The Wave Strength Ep9: Effective Communication in a Hybrid Work Environment

Mining for conflict and effective communication in a hybrid work environment. All this and more on today's episode of The Wave Strength. Welcome to The Wave Strength: Innovative Pension Solutions for a Secure Retirement. Presented by Pacific Life. All right, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us on another episode of The.

Wave Strength podcast. With me today is Alan Parisse and Lisa Casden, and recently they both joined us in-studio for a series of webinars, and these webinars were just so engaging, so exciting, we decided to have them back before this podcast to discuss with our listeners what these webinars were all about. But first, before we jump into the content of these.

Webinars, let's get a little bit of background about our guests today. So, Alan, let's start with you. Hall of Fame speaker. You've been doing this for a few years now. Why do you give our listeners a little bit of your background, Alan? Well, my background is I was in financial services for a while and ended up making a decision to become a professional speaker.

And spoke within financial services and have and still do for many years. And as part of that, started training other presenters and leaders on how to be better presenters and be better leaders. So that's what we've been working on for years. And then I got lucky, and Lisa came along and took our coaching and elevated it by bringing her skills to it.

Thank you, Alan. And you guys make such a great team. And with that, let's move over to Lisa. And Lisa, maybe you can share with our listeners a little bit about your background. I'm sure people may not know that you have a background as a professional figure skater, and I know that that experience plays heavily into the way that you coach individuals, is.

That correct? Yes, there's a lot to carry over between coaching figure skaters, being a professional figure skater, doing choreography, and morphing all of those skills up into coaching leaders and presenters. Those skills are very, very transferable, particularly now as we're working in a virtual and hybrid world.

Yeah, and that leads us to the discussion of today's podcast. I think when we first started connecting with one another on this project several months ago, you know we were definitely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many workplaces were permanently remote, and so the discussion really morphed into this conversation. How can we help leaders understand a effective.

Way to communicate to their teams in this potential hybrid environment that we will find ourselves likely moving into? And you know, basically, these four episodes were born from that need. You know I'll just give the titles of those real quickly. But there's a couple I really want to focus on. The four that we will discuss in this upcoming webinar series are Communicating.

Your Vision in a Hybrid World, Leadership Presence and Communication, Leading into Hybridity, Mining for Conflict, my personal favorite, and Strategies for Delivering Difficult Messages. All four of those are these excellent opportunities where Lisa and Alan, and myself really walk through these tips, tricks, and tools for leaders to use in effective.

Communication as they move into the workforce. But, Alan, Lisa, I'd love to really unpack Mining for Conflict. You know, I really feel that that was one of the more impactful episodes. They were all very excellent, all very well done, but let's talk a little bit about Mining for Conflict. What does that mean? Interestingly, I'd like to tell you that I.

Invented the concept. But I didn't. A client asked me. A client asked Lisa and me to, in addition to doing some other work with them on their presentations and how they present things and so on, to talk about mining for conflict, to which I said, “What's mining for conflict?” And then Lisa and I started researching it and talking to people and looking at it. And.

Essentially, mining for conflict can be described this way. Have you ever left a meeting where you, where an idea was presented, maybe by somebody's senior to you and mumble to yourself or a colleague, “That was a lot of nonsense that I'll never work.” And yet you didn't say anything in the meeting. What mining for conflict is about is leaders creating an.

Environment, a condition where people can speak up, where people can, as I know you've discussed and we've discussed, can commit errors without consequence during the idea stage when you're just talking about things, it's okay to come up with something stupid, something that won't work as long as we can all talk about it and be free to express ourselves. How do.

You create an environment without burning a whole lot of time that allows people to express themselves fully and get ideas? And one of the big benefits of doing this is when you leave the idea stage, the ideation, into the action stage. People who think they were, feel they were involved in the idea creation are much more likely to be fully committed to the.

Action. And remember, as leaders, it's our job to enroll people in our vision. So now we've given them an opportunity to play some part in that ideation phase, and as we move into acting on that phase, as Alan said, now they're going to feel more a part of it. And even if it still goes against perhaps one of their fundamental.

