How Being a Great Facilitator Betters Your Business Outcomes with Jaren Murphy (Ep. #59)

Published on
September 6, 2022
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Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #59: How Being a Great Facilitator Betters Your Business Outcomes with Jaren Murphy

All leaders and managers need to know how to effectively facilitate a meeting that brings together their team, peers, and customers in a meaningful way.

Our guest, Jaren Murphy, is the Vice President of Business Development at McCarthy Building Companies, a builder of water infrastructure and other commercial projects across the United States.

Jaren believes that while every meeting is different, you can start using key skills & tactics right now to improve your effectiveness--no matter the context or agenda.

Jaren’s Guide, Drive and Set strategy ensures you are: 1) Guiding the conversation (keeping it from going off the rails by staying focused on the goals), 2) Driving full engagement by creating a psychologically safe environment where diverse and innovative ideas are respected and considered, and 3) Setting expectations for follow-through and outcomes.

In this episode:

Meet Jaren Murphy

  • Jaren Murphy is a Vice President of Business Development at McCarthy Building Companies and has been in the Construction industry for 10 years.
  • He has a degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University and has spent his career thus far building water infrastructure and commercial projects across the United States.
  • Jaren has been married to his beautiful wife Nikki for 5 and a half years and they have a 3 year old girl, Polly, a 1 year old boy, Jet, and one on the way. Jaren spends as much time as possible with his family, is an avid reader, and uses fitness to keep it all together.

What Is the Impact of a Great Facilitator?

  • Facilitation is a skill that is often overlooked, but is one of the most important skills to study & master over a career.
  • Meaningful facilitation guides conversation, drives engagement, and sets expectations and outcomes.
  • Facilitation creates order out of chaos and allows for diverse people and backgrounds come together and find the best solution to complex problems.

Organize Your Meetings Around These Four Pillars

  • Every meeting or problem solving session can be structured into four main blocks of questions to solve.
  • The first is Objective. You need to get everyone on the same page by defining why we are here and what we are trying to achieve. You can’t leave this step until you have full buy in.
  • The second is Reflective. Tapping emotion is powerful when trying to solve a complex problem because it allows the group to tap into more creative solutions - how the team feels about the problem matters! This can simply be a question of, “What are our biggest concerns and why do these worry us?”
  • The third is Interpretive, the peeling back of the layers and getting into the root of the issue. Questions such as “Why are we the best team for the client?” or “How will this affect our business?” are great and guide the team into the real solutions.
  • The fourth is Decisional. Questions like “What are the next steps for our group to implement this solution?” or “What is the schedule to come to a solution?” move the group to the path forward, the next step. There are often  many more steps to solve the issue, but there must be initial actions to put everything in motion. You cannot have everyone leave frustrated or fuzzy about why they were there and what must be done next.

Two Important Concepts to Be a Great Facilitator

  • Advocate vs Inquirer. In meetings and teams, advocacy is used to push a certain agenda or idea. While this is necessary in some circumstances, it's not the best role for a great facilitator to adopt.
  • As a facilitator, you need to lead as an Inquirer. You need to ask open-ended questions to get to the root of the problem and uncover the group dynamics. If you are viewed as advocating a certain idea instead of creating a great problem solving environment, you risk losing the ability to guide the group to its genius.
  • Vulnerability. The beautiful thing about facilitation is that you don’t have to be the expert. While knowledge about the field certainly helps, you can still be in a room of extremely talented and smart individuals with the goal of helping them come together and be more effective together.
  • You have to be vulnerable in that you don’t know everything. The team knows, and that’s what matters. Being in a head space of Inquirer vs Advocate takes vulnerability.

