The following is a transcription of Voice of Bold Business Radio Program 7: How Do You Earn Your Own Respect?
Transcript of Program: How Do You Earn Your Own Respect?
Jessica: This is Program 7, How do you earn your own respect. I am Jessica Dewell, your host of The Voice of Bold Business Radio. Today, in this program, I have two amazing people, Tanya, and Joel. We’re going to meet them in just a few minutes. But for right now, how do you earn your own respect? We run, we act, we respond. Sometimes we are moving so fast, we don’t even check in with ourselves. And, we’re usually the last people to know. Which is a little hard when we’re running and serving and running and serving and acting and taking care of everybody else, and even taking care of ourselves, to actually check in and go “How do I earn my own respect? Do I even respect myself?” Because, it is something that, when we lose that confidence in ourselves, when we lose that respect of ourselves, it doesn’t matter what we do. It doesn’t matter how we act. There’s an underlying current that those around us are going to be able to sense and feel, and experience. They might not know what it is, but they’ll know something’s a little off. We’re talking about our responses to others, we’re talking about when we choose not to observe the way people respond to us, or listen to ourselves, as the words just keep spewing and spewing out of our mouths. It’s those times when we don’t live up to being a leader.
I pulled two definitions. Self-respect, as a noun, and respect, as a noun.
Self-respect (n) – Pride and confidence in oneself. A feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity. Also known as self-esteem.
Respect (n) – A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something, elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
If we take a step back, ponder on that for just a minute…. Right after this, we are going to answer the question, how do you earn your own respect?
Announcer (amid background music): Welcome to The Voice of Bold Business, the show that provides everything that smart leaders need to evaluate situations, build relationships, and create solutions. Jessica Dewell candidly talks about the skills necessary to build tenacity, and do more with less. And now, here’s Jessica:
Jessica: I am super excited to have Joel Dawson and Tanya Bourque join me as our panel for todays conversation. How are you guys?
Joel: Hello everybody! I’m great!
Tanya: Doing great!
Jessica: You could be a fly on the wall before the program. We had things flying around, like, Alicia Keyes, who refuses to wear makeup, to, we don’t like smelly kitchens after we cook (laughter from all) to awesome traditions and the crazy weirdnesses that each one of us has.
As I come in to this conversation, this is actually my 3rd cup of tea, and it’s my 3rd different cup of tea, I’m drinking a pukka tea, called cleanse. I have no idea if it really cleanses or not, it just smells really darn good. It’s a good mid-morning thing. So that’s what I was working on right before I joined you guys in the green room before the show. What were you guys doing right before you joined me for the show today?
Joel: Well I was talking to you about the lobsters and the smelly kitchens and all that kind of stuff. But I think you made a big mistake though when you said “being a fly on the wall.” I can’t stand flies! (laughter from all) I hope a fly does not come in my house because I’ll be right in the middle of talking to you and (smacking sound) ooh! Gone! He’s gotta die, right then and there!
Jessica: Ok, so now, do you have fly swatters in every room?
Joel: Baseball bat, or something, I don’t care! Have you seen the commercial with Aaron Rodgers and I think it’s Clay Matthews. It’s an insurance commercial. And he’s in the locker room and he is saying “Not in this house! Nobody comes in our house!” Then they switch, and he is in his apartment, and there is a fly in the apartment. He picks up a golf club, and he’s swinging it at the fly, and it goes through the window. That’s me when it comes to flies.
Jessica: Oh my gosh.
Joel: I don’t care. He’s gotta die. Whatever I’ve got. A shoe a baseball bat, something.
Jessica: And you’re fast enough?
Joel: I’m persistent.
Jessica: Persistent. Oh, that is a good word. Also, diligent then, like in Karate Kid, where he’s getting them with the chopsticks.
What about you Tanya?
Tanya: Me, I had just picked up my son. He wasn’t feeling well at daycare so I was just checking up on him.
Jessica: I hope he is feeling ok. I know down days. We actually hit that wall where we’re just far enough in to school and just far enough away from the first day off of school, that we had nothing but unexpected behavior things show up. The mental stimulation and the emotional stimulation and the physical stimulation of what it means to have new responsibilities, in a new place, that it really comes down to play. There’s a grace that I have to give myself as the mom, to recognize that that’s what this is. My kid is tired, he might be hungry, he might not have the words to talk about what he’s actually got going on, but I’m seeing, somethings happening, and how you deal with that. So being able to have some space is pretty nice, I’ll tell you what Tanya. How are you holding up as the Mom of a little one?
Tanya: It’s kind of hard. He’s getting to the point where he’s the boss of everything, and every other word is no.
Jessica: Oh yeah. (laughs)
Joel: How old is he?
Tanya: He’s two and 3 months.
