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ET Project \ Podcasts

ET-095: Unpacking Motivation and Authentic Leadership

With Dr. Benah Parker

ET-095: A conversation with Dr. Benah Parker

and your host Wayne Brown on April 02, 2024

Episode notes: A conversation with Dr. Benah Parker

Hello and welcome to the ET Project. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and as usual, we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET.

This week we’re heading to Phoenix, Arizona in the United States, and chatting with our guest Dr. Benah Parker. Dr. Parker is a social psychologist, executive coach, and business consultant who helps high performing leaders identify their blind spots and uncover what’s missing so they can transform their life and career to feel aligned with their own goals, to have boundaries and balance to get their life back.

Benah works with entrepreneurs and leaders from national nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies to move the needle on desired outcomes. Whether the goal is organizational transformation, professional growth, or personal development, she integrates applied psychology to help leaders live a life that is aligned with their dreams.

Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…

I will say that as a psychologist, as somebody who, I’ve done the research angle, there probably is a research specific definition of motivation. And I do not know it off the top of my head, but when I think of motivation, when I’m working with my clients and their teams, when we’re talking about motivation, it’s really what is the thing, which is usually unconscious, that is driving you to engage in certain behaviors or to act in these certain ways? And there’s internal motivations, there’s external motivations. And I’m sure as we talk, we’ll dig into that more, but the motivation is really the driving force that leads to whatever the behavioral outcomes are for the situation…

Today’s Guest: DR. BENAH PARKER

Benah guides high performers to focus on their vision and their goals rather than going sideways during periods of uncertainty.

Together, they build resilience, explore limiting beliefs and conditioned behaviors, and create habits that support desired changes. Additionally, Benah provides insights and solutions to facilitate changes that lead to improved creativity, productivity, and fulfillment.

Her strength comes from showing up with authenticity and a passion for impacting the greater good with an intentional, mindful approach to executive coaching and life transformation. Benah is a breast cancer survivor, mother of teenagers, and an entrepreneur, so she’s very well versed in juggling all that life can throw our way.

This is a wonderful way to get the quarter started, so please get yourself ready for our discussion with Dr. Benah Parker around the pursuit of motivation and values alignment when seeking career meaning and purpose.

Final words from Benah:

I think, like I said, I think for everybody who wants to influence their team, it’s influencing yourself first, making sure that you’re doing the work so that you know developing your emotional intelligence, showing up authentically, doing these kinds of things and creating that psychological safety for your team I think is an important first step. But then I think it’s also about communicating with your team, we are trying to make a change here, this is our approach. I think the more that you’re able to go in and not spring it on them, ’cause I think a lot of leaders come and go, Hey, great. We hired somebody.

We’re gonna do training on this. So we’re gonna focus on this and people go, Oh, what did we do wrong? There’s anomaly this level of defensiveness, but if you’re able to go in and say, again, sharing the reasons, the understanding of what you’re hoping to achieve out of it, hopefully the team isn’t too jaded ’cause sometimes people are like, Oh great, it’s just one more training. We’re never gonna do anything with it.

But when you come in as a leader really wanting to have that impact, you know that if you’re there for the long haul, you’re invested in your team, that you’re investing in your team growing, then they’re gonna feel that. They’re gonna feel that that’s an authentic, Hey, we’re not just doing this for the bottom line, we’re doing this because we want you to feel fulfilled and engaged in this role, it matters to the team, it matters to the company, how you as an individual are showing up and doing, I think that’s gonna be a key step, I know it’s not a quick one, two, three though…

[music], and welcome to the ET Project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for ex

0:00:03.5 Wayne Brown: Hello, I’m your host, Wayne Brownecutive talent all over the world, whom we’re affectionately referring to as team ET. This week we’re heading to Phoenix, Arizona in the United States, and chatting with our guest Dr. Benah Parker. Dr. Parker is a social psychologist, executive coach, and business consultant who helps high performing leaders identify their blindspots and uncover what’s missing so they can transform their life and career to feel aligned with their own goals, to have boundaries and balance to get their life back. Benah works with entrepreneurs and leaders from national nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies to move the needle on desired outcomes. Whether the goal is organizational transformation, professional growth, or personal development, she integrates applied psychology to help leaders live a life that is aligned with their dreams. Benah guides high performers to focus on their vision and their goals rather than going sideways during periods of uncertainty.

