Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 35: Weird but Effective HR with Samm Smeltzer

March 16, 2021 Kyle Roed / Samm Smeltzer Season 1 Episode 35
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 35: Weird but Effective HR with Samm Smeltzer
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Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 35: Weird but Effective HR with Samm Smeltzer
Mar 16, 2021 Season 1 Episode 35
Kyle Roed / Samm Smeltzer

Kyle, Molly, and Patrick expand their minds with Samm Smeltzer.  Samm's research delves into the intuitive side of HR, and the ways in which we can ensure HR practitioners don't get disengaged. 

Samm Smeltzer is an HR Visionary and Healer. Her work has been devoted to employee engagement for over a decade, she believes engagement is a critical component of organizational culture that must be alive and well in all employees. However, the place where engagement begins is with and within an organization’s HR practitioner.

Samm is the founder of The HRart Center, a restorative and growth community for HR. Samm’s work has been recognized with multiple awards, two of them being 2020 York SHRM HR Community Partner of the Year and Penn State’s 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student in Training and Development.

Samm is also a published author of two books and an avid podcaster.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammsmeltzer/
samm@leadershipisart.com
https://leadershipisart.com/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

Subscribe today on your favorite podcast player!  

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

We love to hear from our listeners!  Send us questions or comments at kyleroed@gmail.com

Rebel On, HR Rebels!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Show Notes Transcript

Kyle, Molly, and Patrick expand their minds with Samm Smeltzer.  Samm's research delves into the intuitive side of HR, and the ways in which we can ensure HR practitioners don't get disengaged. 

Samm Smeltzer is an HR Visionary and Healer. Her work has been devoted to employee engagement for over a decade, she believes engagement is a critical component of organizational culture that must be alive and well in all employees. However, the place where engagement begins is with and within an organization’s HR practitioner.

Samm is the founder of The HRart Center, a restorative and growth community for HR. Samm’s work has been recognized with multiple awards, two of them being 2020 York SHRM HR Community Partner of the Year and Penn State’s 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student in Training and Development.

Samm is also a published author of two books and an avid podcaster.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammsmeltzer/
samm@leadershipisart.com
https://leadershipisart.com/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

Subscribe today on your favorite podcast player!  

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

We love to hear from our listeners!  Send us questions or comments at kyleroed@gmail.com

Rebel On, HR Rebels!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Samm Smeltzer:

What exactly is the energetic body? You know, our energy from a Chinese medicine perspective is what makes us come alive. It makes us who we are. It's why your Kyle, your Molly and your Patrick, it's at the end of the day. Western medicine focuses on the physical body. So what's your physical body when you leave, but what makes you who you are that concept of soul or personality, whatever you want to articulate it is this energy field. This is why some of us are so great at what we do. This is why some of us are not so great at what we do. It's that energetic dynamic of who we are.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're a professional looking for innovative, thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. revelon All right, Rebel HR listeners, I am so excited for our guests and our topic today we are going to be talking to Sam smeltzer. Sam is a HR healer and author of a book called the HR intuitive which is available on Amazon. Sam is an HR visionary and healer. Her work has been devoted to employee engagement for over a decade. She believes engagement is a critical component of organizational culture that must be alive and well, in all employees. However, what we're going to be talking about today is where engagement begins. And that's as an HR practitioner. Welcome to the show. Sam,

Samm Smeltzer:

thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I am, I am absolutely excited to have you here as well. I think if 2020 has taught us anything and the early parts of 2021, it's that if HR is not engaged, we're going to have some issues. And so I love to explore this topic. And I know that it'll be valuable for our listeners. So I want to start off just a little bit. Generally, just Just tell me how you got interested in the subject of engagement? And, and ultimately, HR engagement.

Samm Smeltzer:

Yeah, so it's interesting. You know, when I started, like many who fall into HR, we don't envision being an HR practitioner at the end of our career path. I actually thought I would be in retail management. I actually love retail, I loved merchandising. My mom hated that, because she was like, why can't you envision being a doctor or a lawyer, but instead, you want to fold clothes and make pretty mannequins. And I actually could not get into a clothing retailer and I ended up working in big box home improvement. And I was really enjoying my time there merchandising things like trash cans, and five gallon paint cans. And I just loved my job. And I remember really clearly this one day I was sitting in the break room, you know, really happy go lucky. This is like 19 year old me. And listening to the people around me talk about how much they hate their jobs and how horrible it is and how like it never ends. And these people had been with the company for 10 plus years. And I couldn't help but think oh, my gosh, is this like the? Are we destined to be there? Like, is there anything better? Or is there anything we can do. And I was in college at the time, I was a business management major. And I just coincidentally started to my HR management class. And I started to realize there's this whole function that's devoted to people. And that's when I went and discovered what HR actually was in my big box retailers. So there was that office back there. But I thought they just did your paperwork and made sure that you had your schedule. But there's this whole big function. And I started to become obsessed with the fact that they have the capability to make the workplace better. And potentially these people don't have to be miserable. So it started back then that the seed was like initially planted. And it just grew. And I've been obsessed with it, especially as engagement is a constant buzzword. And we haven't seen any solid practices that we can say, Hey, here's the top 10 list, you do these things and your workforce is engaged. It's not changing. So what are we missing? And that's really what's been driving me?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. We have a similar background. My first job was retail and my first HR job was in a retailer. So yeah, I can I can relate to that. That it was fun, challenging, and I'm glad I'm not in that world anymore. If you want my honest opinion that that's Yeah, that's awesome. And I think I you know, one of the things that's that was interesting about you said is I do think a lot of people still think HR is just about processing paperwork and doing the back office administration and you know, some of these some of these things and so through your career and through some of the the work that you've done? What common things? Have you seen individuals change in order to kind of get HR more engaged in driving the culture forward and helping people as opposed to just focusing on some of the administrivia?

