Breath of Clarity

Leadership for Environmental Managers- TED Talk Notes

Ted Talks

1 ~ having love in leadership, a deep care. Willing to sacrifice oneself so others may gain. It’s the environment in a workplace that brings the loving sacrifice out of people who have the capacity to be heroes. A deep sense of trust and cooperation that the others in the group would do it for them. Trust and cooperation are feelings and not instructions, so how do we understand where they come from and how to establish them in a group? When we feel safe amongst our own, the following reality is trust and cooperation. Knowing that some members of the team are looking out for dangers. It comes from primitive times. The leader sets the tone of the conditions inside the organization. Put the safety and lives inside the organization first so the people feel safe and as they belong. We don’t want to spend energy protecting ourselves from each other in the organization. We want to focus on protecting the team from the dangers outside the organization and seize the opportunities. Provide people opportunity and self confidence so that they can achieve more outside the organization. Great leaders don’t sacrifice people within the organization to protect own interests. They would sacrifice the numbers to save the people within the organization. It’s better we all suffer a little instead of few suffering a lot. Example- mandatory unpaid vacation time, resulted in people trading time off who could afford it less versus who could afford it more. Leadership is a choice to look after others. Leaders let their men eat first. If there is no food left at the end, their men end up giving them some of their food. The workers will give their blood, sweat and tears to see the leader’s vision come to life. The workers do it because their leaders would do it for them. ~

2 ~ TED Talk: Your Personality and Your Brain:

What will it take you to ignite your business? The science of self-awareness. How well do you know what you’re capable of doing and other people? Who are you? Who am I going to be today as I interact with other people? Does it match up with what the rest of the world sees? A big part of communication is self-conscious. Don’t make assumptions as they’re wrong and we roll with it. Be conscious of the impact I’m having on other people. Who am I and how am I wired? How can I make the unconscious conscious? How do I understand the patterns within that determine how I interact with other people? How do I do that? I have a new thought, I have new ideas and I pull them together. I have the ability to have a new thought at any time. I need to know myself so I can communicate with others. You can overuse certain types of energies. How do you know when you’re using a type of energy at the right level and not going overboard? Someone who is the opposite energy as me sees my non-overboard version as too far. Think about the energy that the other leads with and do their style. Meet the other’s energy where they’re at. The uniqueness of personalities is how we make decisions. It helps you access who you are so you can be aware of it in other people. ~

2 ~ Michelle Motivate Me Video 4 Personality Types:

Analytical: with their goals: be specific, cite examples, be prepared, know your facts, offer reference material, want to know what they need to do to complete a project, work best alone, give deadline, be specific with praising, state observations when critiquing

Amiables: be patient while asking them about their goals, give multiple deadlines and hold them accountable with check ins, work best in a team, be specific about praising them, use sandwich technique when giving criticism, they learn slow

Drivers: ask them about their goals, have their ducks in a row, give them deadline but they’ll complete it early, ask them about how they’re going to go about the project, be short and specific and get right to the point with praise, be specific about what you want when critiquing them, very focused, a call to action

Expressive: they live for the recognition and praise so be careful with the critique ~

3 ~ In Norway, socialization takes place in a much more framed and organized context. Even though he was not raised there, he stopped someone to question why they were even engaging with him. Evidently, culture is learned. He came from the French speaking part of Canada where that behavior is normal. Mental programming can change and the brain can be re-wired. When you get into a new setting, you can confront, complain, or conform with the new culture. Confront: believe that your behaviors are the right ones. Complain: isolate oneself and live in segregation with society. Conform: Adapt your way of behaving to truly benefit from diversity. Observing, learning and understanding the behaviors of others and adapting your own accordingly. If you see someone’s emotional feedback through your own glasses, it is often not accurate and you just want to shake the other person. We all see the world through cultural glasses and it shapes our reality. If you can change the lens, you can change the way your brain sees behaviors and change the way you relate to people. That way, you can benefit from diversity. Studies show that boards composed of both genders perform 15% better than boards composed of one gender. Studies also show that boards composed of different culture perform 35% better than boards of one culture. Increases problem solving ability and innovation. The challenge is having people be able to communicate well together by explaining cultural differences. Example- distance people stand away from each other based on where they grew up. Instead, create a simple way to connect people of different cultures. How can you expect that someone will behave the way they’re expected to in a culture that is foreign to their own? It is not about what you see. It is about what you perceive. It’s about taking small steps to help the world truly benefit from diversity.