Next Steps

  • Find your style of facilitation.
  • Try incorporating a whiteboard into your presentations. This is easier in person, because body language plays such a huge role in driving engagement. So for virtual presentations, always try to use the software to show both the whiteboard and you.
  • Find opportunities to be the facilitator. Get out in front and you'll be seen as someone that can guide teams to positive outcomes - you will be seen very quickly as a leader.
  • Get out of comfort zone while trying this new skill. There are so many opportunities to feel uncomfortable, so be open to the big lessons you can learn on this new path forward.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Jaren on LinkedIn, Facebook and at McCarthy.com.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

Jaren Murphy

Jaren Murphy is a Vice President of Business Development at McCarthy Building Companies and has been in the Construction industry for 10 years.

He has a degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University and has spent his career thus far building water infrastructure and commercial projects across the United States.

Jaren has been married to his beautiful wife Nikki for 5 and a half years and they have a 3 year old girl, Polly, a 1 year old boy, Jet, and one on the way. Jaren spends as much time as possible with his family, is an avid reader, and uses fitness to keep it all together.

View the episode transcript

Wendy Hanson  0:24  

Welcome everyone. So wonderful to have you here today. I'm especially excited. I know I say that sometimes. But it is really something today, because we have an amazing speaker who's going to talk about facilitation. Because collaboration, sharing perspectives and debating ideas are so important to bringing people together to come up with the best ideas. All managers need to understand the best ways to facilitate meetings, bring their teams together, bring their customers together. We have a great guest today who was going to share his wisdom and experience Jaren Murphy from McCarthy building companies. And I learned about Jaren through Antonia Williams, who is at McCarthy. I was I was so proud to be her executive coach, and she kept bragging about this man Jaren Murphy, so I said, I think I have to talk to him and get him on this podcast. So let me tell you a little bit about Jaren. Jaren Murphy is the Vice President of Business Development at McCarthy building companies and has been in the construction industry for 10 years. He has a degree in civil engineering from Brigham Young University, and has spent his career thus far building water infrastructure and commercial projects across the United States. Most importantly, Jaren has been married to his beautiful wife, Nikki for five and a half years, and they have a three year old girl Polly, and a one year old boy jet, and one on the way. And I love this about Jaren, he says he spends as much time as possible with his family and is an avid reader and uses fitness to keep it all together. In addition, Jaren has really pushed hard to bring this skill of facilitation, to all of the companies that they work with that McCarthy and training other people. So all meetings are useful and impactful. And I think we should all strive for that. So Jared, welcome. I'm so excited to have you here.

Jaren Murphy  2:25  

So excited to be here with you. Thank you for having me. Oh, a little,

Wendy Hanson  2:29  

a little background first, like, I love to talk about your passion for facilitation. And you have a degree in civil engineering, and part of the business development team at McCarthy's what got you interested in this? And kind of, then we'll start talking about the context of your work. But how did you get to this place of having this be a passion?

Jaren Murphy  2:52  

That's a great question. I often get asked that once they see my degree, my position, etc. You know, I went into civil engineering and found out pretty quickly that and maybe civil engineering wasn't exactly the right thing for me, I've always had a passion for business, I've always had a passion for teams and whatnot. And I was really driven towards construction. And once I found McCarthy call it fate, whatever it is, I was drawn to what the culture was here, and building complex projects. So I spent the better part of seven years in the field and building these complex projects, and then then found myself and the opportunity to be a part of business development and and worked with Antonio Williams. So you mentioned before and you know, it became apparent to me very early on in my business development and business development for McCarthy is obviously finding work but more importantly, making sure that our culture and our people shine. A lot of our work involves interviews and involves one on one time with clients and involves getting in front of people in meetings and, and being a part of conferences, etc. And making sure that those individual shine in those moments is a huge part of what I do. And I found myself on the on the negative side of understanding what it meant to really guide these individuals and facilitate meetings and take groups of individuals that were senior to me by title etc. And making sure that they all Jive for one message or making sure that we're all finding the absolute best solution to a client's problem. I found that I lacked in that. And so I I love to read and so naturally, I went in and found you know, found books I found podcasts I found everything I could on facilitation and I started to drive towards what is this going to do for my team? How can I impact my team? My skill set improved dramatically and I saw almost immediate results and how I was guiding these teams and how I was helping coach these teams for a better result, which came across and in better sales and whatnot within, within what I'm over, which is our water group within McCarthy, and also got the opportunity then to stand in front of almost 200 people and an internal meeting with McCarthy and talk about facilitation, and it really has has been a part of now the culture of how do we make sure that our meetings are better? How do we make sure that we're all driving for the absolute absolute best solution, and not just towards the solution of the people that are the loudest in the room. And there's so much that goes behind facilitation. And what I what I often say to groups is, no, I'm not, when we have these trainings, I'm not there to teach you how to lead how to how to better put together meetings, how to organize meetings, I'm here to reveal how you can be a leader in a meeting. Because every meeting is different, every agenda is different. But there are key skill sets that you can use and tactics you can use to make sure that every meeting is impactful. And if it's not, now you have the skill set as a leader to make sure it is

