Tag Archives: empathy

Nonprofit Radio for June 6, 2022: Responding To Microaggressions & Discrimination

 

Dan Berstein: Responding To Microaggressions & Discrimination

Resuming our #22NTC coverage, Dan Berstein helps you identify these situations, decide whether and how to speak up, and mitigate your own potential biases and accept feedback. He has mental health resources for you at bit.ly/mhskills and bit.ly/TMHDashboard. Dan is from MH Mediate.

 

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[00:01:52.84] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with an echo Griffo sis if you clawed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, responding to microaggressions and discrimination, Resuming our 22 NTC coverage dan Burstein helps you identify these situations, decide whether and how to speak up and mitigate your own potential biases and accept feedback. He has mental health resources for you dan is from Mh mediate Antonis take two tips for Israel. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. And by 4th dimension Technologies IT Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like three D but they go one dimension deeper here is responding to microaggressions and discrimination. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. The 2022 nonprofit technology conference. I’m joined now by dan Burstein. He is founder and mediator at M. H. Mediate dan Welcome back to nonprofit radio

[00:01:55.74] spk_1:
thank you for having me again.

[00:01:57.36] spk_0:
My pleasure. The 21 NTC brought us together, I believe it was it last I believe it was last year,

[00:02:03.14] spk_1:
yep, that’s right last

[00:02:17.44] spk_0:
year. Alright glad to have you back your session this year is tools to help a leader respond to microaggressions and discrimination. Uh now your work is in the is in the mental mental health mental illness

[00:02:48.54] spk_1:
space. Yes, so, you know, my work is focused on helping people have better communication about mental health and that’s what we talked about last year was how to have those kinds of conversations, especially during the pandemic and remotely. Um and one of the issues that comes up a lot is there’s stigma related to mental illness and it comes out with microaggressions and discrimination. So that’s why this year’s topic was tools that can help any leader, you know, notice and respond to these kinds of incidents of microaggressions and discrimination which aren’t just in mental health. They happen across the board. All kinds of different kinds of identities um can be hurt through discrimination and microaggressions. But my focus area has always been um you know, conflict resolution and mental health.

[00:03:14.54] spk_0:
Cool, Alright, so your examples come from that community, but the lessons apply broadly across identities.

[00:03:17.18] spk_1:
That’s right,

[00:03:17.96] spk_0:
okay, let’s let’s define microaggressions and discrimination, let’s start microaggressions, let’s make sure everybody understands what we’re talking about.

[00:06:35.14] spk_1:
So, so a microaggression, uh it can be a number of different things, but basically it’s any kind of comment or even a situation that includes an implicit message that some kind of identity group is less than or bad or has some kind of problem associated with it. So basically it’s talking in any kind of way that um endorses stereotypes or stigmas um and so I’ll give you an example with mental illness. Uh So I myself I have bipolar disorder and I include that often in my professional bio and in my work, and one time I told a colleague that um you know, I have bipolar disorder and he said, oh, really, Oh wow, you’re doing so well. And he said it like that, which was, you know, it sounds positive. A lot of microaggressions sound positive, and actually the message implied is, oh, I wouldn’t expect someone with bipolar disorder to present very well, and so it actually comes across as kind of negative in the meaning um even though it was a friend who meant to be supportive, um the stereotype gets embedded in the message. So a lot of times microaggressions, people think they’re being very nice and they are trying to be nice, but their their beliefs that um in this case that mental illness is something so damaging and debilitating, you wouldn’t expect someone to do well and and with with it um it gets embedded in and what they’re saying. And so there’s a lot of different kinds of microaggressions that um can come out and in in these different kinds of ways, but it’s a it’s an interesting thing. Another, another form of it is um, oh, you know, um you know, everybody, everybody has depression, you know, everybody has bad days and that would be considered what’s called a micro and validation where, you know, they they’re not taking it seriously when you tell them that you have a mental health condition. So it can go in a lot of different directions. There’s a lot of different kinds of messaging. Um and there’s actual academic literature reviews that catalog so many different ways. Um those kinds of messages could be in there, but basically the messages that are commonly unfortunately and inappropriately associated with mental illness are maybe this person is dangerous, Maybe this person doesn’t really have a serious problem and they’re making more out of it than it is, Maybe this person is inferior. Um Maybe I’m gonna treat this person like an infant or like they need my help. Um you know, so these are the kinds of messages that come out where, you know, even saying things like, oh, do you need some help or do you want some help with that? That can be seen as um you know, huge micro aggression in the world of disabilities where um if people, you know, mental illness is considered an invisible disability, but a lot of people have visible no noticeable disabilities and and being constantly offered assistance can be considered seen as a microaggression as well. So there’s there’s a whole literature on it and um it’s a it’s a difficult thing to handle because people often mean, well when they’re doing it and and it happens all the time in day to day life.

[00:06:49.54] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m thinking of the uh example of, you know, saying to someone who’s a person of color, you know, you’re so articulate or you’re you know, you’re so well read or something you wouldn’t expect

[00:06:55.18] spk_1:
and yeah,

[00:06:57.34] spk_0:
what you’re gonna say.

[00:07:53.34] spk_1:
Um and so one of the tools that I’ve shared when I do the workshop about microaggressions is a guide by kevin Nadal. Um that says um how do you handle a microaggression? And the first question is, did this happen? You ask did this, do I think this is a microaggression? Because you know, some of these things can be ambiguous enough that you have to ask yourself like, well, what’s going on here? And then then there’s the question of like, well should I respond? Because if I do um it could be a huge nightmare for me that this person’s gonna get so offended that I point out that they did the microaggression. And if I don’t then um I might get mistreated forever. So it’s, you know, it’s a really tricky world we live in with microaggressions because it can be so subtle and so understated. Um although certainly if it happens a lot and there’s a significant pattern of the men, it can become a hostile work environment situation. Um, you know, as well. So it’s a very tricky tricky confusing world when we talk about microaggressions.

[00:08:38.34] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m seeing this. You know, your your your session is two tools to help a leader respond to microaggressions and discrimination, I’m seeing difficulty just in the identification. Yeah. So if if the um if the if the person who this is who this is aimed at doesn’t doesn’t speak up, doesn’t call it out either on you know, in the moment, which is as you described, you know, which can be very difficult or later. You know, maybe privately to the to the to a to a leader. How is a leader to identify? How can you be so sensitive how how Yeah, that makes it wait. I’m the way I said it makes it sound like it’s impossible. How can we increase sensitivity to help leaders identify these microaggressions?

[00:11:19.74] spk_1:
Well. So so first I I need to flag the difference between microaggressions and discrimination. Okay, microaggression is sort of like evidence of an attitude, evidence of stigma that maybe there are stereotypes of an attitude. Whereas discrimination which we’ll talk about in a moment is an action. So it’s much easier to respond to discrimination because that’s where something actually is done and the person is treated differently versus the mere expression of the microaggression itself, which is much more confusing and complicated. And so it is it is tricky. And The main message that comes out of the workshop that we did at N 10 um is you know, be aware that this is going on, be sensitive, be ready. Um instead of being defensive to hear what someone’s attitude is when they say when they do bring it up and be understanding that it’s not easy to bring it up sort of like when we think about the, you know, the Me Too movement and sexual harassment. Um that every one person who complains there’s a lot who don’t because it’s so fraud. So having some empathy to understand that when someone does come in and they are complaining about something that they experienced as a microaggression. That’s hard. So the guide I mentioned. So it makes it very clear like it’s tricky to speak up because you don’t know if you, if you even can prove it happened and then you don’t know um you know how people will react if it’ll affect your relationships with your friends or your co workers or whoever. And so it is fraught to even bring it up. So the big message from microaggressions is just be receptive to people’s feedback, Be understanding that this happens and and do your best to have empathy for what it means when someone does come forward and and creating a culture where people are less defensive and more open minded about changing how they communicate on a regular basis. Um, you know, one of one of the projects that I have is called the Mental Health Safe project. And it’s about giving people tools to respond to microaggressions and discrimination. And one of the things that we’re working on is developing a stigma mediation program where people can come and talk these kinds of things out without it being punitive just so that way they can sort of work through some of the um stress of handling, you know, these microaggressions because it’s it’s confusing, right? The example I gave you this is a friend of mine who was trying to be supportive and said something that was very hurtful and that you know me being open with the bipolar disorder, I get that all the time and I know that no one’s trying to hurt me. So the question is, okay, well how do I, you know, how do I help them not do this again without making them feel really bad about themselves, You know? Um so it’s it’s a micro aggressions can be the trickiest issue. Then there’s also the discrimination stuff which we can talk about, which is a little less tricky.

[00:11:35.74] spk_0:
Right? Easy, easy too easy to identify.

[00:11:38.51] spk_1:
Still very tricky though. I’ll tell you some stories, it’s still very tricky, but it’s just like clear.

[00:11:45.04] spk_0:
There are also laws around discrimination that helped

[00:11:48.94] spk_1:
they help, but they’re not perfect and there’s still a lot of problems, you know? Um so I’ll talk about that. I mean if you want to transition we can I can talk about that right now.

[00:12:53.74] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They’ll develop your media strategy. What’s that all about that is identifying your core messages, defining the channels the outlets, where those messages ought to be heard, who are the people who should be hearing your messages, who need to hear your messages doing the legwork to approach those outlets and as you are closing opportunities, crafting your message is appropriately to the audience that you uh you close the opportunity with. That’s a media strategy. Turn to communications can do it for you turn hyphen two dot c. O. Now back to responding to microaggressions and discrimination. I hear empathy. It sounds like empathy goes a long way. You know, when when someone is bringing this to a

[00:13:00.25] spk_1:
leader,

[00:13:26.14] spk_0:
you know, understanding what it takes for the person to have done so to have the have the courage fortitude to open the door. You know, to I mean the door got opened by the by the person who committed it. But to to bring it up as an issue is it takes a lot. Thanks a lot. Alright, so what’s the, like, what’s the next step for a leader? Now? We’re talking about tools to help leaders.

[00:13:31.24] spk_1:
What

[00:13:41.24] spk_0:
do you do when someone does bring this to you? Hopefully you’ve treated the person with that empathy and respect what should a leader do next?

[00:16:16.14] spk_1:
So, I mean, my advice would be um outside outside this program to use the guide that I reference, but you can get at bit dot li slash mh skills is the U. R. L. That I have of resources and you can look at that in more depth. But basically this guide, we’ll walk you through number one. If you think you’ve experienced a microaggression, how to think about what to do to handle it and talk about it. And on the flip side, if someone says, I think you’ve um done a micro aggression towards me, uh it walks you through what to do. Um and then, you know, when we’re talking about in a leader perspective, it’s like, okay, so let’s be aware of microaggressions happen, let’s be, let’s be ready with these resources. Let’s have empathy when someone comes to us. And then let’s also have perspective about, you know what it what it means because we live in a world where everybody has stereotypes and biases all the time. We want to all keep growing, but we have to keep it in perspective. You know, was this microaggression part of some kind of deliberate bullying campaign, in which case you respond differently than if it was a one off comment. Um was it associated with some kind of adverse employment action? Right? Was it, you know, it’s someone being excluded from? Um important conversations at work and they also are saying, I think it’s because of um my identity, I think it’s because this person doesn’t treat me the same because I have a mental illness. So they’re not giving me the same kind of projects or they’re not um giving me the same kind of feedback that’s different than just having the microaggression. So I’m not trying to trivialize the microaggression, but when you’re a leader micro aggressions are happening constantly all the time. Um and and so it really um depends what it is if the person is well intentioned or not, if it’s a pervasive pattern of, you know, bullying type conduct at the workplace or if it’s, you know, you know, a one off event, um if it is associated with some kind of, you know, actual different treatment in the workplace or if it’s just a comment that by itself is still a problem, you know, it’s still a problem to have a loose comment, but um it may not be connected with saying, well, you know, I I I have this micro aggression towards dan’s mental illness, that’s why we don’t put down on any of the tough projects, you know, that that would be um you know, a much more discriminatory act, that would be disparate treatment. Um and so, so it’s important to look at sort of the whole spectrum of when does something go past being a one off microaggression comment to uh, you know, mean one to them bullying and then to like different treatment in the workplace

[00:16:22.34] spk_0:
perspective is

[00:16:23.11] spk_1:
important. All

[00:16:27.44] spk_0:
right, context, context. Uh is there another example you can share

[00:16:29.76] spk_1:
of micro,

[00:16:31.58] spk_0:
a micro aggression? Yeah,

[00:16:33.95] spk_1:
maybe

[00:16:34.80] spk_0:
these are helpful.

[00:17:43.44] spk_1:
Sure. So this is this is just in my personal life that I think is interesting us. So I I’ve given awareness presentations in a lot of context over the years. And um I gave a presentation to a school class for a friend of mine and afterwards the friend said, oh, we could tell he has bipolar disorder. The friends that this the students said, oh, we could tell he has bipolar disorder because he got upset whenever we weren’t paying attention. And I said, oh, you know, I was trying to follow your protocols. I had seen the teachers react like that, you know, and have certain like it was a charter school that had this this whole culture and she said, oh no, no, we tell all of our teachers to act like they’re bipolar and that way the students will stay in line. And that wasn’t meant to be an insult, but it certainly was another example. I was giving a presentation for the american Bar Association and someone came up to me and I spoke to them and I mentioned my wife and they said, oh, your wife, she must be a very special person to take you on, you know, So

[00:17:46.14] spk_0:
they’re all bad. That’s egregious.

