In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

It’s time for another bonus Friday episode! Today, Brett and Ali discuss their vocal idiosyncrasies while making a compelling case for the consumption of more fiction. Don’t worry, it’s not all fun and games… They also share a helpful strategy for making hard decisions. 

On today’s episode:

  • How to identify vocal tendencies like “uptalk” and “vocal fry” 
  • The hidden benefits of playing video games and watching trashy tv
  • What to do about information and input overwhelm 
  • A different approach to thinking about difficult decisions

If you have any feedback or want your question answered on our next casual conversation Friday, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter – and email

Look- our favorite part of these fun Friday episodes is that they cover a wide range of topics while allowing our listener a break from some of the heavy and/or serious topics we cover during the week. That’s exactly how we view the Momentous performance products- they target not just elite athletes, but the regular person and their protein is the best tasting out there! Use code Brett15 for 15% off

Also, connect with us @aoccoaching on Instagram. This is our “new” home for helpful communication tools, quotes, questions to ponder and even the occasional meme!


Brett Bartholomew  00:06

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.


Brett Bartholomew  00:39

Hey, everybody, welcome back. I am here with my co-host, Ali Kershner, Ali, how are you? 


Ali Kershner  00:44

What’s up, Brett? How’s it going? 


Brett Bartholomew  00:46

Listen, it’s going good, because I’m happy to be back on an episode where we can kind of chill out a little bit, right? The interviews are fun. Solo episodes are good challenges. For me, we try to make it educational. But every now and then people just need to hear a conversation about a variety of things. And I feel like I can let my alter ego ranty McQuaid come out. And I get to listen to you a little bit more, too. So hopefully you’re excited for this as well.


Ali Kershner  01:11

Yeah, I’m excited because we get to get weird


Brett Bartholomew  01:13

We do get, we do get to get weird, guys. If you’re joining us for the first time, the Art of coaching podcast, I mean, we’ve done over 180 episodes and we do a mix, right? We try to have these solo episodes be more call to action and a little bit more educational, of course, we do interviews and conversations. But Ali and I have started doing these as well almost think of it as kind of your morning radio show a chance where we can be a little bit informal, we can talk about topics and a little bit different way. Maybe it fires you up a little bit, maybe we’re bound to say something that kind of gets you on edge. Or maybe it just hopefully makes you laugh. And so, you know, dive in today. Ali, the first thing I gotta get your opinion on is I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but the more podcasts or journalistic base things that that I seem to listen to, I cannot get away from this up talk thing that is going on constantly. Do you know what I’m talking about?


Ali Kershner  02:05

No, I? Well, I mean, I feel like I could probably figure it out. But I have no idea what what’s up talk.


Brett Bartholomew  02:11

So up talk is when we start talking about a subject. And the goal is to really drive home a key point and let somebody know that we’re not done talking yet, right into this upward inflection. So instead of me saying, hey, Ali, I’m gonna go to the store, and I’m gonna grab something to eat, do you want anything? basic, basic way of saying that it’d be like, hey, Ali, I’m gonna go to the store and grab something to eat you want anything? And it just seems to be everywhere. And it’s funny, because I think you and I, on the last one talked about these nuances and accents and dialects that kind of come with different times. The Bad joke is like in the early 1900s, there was that transatlantic accent see where every everybody talked like this. She’s a real good, broad see, and then that went away. And so before I go any further, have you heard this now? Does it make sense? Or is that still completely foreign to you?


Ali Kershner  03:08

Oh, yeah, I feel like I, every third person I come across these days has some form of talk. I think, now that I think about it, it’s in almost all of these overproduced podcasts. And it’s just like this very 21st century, you know, very millennial even, I don’t know, form of talking. It’s interesting.