Joel: Ok, just to let you know, when he turns 3, he’s a man. It’s not 18. That’s a law that the state makes. No. Men become men at the age of 3 years old. Just to let you know.
Jessica: And by the way, it’s crazy. I’ll give you some scientific things behind that. There are, in addition to puberty, when testosterone goes crazy inside the body, the first testosterone spike happens right around 3 years old. And it’s insane. You have no idea what just happened, or why. Now, I grew up with sisters, so I had no experience with this whatsoever, and I came downstairs one day and I was like “Ryan, what just happened, and where did Carter go?” And he was like, “Oh, it’s ok, it’s just a boy thing.” And so I waited it out, and yeah, it became our new norm. That’s very cool Joel.
I’ll tell you what. We’re talking about giving each other space, and we talked about the definitions of self-respect and respect in the introduction. I’m curious, let’s take two minutes each, or a little less if you have a little less to say… how do you earn your own respect?
Joel: Well, I’m the type of guy that likes to let ladies go first, so, Tanya, give it a whirl.
Tanya: I think for me it’s when you’re valued in the work that you’re doing and everything that you’re projecting reflects those values. So the moment that you’re going against your own values, whether it be in a business deal, whether it be at home, whether it be with family, that is the moment that you lose respect for yourself. So I think, respecting yourself has a lot to do with keeping towards your own values.
Jessica: Ok. Yes, you could have taken the words right out of my mouth. Almost verbatim. (laughs) Birds of a feather, right? Alright Joel, how about you?
Joel: Wow. You know, I’ve always been a pretty confident guy. But certain things can always happen in life to where you can really get the rug just yanked right from under you. And it happened to me a couple years ago. I was in a speech competition. I was on the road to the 2014 Oral Championship of Pubic Speaking. I was brand new, didn’t know anything, but I just knew I was going to win! I just knew it! I had a spot right here on my desk for the trophy! I knew I was going to win! You hear me Jessica?
Jessica: I hear you!! I know it! I know it too!
Joel: Yeah! But it didn’t happen. And, the self-esteem, went right out the window. I found myself in a position where I was embarrassed, very vulnerable, I didn’t have any confidence, at all. Now, this was imposed by myself. I did this. But I realized that this was something that I had to overcome. Because my business suffered dramatically from that. It really did. In that feeling, it’s not as easy as people think it is. When you don’t have respect for yourself, to just say, “Oh, I respect myself, done!” It doesn’t work that way. It really doesn’t.
Jessica: How does it work?
Joel: Well, it’s tough. It’s hard. Because what happens is, you retreat back to your comfort zone. Now whether that’s good or bad its what you are comfortable doing. A lot of times, that can be on the wrong side of the tracks, if you know what I mean. But it is what you are comfortable in. Because you don’t want to be hurt anymore. You don’t. So, all of these opportunities that are outside of your comfort zone, they are not worth it, anymore. What is worth it to you is just to be in a place that I’m accepted. Where I have this certain level of respect and comfort. That’s normally what happens.
Jessica: Okay. What do you think about that Tanya?
Tanya: I think it makes a lot of sense. After any major loss, you want to avoid getting hurt again. At the same time, you need to build yourself back up to where you are feeling like you can go after these big opportunities, or these things that seem kind of out of your range right now of what you want to handle. So a lot of us go through that on a yearly basis, either small loss or big loss. I think for me, there were times when I thought I was up for promotion, or I thought I was up to get win this big project or this big deal, and it didn’t happen. Everything happens for a reason, and then we work that idea of trying to figure out where you’re going to go from here, how you’re going to do it. At the same time, you’re hurt inside. You haven’t lost respect for yourself, you’re just wondering, why doesn’t everyone else respect me?
Jessica: Okay, so, oh man, you guys, you just set up this minefield. We could go any direction and have an amazing conversation. How dare you!
