Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 55: Dynamic Communication with Jill Schiefelbein

July 27, 2021 Kyle Roed / Jill Schiefelbein Season 2 Episode 55
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 55: Dynamic Communication with Jill Schiefelbein
Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle Roed and Patrick Moran as they discuss communication strategies with Jill Schiefelbein.  Jill Schiefelbein is an award-winning business owner, author, and recovering academic. She taught business communication at Arizona State University for 11 years, analyzed terrorist documents to help provide counter-terrorism messaging strategies to the military, and was a pioneer in the online education space, creating an office serving 60,000 students and adding $1M in revenue in its first year.

In 2011 she ventured into entrepreneur land and hasn’t looked back. Her first business, Impromptu Guru, helps people improve their presentation and public speaking skills. She created a YouTube series that was syndicated by Entrepreneur Network and brings in thousands of new viewers each week.

Now, Jill is The Dynamic Communicator®, and creates and executes communication strategies that help organizations increase sales, enhance the product experience, and retain customers. She’s a video partner and a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as a livestream video personality.

Her latest book, Dynamic Communication: 27 Strategies to Grow, Lead, and Manage Your Business from Entrepreneur Press was the #1 New Release in multiple Amazon categories and is in bookstores across the United States.

http://www.thedynamiccommunicator.com/
jill@thedynamiccommunicator.com

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Jill Schiefelbein:

One of the biggest concerns about some people coming back to work and others not depending on a whole host of situations is now we have the likelihood of creating in groups and out groups, people who feel included and excluded.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast, the podcast where we talk to human resources, innovators, about innovation in the world of HR. If you're a people leader, or you're looking for a new way to think about how to help others be successful. This is the podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, revolutes. our listeners so excited to meet with Jill ship Holbein, we got to talk about that origin here in a few minutes. But she is an award winning business owner, author and a recovering academic. I love that. She taught Business Communication at Arizona State University for 11 years, analyzed terrorist documents to provide counterterrorism messaging strategies to the military, and was a pioneer in the digital education space. She has written a book, she's a communications expert. And so we are super nervous, and I'm sure she's gonna find a lot of faults with this podcast. Thanks for joining us, Gil. It's my pleasure to be here, Kyle. Thanks for having me. So shuffleboard stands for crooked leg.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Yeah, it's like it's German origin. I'm, you know, part German and one with a crooked leg. And I don't know if it's self fulfilling prophecy or not. But I've had tons of leg problems for knee surgeries. You name it. So, you know, I don't know as one effect on the other. But

Kyle Roed:

you know, there's a word for everything in German. That's pretty amazing. But self fulfilling prophecy, I guess.

Jill Schiefelbein:

There is and I'm sure there's a word for that that has 25 different letters to and it will be good.

Kyle Roed:

I like my favorite German word is SHODAN. Freud. How can it not be? How can it not be? So good. All right. So that's your German linguist lesson for today, we're going to shift gears. So really excited. Jill, thank you so much for connecting with us today and the your area of expertise. And this topic communication is just so critical in our role. So what got you into the world of communication?

Jill Schiefelbein:

There's the sarcastic answer. That's kind of true. And then the nerdy answer that's super true. Which one do you want?

Kyle Roed:

Let's I love sarcasm. So let's start with sarcasm. And then, you know, we can nerd out to

Jill Schiefelbein:

you know, the sarcasm because there's always some truth behind every joke was when I was in high school, I was that girl like Reese Witherspoon and election who did everything like my sole goal was to get a scholarship to leave my small town in Kansas behind mission accomplished spoiler alert. But I would get up in front of the student body and I would open my mouth and say words, and the people would go do things. And it was intoxicating power, especially for like a 1516 year old. And it took me a while to mature and realize the strength and the gravity of words. And then in college, the real answer is went to study communication, specifically got interested in organizational communication, because I geeked out on systems theory by Berlanti and really just dug in the woods there, and that really influenced the rest of my path forward.

Kyle Roed:

Awesome. Well, I'm a fellow nerds. So I'm with Yeah, I mean, we nerd out on HR, HR, Twitter, when Patrick and I go out for dinner. Our wives are just like, you guys are gonna talk about HR. And

Jill Schiefelbein:

it's okay, though we all have our lens through which we see the world, we just have to be cognizant that we're not shoving that on others.