Beliefs, they are still likely to play along and be effective. Yeah, that opportunity for straight talk, that opportunity to be brave in those meetings and to empower those individuals to speak up. And, you know I've been in that scenario before, as you outlined a moment ago, Alan, where you know at the end of the meeting there may have been.

Issues discussed, where you know somebody comments. “Well, gee whiz, I wish I would've said something, or why didn't you say something? You should've spoken up when you had the opportunity.” And, you know, how many ideas have been missed, or how many, you know, opportunities to improve on an idea have been missed when folks just have decided to not take that.

Action and speak up in the meaning. Yeah, and it's actually more than just a fear or intimidation, although it can be that. It can be somebody's an introvert, and therefore, there's ways to work around that that we discuss. But it's more than that because it's been shown that when we are in the presence of people we think are smarter than we are or more expert than we.

Are, that our critical thinking literally quiets down. That when you're in the presence of a true expert, you kind of sit at their knee, and you don't say, “Wait a minute, that doesn't make sense.” You don't even think, “Wait a minute. That doesn't make sense.” And one of the things the experts I know who are truly experts is I wish people would speak up because.

They know they're not perfect and great leaders know they're not perfect. So, Alan and Lisa, in your experience, when you discuss mining for conflict, you know, do people have these “ah-ha” movements? Do you find that it's an easy pill to swallow, or does this take time to understand how to complete this process, and maybe what skills and techniques can.

You provide our listeners to mine for conflict? When you're trying something new, chances are it is going to take a little while to work itself out, and every group is different. But as a leader, you want to stack the deck in your favor. So from a body language perspective, if you are all in the same physical room or virtual room.

Instead of leaning forward into the camera, try holding your posture, but leaning back a little bit, but maintain an open body language that will allow people to really feel that they can be open and honest. And let them be heard, wait for them to finish a sentence before responding. People want to be heard, and when they are heard, they are more apt to.

Buy in and more apt to participate freely. You know the instinct is to say that there's, “Do this, don't do that.” Some very, “Say this, don't say that.” And no doubt about it, there's a lot of that. And by the way, this is a new field, so we're exploring it together, how to do this and how to do it best. But what Lisa brings up is so powerful. People don't recognize.

That presenting is a full-body sport, that what your body says so impacts the reaction. And if your body says I'm inviting ideas, you'll get ideas. If your body says I'm inviting constructive criticism, if you will, you're more likely to get it. But if your body says, “You could say anything you want.” But your body says, “Don't mess with me,” you're.

Not going to get it. So physicality is actually a big part of it, and that's one of the reasons Lisa, in her background, brings so much to the game. So, yeah, that's a great point, Alan. And I can see Lisa, how truly important and crucial it is in the world of figure skating to maintain those very rigid and predetermined body movements when you move.

Into those specific tricks and skills that you see when you're watching figure skating on the television, or live. It is. It's the same thing when you're presenting. If you're open to an idea and you do what I just suggested, lean back a little bit in your chair, but then you cross your arms in front of your chest; well, now you're in a closed position,.

You're not inviting any feedback. You're not inviting any participation, and people will not participate in either acting on your vision or forming your vision. It's not going to happen. You're closed, especially when you're virtual. In virtual, you have to maintain a bright, open face and really use micro expressions to communicate. It's an art form.

And it's, you know, a couple of things. Most people, when they prepare a presentation of any kind, spend most of their time working on their PowerPoint and what they're going to say, the words, and that can be important. But very few people think of how they're going to say it, and even fewer, “What is my body going to say when I do that?” And I have to tell you.

When Lisa and I watch figure skating, which is not something I watched most of my life until we got together, and I'll watch it, and I think it's beautiful, the music's great. But she knows whether somebody's going to fall before they start the jump, or at least she can predict it. She, you can just feel her stiffened, “That's not going to work.” And she knows.