[00:19:17.44] spk_1:
Yeah, well, I I’m sharing the more egregious ones, but I have a lot of them, you know, there’s a lot of um or there was one time where um I was four months out of having been hospitalized for my illness and I was getting involved with an organization that had a speakers bureau. They said, we only take speakers who are nine months out of the hospital, which by itself I think is actually discrimination. Um, but they said because but because it’s you we want you now and we’d like you to speak. Um, you know, in this program we’re doing for students because it’s so hard to find someone who has a mental illness like you and isn’t very overweight from the medicine. Uh No, I don’t want anyone hearing this to think that you should be afraid of medicine because you become overweight. This was this was a very um, you know, uh ill informed mental health advocate, but that was a very, you know, that that those were compliments, right? That, oh, I’m more articulate than they expected for someone four months out of the hospital and I’m thinner and better looking than that what they expected. But that’s that’s not a good experience to hear those kinds of things. So, these are examples of where people say things that are well meaning and nice. Um, but they’re but they’re not really, they’re not nice ideas inside them that, you know, that that’s what a microaggression is. Is this this presumption, someone with mental illness can’t speak when they’re right out of the hospital. Someone with mental illness is likely debilitated by side effects and overweight. You know, someone with mental illness is a lot to take on why would someone want to marry that person. Um, You know, these are, you know, they come out as compliments, but they’re the premise is ugly.

[00:19:45.14] spk_0:
Um, can we deviate from helping the leader and you’ll be helping the folks who are may be subject to this? How how do you do you know, what’s your advice when when you feel that you’ve you’ve been wrong with with a microaggression?

[00:23:38.94] spk_1:
Um My advice is kind of sad because um you know, I do a lot of work in this area because I want people to have tools, but the reality is, and you’ll see this if you look at the guide I mentioned, um it’s not a good situation to be in when someone makes a microaggression, because first of all, the odds are, it’s a commonly held stereotype, which means if I tried to um counteract it on a regular basis, that’s a big burden for me to assume. Just taking the time out of my day, I’m trying to live my life. I don’t want to have to correct somebody about the microaggression once, let alone all the time. Um and that’s and that’s even with me as a professional who’s doing education, I’d rather focus on what I came to speak about? Not the microaggression. So no matter what, it becomes a huge burden, but then it’s like, well, well, how do I tell my friend, right, my friend who just brought me to give this talk now just said something very insulting. What do I do in response? And it really is a fraught situation. And so my advice first and foremost is similar to the guide is practice self care. So think to yourself, what do you really want out of this situation and what’s actually possible. Um Oftentimes for me what I did in those actual situations is I kind of made little sarcastic jokes because I I’m pretty quick on my feet. Um and and that’s my coping mechanism. So with my friend who said the thing about um, oh we tell our teachers to um to act out their bipolar. I said, well maybe I should come give a talk at your meeting tonight for the district because you know, that’s what I said right after, you know, and I do a little quips like that, but like those quips are not, they don’t really get you anywhere, you know? So, um my I guess my advice is just to to look for support, practice self care, think about what you want. Um I’ve been doing a ton of work this year, especially and addressing not just microaggressions, but published instances of discrimination in my field of mediation. And it’s very painful. People are very defensive. They don’t want to hear it. Um it really has affected my professional relationships because when I point out something that someone wrote that is bigoted towards mental illness, they take personal offense. They don’t want to speak to me. Um so I have reached a point where I have become more assertive, I’ve actually gone back and contacted people from years ago from different events that have happened and said, hey, you know, this, this bothered me and I, you know, because um because now that I’m doing it, um but it’s still hard and it’s still, I I can’t I can’t say it um yield some kind of incredible results. So, um I would say to anyone who’s experiencing this, hang in there, look for for peer support, make a decision yourself of what’s right for you and recognize that, you know, it’s important to take care of yourself, especially because it’s a marathon and not a sprint and this is gonna keep happening. So, um that’s that’s the unfortunate reality is that if you’re living in one of these identity groups, you’re going to be subjected to regular stereotypes that people don’t even realize they’re making. Um and so I’m not saying that makes it okay. But um this workshop gives tools to help you understand your options and and help you um you know, figure out where the lines are, where it’s discrimination, etcetera. But even when it’s discrimination, it’s it’s difficult to make a case, you need evidence to make a case of discrimination if you’re gonna actually hold someone accountable um under the americans with disabilities act a lot of times, judges don’t take mental illnesses as seriously as other disabilities. So even when you get to a point where you’re making a claim, you might, it’s not like I could say you’re gonna have a perfect reaction. Um so um it’s sort of a sad answer, but a realistic one. And um the part that’s better is it’s better than nothing. My answer is better than nothing and that, you know, So that’s what I had for about Over 10 years. I had no I had no options. Now. I’ve done all this research and I can say here’s some here’s some kind of sad options. So.

[00:23:54.54] spk_0:
Alright. No, but it there’s a lot of wisdom I think in, you know, what works for you, figuring out what works for you developing your own coping mechanisms. So, yeah,

[00:23:57.54] spk_1:
on the reality, I’m

[00:23:57.66] spk_0:
stuck with reality, right? And I’m sorry you’re subject to these two. I’m sorry this happens to folks

[00:24:04.74] spk_1:
happens to a lot of people. And a lot of

[00:24:06.94] spk_0:
groups.

[00:24:08.94] spk_1:
Let’s

[00:24:09.20] spk_0:
talk about discrimination. Let’s you’ve you’ve alluded to it a few times.

[00:24:12.85] spk_1:
Let’s let’s let’s

[00:24:16.64] spk_0:
shift their um It’s it’s now distinguished discrimination again, please. I know you did

[00:27:08.34] spk_1:
earlier discrimination discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently based on having that identity group. So a lot of times you’ll hear adverse employment action. So if someone is fired or given a, you know, poorer job assignment or something. Um You know, but there’s a lot of different ways discrimination can manifest and it’s not just employment. Um I’m there’s a lot of different laws to talk about different kinds of discrimination. The law that I’m gonna reference is the americans with disabilities act. The americans with disabilities act protects people who have um all different kinds of disabilities, not just mental illnesses from having discrimination. Um And there’s there’s a few different ways that that discrimination can occur. So one way that it can occur is screening somebody out if you screen someone out based on having um in this case the mental illness or health condition um in my field of mediation and conflict resolution, they actually have things um published that’s that recommend don’t take a case if someone has a mental illness that is not okay. That is discrimination by eligibility criteria. Um And um that is something I’ve been complaining about more recently, but when I when I first trained as a mediator, I was scared because they said don’t take a case if someone has a mental illness. And I thought, oh my, oh my, I just came out of the hospital for bipolar disorder. So um and I kept it a secret before I started being open. But um eligibility criteria is one type of discrimination where you screen someone out related to that. There’s something called undo inquiries or illegal inquiries. And this is, you know, um I think that I think there’s an analog for other groups but with a disability, it’s what if someone’s asking you questions about whether you have a disability, what your disability is, what it’s like for you. Um They’re not allowed to do that. So it’s similar to screening, but it doesn’t have to be related to screening people can’t just start asking you questions about your health conditions. Um And there’s different rules in different situations. Um There’s different timings and employment where some questions are permissible but in general it’s a good rule of thumb to say um you’re not entitled to invade someone’s privacy. So like let’s say you see someone and they have a service dog you can’t just go up to them and say well what’s your disability now that I see you have a service dog. Um And so there’s actual regulations and laws about this. Um And and so that’s the second type of discrimination is you know if someone’s asking questions um about you know the nature and severity they would say of your health condition. Um So we’ve got so we’ve got eligibility criteria. We’ve got the inquiries. We also have just general disparate treatment that’s if you get just treated differently in any way and you and you get and and so it’s not like you’re screened out. It’s not that someone’s asking you questions but someone thinks you have an illness or they or whatever you know whatever it is and they decide to do something different.

[00:29:43.44] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies their I. T. Solution. It’s I. T. Infra. In a box it’s the I. T. Buffet budget friendly. Like your average cafeteria right and holistic. I’m not sure how whole ism fits into cafeteria. Maybe it’s a cafeteria with with all the meals laid out at the same time. So you can choose from the breakfast or the lunch or the dinner all through the same pass through the cafeteria so there you go. So it is it’s just like an I. T. Buffet so you’re picking the parts of their offerings that you need and that fit your budget and you leave the rest behind. What’s in the buffet? I thi assessment multifactor authentication, other security methods, overall cost analysis help desk and there’s more you choose what’s right for your situation for your budget. Leave the rest behind the I. T. Buffet it’s I. T. Infra in a box. It’s at 4th Dimension Technologies. They’re at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper It’s time for Tony to take two. I’m going to Israel in november. Have you been to Israel do you live there if you live there can I stay with you know that’s no forget that’s okay that’s okay. But what tips do you have? How well if you know the country if you’ve been there if you live there what do you recommend? I’m gonna be spending most of my time in tel Aviv and Jerusalem but not exclusively and I’m pretty mobile I can get around so what ideas do you have? I’d be very interested in places to eat small. I love small. Local non touristed places in terms of food but also sights sights to see. Yeah, I mean of course I can do my own research. I will but if you’re in in in in this this is real insider maybe you can help me out. So if you’ve got ideas I’d be grateful. You can get me at tony at tony-martignetti dot com or the contact page at tony-martignetti dot com. Thanks very much. That is tony steak too. We’ve got just about a butt load more time for responding to microaggressions and discrimination with dan Burstein.

[00:29:54.84] spk_1:
And as you mentioned,

[00:29:55.97] spk_0:
you mentioned not getting uh sophisticated projects

[00:30:52.24] spk_1:
right? Not getting sophisticated projects where you know and people and this happens where you know in a in a mental health case. You know if you if you look at the case law for the A. D. A. This happens where someone comes back from a medical leave where it gets known in the office, they have a health condition and suddenly people just start treating them differently for one reason or another and there’s evidence that people make comments that the person um is too anxious to handle things or you know whatever whatever it is. Um But but but that’s that’s that that is the disparate treatment um type of discrimination. So for if we’re tracking it there’s three so far out of four. So the first is screening. The second is inappropriate questions. The third is disparate treatment. And the fourth which which is special for disabilities is um if someone asks you to make a change because they need an adjustment because of their disability and you don’t do it. That’s another type of discrimination for disability. There’s there’s different.

[00:30:57.63] spk_0:
Yes,

[00:32:00.34] spk_1:
exactly. So that’s a reasonable accommodation and you don’t have to do it depending on if the if it if it would be a financial hardship or if it would fundamentally alter your service or if it would ruin the services for other people, it’s all decided case by case. But in general I’ll give you an example of when I asked for an accommodation when I travel and give workshops, I’ll call the hotels and I’ll say I need you for a disability accommodation. I need you to give me the quietest room you’ve got because I have bipolar disorder in my sleep is necessary to protect my condition. And I you know, and and it’s free, it doesn’t cost you anything. I just need you to block the room. Whatever room you know, is the quietest. And I talked to them about it, put me in that room, that’s my reasonable accommodation. So that’s an example of an adjustment. I had a reasonable accommodation where I said I’m emotionally triggered because we’re talking about discrimination right now I’d like us to meet by email instead of by zoom and and that was a request for an accommodation. So those are some examples where you know, sometimes you know people can make excuses why they wouldn’t do it, but when it’s something free, it’s like why wouldn’t you just do the accommodation. So um but those are those are the four different types of actual things you can look at. Did someone screen someone out? Did they ask an inappropriate question? Did they treat you differently or did they reject a request for a reasonable accommodation? Those would be the ways we look for discrimination.

[00:32:19.84] spk_0:
And what’s your advice for leaders now? We’re trying to tools to help leaders.

[00:35:04.84] spk_1:
Well, my advice with Leader for Leaders is to be really mindful to these things. As red as red line issues where, you know, like, okay, we’re gonna be careful what questions we asked were going to be really careful if we ever do any screening, we’re gonna have practices. So we know we’re acting consistently and we’re not um liable to have this disparate treatment a lot of times what you have is in the workplace or anywhere. People are just doing a lot of ad hoc stuff based on gut feelings instead of having procedures and that’s where bias will start to creep in and people don’t even realize it. Um And so having having some clarity of just being more attentive to trying to be consistent. So you don’t fall into those four traps of discrimination. That’s that’s one piece of advice for leaders. The other is, you know, the same thing, like listen, when someone tells you um I’ve I’ve been in the process of contacting major like law schools and organizations that have actually printed guidance that says um in print that that mediators should treat someone differently when they have a mental illness. And I’ve said you’ve gotta update this, you’ve got to take this down and some people listen. So um one organization changed it right away that they had said to watch out if someone might be violent based on if they have a mental illness, they changed it. But some people get very, very entrenched and um and and and it’s sad there’s a there’s a real bias in our society that’s demonstrated by research that people just don’t notice mental illness discrimination as much as as other groups. What I what I have found is it’s painful because I we’ll try really hard to explain it and show it and have evidence. And even then people, you know, look at me like they’re I don’t know if you’ve seen Westworld, like they’re a Westworld robot. I don’t know if you’ve seen this where the West in the show Westworld, the robots just can’t process things that don’t fit their narrative. Maybe someone listening will understand what I’m saying. Yeah. So it’s just it can be very uh this idea of being open to just noticing these things and addressing them. Um I think it’s the most important thing and and and and the other thing I’ll say to a leader is um these are opportunities to build relationships when these things happen, you know, instead of viewing it as something to be defensive as a liability? It really becomes a liability when you evade it. But if you tackle it head on and just listen to the people for feedback, most of the people who are going to complain about microaggressions and discrimination are so used to being battered by these things that any small gesture that you actually do to listen is gonna be noticed and it’s gonna probably mean a lot. So, you know, that’s, that’s my suggestion. You know, I’m usually not looking for much from people when I bring this up and it’s like very sad to see these walls go up and to watch them get so entrenched and to watch the problems get bigger and bigger and bigger when it could have been a great opportunity to show compassion and understanding and growth that the organization. So, um, you know, that’s my hope is that people will, will take that opportunity

[00:35:25.44] spk_0:
dan. What were some of the questions that you got in this session?

