Why We Need More Humanity in the Workplace with Debbie Cohen & Kate Roeske-Zummer (Ep. #41)

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December 7, 2021
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Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #41: Why We Need More Humanity in the Workplace with Debbie Cohen & Kate Roeske-Zummer

The huge challenges for leaders and managers over the last year have left organizations scrambling for solutions as employees scatter for better opportunites and working conditions. We'll be sharing the skills and strategies that inject some much needed humanity into your organization to solve these problems and help turn around employees that are feeling burned out and disenfranchised.

In this episode:

Meet Debbie Cohen & Kate Roeske-Zummer:

  • In a revolutionary approach to workplace productivity, leadership experts Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer show you how to chart a new path forward: one that brings humanity to the workplace through awareness, choice and courage.
  • Inspired by proven techniques they’ve used to transform teams at organizations like Mozilla, Pinterest, Saba, Articulate and Charge EPC, the authors guide you through their transformative Five Practices. The result? A healthier, more productive work environment that draws the best – rather than squeezes the most – out of people.
  • Debbie and Kate have just published a new book “Humanity Works Better”- 5 Practices to Lead with Awareness, Choice and the Courage to Change. I’m excited for them to share their insights!reers.

Why We Need More Humanity In The Workplace

  • Productivity is about people, but overemphasis on efficiency and productivity has left folks burned out, disenfranchised and disheartened.
  • From this depleted state, folks are at their worst to navigate the difficult moments that come up when working together - those interactions create ripple effects and even scars that are serious roadblocks to productivity.

4 Steps to Implement Great Servant Leadership

  • Encourage diversity of thought.
  • Create a culture of trust.
  • Have an unselfish mindset.
  • Foster leadership in others.

What are the 5 Practices?

  • Creating Safety (it’s up to you)
  • Working Together (it’s not about you)
  • Claiming Your Value (know what is important to you)
  • Owning Your Impact (be responsible for what you create)
  • Daring Not to Know (you lead the way)

Simple Skills that Bring More Humanity to the Workplace

Humans Are People Not Resources

  • If you want to increase productivity, think about the power of language in shaping our mindsets and behaviors.
  • How do you refer to the function in your organization that is tasked with the attraction, retention, motivation and incentives, growth and evolution of your talent?
  • Are the words in your organization aligned to behavior, e.g. “people are our greatest asset” - but are they discussed as cost and liabilities rather than investments?
  • What is measured re: your people?

How Will Organizations Improve When Use These Practices?

  • Among their current clients, one has YTD, 94% retention in a climate where turnover is knocking the door at nearly 30% in many organizations.
  • Another hit their 2022 revenue goals halfway through 2021!
  • Human-centered organizations are simply seeing more favorable results.
  • This is not a "check the box and we are done" kind of effort - healthy relationships require ongoing care and nurturing.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Kate & Debbie on LinkedIn, Twitter and at HumanityWorks.com.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Debbie Cohen & Kate Roeske-Zummer

In a revolutionary approach to workplace productivity, leadership experts Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer show you how to chart a new path forward: one that brings humanity to the workplace through awareness, choice and courage. Inspired by proven techniques they’ve used to transform teams at organizations like Mozilla, Pinterest, Saba, Articulate and Charge EPC, the authors guide you through their transformative Five Practices. The result? A healthier, more productive work environment that draws the best – rather than squeezes the most – out of people.

Debbie and Kate have just published a new book “Humanity Works Better”- 5 Practices to Lead with Awareness, Choice and the Courage to Change. I’m excited for them to share their insights!

