Why is it that regardless of major, minor or specialty our education system remains obsessed with teaching students the “what” but not the “how”?
If we’re lucky, students leave school prepared with tools of their trade but still missing the skill set to put those tools into action, adapt for changing circumstances and/or convince someone they need that tool in the first place.
Fortunately, some professors (today’s guest included) have recognized this disparity and dedicated their career to correcting it. Dr. Katie Heinrich is a Professor of Exercise Behavioral Science and Director of the Functional Intensity Training Lab in the Department of Kinesiology at Kansas State University. With over 20 years in academia, she’s devoted her time and research to the study of community, mentorship, and people skills – all which she believes are required for making science actionable.
In this episode we cover:
- How am I coming across? A guide to metacommunication in 2021
- What NOT to do when building a community
- Pro’s and con’s of the term “soft skills”
- Tips for writing a great email and finding a mentor
- How and when to say no without burning bridges
If you’re looking for more resources on how to find and/or to optimize your approach when reaching out to a mentor, check out artofcoaching.com/findamentor. Here you’ll find everything from email templates to strategies for finding the right person for you.
Connect with Dr. Heinrich:
Via Twitter: @kmhphd
Via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via her website: https://www.hhs.k-state.edu/kines/labs/fit.html
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Brett Bartholomew 0:00
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Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.
It’s a daunting question to ask, and one that might even get you in trouble if you wonder it out loud in the wrong company. When, if at all? Is it okay to give up on a student or somebody you mentor? Now you might have just spit out your coffee hearing that the term give up specifically, and thought to yourself never. But I urge you to consider this. What’s the difference between guiding somebody and helping them? Or possibly facilitating learned helplessness if they don’t know how to get out of their own way and help themselves? What is the role of a mentor? These are some of the questions that we’re going to ask and I hope you struggle with a little bit during today’s episode. And my guest today is Dr. Katie Heinrich, Professor of exercise behavioral science, and the director of the functional intensity training lab in the Department of Kinesiology at Kansas State University. Now this is a special episode for me Kansas State is my alma mater, at least for my undergraduate tenure, and it is also the first accredited university to bring our courses Bought in and Valued and merge them into their undergraduate curriculum, to help coaches really get a head start on their career and teach them things about the field of coaching and all of its nuances. To help them make sure that they’re not going in with any kind of naivete, because as many of you listening know, regardless of what you do for a profession, it is much more than knowing the hard skills, and networking. There are always political nuances. And there are always little ins and outs that can help you stand out ahead of your competition. Now some other things that we’re going to talk about is why communities make it easier for us to join or change our behavior.
And this is something that Dr. Robert Sheldini talks quite a bit about this idea of shared identities, right, how we can bring people in together as groups that change this behavior that normally if they were by themselves, that just wouldn’t. And we see this through apps and all other kinds of health initiatives that have helped and sometimes even hindered these efforts in the past and future. We’re also going to talk about the use of the term soft skills. We hear this a lot when it comes to communication. But is it appropriate? Is it appropriate when communication and persuasion are subjects that date back 3000 years, and have more than a half century of research behind them? When you hear soft skills, you tend to think of these things that we can’t really be taught or you better be born with, and we’re going to go into the myths there. So I cannot wait for you to dive into this episode. Make sure that you’ve downloaded your podcast reflection sheet done by our very own Ali Kershner. And let’s get into it. Without further ado, Dr. Katie Heinrich
Hey guys, thanks so much for sitting down with me once again, I am here with Dr. Katie Heinrich. Katie, how are you?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 5:13
I’m doing well, Brett, how are you?
Brett Bartholomew 5:15
I’m doing great. It’s nice talking to you again, the first time we chatted was our mutual connection of Kristian Larsen, who is also on the show. And it feels like a long time ago, but really, that was only about a year, right?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 5:27
Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve lost all track of time during COVID-19. So I can’t remember.
Brett Bartholomew 5:34
I think that is completely reasonable. It’s interesting for some of our viewers or listeners, who may be you know, they’re removed from the academic world, and they’ve heard about how some of the changes have impacted the day to day realities there. You know, talk to me a little bit about what it’s been like just kicking off going from what was the previous normal to how your reality at Kansas State? Or if you want to talk about colleagues, or what have you, like what’s like now inside those walls?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 6:04
Yeah, well, what it’s like now this spring is actually different than what it was like, even last fall, because it’s been changing, you know, as things have been opening back up, but it really turned our university into a ghost town. And rather than coming into the office every day, I was going downstairs to my office in the guest bedroom every day and teaching my classes online. And just seeing my you know, even meeting with my students in my research lab, everything was being conducted virtually our research switched to being virtual, which actually enabled my PhD students recruit participants from all over the world, which was cool. But it’s very different. But the nice thing was, we realized that we can do a lot of things online versus having to get together in person, which makes scheduling a lot easier. For things like this podcast, you know, the university is recognizing that, oh, hey, we can we can do things like this. And I think it’s led to some innovations in education that maybe we wouldn’t have had otherwise, our department is in the process of moving our bachelor’s degree in kinesiology completely online, and things like that. So it’s been an interesting journey. Now things are starting to open back up, I am teaching a class in person this semester, which the students really like we’re all wearing masks, which is an interesting experience trying to interpret students body language and their understanding when I can’t see their full face has been a little bit challenging. But, you know, by the fall, we’re projecting to open everything back up.
Brett Bartholomew 7:48
That’s great insight. And I do have to ask you something in conjunction with what you mentioned there. And this is a maybe a humorous aside, maybe I’m the weirdo but you mentioned interacting in masks, right. And we live by a Costco and we’re going there the other day, and you have the mask on and I find you know, especially since I’m a nerd with communication and coaching, I realized that Oh, like I never really thought about this. But as I’m looking at the woman across the counter, I can’t really tell, you know, how she’s by what kind of body language she’s transmitting in terms of facial expression, right, but kinetics of her face? And so I think, well, I’m probably not great at that either. And I have pretty you know, our audience can’t see us right now. But I have pretty narrow eyes. So I start thinking about how can I be more expressive, because you know, we can all give off a lot of different, I would say vibes. And so I started thinking right to show interest when I actually asked her how her day is, I need to raise my eyebrows. But what’s too much? What’s too much of an eyebrow raise? What how do I do this? Do you ever find yourself wondering just for a moment? Like, Well, okay, I can’t tell what that students doing. By the way, what am I doing? Does that ever get a little weird for a second?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 8:58
Yes, that definitely has been challenging. You know, sometimes I’m thinking the students cannot tell that I’m smiling right underneath this mask. And how do I communicate that in a way that I don’t look like a clown?
