45. Middle Management Conundrum + The Power of You and I

Episode 45: Middle Management Conundrum + The Power of You and I (Summary)

Some bosses get stuck in the middle, where layers upon layers of management end up limiting their authority and effectiveness.  Plus, the powerful language you can use to reassure people when they’re scared, overwhelmed, or in need of support. It’s all ahead now, on Boss Better Now.

Links:
To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
To hear more from Joe Mull visit his YouTube channel​.
To learn how to invite Joe to speak at an event, visit ​Joemull.com/speaking​.
To check date availability or to get a quote for an event, email ​hello@joemull.com​.
To explore options for coaching from Alyssa Mullet, visit ​Joemull.com/coaching​.
For more information on the BossBetter Leadership Academy, visit Joemull.com/academy.
Email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.
To leave comments, ask questions, or to message us visit our Boss Better Now Podcast Facebook Page.
Connect with Joe on Instagram.
Connect with Joe on Twitter.
Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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Transcript – Episode 45: Middle Management Conundrum + The Power of You and I

Joe:
Some bosses get stuck in the middle where layers upon layers of management ends up limiting their authority and effectiveness. Plus, the powerful language you can use to reassure people when they’re scared, overwhelmed, or in need of support. It’s all ahead now on Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:
You’re listening to Boss Better Now. Please welcome speaker, author, and scent-deprived podcaster, Joe Mull.

Joe:
Uh, alas, after 20 months of being as careful as possible, of being fully vaccinated … a few weeks ago, COVID arrived to the Mull household. It’s true. My daughter started symptoms on a Monday and tested positive the next day. We ran and grabbed the other two kids out of their respective schools, and we went into lockdown. Then Henry, our youngest, got symptoms and tested positive two days later. And for a week it was just the two of them. And their symptoms were relatively mild, right? Some coughing, some sore throat, my daughter had a fever for two days, and, um, we were trying to isolate. We wore masks, in the house, 20…You know, not 24 hours. We didn’t sleep with them on. But any other time we were awake, we had them on.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And then my wife tested positive. And so, it was like Miles and I and everybody else. And so, we were kind of separating, uh, and then three days before I was scheduled to leave for the busiest travel week of my fall, with three onsite engagements, I started symptoms and tested positive. So, the good news…

Alyssa:
Expletive, expletive, expletive!

Joe:
Right. But also, gratitude because none of us got terribly sick. Um, and everybody is over it. Everybody is out of quarantine. Everybody has tested negative. Uh, the only lingering symptom as you alluded to at the beginning is that I still can’t smell anything. I have some, some sense of taste, which is good, but I, I am scent deprived. Um, a couple of other interesting observations. Um, fatigue is not guaranteed – as evidenced by our five-year-old who got COVID and never slowed down. Right? I wanted to call the pediatrician, Alyssa, and be like, I’m sorry. We were promised fatigue. Because not even COVID can stop Henry.

Alyssa:
Henry the Energizer Bunny.

Joe:
Oh, man. And, um, Miles never got it.

Alyssa:
Oh wow!

Joe:
He got tested three times. He never got it. So, we’re like, all right, man, maybe we should study you or something.

Alyssa:
Indeed. Well, oh, I hope everyone gets better soon in terms of including your scent deprivation. I can’t think of like many times in my life where that way actually be really wanted and desired, but I’m sure as a whole, it is quite discerning. So, I will not choose to wish that upon myself or anyone else.

Joe:
Anybody who has a dog knows that sometimes dogs can clear the room. That’s the only advantage I have found is that when the dog has one of those moments where they do things that dogs sometimes can’t control, I don’t suffer. Now I’ll still want the sense of smell back though soon. I, and I was reading about it because when it first happened, I was like, okay, yeah, this will be a couple of days. But maybe not. Like the average person, it takes three weeks…

Alyssa:
Oh wow.

Joe:
For their sense of smell to return. And, um, I am at like week four, I think at this point. Um, and for some people, it can take months. So, I’m just kind of holding out hope that it comes back, especially before Christmas. Like I get all, I love the cinnamony, pine coney, evergreen scents of Christmas. Like, come on. I need that to come back.

Alyssa:
Cinnamon. Yes. Pine. No.

Joe:
Ok.

