64. Employee Resource Groups + New Boss Fears Write Up

Episode 64: Employee Resource Groups + New Boss Fears Write Up (Summary)

Belonging is a core ingredient to creating a workplace where people care and try. I’ll tell you about a specific strategy that can supercharge belonging where you work. Plus, we help a new boss who is nervous about documenting performance problems. It’s all ahead now, on Boss Better Now.

Links:
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Transcript – Episode 64: Employee Resource Groups + New Boss Fears Write Up

 

Joe:
Belonging is a core ingredient to creating a workplace where people care and try, I’ll tell you about a specific strategy that can supercharge belonging where you work. Plus, we help a new boss who is nervous about documenting performance problems. It’s all ahead. Now on Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:
You’re listening to Boss Better Now. This show is sponsored by Joe Mull and Associates. Now here’s your host, speaker, and author, Joe Mull.

Joe:
Welcome back to the arena, BossHeroes! The arena where you do your work, where you get your hands dirty, where you get a little beat up every once in a while all in the service of helping people thrive at work. We are delighted, thrilled, over the moon to have you here. And we thank you for spending a few minutes out of your day with us, that voice you heard at the top of the show was none other than my fabulous co-host professional coach, Alyssa Mullet. Hello, my friend.

Alyssa:
Hello. Hello. Hello. I love, love the topic of belonging.

Joe:
Mm.

Alyssa:
Uh, I am so enamored and devoted to the work of Dr. Brene Brown,

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
On the topic of belonging. She has masterful pieces on that. I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to look at or know about her newest book.

Joe:
Yes.

Both:
Atlas of the Heart.

Alyssa:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s like a whole HBO special.

Joe:
I was gonna ask if this was on your radar. Yes. That’s gonna be a big thing, I think.

Alyssa:
I don’t have, of course the streaming service that is necessary to watch said thing, but a funny story for Christmas, my BFF and I, Maria exchanged little gifts, you know, just little tokens of something we thought each other would like, and we opened them at the same time. And guess what it was.

Joe:
Oh, no.

Alyssa:
Mutual copies of Atlas of the Heart. So we both got each other the same book.

Joe:
That’s fantastic.

Alyssa:
You know, what better tribute to the fact that, you know, yourself and your BFF the best. When you get each other the same thing.

Joe:
That’s like a giant blinking sign that says we are in the right place.

Alyssa:
That’s right.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
That’s it affirming? Affirm. Affirm.

Joe:
And I think we actually talked, I think on this show a while back about how interesting it was that Brene Brown did this Netflix special a couple years ago. And she was really the first sort of subject matter expert or thought leader around a topic to get a Netflix special like you would give a comedian, but it wasn’t a comedian. And that this kind of this format really was gonna open up a lot of doors for other types of experts. And so now what do you see now? We see HBO saying, let’s do this as a miniseries. Let’s try and create some buzz around it and, and really dive in and, and, you know, obviously they’re leveraging the penetration that she has had across so much of pop culture and, and media because she has found such a really powerful and compelling way to talk about things that are, talk about subjects that are so relevant to so many of us. I will also tell you this, my friend, I do have an HBO Max subscription. And so it sounds like we need to set up like a watch party, right? With, with Brene Brown and Alyssa and Joe and nachos.

Alyssa:
Nachos.

Joe:
I’m in! What say you?

Alyssa:
That sounds yummy. Although I need to, I need plenty of queso on the nachos.

Joe:
Absolutely! Oh, this…they go…It’s peanut butter jelly. It’s nachos and queso. There is not one without the other in our house.

Alyssa:
Okay, good, good, good, good, good. I

Joe:
I feel like you don’t even know me!

Alyssa:
I’m glad we can see eye to eye on this.

Joe:
And I too am passionate about our topic today around belonging, and there are so many angles to it. And obviously, one set of angles is around all of the work that Brene does around vulnerability. And, and there’s so much more work now than ever before being done around creating inclusive workplaces, like all the DEI work that so many organizations are finally committing to. Our in-service of creating psychological safety. And because we know that when people feel a sense of belonging, when they are connected to a community at it, it can supercharge commitment and, you know, we get so many incredible benefits from it. I wanna talk today about a specific device that a lot of organizations are using, and it it’s a newer ish idea. I don’t wanna say that it’s a new idea because in some places these kinds of ideas really started, I think, more than about 20 years ago. Um but they have really caught on in recent years and that is something called employee resource groups or ERGs.

