Becky Baybrook started her career working with the City of New Orleans, and then went into industry. No matter where she worked, she has always pursued her goal of partnering with talented people at every level to create healthy work environments that bring out the best in people, in service of both a meaningful mission and a solid business.
Becky has served as the Global Chief People Officer for companies in a range of industries ranging across big data, embedded control networks, solar energy, and microchip development. Most recently, she’s focused her advisory work with Life Sciences & Medical Device companies, with clients in oncology, medical devices, and neurology. In short, she’s one of the most experienced HR and cultural transformation leaders in Silicon Valley, and when it comes to workplace culture and people issues, she’s pretty much seen it all.
Becky’s work starts from the belief that organizations reveal who they are in the ways they respond to setbacks and tests of integrity, and that the same is true for individuals—especially leaders—in companies of any size. Becky has spent decades now going deep on and helping companies and their leaders through such pivotal moments.
In this conversation, Becky and I dig deep into workplace culture. We explore some vexing questions around belonging and psychological safety, how Millenials are changing management. One area that I think listeners will find especially useful is a discussion we have about what the elements that make up workplace culture, and tactically, how you can get a good read on a culture from the outside if you’re considering working with an organization.
So whether you are working in an organization as an individual contributor or manager, or you are in the market for a new role and want to get a much better idea of the culture you are considering joining, there’s something here for you! Enjoy!
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Find a quiet place and record a question about this episode. If we can, we’ll answer it on the air in a future episode. Thanks for listening.
- The Beak of the Finch
- Crucial Conversations – Becky especially recommends chapter 5, “On Safety” to broach challenging topics
- Vital Smarts communication training
- Radical Candor
- Bridgewater Associates
- Radical Transparency (TED Talk)
- Ray Dalio
- Psychological safety
- The Empowered Manager
- Mind the Product conference
- Matt LeMay
What Becky’s work is about [0:02:40]
Becky’s background [0:05:06]
What does “culture” mean? [0:09:33]
The culture health spectrum [0:11:44]
One of Becky’s favorite books of all time [0:15:52]
What are the cultural traps people fall into in difficult situations? [0:21:36]
How leaders at the top screw up culture [0:24:27]
The biggest trap execs fall into from what Becky sees [0:24:54]
The rising managerial influence of Millenials [0:26:25]
How do rising Millenial leaders need to mature? [0:33:35]
Transitioning from individual contributor to manager [0:36:49]
Coaching: seeing when someone is “catchable” [0:38:18]
The nuances of candor [0:44:03]
The limits of transparency [0:45:14]
Disclosure versus transparency [0:46:43]
The 3 things that build trust in a culture [0:49:55]
What is psychological safety? [0:52:04]
A quick way to check psychological safety [0:56:33]
Becky’s advice for founders on fear & perception [0:58:44]
How to start creating psychological safety? [1:01:41]
The steps after “don’t be that guy” [1:03:05]
what does “safe” mean? [1:06:50]
How can you start creating safety when it’s missing? [1:12:37]
“Culture fit” vs “culture add” [1:17:47]
As a job candidate, how to assess if a culture is a good fit for you? [1:19:01]
Generational preferences and boundaries at work [1:23:51]
Will millenials always have a different relationship with work than their parents? [1:28:12]
As an interviewee, how do you test for culture match? [1:30:54]
What do interviewees ask that they shouldn’t ask? [1:34:55]
Overlooked areas in the interview process [1:35:52]
“It wasn’t what I thought it would be…” [1:37:24]
The question job candidates SHOULD ask [1:37:34]
How can someone learn what they ACTUALLY need in a work environment? [1:39:17]
How do you tell how much of the cultural iceberg is above/below the waterline? [1:41:22]
At what size of company do you need dedicated HR? [1:47:15]
Why should a small company or startup invest in culture now, with other urgent work to do? [1:49:30]
What one change should a leader make to enliven their team environment? [1:53:08]
Transcripts may contain typos. With some episodes lasting 2+ hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors. Enjoy!
Andrew 00:01:58 First of all, welcome to the show, Becky, thank you so much for making the time. And I’m really, really excited for this conversation. I’m going to cover a lot of ground in this conversation, but so Becky, when you meet somebody right now, how do you, how do you explain to them, you know, that classic of American questions of what you do, what would you say to people who don’t already know you?
Becky 00:02:17 Um, well, it sort of depends on the context, but, um, I’m, I see what I do, um, as being about creating a workplace that brings out the best in people, and that brings out the best in people, in service of a vision or a mission, um, or a direction for an organization. And that organizations that are highly successful, um, payoff for, of course, the customers or clients, they pay off for investors, but in order to do that, they really have to pay off for the people who are in them or making them more from the lowest level up to the highest level. And so, for me, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to create a healthy workplace that brings out the best in people across the entire hierarchy, um, in service of a goal or a mission that matters. I love it.
Andrew 00:03:21 You just said so many of my favorite words in one nice, concise package. That’s how, that’s how I think our friend Jeff said we should probably have a conversation cause he knows we’re both very, very interested in that topic. Um, so when you say, when you talk about that, what is it, you know, how did you get interested in this whole topic? Like, how did you get started in, what, what made you say, you know, what I want to, I want to go spend my time working on that?
Becky 00:03:45 Well, there’s, some of it is my personal biography and some of it is just, um, opportunities along the way. So I’ll start with a little bit of my personal biography. So I grew up in Hawaii. Um, most of your listeners, aren’t going to be able to see me, so they don’t know that I’m, I’m white. And so I’m what in Hawaii is called a Howley. Um, and so my family and I were, because we grew up on a, in a very rural part of a way we were different. We were not, we didn’t look like everybody else. Um, so that’s part of the story. The other part of this story is that my father was a minister. And so he, uh, was a pastor of churches and churches are the ultimate in volunteer organizations. Um, and so from a very young age, I was very interested in how people connect and relate to one another when they are very different, um, and how they connect and relate to, uh, uh, cause in the churches cases, always a very strong sense of mission and what the church is about.
Becky 00:04:58 So that’s the biographical part. Um, I studied, I always knew that I wanted to study psychology. So I did that in undergrad and then I knew I wanted to go on to do graduate work, um, and decided once I got into graduate school that where I really wanted to focus on was organizations and, uh, what happens to people in organizations and, um, what my first jobs before I even finished my PhD was working with the new Orleans police department. And, um, the, I know that’s going to conjure up a lot of images in people’s minds, but part of my role was to help them kind of sort out, um, how to think about race neutral hiring and promotional practices. Um, and when was this, by the way? Oh, in the sixties, I mean, in the seventies, uh, way ahead of most organizations in the curve. Oh no, they were doing it because of court told them they had to, you know, it was a result of the lawsuit. Oh, well then nevermind.
Becky 00:06:17 This is about compliance. Um, uh, but I really got to see a whole bunch of interesting dynamics. And of course, anyone who knows new Orleans knows it’s a fascinating, um, set of cultures that have come together over time. So that was very formative. I got out of graduate school and got into a corporate environment where I was doing sort of the standard routine things that organizational psychologists do. I was doing executive assessments and attitude and opinion surveys and that kind of stuff. Um, but over time, um, I decided I wanted to be much closer to what was going on in smaller organizations. And so I left the corporate world, um, took a fairly significant demotion to go become just a run of the mill HR director in a high tech company in Silicon Valley, um, and began to, got to see what happens to people, um, in the trenches on the front lines, um, whether it’s a PhD engineer, um, or a receptionist.
Becky 00:07:32 And that’s a world that I hadn’t seen that clearly when I was in a corporate role where I was mostly working with CEOs and operating executives. And, um, I began understanding how a throw away line an executive can just say something randomly off the cuff in a meeting or on his way out the door, but a receptionist or frontline engineer, um, or a graphic artists can hear that comment and interpret it in a way that the executive probably never met. Um, and it can have a really a ripple effect in new organizations. And so I began to see the impact, um, of kind of communication, um, errors. And it wasn’t because the executives intended to be harmful or hurtful, um, or because they were egotistical or any of those things. We often think of executives as being, it was just that the two sides just weren’t operating in the same world and they weren’t really talking to each other. And so I got, I got more and more interested in how culture, um, takes root and I don’t the word culture to me gets overused. So I really like to think of it in terms of people practices and what are our habits in our practices around all the people aspects of working together.
Andrew 00:09:12 Let’s double click on that and go in there a little bit. So you’re right. Culture is one of those terms that is obviously used all over the place, but in so many different ways. And so I just want to, just so we can be on the same page here, when you say culture, what do you mean by that? Like, do you have a definition you’d like,
Becky 00:09:32 Well, yes, most people do. I think culture is about the, um, habits, the patterns of habits around the way people are expected to get things done and the way they actually get things done. Um, and so there’s a part of culture. That’s always aspirational. Um, and there’s a part of culture. That’s, you know, how it really works and in healthy organizations they’re clear. I mean, and they’re willing to be honest about where that gap is. Um, and so part of it is you talk, we talk about what the values are and the values often tend to be aspirational, but they also should be expressed in terms of behaviors. Like what does integrity really look like? Um, and then there should be examples of how it’s actually working right now and what, and how we’re trying to bridge that gap and how we as an organization are holding ourselves to high standards. So I think all of those behaviors in those conversations around behavior are what create the culture.
Andrew 00:10:47 Yeah, absolutely. I I’ve heard it often referred to is culture is, you know, the way we do things around here, I haven’t think of cultural, like an iceberg, right? Where there’s this, you know, there’s the part of the iceberg you see, which is the very visible practices, you know, the meetings, the, the rituals of the company, the practices, but then there’s like, then there’s everything else, which is most of what there is, which is all the stuff that nobody tells you when you enter an organization, uh, you know, if your first day on the job, your first month, you start to pick it up and then you’re going, wait a minute, this is different. This is something about this. Isn’t quite what I thought it was. So does that mountain, does that model, or that metaphor fit with what you’ve seen or how do you think about it?