Brett Bartholomew  03:26

Well, and it’s funny you say that, because we’re all aware of things like vocal fry, even though that term might be new to some. And vocal fry is just like, Yeah, you know, and then you have a Pathak, which is now and it seems to be a lot of technology people. I’ve recognized that in I mean, I know we worked with an organization and they’re good people, right? We all have inherent just like odd tendencies. God knows if I went back and I listened to certain podcasts. There’s no question I probably used it. Just like when I go to Australia, when I went to Australia, I think two to three times for work. And I was there for a long enough time that I started drawing out my sentences a little bit like them. So some of this is natural. But there’s some people that it almost feels like a bit of like virtue signaling or this highbrow Coffee Talk coffee shop kind of way. Yeah, and and I can’t seem to get away from it. It makes me wonder, do you have any tendencies when you hear yourself? Where you started to fall into some things here and there? And you’re like, you have to catch yourself and be like, no, like, why are you doing that?


Ali Kershner  04:25

Yeah, actually, I think I posted about this a little bit a little while ago on one of the art of coaching Instagram posts where I’ve caught myself asking the rhetorical right, at the end of you know, sentences, I’ll say, because I’m, it’s like, I’m inherently looking for validation with what I just said. Or at least that it like either landed or it made sense or whatever, but I’ll be like, Hey, so, you know, this, this movie was? It was long. And you know, it was interesting, but I don’t know, would you you thought it was good right now It’s like, I don’t know, it’s something that I do subconsciously. And I try not to do it because I would hate to have the assumption that somebody else likes something that I like. But that’s something I’m trying to break myself of.


Brett Bartholomew  05:12

Yeah, it’s a great example. And with up talk in particular, it seems to happen more and more with declarative statements. So just somebody saying, right now we’re doing this podcast and somebody decided to mow their lawn. Let’s say I went out there and just said, Oh, John’s mowing his lawn again, right? That’s just a declarative statement. It is what it is, instead of John’s mowing his lawn again? Like, it’s kind of like, Is that a question? I’m Ron Burgundy, right. That’s the classic example of, of this up talk. And so it’s interesting, you know, because when we, when we mentioned these things, one of the things we talked about in our apprenticeship communication workshops, is the last thing you would ever want is for everybody to become the same kind of communicator, right? So somebody naturally has some instances of op talk or some other kind of nuance that they use. Fine. Like, the goal isn’t for everybody to sound the same. There’s no one perfect way to communicate. But it is interesting if you guys listening, if you just had a notepad or your notes open on your phone, or what have you, and you wrote down some things that you catch yourself doing constantly and thinking, Hmm, what might be annoying, what do I catch myself even being annoying to me? Like, I love my uncle, but my uncle has got this awful one that infects me all the time. So imagine he had surgery the other day. And I’ll say, hey, Craig, you know how this surgery go? And they’ll say, Well, it’s surgery. Right? And so I had to go in, I do this and you’re kind of nervous, right? And he’ll say, right after everything. And about after the 39th. Right, I want to be like, Craig, I love you. But if you do not stop I’m going to hit you or myself with with a lead pipe. Is there anything else that you catch yourself doing now that we’re on this topic? And we’re thinking about it? Because I’m sure the audience is nodding their head like, Oh, God, yeah, I have some of these things.


Ali Kershner  06:54

Oh, man, I mean, I don’t geez. I probably have so many that I do. I personally am from the Silicon Valley. So I’m probably one of the up talkers. i Oh, I don’t know. I think my my weird tendencies are more like the facial expressions I make and the sounds I make in between talking. Man, like sound voices. I don’t know. Like, I also like slip into like voices like when I’m imitating imitating my dog like, I have a I have a dog voice. So I think those are probably more annoying than like, little other ticks or additions to the end of sentences.