Kyle Roed:

Well, I don't know how good I am at that. And you know, HR is an occupation that tends to shove things on over others sometimes. So that's good feedback. good reminder.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Well, it's funny because I went on a date a few weeks ago with the senior leader in HR. Not so spoiler alert that didn't work out. But one of the, one of the things that he said early on, he's like, Listen, I am a problem solver. Like, that's what I do in my occupation. I'm like, I understand that. I also need you to know that I am not a problem to be solved. And that didn't go over so well.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, that's speedy, you're speaking to the truth of me and my wife, and you would certainly have some things to talk about. But I definitely I'm that guy that you come into my office and I'm like, how do we fix it? Let's root cause analysis. We're gonna do the five why's we're going to figure this out. Let's put a process in place. Let's systemize it and we're done. And then we don't have to talk about it. Right? That's like that's just how our world works.

Jill Schiefelbein:

But sometimes you have to, you know, if you're interacting with someone in your world regularly, so like for your wife, what she will have to learn whether she wants to or not, right? And of course, it's a balancers, things that you could do as well, but it becomes you learn to set more clear expectations with your communication beforehand, so I'd be like, Alright, Kyle, listen, I know you're We're gonna want to solve this right away. But right now the role I need you to play is to listen to me to let me vent, and to give me a hug, period, end of story.

Kyle Roed:

We're still working on that.

Patrick Moran:

There's not enough of that, if that could happen every day, my life would be so much easier both at work and now. Right.

Jill Schiefelbein:

But people I find it interesting. And yeah, since I brought up dating, I'll just keep it in that world. But I just find it interesting in areas of life, when you actually say what you mean, you set very clear expectations, and people aren't used to it. And they're like, Are you for real? And like, what was confusing about what I just laid out for you, it was pretty specific.

Kyle Roed:

So Jill, I can tell you're good at your job, because you're already shifting into, like, coaching us on how to properly you know, communicate in the right context, you know, and modify it for the right relationship and all that stuff. And I think this is one of those areas I really wanted to explore with you is just to talk a little bit about the context in which you communicate. And, you know, in the context of human resources, I think we assume that we're good at this, because we're generally people, right, you know, usually we're extroverts. If we're not, we're at least high functioning introverts, because our job is dealing with this day in and day out. But there's been so many times where I leave a conversation, and I think, man that went that went great. You know, we really, we checked all the boxes, it was direct, specific, there's no lack of clarity here. And somebody leaves and said, Wow, that got you know, we totally we didn't do anything I was terrible is a terrible experience. They didn't help me at all, all they did was give me the boilerplate like, you know, I've had those experiences. So as we look at, you know, communication in the workplace, how do we address some of those issues of, you know, conversations and kind of laying the context for a productive conversation and open and effective communication.

Jill Schiefelbein:

I think there's two aspects of this to look at one of them, which I already said, is expectations. And I'll dive into that a little more. And then the other one is what I call stage setting. But for the first one, in terms of expectations, it's very important that you verbally set those with someone, because we can all send out agendas. And hey, in this meeting, we're going to discuss x, y, z, but the word discuss means different things to different people. The topics and the scope of the topic will mean different things to different people. And so it's not a one way communication of what this meeting is going to be about. It's more of the Alright, before we get started, I just want to set expectations. And I want to know what your expectations are of this, you know, if you could get two things out of this meeting one thing out of this meeting three things out of this meeting today, you know, what would make this a valuable use of your next 30 minutes, and get that from both parties and see where that leads. But we often don't take that time to do it up front, because we make a lot of assumptions, kind of when we make the assumption that people are on the same page as us, we are setting everyone in that conversation up for failure.

Patrick Moran:

Okay, I have a question on this. Because that makes sense. And that's really smart. How you put that, but how do we coach the people in the room? To empower them to speak up and say that, like, what is the best tactic for us? In our profession? We're in a room with eight leaders, and there's probably one or two, they're a little timid. And you know, it's intimidating situation? How do you coach to that?

Jill Schiefelbein:

Depending on the scope of the meeting, and the time of the meeting, there'd be a lot of different responses, right? So one of the things if you have longer periods of time, it's everyone gets post it notes, you write down three different post it notes of things you want to accomplish out of this meeting out of this workshop, whatever it is, stick them up, and then you start to organize them around themes, and then get buy in an agreement from everyone. So based on what we have up here, can we all agree that if we accomplish these three things, before we leave the room, we're going to consider this meeting a success, you get the buy in, you know, move forward, and then also get the agreement that anything that doesn't relate to these three things, we still have these notes over here, it doesn't mean that they're not important, it means that it's not the scope of what we're accomplishing here. Today, we're keeping those in a parking lot, you know, your short term parking, and here's long term parking, but they're in a parking lot, somewhere, we have these. So you definitely recognize everyone's contributions, none of them weigh more than others. But you get the group consensus on what needs to happen at any one point in time. So that would be for a longer situation for an individual, you know, a shorter situation. And let's say it's maybe a scroll small group meeting and you know, there's some people who don't speak up. Sometimes you have to phrase questions directly to people and volun tell people to give information, right? So it's Patrick, would you rather discuss X or Y, you know, and then maybe give a justification for that. Or if you leave something to open ended, sometimes people who are a little more on the shy side and don't like to speak up? They'll just say something? Well, you know what everyone else said sounds fine with me. So when that's the situation Having some type of binomial question where you come in and can get a clear cut response to go one direction or another can be useful.