Wendy Hanson  6:10  

wow. And everybody should be thinking about that. Because when we look at the time people spend at meetings, whether you know, they're there with an outside company that we're bringing in, and we're trying to get what they need and understand it or internally, if there's, there's so much time spent there. And it better be better be time well spent, as you say, Absolutely. How much of your work now is virtual versus in person, because I know you're more of an in person we at BetterManager. We are we are very virtual, but you can't build buildings virtually. So tell me about that piece?

Jaren Murphy  6:45  

Well, yeah. I mean, the pandemic helped us understand what can we do virtually, and obviously, what we can't, as a general contractor, you can't build a building virtually, as you said. So we have shifted certain things virtually, and I'm a part of a national group within McCarthy. So we have team members all across the United States that I'm constantly in contact with. And those obviously have to be virtual. But when it comes to the impactful meetings, when it comes to getting a team together to come up with a solution, or to really drive an impact for change, or making sure everyone's on the same page, I would say within McCarthy, we are still very much so an in person company. And it is it has been it's been difficult sometimes to try to push for those changes virtually, especially if you have people with cameras off, or camera off and mute, right, such a huge part of facilitation, is body language, reading the room? Where do you need to go next. And it's hard to do if there's a black screen. So if there's a really vital piece of of infrastructure within the company that we need to alter, or we need to talk about, or we need to solve complex people issues, we still push for a lot of in person.

Wendy Hanson  8:07  

And what is, you know, the impact that you have seen of really having very meaningful facilitation? You know, you've talked about it a little bit, but is there anything else in there you want to underline?

Jaren Murphy  8:21  

Yeah, you know, I think facilitation is often looked at as a almost as like a an a noun, like, it's a company, or it's a person. But I would I would suggest to this audience that facilitation is, is, in my opinion, the most overlooked leadership quality in the country, that facilitation should be on the forefront of a great leader, because a great leader is not the one with all of the best ideas. A great leader is someone that's allowed to take all of the good ideas, whether they contradict or not, and put them up against each other to find the best idea, and then drive forward. And the most meaningful facilitation and facilitators. You know, they guide the conversation, they drive engagement, and they set expectations and outcomes. It's kind of a thesis statement. And I know we can get into a little bit further but meaningful facilitation is gathering all the diverse backgrounds, cultures, people ideas, and putting them next to each other to find the best idea. And if we focus more on that as leaders and if more leaders have this skill set to be able to guide their teams in this way. i The the impact would be would be monumental in my opinion, instead of just relying on those that talk the most or have the most bold language.

Wendy Hanson  9:51  

And I love the distinction you make that this is a skill all leaders need. You know, some companies actually bring in outside facilitators, but you know, As a leader being able to do this is amazing. And when you train others, you give a context you call it guide, drive and set. I love when things are broken down in those three so that we can remember them. So tell us a little bit about guide, drive and set.

