Welcome to Work Savvy. And thank you for joining us for another dose of inspiration insights on leadership and self mastery. I'm Karen Gately, the founder of corporate dojo, and joining me is my co host, Madeline cook.
Thanks, Karen. And so on the show today, we're gonna kick off talking all about high performing teams.
And to help us unpack this topic, we're joined by Pete Clark, who has joined us before, so very happy to have you back. He is a leadership and mindset coach and the founder of 21 Whispers
Pete, welcome back to Work Savvy, and thanks for being here.
Thanks, Mads and Karen. Pleased to be here. And looking forward to chatting to you both on your lessons about a topic very close to my heart.
Yes, we knew it was hence why we thought that's great. Pete for this one, certainly know that you do a lot of work in this space. And you and I have a lot of aligned views on this space as well. I'm aware. So let's dive straight into it. You know, what do you think it takes to get a group of people to be a great team?
Lots. Yeah. Right lots. And I'm coming from the perspective, slightly off peace for a second, you know, when people ask us in our field, you know, how long does it take to create a habit? And there's this myth that it's 21 days, all that rubbish. And, you know, some research has been done to suggest it's between, you know, 66 and 200 odd days. The best answer I've read about how long it takes to create a habit is forever. Yeah, meaning, if you stop brushing your teeth, which would assume as a habit, and you stop doing it, it's no longer a habit. Right, so you're going to keep doing it. But if you stop showering, which would assume is a habit and you no longer did it. It's no longer a habit. With this answer of what does it take to become a high performing team lots. If you stop doing all these things, then it becomes you're no longer maximising and optimising your team. So all of these things we're going to talk about, you got to keep doing the work.
And you know, what I love about your opening comments here is that some of those habits like brushing teeth, and showering, there is typically an external motivating force to make sure that we maintain that habit. So you know, people will soon start to step right back from us, because we're no longer hygienic and pleasant to be around. So you know, there's a, there's a degree of being motivated to do it because of those external factors. Whereas things like having a habit around deliberately influence the success of our team. Sometimes the motivation doesn't come until something really goes wrong, you know, and all of a sudden, there is a big external force that says, No, now you really need to get this together. So it does take a lot of internal discipline, to step into that role of the leader and go this, this is my ongoing mission is to optimise the extent to which this group of human beings are effective.
Yeah, totally in love. That's something I would raise, you know, straight up that often when there's a crisis, people come together naturally. You know, we're recording this in Australia. You know, way back three years ago, now, nearly we had all the bushfire tragedies. And it's amazing when there's a tragedy and such a catastrophic thing like that how many people come together without a note look diary invitation, without a necessarily designated team that come together in a crisis. And when the crisis dissipates, they fall back into old singular individual habits, which is, which I find fascinating. So as one of the premises around building and creating a high performing team is having this not an urgent, always catastrophic mindset. But the value of one plus one equals more than two. Yeah. And almost everyone, I'm guessing current like me, that we speak to them, or we ask that question intellectually. Do you believe one plus one equals more than two? Everyone says, yes. Yeah. But I'm not sure necessarily. They're willing to do often on scene work to make it happen. So they're not willing to manifest the glue, do the stuff behind the scenes to create a fertile environment for this group of people to come together with a singular clear purpose?
Yeah, absolutely. So what does that look like? You know, if I'm a leader, what's what's the work I should be doing on a ongoing basis?
Well, so when I do what with teams, I often start by asking people the question, have you been in a high performing team before? And I do wonder whether some people's version of a high performing team is actually high? performing? Yeah, it might have been the best team, they've ever been part of which we can still reflect on the rich bits. But I wonder how high performing it was. Because high performing for me is a little bit of context and comparison. If I've played Sunday League football, and I'm now going to transfer to the Elite League or the Premier League and in England, that's a very different standard of what high performing means. Yeah. And so taking that and in mind, I often ask all I give them the definition that I use of a high performing team, which is simply it's a small number of people, usually seven to hit any more, you get diminishing returns, with complementary or synergistic subject matter expertise, skills and mindset, who are a wholly committed and countable to a way of working together in pursuit of a common cause. you unpack all of that, there's a number of components in that, that when you look at the bushfires that happen naturally and are guaranteed because of the crisis. So those are the same components that for me make up a high performing team, in a corporate sense. small number of people, complementary skills and mindsets 100% committed and countable to a way of working together in pursuit of a common cause.
