66. More Humanity + When People Respond Unexpectedly

Episode 66: More Humanity + When People Respond Unexpectedly (Summary)

The new age of work demands a more humane employee experience. We’ll talk about what has to change to get us there. Plus, a funny story about what to do when people react in ways you didn’t expect. OH and we’ve got a HUGE announcement do not want to miss. It’s a packed show now on Boss Better Now.

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To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
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Transcript -Episode 66: More Humanity + When People Respond Unexpectedly

 

Joe:

The new age of work demands a more humane employee experience. We’ll talk about what has to change to get us there. Plus a funny story about what to do when people react in ways you didn’t expect. Oh, and we’ve got a huge announcement you do not want to miss. It’s a packed show 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 our show, which is your show, BossHeroes. If you strive to create the conditions at work for people to thrive, this is your show. If you aspire to be a great boss, but don’t always know how this is your show. And if you could use a little advice, humor, and encouragement from time to time to keep your boss-spirits up, this is definitely your show. That velvety smooth voice you just heard was my co-host, professional coach, Alyssa Mullet. Greetings and salutations, my friend!

Alyssa:

The instant you said ‘velvety smooth’ I felt this innate urge to cough. Like <laugh> like some kind of psychological trip in my brain that was like, oh, you’re getting a compliment you better choke real quick. <Laugh>

Joe:

Well, I’m glad I didn’t make you speak right at that moment. Cuz then it would’ve come out with like coughing in the ears of our listeners. And I don’t think they would’ve appreciated that.

Alyssa:

Yeah, indeed, indeed. Hmm. I’ll take a drink. I’ll be all right now. I think.

Joe:

I think you’re gonna survive it.

Alyssa:

Let’s keep the compliments to a minimum.

Joe:

That’s all right. We’re game day players here on Boss Better Now. We keep going. <Laugh>

Alyssa:

<Laugh> We do a lot of sports analogies. Game day. What does that really mean? Game day player? Does that mean like you’re ready all the time?

Joe:

I, well, in the in, in professional athlete speak there, so like the NFL combine just happened a few weeks ago and this is where these college students who are gonna be drafted into the NFL. They go and get poked and prodded and tested and measured. They have to like run the 40 yard dash and they have to do a high jump and they, and they record all these numbers. Like how many bench press lifts can a guy get? And then those numbers are supposed to tell us thing about that person’s speed or ability.

Alyssa:

Is this televised?

Joe:

It’s of course it is everything. Okay. All right. It’s televised and monetized. A game day player is someone who performs at a higher level in the game than in any other place. So I may record a kid running a 40 yard dash at one time, but when he gets actually out in the field, for some reason, whether it’s adrenaline or God’s grace or ability or whatever you might wanna call it, they’re faster than that. And they it’s only because it’s a game day situation.

Alyssa:

How interesting! I have that is brand new information.

Joe:

Yes. So when I say you’re a game day player, Alyssa, it means as good as you are off the air, when we turn the mic on, you’re bringing it.

Alyssa:

I, I think that’s true in, in all of my context. Like I, I can have like a, you know, a high level of performance anxiety about, you know, talking to a new client or, you know, whatever it might be. Feeling like I have to hold the agenda for a coaching session, which I don’t like all of these things. But then in the moment I feel completely attuned and yeah, there’s still some of those maybe nerves or anxieties or worries, but there’s this flow, this kind of energy that kind of overtakes that element of myself. And I, I definitely feel like I bring my best self in the moment. Do you think that, I mean, obviously if it’s true in sports, then, you know, maybe other people experience that in the professional context as well.

Joe:

Oh, I would absolutely think that’s true. I experienced that like with keynoting. I will, I will work through programming, but there’s nothing like the live experience. And I learned a long time ago that I have to be open to what I call the downloads that occur in the moment. Like if I’m on stage with an audience and I’m just trying to stick to the script that I practiced, I actually lose out on the benefit of that more organic experience. So that if I allow myself to remain open to it, I can, you know, be fully present in the moment with people. And I show up at a, a different level of better if that makes sense.

Alyssa:

Yeah. Feeding off of the energy of others. That that level of, of connection is…that’s important.

Joe:

And now you know. You can, you can today tell your people, I’m a game day player, family. At dinner tonight you can be like, did you know that? I’m a game day player.

Alyssa:

<Laugh> I am a game day player.