Jaren Murphy  10:17  

Yeah, perfect. Well, I guess I'll start off. Each one of those is a verb, it's an action. And, you know, I think one of the big reasons why facilitation is often thought of as farmed out or third party is because it's hard, it takes a lot of work takes a lot of energy. And when you're worried about about profit and loss, or income statements, all that kind of stuff. Last thing you want to focus on is one more meeting that I got to put all this energy to, which I totally understand. But the beauty of it is just like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And if you think of it in this context of guide, drive and set. So the first is, is guide the conversation. So if we as facilitators, we're going to guide down the right path to find the solutions, make sure we're staying within the guide rails of what this meeting is all about, and why we're there. And then once we once we create that framework and guide the conversation, we drive for full engagement. And what does that mean? It means making sure that those like I've mentioned before, possibly come across as a little more extroverted, they, they like to talk through their ideas. Fantastic. But how can you also then bring those that like to maybe sit back a little bit and think about it before they speak? How do you bring them out? And that's constantly driving full engagement. So everyone feels comfortable in that situation that they can bring about their diverse ideas. And driving that engagement is 100%. On the facilitator, how do you how do you make sure that everyone feels a part of that. And then the last one is set the expectations and outcomes. So it is so imperative that we set the expectations from the very beginning of what we're going to accomplish? And what is going to be the outcome? Hopefully, the outcome is a path forward or a solution. Or it could even be we need to get back together again, we didn't, we didn't have enough time to fully answer the question. But there always has to be some type of path forward. I can't tell you how many meetings I've been a part of in my professional career, where you leave a meeting and you wonder, so what are we doing? And in my opinion, that hour was just wasted. And it's 100% on the facilitator to so that everyone understands what is the expectation? And then what is the outcome of the meeting? And what's the path forward?

Wendy Hanson  12:41  

That's great. That's a great guide to put through all of the things that you're thinking about. And, and for a leader because I love that we're talking more about leaders and facilitators being in one role, you know, what are some of the techniques and strategies that they need to remember as they're, as they're going into this and, and leaders sometimes like to take control? So what are the things that you they say that people should be keeping top of mind?

Jaren Murphy  13:12  

Yeah, no, I get that question. A lot of a leader needs to make decisions I need to push for which I 100% agree with, if there is not consensus, and there needs to be a decision that that is the leaders position to do so. But facilitation is really based on being an inquirer versus an advocate. So an advocate is, you know, we're naturally born to be advocates, we're taught and even naturally born into advocating for, for our health, for food, for our well being for our ideas, whatever it may be, right, I have a three year old and a one year old, like you, like you mentioned, and they are constant advocates for what they want. But those that really are successful facilitators, and I'm gonna use facilitator and leader in kind of the same context. A enquiring leader is someone that constantly asks the questions, and is constantly asking the deep, open ended questions. But then also at the same time, they're not looking for a or b, they're looking for a and b, to be able to, to contradicting ideas to exist in the same space and then the team to move forward. So I think the biggest thing is, and for the audience to remember, is how do you stay more on the inquiring side rather than the advocacy side, there will be times as a leader that you need to be an advocate, you need to push the group forward to a final decision and move forward. But the more time you spend in the inquiring space of gathering, what we call the genius in the middle of the room, if you gather the genius in the middle will have the room, meaning everyone that's involved in in your team to be able to get to the absolute best outcome, or the best solution and move forward. Then those organizations transcend into a whole different culture and transcend into a whole different group of solutions that one individual cannot do on their own. And the best leaders surround themselves, you talked about this on your podcast surround themselves with with the best people. You don't need to be the smartest person in the room to be the leader. And the facilitator, you just need to make sure that the group is moving forward with the team's best idea. So really keep in mind advocate versus Enquirer. And if you're spending way more time as an advocate than an Enquirer, I would suggest that you're leaving a lot on the table. Yeah.

Wendy Hanson  15:48  

I love that. Because when I hear your description of Enquirer, it sounds a lot like a coach, you and that's what we teach everybody at BetterManager that, you know, the most important skill according to Google project oxygen, a big research study that was done, that great managers and leaders are good coaches. And that's being that inquire that's asking those open ended questions, and bringing out the the wisdom from the middle of the room or any side of the room. That's great.

