Join Kyle as he discusses Influence and Impact with Bill Berman.
Bill discusses his recent book, Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Needs From You The Most (Wiley; https://bermanleadership.com) by Bill Berman and George Bradt, featured in Forbes, Leadership Now and the Deep Leadership podcast.
Doing the right job the right way is critical to professional success. Influence and Impact provides an easy-to-follow, common-sense approach to building influence at any level of an organization.
Accomplished leadership and executive coaches Berman and Bradt offer a fresh perspective on:
• Evaluating what values, strengths and capabilities you bring to your role
• How you can develop new skills to increase your influence
• Determining if you are in the right place to have the greatest impact
Through a trifecta of clear frameworks, accessible anecdotes, and pragmatic solutions, Influence and Impact shows the reader how to apply well-tested coaching tools to becoming more influential and achieving impact at work.
Perfect for executives, managers, leaders, and any professional who hopes to get a clearer picture of what their colleagues, superiors, and followers expect of them, Influence and Impact will allow to you refocus your efforts at work and obtain the results you’ve been looking for.
Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.
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.
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There are people who are stuck. And I think for those people, looking at how you where you can adapt how you can change what you do, and maybe how you can adjust the job to make it a little bit more satisfying or a little bit more gratifying.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 are 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 rebels. All right, Rebel HR listeners. Thanks for joining us this week. I'm really excited for the conversation we've got with us today. Bill Berman, Bill's an executive coach with experience as a psychologist, senior line manager and an organizational consultant. Since founding Berman leadership development in 2005, has been a trusted advisor to general managers and C suite executives across multiple industries. We are going to be talking today about a book that bill wrote with George brat, influence and impact discover and excel at what your organization needs from you, the most welcome to the show, Bill. Thanks very much for having me. Good to see you. Absolutely. And, and really great to have you on on the show. I've we were talking before I hit record, I started reading through the book, I'm not all the way through it, but some really great content in here. And I think that could be helpful for any professional regardless of where they're at, in their career. So what inspired you to write a book on influence and impact?Bill Berman:
You know, I've been doing executive coaching for 15 years, and I was a line manager for about eight years before that. And it's become increasingly clear to me and to my colleagues that the use of direct line authority to get people to do things is really waning as a as a way to make things happen. So much organizations are so complicated now, and they're so matrixed. And they're so global, that if somebody doesn't want to do what you need them to do, they don't have to do it most of the time. So if you don't have influence, if you can't convince people that they should want what you want, you're not gonna be able to get done what you need to get done as a as a senior leader in an organization. So that's, I mean, that's that was the trigger for me about writing this book is that I think everybody needs to understand why how they get influenced what that's built on, and what it can do for you. And a lot of times the people are talking about pretty advanced activities in building influence. So you start out building influence by making people understand that you're the go to person who can get the job done, and who is a part of the organization. And if you can get people to see that, then they're going to want to follow you and they're going to want to help you. That's really the trick.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. Just reminds me and I kind of grew up in the management theory of command and control, right, where you know, you I am your leader, therefore, thou shalt Do as I say, or else we can find someone else to replace you. Exactly. Right, which, sorry, go ahead. I was gonna say that, you know, that's, that's been a little bit thrown on its head. So I don't know what what is your, what's your experience with that kind of that style? In today's world,Bill Berman:
you know, 10 years ago, I was working with a client, who had probably 25 years of general management experience, and he was very accustomed to running a command and control shop and being being in charge of everybody. And his company got bought by a lot, much larger company. And all of the pieces of his business got split out. So sales reported up to a global sales organization, HR reported up to a global HR organization, finance reported up to a global finance organization. Same with marketing. And so none of those people needed to listen to him because he wasn't their line manager. And after about six months of this, he left, he said, I can't do this. This isn't how I've learned how to run a business. I don't want to do this this way. And it's really that was one of the early indications to me that this was an important approach to develop. And so that's become a part of my coaching all the way along.