57. Positive Reappraisal + Should We Stop Texting Employees

Episode 57: Positive Reappraisal + Should We Stop Texting Employees (Summary)

In our ongoing battle against burnout, we may need to get better at positive reappraisal. I’ll tell you what that is and why it matters. Plus, laws are being passed that make it illegal to text your employees after hours. Is that a good thing? We’re diving in 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.
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Transcript – Episode 57: Positive Reappraisal + Should We Stop Texting Employees

 

Joe:
Did you know that twice a year, I hold a one-day interactive virtual conference to help leaders become better bosses? We call it the BossBetter Virtual Summit. And the only way to get tickets to these events is to be a subscriber to our BossBetter email newsletter. It’s free. Just text the word BossHero to 66866 to get signed up and to be the first to know when dates are announced. That’s BossHero, all one word, to 66866. Or you can visit bossbetternow.com to subscribe. Now let’s get to the podcast!

Joe:
In our ongoing battle against burnout, we may need to get better at positive reappraisal. We’ll tell you what that is and why it matters. Plus laws are being passed that make it illegal to text your employees after hours. Is that a good thing? We’re diving in now on Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:
You’re listening to Boss Better Now. Please welcome speaker, author, and shower singer, Joe Mull.

Joe:
Welcome back, BossHeroes, to our weekly show! Whether you’re joining us via Apple Podcasts or Spotify or Audible or iHeartRadio, or because you said, Hey, Alexa, play Boss Better Now with Joe Mull, we are glad you’re here. And apologies, again, if I just set off your smart speaker. Sorry, not sorry. Please welcome my co-host, professional coach, Alyssa Mullet. Hello again.

Alyssa:
Hey! Hello! So we’ve talked about like some of our…I think we’ve done it on air. Maybe not. How some of our ideas, like come to us in the shower. So are you like full-on singing and receiving these brilliant ideas as well? At the same time? Cuz I’m kind of just like, not a multitasker in that way. Like it’s enough that like I am actually trying to clean myself and I’m thinking up greatness. I don’t, I can’t sing too.

Joe:
I got you. Yeah. No, I think if I’m showering like early in the morning, I completely go in my own head and I’m thinking about the work for the day or something that I just read and yeah, sometimes I feel like, oh, I gotta write that down. Where the shower singing comes into play is usually if I’m a little more energized. So after if I exercise and I’m taking a shower afterward. Right after you exercise, you’re kind of all hyped up and you know, you’re awake and.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
So I think that maybe there’s less of the introverted retreating into the cave of my mind than there is I’m gonna crank up the music and I, yeah, I’m gonna sing along to Journey. Yeah, I gonna sing Hamilton! I’m gonna, I’m gonna do all the parts right now in the shower. Yep. That’s me. I’m guilty as charged.

Alyssa:
That’s awesome. So it’s not totally acapella. You do have music playing alongside you, accompanying your vocals.

Joe:
Yes. I have a Bluetooth speaker in the bathroom because I like to have, there’s like a little shelf way up high. And so I just, it just sits up there. And so I’ll just sometimes just, you know, connect my phone and hit play and get in the shower and, you know, have a little bebop going.

Alyssa:
That’s a good idea. That is a real good idea. I’m gonna put that on my Pinterest board for when I redo my master bathroom.

Joe:
That was the most 40ish-year-old woman thing you could have possibly said on our show.

Alyssa:
Yes, yes, yes, it was.

Joe:
I could pin that! Yeah.

Alyssa:
Oh, tell me you’re old without telling me you’re old.

Joe:
That’s right. I’m gonna confess though that the shower singing happens more often when I’m home alone. Like I don’t necessarily get the courage to really belt it out when there are other people in the house, even though I’ve like been a singer for a long time and I’ve done that publicly and still do it publicly. So I’m not terrible, but like just being able to be totally free with it and let it rip. I feel like I need to be home alone.

Alyssa:
Duly noted.

Joe:
Well, we’re gonna start today, Alyssa with something that you and I started talking about a little bit offline. Alyssa brought me an idea for our podcast this week and I’m really excited about this. She came across this concept called positive reappraisal in a book that you were reading, Alyssa, about burnout. And so I think this is something that we’ve talked with leaders about in the past and maybe used some different labels to talk about it. But I’m intrigued by how using this approach can actually be a powerful tool to navigate burnout. And so I’m gonna turn it over to you so you can tell us what is positive reappraisal and why can it be helpful when facing burnout?