[00:35:46.14] spk_1:
The questions I got in the session? Um, we’re, we’re generally people had specific instances because we did talk a little bit about reasonable accommodations and other kinds of events. Um, and, and people would ask about, um, you know how to how to respond to microaggressions like you asked, but also, you know how to speak up about it. Um, not much different from what we talked about here. Nothing, nothing earth shattering that comes to mind right now.

[00:36:09.13] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Um is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you want you want folks to know about either microaggressions or or discrimination? Again, we’re trying to help leaders in small and midsize nonprofits.

[00:37:15.53] spk_1:
Yeah. Well what I would say is um I’ll just share some information for leaders. So that way you have it to contact me. So this is my life’s work, this is what I’ve been doing um you know, with all my energy um and so I’m available. So anyone who wants to um contact me can do so easily and ask me questions directly and you can email me at dan at M. H. Mediaite dot com. Um You can get the resources from the session at bit dot li slash mh skills. Um If you’re interested in um seeing more kinds of resources that are out there for handling mental health in the workplace. Um There’s a program called the talking mental health dashboard and you can read about that at fit dot li slash tm h. Dashboard. Um And then a lot of the work that I’ve been doing with microaggressions and discrimination falls under the umbrella of the mental health safe project which is bringing together people to try to have resources for these things. Um And that’s an easy U. R. L. It’s M. H. Safe dot org. So you can go to any of these places and contact me um you know, I’m happy to answer questions anytime. I really um I feel like it’s important that we bring more attention to these issues and have more resources. So um that’s what I would add.

[00:37:30.13] spk_0:
What’s your mediation practice?

[00:38:17.52] spk_1:
My mediation practice um has been mostly families that are um having communication issues um and it’s transitioned more and more from, you know, in terms of the from the direct mediation, I also do a lot of work places um but into into training programs because my big my big goal is um that everybody had these skills as opposed to needing an outside person like need help. Um So I’ve done a lot of these large scale programs that have been grant funded or for organizations um where we set up online resources that are available 24 7. so you know, the next project that I’m doing it was of um is funded by the Ai CDR Foundation and we’re working with um national law enforcement to roll out resources for law enforcement officers to have more empowered interactions about mental health using a lot of the principles of conflict resolution um that go through all of the work I do with my company. So um yeah that’s coming out soon.

[00:38:36.72] spk_0:
Uh we have a drug in jail on nonprofit

[00:38:40.20] spk_1:
radio

[00:38:41.82] spk_0:
Ai CDR.

[00:39:25.32] spk_1:
Oh so a is the american arbitration association I cr is the International Center for dispute resolution. The two of them came together and they have a foundation, the A Ai CDR Foundation and they fund dispute resolution programs And so um I have a program that was funded by them through five different grants called the dispute resolution and mental health initiative. And what we do is we create resources for different communities. We’ve done it for families, for housing providers, for libraries now, for police um where we set them up with these online modular platforms where they can learn the skills they need and have tools they can use um in their regular practice as opposed to it being a one off training. So that way um they have, you know, ongoing access to resources um and in the hopes that they’ll be able to improve these interactions with mental health stakeholders

[00:39:47.32] spk_0:
dan Burstein, founder and mediator at Mh mediate you know how to reach him dan, thank you very much. Thanks for sharing.

[00:39:49.72] spk_1:
Thank you for having me,

[00:41:15.81] spk_0:
my pleasure and thanks to each of you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 ntc. Glad to have you with us next week, 22. NTC coverage continues with appealing to younger donors for the great transfer of wealth if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to Communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O And by 4th dimension technologies i Tion for in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits, tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like three D. But they go on to mention deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our Web guy and this music is by scott Steiner. Be With Me next week for nonprofit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Mm hmm. Mhm.

Nonprofit Radio for March 21, 2022: Improve Your Relationship With Failure

Ashley Good: Improve Your Relationship With Failure

We all know we ought to learn from failure. But most of us don’t have that healthy relationship with failure. Ashley Good reveals the breakdowns to help us improve the relationship. Her consultancy is Fail Forward.

 

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[00:00:15.84] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the

[00:00:18.54] spk_1:
the other

[00:00:45.04] spk_0:
95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of a tick a phobia. If you shared with me the fear that you’d miss this week’s show improve your relationship with failure. We all know we ought to learn from failure, but most of us don’t have that healthy relationship with failure. Ashley Good reveals the breakdowns

[00:00:47.43] spk_1:
to

[00:01:13.24] spk_0:
help us improve the relationship. Her consultancy is fail forward And Tony’s take two easy, comfortable donor relationships, responses by turn to communications. Pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s a pleasure to welcome Ashley Good. She is founder of fail

[00:01:16.33] spk_1:
forward,

[00:01:20.64] spk_0:
the world’s first failure consultancy supporting people and organizations to acknowledge,

[00:01:24.14] spk_1:
create

[00:01:24.77] spk_0:
and evolve from

[00:01:26.64] spk_1:
failure.

[00:01:28.24] spk_0:
A winner of the Harvard business review Mckinsey Innovating innovation

[00:01:33.23] spk_1:
challenge,

[00:01:34.54] spk_0:
fail forward helps businesses, governments and nonprofits harness their failures

[00:01:41.34] spk_1:
to

[00:01:44.94] spk_0:
learn innovate and build resilience. The company is at fail forward dot org and at fail forward. Ashley Good. Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:01:53.74] spk_1:
Thanks so much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

[00:01:57.74] spk_0:
My pleasure to have you. Thank you joining us from toronto I

[00:02:00.83] spk_1:
AM Yes. And you may be able to hear a little baby crying in the background. That’s my 10 month old who just woke up from his nap.

[00:02:18.44] spk_0:
There he is. Absolutely we are. We are. We’re not only family family friendly. The and anybody could be family friendly. We’re family embracing If you’re if you’re a 10 month old has to come in with

[00:02:20.50] spk_1:
you. I

[00:02:21.78] spk_0:
understand. We’ll,

[00:02:23.31] spk_1:
we’ll

[00:02:23.86] spk_0:
we’ll still be able to hear you over. No, no problem at

[00:02:25.99] spk_1:
all.

[00:02:27.54] spk_0:
Uh, so welcome. Welcome from one of our northern neighbors. Glad to have you.

[00:02:33.34] spk_1:
Thanks for that.

[00:02:34.74] spk_0:
You’re

[00:02:36.14] spk_1:
company

[00:02:39.24] spk_0:
bio starts with in many ways, our relationship with failure either unlocks our full potential

[00:02:45.34] spk_1:
or

[00:02:46.31] spk_0:
keeps us from ever realizing it.

[00:02:48.84] spk_1:
Please.

[00:02:50.27] spk_0:
I think that’s a great place for us to begin. Please explain that.

[00:03:50.84] spk_1:
Yeah, So I guess where that line came from is how our relationship with failure often is one that is rooted in fear. Um, at least that’s what I hear the most from my clients is they’re calling me because they feel like their fear of getting it wrong is the reason that they’re not taking the risks. They might otherwise desire to um, the fear of what might happen. Their fear of letting other people down. The fear of being seen as a failure by the folks around them, hold us back from maybe from doing a lot of the things that um, that might help us learn and grow and on the flip side of that, you know, our healthy relationship with failure is one where we feel we feel safe stepping out of our comfort zone, recognizing that that, that, that often deep discomfort we experience amidst our failure is um, really the thing that transforms us into the people that we, that we might become, you know, reaching that full potential as it were, is only possible for willing to push ourselves to the edge of what we’re capable of

[00:04:04.04] spk_0:
outside our comfort zone.

[00:04:08.04] spk_1:
Exactly. I

[00:04:09.94] spk_0:
do do organizations come to you when they’re in crisis

[00:04:13.66] spk_1:
sometimes?

[00:04:15.58] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:05:02.54] spk_1:
yeah, I get a little bit of both. I see too equally important sides of my work. There’s the learning component. So you’re, you’ve had a failure and often folks are not treating each other very well or they’re not communicating very well and they needed a little bit of support, um maximizing what they can learn from that event. So there’s the learning aspect of the work that I do, trying to maximize what we, what we take away and how do we move forward from our failures more wisely? Um, and then there’s what I might call like a risk taking or the innovation side, How do we create the conditions under which we can, we feel safe taking those risks where we’re confident enough to do the things that we might not know how to do yet. Um in order to push ourselves to keep up with the pace of change or are competitive pressures or whatever they might be.

[00:05:16.94] spk_0:
Mhm. I feel like the, the combination of your work and, and you’re thinking, uh, you should be, your name should be Ashley Exemplary. Okay,

[00:05:17.64] spk_1:
I don’t know about that

[00:05:19.70] spk_0:
because you, you want people, you want us to to to reach our full potential,

[00:05:24.94] spk_1:
absolutely

[00:05:25.95] spk_0:
not just be good, you want it to be, you want us to be exemplary, That’s the way I’m that’s what I’m hearing in the first few minutes. Anyway, I’m sorry for changing your name. I don’t mean to be so brash about, you know,

[00:06:11.34] spk_1:
well, and why I why I hesitate with it is because I mean, when I first started this company, I really thought I had something like I figured something out that I’m going to help people with, right? Like I’m gonna help people have a healthier relationship with failure and the more that I do this work, it’s been gosh, 11, 12 years now, the more I realized that I actually started it, because my own relationship with failure is so troubled and I probably need this more than anyone else. So um in asking people to, I kind of reached their full potential. It came from a place of actually wanting to build a healthier relationship with failure for myself as well. And um you know, tell myself it’s okay to be wrong, sometimes it’s okay to not be perfect all the time.

[00:06:17.84] spk_0:
Well, alright, I’m still gonna stick with Ashley Exemplary, but I’m sure we don’t have to go down that path.

[00:06:28.04] spk_1:
Tell a little

[00:06:50.44] spk_0:
about your your personal experience with failure. You you are public about that, you’re one of the things that you sent me to read in advance says, you know, you uh many of us including myself, you know, don’t have the right the right healthy relationship with failure, which we’ll be getting that we’ll talk about. But what’s a little bit of your own, your own background that I guess that led you to the you’re saying lead you to the work.

[00:10:35.74] spk_1:
Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. I could I could share that story in so many ways. Um I was inspired to work on this topic when I was working for Engineers without Borders, um working in international Development, working on an agricultural food chain project many years ago and saw lots of failures. I was working with incredible colleagues um who you know, were hand selected by the funding agency because they were exceptional. Um and yet when the when the donor came in to kind of ask about what was going right and wrong, um my exceptional colleagues, you know, didn’t didn’t necessarily share the whole truth. It didn’t lie, but but didn’t talk about the real fundamental challenges that that they were, that they were sharing. And I remember asking them afterwards, you know, why why didn’t you tell that guy what we’ve been talking about? Like he can actually change it for future projects and and it’s an oversimplification, but it was essentially like, you know, oh actually you’re so naive, like there’s no way we could do that. You know, we like, we like our jobs were great at our jobs because we can work around these things. Um, and telling that we all know, telling the donor isn’t necessarily the most advisable lot telling the donut the project was designed, it was designed incorrectly is not the most advisable thing for job longevity, shall we say. And, and I was really struck by that because it, of course they were right. Um, but it was my idealistic nature kind of held held tight and it frustrated me to no end that we can’t have those more honest conversations. Um, A a a longtime mentor, tim Brodhead described it as the dance of deceptions where um, nonprofits pretend to have the answer and the owners pretend to believe them and we just keep dancing in this dance of deception. Um, so that was really what sparked my passion for changing it. But I’d say on a, on a personal note as well, I, um, I had, I was at a very low point coming back from that experience. Um, and, and I, you know, I don’t need to describe for your listeners where we’ve all had ups and downs, especially over the last couple of years, but just in a, in a real, real pit. Um, and was, was walking, I pulled myself together was walking down the street and and realized that on the outside, you know, that the strangers that were passing me by, they’d never know how, how broken I felt inside. Um, and then, and I just had this aha moment where I realized that just like me, they, They could be suffering and I’d never know or they could be going through what I was going through or worse, 10 times worse. And I never know. And I had this moment of I’m just, I don’t, I don’t even know how to describe it, uh, clarity and I, and I, and love for these strangers. I was, I was passing on the street thinking that they could and probably would feel the suffering that, that I was in as well at some point. Um, and I, and I think that moment that made me like us a little wiser, a little more human, a little more empathetic. And, and I really held on to that belief in that moment because I think it helps me remember that those moments of suffering are what transform us and allow us to be more human. And that, that’s that those, that the hardest moments that were in, um, make us more

[00:10:51.24] spk_0:
human. That’s very at this poignant. Thank you for sharing. And you know, the, the empathy it makes me think of empathy for, for the,

[00:10:52.15] spk_1:
uh, the folks

[00:12:25.04] spk_0:
that your engineer colleagues were hiding the truth from. Uh, empathy for donors that we may conceal the truth from. Or I’ll just come right out and call it lie to about our, about our outcomes. But so empathy for those folks and, and how, how much of a disservice it is and how wrong it is to treat them that way, whether it’s a, I don’t know, it was a foundation or a government entity, whoever your engineering colleagues were talking to, you know, with billions of dollars of resources potentially. Or, you know, even if that wasn’t the case, but that could, that, that type of funder could be on one end of the spectrum, or is it a $50 donor who contributed to a larger program that I didn’t yield the outcomes that, that, that we had, we had hoped for maybe in, in, in, in any, in any kind of senate. Oh, it’s healthcare or feeding or whatever. Um, you know, the disservice we do, um, when we’re, when we’re not upfront and you know that I think it’s informed by all the talk about transparency and authenticity and honesty over the past. You know, that I guess that’s probably been 5, 7 years or so we’re supposed to be donor centric. Well, it started with donor centrism and then honesty and transparency and um, you know, we want to, we want to live the things that that were aspiring to.