Becky 00:11:26 The way I would describe that is you’re right. That’s all culture. Um, I think there’s a continuum of unhealthy or dysfunctional culture, and then there’s healthy and functional culture. And at the dysfunctional end, you see the very tip of the iceberg above the water. And, and there are lots of things that are hidden and not talked about and not discuss that you discover sort of in an underground way in the healthy cultures. I think it’s just more transparent. I mean, there’s more of the iceberg is above the water line and people can talk about it safely, even talk about the things about the culture that they need to change, that they, uh, that aren’t working well for them. Um, and, and so that’s, that’s how I would, um, sort of footnote your, your definition.
Andrew 00:12:32 I like that. So it’s like the iceberg sort of metaphor works a little bit. It’s almost like you can tell how healthy it is based on how much of the total you can see. So how almost, how, how opaque is the culture. And it’s, it seems like what you’re saying is there’s a balance between, or there’s, there’s some, um, some trade off between how much of, of all the way things really work is actually up for, are they upfront about, are they explicit about, and they tell you about
Becky 00:12:57 Right. Um, I think another piece, another piece of that though, is the part of the culture that’s aspirational. And I think people often forget this, that, um, marketplace has changed technology changes, and so companies have to change. And that means sometimes the culture has to change. Not because it was bad, not because it was toxic or dysfunctional, but because what it’s going to take to survive and be successful just has to change. Um, and so I think it’s important not to forget that there’s a piece of culture that should always be about aspiring, to be better than we are in how we get things done.
Andrew 00:13:43 I find that people sometimes get stuck on this idea that if you’re reaching for something you’re unhappy with the way things are, or that something’s wrong with the way things are, how do you deal with that in the conversations you have with, when you, you know, when you work with an organization now, whether it’s sort of at a large setting, or if you’re kind of doing maybe more one-on-one with executives or somebody you might be coaching.
Becky 00:14:06 Okay. So how tall were you when you were 10 years old? Uh,
Andrew 00:14:12 Wow. I don’t know. I was short. I was probably four foot something. W let’s say four foot five, I dunno. Five 11.
Becky 00:14:22 Okay. So was it bad to be four for 10 when you were 10 years old?
Andrew 00:14:29 There were a few days actually. Yeah. If you really want to know. Yeah. There were a couple of days where it sort of sucked got picked last for basketball. It was rough man,
Becky 00:14:41 But there wasn’t much you could do about it. Right.
Andrew 00:14:43 Nothing I can do about it. And, you know, there was nothing actually wrong. There was some stories I didn’t like, but, you know, yeah. So I just help people
Becky 00:14:52 Get over this being so judgmental that the, the judgemental part of what you just described, that this has to be good or bad, um, gets in our way. It just gets in our way so often. Um, because what really we’re talking about is things just need to be different. Um, and that’s just because of the world we find ourselves in. Um, and sometimes there are good reasons. Sometimes there are things happening that dynamics that we wish weren’t happening. Um, but you have to accept what is around you and, um, adapt to it and evolve to it. And this is getting off the topic a little bit, but one of my favorite books of all time science books of all time is the beak of the Finch. If you’ve, Oh, so this is a book about how about evolution in the Galapagos? And it’s probably one of the best books written about field research that describes evolution in action.
Becky 00:16:15 And if you read it and it’s very, very well written and you take it as a metaphor, um, or at least a thought experiment around how organizations change, it’s really about animals adapting to their food sources. And so the shape of their beaks change from generation to generation. And it’s just about how do I get more food? How do I survive and how do I adapt to my environment conditions? Right, right, right, right. And so instead of thinking that that’s a good or a bad thing, it’s more about what’s useful, what’s useful. And it’s very pragmatic. Um, and I, I think we’ve lost some of that in, in organizations, um, or in the way people think about their lives. Now, what do you make of that?
Becky 00:17:15 Uh, now we’re getting philosophical, but I think it’s a part because we live in a fairly polarized world where people feel like they have to take sides, um, or they have to have a deep cause that motivates and propels them. Um, and there’s a time and a place for all of that, for sure. But I also think there’s something deeply satisfying about being able to get things done. And sometimes it’s just, okay, what’s the most practical way to get this done. And if it’s different than the way I did it in the past, you know, how do I learn how to do it? Or how do I find somebody else who can do it for me or help me see how to do it. Um, and I think the co some of the cultures that are the healthiest are the ones that are most and most resilient are the ones that are most flexible and that separate out. Certainly there are some things in life where there is a difference between good and bad. Um, and when it comes to issues around integrity, for sure.
Becky 00:18:33 But then there are other parts of life where like, communication. Okay. So sometimes it’s better to have a group meeting, and sometimes it’s better to talk to everyone one-on-one, and there’s no good inherently good or bad about either approach. It’s just which one’s going to work with us. And the different times, different things work better than others. So let’s not get too hung up about that. Right. You know, kind of using the right tool for the job, so to speak. Right, right, right, right. Right. And I think, you know, lots of, I’ve seen too many executives who are leading some kind of change in the organization, get up and say, you know, we’re pivoting, we’re going into this different director direction. Um, we’re going to be eliminating a hundred positions. So a hundred of you, aren’t going to be here next week, blah blah. And, um, or we’re being taken over by somebody who’s buying us.
Becky 00:19:41 And it’s all the implicit message is we did something wrong or you did something wrong. And that’s why we ended up here. And I think that’s so unnecessary because a lot of that is just, well, first of all, if I’m an employee sitting there listening to that speech, I’m saying, I didn’t do anything wrong. You mr. CEO did something wrong because you didn’t figure this out, keep this from happening. You’re supposed to protect us. Um, but there’s so much about the business world and that’s, um, happens just by chance. It’s, it’s fairly random. And so it’s important to control the things we can control. Um, but beating up on people or organizations are saying that we were bad and you know, now we’re going to be good. It’s just not useful. So I wanna, I wanna, I’m hoping you could give, maybe give me an example,
Andrew 00:20:48 Cause I know you’ve, you’ve seen such a wide range of business situations, right? You’ve seen turnarounds, you’ve seen mergers and acquisitions. You’ve seen shutdowns, you’ve seen startups. You’ve kind of seen it all. And you know, especially when we’re talking about things in the world of technology, which a lot of the listeners of this show are involved with in some form or fashion, you know, it’s a volatile world. It’s unpredictable, it’s fast, it’s complex. It’s extraordinarily. I mean, it’s very, that’s one of the things people like about it, right. Is that it’s so dynamic and interesting. Um, but it does make this kind of thing a little bit more challenging. So what I’m hoping is if, as you think back over, maybe you could help us help us understand what is it like? So you kind of just painted a broad picture of what this looks like when it’s probably not being done very well by whoever whoever’s leading this conversation and this, this sort of change effort. Maybe could you give me an example of like maybe a contrast that example of, you know, here’s what it looks like. Here’s what people are likely to traps that someone’s likely to fall into when they’re going through a difficult situation. And then how do we, how does, should they navigate that? How do they deal with those traps and avoid them?
Andrew 00:21:56 Um,
Becky 00:21:59 A couple of things I think are important. Um, one is the leadership of the organization. So I, I think of the organizations as having a bunch of people that are sort of between zero and a thousand feet off the ground, and they have that much perspective. They can see that far towards the horizon because they have they’re working in that, um, on those elevations and they have assignments and responsibilities and ideas and expertise, and they’re the engine and you have to give them kind of enough direction so that they can really, um, do what they’re best at and from people who are designing chips to people who are designing software to what I currently do most now, working with scientists who are researching cures for heart disease or neurological diseases or doing drug development, that engine has to work well. Um, and then you have sort of the middle of the pyramid, which are the people that are, I’d say at about a thousand to five, eight, maybe even 10,000 feet.
Becky 00:23:28 And they have, they can see further, right? They can see more of the landscape and it’s their job to see, to keep an eye on what in that landscape might be impacting the folks who are lower on the mountain, who are getting all this work done. And it’s sometimes it’s new technology that can make us more efficient. Sometimes it’s competition, whatever. But at the very top of the pyramid are the executives and the leaders of the organization who have the farthest line of sight, both to see where the opportunities are, but where the risks are. And they need to be very, very good at that. And what often happens in my experience is instead of be as good at that, as they should be, they spend time looking down the slopes of the mountain saying, Oh, that group down there at the 500 foot level, isn’t as productive as I think they should be. So I’m going to reorganize everyone. So there’ll be more effective. Well, they’re meddling. And I, so my, my not so secret theory is that executives do a lot of damage, um, by deciding that they have to be busy all the time.
Becky 00:24:57 They, I think their job is kind of about making sure that the homeostasis works, that the rest of the system is working well, and that they’re looking out for opportunities or threats that, um, need you need to adjust to now because they’re coming at us, you know, and see that coming into, figure out how to adjust, which is quite risky and quite scary. Actually, I think those jobs at the top are very scary when they’re done. Right. Um, and so to go back to your question about, you know, how, how, how does this happen that companies get taken over? People get laid off. I think that’s part of it. Um, I think part of it is that the technology, well, this is also, we’re getting far away from culture, but my theory is that you get a lot of startup money invested in companies that are, um, trying to copy what somebody else has already done. And then you have too many companies trying to do the same thing and there’s going to inevitably, there’s going to be some shakeout. Sure. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:26:28 There’s a lot of me too companies that just, just sort of copied it. Yeah.
