In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

We’ve all faced what seem like impossible decisions: Which job should I take? Is this the person I really want to spend my life with? Can I even afford to take vacation right now?

We’re also faced with hundreds of smaller decisions on a daily basis: What do I want for dinner? Should I watch tv or read a book? Should I take the car or ride my bike?

Given the frequency in which they pop up, it’s obvious decision making is one of our most heavily used and important skills. Yet more often than not we rely on emotional or gut reactions to make them and if we can’t come to a decision ourselves… our next option is usually to reach out to friends/family to validate our choices. 

Luckily, we have a tool that can help make the decision making process exponentially clearer…

Click here for your free download:

This opportunity matrix will equip you with a systematic way of characterizing variables important to the decision making process (safety, security, physical and emotional health, social and relational needs, aspirations and desires), allow you to compare several opportunities side by side and weigh tradeoffs as you make your decision.

Give it a try and let us know how it works for you! Also, use it in your hiring process (as an extension to the tools suggested in E182: Critical Tips for Improving Your Hiring Process) to see if your candidates are right for your position. 

Speaking of decision making- here’s an easy one. Our partner SAGA fitness offers the easiest and cheapest set of BFR cuffs on the market. They sync directly with your phone and do all of the calibration and programming for you so you can get an efficient workout from the comfort of your own home sans tons of equipment and time. Use code BRETT20 for 20% off your order!

Follow me on social media:

Via Instagram: @coach_BrettB

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Learn More About My Courses, Clinics, and Live Events At:


Brett Bartholomew  00:04

All right, literally as you are listening to this, if you are listening on the day that it dropped, I am currently in Wales specifically, I just got done leading a two-day workshop in Cardiff out. If you miss it, I get it. That’s fine. We all have busy lives with our busy schedules. However, we do have a couple more workshops coming up. The last one we’ll do this year is November 13. And 14th. in Asheville, North Carolina, beautiful place, tons of hiking trails, nearby breweries, what have you. So bait, make sure to go to To check that out. We will also be in New York, New Jersey, January 22nd and 23rd. Remember, for those of you that are strength coaches, all of these are CEU approved, tons of early bird discount super early bird discounts. If you’ve done my online courses, you get $180 discount as well. 

Brett Bartholomew  00:52

Speaking of online courses, if you are somebody who’s cooped up, can’t leave can’t do anything. And you are trying to find more ways to learn go to Now the most common question we get is, hey, I haven’t read your book yet. Do I need to do these in a particular order? Yada, yada, yada? No, no, no, no. And no, the courses are very distinct, you have bought in which is all about how to connect with people with a wide variety of personalities Valued, which is all about how to manage your career. So if you’re in a field that’s highly competitive, it’s easy to feel stuck, overwhelmed, maybe you’ve dealt with some burnout, you know, and you’re trying to figure out how you navigate the early stages, that kind of middle area and the latter part of your career. We have resources in there that help you with all aspects of that. It’s the only course of its kind for coaches who want to land the job, they’ve always wanted, make more money, because you actually do need to provide for your family and stand out within their organizations for the right reasons. It’s backed by over 150 studies, decades of real life experience, tons of other coaches. And then finally, we have Blindspot. Now Blindspot was designed to help creators, coaches, innovators, leaders, who want to make use of the information they have in their head and get it out there to help more people. So if you feel like Hey, I know I’m capable of more. But all these ideas kind of just sit in my head and I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do with them. We have that as well. All of these are available with samples and details and FAQs at So be sure to check those out. 

Brett Bartholomew  02:24

Also, I want to thank our sponsor, without them we couldn’t do anything because I know this is free for you guys to listen to. It is not free for us to create. So I want to thank saga fitness for their support. Now you can go to saga dot fitness and you’ll learn all about them. They created the world’s first Bluetooth BFR cuffs. So these are sweat resistant cuffs that help improve the efficiency of your workouts. Whether you’re into strength training, whether you’re more into just if you’re somebody that’s a cyclist, if you’d like to run if you’re coming back from injury, if you’re somebody that’s just dealt with a lot of atrophy in general I don’t know maybe lockdowns are more strict and you didn’t have access to stuff. If you want to get back at it. You want to be more efficient. Check them out at saga dot fitness. Tell them Brett sent you and you will save money. Okay, enough for me. Let’s get to the show.

Brett Bartholomew  03:26

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  03:59

Everybody welcome back to another episode of The Art of coaching Podcast. I’m here with Ali Kirschner. Ali, what’s up?

Ali Kershner  04:05

What’s up, Brett? How’s it going?