View the episode transcript

Wendy Hanson  0:24  

Welcome. It's so great to have you on our show today, being a great leader is a lifelong journey. So many leaders have risen through the challenges of the past few years, and there have been many, and now they're trying to look at their remote teams and their teams that are hybrid. It really is a big job for a manager and a leader. If we take in some new thoughts and processes, I always think of it as getting 1% better every day. If you get a few tips out of this podcast, which I know you will, you'll be able to put that towards being a better manager and leader. I'm excited to talk with with two leadership and coaching experts about how to bring more humanity to our workplaces. So let me tell you about our our guests today. And then we'll be able to move forward in a revolutionary approach to workplace productivity leadership experts Debbie Cohen, and Kate risky Zoomer show you how to chart a new path forward, one that brings humanity to the workplace through awareness, choice and courage. Inspired by proven techniques, they've used to transport teams at organizations like Mozilla, Pinterest, Saba, articulate and charge EPC, the authors guide you through their transformational five practices, they will really be able to help you transform as a leader if you pay attention to these practices. The result, a healthier, more productive work environment that draws out the best rather than squeezes the most out of people. Wow, doesn't that feel better, draws out the best rather than squeezes the most. So Debbie, and Kate, I'm happy to announce that I just published a new book, humanity works better. So you'll be able to have some follow up on this. When you listen to their podcast and be able to see how do I incorporate these in the name of the book is humanity works better five practices to lead with awareness choice encouraged to change. I am very excited to have them share their insights with all of you. So welcome, Kate, Debbie, why do we need more humanity in the workplace? Wow, is that gonna help us be any more productive? Why do we need that?

Kate Roeske-Zummer  2:46  

It's such a great question. Thank you for having us, we really appreciate it. You know, we, we set up the problem in the very beginning of the book that really has to do with the conversation around productivity that is really dominated the, the 80s in the 90s. And even in the early 2000s. And it was really about trying to get more from the people that were there more from the less, right and and we're finding that it's not working, that it's not working, there's nothing that we talked about that you can't get any more blood from the stone, there's, you know, there's nothing else out there. And and I think that you, you really get to understand the stress and the pressure that people feel, because everybody wants to do a good job. Most people really go into work every day, they want to contribute, they want to do a good job. And so this is really, they get stressed out and then guess what? They're not behaving very well. They're not they're not being good people. And so we make the case that if you actually teach people some very simple practices and skills to go along with those practices, they will actually have higher productivity.

Debbie Cohen  4:03  

It really is this sort of, yeah, really the sort of root of that is, it's the intersection, right? Humanity is really that intersection of people coming together. None of us exist on in this island alone. We are interdependent on one another, and that goes for work as well. And so this idea that when things are hard, and we know that that's true, when we're not at our best, when resources are scarce, scarce when we're all stretched, then we're really not at our best, and that it's that that causes the roadblock to productivity when I don't know how to show up with another human and navigate my way through a problem or a tough issue or a difference of opinion on something. That's what stalls productivity. And so our premise was simple skill. that can help people navigate in those tough, messy moments will actually be your better conduit for productivity and more humanity in the workplace. It just makes it a nicer situation to work in

Wendy Hanson  5:13  

you, we want his people to get up in the morning and not be like, Oh, no, I have to go to work again, you know, and if your humanity is respected, and we know humans come to work different every day, so it's a, it's a really a challenge for managers. We at BetterManager, we have many client companies that I'm hearing more people talking about servant leadership, which has been around a long time, but things like that go up and down. And and it reminded me as I was reading your book, that that's very much like, like servant leadership, because it aligns with the five practices that come up for you any bit in your research?

Kate Roeske-Zummer  5:53  

Not really, you know, it's one of the things that I think is a little bit different about the book is that when things are not going, well, the proverbial shit has hit the fan, then people actually don't behave that well. And, and what happens is, they start to point the finger over there, you know, we start to sort of look at, yeah, it's easy to deflect that problem, you know, it's something wrong with them, if I just had a better manager, if I just had a better boss, you know what I mean. But, you know, part of how we have written this book is we say that you are the only one that has control over what it looks like to show up every single day at work. I was doing some training with some restaurant folks in Houston, earlier this week, and I was saying, you know, when someone walks into the office or the kitchen, and they're in a terrible mood, you know, that has most of us shying away, like, oh, I don't want to be near that person. And I was really sort of we really believe that the only thing that you can control is you, what kind of a day do you want to have? How do you want to behave with the people around you? Because that is honestly the only thing that you can control?

Debbie Cohen  7:13  

Well, and where I see that tie into your question, Wendy, and I think it's such a great one is for those of you who are listening, who are managers are leaders, the thing that you get to be in control of among many is your mindset about your relationship with power, and how you use your power with people, for people on their behalf with them to hold them up. And that is such a part of servant leadership, right? So, so thinking about you, and what you want to create back to Kate's point a few minutes ago, in that moment, that isn't the greatest or somebody may not be at their best, or you may not be at the best, the place to look is inside yourself. And that's why the subtitle of the book is awareness choice in the courage to change. You have to be self aware about what is my relationship with power at this moment? Do I not like this? And I want to squish it down? Or is there something I want to step toward, and seek to understand more so that we can bring it to life, resolve it and move forward? That's a choice that you're in, as, as a human?