4 ~ More talking does not equal better communication. Aim is to bring out the best of people around me. Great listeners provide positive feedback that will make them know I am listening. Make that the focus. Non-verbal feedback is important. Nodding. I can make better eye contact and show it through my facial expression. Show that I am taking a genuine interest. Make it so my facial expression doesn’t make it seem like I am judging them. Make verbal feedback compressed, “I hear you,” or “that makes sense”. Next step is to listen for the big picture. Getting caught up in the details is a barrier. Also, listen for the big picture emotion and connect with it. Show them that you’re interested and track it by what they are saying. Stay on them. Focus on their topics. Don’t take over the conversation and make it the topic that I want to talk about. When I do have the occasion to talk, say my point concisely and then ask them another question or probe a new topic. Finally, take action. Let the person know what you’re going to do about the information that they share. Follow up with them. Revisit their topic next time. ~

4 ~ We communicate through all the things we attach ourselves to i.e. whether we use a ball point pen or a big pen. We observe a lot of things nonverbally. Or whether someone looks confident or friendly determines how long we want to talk with them. We learn that nonverbal communication is more truthful than the verbals. You can’t fake the nonverbal. Sometimes we don’t see the nonverbal because we’re busy. We as a species evolved to communicate nonverbally. A text will never replace a head tilt or a kind smile. Focus on comfort versus discomfort. We do things in our bodies that are signals our bodies are trying to get us to calm down. We have all these little repetitive behaviors that we dislike that are repetitive that we do to calm ourselves down. It reveals the brain is dealing with some sort of stress. When something bothers us, we cover our eyes. People respond with certain facial expressions when they don’t like something. If you see this behavior and notice someone’s already disagreeing with you, it brings the opportunity to ask the other person what they think about what’s going on. Why do we touch the neck so much? Issues, insecurities. When there’s a threat or something negative, we cover our necks. We miss listening to nonverbal behaviors when we don’t know about them yet. We rub our hands all day long when we’re dealing with stress. Finger tips together show confidence. We influence each other with nonverbal. We can change our appeal by what we do with our time and how we take care of our inner and outer temples. i.e. changing decor in the front yard. How we appear matters. At six months of age, we already prefer beauty. Held tilt indicates being receptive. We gravitate towards people with great attitudes. We appreciate people who want FaceTime with us not want something out of us. People will gravitate towards those who are curious about them. We humans seek to communicate and when people are curious they gravitate towards us. We need to be conscious of mirroring. If I’m nervous, you’re nervous. When you show you don’t care, other people will show they don’t care. Humans like things simplified. To be exceptional, we must have mastery of ourselves. You cannot achieve great things if you cannot focus, plow through whatever life throws at you. To be exceptional, you have to be a good observer. It is more than just looking. We have to know what to look for.* See what another person’s needs, wants and desires are so that they can act on them. Exceptional people do what needs to be done by meeting others where they’re at and act. Provide psychological comfort. Humans look for psychological comfort. The only thing that matters is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.~

4 ~ It’s tough and then we recover over and over again. That’s life. You need adversity to be able to hang with the lions in the jungle when we talk about delivering difficult conversations with ease. Do whatever it takes, no matter what. Be flexible and adaptable. If you’re rigid, you break. Be careful with your words. Who are you speaking with? Have a positive attitude. Velvet hammer words are soft words that pack a hammer and can do a lot. The words “noticed and wondering” are great velvet hammer words when giving feedback in a positive and corrective way. Use “likelihood and when” for action related feedback. Different types of people speak a different language. Land of social, driven, helpful and factual. Factual is all about being right and social is all about being amazing. Learn about what each type likes and study them. Helpful people will keep asking if you want something until you say yes. Be aware of all the groups so you can speak their language. You can say the right words while giving positive feedback to the people who prefer the respective phrases. Four core human emotions are glad, mad, sad and scared. In the house of glad, there’s rest, exercise, nutrition, and thought. Then, take action.

5 ~ Learn to look for discomfort cues in crucial conversations. It changes the outcome of the conversation. Look for when you or the other person is moving towards silent or aggressive tendencies. Notice the tone, volume, energy behind the words. Instead of asking questions in between the other’s aggressive tendencies, just listen and hold space. Otherwise, the person will just get increasingly aggressive in the difficult conversation. Create a cueing system, a strategy to notice what is happening with the other person. Pay attention to the breathing, the words, whether the person is repeating their points. Then, let the person know that they’re getting excited. Take a moment, step away, and pay attention to how you’re talking to each other. “I can see you, I hear you. I see you’re upset. Let’s take a moment”. The cueing needs to work for both people. Can we notice when the honesty, the care, respect, and kindness have left the room? Can we take a temperature check of the conversation throughout so that we can bring life back into the conversation? ~

