In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

“How do I deal with a difficult colleague or co-worker, get on the same page as my spouse or partner, or confront someone who’s trying to undermine me at work?”

“How do I deal with CONFLICT?!”

If you find yourself seeking answers to these questions, this episode is for you.

Today’s podcast walks you through several real life examples of conflict using our L.I.S.T.E.N. framework, a tool we created to help you navigate the messy realities of life, leadership, and human interaction. 

More specifically, the framework helps you to identify the pertinent details of your situation, and then leverage the opportunities available to you.  These details include:

The reality is that the baseline of all communication is misunderstanding.  And the better we can deconstruct misunderstandings, the better communicators we will be.

If you want to be proactive about developing these skills, improving your ability to communicate with your audience in a way that’s digestible for them, and gain the knowledge and experience necessary to play “communication chess,”  Art of Coaching has solutions for you.  

Our 1-on-1 mentoring and live Apprenticeship workshops both offer you the opportunity to gain experience having hard conversations, be coached and evaluated, and walk away prepared to have more successful interactions.

We only have one more Apprenticeship Leadership Development workshop scheduled for 2022, and our 2023 event dates are locked inl  Don’t wait to get the formal training you need to improve the quality of your interactions and relationships, and overall quality of life.  Sign Up Here today.

Other Referenced Material:

Components of Communication Graphic

AOC Podcast E130: How Understanding Drives Helps Build Buy-In

Today’s episode is brought to you by Dynamic Fitness & Strength, Momentous and, our newest sponsor, BetterHelp.  

Dynamic Fitness & Strength is our go-to equipment partner. Fully customizable and manufactured in the heartland of America- whether you’re looking to outfit your home gym or entire weight room, visit to get started. Tell them Brett and the Art of Coaching Team sent you!

At some level, we all struggle with unexpected challenges in life. BetterHelp is an accessible, convenient, private, and affordable therapy option to help you look at your problems a little differently, feel less stressed, and gain confidence. Visit for 10% off your first month.

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Brett Bartholomew  0:28  

Support for today’s episode comes from Momentous. I spent 15 plus years in the performance industry. And I have seen and heard just about every fitness and nutritional fad come and go literally, year after year, decade after decade, people in companies would hock products that have unwarranted claims with no science or third party testing to verify them. I don’t know if you saw this recently. But this is also why a certain organization just got sued for more than $200 million, because they made claims about things that were in their product that really weren’t. 


This is why I do not take chances. This is why I recommend Momentous. Momentous is different. They take a research batch approach. They use time tested products, and they help everybody from the corporate exec, professional athlete, college student, pregnant mother fill nutritional gaps with whatever they’re doing. If it’s too much jargon for you consider this. The Food and Drug Administration do not regulate supplements, it is up to supplement companies to prove and go through standardized rigorous testing. To show what we say is in our product is actually in it. And Momentous spares no expense of doing that with their NSF testing, this is an Olympic grade, this is something where you can be assured what they say isn’t it is in it, do not take chances with what you put in your body. 


As an Art of Coaching listener, you can get 15% off your first purchase of Momentous by going to, it’s in the show notes, or simply just use code Brett, that’s br e t t 15 for 15% off. That’s Brett 15, br e t t one five for 15% off, check them out there, it’s fish oil, magnesium, sleep, anything you need, they have, and they make


You know, it’s ironic, despite the fact that the quality of our lives is in large part dependent on the quality of our communication and our ability to connect with others. We do not get any kind of formal training on it, that is outside of rah rah TED talks, or books or things like that. And the fact is, is that in life, you’re always going to have to deal with change in some kind of conflict and disagreement, regardless of whether it’s with your spouse or a colleague or even with yourself. So this is why we created our apprenticeship Leadership Development workshop, a mouthful to be sure, but the point is, is we’re all apprentices and a craft will never master when it comes to communication. 


