Successful New Manager Training Techniques with Eric Girard
September 27, 2023
In this insightful episode, you'll dive into the critical challenges facing first-time managers, as Eric Girard sheds light on the pressing issues of leadership. They explore the significance of training and readiness for new managers, touching on key statistics and essential strategies. Discover how emotional intelligence, empathy, and communication skills play pivotal roles in a manager's success. Eric Girard shares practical advice, including the importance of preloading, setting clear expectations, and managing former peers. By the end of this episode, you'll be equipped with invaluable insights and techniques to help new managers thrive in their roles, fostering better leadership and team dynamics.
CEO of Girard Training Solutions and former Curriculum Manager for Apple's Worldwide Apple Care Training
Felicia Shakiba 00:04
Hello, everyone. I'm Felicia Shakiba. And you're listening to the CPO PLAYBOOK podcast. Join me and my guests as we feature insightful conversations with HR leaders, people scientists and executives from diverse industries and functions, offering valuable perspectives on the future of work. Discover a unique outlook on navigating the complexities of the modern day working world. Exploring innovative strategies in talent management and corporate culture from the Chief People Officers perspective. Tune in to stay ahead of the game when it comes to all things people related.
Felicia Shakiba 00:45
Statistics provided by the Center for Creative Leadership shed light on a pressing issue in the realm of leadership. First time managers who are often seen as the future backbone of any successful business are facing significant challenges. A notable 20% of these new managers are perceived as performing poorly by their subordinates, indicating a lack of leadership skills or preparedness. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that over a quarter of first time managers approximately 26% themselves admit to feeling unprepared for their leadership roles. Perhaps most alarming is the revelation that nearly 60% of these new managers never received any formal training upon transitioning into their leadership positions. It is therefore unsurprising that half of all managers in organizations are rated as ineffective. This lack of training and readiness not only affects the individual managers, but also has a ripple effect on the overall productivity and morale of their teams and organizations they serve.
Felicia Shakiba 01:57
With us today is CEO of Girard Training olutions, podcast host of Management Development Unlocked, and former Curriculum Manager for Apple's Worldwide Apple Care Training to share strategies that will support first time managers to be more effective.
Felicia Shakiba 02:13
Eric, welcome to the show.
Eric Girard 02:15
Thank you very much. Thanks for having me, Felicia.
Felicia Shakiba 02:17
Well, I'm excited to get into what we're going to talk about today, because I think it's incredibly relatable for so many people. So if you could tell me, what are the key challenges that managers commonly face when transitioning into a new role? And how can these challenges be effectively managed?
Eric Girard 02:40
I would say the first thing that managers have struggle with is making the mental transition from I'm an individual contributor, I'm an employee, I'm rewarded for producing widgets, whatever the widgets are. So I'm rewarded for getting work done, and then having to make the transition into I get rewarded for getting results through other people. And a lot of managers, a lot of new managers won't let go, because that's their comfort zone. Their comfort zone is to be doing the work and be excellent at doing the work. That's why they got promoted, but so many managers need to let go of, you know, I'm great at writing code, or I'm great at, you know, producing, fill in the blank. And I have to make that switch to Okay, I'm going to enable my team to do their best. And that's my job is like being the conductor of a symphony. And I'm going to make sure that everybody in that symphony does their job really well. And I'm overseeing and making sure it all happens. That's number one in my book.
Felicia Shakiba 03:42
Yeah, it's a completely different skill set. And it's so interesting. I think a lot of companies struggle when they promote people for being a great, IC, which is Individual Contributor, and then get promoted to being a manager where they're doing something completely different. And so I think a lot of organizations as a whole actually struggle with that. So can you discuss strategies for assessing strengths and weaknesses of newly appointed managers? And how can organizations use this assessment to facilitate a smoother transition?