Joe:

<Laugh> Well, on this game day we are gonna play with a concept that I’ve been speaking and writing about a lot. In, in the new book that I am writing, there’s a, a heavy focus on creating a more humane employee experience because we know is central to the reckoning that is taking place right now across the workforce of people who say I am going to switch jobs, I’m gonna upgrade my job. And really what they’re looking for is an upgrade around is their quality of life. And so much of what people are seeking is in response to some inhumane things that people have long experienced in the workplace. We have some habits and routines and some traditions and entrenched concepts that we are committed to in the workplace that when you really think about them and pull them apart, they are inhumane. And so what I thought we would do today, Alyssa, is bring some of those into the light and, and give our listeners a chance to really think about some of the ways in which employment, supervision, work is inhumane. And I thought that the best way to do that would actually to be, to define like the idea of humanity versus something that is inhumane. What does that make you think of when you hear those words?

Alyssa:

Well, I, maybe this is just again, recency cuz you know, the dogs, but like humane to me, like the first thing that comes to my mind is humane society. Like.

Joe:

Yeah.

Alyssa:

Being a caretaker and trying to seek compassion for animals and <laugh> humans obviously too. Humane. but for me it brings up these contexts of compassion, understanding, fairness just, those are the words that come to mind.

Joe:

Yeah. Well and, and you’re spot on. If you look up any definitions of either the word humane or humanity or inhumane you will consistently encounter the idea of suffering, right?

Alyssa:

Mm-hmm, <affirmative>.

Joe:

Something that is humane is about relieving suffering. And so the humane society is designed to prevent or relieve suffering of animals. Then when we look at something that is inhumane, we see it as something where suffering is tolerated or ignored. And so what I want our conversation to be about today is all of the, the things that we’ve come to sort of accept in the workplace or recognize as part of the workplace that does in fact result in suffering. And so let, let me start with one that is fairly common when maybe common isn’t the right word, but we’ve been hearing about it a lot in the news and that is that people are being laid off in groups. So there was a, a lot of news coverage a couple of months ago about a company that had a like three minute zoom call where they fired a whole bunch of employees. That is inhumane. That lacks humanity. That delivers suffering to a whole group of people. That, that, that is something that we should have no tolerance for. That doesn’t mean that we don’t, that, that, that layoffs can’t happen. Of course businesses have to do that every once in a while. But it’s how we do it that determines whether it’s humane or inhumane. Are we giving people time to prepare their final situation? In, in this organization they literally said you’re done today. And when these people got off this zoom call within minutes, all their they’d been locked outta their email, their computers, they had gotten no notice. They were not able to ask any questions. That’s inhumane. That’s an example of something that and it keeps happening because in the aftermath of that particular company doing this, I know of three or four other companies who were covered in the news, who did the exact same thing.

Alyssa:

Hmm. Wow. Ick. For lack of a, a better more PC word <laugh>.

Joe:

Right, right.

Alyssa:

That I want to use. I will just say ick. That’s major ick.

Joe:

Let me give you another example.

Alyssa:

Okay.

Joe:

Of, in of inhumane things that we have come to accept in the workplace, there are a lot of people who this week do not know their schedule for next week. Their work schedule, because of the nature of the business that they work in, and this happens a lot in restaurants, this happens a lot in retail, right? The manager hasn’t made the schedule for next week yet. You know, it’s Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday. The new schedule starts on Sunday. So I’m gonna wake up Friday morning and I’m not gonna know whether I need to be at work 48 hours later. How am I supposed to like plan my life? How am I supposed to make doctor’s appointments? How am I supposed to manage my kids’ soccer practice or anything else that requires me to know when I am supposed to be where I’m supposed to be. It is inhumane for us to expect people to live that way, not knowing next week’s schedule until the end of the week before.

Alyssa:

You know, I’m sure that as, as you’re saying this, the people that do that, those leaders who are, you know, putting off the schedule to be like, I’m so busy, they’re making all of the, you know, excuses.

Joe:

There’s other way to do it.

Alyssa:

Right. Right. This is the only way that I, I don’t get the census until this and I don’t get this until that. And I don’t, you know, like all of the things to justify those actions. But here the bottom line is, you know, by working in your industry and by your role, the standard, the minimum by which you have to foundationally operate that business. Yeah. So you make a structure schedule around those standards and then you create other categories of, okay, well, if the census goes up by this, then I will need two more people or what have you. And you have those two people slot it in as a standby or what have you, and, and make sure then by that allotted time and date you’ve updated the schedule so that they can remove themselves from standby or not.

Joe:

Yep. Another example of inhumane treatment is having unreasonable expectations about what one person can accomplish in a job, especially as it relates to workload. And for a lot of folks listening, this has been a slow, painful burn, right? Over the over years cutbacks and, you know, quote unquote, right-sizing and downsizing and mergers have resulted in work that had previously been done by two or three people now being foisted onto a single individual. And so now we have someone whose workload exceeds their capacity consistently. And so they’re constantly under stress, they have to go home at night and do work at night in order to just stay on top of things or to try to get caught up. And they usually don’t. And so work bleeds into every other aspect of their lives. There’s no time for any of the any professional development any creativity. It’s just taskmaster, get it done, respond to the emails, work the hours, put the fires out because I’m the only person who can do it because we’ve we have asked this person to shoulder a workload that spills over the top of their fullest capacity. That is inhumane. That creates suffering both for that person and for their family.

