Have you ever found yourself struggling to know how to build trust with a decision maker who’s limiting your autonomy and control?
If you’ve ever felt stuck, frustrated and not sure what to do in these situations, we have you covered. In today’s episode, we’ll dive deep into the fascinating world of what it takes to build trust in an authentic and adaptable way, all while providing you with practical strategies that can help you gain traction with even the most stubborn of individuals.
I specifically cover:
- 4 core requirements to build trust (7:20)
- Why building trust is essential to getting results (31:00)
- Common challenges in gaining trust and how to handle them (throughout)
- Why just being a strong communicator isn’t enough for strong leadership (52:00)
All of this will help you regain control, achieve your goals, and help more people. Whether you’re a new leader looking to make an impact, or a seasoned professional seeking to sharpen your skills, you won’t want to miss this deep dive.
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Brett Bartholomew 00:00
Hello, and welcome to today’s episode, I’m Brett Bartholomew. And today we’re gonna be diving into a topic that many of us struggle with, how to build trust with decision makers, so we can do our job so we can have more autonomy. Now, whether those decision makers be superiors, peers who run another department, or any other stakeholder, right, we’re talking about people that have some sort of say, or form of influence over our job. Now, to be clear, I put out a lot of content about building trust and buy in over the last 10 plus years, whether it’s through my book conscious coaching our resources on our art of coaching YouTube channel, our website at art of coaching.com, newsletters, live workshops, you get it right, and even previous podcast episodes, which we’ll link below. But I find that it’s allowed a world out there, it’s a busy world out there. And no matter how much content you put out, no, now no matter how long you’ve been doing it, the vast majority of the world of 8 billion people just haven’t heard of you, right. And so we always try to be consistent. Now, that comes with some sort of expectation agreement here, right? I cannot just because I’ve done all those things, I can’t replace all of them with just one episode. So this is just one more piece of the puzzle. If you want something kind of that’s comprehensive, yeah, gives you just a general level of understanding and some other things to think about, I think you’ll really appreciate this. So um, besides this, again, check the links in the show notes for separate episodes, on topics that we’ve broken out individually related to power dynamics, communication styles, influence, buy in, and the like, in the shownotes. This stuff is the core of my doctorate work, it’s a core of all of our work, this is our life’s work at this point. And most importantly, no matter what information you receive, get your butt to one of our workshops. Because like anything, if you want to get better at dealing with people in real life, you need to practice these skills in real time. Right? So these aren’t things that we do just to make a boatload of cash. That’s not why we got in it. The fact is, is communication, power dynamics, trust building is a skill. And you can’t treat other parts of your career in your life. Like there are skills that you’re going to practice, but then expect to get better at dealing with people by just passively dealing with people. No, you need to get feedback, right? So again, just trying to manage expectations, we’re not going to be able to rehash every single thing. This isn’t a one size fits all answer, but I think you’re gonna really enjoy it.
Brett Bartholomew 02:23
And this episode in particular, is going to be solely focused on laying out plain language, principles for building trust, with those who in some way, shape or form, again, are in positions of power, where they limit our ability to just do our job. And it doesn’t matter what profession you’re in, we’ll discuss why trust is essential. We’ll explore some challenges in gaining trust in these contexts, and give you practical advice, right. And the impetus of today’s show comes from somebody who reached out to us via our online portal, where any of you listening can submit a question at any time by just going to artofcoaching.com/question. Now, here’s where we lay out the context. The question, or statement, because it was a little bit of both was fairly straightforward. And also admittedly broad it read. Hi, Brett, can you speak on how to build trust? Right, then, whenever I get a question like that online, I’m like, Oh, boy. And then they said, mainly from the standpoint of getting a decision maker, or decision makers to let me run my program the way I want. Now, to be clear, again, it doesn’t matter whether you want to run your department the way you want an initiative, the way you want a meeting the way you want, lead your team the way you want, or in this individual’s case, run a program, and they were referring to a strength training or performance program, the way they want everything I’m about to tell you, applies. And it’s practical advice, regardless of your line of work. And as it pertains to the format of this episode, we did something new, I’ve never done this before. Instead of just talking at you giving you information feedback, you’re gonna hear all of this unfold, as if it was an actual conversation between me and this individual. And you know why? Because it was, over the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of these types of conversations on the phone, in DMS, emails, workshops, all that. And, you know, when I make resources like this, a goal is why I want to make everything more digestible and scalable, because it’s hard to answer. Sometimes people will reach out with a question that would take, you know, eight paragraphs to answer via DM, right? And so not every part of this is word for word in that conversation, what you’re hearing is an amalgamation of not only this person’s question and the in the conversation we had with their permission, but other people, right. And so all of these responses that I’m going to read as the other person or actual responses that I either got in this interaction, or that I’ve gotten from other people now relax again, this person gave me their permission, no names or specific details are going to be used. So if you hear me mentioned a name, it’s all made up all of those things. I also cut out any of the pleasantries, so you’re not going to hear thanks for hopping on the phone with me, you’re not going to hear me ask them a bunch of questions. This is just getting straight to the point. So some things have been parsed out simply to honor your time, right, just want to honor your time. Periodically, I’m also going to speak directly to you, the listener to emphasize certain points, and even if they’re not redundant, and I’m asking for your understanding here, because remember, put yourself in my shoes. I’ve done this for well over a decade in this context, and in some way, shape or form. I’ve answered a permutation of this question, no fewer than what seems like 100,000 times on multiple platforms. So I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page. We’re locked and loaded here.
Brett Bartholomew 05:47
All right. Also, you’re going to see part of this interaction, where, you know, this individual wasn’t really familiar with our work. They also for whatever reason, didn’t like the term buy in. And then if you the listener are familiar with our work, you know, we use that as a synonym for trust and commitment, buy ins, a colloquialism. We hear this all the time. Oh, they weren’t bought, and I’m trying to get the people bought in. We want to speak to people in the language that they understand. Right? So. But for this conversation and episode, I decided to just go ahead and treat them like separate yet related entities just to take an alternative, devil’s advocate perspective, because remember, meanings aren’t just in words, they’re also in people on their perceptions. So you’re gonna hear me lay out questions in this episode, responses, give advice that you know, you want to apply, and all these things. And you also see how some of these people get pretty defensive, which let’s be understanding, we’ve all faced situations before, where no matter what we know, what we’ve read, how mature we are, we lose our cool that happens. And we can learn a great deal from it. So without further ado, please enjoy.