Becky 00:26:31 Right, right, right, right, right. Um, and, and so to go back to the whole issue of culture, it’s always a reminder to me that culture, isn’t the story. I mean, culture is a piece of it and I think you need a strong and healthy culture to get the best talent and to get the most out of the best talent. But you also gotta have a vision. You’ve got to have an idea that’s competitive, that’s going to work and you’ve got to be able to execute.
Andrew 00:27:02 So I, I agree with what you’re saying. Well, what I find so fascinating and I feel like this is just my perception, but it feels to me being, as I, as I’m, for example, I was actually just up in San Francisco earlier half, this week, I was at a conference, met a whole bunch of people from all over the country. It’s actually from all over the world, in fact, uh, who had flown in for this conference and, you know, talking about technology and product and, um, a lot of, you know, a lot of my favorite topics that I just love to nerd out on, but what was so interesting to me was there was what seemed like the beginnings of a new conversation, much more about culture than I have at least perceived in the past. That can totally be just my perception. That could just be that I don’t know, I just wasn’t listening or I wasn’t paying attention or wasn’t maybe in the right conversations or spaces.
Andrew 00:27:49 I don’t know, but it does feel at least to me, like something is shifting. And my, you know, we’re sort of speculating a little bit. My personal speculation is that it has to do with sort of, sort of the, um, uh, the rising we’ll call it the rising managerial influence of millennials. Um, you know, millennials are before they were dramatically effecting marketing and branding, uh, because a lot of companies were studying them over, how do we appeal to this generation? And they all lots of things about like, okay, this generation really craves, aspirational, ideals, they crave meaning they crave purpose, et cetera. Uh, but now they’re not just the consumers anymore. They’re starting to become, you know, middle managers. Some of them are CEOs now, et cetera, et cetera. And I think a lot of that, um, uh, I don’t know, generational. I don’t even know what the right word is, but the generational kind of zeitgeists that millennials have is starting to show up now in the, in the conversation about like, what, how do we, how do we do what we do? I’m curious, what do you think about that? What do you make of that?
Becky 00:28:50 I think that’s true. I think there’s a part of it. That’s part of it. I think there’s another part of it, but let me talk about the millennial part of it. I think, um, my experience with millennials is generally been that they’re just Mo more outspoken and demanding about the same things that everyone else was thinking, but didn’t demand like as, as quickly or as clearly. Um, and so they’re saying I want more investments in my career. I want to be able to speak up and say what I think I want real responsibility. I want the rewards that come from having real responsibility. I want, um, I want you to tell me what I’m going to be paid. I want to know what my career path looks like. I want, I don’t want to rely on somebody in a corner office to take care of my career, um, which I think is all good and healthy.
Becky 00:29:55 And I think organizations have kind of in their own way, taught millennials that this is important because I think lots of them saw their parents or their grandparents get fired, get laid off, pushed under abusive managers, more ended up in dead end jobs that they weren’t happy with. Um, and so three cheers for them to say, no, I’m not going to compromise. I, this is what I want that I think sometimes they don’t stop to really understand, um, and organizations don’t always give them ways to understand what kind of maturity it takes to be a real leader and, and how to navigate some of the issues they’re gonna face, which are where there are no good solutions. And it may look simple from the outside, but you get into it. And it’s very complex.
Andrew 00:30:54 Never is right. Easy.
Becky 00:30:56 Well, that’s a piece of it. I think the other piece of it though, is this, especially in the Bay area, this competition for talent, because there are so many jobs and there aren’t as many talented people as there are jobs. And so people aren’t getting called by recruiters, they’re getting promised all kinds of things. They’re getting rude and romanced, um, in ways that you know who I would, if I, if I were the target of that kind of attention, I’d say, of course I must be this good. Of course, I must know what I’m doing. They’re offering me a 20% pay increase.
Andrew 00:31:38 It goes to your head. Right,
Becky 00:31:39 Right. Right. Now, what I don’t know is how that dynamic and that millennial, um, values and behavior will change. If we go into something like the recession we had in 2008, where suddenly there aren’t a lot of jobs. Um, I also don’t know much about how millennials are coping with college debt, for example, or coming out of school with, um, just enormous resources to have the kind of life that their parents did coming out of school. Um, and so I’m sensitive to the fact that there’s that dynamic out there as well, even though I don’t see much of it here in the Bay area.
Andrew 00:32:33 Yep. So, one thing I’m curious about you, when we were talking about that, you mentioned that millennials,
Andrew 00:32:40 Um, and certainly that we’re, we’re making very blanket statements right now and there’s of course, a huge variance inside of these generalizations, but, you know, you’ve observed, it sounds like you’ve observed that quite a few of the millennials that are wanting to step into the, you know, some real leadership, some real responsibility. I think the words you used was there. They’re just, they’re not quite it’s, they’re not ready for it, but maybe they’re just not emotionally mature enough for it yet. Or you mentioned the word maturity. I’m curious if you could just kind of unpack that a little bit and then more specifically to make it actionable. If someone, how does someone, what I’m thinking about here, I was going through my head is that, um, the people who are in these situations are probably unaware that they are not ready for it. They just think they think they are ready or they’re entitled to it, or something like that. How do you break through to somebody and then get them to hear it? And what is it that they actually need to put? What is the, what is the growth that they, that actually needs to happen?
Becky 00:33:37 So one of the things that I’ve heard over and over again is millennials. Don’t, they trust each other more than they trust the generation ahead of them. Um, and, and I think I under, I think I understand where that’s coming from, because I think they feel that, um, whether it’s generation X or Y or boomers or whoever, um, a lot of folks who are in those management and executive seats are staying there and are not creating opportunities for millennials and are not necessarily very good at investing, mentoring and giving millennials more to do or more responsibility or helping them really understand. Here’s a situation. Let’s talk about the trade offs we have to make here. Or here’s how this budget works. Here are some of the limits and constraints and let’s figure out how, uh, how to work through this. And then sometimes when millennials come up with ideas and say, well, let’s have unlimited vacation and you get a sort of more traditional manager or chief finance officer or someone like that. Operations officer says, no, there’s no way we can do that. That’s but then they, you know, then they come out with a Netflix like slides and say, well, but Netflix does.
Becky 00:35:08 And so it becomes more of a conflict between worldviews, if you want to call them that and less of a, what are we trying to accomplish? And let’s figure out a path forward that works for everybody. And so I can see why millennials would say, uh, you know, that generation is just getting in our way. Um, and that’s unfortunate, very unfortunate. On the other hand, I’ve also seen millennials promoted too quickly and who decide that, um, good management is about taking your team out for beer every afternoon. No, overstating that a little bit. Um, I’ve also seen millennials who were not, had not learned how to separate friendship from managing your former peers and as a result of not understanding the differences in the role, not being able to have some of the more difficult conversations or even see some of the dynamics in their team because their, their filter was, these are my friends.
Andrew 00:36:29 Yeah. That’s one of the hardest transitions someone can make, I think is, is going from, Oh, you know, I’m it, cause it totally changes your entire experience of work, frankly, which is such a core part of our lives. You know, it’s not our entire lives, but it’s a big, big, big chunk. So, you know, how do you coach somebody who’s in that situation? Let’s say you’ve got a, you know, a 28 year old person, a 28 year old woman. Who’s just been promoted from, from amongst her peer group. Um, and is now the manager. And she’s, you know, obviously she’s very competent. She’s very skilled. How do you, how would you coach her if you saw her making this? What seems like a fairly common type of mistake of, you know, not understanding roles and boundaries and that’s sort of what I hear in there. What, what would you do about that? How would you coach that person assuming they were in fact willing to be coachable and do the work? Just always something
Becky 00:37:20 I always start with. Why did you want to be a manager? I mean, I just think it’s understanding why do you want to be a manager? Um, and there are many, many, many different reasons people have. Um, and, uh, you know, I think that the coaching relationship, like any relationship where you have influence, but not any formal power, my metaphor for this is surfing, right? So you go out, I remember I grew up in Hawaii, so you go out to the beach, which Island, by the way, Kauai. So you’re, you’re dragging your surfboard with you and you’re going out, you’re paddling out and then you’re sitting there and you wait for the waves to come. And your job is to be very vigilant, very watchful, very observant, understand what the cadence and the pattern of the waves and the tides and the currencies, of course the rocks or the sand or whatever it is, but you have to wait for the wave and then you have to catch the wave. And I think coaching and influence is a lot about being able to see when the wave, when the other person is catchable and creating that moment or being there in that moment, when that other person is really ready to hear what, or to consider the questions that you’re asking. Um, and so you gotta kind of create enough of a relationship so that you can be there, uh, at that moment to have that conversation and to make that point or to ask that question, you get someone to see it. Um,
Andrew 00:39:18 The signs you look for, how do you know when it is the right moment?
Becky 00:39:24 Oh, um, I don’t know that I can tell you that. I just, I, you know, I’ve just done it for a long time and I’ve made enough mistakes. I, I can tell when I’ve said something too soon or I’ve been to direct, people are different. So some people want to just be told directly and some millennials will say, just tell me what I, how I’m screwing up. Just be direct. I’m not gonna understand it if, you know, if you don’t just blurt it out and tell me and others, they want to figure it out on their own. And there are people who, who learn that way and it’s kind of trial and error, and it’s kind of, don’t tell me, let me figure it out. And sometimes it’s more about asking them questions or saying, have you considered this? Or, um, let’s talk, let’s do a thought experiment to another one of my favorite ways to get into, uh, into things, um, and help them discover it for themselves. So there’s some is the Socratic method and some is the, you know, were you happy with what just happened there because I think you really screwed up, you know, it depends a lot on, on the person and the relationship that you’ve built with them.