[00:13:30.34] spk_1:
Absolutely. And I think we get into these patterns of interacting with each other where we feel we have to show up in a certain way. Um, and I I see, you know, we think that sharing our failures will show weakness. It will show, you know, it’ll show our incompetence, it will show that we don’t, we don’t really, you know, have it all together, we’re figuring it out as we go along. Um, and I fundamentally believe that when we share our failure as well as in we take ownership of them. We talk about what we learn, we talk about, you know, how we’re incorporating that going forward. It shows incredible strength and courage. Um, and I, the example I love to use because it’s so universal is um, is Babe Ruth, I’m famous baseball player who is famous for hitting somewhere in so many home runs, but he also held the record for the number of strikeouts for like over a decade, you know, and when he was asked about that, he said, um, well, every strike leads me closer to the next home

[00:13:34.28] spk_0:
run.

[00:14:10.24] spk_1:
And I think, I mean, we could all, we could all be a little bit more like Babe, as in, you know, he’s not denying that he got those strikes, like, yeah, I struck out, you know, I made the wrong call, maybe I lost us the game, I swung at the wrong pitch. Um, but I’m going to make sure that that gets me, that experience gets me or us the team closer to the next home run and here’s how and that can show incredible strength and courage if we can share our failures in that way. Um, and yeah, and like you said, demonstrate that authenticity and perhaps that it feels incredibly vulnerable, you know, even when we have that story of what the next home run is, it still feels terrifying to share those stories, but um but it can in that sense that you’re still doing it. It shows incredible strength to those listening

[00:14:32.74] spk_0:
I’ve said many times and many guests have said to uh vulnerability is a sign of strength,

[00:14:35.34] spk_1:
not

[00:14:35.93] spk_0:
not weakness, it’s a sign of confidence, not not weakness, vulnerability, humility.

[00:14:43.04] spk_1:
Yeah, one of those things that’s so easy to say, and then when you’re in the moment, almost impossible to

[00:14:59.84] spk_0:
do, alright, uh let’s talk about the ideal relationship with with failure, we’re getting into some of your more than nuts and bolts. Uh you have, you have a pretty straightforward cycle and then and then we’ll talk about why why we go astray?

[00:15:06.40] spk_1:
We

[00:15:07.10] spk_0:
go astray from the ideal. That’s that’s your practice, the filling the void between the ideal and the and the reality.

[00:16:21.14] spk_1:
Absolutely. So the the ideal is what I refer to as intelligent failure or a healthy relationship with failure. How do we feel? Well, basically um starts with acknowledging that failure is inevitable, just uh you know, expecting it from that perspective so that we can detect it early ideally. Um and then we want, when we detect it, we want to analyze it effectively to maximize our learning after that we want to apply that learning, we want to let that lessons learned, report collect dust on a shelf, how do we apply that to actually change our behaviors. Um, do something new or try again whatever it is. Um, and then how do we let that whole experience uh, inspire us to take, continue to take risks and bold action knowing that even the things that we try that don’t work out, we are able to recognize them, learn from them and apply that learning and move forward more wisely. Um, so that opens up more room to take risks and innovate, which of course leads to more failure, but hopefully different failures the next time around the loop and you can check out. Um, so if you google intelligent failure, you’ll probably see the loop come up on google, You can see the visual there.

[00:17:53.04] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications the problem because of their local missions, US community foundations are largely ignored by national media. So when the media covers philanthropy and public policy, community foundations are often left out the turn to approach media relations, building relationships. You’ve heard me talk about that before with national journalists and getting local community foundations op EDS and interviews. Also owned media, creating a website and social media presence to showcase the work of community foundations and capacity building ongoing resources and training for communications teams at local community foundations. So the community foundations were not getting attention. Turn to turn that around. You don’t have to be a community foundation to have turned to turn around your absence in the media, turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o This applies in all kinds of realms. I mean, I’ve seen it applied to software development. I mean, it certainly applies to, uh, nonprofit community.

[00:17:59.33] spk_1:
It’s

[00:18:00.16] spk_0:
just, it’s sort of universally applied, isn’t it?

[00:20:07.04] spk_1:
I mean, I think so. I think failure is a universal experience and um, and we want to react to it in that way. The, and I should stay just to give your listeners the utmost respect. Like I know they already know what I just said. Everyone already knows how we should respond to failure. We know we should, you know, detect it, acknowledge it, analyze it, change their behavior and continue to take those risks. Everyone knows that. Um, and in many ways we think we do it because we know what it is. But the reality is that almost none of us myself included are able to actually practice, um, that intelligent failure consistently when we’re in the midst of it. The great analogy that my co author Diana Kander shared with me was it’s analogous to what we do when we fall like when we, when we fall down, our instincts are to, you know, to put our arms out to brace our fall, we tight, tense up and we tend to break wrists and hips and all sorts of other things. Falling is the number one reason why people end up in the hospital. Um, and yet there’s a right way to fall. Uh and there’s there’s examples of physiotherapists and and even this 80 year old man that I read about that like practices falling well every day. And it goes around like assisted living centers teaching other generally older people how to fall well. And it’s totally different. You you let your body relax to kind of absorb more of the shock, you protect, you know, your head or your side with your arms depending on where you’re falling and kind of tuck and roll out of it. Um but that’s not what our instincts are and most people have never thought about that, right? We we don’t and the same is true with failure. We don’t think that our instincts might lead us astray. And no one, probably no one’s ever told us that our instincts might lead us astray. Um but in almost all cases, um our instincts and and often organizational norms, learned behaviors will cause us not to fill intelligently. Um and so we need to practice our tuck and roll out of our failures. Uh and and learn what that is.

[00:20:26.74] spk_0:
I just have one correction to make. Uh they they are our listeners, our listeners.

[00:20:31.14] spk_1:
Thank you. So

[00:20:52.94] spk_0:
where do we go astray? Um there there you call them exit ramps that we can uh we avail ourselves of very well as you’re saying, you know, very conveniently, but not not more than convenient instinctively. We avail ourselves of uh Mhm exiting the the ideal that ideal loop of failing intelligently.

[00:21:00.54] spk_1:
Oh, you know, it’s um how long is your podcast? Because I feel like this is the whole like I’ve been doing this work for 10 years, this is the whole reason I have a job. So I could go on for days about this. Well

[00:21:12.23] spk_0:
we have an hour,

[00:21:13.17] spk_1:
okay,

[00:21:14.09] spk_0:
Give us about another 40

[00:21:15.30] spk_1:
minutes. I will, I will try to but

[00:21:30.84] spk_0:
we don’t but I also would like we we need to spend some time on how to re conceive failure, you know, in your organization so that you’re avoiding some of the avoiding some of these exit ramps. So maybe maybe not every

[00:21:35.14] spk_1:
not

[00:21:36.22] spk_0:
every one of the the exits, but you know, there’s there’s some, there’s like like there’s some introspection involved.

[00:22:33.24] spk_1:
Yeah, I think there’s some common ones for sure. So I mean a big one folks, we tend to assume that it’s easy to detect failure. We just know when it happens. But a big challenge that I see is the is the kind of denial or escalating commitment um biases that we have that prevent us from even detecting that what we’re doing is a failure and have us keep doing the things that we probably should stop. You know, that denial comes from a place of either, we’re not getting the information that we need are asking the right folks for feedback about what’s working and what’s not um or simply confirmation bias. You know, we want to believe that things are working on are going well. So we look for information that reinforces that. Um, what about

[00:22:36.14] spk_0:
Tito, can we talk a little about personal and institutional, both on both levels? Ego.

[00:22:51.84] spk_1:
That’s interesting. I, so I’ll give you a personal example of this. Um, just before I started my company fell forward, I started a website called admitting failure And it was a place for anyone to share their stories of failure and learning, you know, never again, what a mistake he repeated because this website existed built into the database. There’s gonna be thousands, thousands of failure stories shared on this. Got a lot of attention to a lot of media interviews and you know, I, I don’t know, it’s been whatever 13 years since then. And there are 32 stories shared on that site. 32

[00:23:14.91] spk_0:
is a much more exemplary place than we realized certainly than you realize you’re just a negative, negative

[00:23:21.95] spk_1:
asking people

[00:23:23.26] spk_0:
Of humanity why why are you so harsh on humanity? There’s only, there only been 32 failures in 13 years.

[00:24:57.94] spk_1:
Exactly. Um, and, and on the other side of that, I’m totally amazed that 32 per strangers wanted to put the failures on my, but uh, and, and I had, I had some, some donor funding for that. And I remember the day very clearly when they were telling me like, no, this, this isn’t working actually. You have zero stories on this, this experiment failed, ironically the site about failure failed. You need to do something else. And I’m supposed to be great at this. You know, I’m supposed to be the one that has that healthy relationship with failure. That’s what I’m trying to help people create by building this site after all. And I’m sitting there talking to donors being like, you’re wrong, let me show you all of the reasons why this is working. And there were like a couple of indicators that it was going well, but they were right obviously, and I just, I don’t know if it, I wouldn’t call it ego so much as I loved the idea so much and I wanted it to succeed so much and and perhaps a little bit of sunk costs fallacy to like I’d sunk a lot of my time and energy into, to making it and I really wanted it to work that it was really hard for me to see that it hadn’t worked. And I had that optimism bias as well. Like I just, I thought that if we just kept at it and if I just did a few different things, we might figure it out and ultimately it wasn’t, it wasn’t gonna work if you build it, they will not share your favorite stories and just and and it was only through the process of accepting that that I was able to start fail forward and and realized what was actually needed and what I actually want to spend my time on, but but it didn’t happen immediately.

[00:25:21.84] spk_0:
Is there is there such a thing as a a final failure that that we we just it’s unreal. It’s unrecoverable. We’re going beyond, we’re getting little metaphysical, but that’s such a beautiful

[00:25:23.94] spk_1:
question. I

[00:25:32.44] spk_0:
mean, on the beyond the organization, maybe it’s an individual, you know, is there such a thing on either level as the final unrecoverable failure?

[00:27:20.54] spk_1:
And you know, I think it’s always possible that any failure will destroy us. I think it’s also always possible that any failure could transform us into something wiser if we let it, I think it has less to do about the actual facts of the event and more to do with where we’re at as as human beings, you know, do we have, Do we um do we have the resources we need uh and the support we need to actually recover and try again? Um Do people believe in us? Do we believe in ourselves? Do we have enough time to do that healing process and get enough distance from it that we can look objectively and learn the lessons that we need to do? We have the self awareness um to kind of ask ourselves the questions that we need to and bring in the people we need to to be able to maximize what we can learn from it. There’s a lot of different pieces that have to be at work there. Um but even the worst failures, I always um I always believe it is possible to use those moments uh to become more human. Vm The metaphor I love to use is the japanese art of repairing pottery with gold, I believe it’s called. Um So you take these broken pieces of pottery and you you glue them together with gold enamel and the pieces are just stunning and the art form recognizes that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. You’re not hiding it. You know, you’re not trying to put it back to just the way it was. Um you know, you’re saying like I I can be better because of this.

[00:27:29.14] spk_0:
So you don’t think there is

[00:27:30.59] spk_1:
a

[00:27:32.04] spk_0:
final final failure. If if you have the right support confidence resources, you know, the things that the things that you describe Alright, alright, I

[00:27:41.86] spk_1:
don’t, I don’t think any failure has to be final.

