How do we work with people who think differently? It’s complex!
Teams who work together on the same widget should understand they are more than the production of the widget.
They are individuals with significant backgrounds, bringing a lot to the table. There’s creativity and ingenuity in those stories if we can grow in our respect and understanding of each other.
Tools for Leaders
Download the Tools we included in today’s show, and learn more about how to teach or apply them in your school:
The 5 Voices
Discover how to leverage your unique leadership voice!
Episode 18 – Full Transcript
Teams that are working together on the same widget – let’s help them understand that they are more than the production of the widget. They are individuals with significant backgrounds, bringing a lot to the table and sometimes there’s creativity and ingenuity in all of that, that we can unlock if we can grow in our respect and understanding of each other.
Welcome to episode 18 of the New Generation Leader podcast. Today is a special conversation with Tim Perseo on how to work with people who think differently. This was an instagram live that Tim and I did on our instagram accounts and so we are turning this into a podcast. Now enjoy our conversation, sit back, relax, tim asks some great questions. We have an exciting informative conversation. I really enjoyed this and I hope you do too.
Aaron, I actually wanted to ask you, can you tell us a little bit more about the New Generation Leader and what that means to you and we’d like to tell us about.
All throughout my career I realized I was watching people lead accidentally and as I watched this unfold, you know, I learned things throughout my career a lot of times from watching people make mistakes and so as I picked up those things I reached this point where I had a couple of leaders, mentors, people I was collaborating with and working with who were decades older than me and, and it all came to a head one day.
I was with my friend Norm, we had collaborated, he had moved from the nonprofit space to the for profit space, trying to eradicate a food desert here in Richmond through starting a grocery store. And I said norman, he was real close to retirement. He’s now retired. Um, kind of that halfway step to retirement. Um, downshifting if you will, I said norm, what do you wish you had learned in your twenties or thirties? And that started me on this journey of really writing the book, um, of what it takes to lead in this new generation, But it’s not just for 20 year olds or 30 year olds though, if you can learn these lessons that early in your career, you’ve got a great jump start.
But no matter where you are in your career, it’s a different world. It’s a different reality. We’re facing new things, new challenges, new dynamics, new technology and we’ve got to figure out how to adapt and lead. So that’s where the New Generation Leader comes in. It’s not the next generation because that kind of limits are thinking, it makes us think just about generation demographically, but new generation thinking, hey, we are in a new generation, how do we all lead.
So that’s that’s my platform, that’s the name. The book walks through building blocks of what it takes to lead in the new generation, starting some conversations not having the answers because one the answers are always changing around us, it seems. Um but asking the right questions and I think this conversation today about how do we lead people who are different than us? That’s such a core thread throughout the New generation leader book. Um it’s something I love talking about and exploring with leaders and and with friends. So I’m excited for our conversation today. Yeah, thanks for bringing this up. I was gonna actually say that Especially in, you know, the 21st century, we call it the digital age. It used to be that you had one skilled individual who just did hit his or her work and um you just get more the most skilled people together and you have the highest production, but now we have these complex problems and you can’t just have one very highly skilled individual because they’re bigger than any one person’s brain. Um You need a team of um collaborative people. So collaboration is the key. So we’re talking about what I think really trips up most leaders and most people in today’s world which is collaborating with people who maybe think differently or maybe we just don’t agree with. That usually comes from the differences of thinking. So I’m curious. Uh so the question is why you know, why do people think differently where and what do you think are some of the major causes for disagreements. I’d love to just kind of bounce back and forth on this. So I just had this conversation with a friend this morning, we’ve we’ve caught up a couple of times and and he’s one of those leaders who has followed a unique pathway from Kind of his 20s and 30s to where he is now um in in a pretty significant company. Um fascinating guy, fascinating work what they’re doing. But he told me this story this morning and he said somebody internally in his company highlighted for him his viewpoint and his viewpoint, the language that we would use and we’ll talk about throughout today. He’s a connector, highly relational, outgoing, gregarious, very passionate, very excitable, kind of chasing after the shiny object and and he said that and I’m always chasing after the shiny object. His company was bought and absorbed into a company and a culture that’s very as we would describe Guardian. And so the people in leadership, the executives are looking at things in black and white, very