Today Jennifer and I discuss, Addicted to Being Right: The Deadly Sins of Leadership No one is Talking About & How to Fix Them with Conversational Intelligence®. This is a fascinating topic and the tips Jennifer offers are ones you can immediately apply to your life, business or relationships.
00:01 S1: Welcome to Savvy Business Life Unscripted with your host, Christina order were our guest here, their wisdom and valuable business tips empowering our audience to expand their personal potential.
00:15 S2: Hi, Jennifer Thornton, welcome to savvy broadcasting a life unscripted. We’re so grateful to have you here today. We’re gonna talk about a super fascinating topic, addicted to being right, the seven deadly sins of leadership, no one’s talking about and how to fix them with conversational intelligence, I know nothing about that, but you’re gonna fill our audience and all of that for one… Just get stared a little bit with your back story and how you came to working as a coach…
00:43 S1: Yeah, so my back story, I grew up in the retail industry and I spent the first half of it in operations in the second half in HR domestically and internationally. So I have a really different approach because I look at the human resource part as the ability to achieve your goals, and the ability to think about How do you deploy people to make sure your business goals come true.
01:08 S2: Interesting. And where did the conversational intelligence come from? Did you create that? I
01:13 S1: Did not… A woman named Judith clashed, Bly intelligent woman, she spent over 40 years studying the neuroscience of the mind and how it responded to conversations in the workplace, and then how did that influence business results, and I had the most wonderful opportunity to study underneath her and really started to carry on the legacy of her work.
01:37 S2: Wow, that’s fascinating. And so our top of today, addicted to being right, which is interesting, I told you before the interview that I had worked with a mentor when I first started my business, and one of the things I had to get over was the addiction to be right, because she could see, Okay, how many times you’re gonna tell me you can’t change things and that they’re just the way they are, but like… But no, you don’t understand, I have no money in my bank account. No, you don’t understand. And it’s that kind of idea that, No, I can’t be wrong. There’s reasons I’m in wherever I’m stuck. How did that come across and what has your been your experiences through understanding the addiction of being… Right, great. So what happened is when we are right, we get a dopamine hit and that feels good, and we love that, and who doesn’t want a little file… Good. Juice in your mind, right?
02:23 S1: So what happens is, if we are addicted to sugar or a substance and we get that dopamine hit, we know we need more and more of it to get that same high, being addicted to write is the same thing. So if I am right on this project and I get to where I’m addicted to being right, and the next one, I have to become more right. And then over time, what happened is people stop listening to the truth or the facts, because that might take away their ability to be right, and if I’m listening to other people’s opinions and I’m going with how someone else use things that I’m no longer right, and I’m no longer getting my dopamine hit, and it can be incredibly dangerous in the workplace when we have leaders who are chasing that addiction.
03:10 S2: Interesting, I had heard someone mention the addiction to social media, kind of like, you know, you need to look at your phone a million times because I wanna see how many follows, how many lines, how many hard… And it actually physically gives you this dopamine hit when you see those follow legs hard, all those good things, and it’s amazing how our mind works that way, that either the addiction of being fried or sugar, or in some cases with social media, the likes follows and hearts
03:38 S1: Yeah, it’s all the same. And if you took away the knowledge of what the substance is, and you looked at the brain responding, if it was social media or sugar or alcohol, the brain physically responds the exact same way, and it’s important for us to know that because we can kind of understand addiction, but we’re not recognizing that our addiction could be social media or being… Right also.
04:04 S2: So if you begin to realize, Okay, I am addicted to being right, how do you begin to approach that, say, maybe your leader, maybe you’re not, but you begin to approach it from a place where, Okay, I’m gonna look at this and begin to change this outcome, how do you do that?
04:19 S1: So one of the things, if I’m working with someone and I hear things around, I make all the decisions and my company, no one else can make decisions like me, then I’m like, Alright, let’s think about that, or if I’m working with someone and they’re very judgmental towards how other people are doing their job, even if it’s a job they don’t know how to do, then I’m like, Alright, let’s think about that. Is there’s some signs we have to start to watch for if you are going home at the end of the day, and you cannot say, I got curious, I learn something new. I saw something in a different perspective than you are addicted to your own views and you’re not open to others, so the first thing to know is, do we have this addiction? We gotta figure that out.
05:02 S2: Wow, so it seems to me one of the keys to breaking this addiction is bringing curiosity to the front forefront and beginning to look at where my view stuck in one place where I maybe need to broaden them. Yeah.
05:16 S1: Absolutely, and you’ll also see things like if you’ve ever let a team and you walked in the room and you’re struggling as an organization to sell a product, and you walk in the room and you’re like, Tell me now why this isn’t working, and no one says a word, and they just look at you, they’re waiting for you to tell them what they are supposed to think, and that means you’ve not been opening up that space for conversations…
05:38 S2: Oh man, I love this topic, I totally love it. Because more and more in the job force or maybe in life, people are getting well, I think a lot less curious and kind of wanting to stay in their teeny holding… No, no, no, this is comfortable. I don’t wanna think outside my penny hole, that’s just a here, and actually, I think it’s less good for your organization, your business and for your life if you’re not allowing yourself to broaden, open up and maybe be curious about other points of view, and also seeing the world and your job differently.