Alyssa:
Again, we disagree. I am correct. Yes. You’re welcome. Thank you.

Joe:
I forgot to give you our traditional welcome. BossHeroes, please welcome my co-host professional coach extraordinaire, Alyssa Mullet.

Alyssa:
Extraordinarily opinionated.

Joe:
That’s all right. Well, we’re going to open today, my friend with some Listener Mail.

Alyssa:
Don’t you love Listener Mail?

Joe:
It’s my favorite.

Alyssa:
I have an email from Nancy, Joe.

Joe:
Ok.

Alyssa:
And she writes that I feel I’m stuck in the middle a lot in my current role. I’m the manager of four reports. And I have a manager who reports to the manager that actually makes the decisions. Whenever one of my reports has a good idea. I tell my boss about it, but it doesn’t seem like she relays anything. In doing that, I’m unable to give my reports a good quality answer to their question. I was wondering if you have any ideas on what I should do. What are your thoughts for Nancy?

Joe:
Well, thank you for the question, Nancy. I think that this is something that, uh, is not uncommon, especially in organizations when there are many layers of leadership. Uh, and that’s not to sound like that that’s the reason it happens, but certainly, it’s a contributing factor, I would think.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Um, obviously all we have to go on is this context and so I’m going to assume some things that maybe aren’t in evidence, but that are observational. When you have a situation like this, um, you have a manager who has authority with no influence. And that’s a recipe for frustration everywhere, right? You have a manager who, in the eyes of her employees, is supposed to have the power to fix things or to make change, or to provide support. But these additional layers of management, which seemed to remove her influence, actually render her ineffective at doing that. And that will ultimately be the perception that her direct reports come to. Right? This kind of a structure is undermining Nancy’s ability to manage her team, right? She can’t build trust on her team because she doesn’t have any influence and that’s just going to result in, in perceived incompetence. Right?

Alyssa:
Yup.

Joe:
Uh, so that’s my big concern here for Nancy. And so, we have to talk about how, how to fix that. Before I get into my ideas about that. Alyssa, I want to give you a chance as well, to react to Nancy’s question.

Alyssa:
Well, so I always, uh, considered myself in that, what I referred to as, ‘the funnel’ (right?) of management. And it was, I thought, essential to my job to be a filter both up and down, right? But that filter can get clogged the heck up and it can be really treacherous to get anything done, to feel any sense of accomplishment. But to your point…a large part of what I think the struggle with the filter is is that you have these balances between responsibility and the authority to actually effectuate change. And that…the filter to that can’t be through another person. They have to reside in the same person. The responsibility to fix it and the authority to fix it has to be able to be accomplished in the same person. And so, whenever the management structure does not allow for that to be conducive and seamless, that’s exactly a recipe for disaster. So…how do we give some hope to Nancy about the filter, and the hierarchy, and the responsibility, and the authority, and all of the rest of those things?

Joe:
Well, if Nancy, were sitting here, I’d have some questions for her about, have you given voice to this? Have you asked for some more of that authority? Have…do you have the kind of relationship with these people farther up on the org chart where you can say to them, this isn’t working, and let me give you some examples of why and where you can acknowledge that they also are dedicated well-intentioned leaders, but that maybe it’s this structure, maybe it’s these layers that are doing harm? And so how can we figure out a plan…for you to pass down some additional authority or responsibility or influence to me, which is going to serve us all better, right? It’s going to cut down on the amount of time that they spend worrying about her team, because now she’s not bringing as many things to them, it’s going to better serve these four direct reports. Uh, and it’s going to create a more fulfilling work experience for Nancy. She’s actually going to get to lead. She’s actually going to be empowered to do that. And so that’s, that’s kind of my first reaction here. But let’s assume maybe that this is a sensitive thing. Let’s assume that maybe we have some folks on the org chart who are trying to hold on to power, who want to be those decision-makers, who want to limit Nancy’s ability to operate maybe with some more autonomy. Um, so one of the things that I would suggest, Nancy, is that, and this isn’t fun, but it’s, it’s probably the necessary thing to do, which is that you need to be dogged about getting answers to your questions for your team, right? So, what I gathered from your email is you, you fly a question up the flagpole, and then you never hear anything back. And that is insanely frustrating.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Um, but you might need to get a little pesky about it, right? You might need to keep going back to those folks and saying, Hey, I still need an answer to that question. And Hey, what do you think about that question? And Hey, when can I expect to get an answer to that question? And you’re doing that as an advocate for your personnel. So don’t let it go. Is one of my first pieces of advice. I have a couple of other thoughts here on this, Alyssa, but let me, let me volley back to you to get your thoughts.

Alyssa:
So, my first thought would be, um, make it less optimal, um, make it…for them to put you in that holding pattern, make it easier for them to let you fix it. So, when you’re in those conversations and you’re presenting the problem and you’re presenting the solution, do it just that. Say, here’s the problem. Here’s what we’ve come up with to solve it. I’m going to go ahead and implement that on de de de de de de de de de.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
All right. So, and then again, depends upon the relationship, but you know, the saying of,

Joe:
I know where you’re going. I totally know where you’re going. Do it,

Alyssa:
Rather than asking for permission, you ask for forgiveness.

Joe:
Yup!

Alyssa:
And as an HR person, I say, hell yes, to this philosophy. Um,

Joe:
I was, did you see me writing a note, like with my pen here?

Alyssa:
Yes.

Joe:
I was literally writing that phrase as you started to say it, that there may be some times when she says they had this question, I told them to do this hope that’s okay.

Alyssa:
Yep. Yes. Make it less available for those layers to interact between the problem and the solution. All right?

Joe:
Yeah. Maybe…

Alyssa:
That’s number one.

Joe:
That’s an interesting angle here. Maybe Nancy’s not taking the power. Maybe Nancy’s not, not, um, you know, just operating with the kind of autonomy that she could, maybe she needs to reach out and grab it a little bit. Uh, no offense, Nancy.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Maybe that’s the case here. Um, but that’s certainly an angle. Keep going, Alyssa.

Alyssa:
So, my, my next one was, if, if all of those avenues are kind of exhausted and you still are in this kind of purgatory of not getting anything through. Right? I experienced this quite routinely in, uh, in a very large hierarchy. And so, I had to get real with the communication that was going down to…from me to my team and your level of authenticity with that is just that what you’re comfortable with. But for me, it was being able to say, listen, this is what I’ve done since you brought this to my attention. This is how I’ve approached it. This is how I was hopeful that it could be resolved. And I still am at this spot with it. And I will continue to do X, Y, and Z. But unfortunately, I do not have the authority I need in order to fix this problem for us.

Joe:
Yeah, yeah. You name it. And you say, listen, you know, if you want me to be effective in this role, there are some things I need that I’m not getting. And, you know, we create line of sight between Nancy’s concerns and what it’s costing them. Like we think about these other two managers higher up, what do they care about? What’s most important to them? What have they been talking about is important in your management meetings, Nancy? Can you connect the dots between the power that you need, the changes to information communication, the changes to timeline, whatever it is you want them to do differently? If you can connect the dots between those couple of behaviors and these things that are really important to them, you’re much more likely to get their buy-in to show up in the ways that you need them to. Right? If they’re constantly harping in meetings on the schedule, or people being on time, or revenue, or customer service scores, you know, to be able to say, listen, when I’m not able to answer these questions or get timely responses, it impacts customer service scores in this way. You are actually engineering some buy-in from them around the things that you’re asking them to do. Uh, so I’m very much with you on that, Alyssa.

Alyssa:
Yeah. You know, when, you know, you’re talking, it just made me, again, take another note to say, I use this strategy, um, also, in dealing with my boss’s boss. Where you know that thing, that’s like their thing and you were like, I know how important time management or I know how important to X is to you.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
So, I, blah, blah, blah. You know, you set them up to be the center of the solution.

Joe:
Yes. Yes. Or you make it, their idea. Have you done that? Where you’re like, you know, they asked me this question and, um, I figured what you would probably say…

Alyssa:
I channeled my inner you.

Joe:
Yes, is ba ba ba ba ba do I have that right? Can…

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Yeah. So, you, yeah. You show them that you’re paying attention to them and yeah.

Alyssa:
There’s a, there’s a bit of pandering and, uh, you know, all of the other non-nice words, you could go along with that. Um, but if it gets the job done and it gets your folks a solution, you do what you need to do.

Joe:
It’s like secret patronizing.