Kyle Roed:

I think that's very well said, I love the parking lot thing, because there's so many times where you get wrapped around the axle on something. And it's probably something that we need to figure out. But in order to achieve the objective of that communication overhead, it ain't gonna help. Right. So having a parking lot, somebody did that in a meeting a number of years ago, and I was like, that's genius. So yeah, I'm with you, 100%. There.

Jill Schiefelbein:

I like the parking lot. But I like I wrote an article this was years ago. But it's short term and long term parking. You know, like, if you're at an airport, and you're just going to pick someone up or whatever, until, like later that day, or maybe it's only a one day trip, you can park in that short term parking, pay your $20 a day or whatever. But if you're going on a really long trip, that's like 10 days, you're gonna pay $200 for parking, when you could pay $50 for parking, right, so you're gonna make that long term parking. So getting again, consensus on Yes, this idea is tangential, but not directly related. And wow, this is something that we haven't even really put the resources or time into yet, but we need to have this on our radar. Interesting, I find that when people give ideas or contribute in a meeting, especially if it's someone who is hesitant to often speak up, the last thing we want to do is discourage that type of contribution. So we make people feel heard, we let them know their ideas are listened to that they do have merit and value. But this is not the time or place to be voicing those. And that's a really good strategy to for people who try to derail the meetings with their own personal agendas. And that's why again, setting those expectations and getting consensus up front of what's going to be accomplished is huge. Because then you as a moderator, or leader can say, All right, we've now all agreed on this, please know if we start to deviate from this plan, I'm going to call it out not because your contributions aren't important, but because we have to accomplish X, Y, and Z in this scope.

Kyle Roed:

Well said, really easy to agree with really hard to do, when that person just blown up the meeting about whatever they were complaining about in your office a few minutes earlier.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Right. But then empower everyone else to do that, too. So everyone in the meeting, so we are all stewards of our collective time here. So if you sense that anything is getting off track, everyone has the ability in here to respectfully speak up and make that a point of order.

Patrick Moran:

That needs to happen more, I'm going to set that tone in every single meeting, because that we all have those Kyle roads that derail the conversation.

Kyle Roed:

We got to put that, if you know, you know, it is what it is. There's a lot of squirrels to chase. And you know, that's fair feedback on a number of different levels. But you know, that's fair. Patrick, usually, when keeping the card on the tracks, we all have roles to play. We're gonna, that was a really nice way to say that.

Patrick Moran:

That's what I'm here for. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

So I do want to talk a little bit about, I think this is really critical, you know, as we talked about kind of the your more traditional in person meetings and, you know, going into the, you know, the this stereotypical board room setting, and you're dealing with leaders, and egos and agendas and hidden agendas, but now that we have converted a lot of those types of discussions to virtual, what kind of differences are you seeing? And what kind of tactics are you using to make sure that that same level of respect is applied?

Jill Schiefelbein:

Well, it's amazing and virtual, because you can just mute people. Honestly, I'm so funds going to Oops, sorry, everyone is muted, you know, and I'm not gonna lie, I've used that before, when you just need to regroup, because sometimes that's the healthiest thing for everyone to do. But I mean, I semi joke on that. But it's really important in that virtual space. Again, expectations are not only expectations about the meeting, but then expectations on how we're going to use the technology, right? We know how to associate face to face in person, right? If you want to talk to somebody, you're not going to, like throw a dart at them across the room to get their attention, or at least I hope you're not maybe people listening to this as rebels what maybe I don't know. But you know, in general, you're not going to be doing that type of thing in a meeting. But, you know, in a virtual meeting, when you feel like you're fighting for attention, you may speak up more, or because of the distance that you know, the mental distance that technology gives us, we feel that we can interrupt more that type of thing, all the studies on anonymity on the internet, and now, even without anonymity, people feel they can post things on social media that they would never say to a person in real life. And so we have some of that roll over when we do these virtual meetings and experiences. So it's really important again, to set that expectation. So listen, here's what's going to happen. So let's say Patrick's running this meeting, and there needs to be a 10 minute briefing on topic x. All right, everybody, listen, I'm going to be doing this briefing. I do Want your questions? Here's how we're going to do it as your questions arise, put them in the chat, we can all be typing questions simultaneously, someone else may be able to answer the question before I can get to it. If that's the case, answer that question in chat, you know, utilize and leverage the technology, because what is possible in the virtual space, and I've been saying this for the better part of a decade is it can enable several simultaneous conversations that an in person meeting or experience cannot. And there is power in that. And so just being strategic on not only setting the meeting expectations, but the communicate of expectations for that meeting for how people are going to, for lack of a better word right now behave right in the meeting and utilize the technology to your advantage. I