06:11 S1: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And what happens is, sometimes our mind doesn’t wanna curious because then it creates fear, so if I am wondering if I know what I’m doing and maybe I’m in fear of my job, I might not be good enough or I might be in trouble with my boss, then you start to kind of shut down and not get curious because then the truth may be difficult, and so it’s actually a way that your mind is chemically made to protect you, it’s keeping you in the cave, you know, back in the day when we all stayed in the cave. Because it was safe, because it was a big scary animals out there. Same thing today in the workplace, we get… Our brain gets frightened by rejection and judgment and not being part of the tribe, all of those same mechanisms that kept us alive back in the cave tries to figure out how to manage it in today’s society. Wow.
07:00 S2: And so let’s bring this all the way to conversational intelligence, how does that work, what is that and how can you use that to kind of build your addiction or get away from your addiction to being right?
07:13 S1: Yeah, so the conversational intelligence method helps us understand how our language either creates fear and allow and create someone to move towards their primitive brain, or how does our language create trust, and we actually move someone to be leveraging their pre-frontal cortex, because when we’re leveraging our prefrontal cortex were creative. We’re collaborative. We’re open to new ideas. It’s where learning happens. And as soon as our permanent brain kicks in, it shuts down the prefrontal cortex, you’re shutting down learning and new ideas, everything you need when you scream at your team and says, I want the answers, that creates fear. And you’re not going to get it. So with conversation intelligence, what we help people understand, number one is how does the brain work with language so that you can start to adapt your language, and how do you tell the truth and how do you give hard feedback, this isn’t about shying away from honesty, this is about changing how we tell people the facts, or how we provide feedback, or how we bring up difficult conversations, and it’s all about that language change that we move someone from their permit brain to their prefrontal cortex.
08:24 S2: I love this topic, Jennifer, because I’ve found in the past, either with myself talking to maybe a vendor I hired, or when I manage the team, you love your co-workers, the people you work under under you, but you don’t wanna hurt their feelings, so how do you get them to understand, Okay, you’re doing awesome, except for this point, and you don’t wanna hurt their feelings, but you want them to get better, and so I love this idea of how do you come together and get curious, but not make it like I’m going to accuse you, but I’m going to help you work through it and actually bring you to your fullest potential, which I had a boss, one who did that, he once brought me in and said, Here’s where you’re failing, but I see you as a diamond in the rock, but you need to change the way you present yourself. Because at that time, I worked in corporate America in accounting, and I used to wear glitter eye make-up and funky hair like I do, and he said if you wanna move up in this particular company, you have to change the way you present yourself because people…
09:19 S2: Not take you seriously as a manager, so I actually walked out of that meeting crying, he was so gentle, but it was really about the taking apart my fragile idea of myself and realizing it wasn’t working, and then I decided if I wanted to work in particular environment I had to change the way I was, so I actually went that and I got a couple of suits at Macy’s, got a briefcase and came in the next day without glitter makeup and immediately transformed myself, got a manager position, like less than a year later, but it was amazing transformation. Just presenting and beginning to see myself differently. Yeah.
09:56 S1: And if you have to give difficult news going in and saying, You know, I want an asking questions, Do you have aspirations for the next level? Yes. Are you open to me helping you guide there… Yes. Are you open for me being very honest of where you’re doing well and… Honest where you need to grow. Yes, and so what you’re doing is you’re opening up this partnership, and then you can start to say, Here are the areas in which you are great and I’m gonna help you become greater, here are the areas that we’ve got to get to a passing grade, and here’s how we’re gonna do that and helping, and then that’s celebrating what they’re great at, and it’s because none of us are gonna be perfect in all of our job functions, so there’s an amount that we have to get to passing and then be incredibly amazing at what we’re on a…
10:44 S2: Well, I like what you brought there as you brought the power of Yes here, where you’re opening up like, Okay, how do I partner with you, not making it like, Oh, I’m the big bet on the boss that’s gonna show you how you can be a better person, you’re saying, Hey, I’d like to partner with you partnership, would you like to work with me and helping you get to the next level, and then you ask those varying questions that open up to the partnership.
11:10 S1: Yeah, absolutely. The other thing I really, I see happen in the workplace is if you’re the boss and someone comes to you and they have an idea and you’re like, I don’t know where this came from, I don’t agree with it. But they seem really passionate about it. So use it as a clue that there’s something important you need to hear, and so say to them, Hey, I don’t see it, but I’m willing to change my mind, change my mind that you’re not giving up your point, but you’re willing to listen, and that allows that person to know that no matter if it’s right or wrong, you’re willing to hear it, and over time, it builds this confidence in your team’s ability to come and be honest with you.
11:49 S2: Wow, and let’s say that they come with an idea and you said change my mind, but for whatever reason in that particular organization that would work, it allows you to maybe come up with an alternative that works for both of you and the organization, and then they were partnership in creating that.