Jaren Murphy  16:19  

You know, one big piece of that, to me, that we you talk through that is vulnerability in all of this, because I can't tell you how many times that I have been seen as the leader in the room, meaning guiding a team. And I think I have a fantastic idea. And if this idea is going to win this or convinced that or whatever, and then we get down the road. And my idea is not up to par of what we need to get through. Right? And it takes a lot of humility to then just back down and understand. Yep, you're right. You know, we put a and b next to each other. My idea was a the group's idea was B and A does not even compare. And how many times are we in rooms where you're not going to just back down, you want to make sure your ideas pushed all the way through, just because it's your idea, being vulnerable, being humble in those positions, that your idea doesn't need to be the chosen idea. It needs to be the team's chosen idea is such a key backbone of facilitation, in my opinion, being an effective leader.

Wendy Hanson  17:23  

And not pushing that advocacy piece because you're the leader. Yes. But your role is very different here. Yeah. Now one of the things when people do facilitation, there's often something that happens. complaints come out, negativity, you never know, I know, you haven't experienced that. But you might have some ideas when you're facilitating that. Can you share, like how you handle those types of things when you're facilitating a meeting or teaching facilitation?

Jaren Murphy  17:52  

Absolutely. You know, the complaints or often it's not oftentimes not necessarily a complaint, or just maybe discussed or not on board, or all those types of things. My biggest

Wendy Hanson  18:09  

Yes, but yes,

Jaren Murphy  18:11  

yes, but exactly right. My biggest advice is you have to hit it head on a book that I've utilized for a lot of my content and also gotten, you know, it really springboarded me into understanding the concepts of facilitation is called The Art of focus conversation. And one of the quotes from that book is making complaints without taking responsibility is fake participation. And I love that quote, because, man, I've sat but before I read that, quote, I sat in so many meetings where I'm facilitating, I hear a complaint about what we're doing is dumb is not on board with this, that or the other. And I constantly put on my shoulders to then figure out what is that person really talking about? I need to solve the problem. No, hit it head on. If someone has a complaint in the meeting, to figure out why. And peel back the layers. peel back the layers of why there's a complaint. Nine times out of 10 it's just because that person is not on board of why your meeting in the first place. What is the whole relevancy of why we're meeting together? And what is the whole relevancy of this solution? Maybe this person doesn't even think that this meeting is need to be had it as this could have been an email. Why are we here? So hit these things head on. And I would say that the best way to get ahead of complaints is make sure that everyone's on board with the meeting before you have the meeting. Facilitation starts long before your first word in the conference room, or your first word on the on the Zoom meeting. It starts with making sure everyone is on board with the agenda on board with with what the content is and again setting the outcome of the the expectations and outcomes was long before everyone is joined together. So hitting those straight head on with the complaints or negativity, making sure you have the right people in the room? Because if you have someone that is constantly not on board is negative around the around the context, is that person does that person need to be in the room? Is that person in the right position to help you make the right decision to the solution. And again, that's all on you as a facilitator, creating the environment so that everyone can be involved to drive that engagement and find the genius in the middle of the room? Yes.

Wendy Hanson  20:38  

And I love you talked about the why I see that as one of the big areas that leaders can always do better. Explain the why you'll get more people on the same page as you if they understand the big why, whether that's to anything, can you know, can you work on this project? You know, explain the why it's important. So that's critical in facilitation? Absolutely. And for facilitators that are trying to organize their work, you know, when they're thinking this through? What what are some of the questions, they should be asking a group?

