We have Dr. Patrick Williams and Judy Hoberman here. Pat is the executive and leadership coach who wrote Getting Naked. Judy Hoberman is the President of Selling in a Skirt. She’s the author of Walking on the Glass Floor plus many other books.
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Emotional Nakedness with Dr. Patrick Williams
I am here with Dr. Patrick Williams who’s an executive and leadership coach who works with professionals who are up to big things. He is a shadow coaching specialist. He does visionary planning retreats to get you ignited and keep the fire burning. He’s the creator of Getting Naked with Your Clothes On. I’m interested in hearing about that. It’s nice to have you here, Patrick.
That’s a program that goes with the book I wrote a year and a half ago and that’s called Getting Naked: On Being Emotionally Transparent at the Right Time, the Right Place, and with the Right Person. It’s the same theme but it’s about emotional nakedness. It’s not nudity we’re talking about, but the ability to be honest, vulnerable and courageous with a committed listener.
It’s very interesting because I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence and I deal a lot with emotional issues because of that. I’m looking at some work with perception and how much emotions play into that. Do you deal with that at all?
Indirectly, because I deal a lot with using metaphors, picture cards, how does people’s perception changed the way they see things, confusing opinions with facts. That’s why you and I both embrace the concept of curiosity. It’s nice, neutral, nonjudgmental and exploratory.
You said you bought my book and I really appreciate that. I’m curious what led to your interest in that?
I was doing a talk on curiosity to Denver coaches a group with the ICF and I thought I’ll google some things about curiosity. There it came. How timely because I really believe that’s the core. I’ve been a professional coach for several years and a psychologist before that. Curiosity is a tip that everybody can use because if you stand back and look at your life, this is the basis of perception. Curiosity helps you see it in a nonjudgmental one-off way. It takes the emotions out of it. All my writing and my teaching, let’s not debase emotions. All emotions are good. Some just don’t feel good but they’re all necessary.
It’s interesting how people have different ways of experiencing this same situation. I find that part fascinating to me. We can all look at one thing and see it so differently. This is what led to my interest in some of the different things that I write about. I want to know more about Getting Naked with Your Clothes On. What is it exactly and what do you do there?
I’ve written a lot of books for the coaching industry, professional books and even one on ethics. I’ve wanted to write this book for years. Then one of the chapters, I even tell the professor back in my Master’s program who inspired me to want to write a book that this book became the one I’ve always wanted to write. In my several years as a psychologist, now coach nowadays and even executive leadership, I’m really a transformational coach, it’s all about the person no matter what you do at work. This whole concept is about the importance and necessity of finding the right place, time and person to be self-disclosing about things that hold you back. I’m not talking always about deep dark stuff that’s hidden in your shadow or things that happened in your childhood.
Although sometimes that is a story, a narrative that holds people back. It might just be that conversation you’re not ready to have with your former wife or your brother-in-law or your boss at work. It’s about finding a way to be honest and unhooking from what keeps you in what I call a personal prison. It’s about living life to the fullest, most authentic version of you. It’s really about cutting the crap, releasing the baggage that’s held you hostage for so long. I have nine chapters in the book with pretty tongue-in-cheek titles that I think are meant to lighten the person up but still look at serious information.
Can you hit me a couple of those? I always love the tongue-in-cheek.
Your Shadow, Don’t Leave Home Without It. 50 Shades of Play: How to Have Fun and Take Life Seriously. Your Prison Break, You Had the Keys All Along.Emotions are harbingers of information. They're warning lights if you will. Click To Tweet
My dad wrote a lot of tongue-in-cheek kind of books. He would appreciate that. I’m interested in what you do in your coaching sessions and planning retreats specifically. How do you get people past the things that are holding them back?
If I’m doing an individual visioning retreat with somebody, it’s going deep with a lot of questions. I don’t prepare too much content. It’s an opportunity to be committed to learning more about what you really want. We’ll go over things that people might look at in a life wheel, different aspects of a person’s life. It’s all about going deeper and not deeper as a psychologist would look at old wounds, but to go under the surface of what a person thinks they want. You might ask, “What do you want? What do you think you deserve?” If you could wake up tomorrow morning and have what you want, I’m not talking about winning the lottery, but to have a purposeful life.
Sometimes people’s job is not what they love to do. We can’t all get paid for doing what we love, but where else do you do what you love? Where else are you finding your unique ability and the unique gifts that you brought to this earth? I focused on a lot of that. The workshop that I now have or I should say online class called GettingNakedProgram.com is an online course. It has a bunch of videos of me, some PowerPoint prerecorded, some handouts and workbooks to do. People can sign up for that and then they can sign up to coach with me individually or in a venture group. I’ll do a Facebook Live a couple of times a month. It’s really me working out of one to many instead of one to one.