Alyssa:
Okay.

Joe:
ERGs are employee-led groups that are designed to make workplaces safer, more supportive for groups of employees who share a common characteristic or ethnicity or lifestyle circumstance or interest. So for example, in your organization, you might decide to support an employee resource group or an ERG for LGBTQIA+ employees. You may look at your organization and say within our organization, we have a subset of people who are all a hundred percent remote workers and they have a unique set of challenges and, and circumstances. And so we’re gonna create a remote worker ERG. You may look and see we have employees who have disabilities. And so let’s create an employees with disabilities ERG to make sure that we are creating an open-ended dialogue with those folks about how we can create a workplace that allows them to thrive. Because when we have ERGs that are supported by leadership, they can improve work conditions. They can facilitate open conversations they can help develop leaders and they can help bring frustrations to the surface quickly and safely from people in those groups, without forcing people in those groups to necessarily take the risks that sometimes people have to take in order to speak up. The groups can, can help with those kinds of things. So, Alyssa, are you familiar at all with ERGs and if so where and how have you seen them at work and if not, what’s your reaction?

Alyssa:
I, I think in some semblance the concept has, has been around for a while. I think maybe back in my more defined corporate days, you know, when I was in the corporate structure myself, rather than, you know, supporting them through coaching as I am now, it was deemed like a committee.

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
You know?

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
That kind of thing. You, you had your committee work.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Um I, and I say that, and I almost wanna, you know, like choke on it a little bit because it committees in my experience lacked really any authority to make real change. And so is the concept behind ERGs one in which that group of people hold some authority to actually not just recommend.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
But actually make change. Like, is there a differentiation there or…?

Joe:
Well, it’s gonna depend on organization to organization and how much of a commitment the organization makes to that. I think where we see them being used most successfully there absolutely is. So I’m, I actually just finished interviewing a C-suite executive from a large software company for the book. So I’ve talked a little bit about how I’m in the throes of writing book number three right now. And so, you know, which is like, I’ve told people, it’s like wrestling a bear to the ground with one arm tied behind your back. Writing a book is hard. But I did not end up in a fetal position anytime this week, weeping about my inability to get to move forward.

Alyssa:
Yay! Wins!

Joe:
So we’re calling it a win that’s. Right. but I ended up interviewing this C-suite executive and he talked with so much passion and enthusiasm about ERGs unprompted in his organization and about the role they play in inclusion and belonging. And one of the things that he talked about was how important it is that they are employee-led, but also organizationally driven. And you know, what he shined a light on for me, and what I’m sort of passing on to everybody listening, is that perhaps the two most important conditions for an ERG to work is that they are given time and money. They are supported by the organization by having a line of communication to the C-suite. That C-suite devotes time to interact with this group to get reports from this group to collaborate from this group. Employees are given time to, to participate, to do the project work, to, to, to lead the initiatives that may come out of these groups. And they are given money. So in this software organization, and I’m not naming them yet because the book hasn’t come out and but in this organization, they give a budget to their employee resource groups. And I’ll tell you about the other employee resource groups that are present in this company. So we have some more context for this in this organization they have five employee resource groups. They have an LGBTQ group, they have a women in tech group. They have a family’s ERG group to, to focus on people who are parents. They have a neurodiverse employees group, and then they have an employee resource group for people of color. And each group is employee-led. Each group has a budget provided by the organization and each group drives initiatives that are publicly shared with the organization. And so I can give you a few more examples of some ways that which these groups are being used in, in these kinds of organizations. But I think your point is spot on Alyssa. There are certainly places where, where we, we invite employees to drive these kinds of initiatives, but then they aren’t given those assets of time and money and they aren’t given that broad-based public support and they don’t have a line of communication. And so they’re robbed of the very authority that you described.

Alyssa:
Well, and it also speaks to, without the commitment of time and money, we’re talking about tokenism.