I think that's a brilliant definition. And when I when I reflect on some of the teams that I've worked with over time that are struggling to be effective, I think that unification of what is our purpose, you know, sometimes the work I'm doing with the team, as a starting point is to really clearly articulate what's our job, what do we want our job to be in this organisation? What impact do we want to have? What reputation do we want to build? And then how do we actually collectively make that happen? So you know, when you can actually get people on that same page that okay, we're ultimately in the same boat heading in the same direction, we've got that shared purpose, then we can start to articulate well, what's it actually going to take for us, as individuals to behave in ways that are aligned with that collective purpose, and that that collective mission? And I think there's two things you've said in there that a key is that full engagement, that sincere commitment to being a part of that team and driving it? And then the accountability around that? You know, I think all too often, leaders fail to address some of the derails in the team, some of the people who do have an individualistic mindset, or are undermining that team cohesion and effectiveness. And they might be a strong SME, and they might be somebody that does bring a degree of value. But there's not enough focus on relative to the whole team success, and ultimately, what that team striving to achieve.
And I'll make a small distinction, Karen, between accountable countable. Yeah, my preference, my my belief and my experiences accountable is the words that are used, but often that's fear driven, and punishment driven. And again, you could argue the only thing that we're really accountable to is the law. Yeah. Whereas in the highest performing teams I've worked with and been part of, there's no need for accountability. Yeah, because everyone's accountable. Everyone's gonna go, Yep, I'm in. I've got my handout. I'm fully on board, you, as the leader don't need to create an accountability framework because everyone's in. Yeah, they're taking ownership. They're taking ownership without being asked to. What are you going to do that by peers? Pete gone? Nope. That'd be done by the end of play today. And I'll have this done by that. And if I don't, you know, there's usually a very good reason, and there's outliers to it as well. But there's almost there isn't an accountability issue in the highest performing teams.
Yeah, agree. And when I think about accountability, and the coaching, I give leaders, to your point around, it shouldn't just be around the punishment. Because often we do think, okay, if I'm holding someone accountable, I'm punishing them for something that's there's an imposed consequence. Whereas I think just as important is that accountability needs to be both the reward, the recognition, the acknowledgement of what we want. So in other words, there's actually an outcome or a consequence for that standard of contribution or the approaches that have been taken. So we're saying thank you to people for taking those rights approaches were a holding up as a great example of a team members, those who are working towards our collective success. So there's, there's that balance between patting people on the back reinforcing what we want. And then obviously, sometimes there are remedial steps that we need to take if people are not stepping into their role if there's not that sense of ownership. And again, the ownership meeting needs to be not just for my own patch in my own individual job a little square of the the oval that I'm responsible for. It's the overall team's success. And I just don't think we're serious about that enough.
Yep. Because in being accountable, are accountable for the team success, I have to let a little bit of my own success potentially go. Yeah. And the benefit of you know, the collective goal is worth more to me than the individual going. And you're sometimes you hear it on TV interviews with sports teams, you'll say, you know, the top goalscorer the top try scorer, you know, whoever scored the most, behind whatever it is, we'll say you like, it doesn't matter how I performed, it's how the team performs. Yeah. And there is a little bit of research, certainly in the Soccer World Cup to suggest that the the highest goal scorer at the soccer World Cup is rarely part of the winning team. Yeah.
I can understand why. Because I think again, if we continue with that sporting analogy, you know, some of the greatest contributors to the team, as those who are setting up other players to take the best shots. So rather than hogging the ball, if we can put it that simplistically, they're actually you know, setting things up so that somebody else can come along and ultimately score the point.
And that's often work that's done unseen and unrecognised, and unrewarded. Yeah. Hence, why for humans, that's quite difficult to do with, if I'm constantly doing that work that's not seen, recognised and rewarded. After a time, I'm probably not going to do it too much. Yeah, so the team leader recognising that some of the works done that scene, but a lot of work is done unseen. How do you assure that that work that's unseen, is seen, recognised and rewarded?
