly, and that's where the self-awareness comes in, though right Is being willing to say, oh, I'm really good at this and I'm not so good at this. For example, for myself, as my own small business, there's things I am not good at, so I enlist help in those areas, because there's some areas I'm like I am not going to spend the time ever to learn how to build a website, not going to do it. So as a leader, I have to be smart enough to go hey, what am I really not good at and I need to get help on? Where do I am I not good at? And I am not going to get out of this without building that skill. And what am I excellent at?

Speaker 2:

And I can, you know, put it's like going into that strengths finder thing, but a bit further.

Speaker 2:

So you end up building the muscles where you need to, delegating where you need to and hone in and elevating your strengths where you need to. And that can be back to the psych safety thing of where's your team. You know, I had a leader say to me in a coaching session a couple of days ago. She said I tell my team we are the mutant ninja turtles, which is a cartoon movie chain I don't know if you're familiar for children in the US and each of these turtles is like a karate expert in a different form of martial art and they have personalities or whatever. And so her analogy with her team to help them see each other's strengths, different strengths is that. It was a great analogy that I took with me of like, yeah, we are stronger with different skills and traits, and bringing those in and getting the skills and strengths, working and honoring those in our teammates is so crucial. So I think that's true for leaders as well, as they develop.

Speaker 1:

I think Ninja Turtles is a really good description. My team who might be listening is probably laughing because I've referred to. There were four of us at one point in my leadership team and I referred to us as four legs of a table and actually I think four Ninja Turtles is far better than four legs of a table. Love, that. That's great, because it could be that too. Absolutely, yeah, definitely, and now we're a three-lelegged table, but we are still steady and we are still strong.

Speaker 2:

I have a three-legged table in my living room. I absolutely love it. It's from Ikea. It's super cute, retro. Just saying they can be great brilliant.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, tell us about the principles of the languages of appreciation. What are they? How do we cultivate them? What are they all about? So?

Speaker 2:

the languages of appreciation came out of the and I'm blanking on the name, but the author is the same for the five love languages. Are you familiar with that? I'm not. Same for the five love languages. Are you familiar with that? I'm not, okay. So in the U? S it's really popular, the five like what's your love language? You know is it, and there's five of them.

Speaker 2:

It's doing, you know it's like doing things for hearing the word gifts, it's things like that. So that author took that concept and transmitted into what's a business setting and appreciating people in the workplace. Because it's really interesting, because there's these really big recognition programs that we have in organizations and they tend to. When we look at the research on them, they tend to not be as effective the like employee of the month and things like that because they're so generic. And so when we look at appreciation and the languages of appreciation, I think is a tool, a book, a tool.

Speaker 2:

They have an assessment you can do that allows you to hone in on each person's preferred language. They call it language of appreciation and so that'll mean like mine is. It's called acts of service, so if my husband or my boss wants to do something nice for me, they will actually do a chore. For me. That would be like an act of service. A boss would help an employee with a report or a project, or if it's words of inspiration.

Speaker 2:

You know, like I said, there's five of them and they really just help the leaders hone in on what is each person's preferred language way of expressing, so that the leader can then save their time, energy and money on trying to. You know, if they're, if they're trying to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to someone who doesn't really care about the auditory, then it doesn't land as well and, like we know, all humans want to be seen and acknowledged and that helps with employee engagement tremendously. So I like to use it as a tool in that regard to help leaders become more aware and use the platinum rule. You know the platinum rule, they're saying now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so the golden rule was treat everyone how you want to be treated. So the new platinum rule is treat everyone how they want to be treated. That kind of idea Amazing.

Speaker 1:

I'm quite interested in neurolinguistic programming and how the words that we use have a significant impact. So language of appreciation. I can definitely see how personalising that appreciation is far more meaningful than if you have a general corporate something or other once a month.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely.

Speaker 1:

We will make sure we put a link in the show notes to any books that we reference so that listeners and watchers can access them if they want to find out a bit more. Okay, employee engagement how do we really draw on that and lean into that to make best, best impact for our people?