But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to understand and learn new tools and new tactics to get our point across more clearly, we utilize skill based evaluations, role playing under constraints, case studies, video breakdowns, and this is open to all professions. All of our dates have been set for 2023. So I invite you to check them out by going to Get there come double down on the way that you communicate, connect with others. Come do the hard stuff come get in an environment where people from all different professions all different genders and age groups can share ideas and tactics and struggles because you are going to leave with a completely different playbook on how to navigate uncertainty, complexity, and all these other things so that you can make better decisions and get more done. We look forward to seeing you guys there


Welcome to the Art of coaching Podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew, and at a young age poor communication nearly cost me my life. Now, I help others navigate the gray area of social interaction, power dynamics and communication so they can become more adaptable leaders regardless of their profession, age or situation. This podcast is for everybody who is fascinated with solving people problems. So if you’re in the no nonsense type who appreciates frank conversations, advice you can put to use immediately and learning how others navigate the messy realities of leadership. You’re in the right place. I’m glad that you’re joining us. Let’s dive in


Alright, everyone, we’re gonna get right into it with today’s episode and my goal here is to make this as tactical as possible within the time constraints we have. And this is based off a series of questions we’ve been getting a lot, either via email or social media all centered around, hey, how do I deal with blank? Now, to give you some examples, there’s been how do I deal with a difficult colleague or co worker? There’s been how do I deal with this situation with my husband, my wife, there’s how do I deal with somebody that’s trying to undermine me at work, which, of course, fits into number one, all of it is about some form of conflict with another person. 


Now, to put this in your mind’s eye, these come usually in the form of DMS, or short form emails, that generally saying I’m reading one right now. Hi, coach, quick question. I have a colleague who does not want to seem to bend on any initiative that I try to push within our organization, even when I try to use logic, or I try to come with all the facts, and I try to relate to them, it just seems like they don’t want to budge. What can I do? Another example, Hey, Coach, I’ve been having some issues with my wife recently, it seems like despite loving each other, we can’t get on the same page, we’re having struggles about X, Y, and Z, I’m gonna leave that part out of it. And I’d love some advice. 


So here’s what we’re gonna do. And again, I’m going to reference certain podcast episodes, because you’re not going to be able to solve all of these in one episode, but I just want to give you guys a tactic and a framework to think about some of these situations where conflicts arise in leadership and life, specifically, interpersonal conflicts. So you need to keep in mind if somebody reaches out or you guys are having a problem, what you first have to be really clear about in your own way for your own purposes. And also when asking other people for advice is the context. And this fits into something that we call the Listen framework, at art of coaching, those of you that have come to our apprenticeship Leadership Development Workshop, are very familiar. 


And the Listen framework is just an acronym that breaks up. So imagine L. L is all about where I’m going to try to learn as much as I can about that situation. Now, for reference contexts is the settings and circumstance in which something occurs. So if you just tell me or you ask anybody, hey, what advice you have in it, for me in this kind of situation? Well, you need to lay that out, tell me more about that other person, tell me about where that interaction took place. Tell me about that other person’s reaction to what you say and why you use the tactic or the approach that you did. lay it all out there. Because that’s going to help really color the conversation, 


The more ambiguous you are, about your goals, their perceived goals, who’s involved, all the nuances of the interaction, the more ambiguous you are about that, the worst advice you’re gonna get, because there’s no one size fits all approach, right? So think about that, say, I’m having a problem with my father, specifically about these topics. In the past, we’ve always agreed on it. But now it seems like blank, or I’m having a problem with a colleague, we’ve always gotten along really well. But recently, when blank was brought up, it seemed to create a rift between us. And the first interaction where this occurred was at work. Cool. Now I have some details, right? 


So always think about when you’ve had a conflict, or when you’re dealing with somebody that’s challenging, always lay out some of that context. First, you have way better information to go off of, two, okay, and this is also part of that listen framework, letter I this is really where you have to identify some core specifics, getting even more detailed still about certain things. One, and this is really part of context as well think about the components of communication. And we’ll have an episode linked below that already talked about this. But it’s one thing to kind of get into this situation. It’s another thing to be clear about. Well, did the conversation happen over a computer screen? Like did happen over zoom? Were you guys having a conversation over email? Was it face to face? 


What are these components of communication, which collectively are knowing more about the shareholders, the people involved, knowing more about the medium that you’re communicating over knowing more about the message, what you really said and how it might have been interpreted? There are so many messy realities about that you want to get deeper still. And you also want to know more about the drives, power bases, communication styles of these people. Now, if you’re a new listener, and you’re not familiar, yet, there’s a lot of resources here. And I’ll give them to you like you can go to What makes you tick to learn more about drives. And again, check the show notes for some of the other pieces, which we’ll go into. 


But my point being is, when you’re looking at any other problem in your finances, or in your health, you’re really going to get into the details, right? You’re going to look at your budget, you’re going to look at exactly where you’re spending In terms of groceries, where you’re spending in terms of utilities, you have to always do the same thing with how you communicate, and you extract these things. So when we talk about power and influence tactics, I’ll give you some examples. If you are having an interaction with your boss, and that’s not going well, well, one of the power bases there is what’s called legitimate power. 


That boss is either the CEO or the head strength coach, or they’re the administrative expert in something and you are a subordinate. Or maybe that’s a lateral colleague of you. But you have to figure out, hey, do they have positional power over you? Meaning title related? Do they have reward power over you? Are they the types of individuals that can give you bonuses? Or, you know, do they have coercive power? Could they fire you identifying these power bases is really critical, because then that helps you kind of formulate your moves as a chess player, like let’s say, for example, you have a very toxic boss, and they have legitimate power over everybody, but they’re not very well liked. 


Well, a power dynamic. That’s all about likability is what’s called referent power. I know a lot of terms, which is why we always link it below have a full thing on power dynamics. This is more an episode on how to think then how to deconstruct things using a framework. But just as in history, there were kings and rulers and people who have legitimate power, much like a CEO or your boss might, if they weren’t, well liked, they could be overthrown. CEOs can be ousted. So a lot of times people think they don’t have any power, because they might be low on the totem pole or hierarchy of an organization. But actually, they’re really well liked by somebody else in the organization, and they can kind of use this lateral influence to work their way up. 


I’ll give you another example. Okay, we had somebody recently that reached out that was having an issue, again, always seems to be with a colleague, always seems to be with a colleague, and this colleague was very much on par, hierarchically, with where they are. So they were a pear in the organization. And I said, Okay, well, what’s the nature of the conflict? And they’re like, well, everybody loves this person. But they don’t get their job done. And really, I’m having to pick up the slack constantly. But nobody sees it. And I don’t want to house them, because I just want to come to work, get my job done. And not, you know, get involved with these situations. 


I’m like, Alright, let’s tease this out if they’re well liked, okay, they have referent power. And that means they have a lot of opportunities to utilize certain influence tactics, you have to think of guys power is a resource, right? It gives you the ability to utilize influence, but you know, it’s like, I can have a bunch of wood in my home, if I don’t burn that wood, it’s not going to generate heat, right? So wood in this example, is power, it’s the capacity to use influence, but burning that would actually making use of that resource effectively, is influence. Okay, so you can be likeable. But if you never ask somebody for a favor, or you know, you never try, like, you’re like, what’s the point what, you’re not gonna really use that resource super effectively. 


Another example, just before I get back to it is imagine that you have reward power, and you’re very wealthy, great, okay, you have you have money, you have the ability to distribute financial rewards or whatever, give to charities. But if you actually don’t enact that you haven’t utilized influence, you have no influence, you haven’t made any kind of change. So if we think about this, and you have a colleague who is very likable, taking credit for a lot of things, even though they’re not doing it, you say, alright, they have a referent power. So you gotta be really careful here. That’s one of the most powerful pieces or the most fluid and resource rich bases there are. 


They say, Well, what, what power base Do you have? And they’re like, Well, I don’t know. So we went through them. I said, Well, you don’t have legitimate power, because your title is the same. Are you? Well, light? Yeah. But you know, I kind of keep my head down at work. And I probably don’t do a good enough job at really creating relationships like I should, okay, well, that’s a problem, right? You have to win over other stakeholders doesn’t matter. If you don’t like playing the game. The game is played all the time. That’s a reality of life. Life is not what you enjoy. It’s always like, it’s a matter of what you adapt to as well. So I went through some other things. I go, do you have expert power? 


He’s like, Yeah, I mean, people generally are gonna come to me before this colleague, because they know I’m more of a subject matter expert in this. Okay. Great, then how can you leverage that? And you know, in typical fashion, they’re like, Well, I don’t really know. So then we talk about influence tactics. And I gave you an example before and we have a whole podcast episode on this. Let’s say we look at an influence tactic that is about a personal appeal, leveraging a past relationship. Hey, if I’m likeable, and I go up to my friend, Kimberly and I say, hey, Kimberly, we’ve been friends for a long time, you know, I’m good for it. Could you get me for lunch today I forgot my wallet 


That has me utilizing referent power because Kimberly is my friend and I’m likeable. And then utilizing what’s called a personal appeal, which is a tactic that bridges off of that, that’s really effective. Now, imagine if I don’t have referent power. Kimberly doesn’t like me, well, that personal appeal is less likely to work, right? Why would she do a favor for somebody she doesn’t like? So if somebody’s got expert power, right, you have to think well, what influence tactics might work. So we help them kind of plot out a course with this. And we say you have these kinds of options that you can utilize. 


And this is kind of what I’m trying to get at is, guys, no matter where you’re at, in conflict you deal with if you deconstruct it, and you say, what’s the context? Great. How can I zoom out here? What are the key aspects of the players in the game? No different than when I train athletes, you look at certain attributes and asymmetries they have and what can I exploit? What can I really get in here and make better? What can I amplify? What abilities do they already have? And which ones need to be tweaked a little bit? Or the budget example I gave? Where’s my spending and budgeting and saving and all this good? Where does it need to be bolstered? The same thing happens with power and influence and communication. If you have conflict, you need to assess the situation, those circumstances the power base is and the tactics that you’re using. 


And then you need to think oh, okay, like this is where I might be the problem, I haven’t really been utilizing these tactics in the way that I really hope to. So I’ll give you another example. And we’ll go through it together. And then we’ll talk about how this meshes with a podcast that we did recently on communication styles as well, that if I’m going fast, you know, just remember, you have these resources below. We do a ton of information on this. But I just want you right now with this episode to start thinking about this stuff in a different way. Because it can get really disheartening for the person reaching out and the person trying to help you. If you’re not understanding of how to kind of ask for advice and set the scene in an appropriate way, you know, we want you to get the information that you need to improve as leaders in your space. 


So let’s imagine we’re looking at a situation where a boss is discussing bonus structure and opportunities to earn more money to a subordinate. So you just got a new job, your boss is sitting you down. Alright, without getting too into the weeds of all the types of power, we’re just going to pick one. Your boss, by definition has reward power. 


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Without getting too into the weeds of all the types of power, we’re just going to pick one. Your boss, by definition has reward power, they have the ability to either give social rewards, praise or recognition, financial rewards, raises anything like that they have reward power over you as a subordinate. So tactics that tend to fit with that, well, there’s an exchange tactic, let’s say they say, Hey, Jeremy, you’ve been performing really well, we’re going to give you arranged, great, that’s an exchange influence tactic, because of your good performance. Now you’ve got to raise Awesome. 


Now let’s imagine you’re struggling a little bit. Well, there is a influence tactic called a legitimating tactic that is all about utilizing policies and procedures and rules. So they might say, Hey, Jeremy, just a heads up, as you know, the policy is here, that you have to earn a certain amount for the company over a certain amount of days, in order for you to get this bonus, and you haven’t been doing that. Therefore, there’s no bonus, blah, blah, blah, that is a legitimating tactic, they’re calling back to policies and procedures. And if you want to even learn more, and you’re not a podcast person while you’re listening to this, so you have to be a little bit. But this is also in our online course Bought In as well, which we’ll link below 


Two other tactics where you want to assess is this a fit is, let’s say, somebody uses a pressure tactic, saying, all right, maybe you it’s a football coach, or a Sport Coach of some kind, and they’re losing a bunch of games. And they’re eventually told by their athletic director, hey, you need to win out. Otherwise, your job is on the line. Well, that’s a pressure tactic. Now, this could also be me with my next book, okay, I have a publisher, that is my boss, I will not get paid for my next, like I will not get paid unless I turn that manuscript in. Well, that’s a pressure tactic. There’s a deadline, there’s a deadline of when I have to have that manuscript in, they ever award power over me that fits really well. 


And so I’ve just given you a couple of examples here of like, thinking does this fit. Now let’s look at it another way. That’s imagine you’re the subordinate, and you’re trying to influence your boss to change a deadline, whatever deadline, like you have a deadline, and you have to go up to your boss and say, Hey, this isn’t working. You know, I need more time on this, blah, blah, blah. And let’s imagine you say, well, Brett, could I use legitimate power? And the definition of legitimate power is something to do with your title, like CEO or president of the United States, or prime minister or anything like that head strength coach who uses examples before? 


Well already, you know, the answer is no, because you don’t have legitimate power over your boss that has to do with titles and hierarchy. So that’s off the map. But believe it or not, there are some people that if they don’t understand the role of power, they will use the wrong base in a negotiation, and therefore, all these tactics fail. This is like the most popular example. And we did a whole podcast on it, about why logic doesn’t change people’s minds and what to do about it. Most people when they’re trying to influence the behavior of somebody else, tend to use logic. And we’ve said it a million times, logic does not tend to change people’s minds. 


But the problem is, is so many people tend to default to a certain communication style, like, especially if you look in the sciences and in the medical world, or even the coaching world and things like that, people tend to utilize this kind of rational communication style, something that is very analytical and what we call realist oriented, it’s a little bit more black and white. And they forget other people have different communication styles. Some people are more sympathizers, some people are more relators, where that rationality isn’t gonna go. Well, I mean, I even think about this of reaching out to my parents 


If I want my dad to be more active, am I just going to give my dad a bunch of research? No, that would be one, you have to think of the power base that you have with your father, the influence tactics at work. And then you have to think of the communication styles, and you got to consider the context. And those things just don’t align. Now, for those of you that are confused, let me just slow it down a little bit. All we’ve talked about is that if you have a conflict, and you’re trying to suss out what to do next, the first step is to identify the context Get really clear, hey, I’m trying to get an individual to change their behavior. And it wasn’t working. 


Great. Give me more detail. Well, here’s the situation. Here’s where the conversation took place. Here were some of the influence tactics I use and why I thought they’d be pertinent. Here’s the kind of that where the power dynamics are in the relationship. They’re my superior. I’m They’re subordinate or whatever. Now you’re laying it out. Just like, Hey, I’m short on cash. Why are you short on cash? Well, I had to go to a lot of weddings this year. And then you know, the market went down, and then we got more great. So it’s very indicative of everyday life. Oh, hey, my power went out. Great. Where’d the power go out? In my garage? All right. Have you looked at the fuse box? Yeah. All right, do you have these tools at your disposal? 


In this case, those tools at your disposal, if I’m gonna help you figure out how to get your power back on are the power bases and influence tactics that we’re talking about. That’s all we’re talking about here. Okay, so a lot of these things then feed into what we talked about, just a couple episodes ago, the four communication styles. So it is not uncommon. If you know somebody who has a more analytical communication style, they’re skeptical, they’re reserved, they’re kind of black and white, a little bit, it is not uncommon to see them use influence tactics that are very much centered around rational persuasion, pressure tactics, or legitimating, rules, policies and procedures, those fit with that task oriented mindset, that black and white oriented mindset, no different than when I present to an audience. 


There are certain people in the crowd that are analysts, I know, I have to have certain slides that speak to that person that show the data that show this show that kind of piece. Now, you also know somebody that’s more empathizer, it’s not uncommon for somebody that fits into that to utilize more personal appeals, those appeals to friendship, consultation, appeals offering and seeking advice, they want to help, they want to be a part of that. And inspirational appeals, they’re going to speak to virtues and values and this ideal scenario, right? Like, they’re going to default to those things. And one more example, and these are just examples, say you’re more of a relator. This is somebody that if you think of a relator, this is somebody that can be kind of bold, and dynamic, visionary, they like to use stories, I very much have a relator aspect to me, and they’re gonna use certain tactics as well.


So when you zoom out, you start seeing whether it’s your wife, your colleague, or anything, if you’re really clear about some of the things that we teach you guys, and we share in our workshops in our podcast, the four communication styles, the influence tactics, the power dynamics, you start seeing how these things are interrelated. So now you can play chess, you can say my boss is generally more realist and relator. And man, I’ve written down some of the tactics they’ve used against me. And now I’ve seen why I’ve failed. Because I’ve used different tactics back, I’m not speaking their language, I’m not being socially agile, I’m not getting, you’re both so entrenched on your side, that you’re never meeting in the middle and able to figure these things out. 


And this is often why people feel like, oh, they just don’t get it, and they’re not locked in. I’ll give you one more example. That’s very recent, just to codify this. And then we’ll get more tactical still. I’m gonna make up the names here just for sake of privacy, but we were dealing with a client the other day, that’s part of our mentoring program, we do one to one mentoring. If you want to learn more, just go to, shameless plug. And they essentially said, Hey, I’m a physical therapist, I want to work with some first responders. I have an in at this, we’ll call it a fire department. And I’ve met with the head of the fire department about what we can do to help mitigate some injuries, stuff that they’re trying to do. 