Brett Bartholomew  07:34

Okay, so you mentioned oddities. This is another topic and this is the benefit of kinda freaky, Fridays, freestyle, Fridays, frisky, Fridays, whatever, you were gonna get a mash a lot of topics. Here’s something else in terms of annoyances, and everybody loves misery loves company, right? So we’re starting this episode off with with a lot of complaints and kind of poking fun at some stuff, is when you talk about oddities. I remember somebody recently asked me what I do to kind of disengage because I’ve had a lot of struggles with burnout, not because of and we’ve talked about this on this podcast before. So if you guys, if you’re if you’re not familiar with what really causes burnout, and and you think, oh, burnout just happens, you know, when you’re not passionate about something or whatever, I urge you to go back and listen to episode 146. But, you know, when I catch myself getting kind of burnout or emotionally exhausted, it’s because I start turning everything into work. Right? Whether I’m right, I just did it, whether it’s whether it’s a drive, or what have you, I constantly have to have input input input. And so I was telling somebody one time, I was like, Well, you know, my neighbor encouraged me to play video games. And I’m not really a video game guy. I mean, I played with my friends in college when you compete and dumb little things. But one of my neighbors good friend of mine, Matt Morrison worked for Lockheed Martin said, you know, periodically just try it, you know, and I realized that it worked for me as silly as it might sound, because it was really hard to turn into work. And before anybody gives me a hard time, there’s plenty of people like Elon Musk and others. I’m gonna I’m gonna throw the biggest name in the world out there to do that. There’s plenty of people like Elon Musk, nobody else does it. But the point is, is if I go just smash and grab for about 15 minutes, all of a sudden, I can come back with a clear head. And another part of that is reading fiction. Right? I read I did it again. Ready Player two, and then somebody bash on me for reading. You know, you’re getting your doctorate. You talked about research. Why would you do this? First of all, I want to ask you, do you read fiction? Do you engage in anything that’s kind of make believe or off kilter? Just to kind of unwind and give your brain a temporary break?


Ali Kershner  09:33

No, in fact, this is like my probably biggest flaw of my own self acknowledged flaw is that I am much too serious in the things that I consume. I’m like, if it’s not research, it’s not there’s no citation there’s no footnote. It’s not worth my time. Even in like, I like I love documentaries. And also, nonfiction TV shows reality shows like I’ll even watch reality TV and convince myself that this is helpful BS, it’s real life. And I also study people for a living now. So I had really, really struggle, you know, and it’s interesting because it’s it’s sort of, I guess, a newer phenomenon in my life because I grew up reading all fiction. And I was like, the now wasn’t like a true Harry Potter nerd, but like Harry Potter and divergent, and I even like Twilight. Why not all of those, all those weird vampires, shows and books, I’ll probably catch some heat for this. But I’ve like, I completely shut that down. And we’ve even had conversations where you’re like, you need to watch some more movies, you need to get out some more. But yeah, I just, it’s been something where I’ve somehow convinced myself that I have to be serious, and I have to have it pertained back to work in some sense. And yet, when I watch fiction or read fiction, that always ends up meaning more to my work than the nonfiction does.


Brett Bartholomew  11:00

Yeah, well, I mean, and that’s the thing within this a little bit that that I wanted to talk about, because really what this stemmed from is, and I’ll read it, there’s a there was a notable figure and good person, this is an attack on the person or what have you. But there’s a notable figure that put out a tweet at what point in time that went viral. And it said, a Netflix binge is a temporary escape from languishing, not a cure. Passive engagement in a fictional world doesn’t offer a lasting sense of meaning mastery or mattering. Flourishing depends on active parties participation in the real world, creating, connecting and contributing. But But here’s where I’d push back at this because a subsequent tweet from the same individual then, and different contexts was, was what was the phrase judging other people’s coping decisions is a low form of arrogance, we never know what’s going on in their heads. And it’s not our place to say that they should handle struggles differently. Self care isn’t selfish, nobody should have to sacrifice wellbeing for performance. So to me, when I read those, those were those were at at odds, it was basically saying, hey, you know, watching Netflix or engaging in a fictional world is not productive. But then the other thing says, Well, you know, we shouldn’t judge other people’s view of coping strategies. And this is why we talked about it is when you think about becoming better as a leader, and I’m very biased in this. But I always try to challenge people on three different things. And this is part of sneak peek, a part of what I’m going to talk about in my upcoming book is we have to have in dialogue, reflection, and you and I just did that talking about, do you engage up talk, vocal fry fillers, anything like that? This is just the practice of reflecting on what what you’ve heard what you said, within dialogue thinking, Did I really come across that way, I’m watching video of myself or I’m listening to audio, I’m reflecting did this did what I say really come across this way, then you and I know are big believers in improv. And this is being improv allows you to be fully present for communication, and you have to react to it. So in our workshops, as you know, we have a whole presentation on self monitoring how people will kind of, we’ll all kind of put on a face to act a certain way either to fit in with the crowd or to come off a certain way or what have you. But improv doesn’t really allow you to do that, because you’re caught up in the moment. And so sometimes people have trouble with real time improv abstract kind of stuff. Because it makes them respond in a way that maybe they didn’t like, maybe they froze, maybe they said something stupid. In reality, that’s their authentic self just being caught off guard, they should celebrate that and be like, Wow, that that was a blind spot of mine. But instead, we put on a front and we stay away from these things. And then the other piece of that is literary fiction, because a lot of times life imitates fiction. And what I’ve noticed when I opened myself back up to fiction, or just different forms of storytelling is, you notice how the use of language right authors that produce literary fiction, just engage in so many different practices of perspective taking and thinking about different things and just contemplating the future. And all of this really fits into this example of experiential learning. So here’s a quote from this is something from a gentleman that let’s see who did this article here. Well, this is called from Kolb’s experiential learning, it’s all centered around how we become better at doing what we’re doing. And they talk about you know, first is, of course, you can engage in here and now concrete experiences, to validate and test abstract concepts, getting into the research, experimenting, and all these things. immediate personal experience is always the focal point of learning. But then the other part of that talks about that you need to kind of have this time this incubation period after you’ve experienced something where you kind of reflect and form an abstract conceptualization of what the hell just went on, what meaning do I give to it? And all these things are made up? Right everything that I’ve experienced in my life, everything that you’ve experienced in your life we’ve only experienced within our own heads. So if we don’t engage with fiction and think what if? Or what’s a plausible alternate reality to this? Or yeah, that seems made up. But I also see the tie in you if we don’t do that it limits our ability to think creatively ourselves to that any of that makes sense that you know, the benefit of engaging in alternate possible futures or thoughts because it just always seemed to work. And I think when I first did this, I was insecure about it. But then you read about Leonardo da Vinci and Ben Franklin and so many other people that just engage in seemingly meaningless tasks. But that was their biggest breakthrough.