So to put it in simple terms, you know, when somebody genuinely does take one for the team, you know, there's a there's a degree of self sacrifice, arguably, in order to achieve the team's objective, that that is whole up as a great example of something that we do want. And that we do, you know, again, I think it comes back to the way if I think about some of the indicators of a great team or a great team player versus somebody who's not, you know, sharing and credit, uplifting our colleagues, you know, pushing other people forward to take the credit and stepping back in certain moments, you know, those are all of the other examples of those selfless acts that mean that the whole team is more likely to win. At the end of the day.
Yeah. Again, assuming they believed that one plus one equals more than two, which, you know, we would tend to believe. And there's going to be situations where the individual contributor probably will perform better than some. Yeah. And yet, more often than not, I think that the queue the collaborative effort, the, the team effort is likely over the longer term to produce more totally.
And it works. Well my mind's going to now is that if you think about why do so called high performers leave an organisation. often one of the reasons behind that is because they are tired of carrying the load unfairly for those who aren't stepping up. So when leaders fail to address the person who's you know, the anchor off the back of the team boat, allow them to fly under that radar of accountability and minimise their contribution that has consequences for other team members. And you know, great team members, great team performers typically want to be in a winning team environment, where everybody is stepping up, everybody is playing their role. And as you said, at the beginning of this conversation, you know, genuinely signed up, they're accountable. They're genuinely committed to us as a team being successful.
And just in that vein, Karan, one of the habits that I see, sadly, in team leaders predominantly, but also in teams is everybody knows someone's not performing. Everybody knows someone's the anchor in the team. Everyone knows for whatever reason, good, bad or indifferent that someone you know, is probably not best to be here. The leader that says I wish I'd left that decision to move them along for longer said no one. Yeah. I was wondering why you guys, always a decision you couldn't bucket I should have made that decision quicker. Yeah, it was known for so long and everybody else knows that. And it's like, once the decision is made. You can see our collective shoulders drop, right, let the energy's different and it's amazing how one person one energy source in a team is is energising or depleting. Yeah, it's so All angriness
I often ask people, you know, have you ever worked with someone that just sucks the life force out of you? Because they're near you? And and most people's response to that is, yeah, I've been there, you know. And the conversation I have with leaders is you need to have an opinion around what impact are people having on the collective spirit of the team. So how much energy do we collectively have in reserve? That is essential to us thinking, feeling and behaving in ways that are successful, and to not recognise those being drainers can be fatal to a team, you know, people start to become drained themselves, their own mindsets become pessimistic, or their own behaviours start to deteriorate, they start to be defensive or aggressive, or whatever it looks like. But when we do actually remove that, that draining source, as you've pointed out, suddenly, the team spirit can can shift, you know, we've actually reached a position where we can re energise and get back to a place of confidence or hopefulness or, you know, collaboration, whatever it is. And, again, I see far too often that the reason we're not addressing that issue is because it feels too hard. You know, if I actually extract that person from the team, we're going to lose important corporate knowledge or their critical SMA, it's hard to replace them. And you know, but at the same time, if you think again, about the, the team spirit, it's a bit like allowing something to stay that is, you know, deflating your tires every day, and then still expecting that the team are going to win the race.
Yep. One of the exercises that at the right time with a team I love to do is it's kind of a live feedback session where it's amongst all of the team members. What do What does Pete do that boosts the energy of the team? And what does it do that deflates the energy of the team? Yeah. And for everyone to have that live conversation, eyeballing each other in the same room? At the right time? Of course, it's something that can be really, really helpful. Yeah. confronting a helpful,
yeah, I do a similar exercise with people, I use a profiling tool, often called TMS, which looks at people's work styles and preferences. And in those workshops, often what I'll do is I'll get people to reflect for themselves, what strengths do I bring to the team. But when I'm in hyperdrive, and my style is exaggerated, what might I be doing that is a drainer, or undermines my own success, the success of the team. And what I find is, you know, because we're all doing this, and we're all talking about a, it's human and normal for us to be less than perfect. So you know, there's, there's likely to be something on everybody's list. And it's a safe, respectful environment within which we're having the conversation, the overwhelming majority of people will be really honest about that will actually be very real about it. It's like, okay, well, you know, I'm the results, girl, I just want to get things done, I want to get it done yesterday, sometimes I run out of patience that can be really demanding, I understand that that can, you know, create tension in the team. So again, when we have that, that's all own our stuff. We're not perfect, but at the same time, that's all take ownership for what impact are we having on ourselves on one another, and ultimately, our collective success? Then again, we're more likely to navigate those moments. You know, we've got some self awareness, but we've also got some honest acknowledgement, as a team, that all of us are going to have moments who are not at our best. How are we going to deal with that when that happens?