Wendy Hanson  8:26  

Yeah, that's great. I was actually on a coaching call today and that we came up with the, you know, seek to understand rather than be understood, like, just like, that's what you're seeking is to really get that other person. I love your perspectives on this. So let's talk about the five practices because what I liked about them is, is they are, they're simple, but not easy. We have to practice them. And just kind of outline these as we go along. But you know, creating safety, that it's up to you really important. Working together, it's not about you claiming your value, know what's important to you, owning your impact. And this is what you're talking about here. Be responsible for what you create, you know, when you've created something that is not the best situation, as a leader know that, and then daring that to know you lead the way. So let's start with the first one creating safety. It's up to you. What do you what do you want managers to know about that and take away and maybe there's, we're very pragmatic on this podcast, I want people to leave and right out. So my god, I can't wait to have my next conversation, because I'm going to be able to use some of this.

Kate Roeske-Zummer  9:38  

Yeah. One of the things that we love about this particular practice is that intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes the people around us, say things or do things that actually make people feel and in our case, we're really talking about psychological safety. Right? And so people around you might be saying or doing something that Actually suddenly makes it not feel safe to disagree with that person, or to have a different point of view, or to offer a different solution. Right? Because suddenly, it's, it's felt very sort of unsafe. And then we're not suggesting, therefore you need to put on your armor and go and have that conversation unless you feel like that's what you're ready to do. But you do have some domain over the people that you interact with. And when someone does that, we say it's up to you, because you're not just doing it for yourself, you're also doing it for the people around you, how do you create an atmosphere where people feel that it's okay to have different points of view, to say different things to do different things. And that's why we really sort of say, we think it's one of the most important practices, you know, because if you can actually do two small little things, and it really might be related to really listening to what the other people are saying, Stop arming yourself with why you disagree with them, or how your viewpoint is different. And really stand in that place of let me just literally give my listening, have myself to this person over there. And that actually helps to create safety. For everyone in the room.

Debbie Cohen  11:19  

One of the things that we did with each practice back to the problem set of productivity is each of the practices is linked to a proven productivity outcome. And increasing safety, that productivity outcome is trust. So you know, again, for those of you listening, you've probably read 1000 different books or articles that said, you need to create more trust on your team. And you're probably like, Geez, how do I do that? I could be trustworthy. I could try to own up to my behaviors and my actions, all good things. But the when we sat down to write the book, and we're like, how do we really create a how to, for people? It is this idea of become conscious of how safe it feels on your team? Right? Does it feel safe? Do you see people coming forward? And when they do is, are they are they showing you by their words and their action? That it feels safe to put their voice out there? Or are they coming forward and like sort of timid and uncertain kind of way? And when they do does it get squished to Kate's point? Do you poke holes in it? Or do you get curious and want to hear more about their idea and what's behind it, because people are watching you, and people are watching them. And when they see it become safe for somebody to raise their hand and try a new thing or fail or, you know, offer out a solution.

Wendy Hanson  12:50  

Managing Up is one of those challenges in this first one about creating safety, know that you give feedback, and it's going to be accepted, you know, for whether it's your opinion. And as coaches I love the perspective of you know, you're curious, be curious about things. That's great. So the second one is working together, it's not about you. So we have the the first one, it's about creating that safety and that trust in the environment. So working together, tell me about that practice.

Debbie Cohen  13:22  

What we love about that. One is, you know, we have this idea, especially in leadership and managers that it's like our agenda, it's our responsibility, we've got to drive this ship forward and figure out how to get it done. And so somehow, and again, this can get tied up with positional power and our relationship with it. We think it's all about us. But what we've learned over our hard worn years is it actually is all about the other person. Healthy relationships start by actually having sort of caring connection with the people that you work with. And, and so rather than coming from your agenda, your point of view, start with them. I, I sit on this panel at Berkeley for new managers, and one of the questions always comes up, you know, I have this agenda. I put it out there. Nobody says anything. And I'm like, Well, how do you know what you want to talk about what they want to talk about? You know, maybe we need to ask them what's on their minds sometimes? What's in their way? If there was one thing that would make their job easier, more simple or straightforward? What would that be? How could you help rather than think that they need to step always toward you?