Kyle Roed:

think that's so tough to kind of understand the right balance there between you know, do you have like, three conversations going in the chat publicly, five conversations privately, you know, the verbal conversation going, and then oh, by the way, I got, I just said, 30 new emails pop in over the last 20 minutes, and I haven't had a chance to check it, you know, and to kind of, to keep people's attention captured, I think is can be such a challenge. So as you're going into those types of situations, is there Do you have a thought or guidance on what's the appropriate level of context switching that's allowable? How do you approach that? It depends, right? There's no silver bullet, oh, you might be great at HR. Now. Everything depends.

Jill Schiefelbein:

I've been told I'd be a great politician too. But neither of those things are in my cards. So we're all right. When you go into, again, the context and the expectation setting, it's, it's again, it's calling it out. Listen, I know we have a bunch of distractions on our time, right now, instead of taking 60 minutes for this meeting, and everyone being bifurcated in their efforts, can we all take 20 minutes and only 20 minutes, focus, knock this out, and then move on to whatever else we need to do. And so whatever you need to do to situate yourself to do that, please make sure that happens. And that's communicated before the meeting even right? Listen, we're only doing this as a 20 minute meeting, instead of taking an hour of your time XYZ, we need to do these things. So setting those expectations, even before the meeting for the type of you know, attention that's expected is one thing that letting people know, do you expect them to be on camera? Do you expect them to be at a desk? Do you expect them to be you know, prepared with X, Y, or Z materials, and again, communicating that ahead of time. The other thing that I find very frustrating at organizations too. And I have a client who every single meeting that starts at the specific time. Well, let's just wait a few more minutes to do that. Well, I'm like, why is my time less valuable than, you know, the people who are coming late to this meeting? So again, setting those expectations that listen, the meeting starts here, that doesn't mean, you know, click on the meeting, like at

3:

01pm, it means click on it at three, we'll give you that, you know, 32nd buffer, because yeah, listen, it takes a while to get in. I'm not talking about that. But I'm talking about those five minute delays. Think of your audience know what you need to accomplish. And just be very straightforward about it sooner, the biggest challenge is to I find that a lot of times we aren't aware how diverted our attention gets. Right. So for example, when I am doing a conversation like this, my messages window shut down in my notifications are turned off, my phone is on the other side of the room. And it's only on the other side of this room instead of a completely other room. Because if for whatever reason we lose connection, I can run and grab it and call in some capacity, right. But that's it, everything else is minimized. But if we don't draw attention to what needs to happen, the propensity for distractions is huge. I mean, we're all working from home, if you think about it, you know, and some people are back in an office. Now fortunately, you know, that's starting to happen. But for those of us still at home, we have tons of distractions, if you think of how many devices make a noise that you have within earshot of you. And then take that with maybe a significant other roommate, you know, a kid, in my case, a cat who could like jump up on me at any second, there's a lot of things that can happen to distract. And a lot of times we're so used to the status quo, if we don't call attention to it to get people focused. It's not gonna happen.

Patrick Moran:

I have a question about, you know, maybe switching gears a little bit, or sorry, I never. We set some ground rules before he came on. I got to use this little race hand thing. As you talk about people going back into the audience, or back into the office, and then you have all these virtual meetings, there seems to be different opinions on how to have a meeting now when people are going back into the office, especially around the ones that aren't back yet. So you're asking them to zoom in on a big screen yet, you and five others are in board room and it kind of loses a sense of I guess connectivity with the people that are virtual versus in the room. I'm curious what your opinion is on that take if you if you're going to offer zoom, everybody just zoom or should it be one of the other or can blending work?

Jill Schiefelbein:

I am very much line on the same page as you and literally gave this talk last week to a client that said, one of the biggest concerns about some people coming back to work and others not depending on a whole host of situations is now we have the likelihood of creating in groups and out groups, people who feel included and excluded. If you don't want to do that don't show five people in a conference room and then throw virtual people up on one screen. Because that is going to make those virtual people feel excluded from any potential side conversations that may or may not be happening. If that is the case, you have some people virtual some people in person, Everyone sit at your cubicle, your desk, your office spread around, whatever it is, everyone be virtual. So you have the same means of communicating, you're all using chat, you're not passing notes, you're not making hand signals, you're not using sign language, whatever it is, you're not doing any of that you are communicating in the same mediums. Otherwise, you're going to have people feeling that they are part of something lesser than a prime example, I'm getting my doctorate right now. And last semester, you had the option to travel into campus. You know, I'm in North Carolina and my programs in Florida. So I could have gotten on a plane stayed at the hotel, gone to Florida, you know, taking these classes in person or done it virtually, which is what I felt better doing. half the class was in person, half the class was virtual. We had some professors who mainly talked to the people in the class and we were second class citizens in the virtual space. And of course, we had our own backchannels. And we were feeling as connected as we could be as second class citizens together. But then we had a professor who was excellent at staying stationary repeating questions doing all of that and making people feel included and encouraged everyone in the classroom who all had laptops to get on the virtual platform and communicate questions that way. So nobody would be prioritized over the other. So when the hands were raised, it was all raised in the platform. So if you are going to do it, if you are going to have a true hybrid where you have massive people in person set rules so that the order that people get called on the order their opinions are recognized the order their feedback, is, you know visibly taken is all in one area, instead of prioritizing one over the other, which is going to happen if you don't set up those rules ahead of time. Just by nature. It's not because it's intentional. It's just going to happen.

Kyle Roed:

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Jill Schiefelbein:

depending on the situation, that goals and everything, I'd advise it in different ways. I mean, my, in my opinion, hybrid events. Now let's talk a bigger picture events, conferences, Association, meetings, etc. I think most of them are going to be hybrid, from here on out, we have come to now expect and understand how efficient and effective virtual meetings can be. And especially as companies are recovering from, you know, the economic turmoil that just happened, travel budgets aren't going to be as high in a lot of industries. So I'm emceeing events this summer, that are having, you know, a group in person, and then a large group and virtually, and my sole role in that is to bring those audiences together. And so it's really important that yes, we are all experiencing the same thing, in terms of confusion, and, you know, uncertainty and navigating this, quote unquote, cliche phrase, new world, but we're all experiencing it very differently. And that's what sometimes we forget, you know, yeah, we're in similar circumstances, but our experience within those circumstances is dramatically different from person to person.

Kyle Roed:

100%. Yeah. So, and I know you do some virtual events, and you kind of coordinate that. So as you look at organizing and setting these types of things up, is that the model you're going with, then we're gonna do a little bit of hybrid, you know, is it? Are you seeing a little bit of a trend more towards, hey, if we can be in person, we want to be in person, you know, how are you approaching that right now? I know, there's a lot in flux.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of organizations, I'd say, doing this hybrid approach hedging their bets and a little ways, right? Because, number one, if you plan a hybrid approach, and you know what hits the fan, and no one can be in person, for whatever reason, you already have a virtual thing. Plan. Right? And so pivoting to that is easy. It's not like March and April of 2021. It's like, Oh, no, we have to cancel everything. And no one was prepared to pivot, right? With a hybrid of it, you have your backup plan, and not calling the hybrid portion or virtual portion a backup plan. But that is your plan B for your in person audience. Your plan A was always this amazing virtual experience, always. Right. But if we need to pay take the amazing in person experience, we also planned and put it into that amazing virtual experience, then it's already there, the infrastructure is there. And so I see a lot of people doing things like that. And I don't know if that's their thought process, you know, me, what are the contingency plans, that would be mine, but you have those options that way. The other thing when it comes to these events, it's really thinking about, is there a real reason to be present in person, I think we learned over the past, you know, 18 or so months that when it comes down to it, we can be very efficient working remotely. It may not be our ideal, but we can have a lot of efficiencies. So my prediction and what I'm starting to see after the initial oh my gosh, we can meet in person again, let's you know, let's do that is over, it's companies and organizations thinking more strategically about, okay, we need to really be able to justify why this is necessary in person in person events will always be necessary for different reasons. But before organizations may have had for in person events a year, maybe now they will only have two or maybe one and be able to convene virtually for those other things, because now we all have efficacy and how to make these events effective and useful in online environments. So you're seeing a lot of combinations.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, we've had that conversation about 16 different times over the last few weeks at my organization, I can tell you that. So you know, I think you hit on a topic that I think is really, really fascinating. And I'll be curious to see where a lot of organizations end up. But it's the fact that your virtual communications really efficient. I mean, I pre pandemic, I was traveling 25 to 50% of the time, internationally. So you know, you take some time to get places and then you get there and you'd be jet lagged and you know, off your schedule, and, but I think that the challenge is like, I love that because I felt much more effective in person and you know, especially as you start to, like, intuitively read the room, or like feel the pulse of the culture, you know, all these like soft HR things that we like to do. It's really hard to do that virtually. So sometimes you can read body length And virtually on the video, but a lot of times you're not getting the, you're not getting the real story, or the kid that takes the cut out and like sticks it by the, by the video and but what tactics are you seeing for that communication not just to be efficient, but effective?