[00:27:44.08] spk_0:
I think you can mess

[00:27:45.12] spk_1:
up really, really bad and you can hurt a lot of people and and and and then it becomes even more important that you do the near impossible work of repairing with gold.

[00:28:10.04] spk_0:
Mhm. Those, you know, those resources that support even the confidence um

[00:28:11.44] spk_1:
that’s going to vary

[00:28:46.24] spk_0:
depending on your background, I’m I’m thinking of women minorities who don’t uh don’t in, in, in a lot of, a lot of situations have, you know have that even the internal the self confidence, let alone the external support and confidence resources that more privileged folks do have, that’s gonna, that’s gonna affect your your outcome from the same failure across all across all folks.

[00:30:23.44] spk_1:
I know and it is a who uh just in the injustice piled on the injustice, I guess that’s how I might describe that one that that the privileged and the ones that that have all those opportunities. Um you know, it’s it’s easy to feel it’s easy for for us to stand up and say like, yeah, feel fast, feel often go out, feel fast and break things, you know, and you put that poster up on your wall uh, when that speaks to a very small sliver of the population that can actually do that with that kind of gung ho rara Silicon Valley, um pizzas. Um it’s because, you know, they have endless resources and and uh and a and a culture that supports folks to try try again. Um, and I think, I think what’s really needed across um across those boundaries, like, you know, for for for all of us um to offer each other grace in times of failure that, you know, we all need that time and we’re all capable and and it’s always possible to um, to move forward more wisely. So how do we give each other that grace of the second chance um would be would be my invitation and not just to the to the uh, the privileged few, but to

[00:30:30.24] spk_0:
everyone interesting. Our, our conversation has taken a different turn for

[00:30:34.74] spk_1:
half

[00:30:35.04] spk_0:
an hour or so. But that’s fine.

[00:30:36.11] spk_1:
I

[00:30:37.96] spk_0:
only got to the

[00:30:38.55] spk_1:
first step around the loop and the exits. My goodness

[00:30:46.34] spk_0:
you did. I know well you’re, you’re, you’re suffering a lackluster host. You know, I, I think I digress and no etcetera. But uh,

[00:30:49.66] spk_1:
no,

[00:30:50.03] spk_0:
I think very, very informative introspective. You know, I appreciate your sharing your not your own, not only your own stories but

[00:31:00.04] spk_1:
your thoughts.

[00:33:04.74] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. I wish for you. Easy, comfortable donor relationships. What am I talking about? The kinds of relationships where you can pick up the phone, the person is going to take your call or if you leave a message, you’re very, very confident. There’s, there’s no question they’re gonna call you back. The kinds of relationships where you can write a quick handwritten note. It doesn’t have to be a formal letter 8.5 by 11 word document. The kinds of relationships where there’s trust. There’s and these relationships are fun. Right? Those are the kinds of relationships I hope you have with your donors planned giving donors or otherwise it doesn’t make a difference. Um, I posted about this on linkedin and Kirsten Hill suggested the word authentic to describe these relationships. Absolutely, Joanna brody also commented and reminded me that these kinds of relationships ease tension, Joanna. Absolutely right. So that if there is ever conflict, hopefully there isn’t. But you know, things happen on both sides. If there is ever a conflict it’s so much easier to resolve when you’ve got these comfortable authentic donor relationships. These are the kinds of relationships I hope you’re striving for and I hope you’re enjoying with your donors. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for improve your relationship with failure with Ashley. Good. See relationships again, the relationships are ubiquitous. Let’s talk more on, on an organizational level. What, what, what kind of culture? Um, what kind of ceo do, what can a

[00:33:08.35] spk_1:
supervisor

[00:33:18.14] spk_0:
of others who is not necessarily the ceo due to, to foster this. Um, intelligence failing.

[00:33:21.34] spk_1:
Mm hmm. What

[00:33:25.04] spk_0:
do we need to encourage others to think about? What do we need to do for ourselves?

[00:33:26.95] spk_1:
I

[00:33:31.14] spk_0:
guess acknowledging our own failures when they, when they occur setting the

[00:34:58.54] spk_1:
example. Mm hmm. Um again, there’s many ways I can answer that question. I think there’s an there’s an individual because organizations are made up of individuals. There’s something that everyone of us as individuals can do and leaders most importantly must do if they want to see a healthy relationship with failure thrive? Uh, so there’s the individual actions. There’s also kind of the organizational structures. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna touch on the individual side first. Um, and that’s simply, I, I love to talk about four mindsets or like our ground rules that I often set when I’m facilitating groups. Um So the ground rules are blameless nous humility, empathy and curiosity. So the blameless nous is recognizing that everyone makes, no one shows up to work hoping to mess up. You know, we’re all trying to do the best job possible. So blame really doesn’t make sense. You know what you really want to be doing is figuring out how exceptional talented, hard working, intelligent people. I made the wrong call and and we ended up with the result that was that was undesirable. Um You know, how did we arrive at that conclusion? What what information was missing? How you know it’s a process vlog what how so how did that happen? Never who who doesn’t matter. Um because everyone’s trying their best. We want to know how are great people. Um You know I got to the wrong answer right?

[00:35:11.64] spk_0:
So before we move to the empathy we we can we can avoid the finger pointing. I mean maybe we do that. Maybe that we do that behind closed doors but you know to try to improve. But but there’s not there’s not a lot of value in you know who caused who caused it. Like it could be

[00:35:21.69] spk_1:
that there’s no value in it. It’s completely counterproductive

[00:35:25.94] spk_0:
that

[00:35:26.73] spk_1:
that blaming someone has the exact opposite impact that you want it to. So it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Maybe they deserved to be finger pointed, who cares? Because by pointing fingers at them, you are guaranteeing that they show up even more

[00:35:41.31] spk_0:
defensive because they know

[00:35:42.75] spk_1:
that you’re blaming them and therefore the more defensive they are, the less likely they’re ever going to be to learn from that experience because you never learn if you’re stuck in that defensive position because you’re just there protecting yourself,

[00:35:55.17] spk_0:
protecting your job

[00:35:56.02] spk_1:
or you know, whatever,

[00:35:57.64] spk_0:
it’s not only them, everyone around them will see, see the, see the blame, see the injury that it causes to the blamed person or people and and react the way you’re describing. So

[00:36:21.53] spk_1:
it’s legitimate to be angry and upset that somebody did the wrong thing, I get that. So but deal with that within yourself before having the conversation with them. If you want to maximize what you can learn and move forward more wisely, I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s almost impossible,

[00:36:25.92] spk_0:
like so much of

[00:36:26.80] spk_1:
this, but but that’s the goal.

[00:36:30.18] spk_0:
Maybe it’s easier than almost impossible. Okay,

[00:36:33.90] spk_1:
depends on, it depends on the situation,

[00:36:41.33] spk_0:
reasonably likely that you can do this with some with some some of your own introspection.

[00:36:43.23] spk_1:
Yeah,

[00:36:44.35] spk_0:
it takes a lot

[00:37:48.03] spk_1:
of self awareness. Yeah. But yeah, that’s blameless nous right, recognizing that no matter how bad the decision the chances are that person did it with good intentions. Um the so the second and humility Um you know, so often we want to blame as opposed to looking at ourselves as I often say in groups, you know, even if the failure was 99% not your fault. What’s the 1% of things you could have done differently? What’s the 1% you did contribute or did what didn’t you do that? You might have, you know, really looking for your your own role in trying to see and own whatever piece you can the the empathy piece. I use the word empathy almost to get folks out of that tendency to judge. Obviously those judgmental thoughts are always there, especially in terms of failure when emotions are high. Um, and often the consequences are high. But really trying to get ourselves out of that tendency to judge and move into a stance of empathy, recognizing that um, you know, really putting yourselves in their shoes that you can see how they could have arrived at that conclusion or that decision, right? I understand they might have had this lens, you know, really trying to understand where they might be coming from. So even if you don’t agree, you can at least empathize with with their position. And then finally, probably the most important one.

[00:38:05.61] spk_0:
This is the second time we’ve talked about empathy.

[00:38:08.72] spk_1:
Mm hmm. It’s important that

[00:38:16.22] spk_0:
there’s a lot of a lot of that in this work because we’re talking because what we’re talking about its failure. You if you if you’re not going to have empathy for, you know earlier we were talking about the people who are mistreated,

[00:38:22.62] spk_1:
you lied

[00:38:28.72] spk_0:
to deceived, you know, whatever by errors of omission or um, You know, but now we’re talking about empathy for the folks who contributed even 1% to the failure.

[00:41:05.91] spk_1:
Yeah, often I hear when I’m facilitating in teams, you know, staff want to blame their boss, you didn’t set me up for success or the executive didn’t do this or the donor didn’t do this or whatever it is. Um, and it’s, and it’s stepping back from that that your judgments may be true, but it doesn’t matter. Can you understand where they’re coming from so that you can have a conversation with them about how you do better going forward. That’s the whole goal, right? The goal is learning moving forward more wisely. Um, anyway, the last of the four values or mindsets um, is curiosity and this is the one that I probably spend the most time on only because I think it’s, we’re so we’re such great problem solvers, especially in times of failure, we just want to identify the problem, I want to fix it and often what folks need much, much more than problem solving cause if it was easy to solve they would’ve already done it is the curiosity, you know, trying to, trying to help others deepen their learning around what around the experience and ask the curious questions to help understand their perspective. So you can get at that rich or learning to allow yourself to move forward more wisely. Um so those are those are the four mindsets that ideally, like I said, leaders exemplify, they share their own failures, they, you know, with that humility and that blameless nous. They get curious when other failures happen um and they empathize, you know, when they’re, when they’re folks maybe don’t, you know, implement their ideas as well as they could, but there uh they empathize with them and and ask how they can do better and then so that’s the, that’s the individual side and basically that’s for you, do this for your, your golden right? You might not even need the organizational side, but the reality is each individual, you know, it’s it’s a lot to put on an individual to ask them to show up with those four mindsets all the time. Um that and that our organizational structures often make that very difficult. So how do we shape our organizations? So that that’s the norm is basically the questions that I often ask, um executive teams because they’re in the position to start to shape recruitment systems and training systems and performance appraisal systems and um you know, the way stories are told and what stories get told and how people do after action reviews and do we create enough time and resources for those and basically my whole job on the organizational structure side is to make sure we’re not expecting X, but rewarding for why, as in like we’re expecting a healthy relationship with failure and people to own their failures and work together to have these conversations, but we reward people who defend themselves and throw other people under the bus and um, and prove that it wasn’t their fault. You know, we’re trying to avoid that, uh, that folly

[00:41:44.71] spk_0:
Many years ago when I was in the first year of the podcast, which is 10, this is our, this is our 10th year. So this is our 12th year. This part, this is our 12th year, 2010. Um, I had someone on from the new york times, Stephanie strom back when there was such a thing called the nonprofit beat in, in a, in a, you know, a world leader newspaper that doesn’t exist anymore. But she covered something that the World Bank ran called failure Fair

[00:41:46.41] spk_1:
Fair

[00:42:00.20] spk_0:
Fair had an E at the end F A I R E. Um, and they were, um, for listeners, this was the August 27th 2010 show. Um, the World Bank was highlighting

[00:42:01.79] spk_1:
failures

[00:42:08.70] spk_0:
was failure Fair be out be open. Um, and you know, 12 years ago that that wasn’t such

[00:42:11.10] spk_1:
a, there

[00:42:53.50] spk_0:
was, we were in the dark ages, I’d say of, of, of intelligent failure may be failing intelligently. Probably didn’t, maybe not even even existed as a phrase, but um, it was, it was the dark ages in any case. Um, so I, I don’t, I don’t know if the World Bank continues that or did it again, but They did it in 2010 and for such a high profile organization, International Organization to do that. I thought it was exemplary. You know, it merited coverage. The new york times felt felt that. So uh of course the new york times follows non profit radio that’s how they get their ideas for for chauffeur articles is by listening to the property naturally. Um anyway, just a shout out to the World Bank and I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of failure fair.

[00:43:18.60] spk_1:
Yeah, I spoke at one of my hosted the, if you excuse my language, the puck up nights in Toronto for a while. Um Knights, Knights. Yeah, they are, it’s not necessarily in the non profit world, but it’s largely entrepreneurs that get together and it’s kind of a a very authentic networking experience. Pre covid obviously, but a

[00:43:23.19] spk_0:
very good chance

[00:43:24.25] spk_1:
to come together and share share failures. Where

[00:43:26.89] spk_0:
where was that? Was that in Canada?

[00:44:00.39] spk_1:
They are in hundreds of cities all over the world now started by Leticia Gasca out of Mexico City and spread across the world. I I’m a real, I mean obviously I hosted, I’m a real fan of these events for many reasons. I think the best thing that they do is de stigmatize failure, they bring, you know, all these, all these earnest folks together and they have a couple of great speakers lined up to share their failures honestly and openly, and you just had this experience in the audience of watching these people share and you’re like, oh my gosh, like that’s a really bad failure and they’re still standing

[00:44:05.13] spk_0:
really,

[00:44:05.37] spk_1:
really,

[00:44:05.64] spk_0:
I

[00:44:07.52] spk_1:
Remember 1 1 guy,

[00:44:09.98] spk_0:
the session

[00:44:10.50] spk_1:
I was hosting, it was like millions and millions and millions of dollars, and I was like, I’m getting nervous as your host.

[00:44:17.70] spk_0:
But

[00:45:44.09] spk_1:
anyway, and you and you see, and you see that they that they lived through it and that they are stronger because of it, like you and you watch them and and you know, no one’s throwing tomatoes at them, you know, they really are the strong wise leaders at the front of the room still. And so there’s this real de stigmatization that happens, it allows everyone in the audience to kind of put down their usual masks that you wear when you’re at networking events and actually show up a little bit more more human as I’ve said a number of times in this interview. Um so I love them from that perspective, I think the danger in them is that we assume that if we share those failures, no one else is going to make that mistake, like that’s how we’re going to learn, and I would say they’re not a very good learning tool because it’s so rare that someone in the audience isn’t exactly the same position and needs to learn that exact same lesson. So I think it’s great from a cultural perspective. Um, and I’d say the other risk in them that I I feel really uncomfortable with them and not for profit world is the celebrating failure because those failures have real consequences on people’s livelihoods. So when you have an event and you’re making light of them, i it just it doesn’t sit well with me. I’m all for de stigmatizing failure in a healthy relationship with failure. But I can’t get behind celebrating it because you know, you’re talking about people’s livelihoods. Um, and

[00:46:01.38] spk_0:
maybe people who are impacted in other ways by by the failure. You know, if the if the project or program didn’t go well because we didn’t understand the culture in in Eritrea than than those people of you know, there may be relationships damaged there

[00:46:05.98] spk_1:
that

[00:46:09.68] spk_0:
where we, where we came with good intentions but uh, you know, but messed up people’s lives on the ground somewhere to

[00:46:41.88] spk_1:
Yeah, and to me that I mean that is not to be celebrated right? That is like I have a moral obligation to maximize what I learned from this experience. Like I’m allowed to get it wrong, I’m I’m not, I don’t have to be perfect, but if I do get it wrong, it is my responsibility to learn what I can from that and share that. And I think that’s more if we can come at it from that tone. It speaks a little bit more to me than I think some of these events got a little too um celebratory,

[00:46:43.07] spk_0:
celebratory. Yeah. Not

[00:46:45.22] spk_1:
to say that the lights aren’t fun. They are fun, but acronym is fun, but you know, it’s it’s from a place of recognizing how important it is that we learn from those.

[00:46:57.68] spk_0:
Wasn’t that uh the premise for your database was

[00:47:02.92] spk_1:
that

[00:47:04.08] spk_0:
nobody would make these mistakes again

[00:47:07.48] spk_1:
was wrong?

[00:47:24.78] spk_0:
I know I’m not I’m not I’m not I’m not blaming wright. I’m not blaming, I’m trying to I’m trying to be empathetic, but that was one of your objectives was to to prevent this from happening again. But right now, I mean the likelihood of someone being in the same circumstance, you know, a similar program, similar set of facts. Very reading

[00:47:34.54] spk_1:
that particular story on that web, particular website that they may or may not know about is that it’s pretty unlikely

[00:47:46.98] spk_0:
right? That too, Yes, they’ve got got to go to the website and read it. Yes. Um

[00:47:47.42] spk_1:
made a few mistakes in my assumptions around that project.

[00:48:00.67] spk_0:
What about a story um case um anonymized or not. I don’t, you know what, where uh an organization turned around. It’s it’s it’s thinking and maybe maybe maybe didn’t necessarily fail a second time more more intelligently,

[00:48:10.37] spk_1:
but you

[00:48:10.50] spk_0:
know, where you you saw, you saw a change

[00:48:12.86] spk_1:
in an in an organ at

[00:48:17.67] spk_0:
an organizational level that was that was going to make it more likely that in the future they would fail intelligently,

[00:49:00.97] spk_1:
You know, it’s funny, I often get asked for organizational examples like who do we look to to really um you know, be a role model for this and I shy away from it mostly because it’s not an arrival, like it’s not, you know, I have figured this out, I now have the perfect organizational structure and our leadership is exemplifying these things and we have like gold, gold star certification, we are an intelligence failure organization. It just, You know, I’ve been doing this for 10 years, I’ve worked with some incredible organizations, incredible leaders um and it’s, there is no end point in this,

[00:49:04.35] spk_0:
it’s a journey then

[00:49:23.37] spk_1:
maybe we’ll talk about it individually, it’s probably a little bit easier. I’ve been trying to promote a healthy relationship with failure for over a decade and I still struggle with my own failures and I still respond badly sometimes, you know, I’m aware of it often or probably hopefully I can recognize

[00:49:30.39] spk_0:
it in myself a little

[00:50:58.26] spk_1:
faster than most people do, but I still suck at it. So for me it is not about like this organization is totally figured it out, it’s how do we see this as a practice? Um kinda like staying in shape I guess, you know that we’re going to the gym and we’re lifting those heavy weights because we know that we have to keep doing that if we want to keep our muscle mass, like I think the same thing is true with um with a healthy relationship with failure, we want to keep pushing ourselves, keep taking those risks and seeing ourselves fall down and right, I know what I’m supposed to do when I do this, I’m supposed to own it and I’m bringing together the people that were involved to analyze it and that’s really uncomfortable and I don’t want to have that conversation, but I’m going to and I’m going to try to change my behavior and I’m going to ask for people to tell me when I make that mistake again. Um and I’m going to continue to push myself and that’s that’s kind of the the forever cycle. There isn’t necessarily an arriving um and I think there’s a lot of, a lot of groups that I’ve worked with that have taken, you know, three steps forward, two steps back, you know, another step or two for, you know, it gets a it’s hard to keep up. Um It’s hard, there, there is no example is basically my long winded way of saying that that, but there are a lot of incredible organizations who are doing incredible things with incredible leadership um really striving to make what is not instinctive work. Um

[00:51:14.36] spk_0:
Yes, counterintuitive, not right, but it’s a it’s a journey, it’s a practice. Alright, alright, you told an interesting story on another conversation with someone about um

[00:51:15.66] spk_1:
one

[00:51:24.96] spk_0:
Step Forward, two steps back um a an explorer in the in the North Pole. I thought that was a poignant story. Can you

[00:51:30.46] spk_1:
absolutely share

[00:51:31.94] spk_0:
That 1? You know what I’m talking about?

[00:51:39.66] spk_1:
I do. I do and you know what his name is totally escaping me. So please go back in your show notes and like reference the name. I’ll look it up after the

[00:51:41.57] spk_0:
interview.

[00:53:39.95] spk_1:
Um But it was a an explorer who an arctic explorer. So on the arctic ice sheets um And the North Pole has no no landmass, right? It’s just ice sheets that are constantly constantly moving around. He’s trying to make it to the North Pole. And you know, he’d walk and walk for hours and hours and at the end of um you know 10 12, 14 hours of walking. You have to set up camp and rest because you know, he’s still human and he said his gps and he’d wake up in the morning and would often find out that he had floated back and undid all of the work that he’d done the days before trying to make that progress. And he would still have to pack up his camp and keep marching towards that North Pole. And how um oh gosh! You can only imagine how that would feel like the futility of it, the the powerlessness in that moment of changing the directions of the ocean currents underneath you that are moving you further away from your definition? I think such a beautiful metaphor for what we often experience in our work. You know, we work so hard and toil and just the, the forces of the ocean can pull us away from that goal. And um, and he had some great wisdom to share and again, I apologize for not remembering his name, but it was basically he’d wake up and and even with that information that he had just been moved far further away from his gold while he slept, um, he’d set his sight on one ice mount, You know, whatever it was 50 ft away and say, you know what if I make it there today, that’s success and that’s that’s what he needed to pack up his gear, put back on his skis and and keep going and he gets that iceman and say, okay if I make it to that iceman today is a success and and little by little those little, those little those days, those little goals, you know, eventually, um I reached that North Pole goal

[00:53:55.35] spk_0:
mm actually, good founder of fail forward. The company is at fail forward dot org and at fell forward Ashley, thank you very much. Very stimulating, interesting conversation. Thanks thanks so much for sharing

[00:54:03.95] spk_1:
my pleasure

[00:54:07.34] spk_0:
next week. Talk about humility. I’m working on

[00:54:09.24] spk_1:
it.

[00:54:10.14] spk_0:
If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com.

[00:54:16.44] spk_1:
We’re

[00:54:53.34] spk_0:
sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our Web guy and this music is by scott Stein. Thank you for that. Affirmation scotty be with me next week for nonprofit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the The other 95%. Go out and be great, mm hmm.

Nonprofit Radio for December 20, 2021: Zombie Loyalists

My Guest:

Peter Shankman: Zombie Loyalists

Peter Shankman is a 5x best selling author, entrepreneur and corporate keynote speaker. His book “Zombie Loyalists” focuses on customer service; creating rabid fans who do your social media, marketing and PR for you. This is our annual rebroadcast of a show with very smart ideas for you to think about over the holidays. It originally aired 12/19/14.

 

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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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[00:00:04.14] spk_3:
Hello

[00:00:52.94] spk_2:
And welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the embarrassment of Brome Hydro sis if I had to walk through the idea that you missed this week’s show. Zombie Loyalists. Peter Shankman is a five time best selling author, entrepreneur and corporate keynote speaker. His book, Zombie Loyalists, focuses on customer service, creating rabid fans who do your social media marketing and PR for you. This is our annual rebroadcast of a show with very smart ideas

[00:00:57.71] spk_1:
for you to think about

[00:01:19.84] spk_2:
over the holidays. It originally aired December 19, Antonis, Take two Thank you for the year We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. Here is a zombie loyalists.

[00:02:41.54] spk_1:
Peter Shankman is a well known and often quoted social media marketing and public relations strategist. His latest book is Zombie Loyalists. He wants you to create rabid fans who do your social media marketing and PR for you. He’s got super ideas and very valuable stories. I’m very glad Peter Shankman is with me in the studio. He is the founder of Haro. Help, a reporter out connecting journalists with sources in under two years from starting it in his apartment. Horror was sending out 1500 media queries a week to more than 200,000 sources worldwide. It was acquired by Vocus in 2010. He’s the founder and CEO of the Geek Factory, a boutique social media, marketing and PR strategy firm in New York City. Peter is on NASA’s civilian Advisory Council. You’ll find him at Shanklin dot com, and he’s at Peter Shankman on Twitter. His latest book is Zombie Loyalists, using great service to create rabid fans. I’m very glad his book brings him to nonprofit radio and the studio Welcome, Peter. Good to be here, honey. Thanks Pleasure. You, um, live on the West Side of Manhattan And you and you. There’s a there’s a pretty well known five star steakhouse. I’ll get Wolfgang’s not far from you,

[00:02:44.54] spk_0:
but you pass

[00:02:45.28] spk_1:
it to go to a different steakhouse. Correct? Morton’s correct. Why is that?

[00:04:33.94] spk_0:
I am a zombie loyalist to Morton’s. What does that mean? I, uh love the service, the attention to detail, the quality, the the sort of where everyone knows my name mentality. When I walk into that Morton’s or any Morton’s around the world, they have a tremendous, uh, customer relationship management system. When I call one number, uh, in New York or anywhere in the world, it they know who I am by my cell phone. And, uh, I’m treated with just, you know, phenomenal, uh, happiness to to hear from me and my wishes are granted as it were. I we have a happy hour holiday party coming up at Morton’s next couple of days. And, you know, as always, I forgot to call and make a reservation. And, you know, I called yesterday and said, Hey, I need a, uh, she has to get a reservation for seven people. Um, you know, Thursday night at seven p.m. Which is, you know, the week of the holiday party, and, uh, they looked and they said, Oh, well, and then I guess their computer system kicked in. Of course, Mr Shank, not a problem at all. We’ll get the frame and we you know we’ll have. We’ll have a great booth for you that, um, you know, and we’ll we’ll tell us the names of people attending and, you know, you know, you know, they’re gonna have specialized menus for them and their names on they Really, they have a really high level of service that they provide, not just to me. That’s the beauty of it. You know, it’s one thing, everybody. Yeah, it’s one thing that they just provided to me, but they do that for everyone. And that is huge because, you know, being able to call when a normal person makes reservation. And not that I’m special. I’m actually rather abnormal. But when a normal person makes a reservation and says, Uh, no, Martin says. Okay, great. Are you celebrating anything? So, yeah, it’s my wife’s birthday that’s always asked to anyone who calls. I said, Oh, you know what? It’s my wife’s birthday. Great. What’s her name? And her name is Megan. Whatever. And you go in and they and you sit down on the on the on the menu. It says, Happy birthday, Make it. And then Megan, whoever she happens to be, we’ll spend the next 45 minutes, you know, taking 50 selfies with her menu and and that will go online. And when her friends, you know, want that same experience, they’re going to go Morton’s,

[00:05:04.54] spk_1:
you say, uh, in in the book, you get the customers you want by being beyond awesome to the customers you have. And that’s why I wanted to start with that Morton story, which is in the middle of the book. But they do it for everybody, and then they have the V. I. P. S as well. And there’s the terrific story of you tweeting tell that story. That’s a good story. It’s