Brett Bartholomew 9:16
Because, it increases, right, the chance of these misunderstandings, somebody said something the other day online where they’re like, man, we have more communication tools than ever before. And I’m like, Yeah, but the irony is we have more miscommunications, because we learn how to use the tools, but we don’t understand ourselves. And we’re the ultimate tool in terms of well, I could go across both ways. But in terms of not being aware of these little things, so I always think is as annoying as having to wear the you know, mask can be and what have you in certain situations. It’s also given me a new awareness of like, thinking about how am I emoting? Because now people aren’t going to get the benefit of the doubt. You can’t always tell my tone of voice. You can’t always tell by these kinds of things. So I can only imagine how much of that’s changed your instructional style.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 9:59
You If it has, the other thing that I’ve tried to do is just tell the students what I’m thinking and feeling. So that, you know, they may not be able to read it on my face. But you know, if I’ve made a joke, and they’re not sure if it’s a joke, I’ll tell them that or, you know, I’ve tried to keep it real and say, you know, I had a terrible day yesterday, I was very unproductive. And professors have bad days, just like students do. So I understand and I get it if you guys are struggling a bit, you know, and just trying to voice some of those emotional reactions to everything that’s going on versus trying to hide them and pretend that everything’s perfect.
Brett Bartholomew 10:39
Yeah, well, I think that’s a valuable form of self disclosure, right? Because we know that inherently, you’re their professor. So they know, or at least have this perception of you as somebody that’s competent, right? You know, the subject matter material. But warmth is something that is harder to gauge. And when you don’t have some kind of warmth, or you don’t have that little bit of self disclosure to know that wow, you have that issue too which even I was going to ask you when you mentioned how your day changed? How had your productivity and the schedule you set for yourself as an academic change? While you’re at home? What did you struggle with? Most? For example, was there an area where you’re just like, Oh, my God, I’m so hopeless?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 11:20
It’s a good question. You know, having little kids at home too, and trying to find care for them added a whole nother layer on top of being responsible for a research lab and teaching classes and, you know, serving my professional organizations and doing grant reviews and all of that. So honestly, I think the hardest part was finding an outlet. And becoming that person who worked out in my driveway and had my neighbors stare at me and wonder what she was doing in the middle of the day, changing a lot of my meetings, because I was meeting by phone to walking meetings. So I could just get out and move because being stuck in the house versus being on campus and walking around going back and forth to meetings and classes. That was a struggle. But, you know, my academic productivity still remains pretty high because I do collaborative research. And so I was able to continue a lot of efforts by having other people help me. So that didn’t suffer. Plus, when we first shifted over, I was only teaching a grad student class of five students. So that was pretty easy to shift online. Versus if I was teaching a larger class, that would have been a lot harder. But really, just being able to move was probably the thing that changed the most having to search out ways to add that back into my day.
Brett Bartholomew 12:56
Yeah, I think a lot of folks can relate to that. Now, you mentioned finding an outlet, you mentioned the term a collaborative research rather, and your neighbors thinking you’re crazy for when you train, you’ve also done some research on community. And in one of our episodes, you know, we talked about aspects of social proof. And you know, obviously, things that make us seem similar to one another tend to link us and can alter behavior change. Talk about and this is posed broadly on purpose, I want you to be able to take it where you’d like, talk to me about some of the research you’ve done with the impact of community, whether it’s on health outcomes, or certain elements of behavior change. Talk to us a little bit about what got you interested in that. And then what some of your early curiosities or findings event,
Dr. Katie Heinrich 13:42
Sure. So the framework for my research really was getting people to participate in exercise programs, and particularly high intensity functional training programs such as CrossFit mission essential fitness, the first 20, which is a firefighter program, and community was kind of the byproduct that I saw coming out of that as people engaged in the exercise programs, which pushed them put them on a similar playing level where, you know, they’re all doing the same workout modified to their individual abilities. So they have this shared experience, but they also have kind of the shared goals of whether it’s, you know, improving their health, improving their body composition, improving their fitness, that they really, I noticed that they bonded with each other that it was the other people they were interacting with in these programs that kept them in the coaches that kept them coming back. And, you know, in looking at what makes up a community, it’s feeling that you belong, that you have a role to play that your contribution is valued, and I really Notice that that was happening in the research studies, which wasn’t necessarily an intentional piece of it, but was clearly a very important piece.
Brett Bartholomew 15:11
Yeah, it’s important, you know, you said, you have a role to play. This is always fascinating to me. And whether it’s in your case where you’re looking at various exercise interventions, and public health, or we’ve been thinking about this internally, we have something called our art of coaching all access group where I think I just got a little burned out on social media, not necessarily for the same reasons other people did. But you know, you’re trying to put helpful information out and it was so truncated into a post or a 15. Second response. And I found one thing that drained me, especially during COVID, to speak more to your community is, you know, not always having these, the frequency of meaningful interactions that I really wanted, you know, sometimes I would try an Instagram Live, whatever, to try to be helpful to others. But it would kinda end up being, I don’t know, the same kind of questions, and people just wanted quick answers, one size fits all. So we started this community it was it was app based, it is app based. And it’s a way for us to have way longer interactions and nothing’s taxed, nobody needs to tweet or find a message board or whatever, it’s you literally take your phone, and you look at the video. And there’s a post that day that might be like, Hi guys, we’re gonna talk about nonverbals or communicating with masks, or, Hey, guys, we’re going to talk about how to lead a group, you know, that might do this, or how to deal with harsh feedback. And now all these people start chirping, but at the beginning to speak to your point, you know, it can sometimes get be hard for people to play that role. Because they have to figure out their part in the group, they have to feel comfortable in the group, they have to feel welcome. And if they’re gonna have that shared experience, sometimes people don’t feel worthy of being in a group, which is always silly, but it’s understandable. What levels of reticence do you find when you’re looking at the interventions you looked at of like, hey, we have this community, we know the powerful benefits of it. But how do we get people to really own their part and being a part of that community? Is that makes sense? What I’m asking?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 17:01
Yeah, it does. And it’s funny, because when you’re attacking, it made me think of the few individuals which it was pretty small percentage, who did drop out of the study, and the reasons that they gave for that. And, you know, one participant it was because she was substantially older than the other older adults in that study. And so she felt like she was holding the back, which she wasn’t, you know, another couple of participants was that they felt like, you know, they, they just didn’t feel like part of the group that they fit in. So what is it that causes people to buy in, and, you know, and feel like they belong there, and that they have a contribution. And I think it could be anything, it could be something as simple as somebody acknowledging them that day and the effort that they put forth, it could be like with, when we do CrossFit interventions, realizing that, okay, maybe I’m really bad at weightlifting, but my goodness, I can run, or I can, you know, do a certain aspect of it, where maybe I suck in the other ones, but this one, I’m good. And so I keep coming, because I know, I’m gonna get better. It could also be the personal connections, you know, we have ongoing program evaluation with our gym. And we have, you know, Dean’s at K State that are working out with faculty members who are working out with undergrad and graduate students and members of the community, and they’re able to connect with people that they otherwise wouldn’t interact with. And they do that through this common medium of the exercise program. And so I wish I could say, oh, this is the magic thing. but it’s, I think it’s different for each person.