0:01:09.3 WB: Together, they build resilience, explore limiting beliefs and conditioned behaviors, and create habits that support desired changes. Additionally, Benah provides insights and solutions to facilitate changes that lead to improved creativity, productivity, and fulfillment. Her strength comes from showing up with authenticity and a passion for impacting the greater good with an intentional, mindful approach to executive coaching and life transformation. Benah is a breast cancer survivor, mother of teenagers, and an entrepreneur, so she’s very well versed in juggling all that life can throw our way. This is a wonderful way to get the quarter started, so please get yourself ready for our discussion with Dr. Benah Parker around the pursuit of motivation and values alignment when seeking career meaning and purpose.

0:02:04.6 Speaker 2: Welcome to the ET project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor Wayne Brown as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:02:17.8 WB: Hello team ET. Great to be back with you and commencing a new quarter together. Today we’re going to be chatting about what I believe at least is a core topic for all of us as executives in the search to be able to strengthen ourself as well as our social awareness, and that’s whether you are leading other people or you are responsible only for yourself. Our discussion today is on motivation. I personally see motivation as a fundamental driver for our behavior as well as a predictor for our performance. So for any of you that have listened to me over the period, to any of my rants, you’ll know that I hold this belief that awareness alone is not the only thing we require, we also need the ability for self-regulation. And therefore, I’m really excited to welcome our guest, Dr. Benah Parker, to our show for the conversation around this motivational topic as well as to learn how we might be able to leverage motivation to develop high performing teams. So, Dr. Parker, welcome to the ET project. Great to have you with us.

0:03:32.0 Dr. Benah Parker: Thank you so much. I’m very happy to be here.

0:03:35.8 WB: Before we jump into this very broad topic, I would love to understand a little bit more about you, who you are, your journey, if you don’t mind sharing some of the highlights and what’s led you to this point in your career?

0:03:52.0 DP: Absolutely. I am a social psychologist by training, but I have been studying leadership and leadership development since I was 14 years old. That’s when I did my first leadership training. And it’s really funny because I was reflecting last week on the fact that over the last, I’m almost 49, so the last 35 years or so, there are a few key things from that first training I did at 14 that have really shaped who I am as a leader and have really shaped where I went in my career, because it was this exploration of leadership and this idea that we could get better at helping people be better at what they wanted to do and what we wanted or needed them to do as leaders that led me into, sprung that first, planted that first seed of wanting to go into psychology and understanding human behavior. And so as I went through college and grad school, this idea of leadership and getting better has really driven everything I’ve done for multiple decades.

0:04:47.4 WB: Incredible. You talk about 14, so how were you introduced to leadership training at that age?

0:04:57.8 DP: I was in a marching band. And I was an officer in the band and our band director there, there was actually somebody who came, he went to different cities and it was called band leadership training. And it was like a week long camp.

0:05:08.5 WB: You’ve jogged some things in my thinking here because I guess in sport we also practice leadership. We may not do it formally as a training, but if you captain a sports team, you are being introduced to leadership. I now had this recollection, I think I was in probably grade nine, so about 14. We had this session, I’m not even sure what it was called, but it was to get us to make decisions, and the decision was we could only save one person out of a list of I think seven. And we had to collectively as a team come together and decide which person we would save and…

0:05:48.3 DP: Got it. So you could work on negotiation strategies and priorities. Absolutely.

0:05:54.1 WB: Yeah. Our team failed miserably ’cause we couldn’t come to an agreement, so everyone died in our group.

0:06:00.1 DP: Oh, well, that’ll happen sometimes.