Kate Roeske-Zummer  14:42  

And I think I think there's something we talked about this in some of the training that we deliver, which is it's the dirty little secret, right? So the thing that got you to the position of being a manager is now no longer the thing that you're getting paid to do.

Wendy Hanson  15:00  

Smith really believed that strongly right? What's happening here? Well, what got you there won't get you here?

Kate Roeske-Zummer  15:05  

Yeah, right, right. That's exactly right. And so it's one of those things where I so, you know, we talk about this when we're dealing with managers where we sort of say, so that's where I feel like this practice in particular is it is it is a shift from, you know, when you were aspiring to become a manager, you were just doing your job, you're working really hard to do that job so that you would get promoted. And then no one ever says, well, timeout, you now have a different job, your job is not to do that thing anymore. Your job is actually now to work with other people. And so that's what I think is particularly helpful for new managers around this, which is that shift from it's now not so much about what you know, it's actually working with the other people around you to find out what do they know, what do they need, and as Debbie said, to start looking over the hair, but it's a little bit of that, like, dirty little secret that no one actually tells you, you're kind of different job, now you've got a different focus.

Debbie Cohen  16:06  

And sometimes people think, oh, because I have that job, people will just do what I say. And I think that's the biggest surprise to managers is like that doesn't It doesn't work that way people like leaving is not just about having someone follow you, like they they want to line up behind to to be a part of what you're creating together. So

Wendy Hanson  16:27  

that was actually an area that was brought up with one of our coaches today says, we need more on influencing without authority, you know, because whether you're a manager, or whether you're a team leader waiting to move up to become that manager. In that case, you really don't have a lot of authority, but we want to be able to build the muscle of influence while we can. So that as we get up there, we don't feel like you know, command and control is kind of way out the window. Now, let's let's move on to something new. That's great. So claiming your value, you know, what know what's important to you. And I think this is an AHA that a lot of people in companies haven't thought that much about. So tell me about claiming your value.

Kate Roeske-Zummer  17:13  

It's one of those things that I feel like it gets lost in the shuffle of doing the work, we we get so focused on the organizational goals need or, or the particular group or organization that I'm working within that organization, we get very focused on what they need, that I feel like sometimes we lose ourselves in the shuffle. And it's really important, and not, as you said, at the very start of this hour, it's not necessarily the easy thing to do, it's a little bit more complicated, that you need to do some digging around to make sure that you understand what is important to me, so that my behavior and my actions work together.

Debbie Cohen  18:00  

Well, and, and, and on top of that, especially in positions of authority, like management, or leadership, that you're what's important to you isn't squishing what might be important to other people, your values are yours, but others might be different. Here's a funny little story. 100 years ago, I was rolling out alternative work arrangements in a company and I thought I'm gonna go to the biggest resistors the people who are gonna hate this, and I'm going to seek to understand what they don't like about this. And if and get them to the point that if I can win them over, that they will be my champions for this rollout. So I went to the controller, who said to me, You are kidding me. I should say it's okay for somebody to show up. Not at eight o'clock, he had this belief that you had to be there eight to five, but nobody left at five. But you had to be there at eight, regardless of what needed to happen. You had to be there at eight. And they said to him, like, what's that all about? Like, you're serving a, you know, global clientele base here, like your folks are on calls, at nine o'clock at night. What's important about eight o'clock in the morning. It's like, I just feel like people need to be up at their desk at eight o'clock in the morning. You know, just because they want to go out and party or something the night before. I'm like, so what business is that? If yours like what people do when they're not here? What do you need from them? And once we got clear about what he needed from them, he began to see like, Oh, gee, it might not make sense to have somebody show up at eight if they're not even like their brain isn't engaged until 10 o'clock in the morning. You know, maybe you needed to think differently about that. If he had this value, he had a mental model that said you need to be at your desk at eight o'clock, but it was disconnected from his people and what they He needed and business could still get done thinking differently and adapting to different ways of working together. And that's where as leaders we can, we can, we can hamstring people, and really create artificial constraints and roadblocks to productivity, just because of something that feels important to us that, that we don't really understand or understand the effect, the impact, which is actually the next, the next step practices taking responsibility for what you create.

Wendy Hanson  20:34  

I do really appreciate that perspective, because I think we have learned a lot during the pandemic, that the value to this individual and story you told the being at the desk at eight o'clock is no longer relevant at all. And people I think we have learned, and I've heard this from a lot of managers that we've learned that people can be even more productive. That's why we're going to go into hybrid workplaces, because there are times you need to collaborate. And there are times that you're better off to put your head down on your desk at home and really put, you know, really thinking time in. So I think that may be one of the good lessons that have come out of the pandemic. And then the the fourth one, so we have creating safety, working together claiming your value and owning your impact. Wow, that's a real coach statement, owning your impact. Tell us about that.

Kate Roeske-Zummer  21:28  

Yeah, this is something we feel so strongly about, and it requires you to get out of your own head, it requires you to pay attention to the impact that you are creating with the people around you. Right. And the we we we say this, this is from CTIA. We've learned this from CTI, which is you're having an impact all the time. You know, some of it is intended. And some of it is unintended. We all know those experiences when we have I don't know, set a joke, and it hasn't landed all that well. Right? That would be the unintended impact, you were like, whoops, I don't really mean that to come out that way. Right. And so part of what we say is, then you need to own that. So you get to own your impact when things are going well. And you get to own your impact when things are not going well. And how do you actually stay and sort of clean up the mess. And so we talk about this in terms of you know, you are responsible for the impact that you are sort of creating. And Deb said this earlier, there is a way in which I think is as leaders, people are watching you. They're watching you, they're watching how you behave, how you treat other people, right. And certainly we've seen this post the or I don't know, for posts are still dealing with the me to movement, you know, and see CEOs and leaders, you know, that's a place where we have to take some responsibilities. And even as managers and this new managers, you have got to sort of make sure that you are understanding, are you being the kind of leader that you want to be? Are you creating the atmosphere around you? Are you having the impact that you really want to be having? And if not, how do you take responsibility for that? This is where we've seen

Debbie Cohen  23:25  

some of the messiness inside organizations where messages of bring your full self Be your authentic self, in the workplace. And there's I was reading an article the other day, that's like, yeah, companies don't really mean that. Because if I brought my full self like, whoa, they wouldn't like what that what that creates, right? And part of the work that we do in these programs is how do you find who you are as your most compelling self. And from that most compelling self take response. And we live into that, because that's really when you are a magnet, right? That people you create an irresistible presence for people. And that's powerful in getting influencing without authority back to your point earlier. Wendy, right. And in that most compelling self, you have to stay conscious about the impact that you are creating, that is what you want. And that is what you have, and what might not be quite landing in the way that you want. That's accountability, that goes back to productivity outcome of accountability. And, and so the only way that you know that is by getting feedback from others. You actually don't know about your unintended impact unless you stand open, and it's safe for the people around you. To let you know what's happening that might not be landing quite the way you want. It doesn't mean you don't stay true to try to be your most committed Telling self, it just might mean that you need to go about it a different way. A little example, I got feedback once upon a time I had a large team, you know, and I'd come in and I'd say, Okay, where are we gonna run the table, get the update, and my coach said to me, boom, you just throw everybody to the back of their chairs, like people are like, Oh, my gosh, like, she's added again, right? And she said, and then you say, because here's what I'm trying to understand. And so she said, Just flip your narrative. Okay, gang, what I'm trying to understand today is how far we've come to deliver against these promises. And if there are any roadblocks in the way, I want to run the table and see where we're at. She said, Do you see the difference between, you know, having a commanding presence at the table, but bringing people along with you, because approachable was one of the words I wanted to be, and not. And it was just like a slight, I didn't need to be different. I just needed to show up in a way that let people come with me.