logical, systematic. And so they came to this crisis, relatively small crisis. But he said I had this issue and I was really passionate and really fired up about solving this staffing issue. And it came down to it was related to compensation and how they were paying employees and they needed to completely overhaul their compensation structure. He said, somebody told me before I walked into that meeting, I needed to speak in a black and white language, I needed to speak in a more logical way to present the Excel spreadsheet version, not be, here’s everything that’s wrong and the very passionate, outgoing, gregarious kind of persuasive conversation now he can have an ounce of that and with that energy communicate the logic but he’s got to get to the logic and unlock that. And he said that one insight changed that conversation and it highlighted and it was a very successful conversation and he said if if I hadn’t done that I could have easily been written off they wouldn’t have paid attention to me. They would have said oh you’re just the guy trying to change everything. And so that opens up this this dialogue for us of how we’re wired, how we naturally see the world, all of our background and tendency because of his background, he brings a lot of different factors in that. So we would call that nature how we’re hardwired, then nurture all of the arts and should you know what you learned growing up, Tim is different from me, Aaron is different from my friend this morning is different from some of the leaders that I’ve met and connected with or that we’ve heard from in our giant network all over the globe, all of our stories are unique and different and that shapes all of us into a different reality. So when you put that together in a work team, we’ve got to start to crack that code instead of just thinking, everybody is just like us two huge things that you point out nature and nurture. They vary from person to person and we’ve got to understand what we’re bringing to the table, What’s my wiring and how is that different from someone who’s going to be different than me, who’s a different person? And then what are the biases that I grew up with? What are the ways of thinking that I have? How am I coming to the table? Um with different ideas and how do I connect with someone who has a different way of thinking and behaving? And I think all of that to add to what you’re saying and maybe to to draw out some of the themes that you were talking about that story, it was a great story by the way um is so much of it comes down to just the way that we communicate. So, you know, how many times do you walk into a room or you know, walk up to somebody and you tell them something that at like if you get down to the bare bones of the idea or the thing you’re trying to say, they would agree. You know, you are aligned with that person in purpose and in what you want to do, but it’s just the way that you communicated, it was maybe too soon or too many details or not enough details. So I love the black and white thinking. Um one way I like to talk about it and then you like to talk about it this way too, is build the bridge. Um Some people just are thinking about the other side of the bridge, here’s where we need to get to. And some people are looking at the large pit that’s between the present and the future And what we need to do in communicating is build the bridge. So for the people who are future oriented, trying to tell them how this relates to that future reality. And for the people who are present oriented, tell them, Okay, here’s step 123 in order to get to that future reality. So just pitching the idea in a way that suits the person that you’re talking to is so important. Yeah. That future thinking is such a reality for me because what I envisioned in my mind, I can already see the deliverable at the end. I can picture it. So then I have to backtrack and translate that for other people to start to see the same picture. And and a lot of times, yeah, it is. I’m envisioning a world way beyond the other side of the cliff. But other people are standing at the edge of the cliff and looking at this expansive void. They don’t see anything. And and so what we have to do is put together enough of that logical story so that they can see a bridge of how to get across or a pole vault or helicopter air drop, whatever it takes some way to get from this side to the other side. But our natural tendency, my natural tendency is, is just to keep pushing ahead out to the future. And, and one of the things that I absolutely learned, um, we say this a lot and it sounds like a talking point, but I love when talking points become reality or are based in reality. Well we’ll encourage people who are so forward thinking to say, hey, how can you run a pilot project? How can you run a test, have a testing ground show people in tangible form what it is that you’re talking about. And then if they can touch it, they can feel it. It’s more of a multisensory experience. Then they can more easily have trust in what you’re conveying and they can be ready to jump on board and and go along with you. The reason I like that picture so much is because any leader, if you were to ask them, would you walk like march your team off of a bridge or off of a cliff? It’s of course not like I get that. But how often do we do that when we’re trying to, you know, press really hard on the gas to get this vision that we have in our minds, um, accomplished when we didn’t, um, come alongside and, and be with the people in the pain of change um to, to make the transition happen, listen to their feedback, listen to their