Brett Bartholomew 06:53
All right, here’s a question. Hey, Brett, how do you build trust with someone? Now, what I had said to them is, well, this is a broad, but worthwhile question. As you and as you as a listener can imagine, building trust with someone takes a lot of time, effort, self awareness and understanding of human psychology, human communication, consistent action. But without diving too deeply into those aspects or using too much jargon. Just consider these core requirements for now. First, why should this individual trust you? Why should any individual that doesn’t really know you or know you that well trust you think of it from that perspective, people aren’t born with a gift of reading minds. And many people have trust issues in general due to their past experiences, their biases, their perceptions, through a level of risk tolerance, and a litany of other factors. So the short answer I gave this individual just off the bat is, you have to learn how to do what we call the three our framework, leverage this research relate reframe. And this first came about in my book conscious coaching, I’ll elaborate on these in a moment. But if you think that people are going to be interested in your agendas, your initiatives, your needs, your perspectives, your goals, if you haven’t done the same for them, then you’re lying to yourself. Bottom line, just think about that for a minute. So briefly, the three R framework is a practical approach to building trust, and fostering rapport and enhancing communication in many contexts. First R is research, that is all just about gathering information on the individual or the groups that you’re working with. And we’ll get deeper in a moment. But that can include like understanding their background, their interests, their motivations, strengths, weaknesses, actually getting to know them, researching them doing your homework, you have to know more about the people that you work with. Because I mean, this is just straight forward, your information, or your communication will go nowhere. If you don’t meet the needs of your audience and adapted appropriately, right, you have to tailor your approach to better meet, but a lot of people don’t do this. And don’t bullshit me. You know, a lot of you work in situations where somebody or this person is a pain in the butt or whatever. And you try to give them more information, or you’re trying to kind of just get them to like you a little bit. And by and large, though you’re pretty pushy, and you’re impatient people are.
Brett Bartholomew 09:10
Step two is relate. This is all about finding authentic ways to connect with that person, on an emotional level, building rapport establishing a genuine relationship, yes, you actually have to care. And we’ll talk about tips for that as well. And we have lots of them spread throughout all of our, all of our resources. But I mean, you’re gonna you’re gonna know this, you have to practice some form of compassion, active listening, sharing personal stories of your own, this is something that a lot of people struggle with, they really don’t relate well, because they don’t open up. They don’t open up and I’m not talking about like, oh, just like mushy stuff or whatever. But you just get to the core of some of these issues. And that’s always going to be able to help you connect with others. And then reframing is all about helping those individuals that hopefully you now understand deeper or at a deeper level that you’ve connected with and maybe they understand You, you don’t have to be perfect friends, buddies, whatever. But that helps you see situations and challenges and opportunities for new perspectives, you’re able to essentially say, hey, you know how you see blank and blank this way? Well, you know, now, like, what would you think if this worked, and I’ve had to do this all the time with people, I have to sell them on a business idea, I had to sell athletes on why they should do a certain kind of training program or movement, getting people to do things they don’t want to do is all about helping them reframe. And ideally, if you’ve done the research and relate kind of thing correctly, you know, the language you need to use. And you can leverage metaphors, storytelling, you write anything thought provoking questions that challenge their beliefs, you got to get people to think differently. This is this is how civilization was built. Mind you. Right, people had to practice rhetoric to talk people into doing things that they didn’t want to do. So think about that. Now, if that’s not specific enough, okay, let’s go down general principles, like given this, just ask yourself, have you done the following? Have you really been honest and transparent? Have you been open about your thoughts? Feelings, intentions, right? Have you have you gone out of your way to avoid deception, even in small matters that have caused disagreements or arguments?
Brett Bartholomew 11:12
Do you really think you’ve communicated effectively? It’s amazing how many people are like, Oh, I’m a strong communicator? Oh, yeah.
Brett Bartholomew 11:17
Tell me how you evaluate yourself as a communicator. Right? Tell me tell me that. Well, you know, feedback loop from people that know? Yeah, that agree with you. People that you know, you have coercive power over? Many of you, if you’re just honest, you have no idea if you’re a great communicator, because you don’t really understand what goes into communication. It’s not just about projection and tonality and all that, like, that’s not what it’s about. It’s an adaptive influence process. Right? You probably haven’t listened as well, as you thought you probably haven’t asked thoughtful questions you haven’t. Right? This, this is all critical currency, for establishing trust. So don’t be so cocky about Yeah, I’m a great communicator. I mean, we’ve seen this with my semi structured interviews on my doctorate, I have a lot of coaches, how would you rank yourself as a communicator on, you know, one to 10? I’d give myself an eight. Really? How do you evaluate that? What tool gave you that? Well, I don’t know. Just subjective off what other people have told me. Okay, well, there’s more to it than that. And that’s a whole nother subject. For those of you that are interested. Again, I’m not going to spend a ton of time on this, but go to artofcoaching.com/apprenticeship. We have an actual research backed evaluation, on social agility that will give you subjective and objective feedback on to more than 20 different aspects of the interpersonal process. Three be reliable. When probing some of these individuals that reached out I said, and listen, like, Have you always followed through on your promises commitments? Have you done what they asked you? You know, some of them are like, well, you know, we did have a disagreement on that others have been like, yeah, I’ve done that. I’ve done that. Okay, well, then let me keep going. Have Have you really gone out of your way to understand that person’s why their needs their perspectives? Have you asked them why they do things the way they do? You know, how they see your department, or how they see your, you know, whatever your agenda is? How do they perceive that just being like, Hey, Tom, quick question. You know, we’ve had some friction in the past. I want that to get better. I’m interested, like, could you give me some feedback on how you see me, my department, the way I’ve ran things, or even even the way that I’ve approached you, because no BS, I would just really like to smooth things out, I want to make sure that we both do X, Y, and Zed and all of this right? Like, Have you have you thought about doing that? No, don’t worry, I have more answers for it. Because I know some of you, because I’ve met a lot of you online or in person, you just keep nodding your head. And according to you, you’ve done it all. And no matter what I say you’re going to say it’s the other person, it’s the other person. And we’re going to unravel that. Be supportive. You know, a lot of times a great way to endear yourself to people and build trust is offer help and don’t be like how can I help that puts the burden on the other person? You gotta be intuitive. How can I help is an awful thing, even if