Jill Schiefelbein:

Well, I want to rewind real quick to something you just said that, you know, you feel more accomplished more productive, more whatever you felt like people got you do you know for a fact that they did? Do you have quantifiable measures to show that that was more effective? Because for example, I have when I used to teach, and work with people on how to make them better virtual presenters. And this was years and years ago, like, again, well, before this time, and then of course, you know, that picked up obviously, really quick when COVID. But you know, the thing is people like why hate speaking to a virtual audience, because, you know, I can't I don't know, if they're understanding me or whatever. I said, Well, you don't know if they're understanding you in person, unless you're asking them. I said, it's just like a gated community, or a gated apartment community or getting suburb, it's a false sense of security, we see those head nods or whatever. And we don't really know what they're thinking, I'm sitting there nodding my head, and I'm thinking about that maple bacon donut that was outside that I didn't get because I was trying to watch what I was eating. But I can't focus on what you're saying, because I want that darn doughnut, right? You have no clue what's in your audience's mind unless you are confirming receipt of message confirming the action steps that are going to be taken after the message. And you're ensuring that there's mutual understanding that's at play. So a lot of us feel better about doing things in person. But do we actually know? So that is a challenge I will put back to everyone? Do we actually have quantifiable or qualitative outside of your own opinion measures that tell you and tell the organization that you're more effective and productive in that environment?

Kyle Roed:

Like, I'm thinking we do that dynamic communicator, calm Rachel. You know, it's such a great call out and I'm just I'm sitting here, I'm thinking, Okay, how the hell would I measure that outside have felt good, you know, and it felt good.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Yeah, you're giving a training. And let's say you have an evaluation form, and you're giving the same training online, and you have that evaluation form, at least then you're comparing, you know, apples to oranges, you're comparing to fruit, at least in this case, right? But you really, most people have no real quantifiable data that measures their effectiveness on a regular basis. And so it's really something to think about. And I think more organizations now are like, Well, wait, we still met, you know, q1 goals or q2 goals, or whatever these metrics were? Did we meet those? Yes or no? Like, that's a binary where they met yes or no, if they were met, by what percentage? Did we achieve it? Or did we, you know, go down. I mean, I worked with a lot of sales teams. So that's an easy one, right? You set those expectations, you know those numbers. But when you think of things that you do in HR cases, you may resolve, you know, benefits that you need to negotiate people who contact you and feel comfortable contacting you for different issues. I mean, depending on what of many HR issues that you serve, and your specialty, I mean, there's so many different things that can come to the table. How are we measuring those because often with soft skills, jobs, and I've had them too, that quantifiable measurement is sometimes looked at is like, ooh, you know, we don't want to do that. But until we really have data on what we are not achieving,

Patrick Moran:

I think what, what I try to tell myself or convince myself of maybe a measurable of that is our tenure of our employees, our retention rate, and our turnover rate, you know, high tenure, high retention rate, low turnover, then maybe you can look at our organization that the HR department, the people department, are doing their job, and hopefully ensuring a culture where people want to work and want to stay. I guess that's how I justified

Kyle Roed:

you can try to justify it that way. But I struggle just to wrap my head around this because there are so many external forces at play and all of those KPIs. So if you know, your turnover, like the managers could be bad. Yeah, I could have a crap I can have a jerk manager or I could make, you know, $2 less per hour than if I go down the street. And it has nothing to do with communication. I don't care about that. But I don't know Jill, how do you measure qualitative effectiveness without, I guess I'm at a loss. How do you do that?

Jill Schiefelbein:

Yeah, it what is in your control? And this is a huge, this is a long activity, right? Like this is not something we're going to solve in a podcast, but it's really understanding what's in your control. And what can you influence, right? What is actually in your control and then what do you have influence over right? You have influence over retention, it is not 100% in your control. Right? What is 100% in your control is onboarding, right, and the processes that you're getting and the partners that you're working with clients internally to get, you know, all right, you know, warehouse department has to have X, Y, and Z, and you're working with them to get the subject matter experts to do whatever it is to put together the things that you need to do for successful onboarding, right, the 90 day checkup, or whatever conversation that is fully within your control cultural events, I mean, HR departments, again, vary to you know, some are in charge of training and development, some are not, they're separate departments, all of those different things, but really focusing on what is in your control. And then what you influence, how do you set up touch points with the leaders of those areas, to get their opinions and their feedback on where they're at? Right? So let's say you have 10 departments in an organization and retention, just like you said, Patrick is one of those things. So you go in there, you realize what you can control, the onboarding, the 90 day checkups, you know, biannual review, whatever all those different touch points are from an HR perspective. And then you work with that leader. And you see in those 10 departments, okay, well, wow, Kyle's department really is having more turnover than others. And you can influence that, right, you can investigate, you can find out if Wow, the salaries are actually really, really low in this department. So even though Kyle is an awesome manager by all of his feedback, people need money, and I'm not mad at them for leaving, right. So you can dive in deeper and start to diagnose those things,