Alyssa:
Yeah. So I’m reading this book called literally Burnout by Dr. Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski, her sister. And I’m gonna read the specific phrase, cause I think it’s important to understand the, how she lines it up here. But the tactic, positive reappraisal, is to stressors that you are experiencing that are not under your control. So put that framework into your brain hole. Okay. So with positive reappraisal, you can acknowledge when things are difficult and you recognize the difficult you are experiencing is in fact worth it. It is actually an opportunity. It does not mean…positive reappraisal does not mean, and it is not as simplistic as just simply saying, oh, I’m gonna find the silver lining or look on the bright side. That’s not what this is, cuz we’ve talked about that whole toxic positivity toxic.

Joe:
Toxic positivity. Yep.

Alyssa:
Right. This is a way of thinking. So the, one of the really great analogies she gives in setting this up is like, you’re stuck in traffic. Again, it’s nothing…it’s a stressor you cannot control, but it’s a framework for your brain to try to, okay, how can I look at what I am experiencing in sitting in this traffic and getting so frustrated? How can I look at that in a way of it’s worth it, it’s worth it. That I have this time now that I can prepare and think about that meeting before I rush into it. I can now, you know, look, I’m feeling the sunshine on my face. Oh, okay, I’m taking the time. I’m, I’m doing some deep breathing. Hey, I’m getting that in today. You know, it’s trying to understand what that challenge is offering you. It’s the whole thing of appealing to our inner curiosity. And that’s, you know, that’s where my…that’s where the juicy stuff is for me. And so that’s why I kind of really attached myself to this concept of positive reappraisal. Cause I think, as leaders, in trying to manage our own energy in the workplace, this could be really an important tactic. And I wonder what your thoughts are. What do you think? Do you have this mindset already? Can you align your thinking with this, you know, positive reappraisal? What are your thoughts, Joe?

Joe:
Yeah. Yes. We’ve talked in a recent episode about the whole systems thinking, right? The fast thinking and the slow thinking and how our initial reactions are emotional and reactive and not very deep or thoughtful. And then with a little bit of time, and sometimes some intentionality we get to a more thoughtful way of looking at things. I think this approach of positive reappraisal helps us get through the fast and irrational thinking more quickly. And it becomes a tool. It becomes a device that we can use to get to more substantive thinking about things. And I think we’ve probably used other terms in the workplace, maybe like reframing, I think is a word that gets thrown around a lot. And that sounds like it’s a cousin of this. You know, because when you’re sitting in traffic, the first thing you think is like your gripping…Some people are white-knuckling the steering wheel like this is some bull-shit. Like, let’s go. Okay?

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
But then that question of is it worth…I can’t control it.

Alyssa:
Right.

Joe:
And is it worth it for me to have that reaction? Right. And so some of what you described is reframing, right? This idea of, well, okay. This is a chance for me to maybe listen to the news on the radio or listen to some music, or feel the sun on my face and just take a breath. And, but then that is it worth it question, I think is really interesting because what happens if you continue down the path of anger and frustration while sitting in traffic? Well, you become this rage-y idiot, right? Who’s flipping people off or trying to go up the shoulder and you do something dumb. And if you have that intentional thought of, is it worth it? No, because at the other end of that is maybe causing an accident, or getting into a dispute, or just arriving at work in a state of mind that’s not gonna move me toward success or even effectiveness. And so I think that is it worth, the question is really interesting as and really unique as a part of this process. Is it worth it? If I continue to allow myself to dwell on the negative aspects of the situation I’m in that I can’t control.

Alyssa:
Hmm. Interesting. See, this is where our similarities like diverge a bit.

Joe:
Okay.

Alyssa:
Because the way that I approach it, I guess this might be just because again, that deep curiosity, it’s a, you know, like kind of a core value for me, is I assume…I have to assume that it is worth it. I don’t even question, is it okay? I have to assume it is. And that my…the real work of my brain then becomes trying to figure out all the ways that it is worth it and focusing my energy on making sure I get real curious. So there’s this assumption in my brain of it’s automatically worth it.