it’s well intentioned to kind of say, you know, like, because you’re expecting that person out of stop what they’re doing and think of all the ways that you somebody they don’t know that well, or maybe don’t agree with, or even if they do know, well, like, how can you help, they don’t want to do that, because that puts them in an uncomfortable position. So you’ve got to get to know more about their pain points and their weaknesses and find ways to ingratiate yourself in their in an authentic way, by helping them you know, and that helps show respect that helps that shows that you’re open minded. Right? So you think about that, if you’re honest, transparent, you communicate adaptively you’re reliable, you show empathy, understanding intuition, you’re supportive, right? And you’re patient, that’s gonna go a long way. This these things take time, and we’re gonna address somebody asked me one or two, you’re saying I have to play the game. We’re going to address that in a moment. And I might you know, touch on it now because it pays to be repetitive on this. You know, you can use whatever phrase you want, but for some of you that think like, oh, I don’t want to play the game. They should just trust me. You’re You’re misunderstanding a basic fundamental principle of life. Humans are pretty complex, and the relationships are even more complex, right? There’s a lot of inner weaving factors. It’s like the weather, it’s constantly changing in weather systems, right, the smallest change in air pressure and, and moisture in the air or humidity in the air, the smallest changes, smallest impacts everything else, storm systems emerge, this comes up that comes up once the same thing in interpersonal communication, it’s the same thing, the smallest thing can change everything, it’s all interconnected. It’s the most perfect example in the world of a complex adaptive system. So if you don’t want to be patient, and you don’t think that you’re gonna have to, quote unquote, play the game, or submit to a process that says something about your emotional maturity. And I’m not trying to be rude. I’m just thinking, like, somewhere along the lines, people have come to think that communication and people are easy. It’s the second class citizen of you know, this should all just be pretty straightforward and blah, blah, blah, that shows our egocentric bias. No, there’s nothing easy about these things. Right. And that also speaks to just a level of self awareness, you are not going to build trust, if you can’t be vulnerable. If you can’t listen, if you can’t be patient, if you don’t understand influence, psychology, persuasion, but if you’re not self aware, you’re really screwed, not recognizing your own faults and insecurities and all that stuff. And many of you, and I’ve been in these situations too. So I’m not just casting, but I’m trying to give some tough love, talk to some of you listening, barely even apologize when you make mistakes overtly apologize and say, Hey, I’m sorry, I was wrong. I’m sorry, I was wrong. This is what I’m gonna do moving forward. Right. That’s an ongoing process. And it’s a bi directional process.
Brett Bartholomew 16:50
Leadership is a bi directional social process of constant influence and give and take. It literally cannot happen without communication. So where some of you are getting this idea that this is a simple thing is beyond me. So then the individual said, hey, thanks to seem like great general principles, but still, like this person is in charge of a lot of stuff, and they’re my superior. And what’s your advice, then? Well, at one, I don’t change a lot of that advice. But I find that sometimes people just need to hear something again. So it’s like, alright, well, I’ll rephrase it, understand their concerns, understand their concerns, objectives and priorities, that’s going to help you better address their needs, and better help you present your ideas in a way that aligns with their goals. So get surgically specific and clear on what those person’s concerns, objectives, priorities, needs, all those things are. And if you’re like, how, go back to what I said earlier, get better at asking questions, we have resources for that, we just put out a podcast on it. Right.
Brett Bartholomew 17:53
But again, this is a process, these are skills you got to build. Two if they’re not letting you do what you want, make sure you have a solid plan. Right? Like do you have a well thought out plan for this individual for your program. For some of you, your initiative, your meeting your your invention, your idea, right, if you like include clear objectives, timelines, resources required, demonstrate the thought about it, that you’ve, you’ve literally gone into painstaking detail. I mean, those of you that are in business Come on, right? Like you know this, you have to have a business plan. If you don’t know your numbers, if you don’t have a general idea of understanding of some of your data or anything like that your KPIs, you’re going to be in some trouble. And that’s not going to help develop confidence in your ability to really execute this stuff, right? That helps when you can present some people even though logic and data can be a really poor way to lead with changing behavior in some circumstances. In cases like this, you need to show that you need to show that you have an informed approach, because that’s that just shows Hey, this person’s use sound principles, mental models, higher likelihood of success, or at least a lower likelihood of being a pain in my ass is what they think about. Right. That’s how you show competence and expertise. Some of you are way too busy in proving your competence and expertise, proving your value, as opposed to providing literally examples, tangible examples of your competence and expertise, making it self evident. Pardon the language but that was one great piece of advice I got early in my life.
Brett Bartholomew 19:29
Excellence is self evident and so is bullshit. Get busy doing the thing, Show it, show it seek their input and feedback. That was another thing I asked this individual how have you sought their input? Have you sought their feedback? Well, you know, no, it’s just kind of hard to get a hold of them. Alright, well prioritize this. You can get a hold of them. Right. You can involve your superior in the decision making process. You can ask them for their input and feedback not only shows you respect their opinion and also shows a little bit of deference because let’s To be honest, sometimes these people want to feel powerful. So you give them that feeling of power, but it also helps them feel more invested in the success of the thing, or at least understand the thing. And you just being able to say, even if you can craft that message, hey, I understand there’s the there seems to have been something between us, I want to improve. More importantly, I don’t want to be a pain in your butt. So I’m sorry for anything I’ve done in the past. This really matters a great deal to me, I put a lot of thought into, and I’d love to get your input and feedback. I’m not trying to be a problem, I’m trying to be part of the solution. And now you can give me an hour. And I can phrase that thing. 1000 different ways for 1000 different contexts. But this isn’t about me. This is about some of you. And when I gave this person and he’s like, Oh, well, you know, you just, you seem to have a way with words. I don’t how can I get better at that? And this is where I come back to and I feel like a broken record. Well, you need to work on it. Well, how do I do that? And that’s where I said, Well, you know, I run a business that helps people get better at these things. Ah, but you know, time and money. Well, guys, all signs start pointing back to where am I the problem again? Remember, if you say this person sucks, I’ve done all these things. Okay, well, now Yeah, I guess I could get better at that. But I suck at that, oh, you have a way to help me get better at that. Why don’t have the time and money. Again, that points back to it’s like a flowchart that points back to your the problem. And this is something I’ve had to get better at because it hard. Like, for me, I have I’ve had a certain level of compassion fatigue over the years.