Andrew 00:40:48 Yeah. You have to have that sort of, you have to have that background of relatedness that trust built up enough to have some of these harder conversations. Right. You can’t, you don’t just get to, you know, that’s not how relationships work. You don’t have to get to just walk in and be like, Hey, I’m here you go. Um, even then, I mean, some people you’ll, you’ll get there faster. Uh, are there any, um, on that note, are there any particular approaches you’ve seen, whether it’s, you know, a book or a resource where you, you found that you’ve seen people have good success or, you know, repeatedly kind of learn this skill when they look from this perspective?
Becky 00:41:22 So I think the, the approach that I’ve used the most and that I’ve seen most helpful is something called crucial conversations. Tell me about, so I had to actually it’s, um, yeah, crucial conversations tools for talking when stakes are high. And, um, they also have a, I can’t even remember the name of it. Uh, they have, uh, a, um, website, they do training and they do, um, a newsletter, which I get and read religiously. Let me see if I can find it for you.
Andrew 00:42:04 Crucial conversations. Okay. We’ll definitely put that in the show notes.
Becky 00:42:08 Yeah, I think it’s, and I don’t use everything they’ve done, but I go back to them over and over and over again. Um, and I just find it to be really helpful, really, um, thoughtful, thoughtful. Perfect. Um, and part of it is the vital smarts is what it’s called vital, vital, vital smarts. Um,
Andrew 00:42:40 I’ve heard a lot of people talk about is a, is radical candor by, I believe it’s Kim. Is it Kim? Scott,
Becky 00:42:46 I think is her name. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard of that. I haven’t read it. Okay. Um, I think so that issue, that topic I have trouble with, um, because I’ve been in organizations where I have seen people who were really honest, be, um, destroyed, um, because you’re taking a huge risk. Um, and unless you really are ready to take that risk and ready for everything it means, or you really understand the people you’re being honest with. Um, it can backfire and, and I’ve also seen people totally misunderstood. Stand it. And, and particularly executives who think radical candor or transparency is okay, I just fired the head of sales. Now I’m going to stand up in an all hands meeting and tell everyone I just fired the head of sales because he was falsifying expense reports. Well, this is not a true story, but this is taken, this is something similar to this has happened.
Becky 00:44:10 And then you get, and then you get well, was that slander? Was it, um, what is, what are, what are the damages to that person who got fired? Everyone has heard this, they’re now spreading it around in the industry. It’s going hurt his reputation, but that wasn’t, you know, and, and, and all in the spirit of, Oh, well we need to be transparent. No, you don’t need to be transparent about everything. In fact, it’s not helpful to be transparent about everything. It’s transparency is important for a purpose. Um, but I think there’s a certain amount of transparency is important to build trust. But when transparency comes up as a value in organizations in the work, I do, I always tell executives, be sure you explain what the limits are that you’re going to be transparent about the process. You will be transparent about decisions, um, about business decisions, but you will protect the privacy and show respect for individuals involved. Um, and that if it’s, if there’s an individual situation, um, that has led to a particular decision out of respect for the individual and their feelings and their rights, we’re not gonna tell you everything that happened. That happened. Um, and so I think that to me is the right form of transparency. It’s saying, Hey, I have a time. Here’s what we’re going to be transparent about. Here’s what’s off limits. And here’s why, and we’re gonna, we’re gonna extend that same value to you, by the way. So if you’re the person
Andrew 00:46:13 Mmm.
Becky 00:46:16 Who got fired or who, uh, has a serious illness or, or whatever it is where we’re just not going to
Andrew 00:46:27 Yeah. Share that with people. Yeah. I’m hearing you really say emphasize because transparency is another one of those, one of those words that gets thrown around so much these days and you have to ask, well, okay, well, what does that actually mean? What does it look like? And I think you bring up such a good point about it. Transparency doesn’t necessarily mean 100% disclosure of everything like that. In many cases that would actually be irresponsible, but it seems like if I’m hearing you, right, it’s much more about it’s clear. It seems like it’s a combination of clarity and fairness, right? In the end, the idea of being upfront with people about where, what is on the table that you’re going to share, it seems like it’s really about sharing as much as you can while still being responsible to certain realities about whether it’s individual privacy or sometimes there’s regulatory things. You know, if you’re, for example, you’re doing a major deal that involves a, sometimes there are like legal things that you can’t, you just can’t talk about. Um, for example, I’ve heard that a culture of one particular culture I’ve heard, heard of, although I’ve never
Andrew 00:47:30 Experienced directly. Um, that is, I think probably deals with this a lot is, um, are you familiar with Bridgewater associates and Ray Dalio? So, so fascinating, fascinating place that you might, you might check it out. Uh, so Ray Daleo is, he started the, he’s a, he’s pretty much the most successful hedge fund manager ever, um, in the history of earth, uh, or which I guess is anywhere. Cause I don’t think there’s a hedge fund managers on other planets, or if there are, we don’t know about them yet. Moving on. Uh, so he started this, he started this hedge fund called Bridgewater. I know 30, 40 years ago, they are now far and away the most successful, uh, hedge fund, just not even close. Um, and they have a very, very particular culture. Uh, and he, he put out a book, I think it was two years ago called principles.
Andrew 00:48:18 That was all about, they’re basically the operating principles that they’ve come to and basically how he runs his life, how they run Bridgewater, because they have such a distinct culture that they are very different than any other normal or not normal, typical, typical culture you might find. And two of their big things, one of their big things is this idea of radical transparency, right. And that is so baked into their culture. That, I mean, it really is radical relative to a typical corporate culture, but even they, I mean, when I say radical transparency, they have practices like, um, every meeting is recorded and publicly available, right. So there’s no, there’s no secret meetings. Right. Um, but publicly available within, within the company, within the company. And then, and so they, they, they have things like that. The, you know, everything is publicly available within the company.
Andrew 00:49:08 Uh, they have, they, I mean, this is people dealing with very, very sensitive financial information and extraordinary amounts of wealth. Um, and one of the things to your point, uh, I’ve kind of, I’m kind of rambling here, but the point, the reason I thought of it was they, they also, even within there, they say, we’re going to be as absolutely transparent as we can be, but here’s the edge. There are certain conversations that we won’t, because it violates a client’s privacy because it would violate a regulatory, you know, uh, requirements around some deal that we’re doing or something like that. And it seems by and large that people are okay with that, as long as they’re just being told up front and then you’re actually following through with the rest of it.
Becky 00:49:49 Right. So I think that’s right. I mean, I, I think there are three things that build trust in a culture. Uh, one is being open or transparent about process. So particularly I think processes involving promotions and pay and things that impact people. Um, I think being consistent in the use of the process so that people see that, okay, you said you were going to do it this way, and this is the way you actually do it. And the third is having a way to appeal. Um, so if you see something happens that happening, that doesn’t seem consistent with what the company said it’s about or what its processes. Um, you, there’s some place you can go, you can say, I want to understand this, this doesn’t make sense to me. And, uh, I want more information. Uh, and so I think if those three things are present, whether it’s informally or formally or both, I think that creates a perception of fairness. Um, and it starts to create more psychological safety, which I think is critical is one, but not the whole story behind trust.
Andrew 00:51:07 I love it. And that’s actually, I wanna let’s, let’s, let’s explore that a little bit more, cause I want to, I want to actually dig into psychological safety a bit more here. So you mentioned, I think the three that you just said were transparency, consistency, and sort of a, a mechanism of appeal or further investigation, if you want to call it that. So tell me about psychological safety. Cause this is, this is another one of these, um, terms that is quickly rising in the larger conversation. Certainly within the tech industry, I’m seeing it everywhere. I was at, uh, as I said, I was at a conference earlier this week, fantastic conference. Um, and I went to the, the leadership forum on Monday and this was a like top line topic. There was which I was happy, but surprised to see pleasantly surprised. Uh, it was probably a third of the time was spent on something either directly or closely related to psychological safety. So for people who aren’t familiar with that, can you just explain what, what does that actually mean and why is this bubbling up so much right now?
Becky 00:52:08 Well, what it means is that you work in, it’s applied to the workplace, but it can be true in any relationship that in the relationships that you have to, you need at work, um, you feel secure and safe enough to raise difficult issues, things that would feel that might be threatening. That’s going to be very different for different people, things that might threaten your job security might threaten your relationship with your boss or your peers, your work assignments, um, anything that feels like it’s a little risky, a little scary. So best example in my world is, and this happens a lot and you know, the Bay area, we’ve got people here from all different cultures, many, many different cultures, and they have very different norms around, um, physical space. And so in some cultures standing really close to each other is fine. And in some, um, it’s very uncomfortable.
Becky 00:53:29 Um, so this is, may seem like a trivial example, but then you layer into that, um, gender issues. And so there are that this is, uh, at the most sort of innocent level women from one culture, being able to say to men from another culture, you’re getting too close to me and having that be okay, and that the man from this other culture doesn’t take offense at that doesn’t decide this is someone he doesn’t need to pay attention to, um, respects her for saying that, and then is willing to adjust his behavior as a result. Um, that’s psychological safety. It’s really hard to do. And I actually, I think people are talking about it a lot because it’s like emotional intelligence, it sounds needed. It sounds like, Oh yeah, this is a good thing. But making that actually happen in organizations is really, really tough.
Becky 00:54:47 So I’ll give you, I’ll give you an example. So we, I, in almost all of my clients are right now are small companies that have somewhere between 25 and 50 employees. And so one of the first things we do is figure out how are people going to get feedback and is it going to be a formal process in informal process, blah, blah, blah, all of that. And one of the things I always put on the table very early on in the design discussion is are employees going to be able to give their feedback to their managers? So is it going to be three 60 or upward feedback? And the answer to that. So first of all, I’m listening for the CEO and the top executives, what’s their answer to that question. And they say, Oh yes, absolutely. We want, we want them to do that.