Brett Bartholomew  04:06

It’s going good guys and a quick forewarning before you dive into this episode, please, please, please, to make the most of it go to just decision that’s You’re gonna get a free tool that will help bring everything we talked about in this episode to life. If you’re driving or walking the dog or your cat if you walk your cat, that’s all good. Just make sure that you come back to this because, again, we’re going to describe this thing that has helped us in so many use cases. And I want you to be able to see it it is yours free. Again

Brett Bartholomew  04:45

Okay, so breaking this episode down. This is super tactical, something that you can use. I’m sure many of you listen to a wide range of podcasts. The thing that we always try to do if you’re a new listener is encouraged non passive listening. We want to give you stuff that is bang for your buck. You can utilize it in real time. And this one is all about making better decisions. Now there’s no shortage of books on this. Many of them are popular, there’s no shortage of posts that people make about priorities and this and that, and that’s fine. But reading, those kinds of things don’t always help you enact those decisions in real time. And that’s what the tool that we have will help you do. So put yourself in this kind of situation, or just imagine this, think about a time where there was an issue at your current job or a previous job, and you were wondering, Man, am I gonna get canned? Is this place gonna fold Are we all gonna get fired because of some unforeseen circumstances, somebody’s withholding information, or think about a time where you had outgrown your role, and you just felt like you had been immersed in continually trying to improve, but you just felt like there was nothing more for you within this role, or maybe even talk to your superiors, and you’ve tried to advance within the role. And you’re just kind of out this ceiling, where there’s nowhere for you to go. Or think about a time where you just entered a different stage of life. You were at this job, you took this opportunity, but now things are changing. Maybe you got married, maybe you’re having kids, maybe you decided do you want to get into a new profession. The bottom line is when we’re in these positions, we need help making decisions for the million dollar question of what next? What next? How? How can I utilize something or some decision making process that will make me feel less overwhelmed? Usually, we call a friend? How can we make sure that we prepare for this idea or the reality that our emotions, our biases, and intuition, these things are part and parcel of our decision making, but they can also cloud it. So we need a tool for a pragmatic analysis. Many times, like, I’ll call Ali, and I’ll say, Hey, tell me where this idea sucks. How can this be better, but I don’t always have access to Ali. And Ali doesn’t always have access to me. And I’m sure many of you can agree, you don’t want to bother your friends, you know. And so we want to give you a way that you can better identify problems needs versus wants likelihood of attaining a goal if you made X decision versus why, and then be able to kind of lock these things in. So you minimize the risk of making the wrong decision. Now, Ali, you came to our team not too long ago, after having to make a really impactful decision. For anybody that’s just listened for the first time are still getting familiar with your story, talk about your decision that you had to make and some things that maybe came into play before we go further.

Ali Kershner  07:31

Yeah, I think this, this episode, and this idea of helping people with decisions is actually very personal and close to me right now, just because it was something that I had to do very recently, and at a large scale relatively, right. So everybody has big decisions I need to make, but I would argue that changing careers and fields entirely is one of the bigger ones that you’re going to have to think about in your lifetime. And that’s essentially what I had to do, you know, I was in collegiate strength and conditioning since I graduated college. So you know, anytime passed, what was I 22, you know, up until this past spring, and knew nothing else, and then was kind of faced with this mountain, you know, dinosaur of a decision that felt like at the time between leaving the people and the craft, they know, and then I’ve worked so hard to refine to join something, you know, like our company, which is small, agile futures a little bit uncertain, just in terms of like, where we’re going and what we can build. And it was an extremely difficult decision in that there’s so much uncertainty, and there’s no way or in my mind, at the time there was it was hard to categorize all of the chaos and all the variables that I was feeling.

Brett Bartholomew  08:45

Yeah. And when you think of those variables, just because I know people can relate to this, right there were there were things like your pay, right? Like, yeah, I could I make the same I think of a communication training call we just did. And for those not who don’t know, this, you know, shameless plug, we do mentoring for people that you know, are trying to make better decisions, trying to become better communicators, trying to just deal with the messy realities of leadership. For those interested, you can go to But the gist is, is that this individual reached out and said, Hey, I’ve been at this job a long time. I really love the people. I love a lot of things, but there’s some newfound uncertainty in my life. And I think I’m gonna have to make a difficult decision of whether I’m going to stay and have to renegotiate some things, or whether I leave and part of that hinges upon the money I make right now. I mean, I also had a friend that worked in the NFL like 18 years, you make so much money and the role that he was in, but it just wasn’t that happy with it. And he wanted to kind of move on and do something else. But his kids were relatively young. He wanted to make sure he had enough money to put them through school. So he wanted to leave kind of not because he wasn’t grateful for the role but just he wanted to challenge himself to do something new work with high school kids and what have you. So with you, other than the financial aspect, what are some other things just everyday things that we’re at Play whether somebody perceives them as silly or not?