Ali Kershner  15:37

Yeah, I mean, I think even I mean, obviously, lateral thinking is a huge interest of mine. But recently, in my own life, I went to go see Hamilton. And while it’s based on, you know, nonfiction, it’s a real story. It’s very much fictionalized, right? These are characters that have been dramatized, and the language has been put into rap. And it’s so much stickier, I mean, like, think about it, it’s like a historical nonfiction series of events that has gone absolutely viral because of the way the language is used. And I mean, like this craftsman who’s able to mesh words and ideas and it’s upbeat, and there’s dancing there singing and, I mean, I’m sitting there watching and all of a sudden, like, my mind is going and I’m like, what’s going on? Like, I’m supposed to be like, enjoying this thing. And I’m like, thinking about how this could be used in an apprenticeship. Or, and I think that’s just like, you know, it’s like this enjoyment, this pure, unadulterated enjoyment of the arts and like, hearing things a different way and seeing things move a different way, like opened my mind in a, like a really unique, special kind of domain that I just don’t often subject myself to. And I think that’s what happens to me at the apprenticeship as well. Like, even though I’m running these with you, I am horrible at improv.


Brett Bartholomew  17:10

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Ali Kershner  18:16

Even though I’m running these with you, I am horrible at improv, like, I am one of the roughest every time in the beginning. And it comes from this, like you’re talking about this self monitoring this self like this protection of ego to not let yourself be exposed to things that will probably make you better, but are really hard and difficult in the moment.


Brett Bartholomew  18:37

Yeah, I think you summarized that really well. And I always just shoot off the quote to other people to summarize that of Amos Tversky, Nobel Prize Laureate, right saying, people will waste years not being willing to waste hours. And there’s an advantage to always being a little bit under employed. And he didn’t mean that as in, you know, under like, don’t take a job, he just meant free time, there’s an advantage to just doing something abstract with your free time. Because I know I’ll go through periods, I’m much more self aware of this. Now, when I’m struggling to come up with stuff or solve a problem. It’s generally tied back to I have too much input. I’m having too much input I’m watching or listening or reading too much educational stuff. I even came into my office last night at like, 2am When I was working on a draft for the book, and I found a bunch of articles that I had forgotten about. And I immediately got this sense of overwhelm, like, oh my gosh, what if the thing that I needed to put in my next book was in here? Because there are days where I find something? And I’m like, Yes, this is a great insight. I’ll leave it and I’ll come back to it tomorrow because maybe I’m, I’m at the end of my tether then. And then tomorrow a problem happens in the business and that takes my mind off of it. And then I’ll find this later. And then I worry about and I think that’s a lot of what our tendency is we’re scared to disengage with the quote unquote real world because As we think if we do, we’ll lose some key insight that’s going to be the answer to all of our problems. And that’s just not Oh, sorry, go ahead.