Becky 00:55:47 Okay. Most cases they say, Oh yeah, that’s good thing. Let’s do that. Then we roll it out. And we say, okay, here’s the question on the form? It says, what, what would you like your manager to do more of what’s actually, what do you appreciate that your is doing now? What would you like him or her to do more of and, or do differently? Okay. So it’s a pretty neutral question, right? It’s not saying, why are you doing that? It’s do more of do differently, do less of, and so one easy way to measure a psychological safety is to just look at all those answers and see how many people actually wrote anything and how many and what was the nature of the answer. So you can score them, which I do. Um, is it all positive? Is it all? I love my manager, my manager is great. I’ve never had such a good manager or is there a combination of my managers? Great. I would like my manager to do more of this, this or that. How many risks are people taking in what they’re saying back to their manager, knowing that HR will probably see this as well. And that’s a way to make this whole notion of psychological safety, very tangible, because you can, you can measure it. You can say, okay, based on this, we think we don’t have much psychological safety people. Aren’t speaking up
Andrew 00:57:24 As I’m trying to understand this more, what do you know if someone isn’t working with a true HR professional, someone who really knows how to lead these processes, what I’m wondering is, you know, if you’re out there and let’s say, you’re, you know, you own, or you’re a founder of a small company, let’s say you’ve got, you know, 10, 15 people, and maybe you don’t have the resources right now to work with somebody like yourself. How can someone in that situation, or even maybe just a manager of a team inside of an organization that wants to use, you know, their team, where they have direct influence as sort of a, you know, a stepping stone to hopefully making a larger cultural change. How can they go about, first of all, assessing this without, you know, w w a simplified way of assessing this, and then what do they do about it? How do they, how do they actually take action on this?
Becky 00:58:12 Well, I would start by reading the crucial conversations book because they have a whole chapter. I mean, that’s one of the themes is how do you create psychological safety so that you can talk about risky, scary things. Um, and so I think there’s a lot of foundation there. Um, but the other thing, I guess, I’d have two recommendations, particularly for founders. Um, so I have consistently with very few exceptions seen that founders confuse are confused about how other people see them. And they, they tend to think that they are, they tend to underestimate how much fear they can create in other people, just by the nature of being the founder who has, who’s getting the money to create the company who can basically say, I don’t like you go away. And even though the founder has no intention of doing that, they still have that power.
Becky 00:59:39 And once they start talking to investors and getting money and getting it organized and having lawyers and talking about cap tables and controlling interest and all that stuff, all of a sudden, they are in a different world. And the, the, you know, five people that they used to sit around, bullshitting around about technology. And, you know, who’s coding this and, you know, isn’t this cool, those, those, those conversations just change fundamentally. And so that collegial give and take, um, kind of we’re, we’re just buddies sitting around in a garage, goes away. It just changes. And I think there are a lot of founders who don’t realize that, or want to think that they can recreate or go back to that buddy sitting around in the garage. Um, and what’s, there’s a power differential in an organization that changes the terms of, um, psychological safety. And it means that founders have to do a lot more work to create and maintain psychological safety. Um, and it’s often hard for them.
Andrew 01:01:04 I was just going to say, you know, once if someone realizes they have this challenge, right, they things have gotten serious. Right. And it’s, it’s sort of moved beyond the, Hey, it’s a couple of us, a couple of buddies hanging out in the garage, and now it’s real, right. You’ve taken, maybe you’ve taken an investor money. Maybe your, maybe you’re inside a bigger organization and you pitched a big project and they, you know, it got greenlit and now you’re on the hook for this thing.
Becky 01:01:27 Um, what do you,
Andrew 01:01:29 W what is someone in that situation to do? How do they, how should they actually go about creating the psychological safety? Is there like a where, or maybe there’s, I’m sure there’s many things, but where would you have them?
Becky 01:01:42 Um, before I answer that question, one thing I’ve pointed out, cause I think it’s practical and helpful. So when you’re a founder or to your point, you’re you get a big project, you’re part of a bigger company. Generally, you’re getting shares, um, you’re getting equity, or you’re getting a bonus. You’re getting, there is some payoff that’s different for you than it is for everybody else. And usually that’s not a big secret. Eventually people find out, so don’t try to hide it, but don’t want to either, I mean, don’t go in and talk about the new Tesla that you’re picking up, you know, or having delivered to you that night. And, you know, I’ve seen too many, don’t be that guy. Don’t be that guy, you know? And so the next step is, um, well, I would say on some level, um, you have to go back to the individuals that you were closest to.
Becky 01:02:55 And either one on one, usually probably one-on-one, but maybe in a group setting say, look, I know that I’m in a, in a different role now, and I know that that’s going to impact our relationship because they’re going to be some decisions I know about that you’re not going to know about, or that I’m going to be part of making new. You’re not going to be part of making. So you kind of have to acknowledge the reality first, and then you say, but I want you to know that I still, your import, your point of view, your ideas, the creative process that we share together is really important to me. And we can’t be successful without that. So you have to go back and say, here’s how I value our relationship and your individual contribution. And here’s what you mean, not just to this company we’re creating or this project working on, but to me personally, and I want to preserve, and then you can talk about the kind of communication you want to preserve and say, I want you to be, I need you to challenge me. I need you to tell me when I’ve got my head in the sand or worse. Um, I need you to tell me when you think I’m going in the wrong direction. I may not always agree with you. Um, and I may know some things that you don’t know, but I will always value and listen to what you have to say to me.
Becky 01:04:32 And I think having, having, having that kind of conversation and really needing it, not doing it because you know, there’s a script and you heard it on podcasts and it sounded good, but really meaning it and being sincere and genuine about it. The next part of it, this is the even harder part is there comes a time, you know, almost every venture when one of the original five or seven doesn’t fit anymore. And in my experience, everybody knows that weeks, sometimes months before founder does anything about it. Even the person who knows that he doesn’t belong anymore, it’s usually a, he or she doesn’t belong anymore is waiting for the CEO, the founder to do something about it. It’s the, in the founder is typically the person who takes tool. And I think part of it is because founder often doesn’t know how to have that conversation. And you can have that conversation in a very respectful, genuine, honest way. Um, but you have to have it.
Andrew 01:05:59 This is such a, such a juicy topic because you know, this is, this, this to me is a paradox and which is why I’m so, so intrigued by it because on the one hand, if psychological safety means having that sense of safety and belonging, which is sort of what are sort of the prerequisites to have those to have, to take those risks, right. To, to put yourself out there to say, Hey, I don’t know about this to disagree. Uh, almost like it’s, it’s safe to safe to have conflict. Um, uh, how then, so where does, where does belonging fit into all of this? Like, you know, what is it you see that happens where this particular person no longer fits anymore? Uh, is it, is it just that the culture has changed? Is it that what the company needs is different now? What is it that usually causes this kind of thing?
Becky 01:06:52 There are a bunch of different things, but remember, I think it’s really important when you’re talking about psychological safety, um, what is safe? So none of our jobs are safe. Jobs are never safe. Even the CEO’s job, the board, the investors could come in and say, sorry, we think you’re not the right person you’re out. So the job is never seen. The company is never safe. What is safe? What can be safe or the relationships, because that’s what we control. And so when I think about psychological safety, I think about is my relationship with you or with this team solid enough that I is, it is a relationship solid enough. And do I have the skills that I need to raise difficult topics with you in a way that’s respectful, but honest. And so there are two things there, there’s the relationship we built over time, but there’s also the skills I have and the skills I believe you have.
Becky 01:08:08 Um, and that’s why I think if you want to create psychological safety in an organization, you have to a lot of time in how to talk about things, how to set it up, how to communicate and practice it. And at the end of the day, it’s not about promising anyone safety for their job. I mean, someone comes to me and says, I have falsified, um, test data on a medical device. No, one’s getting psychological safety for that. Sorry, that’s an integrity issue. Um, that’s a major deal. Yeah, yeah. Or someone. Um, but if someone comes to me and says, you know, I was supposed to deliver test results. Um, well, in my case, the kinds of things I work on with, I was supposed to get you this data, um, for a pay review, um, by Monday and I screwed up and I did the analysis wrong and I have to redo it and it’s not going to be ready until Friday. Okay. Now I’m going to react to that very differently than I would react to someone coming in and saying, I falsified the data that was sent to the FDA.
Andrew 01:09:29 Yeah. Very different situation.
Becky 01:09:34 Why one is like, we’ve got to scrambled to rearrange timelines, the other jeopardizes, the entire company and put jeopardize patients. Um, so totally different dimensions of risk. So, um, I think the, I think that’s what you got to remember to re solve the paradox is that psychological safety is more about the relationship than it is about. Am I going to get to keep my job or not? It’s, that’s just, it’s apples and oranges. I think. Um, so psychological safety is my, my relationships are solid enough that I can raise difficult sensitive issues early before. Um, well, while, while there are still many degrees of freedom for solution
Andrew 01:10:39 To do something about it. Yeah. So how let’s say, let’s imagine I want to, I want to make this concrete, so let’s imagine you’ve got someone who, um, so one of the things that let me take a step back, I’ve personally become very interested in, in culture, um, for a number of different reasons. But I mean, the biggest one is very similar to how you got interested in it is for me, you know, we spend so much of our lives at work and I want, I’m, I’m committed to having people who spend their time in an environment that brings out the best in them that, you know, helps them be more alive because of what they do, not less alive because of what they do. And, um, which is actually where the title of this show came from in the first place. Um, my, my, my question though, is the, as I’ve started to explore these topics, one of the common refrains I’ve heard from people who know much more about this topic than I do is something to the effect of, you know, if you don’t have senior leadership, and this is really more about just cultural change in general, but I think it, I think it probably applies here, which is if you don’t have, you know, senior leadership on board just don’t even like don’t even bother don’t waste your time.