Jessica: It all starts with a really good question. I was looking back in preparation for this show and thinking about an experience that I had that really rocked my entire world. And I have to tell you, it was when I was a senior in high school. As a senior in high school, we all have communication patterns from when we were a kid, and we bring them in to adulthood and we keep trying them out. We either let them go because they served us well, or they make us more like our Mom and Dad, and they are more like the parts of our Mom and Dad that we love, and we let go of the parts that are like our Mom and Dad that we didn’t like so much. Or maybe we become them unknowingly. You know, who knows really. When I was a senior in high school, I was a girl scout still. I went all the way through. They didn’t have Daisy’s when I was a little one, so I started in first grade in Brownies and went all the way through high school, and my troop had three people in it as seniors. We also tended to be best friends. Well, a triangle of any kind is usually lumpy and hard sometimes. We had a falling out. So none of us finished our gold project, which is the equivalent of the project to become an Eagle Scout. I apologize scouts, I really should know what that is called. As an Eagle Scout, you do your Eagle Scout project and it’s a service to the community. Girl Scouts is a similar fashion. What happened was, our leader, who was one of our moms, and each of us got so rooted in to what we believed and what we thought was right, and what we thought everybody else should do because we knew each other so well, we got in our own way, and we failed that project. When I look back, and when I think about it, I was not respectful of myself. For me, earning my own respect is also recognizing that somebody else is going to have a completely different story, with a completely different set of experiences, with a completely different outlook based off of those things. If I am unable to listen, and to be present, and let them be who they are, I am really working super hard at pretending to be somebody I’m not. My first cue that I’m being somebody that I’m not, when I get so steadfast in my opinion, nothing else matters, except for my opinion, and that I’m right. Looking back, that is what I took away from that situation. I was like ‘Oh, I didn’t respect myself enough to see, and I didn’t have the skills to be able to move past it.’, and that’s ok, that’s what happens when you are young. You fail, you learn skills, you get to model, you might do it differently when you are 38 instead of 18. That’s the way that it goes. Experience. What do you guys think about that in relationship to… I know Joel, you were talking about being embarrassed and vulnerable, which is where I was, and I just refused to see it. I just said ‘Nope. My way is the way.’
Joel: Right. Tanya, you want me to go first and do you want to tackle it?
Tanya: You go ahead.
Joel: Okay. Well, it took me a long time. But the one thing that I had to focus on was the journey. It was a journey, and so I had a decision to make. Either I am going to stay where I’m at, where I’m comfortable, or, I’m going to get up, pick myself up by my bootstraps, and continue on my journey. Oh, that’s easy! No, it’s not. It’s not easy at all. If you look at your case, what you were talking about Jessica, these were your friends. But it’s not that easy to open up that dialogue to discuss those things, if you know you are right. Whether you know you are right or not, it’s what’s in here, and you don’t want to get hurt. You don’t want to be wrong.
Jessica: Right. It affects your identity a little bit. I think that’s where, when we become so rigid, we’re protecting something, but do we even know what we’re protecting?
All right, so Tanya, you mentioned loss. When you said that, is what made that girl scout memory come back to me, as a senior in high school. To me, loss was, I missed out, because I didn’t have the skills. I missed out, because I was unwilling to see others. So when you mentioned loss, and you were talking about your words and your actions reflecting your values or not, how do all those fit together? Do you see them associated with skills, and a willingness to be aware.
Tanya: The one thing that a lot of people are not aware of, and I sometimes make this mistake. I often make this mistake. I go after things that aren’t very good for me. Whether it be a client, or a project, or, for some people it’s a relationship. It’s a habit. We go after things that aren’t necessarily good for us. They look like they are going to be good, but we never really dig deep in to them to check if they align with our values, if in the long term or short term, what the goals are. So, with a loss, if you think about me for instance, promotion. Had I taken the promotion, I would have never opened up on my own. Would a promotion have been good for me in the long term? I don’t know. I don’t think so, because it would have been another 5 years stuck in the same role. Versus, going out on your own, you have all the opportunity to grow. So sometimes we get trapped in these ideals, or these situations where we think that the goals that we’re going after are the right goals for us. That’s when we really have to take a step back, and this is how you earn your own respect. You figure out, well, what is it that I deserve, what is it that I need to do to get there? A lot of times we’re just not thinking about it. We’re just going at 160 miles per hour and we’re just racing at it. Then, all of a sudden, we hit a wall, and we crash the car. Then we’re sitting there, and we’re wither frustrated that we crashed the car, or we don’t understand why. We never took a few moments to look back and say ‘This goal wasn’t for me. This opportunity wasn’t for me, and I need to find something that’s a better fit.’
Jessica: Okay, and I want to take that and I want to dive right in to comfortable. We call them comfortable chairs in our house Joel. You’ve mentioned it a few times in terms of, this is what we learned, and these are the behaviors that we have that we know we’re accepted in our tribe. Usually that’s our closest family unit. Maybe it extends out to our closest friends.
I want to talk a little bit more about that in terms of comfortable. How can somebody find out if they’re doing something, that they’ve reverted in to this place of “comfortable”?
Joel: If you’re in a situation to where you are outside your comfort zone… everybody knows the difference. Perfect example, public speaking. According to most statistics that you’re going to see, glossophobia, is the fear of public speaking. 97% of people don’t like to do it. If you’re in your comfort zone, your center of influence, you’re around people that love you, you feel secure, you feel love, and there’s a sense of belonging there. So anytime you step outside of your comfort zone, or things don’t go your way, and going back to your example, when things just fall apart, so to speak, you refer back to that comfortable chair. Because you know what, you’re loved here, don’t worry about that, you know what, maybe that opportunity wasn’t for you. We will justify why we didn’t achieve this. It doesn’t matter whether it is right or wrong, it makes sense to us mentally. As long as we can justify it, then we’re okay sitting in that comfy chair. That’s just how we are as human beings. I’m a big believer in Maslow’s law. His hierarchy of needs. There’s five, but four are considered needs. Your physiological needs; food, shelter, water, (tea for you)
Joel: Your security is a need. Love and belonging is a need. Self actualization is a need. All of those things are your needs. Your circle of influence right now is where you get all of those needs met. When things happen on the outside of that circle of influence, the first thing that happens is you draw back to that comfy chair. Because remember, it’s a human basic need. Just like the need to be right, in your case.