Ali Kershner  10:04

Yeah, I mean, it’s something as simple as where I was going to live, you know, my parents are in the town where I was working when I was in collegiate strength and conditioning. So I was like, do I want to give that up? We have a really great place that my me and my fiance Live, which is also something we were like, Oh, I don’t know, if we want to change that, you know, thinking about future aspirations and like, what’s the ultimate, you know, goal? And is my current position going to get me there? Or at least giving give me the opportunity to learn the skills that I want to get there? I mean, is it gonna afford me that more time off, you know, and a chance to like, be with my family during Christmas? That’s something I never got during basketball season, when I worked in basketball. So I think it was, it was a lot of what could be like small, petty, you know, decisions that factored in, as well as like, some kind of bigger meta ones, like, who am I as a person? And what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

Brett Bartholomew  11:01

Yeah, well, I mean, very helpful examples I think of, and there’s so many fields like this, right where 90% of it, you love it, and you know, you’re gonna have to deal with 10%. That is a little bit tricky. But thinking even on my own examples of, you know, you would consider, like you said, holidays or, you know, I value we hear that common idea that people value autonomy, mastery and purpose, right, that’s this kind of whole thing. If, if you can have a little bit more autonomy, if you can do if you can really master something you love. And you know, there’s a bigger purpose. But those kinds of broad categories don’t always help, because there’s so much within that. And so to help you guys that are listening, Ali, and I want to give you some categories, and again, this is tied into everything you’ll find at So when you’re making a decision, you think of things like safety and security, you know, does my job provide adequate stress and that goes into or even being challenged the way that you want to? Or you know, is? Is it a little bit too much of a challenge right now? Are you maybe in a role where you bit off more than you could chew, or maybe a member of your family got sick? And it’s not that you’ve been off more than you could chew? But again, it’s just not a fit right now? Or, as we mentioned earlier, are you being challenged in the right areas I knew for me, I like being challenged creatively, I like solving problems. I like getting right into things and having to improvise, and figure it out in real time. And Ali, I know you do as well. Then there’s physical health needs the ability to care for yourself, is it an active job? Is that not important to you? And or does it provide medical benefits? What kind of family care? You know? Are you going to get you have social and relational needs? Do you have a schedule that allows for time with your family? And what have you or a good work environment? Right? Ali, you and I work remotely? But we started doing things like office hours on Zoom, where you like, what have you done? You showed us different parts of your apartment? What else have we done with these kind of office hours to kind of meet these social needs, even though you’re in Palo Alto, and I’m in Atlanta?

Ali Kershner  12:57

Yeah. I mean, we’ve we’ve had lunch together, we’ve shown you know, something interesting that we’ve come across on the interwebs. Something as simple as that, but you know, something that it does truly connect people that are on different sides of the country, you know, who are typically focused on really specific things. But you know, at mean, there’s something else that we’ve we’ve done that’s been kind of helpful is we’ve, like done many projects kind of together, which are like, you know, like, you asked us to think about, like, what is the ideal art of coaching look like in the future, like, like, write a story about what that looks like, so that we can have this like, vision, that shared vision of what you’re thinking it could look like and what we’re thinking it could look like, even though we’re not together that kind of helps join our our brainpower? A little bit.

Brett Bartholomew  13:44

Yeah. And it’s funny, right? Because there’s some people that they do work in the same space. And they’re like, Well, why would you do these things, but because they connect when they get to get outside of the work environment, that formal building, but since you and I are never in that formal building, I mean, the closest we get to it isn’t when we present to each other internationally, or when you come out quarterly, you know, we have to find these ways to leverage that technology. Another example of social or relational needs for me is being able to jump on, right. I said, Hey, do you want to do a mutual podcast together and within an hour, we can jump on? I like discussions. So social needs is I want to have challenging discussions, I want to see how I do in real time. That’s why we don’t script a lot of this show. And it’s a chance for us to interact and you provide that for me. And then there’s aspirations and desires, right? This fits in as well. creative freedom, autonomy. Like we mentioned, the ability to lead doesn’t give you the chance of, you know, there might be times where I lead certain things and then there’s gonna be times that Ali has, she’s gonna have the reins and what have you, or the ability to develop additional skills. I think you’re with me Ali in that. One minute. It’s nice being able to kind of dive in and solve coaching related challenges, but the next we might have to talk about financial things or marketing strategy, or what have you. I know that huge for me, I need to be a little bit of a polymath. If I want to be really good at even just one thing drawing on different areas, how does that help you as well?

Ali Kershner  15:09

Yeah, actually, this is probably and it has always been the biggest kind of category in terms of how I make decisions. I guess if you think about it as like a weighted average, I weighed things in the aspirations and desires category much more heavily than I do the other ones, simply because of the time of my life that I’m in, you know, I don’t necessarily have a family, my physical health is pretty good. And I’m confident that I can make it pretty good no matter my environment. So things like creative freedom, autonomy, were much higher on the list in terms of importance, which will I’m sure we’ll talk about in a little bit. But yeah, I mean, that the idea that I could not know what my day was gonna look like, was actually really exciting and challenging, because it kind of scared me. So those those, you know, that category for me is particularly important.