I do the same thing with curiosity. I have a lot of people like you and others who are coaches who want to become certified to give the Curiosity Code Index. It’s a nice way to do it on demand sometimes. People all around the world want to become certified or learn what we’re talking about. You talked about some of the things that we focus on and there’s a lot of mindfulness and focus right now. I talked to Albert Bandura about this, which you’d probably appreciate if you’re into psychology. Being 90, almost 94 years old, it’s amazing the mind of this guy still. There’s so much talk about mindfulness and he said, “That’s easy.” He’s cute the way he described it, but I don’t think it’s so easy sometimes for some people. Do you?
It’s like anything else. It takes practice. Whether you call it meditation or mindfulness of the moment, I call it the purposeful pause. How can you learn to stop for a moment? Even if you’re mindful in the moment, you can be grocery shopping. You would be mindful of the smell of the oranges or the vegetables and fruit. You can be mindful in the shower. It helps. This is what I teach is in my coaching, I want people to learn how to respond to life rather than react to life. Responding means you see various opportunities of behavior, not just one reaction. Momentary mindfulness allows people to see different choices they have in reacting or responding to a situation. If you screw up, you can go back and clean that up. That’s what getting naked is about.
You mentioned that you had read my book before giving a talk about curiosity. In the book, I talk about four factors that hold people back. They were fear, assumptions, technology, and environment. Did you deal with any of those factors when you were working with the people on curiosity? How do you think you could overcome some of those issues?
My talk was just a little bit on how curiosity is probably the secret sauce, I called it in the whole coaching. It’s not listed as a coaching competency, but it goes into presence which is the number one way to be a coach with somebody. I was on a call called Self-Sabotage: How We Do It and How We Get Out of It. I used the old acronym that I didn’t create, but it’s been around for decades. FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real. That relates to what you label on the book as one of the factors because fear is about the future and the future hasn’t happened. If we think it’s going to be bad, it probably will be.
It’s also our fear based on what we’ve experienced in the past. A lot of people come with this baggage from other organizations or their family or whatever. That’s what I cover when we’re talking about environment. As a leader, how do you recognize that people have that baggage?
What stopped you? What holds you back? What’s the pattern that you often do that derails you? I have a message in my book where I say life is continuously providing this information or messages. Emotions are harbingers of information. They’re warning lights if you will. When we don’t listen, the messages become lessons. When we don’t learn, then the lessons become problems. When we don’t address the problems, they can become crises or repetitive disruptions. When crises go unresolved, it creates chaos in our lives. If people begin to start seeing, “This is what I always do. I’ve got this thing that people don’t know about me. I never wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a teacher,” that’s a story I have in my book actually. Where’s the truth not being shared with somebody? That’s the way I take a look at it. Unfinished business is what we used to call it in Gestalt therapy. Even if a person doesn’t need therapy, we have some unfinished business that could be from our childhood, previous jobs, previous marriages, illness, accidents, loss. We’re human. Stuff happens.
A lot of things change as you get older. Things you didn’t use to like, you might like now. There are so many things that play into the fear thing. There is the fight and flight response. There are so many issues that I found it fascinating to have discussions with people who hadn’t even really considered why they don’t like being a lawyer or a teacher or whatever it is. The demand and how much their family or something else impacted those decisions. Now, with technology and jobs changing and everything, everybody’s has an opportunity to become realigned possibly. I’d like to find that thing that makes people passionate. How do you determine that?
If I’m working with somebody, I’m looking to see if they’re coachable. That’s why I say I like to work with people who are up to big things and ready to move fast. I don’t want somebody who says, “I thought the coach might help me. I need to make some changes.” That’s okay. Coaches can help, but that’s not who I want to work with. However, we will get to under the surface. What is it you really want? What would you design if six months from now or a year from now, your life was closer to what you want it to be in all areas of life? It’s a conversation about designing a future more than getting over a past. There may be things from the past that hold us back. There may be old messages, old beliefs, old wounds. My task is to have those be normalized, shared with a committed listener, not shared with the wrong person that will misuse the information. That’s why we have to be picky where we get emotionally naked.
Who do you counsel or coach the most often? Are you dealing with other coaches as much as leaders, individuals, entrepreneurs?