Alyssa:

Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> absolutely these we’ve talked about it. Hopefully, hopefully, people understand relentlessly by now that the great resignation, the turnover, the changing, of expectations will no longer tolerate an environment in which people take on more, just because they’re grateful for a job. Nope. Yeah. Time is over. That’s not the way the world of work works any more, period.

Joe:

And it’s any consistent suffering. And, and I don’t want people to misunderstand this doesn’t mean that work doesn’t get hard. Sometimes, of course, it does. And people are willing to do hard things. When they see a purpose to it, when they feel value, when they feel supported, people will run through a wall. They will do incredibly hard things. If they’re getting to do meaningful work, if they have a supportive boss, if they are valued and they are paid their value, people will do hard things. What they will not do is endlessly suffer when those things are absent. And that’s what this reckoning is about. So even things like hazing, things like name-calling things like promising people, a certain number of hours at work, and then taking them away. Right. As in a lot of locations, it’s okay, well, I’m gonna send you home early today, cuz we’re not busy. Well, that’s fine for you to save a couple of bucks, but you, I don’t have disposable income as it is. We live paycheck to paycheck and now I’m not gonna make that threshold next month because the hours you promised me were just taken away. That’s inhumane. It creates suffering.

Alyssa:

Yep, absolutely.

Joe:

This amounts to a living wage conversation too. I <laugh> this morning as I was drinking my coffee, as I do every day, I, I read the news on my phone and I pull up some of the various social media channels and I will scroll through and there was a post on our local community, Facebook group. If you’re watching on YouTube, I just I’m pulling it up on my phone. I took, a screenshot of it. <Laugh>, I’m gonna read it to you Needed. This is in all capital letters with exclamation points. Medical assistant for two offices located in town and town must be able to draw blood exclamation point looking to hire immediately exclamation point, starting pay is $15 an hour exclamation point. 2 weeks paid vacation after a year. Full health insurance after a year.

Alyssa:

After a…

Joe:

Please PM me or call. And then there’s a phone number. This is magical thinking to think that not only do you want a medical assistant who can start right now, who you’re gonna make travel between two different towns, they have to be a specialist. They have to be able to draw blood and you’re offering them $15 an hour. A living wage in the United States right now is $16 and 64 cents an hour. Target has just reconfigured their pay structures. They are moving to $24 an hour pay for people who work at Target over the next three years. First of all, I’m gonna ask you to come work for me for $15 an hour and be a specialist and travel between two locations. But you cannot have a paid day off for a year and you better not have any kind of medical emergency, cuz I’m not gonna give you health insurance for a year. That’s inhumane. This is an inhumane set of expectations for what people should experience in the workplace. It is not a living wage. It doesn’t account for the fact that life happens. That health issues come up that sometimes, you know, a day off actually benefits your practice because you know, need to recharge. This is fantasy land. I could go right now to the help wanted ads from 15 years ago and find the same ad for this position At the same pay rate, actually, it would be a little less, no vacation, no health benefits travel between multiple offices. Oh, and you better have this specialization where, where you’re a phlebotomist where you, where you can draw blood

Alyssa:

Mm-Hmm

Joe:

<Affirmative> and, and the, the willingness to just accept that. Oh, and, but, but people don’t wanna work anymore. You know, people don’t wanna work. People can go work at call centers and not get sick at your practice and not have to travel between two locations and get health insurance and get paid vacation time for a higher level of pay. And here’s the question that people aren’t asking. Does it take more expertise and more sophisticated, emotional investment to be a medical assistant who can draw blood in a doctor’s office or to work at Target. And that’s not a knock on anybody who works at Target, cuz I don’t know if you’ve all ever been in a Target in December that takes some significant emotional investment.

Alyssa:

For sure!

Joe:

Being there doing that work. But if you’re gonna ask people to do complicated things, you better be willing to pay them like the professionals that they are otherwise.

Alyssa:

Sure.

Joe:

You’re lacking humanity. Woo. Sorry. I got a little soapbox-y there for a minute, Alyssa. I’m sorry about that.

Alyssa:

<Laugh> I think this also speaks to these what has been tried and true power-over structures.