Joe:
Yes!

Alyssa:
In each of these capacities, right? Oh, well, I can say it in name and I support these things and I support these people, but not with actual time or money.

Joe:
That’s right. That’s right.

Alyssa:
Right. Right. So one of the things I’m interested though, is, is it are these groups, folk where folks can self-select into those communities into those groups? Or is it like you’re tapping people on the shoulder to say, Hey, you wanna join this? Or, or is it maybe a little bit of both? Like how do organizations logistically, I mean, I think you have to be kind of careful?

Joe:
Absolutely!

Alyssa:
Like to say hey, you wanna be part of this neurodivergent group over here, right. Like, yeah. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Joe:
Yeah. Like, Hey, you, you look black, maybe you should think about our people of color ERG. That’s not a conversation we want to get into like that. But so I, I, I think self-selection is a big part of it, but I think there has to be a lot of commitment to, to awareness of the groups and not just that they exist, but what they do and what is gained. And it’s not even just about driving systems or processes or projects across the organization that it is about community, that it is about belonging. It is about accessing a safe place and, and being able to interact more directly with people who know and understand what it means to be, you know, X to be in that lifestyle circumstance or to have that shared interest or that, that, that common ethnicity. Um, so one of the things that we know organizations are doing are making ERGs a part of employee orientation. And, you know, having those groups come and maybe give presentations or talk about what those groups are doing in the organization and how to access those groups. I know organizations who use ERGs as part of hiring. So the software company that I interviewed says that as part of their interview process for any candidate, they will give them access to somebody from any ERG to interview. So if you are a woman in tech or you’re a person of color, and you wanna interview with this organization for a job, this company says, we’re gonna interview the people who are gonna supervise you or our selection committee, but over here, we have these five ERGs. And if you’d like, we will set up a contact point. So you can have a confidential conversation with anybody from that group as a way to maybe ask some tougher questions about what it’s really like to work here and what are we good at and what are we striving to get better at?

Alyssa:
Wow. That’s, that would be a pretty powerful place to put

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
Recruits and your, and your own, you know, organization. Like you’re truly building, that’s built-in commitment.

Joe:

Yes.

Alyssa:
You know, from the onset, like here’s what you’re getting, you’re getting the whole enchilada and this is real talk, another opportunity for a process where generally breeds inauthenticity. Inauthentic interactions. How about I say that?

Joe:
Easy for us to say.

Alyssa:
Um that an opening into real belonging and community exists in a dialogue that could bring forth a little bit more of authenticity into that recruitment process. I think the other thing that would be important to look at in these ERG groups is if we are truly committing as an organization to community and belonging as a part of this, these values for the ERGs, then it should incorporate folks across the employment spectrum. Like not just staff, but also, you know, what if, if you’re in healthcare faculty and, you know clinicians and things like that, and then administrators and C-suite, you know, so I, in order to truly be representative and feel like it is important, and it is a, an imperative part of the community that we belong to here in our workplace, I think it has to encapsulate every level of management within the organization.

Joe:
I completely agree. And not only that, I would argue that within the ERG, you have to work to do away with the hierarchy that exists on the org chart. Right? Mm. So that if, if in the org chart that faculty member sits way up high and has a bunch of sway and influence, and I’m, you know, John Q administrative assistant a little bit farther down, but in the ERG, I’m in a leadership role, I think we have to do the work necessary to help people rethink some of those power structures, especially within those communities, in order for them to really work

Alyssa:
Interesting. Yeah. That, that would be a, a great dynamic to explore as, as, as the, as part of the work of the ERG is to, you know, right-sizing those power dynamics within that community. Right.

Joe:
And there might even be a, a need in some places to prevent people who have a lot of power and influence because of the nature of their role or their title from holding formal leadership roles within the ERG, of course they can be members, but if you really want this to be employee-driven, employee-led, you may have to set some boundaries around who is allowed to hold those power positions in the ERG.

Alyssa:
Interesting, interesting.