Joe:
Can you put this in the context, cuz we’re talking about this in a really kind of macro, and amorphous, ambiguous way? So put what you are describing as your thought processes where you automatically assume that it’s worth it. Can you put that into a real-world scenario?

Alyssa:
Oh, so outside of like the traffic thing, you know, I certainly experience, you know, like frustrations whether you’re trying to, like, manage your own health and you know, you’re not getting through, or you can’t get the appointment that you want again, things that you…your control is very limited.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Right. In an actuality, probably a 0, 0, 0 0.0, right. Or experiencing, oh, this is like one that I think everyone experiences is other people like how other people react to you.

Joe:
Yeah, yeah.

Alyssa:
Right. Cause again, you have zero control over what, how they experience you. You can just do what you do and what they choose to do with that is, is totally on them. When I think about trying to set boundaries with people and how I experience those reactions, it becomes automatic that I must think that just because it is difficult for me to experience them being mad at me or them not speaking to me or something like that as a reaction that that boundary isn’t worth it. It’s easy to think that way, but I, for me, the work comes from assuming then that it is worth that boundary that I set. It is the work of my brain to figure out how all of that connects to how ‘worth it’ it is. So what will I experience when this person can uphold my boundary? Why is this so important to me personally? Why is this boundary feel so hurtful whenever they said that? There is this kind of thought pattern around, I can’t control them, but the internal way that I can kind of control and evaluate is led through this curiosity of it being worth it because this is the work of becoming a strongly curious person that’s living on this earth.

Joe:
My kids got a book a few years ago. I went to a conference. I was the keynote speaker for a conference. And this organization gave everybody in the audience, all their employees, this children’s book. It was called, What Do You Do With A Problem?

Alyssa:
Hmm.

Joe:
I think that’s what it’s called. I’m gonna regret that if it’s not right. But it’s got this beautiful artwork. It’s got these different kinds of pencil drawings and in color of a kid who has a problem. And the problem is this big amorphous (I think that I’ve used that word twice in this episode already.) um it looks like scribbles, right? It looks like a storm cloud, but it’s all scribbles. And you move through the children’s book and you read about how the kid decided to keep peeling back and trying to pull apart the problem to see what was inside of it.

Alyssa:
Mm.

Joe:
And you get to the end of the book and what you found out was that inside of the problem was an opportunity. And so then it becomes, what do you do with an opportunity? And so what’s funny is that, so we got this book and I’ve read it to my kids a couple of times. And it’s really a neat way to sort of think about helping people become resilient and thoughtful and reframe and all the things that we’re sort of talking about here. But it reminds me of a boss that I used to have. His name was Tim. He was in HR. And when I first started working for Tim every single time I would bring him a problem he would say, it’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity. And the first couple times he did that, I was like, dude, that’s annoying. Like I would say that in my head, I’d be like, no, it’s a problem, Tim. It’s a, it’s a 19-volt problem. Okay. I’ve got 147 different kinds of problems inside this problem, Tim, I don’t wanna, I don’t want your, your, you know

Alyssa:
Yeah. You don’t want the contrite. Oh, I an opportunity, right? Yeah. I, yeah, I get that.

Joe:
But guess what happened? I worked for the guy for I forget how long I worked for Tim a year or two and within weeks it was predictive. I knew that when I brought a problem to Tim, the first thing he was gonna say was okay, but what’s the opportunity. And so my mind was doing it. And I ended up thinking differently about things. Like credit to Tim, because it was…it’s really easy to say that to somebody and know that they’re gonna roll their eyes at you and being like that’s trite, you know, like, you know, can we come back down here to real people land where this is a big problem, but that actually helps train your brain in the ways that you’re talking about.

Alyssa:
Yeah. It, it chooses to, again, spark a different level of wavelength of here’s this frustration and pissed-off-ness and there’s this thing I can’t control. There’s this big, old problem and instantaneously, we want to stay in that place because somehow we think that that’s where the solution lies as well. Right?

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Or that’s where our control lies. And it’s not, it’s actually in that opportunity in that curiosity about where the opportunity is and the worth of that difficulty, that’s the stretch, the positive reappraisal is jump. Being able to go from here, sitting in this real big frustration to this. Okay, here’s this opportunity. Right. And what can I do with this opportunity? And how can I look at this? It’s almost Pavlovian. Tim was a secret genius. That he did that to you.