Wendy Hanson  26:03  

Yeah, that's a really, really good point. And, and it fits in with so many of the other practices about about trust, and about having that conversation and leaning into your people, and doing the work through others your job as a manager, and we have a lot of player coaches out there, you know, companies that are understaffed, but still, your job as a manager is to raise others and help them be more productive. So we come to the fifth one, daring not to know. So we've got a few minutes left, I want to go through this. And I had a couple more questions for you so daring enough to know,

Kate Roeske-Zummer  26:37  

this is my favorite practice, for sure. You know, and it really comes from this one, to me feels very probably closest to servant leadership that you were sort of talking about at the top of the hour, you know, there is this belief, I'm a big fan of Kevin Cashman and, and he's his book. And, you know, we cannot know everything, we just can't. But somehow, somewhere along the line, we've made up that as a leader, as a manager, I should know where we're going to go. And I feel like some of the problems that we're all sort of dealing with in the middle of a pandemic, is there a more life is more complicated than it has ever been? And, you know, how do you this is a practice, we talk about this as being a practice of surrender, and what it's like to actually have the courage to admit that you don't know, I don't know what I should do, we were on a training session, you know, this, this week. And and, and we were talking with a leader who actually stepped into this, and he said, I am feeling really overwhelmed. I'm not really sure what I should do, but I need your help. And that is the productivity measurement that this one is, if you are willing to stand and daring not to know, you will create more engagement. And if you have a good relationships with the people on your team, they will lean in with you, and they will help you and with new ideas about how to sort of solve stuff. But it takes a lot of courage to sort of get to that place. He said, I was so nervous about actually saying this to my team people, but it was true. And he said, and afterwards, he said, I felt so much better, because I think there was some real authenticity that lived in that. And the practice, the skill that we have attached to daring not to know, is the skill of curiosity. Just be curious about what do they know, what do they see. And together, you'll be able to sort of solve this. So this is sort of the the old the ultimate practice, because I think it actually builds on the four previous, you know, sort of practices. And, and, gosh, if we could, if we could have more people in the world practice daring not to know, I think the world we would live in is would be very different than the one that we live in right now.

Wendy Hanson  29:08  

It really is about the leaders that really good leaders know how to ask for help. And it's an it's so it's so refreshing. If you're a team member, and they say, I don't know, this, you know, or, or I screwed this up, you know, if you can do that you gain more respect from your people than less because that was the premise. We talk a lot about Google project oxygen. And that was done the study that was done years ago, where the all the engineers thought it's the technical expertise that's most important when they asked about managers. And what it really was, is they want their managers to be good coaches. And we know that that has a lot to do with curiosity, and a lot to do with bringing out other people's ideas. So daring not to know very important and I love that, you know, it's kind of all compassing so being vulnerable as a leader, or as an employee, like saying what we just did like owning up to things that scares people. How do you help folks do that in a better way? You touched on it a little bit. But I think this is really that. I love that your book is more how to the theoretical. Oh, and I just wanted to mention to, you mentioned CTI case. And for anybody who's listening, who doesn't know that. It's the coactive. It's now called coactive. But it's the coaches training institute. And a lot of the work in the book comes from that, which has been around for quite a while. And it's important for people to understand those different types of practices. So how do you help leaders be more vulnerable?

Debbie Cohen  30:46  

It's one of the questions often in coaching, when a leader is like, I can't just step in front of my people and say, like, I have no idea what the future looks like, we're just making this all up as we go along, like, and we get that we get that that's super vulnerable. And actually, your people might need something more from you, then I have no idea what tomorrow is gonna look like. And so Kate's point on the skill in here, which is curiosity, let you step into this without feeling completely exposed, and maybe not providing your people what you might need. So instead of going forward and saying, gee, I have no idea, you might say, you know, I'm trying to figure this out. And I'd love your input. I'm curious what your thoughts are on this, right. And so you find the way that lets you step toward the opening the engagement without feeling like you are just baring your soul in a way that feels uncomfortable or unsafe for you, because this has to be a place of safety for you in order to feel confident in your ability to stand in what will come when you ask the question.

Kate Roeske-Zummer  31:54  

And, and I love that idea. You know, there's also something about, you don't have to admit that you don't know, you could say, Listen, I have some of my own ideas, which you probably do, and say, but I'm curious before spouting off those ideas, what do you think? What are your ideas? Right? So daring not to know doesn't have to be? I don't know. Or, or that vulnerably. Vulnerability based leadership doesn't have to be like, I actually don't know what to do next, you might have your own ideas. But wouldn't it be great to have other people's ideas, too, that's just widened, the net of creativity for you to pull from?