0:06:06.7 WB: Let’s transition a little bit here. Your focus, as I understand, you work with a lot of corporations and individuals through coaching, through consulting, but motivation is one of your key topics that you like to talk about. So I thought maybe we could start with trying to define the word. It’s a popular word. It’s used a lot. I have a suspicion, however, that it’s like many of these words, when we try and put context around it, it becomes not so clear or easy.

0:06:42.0 DP: Yeah. I will say that as a psychologist, as somebody who, I’ve done the research angle, there probably is a research specific definition of motivation. And I do not know it off the top of my head, but when I think of motivation, when I’m working with my clients and their teams, when we’re talking about motivation, it’s really what is the thing, which is usually unconscious, that is driving you to engage in certain behaviors or to act in these certain ways? And there’s internal motivations, there’s external motivations. And I’m sure as we talk, we’ll dig into that more, but the motivation is really the driving force that leads to whatever the behavioral outcomes are for the situation.

0:07:18.3 WB: In preparing for this conversation, I was trying to think myself, how would I define motivation? We could take so many tangents, I guess. Enthusiasm was one word that comes to mind, my level of enthusiasm for doing something. You mentioned internal, external, or the words intrinsic, extrinsic, they came out of that self-determination theory from memory around about the mid eighties, nineties. Let’s jump into, from that end of the pool, what’s the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic, firstly, and then to the motivations, the difference between an intrinsic motivator and an extrinsic?

0:08:01.0 DP: So the intrinsic and extrinsic, when I was teaching this, I always say, well, we can think of it as internal and external because people have a better understanding of that. But with intrinsic, it’s going to be something that is inside you, something core to you, again, often unconscious that is guiding you forward. Whereas extrinsic, that is when the external forces around you, whether it’s the community you’re in, your family, the organization, larger society, all of those are going to be external and extrinsic motivators, extrinsic forces. So everything we consume from social media, from regular media, from the conversations we have, the stories we read, the things we believe, those external things can all be external motivators. The intrinsic ones are the ones that we have internalized, they have become some part of our self identity, our core beliefs and values of who we are. Those are typically going to be the internal drivers and motivators.

0:08:54.0 WB: Do you have any specific examples? What might I see as an internal or intrinsic motivator now, I guess…

0:09:03.4 DP: It’s interesting because some of the things that, things can look external and become internal motivators when you have, I don’t want to go too deep into this idea of identity formation ’cause that’s actually what my dissertation was on, was how people manage these different social identities and the flexibility between them and the impact that then has on performance and resilience and achievement. So we can, we’re not going to read my dissertation, but when we think of external motivators, a lot of times people can say, oh, well, you’re doing this because somebody asked you to do it, or somebody expects it of you, or it was requested of you, your boss, your mom, your somebody said, Hey, you need to do this thing, so you’re going to go do that thing. Okay, great. That’s an external motivation form.

0:09:41.7 DP: Great. It’s like the carrot and the stick. Internal motivators, people can still take, oh, my parent, my boss, somebody asked me to do this. And it can become an intrinsic motivator if you have this identity of, I am a person who makes my mom happy, or when it becomes part of your identity is being a people pleaser, you might have internalized some of those things that started out as external motivations. So looking at what drives somebody, it’s hard to say, well, this is an internal motivation as opposed to an external. The biggest way to be able to tell when it’s somebody’s internal motivation is how quickly you can, I don’t want to say push against it, but if somebody is internally motivated, they’re not necessarily looking to, they’re not looking to other people to say, I’m going to do this thing, or they’re not looking to other people to tell them to do the thing. They’re just going to go do the thing because they have their own internal reasons for doing it.

0:10:49.1 WB: I’ve often wondered about, is motivation driven through emotion or is there a degree of logic? So if we think about where it stems from in the brain, is it coming from the limbic region or is it somehow connected with the prefrontal cortex? Is there that distinction when we talk about that?

0:11:07.5 DP: I’ll say I’m not a neuroscientist. My background’s in social psychology, not neuropsych. And my belief, my understanding is that it’s both. In our field of psychology as you think about motivation, there are emotional aspects to it and logical aspects to it. But I can’t tell you which parts of the brain are actually activated.