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, I remember, it's been a few years back now, but I at a manufacturing organization that I worked at very similar experience. And it was we had a new leader who came in and they actually they would actually use the phrase we need to get better at command. In control, you know, effort to, like inspire blind leaders, you know, the production supervisors in the, in the manufacturing managers to like think, yeah, let's go let's command and control but it was just, it was like swimming with a brick tied to your leg. Right. I mean, it was not it was not getting anywhere and it wasn't getting anything done. But what I noticed was that the the departments that were running well, prior to this individual coming in, continue to run well, in spite of this, you know, this approach and what I saw that the commonality there and those leaders were, they just, they took care of their people. And but they weren't necessarily the most compliant with, you know, corporate structure, but they, they tended to get people to follow them. So is that is that what you're referring to where, you know, it's really about influence,Bill Berman:
but a building, you know, there's a book called, why would anyone be led by you by Rob coffee? And it's really about how do you build followership? And how do you build alliances with people so that they want to work with you. And that's really the issue of followership. And building. followership is critical to being a leader these days, otherwise, people can just hold their breasts sit tight, and wait for you to move on. Because if if they're not, if they don't do the work for you, you're not going to be successful. And you're going to be told to find another job pretty quickly. So it's, yeah, it's a it's, you know, the building followership is equal parts of giving people something, to believe in giving them someone to believe in and giving them someone who believes in them. And if you can do those three things, then you've got enormous influence over the organization, and with the people. So it's gonna make a huge difference for you.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's, I think you articulated that in a really interesting way. And I've heard this before, where it's like, if somebody gets a leader, they don't like, we'll wait it out. We'll just sandbag our way through this. And until we got somebody that we like, but yeah, there is, it's almost like the world is awakening to realize that there is a lot of kind of power in the hands of individuals who are, you know, maybe not in a leadership role. But the ones actually doing the work.Bill Berman:
You know, a lot of leaders, particularly in the past, felt like if that, that their people were successful, because the leader in the job of the people who worked for them was to make the leader successful. I think that's really been turned on its head. And I think the best leaders these days are servant leaders, and they understand that they are there because they stand on the shoulders of the giants who work for them. And if you understand that, and you you treat people with that level of respect and integrity and autonomy, they're gonna deliver for you, they're not gonna, they're not going to sit around and give you a hard time or passive aggressive view out the window, they're gonna, they're gonna work for you and want to help you be successful because they can see how their own path to success in that, you know, it's the the whole notion of the alternative to command and control is what's called mission tactics. And it's been around really, since the 19th century. And even the military has gone back and forth between mission tactics and command and control. And mission tactics is a system whereby you delegate a ton of responsibility and accountability. And you do that by making sure people really understand both the mission and the values of your organization. So if you and a lot of the military now uses that mission tactics approach to to be to leadership, that's a critical part of the leadership manual.Kyle Roed:
That's really interesting. So in your experience in the work that you do, obviously, you've seen a number of you've seen a number of leaders and you've helped a number of leaders along the way. Have you seen somebody successfully transition from a command and control into mission tactics? style?Bill Berman:
That's a really good question. And I think over time, the answer is yes. So I had a client who started out as a very when he was a young manager was very much a command and control fellow. He knew what he wanted. Done. He knew how he wanted it done. He knew that the his job he believed was to get the people to just give him enough stuff. So he could be successful. And so it was really a, an organization designed to support him. Over time, he ran into a couple and I've known him for 15 years. Over time, he ran into a couple of failures. And he had a mentor that told him, Look, you're failing, because you're being you're trying to be smarter than everybody else. And he said, That's not the job of a leader. And the job of a leader is to make everybody else successful. And he heard it, he understood it, he took it to heart. And in the work I'm doing with him now, it's all about leadership by followership and, and building relationships. And I did recently I did a interview with a number of his employees, the people who worked for him, and he got glowing references, they thought he was doing a phenomenal job. So I think he's probably one of the people that I've seen the most turnaround.Kyle Roed:
So there's hope for us. Yeah, that's good. And I'll be honest, you know, I mean, coming from the school where I came from school of thought, you know, it is, it's such a dichotomy to try to try to figure out, Okay, what, you know, how do I work through this, and I certainly, I don't naturally drift into the command and control leadership, but it's, it's the way that I was brought up within my world, and but it hasn't worked, especially as we've been managing through a global pandemic, and, you know, war for talent and individuals who have choices, and individuals whose choices are not, or whose goals aren't to just work at the same company for, you know, X number of years and just, you know, kind of retire and sail off into the sunset. No, it's, you know, people's expectations of their job, and their employers have continued to elevate. And I while I think there's a place, there's a time and a place for a very directive leadership style, you know, only gets you so far.Bill Berman:
You know, Kyle, I think what you just said, is really critical to this whole discussion. There are times and places where a command and control style is needed. Those are typically situations where there's a lot of chaos, there's an unclear outcome. But there are clear solutions to how the work ought to get done to resolve that chaos. And I think in those particular kinds of situations, giving clear direction and telling people what to do, can really make a difference. If you think about chaos, there are a number of different situations where you can do that. But there are a lot of situations where that's not the right solution. There are a lot of situations where there's so much going on on the ground, and there's so much new information coming in, that a centralized leader can't possibly process all that information fast enough to do anything with it. So you have to, you know, you have to delegate that responsibility to the people who are on the ground who see what's going on, and let them make real time decisions about how best to handle the situation. Your job as a leader in that context is to sit back, make sure everybody understands what the objective is, what you're trying to accomplish, and what your values are. So how you want people to do things, how you want them to think about the work. And if you make it clear what you're what the overall strategy is. And really, I don't mean just say at once. I mean, really inculcate that into people. And you help them really understand the values that you think are important, you're going to be able to let them do those other things. Now, one of the things that happens is when things start to go south a bit, people get anxious, and when they get anxious, they fall back on old habits. And so command and control is something a lot of leaders will fall back on when they start to worry about what's going on for them. Either the business is struggling or there are competitive headwinds, or something else is going wrong. And a lot of people will fall back into that, like, I'm going to tell you what to do. But the real answer is to trust your people and to help your people do what they need to do in line with what your overall strategy and plan is.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, that's really interesting. Yes, it's Yeah, so no, no bad habits. So it's the I had a rough day at work, I'm gonna go get a Twinkie instead of an apple. Right.Bill Berman:
You know, and that's, that's human behavior. That's That's pretty natural. And you do have to fight against that. But yeah, no bad habits, you know, stay with what you've learned, not with what you sort of do reactively. Everybody, everybody has bad days, everybody has bad weeks even. And it's we all have standard patterns that when we're under stress, when we're not paying attention to how we're acting, that can get us into trouble. Some people withdraw. Some people get dramatic, some people get super into details, and some people won't make decisions. I had a client relatively early on in my career as a as a coach, who it was right at the financial crisis in 2008. And he had a big team of people who worked for him. And as he watched the financial situation start to deteriorate, he got more and more stressed. And he ended up going into his office and closing the door and literally not coming out. And so we had to, we had to literally go in and tell him, take him out of there and tell him to walk around and talk to the people. And he said, I don't know what to tell them. We said it doesn't matter. Tell them that you're working on it, and you're going to do your best to solve the problem. And that you know what they're that, you know, they're worried too. So if you empathize if you listen, and if you tell them you're doing the work you can do and be as transparent as you can, that'll make a big difference. But his normal reaction was to just withdraw and try to solve the problem. Of course, it wasn't a solvable problem in 2008. ButKyle Roed:
right, yeah, bigger, bigger forces at play there. That's really interesting. And I think a good kind of a good segue is to maybe shift the focus a little bit on, you know, individuals impact, and and how an individual can influence an organization. And one of the areas that I know, is certainly near and dear to many HR professionals hearts is, is, you know, personal development and career development. And, and and how do we instill that into our teams? and and you know, what kind of structures and programs can we build for, for people to be successful? So I think one of the areas of your book that I thought was really interesting was the area of disconnect between the organization what they actually want from an individual. So can you explore that topic a little bit?Bill Berman:
Sure. So when you come into a job for even when you're in a job, and your manager changes, or you're in a job, and the business gets restructured, so you have a different tree that you're in, you have a job, and there's usually a job description. And many people think that that's actually what they're supposed to be doing. And they don't take the time to think about what other people expect from them. And so they'll they do what they think is the right job. And it might be 60 7080, even the 80%, the right job. But if you don't stop, take a step back and check with your manager, check with your managers, manager, check with your stakeholders, the people who help you and you help and get from them what it is they think is really important and what matters to them, then you can't really understand what the critical parts of the job or if you take that the time to collect that data. And there are two ways to collect the data, you'll really be able to say, Okay, now I know what's really important to this organization. And I'm going to focus on those things. Because that's what they need from me, the two ways to get that information are number one, to ask people. And number two to observe them. You know, I encourage every person I work with to talk to their manager and ask them how do they like to be communicated with? How do they like to hold meetings? Do they like agendas? Or do they like free flowing meetings? Do they like scheduled appointments or drop ins, just small things like that, that most leaders, if they've paid attention to it at all, probably aren't going to tell you because they don't think it's really important. But it actually matters to them. And it shows that you're paying attention and you're listening and you're empathic with them. And if you do that, they're going to be more helpful to you and more constructive with you. And you're going to be able to do what they need. The second piece of that, it's not just what you do, but how you do it. So every organization has a culture just like every country has a culture. And lots of in the US lots of states or regions have called And it's if you don't understand the way an organization operates, it's going to be extremely difficult for you to have the kind of impact you want to have. Because people aren't going to be able to use what you do, because you've done it in a way that's uncomfortable for them or unpleasant for them. So, and what I'm talking about when I say culture, it's how do you make decisions? How do you collaborate? How do you work in a team? How do you handle conflict? How do you deal? Are you command and control? Or are you collaboration structure? Do you are the people who you work with? Have they been there for 20 years, and everybody has a big set of implicit rules? Or is everybody new, and we're just building those ideas right off the cuff. And those are the kinds of things that really make a difference. And if you understand those, and operate based on that, you're going to be able to do what you need to do. And people are going to be able to absorb it and use it because they understand that you get them. And that's what's really going to make a difference for you. So if I was going to, if I'm going to say it simply. It's not just understanding what you think your job is, but it's understanding the context in which you do your job that really makes a difference.Kyle Roed:
And now a word from our sponsors. When Molly Patrick and I tried to figure out how to start our own podcast, we didn't know where to start. Thankfully, we found buzzsprout buzzsprout makes it super easy for us to upload our episodes, track our listeners, and get listed on all the major podcast networks. Today's a great day to start your own podcast. I know that you're one of our listeners, so you've definitely got something to say. Whether you're looking for a new marketing channel, have a message you want to share with the world or just think it would be fun to have your own talk show. podcasting is an easy, inexpensive and fun way to expand your reach online. buzzsprout is hands down the easiest and best way to launch promote and track your podcast. Your show can be online and listed in all the major podcast directories within minutes of finishing your recording. podcasting isn't that hard when you have the right partner, the team at buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed. Join over 100,000 podcasters already using buzzsprout to get their message out to the world. And now for listeners of revel HR. You can get a $20 amazon gift card sent to you from buzzsprout by clicking in the link in the show notes. Thanks for listening. Are you looking to grow your personal brand or your business brand? Take it from me that podcasts are a great way to do it. Here's the secret. We all want to feel connected to the brands that we buy from what better way to humanize a brand than through sharing your personal story on a podcast. I have had great success with kit caster kit caster is a podcast booking agency that specializes in developing real human connections through podcast appearances. And let me tell you, it's all about the right human connection. You can expect a completely customized concierge service from their staff of communication experts. kit caster is your secret weapon in podcasting for business, your audience is waiting to hear from you. For a limited time offer listeners to the rebel HR podcast can go to www dot Kitt caster comm backslash rebel to get a special offer for friends of the podcast Rebel on Absolutely. Yeah, you know, take it from a guy that writes job descriptions on a regular basis. A lot of times those descriptions are not reflective of what actually needs done. It's, it's it's an interesting exercise. But I think most of the professionals listening to this probably have experienced this where you sit down in a room and you're like, Okay, do you have you know, do you have the job description written up? Well, the honest answer is probably will not really know how long ago did we posted? I don't know. 10 years ago. Okay, well, does anybody have those? No. Okay. Well, let's, you know, let's see what we got out here. That's similar, okay. And then you just slice it. And it's, it's just such a, it's such an interesting exercise. But it's never the full breadth of somebody's job when they walk in it's and if they if they assume that it is, you know, you're doing keep dreaming. I mean, I, I would say there's probably a lot of organizations that are much better at it than than many that I've worked at. But yeah, the job is whatever you need to do to keep your boss happy at some point. That's right.Bill Berman:
That's it. You know, when I started my company, and it was me and just a couple of other people I jokingly at the bottom of each job description, I said, and whatever else I think is important at the moment. That's it. You can't do that in a big organization. But But you should still think that way. And you know, I see people, if they're not doing 100% the right job, I see it for one of three reasons, either because they're doing what they like, and not doing what they don't like, which means they're only doing a part of their job, or they're doing what's familiar to them, which probably means they're either doing their direct reports job, or they're doing their peers job, because it's more comfortable to them, or they're doing what they wish they had. So in that case, they're trying to do their boss's job. And none of those are particularly good solutions for for how you want to approach your job. You want to know what your job is, and deliver on that and deliver consistently. And that's, you know, we hear people talk about, oh, I want to seat at the table, or I want to be a thought leader, I was talking to a CFO the other day, who said to me, you know, a number of her people, when she asked them, What do they want to be when they you know, in 10 years, they said, Oh, I want to be a thought leader. And she didn't really understand what that was. But part of her point to them was look, for you to be a thought leader, you have to be an expert. So you really need to learn. These were people who were in the accounting department, you really need to be good at what you're doing in the accounting department. And that will help you become a thought leader. Right? Right. So if you want to see it at the table, you want to be a thought leader, you want to be the person that people go to and for help and listen to for advice. The first step is being really good at what you're supposed to be doing.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, yeah. And to your earlier point, that means you need to understand explicitly what that is.Bill Berman:
Right. And that's it, that's just a data collection issue. It's really not and and then paying attention to what the data tells you. It's not hard to figure out, it just takes a little bit of time. And it takes a desire to understand it from other people's point of view. Now, you know, I see all the time, people on LinkedIn, and people on Twitter and books that say, follow your dream, do whatever be yourself, you know, do what your heart moves you to do. And that's great advice, if you're willing to stop working where you are, and go work either for yourself, or spend the time finding somebody who's 100% aligned with you. But a lot of people don't have that option. A lot of people can't just walk away from a job. And a lot of people don't have the resources to start their own business. So if you're in a, if you need a job, and you need to work, it's really important to not simply follow your dreams, but look for how those dreams can be adjusted to fit with what you're trying to do in the organization. So it's a matter of accommodation andKyle Roed:
adaptation. No, I love that point. And I think, you know, I think the way that what I really liked about how you said it is first of all you articulated it's a data collection issue, right? It's about, it's about knowing what you're, you know, what company you work for, what your job is, what the company culture is, before you just make an assumption, and, and go off running the wrong way. And I think, as I reflect on, especially in the world of HR, you know, there's been, I haven't, I've haven't worked at that many companies, generally, I've kind of remained at companies for a long period of time. But what I found is that it's taken six months to 12 months to 24 months before you really kind of hit your stride in HR. And I think a lot of it really is it is kind of that learning by doing and figuring out, okay, how do people actually work here? How do they interact? You know, and honestly, it's kind of like, especially in HR, you, you kind of have to get into the circle of trust a little bit. Yeah. To be effective. I mean, you could like I could come in on day two at a new job and say, here's the handbook. It's everything that you need legally in the handbook, you should do this or else, you know, here sign this and it's done, you know, but it's not gonna matter. It's not gonna make any impact. But it will check your box.Bill Berman:
100%. Right. And yeah, yeah, that's one of the reasons why we put a number of worksheets in in the book because we wanted to make it so we could help people accelerate the process. So there's a there's about a half dozen pretty straightforward worksheets that you can use to help you figure out what those what the job really is about what other people are expecting from you what the culture is all about. And then we actually have a worksheet where you write your own working job description, which is about really about what what the organization needs from you. And, you know, a lot of times in with, it can be a pretty complicated process for HR, with senior leaders, they go through an interview 360 assessment where you tell us, you have an x, external person talk to a lot of different people, and then they write that up, and they put it in a document, and then you work at a development plan, and which is great if you can afford it, or you have the time for it. But it's not the only way to get this kind of information. And that's one of the way that reasons we wrote the book is because we wanted people to have access to the tools that would help them accelerate their being, you know, in under the tent to being part of the organization.