Brett Bartholomew 18:53
Yeah, I think that’s, I mean, that’s a totally appropriate question. And it and it’s real. And we think about how communities are formed, and even how you and I have built a little bit of a relationship now, right? There’s, this alumni connection, me being a K State alum. And you know, what we’ve found is, initially, when we started doing what we did with art of coaching, we had some reticence on the side of performance coaches who previously stayed in their communities that wanted to just continue to learn about, you know, squats and sports science or whatever, it was kind of this Pavlovian response of, that’s always what they’ve gravitated to. And that’s probably always what some folks are gonna like. Whereas for us, a lot of people have gravitated to us for like, yeah, that’s interesting. But we’ve also understood that it’s usually not the rate limiting factor, right? Like we can teach an athlete or an individual exercises, but there’s larger social ramifications. So then we found our community, but for people that join, they’ve got to make sense of what is this thing? And then it’s also got to be very easy. I’ve always thought that it’s been fascinating that you look at kind of the design of an environment and let’s look at an online environment. People are more likely to join a course or a seminar or whatever, just based on what color a button might be or the verbiage you use, apparently click here is not a good thing. What have you noticed that? Even though it’s always going to depend, let’s go the other way? What are some key ways that you know are actually going to turn somebody off? From joining a community? Right, this idea of like, well, I don’t know what always will get them to buy in. But here’s definitely what’s gonna keep them away.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 20:24
Yeah, I think word of mouth. Yeah, having people you know, who’ve had a negative experience in the past? Or why do you, you know, maybe it’s a family member? Why do you want to go try out high intensity exercise, you should be like walking and just lifting weights. And that that could be part of it. Another could be coming and not having the best experience that first time like that, that first visit? Most people if they feel like they didn’t have a good experience the first time, why in the world would you go back? It could be not feeling like you did a good job or not feeling like you fit or not feeling like anybody cared that you were there. I know, in particular, we asked this question. When we did some qualitative research, we did interviews and focus groups with CrossFit participants and owners. And some of it was perception of CrossFit as a cult. Or thinking it’s intimidating, or, you know, seeing only seeing the CrossFit Games on TV, which are extraordinary, you know, that’s our pro athletes, if you will, of CrossFit doing extraordinary things and thinking like I’d never do that, why, you know, and that’s nothing like what our Gen looks like on a day to day basis. So
Brett Bartholomew 21:49
I think those, that’s a great example, One highly relatable thing we can speak to is, you know, my wife and I converted our garage into a garage gym, and we have a heavy bag and a variety of things. And, you know, we’ll train fairly intensely sometimes, I mean, right ebbs and flows. But you know, with my background in strength conditioning, I enjoy doing clean sometimes I like, I’ll just go round after round on the heavy bag, and I used to compete. So I think to my neighbors sometimes, and one of them came up and was like, you kind of freaked me out when you moved into this neighborhood. And I’m like, Well, why? And then I started thinking about, I’m like, okay, they hear Eminem, Jay Z, 50, Cent blaring from my radio. And then they see this guy going nuts on a heavy bag. And I’m like, Well, no, you can feel free to come use it. You know, anytime you’d like, we, my family and I are from the Midwest, we value that community. Now. I’ll be frank, if all of a sudden start coming, if 30 of them started coming and say, Hey, can you train me? That’s not the goal, right? But it’s funny how sometimes the most obvious answers are right in front of us. And you nailed it. It’s perception. It’s Do I belong here? Is this intimidating? Does this feel like me? And people are gonna make a decision really quickly, right, like seven seconds or less? Maybe? Is there anything that you’ve been able to do with the programs that you leave that kind of hit that nail on the head? Is there something that you tell them right off the bat, if they do join a community that you spearhead and this could I mean, feel free to even if this is your research assistants, or people that come work out at your lab? or what have you? What are some things you do to make them feel comfortable? And a little bit more united? So they feel like they’re a part of it?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 23:21
Yeah, I think especially, you know, if we’re doing a research lab, or a group activity, or a group, exercise class, doing introductions, just really simply going around the room, and letting the new people know who’s there? Who are they surrounded by? You know, in the case of the group exercise, maybe it’s how long the other people have been coming. And maybe they realized that, oh, this person next to me, they started last week. And so maybe I feel a little more comfortable talking to them than the people that have been doing this for five years. And so honestly, like, introducing people, letting them know that they’re welcome. Even orienting them to like, where’s the bathroom? Where can I set my stuff down? Where’s the drinking fountain, so that they feel comfortable in their surroundings as well, that those little efforts go a long way at the very start?
Brett Bartholomew 24:18
Yeah, I think those are incredibly practical. And what was interesting is I had read some research recently, Katie, that had said, you know, during times of chaos, communication skills are usually the first things to go well, I also think in times of change in fast paced scenarios, or when we’re trying to grow something, let’s say a community in this instance. it’s the things that are simple that we tend to negate, right, like do an introduction. I’ll forget, sometimes when we run our workshops to do an introduction, because I’m so caught up in wanting to make sure things run on time and I’m like, You idiot, you know what I mean? Like, you forgot to do an introduction. Now, people are gonna have to get comfortable with improv, and introduce themselves, and I’ll kick myself I think it was interesting one other time. And this leads to some I want to ask you I remember Robert Cialdini, talking about all these little nuances such as facial similarities can ignite this kind of unity principle, do we have the same birthdate you and I, you know, again, alumni, Kansas State University, being in the same place, we see research on localism, like even if somebody just routes for the same sports team, right, like so it’s not just introductions, but finding these quirky ways to find commonalities, what is maybe a surprising thing where you, it could be a colleague, it could be a research assistant, it could be your significant other where something got off on the wrong foot, and you’re like, Yeah, I don’t know if I vibe her here, or with you, or what have you. And then maybe the smallest thing all of a sudden sparked the conversation that you’re like, wow, we have this in common. And I understand that might take a moment, I’m putting you on the spot.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 25:50
Yeah, so actually, an example that popped in my mind was, you know, there’s ways that you’re supposed to wear your mask, right? When you put your mask on, it’s supposed to cover your nose and your mouth, and ideally, go over your chin too right because it’s not letting the air out. And there was this student who came into our gym this semester, and his mask is constantly below his nose, and it just drove me nuts. And the coach would be like, you know, reminding him, please, please pull up your mask, you know, please make sure that, your face is fully covered. And I’m just like, What is wrong with that guy. And we I got to know him better, because we would always come into the gym, outside of class times to do extra stuff. So I started talking to him, and found out that, you know, he’s from Serbia, I’m collaborating on some other police and firefighter research with a guy from Serbia. And he’s just this really awesome, wonderful students, who, you know, my first impression was like, I don’t like you, because you’re not following the rules you’re supposed to. And now he’s one of my favorite people. And I’m going to be really sad when he graduates at the end of this semester and moves on.
Brett Bartholomew 27:02
Yeah, it’s a great example, especially because I think sometimes we get frustrated, as coaches, leaders, guides, educators, whatever term anybody wants to use for what they do. There’s usually this one person that might frustrate us, and we tend to want to cast them off. But those are the people you really do have to lean into. Because to a degree, it’s the outcasts and rebels that make you relearn something yourself, you know, either about okay, maybe I was not being as aware as I’d like to be. Or maybe they’ll show you an example of how you are in a certain situation. I tell coaches this all the time. You complain about stubborn folks, you lead yet where in your life? are you stubborn? Where are you in your life were Katie and I could give you as much information as possible. And you’re not going to change. I mean, we have people that have listened all 100 By the time your episode comes out, we’ll be in the 16-s, maybe 170, and they still might not have changed a behavior that they wanted to change by listening to the show. Is there an area where your particular stubborn even now with all the tremendous knowledge you have, and life experience? Where are you the most stubborn in almost any been a silly way?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 28:08
Gosh, I don’t know, my husband would probably say at home?
Brett Bartholomew 28:12
In what respect?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 28:14
I don’t know, I you know, I’m a planner, I like to have everything kind of mapped out planned out. And so then maybe I’m not quite as spontaneous about doing things. I don’t know, I’m sure he could tell you all the ways that I’m stubborn, but you know, because it’s me. I can’t really think of like super specific examples, because that’s, my behavior. So it’s really hard to see it because I’m doing it.
Brett Bartholomew 28:44
Yeah That’s the nature of why they call it a blind spot. Staying on the topic of stubbornness for a moment. So we talked about communication barriers, with different respects community building, and we talked about how life has changed since COVID. Academia is not or academic institutions, rather, are not always known for their communication prowess, right? Large institutions, a lot of machinations behind the scenes. What were some of the things if we have anybody that’s an aspiring academic, or somebody that’s maybe in academia right now, and they feel like, wow, this institution is driving me nuts that I work for, but they pay my bills. What were some things that you felt like you had to learn how to adapt to some things that you feel like are perhaps changing in academia, and maybe what you hope for the future so that it’s less rigid? And there’s fewer barriers to entry?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 29:37
Oh, that’s a lot. Okay.
Brett Bartholomew 29:39
And take it wherever you want. I understand. It’s a lot. Let’s start with this. What are the base What are the things that you know, anybody that’s worked in academia would nod their heads to immediately if you’re like, well, these are some common frustrations that we deal with.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 29:55
Everything takes forever to get processed. So I don’t know, we start with the process of getting, you know, you come in as an assistant professor, and you need to go the promote through the promotion and tenure process. And so you start that from day one. And then five to seven years later, you actually submit your materials, you submit them in the fall, and then you don’t even know until the next spring, whether or not you’re getting promoted and tenured or not. It takes forever, you have a research project, you submit it for grant funding. In February, I submitted a grant application in February, it will get reviewed in I think, the end of June, beginning of July. And all the preliminary score, if it gets a good enough score to get funded by the National Institutes of Health, it won’t get funded until October, November, and then it’ll take me five years to do the study. And who knows how much longer after that to get the results out. Sometimes you can’t pay people for the work that they do. So for example, if I wanted to coach a class in our gym, because I’m on salary for the department, I get can’t get paid for that, because they can’t pay me more than one way. So there’s just all these little nuances and you know, we want to make a change, well, it has to go through, you know, the approval process, which takes about six different steps to do and then, you know, either people vote on it, or maybe an administrator approves it, and just, you know, compared to the business world, academia is very, very, very slow. And that can be very frustrating to realize how long these processes they’re gonna take. I can give you more examples if you want.
Brett Bartholomew 31:53
But I think that’s an excellent example. And the reason you know, now I’ll kind of unveil why I asked you that is, you know, part of mentoring, which is something that you and I have talked about before, is about helping future professionals. And it doesn’t have to be future because I think we get caught up sometimes on like, if it’s a young professional, it can be transitioning professionals, maybe somebody’s changing jobs, right. And they’re going from one career to another or what have you. So future professional transitioning professionals, what have you kind of see the unseen, right? We have to help them understand, hey, you got a lot to your name, you have the required credentials, and the requisite education background. But here’s the shit that you know, you need to learn. And like that’s the thing that I think is always tricky is from a mentoring standpoint, how do you manage that, you know, whether it’s research assistants you have now or if somebody just asked you off the cuff, how do you balance? Like, I want to let them know the messy realities, but I don’t want them to come in so jaded that they don’t appreciate the process.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 32:52
Yeah, it’s, it’s tough. And it’s also another piece is remembering what you didn’t know, at that stage. And then, oh, this is what I didn’t know. And I’ve learned over time, because sometimes you get far enough along in your career, and you kind of lose track of all those little things. That little knowledge you accumulated over time that got you where you are now. But what I try to do is, you know, they’re gonna get the content knowledge in the classes that they’re taking. So I don’t really worry as much about that what I actually have a passion for is professional development. And so I developed a graduate class specifically focused on that. And one of the things framing my thought process and developing that class was, what were all of the things that I really should have learned as a PhD student, or graduate student that I didn’t learn and I kind of, you know, learn trial by fire. As a faculty member. It’s interesting, because a lot of those focused on communication, and leads to better communicate information,
Brett Bartholomew 34:06
when you say that you mean the things that you did you learned about as part of, or you did not get that,
Dr. Katie Heinrich 34:13
what I didn’t learn was all these different ways that I needed to be able to communicate, whether that was teaching a class of students, whether that was reaching out to funders, whether you know, for my research, whether that was communicating with other scientists and professionals, and I didn’t necessarily learn those, those weren’t part of the curriculum, and they still aren’t necessarily part of our curriculum in higher education. And so I’ve tried to impart those through that class as well as then, through my research lab and the regular meetings and trainings and skill sessions that we do.
Brett Bartholomew 34:56
You know, and with that, I’m glad you said that and we try it out. Ask a number of guests this because it is important to get varying perspectives. You, these things aren’t taught to your point, you know, communication is not taught which is odd because we know that there’s scientific validity behind the construct of communication. People are social animals. It’s how we became the preeminent social animal on Earth. It’s how we have to navigate the messy realities. What would you say to the person? We’re playing a little devil’s advocate here, What if I looked at you and said, well, Katie, I don’t really need to learn communication. I do it every day as part of my job. And so I become a better negotiator by losing negotiations, I become better at being assertive by knowing what it’s like to get my teeth kicked in, you know, in an argument, whatever. what would you say to somebody like that that thinks that this is just a byproduct of life experience.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 35:48
I would say that people who are the most effective communicators tend to be able to get things done better. And communication is not just a byproduct, it is a skill that has to be practiced and constantly improved.
Brett Bartholomew 36:16
Right, taking a quick break here to say the obvious, nothing has higher carryover to improve team dynamics in sport, business, or really any aspect of life than improved communication. Now, ironically, many leaders don’t seek training in this space outside of quote, unquote, life experience. But imagine if members of the military doctors, etc, only leaned on life experience and no training in communication. And I’ll frame it even another way, what true leader would ever choose not to get better at how they interact with others during high stakes situations. If you agree with me on this, then you’ll be glad to know that we’ve posted final dates for our Apprenticeship workshops. Now, Dallas, Texas is coming up June 26, and 27th. So make sure to go to artofcoaching.com/apprenticeship. Now, if you can’t make Dallas, we also have Chicago, Illinois, Seattle, Boston, Nashville, and we’re going to be in the UK in October. These are all dates in 2021. And you guys can save anywhere from 350 to $500. If you book now, and if you’ve taken our courses, any of our online courses, you get an additional discount. So please, please, please do not miss this opportunity. We open these up to people from all different kinds of professions. And there’s a lot of role playing and interaction and video break down and instruction here. So artofcoaching.com/apprenticeship artofcoaching.com/apprenticeship. And before we get back, if you want to bring our courses into your university, like we’ve done with Kansas State University, make sure to reach out to email@example.com. We offer our bespoke online masterclass style, produce quality courses into user friendly course curriculums. And we’ve done this with Kansas State and we’re working with other universities right now. So if you know an educator in your family, or your network, please have them reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also do this for onboarding for organizations as well. We want to help. All right, thanks for your time back to Dr. Heinrich.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 38:36
Communication is not just a byproduct, it is a skill that has to be practiced and constantly improved. You know, my main form of communication, a key form of communication for researchers, for academics, is our publications and presentations. And I’m still learning better ways to write and to translate my science for different audiences. I definitely am not an expert, and I’ve been at this for the past. I don’t know what year is it? 2021. So past 20 or so years, you know. So it’s a skill, it’s not a byproduct, and you have to practice it.
Brett Bartholomew 39:23
Yeah, I think one thing that struck me as odd and where I had to even kick myself a little bit is I remember being this idealist, you know, 22 to 25 year old strength and conditioning coach, and you know, you’d see the internet, you’d see things that were written on the internet and certain articles and they kind of seem to click bait-y, and I was just like, wow, who uses this term? Who uses this? This is the right and I envisioned myself as this craftsman this person that would never sell out, you know, certain ideals and what have you. And of course, I’m not just talking about integrity or whatever. It was more about language. I’d never use that language. And then what I found out As you start working with more athletes getting into the real world, having conversations with people in other fields that have no idea what you do, and they don’t want to hear your jargon, and more importantly, trying to get other coaches and professionals to be aware, is that you do have to translate that language. I mean, there’s times we’ve, said internally, Hey, guys, I know this headline might be a little quick ad on the newsletter, but it’s gonna get people to read the information that they need. It’s like when somebody has to have a commercial with a jingle, believe me, I’m sure companies would love to not to spend millions of dollars to get you to buy a product that could actually improve your life. But the fact is humans are kind of dumb sometimes. And we need the jingle. And we need, the phrasing to be a certain way. And then I realized, oh, okay, I would say the most concrete example, and I’d love you to give me your opinion on this is we’ve always tried to stay away from soft skills and art of coaching that term, one, because I just think that I think it’s a dumb term, I get it, I understand it. But the soft skill just seems like it connotates that it’s not as necessary as something that’s hard and tangible. I think communication good and poor is very tangible. It’s visceral, you feel it. And I think it’s also just been bastardized. When we hear about soft skills, it’s always been this nebulous thing. But then what I realized is if I told people, Hey, communication, or interpersonal skills, or whatever, to them, regardless of my perception, and I knew what those terms meant, to them that was even more nebulous. They’re like, Oh, so you mean soft skills. So then I, and I just slap my head for anybody that heard that, then I realize some of our marketing around this has to use that term, because that’s the term people understand. And then once they’re in the ecosystem, we’ll give them that ethical research back underpinnings of what it really is. Does that make sense? Or to you? You know, like, do you feel like there’s never a place for that, and you can disagree? This is not a podcast, you need to, but you feel like sometimes we have to go indirect, to get directed and make that intervention really stick? Or where do you think the balance is?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 42:05
Yeah. I mean, if you’re trying to draw people in whatever strategies work, right, you know, we, I mean, I have I have you made me think about what is my syllabus have in that professional development class, and I believe I have a session on soft skills, but what those are people’s skills? Yeah. And just being able to interact with others. I’m gonna sidestep here and say, in our program at K State, we have an undergrad an area that focuses on exercise physiology, what’s going on in the body? And understanding the body systems? And then we have behavioral science? And that’s really, how do we get people to do the behavior? And a lot of students who come in and want to go on to, you know, physical therapy school, or whatever health profession it is, they say, Well, why do I need the behavior science, I just want to do the physiology stuff, so I know what’s going on with the body. And then they get out in the field. And they realize it’s the behavior side, it’s being able to interact with people, it’s having those soft skills, those are the ones that they use everyday, yes, they need that underlying physiological knowledge. But they have got to understand and be able to interact effectively with people to keep them on, you know, adhering to their PT regimen, or whatever it is. So, you know, my thought is, if we have to not trick people, but if we have to, you know, use different terms to get people in the door, so be it. But I, you know, we’re still going to deliver something that’s very valuable to them. for for them.
Brett Bartholomew 43:50
Yeah. No, I agree. I think that is one thing that drove me nuts. And then this idea that, these are hard to quantify, you know, and I get that from the outside looking at it may look like they’re hard to quantify. But I was surprised, right? You just dive into this stuff a little bit. It’s actually not hard to quantify, because we know that perception is a real thing. And there’s always going to be a perceptual gap, right? One of the things I happen to love about teaching communication now is it makes me incessantly aware of how poor I am at it. The difference is, is at one point in my career that might offend me, right, it might offend me, if you said, Hey, Brad, these are some areas you really struggle and I might be like, Well, screw you. You don’t know my context. Right? But now, it’s, I want to think of how I use my words carefully here. No, yeah, this is the correct choice. It is addicting, because I want to I want to continue to get better and at that and all embrace that messiness a little bit because it’s not as listen I can sit here and have an argument with somebody all day of you know what degree they should turn their toes out when they squat that’s highly individual based on you know, like their anatomy and what have you, but the way we communicate and what’s good and what’s bad and what’s appropriate, and even my tone that I’m using right now, which might turn and some people are better listeners to like an NPR podcast, but they might like this, but it’s so variable. And that’s life life variables. So I guess by default, what I’m saying is, what addicted me to it and drew me to it was that, you know, I need things in life that are gonna help me in the real world. And if that means that I have to face that I’m imperfect more often, but I can get an edge constantly iterating that I’d rather do that than have these discussions about something in a vacuum? That is never going to have one answer. does that resonate with you at all?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 45:32
Yeah, for sure. I mean, you know, Part, of higher education is feeling uncomfortable and facing all of those things that you don’t know. I mean, there’s multiple times I will listen to a presenter, and I’m like, wow, they are so smart. You know, and then I start thinking about, you know, well, why am I not so smart. And here I am, you know, a tenured full professor, so I shouldn’t be worried about that. But, you know, we all can constantly improve. And the nice thing about being in academia is you should, and you’re given opportunities to, because, you know, not only are you training other people, but you’re always getting the chance to go to those yourselves. And so it’s this being a lifelong learner, you know, that’s being an academia is really set me up to do that. And I appreciate that about this field. But it also does lead you to, you know, oh, I’m not the best. And I need to be constantly improving.