It before they start it. And you know what, you watch presenters say something and if their body… There's a quote that's attributed to Abe Lincoln; I don't know if he said it, that when the words don't agree with the body, believe the body. So when we're talking about mining for conflict, if Alan and I watch the room, we.

Can tell if it's going to be, if that meeting is going to be successful or not, just by watching the body language in the room before anybody opens their mouth. Well, this has been an excellent insight into the particular webinar, Mining for Conflict. But looking at all four of them as a whole, you know, can you share with our listeners why these are important? Why.

Is it important for people, especially in this day and age, to understand these four areas of effective communication? As we discuss in one of the podcasts, we are in a change that is unprecedented in history: a level of changes on so many levels. And to be ready for them at this time as a leader, you have to not only be accepting of the change and be able to.

Communicate the need for others to change but to execute in real-time very significant changes in the way we relate to each other, the way we work together, and be open to new ideas and new ways of doing it, and speaking of error without consequence. When you try new things, there'll be some pitfalls along the way. Some things aren't going to work, and you.

Have to be willing to dust yourself off and move forward again. Hopefully, fall forward, as the saying goes. And I really believe that you know, it's so important for folks to understand that you know failure, now there's the “Failure is not an option.” But you know that we have to look beyond that, especially in this digital age, where it's really a new.

Frontier, not just for folks who may not have had the desire or the opportunity to become more familiar with technology. But in this age we live in where our technology and the technology we have at our fingertips is rapidly changing. And so it is this mindset that, like you say, fail forward or, “Hey, it's okay if you make a mistake.” Because what that mistake.

Will bring to the table is a new level, or a new foothold for when you go to that next step, or you try again, right? You're not starting from scratch, you're starting from experience. You know, and if you really want to think about it, just look the words up. “To succeed is to achieve a desired end; to fail is to fall short.” And if you could.

Just imagine just a place where you want to get to, that's your desired end, and you've stepped away from it physically, you take a step toward it, and you could say I just took a positive step towards my desired end. But you know what, you also fell short, and you take another step, you fell short again, and then you fell short again. The road to success is falling.

Short until you get there. I like that. But get people to reframe the way they feel about those failures. Fall short, fall short or shall succeed. Well, this has been an excellent and just an eye-opening discussion, hopefully also for our listeners as well. And I want to encourage our listeners to watch these.

Webinars: Communicating Your Vision in a Hybrid World, Leading into Hybridity, Mining for Conflict, and Strategies for Delivering Difficult Messages. You could check those webinars out on our website at or go on over to Youtube and search The Wave Strength, where you can see all of our podcasts and webinar content. We ask that you please.

Make sure you subscribe and like those videos. And Alan and Lisa, how can our listeners learn more about the services you offer? They can go to for information about our coaching and programs for presenting. They can go to for information about speeches.

And other services to help them in this environment. So, Alan and Lisa, thank you so much for joining us today on this podcast. And also too for the four webinars that we produced together. Just such an excellent opportunity for our listeners and viewers with the webinars to understand what it means to effectively communicate in.

Today's hybrid work environment. And to our listeners, thanks for spending time with us on The Wave Strength, and I want to encourage you follow us on Spotify, Amazon, Itunes and you can also search us on Youtube to take a listen as well. Have a great day, everybody! This has been another episode of The Wave Strength presented by Pacific Life. Don't.

Forget to catch us on Youtube, and make sure to subscribe. Although this podcast is presented by Pacific Life, the opinions and views expressed are those of the host and participants and do not necessarily reflect Pacific Life's views on any of the topics discussed. Pacific Life is a product provider. It is not a fiduciary and therefore does not give advice or make.

Recommendations regarding insurance or investment products. Pacific Life, its affiliates, its distributors, and respective representatives do not provide any employer-sponsored qualified planned administrative services or impartial advice about investments and do not act in a fiduciary capacity for any plan. Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance.

Company (Newport Beach, California) and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Insurance products are issued by Pacific Life Insurance Company in all states except New York and in all states by Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurance company is solely responsible for the financial obligations.

Accruing under the products it issues. This podcast was recorded on August 30th, 2021.

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