[00:07:24.54] spk_0:
a good story. I love stories. I was flying home from a day trip to Florida and was exhausted and starving, and they trip meeting you’re flying down and slow down at six a.m. At a lunch meeting, flew back the same day. You know, one of those one of those days, and I jokingly said, the tweet Hey, Morton’s, why don’t you meet me at Newark Airport when I land with a porterhouse in two hours? Ha ha ha ha ha. Um, you know, I said it the same way you’d say, Hey, winter, please stop snowing. Things like that and I landed. Uh, find my driver and sit next to my driver is a, uh is a waiter in a tuxedo with the Mortons bag. They saw my tweet. They put it together. They managed to bring me a, uh, a steak and, you know, as great of a story as it is, it’s that’s that’s it’s a great stunt and it’s a great story and it wasn’t stage, and it was completely amazing. But, you know, that’s not what they’re about. They’re not about delivering states airports. They’re about making a great meal for you and treating you like world when you come in. And you know, if they just did that, if they just delivered the state of the airport, but their quality and service sucked, you know, it wouldn’t be a story because, you know, you know what they did for Peter. But, you know, my steak is cold. So what it really comes down to is the fact they do treat everyone like kings. And that’s that’s really, really important, because what ends up happening, you have a great experience importance. And then you tell the world you know Oh, yeah, Great dinner last night. that was amazing. I would totally eat there again. And as we move to this new world where you know, review sites are going away and I don’t I don’t need to go to yelp reviews from people I don’t know. You know, if they’re shills or whatever the case may be, I don’t know. Or trip Advisor. Same thing. I want people in my network quite trust and and people in their network who they trust by default, I trust. So that’s gonna be that’s already happening automatically. You know, when I when I land in L. A and I type in steakhouse, uh, you know, not me. I know, I know where the steak house in l. A. But if someone types into Google Maps or Facebook Steak House in Los Angeles, you know they’ll see all the steak houses on Google map. But if any of their friends have been to any of them, they’ll see those first. And if they had a good experience, only if the sentiment is positive. Well, they see those first. And that’s pretty amazing, because if you think about that, the simple act of tweeting out of photo Oh, my God. thanks so much. Martin’s love this. That’s positive sentiment. The network knows that. And so if you’re looking for a steakhouse, you know, and your friend six months ago, I had that experience. Oh, my God. Amazing state. This is a great place. There’s a the sentiment’s gonna be there. And and And the network will know that network will show you that steakhouse because you trust your friend.

[00:07:25.84] spk_1:
And this is where we start to cultivate zombie loyalists. Exactly. Through this awesome customer service of the customers, you you have to say more about

[00:08:22.64] spk_0:
zombie. I mean, you have so many companies out there who are trying to get the next greatest customer. You know, you see all the ads, you know, the Facebook post. You know, We’re at 990 followers are 10 are 1000. Follower gets a free gift. Well, that’s kind of saying screw you to the original 990 followers who you had who were there since the beginning. We don’t care about you. We want that 1000 you know, that’s not cool. Um, the the the companies who see their numbers rise and you see their fans increase and their their, um um revenues go up are the ones who are nice to the customers they have. Hey, you know, customer 8 52. It was really nice of you to join us a couple months ago. How? You know, how are you? We noticed that you posted on something about a you know, your car broke down. Well, you know, we’re not in the car business, but, you know, your your two blocks from our our closest outlet or whatever. And you know, if you if you need to come in, have a cup of coffee when I use the phone, Whatever. You know, those little things that you can do that that that really focus on the customers you have and make the customers. You have the ones who are the zombies who tell other customers how great you

[00:08:35.54] spk_1:
are. And this all applies to non profits, certainly as well in

[00:09:12.94] spk_0:
the system. But even more so, I mean, if you you know, non profits are constantly worried about how to how to make the most value out of their dollar and how to keep the dollar stretching further and further, and you know you have this massive audience who has come to you, who is a non profit? Who said to You know, we want to help here we are volunteering our help and just simply treating them with the thanks that they deserve, not just as simple. Hey, thanks for joining us, but actually reaching out, asking what they want, asking how they like to get their information. Things like that will greatly increase your donations as well as, um, making them go out and tell everyone how awesome you are and letting them do your PR for you. And

[00:09:17.22] spk_1:
that’s what a zombie loyalist does. And this is for this. Could be donors could be volunteers organization who aren’t able to give a lot. But giving time is enormous.

[00:09:25.27] spk_0:
And if you know if they have such a great time doing it, they’ll bring friends

[00:09:29.84] spk_1:
as zombies.

[00:09:49.84] spk_0:
Do you know zombies have one purpose in life? A. Real zombies have one purpose in life that’s to feed. It doesn’t matter. How the Mets are doing it doesn’t matter, you know, because chance that they lost anyway. But it doesn’t matter how, how anyone is doing, you know, or what’s going on in the world and any kind of bad. It doesn’t matter what matters with zombies. Where are they gonna get their next meal? Because they feed and they have to infect more people. Otherwise they will die zombie loyalists to the same thing. All they have to do is make sure that their customer, they tell the world, and we all have that friend who does it. You know that one friend who eats nothing but the olive garden because oh my God’s greatest breadsticks everywhere, you know and they will drag your ask the olive garden every single time they get that chance. That’s a zombie loyalist,

[00:10:04.75] spk_1:
and you want them to do that for your nonprofit, and there’s a big advantage to being a smaller, smaller organization. You could be so much more high touch, and we’re gonna talk about all that. We got the full hour with Peter Shankman. Gotta go away for a couple of minutes, stay with us.

[00:10:35.54] spk_2:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. You’re 2022 writing. Do you have time to do all the projects that you need to do? Like social posts and blog posts, newsletters and annual report Web updates board reports, fundraising appeals and acknowledgment messages. What about your staff Communications? What about your process? Documentation? What about training and on boarding documents?

[00:10:51.74] spk_1:
Do you need help with writing

[00:10:53.52] spk_2:
In 2022?

[00:10:55.64] spk_1:
I mean, you can talk to them about

[00:11:24.24] spk_2:
2023, but that seems premature. But if you need help in 2022, with all your projects talk to turn to, they can create the content for you. They’ll get to know your tone and your messaging. They’ll create in your voice, turn to communications. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to zombie loyalists.

[00:11:27.44] spk_1:
Peter, it doesn’t take much to stand out in the customer service world, does it?

[00:11:52.24] spk_0:
It really doesn’t, you know. And the reason for that is because we expect to be treated like crap. You know, if you think that I I I love this example. Whenever I give speeches, I asked, I asked everyone the audience I’m like who here has had a great flight recently, Like at least one person raised their hand. I’m like, Okay, what made it great and without fail. And I said, Well, we took off on time and I had the seat I was assigned and we landed on time. And so you paid for a service. They delivered that service and you’re over the freaking moon about it. Like that’s the state that we’ve become. You know, that’s how bad customer service has been that you are just beyond thrilled that they did exactly what they said they were gonna do it. Nothing more.

[00:12:05.51] spk_1:
Less than 20 minutes in the post office line.

[00:12:24.44] spk_0:
And I’m ecstatic Exactly. You know, it’s so we really are at a point where we only have to be one level above crap. I’m not even asking my client to be good. Just one level of crap. You know, if everyone else’s crap and you’re one level above that, you’re gonna win. It’s my favorite. One of my favorite jokes. Um, the two guys are out in the woods hunting in the woods and or just jogging and was the first one sees a bear and they see these bearings bears raised and he’s about to strike. And the first one reaches down and tightens up his laces on his running shoes and see what the studios don’t be. Don’t be. Don’t be an idiot. You can’t outrun a bear because I don’t need to. I just need to outrun you. You know, I love that joke because it’s it’s so true. That’s the concept. You know, all you have to do is be just a little bit better than everyone else and you’ll win the whole ballgame.

[00:12:50.14] spk_1:
Now we have to set some things up internally in order to have the structure in place to create these The zombie loyalists.

[00:16:14.14] spk_0:
Yeah. I mean, you have a you have a company where the majority of people in your company are afraid to do anything outside the norm, you know? I mean, look at look at the cell phone company. You know, they call them cause you have a problem, right? 18 T or T mobile. You call them, you have a problem. They are actually the customer service people to handle your caller, actually judged and rewarded based on how quickly they can get you off the phone. You know, not on whether or not they fix your problem, but how fast they can get you off the phone. Which means how many more? Cause I remember I worked when I worked in America Online. We all had to do a day of customer service every month just to see what it was like. That was a brilliant idea. But, you know, again, it was a system called Vantive, where you’d sign on and as soon as you signed on, if you want to call, you know, that was tacked against you. And if you were in a call and and it went over a certain amount of time, that was tacked against you, So the decks were stacked Not in the favor of the customer. There are some companies out there who allow their customer service employees to simply be smarter about what they do and do whatever it is they need to do to fix the problem. Um, you know, my favorite story about this Verizon, uh, wireless. I went overseas as in Dubai, and I landed to buy and I turned on my phone. I had gotten global roaming on my phone, Which, you know, $20 for every 100 megabytes. Okay, so I land and I turn on my phone and it says, um, like before I’m even off the plane. I get a text that you’ve used $200 in roaming charges on what the hell you know, $300 by the time I get off the plane. Like something’s up here. So I called Verizon and a nice guy answer the phone and Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, the first thing that was Yes. So you do have global roaming, but it doesn’t work in Dubai, I’m like, Okay, well, that’s not really global. That’s more hemispherical. Roaming, I think is the issue. And so the, uh I said, Well, look, I’m gonna be here for a week. I said, you know what? You have my credit card on file build me like I don’t know. Can you give me, like, 1000 bucks and just let me have the phone for, like, the week? And you know, daddy, you know, 500 bucks, I won’t go over two gigs. Would just do something for me. Sorry, sir. I’m not authorized to do that. Um, you can. I’m like, So what do I have? He’s like, Well, you can pay $20.48 a megabyte. I’m like, I’m sorry. Seriously, which equates essentially two. I will be charged $20.48 seconds, $20 or 48 cents for every I think at the time was for every four seconds of the video Gangnam style, if I decided to watch on my phone Like this is pretty ridiculous. So I simply hung up, hung up on Verizon. I went down the street to do by the mall of the Emirates, which is the largest mall in the world, has a freaking ski slope in it. And I’m not joking. It has a ski slope in the small and, uh, went to one of the 86 different electronic stores in this mall. Uh, but an international unlocked version of the same exact cell phone I have went next door to the local SIM card store, bought a SIM card that gave me 20 gigabytes of data and 1000 minutes of talk for $40. I then put that in my phone because it’s an android phone. I simply typed in my user name and password for Google and everything imported, and Verizon did not get a penny on that trip. Um, how easy would have been for Verizon to say Okay, you know what? We’ll cut your brake uh, they still make a lot of money off me. And I would tell the world how great Verizon was to work with and how wonderful, how helpful they were. Instead, They guaranteed that I will never they will never make a penny for me on any international trip. And I take, what, 15 of them a year. Because now my cell phone, um, my international cell phone that I bought all I do is pop out the SIM card in my land. Wherever I am, put in a new SIM card. So

[00:16:14.85] spk_1:
and you’re speaking and writing and telling bad

[00:17:32.54] spk_0:
stories, Of course. And and every time I tell the story about Verizon, I make it a little worse. Apparently, Verizon, uh, tests out the durability of their phone by throwing them kittens. I read this on the Internet Must be true, but, you know, not necessarily. But you know, the concept that that all they had to do, all they had to do was in power mark customers. And it wasn’t Mark’s phone. Mark was a really nice guy, but he was not allowed to do that. He would get fired if he tried to do a deal like that for me. And so it’s this concept, you know. And the funny thing is, it comes down to if you really want to go down the road. In terms of a public company like Verizon of where the issue is, you can even trace it to fiduciary responsibility because the fiduciary responsibility of any company CEO all the way down to the employee is to make money for the shareholders. Okay, that’s the future. Responsibility means by not allowing me, they’re not allowing Mark, the customer service agent to to help me and take a different tack. He’s actually losing money. Too many CEOs think about the next quarter, so we have to make our numbers. Next quarter, I’m fired. Companies in other countries tend to think of the next quarter century, And they make a much bigger difference because they think, Okay, what can we do now that will have impact in the next 5, 10, 15 years, you know, and really implement the revenue that we have and and augment and companies Americans don’t think about that, and that’s a big problem. I

[00:17:39.24] spk_1:
buy a product line, uh, has a lot of natural and recycled materials its seventh generation and their, um, their tagline is that in in our every decision, we must consider the impact on the next seven generations. It comes from an American Indian.

[00:17:48.98] spk_0:
It’s a great it’s a great line. I mean, just think about how much money Verizon would have made for me in the past three years. Just just in my overseas, you’d be telling

[00:17:55.71] spk_1:
a story about like them about Martin’s like the one of Morton’s

[00:18:19.64] spk_0:
look, a lot of people listen to me and they for a time when you Googled roaming charges variety When you Google Verizon roaming charges. My story about how I saved all this money came up first because I did the math. And if I had not called Mark and bought my own self on and done this, I would have come home with $31,000 cell phone bill and your damn of what I’m gonna do anything about that would be like up Too bad. Sorry should read the fine print

[00:18:23.91] spk_1:
and plus the the employee who sold you the quote international

[00:18:27.56] spk_0:
plan, right?