5 ~ the recipient is clearly nervous with his right hand movement. Leader starts with the issue right away instead of establishing trust from the beginning. Does not use the sandwich technique at all. Has monotone and stagnant facial expression. Accusing the other of not being engaged in the meeting and saying it’s as if he’s somewhere else. The recipient gets defensive and the leader says “it does start with you”. Recipient is saying he feels bothered by the current leader and leader strikes back with saying why he needs to not adapt to the worker desires. Responds with “that’s just how it is”. Recipient feels as though his input is not important. Does well in encouraging the recipient to have involvement in the solution. Creating a process for recipient to communicate what’s important to him. Did well in setting up another meeting to discuss topics that are important to recipient. Does well in wanting input from the rest of the team. At the end, he emphasizes the intention to work together. Honored the conversation recipient by saying he is a leader amongst the other employees. Did well in addressing issues as they arise. Did well in addressing bad behavior outside the meeting.

6 ~ Giving feedback effectively: Manager needs to give feedback. 4/10 employees who receive little to no feedback become actively disengaged. Managers who concentrate on strengths are 30 times more likely than those giving no feedback. Engaged employees are more productive. When you energize employees to perform at their peak, it benefits the bottom line. Be engaged in company vision by feeling wanted and like the contribution is valuable for attaining company goals. Set clear expectations for employees. Provide examples of the quality that is expected for each individual. Feedback is a two way street- so it’s important to listen, understand and act. Feedback must be specific to behavior. Give feedback in a timely fashion, clear, specific, nonjudgmental, actionable. Jointly produce a plan of action so employee can improve its performance. Asking for feedback as a leader will further engagement of employees. Ask if and when you can check back after receiving feedback. ~

8 ~ The more you try to manage change, the more it comes to a halt. A lot of change in organizations is going in in spite of change management. Change is never smooth and it cannot be managed. Assumes that changing people in organizations involves tools and techniques. What interventions can the managers do? Processing sessions, inspiration sessions? The basic assumption is that when I as the manager do the right thing then my people will go in the right direction. However, change projects are not so smooth. What are we assuming when we’re doing change management in the conventional way that we’re used to doing it in? Monocentric change is the assumption that change is coming from one central manager. Assumes the manager has to do the right things, interventions so that the subjects stand in the right direction. In this assumption, the manager has to create movement, monitor progress and correct things when they’re not going in the right way. The idea is that the manager is the highest strategist. The fundamental assumption is that change only comes about when it is managed. Assumes that people without management are being resistant to change. It assumes the organization is the result of good change management. However, the recipients are not a homogenous group. Managers are living in their own mini worlds trying to make the best of things. They lay their sense of order on the rest of people who are in different mini worlds. It entails that the one is managing change does not have an overview of what it going on as there are little coalitions of employees within the organization. People talk about what is happening amongst each other when they are not in front of the leader. People are making sense informally of what is going on formally in the organization. The sense makings are locally social sense makings. So, the manager is not in complete control. The employees are doing their own thing given their own mini world situations. Organization is constantly changing to make the best of their own circumstances. When there are so many orders, there is a competition of orders in a single organizations. However, what really happens is that organizational change resulting from orders from multiple directions. The orders that emerge spontaneously in an organization are clouds of meaning which are the most strong influencers of behaviors in organizations. The way people make sense about their reality drives organizational change. What do people talk about informally about what is going on? Managers need to recognize that they cannot get in control of off stage dynamics in organizations. Organizational change is about power dynamics off stage and how clouds of meaning shift. The lesson- Change is going around everywhere. I as the manager have to find the change and link myself to it. ~

8 ~ How do we take our passion and ideas and make them happen? The thoughts and excuses that change can’t happen are not real. What are the real reasons why people resist change? 1) I’m too full of emotion and fear to think about what you’re talking about 2) I’m scared of the transition journey, not the idea 3) I don’t know how big a deal this change really is 4) I don’t think I have a say in what happens 5) I’m fed up with phony change and want the real thing. To combat #1, hold space for the negative, interesting and positive perception of the change in order. To combat #2, highlight what’s going well now and acknowledge that it’s uncertain, unproven, or freaky. So, between where we are now and where we’re hoping to be, bring to the surface what’s there. Give people the heads up of what’s about to happen in between where we are now and where we’re going to be. Bring up the long list of things that are not going to change. What were we not able to do before that we can do now? This is the stuff that we’re asking employees to let go of and this is the logical sequence to the new destination. Additionally, tell the employees how they’re going to make it work. Employees take control of the change by taking ownership about how we’re going to get there. 5) It’s hard to pick the difference between real change and fake change. Is the change cultural or structural? Until the way the employees think, there is zero real change. Is the change offered or forced? Is the employee invited to it or has to do it? […] people want to feel purposeful and consider how they are remembered. Nobody wants to be one who protected the status quo. Nobody wants to just keep their head down. Everyone wants to contribute. You can keep things the same or you can make a difference, but you cannot do both. ~