0:11:27.2 WB: No problem. Based on what you were just saying before, I see that each of us are going to be somewhat unique, meaning that we are not all motivated in the same way or by the same things. There’s a lot of theories out there, there’s a lot of books being written. Daniel Pink’s Drive comes to mind where he talks about motivation under these three headings of autonomy, purpose and mastery. We’re not specifically targeting that though, I guess with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, aren’t we?

0:12:00.5 DP: No, because I think with intrinsic and extrinsic, it can go in each one of those areas, whether you’re working towards mastering the autonomy, there will be internal and external motivators in each of those.

0:12:11.1 WB: So we’re building, we get, I’ve got some clarity now around what motivators are and maybe how they impact us, that we don’t live in a constant state of motivation. I know at least I don’t. So I’m wondering, how do I use the knowledge of what a motivator is and where it comes from to then help to self-regulate myself? So for instance, can I trigger or stimulate an intrinsic motivation?

0:12:40.7 DP: That’s a great question. I think, I would say that you probably can. I will say that motivation specifically is not my area of expertise. It’s more about how we’re applying it in this field of leadership. When I think about it, it’s more when you are able to, I’m trying to answer your initial question, yes, we can trigger our own intrinsic motivation because I know that we can trigger it in other people. So I’m just going down my path here. If we can do it this for other people, of course we can do this for ourselves.

0:13:04.5 WB: Right.

0:13:13.0 DP: Yeah. I think it would just simply be bringing to mind, because a lot of times some of our intrinsic motivators are unconscious, if we are able to make those, those drivers, those things that are internal to us salient in the moment then I believe that would be enough to trigger that intrinsic motivation.

0:13:28.7 WB: Right. So we can link the mindfulness, the being present, being conscious in our choice, our decision.

0:13:35.7 DP: As you think of, Simon Sinek’s Knowing Your Why, that will help you tap into some of your internal drivers. So the more you bring your why, your purpose to mind, that’s going to make those intrinsic motivators more relevant.

0:13:47.9 WB: Right. So if we expand this focus a little bit away from just ourself and we start to look at maybe the leader or we look at working with teams, do we still look at motivation as one of the environmental factors we’re trying to have within teams to drive high performance? Is that one of the key factors?

0:14:14.1 DP: I think it absolutely needs to be, and there’s a couple of reasons. I like the way that you said, we’re moving away from thinking about our own to the teams. I think as leaders, it’s incredibly important for us to be able to lead ourselves, to know what our motivators are, to know what our drivers are to know, doing that self-reflection. I think every leader should always be working on their personal and professional development to get to that next level. And I mentioned the leadership training I took back when I was 14. One of the key things that I remember them telling us that stayed with me all these years was, if you’re working with a good leader, you’re going to like and respect that leader because they’re a good leader. They’re leading you, they’re guiding you, they’re giving you the reasons, they’re communicating, you like and respect a good leader.

0:14:56.7 DP: But a great leader is going to make you like and respect yourself. And that has always stuck with me. And so when I think of motivation, and I think about, when I’m working with, whether they’re my individual clients, well, we might spend more time on their intrinsic motivation before we get to how they’re working with their teams. But when a company brings me in and we’re working with a leadership team, we spend a lot of time on, how do you as a leader motivate your team? And the key difference is being able to, if you can motivate them by helping them see what their internal reasons are to meet the company’s vision or mission or goals, getting that alignment piece in there, then you are still motivating them, but you are doing it by tapping into what their internal needs are so that when you are not there, if you are not there to say, Hey, I need you to do this, or we have this deadline, they have their own internal reasons for wanting to achieve the goal.

0:15:53.8 WB: Yeah. I’m a team coach. When I think about the individual, the challenges of being an executive coach versus moving into the role of being a team coach, the degree of complexity or the increase in complexity that comes out of that team environment, it is quite challenging to say the least. And I can only imagine if, as a leader to get to that point of understanding the motivation of the individual within that team context is a big task in itself.

0:16:26.8 DP: It absolutely can be.