Jessica: Right, exactly, so let’s take that need to be seen, and that comfortable chair, and we justify it ourselves, but so does our tribe. Our tribe is the first group of people who will make us feel better for who we are, even though we went out on a limb or we did something different, or something really unexpected happened.
What if, we were being called to do something different? What if we knew? We knew we were being called to do more. We were called to make this change, and then all of these things were happening, and we are feeling that we want to revert back to comfortable, we want to recognize that we have a loss, and we may do something, whether that be food, relationship, otherwise, that act out in some way about that loss, about that change.
Have you guys ever had an experience where you’ve been called to do something more and you had to go against what you thought was true for you, because there was something more waiting? And then you also had to face the tribe, you had to face the people who look at you and see who you were, not necessarily who you’re becoming?
Joel: Yes. Big time. Being an entrepreneur. Because I grew up in a family where everyone were employees. To want to be an entrepreneur, that was totally different. “Oh no, you can’t fail. No don’t do that. What you need to do Joel is you need to go get a job. That’s what you need to do.” Because, that circle of influence, that tribe, gives me the love that I want, gives me the security that I want, I took that as good advice. The pivotal point was to realize, is, I wasn’t really looking for advice. What I was looking for was acceptance. And love. When you think about it, this is what stops a lot of people from going in to business on their own. They tell their people, they start in their tribe, the people that love them, their Mom, their Dad, their spouse, their siblings, “You know, I’m thinking about going in to business for myself.” And they just wait. And it’s like, “Well no, I don’t think you ought to do this.”, “I don’t think you ought to do that”. And what happens? You don’t do it. You see, all of your needs are met here in this tribe, but that opportunity is “out there”, and you’re in the middle. Subconsciously, you want them to accept your idea. And when they don’t, you revert, back to that tribe, because as I said before, that’s a human need.
Jessica: It is. Well you got through. You became an entrepreneur.
Joel: I sure did. I’ll tell you that later.
Jessica: Okay, so we’re going to come back to that later. You can’t leave us hanging like that. We’ll come back to that, and I love that, because, it’s true. I also think there’s an element of them being threatened also.
I’ll go back to my example. I was being called to do something more. I just didn’t know how to articulate it. Kind of like whether 2 years and 3 months or 5 ½ years old, it doesn’t matter, I’m 38 years old, and sometimes I just have to be right. Sometimes I know I am right. Then realistically, what I have to remember is, so are they, from their experience, and where they are being called right now, and if they are willing to stand up for what they are being called to do. I actually think that one of our biggest issues is that people decide to stay comfortable, over doing what they are called to do.
Which goes back to my definition of what respecting yourself is. At some point, as hard as it is, and as painful as it is, is to rip off that Band-Aid and say “Who really cares what anybody else thinks?” Because if I really care what anybody else thinks, I’m really not ready to go. I’m not ready to do what it takes. I’m not sure! And realistically, I have to be sure. I have to say “I don’t care how much it hurts.” I have to say, “I’m willing to be okay with alienation”, and to be able to move forward. I don’t know if that’s an actual definition of self-respect, but that’s the thing I know I see myself doing.
Jessica: What would you add Tanya?
Tanya: I think for me, there was a lot of family influence to do different things, to think about the tribe. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. So it’s a little bit different for me. My father was kind of resentful of me going to college and getting several degrees, and not joining him in the family business. Or not opening up a business with him. I ended up doing that for a little while…. I worked, but I came back to entrepreneurship. So now when I am talking to him on the phone, he is telling me, there is nothing greater than working for yourself. But at the same time, I was so used to getting a paycheck bi-weekly, and having all the benefits and the perks of being an employee, that going out on my own was very scary. I’m 6 months in business, and we finally just earned some revenue after 6 months.
Joel and Jessica clap and cheer
Tanya: So, it’s been scary, it’s been a long road. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody.
Jessica: It’s not.
Tanya: You have to be really strong at what you’re doing, and hang in there through the tough times. There are times when you feel like giving up, and then you go back to that self-respect. Am I going to do what I said I’m going to do?
Jessica: Right. Ok, I just have to hear the rest of Joel’s story. Because I think it’s the perfect lead in to where I was going to navigate this conversation next. Take us in to that path there.