Joe:
I, I, I know that and you’ll, I think you’ll really appreciate this element that, that ERGs can obviously drive belonging, but that can be an accountability mechanism for the organization too. The gentleman and I was interviewing was talking about the women in tech group in his organization. And he talked about how they hold the organization accountable for gender diversity and hiring. He, he told me about how the human resources department every month provides that ERG with data around how many women were in the final discussions for any director’s level role, how many women they hire compared to men. And they have an ongoing conversation with the C-suite about that. The other thing that ERGs can do is play a role in education across the organization. We, he talked about how for their LGBTQ ERG, they had four employees volunteer to do a company webinar about their coming out experience about how they identify about why pronouns matter. Um and he’s, he said we we’re a company that has a lot of white males in the Eastern block of Europe. And so this is something that they need to hear because there’s bias out there. And when these people are listening, it helps them think differently. And so he said that there’s been a really neat payoff for us in terms of education, but at the same time, the members of these ERGs are saying, you know, I’ve never worked at a place where I felt more comfortable talking about who I am and talking about these kinds of subjects. And so from an education perspective, there’s a real benefit as well.

Alyssa:
Interesting. This is it’s fascinating to me. I think they could be a really great resource in a lot of different ways. And, and certainly, I can see how it could absolutely breed community and belonging in the workplace.

Joe:
Absolutely. And if nothing else, you know, these kinds of groups can impact positively impact morale. You know, he, he was telling me about the family’s group and he said, as the year was winding down, the family’s ERG had a little bit of money left in their budget at the end of the year. And so they sent a $50 Door Dash credit to everybody in the ERG and they said, Hey, the holidays can be stressful. So don’t worry about cooking tonight. And he said, you know, that’s just another little thing that someone gets at work and thinks, wow, like, look what they do here. And this organization and those kinds of little things can go a long way to retaining talent and making people feel special.

Alyssa:
Agreed. Absolutely.

Joe:
Well, folks, if you are interested in driving these kinds of initiatives in your organization do some Google work here, you can do some searching around employee resource groups in terms of how to get started, sort of right and wrong ways to, to do these kinds of things. And I think some of the conditions that we just described around C-suite support, but employee-driven around assets like time and money about the ability for these organizations to be an accountability mechanism and an education mechanism, as well as a morale and belonging mechanism should give you a, a, a jumpstart on doing something like this, where you work. If it’s something that you want to pursue. We’d love to hear what you think, friends. You can, email the show, not only to give us feedback but also to email your questions. We wanna invite you to email your question to our show, to be answered on the air. If you have a situation or an ongoing struggle as a leader, we wanna hear from you, you can send your question and your feedback to BossBetterNow@gmail.com.

Joe:
We arrive now once again to 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, you know, like employee resource groups. Every week we give you a question here that you can use at meetings to facilitate connection and build camaraderie. Our question this week, Alyssa, this is a question I get asked a lot. I imagine you get, might get asked it from time to time as a professional coach. What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career like yours?

Alyssa:
Gosh. I think about the things that have served me most in the capacity of a coach now, and I feel like there is no substitute for experience in terms of being in a leadership role and a management role being part of the lowest level of any ladder on the ground floor anywhere working your way up being able to have a full depth and breadth of experience in a, you know, my, the industries that I have served in hospitality. So service industry orientation, there is no job on the planet that does not benefit from when you work in the service industry period industry.

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
Okay. So I would even say like back to my 15 year old self, you know, waitressing and scrubbing toilets absolutely prepared me to be a coach today.

Joe:
Yeah. You didn’t waitress and like scrub toilets, you didn’t scrub toilets between the waitressing. Did you that wasn’t happening like on the same shift? I hope, yeah, it

Alyssa:
No. They didn’t do that. It was, it was wasn’t and …

Joe:
Phew! I got a little nervous there. And then I was gonna ask the name of the restaurant.

Alyssa:
Two different jobs. Right.

Joe:
Luckily

Alyssa:
I gotcha. But experience, experience, experience, just whatever it is, be open to it, find meaning and opportunity to learn, because I think that that’s the essence of my line of, of professional work now, which is learning and curiosity. Yeah.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Experience breeds both of those.