Joe:
Well, and what you’ve really given us here, Alyssa is a roadmap for the coaching conversation that bosses can have with employees when they bring a problem or frustration to them. Because the first question becomes, okay, how much control do you have over that?

Alyssa:
Hmm.

Joe:
And then the employee can say, okay, well not a lot. All right. But what are you feeling? Okay. I’m feeling frustrated and okay. Is it worth it? If you have no control over it and you’re feeling all that stuff, is it worth it? And should we allow ourselves to continue feeling that way? Like, let’s name it, let’s acknowledge it. Let’s feel it for a moment, but let’s not let that take over. And then you can go, okay, now forgive what you might roll your eyes at, but this is actually how we deal with this kind of stuff. Is where’s the opportunity? Right?

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
What…Why might this be a good thing?

Alyssa:
And this is an excellent thought pattern. You know, I presented it as how we, as leaders, can try to internalize this right as a positive reappraisal. But what you’re expanding it to is how that sets us up for success in a coaching conversation.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
And trying to teach this and ingrain this much like Tim did all of those years ago is to be able to give people that tactic, that strategy, that reframing, however, we wanna call it. That’s an important path forward. I think it’s another tool in the toolbox.

Joe:
Well, and you talked about internalizing this for ourselves, but internalizing really is just coaching conversations as self-talk.

Alyssa:
Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Joe:
Where you can walk through and ask our…you know, so it’s the same questions that you would ask yourself to internalize it. You can then make explicit in your conversations with your direct reports and actually coach. And, you know, they may not have built the self-talk for themselves yet that helps them positively reappraise certain situations, especially the ones that they do not control. And so you’re just gonna do it for them. Hashtag coaching. That’s what it is.

Alyssa:
True story. True story.

Joe:
Well, thanks for the idea, Alyssa, I think that’s a really interesting conversation. And we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with something that one of us said? Do you strongly disagree? Do you find yourself thinking they are full of crap? Well, then we want you to add to our discussion. And we also always invite you to ask a question of your own. Any and all messages are welcome. Just email us at BossBetterNow@gmail.com,

Joe:
We arrive now at the Camaraderie Question of the Week, Alyssa. Bosses build camaraderie on teams by making it easier for people to find things in common with each other. That’s why every week we bring a question that our listeners can use in their interactions with others one-on-one, in groups, online, in the room to facilitate connection and to build camaraderie. Our question this week is this: Which birthday in your life so far has been the most significant one. And why? And I want to give a little bit of context for this question because I’m not asking like most significant in terms of that’s the year I got this present or that year, the cake was amazing. I’m talking about when you think about each age of your life, which turning, which number has been the most significant one so far, and why? What say you?

Alyssa:
Well, now that you say it, I had one answer in mind when I first thought of this question, and then the, now whenever you actually speak it into the world, it means something different to me.

Joe:
Well, you can give us both. It’s our podcast. You can do whatever you want.

Alyssa:
We can do whatever we want. My thought pattern is like I think 30. And I say that because I remember it so vividly like I was 29 and getting out of the hospital for literal physical burnout of my body. And that had created an autoimmune disease. And I remember getting out of the hospital after spending a week plus there and thinking, oh my gosh, I, at least I got out before my 30th birthday, like, and thinking I’m only 30 and this is what I’ve done to myself already. Mm. Like this is a big old turning point. I gotta, I gotta do something different if I am gonna get to 40. Cause…

Joe:
What a positive reappraisal. I mean, seriously, the…that you found yourself reflectively going, thank God I got so sick so fast. Otherwise, this might have carried on for such a long time. I don’t know if that’s exactly what you’re saying, but that’s kind of a long,

Alyssa:
Over a course of a couple of years. Probably. That’s what I eventually got to. But in the moment I distinctly remember thinking, I gotta do something different because this is not how I, I would’ve ever imagined, you know the days leading up to my 30th birthday. Yeah. So, yeah, that was definitely pivotal.

Joe:
30, the big three-O.