Alyssa:
Uh-huh!

Joe:
Yeah. But, and, and let me say one more thing about this because I think this is important. In a perfect world, there’s a three-person conversation happening here. Right? Nancy says, can I sit down with the boss and the boss’s boss so we can work this out? Um, and so I think that’s a good strategy here too. But how you ask for that meeting really matters because people get territorial. Your boss may not want her boss or his boss to be looped in because they don’t want to look ineffective.

Alyssa:
Yup.

Joe:
And so, one thing you could consider doing, Nancy, is sending an email to both of them and ask for a mentorship meeting. Say, you know, I just want to connect with both of you to get some advice about where things stand with a team currently, and just to get your insights about some, some things that I’m trying to navigate. And so, setting it up then this way, as like a mentorship thing. It might proactively prevent any of that territorialness or defensiveness that could be triggered, um, when you go over your boss’s head to say, I want to meet with both of you. And if you have that conversation, you can still do some of the things that we’re talking about here today, which is I wanted to get your feedback because I feel like I can do this and I can’t do this, um, and I know that… And you assume good intent, right? You know, I know you both have a lot of things vying for your attention, and I know you want us all to be successful so I just wanted to figure out if we could come up with some understanding and all leave with a plan. And then you have that conversation. And then before it’s over, ask if it would be okay to do recurring check-ins.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And to maybe do the mentorship meeting like that once a quarter to talk about how things are going. I think that can also be a way around this for you, Nancy.

Alyssa:
Yeah. Good luck, Nancy.

Joe:
And thank you for the question, Nancy. And what do you think BossHeroes? We want to hear from you. We want to hear both your reactions to what you’ve heard from us today and we, of course, welcome your questions and ideas for future episodes. If you’re watching this episode online, well you can just drop a comment below the video or the streaming player. Or if you want to submit a question or share a comment, you can email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.

Joe:
We arrive now, my friends, at our Camaraderie Question of the Week. Bosses build camaraderie on teams by making it easier for people to find things in common with each other. That’s why, here on our show, every week we give you a question you can use at meetings to facilitate connection and build camaraderie. I saw this question on Twitter, Alyssa, that was a response to a celebrity that I follow, who jumped on and said, hey, I’m hanging out at an airport for an hour, ask me anything. And somebody asked, what was the last thing you did that gave you butterflies? And I thought, Ooh, that’s a cool question. I’m snagging that one. So, shout out to that person on Twitter for the idea. So that’s our question. What was the last thing you did that gave you butterflies?

Alyssa:
Oh…this so timely? Because it literally happened in the last two weeks. Um, I hit publish on this little thing right here that I’m holding. And for folks that are listening to us rather than watching us, um, I am holding my own journal that I created called I Am Learning Pocket Journal and it is a small pocket journal that records, um, your notes about what you’re reading, what you’re listening to in terms of this awesome podcast and others that you might find helpful, and then opportunity for you to record notes about therapy, whether that’s actually in a therapist office, or however you receive therapeutic input. Um, but it’s a little, three little templates that have about 25 pages each devoted to them where you can record your learning. You translate your thoughts to written words that then are your wisdom. And while it is four by six, it’s small, but it’s…

Joe:
But that’s what makes it so cool!

Alyssa:
a big thing in…it’s big in terms of, you know, a small step towards a bigger dream of, of, uh, publishing in my, in my life. And so, I’m super excited. I got all the butterflies.

Joe:
Yes.

Alyssa:
And then whenever I actually got to hold something that I created in my hands, oh my goodness. Like to see it out there on Amazon and be like,

Joe:
There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like it.

Alyssa:
People can get this.

Joe:
Yup.

Alyssa:
I made it.

Joe:
So let me first give you this. *Sound of cheering* Dropping the applause.

Alyssa:
Thank you.

Joe:
I know the work that goes into creating something like this. And I’m so proud of you, my friend because this is not something that you, as you’ve shared, comes easily to you to create this kind of thing, and put it out there in the world. And so, I’m so proud of you. And I want to tell our BossHeroes just how extremely humble my fantastic co-host is. Before we recorded this episode, we, we do not tell each other the answers to the Camaraderie Question of the Week so that our conversation could be entirely organic. And she said I want to break protocol because I want to get your permission. I don’t want to do self-promotion without your permission and talk about my journal. And I was like, you shut your face, my friend because of course, you should promote this journal. It aligns so amazingly with so much of the work that you talk about as a coach, and that you’ve talked about on our show, uh, around helping people become better bosses. And so, I know people listening to this would be interested in getting their hands on this because it’s like dirt cheap. And so cool. It’s just a couple of dollars. Tell us exactly what it’s called. What is the search term on Amazon where they can get it?