Yeah, look, I would agree, Karen, the addition I would make is, I think the self awareness part is maybe 50% of it. Because usually, it's the other people that determine how I land on them more than I can, I might know that when I'm under pressure, I get a bit grumpy and I get a bit task orientated. So forgive me, I'm going to be direct with you when I'm grumpy and tired and, you know, pissed off. How that lands on other people is their interpretation, which might be more than I am aware of. And that's often is because that's part of their stuff. They're interpreting the meaning behind the communication, which affecting their identity, etc, etc, etc. So, yes, the self awareness part, but also, how does that land on you hub? What is it like to be with me? How do I land on you that answer can be really revealing for both parties?
Yeah, absolutely. I think that speaks directly to you know, that role of coach and the conversations that leaders also need to have at times to build to help people to build that understanding of what is that impact? You know, often talk about the unconscious belief, the person that just behaves the way that they behave, they don't necessarily have a deliberate intention to bully, but the impact of their actions is absolutely in anyone's book is bullying. And, you know, often when you help them to actually say that when they can empathise with that, that impact how they are experienced by other people. You know, it can be quite an emotional experience for people to realise well, that that's who I am. That's how people experience me. That's the impact I have. And I found that to be the most powerful way of shifting some of those behaviours is to help them to see why it matters. In real terms, this is this work, this is what it's like to hang out with, you know, as you were just pointing out,
one of the questions that if some, if a party, you know, if it's two people or a team are willing to confront themselves, whether and be you know, genuine and honest and listen to the responses, one of the most powerful questions that I've seen asked is for the team leader, anyone that tends to say, What's it like to be on the receiving end of me? Yeah. Yeah. And if people are willing to listen and absorb and sit with the responses, got that can be such a powerful moment that actually brings the team together.
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. It's
probably not an easy answer.
I, you've taken me to a conversation with my son. Excellent. Hey, he was hanging out with this young woman who what he observed in her was very similar behaviours to the way he is. So what Cal does is he gets super excited about something. And he's a scientist and a philosopher. And he's, you know, intellectually really bright, but just loves to teach and loves to tell you all about it. And when I say all all about it, I mean, all about it. And he said to me, the other day, he said, I was hanging out with so and so. And she got really passionate about this topic. And she was talking about it, and talking about it, and talking about it, it goes, and I suddenly thought to myself, well, this is This must be what mum feels like. Because they've been so many times in his life, I've said, Tim cow, this is really genuinely really interesting to me, but it's going to come to an end. So because I've been talking about this for quite some time, but the moral of story being is that, you know, he could see himself in this young woman, and, you know, took his own mind to wow, that's what it must be like to hanging out with me, you know, and I'm really proud of the fact that he could see it, take ownership for it, have a giggle about it, but also own it. And then the very next day, he started telling me about or very next hour, in fact, he said, Tell me the story. And I could actually see this this shift in, you know, he kept it short, you know, he just shared the information and moved on. So, yeah, that's where my mind went talking about that. And so, you know, what are some of the solutions, you know, so what I'm hearing is, that's make sure that we are influencing people to be on the same page to have that shared ownership to fully be countable, as you put it, and to understand their influence and their impact to address those issues, or those drainers when they come up, you know, what are the strategies? What are some of the things that that leaders can do to make sure that, you know, we're helping teams to be more collaborative?