Debbie Cohen  32:35  

It also debunks this myth that we all have all the answers. And we don't, and there is no way that we can. And so it's pretty freeing when you can finally stand from a place of, I don't actually know what this is gonna look like, you know, a lot of questions that came to us from leadership during the pandemic, how do I lead when I don't know? Or like, well, you lead from what you do know, which is we only know about today. And tomorrow, things might change. And so we're going to take one step at a time together. And we're going to need everybody's ideas to figure out how to move forward. There's some great gifts that came from the level of uncertainty that we all navigated through, just in terms of human connection and working together in a more cohesive way. And so I think there's a place to lean into that, as we move forward.

Wendy Hanson  33:34  

And I think one of the other lessons, and you talk about this in the book, too, that humans are people that come to work, they're not resources. And I think that's such a really important line to remember, you know, that when you're talking about your people, your people are the ones that get things done. It's the humans that connect with others that know how to collaborate. That's really important. So how do you you know, in our last few minutes unpack the idea that humans are people not resources for managers listening because somebody might be putting together their budgets for next year, and their resources are on there, which are their people? How am I going to get things done? How do you let people know more about that?

Debbie Cohen  34:17  

I'm a big believer that you know, coming out of 25 years in human resources that that function needs to be renamed. You know, words are powerful inside organizations, right. So you cannot say your people are your most important asset and treat them like liabilities. You cannot people, right, begin to think of your people as the single greatest investment Whoo, no time more than like now when the great resignation is happening and 30 to 40% of them have walked out the door or will walk out the door. Right. If you think of them as an investment, and you invest in the relationship, you when you invest in what means matters to them. You invest in what creates safety and meaning and purpose for them, you get curious about them as human beings. See what comes back to you from an engagement perspective, right? Those things, all the things in the books that we propose, other than the 6095 to buy the book are free to you. They cost nothing to be curious. Right. So as somebody who, you know, believes you can only control what you can control, if you don't have a big budget, what you can have is a big heart, step towards your people and pay attention to the relationship that you're trying to cultivate for the short term. And for the longer term. We're a big believer, you know, careers are long, but tenure is, you know, fatalities in scarce supply, invest for the long term here, treat your people, like they are an investment, build that relationship, and begin to use your words and your behaviors differently.

Wendy Hanson  36:03  

And how we treat people during challenging times really speaks the loudest, you know that you as a leader have that ability to create that trust that safety, to listen so well. Which we're going to have to talk about listening another time. But you know, we talked about from from the CTI model of listening and really getting somebody you know, listening that for the energy, when you talk about level three, listening, there's so much of that that's important. As we look at humans, we look at vulnerability, we look at how to keep people more focused and using their strengths and not be stressed in the workplace. So you have so many great ideas. And what I love is the practicality of them. And the ability that people can apply these right away and think about some of these things with their teams as they move forward. So if people want to learn more about the two of you and about your book, what's the best place for them to be? They'll be searching.

Kate Roeske-Zummer  37:03  

We're we're on LinkedIn, of course, and Twitter and all that good stuff. But the best place is actually going to be our website, which is humanity works.com. You can listen to podcasts and read articles and sign up for the newsletter. But there's just a ton of resources on there. And you can learn more about what it is we do and why it is we're doing it.

Wendy Hanson  37:25  

Yeah. The why is important, right? That's one of the big questions that leaders don't even explain enough, the context and the why. So I love you know, I love it, you're into the why, yes. And Simon Sinek wrote a whole book on that, you know, because we have to understand the why. So it has been so wonderful to talk to you both. We could go we could talk for hours on this. I know. So I want people to go to your website, look at that. And, you know, look at the BetterManager website, and you'll be able to have this podcast to be able to refer to and, and pass it on to people. Because if we can get humanity to work, and back to work, and really thinking of people as such a great contribution and an investment, invest in coaching your people invest in running programs for your people. That's where you're going to get the biggest bucks these days. So thank you both. Thank you. Okay. Thank you, Debbie. And thank you to all of our listeners for joining us today. Have a great day.

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