Andrew 01:11:44 Like if they are not even interested in, um, in a change like this happening, you’re just going to beat your head against the wall burnout and get super frustrated and leave. Um, so I guess is a really two part question. First of all, is, do you think that’s actually true based on what you’ve seen? And then my second question is if that’s true, let’s say you’re someone in a situation where the larger environment is not ideal. Just put it that way and you are feeling very much at risk and you want to do something about it. How do you, how should you approach that? If you’re not feeling safe in that environment, you’re not feeling like, wow, I can really say this to my boss. Um, because of your experience of the larger environment, is it worth it, should you, how do you, um, or is that all, is that whole thing I just said, is that just actually a really fancy excuse for just not taking a risk?
Becky 01:12:38 I think that’s an excellent question. And it’s got so many dimensions to it, but one of the people who had the most influence on my thinking and my practice early in my career, it’s a guy named Peter block who you don’t hear his name as much anymore. I think he, he died years ago. Um, but he wrote a book called the empowered manager. And the basic premise of this book was you are responsible for yourself and you’re accountable for the work environment you create around yourself. Um, and you have more power than you realize you do. And if you use what executives and other people are doing, as an excuse, then you are sort of condemning the whole organization to its lowest common denominator often. And, and he said, don’t be naive. Don’t be stupid. I mean, don’t be self-destructive.
Becky 01:13:55 Um, but find ways to, um, take a stand. And particularly if you’re a manager or a director, um, use the power that you have, um, in, in the context, in the area where you have responsibility, um, to be more open, to create more psychological safety, this is, these are not all or nothing it’s not offer on. There is a process and there’s degrees and steps and try things and see what kind of results you get and then give it some time and wait and see, um, but do it because you’re doing it for yourself. I mean, I think part of having doing meaningful work is knowing that we are, um, acting in a moral way, in a way that gives us purpose, personal integrity. I don’t know that we talk about that enough these days, but I think that’s a piece of it. Um, and it, it means if you see something that you think isn’t working, right.
Becky 01:15:11 But I would start with, if you see something that you think could work better. So you’re not sort of telling someone they’re blaming or attacking someone, try that first. Hey, do you think we could? I mean, if we did it this way, would it’s would this be better? Or can we work together on this in a way that would improve it or make it go faster? So start with, how can you connect with people to make things better and see how they respond? And then as you build that, those relationships in that kind of practice or those habits, then you can start talking, raising questions like, well, that, that process or that relationship, or the way we we’ve been communicating about those issues just doesn’t feel right to me. It doesn’t, it feels like it’s like getting stuck all the time. This is where crucial conversations comes in really handy, because it gives you ways of thinking about how to introduce these topics that are designed to not attack. They’re not designed to be sort of observational and not
Andrew 01:16:23 Judgemental, not putting people on the defensive.
Becky 01:16:26 Exactly. Exactly. So then you see how people respond and then you can slowly kind of grow, grow the discussion.
Andrew 01:16:36 Yeah, yeah, no, this is, this is interesting. So one of the things that w w one of the things that brings up for me as I’m, as I’m listening to you, and I’m reflecting on a lot of other conversations I’ve had around this topic is it kind of goes back to that, this idea of belonging or cultural fit. And I heard someone just the other day, actually at that conference. Uh, I’ve said it so many times, I should say what conference it was, by the way it was the mind, the product conference. It was great. Um, highly recommended. Uh, so we were there and there was a guy named Matt , uh, who does some really interesting consulting work. And he was, was talking about, um, this topic as well as a few other things. And one of the things that he said that I made me laugh at the time, but it really stuck with me.
Andrew 01:17:17 And I I’m still chewing on it. I mean, there’s only been a few days now, um, was he said, he, he doesn’t like the term cultural fit or culture fit. And I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. And then he said more. He said, there are some, and I’m paraphrasing here. This is not exactly what he said, but it was something to the effect of when you say, Oh, you know, that person’s not a culture fit or something like that. It’s sort of implying that it’s the onus is on that person. I think he was mostly referring to this in the context of hiring. Um, you know, let’s say you’re, you’re talking about a candidate for a position. Um, he was saying, you know, when you say, Oh, that person’s not a culture fit or, or something like that, you’re saying, Oh, it’s on that person to fit into our sort of preexisting structure, you know, like almost like a, like a, um, like a puzzle piece, right.
Andrew 01:18:01 They have to fit some mold. And, uh, that he didn’t think that that’s right. Um, and that what he said, he prefers is the idea of culture. Add in the idea of like, this person will bring something to us that maybe we don’t have already they’ll challenge us as in productive ways. And I’ve just found myself in the day since then thinking it just sort of percolating on this idea of like culture fit culture, add belonging, where does this all come together? You know, how does someone know? And maybe we can segue into that in a minute here, as you know, let’s say, you’re, you’re either you’re outta place. You just started working or you’re considering joining a place. Uh, how do you know if, if you are a cultural fit, if you belong there, whatever, whatever phrase, whatever wording you’d like to use.
Becky 01:18:45 Yeah. I actually think it’s really important if you’re a candidate and this goes back to the first conversation we had. If you’re a candidate, you have to be assessing, is this a culture? And I would use the word match. Um, are you going, is this culture going to be good for you? Is it going to bring out the best in you? Um, or not? And I think a lot of it depends, goes to questions around how the culture handles setbacks and frustrations and setbacks can come because a competitor wipes out, you know, some of your market share, uh, because you missed, uh, uh, technology, um, leap, um, or it could be because the team didn’t execute well. Uh, so there all kinds of reasons why the culture can have issues, but well, you were saying, you know, when you, when the reasons you’d gotten into this was because of all the time we spend at work and it meaningful. And I think going back to an earlier theme, one of the things about millennials is they do care a lot about their relationships with each other.
Andrew 01:20:19 Yeah.
Becky 01:20:21 And work, work. Doesn’t Trump that where, you know, with, I think my parents’ generation, and even to some extent, my generation, uh, and we had friends at work, but work was considered more important than friendships. Okay. When we were at work. And I think it’s different with millennials. I think some of them think my relationships at work are when my colleagues there are just as important as my relationships as my work. Um, they kind of come together and that, that creates something very different about the culture. And I think sometimes it scares managers because I think managers see millennials as well. They’re all gonna stick up for each other, you know, and they all, they’re like one group. And so we can’t sort of tease them apart. Um, or we can’t treat one differently than the other
Andrew 01:21:24 Gang.
Becky 01:21:26 Yeah. And I don’t know if that’s really true, but I think it’s some managers perceive it that way.
Andrew 01:21:34 Interesting. What you’re saying about the, and it’s something I’ve been wondering about as well. Um, since technically I think I am a millennial back up by like two years or something, but the idea of, I think what I’m really hearing in what you’re saying is the idea of, um, how personal work is like that. It’s, it’s almost, and when I say that I don’t meet what I’m not trying to say is that to people who are not millennials, that like work didn’t matter to them. Right. Or that it wasn’t deeply personally meaningful. That’s not what I’m trying to say. What I’m trying to get at is it seems like if I’m trying, if I’m, if I’m reading the tea leaves, right. And I don’t know if I am that millennials want to, the kind of overused, the almost trite phrase right now is like to bring their whole selves to work.
Andrew 01:22:24 Right. They want to, like, they want to bring more of their personal self, their full selves beyond what they do at the office, into the office. They want to be able to have conversations at work that are not just professional development, but like whole person development. Right. You know, it’s, it’s when I’ve, I’ve had, um, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve coached a lot of people in my various roles. And some of those conversations were, you know, there was only so deep, we could go in the coaching conversation and there was like kind of a floor there. They know that person was not willing to go beyond that. And okay. I respect that. Um, my PR my I’m biased in this sense, I just want to disclose, like, be up front about my bias, my perception of, of those, um, those coaching relationships was that they, that, that limit, they were putting that like, edge that they would not go across was actually limiting their growth professionally as well.
Andrew 01:23:14 Like, because they couldn’t, there was a someplace they weren’t willing to go. They weren’t willing to talk about or be seen something like that. Um, they were like, wait, that is that’s in my, you know, that’s in my personal life. It has nothing to do with the office. And it’s like, well, you’re still the same person like that stuff going on your personal life, you brought it with, you brought it with you when you showed up today, you know, it didn’t just stop and vice versa. Like when you have a bad day at the office, which happens, you know, it goes with your home or wherever you go after work. Um, and so, um, I’m curious if you’ve seen anything like that in terms of the, I don’t know the right terms for this, but the level of comfort maybe that people of different generations have, or maybe it’s a preference for,
Becky 01:23:56 Um, huh.
Andrew 01:23:59 How personal things are allowed to be, does that make
Becky 01:24:03 Well, yeah, like where the boundaries are. Um, so here’s where it’s, I think tricky, um, up to a certain point, sharing information with colleagues about maybe personal doubts or personal beliefs, um, or personal style choices can be helpful and it’s good to get different points of view. And, um, it brings, it creates some sense of closeness and, um, supportiveness, and that can be very meaningful and very positive and very motivating. And it can keep people in an organization. It can keep them connected and loyal and attached to the organization. The risk is when it goes off the rails, when someone, um, Oh, I know I deal with situations like this more often than I’d like someone has a substance abuse problem. Someone has a, um, now it’s in an emotional disorder and now we’re getting into disability territory. And, um, it, it becomes really complicated because it creates this, this tension or this conflict between the person’s ability to do their job, uh, and the, the job that needs to be done.