Alyssa:
Yeah, so it’s called, I Am Learning Pocket Journal. It’s available on Amazon for $6.99. You can search my name, you know, Alyssa Mullett, two L’s, two T’s, um, or you can search the name of the journal and it’ll pop right up there, and you can Prime it to your house in two whole days!

Joe:
This is an extremely awesome stocking stuffer.

Alyssa:
Yeah!

Joe:
It’s a great little staff gift. I mean, this is such a neat thing to give to people. So, uh, congratulations! I know that creates butterflies for you, uh, and uh way to go, my friend.

Alyssa:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And now where have the butterflies flown in your tummy?

Joe:
So, I had to really think about this, and I realized that the last time I really experienced butterflies was when I told a new joke at the beginning of a keynote and had no idea if it would work.

Alyssa:
Oh yes! That’s scary. Yeah.

Joe:
Okay. So, you know this, when I do keynotes and training, I, I try to bring a lot of humor to it, right? And I actually write jokes. I try to sit down and think, what are the funny observations or insights or asides that I can sprinkle throughout. There’s a saying in professional speaking, new speakers often ask, do I have to be funny? And the answer of course is only if you want to get paid. Right? Like the humor is an important entertainment factor that keeps people engaged in learning.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And so, I am very intentional about looking for opportunities to use humor. And so, I, I ended up writing what I think is one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever written, and I’m not holding out on you. I’m going to tell you what it is in a minute.

Alyssa:
Ok. Good. I was going to say, geez, this is really gonna suck if you don’t tell us.

Joe:
But it was a little risqué. And when you do a joke and it was right at the top of the keynote, it’s literally like the third sentence of the keynote. And so, the audience doesn’t know me yet. I haven’t warmed them up. I’ve no idea if it’s going to work. And so, so I was opening with a story about something that happened right before I got married.

Alyssa:
Ok.

Joe:
And so, this is the joke. So, my wife and I recently celebrated our 15-year wedding anniversary. This is where you would normally go, aww. And that’s what the audience does. Right? Okay.

Alyssa:
Aww.

Joe:
So, let’s, let’s do it. Let’s try it again, Alyssa. Go with me.

Alyssa:
Sorry.

Joe:
So, my wife and I recently celebrated our 15-year wedding anniversary.

Alyssa:
Awwwww.

Joe:
Thank you. Thank you so much. Uh, yes, apparently the proper gifts for that one are either crystal or ruby. And I decided to do both, but when Crystal and Ruby showed up in their outfits, my wife had questions.

Alyssa:
Oh! Dang!

Joe:
Hold on.

Alyssa:
Wow! That is risqué!

Joe:
*rim shot sound effect* There it is. Right? And so, I was really nervous about this joke, and I had this kind of…I don’t get nervous about jokes. Like I tend to know, what’s funny. I tend to know what makes audiences laugh, but I was real, I mean, literal butterflies about this joke. And I remember thinking, what is that about? And I realized because it’s a stripper joke, Joe. That’s why.

Alyssa:
Yeah. That would be why.

Joe:
So, so let me give you the end of the story really quickly. Um, the first time I told it, it worked great because I had put a little bit of like three minutes in front of it and got them laughing before I got to that joke.

Alyssa:
Gotcha. Ok.

Joe:
When I had originally conceived of it, it really was like the first thing. And it just, I was like, no, that’s not gonna work. Um, and so then I went, and I did it a second time, the same way, and it, and it got laughs, but I have taken it out.

Alyssa:
Ahh.

Joe:
I don’t use it on stage. And it’s because I realized, even though it makes them laugh, it makes me uncomfortable. And do you know why? Because it’s a stripper joke. Like, I don’t want that to be my brand. I don’t want to be the guy who opened his keynote with a stripper joke. That doesn’t seem right. And so, I realized…like I watched a video of myself doing the keynote and I can very obviously see that I’m not fully committed to it because I’m not certain that it works.

