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  • Kim Meninger

Being vs. Doing in the Workplace

Updated: May 12, 2023

Being vs. Doing in the Workplace

In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we talk about humanizing the workplace through greater self-reflection and emotional intelligence. My guest this week, leadership development expert Kristen Harcourt, shares her perspective on the need for more human-centered workplaces. While most of us are so focused on doing, fewer of us make the commitment to ongoing self-reflection to better understand ourselves and how we show up to those around us. We also discuss the benefits to individuals and businesses when we humanize our workplaces.

About My Guest

With over 15-years as a People and Culture Leader partnering with hundreds of companies worldwide, Kristen empowers executives and leaders at all levels to build lives and organizations of success, health and sustainability.

Kristen excels at guiding leaders to achieve extraordinary and sustainable results through increased self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. Her client companies are diverse and her results are consistent. Her passion for leadership development and creating positive work cultures shines through it all.

An expert in Leadership Development, she hosts a bi-weekly podcast called Inspirational Leadership where she interviews progressive CEOs, strategic HR leaders and forward-thinking experts who share her mission to humanize work and transform leaders.

A big believer in compassion, authenticity and conscious leadership, Kristen’s mission is to help leaders transform from the inside out so they can create a meaningful career and purpose-driven life and reach their full potential.

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Kim Meninger Welcome, Kristen, it is so nice to see you again. Well, for those of you listening to, to hear you again, I know we don’t have visuals this time, but it’s great to be with you again. And I’m really excited for this conversation. Before we jump in, I would love to invite you to introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kristen Harcourt Yeah, I’m super excited about this conversation as well. So I always without question, it’s like, do I think about myself as the mom as a business owner as a wife? And so when I hear that question around who I am definitely a mom of two and, and I’m also someone in business, who does a lot of work around humanizing the workplace and transforming leaders. And when people ask me, Well, what does that mean to humanize the workplace, I really do it through coaching, leadership development, with things like training, Keynote, speaking and consulting. That’s really helping organizations to understand the benefits of having a people-first organization. And from my perspective, in order to be able to be a people-first organization and transform, it really starts from the inside out. And each individual has their own journey to go on, to become more aware of who they are, how they’re showing up, and how they can help to contribute to an organization where people get to bring their whole selves to work, and essentially do really awesome work like workplaces, we spend a lot of time at work, and we have an opportunity to really show up there as our best selves. And because I work so often with leaders, I feel like leadership is both a gift and it’s a responsibility. And it’s an opportunity to be able to really go on an inward journey to become the best leader you can be.

Kim Meninger There’s so much good stuff in what you just shared. And I want to really zoom into this humanizing of the workplace. And I guess, some of the questions that I have for you, and we can figure out the best starting point for this discussion is, can you just talk a little bit about the problem as it exists today, and why we’re talking about humanizing leadership in the workplace?

Kristen Harcourt Yeah, we have a whole bunch of humans and humans are perfectly imperfect. And some people have spent a lot of time on their own, what I would kind of describe as personal development, inward journey where they’re constantly looking for ways to learn and grow. And recognize that ultimately, day in day out, we’re just repeating patterns over and over and over again. And those are quite often patterns that we’ve learned a long time ago. And so some of those patterns can be quite positive, it’s really using a lot of our strengths, our gifts and our talents. However, all of us have blind spots. And so these are the times that we are not showing up as our best self, we are reactive, we’re using patterns that are just operating in the backgrounds that are not really serving us or the people around us. So when I think about her creating more human environments, it’s about each individual, recognizing like, who am I, how do I want to show up. And from my perspective, like in the type of people I work with are a lot of really high-performing motivated ambitious individuals. So they’re coming from the right place. But they’re so focused on the doing and the action, instead of taking a step back and first asking themselves who are there? Who are they being? And so when we get at the being, that’s when we start to think of lots of different things, right, as a, as a human in that organization, are you being someone who’s compassionate, who’s empathetic, who is assertive, who is using radical candor and saying what needs to be said, and having daring conversations and using their voice. And so all of these different things all encompass? And for me, I take it through the emotional intelligence angle, because if people can really become more aware and attuned to who they are in building that emotional intelligence, it tends to show up in the way that they communicate. And so to me, when we’re humanizing the workplace is we’re helping each individual within that organization to uplevel, their skills, starting with the being and who they are all being and then through the doing in that action. So it’s not an either or it’s both are showing up together.