Becky 01:26:03 And so you’re their confidant, you’re, you’re on their team and they’re telling you, you know, I, um, I’m not gonna, I can’t come to work on time or what w you know, whatever the issue is. And now, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to say I’ll cover for you? Um, I, you know, I’ll, I’ll take care of it for you because I’m your friend, or do you say it’s time to let HR know, or it’s time to let the manager know this has become an issue that that’s where it gets tricky. Um, and, um, or there’s a romance, uh, developed, or it becomes more than just friendship. So I think that’s where, uh, it’s just, I think the ideal is right. I respect that and appreciate it, but there are going to be cases they’re going to be enough cases where it creates real dilemmas in the organization and, and not just for the organization, but for individuals in that team, in that social circle.
Becky 01:27:21 So when you’re talking about millennials and boundaries, and I actually think that what naturally has happened with every cohort, every one of these sort of generational groups is as their, their lives change. You know, they, they get married or they have children, or they, um, settle down in different ways that, that other part of their life, um, kind of replaces some of what they were getting from work. Um, I don’t know that that will happen as much with millennials as it might have with the boomers or generation X or Y. But, um, it’s certainly, I think it’s likely, and I’m sort of starting to see that in some of the places where I work. Um, I think they’re always going to have a different relationship with work in part, because they have come into the workplace at a time when there were so many people ahead of them and it’s been, and there’s been a gig economy and there’ve been different jobs. And, and the millennials move around so much. I mean, you know, 18 months in a job is pretty normal. And when I was coming up, if you haven’t been in a job for 10 years, there was something wrong with you. So it’s changed a lot. It’s changed a lot. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, so if I’m hearing
Andrew 01:29:02 You right, w w w what do you think you’re perceiving is what I think I’m hearing is that like, as people get, as people get older and they start to make, get married, have families, um, be farther along in their careers, that sort of maybe the scope of their life broadens, and there’s just more, more going on in their life. And so work plays a relatively smaller part, still an important part, but it’s not like 98% of their, of their day to day anymore. Is that what you’re getting at
Becky 01:29:32 That? And I’d add that as they move around because they don’t stick it. They don’t stay in one company for a long time. Um, they, they, their social circle outside of work tends to be composed of people they’ve worked with at different companies. So that’s w who they hang out. Right. And then you’ll find that they will say, okay, I’m going to leave this job to go to another job, because that’s where a friend of mine or someone I really liked is working now. And so they’ll move jobs in part because they want to continue to work with, um, people they like, and that’s not, that was certainly not true of my generation or generations before the millennials.
Andrew 01:30:31 Gotcha. That’s interesting. So they kind of come, comes back to that idea. We were talking about, about culture match, um, of, you know, how people, how people, um, match with, or don’t match with a culture. So how should, how should a, uh, someone who’s going through this process, how should they think about, um, culture match? Let’s use that term, um, belonging, and then I think it really, it opens up the question of if you were assessing a culture, right? Let’s say you’re interviewing or thinking about interviewing with the company. How do you, how do you do it? And so that you get the, you know, you get a good match. Yeah.
Becky 01:31:05 Okay. So I think there are two things, one, um, a lot of the folks I’m interviewing now, one of the questions I always start with is why are you interested in company X? And it’s amazing how often they’ll say, Oh, I know somebody who works there, or my cousin works there, or my roommates, um, best friend is going out with, so, and so who works there, you know, so there’s, they’re talking to each other and they have a network, and it doesn’t matter what you say in the all hands meeting or what posters you have on the walls.
Becky 01:31:51 They have their own, um, uh, brand, uh, and their own perceptions of what the culture is. And so I think if you’re a hiring manager or you’re in HR, are you worrying about attracting talent? You need to know what the word on the street is about your company and how it, how things get done. But secondly, do the second part of your question, I’d say, when you’re interviewing, um, ask people and not don’t ask HR because HR is gonna give you sort of prescribed answer. I mean, you can ask them, but be a little, yeah. Right, right. They get some reliability data. Um, and I, there are two basic questions. One is how do you celebrate success? And, and what is success in your company? Um, you know, how do you define what success is and how do you celebrate it
Andrew 01:32:50 And then,
Becky 01:32:51 And see, okay, is it like individual team level? Is it big company level? Is it formal? Is it informal? Um, so I’d really try to get an understanding of, of that. Is it spontaneous? Is it full of joy or is it kind of formal and structured and, you know, managed by accountants, whatever. So that’s the first question. Do they celebrate at all at all? Yeah. Right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right. Right. Is the real hard edged and yeah. And then the second question is, um, how do you deal with setbacks? Um, and part of that is depending on who I’m talking to want to know, you know, in the team or in the science or among the engineers, um, or in marketing. So each function has kind of a different flavor of what a setback is, but then as I’m talking to a manager or someone more senior, I’d want to know, well, what happens, you know, if what have been the major setbacks in the last 12, 24 months, and how has the company dealt with them?
Becky 01:34:03 Because what you’re trying to understand is, um, how open, how transparent, how much do they pull the whole company together to respond to a setback? How much do they try to isolate it? How much of setbacks get buried under the water line and how much are they, uh, you know, above the water line. Um, and I think those two questions, one’s more on the positive. One’s more on the, you know, adversity. Um, but they, they’re a nice way to begin to understand the culture and they’re questions that people don’t ask enough. I mean, I, you know, people come in and I say, do you have any questions? And they turn the page and they’ve got like five questions and they’re all totally predictable. Like, tell me about the culture
Andrew 01:34:53 And what are people asking that are waste of time or they should, what, what are they asking you that they be asking whether they were, what should they ask instead?
Becky 01:35:00 Yeah. So they say, well, the coal culture’s really important to me. What kind of culture do you have? I mean, I can ask you that question anyway. You want me to answer it? Um, I just think that, that doesn’t give me a sense that they’ve really, it gives me a sense that they’ve taken that out of, uh, uh, how to interview book, not really thought about it. So I’d say it’s more important for them to create some context around it. It says, you know, I really thrive in, um, or I do my best in certain kinds of cultures and not in others. And I’m really curious. I want to understand what your culture is like. Um, then they should also be asking questions about the manager they’ll be working or, and say, okay, tell me about what that manager’s style is. How does he, or she communicate, what does he or she, how did they set expectations? That kind of stuff you can ask HR about benefits in a lot of people do. And I think that’s important, but it’s certainly not to me. It’s not a make it or break it because most companies are competitive when it comes to benefits. Um, the question I, that people often ask that I really like is why do you work here? Why are you excited about coming to work here? And so it’s kind of personal and it gets at, um, you can’t really give a canned answer to that question. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Andrew 01:36:40 That’s interesting. What are some other, what are some other ones that actually, you know, it seems like the, the first thing you would need to do is break out of the canned questions and answers, right? So you can have an actual conversation with whoever you’re talking to, but are there some other areas that are, you think overlooked that, you know, people don’t, um, dig into enough in, in that interview process? And so that later on, you know, I think, I think in our previous call, we, one of the things you said to me was something like, you know, one of the, um, one of the most common regrets, or one of the most common statements that people who regret the job they took or regretful job takers say is, you know, it, wasn’t what I thought it would be. It, wasn’t what they led me to believe. And I’m curious if you could just unpack that a little bit more and then how people could, could, you know, avoid that really so that people are getting better matches on both sides.
Becky 01:37:35 People should ask is how is this job changing? What one is, why is this job open? Is it a new position, or is it a replacement for someone who was here? And then I’d say, how do you see this job changing or evolving over the next 12 months? You know, it’s just, and I kind of set it up is, you know, I get the sense, this is a really dynamic company where there’s a lot going on. And, um, I want to know, you know, how you think this job might change as a result of that over the next six months and how the priorities might change. Um, and, and you can sort of say, I’m not trying to pin you down, cause I know it’s a prediction, but if you had to speculate what are going to be the biggest drivers of change in this role or in the priorities for this role, how do you,
Andrew 01:38:37 I love what you’re saying here. One of the things that occurs to me is that an assumption, I think one of the things that at least I’m assuming is necessary to do this well, if you’re the, uh, the candidate, right, the person, um, and you’re interviewing for a role somewhere is you’ve got to really, you really have to know yourself. You have to understand where you actually thrive and where you don’t. And that seems to me, like one of those, it’s a little bit of a catch 22, right? Like you don’t know where you almost don’t know where you don’t thrive until you have that experience. So then you go, man, that sucked. I don’t wanna do that again. Right. So, so other, you know, are there, are there, um, you know, I know there’s all sorts of the common tools that are probably out there, but how do you recommend people understand that better so that they can actually know what they actually need and want and respond to in an environment?
Becky 01:39:26 So the best thing to do is ask the people who work the closest with you. Um, and so you’re, you know, if you’ve had a boss or a manager who you really respected and you thought you really worked well together, ask that person and say, Hey, can you help me understand? You know, from your perspective, you’ve worked with lots of people over your career, working with me, give me some insight into what you thought I responded best to and what seemed to deflate or just not engage me. And so get some feedback from some other people, have some hypotheses about yourself and see where the matches are.
Andrew 01:40:13 That’s a great idea. I never thought it’s so obvious, but it’s, it’s, it’s totally a great idea. I’ve never not. Now I want to go do that. I want to ask everyone I’ve ever worked with like, Hey, what did I, you know, what did I respond well to? And what did I, you know, what took the wind out of myself? No, that’s fascinating. That’s fascinating. Cause it seems like also, um, are there other, this guy, maybe this goes back to psychological safety, but you know, one of the things that this is probably one of those unfair characterizations of particularly of large companies, but it’s probably true for large organizations anywhere of any type, but you know, you think about, um, situations where going all the way back to early in this conversation, you know, we talk about where a lot of the iceberg is under water, right? Where there’s like, what is presented and then there’s, what’s real. And there’s a pretty big gap between the rhetoric and the reality. Uh, are there, are there other questions that people can ask or, or things that they can do to really kind of almost test the level there to see, Hey, really? How, uh, you know, how, where is that level? How much of like, how do you tell from the outside, how much of the iceberg is above or below the water line, I think is actually what I’m asking here.