0:16:28.4 WB: But when you put it into that team dynamic where you have that interaction and that interplay, it really changes the ballpark. And is there any guideline for a leader on how would they make that that first foray into trying to do that?

0:16:48.1 DP: I think it’s one of those things that, it comes down to the leadership development in determining what leader they want to be, because I don’t think it’s ever, I don’t think a leader’s ever going to come to their team and say, Hey, I’m trying to figure out what drives you so I can motivate you to do what I want you to do. I mean, that’s not going to be a great leader. That’s not going to be the outcome you want. But as a leader, the more you are able to develop your emotional intelligence, and not just your communication skills, but your influence skills. Because every conversation we have to some extent is trying to influence to some outcome. I mean, it’s not always about getting a sale or reaching a sales quote or anything like that.

0:17:26.7 DP: But I mean, every conversation we have is some negotiation, whether it’s trying to get your kid to get out the door to school on time, brush their teeth, put on their shoes, you’re negotiating. But as a leader, as you develop these skills to be able to communicate and influence, part of that skill comes in knowing what your audience needs, building your own emotional intelligence to know, okay, everybody has some core basic psychological needs. Everyone wants to feel connected, everybody wants to feel significant. Everybody has a need for self-esteem. And knowing that your audience, if you’re able to meet those needs in your communication, if you’re able to understand what their basic psychological needs are in that moment, they’re going to be more likely to hear your message, whatever message you’re delivering or whatever you’re trying to convince them of, and understand why it matters to them.

0:18:19.3 DP: ’cause you can tell them all day long, I mean, you mentioned you had a 9-year-old, you could tell your kid all day long, we can’t be late for school. But if you’re able to put it to, Hey, if we get to school on time, you’re going to have more time to play with your friends before class. And then they’re like, oh, this is a thing that I want to do. I’m not doing this ’cause dad’s yelling at me, I’m doing this because, oh, I get something out of it too. But I mean, we don’t think of those conversations as him trying to motivate this.

0:18:43.0 WB: I will try that tomorrow morning, there’s a lot of debate around a leader’s role when it comes to this topic of motivation, versus should they be more looking to inspire or do you make that distinction between the two and they sit together somehow?

0:19:02.9 DP: I think the distinction I would make is, I think the thing is, I think is interesting, if people are aiming to inspire others, I think most people are the most inspirational when they’re just doing what they do and people are inspired by them, because of the impact they have or how they do it, or how are authentic they are. And at the same time as I’m coaching people in this space, if you want to inspire others, if you want to lead others, go in and be authentic, show that you are human, we would go down all the different things I couch on, but if you’re able to show up authentically and share when you have had failures and make it a safe place for failures and failures don’t have to be hidden away, but we don’t wanna repeat them, so we wanna bring them up out to the open.

0:19:44.7 DP: Let’s break apart, see what went wrong in the process or the… Somewhere in the pipeline, so that we do it better next time. And the more as a leader you’re able to show up authentically, I think that’s when you become inspiring, and when people are inspired by you, they may then be more likely to.

0:20:01.2 DP: They’re motivated to follow you because I’m gonna, what I’m I saying? Making sure I’m saying this right. The imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. So that if you are showing up authentically and people think, hey, this person’s really getting the job done. I like who they are as a person, I like how I feel around them. I wanna be around this person, I wanna follow them, I wanna emulate them. They’re authentic, so then I am motivated to be more like them, I’m gonna follow them, so I think in that inspiration motivation place, it can cross over, but I also don’t coach people to try to be inspiring, I coach them more to let’s be authentic and you will inspire.

0:20:38.8 WB: So I’ve developed your own executive or signature presence in an authentic way, and that definitely comes true to your. You mentioned alignment, so I just wanna dig into that a little bit more if we could, when it comes to working with the teams, so what sort of elements are you talking about with alignment, you’re talking about alignment with values. Typically. And all you’re doing or could you expand on that.