Jaren Murphy  21:11  

Yeah, that is a great question. Because the backbone of facilitation is questions. And, more importantly, open ended questions that the group can then begin to, to bring their own genius out, solve, solve the problems and get to the ultimate genius. There is a concept called the four pillar method. I know it's, it's, we're only supposed to remember three things, right? But here's four. So I'm sorry, maybe you need to write them. But there's, there's four, there's a four pillar method. And the first is the objective. So I'm when I'm going through these four pillars are basically groups of questions in sequence, that you can form an agenda around, or you can form your meetings around, or I would even put form your conversations around, if you and at least one other person are trying to solve, solve a problem or get to a complex solution. And the first is of the objective, and we've hit on this a couple times. But the objective is trying to state the facts that we're all on the same page about what are we talking about right now. And you cannot leave this step until everyone is bought in. Because you could get way down the path trying to solve the really complex question. And this has happened to me, Wendy, many, many times. Before I learned about the four pillar method. Someone raises their hand, I'm like, Wait, why are we talking about this? Again? What how does this impact me, and then you're just dead in your tracks, you got to go all the way back to the very beginning. So making sure everyone's on board with the objective facts of why we're you're here, why this is an issue and why we need to move forward. If you can't get out, if you can't get them on board with those questions, and everyone agrees on what the answers are, then you can move on. Let's say you get past that. The second one is reflective. And reflective is all the feels, I like to say, this is the emotion backing up the issue. These are questions like how do we feel about this? Or they can be simply what are our biggest concerns? And why do these worry us? A really common really common question that's, that's often used, I would say in the construction industry, what keeps you up at night? Those types of questions are all feeling, it brings out a fight or flight mode within the group. And once they choose to fight, they're going to start to try to solve the emotional questions. And that's extremely it's a pivotal part in facilitating a meeting is making sure that everyone's feeling the need to solve this, this problem, once you feel it, then your brain is going to start throwing a million miles an hour because your brain is in fight mode, and you have to solve it. And that's when you can roll into more of the deeper which is the third is the interpretive. So interpretive is when you start to peel back the layers. And this is when you're solving the deep the deep questions. So like why is this our why are we the best team for the client? Or how will this affect our business? And this is where you can use all of the power in the in the energy from the reflective questions to now solve the problem. You've got all this energy you got this, this emotion behind it. Now you can solve the real deep questions. And these types of questions should not be a these are not one word answers. These are not simple 32nd responses, right? This is where you're going to have to take the A and the B and put them next to each other and debate because these are going to be technical questions or sorry a complex complex questions in the In complex solutions, nine times out of 10, I've seen these workers work really, really well with teams when we're talking about people issues, connection, solving people and complex issues. Right? Those are we're really trying to solve when you get up into leadership positions, is making sure that that these people problems are being solved. And then, you know, we get into the last one, and that's the decisional. So decisional questions are really all based around, what is the schedule to come to a solution?

And and what are our next steps to implement this solution? And again, I'll go back to what I was talking about the very beginning, that guy drive and set, this is the set. So this is, what are we doing next? It's so important that we do not leave our meetings without some type of path forward and a consensus to do so even if this the consensus is we didn't find a solution. And we need another meeting. And this is when we're going to meet, if that's simply the solution. And it's going to be on that meeting. So be it. But what are the next steps. Because if you do not get to the decision, or within your meeting, then your meeting was a pure waste of time. You built up, you got the objective, you built up the emotion, you started solving the problem, and then everyone walked away. And then you guess what, a month later, when you come back to redo it, you got to do it all over again. So what is the next step? And how do you get to the decision?

Wendy Hanson  26:28  

I just had a visual of you, Jan. But barricading the door, we're not leaving this meeting, until we come to a decision. But I love the four pillars. The first is objective, and the reflective one is brilliant. Because if we can talk to people's feelings and bring that out, they will actually be more creative two will be working on the left brain rather than the right brain, the right brain rather than the left brain, rather than the left. Yep. And then interpretive, great, and then your favorite decision, oh, we gotta get there, or he's guarding the door, and you're not gonna get out? Yes. And are there any other guidelines that you really set for people in advance, you know, that you want to make sure that anybody leaders and facilitators are taking into consideration?