Joe:

Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Alyssa:

That a lot of folks, specifically in the generations that are in leadership/ownership positions right now, now have grown accustomed to, they worked their way up. They earned what they, you know, and so in order to ensure that everyone else pays their dues,

Joe:

Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Alyssa:

They inflict power over and exercise power over those structures as much as possible. You know, I I’ve seen also these articles and talks and all of these things about like even in organizations that are quote, allowing their people to stay remote. Okay. because there are a, a great deal of organizations that are like, no, you’re not, you’re not staying remote. We need you back in the office. Because again, if I can’t see you, you’re not doing the work. Right. Right. My span of control, my power over you is not completely available to me at my, you know, every whim and desire. So it’s so ingrained in folks that they have come up with these monitoring systems, I guess for certain positions where like, if your mouse isn’t moving right from like, you know, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, then you’re not working. And so of course people and companies,

Joe:

You know, they go to the bathroom. Yeah. People go to the bathroom, <laugh> mouse, isn’t gonna move.

Alyssa:

You know, the only for like, I think they allow like a minute of inactivity, you know like I don’t, it was mind-blowing to me to even understand that companies were doing this. I was like, it’s like that story you tell about where your kid is playing hide and seek. And because he thinks he can’t see you, you can’t see him. So his whole body’s sticking out, but his head’s covered. Right? Yeah. Like that’s the thing like, because they can’t see you, they think you’re not really there. You’re not really doing anything. So they’ve come up with these processes and these structures and these over micro-control mechanisms that completely erase anyone’s humanity. Because again, you can’t even go to the bathroom without, you know, having a device move. And so they’ve come up with a workaround for that. They invented a little device that moves your freaking mouse for you because where there’s a will, there’s a way. And, and if you continue to inflict, suffering to people, they will find a way out and it might not be out your door, but they will find a way out of those structures.

Joe:

And underneath, all of this, I think comes down to, what do you believe about people? Do you believe that left to their own devices people will lie? They will cheat? They will game the system? Do you believe that people are takers? And if you do, then you design these kinds of sophisticated processes with all of these bad apples in mind and you impose them on everybody. Or do you believe that most people are good? Most people have integrity? Most people take pride in their work? Most people want to earn their wage and do a good job? And so you, you give them autonomy. You give them trust and you focus on outcomes and ends more so than micromanaging and, and getting into the specifics of the means for people. The big question above both of those options though, is what impact does each approach have on top performers? If you are in category A and you believe that people are takers and cheaters, and that left to their own devices, they’re gonna game your system. Okay. Fair enough. Like I understand the world has probably put you through a set of circumstances and experiences that lead you to believe that. Okay, what is going to be the impact on your top performers, who are not bad apples with those kinds of systems? They’re gonna create suffering. They’re not gonna feel value and they’re gonna leave. And so you’re gonna be left with the bad apples who are, as Alyssa said, you know, buying the devices on Amazon that move their mouse. You’re absolutely right. So here’s the takeaway that I want to really encourage our listeners to be thinking about. Are there habits, routines, processes, or entrenched beliefs that have become things that you’re used to in your workplace that actually create suffering for people? Another way to think about this is why do people leave? If people are leaving your organization, what are the reasons? And to start to really shine a light on those and think about the changes you could make around them. Some of that may start with just some individual conversations or some observations or some focus group workaround, Hey, if you could change one thing around here, what would it be? If you ask that question a couple of times, you’re gonna start to shine a light on suffering, and you may tease out some things that other people experience as inhumane. Some people who work in a restaurant might say, boy, I’d love to get my schedule a little earlier, you know, start to try to seek out with, with really intense devotion where suffering is occurring for people and start to figure out ways when you can minimize it. You’re gonna create a more humane experience. You’re gonna attract better talent, and you’re gonna keep the people that you want to keep. All right, friends. Well, we wanna know what you think here on the show. I got a little soapbox-y back there about the living wage thing, and I have a feeling we’re gonna get some emails about that, and that’s fine. Send them to BossBetterNow@gmail.com. We’d love to hear your ideas for topics, your suggestions, and your reaction to what we’re talking about. And so one more, more time, feel free to email us at BossBetterNow@gmail.com.

Joe:

We are now at the Camaraderie Question of the Week. In the middle of each episode, we give you a question you can take to your teams to use at meetings or huddles to facilitate connection and build camaraderie. Because we know that when we build camaraderie, when we make it easier for people to find things in common with each other, that don’t have anything to do with work, we get a whole host of benefits around belonging and connection and engagement. So Alyssa, our question this week is as follows. What is something everybody in your profession should stop doing?

Alyssa:

I, I don’t know. I, I I’m going Ugh because I, I hate to speak without like a certain level of nuance <laugh> but so, you know, those blanket statements, you know, the never say never all of the things. But I think in general, you know, I consider myself straddling these two worlds of like HR consultant and you know, professional coach. But most often I find myself cringing or just like, oh, I wish I wish you would. <Laugh> go a little bit deeper on that. The this whole concept of, you know, people saying I’m a life coach. Ah, like you gotta get a little bit more specific. Yeah, niche it down. Just one, just one freaking level. Just one. Okay. Like for who?