So a couple of things? Well, seven, to be precise, I've made some notes, the first of which is making sure everyone pre during and post is clear about the context they're operating in. So is, is our revenue generating context is an expense. Context is startup context is, you know, new strategy content, you know, whatever the context is, because context can change our behaviour quickly, if we're aware of it. So everyone's really clear about where we've come from, where we're at, and where we're going context wise. What's the market doing? What's our organisation doing? Are we just gone through a restructure, etc, etc, etc. That'd be the first thing. The second thing, it will then be clarity on a number of things like purpose, vision, strategy, ways of working, is where we sit in our marketplace clear? Yeah, is my contribution and my role clear within this team? Yeah, we have a team purpose. Do we need a team purpose? Do we need to even be a team? Or can we operate just as a working group? So the clarity around that and about like your current, I often get asked to do Tim sessions in team alignment sessions and the two most important things I always get asked to help them with. One is clarity. Yeah, on whatever the clarity on and the second thing, which is the third thing here is connection. Yeah. So connecting with each other, head, heart, gut and soul and even if you know each other, there's still other ways in which you can connect. So I understand what's bothering you and you understand what excites me and you understand what pisses me off and so on. And so One. So it's that connection at beyond the head level. That'd be the third one. The fourth half doesn't matter.
I'll think about it get back to you.
She's pretty easygoing.
The fourth thing is the one we just talked about a lot, Karen about countability. This reframe on accountability, where it's more positive, more hands up, I'm in rather than holding someone accountable. Yeah. The fifth one is a massive part of what I think gets missed, and not enough people pay attention to it is communication. And I don't just mean the emails in our, you know, our columns. But when you ask people in most positions, to what extent of the success of your role is down to how well you communicate? Yeah, many of them will say, 90% 80% 70%, a significant part of the success of my role is down to the success and how good am I communicating? And how often do you practice that? And you don't. So it's like saying, the most important part of my game is taking penalty kicks, but I never practice. Yeah, that's ridiculous.
Scott, is that, you know, I think that not all, but a lot of human beings are really poor communicators, you know, I think it's something that is really challenging for us to master. And one of the reasons around that is, is our emotional intelligence, you know, and being able to move past some of the insecurities or the emotions generally, that allow us to communicate clearly, constructively remain open minded, keep listening, maintain empathy. So we think about communication and organisations often about well, did I tell you? Did I share that information? But what's often lacking is do we actually engage in really helpful, robust, healthy dialogue and conversation? And I think, you know, mastering the art of a really powerful conversation is one of the most important things that we need to do in teams and invest business more broadly in life more broadly.
You and I've been doing this for a number of years. And every time every single time I asked a group of people or a team, you know, what are the key issues and challenges that you face? A guarantee you within the top three, some sort of communication?
Yeah. Where I often point to the fact that every single staff survey I've ever done, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, the overwhelming majority of star surveys I've ever done. There are two things people say need to improve. One is remuneration. And the other is communication. Yeah, almost have that exception.
And I think there's an art to that. I think leaders assume that to literally Oh, well, I need to tell you more stuff. I've already told you it's far more far broader than that. Yeah. And then just to finish the seven calendars, the there's contribution. And what I mean by contribution is, and I look at this in a relationship as well, that, you know, if any of you have been married, you know, any number of times when you take the vows, you know, I'll look after you if you look after me, that's a very dependent situation. Whereas what if it was, I'll look after me for you, as long as you look after you for me? Yeah, there's a different level of ownership there. So I think contribution at a team level is I'll look after me for us. Yeah, as long as you look after you for us. Yeah. Me dealing with my own self care. It's me dealing with my own work life balance. It's me dealing with all the stuff I'm carrying, and bring into the situation. Yeah, how I'm contributing to the team is more than just how I contribute in a meeting. Yeah. And that's a significant part of it. The final one is that can imagine it that brings it all together the kind of fairy dust around culture, that what environment, anything in this team in this meeting, what what gets then cast out into the organisation because of what we're talking about here. And it's not, it's rarely direct, it's rarely literal. But the conversation that you and I have in a meeting, about a strategy decision, actually, almost by osmosis filters out into the organisation without us even knowing so that's, that's the things I would say for a lead to really focus on context, clarity, connection, countability, communication, contribution and culture. Love it. Easy. Is
that easy. Voila. I just keep doing it. That's right. Yeah.
So that is what I find current is when a new leader comes in. They will do this stuff. Yeah. And then they'll forget. Yeah, they'll get busy doing the job. Yeah. Whereas I know when you know, and I will I appreciate I think that revisiting some of this stuff on a regular frequent basis. is actually the what keeps the wheels turning?