Alyssa:
Ok.

Joe:
in the way that I want it to. And so that’s my answer.

Alyssa:
Isn’t that interesting? I think there’s a beauty in that, you know, it’s funny as heck. It really is. But you leaned into what was most authentic to you rather than what might’ve gotten the laughs from the audience.

Joe:
And just because I’m getting laughs doesn’t mean it’s not awkward for some people. Because it is. It is kind of just brush up against risqué a little bit.

Alyssa:
Right.

Joe:
You know, I mean, when I wrote the joke, I sat in my office, and I laughed for 10 minutes. I thought it was the funniest thing that ever come up in my life. And then I called my wife, and I was like, I have to tell you this joke. And she roared because of course, she did.

Alyssa:
Yes.

Joe:
And she laughs at every single one of my jokes. She’s the only one that’s why we’re together. Um, and then I called Jamie and I told Jamie the joke and she laughed and I’m like, okay, maybe this is okay. And it wasn’t until I told it on stage that I was like, oh yeah, there’s something internal for you that’s making you not love this.

Alyssa:
Yup. Yeah.

Joe:
And so, we’re going to, we’re going to toss it. But I just shared it on the podcast. Like thousands of people who are listening.

Alyssa:
We’re all friends here. We know you.

Joe:
And that is the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:
Well, all right, friends, we are going to move into another segment that we like here quite a lot on the show and that is called Boss Like A Mother. So, Alyssa, I wanted to share with you a little bit more uh, and, and with our BossHeroes, a little bit more about, uh, the whole COVID experience in our house. Because it actually, uh, sort of reinforced a lesson for me around leading people and how we show up as bosses that I think is important to give voice to. So, a little backstory, um, I think by now, if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know, I have three kids. Their ages are 11, nine, and five. And, uh, my oldest, Lily, who is just turned 11, um, has been the most sensitive to all of the COVID news. She finds it scary. Um, she is the mask police in her school. Um, you know, when you go to the store and you see that person who has it under their nose, and you think to yourself, uh, it doesn’t work that way, Einstein. Um, like she’s, she’s doing that too.

Alyssa:
She says that part out loud.

Joe:
Maybe not with such vitriol in her, in her voice, but she’s like, put your mask up, put your mask up. Like…

Alyssa:
Love it! I love it!

Joe:
She doesn’t care that people, you know, cause everybody at home is talking about this in different ways. And then those kids carry those kinds of ideas into the school. So, it’s, it’s just as awkward and divisive at school for an 11-year-old.

Alyssa:
Yup.

Joe:
as it is out there in the world for the rest of us. Um, and so poor Lily ends up being the first person in our house to test positive and she gets sick and it’s a little nerve-wracking, right? Because you hear about people getting really, really sick and you hear about people dying and you know, all of a sudden there’s this thing inside of her and what are you supposed to do with that as a parent to help them feel better? I couldn’t sit across from her and tell her you’re going to be fine. I couldn’t sit across from her and tell her nothing bad is going to happen. Especially as more people in our household started testing positive. I realized that all I was able to do was to sit across from her and say, yeah, we don’t know how this is going to turn out, but we’re going to get through it together. And so, I refer to this as the, it’s the power of you and I. And you know, we, as parents, know that we’re not going to be able to shield our kids from things that are hard, or difficult, or scary, or maybe even awful. But what we have to do is let them know that we’re going to be there right next to them for it, so that if they have to go out into the world and face scary things that they’re not doing it alone. And I think that’s such a powerful lesson for leaders. I think sometimes as bosses, we want to soften the blow or tell people don’t worry about that. Um, but that’s not necessarily doing a favor to them. Especially if you’re dealing with hard things. If you’re short-staffed, if you’re dealing with difficult customers, if, if, uh, tragic things are happening in your workplace. I want to encourage everyone listening to remember how powerful it is to sit across from someone and say, hey, this is going to be hard. And I don’t think there’s any way around that. But I want you to know that I’m going to be right here next to you. And no matter what comes, we’ll get through it together.

Alyssa:
uh-huh.

