CWJJ Episode 141: Tal Centers
November 10, 2022
CWJJ Episode 144: 7 Habits – Think Win-Win
January 18, 2023

CWJJ Episode 142: Kickstart Your Culture – Ashley Knight

CWJJ PROMO SLandes Recovered

Thursday, November 17- Ashley Knight joins the show as a repeat guest, this time focusing on creating a culture built on vulnerability. This episode is part of the Kickstart Your Culture series, and gives you information to activate within your culture today!

Quick Links:

Ashley Knight on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

Jim Schauer:  [0:24] Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this episode of “Coffee with Jim & James.”

[0:28] James, before you bring in our guest, I had to say I’m really excited for this one. This is, I believe, our third episode in the Kickstart Your Culture series. The reason I like the series is because how much I get to learn from these.

[0:41] It’s almost like in reverse when we do an LNG or CNG and you sit over there and say, “Why you guys geek out about this?” When we have two people that are so passionate about this topic and discussion and making it a reality, it does excite me.

[0:59] James, how are you? I haven’t really even said hi to you today yet.

James Cross:  [1:02] We’ve been running in two different directions.

Jim:  [1:05] We have been.

James:  [1:06] In a good way, traveling the globe, spreading the word, spreading the gospel.

[1:11] Jimmy, I’m pumped to be here today. Again, we’re Kickstarting Your Culture, series that we kicked off of a speaking topic that I put together 18 months ago or so to really help folks get activated out there, get really into looking at their culture, figuring out what’s going on. I’ve been blessed to be able to speak that into existence out there in the world.

[1:43] I just got done at Oklahoma Gas Association there on the general session with this same topic. I tell you I’ve spoken a lot in our industry, but this topic resonates with everybody. I’ve never seen so many head nods. It doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter what your role is, guess what? Everybody has a culture whether you’re working on it or not.

[2:08] I get so many people coming up to me afterwards and reaching out afterwards to talk, or they’ll come back the next day and say, “Well, you were quite the topic at dinner last night.”

James:  [2:21] Which is funny. It’s a cool thing. Today, we are talking about being real and vulnerable. We have an expert today, second‑time guest, Ashley Knight, who we befriended…Now, that was probably 18 months ago, a year ago?

Ashley Knight:  [2:41] yeah.

Jim:  [2:41] At SGA. Was it at SGA?

James:  [2:41] It’s been a while. Some things have happened.

Jim:  [2:45] A lot of things have happened.

James:  [2:47] We did. We befriended in there when we won the award, and we had actually on the show. Honestly, we geeked out about culture and I said, “Hey, we’re going to put together the series, and we’re going to have you back.” Look at it. We did it, Ashley.

Ashley:  [3:01] We did it.

James:  [3:02] Welcome back to the show. How are you?

Ashley:  [3:04] Thank you. I’m great. A lot has changed since we were together. It’s great to be back together even in continuing these virtual conversations together. Thank you for having me.

James:  [3:19] We’re going to have to do this in person.

Jim:  [3:20] We are.

James:  [3:22] Ashley, out in full disclosure when I emailed Ashley about this, she was lightning‑fast. “Yes, I’m in.” Didn’t even know the topic, she’s just, “I’m in. It’s culture, I’m in.” She was the first to respond.

[3:38] Ashley, for those that maybe didn’t watch our episode, we won’t judge you.

James:  [3:45] Will you do us a favor and just bring everybody along what your role is and who you’re with?

Ashley:  [3:51] Sure. Thanks. Again, I’m Ashley Knight with Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, the vice president of human resources, and been here for, my goodness, about three and a half years. Thanks for having me.

[4:09] It has been a great time in our industry over the last few years. Then, we all know what the world has been doing over the last couple years. It has been the highlight of my career from an HR perspective, to be a part of the…

James:  [4:27] All of our tools and make up some new ones. [laughs]

Ashley:  [4:30] Yes, and find new ones, absolutely. [laughs]

James:  [4:34] Amen. I’m so proud of Jim today because Jim has not made one HR joke yet.

Ashley:  [4:37] [laughs]

James:  [4:40] Normally, he would have said, I think in the last one, “You know, when I see a meeting with the VP of HR.”

James:  [4:46] I’m so proud.

Jim:  [4:46] I bit my tongue because, James, this is a…

James:  [4:49] It’s a treat today. It’s a treat.

[4:52] Ashley, thanks again for joining us. I’m going to jump right in because we’re here for a reason today. We’re talking about being real and vulnerable. I’ll be honest when I put this together, this particular portion about being real and vulnerable, and I thought about the first time I heard this in a business setting.

[5:19] I thought about it this morning and I go back to one of my books. My book in business is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, which I’m sure a lot of people [inaudible] , of course. Of course, it is. What else do you like? “7 Habits?” [laughs] It’s just so basic.

[5:39] In that, he talked about facing the brutal facts. There’s a chunk about that, and I didn’t pull it. I won’t read it verbatim or anything. I’ll go poorly off my memory. When I first heard that, it was talking about these great teams had the ability to get in a room and face the brutal facts. Sometimes, those were tough conversations, but they were able to do that again and again and again.

[6:09] To me, that was the first time I had heard about it, because when he talks about those conversations, those brutal facts conversations, he talked about how the walls finally come down and you are vulnerable.

[6:23] Now looking back, I realized that that was the first time I had heard about it and I had gotten in doctrine in it. I remember that stuck…I mean, one of my books, probably the one that changed me and made me want to read everything was this book.

[6:37] Ashley, I was anxious to ask you similarly, what lit that fire of vulnerability for you?

Ashley:  [6:51] Man, that’s it. That’s a big question. I’m like you. I’ve got my big foot behind me too and now I’m leaning more into my morning podcast, but to your point, yes. Jim Collins was obviously, well ahead of his times and what we needed to be talking about today.

[7:13] For me, I had, unfortunately, worked for a lot of organizations early in my career, especially, from nature and a culture perspective. I think we talked about this in the last episode, “Leave your luggage, leave your bags at the door, cut off…”

James:  [7:29] Baggage claim.

Ashley:  [7:32] and claim here. For me, it’s unfortunate to talk about vulnerability. I don’t know that I subscribed to the value of vulnerability until my sister, Brené Brown, threw it down. That is when it felt like there was space. It was that permission was granted to bring your bags, bring it in.

James:  [8:02] Ashley, I think I needed somebody to curse at me in a book for it to hit me. I’m like, “OK, I’m listening now, Brené.” No, it is. She has changed a lot of us. We’ve done book studies within our groups. Several.

[8:19] I’ve got “Atlas of the Heart.” I don’t know, I just keep going back. That’s like the best reference book ever. I don’t know if you’ve got through that one.

“[8:27] Dare to Lead” is a book study we do internally now with groups and that one, man, we talked about boo‑hooing with your friends.

Jim:  [8:41] Unbelievable lessons. That’s…

James:  [8:42] Why Brené Brown, Ashley? Why Brené Brown for you?

Ashley:  [8:46] Yeah. She talked a lot about…I’ll lean into just being a woman in the space for a minute. I think it’s tough coming in sometimes whenever you’re moving through leadership or you’re in a new industry, especially a very male‑dominated industry.

[9:09] Sometimes you feel the need to be a man, show up that way, be hard, no emotions, no feelings, and that’s the way. Unfortunately, that was almost the unwritten rule, the secret that was whispered in your ear 15 years ago coming out.

James:  [9:29] The handshake better be tough.

Ashley:  [9:31] All of those things. Heaven forbid that you need to walk away to answer a call from someone whether you seem to be the primary caregiver in your family. Man, you push those things way down because it was almost a component of weakness or priority.

[9:57] That your priority is at work and we need everybody 100 percent focused here, and family and life is pushed down. That was the root of corporate culture in America for a long time.

James:  [10:11] I remember being in a meeting ‑‑ I’m not disclosing anything ‑‑ one time at a company and someone had a situation come up. You could tell. They just changed. They were texting and I slid over and was, “Just head out. No big deal, just slide out,” and they left.

[10:38] I’m sorry, later that day they reached out and they were apologizing profusely about and “I’m so sorry. I understand you kicking me out of the meeting,” or whatever. I was like, “No, no, I wasn’t kicking you out of the meeting. You’re not in trouble.”

“[10:54] You were obviously needing to something. You weren’t in the meeting. We need you present. Go take care of your business. Nobody’s upset. Things happen.”

[11:04] I remember that person just looking at me because I think, for them, that might have been the first time they’d ever heard that.

Ashley:  [11:10] That’s true.

James:  [11:10] Ashley, I grew up in an industry, not even this one, period, in the workforce, hearing those same things of leave it at the door. You definitely didn’t cry in baseball.

Jim:  [11:27] If I can jump in, sometimes we don’t see it. James, I’m thinking back to a time where you did that to me, actually. You may not remember this, but I was having some challenges on the phone, and you’re like, “Hey, man, just go take 20 minutes…”

James:  [11:40] I sent him back to Florida one time.

Jim:  [11:42] I was like, “No, I got it,” and you’re like, “No you’re all over the board. Go do your stuff.” It was hard for me because I’m like, “No, I need to compartmentalize it.”

Ashley:  [11:54] I got this.” Absolutely.

Jim:  [11:56] It’s difficult. It takes courage and friendships, and I use those very emphatically in this case, to listen to people and to take that time to let it register and to go do your stuff so you can do your things at work. 20 minutes made a big difference, James.

Ashley:  [12:13] When it’s hard, and it sounds like we’ve all had those similar instances, and for me, as I can be very stubborn, and…

James:  [12:22] This is the first we’re hearing of this.

Jim:  [12:24] Whoa.

James:  [12:25] know Ashley well enough to know that? She’s always seemed nice to us.

Ashley:  [12:29] I had to put myself in a different lens and realize that me not recognizing that I need to walk away or I need to take this time and be unplugged, that that was creating its own level of toxicity for my team.

[12:48] Because me not doing it wasn’t allowing them comfort and courage to do what they needed to do. Man, once that hit me and it hit me hard one time and I’ll never forget it.

[13:00] I thank that person for having the courage to say, “Hey, I know you have a lot of capacity, Ashley, and you feel like you can do this and you feel like you need to, but it is incredibly intimidating.

[13:14] It doesn’t make me feel comfortable when I can’t do it to feel like, “Hey, I need to tap out for a little bit.”

James:  [13:22] What precedents are you setting? That’s one of the other points. It’ll be an episode in itself, but is being the example. Holding the door sometimes that’s not holding the door.

[13:34] When you’re not your best and stepping back and saying, I need a minute so that your people feel comfortable saying, “Hey, I need to step back, I need a minute.”

[13:44] I don’t remember if we talked about this the last time we were together, but I’ll bring it up again. A good example I’ve recently done and continue to do with my teams is make sure they understand when I send things after hours, that I’m thinking of something.

[14:02] It’s a respect thing not that they have to do it at that moment. Just that reminder or that I’m working at 4:00 in the morning is because I’m an insomniac, not because I expect anyone else.

[14:14] Those little moments of being OK. Love it. Well, we talk a little bit about it, but in the nature of today’s episode and being vulnerable. Let’s be vulnerable, Jimmy.

[14:32] We talk about building cultures for folks, but we are also those folks, myself, you, actually Jim. We’re on the other side of that culture living it and an active participant in it.

[14:48] I wonder, is there any moments that stick out personally for each of you that where maybe now looking back, you could have been more vulnerable?

[14:59] Or here recently, now that we’re more educated and more conscious of vulnerability, where you’ve been on that other side and being vulnerable has turned out not so bad, because it’s hard. It’s hard. Brené Brown says it’s awkward for eight seconds.

[15:16] It feels a lot more like a lot longer than eight seconds sometimes, especially when you’re getting started in vulnerability. Jimmy, do you have any moments or thoughts or anyone? I’ll open it up.

Jim:  [15:29] Absolutely, yeah. This is really good and I’ll open it up right here. My biggest concern is not walking the talk.

[15:37] What I mean by that is, I’ll look back to my past days when I was CEO, and I would emphatically look to people in my organization that look like they needed help and encourage them to do that. Encourage them to step outside, take the phone call.

[15:54] Do whatever you needed to do, your family comes first, all those type of things, yet I wasn’t doing what I was talking. I think back at that and I think to myself that as a leader at that time and as a leader now, if I’m not walking the talk, people aren’t buying into it.

[16:14] They’re like, “Oh, he’s telling me to go outside, but he never does it. He doesn’t do that. He leaves it at the door.” It’s hard.

[16:23] It doesn’t matter who you are, what area you’re working in or what your role is or whatever, sometimes it’s hard to be vulnerable because you think that’s a weakness or you perceive that as a fault or something like that.

[16:38] That’s a mindset that not everybody has but some of us do have. That’s a challenge for me. Again, it’s more realization and letting your true self come through is I guess what I’m trying to say. If that makes at all sense.

James:  [16:53] I’ve had to hangout with Jimmy a lot [laughs] in the last three years. It’s basically been our job, and I will say I’ve seen so much growth in Jim Schauer in that respect. We’ve been a support group for each other.

Jim:  [17:10] We have.

James:  [17:12] We’ve seen each other at our worst and best. I can say I’ve seen considerable growth in you, Jimmy.

Jim:  [17:21] Thank you. I appreciate that.

James:  [17:22] Look at that. Look at us.

Jim:  [17:23] Can I have a tissue? I think I’m getting on this feed.

James:  [17:27] Ashley, how about you?

Ashley:  [17:33] There have been a lot of moments. I’ll say there was a pretty big one for me in the last couple of years though. One day the hope that this pandemic and this life change that we’re in is far behind us.

[17:48] The truth is that we’re still in the thick of it and we’re still trying to figure it out. For me, I remember the day that we went home and everybody went home. From an HR perspective, it was incredibly heavy whenever you’re dealing with the true safety and health of the organization.

[18:10] For me, it was those long days that this…I never saw the sun come up or the sun go down. It was at the dining room table, constant. It was the grind. My children, my husband, all of those things, I would unfortunately…

[18:29] I’m embarrassed to say how many hours I would actually see them in those weeks and months at the beginning of the pandemic because of where the attention needed to lie.

[18:41] Then, as things started to open up, I was pretty proud to be able to say, “Hey, I’m at the soccer field and I’ve got my laptop,” and so I’m doing it all.

[18:50] This is how you do it all, team. I thought that was great. I thought that was a great way for me to demonstrate the blend of it all.

[19:00] I spent at least a year on the sidelines, checking out to get to my daughter’s practice, that I never would have done or been able to do when I was in the office. Then, something pretty incredible happened that really had to give me a bigger pause than I was prepared for.

[19:24] We brought our third daughter into the world earlier this year and so, for me, it was…

James:  [19:32] Congrats.

Ashley:  [19:32] Thank you. It was a moment I knew that I wanted to unplug and spend those months with her. I had an incredible team, who was more than prepared to take the torch and carry on what needed to be done for Southern Star.

[19:51] It wasn’t until I came back from that 12 weeks of stepping away that, a few months later, I had someone on my team say, “You’re different, and we feel it.” It’s because, unfortunately, it took three months of me completely stepping away from the business for me to realize that, doing both, I’m not being good at anything.

[20:20] I’m not being there for my daughter when she scores and I was sending that email, and things like that. That’s almost just as bad as not being there at all, and then I’m distracted with doing what I need to do to put out my best output at work.

[20:32] It wasn’t until I was able to say, “Hey, I’m not going to be available for the next couple of hours because I’m going to step away and be at the gymnastics meet. I’m probably not going to be checking my phone.” It was whenever I really started to make those cuts, and separated and said, “Hey, I’m not going to be available,” which I’ve never said in my life.

[20:58] I didn’t realize until someone on my team said, “You just saying it that way gave me permission to feel like now I can step away.” Talk about the emotion, that hit me. The guilt hit me that my actions or what I thought was an act of vulnerability in saying, “We can do it all. We can be there. We can be here.”

[21:26] That’s selfish of us as well, that we can’t allow people…Part of the culture shift has to be, James, I’ve got to be able to also support you in being the best father that you can be, being an incredible husband. What does that look like? It doesn’t mean that we’ve still got a little piece of your attention here.

[21:47] That’s not fair either. It’s finding ways and demonstrating that blending it all is wearing our people out. It’s a culture shift that’s happening across the country, where we’re mistaking that that’s the answer, when instead it’s contributing to having the most overworked feelings and mental health issues that we’ve ever had in the wake of the country. That is the root of a lot of it.

Jim:  [22:23] That’s phenomenal.

James:  [22:25] That’s why you’re here.

Jim:  [22:27] Let me just add into that one thing that I’ve learned, a little tip and trick, out of office ‑‑ I’m looking at the screen over there ‑‑ that I would typically use in years past for a vacation. I’ve now become accustomed to maybe using a little bit more, like, “Hey, I’m out for the next three hours. I’ll get back to you.”

[22:45] For the people receiving it, they’re probably like, “Yeah, no big deal,” but for me, mentally, knowing that I’m telling people I’m out of pocket for a few hours helps me so much more where I can concentrate on what I’m doing. Then, when I get back, I can fully concentrate on them, but I don’t have that anxiety or that angst of looking at this thing all the time.

Ashley:  [23:08] Absolutely.

James:  [23:10] Wow, look at you all grown up. Now I feel obligated some way.

Jim:  [23:15] What do you think, James? Come on, you got to give us a story.

James:  [23:17] No, I’m going to go back to what I think is a positive moment for me in vulnerability, because I worked on…I’d burn out. I have a bad habit of burning out. I’ll just be on it.

Jim:  [23:35] You keep going. You don’t stop.

James:  [23:36] I work really, really hard, and it sucks and I burn out. That’s just what I’ve done my entire career, and then I realized that when I shifted this last time. When I left the industry I was in and moved to Energy Worldnet was because I’d burn out again. My eyes were really open, and I didn’t want to do that again.

[23:59] Then you get going, and there’s so much opportunity. There’s so many cool things to do, and projects, and all this cool stuff. There’s so much to do, guys. Then I was there again very quickly.

[24:12] We went through a rebrand, which was probably the biggest logistical project of my life, and I’d built really big things when I was back on the tech side.

[24:23] This thing was just…There were a lot of working pieces, and I owned and wore a lot of that during that time. It was the first year of the pandemic, so in other words, the bulk of this project was done remote. That was the gift of all gifts because there were no distractions.

[24:46] Like you said, Ashley, I could work 17 hours a day. That was cool. I could work from my phone, and I could do all the things, and so I did. I really, again, approached burnout very quickly. Then we had to educate the company on this new brand, and this new feeling, and this new culture. It was really about culture.

[25:14] I had to deliver it to our ELT, and I cried as I did it. I was like, “Gosh, man, I’m burned out.” Like I’m a little onion. You strip it all down, I’m tired, I’m beat. They said, “Go give it to leadership.” The greater leadership. Did it again, bawled in front of them like a loser.

[25:40] Then, they decide everybody needs to hear. We went, whole company, and I cried in front of them. I look back at it, and so many people came to me after that because we were all feeling it. This was October of 2020, so it was when you had had enough, and you thought seven different times it was over, but it really wasn’t.

[26:03] It was bad, and everybody was scared to death. So many people came up to me after that, it was like, “Gosh. Feels so good to just know I’m not crazy, that I’m not the only one feeling like this.”

Jim:  [26:16] Oh, yeah, definitely.

James:  [26:19] Quickly after that, I had to tell everybody I was burned out. Everybody was like, “You were, and I’ve been there,” and that was a story. When I realized all these things were happening nobody was talking about, everybody was burning out. Everybody was having mental health issues.

[26:38] We knew what was coming, Ashley. We talked about it last time we were together, how bad it was going to be. We’re here. Being the example in that moment, and not knowing it, for me was that aha moment. I didn’t even know it happened, I was just…

[26:57] Normally, I would compartmentalize that out of what I was doing, and it would have sucked the life out of what we were creating at the same time. That’s a little moment.

Ashley:  [27:09] You just gave me all the chills, wow. Awesome.

James:  [27:11] What are we doing here?

James:  [27:14] Here’s what people are asking.

[27:16] I bet people are saying, “All right, this is cool, but…Obviously, you’re going to work on your cultures. You’ve done work on your cultures. You’re doing work. You’re an active participant, but back at my place of business…” wherever it is, random audience member, “…we’re not that progressive,” or, “I don’t have that kind of influence,” or whatever it might be.

[27:39] The goal of this series is to empower the folks listening to turn around and try to influence where they can. Coming to vulnerability and talking about that, Ashley, how can you motivate folks? What are some ideas or some thoughts you have to get people taking vulnerability back to their organization?

Ashley:  [28:05] Vulnerability feels really heavy, and it feels really touchy‑feely. That alone makes people proceed with caution about it. For me, I had to have a conversation with myself. We all do that, right?

Jim:  [28:24] We do.

Ashley:  [28:25] About, what is vulnerability? For me, it’s curiosity and feedback. If that works for you, if you can really define vulnerability in a safer way for yourself or in an actionable way. For me, it was being curious, asking questions, being inquisitive, and then seeking out the feedback.

[28:49] Operationalizing those two components were a great start for demonstrating vulnerability, for me and for my team. Our friend Brené said, “If you don’t know how to do vulnerability, then vulnerability is doing you.”

Ashley:  [29:11] That is something that I would encourage every leader to take back, because it’s not going to be a corporate initiative, or a policy change, or a new…

James:  [29:23] It’s not a webinar.

Ashley:  [29:24] It’s not.

James:  [29:26] It isn’t this podcast.

Ashley:  [29:27] No. That’s not how we’re going to get to the other side of it. It’s going to be each leader taking the onus on themselves to do something different. Find ways to be curious. Find ways to seek out that feedback, and recognize that people are tired of the hustle, and we want real people.

[29:54] Whatever way is genuine. I’ll also add, being your authentic self, that’s status quo now. That used to be something to strive towards. You have to find a way to be authentic with who you are, but also create those spaces to be curious, to give the feedback.

[30:16] We’ve been having those conversations, James, what does culture look like? It’s funny. I’ve been having some listening sessions across the organization, and the pre‑pandemic population, honestly, defines our culture differently than the post‑pandemic population.

[30:38] That’s the interesting piece, is we defined our culture in the past if we had a lot of fun together. It was work hard, play hard.

James:  [30:45] That’s how ours was, exactly. Pumpkin carvings and door decorating contests and the potlucks. That was what that, I don’t want to say their legacy, but pre‑pandemic is a good way to put it.

[30:59] Folks, that’s what they expect, so we do have to cater. I’m not saying cater in a bad way. I’m saying literally catering lunch for those people.

[31:10] Also, the remote people have a different concept of it, and they have enjoyed some of the initiatives that we’ve put in place. How do you manage that divide or be conscious of that, and…I hate to say blend it after you trashed blending so bad.

James:  [31:26] In a different sense. For sure. One thing you said, listening sessions. That’s fantastic. If you’re not doing that, I’m going to label it a different way too, a little more formal, as we do stay interviews. They were so valuable because I’ll put it at any level.

[31:46] You have no clue what makes somebody’s life hell at whatever it is they do. It could have been that one software license that you didn’t improve that was nine dollars.

[32:00] It could have changed their life, but you don’t know that because you didn’t ask the question like, what can I get out of your way? You make that one change and now, they’re here two minutes earlier because they want to chat with you before work.

[32:14] I’m just saying it’s the simplest and smallest, could be the smallest transaction out there and that you haven’t addressed yet. It’s in those little moments, Ashley, I think, that are so important. That what are your leaders saying and doing down the line somewhere and those little micro moments that really shape your culture.

Ashley:  [32:39] That level of a leader. I think leaders know that, but it is…

Ashley:  [32:49] Absolutely.

James:  [32:50] It’s easy to let our language slip and you know how so‑and‑so is. It just happens. We get complacent. We get a little more leisurely with our language with each other and maybe have a bad day and all of a sudden, you’ve said the wrong thing in the wrong moment. Very interesting.

Ashley:  [33:12] The other piece, James, is if you’re a leader of leaders and I think it’s also important…Grace is everything right now and understanding that we have spent so much time learning how to lead people through physically seeing them. Management by walking around.

[33:32] Those are the principles that we built, that leadership was built on. We’ve got to give grace to our leaders. This is still incredibly new space and they’re having to find…We talked about those tools.

[33:46] Leaders are having to use different tools and find new tools. We’re still making that half the tools.

James:  [33:53] Their tool belts aren’t as big as yours. You may have had more years, more experience, more training, whatever it might be. We’re building the track while we run on it. That’s for sure in some of these moments.

[34:07] I love it. I love grace. Jimmy, you know what I’m about to say, I’m sure, but don’t forget to include yourself in that grace conversation.

Jim:  [34:16] Absolutely.

James:  [34:17] Because we often leave our self out as our friend, Brené Brown, says, “Be sure to give yourself the same amount that you give others.”

Jim:  [34:30] That’s hard to do.

Ashley:  [34:31] That’s hard. Yes, absolutely.

Jim:  [34:34] It’s hard to do.

James:  [34:35] Look, we could talk about this forever.

Jim:  [34:38] You guys could get all day on this, couldn’t you?

James:  [34:40] We probably would.

Jim:  [34:41] I learned a lot though. I really love these conversations about listening. This listening session for me has been very impactful. I’ll call it with concession for me because again, my purpose here is I want to keep getting those tips and tricks. It doesn’t matter where you are or where I am in my career.

[34:57] I am always still learning and understanding better ways to help myself as well as help other team members.

James:  [35:05] We’re spreading the word right now, right? Hopefully somebody’s picking it up. Ashley, we in the show with just a thought, and this one’s no different. We’d love to hear from you. Anything you’d like to leave people with and in the terms of vulnerability or culture or anything on your heart.

[35:26] Now’s your time.

Ashley:  [35:29] I think this is a very broad piece that I’ll leave that can apply to whatever is on your heart today is being intentional. It’s easy to, if you’re listening right now and you’re focused on your own learning and development and takeaways, be intentional and be accountable to yourself.

[35:51] You deserve it and the people that are around you deserve it. Whatever that looks like. If that take putting a calendar reminder for yourself to do something different every Thursday to share some gratitude with someone, to ask for feedback.

[36:09] That’s something that I’ve done that’s been really powerful is, literally, putting it on my calendar and to reach out to someone and say, “Hey, I’d love to get some feedback from you,” because those are gifts. Whenever someone can trust you and feel comfortable to give you that feedback, that’s powerful.

[36:31] Just be intentional with whatever it is that is on your heart today. Have some intent behind it and have some action.

James:  [36:39] Be present, be intentional.

Jim:  [36:40] Intentional.

Ashley:  [36:42] Yes.

James:  [36:43] I love it.

Jim:  [36:44] That’s a great word.

James:  [36:45] I do. We preach a lot to be present, be intentional, be deliberate. I love it. I love it. Ashley, it’s been a treat. Thanks for joining us again.

Ashley:  [36:59] Likewise.

Jim:  [37:00] Thank you, Ashley.

James:  [37:00] I’m sure we’ll have you back. We’ll just narrow it out again.

Jim:  [37:04] Wait, a repeat that we’re talking? A third time?

James:  [37:07] We would be doing 12…

James:  [37:09] We might have her back for another one in the series because…

Jim:  [37:14] I think we should.

James:  [37:16] I don’t know. I love being how the example came up.

Jim:  [37:20] It’s been fantastic.

James:  [37:21] All of them came up, I feel like today.

Jim:  [37:25] Before we end, I want to make sure this conversation…These are the conversation we need to take back because people like me that are still navigating have learned. Again, if we do this, good things will happen. I thank you both for that for me personally today.

James:  [37:41] I’ll put this out into the world too. I’m sure…Ashley, I won’t speak for you, but if you have any questions, culture questions, you want to bounce ideas or have a soundboard on some things going on, I’m always chatting with folks on email. I’ll do a webinar for you on this very thing.

[38:04] Ashley, I bounce ideas off of each other on the HR side of the world and culture side. I’m sure she’d be open to it as well. I’m always an open book. All right, well, yeah.

Jim:  [38:19] Thanks, Ash. Have a great day, everybody.

Ashley:  [38:21] Thank you both. Appreciate it.

Jim:  [38:23] Ashley, thank you. See you all next time.


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