I totally agree. Totally agree. Well, as always, we could literally talk about this all day. I feel like we've just hit the surface of everything we can talk about. But mad, something we probably need to move on to our next segment.
Yeah, I reckon it's about that time. So next up, we've got our mojo in the dojo segment.
Mojo, the libido, the life force, the essence, the right stuff, what the French call is certain. I don't know what,
which is all about energy, confidence and influence. So Karen, what have we got today?
So today, we're talking about maintaining your mojo, when you are stuck in a rut? Another big one? Secondly, what's your immediate thoughts on that pain?
One would be to recognise it, which again, assuming someone does that the recognise that we're stuck in a little bit of a rut. A couple of things I would suggest is one is probably to get outside. Yeah, right. Nature has a way of healing of reenergizing of doing stuff to us, whether it's you know, kicking off your shoes and paddling in the sea, or walking the dogs or going for a walk and you know, whatever it might be, it's getting outside that can often be a bit of a circuit breaker. Yeah. The second thing will be to do something novel. Yeah, do something perhaps you haven't done before, go and paint on a canvas. You don't have to be a painter to do it. Go and sell the big issue going knit, go and crochet things. Something that you might have never done before as a circuit breaker to kind of break the break the rut, because the idea if you keep going, you know it, it becomes becomes the coffin. Yeah. And so by doing something novel, and the third thing, probably, as I've heard many times, one of the best ways to get out of a rut of your own right, is to help someone else. Yeah, go and do something for someone else. So we take out of our own issue, and we actually get and feel better by helping someone else buy them a coffee, get someone on the street, a beanie, you know something ridiculous.
For our listeners, pizza are referring to a conversation we had before the start of the podcast around my desire, I've suddenly become obsessive about crocheting and planning to crochet beanies for homeless people. And, you know, I think I think you're absolutely right. I think that that points to feeling that sense of purpose. So in my world of crocheting is a way to just get completely outside of anything that's stressful outside, anything that's mundane, be my own little happy place. It feels like active meditation, but then there's also something that I'm creating that I'm proud of that I think is beautiful. And then obviously handing out beanies, again, feels like giving back having a sense of purpose. And for me, you know, I think about okay, well, what do we mean by being in a rut? And for me, it's been stuck on that treadmill of life or in the hamster wheel, right? We're just going round around around, we're just doing the same things. And what we've lost is that spark those things that give us joy, those things that energise us, or, you know, hit us on a soul level where we actually feel like, life is going places, I'm actually moving forward, or I feel that there is real meaning to this, you know, that I'm making a contribution. So when we're finding that ourselves in that space, you know, I think, as you've said, one of the things we can do is step back, recognise, okay, that's where I'm at, and then make a conscious choice to step off that hamster wheel. And to do that, it's about well, how am I going to invest my focus my time and my energy in ways that give me something, you know, make me rebuild that sense of vitality, and strong spirit again. And you know, as the game you've accurately pointed out, nature is incredibly powerful, you know, to be able to have sunshine. Clearly I appreciate that is available to us, but just fresh air. There's research that's been done around the positive psychological and physiological impact of even being able to see trees and greenery, you know, that can actually have a very real influence on how we're feeling. My own spirit, for example, is uplifted by the coffee that y'all might be able to hear in the background, who suddenly decided to bark in the middle of our podcast. But you know, stopping and cuddling the dog goes is another way in which I just shake off, okay. I mean, this Monday in space, I'm feeling the rattle of things. Just break away. shift my mind do something that feels good.
Yeah. Often I think people when, when we're in a rut, Do we start to question? What's the purpose? What's the meaning of life? And whilst that's a huge question that philosophers have debated for centuries, the twist I would have on is rather than thinking about the meaning of life, what's the meaning within your life? Yeah. And that can be really small thing then. And as an example, you know, some of the work that you and I do. One of the little activities I asked groups to do is to get the phone and send a random text of kindness to a random contact in the form. It's part of a workshop and everyone can laugh about it. And, you know, within 10 minutes, usually there's a couple of people that have a response. Here's an example of where I've found meaning within laughing at
you. I'll explain myself in a moment. Do go on.
Yeah. So one of the reasons that I've found you know, Here's a snippet of how I find meaning within my life, I only found out maybe a month ago, that six months prior that activity resulted in someone's life being saved. Oh, I didn't know that. And I don't need to know. But all you need is just that little glimpse of hang on a minute. I've done that 1000 times. And I don't know how many how much impact it's had but once and that's all it needs? Is that little act that little random text of stupid kindness, this random contact prevent someone from taking their own life?
Oh, I'm gonna cry.
Now, no, and now I can't tell you why is laughing know? Why we laugh if you know anyone listening doesn't know who this is. Go look him up. But Michael McIntyre is a comedian who I just find ridiculously funny. I went to his live show, and we went to his whole family. And we literally laughed, crying laughter from the start to the end of the show. And anyway, one of the things he has done on one of the shows, is a segment called centre Hall. And he gets a celebrity's phone until you bring writes this really problematic text, and then literally sends it to everyone in their contacts. List is the funniest thing. So if anyone listening hasn't seen that, go, go look it up on YouTube. It's just a massive laugh.
There you go. There's a little a little tasks we can give to your listeners, grab your phone, and go through your contact, random contact and just send them a simple Hey, mate, check in and how you doing? Yeah, I was thinking of you in the family. I haven't seen you for a while. Hope I was. Well, cheers. Yeah. And I'm a random text.
They should probably find it off with their own name. Probably.
Yeah. It's a bit weird. So nice. Good idea.
It is. All right where to now?
All right. So last up, we've got our WTF at work. So. So today's WTF at work is from Reddit. It's a bit of a long one. So bear with me. So it starts off saying, Am I the asshole for speaking a foreign language at my workplace? A new hire at my work told everyone she can speak Hebrew, as it's not very common. I was so excited to meet someone else that could also speak Hebrew. We often chat in Hebrew in the office and and on our lunch breaks. I've had three separate colleagues calling me out and telling us to stop speaking in a different language because they don't understand it. Two of them have said, well, we don't know what you're talking about. You could be gossiping, gossiping about us. I've assured everyone. We're not gossiping about anyone. It's just a good way to practice our language skills and feel really connected. I don't think we're doing anything wrong. But am I the asshole?
I've seen this one come up a lot in workplaces, actually. Yeah. So as always, I've got opinions. I like to let my guests go first hate what do you think?
It should? It shouldn't be a hard one? Because I don't think so. I guess that depends or, you know, if they are gossiping, and you know, you know, talking about people in that different whether it's Hebrew or not, then that might be not as conducive to teaming that we're thinking. But that's a tough one. I wouldn't say so. But I guess it would depend the content.
Yeah, exactly. And that'd be pretty much my answer as well is in the context of within which it's happening. I think people on both sides of that equation can give a little empathise a little, you know, allow some some space for individuality. And I certainly have no problem of people speaking another language around me, so long as that doesn't cause me to feel excluded. So if we, for example, were in a team of three people, and two of those people spent the majority of the time talking another language that I should just think that's in consider it, because it doesn't leave that third person feeling part of the team. But if we're on a team of 10 people or, and to people speaking another language from time to time throughout the day, then there's zero issue, we don't just have one language, either in the world or in our country. You know, I think sometimes in Australia, we can have this attitude of all English is our language. It's like, well, English is the probably the most commonly spoken language. But it's not the only language spoken. It's ridiculous to suggest that it is. So, again, it's around courtesy and consideration on both sides, I would say. So, again, so long as these people aren't excluding, as long as they are also participating, that they do have other conversations in languages that other people understand from time to time, and they are connecting with their other colleagues and not creating a subculture within the team. There. What's the problem?
Yeah, in fact, yeah, we think of the original conversation at the beginning of the podcast around teaming. And one thing I see not enough teams doing enough of when somebody new comes in, giving them a lot of back story to some of the three letter acronyms. So some of the in jokes or some of the project names, don't spend enough time allowing those questions to be asked because it slows things down. And ultimately, it speeds things up because the new people feel more included. And that can be part of the banter. It can be part of the the short cut language that's often used as groups of people evolve.