Brett Bartholomew 46:36
Yeah, yeah, well, but that, to your point, this pull up formality, insecurity, and even a sense of urgency can really erode our ability to be relatable and to communicate well. And so I think that goes back to your earlier example of when you told your students you had a bad day, you know, that’s a great example of very strong communication, where some people that I think by any kind of Guru ism, or typical leadership stuff would say, No, you shouldn’t show that weakness. You know, I think the thing that I would ask folks like that is, you know, well, then if you think communication is inherent, and you think it’s this thing, and, or that maybe you don’t think it’s not important, you know, how do you know when you’ve done a good job communicating with somebody else, and I remember somebody telling me, and a brilliant person, so this isn’t casting aspersions. We had a great laugh about it afterwards, because they realize the blind spot and said, How do you know when you’ve done a good job communicating with somebody else? And they said, well did what I asked for to happen happened. And I go, Well, that’s interesting. Because couldn’t that insinuate that they were compliant, and not committed? Right? Just if somebody follows through with an order, doesn’t mean they do so with aplomb? I imagine you have to struggle with that a bit. You know, being in your position in academia, you find this middle ground of needing to engage your students, and there has to be consequences for when they don’t do what is asked. But inherently, you also have to think of some things that give them autonomy, so that there’s a shared ownership of the assignment or the learning of the material. Talk to me a little bit about how you manage that, you know, this idea of there’s rigid expectations that the institution wants, but you want to deliver it in a way that’s personal, relatable and practical for the future, if that makes sense.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 48:17
Yeah, for sure. And that’s something that we’ve kind of had to change some of our approaches with COVID, because the students have been dealing with so much mentally, emotionally, socially, on top of the coursework, and like most of them, they didn’t sign up to take courses online, and then all of a sudden, they were. And so I actually, I have a motto that I developed for this year. And that’s challenge, support, and kind. And so I want to challenge the students and let them know that, you know, I want them to do well, I expect them to work hard, in order to be successful. But at the same time, I’m gonna support them in those efforts to, you know, to be successful and those struggles that they’re having. But then ultimately, at the end of the day, I also want to be kind, and I don’t want to penalize them, if because of circumstances outside of their control, they are unable to perform to the best of their ability. And how do I know if that happens? Because they have to, from communicating with them. They have to feel comfortable enough to tell me about that. And so some of the things I’ve done is, like, give the students an exam. And the first exam. It was kind of weird because we had to cancel some classes because of COVID and weather related things actually was whether it was when it was so cold. And I just felt like they were coming into the first exam unprepared and they didn’t do so great. And so I offered them the chance, you know, hey, you can correct the items that you got wrong. And oh, and I let them take the exam, open note open book. And so just figuring out, you know it last semester, I, rather than having a reading quiz, I had students fill out questions where they identify what were they struggling with right now? And what did they do? What strategies did they have to do with stress? And who or what did they have as their support system, and then I gave him an assignment to reach out to those individuals and thank them for their support. So they were able to give some affirmations. And so, you know, not always making it about having to perform perfectly and recall the content, but making space for air and scaffolding support in there. And including communication.
Brett Bartholomew 50:57
That’s a great example. Right? because what they’re getting here, even though the in person learning had been affected, the experiential learning, they’re getting as a result of having to adapt to the chaos of this time, right? And then you leveraging that and saying, Okay, we can’t do this. But here’s what we can do I understand that there are some heavy things happening in the world right now, how can I mash what I wanted to teach you with what would be practical and what you can do now, right, checking in with somebody being able to do this, and that, and it really does lend insight into that old political mantra of Never let a good crisis go to waste. You know, of course, we’re talking about it in a more positive way. But it does still get interesting when people complain about a lack of engagement, but it could be in the workplace, it could be in the classroom, it could be at home, and they say the other person is not engaged. And it’s like, Well, are you still using the same tools? Like What are you doing? Like, because inherently, we’re given these constraints, which is a term we talk a lot about on this show, why not just leverage them? You know, I think another example, and I definitely want to introduce you to him, is the gentleman that’s overseeing, so in my doctoral research, John Kiley, sometimes he just gives me space, he knows that I’m working on a new book, I’m running a business during a pandemic, you know, my athletes are back in town, I have a baby boy. And you know, we were having meetings, and he’s doing a great job of like, staying on top of me. And I eventually just said, Listen, there’s a level of kind of psychological burnout that is specific to me writing right now. I think we just need to give this a moment. And he did. He’s like, why don’t we check in after your next apprenticeship, because he knew that communication workshop was coming up. And it was just nice, you know, and I understand that, we can always do that. But what he probably didn’t realize is by him doing that, and taking a level of understanding, I’m always going to be dedicated to giving him a little bit higher quality, if he forced me to just to go through it. And we have that mindset of like, you know, tough crap, be a professional, get it done. I mean, fine, I’ll get it done. But you’re gonna get, you’re not gonna get something great. You know, I’m gonna meet this. And that goes back to why I always say, Hey, how did you know if you’ve done a good job communicating? Just because something got done doesn’t mean that you did a good job communicating? So anything you want to add on that?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 53:10
Yeah, no, I think that’s a great point. And, you know, even just as a mentor, being able to understand what my mentees are going through, and if they do need it, giving them space and time, because the things that we’re dealing with in our own lives, can inhibit our ability to produce. And so sometimes you have to take a step back, deal with those things, take a deep breath, and then you can move forward. And so being able to, you know, that is great by your mentor to be able to recognize that in you, it wasn’t a lack of desire or motivation on your part to do a good job. It was just you couldn’t, and you needed to take that breath. And so I think, you know, that’s something important if you are in a position of power, or leadership or mentoring to really, you know, talk with your mentees about that, give them a comfortable space, where they’re, you know, able to share that with you as well.
