The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

247: Effective Leadership by Balancing Directness with Empathy with Vanessa Judelman

June 04, 2024 John Neral Season 4
247: Effective Leadership by Balancing Directness with Empathy with Vanessa Judelman
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
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The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
247: Effective Leadership by Balancing Directness with Empathy with Vanessa Judelman
Jun 04, 2024 Season 4
John Neral

Send us a Text Message.

This is a challenging time for leadership. 

If you are in a leadership role, you know how demanding it can be. While you are juggling your current workload, you are tasked with several direct reports and are doing your best to make certain they are being developed and trained to do their jobs better and are ready for their next advancement opportunity.  

Unlock the secrets to effective leadership as we engage with Vanessa Udelman, a seasoned leadership coach and president of Mosaic People Development. Discover how a toxic leadership experience became a transformative moment for Vanessa, propelling her to start her own business. We'll explore the importance of understanding and embracing your unique leadership style, and discuss how balancing directness with empathy can lead to better team results and a more fulfilling career.

Ready to level up in your mid-career journey? Vanessa shares five actionable strategies designed specifically for professionals transitioning from doers to leaders. We dive deep into the significance of self-awareness, utilizing tools such as the DISC profile to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Vanessa also stresses the importance of building and nurturing relationships, offering personal anecdotes on how trust, cultivated through consistent behavior, is crucial for career advancement.

Lastly, we tackle the art of delivering effective feedback and coaching. Learn the pitfalls of the "shit sandwich" method and why separating positive and constructive feedback is essential. Vanessa shares a three-step approach for constructive feedback and discusses the value of both formal and informal coaching. By employing these strategies, you'll build stronger trust with your team and better support their development and accountability. Join us for this insightful episode and take charge of your leadership journey!

Connect with Vanessa Judelman: Linkedin | Website | Your Leadership Resources

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Want me to review your LinkedIn profile?
Learn more here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

This is a challenging time for leadership. 

If you are in a leadership role, you know how demanding it can be. While you are juggling your current workload, you are tasked with several direct reports and are doing your best to make certain they are being developed and trained to do their jobs better and are ready for their next advancement opportunity.  

Unlock the secrets to effective leadership as we engage with Vanessa Udelman, a seasoned leadership coach and president of Mosaic People Development. Discover how a toxic leadership experience became a transformative moment for Vanessa, propelling her to start her own business. We'll explore the importance of understanding and embracing your unique leadership style, and discuss how balancing directness with empathy can lead to better team results and a more fulfilling career.

Ready to level up in your mid-career journey? Vanessa shares five actionable strategies designed specifically for professionals transitioning from doers to leaders. We dive deep into the significance of self-awareness, utilizing tools such as the DISC profile to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Vanessa also stresses the importance of building and nurturing relationships, offering personal anecdotes on how trust, cultivated through consistent behavior, is crucial for career advancement.

Lastly, we tackle the art of delivering effective feedback and coaching. Learn the pitfalls of the "shit sandwich" method and why separating positive and constructive feedback is essential. Vanessa shares a three-step approach for constructive feedback and discusses the value of both formal and informal coaching. By employing these strategies, you'll build stronger trust with your team and better support their development and accountability. Join us for this insightful episode and take charge of your leadership journey!

Connect with Vanessa Judelman: Linkedin | Website | Your Leadership Resources

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Want me to review your LinkedIn profile?
Learn more here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

John Neral:

This is a challenging time for leadership. If you're in a leadership role, you know how demanding it can be. My guest today has helped thousands of leaders across the globe, and she has five strategies for helping you move from being a doer to a more effective leader, and you'll learn those strategies and more from my guest, Vanessa Judelman, in a few moments. you're juggling your current workload, you are tasked with several direct reports and are doing your best to make certain that they're being developed and trained to do their jobs better and more effectively and are ready for their next advancement opportunity when it comes. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is the Mid-Career GPS Podcast and I'm your Jo hn Neral. I help mid-career professionals like you find a job they love, or love the job they have, using my proven four-step formula.

John Neral:

My guest today is Vanessa Judelman. Vanessa is an author, leadership coach, executive, leadership advisor and leadership trainer. She is the president at Mosaic People Development, a firm committed to helping leaders navigate the world of leadership and create results-driven organizations. Throughout her experiences, vanessa has seen firsthand that a more skilled leader equals happier teams and better results. One way she helps develop leaders is through her five tangible strategies which move people from being a doer to a leader, so leadership doesn't have to be as challenging. Across all of her work, vanessa shares that watching people emerge into talented leaders has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. Well, get your notepad ready, because it is my pleasure to introduce you to Vanessa Udelman. Hey there, Vanessa. Welcome to the podcast. It's great to have you here today Great to be here, John.