9 ~ We are more divided than we ever have been in history. We make decisions based on what we already believe. We’re not listening to each other. It is important to have coherent, confident conversation. You can have a great conversation with people who you have deep disagreements with. There is no reason to show that you’re paying attention by repeating content back to the speaker if you’re actually paying attention. Basic rules= 1) Do not multi task. Be in that moment completely. Do not be half in it. 2) Enter every conversation assuming that you have something to learn. Set aside myself and my personal opinion. Sensing this acceptance, the speaker will become less vulnerable and open up the inner recesses to the listener. 3) Start question with who, what, why, how and keep it simple. Don’t ask a complicated question or else you’ll get a simple answer 4) Go with the flow. Let thoughts that come into your mind go out of your mind. You will stop listening if you are determined to say your really cool thought. You’re then waiting for a moment to interject your idea. Let them come and let them go in your head 5) If you don’t know, say that you don’t know. 6) Do not equate your experience with theirs. It is never the same. All experiences are individual. It is not about you. Your death in the family is not the same as their death in the family. Your distaste for your job is not the same as their distaste for the job 7) Try not to repeat yourself. Don’t have a point to make and rephrase it over and over 8) Stay out of the weed details. Forget the details. 9) Listen. Why do we not listen to each other? We’d rather talk. When we talk, we’re in control. It takes effort and energy to pay attention to someone. You don’t want to be shouting out barely related sentences in the same place. We want to have a conversation 10) Be brief. […] Everything boils down to being interested in the other person. Everyone has some amazing, hidden thing about them. Be prepared to be amazed. Go out, talk to people, listen to people and be prepared to be amazed ~

9 ~ 5 generations. People born between 1922-1943 are the matures, silents, self sacrifice, respect for authority and work for reward. Booms are 1944-1960 which are characterized by hard work, appreciate competition, love effective communication, thinking towards retirement. Generation X is 1961-1980 who is the first generation with divorced parents, tell us about work/life balance and ask for that. Milleniels are 1981-2000 are the “everybody gets a ribbon generation”, never knew a time technology wasn’t present in the home, incredibly pragmatic, hopeful, determined, think they’re going to change the world, idealistic, overtook generation X as the most represented generation in the workforce. More than 1 in 3 people in workforce. Then, generation Z are soon to be high school graduates. Perhaps, these generations may not even exist. They may not be real. Who belongs in these groups? They span over 20 years. How do they have the same values, same stereotypes working for and against them, and places around the world define them differently. These groups establish a self fulfilling prophecy so people decide to act aligned with their respective group. The internet tells us what to think about the circumstances of each generation. Generations are the topic of conversation instead of the subjects of the conversation. We think that assumptions about generations are true when they’re not true. *We are so much more similar than we are different: people want work that matters, flexibility, support, appreciation, better coffee. None of these things are tied to a generation.* Focus on generational cohorts has created a space where we forgot that people are people. The idea is not difficult. What if we radically meet people where they are and individualize our approach? When you meet people where they’re at by understanding how they act as an individual, we are not putting our compassion towards them based on the understanding of their generation. We’re having a deeper sense of where they’re coming from when we individualize their situation. Then, we find that common space and the psychology of attraction kicks in. We have to be willing to be mentored and mentor. Provide space for the youngest generation to teach. Practice generational humility. Ask about others with joyful curiosity. That’s where diversity of thought comes about. Try on lens of other people. You don’t have to agree with what you see. Humility just creates space for others to tell the story through their lens. Figure out what someone brings to work that no one else can to have gratitude for how they make it richer. On occasion, it’s a beautiful place to visit. Meet people where they are and how they show up that day. ~

9 ~ A great number of employees and leaders talk negatively about their colleagues when they’re not present. Is it true, good/kind, useful? Why do we do this? A feeling of elevating myself while talking other people down. I seem interesting because I have juicy information. Everyone wants to work in a place with no gossip. Action: ask employees, does gossip take place? Define gossip. Would you like to work in a place without gossip? Define no gossip as a project that employees can sign as obligation to join the project. Display the signed sheet. For every week, ask the group how the project is going. Sick leave decreases at companies that implement this tactic. Productivity increases. We as adults have responsibility to be good role models for kids. From there, new consciousness commits. ~