Brett Bartholomew 54:11
Yeah. If there’s no communication, there’s no commonality, if there’s no commonality, there’s no connection. And so, you talk about helping, you’re obviously passionate about communication and education, you’re trying to mentor in a way tomorrow’s educators, you know, to be a little bit more astute at these things. What are some of the biggest soft skill deficiencies that you see? And of course, you know, people always love to make this generational, and we can definitely go there. But like, just in general, whether it’s generational, whether it’s folks that get into research space, or folks that want to become professors or you know, again, wherever you’d like to take it, where are you seeing some of the biggest deficiencies with respect to communication?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 54:52
Being able to appropriately write an email.
Brett Bartholomew 54:56
I can appreciate that.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 54:58
Yeah, you know, not good. Getting an email that says, Hey Dr. Heinrich and then you know, continues on with something or, you know, I’m teaching multiple classes and I get an email from a student, Hey, I can’t be in class today well, which class is it that they’re in. And sometimes I have students in more than one class at the same time. And so just some basic email etiquette, because they’re so used to, you know, texting or things like that. But also, it’s kind of hard sometimes, for students to take criticism on their writing, and understand that that’s being done in a constructive way, as well as how to give constructive feedback to other students on their writing, writing is a huge part of science. And so I think those probably are the two key areas that I’ve noticed maybe some deficiencies. You know, some students are better at communicating in person giving presentations than others. You know, that really hasn’t changed over time.
Brett Bartholomew 56:06
Yeah, I think I’m glad you brought that up. And this definitely wasn’t in sync. But what you know, one time I had elaborated on a subject that I really didn’t think was going to be that interesting to people, I thought it was just going to be pretty nerdy to me. And we talked about the eight components of communication. And within that was, hey, there’s the medium, right? Is it a written emails at a text? Is it an in person conversation, what have you, the channel, right, what connects the message and the medium, the people involved, the other context, types of noise and feedback. And I just kind of put it out there. And we got a tremendous response. And people being like, wow, like, that, in and of itself helped me realize where I was having a lot of deficiencies. And so what we ended up doing, and we do it at our workshop now is we had people bring case studies and have when they had an issue with, let’s say, it was a student or a colleague or a co worker, and we’re able to sit them down and take them through these components and say, Where do you think it? Where’s the origin of this? And even if you don’t know, what might have been the origin of this, I know thatsometimes I’m guilty of poor email communication, because one I don’t like email. But that’s never an excuse to write poorly. But, so I that’s usually not the reason I write poorly. But if I do, I try to say, hey, my apologies for the relative brevity, you know, and I try to at least give context that this might and this is never an initial introduction to somebody, right? This might be somebody I have previous goodwill and understanding. So they know my schedule. I know there’s and I’ll say, Hey, Christian, let me use that example. Bring our third party for an ear. Pardon the relative warmth and brevity running to a flight. Here’s what I’m wondering, can you let me know boom. But it’s amazing. If you take that little bit of information out, or you take the preceding relation out, right? Like, imagine you and I Not really knowing one another, and I come on in a month. All right, Katie, what do you know, you know, it’s like, wait a minute, what’s going on here? There’s so much wrong. So where do you start with some of those students? That this is? I know, it’s a big question. You need to have a course called The Art of the email, Where do you even start? No, just come out of and say, Hey, I know this isn’t gonna be feedback you want to hear, but this is gonna be helpful, because someday you’re gonna need to write a grant. And you’d rather hear it from me than somebody that turned it down for a million dollars. How do you broach that? You can just give one example. Because I know there’s, it’s gonna vary?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 58:20
Sure, yeah, I was gonna say it would depend on whether it’s a student who I don’t know, or one that’s in my research lab. So if it’s one that’s in my research lab, who I interact with quite a bit, like we would spend some time actually practicing writing to different individuals. And I think what’s always really helpful is giving them an example. So here’s a good example. And here’s a bad example. Now think about the last email that you sent. Where does it fall along this continuum of good and bad examples? And just them being able to have them practice the skill and receive feedback, whether it’s from me whether it’s from, you know, their peers or graduate students in the research lab, that’s how I would approach that.
Brett Bartholomew 59:05
Yep, no, off to send this to you. Maybe I can make your life a little easier. So we had gotten our fair share of interesting emails as well. So I ended up creating a PDF about how to find a mentor. I think it’s on artofcoaching.com/findamentor, and it went through Hey, what should you look for in a mentor? what’s expected of you as a mentee? And more importantly, how do you reach out to somebody appropriately via email to ask them to mentor you because it was amazing. And this doesn’t say much about me as a person. I’m sorry, this is bad. I know. But the thing that drives me crazy is when people say, Can I pick your brain? You know, like, Hey, I’m in town, can I grab coffee and pick your brain? And I know what they think they’re saying, right? They’re trying to say, I respect you. I’d like to spend some time with you. But when somebody says, I’m in town, can we meet for coffee and pick your brain? There’s just so much assumption. There’s so much assumption of like, okay, I’m in town. Are you in town? I like coffee. Do you? want coffee? And by the way, I’m gonna pick your brain on a wide variety of things. It’s like, give me some time make it easier for me to say yes. Now I think that’s one thing I try to share with people is make it easy for them to say yes. Or whatever that behavior might be. What is your What’s the secret weapon of yours? When you write an email, if you’re mindful about nothing else, let’s say you are writing to pitch something, right? Like you. Maybe you want to share an idea, or you want to be connected with somebody. When we’re doing role playing here. Sorry, you signed on for this? More than anything else? What’s the number one thing you personally always want to make sure you get right?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:00:42
Try to identify a commonality.
Brett Bartholomew 1:00:44
Beautiful, beautiful. And what will you do? Well, you I imagine you’ll research that person’s profile a little bit background?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:00:51
Well, yeah,c I mean, it could be an interest. It could be, you know, a common person that we know. It just identifying some where it kind of like that community aspect somewhere where you can make a connection that goes just beyond, you know, the ask,
Brett Bartholomew 1:01:09
yep, that’s huge. And where do you find you need the most help? Right now, you know, and this can be your personal and professional life? Switching gears a little bit. But when we talk about mentoring, right, you’re involved in that. And you may not have a direct mentor, what have you. But if you did, or you do, where do you feel like you would like the most help or assistance or guidance out right now?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:01:31
Oh, gosh, well, let me first say, I’ve had some awesome mentors who still mentor me and support me. So That has been awesome. But gosh, I don’t know. Maybe, you know, it’s a constant struggle of how to say no, and what to say no to, so that you’re not overloaded? Because, you know, you’re constantly presented with all kinds of opportunities, and which are the ones that you really want to say yes to? And which are the ones to say no, to? I’m constantly struggling with that?