Yeah, agree. Well, I was at Vanguard, I wrote a dictionary for new for new Currie members. Because the same thing, there was so many industry acronyms, but they were also just business shortcuts, you know, things that we spoke about, and what did it mean, one of the standout examples of that was rather than talking about employees or staff, we talked about the crew. And what I started to realise is that some people took a while to figure out who we're talking about when we talk about the crew, you know, some really simple language things that again, helped people to understand and you know, sort of feel part of it not feel so alien. The other thing I have to explain to people is that, for whatever reason, as a business, we used to clap a lot. And I didn't, I didn't realise until new people would come in, they'd say to me, what's with all the clapping? So that I started to give people a heads up that, you know, we have this tendency will be in team meetings and be like, Oh, yes, that's your clock over that. So you know, it's just culturally something that we did, you know, there was a strong desire for us to celebrate and to acknowledge one another, and to bring a bit of happiness and celebration or joy into moments that felt super weird and odd to people who've never been in that kind of environment. Yeah. So yeah, I created a document that said, Okay, here's, here's all the things, the US isms, the things that I got to happen.
I know of a colleague of mine who used to greet everyone, whether, Hey, what's up? Which has made me more relevant if you're stateside, maybe not so relevant here. But the compelling response from most people had they not normally be to try and answer the question, well, nothing, nothing. What should there be something? Really, it was just his way of going, Hey, how you doing? Yeah,
exactly. And there are others already, when you talk about, you know, culturally diverse workplaces, you know, there are so many things in terms of the way we use language that can be foreign to one another. One of the things that Australians say that I always just think so funny is yeah, no.
No. 100 people joining our community from offshore life, what are you actually saying, right. For your events, bringing it back to our WTF at work? I think the WTF in it is the hypersensitivity that the colleagues are having in that scenario, again, that's assuming that the individual speaking Hebrew are also being kind and respectful and connecting with their colleagues. Yes, I was there doing that, then I don't think there is a problem. And I think other people need to be a little less paranoid, you know, just because it's different language being spoken. You know, the short version is it's not all about you. Yeah, there are other things to actually talk about. And there are other indications of whether or not you've got good relationships with those people.
Yeah, it's like, maybe they've done something wrong. And I think, oh, did they find out why they're talking about it? It's like, well, what have you done to be worried about what everyone else is saying about you?
It's a funny tic TOCs. Actually, where people have gone to a service provider, the service provider hasn't assumed that their client can speak their language. And they've been saying all these really nasty things in front of them about them until they've actually spoken up using the language.
And it might not even be Hebrew. I know, clients who've had teams where it's predominantly male dominated. and their way of connecting and bantering is through rugby conversations. Yeah. Okay. And it's not necessarily a gender thing, but it can be where the females don't understand don't want to don't play the game don't know. So it's almost as exclusive language there keeps the same language. It's English. Yeah, but the topic is not gonna be as exclusive.
Yeah, it's like it may as well be a foreign language, if you're anything about it. Right? Yeah, yeah.
I was in those moments like to make stuff up. Stop to pretend I used to do that with my kids, when they were teenagers, I'd go and research something they were really passionate about and start to randomly throwing into conversations, using all the buzzwords that my they could usually tell that I was using it out of context, or whatever it was, but I so enjoyed doing it in front of their friends.
Like, I know what this is.
I did it once on a Facebook post with my son. He was into some type of music. I don't know, I think it was death metal or something. So I went and researched all these teams terms, and then responded on a Facebook post about you know, get jiggy with the tech death met. I think I said that was the first time that one of my son's friends declared that I was a cool mom, online in writing. So I had the evidence. So yeah,
that's so funny.
On that note, we have actually run out of time, we could speak to pay all day, every day, no doubt and not run out of things to talk about. But that Pete, thank you so much for joining us yet again. remind our listeners, where can they find out more about you and the work that you do?
Yeah, if you check out 21 whispers.com I do a weekly blog, weekly whisper. I do various podcasts like this. And if you didn't just check that out, you can check me out on LinkedIn Pete at 21 whispers.com. And I look forward to furthering the conversation.
Fantastic. Well, thank you. So to our listeners, if there are any topics you would like us to explore, please get in touch via our website at corporate dojo.com Or, of course any of our social media channels.
Thanks, Karen. Thanks, Pete for joining us. Thanks, everyone for listening. We'll see you next time and don't forget to work savvy