Joe:
And so if I am someone who wants to become a professional coach and, and sadly you and I both know this, there are any number of people out there right now who throw up a website, you know, and say, absolutely, I’m a coach. And they have.

Alyssa:
That’s right.

Joe:
No formal training. They don’t understand what coaching is and what it isn’t. And so if I wanted to become an actual credentialed coach Alyssa, and actually

Alyssa:
Yeah. You need to go to an accredited program, right. So I went to Duquesne University for an accreditation program through them for my professional coaching. There is an actual Federation, the International Coaching Federation. It makes me wanna do the Spock hands, you know, live long and prosper. This is a Federation in which you can get further credential, they get master coach levels. And I have colleagues that have done so. For me, I chose to keep my credentials to the baseline, if you will.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Uh in the coaching realm, because I, my experience and my education and my other credentials were all in human resources.

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
And so that’s the kind of the foundational things you have to look at the, the quintessential credentials,

Joe:
Right.

Alyssa:
That are looked to, or espoused in those people who you look to in that industry, because

Joe:
It’s a signal to people who understand that, that this person has done the work and they understand the ethics and they understand the models and the processes in order be reputable.

Alyssa:
Exactly. Exactly.

Joe:
It’s why I got my CSP, my certified speaking professional. It’s a, it’s an indicator that this is someone who has been in the business experienced has passed several different layers of checks around ethics and enterprise and expertise, and other words that start with E and you know, that they’re not just somebody who decided yesterday to start doing this, you know

Alyssa:
Right.

Joe:
So if you ever see Alyssa online and you see the letters PC behind her name, it’s not because she’s politically correct.

Alyssa:
Cause I am not. I mean,

Joe:
She is, but I mean, okay. Yeah. And, and she’s not, and that’s why we love her, what it means. PC stands for

Alyssa:
Professional Coach. Yep. And then I also have SHRM-CP, which is SHRM Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional. In the HR field.

Joe:
Yep. It means she’s really smart. All right. That’s good advice. So if you wanna become a coach, you gotta get curious, you gotta get experience and you gotta get credentialed. I love it. Good advice, my friend.

Alyssa:
Okay. Now give us the walkthrough on the speaking training how, all of the things,

Joe:
Yes. So I’m gonna keep this short and simple cuz I get asked this a lot, right? I do a lot of keynoting at conferences. And if you’re sitting in the audience, this can look like a really glamorous thing, right. Especially at bigger conferences, like please welcome speaker author and recovering HR professional, Joe Mull! Right? And I come out and I do my thing, which is usually a mix of sharing some expertise, telling some entertaining stories, making people laugh. And then afterwards, like you get to go out in the lobby and people wanna meet you and you get to sign books and you get a little, you know, you sometimes get a little Rockstar treatment, right. And then you find out like, wow, we paid that guy how much? And so it can seem like a really glamorous, special thing and I’m not gonna lie most of the time it is. But it’s also something that you have to climb a ladder around and you have to start small. My, my first paid speaking gig was nine years ago for $200 in the lobby of lobby of a building that was being renovated. And so it was like around drywall and ladders for the Pittsburgh Young Professionals group here in Western Pennsylvania. And so when people come up to me and this happens a lot and they say, how do I do what you do? I wanna be a speaker. My first and only piece of advice is simply you need to get involved in the National Speakers Association. So NSA not the NSA who listens. This is the NSA who speaks. The national speakers association is the professional trade association here in the US for professional speakers. And I am feeding my family right now because what I have learned through NSA from the generosity of that community and from people who have really built incredible businesses. And with NSA, you learn craft, you learn how to run a speaking business. You learn how to build and grow an audience. And you also meet some of the smartest and loveliest human beings you ever will meet. And so I tell folks all the time you can, if you have a local chapter, get involved at your local chapter level, if you don’t have a local chapter consider one of the online memberships that we have in NSA and, you know, get involved and just start connecting and learning.

Alyssa:
Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.

Joe:
I, I have to shout out the website in case anybody wants to check it out. It’s NSAspeaker.org. If anybody wants to go take a look. And so yeah, if you come up to me after a keynote and you say, how do I do what you do? I’m gonna say, check out NSA. That’s the answer. And that’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:
All right, listen, before we get to mail time, I have some exciting news. We have set the date for our spring BossBetter Virtual Summit.

Alyssa:
Cool!

Joe:
And we finalized the program.

Alyssa:
Yay!

Joe:
And so we’re, this is our save the date. So, podcast listeners, save the date. Our spring BossBetter Virtual Summit is gonna be on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022. Now I am not going to tell you who the speakers are. And I am not going to tell you yet how to get tickets cuz the website is still being finalized. What I will tell you is that two weeks from now on this show, we are going to announce the lineup and we are going to give our podcast listeners a deep discount code to attend that they can’t get anywhere else. And so we’ve got four amazing, brilliant, dynamic speakers who are all coming to teach and inspire and recharge BossHeroes from all over the country. I think Alyssa, when people hear about who and hear about the topics, they’re gonna say, OMG, that’s a BFD! LFG! I don’t want FOMO. After all, YOLO. Sign me up right now because it’s too legit to quit. That’s they’re are gonna say.

Alyssa:
Oh my God, you can’t even respond to that. Yay.

Joe:
Some people are Googling what those letters mean right now. But, but save the date friends. And the good news is this is not a virtual event where you log on in the morning and you have to just sit at your zoom all day long. It’s chunked out in these tiny little, like 45 minute sessions that you can get into and experience virtually. And they’re, they’re so fantastic. And they’re gonna supercharge you in some really special ways. And then you take a break and then you come back a little later and then you do another one and then you come back a little bit later and there’s fun and prizes and it’s, it’s a virtual event like you’ve probably never experienced it. So in two weeks we’re gonna reveal the lineup and the discount code exclusively for listeners of this show, virtual high five.

Alyssa:

Yay! Exciting!

Joe:

All right. We are now going to do Mail Time.

Joe:

I owe our writer-in our, our question-asker an apology because she sent us this question months ago and through something that was entirely my fault, it got buried in our queue of questions. And so I’m, I’m just now getting to it. We should’ve gotten to it months ago. And so Carly, I sincerely apologize. I hope you haven’t bailed out on our show. Carly sent us this question: Joe and Alyssa. I am a newly promoted supervisor and I just had to perform my first writeup for one of my employees. I was very nervous going into this conversation and, and it went well, but do you have any advice for first time managers in how to handle disciplinary actions? Thanks, Carly. PS love the show and have recommended it to all of the managers at my job. That’s very nice of you to say, Carly. Thank you. And I think we can tell, Carly, right out of the gate that you are not alone Carly. This is a very, very common commonly experienced experience.

Alyssa:

Absolutely. And I think it it’s true even for seasoned

Joe:

Oh yeah.

Alyssa:

Supervisors and leaders, right. At any capacity, if, if giving disciplinary action or having this level of conflict becomes ease and run of the mill for you, you probably need to find a new job.

Joe:

Yes.

Alyssa:

Because this is not it.

Joe:

Right.

Alyssa:

You’re, you’re doing more harm. I think the, one of the things that I would start off by, on trying to have the leader do is understand for themselves what does going well, like Carly referenced here.

Joe:

Yeah.

Alyssa:

She had the kind conversation, and it went well, what does going well mean?

Joe:

Yeah.

Alyssa:

Like what are our true goals and expectations of ourselves and of that person in receiving this information? We’ve talked plenty of times.

Joe:

Yeah.

Alyssa:

Um on the show about giving people the opportunity to be real and receive information and giving them grace and not having these expectations of them instantaneously agreeing with what you’re, you’re saying. Letting them have some anger, some hurt, some frustration being able to process, you know, in real time with our reptilian brains the information that you’re giving to them while most of the time it’s not new information. Again, it should never be new information to this individual once we’re at this level of conversation and it’s being recorded and it’s going in,

Joe:

If it’s a write up specifically, if we’re documenting formally as part of a corrective action process. Yeah. Usually don’t do that the first time.

Alyssa:

Yeah, exactly. So I think that the large majority of what we have to craft in our mind as outcomes that we will deem quote successful has to revolve around how we, as the leader/supervisor/manager conduct ourselves in that space.