Joe:

Yes!

Alyssa:

What, what, what do you have to offer exclusively to whom it doesn’t mean you only offer that to those people, but it means maybe you are passionate and have specific resources about X

Joe:

To help people through divorce.

Alyssa:

Right? Like, yeah, just one level. I know picking a niche, you don’t, you know, you don’t wanna miss out on a certain population and all of the rest of the things, but it does more harm to the profession overall and to yourself in terms of sales, frankly to not to just say I’m a life coach, <laugh> I, it just makes me go bleh.

Joe:

Who do you work with? Anybody.

Alyssa:

Yeah. For anything, I can do anything really. You can do anything. Okay.

Joe:

Apparently, we believe that life coaches all have high-pitched and breathy voices. Cuz we both just did that. <Laugh> I work with anybody <laugh>

Alyssa:

I can do anything anywhere.

Joe:

Yes. Sorry. We’re not trying to be condescending. We’re trying to be entertaining and <laugh>

Alyssa:

Yeah, yeah,

Joe:

For sure. But we do, we do voices

Alyssa:

<Laugh> who knew I had all these talents <laugh>

Joe:

I completely get that.

Alyssa:

That would be my, yeah, that would be my thing. Yeah. Yeah. Niche down. Absolutely. One level.

Joe:

I, I see the same exact thing with a lot of speakers and consultants too. So you know, what kind of training and consulting do you do? Oh, everything, you know. Well, okay. That doesn’t make you an expert, that makes you a traveling yard sale. You know, like I’m just gonna pull everything outta my closet and see who wants what, for what price. That’s, that’s not being of service to people. Knowing who you serve, knowing who you’re for, and being able to articulate your particular expertise also means that if I’m not the right fit for you, one of the first things you’re gonna tell me is I’m not the right fit for you. You know, nothing thrills me as much as when somebody reaches out to us and says to me, this is what we’re looking for. These are the problems that we’re having. And me knowing that I am not the right person for that. But knowing who is, and being able to say, listen, I’m not the right fit for this, but you gotta call so-and-so because they’re perfect around these kind of challenges. That’s just as much fun as it is, to book new business and work with people.

Alyssa:

For sure. Absolutely.

Joe:

Okay. All right. So the question is what,

Alyssa:

That’s not yours.

Joe:

That’s not mine well, so I wrestled with a couple of answers to, for this one. Because I, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get into pet peeves or if I wanted to, I don’t wanna do too much inside baseball around, you know, the speaking business here. Sorry. That’s another sports analogy by the way, inside baseball. We’ll explain that on another day. So I’ve got two answers and I’m gonna give them quickly. And the first answer is, do not sign me up for your email list. I will decide if I want to be on your email list, right? This, is something that a lot of speakers, coaches, consultants, and trainers, do. They think if I’ve interacted with you via email, that means you wanna get my emails. And so I’m gonna put you on my email subscriber list. That’s actually illegal now. You can’t do that. People have to opt-in themselves. And so.

Alyssa:

Yeah.

Joe:

Stop putting people on your email list without their permission. That’s, that’s my pet pee answer, but it’s a problem. My bigger answer is to Stop putting yourself out there in the world as an expert because you read a book.

Alyssa:

Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Joe:

Right? I, , I read a book about employee engagement. And so now I’m an employee engagement expert, or I read a book about resilience. And so now I’m a resilience expert, or I read a book about sales. And so I’m a sales expert. <Laugh> show me depth, show me expertise. You wanna speak about leadership? Great. What have you led? You wanna consult around employee engagement? Great. What organizations have you worked with? What kind of results have you produced for them? And I understand that everybody’s gotta start somewhere. But if, if, if you’re gonna be a, a subject matter expert in something, then there needs to be depth there around education or experience that you then translate into the ways in which you help people. That’s my answer.

Alyssa:

Well noted.

Joe:

I, you know, I like this question…

Alyssa:

You, you said, you said I’m gonna make it quick. And so I’m like, OK, he’s making it concise. I’m not going to expand on it. <Laugh>

Joe:

Well, and, and the reason I wanted to make it quick because I didn’t wanna get ranty is also because I wanted to point out why I like this question as a Camaraderie Question on a team, because I, I don’t think you will get the kind of answers that you and I just gave. I actually think you’ll get a little bit more of the pet peeve-ish stuff. Ah, but I think people, if, if you work on a team in an organization, you say, what is something everybody in your role should stop doing? Or people who do the work like you do should stop doing. And they, you know, if you’re an administrative assistant and you have 25 other administrative assistants, you might be like, you know, I really wish people wouldn’t write back to an email with thanks. Like I got 3,700 emails a year that say, thanks. You know, I under, if you wanna acknowledge the email, click the read receipt button, but I don’t need an email that says, thanks. Like you, you could start an interesting dialogue around the things that people would maybe kind of, sort of prefer or that you stop doing that, you know, might break down some barriers. Could be interesting. What do you think?

