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Tamra Chandler | Feedback and Other Dirty Words

242: Tamra Chandler: It’s time to reboot feedback

Tamra Chandler Show Notes Page

Tamra Chandler had just bought into a partnership and lost all of her equity when the firm experienced a forced closure. Tamra responded by building a successful organization elsewhere and has continued positively impact the lives of colleagues and clients. She’s now on a mission to reboot feedback.

Tamra Chandler was born in LaGrande, a small town in eastern Oregon. Her family moved to Montana when Tamra was three. As a result, she grew up in Kalispell, situated in the beautiful northwest corner of Montana, near Glacier National Park. Tamra is an only child of young parents, so she’s known to say that she and her Mom and Dad grew up together.

Both of Tamra’s parents were business owners before they reached the age of 30. Her mother owned a popular women’s clothing store and her father launched a series of start-ups over the years. Today Al, Tamra’s dad, still sits in his CEO seat of a successful company he founded more than 20 years ago. As such, it’s probably not a surprise that Tamra is also the founder and CEO of her own company.  It just took her a little longer to get there than her parents.

An entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic run deep in Tamra’s blood, driven by years of witnessing her parents’ hard work and passion. She began working in her mother’s store while in middle school. Once she was old enough to collect a paycheck, she worked a smattering of jobs through high school and college, including as a lifeguard and swim instructor, office store cleaner, and cherry sorter.

Armed with an Electrical Engineering degree after college, Tamra began her professional career as a Boeing engineer. Truth be told, engineering was never her true calling, and after three years she returned to school at University of Washington. MBA in hand, she never looked back.

Grad school led to a consulting job at United Research, where she learned the trade from some of the best professionals in their fields. In those early consulting years, she gained skills, know-how, and techniques that have been key to her success and continue to be part of what differentiate her and her team today.

In 1994 Tamra joined a fledgling team of consultants in Arthur Andersen’s Seattle office. In 1998, she made partner at Arthur Andersen and soon after stepped in to lead the Business Consulting practice for the Northwest corner of the U.S. That fledgling team grew from 20 in 1998 to 225 by 2002, when things took a sudden turn. Despite thinking she’d found her place, Tamra was uprooted by the Andersen-Enron debacle, and soon found herself leading 375 consultants, along with a few fellow partners, to Hitachi Consulting as a safe harbor. Tamra dedicated six years to Hitachi and established a thriving practice. While continuing to support clients, Tamra wore many other hats while at Hitachi, including Chief People Officer and Strategy Lead. Inspired by the work she was doing to differentiate Hitachi in the field of global consulting firms, Tamra saw the need for a strategic consultancy in the people, organization, and talent space. Armed with this insight and a vision of what could be, Tamra made a friendly departure with six colleagues in tow to launch PeopleFirm in 2008.

This year PeopleFirm celebrated its 11th anniversary and was recognized (again) as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top Consultancies in the U.S.

Tamra takes pride in having created so much positive change on a human-to-human level. Some of the impacts have been big, some small, but all are meaningful. Tamra has been in the fortunate position of being able to provide opportunities for people to do amazing work in areas they feel passionate about, and they have shined. She notes that there’s no better feeling that seeing someone blow your mind with the work they do and the impact they’ve had, and knowing you had a little part of their success.

At an organizational level, PeopleFirm is Tamra’s legacy. She had a vision of a different kind of consultancy, and with all the amazing people who have been part of the PeopleFirm tribe during the past 11 years, they’ve brought that vision to life. She’s immensely proud of what they’ve built in a short time and she’s grateful for the many industry honors the PeopleFirm team has received.

Tamra lives in Seattle, Washington. (However, a recent home purchase in France is bringing her that direction more often these days.) She is happily married to Jeff Mosier, her partner of 33 years. Tamra and Jeff have two children: Ivy, 23, a visual artist, and 19-year-old Wilson, who just completed his first year in Economics and Management at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Tamra and Jeff’s house is typically full of dogs, although Tamra says there aren’t enough at the moment, as only Perry and Luna Fox are in residence today.

Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @mtchandler to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“We need to reboot this idea of feedback.” Click to Tweet

“Feedback is broken in the way most of us have experienced it.” Click to Tweet

“It’s time to fix feedback so it’s something that’s truly helpful and not harmful or hurtful.” Click to Tweet

“If you’re seeking or extending feedback, first and foremost we need to build connections with that person.” Click to Tweet

“If I don’t trust you and you’re trying to help me, I’m not going to trust that feedback.” Click to Tweet

“When feedback is coming at us, even if we have a trusted relationship, it still may kick up our fears.” Click to Tweet

“Of fight, freeze, flee, or appease the most common feedback response is appease.” Click to Tweet

“Our traditional models of the dreaded performance management review have polluted our idea of feedback.” Click to Tweet

“Let’s redefine feedback and understand what good feedback means and try to bust a bunch of these myths that pollute our experiences.” Click to Tweet

“The most impactful feedback that people get is positive feedback.” Click to Tweet

“Leaders who give positive feedback are the highest ranked leaders in leadership capabilities.” Click to Tweet

“Just lean into the feedback, frequent, focused, positive-oriented feedback.” Click to Tweet

“Leaders need to move away from this idea that they need to be hard, critical, or strong-willed.” Click to Tweet

“For our relationship to be strong, we have to have five positive connections to one negative.” Click to Tweet

“We’re all works in process, none of us are perfect.” Click to Tweet

“The roles we play in feedback are seeker, receiver, and extender.” Click to Tweet

“If we start moving ourselves into seeking feedback the benefits are immense.” Click to Tweet

“We can start asking some really good questions as a receiver of feedback that helps use get value from even a blunder feedback experience.” Click to Tweet

“How do you go out there as a leader and seek feedback?” Click to Tweet

“The most powerful feedback we can seek, is usually to our peers.” Click to Tweet

“We are all fighting our own battles.” Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Tamra Chandler had just bought into a partnership and lost all of her equity when the firm experienced a forced closure. Tamra responded by building a successful organization elsewhere and has continued positively impact the lives of colleagues and clients. She’s now on a mission to reboot feedback.

Advice for others

Connect the dots and make something with it.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Managing my time more effectively.

Best Leadership Advice

Be yourself.

Secret to Success

I truly care about people and connect with then on a personal level.

Best tools in business or life

My husband.