Joe:

Yes.

Alyssa:

Not how they react. Cuz if they walk, if you, you say my only goal is for them to not walk out of this room crying, you got

Joe:

That’s the wrong goal,

Alyssa:

zero control over that.

Joe:

Right.

Alyssa:

Um so I think I would structure my terms of success and my framework around how I want to conduct myself in terms of what is the end result of how, what I wanna communicate, how I wanna communicate it and how I want to feel in terms of supporting myself at the end of this interaction.

Joe:

Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree with all of that. We have only so much control over how other people respond to us. What, what you wanna be clear about are what your ends are with this conversation. What, what, what needs to be the, the situation when this is over? Which is that, that other person needs to be clear about what is problematic and what happens next, if change doesn’t occur.

Alyssa:

Yeah.

Joe:

At the same time, you also want them to feel supported. Want them to understand that this is not personal? This is a performance issue. And so we’ve done a lot on this show around how to prepare for those conversations and, and how to think about the order of that conversation and some scripts for that conversation. So I’m not gonna get too much into that, but Carly, you know, bounce back and forth through some of the episodes that we’ve recorded around feedback and I think there’s some stuff in there to help you with that. What I wanna mention is a little bit about mindset. And some of that goes to what Alyssa just talked about. I think the first thing we have to remember is the nerves we have ahead of time are usually worst-case scenario. And that conversation never goes as badly as we think it’s going to. And if it does, you know, quote-unquote go bad, you don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t have to always know what to say. Sometimes you just have to repeat the core tenants of the conversation, which is, Hey, I care about you. I want you to be successful, but this has to change. And we need to put our heads together to figure out how to do it. As far as the documentation piece of this goes that’s an accountability mechanism. And I know how it is to get into those conversations and to not want people to feel hurt and to not want people to feel unsupported and for us as managers to want to be liked. But also as a leader, you are the accountability mechanism. And if somebody is being written up formally documented, that is not something you, you are doing to them. That is something that they have done to themselves. It is the next step in a process that has have, that has to occur because they have not made the necessary changes that have been reviewed with them at least once already, if you think about it to a typical corrective action model I, I think the other thing to remember here, Carly is that experience is a wonderful teacher. It’s, you know, this is Alyssa talked about this in, around coaching that, you know, showing up and being curious and trying to understand why people are showing up in the way that they are will go a long way to shape those conversations. But also the experience of just being nervous and having a feedback conversation, and having to do the documentation and present it to them. It’s not gonna numb you to it, but it it’s gonna teach you how to not get too derailed by the discomfort of it, cuz it will always be uncomfortable.

Alyssa:

For sure.

Joe:

When I was a newer manager, Alyssa, I remember always wanting at the end of any uncomfortable feedback conversation to be like, are we good? Like, are, are you and I, okay, is there anything like that’s being left unsaid? And I, I recognize now how important it was to me to put everything in this tidy, emotional box that we could set up on the shelf and that it wouldn’t be weird later, right. In terms of that conversation. And what I finally learned and understood is sometimes people aren’t gonna like you when they leave the room. Because it feels icky to be told you’re not perfect. You gotta be comfortable with people, not always agreeing with you or feeling like you’re treating them, quote, unquote fairly, sometimes accountability is experienced by others in those ways. I think if you’re explicit with your intent and you’re caring and you bring clarity around what needs to change then you’ve made, you’ve met your goals and held that person accountable without getting wishy-washy about it.

Alyssa:

Yeah, for sure.

Joe:

Well, Carly, I hope that’s helpful. Like I said, we’ve got a couple other episodes in the history here of the show that you can go back and check out as well. Thank you for the question. And once again, everyone, if you have a question you wanna ask us, you can shoot us an email at BossBetterNow@gmail.com. And finally, today reviews are really important to podcasts. So if you like our show, we’d really appreciate it. If you take a moment right now to leave us a review, if you’re watching on video, just leave a comment in the box below the episode. If you’re listening in a podcast app, just look around for a link that says, write a review several of the platforms that we are on, including Apple, give you that option. So thank you for listening and take care of yourselves out there, folks.

Alyssa:

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