Jaren Murphy  27:19  

Yeah, so, um, you know, making sure that you're organized. And we talked through the four pillar method, and I know that there's going to be some people in the audience thinking that can take a long time. And yes, it could be. But also making sure that you are guiding the conversation to be able to hit the four pillars, again, is 100% on you as the facilitator and the leader. So making sure that you have an agenda, that everyone knows what you need to hit, what are the timeframes to hit those? And if you can't get past one of the pillars, what's holding you up? And what are the next steps to get past those? Oftentimes, you get caught up in kind of that third interpretive stage, because that's when you're trying to solve the big problems. Are you giving the room enough time to be able to really sit back and and feel their their reflective their emotions towards the problem, and then solving the problem? Time management, obviously, is a huge part of facilitation. huge part of that. And again, it's all on you. If you get long winded or off topic answers. What are you doing with those, so we don't up in the group? And again, keeping in the four pillars, and also keeping in the focused area of conversation? What are you doing to control that? And that starts long before the meeting, like I said, having an agenda speaking to those individuals, making sure everyone's on the same page? Do you have the right people in the room, when you have those, those all dialed in for a meeting? magic can happen. And I've seen I've walked into a 30 minute meetings with big questions, and walked out a 30 meeting 30 minute meetings with big answers. And it all just came down to everyone's on the same page. We went through the four pillars, whether people knew it or not went through the four pillars, and we came to a decision. And we moved forward. And and the organization was a better place for it.

Wendy Hanson  29:14  

That's great. That's great. Gosh, I could talk with you for hours. But unfortunately, we don't have hours, we might have to do a second podcast at some point. I would love to, but can you share some of Canada situations and outcomes of some of the meetings that you facilitated that really have had an impact on McCarthy? Because you you add so much to the company by by holding the flag for this that this is so important. What are some examples you can give folks?

Jaren Murphy  29:46  

Yeah, so most of my examples are going to be what not to do. And and we've mentioned this before that it's this This is difficult. It's a skill that you need to practice and the best situations are to put yourself out of your Comfort Zone. I'm sure everyone on this podcast is very familiar with that. And you get that feeling. I get excited when I feel that now when I feel out of my comfort zone, when I, my heart starts racing a little bit before I walk in the room, that means that it's an opportunity to level up a little bit, and to get a little bit better. But yeah, I was a part of a meeting not too long ago, where it was both an external partner of McCarthy as well as internal McCarthy personnel were all in the same room. And it was quickly going off the rails with sarcasm and negative comments, side conversations between the two different companies and different things like that text messages going different things. And I quickly realized that I, you know, I hadn't fully vetted out the objective questions yet. The why are we the team for this client and for this project hadn't been answered. And so as soon as I realized that we hadn't figured out why we are the best, or why we are the the, the contractor of choice for this project. Once I realized that and went back to the objective, then there was a real feeling of camaraderie of We are the best team for the client, and there is a path forward to really have a huge impact for this client, ultimately, this community that this project is going to impact. Once we got past the objective, then the whole feeling of the meeting, and the team changed from from there forward. And all it was was I had the four pillar method in my brain. And I was shoving the group as hard as I could into the, into the interpretive. And again, I was halfway through all the negativity and whatnot till it finally dawned on me, we haven't hit the objective. And I came back to the objective, we answered the why we are here and why we're the best team. And then I could roll right through the other three pillars a lot quicker, because the team was everyone was engaged, or there was a real feeling of camaraderie where they were the best team for the project. And here we go to find the best solutions for the client. I constantly go through the four pillar method in my head. And I check myself once we get into more deep questions. Did I hit objective? And did we already get the feels for the meeting? If we haven't? Do I need to go back? Are we going to find the genius in the middle of the room if I don't go back, and I constantly check myself against those four pillars as I as I facilitate a meeting?