Kyle Roed:

because he's a jerk. I mean, that's what they told me before I came on the show. I'm just glad you took the interview. Anyways, I appreciate that. Nice, very nice of you. It's such a great call to action. And I think it's one of the challenges throughout the course of my career, I've struggled to truly define those the KPIs that we do have control over. And then you calculate, you know, the cost of turnover, and you can't, you can put an ROI on some things, but using that, but the truth is, like, even if you do have a wonderful HR program, you may not turn that KPI one way or another. Because there's other external factors at play. And so great call to action there. And, yeah, I don't know, the one area that I'm still struggling with that I think I know it's more effective in person is building a personal relationship with somebody like a truly like, informal, like, friendly work relationship. I don't know how you do that virtually. Gil, are there any thoughts on that? Or anything that you've seen that it's worked really well, for people who truly cannot get in the same room together?

Jill Schiefelbein:

Yeah, absolutely. I think there's, there's a lot of ways and I have seen amazing relationships form virtually. And I imagine that in the next five years, because this is a pace of academic publishing, you're gonna see a lot of research come out on the efficacy and the strength of those relationships, especially in younger generations, right, especially in younger generations. And I mean, in a decade from now, the people who were homeschooled initially in their schooling experiences during this time and everything, I mean, it's gonna shift a lot of communication and a lot of the way people work and have expectations in the workplace to as they start to matriculate there. But when it comes to meeting in person, one of the examples I use is this, when we are physically together in a space, there's other stimuli present. If we're in the break room at work, there's other stimuli present, we could talk about the sign that has the stinky fish on the microwave and laugh at it together. We can talk about Ooh, I wonder who brought in those doughnuts. Can you not tell that I really want to do that right now. You know, we can talk about a lot of different things because there's a lot of stimuli around Oh, did you see the flowers that so and so got? Oh, did you see Bob's new picture? Whatever it is, there's a ton of stimuli around us. Most people do not plan for that stimuli in a virtual environment. So they meet up and it's like, hey, Kyle, let's just meet and have a virtual coffee and get to know each other. And so you and I are sitting with coffee, and Well, hi, well, what do you do I do this, or what do you do? And it's the most boring, laborious conversation ever. Yeah, because we didn't bring stimuli into the conversation. So instead, something like hey, Kyle, let's meet and have coffee, but a quick challenge. drink your coffee out of a mug that has a good story, because that's the first thing I want to learn about. And so boom, you get on that call. And you and I each have a mug that has a story and we're talking about something that's not networking that's not work related. It's about the story of how this mug came to be in our hand right now. Right? So now you have a different stimulus that's going to bring in other stories that are more relational focus, and not only Test focus. So I had friends groups who we'd have random ingredient parties were all right. This week, we're all going to meet for our virtual dinner. And we're going to see who can come up with the most creative recipe using carrots. Right. And so everyone made something with carrots. And even though we couldn't taste it, we voted on it. You know, sometimes there's scavenger hunts, or it's a show and tell type thing. But it's something that's bringing in external stimuli to the conversation. It's the same way as if you're sitting at a restaurant with your significant other, and you all are tired, you both have long days at work, you really don't want to talk that much, because I kind of want to just zone out. So what do you do you both people watch and talk about other people? It's amazing, right? This is what we do, because there's this external stimuli. So make sure to preemptively bring that into your virtual conversations and find challenges to solve. I love that you're cracking up right now.

Kyle Roed:

I can't I can't I can't give a survey. This is so funny. It just reminded me so I don't know if you're David Sedaris fan or not. But my wife and I are big David Sedaris fans. In one of his books, there's a story about how he and his husband got eaten, they ran out of stuff to talk about. So his husband would like pull out a newspaper clipping. And at dinner one time it pulls out a newspaper clippings, like, oh, did you hear about these spouse burnings in India? You know, like, like the worst, like the most random and terrible thing out of the newspaper clippings. It's so anytime, so I'm laughing because anytime my wife and I run out of things to talk about, I always go do your about these burnings in India, Bernie, Oh, my gosh. twisted sense of humor.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Sorry, anyways, it's fine. But the thing, right, we get throughout our days, we lose so much willpower. This is a whole other topic.