My career is in a semi-working state. I turned 69. I had a coaching school for fifteen years and sold it in 2012. I still coach some executives. I also coach Navy SEALs who are returning. That’s a give-back. It’s a very low fee. I coach coaches who are looking for certifications. I’ll do mentor classes on those that want to learn the competencies and get their required ten hours. Then I’ll coach entrepreneurs that I just meet willy-nilly. I’m not marketing, but I try to have five to six paying clients and then they have groups and then the classes that I’m building online. I used to coach government executives with the FAA, Department of Defense. Back in the old days, Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Waterpik, IBM. I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to go to the corporate office. I have been there, done that. I do a lot of webinars from my home computer so I don’t even have to go to airports. I like that world now.
What’s the biggest issue you see people struggle with who you’ve dealt with that really holds them back? Is it mostly fear? Is it mostly an environment? What do you think it is?Emotions are energy in motion Click To Tweet
It’s never mostly anything but what they come to coaching for. They may be sent to coaching by their superior or they may come to coaching because, “I got promoted and I need some help. My staff thinks I’m aloof or I’ve got to give presentations to the board now.” There may be some skill building, but then under the surface is what I’m looking for about who are they, who do they need to become to have what they want. Life will unfold for us if we find out who we are or who we’re not being, and then we can see more opportunities for the life we want. It could include work. It could include relationships, health, wealth, love, and happiness. Those are the four issues that we all deal with.
I find it interesting that you searched for curiosity because a lot of people don’t really even bring it down to that point. It’s the spark to motivation and drive and a lot of things. A lot of people might search for those words. How did you determine that it was curiosity that was so important?
In my years of coaching, I just did that. I told my brother who is a lawyer that he gets paid for asking questions that he already knows the answer to. That’s what lawyers do. All that deposition with witnesses, they don’t want to be surprised. I get paid for asking questions that neither one of us know the answer to, my client nor I. I can use things like, “I’m curious, what would it be like when…,” or “How would it be different if….” All those questions come from curiosity. In the coaching realm where people would get certified to learn to ask powerful questions at the moment and not be robotic from a list of questions, it comes from your curiosity in the moment of that conversation.
You notice that I don’t have a preset list of questions. We didn’t even talk about that. I know I’m on a lot of shows where they do that. I’ll sometimes ask people if you want me to ask you something, you could send me some questions, but I don’t necessarily ever even ask them. It makes it much more an interesting conversation to go naturally. As you’re talking about some of the things you’re talking about, it brings me back to what we talked about at the beginning on emotions. As we look at all the things that hold people back, people’s perception really holds people back. It’s tied to their emotions to a great extent. How would you say emotions or emotional intelligence or anything emotion-related impacts perception?
Here’s the way I look at that. I’m doing a lot of talks these days on the importance of self-disclosure and coaching both by the coach and modeling for the client, but it doesn’t mean self-disclosure to the max. It means an opportunity to demonstrate honesty. Perception and curiosity come together because I teach that emotions are energy in motion, e-motion. If you can express an emotion and not let it fester or build or block emotional intelligence, then if you emote in a moment, that will shift. If a client does cry in a session or does express their anger, you don’t have to send them to a therapist. What are you experiencing right now? Where did that come from? People have a perception that emotions are bad or, “I shouldn’t feel this way.” You feel how you feel. The energy, the emotion won’t last if you don’t deny them. I think perception is a big part of that.
What about if you’re working in a different culture in cross nations and things like that? You can’t just break down crying sometimes and be taken the same way as you would in one country versus another. I’m curious how you perceive that.
That’s where curiosity comes in the best of coaching that I’ve talked about in conferences. I’m doing one coming up on cultural diversity. I’ve talked a lot in Southeast Asia, all over Europe, Australia, etc. I always am in cognizant. When I did a training in Turkey with an interpreter, I had to let them know, “If I say anything that’s a faux pas, please let me know at the moment because I don’t mean to, I don’t have intentions to. If the language doesn’t land right, let me know.” Curiosity can let you be more adept at not being culturally insensitive if that makes sense. I don’t think you need to look up and study the whole culture like a diplomat where you read what are emotions like in this culture? How do they express this?
I do know that it’s good to know in certain parts of the country. When I taught classes in Korea, the women didn’t want to debate what I was teaching or ask questions about what I was teaching because they’re taught to trust the teacher, trust the professor. We finally broke through that and said, “If you’re going to learn to be a coach, you will need to ask questions not just assume that what you’re hearing is the way it is. If you’ve got a discernment that needs to be made, please speak up.” That took some training.
Assumptions are something that a lot of people rely on in all cultures. It taints our view of what’s real and what isn’t. When they say perception’s reality, do you think it is?
I do. the truth is that we all have a bias. Even if I think I’m not racially biased or I’ve got a lot of experience in being more accepted, I still have a bias. I was born a white male in a Midwestern town, so I’ve got some cultural biases. As long as I’m aware of it or notice it, that’ll go a long way. We pigeonhole people too much when we talk culturally. I was at a workshop, and if you watch politics on the air and the news about politics and government to government, you think, “The world’s a scary place.” If you just talk people to people, it’s awesome.