Speaker 2:

yeah. So the leadership styles, um, it depends on, I guess, which model you're coming from. On that, I I tend to go back to that idea of the leader on the mountaintop and looking at which style from the leader's mindset, self-awareness, questioning is which style do I need in this moment? You know there are several leadership styles. Some are more assertive, aggressive, authoritative. Others are transitional. Leadership is a little bit more like hey, here we go, we're going this way, here's the vision for the company. Some are more coaching style or democratic style, and so I think it's just having the wisdom as a leader or the self-awareness as a leader to ask, and maybe the social awareness too to ask what is it that we need, or I need to be as a leader right now? Do I need to go into a coach approach with this person and talk to them with a more person-centered, or do I need to share in the all-staff meeting our vision as we go through this next change? So it's really the leader being able to navigate those different roles, know what they are, know how to do them and then jump into them.

Speaker 2:

For example, one of the clients I work with is a hospital system and they're dealing with emergency situations all the time. I don't want my leader going. I'm going to go into my coach, ask them some open-ended questions and reflect back. If it's emergency or you're military, we want that bam bam bam authoritative. You know, do what I tell you to do right now. But if the leader has no money in that relationship bank account with the employees, if they're never doing the coaching or the democratic or the connective building part, that right side of the mountain, then they're going to have a lot harder time keeping employees. If they're always directive or they're always in that emergency state, they're always dictating, they're going to have a hard time keeping people.

Speaker 1:

So my colleague refers to situational leadership and it's something that she knows far more than I do, but I can definitely recognize that in what you're saying, that if you have self-awareness, you recognize where your strengths and your areas for development are, or your weaknesses, and how do you build teams to leverage that, to make sure that there is balance across your leadership team, and then you are in that position to amend or respond with your leadership style at a particular point in time, right, yeah, and to kind of build on what you're saying, it's like I like Simon Sinek.

Speaker 2:

He says leadership is like parenting, and boy, isn't that true. You have to kind of put yourself out for that little I want to say little person, your kid, your person, that is your staff. You have to put yourself out for them. You have to do what's best for them. You have to be willing to adopt. Even if you're furious, you're not going to go in screaming.

Speaker 1:

You're going to go in, take a breath, do what you need to do to self-contain, and then you're going to go in as your highest, best self because you care about that person and what happens with them, and doing that takes significant self-awareness to be able to give yourself that moment of calm and thoughtfulness before responding, so that you don't react that you respond Right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, amen, don't react, respond, don't react, respond. It's funny you say that because I use that a lot when I'm teaching is that pause is just pausing can mean the world to your brain, physiologically just giving yourself that. I think they say it's 15 seconds to allow the world to your brain, physiologically just giving yourself that. I think they say it's 15 seconds to allow the message to go from you know, your limbic system, to your frontal lobe in your brain so that you can just start to come down a little bit and do what you need to do. But that that that's huge. It's holding that as part of your. Why? Almost too, I think.

Speaker 1:

And that brings us right back to how do we connect physical health and well-being to leadership and the psychology of leadership. And it's right there, isn't it? It's that physiological link that it's in that moment and you cannot escape it.

Speaker 2:

You have to consider it.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely moment and you cannot escape it. You have to consider it Absolutely. And you know that thing. I mentioned earlier PNIE, it's very long psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology, and all it means is your state of mind affects, you know, the proteins, your immune system, your endocrine system, and I think those of us blessed with really good health get to go about our days kind of ignoring some of those signals from our bodies. But self-awareness and being a self-aware, high-functioning leader means that you are considering this vessel, the internal like where your mind is, and your mind is really not in your brain, right, we know from science now, your mind is in your gut, your mind is floating around in your immune cells, I mean it's, it's in protein. So it's kind of stepping back and, I guess, shifting the way you think of yourself as a whole being and the impacts you're having on your health, your people and the extensions thereof yeah, that notion of whole being, I like that.

Speaker 1:

That's a. That's a good phrase to use and to consider. You're having on your health, your people and the extensions thereof. Yeah, that notion of whole being, I like that. That's a good phrase to use and to consider, especially for leaders who are maybe in those critical situations and they're dealing with high stress situation. You have to start thinking of the whole being you know from self-awareness if you're triggered or stressed.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think the research is pretty clear that if someone is highly stressed, it's almost impossible for them to be empathetic. So which leans into that? What exactly? What you're saying is that you have to be self-aware and able to manage your own emotions kindly before you can expect yourself to kindly manage anyone else's.