Becky 01:41:30 So I don’t think you’re going to get it from interviews because generally I think they, companies are pretty careful about who you talk to in an interview, but you know, most companies do reference checks and I think candidates should do the same thing. Um, and it’s kind of a ask your network, um, poke around, um, Google searches on some of the top executives read what glass door says, um, glass door, any single entry in glass door is suspect, but you know, as a general trend for patterns looking for patterns, um,
Andrew 01:42:16 It’s like, it’s like Yelp reviews, right. Review, whatever, but you see 30 of them, you’re like, Hmm.
Becky 01:42:24 And in glass door you can, because they identify the function of the person giving the review. You can kind of figure out, okay, if you’re a software engineer, go look at what the software engineer say. Um, and it might be different from what the marketing people say. Yeah. But sometimes if a company is changing a lot, um, you’re gonna get, there’s just, it’s just going to be very dynamic. And if you’re joining a company that one of the things to ask is, you know, how is the company changing? Are they going through a business model, pivot? Are they trying to change their culture? If I hear them talk about a change program, then I’m pretty, I want to know more about that and how it impacts me because inevitably if you’re doing a lot of change, there is going to be a gap between the rhetoric and the reality. But that’s what you kind of have to do that as part of creating change, that’s different
Andrew 01:43:29 It’s ever, ever, ever asked to talk to the person who, like, let’s say, it’s a replacement and you said, why, you know, why is this role open? Maybe it’s a new thing in which case, nevermind. But let’s say it’s a replacement. Do candidates ever say like, can I talk to the person who left?
Becky 01:43:43 Well, if the person who was in the job that promoted or transferred often they’re part of the interview process or yeah. I’m happy for them to have that conversation. If they left the company, it depends on the conditions. You know, let’s say it was a voluntary yeah. They left because their spouse moved to Michigan, they went with them. Sure. Yeah. Yeah, sure. Happy to do that.
Andrew 01:44:13 Gotcha. Would it be, do you think it would be considered a red flag if, if you, if you asked that and then the company said, no, is that actually a red flag or is that sort of reading, reading a problem where there actually may not be,
Becky 01:44:25 It’s hard to tell. I’d say it’s probably reading a problem. I think what I tell candidates is if you really know yourself and you’re working on being authentic, you’re yourself, you’re going to, at the same time, get better and better at picking up authenticity from others. And if you spend, if you meet six people in an interview day and you walk away saying, I think, you know, five of them were giving me canned answers or hadn’t really prepared for the interview or didn’t seem to know what they were doing. That’s a red flag.
Andrew 01:45:09 Yeah. I remember you mentioned to me in our last, last hall, um, last call, sorry. It was that, um, you know, not only is it understanding, like what’s the process for this role, how’s it changing and what the company’s really looking for in this role. But, um, it was really about seeing like how thoughtful is this company? Like, do they, do they actually know what they want? Probably a lot of companies probably actually don’t, it’s sort of surprising, you know, if you’re from the candidate side, you assume they do, but I guess not. That’s interesting
Becky 01:45:39 Because they’ve got, Oh, to do list of a hundred things and a key person has left and they have to fill the position and they often don’t stop to think carefully about how the position has changed. What, you know, what are the priorities. And if they have a really strong HR function, HR might push them and get them to do that. But sometimes unfortunately, companies that don’t really care a lot about their culture or their people will take a lot of shortcuts.
Andrew 01:46:16 One of the other places I want to start to wrap it up here is that I’m really curious about, as you mentioned, um, companies that have a strong HR function, right? And you follow that with companies that really care about their culture. I could see the assumption being made that if you like, if, if, if one then the other is likely to follow, but the inverse is not true, right? You might have, you might have really great HR people, but not at your company. Leadership may not actually care that much about your culture, even if they say something to the, to, but I imagine if you really actually care about your culture, you would be much more likely to have a strong HR function. It
Becky 01:46:56 Depends on the company size. So when you’re really small, like 20, 20 employees, you, you can do it on your own if you care and you read their books and there are people out there like yourself who, you know, think about this and practice it. Once you get up to 30, 35 employees, you’re starting to your, your culture is creating itself, whether you like it or not, and you really need someone to help you focus on it and keep you honest about it. Um, and so that’s why I work with a number of companies that are really small, like around 20 employees and my sole purpose. Well, I have a few other things I do, but largely it’s around helping them think about their culture and helping them practice it as they grow. And sometimes that’s like four hours a week. Sometimes it’s eight hours a week. It’s not a ton of time, but it’s being in the right place at the right time to have the right conversation.
Andrew 01:48:10 Sure. Yeah. It’s funny. I think you actually just answered, you answered my next question, which was, you know, what’s obviously what I’m imagining is I think that I think the HR function, I think that people who don’t work in the HR function undervalue it and they undervalue culture. I mean, just one of the reasons that culture is going to be a very major theme of it is a major theme of this show. Like the show started as a product management podcast, right. But it’s, it’s, it’s broadening and evolving in into much more of, you know, they S that’s an important part about like, not only the products that we make, but then very quickly you get into, okay, well, how do you make those products right there? You’re at culture. And so that’s how culture really came into the conversation. And so, um, one of the things I find myself wondering, I’m curious if you have, if you’ve seen this or have any thoughts is, uh, what’s, you know, let’s say you’re a small company, right.
Andrew 01:49:02 Say 10 to 20 people let’s call it that. Right. So you’re, you’re out of the absolutely nascent phase of like three people around a kitchen table, but you’re not, you know, you’re not like a full blown big company yet. And let’s leave the outliers like Instagram out of this one. Um, what, what, what argument would you make or what would you, if you were to try to convince those people and say like, here’s why you should be investing now in HR and in culture. Um, because they have so many other things on their plate that feel like there they’re way more urgent, more important. Like whether it’s raising the next round, getting the next version of the product out, et cetera, et cetera. What would you say to those people to say like, yes, this is actually worth your precious time right now. So do you about how things
Becky 01:49:48 Get done?
Andrew 01:49:50 Yes.
Becky 01:49:51 Okay. Then you care about culture and if you’re not thinking about it intentionally, it’s going to happen to you unintentionally, and it’s going to happen as a result of sort of the amalgam of the people you hire. And if you’re hiring Jim, just for some technical skill, they have, without regard to their integrity, to their communication skills, to their positive problem solving, then you’re going to get what you get. And the odds are that some of those folks who are going to be corrosive, toxic, competitive in a bad way, and that’s gonna have an impact on everyone. You may not see it in the first year. You may not see in the second year, but you’ll see it in the third or fourth year. They will drive turnover. It will slow you down. You’ll be your resources won’t be as aligned or as productive or as creative. And you’ll have a hard time attracting talent.
Andrew 01:50:59 Hmm. So sort of, sort of paraphrase, uh Bernay Brown’s latest Netflix special. Do you, uh, you either do culture or culture, does you? Yeah.
Becky 01:51:07 Yeah. Something like that.
Andrew 01:51:09 So thanks. Something like that. And by the time you’re at the effect of it, if you weren’t intentional, it’s probably gonna hurt a lot. That’s my guess. I’m convinced that culture change is probably the hardest problem in business. Um, it’s snow much more complicated than even something incredibly complex, like building and shipping a product,
Becky 01:51:29 Partly because if you haven’t been paying attention to it, it’s happening unintentionally it’s the, the iceberg is under the ice, not just under the waterline junk, not just for candidates, but for employees, for everybody. Um, and it’s really hard to know how to get things done or the way you get things done comes at a very high, personal, emotional cost.
Andrew 01:51:52 Yeah. The experience sucks.
Becky 01:51:54 Exactly. Yeah. That’s a technical term
Andrew 01:51:57 Technical term experience. Love it. I love it. So, um, uh, before I ask my last question, where can a, anybody who’s, who’s following this and wants to go deeper? Where can they, uh, work? Can they connect with you online? Or is there any, anywhere you direct them to that you want them to put their energy. If they want to follow up and learn more or connect with you?
Becky 01:52:18 Um, LinkedIn is fine. It’s probably the easiest way. And I’d also say, look, I’m, I’m not marketing myself. I’m happy to share, share with people and share books and sort of forms and things that I think will be helpful. Um, but no, I’m, I’m not trying to, I’m not on Twitter and I will never be on Twitter.
Andrew 01:52:47 All right. Perfect. No, I just thought I would ask in case there’s somewhere you wanted people to, uh, you know, some simply some door you did want to open. Um, so I guess I’ll, I’ll, we’ll, we’ll go and wrap it up with just one rapid fire question, which is if, so, if you it’s rapid fire in the sense of the question is short, your answer doesn’t have to be, you can go as long as you want, but the question is intentionally trying to be short, but if you could have someone who’s a, who’s a leader in an organization that’s listening to this make just one change in their culture that you think would have the biggest impact in creating an enlivening work environment. What would change would you have them make
Becky 01:53:20 Listen better? So I think most executives, most people in organizations in life don’t listen well enough. And so learning how to listen better, um, cause just the act of listening is an act of validating and appreciating the other. Um, and that creates meaningful relationships. It creates respect and it leads to psychological safety, which I think leads to trust. And that just leads to good things for people personally, for relationships and for businesses.
Andrew 01:54:08 Perfect. Well on that, I just want to say thank you so much for coming. And honestly, it’s been, it’s been such a, such a fun conversation and we’ve gotten to cover actually an enormous amount of ground I had. So I literally had pages of notes of things I wanted to talk about it. This has been so much fun. Becky, thank you for your time and for, uh, just coming and being so open and generous with your expertise and your experience and um, helping us all do what we’re, what we’re here to do. So thank you so much for being here.
Becky 01:54:40 You’re welcome. Lots of fun for me too.