Ali Kershner  20:08

No, I was gonna say when in reality that which connects you more to the real world, and makes you more relatable is the things that are tangential to what you think your work is like. Nobody wants to hear about the research that you’re reading, they want to hear about the fact that you just watched Tesla, Ted lasso. And we’re, like cracking up at this random joke, right? Like these things that make you or that you’re engaging with that are, you know, slightly outside of your comfort zone, make you more of a human in reality and connect you back to the people that you’re talking to and interacting with?


Brett Bartholomew  20:40

Yeah, yeah, bring it brings it to life. And you’re mentioned but TV shows, is poignant, because I remember one time, we were teaching about influence tactics and power dynamics. And then we brought up a video of how these things are recognized and pointed out in Game of Thrones. And so that is actually what helped ease a little bit of my overwhelm. Last night when I found this an entirely different article that I had forgotten about, of different ways to mix and match influence tactics when you’re trying to build buy in with others, and how to leverage those upward, downward and what have you. And I said, You know what, man, the majority of people that we’re teaching this to, for the first time are just getting there, you know, it’s their first interaction with it. You teaching more and more depth is not necessarily what people need right now. Sometimes just leaving things as it is, and knowing that there’s room for future iteration and what have you, and then showing them how that takes place and fictional world all around us, in this case, a TV show is is valuable and to go across, and I’m gonna quote or paraphrase really, Walter Isaacson in some of his work in the book about Leonardo da Vinci, which I highly recommend is they made this they made a couple interesting points. And I want to find it as they said, what’s most remarkable about DaVinci as he fundamentally changed our thinking, and not just one specific area, but across a range of disciplines painting, sculpturing, frescoes, biology, anatomy, medicine, engineering, and to use a modern term, he was an expert generalists, I guess, a more modern term. Now is everybody to be like, Oh, have you heard about range? I mean, yes, Leonardo da Vinci was, was the first one. And so in today’s world, a lot of this stuff has been discouraged. This stuff being, hey, try different things. Experiment, Do this, do that, because people think that you just need to specialize. But it’s just sad, you know, because even even in science, and it says, First, back in the 15th century, art and engineering went hand in hand, science was meant to even be approached creatively. And in turn, the principles of science, like the study of the human of human vision, and geometric forms, found its way into painting and sculptures. So my point with all that being, even if you guys listening, engage in something abstract, right, let’s say is a video game. Haha, well, you know, what’s interesting, is, when I’m playing that game, I see how they kind of get people hooked behaviorally, on this idea, progress, oh, there’s XP points. And then there’s this. And then there’s that. And then I started thinking, Man, this connects so much back to what we’re doing with art of coaching, keeping people engaged, keeping their attention. So when I hear people say, oh, you know, this person has no attention span, and I can’t get them to do this or that? Well, there’s a vehicle that is hooked to just about every part of our population at some point, whether that’s cooking, or YouTube, or video games, or books or what have you. So it’s not that people have short attention spans. And yes, you could argue that it’s that you haven’t found the right thing to hook their attention. And how can you do that if you don’t explore to use your term Ali laterally. And in a lot of abstract means you don’t know what you’re into, until you’ve tried in a bind and under different circumstances. So.