There’s a lot of passion that goes along with that right now. Social media and the news and everything’s changed so much, at least in my lifetime. It’s almost challenging to get on the same page with people as people are mixed in emotions. They are so much more focused on, “I’m right, you’re wrong,” don’t you think?
That’s the teaching or the coaching that I do because if people are upset with somebody else in their life, whether it be a boss or whether it be, “I couldn’t talk to my friend about religion or politics,” you can if you learn to come from curiosity. You don’t have to make them think as you think. Ask and learn. Where do you get those bad information? What gets you to have that belief? If you can’t suspend the frustration that’s bubbling up because they disagree with you, then you’re going to have to practice or avoid it.
Are there places to whom you have spoken where it’s not proper to ask too many questions and that they find it offensive?
I want to be careful. Typically, Middle Eastern cultures have a tendency to have been trained to be more cautious in their expression. That’s a generalization. I’ve taught a lot of Russian coaches both in person and in webinars. They are fabulous people and they coach people very well. They come to the coach conferences. I think, “How do you do that in your country?” I’m sure the view of their country is based on what our news channels report. I have a perception that may not be true.
How do we fix how we have our perceptions? Maybe they aren’t true. What would you do to improve other than ask questions and is there any other advice you’d give?
That’s actually enough, but you have to ask the right kind of questions. You have to be a little naked yourself. I say to somebody, “I want to be sure that I understood you right. If there’s anything I say that’s going to step and send you the wrong way, please let me know.” I say that to all my coaching clients. My intention is to have this be about you. It’s not about me being right or me having the wisdom or me being put on a pedestal. It’s a conversation space where I want to know more about you. That’s where curiosity comes in.
I know I do this, I still teach quite a bit. I’ve taught close to probably a couple of thousand classes now. If you think about what students do in courses, they tend to want to directly quote instead of paraphrase cause it’s easy to copy and paste and put quotes around something. When you paraphrase, you actually show you understand what it is that you read. When you’re listening to somebody and if you can paraphrase back what you think you heard, that’s helpful. I think sometimes we will hear something and then we’ll just assume that we know what they meant but we don’t. How do you get people to learn to do that? That’s the problem because a lot of people assume.
You need to point it out with, “What if your thought was this? What if this weren’t true, then what?” It’s not trying to be argumentative at all. Coaching is all about learning what you’re learning while you’re learning it in a sense. We’re all going to learn something new about ourselves or about other people or about the way we communicate or our beliefs and habits if we want to make changes. To be transformative in life means you’re transforming. I was talking about the crucible when you heat two metals and they become something else. That’s what we do when we transform ourselves in the crucible of life. It’s a continual conversation about what does the client want, not just right now, but what do they want in the future in all areas of their life.
I know you do a lot of amazing work with visioning and planning. All the information that we talked about has been tied to what I study. I found this fascinating and I think a lot of people are probably interested in finding out more about you, your books and how they could take your webinars and all that type of thing. Could you share how they could reach you?
My main website is the best place. It’s DrPatWilliams.com. I also have my new program, which is GettingNakedProgram.com. Be sure to do get into the Naked Program because if you’d be getting naked, you may not like what pops up. In GettingNakedProgram.com, there’s a free eBook and a free one hour webinar that is just going to be the taste of the program. All my books are listed on my website. They’re on Amazon. Those two things will funnel people right where they need to be.
Thank you. It’s been such a joy to have you on the show. I really appreciate it.
Walking On The Glass Floor with Judy Hoberman
Thank you so much. I’m very excited to be here.
I’m excited to have you on the show, Judy. There are so many things going on with the #MeToo Movement and women and issues that are getting a lot of focus. I know you deal with a lot of things that deal with a focus on women and sales was something that I’ve done for decades. I know a lot of the jobs I had in sales were primarily male-focused. I would be the only woman in the room, which was a different way of doing things. I’m curious about your background. What led to your interest in focusing on women? How did you get to this point in your career?
I’m a little bit like you. We’ve run parallel lives as far as I was always the only woman in the room. That was it. It didn’t matter what company I was with. It didn’t matter if I was a consultant. I was always the only woman. I started taking mental notes about how things were different and how the men would speak up or how they would ask questions or how they would listen. I started taking these notes. As I progressed through my career, I ended up in insurance for decades. I decided once I got there, it wasn’t going to be me versus them or them versus me because I really believe that you have to be able to work together. Since men and women are so different, it’s much easier if we take the differences and use them as assets rather than liabilities.