Alyssa:

Agreed, agreed, agreed that that email, thanks one is actually that that’s a pretty good one. <Laugh> I always, I actually try to, to, to not do that myself. And then I wonder if people think I’m being rude, like I, that I’m not responding like, oh, received, thanks. You know,

Joe:

There’s an argument for and an argument against yes, absolutely. And I see both sides. Yep. I absolutely do. So good luck sorting that out universe. That’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:

All right, Alyssa. We have a huge announcement on today’s show. I promised two weeks ago that we were going to announce the agenda and speakers for our fourth BossBetter Virtual Summit, which is gonna be on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 throughout the day, we are doing many sessions that for that feature. Easy for me to say. Four keynote speakers, doing amazing content. So here goes. Here is who is going to be at our fourth BossBetter Virtual Summit. Me! I’m one of the speakers. I’m gonna be opening our day, talking about becoming a destination workplace that ignites commitment and keeps top talent. We are also going to have Hall of Fame, speaker, and customer service expert, Laurie Guest, doing a keynote called Bust Out of Service Fatigue: Six Ways to Get Your Team Back in the Game. Laurie has spent the better part of the past year, speaking all over the place around service fatigue and how exhausted we are at being kind and helpful and nice to people, and how to deal with that and how to overcome it, and what to do to move forward. We have a dynamic speaker and podcast host James Robilotta doing a session called, Do You Even Know Me? How Genuine Curiosity Sparks Loyalty and Retention. We talk a lot about curiosity on our show. James is one of the most watchable, charming, entertaining speakers you will ever see. He hosts a fantastic podcast called Diner Talk with James. He’s gonna wow you. And we also have Your Nerdy Best Friend, Beth Z doing one of the most entertaining keynotes you will ever see virtually called Powered Productivity: Super Tech Tools to Get Stuff Done. And it’s gonna be all about, the apps and the tools and the tips and the tricks that you don’t even know are out there right now that can make your life easier and better in so many ways. So the entire focus of this event is helping people boss better. And you can hear from this agenda, we’re getting after service fatigue, we’re getting after retention and curiosity, we’re getting after engagement and we’re getting after, like how do I stay organized and stay on top of all this stuff? The one common thread around each of these speakers is that they’re funny. Like that’s really important to me. When I put a bill together, I want people to be entertained. I want them to laugh and I want them to learn. And so we, we have these four speakers all coming to our BossBetter Virtual Summit. First blush reaction, Alyssa Mullet.

Alyssa:

That sounds freaking amazing. Honestly, all the all of those components, that last one I was like, I was already on the hook. And then you just like, gosh, sunk it right down. Like all the, I can learn new things about apps and tricks and tools for productivity. That would be awesome.

Joe:

And, and because Beth is so good at tech, you’re gonna watch her keynote. Have you ever watched a magician on how they do that? That’s what you’re gonna experience with Beth because she uses so many cool and interesting captivating tools and devices within the virtual keynote that it really is sort of a, a can’t miss experience. So that’s the first part of our big announcement. Here’s the other big announcement. We have created a discount code exclusively for listeners of this show that will allow you to get a ticket to this event for half price! General admission to the virtual event is $399 per person. And that comes with access to a recording of the event for 60 days afterward. But if you register and you use the coupon code PODCAST, you can attend for just $199. And so that you get a, a day of learning, deep insight, new ideas and strategies, you get restoration and it it’s built-in such a way where you’re not sitting on zoom all day. You just get, these are each 45-minute sessions with breaks in between and a debrief kind of fun gathering at the end-all for half price. So to register, see the agenda, and learn more about the event, just visit BossBetterVirtualSummit.com. And you grab your tickets with that coupon code PODCAST. BossBetterVirtualSummit.com.

Joe:

All right. That brings us to Boss Like a Mother. I do not think I have shared this story, Alyssa, of what happened last year when I took my kids to Universal Studios. I think I’ve told you this story personally, but I don’t believe we’ve talked about it on the show. Have we?

Alyssa:

I don’t know. <Laugh> There’s, you know, I, I don’t have a particular affinity to like, <laugh> all the things in the Disney.

Joe:

Yes. Yes. <Laugh> well, Universal Studios, isn’t Disney. It’s, it’s a different company, different brand.

Alyssa:

Okay. Okay. Duly noted.