Joe:
And we’ll figure that out together, it’s the power of ‘you and I’ and not ‘you alone’. And so, shout out to, uh, to my crew for, you know, putting me in the position to have those conversations with them and, and kind of noticing and remembering how important those conversations can be for leaders too.

Alyssa:
So beautiful. Thank you.

Joe:
I imagine you have to have those kinds of conversations with your guy.

Alyssa:
I do. Um, he is, um, as fierce as he is, he’s also quite, uh, sensitive. And so, it’s a matter of trying to…at his age, which he’s seven helping him to establish some kind of balance within himself. Like creating the structure, that there needs to be balanced between, uh, concern and control and fun and healthful. Meaning, mind, body, soul, the whole shebang. And so, trying to even just introduce the concepts of there needs to be this thing of balance and really mommy and daddy can try to do as much as possible, um, and insert, substitute management can do as much as possible, you know, but ultimately, you know, this is the structure and here’s how I can help you through that. And here’s what I can illuminate for you. And here’s what I can talk to you about in terms of perspectives on each one of these things. And just be your partner and your parent. And you’re a leader in the process. Holding that hand literally figuratively.

Joe:
And here’s what to expect. Yeah. And even sometimes just shining a light on what the hard is going to be like. Right? When, when we had to run the whole crew down to the testing site and everybody had to get nasal swabs, you know, our five-year-old, Henry, hadn’t been nasal swabbed before. He, uh, we knew that was going to be weird for him. And so, we said, well, let’s, let’s show you what this is going to be like. I sat in the living room with him, and I showed him a Q-tip and I showed him how I did it in my nose and that’s what they’re going to do to them. And he’s like, I don’t want that put that in my nose. And yep. I understand that buddy. And so, then I, I pulled miles aside on the way and I was like, hey, listen, man, when we get there, um, I want Henry to watch you get your nasal swab. And I know it’s not comfortable.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And it tickles a little bit, but just be cool because you’re going to show him that it’s not scary. And you know, he’s nine, so he’s kind of trapped in between like, okay, and why does everything I do have to be about Henry, you know? Um, but it worked, you know, we, we got there, and I did mine, and Miles did his, and Henry watched, and then Henry did his, and it was okay. And so, kind of shining a light on yep, we’re all going to tackle this hard thing together. And let’s just be clear with each other about how hard it’s going to be and then we know what to expect and we’re all going to do it together. I think that’s really powerful stuff.

Alyssa:
Yes. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

Joe:
So don’t forget, friends, to Boss Like a Mother.

Joe:
Well, that’s our show, friends. If you happen to be listening on Apple Podcasts, we would like to ask you a small favor. Would you take just 60 seconds right now to leave us a review? Reviews are important to shows like ours. On the screen of the episode, you’re listening to just tap the linked show name (Boss Better Now with Joe Mull), and then, when the show page opens, just scroll to the bottom, and tap “write a review”. If you’ve found any of what we do here helpful, know that Alyssa and I both would be truly grateful for a review. Thank you for listening. And we will see you next time.

Alyssa:
This show is sponsored by Joe Mull and Associates. Remember, commitment comes from better bosses. Visit JoeMull.com today.

Joe:
Hey BossHeroes, check it out. One of the phone calls I get most often is the, we have one person here who really needs help phone call. The leader on the line, tells me about an abrasive executive, a manager not meeting the needs of his or her team, or two physicians who can’t overcome conflict. Their question is always the same. Do you have any training I could provide for this person? I have to tell them the uncomfortable truth. Theirs is a problem that training won’t fix. The problems these leaders described require a different solution: Coaching. A professional coach helps people explore new ways of thinking and operating while examining the root causes of their own behavior. When someone needs to examine their approach, adjust their style, become more adaptable, clarify goals, or navigate conflict, there’s only one coach I recommend – our own Alyssa Mullet. Alyssa is a professional and executive coach who works one-on-one with clients to tackle the issues that live behind closed doors. Experienced, credentialed, and revered by her clients, Alyssa can help you or any leader struggling on your team, design a path to achievement and professional success. I’ve sent Alyssa to clients all over the country and they rave about her every time. Every. Single. Time. So, if you have that one leader who is struggling or that one leader is you, I strongly encourage you to invest in coaching. For more information on working with Alyssa or to get a quote, visit JoeMull.com/coaching.

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