Joel: Okay. Well, while I am sitting here wallowing in my own self-pity, which is what I did for a very long time. This was in 2014, where as three years before that, I was homeless. So I really started thinking about how far I had come, to that point. To feel the way that I did, to not have the self-respect, because of that one event. That’s how I found out who I really was. So I said, is this where you want to be the rest of your life? And as you said, does it really matter? I had an end goal, and I felt, I believed, at that time, even though I was in this state to where I didn’t respect myself, and I built up this mountain that just didn’t happen. I felt that I had a calling. Which meant that I had to get out of my comfort zone. I had to. Because the calling was more important to me than just sitting where I was comfortable at. Because I knew that there are no opportunities in your circle. You have been there all your life. You’ve looked. There is nothing there. If you want opportunities, you have to reach outside of your comfort zone.
So, to make a long story short, I rededicated myself, and I gained my own self-respect because I was willing to step out again, and I was willing to start all over again. I started speaking again. I educated myself, and I worked as hard as I possibly could, and I gained my own respect just because of the work ethic. I went from just sitting there, to gaining that hunger, all over again. In other words, I bullied myself. I made myself do it. And to make a long story short, this year, 2016, I found myself in Washington D.C. with 98 of the best speakers in the world. And now, because of that hard work, I am ranked as one of the top 20 speakers in the world.
This is what I wanted back then. In other words, this is the justification for all of the pain, all of the trials and tribulations that I have been through. This was my reward this year. But that would have never happened if I would have never taken that first step outside of that comfort zone, outside of that tribe.
Jessica: So there’s a belief there. And there was a belief that you would either walk off a cliff and have wings to fly. Or that the ground would be underneath your foot with each step.
Joel: Well, yeah, it was a belief. But this was something that I firmly believe that I was called to do, number 1. Number 2, there was no cliff. I just had to get good. I had to put in the work. I stopped looking at what could go wrong, and I started focusing on what was going to go right.
Jessica: Nice. I like that. I like that a lot. You mentioned work ethic, and we’re going to come back to that because I think that that is a really important piece.
Well, let’s talk about the work. All the work that we do, whether we are going to stay in our comfort zone or not. Which by the way, I think that if you’re listening to Program 7 of The Voice of Bold Business Radio, you’re taking away loud and clear that it’s only in the place of uncomfortableness and possibly even pain that the stretch, and the opportunity to change and grow and become what we are really supposed to be, is what gives us our self-respect when we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror. That’s when we know we have respect for ourselves.
Do the work. Do the work. Put in the work. Take that first step. I’d like to hear from both of you… How do you set a goal? How do you make a goal for yourself? What are the steps that you guys take?
Tanya: For me, I look at the program. I break it down in to four parts… program, project, task, goal. And they kind of go in to that order. I guess it’s a different thought process, but overall, the program is what I would call life. The project; there are different projects throughout life and throughout work. There is a task associated with that, and then there is a goal associated with that task. So I always try to take a look at the big picture, and look, does that goal meet the criteria for the program. And then does it meet the criteria for the project, and then does it align to the task. That’s kind of how I look at things.
Jessica: Okay. How about you Joel?
Joel: Well, I’m a very goal driven person. I like setting goals, and I always begin with the ending in mind. What is the end goal? Before I set a goal, I look at the goal and I think, is this something that I really want to accomplish? Because, as with any goal, there is a lot of work that you’re going to have to do. Whatever that goal is…. I want to be this in a year or two years, what do I have to do in order to get that? What’s the process? Then I look at the process, and I say, okay, is this something that I am willing to do? If I’m willing to do it, then what is it that I have to do on a day to day basis? So I break it down in to little bite size pieces. That way, it’s a lot easier to accomplish.
Whatever your goal is, you have to do something every single day to achieve that goal. It can’t just be a bunch of work this month on one day, a bunch of work, no, no, no, no…. you have to keep that in front of you. And the way you keep it in front of you is you schedule something every day that gets you that much closer to that goal. If you do that, if you have it calculated out, then that goal is predictable. Predictable meaning, if I schedule this out, and I do this today, this the next day, and this the next day, your check point, whether it be at the end of the week, or the end of the month, you’re going to see that you are right on schedule. I’ve always been the type of person where I would do two days work because I always liked to be ahead of schedule. But at the end of the week, you’re not on target, or at the end of the month, you’re not on target, you have adjustments to make.
Either in the tactical part of it, or the mental part of it. Which means that you haven’t really bought in to that idea yet. That goal is not worth it to you. If it is, then it won’t be a problem.
Jessica: Right. Okay Tanya, what about you?