Recommended Reading

Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It, How to Fix It

How Performance Management Is Killing Performance—and What to Do About It

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Contacting Tamra Chandler

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamrachandler/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mtchandler

Website:  www.peoplefirm.com

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

242: Tamra Chandler: It’s time to reboot feedback

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast where we uncover the leadership life hacks that help you to experience, breakout performance faster and rocket to success and now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach. 

 

Call Center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills and the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen. So go to Callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay fast leader legion, Today I’m excited because today’s guest is going help us with one of the most important f-words in your world. 

 

Tamra Chandler was born in LeGrande, small town in Eastern Oregon. Her family moved to Montana when Tamra was three as a result she grew up in Kalispell, situated in the beautiful northwest corner of Montana near Grayson Glacier National Park. Tamra is an only child of young parents so she’s known to say that she and her mom and dad grew up together. Both Tamra’s parents were business owners before they reached the age of 30. Her mother owned a popular women’s clothing store and her father launched a series of startups over the years. Today, Tamra’s dad still sits in a CEO seat of a successful company he founded more than 20 years ago. Tamra began working in her mother store while in middle school. Once she was old enough to collect the paycheck she worked a smattering of jobs through high school and college including a lifeguard swim instructor, office store cleaner, and cherry sorter. Armed with an electrical engineering degree after college Tamra began her professional career as a Boeing engineer. Truth be told engineering was her true calling and after three years she returned to school at University of Washington with an MBA in hand and she never looked back. 

 

In 1994 Tamra joined a fledgling team of consultants in Arthur Andersen’s Seattle offices. In 1998 she made partner at Arthur Andersen and soon after stepped into a lead business consulting practice for the northwest corner of the United States. That fledgling team grew from 20 in 1998 to 225 by 2002. When things took a sudden turn despite thinking she found her place

Tamra was uprooted by the Andersen-Enron debacle and soon found herself leading 375 consultants along with a few fellow partners to Hitachi Consulting as a safe harbor. Tamra dedicated six years to Hitachi and established a thriving practice. Inspired by the work she was doing to differentiate Hitachi in the field of global consulting firms, Tamra saw the need for a strategic consultancy in the people organization and talent space. Armed with this insight and vision of what she could be, Tamra made a friendly departure with six colleagues in tow to launch People Firm in 2008, that’s been recognized as one of Forbes magazine’s top consultancies in the US. Tamra also is the author of How Performance Management is Killing Performance and What to do about it, and Feedback (and other dirty words): Why we fear it, How to Fix it. 

 

Tamra lives in Seattle Washington. However a recent home purchase in France is bringing her that direction more often these days. She’s happily married to Jeff Mosier, her partner of 33 years. Tamra and Jeff have two children Ivy, 23, a visual artist, and 19 year-old Wilson, who just completed his first year in economics and management at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Tamra and Jeff’s house is typically full of dogs although Tara says there aren’t enough at the moment. Tamra Taylor, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Tamra Chandler:   I am totally ready. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you her passion is so that we can get to know you even better.

 

Tamra Chandler:   My current passion is, I am just so excited about this feedback thing. So I think that I’m sort of eating and sleeping and breathing that. We just had a great event here in Portland. I’m sitting in Portland Oregon right now. We had 40 executives show up last night and just said what we call a Learning Lab and just the conversation and the wisdom even from those leaders and the experiences that they share just has me just super excited that we did this book and we’re out there kicking up this conversation.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, so that leads me to want to ask, what was the main emphasis in those discussions?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Well I think everybody agreed with us, that we need to reboot this idea of feedback, that it needs a fresh start. That feedback is broken in the way that most of us have experienced and they’re probably engaging in it today, and so we’re out there trying to start a movement of leaders and everybody else who wants to come along with us who thinks it’s time to fix feedback. So it’s something that’s truly helpful and not harmful or hurtful.

 

Jim Rembach:     Well and one of the things that you talked about in the book and what it starts off with and to me it just kind of launches from there and really sets a good groundwork is you talk about self-preservation and part of this is just wiring is who we are as animals and then there’s been a lot of societal things that have impacted it but ultimately we’re talking about how to preserve that self-protection component. So when you say tell self-protection, what does that really mean for everyone?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Well I think where we came from, we have evolved over time but our evolution, what we’ve learned to do is protect ourselves, and back in the day that might have been the saber-tooth Tiger or the snake hanging from the tree, right? And we learned that danger means physically respond, get out, and be safe. And the interesting thing is with the world of feedback, well if someone’s coming at you with some feedback it’s probably not going to cause the end of your life but we tend to still physically respond in that way as that self-protection and what happens mentally when we do that is we move into with what Laura and I like to call our reptilian brain, we sort of moved back into that protection, the safety, the fight-or-flight kind of mode and when we are in that brain our wise brain shuts down. So almost all of us can think about times where someone has said something and we’ve responded in a way that when we think back on it later were just sort of horrified or at least little bit humiliated and it’s because that reptilian brain took over and our wise brain shutdown and so we weren’t able to show up necessarily the way we want to because we’re in that self-protection mode 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay so for me that kind of also leads me to a particular question before we go into something else, and that is you talked about how we respond to understand be able to take in fear related type of information before we start taking in things that are growth focused and positive. So if I start thinking about those elements and components, should it be that I wait to do the fear types of things that could potentially cause people to—and as you put it in the book we’ll get in this to a second, it’s fight, freeze, appease, we’ll talk about that in a second, but should we sequence things in a certain way so that we’re having a greater amount of success?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Well yes and no. I think that one of the things that we talk about is if you are wanting to engage in a feedback relationship with someone whether you’re seeking or whether you’re extending feedback that first and foremost we need to build connections with that person, we need to have trusts, we need to have a platform by which we can have the conversation because if I don’t trust you and you’re trying to help me, I’m still not going trust that feedback even if it’s valuable. So yes we have to start from that perspective but I think what we have to realize is when feedback is coming at us even if we have a trusted relationship it still may kick up our fear and that’s where we have to really sort of change our minds. If we say we have to train our brains and we have to learn to get out of that reptilian brain and back into our wise brain and so like when we do workshops with people and stuff we spend a lot of time helping them start to practice little tips to get into your body because when we get back into our body we get out of that response mode so even simple things like rubbing your hands together to start and feeling the more between your hands can start to take you out of that response mode and get you back into your body so you can start to gain control. So we can’t stop the fear even if we love somebody they can still come at us with something that is scary to us, so we have to also figure out ways to start to manage our own fear and get out of our brains in that sense.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think that’s a really important point when you start talking about some of these techniques and tactics. I do want to get a little bit more into this whole fight, flee, freeze or appease. And so, I want us to talk a little bit more about this four elements that’s associated with this self-preservation and how it impacts feedback.