Alyssa:
The big three-0. And, and not because I felt like I was getting old, it was literally that I was, I was like killing myself through burnout. Yeah. Stress. So, okay. That was an important one. Now, if you give something lighthearted, I’m gonna feel a little…

Joe:
No, no. I don’t have a lighthearted answer. It’s just more of an observation. Cause I thought about this one. I wanted to come up with something unique and be like, well, 38 and a half. No. I think my answer is forty. And so I’m right about to turn 45. And as I thought about this question, I thought, well, 40 felt like I had arrived at the place I had been striving toward. So I hit 40 and I had just had our third kid, well, I didn’t have it, my wife had it. I was there. And so we had, you know, we had three kids and the trilogy was complete. And I was, had built my business to the point where it was just kind of arriving at a place that it was doing alright. It was doing well. I was, I was earning a nice living. I, for the first time in my life, wasn’t like living paycheck to paycheck. And it was like, I was able to look around and kind of say, oh, okay, like, this is, I’m not, I’m not an up and coming adult. I’m like a full-blown adult. Right?

Alyssa:
I got my adult card.

Joe:
I’m not trying to…Right. Yeah. I’m not like trying to start a family. Like I’ve, I’ve arrived at like the prime years of my adult life. You know, we’ve used the term over the hill to talk about getting old, I guess I think of it as like at 40 you’ve arrived at the crest of the hill and you can see the top like you’re kind of near the up. And now if somebody listening to this right now who just turned 60, who are like, my life just begin is beginning, pal. Like you’re too young to understand. You’re probably right. You know? And but I feel like the top of the hill is the next 20 years and I’m gonna like these next 20 years are, I’m raising my kids and I’m doing the work that I enjoy doing. And I’m, I’m living the active life that I can live with all of these things in it that I’m just super grateful for. And it feels like there was kind of a before and after for that, that was probably right around my 40th birthday. Is that lighthearted or is that along the lines of…

Alyssa:
No, no.

Joe:
That’s significance the question asked for significance.

Alyssa:
Yeah, no, that’s beautiful. I that this book, you know, I, I talk about like seasons of life, but that’s like chapters of life. And, and so I can definitely identify there. There was a turning of the page, you know, for both of us.

Joe:
Yeah. I think it’d be really interesting to ask this question of teams because I think you’re gonna get some folks who give you some depth on those answers. Right. But if the wrong person goes first, feel like, oh bro, my 23rd was like crazy, man. I met this girl and I mean, blow your mind. And you know, if you…if the wrong person goes first, we went to Vegas for four days. And I only remember the first, you know, that was the greatest birthday ever. You know you get all kinds of different answers. And so maybe some context setting, like we talked about in terms of like turning that age significant, I think that that could be helpful or just ask people what was the best birthday celebration you ever had. If you wanna go the other way, keep it lighthearted and have fun. You could do that.

Alyssa:
Can I just have a moment for your surfer bro? Hashtag I am like dying. That was so spot on. That was awesome.

Joe:
Righteous, dude!

Alyssa:
Oh gosh!

Joe:
We’re glad we entertain here on the show and that’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:
All right, folks, I wanna take a moment here just to shout out our own Alyssa Mullet and the work that she does as a coach. If you’ve ever worked with a professional coach, I mean a legit, credentialed, experienced, coach, sadly, there are a lot of folks out there who call themselves a coach who do not check all those boxes as Alyssa does. If you’ve ever worked with a coach, then you know how supportive and clarifying and transformative coaching can be, a coach can help others improve in countless ways that can help leaders become more adaptable or collaborative, or more emotionally intelligent. They can help someone struggling with work-life balance or someone whose style is falling flat at work or just tackle other sensitive issues that live behind closed doors. And in recent months, Alyssa has worked with a number of different folks, burned-out physicians, overwhelmed executives, colleagues in conflict, and even under-performing managers. And in each case, she has helped nurture a path to improvement for those folks. So if you or someone on your team is struggling and you wanna learn more about working with Alyssa as a coach, you can just email us hello@joemull.com and we can get you info about how that works. We can get you pricing for services and then get you connected to Alyssa quickly. And so I just wanted to say that because there are a lot of folks out there right now, Alyssa, who are just hoping that things will improve on their own, but you know, hope isn’t a strategy. And if it’s change you want, then it’s a coach you need. And so I’ll say the email address again. Hello@Joemull.com.