As I would start getting more successful, the men would always tell me, “You take too long. You ask too many questions. Everybody’s your friend,” and so on and so forth. I would tell them that my whole basis is on relationships. Once they started to see me getting successful, then they took a step back and say, “How did you do that? Why did you say that?” The doors started opening and I started recruiting women into insurance which were very few. I started becoming an Agency Manager. I had three agencies on my own. I worked inside the corporate office for a little bit. I decided I really need to do something that’s bigger than myself. If I started all over, what would I have been looking for? I would’ve looked for a female mentor because there were none. I would’ve looked for somebody that could show me the ropes, not do it for me but just even show me where the hiccups were going to be. I started my company, Selling in a Skirt. I coach and I mentor. I do trainings. I wrote books and I do all kinds of different things. I have a radio show that is all about women.
We have a lot in common. I spent many decades in sales and everything from pharmaceuticals to banking and real estate and just anything that you could imagine like computers. I never really had men to ever treat me badly. I actually had it more though where they’re nice to you sometimes, but then you all of a sudden realize that you’re doing more secretarial administrative things than everybody else. Did you find that happen to you a lot?
That would be like, “Honey, get the coffee. Can you do this?” Stuff like that. Men never treated me poorly. I just didn’t get the same opportunities because I wasn’t part of the boy’s club and I didn’t have internal track messages that somebody would say to me, “Guess what’s coming up? There’s a position here.” I didn’t get any of that. I didn’t have that intel at all. I had to do things for myself. It was different.
You talked about how you ask questions, which I love since I wrote about curiosity, but I’m also interested in the fact that you’re talking about building relationships, which we had to do in pharmaceuticals. It wasn’t like, “Sign here,” and then you never see him again. You are going to see him every month for years. In sales, it was always the extroverts and I’m starting to see a lot more introverts. Susan Kane’s book certainly helped with introverts and understanding what the differences were. Do you see more introverts and sales these days? How has sales changed in your experience?
Sales have moved towards more of the consulting and the relationships. It’s not as transactional as it used to be. When you are an introvert and somebody’s asking you to do something that’s very transactional, it means you have to be much more aggressive, much quicker. You have to get in and get out and get the check. As an introvert, you don’t do that. You’re very uncomfortable with that. I truly am an introvert and I knew that was not how I was going to do things. I did it my way. I started having a conversation with people and asking them some questions. Before you knew it, we were on track to close a deal. It was really only a conversation and I thought, “I could do that. That’s easy.” It’s a conversation. It’s not selling because you think of selling and you think of the guy with the slicked-back hair and all that nonsense. In reality, there are lots of people that do that but that’s not what I did. That’s not what made me successful because that wasn’t me. I was more conversational.
It’s bringing back Glengarry Glen Ross. I made my husband watch that. He was like, “This is horrible. Why am I watching this?” I go, “You have to be in sales to really appreciate this.” If you look at the changing environment and sales, it seems it could be a lot easier to be in then than it was in the past because you’ve got teams and things to people that help. They would just throw phonebooks at us and say, “Here dial for dollars.” It was so stressful in the day. We’ve seen a lot of changes and I think it’s becoming a little more open to all personality types, which is nice to see. I’m curious about your book as we were talking about some of the books that you’ve written. You’ve written a book called Selling in a Skirt. You’ve also written Famous Isn’t Enough and Pure Wealth, but your other book is Walking on the Glass Floor. We all hear about breaking the glass ceiling. What are we talking about when we’re talking about walking on the glass floor?
Think of it as the flip side of the ceiling. Everybody talks about crashing through the ceiling. What’s stopping you? Are you hitting your head on the ceiling and all of that? I’m talking about the fact that there are so many great opportunities for women. It’s not necessarily that you have to break through the glass ceiling. We want you on the glass floor, meaning that recruiting women is fairly easy in most industries but retaining them, that’s the hard part. Retention is hard. Why can’t we invite women to the glass floor and give them the leadership training that they need and the empowerment that they need and keep them in a position where they truly deserve it and they’re the right candidate? It’s not the glass ceiling that we’re looking to crash through anymore. We want them to dance on the floor is basically what it is.Your time is the most expensive asset that you have that you will never get back. Click To Tweet
What do you cover in this book that most people probably don’t know or just important chapters that they should be looking for?
The book is based on seven essential qualities of women who lead. The qualities are passion, authenticity, courage, communication, decisiveness, resilience and generosity. A lot of times people look at those as really nice soft skills and not necessarily leadership skills, but they’re very powerful leadership skills. If you use them the right way, you can have the most effective leadership style but you also have a great team. It doesn’t matter if you’re leading one person or a million people or yourself. Those are qualities that when people see, feel and hear them, they know that you have their interest at heart. That’s what it’s about. We talk about soft skills and people naturally go towards women because they say, “It’s soft. It’s women.” That’s not what it is. Soft skills or people skills. When you lead with four people, amazing things will happen instead of leading because you have the title of, “I’m a leader.” It’s different.