Brett Bartholomew 1:02:06
Yeah. And what kind of opportunities if you’re comfortable sharing? What?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:02:10
Oh, yeah. I mean, it could be like, will you review this manuscript or, I mean, I don’t know yesterday, I got three manuscript review requests, which it could be reviewing grants, it could be providing service to a national organization, it could be serving on committees, for the department, or the university. It could be things for my church, I’m also a pastor of a church. I mean, just all those things. My husband and I are the coaches for my four year old daughter’s soccer team, because no other parents volunteered, you know, is that something I probably should have said no to? Probably? Is it been a lot of fun? Yes. Am I learning a lot? Yeah. But you know, so that’s just as you go on throughout life, as people you know, know who you are, they recognize you’re good at things, you’re constantly going to get asked, like, can I come pick your brain? Or can I pick your brain while you’re in town? And just figuring out, I guess it’s two things, I guess it’s figuring out what to say no to but it’s also figuring out how to say no, in a way that you’re not burning bridges, further down the line, when maybe you would like to make an ask of that person or organization yourself.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:25
Yeah, I think that that speaks highly to the nature of, again, having some level of self awareness, doing your due diligence, understanding boundaries, even you know, I think an area that I’ve had to get better at is not feeling guilt, or shame. When I turn something away, or someone away. I always had poor time. Thinking about how I want to phrase this, I would know when I was being used for something, but I had this insatiable desire to help maybe because I felt like I didn’t have a lot of help, you know, at certain parts of my career. So even though I knew like, Man, this person might be a jackass. You know, like, I’d kind of go in and it wasn’t because I wanted to feel like better or superior. It was just because it’s almost reflexive, right, you get in this reflexive thing. But I remember one time where I officially got better at it is there’s a gentleman reaching out, he’s in academia as well. And very sharp again means well, I always give people the benefit of the doubt. But it asked a question about essentially, how to build a brand for himself, because he was getting more speaking requests and what have you, and it was fairly broad, right? hadn’t talked to this person, probably couple years. Hey, Brett, how do you build a brand? Oh, okay. That leads me then write an email back saying hey, nice hearing from you. Can you give me more insight here? What’s the goal? What’s the mission? What’s the struggle? Ask more questions. So I give them some tidbits and just say hey, you know, full disclosure. We have something coming out that will walk you through this route to the fruit because I’ve gotten this question a lot. And the email mediums never going to allow me to communicate what what this course can do. Great. Thanks, that’s super helpful, whatever.
And then a fifth email, a six email, seven email, and I got to the point where my bandwidth was stretch, then I was getting frustrated, right? There was not a recognition of my time and what have you. And here’s my wife saying, you know, listen, like, just leave it be given the link for the course. And if he’s that serious about it, and you respect your work, you’ll get the course. And you know, I waited for a seventh. And eventually, I was just like, hey, listen, this is what it is. I want to help you. I’m making this course. I know, it could seem like I’m trying to sell you something. I guess, ironically, I am. But I need you to trust that I’m selling you this because it answers your questions more effectively than I can. In eight to nine desperate emails, this won’t help. And you know, when I noticed I followed back up a month later, Hey, did you ever check out the course? No, I don’t have time or money right now. And I just thought, think about the irony of that. You know what I mean? Think about you not being worried. And it’s not about me, it’s about the other professionals out there you are what have you. Some people will have no problem wasting your time and your money and your emotional resources. But heaven forbid, you know, they ever have to put some of theirs in the pot. where I’m going with that is I wonder about what your taking on student accountability is now or even mentee accountability. We often hear again, that this is a generational thing or what have you. I mean, you’ve taught for how long? How long have you been in education some form?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:06:18
Since two since 2000s? Over 20 years?
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:24
Yeah. So you’ve seen some some variances, culturally, generationally, do you think it’s that easy? Or the to just peg a lack of accountability or this expectancy on that? Or what do you think it is that drives that in today’s culture, that people just expect to be spoon fed? without investment, mind you?
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:06:46
Yeah. I mean it’s interesting, right? Because any student that I get is paying
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:51
Paying tuition, right, yeah.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:06:56
But, you know, I think sometimes people don’t realize what they’re getting themselves into. And then they kind of have this learned helplessness response, where, you know, they don’t think they can do it. So they want you to do it for them. But I think part of that is, you know, it’s on you to set the expectations. And so I tried to do that, I haven’t always done that. Well, in the past, I’ve gotten a lot better at that over time, because of failures. So you know, it’s not, and it could also be that they’re doing that behavior, because there are other things going on in their lives, that they can’t control that they also will not ever tell you about. So I really think it’s important to you know, if you can’t get to somebody’s story, and what’s going on to, you know, understand really what’s driving their behavior, and you may never get there. And there are definitely students that I’ve had to give up on, you know, over time, which isn’t a good feeling, but it happens. Because, you know, it’s not a failure on your part. If somebody else is acting that way, that’s, you know, that’s on them.
Brett Bartholomew 1:08:15
I think that’s something that a lot of our listeners need to hear. I think that that’s something that will get replayed a lot. And it could almost be a podcast on its own, of saying, When do you and I will use a term give up? You know, I have this conversation with my mother, my mother feels like you never give up on somebody. And I said, Well, you know, I probably used to share that with you, too, you know, but sometimes you think that you’re not giving up on somebody is serving them. And it’s not that person. I mean, when I was hospitalized, there weren’t people coming there for me day in and day out, eventually that was on me to figure those things out, you know, and it’s interesting, because that leads to all kinds of things like some people feel, Oh, well, that could give somebody abandonment issues and what have you, listen, life’s gonna give you something, and nobody can be there for you every moment every step of the way. And that’s why I think, you know, this concept of how we view leadership, this overly positivistic kind of way, sometimes it’s a little dirtier than that, you know, and you’re doing the right thing sometimes by taking that route.
Now, you kind of you hit me with some that I wasn’t expecting that, that’s a heck of a way to end episode one. We’re gonna do an episode two, without a doubt. I want to be conscious of your time. Where can people get connected with you? Where’s the number? How can they support your work? How can they get in touch with you? What’s the best way to interact? And we’ll put this on the show notes as well for you.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:09:42
Sure, yeah. I mean, you know, I have a research lab page and things like that, but who goes there? You know, I’m on Twitter. I’m on Facebook. I respond to emails, definitely not phone calls and i don’t even know, who calls and leaves voice messages anymore? But yeah, any of those ways by email, reach out and I’m all happy to, you know, read your well crafted email and respond.
Brett Bartholomew 1:10:13
Yes. And we will make sure to help you with that. We will put the how to find and reach out to a mentor link in the bottom. So guys, not that I’m an imperfect email curator, but at least take a look at it before you reach out to Katie. Listen, I have to thank you, because there were so many places we could go and you were so open. And this is what a conversation should be. So I hope you enjoyed it. This was one of the most enjoyable just conversations that I’ve had in a long time. So I want to thank you.
Dr. Katie Heinrich 1:10:42
Sure. Thank you very much for the chance to talk with you.
Brett Bartholomew 1:10:46
Yeah, absolutely. We’ll do it again. Make sure you stay on everybody else. Until next time, Brett Bartholomew, Dr. Katie Heinrich Arctic coaching podcast share with a friend. Make sure you’re subscribed. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe and talk to you soon.
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