Tanya: I’m kind of thinking along the same lines. We have to set goals that are achievable, and that you can measure them. There is something I learned in business school, which I can’t remember the acronym exactly, but; smart goals are measurable, they are achievable. We can say that we are going to go to the moon, but we need to say how we’re going to get to the moon.
Jessica: Yes, the SMART Goals.
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Jessica: I am listening to you guys, and I hear Tanya’s scenario, and how she approaches things as very structured. ‘I’ve got this structure and I put it in and I turn the knob and all these things fall in to place, and then I know what I am supposed to do.’ I know I am simplifying this, but hang with me, because there’s a point to where I am going with this. Then Joel, you are like ‘I have this plan, and I am going to follow this plan and I’m going to make sure it’s on my calendar and it’s going to be in my face because it’s attached to my mirror and it’s on my calendar and I’m emailing myself, and I have these task lists everyday.’ So that’s very oriented to behavior, which by the way, act to plan, which is my hashtag, #ActtToPlan. So love this!
I take a little bit of a different approach, which is why I wanted to articulate the differences in those two because now we’re going to add a third flavor to the approach of goals. I deicide I’m going to do something, and I think, Oh, that’s a great idea. Then I take that great idea and I literally work backwards. What do I have to do to do that? Oh, I don’t know if I have the skills to do that. Do I know anybody? Hmm, maybe I know somebody that has the skills to do that… but does it really matter? Because I am still going to get this thing done, because I want it so much… yeah! So I build a picture, and I’ve got a picture of what this thing looks like, and as long as I know that, every single day, every single week, every single month, I don’t use a task list anymore, and I have a fairly full calendar, but what I decided was, when I sit down to make my priorities, I only have a few goals that I am working on at a time. If the things are important, but not in alignment with my goals, they go on a separate list. Because they’ll be called on at some point in the future. Maybe they are going to become relevant to the goal that I am working on, but maybe they are a part of a different goal. But if I have too many goals, I can’t achieve anything, right? If you are spread too thin, nothing is going to move forward. So, I really am selective about what fits in to that vision, and then I figure out the tasks and the processes and the milestones along the way.
Now I’m going to switch it a little bit. Because whether you approach it like Tanya, or Joel, or myself, there are built in feedback points. Built in feedback points that we use, which is where the action plan comes in for every approach, and you guys listening may have something different. You may do this slightly differently. In the end though, it’s about collecting some information. It’s about seeing a result, and evaluating that result to decide, am I getting to my goal or not? Am I approaching my vision or not? Am I achieving my daily, weekly and monthly milestones, or not? That feedback, I think is really, whichever way you approach… I mean, heck, Google ‘How do you set a goal’ and you will get a google of answers. So whichever approach though, the feedback loop, the evaluation, the course correction, making sure that it feels, making sure that it seems, making sure that the actions still are right, and you’re still being called forward. Because at which point in time you’re not being called forward any more, it’s not going to happen.
Joel: Right. I totally agree. One thing I do want to say is, if I decide to set a goal to get something accomplished, I normally do just one at a time. As you said, being spread out too far, that’s no good for anybody, or anything. I’m normally very very focused. I have the blinders on. If I’m focusing on this one goal. Like I said, a couple years ago, that was my big focus. Of course I did other things. But this was a goal. This was something that I will accomplish, because I have made a decision and a commitment to myself. To go back to what you were saying about the respect… I respected myself so much when I made that decision that I was going to get up, number one. And number two, when I actually started doing the work, and the progress, and I started seeing the results. That’s when my self-respect went through the roof.
Jessica: I love that. My self-respect is the most when I am doing the work, when I am getting my hands dirty, and when I’ve got the awareness to understand where all the other moving parts that tend to be part of my visions, because, I can have individual goals, but they’re not nearly as fun as themes. So everything that I do has other people, which means there’s an added level of complexity, which can (?) easily into an organization of, if everybody’s willing to do the work, and we’re spread too thin, and the company has 10 initiatives, well that means department’s going to have 3 or 4 on top of that, now you’re at 14 if you count all four. Then you have your individual development goals of the people you’re developing and you’re mentoring. They may have two or three goals. Who can keep track of twenty goals when you’re on the front lines getting your hands dirty every single day? Nobody.
Which is why, the larger the company, usually there’s one. There’s one annual or two or three year vision, project, or goal that is put in to place. And then all of the things that happen around it become mini goals if you will, for each department, for each team. Because in the world of cross functional teams, I’m not a fan of that word, but it’s very descriptive and it gets the job done, there is a certain kind of person that ends up on every cross functional team. Everybody wants them on that team. But then they get spread too thin, how can they get any of their own work done, let alone stuff for the team. Then they become a bottle neck. These people are very necessary, they are very sought out, they are very skillful, they are very approachable. Yet, when we are looking at teams, we have strengths and we have weaknesses. We have to recognize that the team doesn’t have a weak link. There’s not one person that is a weak link. The team is the whole chain, and when the whole chain is pulled, every single link has a weak point, and every single link has strength. If we’re at any point in time moving around and we hit somebody’s weakness that we don’t know about, that whole chain is going to break, and it may not be where we originally thought it would come from. It goes back to goal setting, in that sense.