He’s very interested in finding a way to collaborate and secure funding, so I can help them because we want, you know, more of those firefighters to be out there helping people and not dealing with some of the injuries are dealing with. I said, Okay, well, you know, what’s the problem suss out the context? Well, you know, I met with them and, you know, we went over this PowerPoint, and I shared this vision and all these ideas, and, you know, eventually it just, I got ghosted. I haven’t heard anything. I said, All right. So walk me through this. Tell me a little bit more about that individual. You told me about your approach. Tell me about your goals. Tell me about that individual. 


So they laid out details of that individual. Of course, this person runs a fire department, they have a family, they have a lot of things they have to think about. And they want things to be better, but there’s a lot of things they have to manage. And you’re giving them all this information. You’re very enthusiastic, by all intents and purposes, you know, this person said, Yeah, I’m definitely an empathizer. I just, I give a lot of detail, because I’d want a lot of detail, and I keep it focused on them. So I guess there’s analytical aspects in that way as well. I go, Well, do you think that you could have been overwhelming? I don’t know. 


I said, All right. Well, you know, tell me this. After you guys talked about this proposal together or this idea. Did you consolidate your thoughts really neatly and clearly and kind of a one pager something that’s digestible, and say to them, Hey, Chief, I know I went over a lot of stuff. And I know you want to make this thing better. How about out, you know, here’s what I’m thinking bullet point bullet point bullet point, a couple of details, and then outlining three budget options. So that person can kind of just quiet the noise. Look at this one pager, be road be really get a visual example of what it is you want to do and how you want to accomplish it and these timelines, and the person said, No, I didn’t do that. 


But I did give him that PowerPoint. I said, just stop. You’re assuming people digest information and communicate the way you do. You’re assuming that, you know, all these things are on the same page, just because you have the same goals. The thing that most people forget about communication is that its baseline is misunderstanding. Its baseline is misunderstanding. So it’s not just about being easy to understand, it’s damn near about being impossible to misunderstand, which, of course, is not realistic, but you’ve got to try. And so we talked about some of these communication styles, we talked about some of the power dynamics. And he realized I played the game wrong. 


I completely overwhelmed this. And I realized that man, what is virtue is Vice with me, because I’m so passionate, because I have all this information, and I want to get it going now. I just verbal diarrhea at all over this person. That’s bouncing a lot. And you’re right, I need to find a way to reframe that message, reconnect. So we work together to craft an email. And I just said in that email, you just need to say, Hey, Chief, and of course, I’m being brief here, guys. So don’t you know, don’t take this as direct communication advice. I’m just giving you an example. Hey, Chief, is out doing my best to reestablish contact here. 


By the way, I want to apologize if in our early interactions, I flooded you with so much information. I’m very excited about the opportunity here, I want to help you guys. And I simply let my excitement and the nature of this situation, get the best of me. to ameliorate this. I’ve sent a clean one pager with some simple thoughts and suggestions at your convenience, I’d love to reconnect and talk about how we can move forward together. Very clean, very clear, very simple. And so what I’m asking you guys to do is think about that in your own life, is think about this situation that you’re having. And if you deconstructed that context, and you looked at some of the tactics you use, and you go back and you listen to the communication style lecture. And all this, you start looking at where might you be the problem? 


Where did you get off track, because that’s what I want our framework to help fix. You know, you have to know everything about that situation, you have to know about and by the way, you’ll even see all these things with drives as well. So when you look at your communication styles, it fits with your power dynamics, and the influence tactics and the drives. Why do analytical people want a lot of information, while they tend to be more security drives? And that information is a security blanket to them. That’s what data and all these black and white things represent? Why do empathizers tend to be unity drives and the service drives? Well, they like being around other people, they draw their energy from others and their service drives. A lot of them are our nurses and things like that, and health care professions because they love giving to others. That’s what they love. 


They love this collaboration, this thoughtfulness and this deep connection with people. You know, I’ll give another example. I’m more of a realist, I speak in a no bullshit way. I’m very much an adversity drive. Part of the reason I speak in a very no bullshit is I want to respect your time I want to, there’s a lot of hard things I’m I want to accomplish, and I want to help other people accomplish. So the more clear cut I am in my communication, the more direct I am, the more you know where I stand. And the less ambiguity there is, and the faster we can get some things done together. So you have some homework to do. I didn’t go through the whole framework. Yeah, because some of you may tune into this podcast very consistently. 


Some of you have been to some of our workshops, some of you have read, maybe my book Conscious Coaching, but you haven’t dove into these other things. And you’re forgetting, Conscious Coaching was just the starting point. I mean, that book is nearly six years old now. still relevant, but we moved on a lot since then. So you need to go back and do the drives quiz. Listen to the podcasts on power dynamics, listen to the podcast on influence tactics, listen to the podcasts on communication styles, and really start identifying where you’re at. And if you’ve been managing these things appropriately, because if you don’t, you’re going to lack self awareness. 


And it’s very, very, very hard to get anything done, let alone to be able to resolve conflict. If you lack self awareness, where you can go from there. Once you’ve done that stuff, then you can really say okay, let me re strategize the S part of the Listen framework. I’ve learned more about the context. I’ve identified a lot of these aspects of communication and influence and whatever Now I can re strategize. For those of you that are strength coaches, now I can period eyes. For those of you that are in the business world, now I can put together a new business plan, I can change course whatever you do. But now you see the situation a little bit more clearly. My next advice and t in the framework is then to trial it, you think you got a good approach? 


Great, call up a friend and roleplay say, hey, Vanessa, I have a conversation with my boss coming up, they tend to be this communication style, they tend to lean on these kinds of influence tactics, these strategies, could you kind of work with me? And could we record kind of a five minute conversation with each other, and push it this great, there’s nothing more valuable than roleplay. In that scenario, I mean, think how ridiculous it is that athletes will practice, military will participate in war games, but leaders and people in general will not roleplay and refine and rehearse for some of the biggest moments in their social lives, you got to do it. 


That’s why we use improv at our workshops. We lean heavily heavily with experiential learning via roleplay. In our workshops, it’s one of the number one components of it. Because you can have all the information in the world, you can have all the strategies in the world, you could have read all the books, but if you don’t trial that you don’t roleplay then you’re in trouble. Finally, the E and N in the Listen framework E is evaluate after that. Roleplay say, Okay, how do I think I did. And for those of you again, that have been to the apprenticeship, you have our evaluation on that, if you haven’t been no problem, just write down some base thoughts say, Okay, I thought my tonality was clear. I thought my message was this, I felt my level of assertiveness, like start to rank and grade these things. 


If you are the analytical type, again, not trying to hard sell, we have a bespoke evaluation that’s very much tied to my doctorate research back that you can use with your team, just go to And then the end guys are just next steps. Now that you’ve evaluated it, you might need to roleplay it again. You might need to change scenarios. Now. If you were role playing with Vanessa, and Vanessa was playing your boss now guess what? Vanessa is playing you? You need us in the role of your boss. Why is that valuable? Because you need to assume the perspective of other people to see things more clearly. 


You do. Changing your perspective and seeing yourself through other people’s eyes is one of the most valuable things you can do. And that’s all this frame, right? The thing that drives me nuts is that there are going to be some people that listen to this episode and dive in and get so worried about being overwhelmed early on about the Power Base is influenced, they don’t want to think, therefore they never want to adapt another perspective. Therefore, they’re just going to reach out again and again, to more people, asking for a one size fits all solution to a problem that they are the center of, 


If you and I’m going to say this boldly, and it’s okay if some of you don’t like it. If you don’t have the time to learn more about power and influence and communication and these things, then you are the problem. Because you’re choosing not to understand communication at a deeper level. You’re understanding not or you’re making the choice to not understand leadership at a deeper level. Because leadership is a process of influence. It is rife with power dynamics, and it’s centered upon communication. None of those things will ever change. 


Alright, that’s it. If you guys want to learn more, go to We have tons of stuff on this. We have a newsletter, The place to learn all about these things are workshops, they’re heavily roleplay intensive, we try to be as tactical as possible. If you say screw that, Brad. I’m only interested in the next book. Phenomenal, that’s fine Thank you for nerding out with me. Thank you for being patient with me. All of these are improvised and I just want to talk to you guys straight. And please consider sending this episode or any of our episodes to some friends and family members. Every download every review is very much appreciated and allows us to continue to give you stuff like this for free. Alright guys, until next time, take care

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