 

Tamra Chandler:   Right. The fight, freeze, flee or appease I think in the corporate environment when we’re working side by side the one that gets the least amount of attention but is probably the most common is the appease. Someone actually, last night, brought this up where they are trying to drive more feedback for leaders and asking individuals to provide more feedback for leaders and they said unfortunately most of the responses, oh, you’re great everything’s lovely and keep doing what you’re doing rah rah. Those are people trying to appease they’re not actually engaging there’s still the fear there of having an honest conversation. Maybe that leader is doing great things but that’s still not good feedback that’s not specific it’s actually not telling them why they’re great or what they should keep doing. Oftentimes if we’re extending feedback to someone and we see them sort of glass over or they’ll say, gosh, thanks a lot, we kind of instinctively know I don’t think that landed anywhere I think it just woof and they said thank you and they made it sound like they cared about what we said and they walked away that’s really an appease. 

 

Jim Rembach:    So when you start talking about this, and you and I had the opportunity to chat a little bit off mic before we started recording, we talked about what we’re kind of familiar with and what we’ve been exposed to and really when we start thinking about this whole traditional mindset action and activities associated with it as well as the emerging workforce and how they really don’t receive much feedback or have not received it and so we’re really almost having to start from a ground zero which could be a good thing.

 

Tamra Chandler:   I think maybe that is a good thing. I think that when you talk to people who have grown up in our traditional models and particularly throw in there the dreaded performance management review all those models have really polluted our idea of feedback. If you think about the review, and review makes us believe that feedback is this big heavy meeting that hashes over the past and that one person is the know all tell all of the other person and I bring you into the room and I put my box of Kleenexes in the middle of the table because we’re going to have this big conversation about your strengths and your weaknesses and we’re going to hash over the things that happened last year, there’s so little value in that conversation that is not feedback. But we think it is because we’ve been told it is. And so these are the types of things that we have to sort of wipe the slate clean and say that’s not feedback let’s redefine feedback let’s understand what good feedback means and let’s try to bust a whole bunch of these  myths that pollute our experiences in the way that we’re going forward.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think that’s perfect. So let’s bust a couple myths, go ahead. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   Okay. One of my favorite myths is, and I know that you do a lot of work with leaders. It’s interesting because if you talk to leaders a lot of them think that good feedback is, I’m out telling my people what they’re doing wrong or telling them how to fix something. The science and if you’re geeky enough you want to get into the science, look at Zinger and Folkman’s, Research in the Space, because it’s really powerful and they’ve looked at thousands of leaders and  understood what’s happening here and ask the people that are working these leaders. Here’s what we know, the most impactful feedback that people get is positive feedback. It drives the most important and improved performance, it’s inspiring, it helps people look forward, it engages them, it drives that level of commitment. Leaders who give positive feedback are the highest-ranked leaders in leadership capabilities. 

 

So if you’re trying to improve your leadership scores just lean into the feedback frequent focus positive oriented feedback. Interestingly, even leaders who really do a good blend of more positive but also corrective and directional feedback there’s starting me better than those that just give pure positive feedback, which is kind of an interesting finding. You probably really need a blend if you’re really helping your people grow thrive in advance. So leaders need to move away from this idea that they need to be hard or critical or strong-willed and move their people forward. If you can lean in to that positive feedback that’s hugely important.  I think the other thing, there’s this old, I’ll use the PG language here there’s this whole idea of the poop sandwich. A lot of people were trained on this idea that gives somebody a compliment, give him some tough feedback and then close with a nice compliment and that was a good feedback practice, for years that was trained and taught to people. It’s a horrible practice. Because what happens with that practice is we’re mixing the message, what is it we’re trying to say? Is it the positive thing or is it the tough feedback? What’s the most important piece in that? And most the time people are going to smell the smelly medal the poop sandwich part and say, you know what? I think those two compliments were just thrown in there they’re not even meaningful. And so I don’t trust any of that information particularly those compliments. And so we start to erode the trust between the individual we’ve diluted the message and and it’s really not a valuable conversation at all.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, so also you shared something a little bit about Gottman’s research in the all five of them, got to hit on that a little bit. And we actually have to go overboard on the positive in order to impact that thing that we need to have improve in (inaudible 15:36)

 

Tamra Chandler:   Right. And the Gottman research is about relationships and that ties back to that in order for feedback to flow in order for this to work for us to get value out of it Jim if you and I have a relationship we have to have trust. In order for us to have trust we have to have some connection that binds us. And so what Gottman’s research, while he did it under the auspices of marriage counseling and evaluating marriages, we think what’s so important that we can take away from that is for our relationship to be strong we have to have five positive connections to one negative. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be five positive feedback it can simply be—we go to lunch we work on a hard project together we have things that connect us—so our relationship has that strength in it. And the more positive connections we have, I think of it like you’re building that ground level you’re building the platform by which you and I can have richer and more influential and meaningful conversations. So those positive connections you just keep putting more layers underneath that relationship.

 

Jim Rembach:     For me as you’re saying that I start thinking about longevity and I started thinking about 10 years and I started thinking about all of those things associated with how long people are actually at work together and when you start looking at these term lengths who are putting all those factors into place about people at senior level how often they turn and turn. If we’re looking at mid-level and absolutely the frontline, people are saying now you’re going to have like 14 jobs if you emerge into the workforce by the time you get out of it, I mean, do you really even have time to build a religion?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Oh gosh, I sure hope so. But I think you’re right.  I think that is one of the challenges. Laura and I sort of joke about when we’re working with a new set of managers or leaders for example and you start telling them, hey, you need to be connecting frequently and they get this sort of glassy eye days and  you know what they’re thinking is, when do I find the time to do that? And I think what we need to realize is again with all these things it’s light and easy. We’re not saying be robotic about it we’re not saying you have to sit down for half an hour with someone we’re just saying be authentic be engaged. We all have to eat we all have to do these things so use those times to really connect with people and build that relationship. If you are a new person you’ve got a new boss you can drive that too starting to reach out and just getting to know people.