You hear so many people say they were hired for their hard skills and fired for their soft skills and it’s such a big factor. I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence. I was very much interested when we got such a focus on some of these really important skills. You mentioned courage. When I was studying curiosity, we found one of the four factors that held people back from being curious was fear. Many people have been shut down in the past. I can remember a leader not that long ago. You’d say something like, “I pretend I didn’t hear that.” He’d say something just horrible and then you’d go, “I’m not saying that again,” because you’ve been shut down. Is there one of the seven qualities you think is more important than any other or where people struggle with more than any of the others?
I think courage is probably a big one because people are afraid of being afraid or afraid of doing something that is not in their ordinarily doing or something that people don’t expect you to do. That’s big. Communication’s huge because you have to be able to speak and listen and ask questions. I was just going to say they’re all really important. Generosity, not only is it important, but it’s also something that people will reap the benefits for. When you say generosity, a lot of people think I’m going to buy coffee for the person behind me and I’m going to pick up someone’s cleaning for them. That is generosity and that’s giving back.
When you think about giving your time, the most expensive asset that you have that you will never get back, it’s generosity. When you give them your time, they should be so grateful because you’re giving yourself a piece of you to somebody else. That is a huge leadership skill. We talk about being a mentor. 65% of all women that have been mentored become mentors. It’s an amazing cycle that you want to continue. A lot of us didn’t have the ability to have a mentor, somebody that would give us their time. I relied on a lot of men. When I finally had a female mentor, which was a couple of years ago, it was so different for me because it was a different perspective. Not one was better or worse, just different. Generosity to me is probably one of the most important qualities that somebody can own and somebody can display.
It comes up on a lot of discussions about women. I bring it up for that reason because there’s some talk that some women hold other women back. Do you see that as a problem? Is this changing? If it is or if it isn’t, what’s your perspective on that?
I have been a recipient of that, but I will tell you that it’s not as prevalent as people say. There are women that hold women back. There are also women that are very supportive of women and they want to make sure that women don’t have to go through what you hear about not being nice and not empowering people. A lot of times women hold other women back because they’re a threat. They look at somebody who’s younger or they think that they’re better looking or they think they’re more intelligent or whatever. They’re a threat because she thinks that they want your job. That’s not it. A lot of times we want to borrow some of your brilliance. That’s all we want to do. If you think of it as sharing your knowledge as opposed to you’re going to take my job, it’s a very different ballgame. People say to me, “You must see it all the time.” I’ve been a recipient of it. I’ve run into it a few times, but I find that more and more women are really more open than they’ve ever been.
Do you think men do that at all?
They probably do it somewhat, but I don’t think they’re as blatant as women are. They ignore people. They walk away because it’s not a big deal. Women take things personally. Men are like, “Whatever. He doesn’t like me. That’s fine. I’ll just walk away. You don’t want to help me. That’s fine.”
There are more feelings than it seems to get hurt more in men. I have seen in my experiences, men and their perceptions are just different. Perception is such an interesting thing to discuss. How much does our perception impact how well we’re able to sell to somebody else? In your mind, you think that you’ve got a preconceived idea of your customer and then you go in and maybe they’re not at all like you’ve thought. Do we do a lot of mind games on ourselves?
We do. It’s a prejudgment is really what it is. We do it all. Whether if you’re a client, you walk into somebody’s office and you’re going to sell them something and you walk in and you see them. In your head in a nanosecond, you think, “They don’t have any money,” or they’re never going to buy anything. It’s a prejudgment and we do it all the time. I did a TED Talk on that because it’s happened. If I walk into a room, I guarantee you people have an opinion of me in a second. I guarantee it because that’s what we do. We all do it unconsciously. That’s the same thing that happens in companies. You have a new person that walks in who’s younger, who’s more intelligent, who has more experience or who’s older or whatever and you already have a preconceived notion that they’re not going to sit on the team.
It’s something that is hard for a lot of people. Nowadays in different cultural climate, there’s so much focus on cultural quotients and understanding the differences. Do you think women in other countries have the same issues as we have here in the United States or do you focus mostly on US-based companies?