Joe:
And that brings us to our third segment for today. Should we stop texting employees? There is some interesting news out of Ontario, Canada. Ontario has passed a law, Alyssa, that grants workers the right to disconnect from their jobs outside of work. And actually similar laws have been passed in France, and Spain, and Portugal. These are trends that we’re seeing with the idea being that workers should not be expected to engage with their responsibilities after work hours. And Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to do this. It’s an effort to prioritize workers’ mental health and a shift toward better work balance so the focus here is on wellbeing. And especially for folks where there has been this blurring of lines in terms of physical separation between work, people who are working from home, and whatnot. And so the bill (I’m pulling it up here) it’s called the Working for Workers Act and it defines disconnecting from work as not engaging in work-related communication, including emails, telephone calls, video calls, sending and reviewing messages in an effort to help people feel like they can get away from the office, even with the encroachment of modern technology. And so this is a trend these are not just conversations that we’re seeing legislatively. This is a trend that we’re seeing in organizations who are working to create better boundaries. We just had Maura Thomas on the show who talked about some of those boundaries. What’s your reaction to this, Alyssa? And is this a good thing?

Alyssa:
I freaking love it. Amen. Hallelujah. And I love it because of the word you just said, boundaries. You know, when we have encouraged folks to see themselves outside of what it is they do, this concept of work is not your identity, right? Which is a struggle for a lot of people. It comes with…trying to do that comes with this angst of I’m the only one and, you know, putting that boundary or those boundaries in place that I’m not available or that I’m not, you know, goes against what everybody else is doing. And so this, you know, fear of missing out there’s this, what will be the retaliation? What will be all of the trickle-down or the trickle-up effect of me setting that boundary and whenever governments and organizations start to do this as a whole, it removes that alienation that you feel that making that boundary might mean for you specifically to your career? It puts the boundary back where it is in the work rather than on you, the person, to initiate. And so, I’m all for things that help all of us start to disconnect in a real way from entangling only our self-worth, our all of those things, into what it is we do.

Joe:
Well said. And I think there’s been this kind of slow climb toward an expected level of access to people that didn’t exist previously with the advent of smartphones and instant messaging and texting. Don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of organizations who have a policy that their employees are not allowed to use their phones during work hours. And then immediately expect to be able to text them after hours. Right? I need you to come in, you know, or I need you to work on Saturday, you know, from their boss. So I can’t look at my phone at work when you’re paying me, but you expect me to look at it right away when you want to be in touch with me after work. That’s some bunk right there. But I think what’s interesting here about this is, yes, there is…anything that goes, to protect workers’ time outside of work, I’m in favor of. And anything that helps people set just as you said, better boundaries I am in favor of. I think what’s interesting is that there’s a generational dynamic at play here. You know, we’re both in our forties and I, as a supervisor, I don’t like texting my employees after hours. I don’t like it at all. I feel like it’s an intrusion. And just like, I don’t like to be texted after hours. Like if people are texting me about work after hours, I’m like, yo, this is my family time. Like the building better be on fire if you’re texting me. Yeah. And Jamie’s listening to us right now and she’s all like, does that mean I shouldn’t text him and no, Jamie, you’re fine. The thing is though that I know that I’m of a certain generation that thinks about this in that way. And I know that you know, people who are younger than me actually prefer text communication and that sort of instant messaging over phone calls. And so there’s a balance to be struck here because I think one of the things that we talk about on the show a lot is meet people where they are and you learn about how people wanna be communicated with. And if what you find out is some people just would rather you send them an email versus a text. Then you gotta remember that. Whereas some people would rather, you send them a text versus an email then, okay. So I don’t think of it as off-limits and good or bad. I think of it as very circumstantial. And so the circumstance with these laws is the after-hours outside of work and the expectation that people should then respond immediately. Because you know, you can, you can go online and you can search for all these different stories and memes about like texts from my boss. And it’s amazing the expectations that people have to be responded to right away in a text message. Whereas if I’m an employee and I decide, Hey, I went home, I worked all day, I’m tired. I don’t feel well. I’m gonna go to bed. And then you end up having like a 14-hour sleep and then you get up and you take your kid to the soccer game, and then you go to the grocery store and you just never look at your phone. And what you look down and you see is your boss has sent you four text messages about changing your schedule and coming in, but you never saw it. And now the boss is mad at you. And they don’t have a right to that instant response. And so that’s, that’s a big part of why I like these laws, which just goes like, Hey, if you need that person to switch on Saturday, dial the number and ring the phone and be like, Hey, sorry to bother you during your off time, any chance I could convince you to switch your shift to Saturday, you know, leave a voicemail, call me back. And that kind of interaction I think is healthier than just the, I should have access to you at any time expectation that comes with a text message.