Jessica: So do the work already!
Jessica: Get off your pity pot at some point, call me up, we’ll have tea, with my gigantic tea mug.
That’s an important piece to this too, is who can you talk to. Who can you be vulnerable around? That’s one of the things, as a leader in an organization, and having managed, and right now I have four employees, and there was a time at a different company, and at a different stage of my career that I had twenty people underneath me, and we were remote, and it was very interesting. We all kind of ran around and did our own things and I just kind of made sure that we were all going the same direction and it seemed to work out okay. But as soon as I recognized that the goals were off course, it was time to help figure out why the goals were going off course, and what actions were we taking that were actually changing the direction, what was the purpose. Usually what came out of that, we just had to shift. There was something in our feedback loops that made it necessary to adjust, and for whatever reason, even though the feedback loops that information in to the teams, the teams didn’t always communicate as well as they could have, and so you would get clashes of personalities. Communication is such an important part, especially when everybody’s got to be diligent. They are holding their head high, they are looking out at the great landscape, and they are also head down, getting the job done, being diligent about every action.
It’s an interesting place to be in this world that we work in, and the teams that we lead. There are a lot of skills that go in to that.
Can you think of, what are the top skills for a leader today when we’re talking about self-respect? And we are going to shift a little bit. We’ve talked a lot about self-respect and how do we earn our own self-respect? Other people are going to see that. They’re going to see we’re being called to do something. They’re going to see we have this boundless energy. They’re going to see that we know what we’re talking about, and we’re going to do whatever it takes, and we’re inviting people to join us along the way, and it’s up to them whether they join us or not. As a leader, what are the skills that are necessary to make that happen? What do you guys think?
Joel: I think one of the biggest skills that anyone can have as a leader is communication. You have to be able to foster communication between yourself and your team. Understanding how people are and that there’s going to be conflicts. When I was a leader, everything is my fault. Even if I had nothing to do with it, it’s my fault.
Jessica: Cheers to that! That’s right.
Joel: Because if two people have some type of confrontation, the majority of that confrontation, all the energy that’s wasted, is to say, “okay, hear my side of the story… it’s his fault”. “Hear my side of the story… it’s her fault”. Anything that I can do to put the blame on me, I know that at that point, they can move forward. In your case, and I want to go back to when you were in high school. It was “it’s your fault”, “no, it’s your fault”. As soon as that person says “it’s my fault”, it’s easy for me to accept the fact that it’s your fault. And it’s easy for you to accept that fact that it’s my fault. That’s just how we are as creatures, we always want to put the blame on someone else. As the leader, you have to understand that. You have to understand that, if somehow, you can get past that hump of whose fault it is, and it becomes my fault, then they are ready to move forward. I’ve had situations where I’ve had two people to actually agree that it’s my fault, and I had my sister come to me and say “How could it be your fault? You weren’t even there!”
Jessica: Doesn’t even matter.
Joel: You’re right, it doesn’t matter. Because now they are ready to move forward. But being able to create some type of dialogue to communicate with all parties and all employees, and understand their different personalities is key.
Another one is listening. What I call effective listening. The difference between listening and effective listening is a lot of times people hear you, but they’re not really listening. They’re waiting for you to shut up so that they can start talking. Active listening is where you actually take the time out to understand that persons point of view. Like the older people say… listen to me with your eyes. That’s what they call effective listening. When you seek to understand their position.
Jessica: Yes. Right. You know, I have a friend, her name is Karen, and we were having a conversation about listening one day, and she said “You know what, I am listening to the last word of every sentence. If I can hear the last word of every sentence, I know I’ve heard every word up until that last word. And to be more engaged.” I think that’s fabulous. I’m a big proponent of listening also. What would you add Tanya?
Tanya: Well you know, you hit it right on the head with communication. I think that is number one. Aside from that, you really have to have empathy with your team. You have to be able to engage people in a way that you’re influencing them in a way to make the right decisions. You’re influencing them to work together, and you are showing model behavior as a leader.
Jessica: Nice. Okay. The only thing I would add to this would be, observing. Because like listening, and being an active listener, and having empathy to influence, and all three of us agree that communication is really important for keeping the dialogue open, avoiding bumps and stalling out completely, no movement is really bad. The concept of observation is, there’s always more to the story that people aren’t saying.
For really good observers, we are hearing the words, we are listening to what they are actually saying, so what are they not saying? And through observation we can asks questions. So I would add observation to this list.