Eric Girard 04:17
My favorite assessment bar none is the DISC assessment. The version I use is something put together by Wiley Publishing. And DISC is an acronym that stands for dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. And the whole idea is that the way it starts is you take an assessment, you take a very valid and reliable instrument, and go through a process where you sort of answer a series of questions. And the assessment doesn't take terribly long. It might take you 20 minutes to answer this thing. And then you're almost instantly given a report like a 20 page report that explains Okay, here's your style. Here's your personality style. Here's your work style preference. Let's help you understand yourself first, and what you prefer and why and most folks go through that and say, oh, yeah, that's really insightful. Like, that's me really close. And you know what's nice about this, the reason why I like it so much is because it's got a .7 or .8 reliability and validity rating, which means it's an extremely good instrument, it's been well documented to be excellent stuff.
Eric Girard 05:15
So you first understand yourself, and you're a particular style. And then you learn how to spot your team member styles just by observing the way people talk the way that they interact in situations, the way that maybe they even write their emails. And that gives you enough information to say, okay, you know what, I think Felicia is probably a high S, for example, she prefers a steady work environment, she prefers harmony in the workplace, things like that. And I'm totally making this up, because I don't know you that well. But that would give me enough information to say, Okay, if Felicia is a high S, then how can I adjust my style to match her style, so that I can get the most out of Felicia. Okay, so it's not about forcing Felicia to wear the secret decoder magic ring, there is no secret decoder ring. It's about you as the person who's been through the the DISC assessment, understanding that you need to adjust and adapt your approach to meet each person on your team, and your boss and your peers.
Eric Girard 06:14
You learn how to be very, very flexible in different situations to get the most out of your teams. And so that is my favorite assessment. That's what I use in all my management classes. I myself have been through it several times in my profile has been really consistent over the last 20 years. So I'm a high I and high D. So very extroverted, very much like to be around people. And I also like to get stuff done. So my tagline I kind of invented this for myself, as my tagline is, come on, everybody, let's go do this great thing. Now, my way. It's like, Okay, that's good to know. It's good self awareness. And yeah, I also have to understand that that's not going to work for everybody. And so it's on me to adjust and adapt to my team members in order to get the most out of them.
Felicia Shakiba 06:55
I love assessments, I think they're so spot on. And they give people such a plethora of data to work with and know themselves and then understand others. What if managers don't have access to assessments, than what?
Eric Girard 07:08
Again I would say it goes back to mindset, it goes back to, you know, rather than my way or the highway, or command and control, at least come in with the attitude of how can I help this person succeed? What can I do to help Felicia do her best in any given situation? So let's say I haven't taken disc, let's say, I haven't read a lot of books, all I've listened to is this podcast episode. And it's like, okay, I want to be a better manager, how can I do that? I would say just be other focused, do your best to be empathetic, to walk a mile in the other person's shoes and say, You know what this person's speaking and acting in particular ways because of what's going on with them, maybe I can ask a few questions, to learn more about them. And then take that information and use it to adjust my style to get the most out of this other person.
Eric Girard 07:57
You know, it doesn't take an expensive assessment to be a better human being to be a better manager. It just takes a little self awareness. Like you know what I really prefer to get stuff done. And I really prefer to drive forward. Okay. That's my preference. It may not be Bill's preference, it may not be Sandra's preference, it seems as Sandra is a little bit more calm, a little more reserved, so I can adjust and adapt to meet Sandra, where she's at. If you take nothing else from this episode, it's just you know, how can you be a little more empathetic and a little more observant of other people so that you meet others where they're at.
Felicia Shakiba 08:33
Absolutely, I think empathy is one of the most powerful competencies or soft skills that any manager could have. It's kind of like knowing your customer really well, and having empathy for your customer to know what product they need. It's the same thing for a manager is having empathy. And it's actually one of the most difficult and challenging competencies to teach managers. I also feel especially when they're out of practice, or coming from an IC role. So that I think that's really spot on what you're sharing is that empathy really gets the train moving, I think from a managerial perspective of understanding their team and their people. And so on that vein, how does emotional intelligence as a whole play a role in helping managers adapt to new responsibilities and build stronger relationships with their teams, and during a transition?
Eric Girard 09:21
Emotional intelligence is huge. It's in my book, it's the first and the longest chapter is all about empathy. And so I cite heavily from Daniel Goleman's book, Emotional Intelligence. I spend a lot of time talking about the three different kinds of empathy. I talk a lot about listening. Well, I would say that in order to be a leader in the 2020s, in this century, you know, we're quarter the way through the century. I think it's really important that managers and leaders really bulk up on their empathy skills and their listening skills because people are just overwhelmed. People are overwhelmed with what's going on in the world. I mean, take a look at the font page of the New York Times, and that'll scare the pants off, you're right there. I mean, there's just so much stuff going on globally, from a macro perspective.
Eric Girard 10:07
Then you've got the fact that the demands of work are getting more and more rigorous. Every day, we've got chat, GPT, and AI, which is kind of a big unknown, and a lot of us are scrambling to figure out what's that going to do to my job? And how do I need to work with AI in order to adjust and adapt to this new reality that's here now today. And so I think that as a leader, and as a manager, it's crucial to build those muscles to build those empathy muscles, it's a skill that can be learned, it's a skill that can be taught absolutely, you know, again, if you don't have access to that sort of a thing, I would say, go to the library and check out emotional intelligence or download it on your Kindle and start there start with a little bit of reading, do just a little bit of googling on emotional intelligence and how I can become more emotionally intelligent, that would be the first thing I would start with.
Eric Girard 10:56
And then just really supercharging your listening skills, so that you're not listening, so that you can jump in with the next thing you're going to say, but really listening to say, Okay, what's going on with this person not only above the surface above the waterline, but also below the waterline, what's being said, and what's not being said? How does that impact my relationship with them, and how I work with them, to help them solve whatever problem is presenting itself, and also get the most out of them as an employee so that they can succeed moving forward?
Felicia Shakiba 11:26
How does emotional intelligence impact a manager dealing with a poor performer or someone who is challenged in that role?
Eric Girard 11:36
So what I don't mean by emotional intelligence or empathy is that you're letting people off the hook for poor performance. Companies need people to perform at a high level, it's always been that way. And it's even more true now. So we all need to be pulling our weight and doing a great job. And there are off ramps for folks who are having a hard time, we've got employee assistance programs in many organizations, we've got coaching and counseling and therapy that is available as benefit programs for so many companies.
Eric Girard 12:04
And so if you can recognize that an employee is struggling with something and say, Hey, listen, I'm not a trained therapist, I'm not a trained counselor, but I can hook you up with one, you know, that can be something that can help you. Then offering that off ramp, decompressing things a little bit so that the person can go take care of their stuff, that's a very empathetic and kind thing to do. And at the same time, you can let it be known, you know, what, I'm gonna give you time to handle this, but we need to get you back on track. And so here's a plan, let's put together a plan, you know that by this date, you are able to produce this many widgets, right? This many lines of code, whatever it is, but there's a performance metric. And there's an expectation of who will do what, how much, and by when, and maybe we extend that timeline out a bit to let the person you know, take care of their stuff. But you know, in 90 days, in 180 days, I need to see this done, or we need to have a different conversation. And you can still do that in a very kind and respectful way.
Eric Girard 13:06
So that person ultimately ends up exiting, which could happen, they walk away with their head held high, saying, You know what, I'm still a valuable human being, this just wasn't a good fit for me. And that would then be the message, I would want to send anybody who leaves Girard Training Solutions, you know, if they have to leave. It's, you know, it's not that you're a bad human being, this just wasn't a good fit for you. And that's all it means. So, you know, helping people maintain their self respect, and their self esteem, I think is important, even if they have to exit.
Felicia Shakiba 13:34
I think that's a really good point. I think a lot of companies or managers in general, they don't hesitate when they want to let someone go. And that's their prerogative of whether or not they want to let someone go sooner rather than later. But at the end of the day, having that empathy and understanding that that's a human being, who might have a family or might be supporting themselves financially and where they're living. I mean, that's so critical and important, not just as a manager, but as an organization to be able to let people move on in a positive way. And so thank you for sharing that. I think that's really important. Moving to the onboarding process, and transitioning new managers, how do you define the essential components of an effective onboarding process that might accelerate a managers integration into their new role?
Eric Girard 14:23
In an ideal world, a potential new manager would get some preloading. So let's say for example, that I'm looking at you as a high potential, you're a great individual contributor, you're absolutely rocking it in your role. I would like to see your boss take you aside and say, Hey, Felicia, just so you know, you are killing it, and we're thinking of promoting you. So here's a book or here's a class. Here's something to preload you to get you thinking about making that transition before you actually make the transition. So think about it and think about whether or not this is for you. In many organizations, there are dual tracks, and you can continue up the ladder, and go right and head into management and go into leadership that way and start as a manager, and then a senior manager and a director and so on up the ladder that way, or in many technical organizations, you can have an engineer who is maybe a staff engineer, and now they're at a fork.
Eric Girard 15:22
You can either become a manager of engineers, or you can just continue up the left fork, which says, you become a senior staff engineer, and so on that way where you get equivalent pay and benefits to a senior manager or director or vice president, and so on, but without the direct reports.
Eric Girard 15:40
And so, you know, if that's available to you, I would say, you know, really investigate it, because management isn't for everybody. And it may be more stressful than is helpful. And so, you know, consider, you know, is this is this really what I want to do, do, I have to become a manager in order to progress in my career, I would really like to see managers who want to because they genuinely want to help others grow and develop. They want to help the organization succeed, they believe in the company's mission, and so on. So what I'd really like to see is managers get a realistic job preview, before they step into management, where you know, they get a chance to experience or think about, what does it actually mean to be a manager like this is all the stuff you need to consider you need to, to be able to set goals and delegate and provide feedback and provide coaching and do performance management and change management.
Eric Girard 16:32
And also, you're responsible for your daily tasks as well. So it's a lot, you have to be excellent at managing your time, you have to be excellent at managing your energy. Realistically, can you do that? So I'd like to see that pre loading happen first. And then if it turns out that, yep, I'm ready for this, and I'm the right person, I really want to do it. Okay, then, as soon as possible that onboarding should include, I'd like to see people get into a class with a cohort of other new managers as soon as possible within the first week or two of their job, where it's like, okay, you know, the 30 of us are all here together. So now I have a community. So building a community of folks who can help. And then together, we go through the mindset exercise, we go through learning how to set goals, and delegate, and so on. As I continue through my journey, I've got 29 other people say, for the sake of argument, who I can talk to and ask questions of.
Eric Girard 17:26
There's a learning modality that I like to talk about called the 70-20-10 rule, which says that 70% of your learning happens outside the classroom and happens peer to peer, 20% happens in formal coaching and mentoring, only 10% happens in the classroom.
Eric Girard 17:42
So I really, in every class I teach, I really want to see folks building their communities and learning from each other. I'm there as a resource. But frankly, I'm in the background, once I set you free, I'm in the classroom, I expect that you'll be working with each other. And you can tap me if you want, but I'm deliberately putting myself in the back seat because I want you to work learn from each other. So that is super important. That community is absolutely critical.
Felicia Shakiba 18:06
I love that you brought up the 70-20-10 rule, I think that's a really great concept. Even just get started with if you're an organization who doesn't know how to do leadership development or managerial development. So I think it's a great place to start and even continue. And I think you said something interesting, which was preloading. And a lot of the clients that I have had, they come to me for leadership development, or managerial development, and they don't exactly have a definition for their succession plan. So for example, like what you mentioned before, they will find the best performing IC or Individual Contributor, and then they'll promote them to managers, and then teach them how to manage. And preloading, what you've shared, is basically the concept of developing the IC, and then once they've accomplished the skill sets needed to be a new manager, then you promote them.
Felicia Shakiba 19:05
And I think that is so difficult for organizations to, to follow through with because when you're a fast growing company, and you're scaling, you just want "butts and seats." You don't have time to think about whether this person has or doesn't have the right managerial skills, all you know is that this person is great at their job, and you want them to multiply other people. And so I think what you're sharing is so critical in that organizations really need to think about how or when they promote people. And really, preload as you said, giving people the skills and the tools in order to be accomplished as a potential manager and then promote them. So I think that's such a great concept that you brought up.
Eric Girard 19:50
Thank you. Yeah, it's it doesn't happen often in my experience. I'd like to see it happen more where folks get a realistic job preview of what it might be like to be manager should you choose to accept it, and could be as simple as reading a book. My book will be out September 20, that'll give you a great idea of what being a manager will be like. There are tons of others, you've got other managers in your organization you can talk to. So if your manager curious, start asking questions so that you don't get caught on your back foot. When you get promoted. You're like, oh, wait, this is not what I expected.
Felicia Shakiba 20:23
And a big part of being a manager is learning how to communicate. So can you share, what steps can new managers take to enhance their communication skills? And how does effective communication contribute to setting expectations, promoting collaboration, motivating teams?
Eric Girard 20:41
One of the things that I like to encourage new managers to do is go through a public speaking class, not because necessarily a manager will be in a public speaking situation a lot. Although they might be I mean, this, this is kind of a public speaking situation where you know, I'm sitting here in front of a camera with you, I'm trying to get a point across, I'm trying to make eye contact with a camera, I'm trying to make sure that I can be understood and so on. But in the presentation skills courses that I teach, a lot of what I talk about is, before you start to speak, you need to prepare, you need to prepare your message.
Eric Girard 21:16
So who specifically is your audience? Who are you talking to? So this goes back to DISC. Who am I talking to? What is their preferred communication style? What is my objective for the communication? What do I want that person or that group of people to know, feel, And do specifically? What do I want that group of people to know, feel, and do? And then based on that information, so I got my audience, I know who's in the room, ideally, you should be able to name them or if you can't name them, at least have an idea of of job titles and segments, and you know what your objectives are for those folks. Then what adjustments are you going to make to your presentation or to your talk so that you help that audience move to that objective? So what tweaks are you going to make? And then I also teach folks, just a really simple way to organize their presentations, or you know, whether it's a small presentation or a large presentation. So when we talking about structuring, it's as simple as tell them, tell them, tell them.
Eric Girard 22:17
Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them. So you've got your three main points.
Eric Girard 22:22
And each main point has an introduction, body, conclusion, introduction, body conclusion, and a transition that links the two. And the whole thing is linked together with an introduction and a conclusion. So you can use that in a really micro sense, where, you know, I can have a two minute hallway conversation with you. And there can still be an intro body and a conclusion. And you know, you can organize your thoughts clearly and concisely that way. Or if you're talking to an all hands, and you've got half an hour on the stage, you can still use the same thing of who's in the room, who am I talking to? What's my objective? How am I communicating to them as a via zoom? Is it via Microsoft Teams? Is it all in person? Is it a hybrid environment? And then how am I going to organize my my thoughts so that everything is organized together?
Eric Girard 23:12
And then you can use different persuasive techniques in order to move that audience to get that audience's attention? You know, things like really compelling visuals, or compelling statistics, or you can ask questions. So there are all kinds of clever things that you can do to persuade the audience to get them thinking, give them a kind of a hook and say, Wow, yeah, okay, I'm bought into this message. So all kinds of little things like that, that you'll learn in a presentation skills course, that I think would be really useful for day to day communication as a manager.
Felicia Shakiba 23:40
So on that note, give me an example. So I'm a new manager, I want to set expectations for my team, you know, with maybe some of the concepts and theories that you just mentioned. What's one thing that I can do? Like, what exactly does that look like?
Eric Girard 23:53
Starting from the beginning, who's my team? Who's on my team? Let's say I've got a team of four people. Okay, so I've got Diana, Sandra, Bill and Felicia. Okay. And I know, their DISC styles. So I've observed them, maybe they haven't taken disk, maybe they have, I would really encourage you to have your team take DISC and make it a workshop for the team. So maybe you've got the DISC results, maybe you don't, but you know, just at least thinking a little bit about people's communication style and whether they're very extroverted or introverted, loud or quiet, do they like data or not? Do they like big ideas? So just considering all of those things about your audience first, and then being very clear about okay, what do I want to talk about this? So I want to do some performance management. So I want to set expectations for how I want this team, let's say how I want the team to work together.
Eric Girard 24:42
So by the end of my conversation with them during our team meeting, I'm going to spend 10 minutes in the team meeting talking about this. By the end of this, I want them to know my expectations. I want them to feel confident that they can meet them, and I want them to actually go off and do it. So that's the know, feel, and do piece. And then based on the fact that I've got four people, I've got 10 minutes in the team meeting, I know that their personality styles or communication styles, and I know what I want to achieve with them, I'm going to do certain things in that meeting. So I might talk to Sandra really calmly, and really low key when I'm looking at her, I might be common low key, but when I talk to Bill, I might be much more animated because Bill is a big extrovert. Okay, Diana is a numbers person. So I'm going to use a lot of facts and figures. So these are all things that you can do to adjust your presentation style, or adjust your communication style to each person in your meeting.
Eric Girard 25:37
Then I'm going to spend some time structuring my conversation. And this could just be on the back of a napkin or the back of an envelope, it can be literally just a few notes. Tell them, tell them, tell them. I want to talk to you about how we're going to work together as a team, there's our intro. Specifically, what I want is I want us all to be respectful, and kind, and I want us to have fun. And then you can go into detail to explain what I mean by respectful, kind, and fun. And then my conclusion is now we've talked about our expectations. Now, we've talked about how I want us to work together. Are there any questions? Is there anything that you want clarified? I typically don't encourage you to end with questions. But in a little example, like this one, just a little 10 minute conversation in the staff meeting, maybe the meat is going to come up through the discussion that comes from it. And that's what you want is to encourage a discussion.
Eric Girard 26:27
So you do your little 10 minute spiel, and then you say, let's talk about it. What do you get from that, and then at the end, before the staff meeting ends, you just reinforce the key point, which is okay, don't forget, from now on, we're going to be respectful, we're going to be kind, and we're gonna have fun.
Felicia Shakiba 26:40
I'm ready to do all of those things. It's amazing what the communication, you know, just setting people up for success can do for your entire team's energy and morale. I think that that was a great example. So thank you for sharing, I think that really hit the target on what people are thinking about and how to apply what you're sharing. So that was really great example. One particular challenge that I see a lot of managers struggling through is when they're new at managing, how do you manage former peers? And what advice do you have for new managers to establish their authority while preserving positive relationships with former colleagues?
Eric Girard 27:19
So don't do that, that I would say the first thing you need to do not demand respect, you can't just walk into a team meeting and say, Okay, I'm the boss, you'll all respect me, you'll do what I say, because I'm the boss. Absolutely not. I've tried it, it doesn't work. Take it from me. So no, I think honestly, what you need to do with former peers is have a quiet conversation, one on one in private with each one.
Eric Girard 27:44
I had a team in Silicon Valley, I had a team, I was on a team of three people, and I was promoted above two of them. And here's what I didn't do. I didn't have the one on one conversations, I just held the team meeting, I said, Okay, this is my leadership style, this is how we're going to vote, this is how we're going to roll. This is what we're going to do. These are our two dues. These are our action items, any questions. And then I heard crickets, and it went downhill from there, it was awful. So what I should have done, and what I did do in the next teams that I led was one on one, hey, you know, we're peers, we're friends, and now the relationship has changed. So you have to clarify, the relationship has changed, and I'm now your manager. I also am your friend, but you know, for the purposes of work, now, we have to shift that relationship, and we have to be manager employee, that doesn't mean that we can't hang out, it doesn't mean that we can't have fun together, I hope that we have a great working relationship. That's my goal. But you have to sort of there has to be kind of a gate that you go through - make it about them. How can I work with you? How can I lead you in the way that works best for you? Here are my expectations, what are your expectations? You know, and have that conversation, and again, let me go back to him of pre loading, maybe send a little note beforehand, saying hey, I'm going to ask you for a one on one, I'm going to sit down with you for 30 minutes or 60 minutes, and I want you to think about how we can work together better now that we are manager employee and not just peers, not just friends.