Samm Smeltzer:

Well, I think that the commonality is when they start to see their position in a more broad perspective. So I think it's really easy for us to obsess about tasks mean, HR started, because there was a heavy load of personnel tasks that a manager somewhere on the operation side didn't want to do, and basically gave it to their administrative assistant. And then it grew from there. And we've never really kind of evolved from that we kind of took it. That's what it is. And some organizations, that's still what it is, you have HR directors who evolved from that administrative position, and has just been kind of the catching ground for the tasks that the operation side didn't want to do. And most of them are people related. So what I found is when people start to broaden what that definition is, when they realize that I'm responsible for the people, that bleeds into so many different things, it bleeds into almost everything, and almost I'm the, I'm the equivalent to operations, I'm the great balance. And when I start pushing from there, we start to see a shift, we start to see engagement happen, because we start doing little things like going out and talking to people, open door policies, you know, those little things have started to open the doorways to saying, hey, there's something different that happens here. There's an old study done on motivation. I think it was Dr. Mayo. And he basically did this weird study and a light bulb factory that they had solicited for it. But that generated the Hawthorne effect, I think, is the correct terminology. But they basically wanted to see what lighting was the ideal lighting to make people in the most productive. So they basically put these people in this box, and they would crank the lights up, and then turn them really down low. And regardless of what they did, these people just kept working harder. And Elton Mayo went out and asked the question, and it was because they felt like they were a part of something bigger, that they started to perform more. So it wasn't a basic need or like dynamic or something like that, that we change. When we focus on our people, we start to generate results that we didn't even know were possible. And so that's that's the big commonality I see is when we know that we focus on the people, we can make a difference, but it takes someone seeing themselves beyond the tasks. And luckily, many of us have had mentors that are on the operation side who have get that and see that because they're leaders, and they start to kind of pull us on the other side. So that's, that's kind of where we're seeing this kind of evolving and why we're now getting the task to be responsible for engagement.

Molly Burdess:

The insurmountable task of

Kyle Roed:

Hey, fix engagement a job that will never be done. Yeah.

Samm Smeltzer:

That's right. That's why we should embrace it.

Patrick Moran:

How do you sell that to leaders who are resistant or think engagement doesn't matter, they're more focused on the bottom line.

Samm Smeltzer:

So there's, I mean, this goes back to HR metrics at its most basic form, I mean, we have, we have continually tried to attach ourselves to the bottom line, the one place we've been successful is obviously from the compliance and the regulatory side. So when we limit that physical risk, or we prevent a lawsuit, we can materialize and say we did that. But we basically impact anything that people are responsible for. So if people are a part of a process, we have the ability to impact that number. And in most cases, it's not just a strict widget, robot AI kind of situation. However, when you have a leader who is just so obsessed with these direct results, it reminds me there was an article that this angry, I always envisioned him as angry, I don't know if he was an angry leader. But he basically wrote this article that said, What if I don't want my team to be great? I'm alright with them being okay, and good. And we have that consistently out there. I mean, that's just part of the norms, but we do have leaders that are open to it. So I think, twofold. I think number one, you need to know when you're slamming your head up against the wall and things aren't going to change. So I say that with that in mind. But the other piece is don't underestimate that as you are directly drawing those dotted lines that every time even if you get resistance, you are kind of knocking down the wall. So you know you're tapping, you're breaking down some of the bricks in that wall and you're planting seeds and it takes a while for us to shift the mindset, especially if you're filling a position that strictly was just you check the boxes and make sure that I don't have to deal with the hassle of the people administrative side. So it's talking to those leaders. It's sharing your perspective. It's educating them, because you legit see things through a different lens. And I wouldn't make the argument and I'm not a neuroscientist, but I think hrs brain works completely different than anyone that excels on the operation side, we just see things completely different. And how can you expect them to support you and get to your side if they can't make that link and bridge that gap by seeing what you are seeing. So it's almost an educating and a reverse mentoring that happens with these leaders. But then also recognizing from unhealthy perspective, when you're slamming your head up against the wall, making no progress, when maybe this is just not an organization that has any interest in doing what you're envisioning.

Molly Burdess:

That's interesting insight. And I'm actually really curious about Patrick and Kyle's perspective, because they came from operations. But before you go into that, Patrick, I gotta say, one of my biggest way, one of the ways but one thing that I always really liked to do as any CEO I meet, or any like business leader, I always ask them just what is your number one problem facing the business today? and nine times out of 10? its people. And that's where I think we can then start that conversation. Okay, great. People is my expertise, right? Human Resources, let me help you. Let's figure out a game plan. And that's something that I found that has worked very well. That's awesome. Molly. Yeah. Patrick, what's your take on? and Kyle, what's your take on the difference in mental thought, from operations leader to HR and making that shift?

Patrick Moran:

I think it starts from my and on figuring out on the supervisor level, mainly the frontline supervisor level, what, you know, what's their motivation? What What do they really want out of their jobs and other people, when you find those little nuggets, then you can pull in maybe the little what we did where I work. Now on my previous role, but where I've been here for the past eight years now is we actually, you know, it's it's, you call it the fluff, but we actually created an employee engagement Committee, which we pulled employs about a dozen dozen of them from all different areas of the building and department to kind of be the spokesperson on behalf of their department. And that way, we're getting the ideas from different areas. Some always work, some don't. But I think that helps with the buy in with those frontline supervisors. You know, like I said, it's something you know, for the most part, it goes, Well, the events are fun. But if you can get that frontline supervisors buy in, then that helps a little, a little more. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think it's an interesting, interesting tangent. But you know, from my perspective, coming from the the world of operations, into HR, I actually think I would be a much less effective HR practitioner if I didn't have that experience. But it's an interesting tangent, because I, I do think that I'm wired differently than a lot of operations people. But I also can think in those terms, as it relates to business outcomes, execution, you know, get stuff done. So I don't know, Patrick, maybe you and I just think a little bit differently than most HR people to and that I get I get, I don't necessarily always get the fluffy side, as I get a little bit more excited about progress results, getting stuff done winning, you know, I'm fairly competitive. As opposed to, you know, everybody gets a trophy, kind of a thing. So I don't know, I think it also I think it varies widely by industry. I mean, we're both in manufacturing. So you know, that brand of HR, that approach tends to work for me.

Molly Burdess:

One of our biggest engagement problems is just what you were saying that trophy, like these people that are not top performers feel like they're not recognized as much as they should be. So we get a lot of fluff there. I'm curious, Patrick, and also Sam, like, what are some because we also have an engagement committee type program, and sometimes I'm like, Okay, how, how should I best run this meeting? What does that what should that look like? So I'm curious if you guys have any best practices on how you utilize those groups to truly make results.

Samm Smeltzer:

So, you know, when it comes to running those meetings, it's really interesting. Because I remember back in the day, I worked for a company called Ali's bargain outlet good stuff cheap. They recently went public, so now more people kind of know they exist. But I was responsible for a team called the fun at Ali's squad the FAO squad and we were responsible for engaging meant. And when we would run those meetings, I would do kind of pulling from my old HR toolbox of, you know, the the fluffy, or the softer side of HR. And we would plan, potlucks and things like that. And we would basically be glorified party planners. But what I think what, when we're thinking about engagement committees, I mean, I think, you know, we don't have the answers for everything, if you have the collective that is representative of your organization, you have the ability to generate the solutions for engagement in that space. And so they should almost be like these think tanks have, that are really, really safe spaces to generate ideas on what would shift and yes, it might start off with these fun kind of things that we can do. But at some point, those things are gonna trickle down, and then you have to start talking about Okay, what is engagement? Like? How do you define engagement? I mean, this is a buzzword that we all talk about, but what really happens, we know that you're productive, maybe you're happy? Like, does it mean that you love your job? And you do everything for your job? No, I mean, I don't agree with that definition. You know, how does your your employees? How do your teams define what does an engaged employee look like? Well, how do they act at work? And why do they act that way? What do they have? Is it all strictly financially driven extrinsic rewards? Or is there an intrinsic piece that's missing? Like, do we not feel like we have a cause, or a legacy we're leaving behind me, because that's a whole nother conversation on engagement rather than we just feel like no one sees us or I don't get an award. Even though I work really hard, I'm never going to get to the sales goal of Eddie who just is like monumentally killing it every month. So think, flip the script, and use that space to facilitate and just get curious and using these people as your researchers to generate possible solutions and an ideas that maybe you've never even thought of, because they have different lenses. This is what we were just talking about. We all come with different lenses, you know, operations, transition HR, we see things differently. We see things differently based off of industry. So let's share and see what comes out of it.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, and I love the I love the the context of being part of something bigger. And I think about, you know, I think about that, as a definition of engagement. I agree. It's such a buzzword. But I want to shift gears a little bit and and dive into an area that we have not talked about on the rebel HR podcast, which is Chinese medicine. So we had an interesting back and forth here before we clicked record. And I'd love to understand a little bit more about some of your, your research into that, that realm, and some of the correlations between that and the work that we do in HR.

Samm Smeltzer:

Yeah. So obviously, I said that my passion for engagement, I think just kept going on increasing in momentum. I think I was getting frustrated when I realized that I couldn't figure out this formula. I went and got my master's and training and development, I thought for sure, you know, they would give me this magical answer. I could uncover it. I switched industries, from retail to healthcare. And I thought for sure, you know, these people have this grand purpose, they save lives, like I could find engagement solutions there. And what I found was that basically I was disengaging almost on this cycle, like almost on a three to five year cycle, I would disengage in my work, because I would get so ticked off, that I was basically just going through motions that weren't really generating any organizational change that I thought was substantial. And at the last cycle, my husband nudged me and said, Well, why don't you just we have the the savings plan, just go out on your own, and, and just do your ideal. And I said, I don't even know what that is, like, it's really easy when we live in our bubble, and then to have to navigate the organizational dynamics. But if I'm the one that creates it all, like, I don't know what that's gonna be like. And so what I found was, yeah, I quit my job. And I started a business. But really what I did was I started research on me being the guinea pig of how do I maximize my engagement, knowing that there's no one else I can blame. So if I hate my job three years from now, I've created my job, and the culture and the team and all of that. And so as I was doing it, it was really fascinating. I was networking with other HR colleagues. And I started to realize that like, no one was talking about their own engagement in their work, we are talking about how to engage everybody else, but what about how they feel about their work? Because if you're not really jazzed about it, if there's pieces that are missing for you, like how are you supposed to lead the charge? And so that really started send me down this like self help hole and I went to all these self help seminars that are out there, that industry is booming, just looking for things that maybe could crossover. I even went to all these holistic expo's saying, like someone has to have the answer. Like we don't reinvent the wheel, we really just pull from different avenues of knowledge. And when I was in holistic, what caught my attention, and I remember I was in this, I was in this pretty woowoo certification event, like I was really out of my comfort zone. And they were talking about energy and feeling in and taking care of it. And I was like, Okay, this is weird. Like, this is weird. But there's, but I couldn't deny that as we're going through these strange exercises that I was feeling something. And so I started to dive and like play looking for something that was a little more substantial. And what I found was, Chinese medicine has been around for 5000 years, it's been somewhat coming into complementing Western medicine with acupuncture, acupressure, or seeing those talked about. There started to be this, there was this branch that came to my awareness called Qigong, which is energy work. It's all like basically what that holistic woowoo event that I went to, it was that but combined with some logical and some science based knowledge that was there. And so I signed up and went to this, to this seminar expected to be trained by I don't know who I thought would be the mastermind behind a Qigong class, but it's this six foot five, skinny white guy in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is one of the top teachers in the country. And I walked in, and he, he changed my world, he gave me these missing puzzles that I puzzle pieces that I think I've been searching for. And that was, what exactly is the energetic body, you know, our energy from a Chinese medicine perspective is what makes us come alive. It makes us who we are, it's why your Kyle, your Molly and your Patrick, it's, at the end of the day, Western medicine focuses on the physical body. So what's your physical body when you leave, but what makes you who you are that concept of soul or personality, whatever you want to articulate it is this energy field. This is why some of us are so great at what we do. This is why some of us are not so great at what we do. It's that energetic dynamic of who we are. And so the thought of taking care of it, where do we learn about that? And when we don't take care of it, what happens to the body and so he's here teaching about this, like, if you don't, if you don't release your anger, your liver is going to act up, and you're gonna, you're gonna want to probably engage in some more alcoholic beverages or some processed foods to calm that liver down. And I sat there I remember listening to that. And I said, but I'm not an angry person. I'm a nice kind person. He said, Well, it can't just be your anger. What if you're around angry people? What have you deal with frustrated, angry people on a regular basis? Oh, you mean like doing like a mass layoff? Or I determinate? Like 50 people in a two week period. Yeah, oh, that's living in your liver. And then I said, What do we do in HR? We love our happy hours. We love yes, we do in a beverage. We were just talking about this before, you know, and like, and you know, we have these, I have all of my really close friends, I had a really tough day today, all these people, I did have these tough conversations, and I can't eat my salad I got, I gotta go find some comfort food. That's that. That's that liver acting up. So it was just fascinating. And as I kept going, it just open more and more like, it's our energetic body. And then the collective of all of us is what creates culture. And so we've never been trained in how to care for it for ourselves or for the organization.

Kyle Roed:

That's fascinating. And I just think it's such a, it's such a different way of thinking than what we're used to in western medicine, which is diagnose it and then medicate it, right. It's a problem that needs that needs, you know, solved and you fix it with, you know, technological means, as opposed to thinking about more holistic approaches. So, you know, I know, you know, most people in HR may have experienced negativity from others at one point or another through their, their job, or, in some cases, that's pretty much the entire job. So, so how do we protect our energy through some of those challenging and, you know, gut wrenching situations that just are part of the job description?

Samm Smeltzer:

Yes. So, um, and so what's really interesting about this, and, you know, I wish that I could have documented me going into these training sessions because I truly was the skeptic. I mean, I'm sitting in this space. With these holistic practitioners and nurses, and then here's this HR lady, and I don't even really understand why she's here, like she's doing Expo z or something. And, but these exercises, as I put myself through them, they work and, and one of the biggest things that I've realized from HR is when we have to help people, for us to get into that space, we basically let down our guard that allows us to absorb whatever is happening in that space. That's why we're taking in the anger, the sadness, the stress, even some of the questioning of our worthiness and confidence, all the different kinds of mean, think of all the different kinds of people that you come in contact. And this does transfer through zoom and video conference. So you're not immune to it just because you're socially distancing right now. And one of the really easy exercises is just imagining that you have a barrier. And this is pretty backwards for some of us, because we think if I put up a wall, then I can't be there for people. But it's really, it's this wall that allows you to control what gets to be attached to you, like attach that you get to take home with you, you can still look and understand and interact with it, but not let it kind of penetrate your energetic wall. And so a real simple exercise is just imagining yourself in a bubble. That's really what it is, you know, and you can put it up at any given time. So say I'm in a meeting with a employee, and they're just coming in to say hello, and then it's turning into one of those hour long sludge sessions, because they're telling unwinding and telling me something else that's happening at work. And I can feel it. And we all know what that feels like when it starts to come and it creeps in. Even if you're in a meeting with a bunch of execs or leaders you can start to feel when you're getting kind of slimy. That's them penetrating your energetic walls are really just taking a moment and you don't have to close your eyes and just be like I'm in my bubble, there's this bubble. And it could be two to three inches from your body. It could be a foot from your body. And like I can still see everything and interact with everything. But it can't touch me like it's my pre don't fly me bubble because that's essentially what's happening is energetically, we're getting slimed by people, because they're just, they're in a state of release. So it's gonna go anywhere. It's just like, they're just swinging it around.

Molly Burdess:

You know, it's crazy. This is a crazy topic, but I can relate to it so much. And it's not something I've ever thought about before. And I know you guys are probably gonna think I'm crazy for this. But I've had that same thought with my glasses. I know that might seem crazy. But when I don't have my glasses on, I feel like I am so exposed and everybody can see right through me. But if I have my glasses on, it's almost like a barrier for me. I know that's crazy, but I can relate. No, no, no, no,

Samm Smeltzer:

Molly. That's a great example. So there's lots of creative ways people have created these bubbles. So like blazers, so be turned into like a Mr. Rogers routine where you put your sweater on before you go into the it's a physical bit like you're imagining you're coated with something so you're you're protected. Same idea, you're creating a barrier. I do that I wear like a blazer when I speak like when I'm talking and I could be like the firing squad of people just climbing new stuff. I I have to put something physically on or I forget that to protect myself essentially.

Kyle Roed:

So it's like power ties in the 80s.

Samm Smeltzer:

Yeah, I also think

Molly Burdess:

probably, I think women specifically can relate to this. And Kyle Patrick, I'm curious to your feedback. But especially women, I think high heels is another thing that a lot of women do. And or like lipstick? I don't know, I think women can very much relate to this topic. Kyle, Patrick, are you are you with us?

Kyle Roed:

I don't think Patrick's on that trip. But

Samm Smeltzer:

you know what's fascinating about women's like, women's accessories, I've even found the correlation to being grounded. So like not wanting to space out and leave, he has a situation so uncomfortable. The uncomfortable shoes keep us firmly grounded to the ground. So I've even made arguments that like I've coached clients, actually, when you're struggling, my female clients to wear these shoes to remind themselves to stay connected to the ground. So yeah, it's amazing how physical assessories can be a routing for us energetically.

Kyle Roed:

This is a this is really fascinating for me to think through. And I don't you know, I don't I don't necessarily have any sort of like physical coping mechanism, but I do certainly. I cope. You know, with my body. Like I don't like put anything on or anything like that, but like puffing the chest up a little bit. You know, kind of maybe, you know, tensing the scent. You know, I can see Patrick in his office doing like, you know, curls before Meaning that kind of thing. Like, for me, it's more like like just gearing up physically, to like, go into a really tough situation almost like a fight or flight response. And, I mean, this is this is fascinating, but I just had a really, really challenging meeting a few days ago came home had just had a massive, massive headache. And it was almost like I was, I had absorbed all of that negative energy. And I brought it home to my family, and felt bad about that, you know, and it's some I mean, I think all of us in HR have had those days where we feel like we're bringing it, bringing it home. So if we can shed it, or prevent it, I mean, that, that sounds good.

Samm Smeltzer:

And if you do get slimed a very easy way. And there's so this is Chinese medicine, this is Cheong. So there's definitely movements that are like Tai Chi that do these things as well. I recognize that those would be a little weird in the work environment right now, I envisioned the day that maybe we could do that. And, and it would be embraced, but shaking the body. So if you think of energy, it actually does physically attach. So dance breaks. But Eddie had a physical just like shake it out. They say, this is why athletes do that kind of naturally. And when they're shaking their body to prepare for performance, they're actually releasing things energetically could be emotional from a confidence standpoint. But we instinctively kind of do it. So when you feel slimed, like when you get home, just shaking it. If it's the head, tapping on the head that hits all the acupressure points in the head, you'll start to feel it kind of dissipate, shaking the hands. So it's just a very, it's weird, but it's it's effective. Kyle, Patrick, you

Molly Burdess:

better start dancing it out. For me, that's exercise. I think a lot of people can relate to that as well. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

I'm gonna I'm gonna change my my job title to weird but effective. Oh, I like that.

Molly Burdess:

So

Samm Smeltzer:

that's a good, you've got to say, I think I can tell.

Patrick Moran:

Still going back, scratch my head to the whole high heel thing as, as a barrier. I'm a short person, for those of you that don't know me. So when I see women wear high heels, I already have a negative bias. So that's kind of where I'm at without.

Molly Burdess:

I think it's something to that. I mean, you guys just can't relate to this. But I think there is a there's something to be said for women in the HR role who are working with their CEOs and CFOs, who are primarily white males. I think women have a harder time than probably you guys have had in your past. I think I don't know, you guys probably can't relate to it. But I'm a part of a part of a women leadership group. And I'm also a part of a women Leadership Conference Planning Committee. And we talk about this stuff all the time. So it is real. Yeah. One thing I want to know, because I think this stuff is good for in the moment, but you, you talked about, you know, every three to five years of disengagement from an HR professional. And I think that's also very real. And maybe what you're saying is by practicing these little things throughout the day can prevent that. But what do you do? Okay, it's you're in that three to five year disengagement slump? How do you get out of it.

Samm Smeltzer:

So if you're in the three to five year disengagement slump, it's in Qigong, they have basically three major steps. It's called purging, cultivation and regulation. So purging is getting rid of everything that does not serve you or does not work towards your highest good. And when you are in that slump, you basically have been slimed. And you're like the equivalent of a landfill. So she Gong, the one that I practice does have these treatments where people lay on a table, and we treat the energy meridians, which is what they use an acupuncture and acupressure. It's the same things, except we don't use needles. It's just hands that are away from the body. And we clear the body. And I've worked on HR practitioners over the last two years. And these sessions can take up to two hours for coming back every week for several months to get the system clear because there's that much stuff living in your energetic body. So I would say purging is your friend there is that you could get your dance breaks, you could get your cardio on to literally shake it out. There's a real simple exercise where it's breathing and starting at the feet. And you basically imagine that your hands are like rakes and you're combing through your energy. And then you pull it up to the chest and then you just shake it off and release it down to the earth. So recycling it out. But you're basically imagining that you're clearing your energy and releasing it out. And when you release it out, you exhale, so it'd be like inhale, release it out. So it's a lot of purging, which is so strange. We also have like intense purging exercises, which I teach and coach clients on that basically, they will spend all that time just getting it out and releasing it. And it's amazing. Because think of everything you have accumulated in that three to five years. That's your personal feelings about your work on top of anyone else you've interacted with. And it carries with you no matter if you change jobs, so it doesn't go away. It just stays in your body.

Kyle Roed:

So this, I totally forgot about this experience. But I did something a number of years ago called a drum wash, where they like, held the drum like and like, played this drum behind my head and then down down to my feet, and then back up behind my head. And it was the it was the weirdest sensation, I literally felt like I was lighter after it was over. And I had like the, you know, if you're ever at a good concert, and you get the goosebumps on the back of your neck, and you're like, this is I am one with the universe. I do. But that was how I felt afterwards. And it was so weird. And I've never done it since but it felt so good when I did it. And it Yeah, I guess I thought I was crazy. Maybe I don't

Molly Burdess:

know, how did you give me some context?

Kyle Roed:

Okay, the context here. So we, when, when my wife and I got married, we got married in a non traditional ceremony and we actually got married by somebody who was an energy healer. And she was also registered to marry because we wanted to have a non traditional wedding. So part of the package was you get a free, you know, like a tear off coupon, you get a free energy wash, or drum wash is what I picked, because I'm a musician. By dream, not by profession. And, and so she, yeah, that's, that's how she picked the drum wash for me. She said, you're a musician, you're gonna like this. And I mean, I was like, This is the weirdest thing I've ever done. But leaving there, I'm like, it was pretty cool. And every once in a while I can like I can reconnect with that feeling. in a different context, like on a morning run, or, or, you know, something really special happens, or, I don't know, it's hard to explain. It's like, I feel connected with something. And it happens again, it's, it's, yeah, weird, would be the word.

Samm Smeltzer:

But you're experiencing, like, what it happens when you clear. And that's where you are at the beginning of that three to five year cycle. So you're getting reconnected to who you are authentically, before all the junk is in your body. So yeah, it's really cool that you're explaining and as you and you know, Kyle, you just laid it out, you know, you do something kind of weird and wonky to one time, but then once you know the the sensation, then you can identify how you're doing it naturally. Because your body's going to try to release it naturally, throughout your days. And then you can gravitate towards that like how Molly said, well, that's like cars, you know, that's like exercise for me. So it's interesting how you start to make those connections,

Molly Burdess:

like driving with some good music is another one highlight definitely related to the music.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, you guys have seen me at a karaoke bar. So yeah,

Molly Burdess:

you really that is your true joy. I am so happy to play.

Kyle Roed:

That's my happy place. So how do we find more of the happy place? Sam? what's what's the what's the trick? Is it being intentional? and focused on on how we continue to to attain that? Or is it? Is it about finding the right company or finding the right space? or finding the right job? Would you? How do we find that in our lives as it relates to work?

Samm Smeltzer:

Um, so, you know, I think that to really find more of that happy place. It's about finding balance within yourself. I mean, I think a lot of us think that there's this magical place that one day will find and it has all these things, and really that magical place is as cheesy as it sounds, but inside and it's about balance. So thinking about a very basic form of Chinese philosophy, this old school Yin and Yang, I remember this back in grade school, I would have this BFF mood bracelets, and we would argue who has the white side or the black side, but we live a young field life active focusing on Go go go, how much can we cram into a day. What's missing is the Yin side which is reflective and sitting in spaces and being connected, having more of that goosebumps on the back of your neck. That's what you want more of. So the actual key is to replicate that sensation, if you zone out and listen to music, and it takes you there, do that more and do it on a consistent basis. And we're seeing this with the trends of incorporate a daily practice. But we've seen the extreme of you got to wake up, you got to meditate for an hour, they got to read like a self help book, then you got a journal, and you're like, I don't have time for that 10 minutes, five minutes a day zoning out to music, if you are generating that sensation of the goosebumps on the back of your neck, then do that. The issue you're going to run into is that most of us are just too tired. So you're, you've overworked yourself, the kidneys actually hold your energy reservoirs, which is why at the end of the day, most of us have lower back pain and aches. If you think about your kidneys, they basically just dry up like raisins. So you really want to like pump up the kidneys first. And it's really, really easy, you just inhale. And imagine that you're inhaling navy blue light and sending it down to your kidneys. And it sounds so simple, but it actually will generate energizing the kidneys, because the most basic form of cultivating energy is breath. Every time we're inhaling, you are doing Qigong. Right now all of us as we're breathing, taking a new energy, I'm exhaling out stuff that does not serve me, we're just adding a little more intention to it. But once you find that balance, it's amazing. Even if you get closer to it, so yes, the the the supreme is this ultimate balance that I'm 5050 most of us are not there, I'm not there probably like, what 4060 if I'm on a good day, and it's amazing, all these little nuances don't seem as heavy anymore. And also the magnitude of the things you're navigating at work or you know, getting the buy in that we're talking about at the beginning. As you become more connected to that sensation, and being balanced. It comes with this new level of transparency, which you basically get to see this almost like elaborate mind map with all these dotted lines, which is why I think we have this different wiring when we are open to the HR profession, of how things are connected, and what things have to happen in order for us to obtain by and you start to see this elaborate kind of map. And you can do that in any kind of environment. You also know when the map has a dead end, and you got to go jump to another organizational map. So it really starts and I truly believe it starts with the HR practitioner finding themselves and that balance to be able to navigate it all. Otherwise, we're going to just keep being in the cycle, and then just keep purging, and you'll at least be a little bit better.

Molly Burdess:

Patrick, what I've heard, Kyle's happy place will give him goosebumps with yours.

Patrick Moran:

I start my day, religiously every day, I dropped my kids at daycare and go to the gym, and I spend an hour that's my hour. And yes, I listened to very loud music there. And when I drive into work, and that just kind of sets the tone for my day. And then at the end of the day, when everybody goes to bed, we put the kids down, my wife typically goes to bed, around nine o'clock, I usually stay up for another hour. Sometimes I'll YouTube, some music concerts and things like that. It's just kind of like my own wind downtime. That's typically my routine.

Kyle Roed:

Patrick, I'm gonna get you a drum wash. We get that for you.

Molly Burdess:

Maybe we should bring that into one of our next disrupt HR events.

Samm Smeltzer:

Ooh, I love it. I love that idea. That would be awesome. That'd be fun.

Kyle Roed:

That's this. This is great. I love this topic. This is so this is so different. And I but I feel like, you know, as I'm reflecting on the conversation, and I'm thinking about, you know, energy and, and cleansing and bubbles, and it's, it's all this really kind of flowery language. But then if I correlate that to human resources, we're guilty of using that type of language all the time. It's just different types of buzzwords, right? It's like engagement or empowerment, or, you know, control what you can control. You know, it's all these like corporate isms. And I'm kind of feeling like, it's, it's almost the same thing. We just haven't been practicing it for 5000 years. So. So do you find that connection between the two, as you're, you know, thinking about being an HR practitioner, and then thinking about your study into the Chinese medicine?

Samm Smeltzer:

Yeah, I mean, absolutely. So we haven't even touched on I mean, if you want to go so it's it's Chinese medicine, you're talking about energy. So the path of woo is endless. And one of the topics that we haven't talked about is intuitive senses. So the the typical idea of people who have the gift of sight or the gift of hearing Or the gift of knowledge or the gift of feeling. So well let's take one that's so common for HR practitioner is being an empath, which means your ability to experience other people's emotions like they are your own. And when I started talking about this is something that I knew was alive and well in me, I didn't understand it, like why somebody could come in, and I would just have this like new emotion kind of wash over me and and where it came from. As we started talking about, I found that a lot of my friends in the HR world are experiencing the same thing and had no idea for it. Same thing with like, I mean, you know, the intuitive senses are just another sense that we just don't focus and develop, like taking care of our energetic bodies. So gift of sight, is not predicting the future. But it's seeing imagery in your, in your mind's eye. And I've done this with coaching clients, these people who are frontline supervisors, just to see how connected they are by doing visualization exercises and see if they can put themselves in the office and replicate the entire environment and how visual it is seeing it through their mind's eye. But it gives you a different perspective on different things. And even the gift of hearing, you're hearing at a another level stuff that maybe is Miss. So Incidentally, but what I found is that HR practitioners are having these things happening, kind of naturally, like they're like, well, I just had this feeling about this person, or I felt like I had to go check up on them, or I felt like there's something going on at home. Well, how do you know that? I don't know, I just I just do or i or i, while you're having a conversation, something randomly kind of comes to mind that helps you navigate your coaching conversation? Where does that come from? These are intuitive senses that are developing naturally and opening but we don't have any formal development in them. So yes, I've seen the correlation. And I can't help but wonder if we were a little more open. And we can replace the terms. I don't really care what you call the terms. But if we started working with this tools and modality, what could be possible? What could you really do as an HR practitioner? What would really limit you like these questions about buy in and engagement in facilitating meetings, you're like, I'm gonna go in, and I'm gonna, like, just read the room, I'm gonna read the energy. I'm gonna just walk around, and I could feel the cultural energy and shift it and navigate it. What if we were really open? And it's like, Hey, hey, john, you look like you got slimed today by some horrible thing that happened at home. Why don't you come to the treatment room? And I'll purge you. I mean, that's real extreme. But could you imagine if like, you're just that, like, you know, like, this is, this is like a whole nother vision of the norm. But like, is this what has been missing? I mean, we see employee wellness programs, we're trying to integrate yoga and meditation, we're trying to focus on mental health, you know, energetic body hits on a huge component. So you know, we're talking about employee wellness, I'm saying start with the HR. But, you know, we have the ability to help people operate at their optimal, just like it's helping you operate at your optimal performance.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, I can relate to that as well. I mean, I think, for most of us, we just see and feel things that are going on. And that's very hard to articulate to leaders on the team who are not who don't have that sense. They're like, what, I didn't get that at all. How do you navigate that?

Samm Smeltzer:

Well, that's where your relationships come in key. So all that work that we do to build the rapport and the credibility allows us to have the trust when we need it. And we also have to pick, you got to pick your battles, you know, if you went in, like, the lady who did the the drum wash, which, you know, is like an energy healer, if I went in every day, and I was like, Hey, I saw it. So this is what we must do. You know, it's, it's how do we help bridge that gap? But through the relationships, you build the credibility and the trust, it starts to shift. So there's times where like, I've worked in a space and every once in a while be like, I don't know if we should do that. I feel like that person is in a really hard space. And maybe they go ahead and do whatever they're going to do. And then they start it's, it's uncovered later on what was happening with the employee, and then all of them instinctively think, Wow, Sam was right, we should have been cautious. And now we kind of look like jerks the way that we treated that person. And then eventually it gets to a space where there'll be like, hey, Molly, what are you thinking or feeling like it? What's the first thing that comes to your mind? You'll start to get those opportunities. My book, the HR intuitive, the intro is written by an HR colleague who thought I was like, whacked out like she thought I was crazy talking about this stuff. And she's she went with me on a business trip to North Carolina to a manufacturing plant, where this company paid me to just sit in a room With people just to watch them, and I was reading energy, I didn't say that's what it was. But they heard I did it for somebody else. And they said, there's just something about her, she just comes and sits in the space. all I was doing was reading the energy, she came to ask questions so that I could watch what was happening in the space and listen with these other senses. And she said, after she watched my report out, she said, there's something here like and and the HR intuitive book that I wrote is about laying the foundation for expanding our mindset to be open to the fact that there is more that we are able and capable of doing as HR and also broadening the definition of HR. So it's just, it's interesting. It's, it's an evolution. And it's also recognizing that she may be at the forefront of that evolution.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, my gosh, this is just this has been so fascinating to explore. And I wish we had another three hours to go through it. But it sounds like if we wanted to continue the conversation, the best place to be when we start the book, so you have to check it out. But I do want to shift gears and we're going to go into the rebel HR flash round. Alright, so prepare yourself. Flash round question number one, what are you reading right now?

Samm Smeltzer:

I am reading of the infinite game by Simon Sinek. Do you need me to expand?

Kyle Roed:

No, but

Samm Smeltzer:

you can if you'd like. It's amazing, everybody.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, everybody knows Simon, right? I mean, that's he's, he's everywhere. Now. He's got all those really cool videos with the flour background, way better than my background. So but Sam's background is close to it's good. So I'm gonna give you some props. They're saying Awesome. Thank you. Alright, question number two, Who should we be listening to?

Samm Smeltzer:

Who should you be listening to people outside of your normal, like spanned your mindset? If you're not, if you don't know who Dr. Bernie Brown is, then you should, and you need to listen to her and her conversations. I would say that if you're knee deep in diversity initiatives, you should be listening to that audience. Go follow them on your social media feeds and podcasts. And listen, we have these huge opportunities to just tap into people through podcasts, through audiobooks. Listen to the language and the voice. So I would just say anybody, just get curious and go out there.

Molly Burdess:

That is the best answer I've ever heard for that question.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. I love that. And and you know, as I sit here, and I'm thinking about listening to podcasts, I just realized about two seconds ago, you totally read my energy when you listen to my podcast, and you totally call it out of this podcast, as far as how I change and react to certain situations. So maybe there is something here. All right. Last question here. It's really hard hitting one, how can our listeners connect with you,

Samm Smeltzer:

the easiest way to connect with me is to go to leadership is art.com. And check out all of our work there. We are an established community to restore and provide growth opportunities for HR practitioners. So we are 100% serving you and your development. And then on top of that I have a podcast called the heart of it podcast. It's HR art. That's the spelling for heart, the heart of it podcast, but we bring on guests and we are always talking about how to further our evolution in our practice. So if you liked we're talking about here, we hit it from all different areas on that podcast to

Kyle Roed:

love it. Thank you so much, Sam. It's been a really wonderful conversation and a different perspective that I know our listeners can take away a lot from so check out the book, the HR intuitive, and we will have all of that information to connect with Sam in the show notes. Thanks for coming

Samm Smeltzer:

in. Appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me.

Kyle Roed:

All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com using opinions expressed by a podcast this podcast

Jude Roed:

maybe