Today our colleague was worried that he would get very bad news from an ultrasound. Still, he put a smile on his face, pretending, everything was OK.
This is a personal episode that highlights what kind of relationships we want to have with our team at Great.com and why that is valuable in any business.
[00:00:00] This conversation might be a little bit of a different flavor. We were just going to warm up for our podcast as usual, and then we did a chicken, a routine that we have with great that everyone that is in the call can share their energy levels are or if they’re going through something in their life. And one of our colleagues just checked in and said that he’s super, super worried because he’s going to an ultrasound with his pregnant girlfriend and there’s a chance that they might get some news that are very serious. So he was really struggling. And at the same time, he still wanted to be here. And Erik, how do you feel about this?
[00:00:56] It’s just feeling into this. I feel that I got I’ll get a lot of emotions. I can’t really put names on it. I feel that I want to start by saying that this is a podcast for entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place called Becoming Great. And my name is Erik Bergman and I’m the founder of Great. And Emil is my good friend, has been on this project more or less since day one. He was the first guy joining me. And I felt that I needed to get that intro kind of thing out of me before I could get to a place of emotions. So the intention with this podcast was to to address what is affiliation. And we usually have a very playful energy and a playful, warm up.
[00:01:51] It’s felt very weird going to that place after seeing his concerns and seeing the worry in his eyes.
[00:02:06] And I’m grateful for how we dealt with that. So he checked in and how did you deal with that? Yeah. So because it was you. Yeah. Thank you. So we have this checking process. And for you listening, that means for one or two minutes, every person in the call basically states how they are feeling. And spirits quite briefly touched upon that he was worried.
[00:02:35] And to me felt that there was a lot, a lot more warry in their spirit is the name of this college.
[00:02:43] I think I think yes. Period. It’s the name of this colleague and.
[00:02:51] You know, my feeling was that he didn’t want to be here or he wasn’t really in contact with his real emotions here, and I also felt like.
[00:02:59] I couldn’t really get to a playful state with that kind of worrying energy in the call either, so I felt really affected by his state and I asked him if he really wants to be in this call.
[00:03:15] Couldn’t really connect with that question, he certainly went on and off with it a little bit.
[00:03:21] And after a while, he decided not no, he didn’t want to be in this cold and.
[00:03:30] He decided to leave the call.
[00:03:34] And I felt somewhat relieved of that.
[00:03:38] Well, matures, really. I felt that we couldn’t move on with the call in the same way as we intended. If he were still here and I felt that I really want to get this affiliate podcast that we planned out of the way because my schedule is quite swamped at the moment.
[00:04:01] And after he left us with both me and Amell, we still felt that while this is. It’s just not a place to get into playful energy from. I’ll stop there. I think that describes what’s going on in my body.
[00:04:18] So how do you feel about the effect that, ah, check in process is having? This. I see them can be useful for someone that is an entrepreneur and do wants to make the world a better place because it obviously makes us more in touch with and connected with the people working, especially since this is a remote organization. And at the same time, it totally brought in an energy that isn’t really useful for us performing the task.
[00:04:50] It’s a very valid question and it shows.
[00:04:55] The two very different sides of it, so this energy had the effect that we are actually not at all doing what we planned to do or what we are quote unquote support supposed to do right now.
[00:05:08] And at the same time, it feels like it’s opens a door to real value and and real connection. And I’m sitting here talking right now with my eyes closed and just feel that I’m very much in tune with my own body and my own emotions into this. And that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for this checking process. I feel that it. Helps me and it helps us to get to a place that is very genuine and in my belief, very rare in the workplace.
[00:05:48] And why would you say that is important to running a company? Couldn’t that be something that you have with your friends, your coast closest family? Why do you see the value of that in an organization?
[00:06:07] I think that it ties very well in to well-being that if I’m feeling in contact with my emotions, if I’m feeling in contact with your emotions and with spirits, emotions and the rest of the team, I feel trust. I feel that I can trust the people around me. I feel that it’s.
[00:06:30] It releases things that might be holding me back, otherwise I would probably be able to go on and fake it until I make it, even if I felt a bit off in this energy to start with. And in the short term, that would probably mean that I could perform more. But I think that in the long term, I would feel that’s something wasn’t right. I would loss. I would lose my inspiration and motivation from kind of not being in contact with who I am or who we are or who everyone else’s. So I think the long term performance goes up a lot by simply being able to be pressand.