Brett Bartholomew 21:24
People want advice, but they don’t want to take it. People want advice, they want to take it, but they don’t want to work on it. People will have advice, then they want to take it. They want to work on it, but just not right now. But everybody else is the problem. You see that? The majority of people that stand out in life are the people that no, there’s no perfect time for everything. There’s no perfect opportunity for everything, there’s never just going to be an abundance of money that we all laying around. They do it anyway. Right? There’s just sometimes no simpler answer than that. And you got to be open to feedback and adjustments. Think about what I just said, some of you still think about that, you know, like, you have to be open to feedback and adjustments, if you’re going to ask for their advice. Oh, you know, you better listen to their feedback. And you better make adjustments, even if you don’t agree with them. It’s constant game of give and take. You gotta give grounded game great game ground. And that demonstrates flexibility, and really a commitment to continuous improvement. Managers kept coming back to being patient and persistent. And this is what they struggled with, well, I got to show results, and I don’t have the time. And, okay, there’s a lot of people that need funding for their project right now, no matter what, they’re not going to get it. They’re not going to get it. And so they’ve got to find a way to adapt. In the meantime, you still got engaged in the process, it’s like investing, or you start investing right now, you’re not gonna be rich tomorrow, sorry. You know, and you’re probably still gonna face a lot of headwinds, and recessions and all that, but guess what, you’re making progress, aren’t you? Right? So by following any of these steps, and just holding yourself accountable to them, and getting training, like they’re, you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be on your way. Give me a moment here to get a drink. So now, let’s say, and this person did say this, or another person I pulled up, I have a list of all some of the best excuses or reasons or things people have sent me over the years. This person goes, well, I’ve done that. And they still blow me off. I’m like, really? I’ve rattled off like 20 things, giving you examples. You’ve given me very few. And you’re saying you’ve done all that, and they still blow you off? Because there’s a difference between doing it all and doing it skillfully. Right. But I told you, I was going to take a devil’s advocate approach. I’m just going to submit to all these things right now, in the past, I call bullshit. But I’m going to submit to all that and just keep digging. So I said, Alright, if you’ve already taken all those steps, and they’re still not supportive, try these. You see what I’m doing here? I’m just eventually I’m just not going to take no for an answer. I’m going to make people get face to face with the reality that they don’t want to listen to. All right, find allies. Now, those of you that are familiar with our online course Bought in or you’ve been to our Apprenticeship program, you’ll know this as a coalition tactic. If you don’t know about that, check out episode 202 of the podcast get will be hyperlinked. All there. This is all about like just seek out colleagues. I’m like, you know, college, you have colleagues or other decision makers who share your vision who can vouch for you, who maybe can give you an end with this person, anything like that. So it’s like a combination of getting allies and social proof. Their support may help you. Let’s imagine they said I’ve done that. All right. Well, then just you need to be more assertive. Episode 210. We do a whole episode on assertiveness. At the apprenticeship workshop we have you practice it, you literally have an exercise where you you’ve got to hit the nail on the head, you’ve got to come head to head you’ve got to face down your biggest fear and have the conversation that’s scaring you. Ask your superior just for specific reasons behind the hesitation and resistance. Hey, it seems like there’s friction here. Why is it you know, what can we do here? And I’ve given a lot of examples in that episodes a masterclass but I’ve had people like this that I worked with in the past. Seems like we’re not getting along. That makes me uncomfortable. You know, I just don’t like, can we hit the nail on the head? I remember this person is like, well, I don’t care if you’re uncomfortable, I go, that’s fine. But at the end of the day, do you really want to come to work and kind of feel like, let’s just get to the bottom? Well, it’s not a problem for me. All right? Well, I’m gonna tell you what, it is a problem, I’d like to address it, were both professionals within this organization. Let’s just chat about it. And eventually they did. And you’re gonna have to figure out how to, it’s for some people that might be too direct, that’s fine. I can’t tell all of you how to deal with all of these situations in every aspect of your life with every person you’re going to ever encounter. But its core principle, you’ve got to learn how to be assertive, and then that’s a skill you’ve got to develop. And you know that right? Another thing you can do is offer a trial period. Somebody doesn’t like something, say, hey, all right. Tell you what, why don’t you just give me a chance for a limited time, let me do things my way. Or let me do things the way I’ve proposed. If you don’t like it, after about five to six weeks, or you feel like it’s screwing things up for you all change it, right? There’s not a long term commitment, it gives you an opportunity to provide value. And if you really want to prove your value without that long term commitment, that’s fine. I mean, we do this all the time in business.
Brett Bartholomew 26:13
You know, I told a friend of mine, the other days constant problems and this and I go, dude, just come to one of the workshops, get around other people that have dealt with this stuff, you’re gonna learn a lot, you’re gonna get a practice. If you don’t like it. All right, you check back and I’m not I’m not BS. And but the deal is you actually have to come to try and you have to be open minded and whatever. Right? So it can be something like that, whether it’s a basic refund policy, or it can just be a sequential approach. Let me let me try something new. You know, and if you don’t like it, after four weeks, we’ll change it. Right. And I already touch on social proof and allies. So I’m going to skip that. Obviously, if you if you want to be assertive, you might need to have a formal meeting with them. You need to get out of your feelings, you need to be pretty resilient. And that’s something that I kind of touched on with some people that reach out is now when they reach out in the past that used to try to answer all their problems. And I’m like, Well, what kind of answer you really want here? Because one person’s like, you know, how do you build buy in with somebody and X amount of words or less? Or what would you tell somebody, if you only had three minutes? It’s like, right, what you’re communicating is, you want an easy answer to something that’s complex, right? That’s what you’re in. And so when people ask for that, they communicate to me that they’re actually a bigger part of the problem than they think they are. If you want an easy answer to a complex solution, then you’ve got to be okay with either understanding, you might get subpar results, because trying to solve complex issues with simple solutions is not always a great kind of thing. Way to go about that, especially if you’re impatient, or you’re demonstrating that you don’t have the patience or desire to get a deeper understanding about that. I mean, think about that almost every issue we deal with in life is social in nature. It how many people actually go out and work on those skills? Well, not many. Why? Because they previously been depicted as trustful, Bs, and whatever. They’re not now, every now and then you’ll get some it’s like I went to an FBI negotiation class or whatever, that’s fine. But like, it’s more than negotiation, even though life is somewhat of a constant negotiation. Then if you think about the individual is like, yeah, give me some things to think about. And you know what? Yeah, like that does work. I just still you know what, like, and even if I make headways with this person, I feel like I’m just not always on the same page communication wise. All right. All right, well, then reflect on your communication style.