12:06 S1: Absolutely, because if you said, No, that will never work here, which would have been easy to do, they would have gone back to their desk, been deflated, and the next time they had a great idea, it might be something you needed to hear, but there are chances of bringing it to us pretty slim because of how you deflate them the first time.
12:23 S2: So what I’m also gathering from what you’re telling me here, by opening up the partnership, it also allows the person hearing whatever criticism wins and not win, it allows you more openly to hear those maybe criticisms that are uncomfortable because you realize this person isn’t here to knock you down, they’re actually here to say, it’s help you get better at the areas that your weekend… Yeah.
12:45 S1: Absolutely, and when you know that you’re growing at work and everyone around you growing and the language has created a growth mentality, then the great by-product of that is people are willing to take more risk, and we know great ideas and great movement come from risk and the opposite of risk is failure, and if you get in trouble for failure, you will stop taking risk, ’cause again, it’s dangerous, you don’t wanna get out of that cave, but if you’re celebrated for risky ideas, then you will open up to even more… And that is how you start to move teams and companies and ideas forward… This is so fascinating, I recall a couple of companies where I’ve had maybe great bosses that let you run to grow your potential and your skills and your talents, and those are teens and department where actually I’ve grown as a person, and so has the company, and so I love this idea of partnership and everyone coming on board to actually help grow everyone… Full potential. Now, if you are a leader and you’re not sure am I building my team up to their full potential, maybe I’m not living to my full potential, how does the leader begin to self-examine…
13:52 S1: Oh, such a great question. Again, start to journal, at the end of the day, make a list of what you learned new, start to watch the body language of people around you, are they… When you walk in, does their space shrink or does it open up because they’re excited to see you, because our body will respond, and when you physically get within 10 feet of something, your memory neurons will release chemicals. So if I have a boss that I am frightened up, when I see him or her within 10 feet, my brain starts releasing the chemicals like This is bad, Be careful, don’t say the wrong thing, make sure you look busy, but if I see my boss and I know every time we talk with this incredible relationship and I get to have my ideas, then the chemicals being released when that 10 feet happen is, this is great. My boss is here, I need to tell them this, I had this great idea, this customer told me this and I wanna share it. And so when we walk into a room, we’re instantly causing chemicals to release in everyone’s minds because of how we have treated them in our history.
15:00 S1: Wow, that is so impactful. Many years ago, I recall going into a place where my ex-boss, that was the one that convinced me to start my own bid, he was working in organization, he said, Come on down, I’d like to hire you. It’s a great place. I want in that place… Here’s the interesting thing, I walked in that place, everyone was growing sweats at their desk, they will look like they had invisible shackles tied to the desk, and they look so miserable, and I just walked in there and said.
15:29 S2: No. And it was interesting because just a few moments of the energy of all the workers in the place, I knew this was not a positive space to work in, and so you’re right, it’s actually… You don’t even need to actually talk to them, you just need to feel their presence, walk and there’d be like, No, ayya…
15:45 S1: And it’s true, and it’s ’cause your brain senses something, and again, our brain’s job… It only has one job and that is to keep us alive. And it was like, Oh, oh, this is dangerous, and so your brain was like, This isn’t… Don’t do this. It doesn’t feel good. And so your brain was giving you a gift of protection…
16:04 S2: Yeah, absolutely, and that’s an intuition that we often negate, and I’ve heard it even from people who said they’ve been criminalized, had a crime happened to them, they often say they felt kind of weird beforehand and maybe a certain situation or place, and they can… Nothing. And sometimes, if you listen to the intuition or oftentimes you’ll get very positive information that could help you in your job, in your life and keep you safe… Yeah.
16:30 S1: Your brain actually scans for thread every seven seconds unconsciously, and so sometimes when people say, Oh, you know, I just had this feeling, it was your brain scanning your environment every seven seconds, ’cause again, it’s only job is to keep you alive. And so it has to work really hard to do that, and it doesn’t always recognize the difference, and so a snake on tyrant boss, Oh, your brain is responding to that fear and threat the same way, it doesn’t have different chemicals for… 50 different things that could go wrong in our life, it’s the same chemical at Horizon that kicks off every time that adrenaline.
17:13 S2: Well, this has been so fascinating. I think we could go on for several hours on this topic, it’s just so fascinating, but I want them to find out more about you, how they can work with you and hear more about this… How can they do that? So you can find myself and his team at 304 coaching, and I’d love to connect with your listeners if they have any questions or just continue the conversation, and you can find me at LinkedIn at Jen Thornton ACC… Well, Jen, Thor and I just have to thank you again for your great wisdom and you’re sharing today… Thank you for coming to savvy broadcasting.
17:44 S1: Thank you so much for having me, it was a pleasure.
17:46 S2: You got you, thank you. If you like this episode, please share to hear more savvy episodes, a savvy visits go to life unscripted radio dot com to become the guest or participate in paid sponsorship. Email us at Christina life, unscripted radio dot com.