Brett Bartholomew  15:53

And these things are scary, you know, just to go back to it for a moment, I think of any transition I made, whether it’s alright, where am I gonna go to college, and I decided to go out of state, then what internship am I going to pursue okay, that I moved to Florida, then it was like, Well, what do I do next? Okay, now we did another internship. And then it was like, you know, moving, I think I’ve moved about 10 different times, I’ve lived in Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Florida. Let’s see where else Illinois, Arizona, California. And now Georgia. And these decisions aren’t taken lightly. And everybody listening has their own version of this. It’s not you don’t have to move a bunch. So getting into this now, what we call the opportunity matrix, again, For those of you that have been in my online course valued, this is going to look really familiar. And that’s because it’s one of the bonus handouts we do. We just wanted to make this public because there’s so many people in other professions that have asked for something like this, we wanted to make it, you know, available to them, even if they haven’t had a chance to check out the course. So if you guys are looking at this, and even if you’re not just listen, but go back and look at it. On one end, we have these factors. And these factors are the things that we talk about, you know, psychological safety and security, as Ali and I mentioned, you know, is it you have holidays off, you have appropriate stress, you’re being challenged? What have you physical and health needs? Does it allow for you to be able to take care of yourself through medical benefits is it an active job, all those things that we mentioned before, and they’re right there for you on the paper? When you guys download it, you put that down? So let’s say I’m saying, hey, Ali, I’m thinking about taking another job. And this job is out in Florida. And I just think it would be awesome, because I’d be able to be outdoors. And you know, it’s just beautiful, and what have you. So it makes sense for Ali to say, okay, so how much do you wait that how important is that for you to have a job that allows you to get outside do this or what have you. Now we weigh this one to 10, let’s say 10 is the most important, right? 10 is most important. And for me Ali, this wouldn’t be a 1010 for me would be being able to provide for my family, right? That’s a 10. For me, I’m fine. As long as I can get outside on my own or what have you, I don’t need to have a job that, you know, I had that job for 15 years where I was always outside or on the turf or what have you. So for me, it’s important, but it’s probably like, I don’t know, somewhere between a five or seven. So let’s say I put a seven there. Then when I look at is the rating of that, well, the more I dig into this job, there’s potential job, I’d say, what’s the likelihood that that’s going to be the case, right? What is the job roles? What does it entail? Oh, man, there’s a lot more to it than I thought, I’m actually not going to be outside that much I’m going to have to be there’s a lot of meetings and what have you. And hopefully you uncover these things as a realization of the questions you asked in the interview, or when you asked for more information. So even though my factor importance might be a seven, the Ria, the reality of it is okay, I’m probably only going to be able to like, get out half as much as I thought. So that might be a five. So I add up seven and five, and what do I get? Well, you’re gonna get 13. So that’s the score in that job. 

Brett Bartholomew  15:53

Now, let’s say option B is another job. And then option C so I can weigh what is the importance of this thing, the money I make the ability to be outside the ability to interact with others score that and then for either I’m going to stay at my current job, I’m going to take this job in Florida, or I’m going to take this job internationally, then ask enough questions that you see what’s the reality of that, okay, this might be a five, this might be a seven, this might be an eight, you get a score. Now, I know this sounds like a lot, but just stay with me because we’ll we’ll give a lot of examples. So then I’m gonna put the next factor down for options A, B, and C for any of those situations. And let’s say it’s financial. Alright, so this was a real life one ally. There was a situation where I could stay at my current job and this was you know, a current job six or seven years ago. And financial like that’s super important because we want to have kids so I factor that a 10. So I could stay at my current job wasn’t making that much money, very grateful for what I did make. There wasn’t an opportunity for equity, there was not an opportunity for really commission, I could not write my book, I could not get paid to speak all of that had to go in its entirety to that company. So my factor importance would be a 10. What I was ranking, that current job was probably a three at this point, you know, my needs and change. So right, like 10 plus three, that’s a score of 13. There is another job where I would have made less like the same base salary. I’m still working for a company, but I got a lot of commission, it would have been like, 30%. Commission, I could do more speaking what have you, right, and so I, okay, it’s still a 10 for factor importance, what I can provide for my family. Now, this one was probably a seven, because I understood the commission structure, it fit with things I already knew how to do, it made a lot of sense, great. So that would be 17. And then there was option C, where I could have taken this job in pro sport, I would have made around $275,000 a year, that would have met a lot of other needs. If we if we took those factors like, okay, perceived credibility, or it would have made me really happy from a standpoint of I would have got to work with one of my best friends, that was the biggest thing. This guy’s like family to me, I love him. So that would have been huge. But in terms of the pay, you know, it’s still a 10 in terms of my factor of importance, and the score is going to be pretty high, because that base salary is significant. But it still is going to limit what I could make beyond that. So let’s say that one was like a 19. So I look at those options. And I don’t make the decision based off of that, I make the decision based off a number of other things. Again, going back aspirations and desires doesn’t meet your social and relational needs, your physical and health needs, your psychological safety. So you guys will use this matrix to fill all those out and weigh them across your three different opportunities. And that in total gives you this idea of Holy crap. Now I have an object more objective way of looking at this Ali, I probably confused everybody. So why don’t you walk me through like an example of your life or somebody else have a lateral example?

Ali Kershner  22:02

Sure. I mean, maybe let’s just take it back to my decision when I was leaving Stanford to join Art of Coaching. So if we’re looking at the same opportunity matrix, I was really just deciding between two things. I was deciding between staying at Stanford, and I was deciding between joining art of coaching, leaving collegiate strength and conditioning.