concerns. You don’t have to have the answers, but just listen to them and say, hey, this is a concern, let’s figure it out together. Um So that’s just this idea of a leader who is, who is going out front in front and and with their people, um not just trying to push them proverbially off a cliff, right? Yeah. To the organization that had 100 and 50 year history and what I was doing was something they had done for decades and so I kept finding myself, hey, that’s that’s not how we’ve done it before. I’m like, okay, just just trust me, let me show you. Um so there were new partnerships that we forged, there were new um program offerings and deliverables that we brought to the table and many of them came because we tested it out, we tried something we had never done many of these things before um but but we had small, small winds along the way. And those small winds help you build momentum and help everybody understand and get on board with that vision of the future. Mhm. Yeah, I love that. Um So I’d love to get practical with some of the things that we’re talking about here and what are some like specific steps that we have um to to get to know some of the different wiring or some of the different biases and then overcome those. Um so do you have any suggestions? Yeah, the the number one tool that I have found, and as many of us in the giant ecosystem have experienced, we experienced the power of the five voices by working in it and working with it, and now we get to see that benefit by bringing it to other teams and I think that languages is so simple. Um my friend this morning said you know, we were applying different principles, but I remember what you said in our last conversation three months ago, I gave him a five minute synopsis of the five voices and he said this is what you were talking about, this is what you were talking about, and I got to see. Yeah. And so when we translate that to um an objective view where we start to say, oh you’re not against me, were not being confrontational, you just see things differently than I do. Um the the voice voice, the five voices provide a great foundation and then when we get to understanding um the biases that we have based on our nurture, how we grew up, where we grew up, the culture, the community, the religion, the education, the parents, the coaches, the mentors, teachers, all of those influences, even as my friend, his formative years were in a completely different industry than he is in now, and so what he’s able to bring to the table is based on experience and wisdom and knowledge that is different than any other voice like him. And so that’s where those two worlds merge together, that we understand our perspective from nature Through the five voices, and then we’ve talked a lot lately about the cure mindset. How do we have a worldview and a perspective that is understanding inclusive, respectful of different viewpoints. And so those two, those two tools together have been really powerful and impactful in how we can start these conversations and help teams that are working together on the same widget, help them understand that they are more than the production of the widget. They are individuals with significant backgrounds, bringing a lot to the table and sometimes there’s creativity and ingenuity in all of that, that we can unlock if we can grow in our respect and understanding of each other. Mhm. Yeah. Um so you mentioned the five voices and we’ve talked about that, so we’ve used words like connector guardian, there’s also nurture pioneer and creative. Um and one of the things I love about that is is it talks about how each person is different and each voice is different and how to cater to each voice, but it also explains that every voice has a unique contribution and you need all the voices sometimes. Um so I’m a connector and so we use the connector Guardian in in the beginning, that sort of um those differences. And sometimes the fear for me is if I bring my idea to someone who thinks differently than me, like a Guardian or even maybe a pioneer, I’m gonna get rejected. And so what I do is I keep my ideas from those people and I bring them to the people who are, who are nice to me and maybe have a different voice. Um, who can understand, I think understand me. But um, so often I need the voice of systems and logic to add to my idea to make it even better. So a lot of times when we were talking about getting along with people or just working with people who think differently, It’s getting over that self preservation and and learning from another Voice um as well, that’s just something that I’ve had to learn personally for myself and I love that. That’s one of the contributions of the five voices. Can you like really quickly? I know we gotta wrap up pretty soon. Um, and by the way to anybody who’s listening who’s watching if you want to ask any questions um, and put us on the spot, feel free to ask questions or just say hi, but can you really quickly talk about the Cure mindset? What the it’s an acronym, Right? Because I’ll be honest, I don’t know, I forgot what that was and maybe you can refresh my memory. Yeah, the cure mindset is an acronym for connection. So how do we develop a sense of community and build a genuine connection um unrelated. It’s actually one of the building blocks of the new generation leader book is how we come to the table with people who are different than us. Sit down and have a conversation, have a meal. Uh There was a team I worked with that had a regular standing lunch every day. They would gather in this common space in nice weather summer days they’d have that