Each of these is a skill that is learnable. There are steps to do each one of these things. How about if we pick the first one? Since we all agreed on communication, what are your top tips to being open to communication. We’ll do both sides. This could be self-communication, self-talk, and talk outward, because I think they are going to end up being the same thing. The way we talk to ourselves tends to be the way we talk to other people. The way we treat our family tends to be the way we treat ourselves kind of thing. So we can extrapolate that outside of our households, the place that we live, in to the workplace, in to where we volunteer and are involved in our community even.
Joel: Okay, that’s a two part question. Let’s go back to the whole self-respect issue which is what we started on. I started self-talk, telling myself that I had a calling. I started telling myself that I am one of the best speakers in the world. I had to get myself to believe that. The only way that I could do that is if I kept saying it, kept saying it, kept saying it, kept saying it. Self-talk is very important because of the old saying “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t… you’re right!”. If you keep telling yourself, telling yourself, “I’m a good person”, or telling yourself, “I’m going to achieve this”, or telling yourself whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life, if you keep telling yourself, and you’re doing the work, you will end up there. You will. It’s just a matter of time. Because the more you believe it. Another example I give is, if you look at the number of people who are going to start a business and say, “well I don’t know if I can”, they’re afraid to. They think they can’t. Compared to someone who’s been in a car accident, or has been in some situation where the doctor says, “You will never walk again”. They have proof that you will never walk again. But if that person doesn’t believe it, there’s too many people walking around today that a doctor told them that they would never walk again. It’s what you tell yourself that matters.
Jessica: It’s not that the fear is not there in what you are telling yourself, but in spite of the fear is what I hear you saying.
Joel: Sooner or later, it will go away. Now, as far as what you tell other people, if you have a team, you have to be the uplifter. You have to have that open line of communication. You have to be that person that uplifts them because we know the majority of the things that go on in the world is negative. You could be that one little bright spot in their life. Just you. If you are always encouraging them, that’s how you create a nucleus around you. That’s what draws people to you. They want to be encouraged. They love that positive word. So as long as you are giving it to them, especially on your team, you are always going to get peak performance. We talked about it in another episode. Episode 6 on how to motivate people. Being able to give them that positive word, the things that you say to other people can really make a difference.
Jessica: Yes, cheers to that. Okay everybody listening, this is all good stuff to say. Now actually try to do it. Just in case you haven’t heard enough yet, we are going to hear what Tanya’s definition and tips are for self and team. Go for it Tanya.
Tanya: I think with your team you need to keep it simple. You don’t want to overload people with a lot of information at once. I think that that’s the best way to communicate. You want to keep it simple and clear, and leave room for questions.
With yourself, I think the important thing is, we are not kind enough to ourselves. We are very rough on ourselves, and when something goes wrong, or something isn’t going to plan, we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, that we need to do better. But I think, just being a little kinder to ourselves each day can have that outlook come out on to others.
Jessica: Oh, that touches my heart. I’m going to pretend you were talking just to me right then.
Joel: She was. It was just for you.
Jessica: And everyone that is listening, this is just for you too. We do, we carry around a lot of burden that we don’t need to, and it’s learning how to shift that around through our self-talk, and through our ability to encourage ourselves as well as others, because when we’re a squasher, when we squash people down, people try to drag us down. When we lift people up, people want to live us up too. It is an amazing chain reaction that way.
When both of you guys were talking, it’s just so funny, I happened to have another book close by. I love books. There is this book, we are talking about, overall it comes down to simplicity. Can we do it? Can we buy in, and are we willing to do what it takes? The more complicated it is, that’s kind of like our self-talk for ‘are you really sure? I’m going to give you another chance to say no. I know you just said yes again, but here’s a third chance to say no.’ We talk ourselves out of things. One of the things this book “Conquering the Crisis of Complexity”, by Alan M. Siegel. “People mistakenly believe that more information equals greater clarity.”
When we were talking about goal setting, and when we were talking about our definitions of respect, and when we were talking about how we define communication, it all came down to the same things. There weren’t 500 million things that we needed to have to get clarity. Less is more. Good book to add to this conversation.
You know guys, our time has come to a close, and I’m kind of sad, because I know I could talk about this all day with you guys, and you are on a roll, and have so much more to say.
For those of you listening, you can go to our website to find ways to subscribe and listen to the other programs. Program 6 is awesome as Joel mentioned. As are all of the other ones, they are worth the listen, and we want you to stay in touch and stay on top of when our new episodes come out.
Until next time, we want to know…. How do you earn your own respect?
Announcer – Subscribe at voiceofboldbusiness.com and get more information, program notes, and past episodes. Bold leaders approach each situation and focus on action to achieve a higher level of leadership. Jessica Dewell, your business advocate is the host of The Voice of Bold Business Radio. Thank you for joining us.