Women are women. It doesn’t matter where you are. I did a global women’s conference. I was a speaker and we were talking about confidence. In the audience was a real queen, not a make-believe queen. This was a real queen. She raised her hand and I wasn’t exactly sure how to greet her. She raised her hand and she asked me a question about being confident. I told her what I had thought and then I said to her, “Do you ever struggle with confidence?” She said to me every single time she has to make a decision that affects somebody else’s life, she second guesses herself. It happens. It might happen more in some countries. It might have been less than in some countries, but women are women. You get women together and they all talk about the same thing.
Are there any differences that you saw from different cultures that you didn’t see here in the United States?The culture of a company is their DNA. Click To Tweet
A part of it in some countries, women are respected more and in some countries, women are respected less. This is a perfect example. When I was in the top position at the insurance, the men in some other countries would talk to me because they were in the same position, but their entire insurance agency were all women because they didn’t believe that that was a noble position. Every country has a different way of respecting or not respecting, of trusting or not trusting. It’s all different in the United States.
I have seen that in my own experience. What has been your experience?
I remembered a woman was coming in that wanted to have a job as an insurance producer. She told me that she wasn’t allowed to make more than $30,000 a year. I said, “Why is that?” She said, “Because that’s what my husband makes and I’m not allowed to make more than him.”
According to whom? Her husband?
I don’t know. That’s the thing. This is another state than what I’m used to. I could care less. My husband could care less if you make more. That’s the thing. Even in your own country, it’s different.
It’s so challenging to do business now because of this. Do you think we’re becoming more alike or more different culturally?
I’m going to say that it depends on where you are. The culture of a company is their DNA. When you struggle with culture, you’re going to struggle all the way around because if you don’t have a good culture, nothing works. A lot of people are trying to redefine culture and they’re trying to see how they can have men and women work better together, respected and trusted and so on and so forth which is something that we do as well. I also talked to people that have clients in other countries and they say culture is not as important as you think. There was one that was in Europe that said culture is everything. This is our culture. This is what we live by and everybody knows it. It depends on where you are and what’s really important to people. I always say that if your culture is asking you to do something that’s against your core values, then you shouldn’t be there. You shouldn’t be there because that’s going to be an internal battle that you have every single day.
Culture is such a fascinating thing because it’s so subjective and yet everybody wants to have the best one. Whose idea do you use? What’s maybe good for me isn’t what they have. We all say that if the CEO doesn’t buy into cultural change, it’s probably not going to happen. It’s a very confusing thing. I’ve taught a lot of ethics courses. When we talk about ethics, the subjectivity of it, whose values do you use? When you’re working in the US, you have certain ethics that people live by, but then you open up a branch in another country somewhere, then you’ve got a whole another group of cultures and ethics. It’s really challenging to do this redefining of culture. Do you help organizations with that?
We do some leadership training and as part of the training, first of all, you cannot change culture in a day. It’s a long process. When companies are bringing us in, we do some leadership training, workshops and lots of different things. We also have commitments about what we’re going to do, what’s their expectation, what is everybody committed to doing. As everybody moves the needle a little bit, you start to see the culture shift that they’re looking for. If not everybody is on board, you can’t do it. If the person at the top has one way of doing it and everybody else has another way, it doesn’t matter. He’s still up the top. It just doesn’t work.
I’ve been working with a lot of coaches and consultants right now training them to give the Curiosity Index I created. What we’re trying to do with a lot of these organizations is that you’re wanting to change the culture because you want to have a more one that embraces the ability to ask questions and provide input without being shot down. Some of the stuff you talked about, courage and all that, is so embedded in so many people that they’ve been shot down in the past. Do you think that’s one of the hardest parts of cultural change is just to get over that sense of safety?
Here’s one of the things that I find very interesting. A lot of times when the leadership position changes, the person has left or they were bought out or two companies were merging and there’s somebody new at the top, this person at the top desperately wants to change the culture and wants to do things so they know that they’re supported and they know they’re going to be invested in. The people that work in the company already know that the person that left led by intimidation and fear. They don’t want to make decisions and they don’t want to stick their neck out because they know what’s going to happen. Here’s a person who wants to change the culture and here are the people that are definitely afraid of taking a chance. Until you get two groups on the same page, it takes time. It does, it takes time. When it happens, it’s like a whole new company because the people that are afraid are now testing the water and it’s working. Now, they’re open and everything else. The person that has just come in with this wonderful sense of empowerment for people, now all of a sudden, the culture is more free and it’s open. It has opened the lines of communication, all these wonderful things and it’s a different company. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time.
I had Doug Conant on my show who turned around Campbell Soup. In every case, every course I’ve ever taught, it seemed they brought up his case study of how he wrote all the handwritten notes and all the things that made them more engaged. Everybody’s looking for the answer for engagement to help improve engagement. Is there any one answer? What is the biggest thing you’re thinking is helping with engagement?
A lot of the times what we end up doing is we end up doing a lot of executive coaching one-on-one and then we end up bringing people in to do like a mastermind so they can all have this conversation together. It’s very difficult to get people engaged until you change some behavior. If you don’t change the behavior, nothing’s going to happen. Sometimes you have to start one at a time and it’s very time-consuming but it’s worth it when it happens. Other times, it just doesn’t happen. I’ve been working with somebody for a few years and it’s happening in the company there. Everybody’s getting more engaged. They’ve calmed down a little bit because it’s a family business That’s another whole dynamic.
It’s definitely tough. That’s what led me to be interested in curiosity because it’s the spark that leads to motivation and drive. If you’re not motivated or driven to do something, it just gets dead in the water. A lot of people are going to change their jobs or going to be impacted by technology and everybody’s going to have so much focus on engagement. If people are moving around in jobs, wouldn’t it be nice to have them aligned to great jobs, to begin with? When I say great jobs, I mean their needs and their interests based on their curiosity. Do you deal mostly with the sales departments since you’re so strong in sales focus or do you deal with all other related issues in the workplace?Sales is sales. If you sell nothing but yourself, you're selling something. Click To Tweet
First of all, I truly believe that everybody’s a salesperson no matter what their title is, no matter where they are in the company because you have to sell something. If you sell nothing but yourself, you’re selling something. Sales are sales. I do a lot with the sales departments and sales training. I do a lot with different levels. HR and first-day inclusion because we talk a lot about women in leadership and the men that champion them. It depends on which piece of the company is working with leadership or which piece of the company is working with promoting more women or which piece of the company is talking about different diversity and changing the mindset. If you have everybody that looks the same and there are lots of companies out there that everybody looks the same, there’s no diversity of thought. That’s a very big issue when everybody is the same and they act the same and that’s all they do. If you have the same customers, it all looks the same and sounds the same then you’re okay. If you try to go into another market and you don’t know how to communicate with anybody else, there’s the issue. It could be sales, the sea level, the diversity and inclusion. It could be HR.
You definitely talk about a lot of the things that fascinate me and I think that there are so many people that can use that help that you offer. I saw you were named as a finalist in the Women of Visionary Influence Mentor of the Year. That’s awesome. You are showcased on ABC, CBS. I was looking at your background. I could see why you are tapped for all your information because you are the gender expert as they say. You’re on to a lot of really important information and I hope your book does well. A lot of people will want to know how they can get their books. Is there a link or something that you’d like to share for Walking on the Glass Floor?
They can go to www.WalkingOnTheGlassFloor.com and you can get the book there. That comes directly from my office. I actually get to sign it or you can go straight to Amazon, but then I don’t sign it because we never know who goes to Amazon. You could do it either way. Just so you know, I was named Woman to Watch in 2019 from Thrive Global. I want my message to be shared. It’s not about me at all. It’s about the people that I serve. That’s also important because I love to support people. That’s what I do.
That’s a generosity feature. It falls into seven qualities. I can’t wait for everybody to read your book. Thank you so much, Judy.
Thanks for having me.
I’d like to thank Pat and Judy for being on my show. We’ve got so many great guests. If you’ve missed any past episodes go to DrDianeHamiltonRadio.com. If you’d like to get more information about Cracking The Curiosity Code or become certified to give the Curiosity Code Index or even take the Curiosity Code Index, it’s all at CuriosityCode.com. Thank you for joining us and I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Dr. Patrick Williams
- Getting Naked with Your Clothes On
- Walking on the Glass Floor
- Getting Naked: On Being Emotionally Transparent at the Right Time, the Right Place, and with the Right Person
- Albert Bandura – previous episode
- Selling in a Skirt
- Selling in a Skirt
- Famous Isn’t Enough
- Pure Wealth
- TED Talk by Judy Hoberman
- Curiosity Index
- Doug Conant – previous episode
About Dr. Patrick Williams
Dr. Patrick Williams is an Executive and Leadership coach working with professionals who are up to ‘big things” and ready to move fast! Specializing in shadow coaching on site and visioning/planning retreats to ‘get you ignited” and coaching to “keep the fire burning”, he encourages people to unleash their curiosity and spirit of adventure. He is the creator of Getting Naked (With Your Clothes).
About Judy Hoberman
Judy Hoberman, President of Selling In A Skirt has created a suite of workshops, seminars and coaching programs that take the negativity out of selling. Her 30 years in sales has given her both the knowledge and sense of humor about the gender differences that we should all understand and embrace instead of feeling unable to communicate. Judy’s humorous stories about how men and women sell, manage, recruit and supervise differently will enlighten you in learning how both genders can support each other’s successes in a more productive way.