0:21:09.5 DP: Yes, so when we start the conversation of alignment with values is often a starting point because people have some idea, some conception of what that is. If you’ve spent any time in the business world, you’ve seen some values written up on a wall somewhere, and you’ve seen the poster, this is our vision, this is our mission, these are our values. And sometimes their words on paper and sometimes people are actually trying to live them right, and if you’re in an organization where people are actually embodying those values and showing up in ways that you come and you go, Oh, this culture, I understand what this culture is, I can tell you right now that this company values connection and they’re here for the customer in the, whatever.

0:21:45.7 DP: You can tell a lot of that when you see how teams interact, right, and you can say, Well, you might say These are your values, but you are living in this space over here, that is not what these values on the wall are. So a lot of times when we’re talking about alignment, values is often where we start, and I often like to take the step back and say, But when was the last time that you considered what your personal values are, and I don’t believe that every employee has to have the same values as their company, but they have to understand how their values fit into what the company expects of them in their role, and so when we’re getting to this alignment piece, it is about.

0:22:22.1 DP: There’s this piece of understanding what your own values are, which I think is interesting, ’cause a lot of people would say, Oh no, no, I know what I value. I’m like, Cool, tell me your top five. And they go, Oh, family. Deer in the headlights look, I’m like, no, no, we’re gonna do the exercise, we’re gonna nail down what your values are, and they don’t have to be the same, they don’t have to be the same as everyone on your team, but when other. When you know your values and you can state your values and say, Okay, you know what, I really value exploration, so I’m gonna take my two-week vacation every year, ’cause I’m gonna travel the world because I know when I go out there, I get inspired. I come back with these great ideas, then people know, Oh wait, this person. Because this is one of their values.

0:23:02.4 DP: We’re gonna respect their time away when they’re out of office, they’re out of office, and so the more people are aware of their own values, and if you’re in an organization that allows you to share these things and respects that, then people are able to do that work of saying, Well, these are my values, I’m in this role and I can do this role for a while, but there’s a value I have over here that’s never being met, I have a value that has just been completely ignored because of this, and I can do it for so long, but then I’m gonna start disengaging or I’m gonna start feeling like I’m getting burned out because one of my core needs isn’t being met, and so this is a place where as leaders, you can.

0:23:43.5 DP: You’re able to set expectations, but if you are aware that somebody in your team has values that aren’t being met, then you’re like, Okay, so what is your career path look like? Are there other opportunities here? Is a switching project, switching teams, something like that? Or if there are being met, then that’s when you’re seeing people really show up as their full self. And one of the things I love about this idea of alignment, when you as a leader, are able to understand what those drivers are with the internal motivation, what those values are for your team, that’s when you get this discretionary effort. This is this the piece I love to talk about.

0:24:21.0 DP: Because we all have a certain degree of discretionary effort, you can go to your work, you can sit in that chair 40 hours a week, you can clock in, you can do the thing, you can meet your nature minimums, whatever. And you’re doing fine. No one’s gonna complain, great, you’re doing a good job. That’s fine. But when people give that discretionary effort, this is when you get creativity, this is when you get innovation, this is when you get productivity that you didn’t expect because somebody is so aligned with where their values are showing up in their work and what their company wants from them or what their team wants for them, or the bigger vision of what the company is trying to achieve, the social impact they’re trying to have, or the impact of trying to have other customers, they understand how their little piece of the puzzle makes that more possible.

0:25:07.5 DP: And so that’s when you’re gonna have somebody say, Oh well, I was on vacation and I was in the shower and I had this aha thought and I’m gonna come back and this thing that we’ve been struggling with for months, outside of work, I figure out how to put this together, but when people don’t have that level of engagement, when they don’t see that alignment for themselves, they might have that thought and go, and no one’s gonna care. They start coming to these beliefs, if no one’s gonna listen to me anyway, it doesn’t matter, I’m not on that project, no one wants to hear my voice, I don’t need to say this, and the company then has this lost opportunity for a massive productivity, massive revenue, massive efficiency, whatever it is. Because they were lacking that alignment.

0:25:51.9 WB: Makes sense. I’m wondering, as I listen to that. So it’s really tapping into the individual and then bringing that potential into the team context, and so I’m wondering how much psychological safety and the degrees of trust, and also play a part here?