Joe:

All right. So this is kind of a dual Boss Like A Mother and a Story Time. Sometimes we do Story Time. So, here’s what happened to us last year after we all got vaccinated and had been in the house for a year and a half you know, and, and climbing the walls, we said, let’s get outta here for a few days. Let’s go down to Florida, let’s check out Universal Studios, which we had never been to before. And specifically, let’s visit the Harry Potter land because my wife and I are big Harry Potter fans. And my daughter had just finished tearing through the whole series at 10 years old. And we thought, well, we’ll head down there. We’ll sit by the pool at the hotel for a day or two, and then we’ll go to Universal Studios for a day. And so that’s what we did. And I don’t know if you’re aware of what it costs to go to Universal Studios. We have a family of five, so it’s, it’s considered three adults because Lily is 10, she’s considered an adult. So I had to buy three adult tickets and two kids’ tickets. And for one day it was $800. And yeah, your eyes widen. Yeah, mine did too. And that is there’s no, yeah, there’s no front of the line. The special thing with that. There’s no park hopper, nothing or other that’s you get one park one day go to the back of the line. All right. But it’s like, okay, we’re gonna try Harry Potter. We’re gonna give this a shot. So I bought tickets and of course, you know, the flight down there and hotel and rental car and everything that you can think of to do this kind of a trip. So we go to Universal Studios on this particular day. Um and this was in an off-peak month. So it wasn’t terribly crowded, but it was still busy. Our, first ride was the stroller line where we waited for 40 minutes. Super fun times. And we finally get into the park and we make our way over to the Harry Potter land. And in, we went to the, if you’re listening to this and you know about these different parks, the Harry Potter land is spread over two parks, but we didn’t pay for two parks. We paid for one. So we only went to Diagon Alley and we got through the little brick opening that you go through to get in and you walk through and it kind of opens up like a big surprise. And I snapped a picture of my daughter with this great face, like, gasp, you know, I’m in Diagon Alley. It was really kind of one of those cool parent moments. It’s where you’re like, look at this experience for her. And so the very next thing we did was we went to Olivander’s Wand Shop, Alyssa, where you get your custom wand as a young wizard in the world of Harry Potter. And so there was a line and we waited and then you had to figure out which wand matches which kid and you do that whole thing. And these are interactive wands that you use in the park and you walk around and you swish and you swirl and you cast spells in front of things and things move. It’s supposed to be a really kind of fun and, and unique experience. But they’re like a hundred dollars each. And I’m like, okay.

Alyssa:

A was gonna say, that does not sound like it was included.

Joe:

Yep. Nope. so $300 worth of wands later, we walk out and they, we went over to this little alley and they cast their first spell and that was pretty neat. And so at this point, we had been there about 40 minutes. Well, in the middle of Diagon Alley is Gringotts bank, which is a location from the Harry Potter series. And on top of the bank is this giant stone dragon. It’s the, it’s the size of a small house. <Laugh> and as we came out of the one shop and we were figuring out what we wanted to do next, the dragon lifts its head up turns and faces over top of Diagon Alley, and blows fire out over top of everybody. Like you can feel the heat. It’s an impressive display. Unless you’re 10, eight, and five, at which point it’s terrifying. And so what happened next is something I will never forget. First of all, my five-year-old son Henry in the rented stroller goes rear end up facing his hands. I don’t like that.

Joe:

Lily turns to me and says, I want to go. I said, what, what, wait, what, what? Can we go? I’m like, what do you mean, Can we go? Can we go? Is it the dragon? Like, she’s like, can we go? And I’m like, whoa! Like my wife and I are looking at each other going, oh, this went bad, fast. Like what? It’s not real. It’s just a big painted rock.

Alyssa:

Take it back. Take it back. Right.

Joe:

It’s like, it’s like a sparkler on the 4th of July. It’s nothing. It’s like, no, let’s no, no. They were having none of it. I see you laughing, Alyssa.

Alyssa:

Oh, Lord.

Joe:

And so we just kind of had that moment where we’re like, what do you mean you wanna go? We’ve been here for 40 minutes. So I said, okay, let’s take a deep breath. And so next to us was the one restaurant in Diagon Alley. And it’s 10:30 in the morning. And I’m like, how about an early lunch? Why don’t we go in? We’ll sit down. We’ll order some food. There’s a little bit of a line. So we’re gonna have we get in line. There were like 11 other things that went wrong that I don’t have time to talk about. Like, you can only order your food on the app, but there was no WIFI in the underground tunnel and <laugh> don’t get me started. So we finally get in there after we wait a long time to get seated and we sit down and we order our food and Lily has to go to the bathroom like crazy. And so I get up to look for the bathroom and I say to one of the servers, hi, excuse me, where’s the restroom. And she said, there isn’t one in the restaurant. You have to go back out.