Alyssa:
Yeah. when you talked about that being generational, I think that that’s very true and the way that sometimes I experience this is you know, I have a network of folks that I interact with online and, you know, oh, this one super-smart doctor just rocking the world, a female leader that I really look up to, posted about, you know, she’s got grants due, she’s got this due and now she’s in her third quarantine because her youngest is too young to wear a mask. And daycare’s had an incident, right? And dear aunt Shirley, not her real name first comment, the first comment is, oh, enjoy this time. You’ll never get it back. Shirley, Shirley, we have never experienced this time ever. You have never been here. There has never been a time and a place in which you have experienced trying to have a full-time career, manage a pandemic, and a family of however many being in quarantine. You…Shirley, we don’t want this time back. You don’t have the right to say that.

Joe:
Surely you’re joking! Sorry. I could not resist.

Alyssa:
Oh, more of your dad jokes. I’ll take it, I’ll take it. But you know, this, this whole concept of what we think we have rights to. What you think other people are experiencing and what they should experience being all again, centered upon what you have experienced is bunk. You have to throw that all out the window. You’ve never been in that person’s shoes before. You’ve never been in this time and place before in their shoes. So you don’t have the right to continually place yourself there.

Joe:
When I was looking up some more details about the law in Ontario you know, one of the media outlets up there that was writing about it was trying to do a pros and cons kind of analysis of the law. Like, okay, here’s what, here’s what proponents of the law say why it’s a good thing. And here’s what critics say. Like, here’s the downsides of this law. And this is unreal to me. From this article, opponents say the legislation might reduce productivity as managers will have less oversight of when employees are actually working. And, ready for this? This might disproportionately affect the careers of women who opt to disconnect to tend to household chores and caregiving while their male counterparts choose to work additional hours. That is some next-level like trolling, right? That is, that is some next-level concern. That is well actually it’s, patriarchy disguised as concern, right?

Alyssa:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joe:
You know, the idea that, oh, well, some people are gonna start getting away with things because you can’t text them whenever you want. We’ve talked about this on the show. Most people are good people who are doing a good job. And if you build all of your systems around, assuming that people are bad and gonna get away with murder, you actually do more harm than good. And this whole, you may disproportionately affect the careers of women who opt to disconnect to tend to household chores and caregiving while male counterparts choose to work additional hours? How about we create systems that don’t penalize women rather than saying, well, we can’t carry on this unfortunate circumstance if this law passes.

Alyssa:
I am choosing to not speak because my rage against the patriarchy might come out a little too strong. So I agree.

Joe:
That is well. And, and, and anytime you hear people pushing back against a law like this, it’s usually just to preserve the systems that have already resulted in, at least in the U.S., ss becoming the most overworked, industrialized nation on earth and our jobs encroaching into every corner of our lives. I see these kinds of laws and like similar policies that organizations are instituting as a good thing, as attempting to provide some level of protection and respect for the rights of people to not be on call 24/7. I think it’s a good thing.

Alyssa:
You know, if this, if this bothers you, if this, this thought pattern of like, I won’t be able to do this and I won’t be able to control that. That’s a you problem. You better check your box because you are trying to preserve your own power. And that, that is how you fail.

Joe:
Well said. All right, folks, that’s our show for this week. Hey, if you wanna make sure you get new episodes of the podcast, as soon as they are released, then just hit that subscribe button, wherever you are listening. If you’re streaming on the podcast website, then pick a platform and download it to your phone. Most of them are free like Audible, or Amazon Music, or Google Podcasts, or Stitcher, or iHeartRadio. All free. And we are on all of those. We’re everywhere. We’re in all the places. So once you pick a platform, search for our show and hit the subscribe button. And then viola new episodes will be teed up for you each week, as soon as they come out for now. Thanks for listening and we will see you back here next week.

Alyssa:
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