Ali Kershner  23:45

And I feel like to also bring in the idea of storytelling, the stories that resonate with people usually come from different places. And so when you’re trying to relate a concept that’s important to you, or important to your work, or you’re trying to be persuasive in an argument, and you’re noticing that one doesn’t work, you have to relate to the other person. And knowing and having concepts from art, from science, from video games, allows you to tailor your story in a way that’s going to resonate more with that person. It’s and that’s where the art of coaching comes in. Right? It’s like understanding what their background is and what they’re interested in as well. But having these in your arsenal, as ammo are so important, and I’ve seen you time and time again, add an apprenticeship, take a concept, try to use one example and maybe read the crowd and it’s not landing, you know, exactly, but then you’ll put it in terms of, you know, Leonardo da Vinci and suddenly Oh, okay, people get it or you’ll put it in terms of, you know, some TV show that you’re watching like Game of Thrones, like you mentioned before, and suddenly it’s connecting, whereas if you only ever look at and talk to the same people and read the same type of books, You’re just so one one track, you know, and you have a really hard time relating to multiple different people with multiple different backgrounds.


Brett Bartholomew  25:08

Yep, you put you put a good emphasis on that. And for the nerds out there, this is a reason why we’re so big on experiential learning rather than just getting up and delivering PowerPoints. And it’s funny, some people look at role playing and improv is make believe, but some of the largest companies in the world think of this as situational planning, right? Whether that was how do we prepare for an oil spill, that might happen? 50 years in the future? What happens if dual engine failure happens at this altitude? What happens? They think of all there are people that get paid at the highest forms of, of a lot of different things, not just government to think, what if, what if, what if, and so that’s where I struggle is if somebody says, Well, I’m not open to the idea of role playing an improv I go, Well, that’s like kind of saying, You’re not really open to life. And I think it’s so different, where I think it’s part of that is the messenger, not the message, where if somebody was interviewed for a job, and they said, Hey, this is a $500,000 salary, but part of your job entails coming up with make believe, scenarios, and acting those out so that we can better prepare staff for things that could happen. And these all can’t be super literal. You have to really get creative here. And think of things that may never happen, but at least you’ve been exposed to the idea or something similar if they had, do you still want the job? How many people do you still think would say, Well, yeah, 100%?


Ali Kershner  26:33

I mean, I would say yes, that


Brett Bartholomew  26:34

I mean, I think most people would, but then if you say, Hey, there’s this workshop there and a you know, it’s gonna teach you how to become a better communicator, by being thrown into these role playing scenarios. And some of them might be abstract, then somebody’s thinking, well, who’s that the workshop? Or what if I look stupid, well, who’s going to teach it and, and that’s where our insecurities keep us once again, from engaging the abstract. And this this one’s a quote from a gentleman named Gary Yuko. And he talks about, this is why a lot of formal training programs from a leadership standpoint fail. So again, I’m going to paraphrase. They say the effectiveness of formal training programs depends greatly on how how well they’re designed. The design of training should take an account learning theory, the specific learning objectives, of course, characteristics of the trainees, practical considerations, such as the constraints and costs, and leader training is more likely to be successful, if designed and conducted in a way that is not only just based on research, but also even abstract techniques. So what that saying is, yes, have these things be locked in and grounded theory, but if all you’re studying is how, how things might be in the real world all the time, everything’s one way linear, black and white? How are you going to be prepared for, for anything lateral to that? So, you know, that’s my thought on on that piece, you know, there’s, there was something else I wanted to ask you, ally. And you anybody that is not familiar with you, you came to art of coaching, after being part of a national championship winning squat at Stanford University, you have all these opportunities that are open to you, and all of us at some point in our life. And this will be the kind of the last thing we touch on today for this quick hitter is opportunities loss versus opportunities gained, specifically, when people reach out to us and they say, I’m multi passionate? Or Or maybe they’re just passionate about one thing, that’s fine. Which way should I go in my career? Talk to me about that a little bit broadly, in terms of how you think about the decisions you’ve made? And am I giving something up? Versus am I gaining something? How did you manage some of those things? Where, which way should I go in my career?