Wendy Hanson  32:37  

That's, that's so wise, and it's an it's to have that continuity that your brain now knows to go back to those things? And go back to that why in the beginning, and you and I love the part that you take such responsibility for like it is the leader that has the responsibility to make all this work? It's not because I had, because some people could complain, well, this was a bad group or they weren't doing this. And it's if you facilitate it the right way, they are going to come up with the answers. And there's a lot of improv in this, you know,

Jaren Murphy  33:11  

Oh, yeah. You're exactly right. You're exactly correct. On your feet. That's a huge part of it take

Wendy Hanson  33:19  

you on your feet and teaching people to be able to say one of the main tenants of improv, yes. And rather than Yes, but you know, yes. And what I like about your idea is this. And what if we also added this to it? You know, so I love that it that integrates all those skills together that that great leaders need? Yeah. Oh, well, this has been a pleasure. Now, if people want to learn more about you, and McCarthy and how you're doing these things, what's the best way and and what would what would you want them to reach out for? That's a good thought it question. Yes.

Jaren Murphy  33:57  

Awesome. Yeah. So easiest way to get a hold of me is through LinkedIn. I'm on LinkedIn every day. Jaren Murphy is going to show up as vice president at McCarthy building companies, I would love to get connected with anyone. I always am checking my messages in LinkedIn. Also, you can email me Jay Murphy and mccarthy.com And why would people reach out to me? Whenever I've done a training and whatnot, I often get individuals that come that come back and ask what about this situation? What would I do in this situation? And again, I'm not here and I haven't done any trainings on you know how to build an agenda for a meeting or how to run a meeting. I every meeting is different. So I can't I can't tell you what the best way and there I'm sure there's you know, there's tons of podcasts I want to you can talk about how to build an agenda. What I do is and what I often talk about is how to be a leader in a meeting. And that doesn't mean that you need to have the highest title. That doesn't mean that you need to be the boss of everyone that's in the meeting. All I'm saying is how do you, as an individual, be a leader in a meeting, and be the one that can go through the the four pillar method in your head? And make sure that this group is following those? And if they're not, what question can you pose to make sure the group goes back to the objective if you're not on the same page, you know, and so if you have any type of meeting that you regularly lead, or regularly, the you're a part of, and you just feel like the meeting just never goes? Well, I love to hear about the situations and brainstorm how you can get better, and how those can get better. Because I've had a lot of meetings where I leave that I lead, and I thought, Man, that did not go very well, why? And me just constantly asking myself, why did it not go well, led me to facilitation? There had to be an answer. Because I've been a part of really good meetings, and I've been a part of terrible meetings. And what's the difference? And often, it's just whoever is facilitating just knows how to guide the group. And so I figured, well, if, if I can't rely on anyone else, in any meeting to just be that person, why can't it just be me? Right? Can I just learn the skill and figure it out and, and try to help my team to be the best teammate that I possibly can. So if any of you have those types of situations, where you just don't know how to make an impact in the room that whether you're leading or not, I love to hear other situations, we'd love to connect about how to how to make your meetings better, because, you know, businesses across America need to have better meetings. And we need to be more impactful, because that's how we create change.

Wendy Hanson  36:50  

That's great. And we will be putting this up on LinkedIn. So it's a good opportunity for people to reach out to you on LinkedIn once the podcast is out. And, and, and get some questions answered that maybe you could a lot of people will benefit from that. Yes. Well, this has been a joy, thank you so much. I learned so much. I'm going to I'm going to facilitate the four pillars. I like that idea. And for everybody out there, you know, BetterManager is really into executive coaching professional development and producing leaders helping managers and execs and new managers become better at what they do. So that's why we share this information. I would love to hear from anybody. If you have any other ideas for podcasts or things that you want to know, please reach out to me wendy@bettermanager.us You can just look for all of our podcasts are on our website. bettermanager.co. And we we'd love that you're tuning in and listening and, and having these wonderful people share their wisdom around the world. So thank you so much, Jaren. I'm I'm, I'm so pleased we did this. And thank you Antonia Williams for connecting Jaren and I because you are pure joy. It's awesome. So everyone, have a wonderful day, go out and lead, you know, and use this as one of your skills to lead. Thank you, Jaren. Thank you windy, a pleasure.

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