Brett Bartholomew  22:23

Click pause here for a moment. If this is helping you at all, I don’t know why you would not go to Again, yes, I might have started out in strength and conditioning. Yes, some of my stuff speaks to strength coaches, or what have you. But like we say all the time, there’s millions of books out there that are published by people in a wide variety of fields. And those lessons cross over sodas are stuff. So if you’re somebody that is really liking what we’re talking about with this decision making matrix, it is literally available as a bigger resource valued, if you feel stuck in your career. And if you feel like you’re not really sure if what you’re doing is sustainable, maybe you felt burnout, maybe you feel like, hey, I need to be in a better place financially. I don’t want to keep moving, or I’m trying to figure out what Job is best for me. If you’re in a career that deals with gender gap issues, anything, maybe you’re undervalued, where you’re at valued is all about how to deal with those things. These are issues not only in strength and conditioning, their issues in education, their issues and health care. So this stuff is widely applicable, we’d love for you to check it out, please support what we do. We are a small family business. If that’s not your bag, totally get it. Tell somebody about the show. If you just send us to five or 10 people or leave us an iTunes review, we’re very grateful. All right back to me and Ali’s dulcet tones.

Ali Kershner  23:38

So for looking at the same opportunity matrix, I was really just deciding between two things. I was deciding between staying at Stanford, and I was deciding between joining art of coaching, leaving collegiate strength and conditioning. So if we Let’s just all pick one of those factors from each category. So if we look at the first category, psychological safety and security, so the one that I mentioned at the beginning, let’s use that one, would I get the holidays off? Okay, so I don’t know, if we put that as the factor do I get holidays off? I would rank that like maybe a four or five, it’s not, it’s definitely not going to make or break a job at Stanford, which was option A, you know, that was I was not going to get, I was not going to get those things off. So in terms of I guess, here’s a question for you. So maybe you can help me work through this. Would that then get a low ranking if I wasn’t gonna get the holidays off? Or would that get a high ranking because it ranked highly in that thing that I desired? 

Brett Bartholomew  24:51

Yeah, it’s a great question. So when you’re looking at the factor importance, that’s what it like the highest ranking is how much you value that the rating then is the likelihood of that attainment? Or the reality of it? Does that make sense? So if it’s if what you’re saying is, hey, I actually wouldn’t get this or I actually got into this job, and it wasn’t as critical as I thought, then it gets a lower ranking. Does that make sense? So yes, I think that I’m going to make a bunch of money going into prosport. And then I get there and in the writing might be like, okay, yes, I made money. But I actually realized I just signed a three year contract, and there’s no movement in that, or I made money, but there’s a bigger cost to that in terms of my family, not getting to spend time with them. Or maybe I have to hire help at home, for my significant other or whatever, right? All those things affect the actuality rating of it. So if you if it was attend to you, and then you went into it, and it was the best situation ever. That’s a 10 and a 10. That’s a 20. Right? But if you go in there, everything starts to degrade that score. Does that answer your question?

Ali Kershner  25:51

Yeah, absolutely. That’s perfect. So at Stanford, it was going to be a zero. In terms of, if it’s a form of importance, let’s say, and it was zero, because I wasn’t going to be able to do that. Whereas Art of Coaching, yeah, I’m not going to get like every time off that I request, I’m going to get the let’s say, I really value the the holidays, in particular having Christmas off, or Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate, then that would be I suppose, a 10. So then, when I add together the 10, and the four, yeah, yep, you’d add that together. Okay, so then we have, we have a 10 for Stanford, and we have a 14 for Art of Coaching. So then if we go down to fiscal health, you know, maybe my opportunity for exercise, let’s say that your my opportunity to lift in particular. So you know, that’s, you know, I can make do with what I have at home. But you know, that’s still pretty important to me. So I would say that’s maybe like a six or seven. At Stanford, I did have access to all weight room. But I mean, you could argue that my time constraints were much greater in terms of like, I had a very set schedule of when I could use that. And when there weren’t teams in there lifting. So I’d say that was maybe a five. And then at Art of Coaching, you know, I don’t have access to a weight room, I would have to go find a gym, but I’ve been able to work out whenever I want. So maybe I would give that an eight or nine. Let’s jump down to and I’m not just just for the sake of the math. Yeah, I won’t add up the math because I don’t want to embarrass myself with my mental maths goes for social, you know, okay, this was one that was really important to me, which was having a colleague or colleagues that are really really knowledgeable, interesting, and just incredible people to work with people that I would want to go grab beers with, or just lemonade or whatever, if you don’t drink, or, and also just like, Come hang out, and like you’ve even invited me out to your house. So that to me was very important. That social aspect, even though we’re not in person, still having somebody that I feel like I can reach out to at any moment and has my back, I have theirs. It’s a great dynamic. So that’s me as I would say, a nine or a 10. At Stanford, I had great colleagues, don’t get me wrong. You know, but we were so busy that I didn’t really have a chance to talk to any of the other coaches, like in a really deep way other than just like interactions passing by in the weight room. So that I would, I would give that opportunity, maybe a three or four. Whereas at art of coaching, I’d say it’s a 10. Like we talk every single day. You’re always there, Liz is always there for guidance, support, whatever for banter, you know, and you guys have even invited me over to your house. So that would be a 10. For me. Yeah, I mean, the last one, just to finish it off, so that everybody can have one from each is aspirations and desires. For me, one of those things that was really important was the ability to develop additional skills, things that I can envision myself wanting and needing much further down the line, my career, my relationships. So things like marketing, how to brand yourself, how to learn how to write copy, how to build a team, how to hire how to fire, things I just wasn’t getting on the day to day at Stanford, or includes a strength and conditioning. So to me, that was also a ten of importance at Stanford, I was getting maybe a two or three, whereas an art of coaching, I was getting a 10. Does that kind of clarify things for my decision there?