Ali Kershner  28:38

Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, I’ve been really really fortunate to have incredible opportunities in my life as you mentioned, but I got I got to a point in my career where I had to ask myself what is the job to be done have a career at this point in my life? Right? You know, I’m still at a point where I don’t have a family I don’t have not locked to a certain location. So what is what’s the purpose of work right now in my life? And when I answered that question, a lot of it had to do with growing myself and growing skill sets that I was really interested in but also knew would serve me for the rest of my life. So things like working in a small dynamic agile team, having developed a personal brand growing sales and marketing and networking skills, all of which you know, I had to do a little bit in my previous career as a as a strength coach but have to do on such a grander scale now, and then I also, you know, thought about okay, I guess what, what’s what do I really value and my number one value has always been will always probably be if some sort of growth and learning and so if I am not, like exposed to this extreme learning curve, I feel really weird and I don’t like that feel. I feel almost plateaued. And so when I think about opportunities, I weigh them against job to be done. And also, you know, Am I growing? Am I learning? And that’s how I make decisions. I’m not saying I’ll always make decisions that way, like, eventually you have to make decisions. Okay? If I have family, maybe that comes above my growth and learning for a time, right? Or maybe locations important, or maybe money is the absolute most important, none of those things at this point, my career were. And so the opportunity was May, or I guess my decision was made based on some different factors then, than I would have been made on in the past. Yeah, I


Brett Bartholomew  30:41

think that’s it’s thorough, and you make a good distinction about, Do I have a family? Do I not and all these, and I think sometimes these things can be, it’s tricky, because it’s something you never want to think you overthink. But people can be really good at putting additional barriers into their life, because we don’t like change, we just don’t and, and it’s always freaky to know that, yeah, of course, if you pursue one area, you’re you’re, you’re gonna not get the benefits of everything from the other area. But you have to think of, you have to think sometimes just taking a step back to there are so many people that think they’re making the decision in their life at 28. And it’s like, well, no, you know, yes, every decision matters. But this isn’t the chance, like Have some confidence in yourself, and and understand that there’s time with these things. So you know, on our end, we talked about this. And I think that we have this decision making matrix that we haven’t valued. So I’m not going to go over that again. But one thing I just want to say on a very real visceral note with people is, you have to understand that, what do you want to play? Do you want to play the long game, Ali talked about learning and building new skills, and I’ll get I’ll give an example. We’ve talked about off air. We’ve never really said this, because I’d never really knew how my audience would take it. But screw it, we’ll say it. I know that coming out of strength and conditioning originally, and still working with athletes, that we could make a lot more money as a company right now. If I were to run, what our initial audience, mainly strength coaches viewed as art of coaching based workshops. 


Brett Bartholomew  31:29

So if I said, Hey, we’re going to do entire workshops from the guy that bought you building buy in on cueing that was my master’s degree focus right on cueing on leading groups dealing with difficult personality types and athletes and coaches. What’s the difference? If you have 150 athletes and 30, or three male and female athletes this and that, and we have presentations on all this stuff. So what have been really easy to slap them all together, put some pain on it and be like $500. And by the way, level two is a certification. Give me your money, and people would love it. Right? I could show him pictures of me training, Julius peppers and other athletes and whatever. And I could try to leverage that. And we would have killed it because our industry that’s the drug they know, and that strong verbiage, but it’s true. They’re, they’re used to being sold. USA W certifications and kettlebell certifications and movement, screen certifications and mobility. So the cognitive ease there would have been very, very high. They were said, oh, yeah, it makes sense. There was no art of coaching certification. Now Brett’s got it. It’s all about athletes and this and then we could have done PTS as well and said, Hey, you’re gonna have a one on one conversations and consults. But we didn’t write, we decided to go. Now we’re looking big picture, we’re crossing over. Because after the book and other stuff, a lot of other folks in the industry and many of you listening are from different industries, right? Like, hey, this applies in the medical world, this applies in my job as a teacher this applies in this. So we said, All right, well, let’s create a bigger workshop. One that and for any of you listening, you know, you’ve dealt with this, where people wake up, and they’re like, Ah, I love my job. But I can’t stand this person at work. Or I work with these people that just don’t seem to listen to me and I never heard and, or my partner doesn’t understand what I’m thinking and every time I get it across and enter your interpersonal struggle here, but the thing that makes us feel like we spent all this time, money and effort growing in a professional skill set to only be limited by people’s agendas, and how do we deal with that, and that’s what that’s what it’s about. And so for a while, it’s kind of like when the old the guy that runs the hot ones. His name’s Sean Evans, he talked about forever, nobody really watched that show. There was like they were screaming into the void. He was just eating hot wings for hot wings sake. And then they did this Key and Peele episode, and it blew up and it took off. And Sean Evans is somebody I really want to get on the podcast. He has great questions. Well, I look at that as the apprenticeship early on when we’re like, hey, we have these apprenticeship communication workshops. 