[00:07:17] I think you’re on to something there. And if there’s not the culture of the chicken, that means that spirit in this case would be expected to fake it until he makes it in this situation. So then he would enter a meeting from a really challenging energy to be in and then creating a negative association to being here. He would start to connect great with having to fake it and difficult emotions. And you would maybe read him as the person on the other side, the one interacting with him like, huh? Spirit. He seems disengaged, uninterested, maybe doesn’t like working here. Maybe he thinks what we are doing is boring. And then you can start creating a lot of assumptions. And if they’re not addressed, especially in an organization that is remote like ours, there’s no coffee. Water cooler talk. Then there would be a lot of assumptions building up over time.
[00:08:19] Know, I like what you said there about how I could.
[00:08:24] Miss misjudge his lack of energy. If is it is he’s if he is worried about going to an ultrasound, I might be thinking that he’s just distracted because he didn’t get enough likes on his previous picture on Instagram.
[00:08:41] It can be very, very different.
[00:08:44] Yeah. Mm hmm. And you’re going to make assumptions.
[00:08:48] Yeah. That I’m going to make assumptions. And we’re always making assumptions.
[00:08:54] Always making us up. This is actually one huge insight I had in relationships lately, the importance of racing things where I have even small assumptions. Can you give an example? Yes. For example, dating a woman right now, and she told me that if you are seeing someone else, I would like to know that. And I had an assumption that she said that because she thought that is what I wanted to hear and that she wasn’t. But she didn’t really mean it or that she wasn’t really ready for it. That is on some.
[00:09:34] Yes. OK, so your your assumption here is that what you hear in that sentence is kind of her saying it would be okay if you meet other people. But I would like you to know. And when she said that, your assumption would be that she’s saying this kind of to just check in on you if you’re actually it’s actually a questions. Are you seeing other people?
[00:09:58] No, it’s more that I think she’s saying it because she would like to be OK with it, not because she is OK with it. So she asked she is saying something that she isn’t ready for, and that is my assumption here. Yeah. And if I have this assumption, then it’s going to be very tricky for me to know if I’m actually going to share it. So share if you’re seeing someone else. Exactly. It’s to. It’s going to make decisions after that are going to be very difficult because I’m acting on information that is unclear. So race that. And I said I have an assumption here. It’s small. Maybe 30 percent. Sure. But I have an assumption that you only said this to convert me and made me feel better or because you thought that is what I wanted to hear.
[00:10:50] And then her reaction was, no, no, no, no, that’s not at all what I meant. I really feel like this is something I want there. I feel like this is something I need. I read up on this and I want this. So she was coming from a very pure place, so I had totally misinterpreted her.
[00:11:07] And if I wouldn’t have brought up the assumption, then I would have lived in that misperception. That makes a lot of sense.
[00:11:16] Yes. And that same day, I brought up maybe five different assumptions that I had with her and 4 was wrong and one was right. And this is so perfect because, yeah, it just helps the relationship. So, so, so much moving forward. And Candida, same thing applies here. Let’s say that we did in checking and you said, hey, Spirit, I have an assumption that you are disengaged in the meetings. And I said, no, I was going to an ultrasound. You know, you, Casey, how much that is clearing up? Yeah, for sure. See, the point of bringing up an assumption is not that you need to be right. It’s just. The point is to bring up something. And even if you’re wrong, it’s helping.
[00:11:59] I like that. Even if you’re wrong, it’s helping. Basically just raising the question and you can even come from a place that you said I’m not even at all sure this is the case. This is just a teeny tiny feeling. I have scratching me right now and say, sadly, this could be the case.
[00:12:16] Yeah, I did it with another friend. Did it? So I have a feeling you’re angry at me and the friends. No, no, no. I’m not angry at all.
[00:12:23] But I do feel like this. And the real feeling was disappointed. Yeah. How did that conversation turn out?
[00:12:36] That one. Yeah. Mhm. The end result was clarity in that conversation. I feel like I’m this taking a lot of detours from the topic right now, so I rather stay on this. But I think it’s very interesting.
[00:12:53] Yeah, I read some quotes somewhere. I’m not sure who said it. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it was kind of in a relationship referring to any kind of relationship. Leave no stone unturned. Meaning that pretty much what you just said. Whenever you’re feeling either having an assumption, then bring it up or if something is actually bothering you, bring it up, even if it’s a teeny tiny thing. And the reason is that if there is a lot of teeny tiny things, they suddenly become a really big thing. Yeah.
[00:13:33] And it’s really hard to bring up 20 teeny tiny things at once. So instead, it tends to be one tiny thing that blows up in your face because it’s actually 20 or 200 small things and suddenly you start fighting over. You have the classic toilet seat or whatever, but it’s actually referring to a thousand small things.
[00:13:54] Totally. So if someone said, OK, this sounds useful, how can it implemented in my business?
[00:14:04] That’s a really good question.
[00:14:07] I think that what we’re doing right now with a checking process is worth repeating and explaining, because I think that’s something that’s very simple that could be applied in in any company and it can be done. Super, super simple. So in the checking process, we share where we are in our emotional states. And well, let’s give an example. MLK, please check in. Let’s say this is the beginning of the meeting.
[00:14:39] Mm hmm. Well, today I feel well-rested, like. Nothing. You show this going on. I describe myself as a Volvo car today on 82 Energy, which is quite a new show for me because I’m usually more volatile.
[00:14:57] So this gives me the information that OK. Is himself today. Here’s a little bit playful cause he says that he’s a Volvo. He he would definitely not say that if he was worried about an ultrasound.
[00:15:09] And he stated that his energy level was 82 out of 100, which also tells me that, OK, this is actually it’s a good day if we want to bring this to a podcast or have a serious conversation or whatever that is.
[00:15:21] That would be a good place if instead of what I said is energy, all energy level was 40, for example. We had another call a week ago and then e-mail checked in with a lot of neck pain and it was clear that his energy was not in this. And that actually led us to postponing the podcast and recorded over the weekend instead. And it helps me. It helps me to help him make decisions, if that makes sense and it gives me the opportunity of feeling and is this something we really want to do now? And are we in tune with this? With this situation and did that make sense?
[00:16:05] I think that makes a lot of sense.
[00:16:07] We had one great business example, I think last time when I was missing in Malta and I said, I have an assumption to you, Erik. And I said, I feel like. I’m wondering if you feel like I owe you something. Oh, yeah, that was a good question. Yeah. Looking back at a year and looking at my performance, looking what are we done to each other? Is someone up or down here?
[00:16:37] Because I had an assumption that you thought that. So to get clarity on it, I felt so relieved afterwards that it gives some context on on that one.
[00:16:48] We had been taught Emily was staying with me in Malta for a couple of weeks and we were had conversations about money and depth. And like who has done more things in general, not necessarily towards each other, but with other relationships that we had in our lives and e-mailed and felt that maybe I’m holding him accountable to something that I haven’t addressed. And that was worrying. Yeah, he had that assumption and that drained a little bit of energy from our relationship until it was addressed. Was that well-described?
[00:17:30] And I think it’s one of those assumptions where. I think it’s a small chance that Erik feels this way, but if you do feel this way, it’s a pretty big deal. Maybe he is expecting me. OK. He needs to give his effort into my organization for years before we break. Even then. I’m acting from I’m coming from a place where.
[00:17:56] Then I will feel like I lost maybe a lot of my freedom. I would feel if everything would be different between us than. Yeah.
[00:18:06] Yeah, to give some more context that there as well, I’ve been helping Emily in various financial situations outside of grades and been involved with adding value in various ways. And one question he raised then was kind of do I expect him to stay in grade for eternity to kind of make up for this? Or do I consider us to be even even in the situation we are right now, what would happen if he wanted to leave tomorrow?
[00:18:34] That is a great assumption to raise because you want this to be a place where people work for 50 years. That’s something you very explicitly said. And then I’m wondering, OK. So does he expect me to stay for that long? Or if not, though, we’re talking ten years, five years, one year, because I’m coming from a different background than you have trained Mendes. How much does Erik expect to pay for my against meant to be there moving forward? And I have a lot of assumptions here.
[00:19:12] And so to take this back to your original question, how could this be applied in business for someone else? I think that in business or in relationships for that matter, just spending two minutes before having a conversation about something and just stating this is where I am right now. And it can be as easy as just giving a number between 1 and 100 of my energy level or my engagements, because that number alone can open up for so many. It can make conversations a lot easier that if you’re starting by saying I’m yours 30 of 100, it’s very easy for me to ask you to elaborate or say that.
[00:19:55] But it might be hard to get to that from the beginning. Just saying if you’re a 30 percent and then I start asking you what’s going on, it’s it becomes. A license to dig, in a sense, you’re kind of telling me something is off and it’s OK to explore that right now. Yeah, but you might not feel comfortable starting by sharing some what’s going on in your life because that might feel like whining. Does that make sense?
[00:20:25] Make sense? Well, something that I see could be missing then in our checking process. Is there an opportunity to raise? Those more deep questions about organization, for example, do I feel like the I own the organization or something or maybe someone has a concern that while I don’t feel that engaged in my work anymore or I might actually not like working here at all. So to have a space to address those things as well then becomes super important because to me, the shaking, especially if we do it in a group like our weekly meetings, then you wouldn’t raise that. You don’t like your work in front of the whole team. Right. So my question then is I guess those concerns are going to be raised one on one to you as a leader. And if someone do, how can you respond to them in a way to show that they feel safe and also that it is appreciated to raise those concerns?
[00:21:35] So how the question is paid. Let’s say that you would tell me that you’re not sure you want to be as great anymore. And the question then is how can I address that as a leader in a way to show that I’m very happy that you’re sharing that makes me happy that you dare to share that? Not happy about the news in itself.
[00:21:54] Exactly. Maybe even shared out to the team somehow to set a culture. Yeah, it is okay to raise those concerns.
[00:22:03] It’s I think key here is to actually show the key here is safety, to show that this is not gonna be held against you. You’re definitely not gonna be punished for this in any way. And show that I’m very grateful for you sharing, not that I’m that that you make me feel safe and. Thank you for not. Forcing me to kind of try to figure this out myself, but instead bringing this to me and I would also.
[00:22:34] Is this something you want to change or do you actually want to leave and be okay with either option? I think that’s the key thing here, that. To make any relationship work, regardless if it’s business or or a love relationship. Think you need to always at least aim to be okay with other person leaving. So you’re not holding them on against their will. I got this cause you have felt that you were going to say something.
[00:23:10] Yeah, I was going to say that is that is easier said than done in all relationships. Like if someone is leaving, it’s gonna cost you maybe pain, sadness, inconvenience, all things you don’t want when running your business or your life. So what is the solution then? Should you try to be okay with something that you aren’t okay with?
[00:23:34] So the thing is, the pain is already there. In the sense that you would already feel disengaged. You would already feel held up or in depth or whatever it is. So we’re already caught between a rock and a hard place. There is no option here of rainbows and unicorns where you’re just staying and where you are just happy. So either I need to be okay with the pain of you leaving or I need to be okay with the pain of you suffering. Staying since we’re already in a tricky situation that can’t just be ignored.
[00:24:15] And to give a more specific explanation of this, I got the question from a friend of mine who is also running a company and affiliation business, which we were supposed to be talking about. Right. So he’s running an online marketing company where he sells things on commission. And one of his best employees, he’s got like 20 employees came to him and say said, I want to start a side project, which is actually gonna be competing with his business. But I want to do that. Is that okay? And my friend came to me is like, what should I do? I really don’t want him to start this project. And at the same time, I really don’t want him to be unhappy. And worst case scenario is that he starts his project. It works out and he leaves. And my response to this was that, you know, the worst case scenario here is that he starts a competitor and he actually brings your employees with him and then leaves and he’s like, fuck. That’s even worse. I’m like, Yeah. And I told him the same thing. But you’re already in a tricky situation because if you tell him no, he’s gonna feel resentful towards you for not letting him follow his dreams. And he will either stop performing or he will start the business in secret and you will know nothing about it or he will not started. Be resentful and even start telling you or the rest of your team what a bad boss you are or not giving them any freedom and start tainting the organization with with bad emotions. So it’s a similar situation here, but he is already in a hard place and he’s holding on to a pain.
[00:26:14] And I believe that if he my advice here was let him do whatever he wants to do, the most likely scenario is that he’s going to fail with his business because most businesses fail. And if he does, he will be happy because you let him do what he wanted to do. He will still stay. He will probably say very good things about you to the team and be even more loyal and devoted than he was before.
[00:26:39] And if he succeeds, then hopefully he will be a very loyal business partner. They can do business together or collaborating while they were in the future because he felt that my friend has taught him everything. My friend was willing to giving this opportunity and it turned out well anyway. So I believe that a key here is to actually. Let people PEF as free as possible.
[00:27:09] Because the alternative is.
[00:27:13] First word that comes into my mind is slavery. Doesn’t feel like the right word. Word came to my mind, too. But it’s before it becomes emotional slavery, then you’re kind of tying them emotionally to something. And exploitation with guilt. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, you owe this to me. You should stay and try to emotionally make you feel that you should do this. And that’s just not a good place for any relationship. And if I would have told you in our conversation, Jay, I’ll feel you in depth. You should stay with me for five years. You wouldn’t be able to do this with passion anymore.
[00:27:50] No. My instinct would be to get out as soon as possible. Yeah. Every time someone would tell me you stay in that place. I’m getting out as soon as I can. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s a very natural instinct for many of us.
[00:28:08] Yeah, yeah, definitely. I think one of the one of the most primal instincts is freedom.
[00:28:15] So what other ways can a business owner make their employees feel more free?
[00:28:25] So I think a big insight there is to realize that you can’t do anything else than giving them freedom because there will be emotional resentment or loss of passion or anything. Anyway, to me, that insight alone has been very valuable in encouraging the team to follow their dreams, showing that if someone have had another situation with which spirit actually and he’s gonna get to listen to this episode before we share this with anyone and say if he’s OK with us talking about it like this, because now he haven’t pre-approved it.
[00:29:03] But then in in another meeting that I actually wasn’t partying, but I saw the recording of it. He said that he was considering this other job opportunity because he was really excited to be a public speaking coach. Start doing more of that. And I really don’t want him to do that. I want him to stay with us. And at the same time, I really want him to be passionate. So the first thing I did after seeing that call was addressing this with him saying, I support you fully. I would be sad, but I will support you full here. And I’m very happy for. For you finding something that you want to do in.
[00:29:40] He met me very.
[00:29:45] I want to say lovingly, I’m not sure that’s the right word. I want to say respectfully, I’m not sure the right word either. But issue showed a lot of gratitude and appreciation for me immediately addressing this and saying that I want to support you in this instead of just being quiet.
[00:30:02] So just addressing these things when it have addressing the assumptions and saying at least and saying I want to be OK with us, I feel this is gonna be hard. I would miss you in the team or whatever. I want to support you in this. Mm hmm. Now stop there.
[00:30:22] I see a lot of things flowing together in this solo and in this whole conversation. And I see that the type of leadership you’re speaking about there is a leadership where. You really want people to come together using their own choices and free wills to create something you’re not paying someone to do something that they don’t want to do.
[00:30:47] So all of these conversations become so, so important.
[00:30:54] Yeah, and with the safety that comes with it.
[00:31:01] And at the same time, I can imagine it’s scary for you as a leader because it’s kind of like.
[00:31:11] In a in a romantic relationship, you could never for someone you could marry someone have stayed with you forever. But in men relationship, you can force someone to stay with you. You would just hope that you would be the best or fight to become the best option for them. Or guilt them into staying. Right. You could. That’s probably a very common tool in love relationship, though. Yeah. But in a healthy relationship, you can do that.
[00:31:38] Although in in an organization you could pay someone or encourage someone to do something they don’t want to.
[00:31:52] I feel pretty dumb when I sit down, too. I felt it before I said Elass at this that we could cut that away without sentence communicated. We’re done here.
[00:32:03] We’re done here. Yes. I’m happy we did this episode in in this way. I like and I’m happy that we’re jumping into things like this and not trying to be playful at all times. It makes me feel safe. Podcasting. Yeah. So I’ll just wrap this up because I feel like it. And say thank you for listening. And our ambition is to bring these kinds of conversations in to the world and into business. And we really want to create a community of entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place. And we need your help to get there. So if you like this episode, please go in on i-Tunes and write us five stars because we’re freaking good and leave a comment. We would very much appreciate that and see you next week. Thank you for this email. Thank you, Erik. See ya.