Alyssa:

<Laugh>

Joe:

What do you mean there’s no restroom in the restaurant? There are 150 people here. And I just waited an hour in an underground tunnel to get through the line to get in. I said, oh, I have to leave the restaurant to go to the bathroom. She said, yeah. I said, well, how do I get back in? Cuz it was like a long line and there’s the tunnel. She said, well, we <laugh>, there’s a back door. And we have someone stationed there to let people in and out who have to go to the bathroom.

Alyssa:

My God,

Joe:

Okay.

Alyssa:

They pay someone to stand by the door.

Joe:

<Laugh> yes. Their job is to let people back into the restaurant who had to leave to go to the bathroom. I’m not making this up. So Lily and I walk over and a lady is standing there. I said, hi, excuse me. We need to use the restroom. Am I at the right door? And she said, yes. I said, and we can come back in through this when we’re done. She said, yes. I said, great, where’s the restroom? She says it’s right there under the dragon. Lily turns around and walks back to the table.

Alyssa:

<Laugh> I’ve heard this story before, but I still can’t stop myself from laughing at your expense. Literal expense.

Joe:

Yes. At my expense. Okay. Now here’s the other piece of this. We get back. So Lily’s like, I will wait. Okay. Poor kid. So we get back to the table and we’re like, let’s just eat this food. Cuz it finally came and we’ll eat it quickly. And then we’ll, we’ll figure out what we’re doing next. I guess. My son Miles is very picky about his Mac and cheese and parents who are listening to this. Some of you understand the world that I’m living in right now. There’s.

Alyssa:

Yeah.

Joe:

There’s good. Mac and cheese, which is Kraft. It’s the powder. It’s the highly processed we swore we weren’t gonna, weren’t gonna give it to our kids when we when they were little and now it’s all they want. Don’t judge me. And everything that’s not Kraft is like this isn’t right.

Alyssa:

Uhhuh <affirmative>.

Joe:

So we’re in line at the restaurant and we’re looking at the kids’ menu and it says Mac and cheese. And of course, Miles’s first question is, is it the good kind?

Alyssa:

Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.

Joe:

And there’s a woman at the front of the line. Who’s directing people into the restaurant. And I said, I turned around and I said it, Hey, can I ask you about the Mac and cheese on the kid’s menu? And specifically what kind it is. I know that might sound like a strange question, but, and she puts her hand up and she goes, no, no, no. It’s okay. I get this question every day. Trust me. It’s the kind they like. And I’m like, oh, what a great answer. Like this is someone who understands parents and like what we’re going through and Miles is like Yes! And then we get there and we order and the food arrives and no! It’s not! It’s not the kind, they like! It was a homemade Mac and cheese! So

Alyssa:

Horrors of horrors. Right?

Joe:

So Lily is experiencing severe bladder pain. Henry still is catatonic from the dragon and Miles is melting down because the Mac and cheese ain’t right. <Laugh> so

Alyssa:

Use those wands. Make it right. Cast a spell.

Joe:

The ones were used once <laugh> because we left. We left, oh, we left Harry Potter land after 40 minutes of exploration and an hour and 20 in a restaurant with bad food and no restrooms. And what I mean, but what are you gonna do? Are you gonna make the kids stay? I, I, I, the best-laid plans.

Alyssa:

Yeah.

Joe:

Often do not result in things that we expect. And I, I, I think there are a lot of lessons here when it comes to leadership that, you know, sometimes we go into things, we’re trying to do something nice for people when it doesn’t land the way we want it to, or we reveal a big announcement or a benefit that we’re gonna give our employees that we feel like they should be super excited about. And they’re not. And we have to appreciate that. We can do some damage if we insist that people respond to things the way that we want them to.

Alyssa:

Yeah. Managing them to our expectations will hurt the the you and the me in both of those equations. Yeah.

Joe:

And, and one of the lessons that, has taken took me a little while at first in parenting to learn is that we have to meet them where they are and help them get to where we want them to be. But that’s usually one step at a time. It has to be all at once. And so for me to be like, we are staying and we are gonna go stand underneath the fire breathing dragon until your fear is gone. Would that have worked? No, it, it, would’ve done more harm than good. And so I spent a considerable amount of money to go to Harry Potter land at Universal Studios for 40 minutes. And we left with wands that were used once, but we also left with a good story and the valuable learning experience. And you know, we’ll go back to Harry Potter land at some point. I hope

Alyssa:

<Laugh>.

Joe:

But not until they’re ready.

Alyssa:

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Lots of lessons. I think completely applicable to each of us in our professional realms.

Joe:

That’s Boss Like a Mother. Well, that’s our show this week, friends. If you liked it, we hope that you will please share it. We love it when you do that. Share it on LinkedIn. Say this podcast is amazing and you should listen to it or you know, something along those lines. Thank you for listening. Thanks for all that you do as BossHeroes to take care of so many.

Alyssa:

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

 

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