 

I was reflecting this week on some of my best friends are people who’ve worked for me at one time but took the time to say, hey I really want to get to know you, and had the courage to drive that relationship. We can all engage in this process even though, yes, there’s a lot of churn and there’s a lot of change.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, so that leads me to something that we also talked about off mic. We talked about what we’ve been conditioned to in the workplace and in our society, we talked about North America versus other places around the world and I had shared how on the Fast Leader show I read a bio that’s a little bit more of a personal bio because I say it’s not what you do that makes you great it’s who you are that makes you great and it’s a very important distinction that we often lose. And you said, well, that’s kind of a phenomena here in the States, however, when you travel globally you get and experience something different, what do you experience?

 

Tamra Chandler:   I was thinking particularly, because as you mentioned in my bio, I’ve been spending a lot more time in France and as I’m getting to build a community in France what’s been interesting to me is the contrast in their relationships. What I’ve noticed is people don’t ask you right away what you do, they want to know who you are, and they ask you questions about your family, and your history. Maybe it’s because their history is so much longer, I don’t know, they care a lot about those types of things. But also what I’ve learned is that they’re faster to become your friend, it’s easier to get into those communities and move faster I think. 

 

Unfortunately, and maybe it’s the speed like you’re talking about that we work at in the U.S. that it’s hard sometimes to make new friends or to build those relationships, like people aren’t really willing to invest the time. Maybe that’s because, well, how do I know you’re going to be here in a year? But I find it’s easier and in a very short amount of time in France we’ve been able to build kind of this whole network of friends and people and people go out of the way to help you. And gosh, I wish we could bring more of that back, as we’re trying to bring the human back into the work that we’re doing in the U.S. just really leaning into those relationships and establishing much more of that rapport would make us all so much stronger and frankly happier.

 

Jim Rembach:    And I think this kind of goes into the hold rebooting of feedback, is that we need to do things differently than we’ve done the past. You talked about Dr. Dweck’s work in regards to mindset and having more of a growth mindset and we’ve got to change some of our behaviors. I even remember working with one particular Police Department on an engagement, a project, and I had some senior level leaders within a conference room and I started asking some questions where we got into that as far as who you are not so much on what you do. And then one guy looked at another he goes, I’ve known this man 20 years and I just learned something new I had no clue about. Why did you count 20 years and not know that? 

 

Tamra Chandler:   Right, right.

 

Jim Rembach:    I think that we just have to really stop and take a step back and so part of that gets into the reboot of feedback, how do we reboot?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Well, first and foremost we need a new definition of feedback so that’s the first thing we put forward. We need to redefine it in a way that provides us sort of that platform again that which we can all connect with. Can I read you our definition? It’s a clear and specific information that sought or extended with the sole intention of helping individuals or groups improve grow or advance. So we were really careful about the words that we selected in that definition the clear and specific as in focus, you’ll hear us talk about one thing, the sole intention of helping somebody improve, grow or advance. We always say go out there and kick a lot of ass. One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, what’s the intent of the feedback if you’re looking to offer somebody some feedback? What’s my intent? We absolutely, as you said lean into the growth mindset and we play with this idea of flipping the switch from prove to improve. How can we in our own minds switch from prove to improve? So making sure if you’re offering someone feedback you’re not trying to prove something but you’re trying to help them improve. And I think so often when we get feedback wrong it’s because we think we need to tell somebody something maybe they made us mad or we think we have a point of view that they need to hear or something of that nature which is then in our definition not feedback. As a receiver of feedback or as a seeker of feedback if we switch from this idea of prove to improve then we can open ourselves up to look for all works in process none of us are perfect we all got things we need to work on. So if we start to say, hey, this is who I am, as we said, this is who I am and this is what I’m working on help me here I’m in this state of continuous improvement. We’re not out trying to prove we’re the smartest or prove we’re the best at something or all that type of thing that puts us in a completely different state of mind. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Well and as you’re talking you use some words I think it’s really important for us to be able to explain and talk about because we need to build skills in all three of these. You talked about a speaker, a receiver, and then there’s also an extender, help us with that. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   We wanted to make sure and we kind of thought about what are the roles we all play in feedback? And we broke it out into these three roles seeker, receiver and extender. We always start with seeker because that we think is really the golden egg here in changing how we engage in feedback. If we start moving ourselves into seeking feedback the benefits are immense. We lower the fear both in ourselves and in the person we’re asking because we’re giving them permission we’re seeking specific feedback that we care about we get to choose the time and the place and hopefully we’re asking in advance so the person we’re asking has the time to prepare and think about their answers so we’re getting higher quality information. So we can really lead the way by getting out there and seeking. 

 

Of course, once we seek then we’re in receiving mode and sometimes we’re receiving because we’ve asked and sometimes we’re receiving because we haven’t. But whether you’ve asked or not the receiver is really taking that information in and choosing what to do with it. We had a gentleman last night asked the question, what if you’re receiving information from an extender who’s really bad at feedback? Even as the receiver we can take control and we can start to ask questions that help us get value from that. What’s the one thing you want me to get away from this conversation? Is there a place you’ve witnessed me doing that that you can walk me through so I can understand it better? We can start asking some really good questions as a receiver that helps us get value from even a kind of blundered sort of feedback experience. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   And then lastly is the extender and almost always everyone immediately goes to this role and thinks about all the powers with the extender. No, we want to move the power to the seeker and the extender is someone we’re asking to just share what you’re witnessing. Share what you’re observing let go of the judgment, the assessment, the ratings, the no I’ll tell all, the giving the solutions, move to someone who is witnessing here’s what I’ve noticed and then engaged the person in a conversation about, do they see it the same way? Is this valuable feedback to them? How can you help them work on this if it’s something they’re interesting in working on if it’s a strength how can you help them find more places to apply that strength really engaged in that kind of conversation as an extender.