Kyle Roed:

We got, we got like six podcast episodes to go off of here.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Right? We lose the willpower. I mean, we don't even have the willpower to make a decision about what we're going to eat for dinner. And then an hour later, we still haven't decided and we're both hangry at each other, right? by both. I mean, me and my cat. We bitched at each other, it's great. And, you know, I still haven't eaten anything, and she has her food, but she's just looking at it, you know, it's just a bad thing. And so we need external stimuli to help drive conversations when we are fatigued. And so in this zoom environment, we have to bring that in. And so as you know, culture leaders have that whether it's a coffee cup, or a cheesy souvenir, or you know, a picture from a trip, or, you know, what is the first state outside of the one you were born in, that you ever visited, and come prepared to discuss this random question that has nothing to do with work but everything to do with getting to know someone. I love it.

Unknown:

I love it. I'm going to get a funny hat collection and start wearing that. All my zoom meetings.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Right? You know, like, you could even say within arm's length from you right. Now, what is the most random object you could grab? Yeah, both of you. Right now, what's the most random object you could grab within an arm's length? within an arm's length?

Kyle Roed:

I'm like, I have a silver rhinoceros. I have a bag of empty chili cheese. Fritos, that my kids left on the floor. See, there you go. Right. But then if I didn't know you'd be like, Oh, how old are your kids? Right? Right. Yeah,

Jill Schiefelbein:

right. And Jill, you have a silver Rhino. Why do you have a silver Rhino right and we it's a completely inconsequential took no preparation whatsoever, but can yield conversations and Patrick, I see what you had. There

Patrick Moran:

are options on how to use our building paging system for some reason in this office. Weird. No,

Kyle Roed:

yeah, no. Okay.

Jill Schiefelbein:

Amazing. Are we in Mad Men day still like paging systems is great.

Kyle Roed:

They use beepers. Wait, that's at least 80s Come on. We're pushing forward there. If you saw his office building, you would feel like you were a madman. It looks like it was built in like 1962. Please tell me you have a good decanter. I want to say yeah, yeah, got it. Yeah. Still got paneling on the wall. I

Patrick Moran:

see a mirror in my HR conference room. Literally. There's paneling on the walls. There's old big cushy leather chairs around a big board table. It's awful, but great all at the same time. Nice.

Kyle Roed:

Awful book. Great. Perfect. We just found the tagline for the podcast. Great. All right. We're gonna shift gears. We're gonna go to the rebel HR flash rounds. But so far, I just want to keep talking. But we got to be mindful of time here. All right. Question number one. What is your favorite people book?

Jill Schiefelbein:

I'm gonna be a rebel and not answer that directly. I said, I'm gonna say what is my favorite book that makes me think about things and people differently. And that is a book by Jeff Jarvis called what would Google do? It came out I think it was like 2009. And this was before Google is is even as big as it is today, obviously. But what he did was he said if we applied Google's philosophies and thinking and culture to different industries, to utilities, to healthcare to government, or whatever, what would some of those differences be? And then how would people It'll be different in those situations. And that was the first time I'd ever read a book that took kind of like a paradigm and applied it in multiple contexts. Because typically, like you hear this idea, and then it's applied in the workplace like this generic workplace, but this was so specific and delineated. I really got inspired by it.

Kyle Roed:

Interesting. Alright, question number two, Who should we be listening to?

Jill Schiefelbein:

Oh, gosh, I mean, I'm a big fan of Imagine Dragons and 311. Oh, you're not talking about music?

Kyle Roed:

Hey, we can go music now. I was a big 311 guy back in the day. So we're Oh my god, you're out of Omaha. Oh, I

Jill Schiefelbein:

love them so much anyway, who should you be listening to? That's a darn good question. I it really depends on what you are needing at the moment. The biggest thing that I do when I need to listen or get in is I go to social media and I scroll hashtags. And when someone's name comes up a half a dozen times or so and a hashtag, I go stalk them and see what I can learn

Patrick Moran:

like that.

Jill Schiefelbein:

So again, an indirect answer. I'm just gonna be a rebel on all these questions. like who is this person? I hate her and I'm okay with that. You know?

Kyle Roed:

You're on brand for the podcast. It's perfect chill. Thanks. Well, I had to fit in somehow I don't out group Alright, last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Jill Schiefelbein:

everywhere on social at dynamic, Jill, as you heard at the very beginning, My last name is a beast so don't even try to spell it but just anywhere on social at dynamic Gil and info at dynamic Gil, calm, easy way to get to that and dynamic virtual events calm if you want to know anything about, you know, the virtual side of things.

Kyle Roed:

I'm just disappointed you didn't go with the handle crooked leg.

Jill Schiefelbein:

I know, right? My friend owns a business called the crooked Lotus. So you know.

Kyle Roed:

Well, jealous, it's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for for educating us and our listeners and took a ton of notes. There's gonna be a lot of follow up here and look forward to continuing to stay connected here. Going forward. Thanks so much. Likewise. Thank you guys. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast baby