meal outside. But how do we build that genuine connection beyond just production. But how do we be relational present with the people around us And then that’s the sea. The U. Is understanding how do we create an understanding out of a growth mindset that we see the potential if I understand you and understand your perspective better help you bring the best of yourself to the table not just bringing what I expect the best of myself to you. I don’t want to make you the best version of me, I want to make you the best version of you. And um and then respect is the third one that we we respect those differences in each other understanding there are differences the odds and should is of how we were nurtured but respecting those differences and understanding where each is coming from. Um Having a sense of humility with that respect. And then last is empathy, developing a culture where we are able and willing to walk in someone else issues to be empathetic and be able to create a cure mindset of leadership um and cure comes out of R. D. And I. Pathway. Um Actually one of my connections on linkedin calls it E. D. I. For equitable diversity and inclusion. That that our goal is truly to be equitable in recognizing the diversity that we have and how to include the inclusive of that diversity. Um I think it’s it’s a great conversation that lots of people are having. Lots of corporations are having. Uh lots of industries are focusing on right now because there’s more awareness of the need for it. And so I I love this D. E. I. Inclusive leadership training that’s helping leaders understand that mindset um using the five voices as a foundational component of that to understand hey it’s not just where we come from, how we were raised, how we grew up what we look like um gender, ethnicity. It goes beyond that. There’s so much more to what makes each of us who we are. Um So the cure mindset is is a great a great tool that’s part of that pathway as well. Um So too good too good building blocks to great directions for for people to go um to start to understand their teams. Yes there’s there’s a great there’s a couple of links there in my bio uh two opportunities to check out the book to check out the podcast and and take the five voices assessment. That’s that’s free to do. Um and then we can have a conversation about what that means for you, your team, your company um For for relationships that you’re in um to really understand and unlock what your voice means and and how you bring that to the table. How that makes each of us able to reach our true potential. How do we unlock what’s truly inside each of us? Mhm Yeah, That’s great. So I would definitely recommend that as a next step for everybody watching either live or later in the replay. Aaron any final thoughts before we let people go about working with people who have different risks, nature, different wiring or different nurture different ways that they were brought up. I think, understanding that each person has a story and and asking yourself how can I be interested in the story that somebody else has lived and is living and and understanding just how much of that plays into how we work, how productive we are at work and understanding that those some of us are wired to separate relationship from work. It really is intermingled for us. And so if we want to bring out the best of our team members and accomplish the world changing results that we all have in front of us as potential. We’ve got to understand and unlock every person on our team to be their best mm hmm Yeah, I love that. Um the way I like to talk about it is creating a high performing and flourishing team. And the flourishing comes when we’re, you know, our relationships are are healthy and life giving and when we’re healthy in ourselves and that’s not just like the, you know, the self actualization that we place on top of the pyramid. It’s actually the foundation for for healthy work and living. So we actually get more out of our team when we’re able to invest in their own growth and development. So this is a big part of it. Um Aaron, thanks again so much for sharing your experience and your expertise on this. I’ve enjoyed talking to you here today and we’ve had a lot of conversations in the past, it’s always a blast. Um and I’d love to have you back sometime or I’ll be on yours next time. Whatever. Yeah, let’s do it again. Cool. Alright, well thanks everybody for joining. Um and I hope you have a great rest of your Tuesday and I’ll talk to you later. Always. A great conversation with Tim Percio. Thanks tim for hosting the instagram live for setting that up. And I hope you enjoyed our conversation here on the podcast. If you want to learn more about the Five Voices the cure mindset. If you want to have a conversation about what nature nurture and choice look like in your context and your team in your company. Let’s grab coffee. Virtual coffee or in person. Uh we’d love to talk to you about that more, download the show notes. Check out the links. Take the five voices Assessment all that and more at New Generation Leader dot com slash 18 for episode 18. Thanks for listening two, episode 18. How to work with people who think differently? Yeah. Mhm. Thanks for listening to the New Generation Leader podcast. Subscribe today on your favorite podcasting platform. Ready to reach your true potential, join our network of like minded leaders in the New Generation Leader Mastermind Group. Find all the tools you need at New Generation Leader dot com. Thanks for listening today. And we look forward to seeing you next time on the New Generation Leader podcast.