Brett Bartholomew  34:45

Are that strength coach side of the audience is like her. What, like, you’re not going to teach cueing or, or drills and we’re like, No, we’re going to teach us stuff that like is beyond the stuff and the stuff that you’re going to deal with the rest of your life as a coach. But you’re a leader, a ubiquitous term. And it was a little slow at first a little slow. And then people came in, they’re like, holy shit, this is real life. And, yes, I need this. And they told that friend, and they told a friend, and now it builds and builds and builds. And that’s what I’m trying to encourage you guys as the listeners to do, be willing, please listen, if nothing else, be willing to take a short term hit in popularity, and probably even profitability. I try to not trip over my words, be willing to take a short term hit and profitability and popularity to play the long game. Think about what will matter most five years, 10 years, 15 years? Yes, I could have created that sir Dolly, but then so could 456 other people, and then another one and another one. And at the end of the day, when I’m like, 70, I’m gonna be like, yeah, it was valuable. But you know what, I have those presentations. Now. They’re available for people. And so I just think people have to think, bigger picture about this, I think they also have to understand that power and influence is something you’re going to deal with in your whole life. And as we close out this episode, and we’ll do more of these quick hitter ones, but I want to make it really clear that most of what is going to keep you guys from getting what you want in life is the suppose it dark arts, politics and power dynamics and, and all these influence tactics that people use reality, the obstacles the way, those are the things you need to learn about, because they’re not as hyper sexualized as the media and stuff like that TV would make you believe.


Brett Bartholomew  36:30

It leadership in general, is based on influence and power and influence are distinct constructs. But the relationship amongst specific forms of power. And if you guys haven’t heard about power dynamics episode, go listen to that, right? Like these things are distinct, but related, and it’s complex. So I just want to make this simple. The way you differentiate stuff that is going to be a part of every day of your life, power dynamics and influence. From a heuristic standpoint, think of power as a capacity based thing and influence from an operational process. In other words, powers like potential force, or potential energy for, for somebody to have a certain kind of power and it to be useful. It’s got to be utilized and influence tactics is how they’re utilized. Like, right now we’re using the influence tactic of rational persuasion. We’re telling people about power and influence and why these things need to be learned and why they should, you know, engage with this stuff. And how you utilize power is represented in the influence tactics we use. So if I have, if I have a reward power, I have resources, why can use Exchange tactics, because I can give people the you know, rewards for things that’s relevant. And so you know, just helping people understand that when you’re influencing, when you’re utilizing power, there’s push styles, there’s poll styles, and we can do a whole separate thing on that. But it’s just people have to understand all the term influence means is to have an impact on the behaviors, attitudes, and choices that others make. That’s what influence means. And power is your capacity to influence people. These aren’t demonic or bad. And that’s, that’s what I think people just need to know more about. And so, you know, I’ll leave that there because we want to keep this tight. But, you know, I want to give you any last word on that before we sign off.


Ali Kershner  38:19

No, I think that’s huge. I like how you snuck in dark arts, there’s little callback to Harry Potter. That’s what I mean. This is life. This is this is like, if nothing else, the thing that we’ve heard the most leaving an apprenticeship is holy shit that felt like real life. So I mean, if that doesn’t tell you what what we’re about, I don’t know what Well,


Brett Bartholomew  38:41

that’s it. So guys, this is our quick hitter Friday episode. Let us know what resonated with you and let us know what you want to dive deeper on. Let us know what you want our opinions on what you want to serve rant about. We’re open. I know this one got a little serious towards the end, but we also try to keep some of these fun. We want to hear from you. So email us at info at art of If you’re new to the family, go to art of We’ll send you some of our favorite articles and episodes and more importantly, get your butts to one of our apprenticeship because like it or not, you’re gonna deal with power dynamics in real life. And there’s nothing else out there that teaches you how to deal with these dark arts, dark realities, and really just practical nuances of leadership and life for Brett Bartholomew and Ali Kershner signing off. Talk to you guys next time.

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