0:26:14.6 DP: They cannot be overstated. Psychological safety has to be, has to be there, people have to know that if they’re showing up authentically, that that’s gonna be respected and valued and not shamed or ridiculed or any, bullied in any way. Those sorts of things. So yeah, if you’re in an organization that isn’t prioritizing psychological safety, whether it’s stated or not, you’re not gonna get people showing up at their best.

0:26:43.8 WB: It’s quite a buzz term at the moment around the world, I’m wondering how many people really understand how to bring it to the forefront with in a team. That’s probably another conversation.

0:26:56.4 DP: We can talk about that one for hours.

0:27:00.5 WB: But to your point, it’s something that we shouldn’t be ever looking. So if the leaders listening to this conversation, if you don’t really fully understand what we’re talking about with psychological safety, at the moment on delivering a executive development training in Europe, and this term is not commonly known with the grace that I’m speaking with. So as much as I believed it was quite universal, it still seems to be more American-centric than it is in Europe. At least with the group that I’m working with. Let’s not decide for everyone, but so.

0:27:41.4 DP: That actually is in terribly surprising to me, just from what I know of cross-cultural psychology and the way American culture show up in different parts of the world. Yeah.

0:27:50.6 WB: Okay, I thought because I developed this program, I’m delivering it, I thought I’m using a very universal idea and introducing it, and I have to really go back to the beginning and stop to explain what it’s all about, before we can move forward and stop to bring it to the team itself. So yeah.

0:28:13.1 DP: It’s funny because I believe that the feeling of psychological safety is probably universal, and yet the concept of prioritizing it and making it relevant in the workplace, it might not be.

0:28:25.1 WB: Yeah, yeah, well, that’s experiencing at the moment. One of the things that I always like to do is observe evolution, if you like, that’s happening around us, and although I’m not a neuroscientist, or behavioral scientist, I like to watch what’s happening in that space, and I’m very amazed at it almost daily reports of new discoveries, and so when I then take that and I apply some of that development and look at the trends that have influenced my own career, whether it’s an executive development or coaching, possibly one of the fastest niche areas in coaching is team coaching and listening to you speaking, I can start to get a good feel for why team development and focus on the team is so important. But do you have thoughts yourself on why corporations seem to be starting to realize and shifting their focus a little bit to working with teams rather than just trying to develop the individual? Do you have any perspective yourself around that?

0:29:37.8 DP: My guess, and I haven’t really spoken with anybody specifically about this topic, I would guess it’s more about kind of economies of scale, because you can invest. I think executive development is really important because of the ripple effect it has, and yet when you are having a team of people getting similar guidance and similar concepts and understanding, then the team is speaking of the same language, and so the more that instead of just having one person coming and going, Oh, well, I know what my values are, I understand my motivators. When you have a whole team of people to do that, there’s that kind of economy of scale, we have the same language, we can understand what we’re all working through and supporting each other through this, ’cause there’s a lot of personal development in that as well.

0:30:22.9 DP: Any time or teams getting training, each individual person, they’ll be going at their own speed, they have their own histories, their own backgrounds, their own stories about why the company is investing in them, or why they’re trying to learn, whatever it is they’re trying to learn. But the fact that they’re doing it in this in a common space, I think would probably help move that needle a little faster than just one person coming along, I still love the repeat, I believe very much in the ripple effect, and it’s a bigger. It’s a bigger pebble in the pond if you’re bringing more people along at once.

0:30:55.6 WB: Yeah, for sure, for sure. And to your point, I find a team coaching quite often, we are also coaching the individuals, you’re working to buy things of the spectrum, but it is an entirely different dynamic that you deal with when you were working as a team. As I’m sure you know, and anyone that’s a leader has experienced that dealing with humans and life would be easier as later if we didn’t have to deal with people, right?

0:31:24.6 WB: Yeah. For all our team E.T leadership who are listening to the conversation, if they’re listening to us and they’re thinking, Gosh, I wonder what I can do as a starting point to really help bring the team together, help them to develop and move towards becoming by performing, we will use inverted quote, do you have any guidance for how they could start that process?