Brett Bartholomew 28:27
In episode 240 of the podcast. And in my new book, I talk about four, four different communication styles. You’ve got to think about where that might be contributing to the problem. It’s not all about being a chameleon. It’s more about being a locksmith, a chameleon, right, you can kind of adapt and give yourself up too much a locksmith, you’re taking the raw material, and you’re shaping it so that it fits the unique features and functions of a certain door. Right or lock. You’re a craftsman that’s constantly shaping, right? You’re the person you’re doing the work. It’s not like you’re giving yourself up to an environment or an individual, or situation totally, but you’re willing to flex and bend and shape and, and all those kinds of things. So think I like to think of it as a locksmith more than a chameleon. If it gets really bad to, you know, for one individual just got so bad that I said, Listen, time for you to seek advice from mentors or HR. There’s got to be an HR representative that can kind of guide Yeah, sounds like there’s a lot of things happening and it’s a bit of an inside job, they might be able to provide some valuable insights and suggest some strategies because their situation had gotten to a point where they were dealing with some threats. Right? And then finally, if things get real bad, and you know, if somebody that’s like, I’ve done all this, I’m
Brett Bartholomew 29:43
perfect at it. It’s just I’m so amazing. And I’ve done it consistently, where even if they you know, if they know that they’re not perfect, but it just doesn’t feel like a fit anymore, right? It doesn’t have to be I don’t want to give off the idea that it’s just somebody that thinks they’re never the problem. It’s just that you know, quite often On the internet, I get those folks that come at us. If it gets so bad, it might just be time for you to think, Alright, I’ve exhausted all options, I can’t get support, Well assess whether that organization is a good fit for you, or your ideas, or your goals. And you need to quit thinking of it as quitting and more about, you know, not falling victim to the sunk cost fallacy. So, Episode 230. In the podcast, we have a ton of information on how to know when it’s time to seek other opportunities out or leave your job and how to go about doing that. But you know, just remember, change can be difficult for a lot of people, resistance isn’t always personal, like you just got to be patient resilient, adaptable, open to feedback, and, and continue to work on building that trust and credibility. So then the individual says, All right, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I’ve identified some things, but what else might I not be considering? And at this point, I’ll admit, I’m thinking like, alright, this is time for a consulting call at this point. And usually, you know, I don’t want to encourage bad behavior. If you I am not somebody out of all due respect your guy, like, I’m going to be able to get on the phone with all of you or just go down these rabbit holes, we have a mentoring program for this artofcoaching.com/mentoring. So you know, these things are locked in and but like I said, this is a combination of questions I’ve gotten over the years. And so I said, Alright, you’ve tried that, then? Well, yeah, there’s a lot of other factors, you know, and remember, for you listening, I’m not gonna go into everything we talked about in our courses or the depth there, but I’m like, I’ll give you a little bit here. One, so many of you can get great insights, if you think about the organizational culture and politics. Now, what I mean by this is like people’s behaviors and their biases, especially when you’re trying to build trust, they’re not just byproducts of their biology, personality traits are anything. There’s a lot of other factors that interact. Remember the weather analogy. So this is akin to that interplay of nurture and nature in life. So when you think of the culture and politics, we’re talking about the work environment, the culture and politics within your organization, can significantly impact decision making, being aware of the political dynamics, the power structures, unwritten rules, right, like all those things play into influencing your superiors behavior. And so just like there are archetypes of personalities, like I talked about unconscious coaching, well, the same is true of workplaces. And remember, archetypes aren’t static. There are mold. They’re shifting, many of us are embodiment, multiple archetypes. So you know, I’m not going to get into that we have a whole episode on that. But, you know, some episodes are some organizations are more Machiavellian than others. Some encourage employees to hash things out directly. Others have a little bit more avoidant type tendency or bureaucratic. So I’ll list off a few here, but this will probably be a future podcast episode. You know, there are some are organizations thinking like, am I a part of a by the book organization? very hierarchical, right, formal structured rules top down, and everybody else to kind of have a conformity type of approach adherence to protocol, the communication and those types of organizations might have to follow a certain chain of command to get limited feedback, right? Is that you? Because that’s going to inform the way you do things? Are you in kind of a results first people second organization, something where it’s very performance centric, we don’t really care about the people as much. very goal oriented, we’ve got to meet these numbers at all costs, right? Very competitive behaviors are displayed. People are pretty direct, goal oriented, very oriented around performance feedback. A lot of this was in at tech world, right, we see that. There are other organizations, and this is very common in sport, that are like the revolving door archetype, high turnover. When now mentalities, short term focus, high pressure, constant change, some of you are shaking your head, right? That everything is like intense competition, people are in silos, because you’re getting all these people that know if they don’t win, they’re fired in two to four years. And a lot of people in these positions, talk about non siloed approaches, but inevitably, the environment creates that, right?
Brett Bartholomew 34:10
And environment is one of the biggest things that dictate behavior. So you can go in there and be like, Alright, I’m the director of whatever team, and we’re gonna have a non siloed approach. And you know, we’re gonna have this and that, and I’ve read the book Team of Teams and blah, blah, blah, okay? Well, that’s not always under your control. And so fitness, right, fitness is an organism’s ability to adapt to a task, well, your fitness is going to be tested, because you can go in there and try to force that or you can adapt. And this just goes back to simple rules of adaptation. It’s not the strongest that cells survive, the one that’s most able to adapt to those things and so that that is where a lot of you are and so it should be no surprise if you have those kinds of communication struggles, right. Iron Fist organizations, strict obedience, directive communication authoritarian and limited autonomy, fear based culture, compliance oriented self preservation avoidance of dissent, right? That’s going to be tricky to pull these things off, then. Yeah, I mean, listen, you better get assertive, you better get very tactically smart. And you better have an ace in the hole. I’ll give you a you know, one more. Some of you are part of a family style organization, very nurturing, right? Supportive, empathetic, loyalty focused, right trust building interpersonal bonding, they need to get their stuff done. Right, but they want everybody to understand that they’re a part of a psychologically safe environment. Well, if you’re in that having these issues, because you’re not being assertive, assertive, step up, you know what I mean? Just be mindful. Remember, being assertive doesn’t give you the right to be a prick. Right? There’s many different flavors of assertiveness, but you got to speak up. So that’s just a sampling of some of those things. And if you want more, again, we’re gonna, we’ll talk about these probably in a future newsletter, art of coaching.com/begin, or in my next book, and we might think about doing a podcast on it. But those give you some things to think about too, just the role that your organizational culture plays in that and how that should be addressed, or how that should inform your behaviors. Ready for another one? timing. Timing influences human behavior, that’s crucial in gaining support for whatever you want. If the organization or that individuals facing financial constraints, external pressures, resource limitations of their own, they have other pressing issues. Well, yeah, it’s gonna be difficult to get support. Maybe some of these people like to just fine. You’re projecting, maybe they like you and your program, fine. But they’ve got so many other things going on. I mean, for all, you know, they’re going through a divorce, and their contract just got changed and any other number of things, we tend to take things so personally, so far, and that’s again, why you just need to listen, you need to ask questions. You need to practice your delivery, your compassion, your contextual competence. These people like you think about that organization and the timing. I mean, these things might be all that it might have nothing to do with you. We’ve talked about how they might be risk averse. We’ve talked about personal biases, and how they might have competing priorities or agenda. I mean, sorry, I know to you. And to many of us, microphones fallen down here are our initiative is the most important thing in the world. But guess what? To other people, it ain’t. And they’ve got their own stuff. And that’s hard. Because you might have been patient, you might have felt like you’ve earned your stripes. But that’s the nature of business. Things don’t always happen on time. And if you’re like, Well, I’m not in business. Hell, yeah, you are. Every profession has a business. I heard this all the time from people in the strength conditioning wrong. I’m not in you know, I’m not in business. Yeah, yeah. It’s a business to business. And if you don’t think it’s a business, again, no disrespect, you’re the problem, grow up. It’s a business. All these things are a business. That’s the nature of the world. There’s transactional approaches and everything. We can learn how to deal with it as we’d like it to be, you can learn how to deal with it as it is. And that’s also not nihilistic, just as true. Right? So that’s going to be a huge piece there. We’ve talked about lack of resources. What else did I have on my list, and I talked to them about, talk to them about their relationship with their superior. This goes back to being assertive. Remember, I just say things to them multiple times, figure out if there’s unresolved issues or conflicts, you can’t do that. If you’re not assertive, you can’t do that. If you don’t ask questions. Those people a lot of times these people are passive aggressive, I deal with them. Passive aggressive people are the worst. I’ll take somebody’s head on all day over a passive aggressive avoidant person, because they’ll just let that other stuff rot. Another thing you want to think about, and this goes back into the organizational archetypes is what’s the decision making process in your, you know, in your organization? Right, you might have not gone through the appropriate steps or channels to get the approval you needed for your program. And essentially just kind of told the person I said, you know, can I ask you something? And they said, Sure. And I said, Do you think that you want trust? Or do you want control?
Brett Bartholomew 39:05
And they thought about that for a minute. So what do you mean? I said, Well, yeah, it just seems like you know, your primary goal is to gain more control over your program. And I get, you know, building trust as a means to achieve that. Trust is essential in any working relationship, especially if you want autonomy, and you want to make independent decisions about how you run it. But you know, of trust building efforts haven’t yielded the desired results, like you might need to kind of assess that. Have you come from a place of seemingly wanting control? Or let’s say you do want control? Or have you looked at other strategies to gain control and all these kinds of things wherever you compromise, by the way, if that was another question, well, how do I know when to stand my ground and get my grit? Look, there’s no perfect answer. How do you know?
Brett Bartholomew 39:52
You get started? You get started. And you realize you think, Alright, where am I willing to compromise And you list those things out. You say, What am I not willing to compromise? And he lists things that because compromise, neither people or neither party ends up completely happy. Like, that’s what I mean. It’s just it’s hard not to get on a soapbox the lazy thinking we’ve developed as a culture like the Instagram reel and YouTube short thinking everybody when it’s like a Google search bar, what’s the best way to? This isn’t like looking for the best camera to take outdoor photography for God’s sakes? You know, how do I know when to compromise? Or do this? I don’t know, the way I the answer I give you to deal with a 3939 year old Japanese executive who has low risk tolerance is very different than the answer I’m gonna give you for somebody else that has the opposite concern. So you have to figure that out for yourself. And that goes into again, this tells you so much people are so worried about being wrong. How do I know how to win, you’re so worried about being wrong, man. You’re playing not to lose. Right? You’re not playing to win you’re playing not to lose some of your playing not to like you don’t want to try you don’t want to do this. You’re just you’re so scared of just submitting to the process of it all. You sure you want to be a leader? You sure you want to be a leader? And then I asked the individual oh, by the way, why don’t you like the term buy in? Just out of curiosity, like Well, I think that’s a cop out to the trust and relationship building process. I go how, how is buy in? What you just, you know, give you think about that buy in can refer to the acceptance, agreement or support for a specific idea, proposal or change initiative. Right? So let’s say trust is like, alright, well trust is the competence that somebody is reliable and honest and will fulfill their commitments. Well, if you’re looking to buy in, and and you got buy in, so that’s acceptance agreement support for a specific idea, I look at buy in as just trust plus commitment or commitment in general. Either way, do you not get it like the while these things are not the same? Let’s say they’re not the same at all. And the way I’ve defined them here, they’re not the same. I told you, I was gonna take a devil’s advocate approach, just to understand the other part, they’re so closely connected. Like, at what point is this just like scholarly nitpicking and semantics? Like trust can be a significant factor in gaining buy in for your ideas and proposals? When you establish trust with somebody, they’re more likely to believe in your capabilities, listen to your ideas, support your initiatives that’s being bought in, they’re bought into you.
Brett Bartholomew 42:27
Conversely, without trust, yeah, like, it’s, it’s hard to structure buy in. Right. But you know, you just think about these kinds of things I also buy in is, and maybe unnecessary, related precursor to building trust. Like, when you’re trying to implement a new idea, or a program or whatever, yeah, you’re gonna have to get that buy in from your superior, that helps to demonstrate at a low level that you can affect, effectively communicate your ideas. So the these are way more related. And I’m just kind of wondering, like, if you’re so sensitive, and I said this to him, and he took it well, I said, if you’re, if you ever thought of You’re so sensitive about the term buy in versus trust, or whatever, like, what, you know, what’s the real deal? And really, it came down to this person just didn’t like the term because they feel like it’s being said a lot. And he kind of just wanna be like, really do. You know, that’s the issue. This is said alot, you don’t like the term and tell you? What if you take the same approach of their superior, because he’s gonna have nomenclature for his beliefs and his programs? What are you gonna get upset if you don’t like all the names of it? This is what I mean, where’s the professionalism at some point? Right. So gaining buy in or it can be a crucial step is a crucial step to building trust. gaining trust is a crucial step to getting by and there’s interdependence. There both parties and even if you want to say, well, trust is a long term process and buying short term, great short term and long term plays are needed. Go back to wealth building, you need short term investments and long term investments. Athletes have to go through short term losses and performance to get long term returns on adaptation. Who doesn’t? Right. That’s the nature of investing and working like you. If you’re starting your own business, you go through short term losses on your time and effort and things that you gotta give up for a long term game. It’s the way the world works. So let’s consolidate a lot of this as a little intermission here, right, consolidated list of the advice to help you gain more control trust buy in all these things. Be honest, transparent, reliable, communicate effectively. Listen closely, and adapt your communication style. Understand the other person’s concerns and priorities. Develop a well thought out plan, provide data. Speak to that data and relatable ways talk in color. Demonstrate your competence and expertise. seek feedback regularly update your superior keep them informed. Do you do that? Be open to, to their feedback and adjustments give ground to gain ground Be patient, persistent, resilient. Reflect on who your allies are, whether you’re leveraging them, address concerns, head on be assertive. seek validation or endorsements from other people and social proof. Have a formal meeting, propose a trial period. So that you can kind of get a foot in the door foot in the door technique is huge. We talked about this in our mighty networks community all the time. That foot in the door is all you need sometimes assess your timing. Consider the organizational culture archetypes, politics, dynamics, the environment, all those things. Try to figure out their risk aversion, their risk tolerance and address it. Think about where you’re the problem, really break it down. Where are you sucking? You’re sucking somewhere? Where are you sucking, address your own biases aligned, make sure you really understand their priorities, their restrictions, try to find more creative ways. Consult with HR if you need to. It’s kind of like that Jay Z song, like, what more can I say? But then who there was still some. This person says, Well, I feel like I’m an excellent communicator.
Brett Bartholomew 46:12
I just still have issues. And we’ve already addressed this right? I say how did you know that? Right? How do you know that? How are you really adapting that? And how are you really evaluating that? How am I like you taught and I role played with? I’m like, Alright, Sam, you’re Sam, you’re this give me give me some details about him. They listed them out. I said, Alright. Go at me. And what do you know, when we put it in that situation? He was like, Well, yeah, that was hard. And I’m like, Yeah, that’s hard. Now imagine if we recorded it. How would that sound to you? He’s like, I’d sound like a jackass. I’m like, yeah, that and that’s okay. That’s okay, now you’re doing the work. But let’s practice that. And he’s like, let’s just I never really thought of it. And, you know, we even had one person that’s like, Well, I wouldn’t have done that, you know, in real life. Okay, well, so you’re saying in real life, he did everything. Perfect flowchart. Remember that? If you’re somebody that does everything perfect, and everybody else is the issue. You’re the issue. That’s how that works. That’s how that works. And a lot of times when people say that they’ve adapted their communication style, they haven’t when we roleplay with them, what do they do? They go right back to trying to use rational persuasion. They don’t talk in color. They don’t use you know, relatable techniques, anecdotes, real life examples. They don’t they don’t do anything to make their message more relatable, memorable. speak in the language of the other person. They don’t do any of that. They don’t show they tell. They don’t listen, I even said at one time when I was playing the person. I said, when I was acting like I was a superior. I said, you know, you keep telling me why your program works this way. Why don’t you tell me the last four reasons I told you I was concerned. You know how many they remembered one, because we don’t listen to actually understand.
Brett Bartholomew 47:55
Everybody is so busy listening to respond. You know, it’s like, when people are talking, let’s say it’s you and another individual. They often think it’s just me and that person No, it’s not your sub vocalizing in your head, their sub vocalizing in their head. There’s, there’s almost like four people in a way. It’s like you’re schizophrenic. A lot of people are just trash and listening. And when you’re trash at listening, you’re showing a lack of willingness to let the other person change you. There’s an adapt station from an Alan Alda quote there, and also just demonstrates a respect for their opinion, which a lot of times a lot of the most difficult people. There’s your cheat code, they just want to be seen and heard. Why do you think YouTube comments, all these comments on social media, you know, like trolls, all trolls want. They just they want to be seen and heard. They’ll say the meanest, nastiest, most ridiculous sometimes the most absurdly funny things to or inappropriate things. Just because it’s like a it’s like a little kid raising their hand saying, See me see me. See me even the angriest people in the world. They just want to be seen and heard and acknowledged. That’s all they want. They want to be seen heard and acknowledge Jay Z’s got a song where he’s like, everybody wants to know what my Achilles heel is love. I don’t get enough of it. All I see is these haters and bloodsuckers and I think about that all the time. It’s true like so many people they they get in these battle of the egos when most often are like people just want to be seen and understood and heard. But you hear that and you’ve read it in books before and he’s still don’t do it. That’s why you’ve got to practice and you’ll find that probably don’t listen as well. You probably weren’t as concise and remember you don’t always have to be concise. I know everybody kind of like just gets really obsessed with being short. You can be concise and not clear. You can be clear and not concise. i But if you think about it just one thing we do in our challenges we do this thing called Half Life your message you get out what you want to say in you set a stopwatch for like a minute or two minutes. Then you gotta cut that in half. Now you got to try to get it out in a minute, in 30 seconds. And it’s not all about just saying less, it’s about looking back on that and being like, what was I spending too much time on? While I was avoiding getting to the point. Some of you struggle with trust because you overwhelm your superiors or people with too much information.
Brett Bartholomew 50:20
Shameless plug, our speaker school, and our apprenticeship workshop, or any of our virtual challengers can help with that. And I just email us info@artofcoaching, right, and we can help with these things. And no, you’re not around a bunch of this, this was new to me, somebody the other day is like, I’m terrified to come to your events, because I just feel like it’s all these people that are probably already really good at communicating. I mean, sure, we have some people that are like that. But the majority of people are just like you and me. They’re all imperfect. We’ve had people with social anxiety. We’ve had folks on the autism spectrum, we’ve had people that, you know, struggle immensely, you know, comes to our workshops, people that realize they’re imperfect and want to do the hard stuff and don’t have an ego and want to get around a bunch of people that aren’t assholes, that want to figure out how to adapt to the world and get more things done. That’s who comes to our workshops. And it’s also I mean, I’ll be straightforward. It’s also for people that know, the return on investment that we’re not for the people that want to pay 60 bucks to your 32 speakers give us 60 minute talk, nope, we go deep, you build the skill. And heads up, we also just we did 40% student discounts now permanent, right, and then 10% off military and first responders. So again, remember, just go to firstname.lastname@example.org or artofcoaching.com/events. Obviously, subject to approval, you got to get have your ID and all those things back to the show.
Brett Bartholomew 51:44
Think about your nonverbals find common ground contexts, common ground, same thing. So you’ve heard a lot about these things again. So to wrap this up, eventually, we got to a point where somebody says, right, so even if I was a small, you know, I thought I was a strong communicator, maybe I’m not even need to work on it. But what’s the other day I said, well, here, let’s imagine you are a strong communicator. And for some of you out there, let’s say you’ve evaluated yourself, you’ve done this your bomb. Well, that’s different than social agility. And I’m not just making up terms and make up terms like for us, you know, social agility refers to the ability to effectively interact, communicate and build relationships with diverse individuals and groups, and a lot of different situations. And there’s a lot here, so stay with me. So that includes emotional intelligence, contextual competence, what we what is termed a micro political literacy, understanding how to deal with power dynamics and individuals. Communication proficiency is just one part of that, like, ultimately, think of it as this umbrella thing, right? To be a better leader, you need to have social agility, because that addresses the relational component of leadership. Right? And, and that allows you to manage those interpersonal dynamics, resolve conflicts, inspire trust, and collaboration. Whereas if you just look at communication skills, or communication proficiency, that’s just one part of it. So you’ve got to understand situations, that’s content. That’s context, that’s contextual competence. You’ve got to understand, yes, you’ve got to have communication skills, you’ve got to understand power dynamics, but all these things wrapped into a bow or social agility. There are some people out there that are excellent communicators, but they don’t understand power dynamics. And they don’t know how to adapt to certain situations and different contexts, right. They’re not socially agile. There are other people that are really good at adapting from a strategic thinking and problem solving standpoint, from a context aspect. They maybe are good at power dynamics, but they suck at getting their message across. You see what I mean? So that’s where we have to be really careful of not just wrapping communication, there’s so many apps, communication is a thing. It’s a noun. Think of it like an airplane. Okay? It’s an airplane. Well, then there’s components of communication. That’s what allows the airplane even fly or land, the wheels, the rudders, the wings, anything like that. So like in real life, that’s the medium, right? Right. Now, I’m giving you information over a microphone. There’s the message itself, you’re the receiver. So, right, like there’s communication. There’s the things that allow communication take place. Well, we even just look at context. Context is the thing that impacts communication as a whole turbulence, right, well, weather, what things are like on the ground when you land the pilots skills. So if you think that you’re an excellent communicator, and that just covers all your bases. You’re thinking of this the wrong way. All of us at art of coaching teach social agility. We teach you how to deal with people, situations, decisions, biases, we’re trying to make you agile, because no one Then we’ll determine leadership effectiveness in totality that’s going to be subject to the metrics people use to look at leadership within their organization. But so a lack of social agility, a lack of contextual, you know, depth Ness, all these things that absolutely contributes to leadership in effective effectiveness in almost every situation. Right. So that’s a lot. But this was meant to give you a lot of different things, other side notes, video and audio recordings, do some training and development, do it, quit making excuses and quit making excuses about time and money, either gonna do the thing or you’re not, and you know what, I’d love for you to come to our stuff. But if all you’re gonna, if you’d rather spend time and money going somewhere else, or whatever, fine, just do it. I don’t care if you come to us, I prefer it. But I prefer ultimately that some of you just work on these things. So whatever, like, look at all the things you spent on Con Ed, how many of you are doing it on things that actually make you get practice in a real time and feedback, and coaching at dealing with situations power dynamics, egos, attitudes, communication,
Brett Bartholomew 56:08
all these pieces, if you’re not, you’re missing opportunities for self reflection, so you’re not going to call me up or DM me and say, I’m good, the other person’s the asshole. But then you haven’t trained because No, you haven’t self reflected. You haven’t looked at how other people respond and give feedback to your to your communication, you haven’t recorded yourself, you haven’t evaluated yourself, you haven’t done you haven’t expose yourself to different peers or mentors, people outside of your circle. There’s a process communication, social agility, leadership, and life is a continual learning process. There’s always room for growth and improvement. And like I told my dad, right, he never wanted to pay for personal trainers or doctors or this and that I go, Dad, you’re gonna pay for your health on the front end or the backend, what’s it going to be? And I’m saying the same thing out of the out of love and respect to all of you. You will either pay literally to get better at these things on the front end and invest in that. Or you’re going to have to deal with the ramifications on the back end, losing your job, not seeing your initiative go through not getting your funding, having your reputation be heard, not getting the job or the promotion that you wanted, whatever, you’ll pay for it proactively on the back end. Right. So that that’s that’s it for now. Again, for more on this, check out the show notes. We’ve done things that fit a wide variety of budgets and circumstances. So I don’t care if you’re in Cambodia, you have online courses, you have a book, you have free downloads, resources, YouTube, payment plans, whatever, I don’t care if you’re a student, you got 40% off. I don’t care if you’re an entrepreneur and all your money is going into your own business. You need tax write offs, I don’t care you can all have you can keep your excuses. I love you to death. But those of you that are ready to come get better improve and play ball. Let’s go. We want to help you with this. We love this. Leaders, by definition are imperfect individuals that want to help other imperfect individuals achieve common objectives have progress in their lives, right and just be in a better situation. So let’s find ways to do that together. For myself and the rest of the team at art of coaching Brett Bartholomew, signing off
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