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, that's great. And it's, you know, I think it's interesting as well. And this, I think, this goes back to culture and how work gets done, you know, depending on your organization, if you go in and you try to try to do this big, grandiose, overarching, you know, leadership 360, they're gonna look at you like, what are you smoking, we don't, we don't do that here, you know, we don't need this, you know, or you or whatever myriad of excuses, you're gonna get, like, you have to kind of know, kind of have to know your team. And, you know, in working through just even working through the exercise of understanding how work gets done, and, you know, how you can help the organization learn is so critical. And I think, I don't know, my approach on on influences, it's, it's always easier. If somebody thinks it's, it's their idea, or they're already aligned, because you've been, you know, just kind of working through it, and you understand how to communicate with them and articulate the value of something versus coming in and saying, Hey, this is a program I put together, we should do it. That's Yep. Yeah. Absolutely. I learned that the hard way, not with one of your worksheets? Oh, yeah.Bill Berman:
Listen, there, plenty of executives out there, who you'll go to them and say, if you go to them and say, here's what I want to do, here's the right thing to do, they're gonna shoot it down. But half the time, they're going to come back two weeks later, or a month later and say, you know what we should do, and they're going to tell your, your idea. And you either get upset that they, you know, are taking credit for what you thought, or you realize that that's a part of your job. And it's not going to, you know, sometimes that will undermine you. And sometimes they're doing it to undermine you. But most of the time, they're doing it because they step back, and they thought about it, and they processed it. And they may not even remember, you know, executives have 2030 conversations a day with different people, they may not actually know who said it and what they said. So it's, you know, it's not always clean and simple and well, meaning, but I think if you operate on that assumption for the beginning, at the beginning, you're probably much better off.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, and I think that's another great point, where if you're interacting with an executive, and you've had that conversation about, well, how do you like communication? come your way, you know, do you like, you know, do you like to have structured meetings you'd like for free flowing? You know, if you have that conversation up front, you'll understand, oh, they talked to 20 3040 people a day, they get five hours of sleep a night, they got so many things coming at them that if I'm gonna have this conversation, I need to understand that and it needs to be like high level Cliff Notes. Say it, get out of the way. And then remind them again, if you need, you know, like, but but just understanding the context of that person's world, that'll let you be so much more effective. And I think that the individuals that understand that, and, and have the kind of the empathy for what that person's day in their life is like, they will have a lot more influence because because they will be heard, and they will make a bigger impact. Eventually.Bill Berman:
Absolutely. Absolutely. I Kyle, I'm sure you know, the three B's of working with executives, be brief, be bright, be gone.Kyle Roed:
Yep. You know, the, the thing about influences when you do your job really well and consistently and people know they can rely on you, then they're going to be opportunities for you to put your hand up, to solve problems, to take on new responsibilities to step into a role, maybe on an interim basis, or a temporary basis, and take responsibility for new things or solve a problem that hasn't been solved. And those are the things that give you just that next step of influence that take you from being the person who gets his job done or her job done to being the person who is incredibly country making incredible contributions to the organization. The book, we have a case study from a friend of mine who was working at one of the big hotel chains in HR when the pandemic hit, and she was responsible for having to layoff 10s of 1000s of people, and, you know, furlough them and lay them off. And they put together programs that help people find resources and have get them in contact with their state governments for unemployment insurance and various other resources. And she made she took what was a horrible situation and made it slightly less horrible, both for the people and for the organization. And it made a huge difference it for the organization. And it's had a huge influence on her career. So she's really been able to take on more responsibility and more authority. Because Because she stepped up to that.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, talk about doing something you don't love. That is, well, most HR people's worst nightmare is it'sBill Berman:
the hardest job in the world is laying off people closing factories, closing manufacturing plants, nobody likes doing that. But there are good ways to do it. There are better ways to do it, and worse ways to do it. And I've seen both and the people who do it, the better ways people walk away angry that they lost their job, but not angry at that manager. Right. And, and oftentimes not really angry at the company. But the people who do it the wrong way. People feel betrayed, people feel undermined, people feel hurt and harmed. And it's just it's a really bad situation.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, bad for everybody. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I just I recall, you know, fortunately, I've had that experience in my career. But I, if I recall, a while back, we had a with facility closure situation. And this was, this was at a point in my career where I, this was probably the first or second time I'd had to do a, what I would call like a no fault layoff, you know, where it's just a business climate, it wasn't due to underperformance. It just it was just the, the the necessity at that time. And at that point in my career, you know, I was very fortunate to be accompanied by a very, very seasoned manager who had had gone through this before. And, you know, I was worried about, I'm sitting here worried about all the agreements, and you know, how do we how do we mitigate risk? And what, you know, how do I how do we not get sued? And he told me a couple things. First one was, listen, you can't do anything worrying about sorry, Siri wanted to join in on the conversation. She does that. Yeah, she does that. But the the one piece of advice that was that I still use to this day is, you know, you can't do anything from the context of don't get sued. You know, especially in human resources. Right? If you're making a decision in that context, your brain is already you're focused on the wrong thing, right. And then I was worried about, you know, the legality and the legal ease in the in the agreements. And, you know, he said, Well, did a lawyer look at it? Yes. He said, Well, it's probably way too complex already. So don't even worry about it, just, here's what we need to worry about, we just need to take care of the people. Right, and we just need to be honest, and and, you know, we left those conversations, we sat down with every individual impacted, personally, and we left those conversations with, you know, nobody was happy. But they were understanding and in fact, a number of them apologize to us for having to go through the conversations, and for having to do it. And you know, there was such a, there's such a moment of humanity there. And thankfulness from an employee that, in my opinion, really should not have been thankful that you know, it, but that I think, is exactly what you're getting at is that that the influence the impact that that leader had on those individuals and the trust that those individuals had, that this wasn't anything personal and, and then we also did go out and we said, okay, we gave them plenty of timeline, like, you know, a 90 day window, and then we gave them a lot of resources on how to find how to find help and support. And I think every single person, by the end of that layoff period, had a job lined up ready to go. We had a couple people who had great opportunities that left earlier than the closure period, you know, I mean, but it was just it was one of those situations it was, I would call it just kind of a really human human interaction that Could have been just terrible. Have we handled it differently?Bill Berman:
You know, very early in my career back in the early 80s, I was working for the New York State in the Health and Hospitals group. And they had to go through a layoff and it was handled the exact opposite way that you're describing. So it was cold, it was clinical people were brought into a room and told either they were losing their job, or their job was being moved to Buffalo, or nothing wrong with buffalo. But if you live in New York City, that's probably not your favorite place. And it's, you know, it was it left such resentment and residual anger for for all of those people. If you can possibly do it the way you're talking about the way you did it, where you can't you're showing caring about the people, it's going to make a big difference. Absolutely. Absolutely. SoKyle Roed:
some really, really great content there, I want to talk real quickly, we've talked a little bit about a disconnect between, you know, what the organization tells you they want from you and what you actually need to be doing. Once you've done that data analysis, and you kind of you actually know, okay, I know what my job is, and what my organization needs. For me, I get the mission, I get the vision, I get the values I I get it. But there is a disconnect between the skills that I have, and the work that I need to do how, how do you resolve that disconnect? and and you know, what, what steps are tactics work in order to be effective in the role that you're in?Bill Berman:
Well, that, you know, there's a chapter in the book called the pivot point. And that's where you really have to make that exactly the decision that you're talking about. Does the, the job I have the real job I have aligned with the skills I have and the values I have and the preferences I have? And it? If they do, that's good, because then all you have to do is make a few adjustments to how you do things or what you're doing to get it 100%. Right. But if there's a mismatch, if there's a misalignment, then you've got to make a decision about is this in alignment I can correct? Is it worth trying to correct? And do I like where I work and who I work with enough to make that effort. And, you know, sometimes you're gonna say, Yeah, I need to learn new interpersonal skills, or I need to learn to collaborate, or I need to develop my Excel skills, or I need to develop my financial acumen. And I'm going to take the time to go do that so that I can be successful in my job. But a lot of times, you're gonna say that's the match doesn't work. So you've got two options. At that point, you can either say, Is there another job in this organization that I'm a better fit for, that I could see about whether we can make a move? Or do I need to start thinking about other options? Do I need to look at other companies do I need to change what I want