Kim Meninger And I think that’s such an important part of this conversation because we are living in a world that prioritizes action above all else. And so there’s so much demand for productivity and to just do, do all the time that we don’t often create space for the reflection, the questions about who do I want to be How am I showing up? How am I affecting the people around us? And so it sometimes sounds simple those questions don’t sound you know, ridiculously hard to answer, but if we haven’t taken the time to think about them, we aren’t necessarily self-aware enough going back to emotional intelligence right to recognize how it might be undermining ourselves as well as those around us.

Kristen Harcourt It’s something I talk about all the time, Kim. So thanks for bringing it up. self-reflection and introspection. So many people say that like, oh, sure, sure I could build in some time yet. Are they actually committing to that practice? Are they creating a daily, weekly monthly practice where they’re checking in with themselves? asking, Hey, what went really well, what am I doing that I want to continue to do more of what’s not working? Well? What are some of those struggles? And how can I address those struggles? What other insights Am I getting from others in terms of feedback on my asking for feedback, and making sure that I’m applying that feedback going forward? Because the thing when it comes to leadership, what could be working really well, for one person on your team is exactly the opposite of work, what works really well for another member of your team, so you’re constantly flexing and evolving and figuring out these different ways that you can be supporting those different humans that you’re interacting with. And my experience, and I love what you said there, because it sounds easy, but actually doing it is a whole other thing. I just find a lot of individuals struggle. And the thing that I hear all the time is the time, I don’t have the time. And then we do a lot of time audits and we look at where they’re spending their time on a daily basis, weekly, monthly basis. And it’s they start to realize, oh, no, it’s not that the time doesn’t exist. It’s around how I’m prioritizing how I managing my time, how I am a lot of times not owning my calendar, but my calendar is owning me. And until you intentionally say, Okay, this is what’s gonna look like I commit to creating this time and space daily and weekly because I see the benefits. And I’m going to honor it, you won’t be able to have as much of that self-awareness, because even if that you take one day and say, Oh, I’m going to ask all these big questions, great, but then how are you applying that forward and continuous and continuing to progress to have progress on all of those things going forward? If the reflection is not something that’s consistently built in?

Kim Meninger Yeah, and I always liked the expression. I mean, I’m the first to complain about not having enough time, but I always liked the expression, everyone has the same amount of time. It’s how we choose to use.

Kristen Harcourt Yes, yeah. I mean, I always say when someone says that, I’m like, Look, the Beyonce is of the world, like, Do you know what took for her to put a show on like that, like how many hours she is practicing every day, like we all have the same number of hours in a day. And when we really do time on it, I think people are surprised around some of the, you know, meetings spending so many times in meetings on a, on a daily weekly basis, that perhaps they don’t need to be in those meetings, look at what they’re doing in the evenings. And this is not, I’m not saying that you’re not supposed to have any downtime. I’m a big promoter of downtime and having self-care outside of work. To me, self-reflection is actually a really key component of self-care. It’s not something that I think of as Oh, it’s another thing to put on your to-do list. I actually think when you’re proactively doing this, and creating this self-care practice, it actually has a huge return on investment in what happens in your day-to-day at work.

Kim Meninger Absolutely. And I want to introduce something into the conversation that’s a bit thorny er, and I, it’s not something I’m expecting you to know how to solve. Obviously, if we could solve it, we’d be in a very different place. But when I think a lot about the self-reflection piece, and I even think about the profile of your traditional leader, I think a lot of people are very focused, you mentioned the word ambitious, right? They’re very focused on growth, they’re very focused on goal achievement. They’re not necessarily loving the people side of the business, right? And I think that’s partly a structural problem, and that people continue to be promoted for being excellent individual contributors, and aren’t necessarily the best people to then lead. I would take the player who wants to lead people over and a player all day long as a manager. But I wonder about this too, because it almost feels like an inherent conflict when you have somebody who’s really focused on their own growth, who really wants to just keep achieving their goals. And that doesn’t necessarily want to manage people and then continues to take on higher and higher leadership roles where the people are almost in their way, right? It’s almost like oh, well, I’m going to do what I have to do to get to where I want to go. But I’m not necessarily interested in the people development side, even just what you were talking about before about the situational leadership, not there’s no one size fits all to leadership. If I’m not curious about that if I’m not going to take the time to be vulnerable and try out new ways of leading other people. Then I’m going to alienate a lot of people. There are going to be a lot of people that I leave In my week, that are going to be frustrated, they’re going to feel discouraged going to feel impostor syndrome, all kinds of self-doubt. And so I wonder how we, when we think about humanizing the workplace, how we get to that piece of it? Are we just? Do we have the right leaders in first place?

Kristen Harcourt Yeah, it’s a discussion I have a lot it reminds me of, you know, one of the reasons I’m so passionate about leadership development is when I used to work with organizations sometimes end-to-end talent management. And they were really focused on the recruitment side and getting top talent and high performers. And I said, you know, all these things that you’re doing in terms of putting things into practices to make sure that you’re finding out they’re the right individual fit for the culture fit for your values, and even culture fit. That’s something that could be a whole other conversation. But when they started to get more focused on that I said, What you also have to be really cognizant of is what are you doing to support the leaders that those individuals are reporting into, because that top talent, they’re passive candidates. So when they start to think about making a move and coming to your organization, they want to have leaders who are going to challenge them who are going to help them grow, we’re going to mentor them. And if you’re not investing and helping your leaders to become better leaders, you’re going to lose your top talent. And they kept on I got so much resistance, they just wanted to do the band-aids, they didn’t want to get at the root cause they just wanted to get in the top talent. And so that’s where I really felt passionate about having more conversations on this because I think there’s a couple of things at play, I think there’s, what’s that play is for some individuals, working their way up the corporate ladder might actually not be the right pathway for them. They might actually you see this in sales, where someone’s an amazing individual contributor, they become a sales manager. And they actually become miserable, because they’re not getting to go out there and be part of the deals work with the companies, they’re now managing those sales reps and helping them to do it. And so sometimes that’s not the right pathway for them. However, I’m going to be realistic. If we said for everybody, that’s not the right pathway, I think we would not have enough leaders. So I’m not saying that that’s the case. But in some that might be like to really take a step back and ask yourself, Is that what you want? Or do you maybe want a lateral move? Do you want to move to an effort, different part of the business where you still get to be challenged and grow, and you’re not necessarily managing people? However, the ones who do move into leadership, I, the thing I love about emotional intelligence, it’s not like you have this set point. And that’s it, you can’t do anything about it. We could all learn and grow in this way. I’m married to an engineer, my dad was an engineer. I know you can are also. And so engineers, and I’ve worked with a lot of engineers, they tend to be more technical thinkers, they are not necessarily ever in school. I know my husband, nobody ever brought him aside and talk to him about emotional intelligence and the people component. And so it is very learnable. It is very teachable. And I think there are some people who if they were just given the tools if they were just given some training and coaching, and help to understand what this looks like, and why it’s beneficial, because we hear all the time, the soft skills, I do not use the word soft skills deliberately, because it makes it seem like it’s not important. It’s critical. And so I use the human skills or communication skills, and I find my more linear thinkers tend to gravitate to that. And I’m like, okay, I get, I get it, I’ll do that if it’s not soft, which ultimately, at our core, like all humans, really, at their core, want to learn how to show up more authentically, and to be more vulnerable. They might not like the discomfort that comes with it. But when they get to the other side of it. They’re like, Oh, I didn’t know. Okay, now I’m actually building these deeper relationships. And I’m helping other leaders to be better leaders. And so I think the onus is on the individual to ask for support. But the onus is also on the organization, that shame on you for continuing to put people who are individual contributors into leadership and giving them no support. No training.

Kim Meninger Yeah. And that, I think, is exactly the combination, right? It’s the what opportunity or responsibility do I have as an individual leader to continue to grow and to pay attention to all of these different dynamics that we’re talking about and the macro-level organizational responsibility to provide these tools because, like you said, we so many organizations these days are rooted in technology. There are a lot of STEM workers out there a lot of people who’ve gone to business school, not everybody has a degree in psychology. I happen to love human psychology. It’s my first love, right? So it’s something I live in breathe all day long, but a lot of people don’t and so to expect people to know this just because they happen to be really good at sales or they happen to be great engineers is unrealistic and like you said, it’s shameful because the effects on everyone around them.

Kristen Harcourt Exactly, exactly. Except that you’re not setting those people up for success. And, and I don’t think and then the other thing is, there has to be some ownership and accountability as you’re helping to build the skills when they’re not happening, because I can tell you how many conversations, oh, that’s just the way he is, oh, people should just learn to deal with it. You know, we know what we’re working with. And so it’s like, well, now you’re just you’re tolerating and just saying, Well, this is the way it has to be. So now, what’s the message you’re giving to the organization? Oh, you know, if you don’t do make any changes, if you do behave in this way, it’s okay. There’s no, there’s going to be no accountability for that. And so then what kind of things are you doing? I love organizations, when they start to be they start to make that connection, where at the end of the year, when people are being bonus, they’re not just being bonus on performance, they’re actually being bonus as well. Are they living and breathing the values? Okay, well, now there’s going to be much more motivation. You’re making a very strong signal and strong message back to your leaders that we take this very seriously. Yes, of course, because the other thing I hear sometimes, oh, you’re just going to work on these, these, these skills, but then there’s not going to be any accountability for achieving No, these are businesses, of course, there’s expectations that there’s goals that are being achieved, the goals will actually be achieved more effectively if foundationally, you work on this other area. And so what are you doing to tell the organization and tell the individuals that this is really important and showing it and Okay, when we start to look at how you’re being bonus at what we’re looking for, at the end of the year, it’s not going to just be on what you achieved in terms of business outcomes, it’s also going to be how did your behaviors continue to align with the values that we’ve identified are very important in our organization.

Kim Meninger And going back to time, right, unless we do that, this will always be something that I’ll get to when I get through everything else that’s on my plate.

Kristen Harcourt Right, right. And this is the thing, and I tell people all the time, like you can… Look, there’s tons of case studies of organization after organization that are doing this. The results, you can see the ROI of what happens with it when an organization creates this kind of environment. Actually, the performance only increases because now we have people who are in alignment with the values, they’re living and breathing the values. They’re connected to the purpose, the mission and the vision. These are all important things that ultimately we all want, like what do we hear from Gen Zed. And it’s interesting when I hear Gen Zed, because I’m, I’m Generation X. And I also wanted purpose and meaning, right? Like we all ultimately want to have purpose and meaning I just think the next generations are asking for it in a different way than they were before. And so the more that you can create these kinds of environments that, you know, you’re helping leaders to be able to build these skills, build these competencies. And that’s a huge competency to like, I don’t think people think about as a leader, one of your competencies should be also to help your team understand how the actions that they’re taking are connected to the vision, the mission, the purpose of what the organization is trying to achieve. That’s a skill to that’s a learned skill, but doesn’t necessarily come as naturally to people who there’s kind of some storytelling and emotionally connecting as you help people understand that.

Kim Meninger Yeah. And I think that when you think about the fact that as humans, we are always going to prioritize our comfort zone, especially in uncertain situations, right? If it feels like, oh, gosh, I don’t know how to do that. Or if I do that, I’m going to get it wrong, or people are going to judge me whatever the case may be, then I’m just going to keep going down the path that I’m on. And so I wonder, too, as we think about external pressure points, if there are leaders working in organizations where this isn’t being done effectively, at a macro level, are there things that I as a leader can do to try to influence that? Or do I need to just sort of conclude, this is not the place for me, I’m not going to be able to get what I need from this environment?

Kristen Harcourt Yeah, I think it’s a yes and right. Sometimes it starts to become clear, even when I talk to HR leaders who are really trying to implement at a foundational level make these changes, and they’re just realizing I’m not getting the support from the CEO. I’m trying to help them understand why this is important. They’re just not bought into it. If you keep on trying over and over again, and they can’t get the CEO bought into it. And the senior leadership team is saying we want to do those but when it requires action and going outside of our comfort zone and the discomfort and over and over it And it’s like hitting your head against the wall, that might be an indicator that’s not the right organization and culture for you to be able to use your skills and what you feel so passionate about doing. So I think some cases that’s that, and I have several HR leaders have left, and then they were so happy when they found another organization that was on board, they still had to bring them along and usher them into a new way of doing things. But there wasn’t resistance, there was an understanding around why that was important. And then I think on the individual level, even within organizations, I always say when you talk about culture, there’s even there’s different pockets within the overall organization as well, I’m sure you’ve experienced him where I’ve had, you know, parts of the organization, I wasn’t as excited about what they were doing. But our area, we had amazing leaders, we were a high-performing team, we were all working collaboratively together, focused on the same initiatives, passionate about what we were doing. And we had really strong relationships, like we would hang out outside of work. And so I think even you, trying to build stronger relationships with the people around you, and then you as an individual, I’m sure you’ve experienced with this Kim, I work with a lot of leaders who they come on their own to get leadership coaching, not just the organization sponsoring it. And because they recognize as they’re doing leadership coaching, it’s not only making a shift of in terms of how they’re showing up as a leader in the organization, it’s also about how they’re showing up as a leader in their family and their communities. And so they understand, yeah, I want to make that investment because I want to be able to like really make changes on a, on a systemic level for all parts of my life. So that’s way away. I’m a big believer in coaching, or even going outside where you could be in team things where you’re also with other leaders. And then you’re recognizing, oh, this is not just me, and then I’m less alone. And as you’re trying new things, because you’re really right what you said there, as you’re trying to play with different ways of showing up. It’s scary. And so who’s going to support you and say, No, you’re doing well, like it’s okay. And it might not work. But try again, and you’re a lot of trial and error. So having a community that you can be talking with and supporting. Of course, I would love the organization to be offering that. But if they don’t, you can look for that from outside. And the beauty is right now, there’s so many ways of learning, like you can look at books, you can be listening to podcasts, like you’re doing now and on a regular basis on a weekly basis, be listening to those podcasts, but then also writing notes and then taking action. And then finding somebody else who’s also passionate about this and having an accountability buddy, right, finding another person who’s like, I want to work on this stuff, too. And now you have someone else who you can talk through, share the wins, share the struggles, anything you can do to be not going on this journey alone, I think makes a huge difference.

Kim Meninger I couldn’t agree with you more. And I think it’s so easy to hit a bump in the road when you’re doing it on your own and to just decide, I’m not going to do this anymore, or let something else get in the way. But if you have those accountability partners, you’re much more likely to follow through and, and I think to about the grassroots nature of some of what you’re talking about. So within an organization, and I’m glad you mentioned this, that there are pockets, it’s not usually one monolithic culture, but there’s lots of different subcultures within an organization. And if you are motivated to create change, to try to do it in your own pocket, and then share that share the successes, share what you’re learning with other colleagues who may adopt certain practices, and then there’s the potential that it will have more of a contagious effect. And then maybe as people start to say, Oh, they must be doing something right. Their team is getting really great results. Right? Maybe we can learn something from them. Maybe the CEO does start to

Kristen Harcourt Yes, differently. Yes, yeah. Because even if you think about those CEOs, there’s a whole spectrum, right? We have some people were like someone could see right now I’m like on the very, very other side of the end, and they’re like, I don’t even understand why do we need to care about people, that person, it’s a long way to assure them in terms of their level of consciousness. But we have others that are a little bit in the middle, right? It’s like, well, I don’t know this stuff, is it? Is it really that important? But when they start to see results and start to see it happening, that could be the catalyst exactly like you’re saying, to help them realize, you know, what, this is it. Like, if you think about any organization with CEOs, and when they start to be like really understanding why it’s important to have this kind of transformation. There can be a lot of different things that end up being those catalysts to finally get them on board, right? It’s like, they get that right HR person and now they’re like, Okay, I’m ready to like really push this out into the organization and make strategic changes and how we’re doing things. What’s the catalyst that they finally get to that place? Lots of different things. Sometimes it could be just listening to a podcast episode like this or they either right book or they talk to the right colleague, and they’re sharing, you know, I’m starting to see these results as my organization, and then all of a sudden, that’s the thing that puts them over the edge and starts to make them recognize, you know what, as much as all of this might feel comfortable, I’m starting to understand, perhaps I think, as we’re I’m talking with talking to you about this right now, it starts to become less intellectualized and starts to become more embodied.

Kim Meninger That’s a really good way to put it. And I’m curious to how you guide your own clients, especially people who are individuals coming to you on their own. So they’re, in some ways, removing themselves from the context to have some of these conversations with you. But then going back into that context, and there’s a high degree of vulnerability that comes with this work. And then, of course, trying out new behaviors, when you go back into your workplace, do you recommend that they let their teams know what they’re doing? Do you recommend that they actually sort of create some transparency about what’s going on? Because one of the things I often think about is that if you start to behave differently, everybody starts to think, oh, what’s going on with this person? Right? They’re acting very strangely. What does that mean? And so I’m curious what your thoughts are on whether how, how much to share if you are on this journey with the people around you?

Kristen Harcourt Yeah, that’s a really great question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked it. And I really appreciate it, I think, I think it’s very individualized. And so some people, just the kind of people they are, would just be naturally going into the team and saying, hey, I want to let you know, I recognize where I might have some shortcomings and where I want to learn and grow as a leader. And so you might see me sometimes, you know, falling down and not doing it exactly as well or not articulating as well, and want to let you know, and I would appreciate your feedback around, you know, what is going well, and what’s not going well, I definitely have had leaders who actually do exactly that. So they go in to their visuals that their individual team members and say, you know, one of the things I’m doing as a leader is wanting to get to know you better in terms of what works best for you. And so I would love to know, what could I be doing more of what can I be doing less of and having one on one with all their team numbers? That’s something that happens with a lot of the leaders I work with. Are they saying the reason why I’m suddenly having this conversation is because I’m going through coaching? And I don’t know that they always articulate that, but there’s an understanding that they’re trying to improve as a leader, how are they doing that? Are they doing coaching? Are they doing some sort of training? There’s just an understanding that something is happening, and they’re articulating that piece? How, how transparent you are, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong around that. I think it’s I think they’re naturally going to be asking more from their team members. So that there’s, there’s going to be just an understanding that they’ve just like they I believe leadership’s really important, I think saying that constantly to your team that I believe I can be constantly growing and developing as a leader is really, really important. Is there, is there a reason why they wouldn’t want to be talking about the fact that they’re, they’re doing coaching? And I don’t think so I don’t think there’ll be any reason to hold that back. I do know, I do note that some of the accessory leaders I work with that are right at the top at the C suite, they sometimes might not be as transparent around what they’re doing with their peers, because of a variety of reasons where they might feel judged by individuals, it almost feels like oh, why are you needing coaching, you should there’s a bit of competitiveness and some ego-based stuff happening within their peers. So I would say within their only share with people who you have psychological safety with and that you have a strong trusting relationship, because that those people might be able to give you feedback that could only even help you as you’re going through the coaching. If you have someone where there isn’t high trust and psychological safety, sharing that you’re going through coaching and things like that might not actually be beneficial.

Kim Meninger I think that point about psychological safety is a really important part of this whole conversation too. Because you need a fundamental level of psychological safety to even be able to try out some of these new behaviors and to feel like you have a safe place to learn and grow. And, you know, you’re talking about the suite C suite, which I think makes a lot of sense. But I could see that happening at all levels of an organization because there’s so many people who are intimidated by their own direct reports, right this hour. I don’t have the same expertise as someone on my team, they think they’re more qualified to be in this role than I am if I admit that I’m still developing as a leader that I have something that’s, you know, an area where I need to grow, that that’s going to create even more of a credibility gap or however you want to define it within my own team. And so part of that I think is pushing through that, because nobody’s perfect. And I think a lot of times those insecurities are in our own heads of, oh, that person thinks they’re smarter than I am, when in actuality we don’t unless they’ve told us that we don’t actually know what they’re thinking, right?

Kristen Harcourt And so, so you’re just kind of working through that telling ourselves where we may be making assumptions. But also, I think we model this for other people, when we actually put a voice to it, and start to say, hey, you know what, I’m being vulnerable right now, and learning and growing outside of my comfort zone. And I want to encourage you to do the same. And I want to create an open space for all of us to talk about that discomfort. And I think too often, we’re so afraid of what people are gonna think that we don’t actually create that opportunity.

Kim Meninger Yeah, 100%. And I think vulnerability is actually quite contagious, right? Like, I think about so many different times where I’ve had leaders who showed up in meetings and share, especially when the pandemic was happening because so many people were experiencing the gamut of emotions, and for them to even just share, I don’t know how you’re all feeling. But I want to let you know, this is what’s happening for me right now. And then creating a space for them to share. I’ve heard over and over again, from both the leader who says, wow, it was really freeing to be able to share like that it felt good to be able to just be authentic, but then the individuals how much they were willing to share and how it deepens the relationships because of this, I so many organizations where there’s just so much more vulnerability that was created due to this kind of time where there was so much uncertainty and unknowns going on in the world. And so I think you’re absolutely right, I think that the more you can model it, and even the ones going back to what we were talking about earlier around these individuals who move up into leadership, and they don’t necessarily have those people leadership skills, what can also happen is they’re just emulating what they saw. So they didn’t have leaders who were more conscious leaders, and that were using this emotional intelligence or these different competencies of leadership. So they don’t know what they don’t know. They’re just doing what they think is the right thing to do. And so I absolutely the more we can have people modeling these behaviors, and recognizing it’s not an either-or, like showing compassion and empathy doesn’t mean because I know some people say, Oh, now people will take advantage of it. And people will feel like they can get away with things. It’s like, no, no, no, it’s not already, the lens that you’re taking it from is already like a scarcity lens, right? It’s already we want to be aware of no, it’s when you come from this place, showing up with your humanity, bigger picture, it’s going to feel better for you, it’s going to feel better for the people around you. And it’s going to be better for our world. Like, we’re talking about workplaces. But as we have this transformation, it impacts everything, not just within our workplaces, and the world right now needs this we need to have, there’s a lot of divisiveness. And the more that we can really show up and be open to hearing and learning from one another which really shows up with deep empathy and compassion, the more we can solve a lot of challenges that are showing up where people are like, well, it’s my way or the other person, that stairway and they’re just butting heads and not willing to really listen to each other happens in workplaces, and it happens outside of work as well.

Kristen Harcourt You’re absolutely right. And I’m glad that you mentioned the scarcity mindset to you. And I think of that is just it’s a really very fixed mindset. And if we kind of ask ourselves, who are the leaders that we follow, when have we shown up as our best selves and gone that extra mile, it’s usually because of a leader that invested in us somebody who took the time to care about us. And so if we’re operating from the assumption that people are going to take advantage of us if we’re compassionate, then we’re neglecting that basic human need that we all have to feel seen and heard and appreciated. And nobody gets out of bed every day and says, I want to do a mediocre job and maybe with our times in our lives, and we have a lot going on. And we think Alright, I just, you know, I got to get through the day. But for the most part, we want to do our best. And if we’re not there’s a reason why we’re not. And I think that if you think about it as you, you treat the person like a human first and you make sure that they feel respected and they feel a certain amount of human dignity, then you can work with them on whatever performance issues might be coming up because they don’t like it any better than you do rain. But fear doesn’t work fear. You’re never making people feel like there is going to be a punishment or they, they are micromanaged or whatever the case may be just makes people that much more self-conscious, that much more insecure, that much more frustrated, and we make more mistakes when we’re exactly and that comes down to trust, right. We’re all looking for trust and that’s what I thought was so I guess The work coming to me right now is amusing. Pre-pandemic, when I would say to so many organizations the value of remote work, and they’re like, no, no, no, they’re gonna sit at home and not get stuff done and do their laundry and all of this stuff. It’s like, okay, so what I hear is this is really coming down to trust. And ultimately, if they’re performing their if they’re performing within, if they can get what they need to get done, and some of it gets done really early in the morning, and really, at the end of the evening, why does that matter to you? Because you’re trying to control and there’s lack of trust, which to me says more about that leader, but then the individual.

Kim Meninger Absolutely, that’s what I always say to right? If you can’t trust your people to do their jobs, when you’re not around, then you’ve got some more serious issues. You’re either employing the wrong people or I’ll look in the mirror. Oh, my goodness. Well, this has been such a fascinating conversation. Kristin, I’m so grateful for the work that you’re doing. Where can people find you if they want to learn more about you?

Kristen Harcourt Thank you, Kim. And I feel the same. We’re kindred spirits. I knew that right away when we had a conversation. So passionate about this work. Yeah, I love please come find me at my website, which is Kristen And I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, Instagram, a little bit Twitter. So come connect with me out on the socials. I love having dialogues hearing about what’s working and not working well for you. And yeah, come connect with me there.

Kim Meninger Thank you so much. It was so great to have you here today. Thank you. Thank you.

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