9 ~ People see what they want to see. They don’t always see what I see. He defines culture as a system of behavior that helps us act in an accepted or familiar way. In different cultures, we’re looking at the same picture using completely different words to describe it. That are the values behind each culture’s actions they’re accustomed to? In Norway, a common value for equality is the reason why it’s casual. Singapore airlines has great service because their culture has a strong value of hierarchy. Curiosity gets you through a lot of things. Italians eat when they talk. Finland people can talk when they eat but they don’t have to talk. Rule of small talk: ask a simple question, pick out a word of their answer and follow up on it. Italians believe the power of persuasion is the most powerful tool in life. If you can appeal to people, they may listen to you and implement it into their solution. Italians think they can talk their way out of a police interaction. A police does not know what to say when the car driver thinks of the accepted, unfamiliar way to not get the ticket which is taking the wheel off the car. The speaker has three cultures inside him- Norway, English, and Italian. He tries to take the best of all three and merge them into one new culture. It’s about extending borders and creating a new. ~

10 ~ Great leaders need empathy and perspective. Don’t be concerned with status/position. Don’t forget the job to take care of those in the leader’s organization. Go from being responsible for getting a job done to being responsible for the people who are getting the job done. Practice being a leader like you’re working a muscle. If you practice everyday, then you’ll get good at it. When something goes wrong, instead of yelling and taking over, say try again. Great leaders are responsible for the people who are responsible for the job. They’re not even responsible for the results. The same employee at the Four Seasons coffee shop will act differently at a worse work environment at Caesar’s Palace. Empathy is being concerned about the human being not just their output. We say my door is always open assuming that they have the courage to walk through the door. Our young generation is not learning the coping mechanisms to turn to another human being when they’re stressed. Put the phone completely away when you’re having empathetic conversation with those that you’re leading. It hurts our ability to relate to each other. We’re starting to see a rise of depression and suicide in this generation. Or, someone will go through life without finding joy and fulfillment because joy comes from human interaction. We are social animals and we need it. We need to learn to rely on our friends, and that skill is lacking. There is so much impatience in this generation. Everything comes instantaneously. They have falsely applied the law of instant gratification to life fulfillment and career fulfillment. They didn’t learn the skillset of getting comfortable with someone. Relationships and careers are not destinations. It’s not a scavenger hunt to find the job you love. It’s a journey. They want to quit if they’re not making an impact now without even knowing what that means. What kind of impact? It’s become generic and abstract. Doesn’t know how to ask for help and used to jumping from relationship to relationship and job to job. We’re also now taking this idealistic, ambitious, hard-working group and putting them in corporate environments that don’t care about them as human beings. We are suffering from business theories left over from the 1980s and 1990s and they are bad for people. For example, shareholder supremacy is now standard form today. Shareholders are prioritized. It’s like prioritizing the needs of the fans over the needs of the players. These are no longer peaceful times in boom years like the 1980s and 1990s. Mass layoffs are so normal today which destroys trust and cooperation. Everyone gets scared. We’re asking our youngest generation find themselves and build strong relationships in these wack environments that we created. We’re the leaders in control now and what are we doing? Maybe if there’s an entire generation failing, it’s not their fault. It’s the leaders fault. The generation is not difficult. They’re human beings trying to find their way and trying to work in a place where they are cared for as human beings. It’s not even generational. This is the practice of empathy. How do I help people be at their natural best instead of trying to ring out production? How can I relate to what they’re going through? We don’t always have to be right, in charge, and the one who succeeds in the mini moment.

There’s no winning the game of business because we have not agreed to the rules. A company cannot beat their competition or be #1. It depends how the variables and timeframe are defined. How can you declare yourself #1 when no one has agreed to the rules? There’s no winning because there’s no end. It’s arbitrary. It’s the leaders that organize their resources and decision making around the infinite contest that frustrate and outlast their competition. Be obsessed with where you’re going instead of the competition in order to have infinite framework. The infinite player is playing to outlast the competition. Wake up every morning and compete against how you did yesterday. They understand sometimes you’re a little bit ahead and sometimes you’re a little bit behind. How do I make our product better? How do I take care of my customers? How do I advance my cause and find new solutions and advance our why every single day? Overtime, you’ll be ahead more often. It’s not about the battle. It’s about the war. They frustrate the competition until they drop out of the game. Other companies will no longer have the will or resources to stay in the game. ~