to be doing, because I now see who I am differently. And that's, that's a real option for people, it's a scary option. And for a lot of people, it means going through a bit of a grieving process. Because if you've been working on trying to get to a certain place for three 510 years, and you realize it's not a good match for you, that's gonna feel really bad, that's gonna hurt. You have to grapple with those feelings. And you have to understand that those feelings are there to help you move on and do something better for yourself. And, you know, there's a there's a third situation here, Kyle, that I think is important, because occasionally people are in situations where they can't move, where they can't change jobs. And they're, they're really, for whatever reason, stuck. Now, a lot of people think they're stuck in a job and they're not. But there are people who are stuck. And I think for those people, looking at how you where you can adapt how you can change what you do, and maybe how you can adjust the job to make it a little bit more satisfying or a little bit more gratifying may be the option you have. If it's an issue of if it's an issue of bias or discrimination, that's a bit of a different story. And we do have pieces in the chat in the book that talk about that. But you've always got the option of are there ways I can flex or are there ways I can get the organization to make some changes? So the this is worth doing?Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. And I think I've seen that. You can tell when somebody is not the right fit, you know or their or their trying so hard to be the right fit. And it's just, it just ain't gonna work. Yeah, I mean, you know, it's hard to, it's hard to put data behind that. But, you know, you know it when you see it. In the same context, you also know it when you see somebody who has the potential to do it, and maybe just hasn't had the experience. And, you know, I think as I as I reflect on my role, and our role in human resources, I really think that's part of our value to the organization is understanding that, that that disconnect exists in people sometimes and, and helping to helping people find that that right path for them. But I also think the other thing I'll say, just to kind of plug the book one more time, going back to the point that you need to make data driven decisions as it relates to the job is it just because the job is something you love every single day doesn't mean you should jump ship. Figure feet, take the data in first and give it a good hard thought before you say, well, this isn't for me, Well, you know, maybe the job is for you. You just need to articulate you know, the communication needs and learn a new skill.Bill Berman:
There's never 100% good fit, right? You know, I tell people, if you like 70% of your job, you're doing just great. You know, I'm, I have my own business. I don't like sending out bills. I don't like doing, you know, administrative stuff in taxes and stuff. But the other parts of the job make it worthwhile.Kyle Roed:
Right. Right. There's no perfect job. No, yeah, I'm with you. And I, I tend to revolt at the idea of you know, do what you love, and you never work a day in your life. Well, sometimes, aspects of work suck, regardless of whether you love what you do. Yeah, for sure. All right, Bill. Well, we are closing in on time, and I want to be respectful of your time here. So we're gonna shift gears, we're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. Okay. All right. So question number one, what is your favorite book that gave you insight into people?Bill Berman:
So that's really complicated question to ask somebody who's got a PhD, and was an academic for 12 years before changing careers. But what I would tell you is my, when I was working at the information system company, my boss handed me a book called The Fifth Discipline. And it's about how to build learning organizations. And it was written by Peter sanghi years ago at MIT. And when he handed me that, and I started reading it, it totally aligned with my own background as a system psychologist. And it really just put me on a whole new path. So I think that's probably the book that that was most useful.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, sorry. Not a fair question for somebody who's studied that for years and years and years and years. But But thank you for that insight. All right. Question number two, Who should we be listening to?Bill Berman:
Oh, boy, um, I think you ought to listen to Adam Grant. Cuz I think he's got some really good insights I think you should listen to if you're interested in coaching, or leadership development, Marshall Goldsmith is a really good person to listen to. And I think, you know, if you're interested in business, actually, I think marketplace on NPR is one of the best podcasts or broadcasts you can find.Kyle Roed:
Awesome. Perfect. All right. Last question. This one's a hard hitting one. How can our listeners connect with you?Bill Berman:
You can connect with me by my website, which is www dot Berman leadership calm. That's B er ma n and then the word leadership. You can find me on Twitter as Dr. Bill Berman. That's Dr. B, I ll be er ma n. And you can find me on LinkedIn either as Bill Berman or as Berman leadership development. Those are all the best ways to find me. Perfect, and we'll have all that information in the show notes. AndKyle Roed:
strongly encourage our listeners to check out influence and impact and just really great content. Appreciate the time here today, Bill.Bill Berman:
Great. Thanks very much, Kyle. It's been a pleasure talking with you.Kyle Roed:
Thanks. Take care. 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 Have any of the organizations that we represent? No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcastJude Roed: