Real-Time Leadership - A conversation with Carol Kauffman Ph.D.

In this episode of OnCoaching, Zoltán Csigás talks with Carol Kauffman

Ph.D. who is an international leader in the field of coaching, an assistant

professor at Harvard Medical School, a visiting professor at Henley Business

School, and a senior leadership adviser at Egon Zehnder. The episode covers

Carol’s story on how she contributed to the development of the coaching

profession through her various projects, and a deep dive into the contents of

her recently released book: “Real-Time Leadership”.

Transcript
Zoltán Csigás:

Hello, my name is Zoltan Csigás, and this is Zoltan Podcast ON COACHING. . In the series, I'm talking with internationally renowned coaching scientists and coaches. We explore their personal and professional insights on the science of coaching, and on the helping professions. Are you interested in how they got close to this profession? Are you curious about the new frontiers they are exploring right now? Join me and listen to the conversation, inspiration, and some fun is ahead. My guest today is Carol Coughlin. And I'm really honored to have you on the show today. And I have so many questions, because I would really like to know you a lot more. How would you introduce yourself, if you would just be coming out from the blue right now? Your current self?

Carol Kauffman:

Okay, well, I feel like I have many selves. I think my primary identity, what I love doing the most are two things. One is coaching leaders, I really find that to be extremely meaningful, especially leaders who will have a ripple effect people who will affect their organization. And the second thing I like to do the most is very much related to that. So people ask me something to do big keynotes. What I love are doing small ones, just to a team, and then the people that report to that team, because they can hear the concepts, what concepts. So the other thing I've done recently, as you know, is I wrote the book real time leadership find your winning moves when the stakes are high, with David noble published by Harvard Business Review. Then, in addition to my private practice, I work two days a week at a surgeon and leadership advisory firm called Egon Zehnder, which is given me like wonderful opportunity. So I'd say that's my first identity I came from being a clinical psychologist, then moved into in clinical psychology, I was a specialist in trauma survivors, multiple trauma survivors, that segwayed and evolved into peak performance, and that segwayed into coaching, and that segwayed into leadership coaching. So that's me in a nutshell, I live outside Boston, and married, I've got two children who are grown up who live within a half hour of me. So that's, I think that's the nutshell.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you very much. And I love that you immediately drew me a journey of how you get to where you are right now. May I ask what were the things that you are directly bringing from your clinical psychologist background to what you are doing right now? And why masking is the child psychologist these days on previous guests said that he's recovering psychologist so I'm just curious how you have your psychology background.

Carol Kauffman:

There's a few things one is you get an enormous amount of pattern recognition. And you can tell when somebody's ready to hear something, you know, I think you can really titrate your message well, in terms of okay, the person can hear this much. And then it's like, okay, you need to pause, ask questions. So partly, it's the rhythm of an interaction. And also as a as a clinical psychologist, you're faced with a labyrinth of choices all the time. For me what made the transition easier, is then becoming very much connected to positive psychology at the end, which is sort of the overarching umbrella, I still very much supportive of understanding from a psychodynamic point of view, a cognitive point of view, neuro psychology. But I think it's that and then you can dance When the person also has some challenges and resistances or is sort of a little bit of a fragile narcissist. What you can do is you don't work on treating the issue, but it really helps you able to create a holding environment where they can be their best self and start to explore the things that for Chaska and others would say are things that are in pre contemplation. I think it helps me the most getting people from pre contemplation, contemplation, but every now and then being very clear that someone also needs therapy. I don't say me or therapy, I say me and therapy, and I will not be the therapist myself.

Zoltán Csigás:

So many interesting things at the same time. Let me just pick out one of them, which is the most interesting for me that the first thing you mentioned was pattern recognition and the sense when to make an intervention when a certain person when your client is ready to be something specific clue what you're looking for. I know this is a big thing. So, but I'm curious, is there a specific clue? Or do you have a favorite clue that you are working with when timing interventions?

Carol Kauffman:

I'm not sure I can answer I'm trying to think right now of someone I'm working with, that's very delicate. And I have to give this person very tough news, because he's very, very clear that he can take over an organization as this CEO, and it's very clear, if he does, many people will feel very unsafe and quit. And I have to convey this to him. So one thing is know your customer, and know that person's cognitive style and how they need to hear things. And for this person, who happens to be very data oriented, I have done about 15 or so interviews. So people retain a lot of confidentiality might be 20, actually, so he can't turn on anyone. But what I'm giving him is and I also did a quantitative survey of him. So with this person, what I know, I'll need to drip feed the results. But for him, he likes primary data and doesn't really trust anybody, you trust me as much as he does anyone. But he wants to. So I basically said to him, do you want primary sources or secondary sources do you and he goes, both. But for primary, what I'm doing is taking hours is I am literally going to give him about when I'm done, I don't know how many pages, maybe 20 pages of direct quotes. So this is what people say. And then I'll say, and if you see something repeated over and over, I'm not being redundant. It's because a number of people said this. So I'll start out with something sort of general and the positive, so he can hear. And then as somebody's talking, you're kind of just weaving back and forth between as Richard Boyatzis. And other people would say, activating their parasympathetic nervous system, and the connection with them, so that they can hear the next little wave of tough news. And then very often, what I'll do is if there's some feedback, and I've received the same feedback, I'll say, Listen, I'm going to give you some tough news. And by the way, I received that top news too. So like, chill about it. So let's hear what it says and realize that we can just put this into development plan. So very matter of fact about it, you know, to hear the news. So I'd say I'd say it's that in a nutshell. But this one will be one of the trickiest.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you for the example why I find this very compelling. What you are saying is that what I'm hearing is you are working around your client, not just in the session itself, but you are giving the you're making the interviews, you are making the interpretations, you are working with the system around him or her. Yeah, the other thing what I love hearing, in your stories, news, you are giving confrontation, because so many coaches wind up sacrilegious background that I'm working with or that I've been in discussions with the they just like to go for the acceptance and holding and let's wait till the client grows out whatever he's facing with. And they have it reluctant to give the hard news or to confront the client with whatever he needs to be confronted. So let's show here that you are the confrontational evidence a type that you were okay with making those hard talks as well. Right? Well,

Carol Kauffman:

I just think of it as my job is to tell the truth in a way the person can absorb. And the biggest sin as it were, is shame. So you do everything possible to help them see the truth of themselves in a way that isn't shaming. So for example, if somebody has a somewhat toxic impact or very disparate impact on someone, I'll say, Listen, you're not really in the club of high level leadership. If you haven't had a negative impact on someone, it's just not possible. It's not that you've had the negative impact. It's what do you do with it now? So what can we do so that you're less likely to do that again? And in this person's case, it's really hard because it's a major way of being shift, we have to help him make and my actual argument is, I don't think he actually wants to be the CEO. He wants to be the idea of the CEO and I have to figure out how to ask him to fundamentally look at himself to say, is this what you want? And then here's a long job description of What you need to do, who you need to talk to how you need to relate the decisions you need to do the deep dives you need to do the delegation need to do. And I think he will find that it's actually boring. And he needs to just hire a president to do those things. Anyway, so we'll see. But it's but the biggest the, it's like, no matter what better not to confront, if the way you're going to confront will bring shame, and it, it means you have to be comfortable in the relationship. So it's like what you said it's acceptance first, like this person knows I am his advocate, knows he comes first. And that I will often say, so let's say my last name is James. I'll say So listen, I have a James O centric view of the world right now. I am now talking only on your behalf. And my goal is to help you get everything you could and use everything you have to get there. That's the starting point. So there's a lot of correctness and what people are saying about get the acceptance first. But just really check in with yourself, are you not telling the truth, because you're afraid to. And if you don't tell the truth, in a way your client can hear, you're not doing your job as coach. And you can do those powerful questions, powerful interventions, three questions. And also, as an offering to say, Listen, what I'm hearing is this and this and this and this. Does that make any sense to you? Can you imagine why people say that? You know, what's your thought? You know, so it's like you can you, you sort of give a piece of news as your offer and then pivot with a question. And so you keep it a conversation.

Zoltán Csigás:

You'll sound like a magic mirror, it's fine. That was, like a, like a magic mirror. When you said that my job is to tell the truth. That's a very strong expression for it I,

Carol Kauffman:

I say it's the same Snow White's Mirror, Mirror mirror on the wall, am I the most beautiful of all, it's like, I can't lie, I can be gentle. I can be strategic. But it's my job. Because when you're powerful, people don't tell you the truth. And no one else is going to tell this person the truth. But you have to care for the more than the than the intensity of your truth, or you don't earn the right to share it,

Zoltán Csigás:

how you get into touch with the research parts of our profession. So How come did you have founded a journal? How come that you have founded a whole institute for coaching?

Carol Kauffman:

So let me back up for a second. So what I just said, so most of how theory and research inform me. So what I just said, for example, is, you know, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, et cetera, et cetera, that comes to the work of Richard biotics and the entire set of of researchers that have come from Case Western Reserve. So that's one in terms of the quality of the relationship. I'm pulling on high quality relationships, the work of Jane Dutton from the University of where are they again, Minnesota, I think, the Ross School of Business. And then I'm also pulling, you know, so everything is pulling from research. So I speak from the research and it can sound like I'm just like, talking, but there's research awareness, that is informing what I think, you know, and of course, psychological safety from Amy Edmondson. So first thing is the research is integrated into and informed what I do in the moment. So then your question, how did this happen? Um, someone apparently, who, like, gets things done, which is hilarious, because I'm so disorganized.

Zoltán Csigás:

You don't see. Let me

Carol Kauffman:

know, I know. I know. You talk to the people who really, really really know me. I'm always like, surfing the wave of chaos and trying not to like fall in. But in around 2006, or something like that rich, Steven Palmer from the UK, who was involved with the the BPS, that British Psychological Society, he approached me and said, we'd like you to start a journal. To which I said, Are you out of your mind? He said, I do not believe so. And to which I then said, Doesn't it bother you in the least? I have essentially never edited anything in my life. So how in the world can you say I need to be the editor of founding editor in chief of an academic journal? And he just says, I just know, it's you. It's like, okay, so sure, though, in his case, what I said was, listen, I will do this, but I need to have a partner who is organized and informed, etc. And that was touching on a Makarova. So we started working together and she was wonderful and was my co editor for two of my three years. But what's more interesting is the big vision Stephen had which is really brilliant. He was like, we want to professionalize the field of coaching something of course, you are incredibly passionate about. Okay, so how do we do that? Alright, so part of that was the Institute of coaching is having an organization connected to a very prestigious university. So that's number one. Number two is the institute, for example, was the brainchild unlikely person, a journalist, news anchor, billionaire philanthropist coach, who had the vision, the field of coaching needed a firm research base for it to be professionalized. That was Ruth and Harnish his vision. So first, you got Stephen Palmer, and his vision is okay, then if we want to professionalize coaching, and we want professional coach is we need the research, but then we need somewhere for them to publish their research. So we have to start a journal, they have somewhere to publish. So it will help their professional development and help them get professorships. So apparently, I mean, none of these ideas were mine. They were just ideas that when they told me I'm like, Yeah, I really get that. I'll help and then within, I'll really get that help. And then more, who is basically she's currently the chair of the institute. She, so I met these Margaret Ruth in in 2004, when I presented a keynote at ICF. And Margaret Moore is the one who said Carol coaching needs an academic home and you need to provide it to which I said no. to music. And you did again six months later, I said no, then six months later, and I said yes. But I'm going to create then the institute, I want not the one that you want, because she was really a health and wellness. And I'm really positive psychology and leadership coaching. So we put them all together. And we started the annual conference in Harvard Medical School. This year, this coming year 2024 will be in May in Boston. It's called coaching. Colon, oh, no coaching in leadership and healthcare, from Harvard Medical Schools. None of these ideas were mine. I was just very receptive. And when I see the truth, I get it. So I didn't create it. But I was the person who got excited about it and made it happen.

Zoltán Csigás:

That's a very important role in the life any idea I would say? Yes, the the

Carol Kauffman:

me with it. He's like you don't understand. I didn't start any of this myself. i The Boulder was moving. And then I got behind the boulder and started pushing.

Zoltán Csigás:

But that's, that's a super important role. And I think sometimes that's what we are missing in our community. No, I'm just making a bold judgment that sometimes the networks are not aligned properly. But when things are when people can start to work together, and have the common vision, I think we can do wonderful things. I'm just happy that you were in these wonderful moments. And you were still around days. And it's moved on and on. So And speaking of research and being an editor for journal, do you have a favorite piece? Is that something that you are always happy to remember? Or was there something that was very inspiring for you that you were like, Okay, this is something that everyone has to be reading or,

Carol Kauffman:

Oh, that has to be Richard by osmosis and his work at Case Western Reserve. And he's the one who really, he really got it right. And he was able to support it with very good neuro psychological research with Angela pastorelli, who is currently the director of research at the institute. And that is his work on basically the parasympathetic nervous system. And he does things like you'll have two kinds of coaches, you will have the kind of ends he calls a compassionate coaching, which I think is not the right description, but it's coaching that leads with the vision and who do you want to be really as you build up your intention, who do I really want to be and then how to create a learning journey around it, but also help the person feel acknowledged, accepted, etc. First, then, so that was one kind of coaching the other kinds of coaching was very kind of more effective checklist. You know, so were you able to do this, okay, that's very good. Um, were you able to do that what got in the way? What could you do? Okay, how can I help but here one is like, Who do you want to be? The other is okay, let's go through this. How can I help? Then he put people who had those different kinds of coaches in an FMRI machine. Okay, so there you are in the machine, you hear the voice of either what Richard calls the compassionate coach, which I would call more the future or the spirit of coaching, right. And then they'd see what happened to the brain, they would put the voice of the other coach, the more matter of fact, not mean, not demanding, none of that not bad, just more like your more normal supportive management, coaching conversation. And that activated a completely different part of the brain. So the reward center got activated and visual associational cortex, actually, the whole visioning part got activated with the intentional change theory based coach, and the threat centers got activated with the other coach who was a very nice coach. But it's like, were you able to get this done? Were you about this and what got in your way? What would have so leading with the problem? Not leading with the vision, I'd say that's the single piece of research from Richard boy yacht, says David cooperrider, with appreciative inquiry, and Angela passerelle, who is the Carl Kaufmann of that group, because she made it all happen. She did all the interviews, she did all the all that work. So I would say if I had to pick one thinker, one theory, and then the work of Jane Dutton and Kim Cameron, you know, cooperrider, Marty Seligman, all that, for me falls under and is connected with Richard boy ANSYS. And his work as the as the umbrella.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thanks very much. I'm always surprised when we can see rain level evidence, which is kind of the hardest evidence that you can find for any psychological intervention. I'm always fascinated when we can see those kinds of outcomes.

Carol Kauffman:

Let me share another thing that Richard Bates has found that will be very relevant to any coach listening to this, which is really fascinating. It's an old paper that he wrote, gosh, I can't remember the name of it exactly. I can send it to you. I think it's called compassionate coaching. But it was in the Academy of Management magazine, very hard to get to that publication. And it won the award for like the best publication of the year. What it was was they had, they looked the role of coaching of CEOs, coaching, not looking at the impact on the person being coached. But the impact on the coach. So basically, in a nutshell, coaching is good for you, when you're the coach, and so I included that when it's very preliminary research. Preliminary is in super basic, and not not that great because it was studying after is a project I did with Kerry, Paula Mara, at Massachusetts General Hospital when we trained about, Gosh, I don't even remember how many 100, maybe senior faculty in a coach approach. And particularly in a positive psychology coach approach, the people started studying it kind of after the fact. So it's all post hoc or whatever. That said, they still found that the positive psychology based coaching, increased work engagement, and it decreased sort of burnout of the all the medical residents, it was required that every single internal medicine resident had to have a coach. And by the way, never went in their own food chain. So if I was in cardiology, I would have a coach from gastroenterology something so I could really talk to that person and it would not affect my career development, no one I'd ever get a letter of recommendation from, okay. They only had like four sessions a year. But then what they found out is the coaches also had less burnout because this was happening right when everything was pivoting with the electronical medical record, and everybody was getting their skier, their mass lack scores were like through the roof for stress and burnout. And our group of faculty did not get better. But unlike the rest of the profession, their stress level didn't change, and everybody else's Shut up. And it was partly because, again, when you're coaching, it's activating your own best self, and your own best self and getting to be your own best self is your own resource. So anybody who's coaching, your coaching is actually helping you and I once had a conversation. So Marty Seligman is the father of positive psychology, and he and I were buddies for a long time. And I remember talking to him once, Leon somewhere by 2005, for whatever, and I'm saying, you know, Marty, are you noticing that now that we're really into positive psychology? You're getting sick less often? Nice night? Yes. We're all feeling a lot, getting a lot healthier. We're getting fewer colds then there's a whole bunch of research that flowed from And bad idea with Barbara Fredrickson and Richard Davies and others who look at the, I'm going to get this wrong vagal nerve and have an inflammation and epigenetics and all this stuff that's connected with helping yourself have more positive experience. And notice I say helping yourself have have more positive experience, which I think is harvesting and noticing the positive experience you are having. And then seeing ways to increase it. But so it's anyway. So that's sort of what's in my brain, when I'm approaching something.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you very much for sharing this, I have to tell you that my next question would have been, are there any hidden gems in your repository that, that you will see that not a lot of us are aware of? And this was one of, it really got me thinking? No, good. And I'm like, Okay, well, let's do some further research on the sense,

Carol Kauffman:

go into Google Scholar, go into Google Scholar, and just put in Richard Buryat, CES, and Angela pastorelli, et cetera, if you put in Marty Seligman, you'll get 2000 references,

Zoltán Csigás:

like, wow, I rarely get to speak with someone who really knows her stuff at such a level that you can quote immediately. And I'm flattered, honestly.

Carol Kauffman:

So a lot of it, I got really through my work with the Institute of coaching, it made me be current, because it's really hard to be current without it. And at the moment, even I think I'm not as current as I could be. However, I will say we had Steven Hayes at our recent Institute of coaching conference, and he's doing some research that literally blew my brain,

Zoltán Csigás:

you can stop me from asking, what was it?

Carol Kauffman:

I know, I know, I'm trying to find it, I have that the article open somewhere on my computer, basically, I'm going to look for it while we're talking to see if I can find it. He did some research. And if I understood him correctly, it took 50 Researchers three years to go through 53,000 social science research studies, to look in search of the mediator variables. So mediator variables, in this case, imagine a box in front of you, and arrows coming in the kind of treatment you received, etc. And then the hours going out being, you know, were you healthier or not healthier, et cetera. And then what is it that makes this happen? So what is it enables you and it empowers you, it turned out at the end of the day, to be what they call psychological flexibility. And this actually is the real inspiration behind real time leadership, which is all about how do you create a space between stimulus and response. And in that space is your freedom to choose. And that is psychological flexibility. They eventually found merely 300 of those studies, were of high enough quality and looked at mediator variables. But it was really very compelling. I think it turned out to be like 94 of all of the variables that mediated health, etc, could come down to psychological flexibility in a meaningful way. So I'll tell you the name of the article, you know, like, we're just someone to like, kill yourself on the spot. It's called, it's in behavioral research and therapy, I think from June 2022, or something. It's called evolving, and IDEO nomic, which approach to processes of change, calling towards a unified personalized science of human improvement. OMG, but it basically means the search for the variable that helps people change, which is psychological flexibility. His presentation was virtual this year is on the Institute of coaching website. If you go into events and look for conferences, I think you have to be a member to access it. I'm not sure there's a lot of stuff. You don't have to be a member to access. But membership is like 12 bucks a month or something now that I've stepped out of my active role at the institute, it's my source. Like for me, that's where I go now, to make it so that I'm always sort of even fuzzily aware of the research and its applications as I go forward. It's sort of the sort of the lazy way to learn stuff that's allies, like I just am there. And I can learn it as opposed to, if you want to get on top of things, and you look at this whole world, it's like, okay, how do I find what's most relevant?

Zoltán Csigás:

We need quick sources. I mean,

Carol Kauffman:

and obviously emcc does the same thing. I'm just less familiar, but we have a few 1000 articles. So anyway, that's the way I do it. The you He's in this thing. But that's the this study is really hard to understand. But that's what it comes down to social flexibility, psychological flexibility, personal flexibility, physical flexibility in terms of mindfulness, and all that. And that, that is where when David noble and I worked on the book,

Zoltán Csigás:

let me interrupt you, for a second, I just want to make a link back to your previous guest I had because as your flexibility were mentioning it, it really resonates with the work of Eric DeHaan. Because in his research around the active ingredients of coaching, he, he was talking about the predisposition. So the coachee and how they are approaching the whole coaching situation. So we could go back there as well. And and what I was interested in, we already started to say, I just put a signpost, here's how these research informed your book. Because I read a lot about it, I haven't finished it, I have to confess. So I'm just halfway through the book,

Carol Kauffman:

the model, then mov you've probably read most of Ope, you just haven't read how it applies to first time leadership, disruptive leadership and all that.

Zoltán Csigás:

For me, it's it's a great read. And I'm just curious how how did you get to put together the move concepts? How was it informed for visit informed more by your coaching background or more by your experiences around leadership and the leadership literature? So how will it the whole concept emerge?

Carol Kauffman:

It started when David noble and I were standing in front of a whiteboard in 2017, trying to figure out, what were we doing that was making the CEOs become more effective, because they were already high performers to begin with. And we started about thinking about what are the frameworks we use? What are the coaching models that we use, and then we filled up the board with at least 100 of them, and different approaches. And then we started triaging them to see do they hang together in any way, David's the one who came up with the first four buckets, so it's mo ve, acronym so people can remember it. It's all about creating that space for choice. So I'll run through them in a nutshell. So M is to be mindfully alert. So mindful, we understand you know, centered, not prejudging, but not in a meditative way, in a very alert way, like an athlete, a core athlete has to be in a flow state leaders have to be in a slow state in a flow state, be able to process what's coming at them, and then figure out what to do. What they do is pay attention to the three dimensions of leadership, which are in a nutshell, what do I need to do? Like, what do I really need to do? What matters? Who do I need to be? And have I done enough emotion regulation? To be emotionally flexible enough so that I can do that? And then how do I need to relate? So that's the m to be mindfully alert. Oh, is to be an options generator. That's based on the work of Rick Snyder, Shane Lopez, and all of the work there. They call it hope theory. But it is actually flexibility. In terms of for any challenge you're facing to have at least four pathways forward. They say six, but our leaders find that overwhelming. So we say four. And the way I put that together is we have four sets of reflexes. Okay, so our default and the whole point of making space is to be able to overcome your reflexes. So how do you choose what to do? So we took fight, flight, freeze and befriend and translate it into stances like a tennis player. You put your legs one way for a forehand another way for backhand. Not that I play tennis. But one stance is Do you lean in like when something comes at you do Lean in and really engage in action? First? It can be action with enthusiasm, action with an edge but really active to lean in, then do you alternatively, are you able to lean back and go with the data and inquire and look at the overview, really be very reasoned and logical in your choice of what to do next, then the third one is lean with so it's Lean in, lean back, lean with or don't lean, so lean? When is nurturance caring but in the way the other person can receive? Some people like an extroverted approach other people like introverted but how do people feel cared about? And then all of these operate at scale? So like if we were talking about a merger and acquisition? Do you lean in and aggressively go after the property? Do you lean back and really do your due diligence Do you lean with and really worry about culture and how people will integrate so all of these concepts work at scale? And then The other one is the hardest, which is Don't leave. Can something get thrown? Have you

Zoltán Csigás:

been positively surprised? Yeah.

Carol Kauffman:

So don't leave that capacity. Like when something heats up for you to save yourself don't link like, okay, like Sultan don't like, just let it be for a minute, you know, and it could be you meditate on something for a while it could be you just wait, it could be just a couple minutes. But what it is, is the others lean in lean with their when you're like producing thoughts. If you can get yourself to a place to say don't lean, you can then encourage intuition and things to come to you, which is often the aha experience. And for example, coaches are great at that. Even like, you know, as John Whitmore once literally asked me if you knew the answer, what would it be and something popped into my mind that stunned me, giving ourselves space. So that's the thought in the shower, the running, but it's creating that on purpose during your day. By not to say don't lean, so mindfully alert, mindful, but in the flow options generator, then v is her vantage point like, are you really seeing what's out there your point of view? Is it right? How can you know it's right? How can you know what's maybe wrong? What does a 10 out of 10 look like on a good vantage point. And then I have a whole checklist of things for people to do that either for themselves when you're a leader or when you're coach trying to get a way to articulate the person's their vantage point is just like off and what is it you know, are they are nearsighted, farsighted to detail not too detailed, unconscious bias, et cetera, et cetera, zoom up, zoom in. And that's like your vantage point, because the person who has the clearest advantage point first has the commercial advantage. And then E is to engage and affect change. The part we focus in on that is one obviously, safe psychological environment. But the other one is being really available and aware of your signals. Or as you even said, a key word earlier was signposting. How can a leader signpost we're having a conversation here, it's a brainstorm, you're not supposed to do anything yet. Okay, we're having a meeting, when we're done, I'm going to decide we're having a meeting, when we're done, you're gonna decide just sort of to signpost, what's this meaning and then really appreciating and you can never appreciate as it were this enough that the signals you emit, may not be the signals you that are received. So I'm coaching this lovely CEO, like, Oh, my goodness, you could just like take him home to dinner. And he has a joke that he makes uses on himself. It's like, oh, this is really important if I don't get this, right, like I'm dead. And so he said to somebody was presented goes, this is really important. So you better get it right. Or you're dead. It was a joke. Okay, the signal, this person was terrified that if he didn't get this, right, he was gonna get fired, the signal you give, and often not be the signal that is heard. And so for engaging and effecting change that in delegation, so we've got mindfully alert. And that is based on all kinds of research, but it also is based on business strategy and military strategy, which are David strong points, got that mindfully alert, be an options generator, you know, your vantage point and engage in effect change, and who has time these days? So what it is, is each one of those translates into a split second question, you can ask yourself, you go into a meeting, okay, what really needs to get done and Something may come to you? Who do I need to be? How do I need to relate? Okay, do I lean in, lean back lean with don't like, Am I seeing clearly, nearsighted, farsighted, detailed, not detail? And II? am I engaging change? Am I sending out the right signals, so each one of those for busy leader, because I say get the ideas, because you have to change in no extra time because you don't have it? But you can do it. So one last story, for who do you want to be right now working with this CEO. This is during COVID. And she had like 16 Zoom calls. And so I challenged her as a challenge by the way, anybody hearing my voice right now, this is your challenge. This alternate. This is your challenge, which is for the next two days or even two hours, but ideally in the next couple of days. And before every interaction, ask yourself, Who do I want to be right now? Marshall Goldsmith, by the way went ape over this. It's in his book is written articles about it himself crediting me happily, because of the Carol Kaufmann question, Who do you want to be right now? So she trained herself and this is, by the way, a half second intervention. You're about to start a meeting and you just ask yourself, Who do I want to be right now? Okay, it takes a second, not a half second. But when she did the thought hit her at her 16th meeting. Wait a minute. The least important meeting of my day is the most important meeting of theirs. And then a very different CEO showed up. So that is the model in a nutshell. And it is also based on all the theories informed by all of the theories we talked about today.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you very much. I think you even answered my final question. This is a simple trick that people could learn that could bring them to this decision space. Because what I see is that people are just running through their days, and they don't even stop for the second to answer these questions. So is there a way that you would teach people how to snap out from this rushing routine they are in?

Carol Kauffman:

Well, I think knowing that literally a two second pause, can shift your brain, you know, like, after an email, you know, the tumble waterfall of emails, after maybe two or three, just stop for 10 seconds. Research shows that if you do that the default system if your brain will reset, so knowing that these tiny breaks are absolutely crucial for peak performance, and we'll change how you can operate. As I say, some people say, Oh, take a break, and they're like, take a break. And I go, No, take a break for neurological optimization. So if you realize this is important, give yourself a space, two seconds, 10 seconds, can you do that? And make a space so that you can have a different choice. And it doesn't have to be based on move, but move is made for that model. But an anything like wait, what do I really need to do here and have something in front of you a little post it or something? One of my clients, I gave them a little hourglass. And it was just like between big meetings to say a minute, hourglass, it was just flip it over and stare at the hourglass, be one minute, just one minute because our brains work really fast. You know, like we can tell if we're in a dangerous situation, I think in 3000 milliseconds, and it takes something like 500 milliseconds for it to hit you cognitively. So if you can just make a tiny space, they can make a difference.

Zoltán Csigás:

Excellent advice. Thank you very much for being with me today. I really appreciate your time and all the insights and everything that you have shared with us. Thank you very much again.

Carol Kauffman:

Thank you. This is great. I'm glad you found me.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you for listening to one coaching podcast where I have curious conversations with virginal coaches and researchers. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to rate us and subscribe. I also invite you to visit Zoltan chiggers.com where you can access more resources regarding the coaching industry very well.

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