Brett Bartholomew  29:28

Yeah, a lot. And I think you know, the nice thing to even just to hear it, because we’re having this conversation in real time is, you know, when you mention the ability to have like Liz and I here and have those conversations, it makes me feel good as an employer and a colleague, because the irony is not only do we want to have those conversations, because we care about you, but also because it’s core to what we do, right? Like these conversations are necessary to have something that our society doesn’t get to have. Because we’re often told that you have to separate who you are from the work that you do, but in reality your emotions and some of your struggles are going to join your work. And so it’s awesome when you do open up about those things. Because we know there’s no fewer than probably what 100 1000 people in our community that deal with that. I think it was somebody the other day that said, hey, I really want to take this job. Because going into pro sport would really help my credibility, and I was able to put them in touch with somebody that had taken. They were in a similar situation not that long ago. And they said, I go talk to him a little bit. And then we followed up and I go, What did he say? He said, Well, yeah, it’ll help your credibility. But in a vacuum, you know, he loves the other person loves their job that they took him pro sport, but they also fear that they’ve kind of been forgotten about because, you know, they’re, yeah, they’re visible every Sunday, or you know, what have you. But then other parts of that, like, they’re not getting certain opera, they’re realizing now how much they missed the social part of it, because they’re not able to speak, they’re not able to do those things. And for them, that’s not an ego thing. They actually like traveling, they like doing those things. And then what you get Ali, you get people that are like, Hey, I’m not complaining, you know, I’m not, it’s like, like, you don’t have to take it as that, right? Like, if you were to say, hey, I want this, but in art of coaching, it’s that I’m not gonna take that offensively because I’m gonna look at other things and know that you’ve weighed that out by using this tool to know that there’s a trade off. And there’s trade offs for people like me to that own company, I think any business owner listening could say, somebody could say, oh, well, you own your business, your time is your own. Ah, well, my time being my own Yes, it factor is very high, let’s say it’s nine or 10. Because it’s okay to have subjectivity within this quantitative analysis. But my time is not my own, you know, I’ll have to wake up. And I’ll have to put out some fires off to deal with a customer service issue. If I have an unanswered text or unanswered this that could make somebody feel like I’m overlooking them. And so, you know, you always answer to somebody, you always answer to somebody in some regard. And I think that that’s what this tool is trying to get people to do is just examine the trade offs, don’t make the mistake naively of thinking that something’s this or something’s that a final example I’ll give, and then I’ll throw it back to you as an individual that said, hey, and I’m gonna call them Sharon, just for the sake of this, Sharon had reached out and said, I love what you guys are doing a lot of coaching, I really want to be a part of it. Well, Sharon works for a really cool company, right? Massive company in the tech side, it’s unbelievable. And so to hear them say, that is cool for me, because I’m in the mess of you know, this job every day. And I start kind of going through some things based on this opportunity matrix. And I said, Well, why? Why are you unhappy there? And what do you think you’ll get here? And by the end of it, you know, let’s say, for example, Sharon had said, Well, you know, I just feel like, my voice isn’t heard there, and so on and so forth. And I feel like, you know, you welcome that you guys talk about you want this kind of, and I said, Yeah, but understand the expectations with that. It’s not just about having your voice heard, in our company, you better do something with it, right? Like, we better make it a podcast, or we’re going to turn it into a course, like, we have got to pressure test it and utilize it for good. It can’t just sit there and I said, So Sharon, you need to understand that you’re gonna have a lot higher accountability plays on you in this job, we’re very self competitive, you need to put deadlines on yourself, nobody’s gonna babysit you. And you’ll have a sandbox to operate within. But you’ve got to be accountable. And so we went through some of this stuff we’re sharing thought coming to, you know, coming Art of coaching was going to be Oh, I get to work with friends. And it’s this and that. And then what they realize is they’re not ready for that level of accountability. Right, they actually kind of like loose timelines, their other job, they could kind of fade to the background a little bit. And that’s not you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. In Art of Coaching, you’re not going to you’re going to be accountable. I’ve got to be accountable to all of you guys, you’ve got to be accountable. We’ve got to be accountable to your to our clients and customers. And so we’ve used it not only as a reflection tool for ourselves, but now I’m starting to use it as like a hiring tool being like you think you want to do this. Let me tell you what this job’s actually like, because we want an animal, not somebody that’s just aspirational. Thoughts on that?

Ali Kershner  33:55

I mean, I think, to a certain extent, either you were thinking about this, or you weren’t at the time, but you used it on me. I mean, you said multiple times, I’m trying to scare you out of this. So you would present situations, to me hypothetical ones, just to you know, see like, Would you be comfortable with that? Is that something that aligns with the kind of work that you do? I mean, even the hiring tool that you mentioned in the hiring podcast, that’s a an extension of this, right, like, what do you value? And then like, have them think about that? And where does that rank in terms of like, your perceived strengths and weaknesses, because I think this should absolutely be factored into all hiring processes. Because if you’re, what you value in terms of this opportunity, Math matrix doesn’t align in terms of importance with what they do. It’s going to be the wrong fit, even if it could seem like a really great opportunity from the outset.

Brett Bartholomew  34:46

Yeah, and when guys just a throwback to what Ali said there the hiring podcast we had chosen. It’s episode 182 critical tips for improving your hiring process. If you guys want to go back to that, and thanks for that. Call back. cuz you’re right, like it is something that I’ve just, I use for selfish purpose at first helping myself make better decisions because I’ve got a family to consider now, as you you right now you’re engaged and these things have more weight to them. But then I started realizing like no, this can be used in a lot of other scenarios as well. I mean it the point of it isn’t make better decisions. Think of it even a more recent thing, right, you had a situation where your significant other had a rare amount of time off, and I had to go work, one of the weekends for our coalition. For those that don’t know what the coalition is, it’s, it’s kind of our group, our community where people from a wide variety of professions come together, they just kind of want community accountability, we meet twice a month, and everybody kind of works towards helping people solve goals. Well, at the end of three months, because it’s a six month thing, we do a retreat, and we cover it at Art of Coaching, we want people to come out. And it’s a way for us to get to know each other, get around each other. And then we come back and do the other three months. But the gist of it is, is these are pretty intensive, like I’ve been doing this for three years. Now, these retreats and I’m usually up at seven, I’m usually with everybody till 930 or 10. And so this year is like Alright, I’m gonna get some help cool Ali’s on board. Well, it happened to coincide with a time where Ali, you know, wanted some time off. And it made sense, right? Because tell them what Megan does, if you don’t mind me, kind of probing.

Ali Kershner  36:20

She’s a physician at Stanford. And she I mean, she works crazy, like 100 hours a week. And yeah, so that time she gets time off. It’s, unfortunately, sometimes it coincides with something important for our company. And in this in this situation, it was like, I wasn’t gonna see her for eight weeks straight, basically. And this was like, the one weekend she had off, right. 

Brett Bartholomew  36:39

So I have to make a decision of saying, Okay, I think at that point, you had been with us in terms of like, paid full time three to four months, kind of thinking, Alright, you know, we need to give this to her for sure, right? Because like long term happiness is, is the best thing for it. But at the same time, then I can think as an employer, like, think of all the things that I’ve missed, and what have you, and I need to make sure we set expectations. So then we start going through this decision making matrix of thinking like, Hey, I without a doubt, we’re gonna give this to her cuz like, she deserves that this is family. This is family first, if we’re like, no, Ali, tough, you gotta be here, then we’re getting Ali’s less than best effort. Right? And so she might check off one box, but how many does it negate? Right? There’s something to be said just for being good person. You know, now I can weigh that as How does Ali react all of a sudden, you know, I need to stay home and Ali’s gotta jump in there, right? We have all these decisions. So it could be like, hey, Ali, sorry, you are gonna have to work some weekends, we have to speak for the apprenticeship. We have to go into the coalition. And then now it could be like, alright, well, I thought I was gonna get more time than Stanford. But like you guys heard her say, let’s say she scored that a seven. Right. But then on the other hand, how much more time does she get home? I think of it as another hire that we had just to de personalize it a little bit. Somebody didn’t want their spouse to miss Sundays, because they went to church together on Sundays. And that’s valid, that everybody’s got their thing, right. And I remember saying, Well, Brian, I’m going to make up the name. Brian, I get that you might miss Sundays, because you’re you’re applying for an education based role where you’re going to teach on the weekends. But how often are you home right now during the week? Oh, I’m never home. Okay, well, if you took this job, you’re working remotely, you’re almost home all the time. So yes, you might miss one to two hours on Sunday. But I think they do church on Wednesdays as well. And you’re gaining basically 100 hours a week at home. Right? And so that has to factor in now. If Brian’s like that doesn’t matter, Sundays, you know, this happens and what have you, he’s gonna score that lower, even though all that so everybody’s gonna wait this in different ways. But what I’m asking you guys as an audience to consider is what are you doing right now, right now you have difficult decisions to make, and you like, call up a friend. And your friend maybe will push back on you a little bit, but they’re usually busy doing something else. So they’re gonna give you half of their attention. If they do give you their whole attention, they’re still going to be biased. They’re going to color it based on experiences they’ve had, right? Just like I remember dating, somebody wants that. Their their best friend had always gone through really bad breakups. So anytime we fought, the advice of best friend would give them is like, Oh, this isn’t gonna work. And this, people will start to muddy your and or feed into your own biases. So while this might sound confusing, it won’t when you look at it. And two, it’s this it’s this thing that’s going to help safeguard you because if not this, then what just continue to reach out and ask friends and family who are going to tell you what you want to hear any thoughts on that Ali?

Ali Kershner  39:33

Yeah, and I would go a step further and challenge people who do do this because it’s really easy when you’re coming up with these factors to rank them favorably for the thing that you really want. But I would challenge you to take a motion and bias out of it as much as possible and truly give each the time and effort they deserve in terms of don’t rank it as an aspirational ranking in the sense have like, okay, maybe, maybe let’s say I was applying for the director of performance at the Bengals, you know, no allegiance to the Bengals go chiefs. So let’s say I was doing that. And you know, I really wanted this title. And so I might be tempted to rank things that the bangles have going for them more favorably, and rank things that are actually really important to me. But the Bengals don’t offer as you know, slightly less important, just because I want this job, I want the shiny title, you are going to be miserable if you make decisions like that. So I would challenge you to stop using impression management techniques, which is like, labeling is like going towards labels and shielding your ego by doing things that are going to make you go down a path towards what you think you want. But like actually investigate this and five layer deeper.

Brett Bartholomew  40:52

Yeah. And to complement what Ali said, there guys think of it as your as a journey, right? There’s, there’s you right now, and you’re this person that wants to make the best decision possible for your career, for your family, for your mental health, what have you. But you need something, you need this thing that helps you make a better decision. Because there’s a reason they say Hindsight is 2020 your experience and perspective isn’t something you get till just after you needed it. So you need a way to help you make a better decision. Well, eventually, you’re just gonna have to go with something you’re not you have to cross the threshold or engage with an idea. And to do that you start searching Okay, well, who am I going to reach out to? What am I going to what what information can I get to make a better decision, and then you hopefully find it. And what we’re telling you is this tool can help you find it this thing at art of can help you now realize that the tool is not going to solve all your problems, you’re eventually going to pay the price one way shape or form, you’re either gonna make a decision based on bias or you’re gonna take you’re gonna utilize this tool, unrealized, the this shiny, Golden Road you thought you were going to take actually is not the thing that you want. And that can be disappointing. It can be disappointing, when we figured out this thing, whether that’s a person we thought we loved or this job that we like thought was gonna be amazing, or the even the person that we aspire to be, it’s not what we thought, like, you pay the price in some way, shape, or form, neither Ali or I are saying this is gonna fix all your problems. But the point is, is once you go through this analytical kind of framework, you come home with a little bit more perspective, you’re able to make the change you need. And now you’re in a much better place. It’s this huge circle, because I think about and then Ali, I’m going to give you the last word. There’s Theodore Roosevelt, quote that has always stuck with me, and I know he’s always quoted, but there’s a reason for that is, if you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, none of us would sit down for a month, because we just, we get in our own way, because we don’t think of more precise practices to utilize. Take it home.

Ali Kershner  42:51

I just I love what you said. And I think, you know, obviously, we’ve talked about a lot of big decisions. But this could be used for small decisions as well. I mean, I think about you know, I’m thinking about buying a car pretty soon. And, you know, something as simple as, you know, a purchasing decision could be you know, where you’re sending your kids to daycare. It could be, do I want the iPhone 11 or the iPhone? 12? I mean, it truly, I mean, this can be you don’t need to pull out the, you know, I can just imagine people like pulling out the decision matrix for like, at the car dealership and be like, well, Brett Bartholomew told me to do this. No, no, I mean, just start asking these questions and start evaluating how you actually rank the components that go into your decisions. And start stop relying on friends and or just your gut all the time, but like actually put some put some thought into it.

Brett Bartholomew  43:43

When you tapped into something there that I’m glad you brought because I missed it. Guys, I’d encourage you to do it. Ali said like, leverage it in superficial decisions every day, make it small stakes at first, right? Because the tool is gonna make you think deeply about a lot, even, like just leverage it in a really non intimidating way. Like she said or like what what what should I wear today? What should I have for lunch, the more you use it in these non threatening kind of situations, and you gain a little bit of you know, mastery, then Okay, now let’s elevate it, you know, what’s the next level what’s the next level what’s the next level because it’s such a golden point you hit on ally, like if I pull out this tool I’m not familiar with and apply it to my biggest situation right off the bat. Now I’m trying to figure out the tool I’m trying to figure out this situation. I’m mad because it’s telling me to not do the thing I want to do hedonic ly. So start super super small with it. Guys, we could carry this on but I just want you to get to work and utilize this so again, if you haven’t yet, art of One more time and remember you get podcast reflections for free for all of these an ally doesn’t Ali where can they go to get all the notes pages for all the podcasts?

Ali Kershner  44:53

Brett Bartholomew  44:56

Easy enough guys. There’s nothing else to do other than to get your head hands dirty. And we will see you next time for Brett Bartholomew and Ali Kershner Art of coaching signing off

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