 

Jim Rembach:    Well, as you’re talking to I would think that we could easily make the mistake and basically take what you were just saying right there and think that, oh, that’s top-down conversation and that is (inaudible 26:34) seeking the feedback from a superior in rank. And I would dare to say that no it’s probably needs to be the superior doing it first in order to model it. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   Exactly, yeah. We have tips and tricks and ideas in each of these different roles. The second section in each area says leaders go first. It’s about, how do you get out there as a leader and seek feedback? And for some leaders this is really hard. Because you may have a lot of ego built up in your leadership. You may not have those relationships yet with the people on your teams. We say start easy, start in a team meeting and at the beginning of the team meeting say, hey, at the end of this team meeting I’d really love feedback on ABC, anchor it in the work that you’re doing start to build some muscle with the team that opens up the dialogue. And then when you come around to the next meeting say, hey, I really love the feedback you gave me in that last meeting this is what I’ve done with it at the end of this meeting here’s what I’d like and then you start to build a habit and a rapport. Once you’ve done that maybe you can start building one-on-one relationships with some of those people to go out and say, hey, I’m really looking for feedback on our strategic plan I built let’s talk about that and any ideas you have for me how we could make it even better. So we can really start to show how we can lead the way and that is so important. 

 

The other thing, Jim that is so vitally important to recognize here is the most powerful feedback we can seek where we can offer is usually to our peers. And so we really like to try to shine a spotlight on peer to peer feedback, research shows that we’re thirty percent more likely to take in peer feedback and I think there’s a couple of reasons for that. When our peers see us more often they know us, they see our work they know our strengths. Even that guy who worked for 20 years he probably still had some good feedback for that peer because they’ve worked closely enough together and leading into that is really important and it’s safer and it’s a great place where we can start to practice some of these skills. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And as you say that I start thinking too is that there are certain organizations and I would dare to say that it’s at all levels where they may look and say, well, I don’t really have up here. in the small organization that can happen in the large organization the person at the very top there’s no peer they’re all subordinates there’s that peers among subordinates. For those people who feel like they’re isolated where do they go? 

 

Tamra Chandler:   That’s really interesting. I think again they can go to the people whoever they’re working with whether they’re peers or not. I would just look at who’s in my ecosystem? And who sees me? Sometimes it may even be a client or a customer or someone else. In our business oftentimes some of the best feedback comes from the clients that we’re working with. And being able to build a relationship with them and ask them for their insights or their specific feedback. Once you’ve got a trusted relationship. So I think we just have to step back and think about who is it this witnessing the work that I’m doing? And how can they provide me observations about what they’re seeing?

 

Jim Rembach:    It sounds like we also have to kind of change our definition of what peer is as well. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   Right, yeah, I think you’re right.

 

Jim Rembach:    Everything that we talked about in all of this—the fear, flight, freeze, appease all of them, all of these is just wrapped up in a ton of emotion. One of the things that we like on the show to help us make sure that we’re focused in the right direction are quotes. So is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

 

Tamra Chandler:   I love this quote and I used to have it for a long time, I think on my Skype header or whatever it’s, be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. I think particularly in this case that’s such a great quote because it’s it gets into that fear piece again. I think we are all fighting our own battles. We’re trying to be the better person. We’re trying to contribute. We’re trying to show up or trying to connect. We’re trying to manage our children. We’re trying to manage our parents. We’re all just out there trying to do our best. And in a crazy, crazy luca world. So I think recognizing that—I don’t know about you but I say that I used that quote with my kids a lot. Because when your kids are in their 20’s or teens they can be very critical and very judgmental. I’ll often say, you don’t know that person’s story and you don’t know what they’re dealing with and you don’t know the battles that are raging inside your brain so be kind. And that one just really resonates with me.

 

Jim Rembach:    I would dare to say that I also too for many of us we kind of have to start building our own different approaches. Kind of like getting rid of the hole so what do you do it should be, hey, what are you battling today? You never (inaudible 31:33) that to go. Again I got in a habit of asking person, so where do you find your joy? It’s amazing people will just sit there and process what you’re saying and all of a sudden the corners of their mouth go up their eyes get big and then they start telling you what it is.

 

Tamra Chandler:   Right, right that’s a great question. Talk about connecting those are the dirt great kind of questions to build those connections.

 

Jim Rembach:    Now you have to be prepared though because some of those conversations have brought me to tears.

 

Tamra Chandler:   Oh, well, if you ask my team I’m like the queen of tears, I cry all the time they’re used to it. No one can declare I’m not a vulnerable leader.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s it, got to be vulnerable. We’ve committed to this as leaders we have to be willing to put ourselves out there. When you were talking about the leader going first is that for leaders oftentimes their legacy is that—you know what? I’ve been beaten up for the past 15 years associated with feedback and now I have something different. Well, yeah, you’re the one who has to do the most work sometimes. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   We even talk about leaders sometimes have to hit the reset button because a lot of us have been trained in ways that aren’t very productive or helpful. If you’re going to change the way you’re going to engage in feedback and if you’re going to start seeking you’ve got to be willing to sort of show up and say, hey, maybe the things I was doing weren’t working so well I’m turning over a new leaf I want to hit the reset button I want to start fresh with you and I’m going to start by asking you to provide me some insights, that could be a really good thing to do sometimes depending on your history with the people you’re talking to.

 

Jim Rembach:     And I would say be prepared to have to do that at least three times because they go and you’re going to get the appease and asking **there’s a what they’re going to give you an appease.

 

Tamra Chandler:   Fair enough, I think you’re right.

 

Jim Rembach:    Needless to say when we start talking about all of these learnings and even talking about the course of where you started near Glacier Park and getting to be part of a global firm and having your own and having the success there’s still humps that you’ve had to get over.

 

Tamra Chandler:   So many.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s right. Can you share one of those with us.

 

Tamra Chandler:   Yeah, like I said so many it’s hard to pick what’s the most exciting one. But I think there probably wasn’t any event in my life that was more from a business perspective rocking your world than when I was at an 80,000 person top-ranked firm at Arthur Andersen and the next day our license was pulled and suddenly we were unable to operate so we had to respond. It was really an interesting time because as partners we had the most to lose. Our equity was in the firm all of our assets were I just signed a note that was just as big as my house mortgage that I now owed and I had nothing left to show for it. So I thought that was such an interesting time and to watch the way different leaders responded. You saw some of the most amazing people show up and do just phenomenal leadership things to help calm people and bring them forward and really rise to that occasion and then you saw others who did not. That was really an interesting time where we had to step back and say back to who are we, am I going to just flee away and take my bags and run? Or am I going to stay here with my team and see us through this? And I think that was a hump for sure.

 

Jim Rembach:    Well, obviously I know what side you felt long. 

 

Tamra Chandler:   Yeah, it was a time, there’s lots of stories to go along with it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I would dare to say that there would even be some more interesting stories talking about those that just didn’t handle it very well. What you just said right there to me

is it’s very telling in a lot of ways when we start even going back to that whole self-preservation of self. How do we respond? 