Speaker 1:

That's definitely something to think about that. I know we talk about self-care and that self-care isn't being selfish, but kindness to self allows you to show kindness to others, and that's a really helpful way of thinking about it. Tell us a little bit about your coaching, and what skill do you really lean into to be a coach, drawing on all of those different elements that you've learned along the way? What is your coaching? Usp.

Speaker 2:

Gosh, I. So. I guess if you were to look look at it from a more objective perspective, I pull from the several different coaching models. I would probably use a standard. It depends on the situation. I like a standard you know, icf coach model of going in and staying really present with the client and coaching them on what they want to work on. But then I like to pull in a little bit of this type of approach called motivational interviewing. Are you familiar?

Speaker 1:

Yes, it's something that, within the early years sector that I work in, we often have health professionals and parenting and family support professionals who will draw on those expertise and those skills.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so okay, great, I'm glad you're familiar because I think MI is an incredible tool to combine and I take in with my coaching. I'll take in some MI and some like Simon Sinek, Renee Brown, and kind of use a combination, Because I think one of the disservices we're doing for leaders is we're trying to teach them to coach from a coach perspective, which is you go in neutral, you don't care about the outcome. You're supposed to be very neutral if you're actually coaching, but leaders can't do that. We care about the outcome, we're responsible for the outcome. We need to get this person moving in a better direction sometimes. So I think for me, combining the approach and when I teach leaders to coach, I teach them a different model, kind of a model that I've created or not I've created, but I've pulled from multiple people and followed some guru stuff on this. There's a couple gurus I follow on this that have created this very specific. You know the group is called Milo, or Milo, however you want to say it M-I-L-O, and it's motivational, interviewing and leaderships and organizations.

Speaker 2:

And there's a woman there, colleen Marshall, who's written a book on this with a co-author, but it's very specific maintaining your leadership but doing it through a person-centered lens, that coach approach lens. So you're balancing again those sides of leadership. So when you have to set a boundary, you're doing it with like a hey, I'm noticing this, can we talk about it? Instead of I told you this, if you don't do it, you're going to be fired. So it's kind of like taking your child. If we're taking that parenting approach to leadership and we're noting they're an adult and people respond much better to inquiries and questions and discussions rather than a top-down power, if you don't do this, you're going to get this. People don't respond to that. They tend to lead that approach. That's why MI works so well is because it's not that approach approach. It lets the person sort of manage their own decisions and supports them in that.

Speaker 1:

So that really makes sense. I've done a little bit of research into transactional analysis and, as you were saying, that adult to adult relationships. Once you start being the parent to child relationship in a work context, people will choose with their feet, whereas if you've got motivational interviewing, it helps you get back to that adult-adult relationship, doesn't it? It's that curiosity, that conversation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. And when we look at what creates that change behavior change or a change in someone it's got to be their own choice. They're not going to believe what the leader says. Or a lot of times I will coach my leaders on their verbiage, because their verbiage will be like we'll practice a tough conversation they have to have with a low performing employee, and their verbiage will be like okay, I need you to, I need you to, and I'm like pause, I need you to.

Speaker 2:

Is not going to land, especially if the person we're addressing is already showing a little bit of resistance towards doing the regular job, right? So that's when we need to go in a different way, and so that would be more of a like, hey, I'm noticing this. And so that would be more of a like, hey, I'm noticing this, can we talk about how you think it's landing, you know? So then we get them talking about how they feel they're doing. We ask for permission, you know, can I tell you how I think you're doing? And then we can more gently bring up the topic in a way that they won't throw up the wall right away.

Speaker 2:

And it's more adult to adult, it's less demeaning and, I think, with a lot of the retention that many industries are having now, or just even hiring. There's a generation that doesn't want to work as much and they're more concerned. The research is saying the newer generations are more concerned about what their peers think of their performance than their bosses. So and then yeah, and the retention. So back to the appreciation idea. I want not only my leaders knowing the language of appreciation, I want everyone knowing, so that we can all thank Rebecca verbally if she likes that, or with gifts if she likes that you mentioned different generations.

Speaker 1:

Are you hearing different demands for different language from different generations? So we hear a lot of people talking about Gen Z and how what they need from the world of work is different from other generations, and I'm not sure I'm 100% comfortable with it, because when we talk about generations, are we pitching different generations against each other and are we actually creating more friction in the workplace? But I'm wondering does that play out in practice?

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm not sure I have the wisdom to speak so much on it, but I would say I've heard some people say it's not generation, it's stage of life. That makes sense. I think there's some truth to that, but I also think it's generational. You know, I notice things about people. I'm Gen X and I notice stuff about my generation. We really associate really well with the boomer mentalities of you show up, you get your work done, don't give anybody any gruff, you just do it right, whereas some of the younger generations are like I want to enjoy my job and you can't talk to me that way and this and that. So, as I look at it, when you know and we've never had so many generations in the workplace at once, here's an interesting thing. I just read this a month or two ago that the boomers are not retiring either.

Speaker 1:

That's right. The cost of living means people have to stay in the workplace longer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So guess what we're going to have for the next 10 years, five more years. We're going to have this really mixed and I think post COVID and remote and these multiple generations. We haven't seen this before. And I think I want to say I have a lot of empathy for leaders. I know a lot of people don't, but, oh my gosh, it's never been a harder time to be a leader, with the demands that are on you and the almost like you have to be a coach, an accountant, you know you got to have multiple generations and manage everything. You have to be very good with like not laughing or having you know, like we talked about earlier. You have to be spot on. And we see these record numbers of CEOs retiring now because I think, at least in the US, there's been some reports the last month or two that more people are leaving from the upper levels than ever, because I think it's related to some of these demands.

Speaker 1:

I wonder whether we will see an interest in a new kind of leadership style. Will there be something where we're talking about leadership for multiple generations? In the next six months, 12 months, 18 months? Because, you're right, we will have multiple generations in the workplace. It sounds like a book, doesn't it?

Speaker 2:

I was just going to say I'm like here's your next book, mia, which, by the way. Congratulations on your new book, I can't wait to read it. Thank you, yeah, I'm really excited about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's funny you say that, because one of my big draws into this field is I do feel like we're on the precipice, as we have these tremendous advances in tech and AI and we see this increased emotional inflammation across the globe and polarization the globe and polarization and we just see these in, at least in my world.

Speaker 2:

I see this tremendous, you know, even like my mom might worry about something that she didn't before, and people fight on social media and sometimes I think a lot of people are like whoa, what's going on? What is going on in our world right now? We're seeing the effects in business, right, all these tension and yada, yada. I think we're on the precipice of a new era. Like we had the industrial revolution, we have we're in the information age and, because of need, I think we're entering a new phase where we are going to have to do the social and relational intelligence era, where we either really get into this stuff and learn how to be self-aware and practice EQ and practice different types of communication with every generation, or we're going to be in big trouble.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think you're right, and I'm having more and more conversations about the world of work, and the future of the world of work is very much high-tech, cutting-edge AI, it and humanized humans. It's almost as if we are on that spectrum and we want the two things that are both the furthest reaches of those spectrums, that we want humans to be empathetic, we want them to be caring, yet we want the it and the tech to be as high tech as it possibly can be, and that conversation is quite interesting because that they are pulled apart, but we have to learn to do both yeah, and it's.

Speaker 2:

it's funny you say that too, because for me, I'm sort of like emotionally intelligence wise. We're like toddlers. We're still screaming at each other and blowing stuff up and threatening, and we're going to develop AI that can manage, you know, missiles. It's a little scary to me, like you're giving a four-year-old a bus. You know, to me it's a little bit of a wake-up call right now. I think for us and I think it starts with us Every leader in every organization, every one of us you, me is practicing some of this stuff that we're talking about Just pausing, right, just pausing before you respond so that you don't react. Taking a moment to take your own pulse before you say anything, keeping in mind what is my goal for this conversation, for this person, you know, can I put my ego back there and say, hey, I understand, I've made a mistake here too, let me help you out. You know what I mean just practicing all the stuff we talk about is is the key.

Speaker 1:

There is so much to think about, isn't there? If we want to be effective leaders and we still want to be effective in the world of working. Five years, 10 years and 15 years yeah, for sure, because I think we don't.

Speaker 2:

we have it hasn't settled yet. Right like I think a lot is still in flex and and I think with AI and things that are going on, it's either going to be one of those things like, oh no, we're really not that far along Like my husband's in tech and he's like we're 20 years away from self-driving cars. He's like don't get excited because it's not happening anytime soon, because everyone has to have a self-driving car, for the self-driving car to work right, yes, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

That's exactly what my husband says too.

Speaker 2:

So sometimes I wonder okay, are we getting too excited about AI Because it's really not as close as we think? We know we have some language models, but are the thinking models really, you know, up and coming? I personally I feel like we're way too focused on STEM when we have kids that cannot have a freaking conversation, or we have big companies training their new college graduates on how to socialize. Hello, like we need some inner development, right? A lot of the problems we're seeing are because we aren't working on self-awareness, other people awareness, good communication skills. How do you manage your emotions?

Speaker 1:

To me, it's get the four-year-old out of the bus, get some adults driving, and that means all of us, you know, developing those skills and polarization really underpins that. Because we are as different groups of humans, we are in very different places, aren't't we? There are some people who are highly intellectual, who are doing the AI stuff, the people who absolutely understand the emotional stuff, and we're very polarized and my concern is that we're moving further apart as those groups.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that's mine too is that I think it's going to require a little more action on behalf of, like, our governments to start implementing SEL in schools, for people to be willing to start practicing little elements of it. And you know it's not easy, it's a different type of thing, we're not used to it, and you can't just read about it, right, you have to actually do it to it. And you can't just read about it, right, you have to actually do it. So then again, so I'm I'm hoping mi is gonna help with some of this stuff, and there's another tool that I that I I want to mention. It's safe conversations and they also have a business element called, and they're more of like a program, a brand, but I like to use them because they have this it's a structured dialogue, so you don't have to really know what you're doing, to follow it and to have a really eye-opening, emotionally intelligent, self-developing conversation with another person. Really helpful, I think, if people are like I don't know what to do.

Speaker 2:

What do I do? How do I have a conversation? You know that works.

Speaker 1:

I would definitely turn people Just before we go three top well-being or relational skills that you think that leaders are going to need for this future that we're all heading to at the rate of knots at the rate of knots.

Speaker 2:

Yeah well, I think that the things I would say are pretty broad. The first would be immaculate self-care. Immaculate self-care and that meaning not that you're working out five days a week, but that you are like spiritually self-caring, you're psycho-emotionally self-caring, you're physically self-caring and you're relational self-caring. You know the Harvard Men's Study, which is one of the longest running studies in history. When they boiled out, took out race and socioeconomic status and everything. What it came down to is quality of relationships had the longest happiest lives. So that's something to consider Also.

Speaker 2:

I think the second thing I would say is just emotional intelligence overall, and that is a big thing. But specifically self-awareness, I think at the deepest levels, can hit on a lot of the EQ basis. And then, last but not least, I would say what we've mentioned today person-centered approaches to conversation. Those coach approach, the MI, the safe conversations, approach the mi, the safe conversations. So those just learning that. So taking good care of yourself, learning the eq, practicing it and then learning how to do those type of conversations would be my top three and that what I work on myself all the time. It's not an arrival, it's a process right.

Speaker 1:

So, absolutely, it's a journey, as per the name of the book the self-awareness superhighway almost as if we planned it right. It's been absolutely brilliant having this conversation with you. I think we we've really touched on so many different things, from the workplace to society to to the future of the globe, so it's been really great having the conversation with you. Thank you so much for joining me today oh, thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 2:

It was really fun. Thanks, nia.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for joining me on today's episode, where we aim to develop self-aware leaders around the globe to generate kinder, more respectful and creative working relationships through reflection, recognition and regulation. Head over to my website at knowingselfknowingotherscouk to sign up to my newsletter to keep up to date with my blog, podcast and book. Looking forward to having you on my learning journey.

Self-Aware Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
Psychological Safety and Leadership Development
Leadership Styles and Employee Appreciation
Leadership and Coaching for Multiple Generations
Future Leaders' Relational Skills Discussion
Self-Awareness Journey Towards Leadership

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