John Neral:

So, Vanessa, we're going to end up having this very intentional conversation today about leaderships and giving the listeners some very practical strategies. But before we get into that, please tell us what was your mid-career moment that set you up for where your career is today?

Vanessa Judelman:

So it was when I was on my second maternity leave and I'd worked at a. I was in corporate for 15 years before I started my own business and while I was away on my maternity leave, a new leader came in from outside the organization who had very different values than I did, and when I returned back to work it was an absolute nightmare. So this is somebody who I'm sure many people can relate. The minute I came back, she took away my responsibilities. She actually started yelling at me in front of people.

Vanessa Judelman:

I sat on some incredible committees within the organization. She took me off, put herself on those committees, just really made herself a bad boss. It really made my life miserable and I'd never had that experience before. I mean, it had bosses where maybe we weren't aligned in terms of work style or personality, but I'd never had a situation where I was actually bullied by a boss and it was very, very soul-sucking and through a number of situations I ended up leaving and, lucky me, I got a bit of a package and that gave me some wiggle room in terms of some financial wiggle room to start my own business. So that was one of those situations that was so hard at the time, but ended up being a blessing.

John Neral:

Well, that's another one of those examples. We hear that people don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. I say that seven times a week, week so when you think about that experience and unquestionably traumatic and stressful and awful, but I can't help but imagine that in some ways, that experience helps shape who you are as a leader, in terms of what you would never do versus and what you would never do, but also what you do do and emulate as a leader. Tell the listeners how you define yourself as a leader.

Vanessa Judelman:

Well, I think that everybody has a different leadership style, and part of defining yourself as a leader is actually very personal, because what often I see leaders do? As a leadership consultant and coach, I work with hundreds of leaders every year and what I often see people do is try to emulate someone who has a different style than themselves, and then it comes across as disingenuous or inauthentic. So I always say to the leaders that I work with you have to know yourself. That's sort of the first pillar of leadership success Know yourself, understand your work style, understand your strengths, understand your weaknesses. So, for me, I'm someone who's quite direct and also someone who's very empathetic, and so it's always that balance of is this a time for me to be direct or is this time for me to be empathetic? I'm always thinking about sort of the my need to drive tasks and results, but also my need to connect with people and really build high trust, empathetic relationships. So that's the balance I always think about in my as a leader for myself.

John Neral:

A lot of people who listen to this show will often describe themselves as having very big hearts. And for those that are in leadership roles, they will say I'm a heart-centered leader. As I'm listening to you and talking about your leadership style being very direct and empathetic, how did you get to that place where you could marry those two approaches and still show up very authentically as a leader?

Vanessa Judelman:

Those two parts are very authentically who I am. So I'm very I'm a very ambitious person. I think I heard Reese Witherspoon once talk about the word ambition and how it has such negative connotations, and she turned it around. It was just a wonderful I think she was speaking about on a podcast or something like that A wonderful rebrand of the word ambition. I think, especially for women too, that there is nothing wrong with being ambitious. I think being ambitious is absolutely amazing. So be ambitious.

Vanessa Judelman:

That's part of the advice I give to mid-career leaders is be ambitious right, know what you want and go for it, because nobody's going to give you what you want. You are in charge of your own career, so go for it. And so, for me, what I have to understand is, because I'm direct, ambitious, it has gotten me into trouble in the past, and so when I've reflected on what didn't work well and where I had conflict in some of my relationships, it was when I was too direct without leveraging that heart-centered side of myself. And when I started in the world of work, john, nobody was heart-centered. That concept of heart-centered leadership was not a thing. And it was such a great relief to me when I started reading books like Ken Blanchard's Servant Leadership and reading more about heart Centered Leaders. It was such a relief because that just felt so aligned with who I really am.

John Neral:

Yeah, and as I'm listening to you, I'm trying to remember where I heard Reese Witherspoon talk about that as well and, like you, I know it's on some podcast and I can't recall exactly what it was, but I do. I'm right there with you. I appreciate so much that reframing of that word ambition and what that particularly means, especially now as we look here, we are in the middle of 2024, and we look at how work continually redefines and reshapes itself, especially post-pandemic, and it almost sounds a little weird to even say it in that way as we're talking four years after, but the reality is we see companies still struggling with are people fully at the worksite? Are they 100% remote? Are they hybrid? And for the people who are in those leadership roles, there's no question leadership is more challenging than ever. From your work and in your perspective, why do you believe leadership is so challenging right now, especially for mid-career professionals?

Vanessa Judelman:

Oh, I 100% agree, john. It is the most challenging time I've worked with leaders 25 years, especially for mid-career professionals. Oh, I 100% agree, john, it is the most challenging time I've worked with leaders 25 years. This is the most challenging time for leaders, for sure. Why there's so many different factors.

Vanessa Judelman:

So, if you look at it from a macro level and you think about the environment that we're working in, all of the environmental factors, like post-pandemic, having to work virtually or in a hybrid way, it's really hard to build relationship. It's really hard to if you're not sitting beside somebody, give them feedback and coach and develop them. So if you start on a macro level, think about all that's happening in our environment. And there's wars in the world and there's, you know, there's social media, which is really mitigating people's confidence. So on a macro level, there's so many influences are just making our environment a real stressful one. And then, if you look on a micro level, it's me and all the stresses that I have in my personal life that leaders are dealing with. So, for example, if they have a family juggling work-life balance, I don't even call it work-life balance. I call it work-life juggle because I don't know.

Vanessa Judelman:

John, sometimes I wonder if there's even such a thing as balance these days, right? So it's really a combination of, like those macro incidents, experiences, things that are happening in the world, but also me on a personal level and what I'm trying to juggle with, and it makes it really hard for people.

John Neral:

Well. Framing it in a term of a macro and a micro level is super helpful, because it definitely puts in perspective those issues that are facing mid-career professionals and leaders as well. So here's my question, though Are you seeing people wanting to take a step out of leadership and be more in an execution type role, as opposed to leading the project, leading the team?

Vanessa Judelman:

For sure, and I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with that when I coach. So in my practice I do group training with about 20 leaders. I have like an eight module leadership program that I walk leaders through and I also do executive coaching at the higher level, the more senior level, and I've had a few leaders over the past year or so and I've asked them the difficult questions. I've said to them you know, what do you like about being a leader? Because leadership can be really hard, but it doesn't have to be If you're mid-career. The most important thing. If you are a leader and you've never had education, get yourself educated. Because here's what happens in most organizations John People get promoted into leadership roles but they don't get any training. Oh right, and so they struggle. And so some of these leaders that are struggling, what I have to figure out with them is are you struggling because leadership is just not for?

Vanessa Judelman:

you which is totally fine, or are you struggling because you've just never been taught how to lead? And so when I give them the toolkit of how to know yourself, how to manage your team, how to lead your business, how to think strategically, how to coach, how to manage conflict there's a lot involved in leadership when you have the toolkit, I always say to them let's just wait till you get the toolkit and apply it, and then we're going to make a decision, because they have to see is it not for me or is it was just lacking the toolkit?

John Neral:

Yeah, I love how you phrase that in particular, because what you're saying is that there's a moment for leaders when leadership gets hard and if they don't have the toolkit that really equips them, it's hard for them to succeed.

Vanessa Judelman:

Right, and I think that's such a great point and a great reminder for people who are in leadership roles, whether their company has those supports in place or not, that you, as the leader, are responsible for how you are professionally developing and building yourself in that regard, as well, I think, from a mid-career leader's perspective, if you are looking for the next job opportunity, I would highly recommend finding an organization that does invest in developing their leaders, and I saw a very interesting fact in the Harvard Business Review, which was that only 5% of organizations in North America invest in their leaders 5%.

John Neral:

Shocking right, it is leaders 5%. Shocking right it is. Do you have any tips for helping people assess what kind of development companies provide their leaders? As a candidate is interviewing for a job within that company, ask them ask them.

Vanessa Judelman:

just say I'm just curious. You know I'm really interested in excelling as a leader and doing a great job as a leader. I'm interested in moving into a leadership role in the future. May I ask what kind of support you have in terms of leadership development in your organization? Do you offer training? Do you offer coaching? Just ask. I think it's a great question to ask. Number one it's going to give you insight into what they value. And number two, it's going to show them that you are someone who has a growth mindset and you want to work for an organization that values learning and growth as much as you do. So I think it just shows them also that you are someone who values learning and growth.

John Neral:

Really great advice, because if you don't ask, you're not going to know, right, get the questions out there Now that you're listening to the Mid-Career GPS podcast. Are you subscribed to the Mid-Career GPS newsletter? This is my twice weekly newsletter to help you get the career clarity you need to find that new job or level up your leadership as you navigate toward whatever is next for you and your career. Be the first to hear about upcoming webinars and events, along with other things to help you build your mid-career GPS. It's a free newsletter and you can join by visiting my website at https://johnneral. com, check the show notes or my LinkedIn. Now back to the episode. So, vanessa, you have five tangible strategies that move people from being a doer to a leader, and I'd love for us to spend some time talking about what those strategies are and how specifically they impact people at mid-career.

Vanessa Judelman:

So what's one of those?

John Neral:

strategies.

Vanessa Judelman:

Amazing. So the first one I've kind of hinted at a little bit, which is self-awareness. You have to know yourself. So what I recommend in terms of a tactical tip for people is to take a self-assessment. So do John. Are you aware of the DISC profile by any chance?

John Neral:

I am. It's been a long, long time since I've taken it, but, yes, I am aware of it.

Vanessa Judelman:

So that would be an amazing tool that I recommend for people, because the DISC profile spelled D-I-S-C. It stands for dominant, influenced, steady and conscientious measures. Your work style. I know a lot of people are familiar with Myers-Briggs. Some people have taken StrengthFinders. It doesn't matter what tool you use. I recommend DISC because it's your work style, but start off by really knowing yourself, understanding your strengths, understanding your weaknesses, and I don't believe in changing yourself, because I want you to rather be the best version of yourself, and the way that I I teach the leaders that I work with to do that is by using the concept of dial up or dial down. So let's say you are someone who's because the.

Vanessa Judelman:

Thing is John. All of us have strengths and weaknesses, and all of us, when we overuse our strengths, they actually become weaknesses. Okay, so let's say you're someone who's more on the conscientious scale. You're very analytical and thoughtful and detail oriented. Right, being analytical is an amazing quality that you bring to the workplace. And you also have to know am I someone who overuses that? So I go into analysis paralysis? If you do, you need to dial down your analysis paralysis and dial up your quick decision-making to be more effective. So that's why that self-awareness is so important.

John Neral:

That's helpful, and I'm sure there's a lot of people who are listening that can sit there and see themselves in that kind of over-analytical analysis by paralysis, mindset or action that could potentially really be holding them back. So I love how you call that out and I also really appreciate that visual of being able to dial up or dial down, so that self-awareness is key. What's another strategy you have for them?

Vanessa Judelman:

So the other strategy is around building trust, because relationships really matter. I had this conversation with my 15 year old son yesterday. He applied to be a referee for a flag football and his basketball schedule is really getting in the way. And he said mom, my manager has been texting me and asking me for my schedule, but I haven't been responding to her because I just don't know what it is. I said rule number one in life relationships matter and don't ever burn a bridge. So you have to respond. And I helped him craft the email and I said to him at the end of the weekend what was your learning this weekend? He said don't build, don't ever burn bridges, because you never know. So that's one.

Vanessa Judelman:

That piece around relationships matter is so important because I also had a situation once years ago where I had a boss. It was actually one of my other nightmarish bosses. I kind of forgot about her. I must have blocked it out of memory, John, they're all coming back now, these bad bosses. But she was also a bit of a nightmare now that I think about it, now that I think about it, and, interestingly enough, when I left that organization and moved somewhere else, she had started her own firm and reached out to me to hire her.

Vanessa Judelman:

Well, John, guess what my response was.

John Neral:

Go ahead.

Vanessa Judelman:

No, thank you. No, thank you Because she burned the bridge and so you just never know, like as a mid career person, like you never know when the tables are turning are going to be turned right. This is someone who was my boss and now she was calling me because she wanted me to hire her and give her a business. I was like no, thank you, because the trust just wasn't there. So it's really important to consciously build high trust relationships up down and across the organization.

John Neral:

So, vanessa, I'll share this with you and everybody, and this may be something to pass along to your son as well, but years ago I had worked with a sports psychologist named Dr Dean Hinnitz, who primarily worked with athletes in individual sports. So we're talking like gymnastics, swimming, bowling, and when he would talk about trust, especially for athletes and I will never forget when he shared this he said trust is repeated behavior over time. And when we think about how we build trust knowing that repeated behavior like what you just shared with about your son right, if a manager emails you, you respond right. We build that trust by knowing when I email someone, they're going to respond back. If I email somebody and they don't respond, that's an initial way to start thinking like, oh my gosh, is trust starting to be broken. And so we think about how trust is repeated behavior over time. It blends very nicely with your point about how relationships matter.

Vanessa Judelman:

Yeah, and in fact, every relationship has a trust account. Yes, so if you think about like a little piggy bank, with every one of your relationships, every time you leverage high trust behaviors, you're putting a deposit into your trust account. So when you're respectful with someone, you put a deposit. When you keep your commitments, you put a deposit. When you are loyal, you put a deposit. When you deliver results, you put a deposit in your trust account. Right, and so what I think is really important for mid-career whether you're people, whether you're a leader or not is to really consciously be developing and putting deposits into your trust account with people across the organization.

John Neral:

I really, really like that. It's another reason why we have exes. The reason why I have exes is because it got to a point I didn't trust them anymore, so it's just, it's it's. I love the idea of that trust bank in that regard. Yeah.

Vanessa Judelman:

That's a great point, because when you consciously like, the reality is we're all going to make mistakes, right? So when you're consciously putting deposits into your trust account, it makes that relationship really solid so that when you make a withdrawal the relationship isn't going to crumble because there's enough deposits in there. But if you have a relationship where there's so many withdrawals and there's not enough deposits, that's where the relationship crumbles.

John Neral:

Yeah, well, well said, all right. So we talked about self-awareness, we talked about building trust. What's the third strategy?

Vanessa Judelman:

Okay, this is the one that all leaders hate, and it's giving feedback. You can't avoid it. So there's two kinds of feedback. There's positive feedback, and when you give positive feedback, I find leaders don't give it enough and it's easy and it's free and it really builds and motivates your team.

Vanessa Judelman:

So positive feedback, give more of it. The other thing I hear from leaders is oh, I don't need positive feedback, I'm intrinsically motivated. But guess what? Just because you don't need it doesn't mean that other people don't need it. So the best way to give positive feedback is to describe the specific behavior and then explain the impact on the business. So it's not just hey, john, great job doing X Y Z, thank you, it's great job doing X Y Z. Here's the impact on the team, on the business, on our customers. So that's positive feedback. The other piece is constructive feedback. And so, john, what do you think like, what have you seen over the years in terms of why you think people avoid constructive feedback? What do you think like, what have you seen over the years in terms of why you think people avoid constructive feedback? What do you think that's?

John Neral:

about. They're either fearful of confrontation or they avoid conflict at all costs Totally.

Vanessa Judelman:

And here's the reality when you don't give constructive feedback, when you avoid it, it's actually a withdrawal from your trust account. Yeah, when you pluck up the courage and sometimes not saying it doesn't take courage sometimes because it does when you pluck up the courage to give up positive feedback, it's actually deposit in your trust account because most people want the feedback, the constructive feedback. Most people want it. And most of the time when you're giving someone constructive feedback, it's on a blind spot, right? So let me ask everybody listening right now if you had a blind spot, would you want feedback on it? Right? And I've never heard anybody say by not giving somebody feedback on their blood spot because they have no idea and they certainly won't be able to change or develop if they don't know what they're doing and they don't know what the impact is Absolutely so, vanessa.

John Neral:

When you coach leaders and you coach them on delivering feedback, do you believe that feedback should be sandwiched? In other words, we say something positive, we say something constructive and then we follow up with something positive.

Vanessa Judelman:

Oh boy, you've hit on something really important to me. You know what I call that, John? I call that the shit sandwich.

John Neral:

Okay, I've heard it called the empathy sandwich.

Vanessa Judelman:

Yeah, no, I'm the opposite. I call it the shit sandwich. Here's why I do not like the shit sandwich. It's confusing, it is. I would rather you separate positive feedback and give it right away and constructive feedback and give it right away, because a lot of the leaders especially those who aren't as direct, who struggle giving constructive feedback. What they do is they go into a meeting and I call it using rainbows and fluffy dogs, so they rainbow fluffy dog, rainbow fluffy dog, and then they'll think they're whizzing in the constructive feedback, but then they end it with rainbows and fluffy dogs and the person leaves the meeting saying what what was that?

Vanessa Judelman:

So no, I'm not a fan of the shit sandwich. Give the positive feedback right away. When people demonstrate the behavior, give the constructive feedback right away too. And please do separate them, because when, again, you clarify your expectations with somebody and give them that constructive feedback, guess what? It's another deposit in your trust account with them.

John Neral:

Huge, huge round of applause for me and a sign of I just align and completely agree with you from the standpoint of if we're gonna lead, we're not taking great care of our people. We're leading. If, to use your language, if we're filling it with rainbows and fluffy dogs around some constructive feedback, it just doesn't help. So thank you, john, it was so funny.

Vanessa Judelman:

I had a client once who just was the loveliest, loveliest person. She had up an accounting firm and I said to her okay, we're going to practice giving constructive feedback. And she went into this whole diatribe and I knew exactly. So this person was much more sort of a soft-spoken person and she had to give feedback to someone who's quite a dominant personality. So the first time she attempted to give the feedback, I knew what the feedback was about. But she was so vague because she didn't want to hurt this person's feelings. I just said I have no idea what you just said, like it was so indirect, it was so non-concise.

Vanessa Judelman:

So we worked, we worked for an hour to get her to the place where she was really being specific about the behavior, right, describing that behavior and explaining the impact and specifying the change, the positive outcome she was looking for. So that's a nice, actually three-step approach that people can take when giving constructive feedback, like, really describe the behavior, right. So when you do that, I want you to think about taking a picture of somebody, right. And so what are you seeing them do? Or hearing them say that's not working for them and that's what you give them the feedback on. So describe the behavior, explain the impact of it and then specify the positive outcome or change that they need to put in place.

John Neral:

This is extremely helpful. So your fourth strategy is what? Coaching?

Vanessa Judelman:

Okay, tell us more. I got to break it down for you because a lot of leaders say to me Vanessa, I know that I need to coach, but I just don't know what that means. So there's actually two parts of coaching. There is formal coaching and informal coaching. So formal coaching are those one-on-one meetings. Book them. I like to book them Monday morning. So formal coaching meetings.

Vanessa Judelman:

The goal of that meeting is accountability. That's the biggest issue I hear from senior executives. I work with a group of CEOs. One of the biggest issues they tell me is Vanessa, my leaders are not holding people accountable. So how do you do that? Have an accountability meeting every Monday morning. So what you can focus on in the meeting. And it can be really quick 15 to 20 minutes, okay. So in your accountability meeting, what can you focus on? Ask them what their goals are, what are your goals this week. Ask them what are you doing to move your goals forward. The next part of the agenda will be how can I help you? And then the third thing is information, any kind of information you need to share with them. Maybe there's a update to the corporate strategy, maybe you need to give them feedback on something. So that's formal coaching. Okay, lock it in your calendar and have it regularly, and do not cancel it a lot.

John Neral:

Amen.

Vanessa Judelman:

Right John.

John Neral:

Amen.

Vanessa Judelman:

What happens when your leader cancels meetings with you? How do you feel?

John Neral:

Well, it's just a withdrawal out of the trust account, especially when they don't reschedule them. Oh, we'll just meet next week. I wanted that time with you. I had things to talk about with you and now you've told me I'm not important and I know things come up, but if you don't reschedule, you're just telling me our time's not important and I know things come up, but if you don't reschedule, you're just telling me our time's not important.

Vanessa Judelman:

And now I don't trust you as much. A hundred percent, a hundred percent. So that's formal coaching. Informal coaching is day to day right. It's thinking about.

Vanessa Judelman:

Every single conversation that you have with somebody is an opportunity for you to coach them. So how do you do that? You listen, really listen, without interrupting. I do a really fun exercise when I work with leaders where I get them to listen to someone talking for one minute that's 60 seconds and at the end of that one minute I say how was that? They go oh, that was really hard. And so I'll say might I remind you that was only 60 seconds.

Vanessa Judelman:

So try listening more, because when you're a sounding board for someone and you're really listening, they're really able to figure out and start solving their problems on their own. And then the next thing you do is ask them some open-ended questions. I love what questions? Because they're always open-ended Like what's challenging about that for you? Or what have you tried so far? What's been frustrating for you? Or, right, if you pose a question with the word what, it's very open-ended and nonjudgmental. And then the third step is just get people to brainstorm solutions and pick their own solutions to problems instead of you telling them what to do.

John Neral:

So many good, so many good things there. So, vanessa, we're going to start wrapping up here, but we got to get to strategy number five. What's that? One? All right, be strategic. All right, tell us more.

Vanessa Judelman:

That's your job Be strategic. So being strategic could mean anything from doing those accountability meetings, putting them in place, being strategic, well, there's actually three kinds of strategies strategic thinking, strategic planning and strategic implementation. Do some strategic thinking with your team. Ask them what's not working right now in the business, on our team, what can we do to overcome what's not working? That's strategic thinking. Strategic planning is looking at your goals and making, breaking them down and making a plan to execute on your goals. And then strategic implementation is doing it right. So that would be the third part. It's your job as a leader. Once you get promoted into a leadership role, you have to start thinking, planning and implementing more strategically.

John Neral:

And we know that is sometimes one of the most difficult things for them to do is to stop being at that level where they're executing all the time, because that may have been their previous role and they want to be helpful and they want to help their team and they don't want to see their team struggle, but there's a part of them where they need to be start operating at the 10, 20, 30,000 foot level and have that kind of strategic vision to plan and implement, like you talk about. Yeah, all right, so good, vanessa. So just to recap, we're talking about being more self-aware, building trust, giving feedback, coaching and being strategic. Those are your five strategies to help people go from being more of a doer to being more of a leader. So, when we think about helping people build their mid-career GPS, what do you want them to take away with as far as your advice from our conversation today to help them figure out whatever's next for them in their careers?

Vanessa Judelman:

I, I. As we mentioned sort of at the beginning of the podcast, you are the CEO of your own career, so you're in charge. You're in the driver's seat. I do hear from a lot of mid-career professionals Vanessa, I feel stuck, vanessa, I don't like my leader, but I feel safe, I feel comfortable here.

Vanessa Judelman:

Bust out of the comfort zone is what I say to people, because there are always lots of other opportunities out there for you and ask for what you want. So I find a lot of leaders feel like, oh, I'm nervous to ask or I shouldn't ask. The thing is that you have to understand with your boss. Your boss is a senior executive, a senior person in the firm. They're very busy, they've got a lot on their plate, so they're juggling a lot of different things. So you may be waiting for them to give you the promotion or waiting for them to give you an increase in your salary, but I promise you they're not thinking about you, they're thinking about their own deliverables, they're thinking about their own boss. So I always say to people ask, take the initiative to manage your own career.

John Neral:

Thank you so much for that. That is such great advice. I appreciate you offering that. So, vanessa, if people wanna learn more about you, connect with you, get all of the good things that you have out there. I want to turn the mic over to you right now and please share with us where people can connect and find you.

Vanessa Judelman:

Amazing. So my first of all on LinkedIn, vanessa Udelman, j-u-d-e-l-m-a-n. Second of all, on my website, mosaic people development. And third of all, if you're looking for some resources, go to your leadership resourcescom, and I've got a ton of great leadership information for you, blogs and um, great advice and tools and strategies that you can download and, oh, a great leadership assessment as well.

John Neral:

I will make sure all of that is in the show notes. But, vanessa, you and I had a chance to connect a few months ago and I knew when we got on the mic we were going to have a great conversation. I want to thank you for your expertise and your insight and especially for being such a wonderful guest on the Mid-Career GPS podcast.

Vanessa Judelman:

Such a pleasure. John, Thank you for inviting me today.

John Neral:

You are most welcome. Well, my friends, look, if there's one big takeaway that I wanna share with you from my conversation with Vanessa Udelman today, it's this what's the status of your trust account when you think about if you're leading people or the people whom you work alongside with every day, your trust account that you have with your employer and vice versa, and also how you're building one with a potential future employer as well? Do an assessment on where your trust account is and find ways every single day, to deposit more in it than finding ways to withdraw from it, because, as Vanessa talked about so much, that trust account is a huge asset in your leadership and career development, and that is your challenge for this week. So until next time, my friends, remember this you will build your mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how you show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day.

John Neral:

Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform and, if you have a moment, I'd love to hear your comments on Apple Podcasts listening platform, and if you have a moment, I'd love to hear your comments on Apple Podcasts. Visit johnnerrellcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you and your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Nerrell Coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters. Thank you.

Navigating Challenging Leadership Terrain
Strategies for Mid-Career Success
Feedback, Coaching, and Leadership Strategies
Mid-Career GPS Podcast Promotion