Eric Girard 29:14
So I think having an open honest conversation about it will be appreciated by both sides. And if you do it well, you will definitely avoid a lot of discomfort later, where you have to maybe offer some critical feedback or constructive feedback to a friend if you've had the preload and conversation ahead of time saying okay, you know, we were appears now our manager employee, what are your expectations? What are my expectations, and you can fall back on those expectations and say, Okay, I expected TPS reports to be done by 4pm on Friday. It's 930 in the morning on Tuesday, and I still don't have your TPS report. So we need to talk about that. And you can still be kind you can still be respectful, but you need to have that conversation. I don't think there's any shortcut around it. And by the way for you Your listeners, if you don't know what a TPS report is, please watch the movie Office Space. It's a classic, it's hilarious. It's just not really safe for work or safe for kids. So, you know, watch it when there are no kids in the room.
Felicia Shakiba 30:12
Rounding out the interview here, Eric, and you've shared so much great, great content. I mean, I think so many people are gonna find so much value in everything that you're sharing. Okay, last question, conflict resolution. This is part of a management role. It's what many managers shy away from. How can new managers develop skills to handle team disagreements, while nurturing a productive and harmonious work environment?
Eric Girard 30:43
I think the first thing that all new managers need to do is read Patrick Lencioni is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team because the first dysfunction is lack of trust.
Eric Girard 30:57
And then, you know, as you go up that pyramid, fear of conflict is in there as well. And so a lot of teams don't do conflict, because they're afraid it's going to spiral out of control, or it's going to be counterproductive from the get go and really uncomfortable. So they just don't do it. So what Lencioni says is that you need to normalize conflict, you need to teach your teams how to have healthy conflicts, how to have healthy disagreement, I'm gonna be a little vulnerable here. I just went to a counseling session with my daughter yesterday. And we got a little tidbit on how to argue well, so how do you do conflict well? And I'm going to share this with you because I think it's so basic and so fundamental. And yet so many times we don't do it.
Eric Girard 31:39
Never say never, never say always. So you always cut me off in meetings, you never clean up after yourself in the break room, never and always are not helpful words, watch your tone of voice.
Eric Girard 31:55
I had a manager who was infamous for using a really demeaning tone of voice, especially when they were angry, she would just demean people and tear people down. It was terrible. It was really demoralizing.
Felicia Shakiba 32:07
Yeah, who wants to work for someone like that?
Eric Girard 32:09
I did not. And luckily, that person was managed out. They there were several issues going on, including that, and they were eventually managed out because they were toxic. Watch your body language. So you know, watch what you're doing with your eyes with your arms. How are you coming across non verbally? And then finally, don't bring up the past in a current argument. And I did make this mistake with a manager of mine, I was having a conflict with her. And I brought up something that she had done months earlier. And that just was not fair. And it did not go well. So never bring up the past and current argument.
Eric Girard 32:41
So I would say learn how to normalize conflict, because conflict itself is not inherently bad. Especially if you've got that foundation of trust first, then if we're in a conflict, and we're butting heads over an idea, it's not that I don't like you, Felicia, it's that I don't agree with your idea.
Eric Girard 33:03
You know, and my esteem of you, you're still in high esteem with me as a human being. I just disagree with your approach on this problem. And so I think normalizing conflict is really important. So again, the book is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team highly recommend.
Felicia Shakiba 33:16
Eric thank you so much for being here. It has been wonderful chatting with you today. And it's been great having you on the show. Thanks.
Eric Girard 33:24
Thank you. This was a ball.
Felicia Shakiba 33:25
That's Eric Gerard, CEO of Gerard Training Solutions, podcast, host of Management Development Unlocked, and former Curriculum Manager for Apple's worldwide Apple Care Training.
Felicia Shakiba 33:42
If you liked today’s episode, we have more podcasts on innovative HR strategies, talent management, organizational culture, and more, and how to navigate the complexities of modern-day HR. Find them, at CPOPLAYBOOK.com/podcast or search CPO PLAYBOOK on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Thanks for listening to the CPO PLAYBOOK podcast - we’ll be back with a new episode next time. I’m Felicia Shakiba.
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