0:31:53.8 DP: I think, like I said, I think for everybody who wants to influence their team, it’s influencing yourself first, making sure that you’re doing the work so that you know developing your emotional intelligence, showing up authentically, doing these kinds of things and creating that psychological safety for your team I think is an important first step. But then I think it’s also about communicating with your team, we are trying to make a change here, this is our approach. I think the more that you’re able to go in and not spring it on them, ’cause I think a lot of leaders come and go, Hey, great. We hired somebody.

0:32:27.2 DP: We’re gonna do a training on this. So we’re gonna focus on this and people go, Oh, what did we do wrong? There’s anomaly this level of defensiveness, but if you’re able to go in and say, again, sharing the reasons, the understanding of what you’re hoping to achieve out of it, hopefully the team isn’t too jaded ’cause sometimes people are like, Oh great, it’s just one more training. We’re never gonna do anything with it. But when you come in as a leader really wanting to have that impact, you know that if you’re there for the long haul, you’re invested in your team, that you’re investing in your team growing, then they’re gonna feel that. They’re gonna feel that that’s an authentic, Hey, we’re not just doing this for the bottom line, we’re doing this because we want you to feel fulfilled and engaged in this role, it matters to the team, it matters to the company, how you as an individual are showing up and doing, I think that’s gonna be a key step, I know it’s not a quick one, two, three though.

0:33:19.4 WB: For sure, for sure. And I would even take it to a broader perspective, and maybe even ask the team, what’s going to help them perform at that level of expectation, what can we do collectively or individually for you, sort of thing.

0:33:38.5 DP: Yeah, I think that’s kind of that needs assessment, what do you need to do to feel more engaged, what do you need to do to able to achieve this role, what needs to be added to your plate to support systems, what needs to be taken off, so that you can achieve these priorities, I think that’s absolutely a critical step.

0:33:55.3 WB: It’s a fascinating conversation, we could get many tangent parts and talk about different things, but I think as a nice interview, we’ve covered some good ground. Are you working on anything at the moment, like writing a book, or working on a new program? Are you doing anything that…

0:34:12.6 DP: I do have a book. I do have a book, but it’s not related to leadership, actually, I’m also a breast cancer survivor, so I have a breast cancer book that it’s on its way out, but in the leadership space. Yeah, I’m working with teams, I’m trying to help C-suite executives and their teams unlock their full potential, and so that everyone becomes high performing, and like you said, it’s kind of coming in quotes ’cause high performing can mean different things. But from my perspective, it comes down to achieving the things that you as an individual want to achieve and hopefully that are in alignment with the company, so that, I mean, we all only get this one life right. So, let’s live it to the fullest.

0:34:51.4 WB: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, I think it’s great advice. Where can people follow you or find you if they might learn more?

0:35:00.2 DP: They can follow me on LinkedIn, I also have a YouTube channel they can subscribe to, and they wanna learn more, they can always just reach out and we’ll chat.

0:35:07.7 WB: Fantastic. You are bringing out a book. Do you have a release date yet or?

0:35:12.9 DP: I don’t have release date yet, my publicist is kind of hounding me on the final epilogue, I need to add to it, she asked me last week if I needed a kick in the pants, and I said yes, so it’ll be soon though.

0:35:26.2 WB: This year?

0:35:27.6 DP: This year. Absolutely, this year.

0:35:29.8 WB: This year. Very good. We’ll keep a vigilant watch for the release and maybe we have to come back together and talk again.

0:35:36.3 DP: Thank you so much. Yeah.

0:35:38.7 WB: Dr. Parker, great conversation, wonderful to connect with you and I’m confident our listeners have taken a lot away from this discussion so thank you.

0:35:50.6 DP: Thank you so much I appreciate.

0:35:53.1 Speaker 2: Thank you for joining us on the ET Project a show for executive talent development until next time check out our site for free videos, E-books, webinars, and blogs at coaching4companies.com.

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