 

Tamra Chandler:   Mmm-hmm. 

 

Jim Rembach:    So, when I start thinking about where you’re going with this—your firm was recognized as one of the top consulting firms, you had the book—what is one of your goals?

 

Tamra Chandler:   People will ask me why I’ve been in consulting for 30 plus because it’s a kind of a crazy world to live in for that long and I always say I’ve been here because I truly think we make a difference. One of our values that people firm is leave every client situation better than you came to it. And that could be a hallway conversation or it can be organizational transformation project. But I truly feel like we advocate for people and we help find that win/win between what organizations need and what people want. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that we help make people’s lives better, at least their lives at work better, and that’s my passion that’s what keeps me going and if I didn’t believe that I couldn’t have done this for this long. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

An even better place to work is an easy new solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award-winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

 

Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Tamra, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Tamra Chandler, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Tamra Chandler:   I hope so.

 

Jim Rembach:     So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Oh wow! Rapid response. Managing my time more effectively.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Be yourself.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Tamra Chandler:   I think that I truly care about people and I connect with them on a personal level.

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Tamra Chandler:   My husband. Is he at tool? Don’t tell him he’s a tool.

 

Jim Rembach:     Most endearing sense. And what would be one book you’d recommend to our legion? It could be from any genre but of course, we are going to put a link to “Feedback” as well as your other book on our show notes page as well.

 

Tamra Chandler:   You know one of my all-time favorite books is switch by Chip and Dan Heath.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay. Fast leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going too Fastleader.net/TamraChandler. Okay Tamra, this is my last hump day hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take your knowledge and skills back with you but you can’t take it all you can only take one, so what piece of knowledge or skill would you take back with you and why?

 

Tamra Chandler:   The skill I have is connecting the dots from many different things if the one thing I had to hold on to would be that being able to take research and science and experience and connect the dots and create something with it.

 

Jim Rembach:     Tamra it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Tamra Chandler:   Yes. They can contact me on LinkedIn @TamraChandler and my email for people firm is available there so you get right in to us or you can come to www.peoplefirm.com and connect with us there. I’m also on Instagram and all over the place so I’m not hard to find.

 

Jim Rembach:     Tamra Chandler thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and the fast leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

 

Thank you for joining me on the fast leader show today. For recaps links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe if you haven’t already head on over a fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO

 

[/expand]

 

064: Karin Hurt: What do you mean I’m a fraud

Karin Hurt Show Notes

Karin Hurt had just been promoted to her first executive job in human resources. Her first responsibility was to construct a new diversity council. Things were going great until one of her council members came running into her office and called her a fraud. Why? Listen to Karin’s story and learn how she was able to move onward and upward faster.

As Karin’s mom would tell it, Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler, organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do, and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans.

Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20+ years at Verizon where she held executive positions in HR, Leadership Development, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Strategic Partnership Channel at Verizon Wireless where she transformed customer service outsourcing, working with companies and call centers to build strong cultures that deliver positive customer experiences. Her high-trust, high-collaboration approach drove substantial improvement across the portfolio, with centers performing at parity or above internal centers.

Prior to that she led a Verizon Wireless sales team (2200 employees), leading the nation in store sales to the small and medium business space. Karin’s consulting takes a comprehensive approach to developing confident, competent, and creative front-line teams.

Karin has a BA in Communication from Wake Forest University, an MA from Towson University in Organizational Communication, and additional graduate work at the University of Maryland, where she currently teaches in the MBA and Executive Development programs.

Karin’s mission is to stamp out “the win at all costs” mentality so rampant in organizations, and prove that the best way to get results that last is by being a decent human being.

She and her coauthor, David Dye, have recently written a Book, Winning Well, a Managers Guide to Getting Result- Without Losing Your Soul which is based on the foundational principles of Confidence, Humility, Results and Relationships.

Karin lives near Washington, DC with her husband and two sons. She knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @LetsGrowLeaders to over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“You can lead and get results and still be a decent human being.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet

“It’s important to know how you’re being perceived by others.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“When it comes down to it we all want some of the same fundamental things.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“It’s an important skill to teach your children to be open to how they’re perceived.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to improve the skillsets of your team if people are not hearing what they need to hear.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“People coming out of MBA programs are missing the basic communication skills.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“The things that are most fulfilling are generally the things that feel a bit scary.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“If you succeed at something that scares you, the next time….it won’t feel as scary.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“I’ve got to lead from who I am.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“I’ve got to help other people lead from who they are.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

“Take some time and look back…see that people are with you.” -Karin Hurt Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Karin Hurt had just been promoted to her first executive job in human resources. Her first responsibility was to construct a new diversity council. Things were going great until one of her council members came running into her office and called her a fraud. Why? Listen to Karin’s story and learn how she was able to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Gain greater perspective on how people perceive you.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Managing the firehose of tasks coming in.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Take some time and look back. You got to make sure you’re look back and that people are with you.

Secret to Success

Developing real connections with people as human beings.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

www.zoom.us

Recommended Reading

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing Your Soul

Contacting Karin

Website: http://www.letsgrowleaders.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karin-hurt-7ab25910

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LetsGrowLeaders

Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

064: Karin Hurt: What do you mean I’m a fraud

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your tennis take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion I’m excited today because I have somebody who went to school with my wife and has carved a place in this world to help others be better on what we focused in on the Fast Leader show, and that is helping to lead others. Karin Hurt was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland the oldest of three kids. As Karin’s mom would tell it Karin’s been playing with leadership principles from the time she was a toddler organizing her stuffed animals and telling them what to do and later directing her gaggle of younger cousins in family Christmas shows and other shenanigans.  

 

Karin’s work experience is primarily based on 20+ years of Verizon were she held executive positions in HR, leadership development, sales, marketing and customer service. She most recently served as executive director of the strategic partnership channel at Verizon wireless were she transformed customer service outsourcing working with companies and call-centers to build strong cultures that deliver positive customer experiences. Her high trust, high collaboration approach, drove substantial improvement across portfolio where centers performing at parity or above internal centers.

 

Karin’s consulting takes a comprehensive approach to developing competent, competent and creative frontline teams. Karin has a BA in communications from Wake Forest University and an MA from Towson University in organizational communication and additional graduate work at the University of Maryland where she currently teaches in the MBA and executive development programs. Karin’s mission is to stamp out the win at all cost mentality so rampant in organizations and prove that the best way to get results that last is by being a decent human being. She and her co-author David Dye have recently written a book Winning Well A Managers Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul which is based on the foundational principles of confidence, humility, results and relationships. 

 

Karin lives near Washington DC with her husband and two sons. She knows the stillness of a Yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders. Karin Hurt are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

 

Karin Hurt:    Absolutely, glad to be here thanks so much. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s awesome.  Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

I am passionate about working with growing leaders around the world helping them to realize that you can lead very well and get long-term, lasting results and still be a decent human being. 

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s something that stood out for me when you said that is emerging. What about the ones that are already there? 

 

Karin Hurt:    Already leading? 

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah. And they’re kind of like the ones that don’t have that.

 

Karin Hurt:    You know it’s fun because that is why I do a lot of work with 360° feedback assessments because it’s important to know how you’re being perceived by others and often we don’t really know that. And so if you can get your peers swaying in and your boss and your direct reports giving you some perspective then that is where the humility comes in to realize that maybe there are some additional skills that you should be working on. 

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s something that you had mentioned there that I think has been getting a lot of—I don’t to say negative press but has been a struggle, and as the whole concept of 360 feedback. When you start thinking about emotional intelligence and know some of the things associated with what’s required in order to collaborate and get work done today and you start dealing with this whole new different generations in the workplace, social impact, is that 360’s have taken on probably a very different end in regards to where they were probably created and what they were set up to do. So, when you start thinking about 360 as a concept, and many organizations are not doing them anymore because of really flipping them into performance management tools. Maybe that’s the line that crossover, but what do you think about that?

 

Karin Hurt:    I don’t believe in using that for performance management. For me it should be something that is very private and for your own development. So, for example, I build this into my online course where you go to a self-assessment at the beginning of the course you work on skills and you’re doing real work with your team along the way and you’re building on this core principles that I’m teaching and at the end should do a 360° feedback assessment that is for you, right? So you’re getting the feedback you don’t have to share it with your boss, it’s all about improving your skills and your perceptions. That’s the original intent of the 360. And when I think back to early in my development one of the thing I really have a blind spot around was my relationship with my peers. And I’m so glad that 20 years ago I took a 360 and somebody said you’ve got an issue here because it enabled me to really work on that and I know my career’s better off now as a result of that.  

 

Jim Rembach:    There’s something that stood out to me when you said and as well as some the issues with the 360 and the feedback and all of that, is that somebody was saying to me about the different generations in the workforce, that this upcoming generation, the Z generation doesn’t want any feedback at all and that kind of stuck me as odd, Have you heard anything like that? 

 

I have a very different philosophy around this generation, the whole generational gap, in what a lot of the writing is about. Because when it comes down to it I think that we—we all want some of the same fundamental things. We all want to feel like we have a voice. We want to feel like our skills are being utilized. We want to be engaged. We want to have enjoyed the people we worked with. And I remember back when I label as a Gen X and people saying, “Oh, what are we going to do about Gen X’ers there’s so different” and I was in charge at the point and I thought, “No, you can’t label every single person in my generation as the same.” And so I would say that’s the same. I think that there has been a challenge with the way children has been raised where in many circumstances where everybody gets a trophy, everything you do is great and so some of that is I think where the fear of feedback is coming in because they have not received a lot of constructive feedback. But as parents I would say that is important skill to be able to teach your children be open how they’re being perceived and open the impact that they’re having on others. 

 

If somehow, someone is missing that I don’t think we can write it off and say, now we’re not going give her feedback because you’re not going to improve the skill set of your team if people are not hearing what they need to hear. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think you gave me some more evidence of what really I think the potential theory, it’s not empirically based but…to me it’s almost like this particular generation when you start thinking of how they could become so self-absorbed in things, that they’re really almost social dysfunctional, they don’t know how to interact and engage. And more of those as a percentage of people are coming you into the world that when they get into the workplace we have to teach them basic fundamental human interaction skills that they’re just not getting growing up. 

 

It’s really interesting because there is some empirical research that says that people coming out of MBA programs, what they are missing are the basic communication, speaking, reading, writing and collaborating skills. So much so that university’s now are going back and having to build that into the curriculum, things that they assumed they would have gotten just by going to college or while growing up or that should have come by listening things like that. In fact I actually got pulled in to do a work at University of Maryland orientation program, around all that stuff because they said, we got to do it even before they begin the program, we got to catch them up on this stuff.  That’s interesting that you say that. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And I think for me when I start thinking about this mounting issue and how much frustration that were going to have as a result of it I have to lean on quotes, and we do a lot on the Fast Leader show, because I need an extra piece of fuel in order help me. Is there a quote or two that kind of gives you that extra umph that you can share with us? 

 

Karin Hurt:    Ellen Roosevelt do one thing every day that scares you. For me that really resonates. I would never have been able to leave my big job and start my own company, or course I was scared that’s a big risk, but when you do things that are most fulfilling and are generally the things that feel a bit scary because that’s what stretches us. That’s why I was focused so much on confidence as part of what I worked with people on. Because if you can’t have confidence and you succeed at something that scares you, the next time you do try something that scares you it won’t as scary because you’re building that muscle that says it’s going to be okay. 

 

Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point, I’ve chatted about this before with other guest is that  you’re building neural pathways. So, what are you building your neural pathway to? Is it to get over the hump? Or is it to have the hump block you? Building the right pathway get over it. So when you start talking about this transformation and working with a major corporation, working in a multiple business units, growing up with cousins and siblings, we all have humps to get over and they make us who we are. Is there a story that you can share with us that kind of made you a better you?

 

Karin Hurt:    Yeah. It had been an embarrassing story. I had just been promoted to my first executive job in Human Resources and it was con-current with a merger that was happening it was (10:55 inaudible) so that was all coming together. So all the players where new, new head of HR, new field leaders and I was given the assignment to put together a diversity council. And so that was people from engineering and customer service and sales all together, to say, what is our strategy going to be like for diversity for this new merged organization? Now this was years ago, 15 years ago, and so you could imagine the diversity issues were even greater that they are today, homosexuality was not as talked about as frequently, things like that. 

 

So, we had representation from a variety of race, age, gender, and sexual orientation on the council. And so one day, I thought everything was going great, I thought our strategy was coming together well, I thought we’re bonding as a team, and a women an Africa-American women came running into my office and she said, “You are a fraud.” And I was like, “Aghh, what do you mean I’m a fraud?” and she says, “I came by your office to drop something off the other day and you weren’t here you were in New York and on your desk were pictures, lots of pictures, all of you and the little boy and no dad, you are single mom.” And I said, “Yeah.” And she says, “Well, all this time we been talking about single mothers and what we’re going to do about single mothers as part of our diversity strategy and how are we going help those people and you are one.” And she said, we had a gay men on the council who came out to us, I talked about what’s like to be an African-American and some of the discrimination I have faced over my career and you just sit there and act like you’ve got no diversity challenges. 

And she said, “Can you imagine what would have happened if you had said, ‘Yes, I am a single mother and I am an executive and that’s okay and you ought to be able to talk about such things at work.” And that is an indication that we have a diversity problem, if I can’t be who I am. It was such an aha moment for me because I hadn’t told my boss that I had gone through a divorce, I kept my entire personal life secret. And I did it because I thought there’s no way they’re going to promote me into this new job. They’re going to say, “Oh, gosh, she won’t be able to handle the travel, she must be going through so much stress, and I had all those labels on and assume that other people would label me that way instead of being able to show up authentically because I could do the job. And so from that moment on I realize I’ve got to lead from who I am and I’ve got to help other people lead from who they are. And I’m not going to emulate somebody else’s style and I’m not going to try to be somebody that I’m not, I’m going to realize that, yes, I had some challenges with that but that could also make me more empathetic leader and help people to connect with me. So that was really a turning point in my career. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that and really you also explain why we do the format of the fast leader show the way that we do it. I get to say many times is that it’s not what you do that makes you great it’s who you are that what makes you do great. And that’s the reality of our but yet when we sit around and we talk about what is it that you do and we create our own bios for that matter. Many times I have to asked people to rewrite their bio because it’s nothing about really who they are it’s like this is what I’ve done, this is my education, this is my—no, no, no, people do business with people, people connect with people it’s really what helps us all collectively find others to connect with and achieve greatness that we otherwise can’t find around, so thank you for sharing that.

 

I know that you have a lot of things going on. You have two sons, a husband, you’re doing some teaching, you’re writing a book, you’re speaking there’s just so many things you have going on. What are some of your goals? 

 

Karin Hurt:    This year is a big year for me because last year I spent a lot of time developing content and really honing my honing my message and crystallizing and working through what do I really want to teach. And so I’ve been out on my own. I left Bryson about two years ago—under two years actually, so I just it’s been a building process, so now I have it. My book is finished it’s called, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing your Soul. Right now we’re doing a lot of work in terms of publicity and really trying to spread the word, establish our speaking tours, relates to that. And so the big goal is to hope to get that book in people’s hands because I know it will help. 

 

And then the other is I have created an online multimedia course, which I feel really good about. And so I’m spending a lot of my time right now sharing with companies how this could really be a cost effective way for them to improve their leadership skills. What I’m finding it is letting companies who normally don’t have a big budget for leadership development have access to some tools and techniques at a very low cost point that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do. 

 

Some people say, “I can’t afford leadership development. “Oh, you can with this program. And so, I know I’ve got somebody in El Salvador who’s using it. We’ve got it in the Philippines and so it’s really helping me to spread the Winning Well message more internationally. 

 

Jim Rembach:    You bring up something that a lot of organizations and when you look the statistics on where executives really wanting to focus on in regards to their investments, in regards to succession planning, leadership pipeline filling it is in the areas of being able to grow leaders, so that’s important work that you’re doing there, and thanks for sharing that. One other aspect when you start talking about leadership is really a lot of things that we also talk about on the show is that life experiences, story, I mean all of those things are important. Another thing that’s critically important when you start talking about many the leadership skills is actually being able to practice this stuff. The fact is that we have—what’s the latest count? We have 250,000 titles on Amazon alone on leadership, hello, so you need to hurry up and start reading them all, right? No. That’s not what helps you change. It’s actually practicing and getting some of that feedback that we were talking about earlier from a lot of different areas. So, when you start thinking about the biggest and most difficult hump for really us as an individual or maybe groups to get over in regards to developing as a leader, what do you think would be the biggest one?

 

Karin Hurt:    Having an accurate perception of where your strengths are and where your vulnerabilities are. That’s where I see most people struggle one end of that continuum or the other, they don’t think they’re good at something where they really do have the capacity to develop it or maybe they actually are good at it. Or they think they’re better than they are at something and to their blow and put blinders on so they refuse to hear that they’re not. And unfortunately the higher up you go in the organization that’s where some of that behavior really emerges. I just got off the phone, in fact with a vice-president who said—and she was talking about utilizing the online course. And she said, “What do I do with the one person who needed the most but doesn’t think they need it at all? What am I going to say to them?” And so I think that’s the universal problem it’s in every organization.

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. 

 

Karin Hurt:    Thank you.

 

Jim Rembach:    Now before we move on, let’s get a quick work from our sponsor. 

 

“Developing your company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task but your burn is over with ResultPal you can use the power of practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.”

 

Okay, Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Karin, The Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Karin Hurt are you ready to Hoedown? 

 

Karin Hurt:    Alright, bring it on. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright. So what do you this is holding you back from being an even better today?

 

Karin Hurt:    Managing the firehose of task coming in.

 

Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Karin Hurt:    Take some time and look back. Because I ran so fast you got to make sure you’re looking back and see that people are with you.

 

Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Karin Hurt:    Connection. Developing real connection with people, human beings. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best tools that help you lead in business or life?

 

Karin Hurt:    Zoom. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What would be one book, from any genre, that you’d recommend to our listeners?

 

Karin Hurt:    Give and take by Adam Grant.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Karin Hurt. Okay, Karin, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, so what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Karin Hurt:    Develop collaborative relationship with my peers. I learn that a little too late.

 

Jim Rembach:    Karin, it was an honor spending time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

 

Karin Hurt:    Yes. My website is letsgrowleaders.com. On Twitter I’m @LetsGrowLeaders. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Karin Hurt, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

 

Leaders in an organization with higher emotional intelligence make more money and outperform those with lower EQ. So get over the hump now by leveraging the 54 Emotional Intelligence competencies in your human-centric leadership in organization development. Download the complete list for free at beyondmorale.com/EQ

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net, so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

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