[00:18:28.53] spk_1:
I’m sure you told her,

[00:18:29.93] spk_0:
she said, where we’re going, I’m going to Canada and I’m going to Dubai. I’m assuming she didn’t know where to buy, was she? Probably. It was near Canada, but, uh, yeah, Long story short, I couldn’t use it.

[00:18:40.14] spk_1:
All right. So employees have to be empowered. There has to be. We have to be changing a thinking too. I mean, the customer has to come first. The donor of the volunteer

[00:20:41.74] spk_0:
Don’t volunteer. You get at the end of the day, where is your money coming from? I don’t care if your nonprofit or Fortune 100, where’s the money coming from? You know, and if you we see it happening over and over again, we’re seeing what you’re seeing right now. Play out every single day with the company uber, um, and uber. It’s so funny because uber makes, uh, you know, they’re valued at $40 billion right now, but that doesn’t mean anything that doesn’t mean anything. If people are running away in droves, which people are, there’s a whole delete your uber app movement. People are God’s people are leaving. What’s the problem? Well, it’s several number one. That uber is run by a bunch of guys who honor the bro code. The company was actually started by a guy who, in on business in business insider, said he started the company to get laid. Um, his goal was to always have a black car When he was leaving a restaurant, uh, to impress the girl he was with that he came out and said that And you see that culture run rampant throughout uber, um, from their God mode, where they can see they actually created. It was, uh I don’t know where I read this business insider as well. It was They created a hookup page that showed or or or or walk of Shame Page that showed where, uh, women were leaving certain apartments like on weekends going, leaving certain place on weekends, going back to their home. Um, it was obvious that they, you know, met some guy like they did that. And then, of course, just their whole surge pricing mentality, which is, you know, two days ago there was a couple days ago. It was a the terrorists of the figures, a terrorist attack in Sydney at that at that bakery and Sydney, uh, uber and Sydney instituted surge pricing for people trying to get out of harm’s way. You know, and and they later refund it. Always a computer glitch. You know, I’m sorry. You have a stop button. And you can when you see something happening like that, this has to be someone in the office, because you know what? Not cool. We’re going to take care of that and and hit the stop button. And it was Yeah, bad tons and tons and tons of bad publicity. You know, I was having an argument with one of my facebook page facebook dot com slash peter Shankman Because they said, Oh, you know, um, so what? They don’t they don’t turn on surge pricing, don’t have enough cabs there, and, you know, people can’t get home. I said I’m pretty sure that the only I’m sure that no one had cab companies there. I’m sure that there wasn’t anyone who had enough cars, their private cabs, ubers, whatever. Yet the only stories I read about companies screwing up during the event where uber not Joe’s Sydney cab company. You know, I didn’t see him screwing up because he didn’t turn on surge pricing. You gotta You gotta respect your customer. You have to,

[00:21:07.34] spk_1:
As we’re training for that then not only, uh, trying to change their mind shift. Well, in in trying to change that mindset rewards for for customers, for employees that do go, do go the

[00:22:11.74] spk_0:
extra mile. Well, first of all, if you give the employees the ability to do it to go the extra mile and I understand they won’t get fired, you’re not gonna get into. I always tell every one of my employees you’re never gonna get in trouble for spending a little extra money to try and keep a customer happy. You’ll get fired for not doing it. You know, you get fired for, not for seeing an opportunity to fix someone and not taking not doing everything that you could. You know? Ritz Carlton is famous for that. Ritz Carlton hires people not because whether they can fold a bedsheet but for how well they understand people. Because in Rich Collins mind, it’s much more important to be A people person and be able to be empathetic. And that is such a key word. Empathy is just so sorely lacking. You know how many have called customer service? Yeah, you know, I have to have to change my flight. My my my aunt just died. I really need to 100. Okay, great. That’s $300. I just want to go an hour earlier. You know, you show up at the airport, your bag is overweight by half a pound. $75. I just Can you Can you just cut me some slack? Nope. So empathy and giving the custom, giving the employee the ability to understand that the customer that sometimes you can make exceptions and it is okay to make changes.

[00:22:18.91] spk_1:
And this is where a smaller organization has huge

[00:22:33.84] spk_0:
advantage. It’s easier to change. That’s what kills me. You know, I go to these. I try to frequent small businesses when I can I go to some of these small businesses and they won’t they act like large businesses, you know, in the respect that they don’t have a like they

[00:22:35.45] spk_1:
want to be respected. Almost. They

[00:23:14.14] spk_0:
Don’t have, like, a 66,000 page code that they have to adhere to. They can simply, uh, do something on the fly. And yet, for whatever reason, they won’t do it. And and it’s the most frustrating things. Like guys, you’re acting like a big you’re acting like Mega Lo Mart here, you know, And you’re not Mega Lo Mart, and you’re just Joe’s house of stationary, whatever it is and you know, Not be able to help me. You’re pretty much killing yourself because you don’t have 85 billion customers that come through the door after me, you know? But I have a pretty big network, and for small business to get killed socially, as social becomes more and more how we communicate, you know, it’s just craziness.

[00:23:23.64] spk_1:
It’s, you know, we’re pretty much in the world. I think we’re something almost hasn’t happened to you unless unless you share it.

[00:25:44.34] spk_0:
I joked that, you know, if I can take a selfie. Was I really there? Um but it’s true, you know, we we do live in a world where, you know, I remember God 10 years ago. Maybe not even not even 10 years ago. I was one of the first people to have a phone in my camera you know, and it was like drinking from that’s what I said. Yeah, I can’t find my phone right. And it was like a I think it’s a 0.8 megapixel, you know, it looked like I was taking a picture with a potato. But it was, um it was this. I remember it was 2000 and two, and I was in Chase Bank and there was a woman arguing with the teller, and I pulled out my video. You know, it was it was the crappiest video you’ve ever seen. But I pulled it out and I said, You know, uh, I started recording, and the woman behind the woman behind the counter was the woman behind the counter was talking to the customers, saying, You do not speak to me that way. You get out of this bank right now and the customers saying, I just wanted my balance, and you and the manager comes over and get this whole thing on my little crappy three g Motorola phone phone. And I remember I posted online, and Gawker picks it up. I gave my email. You know, my headline I put on my blog was, you know, chase where the relationship is that Go after yourself, you know? And it was It just got tons of play. And then Gawker picked it up. It went everywhere. Totally viral. So it’s one of those things here, just like, you know, this was in 2000 and two. It’s 12 years later. How the hell can you assume that nothing is being that you’re not being recorded? You know, I I remember blowing I sneezed a couple weeks ago and, uh ah, not to get too graphic here, but I needed a tissue big time after I was done, anything. I remember going through my pockets looking for desperate, looking for tissue and looking around making sure I wasn’t on camera somewhere that someone didn’t grab that. Give me the next viral sensation, you know? I mean, I went God, I went to high school with eight blocks from here, right? If the amount of cameras that are in Lincoln Center today Were there in 1919, 90 be having this conversation entirely, I’d be having this conversation behind bulletproof himself. And, um, yeah, so you know, you’d be you’d be talking to You have to get special clearance to visit me, probably at the Supermax in Colorado. So, you know, it’s it’s one of those things that you’re just like my kid, who’s who’s almost two years old now is going to grow up with absolutely no expectation of privacy the same way that we grew up with an expectation of privacy. And I’m thankful for that because she will make a lot less stupid moves. You know? I mean, God, the things that I thought, you know, in, in, in, in high school I thought the stupidest in the world. Thank God there wasn’t a way for me to broadcast that to the world in real time. Jeez, thank God

[00:25:59.64] spk_1:
creating these zombie loyalists. And we’ve got to change some. We’ve got to change culture and thinking and reward systems. Let’s go back to the cost of all this. Why is this a better investment than trying to just focus on new donors?

[00:27:20.74] spk_0:
I love I love this analogy and I’ll give you a fun analogy. Let’s look at a bar and there’s a very cute girl across the across the park and she catches my eye catcher. I go up to her go. You know you don’t know me. I am amazing in bed. You should finish your drink right now. Come home. Let’s get it on. I’m gonna impress. I’m that good chance that she’s gonna throw a drink in my face. Go back talking to her friends. I’ve done a lot of research on this. That’s probably understand. Now let’s assume let’s assume an alternate world. I’m sitting there on my phone. I’m just playing like, you know, some words with friends like that. And, uh, she’s over there talking to her friends, one of her friends. Holy crap. That’s Peter. I think that’s Peter Shankman. I’ve heard him speak. He’s in this fantasy world. I’m single, too. He’s I think he’s single and he’s having this amazing guy. I know he has a cat you have. You should totally go talk to him. At the very least, I’m getting this girl’s number. That’s PR. Okay. And what do we trust? More me with my, you know, fancy suit collar Going over the seventies, leaders did. Hi, I’m amazing. Or the girl saying, Hey, we’ve been friends since third grade. I’m recommending that guy. You should trust me on this, You know, obviously that that’s where, uh, good customer service comes into play. And that’s where corporate culture comes into play. Because if I have a great experience with you and at your company, I’m going to tell my friend when they’re looking and I will stake my personal reputation on it. And there’s nothing stronger than that.

[00:27:26.19] spk_1:
And these are the people who want to breed

[00:27:27.55] spk_0:
as it’s stronger than advertising stronger the marketing

[00:27:30.74] spk_1:
and they’re gonna share. People

[00:27:55.94] spk_0:
want to share that. I think about the Internet runs on two things. It runs on drama, drama and bragging or bragging and drama. And if you if you need any proof of that, you know, go and look at all the hashtags with crap that’s happened, you know, bad customer service, bad, whatever. But then look at all the good Hashtags. You know, when our flight’s delayed for three hours and we lose our seat. Oh my God, I hate this airline. Worst airline ever. But when we get upgraded right hashtag first class bitches or whatever it is, you know something stupid like that and the whole because we love to share. It’s only a great experience if we can tell the world, and it’s only a bad experience if we can make everyone else miserable about it as well.

[00:28:54.94] spk_2:
It’s time for Tony’s take two Thank you for the year. It’s been another the second in a row up and down years. But you can count on nonprofit radio, and I know I can count on you are consistent, loyal podcast listeners year after year or some of you. Some of you knew this year. Welcome. Whether you knew this year whether you’ve been with us for a long time. I mean, this is show # 570. So, have you been with us 570 shows? Um, that’s a long time that I’ve been here. I’ve been here 570, however long. Thank you. Thanks for being with us. Yeah. And up and down year yet again. But, you know, you can count on nonprofit radio,

[00:29:00.74] spk_1:
and I know I can count on you.

[00:29:31.84] spk_2:
That’s the That’s the bargain. So thank you. Thanks for the year. We’re gonna be off next week and then and then back in early January. Thanks very much. So glad to have you with me. That is, tony. Stick to We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for the classic zombie loyalists.

[00:29:41.34] spk_1:
Peter, you have a golden rule of social media that that a good number of customers like to share and people are going to keep doing it.

[00:31:15.14] spk_0:
People will always share again. It goes back to the concept that if you create great stuff, people want to share it because people like to be associated with good things. If you create bad stuff and buy stuff, I can meet, I mean anything from a bad experience. Too bad content. People not only won’t share that, but we go out of their way to tell people how terrible you are. Um, you know, how many times have you seen companies fail horribly? Uh, you know, after major disasters when companies are tweeting, um, you know, completely unrelated things after after a random school shooting? Uh, no. It was after the shooting at the theater in Aurora, Colorado at the Dark Knight. Um, the NRA tweets. Hey, shooters, what’s your plans for this weekend? You know, and I’m just going, really, you know, but And of course, the thing was, the thing was retweeted millions of times, you know, with the sort of shame on the NRA. So we we’re a society. Like I said earlier, that loves to share when when great things happen to us, but loves to tell the world when we’re miserable, because we’re only truly miserable. We make everyone else miserable right now, Um, it’s funny you mentioned, uh, generosity series, Uh, the one of my favorite stories, which goes to sort of a bigger picture of culture. And, um, somehow when you’re just doing your job because that’s what you’re supposed to do your job. But you don’t realize there are ways to get around that. I I listened to your podcast, among others, when I’m running through Central Park, Um, and more like, if you know, my body type more like lumbering through Central Park. But I get there. I’m an iron man. I have, I have that. And so I go through Central Park and it’s super early in the morning cause I usually have meetings and I don’t run fast. Um, I run like I really don’t run fast, but But as I’m running, But

[00:31:24.23] spk_1:
let’s give you the credit. You have done a bunch of iron man. I have try.

[00:33:28.64] spk_0:
I do. I do it, you know, my mother tells me that I just have very poor judgment in terms of what sports I should do. But, um, on the flip side. I’m also a skydiver, which is with my weight is awesome. Yeah, I fall better than anyone. Um but so I’m running through central park. Last year it was February, February of of 13 and 14 of this year and it was probably about 4. 45 in the morning because I had a an eight. AM meeting. I had to do 10 miles. So 45 in the morning, I’m running about but around 19, 79th, 80th Street on the east side, in the park and a cop pulls me over and I said, What are you doing? I look at him, you know, I’m wearing black spandex. I have a hat. It’s five degrees. I don’t like what I’m playing checkers, you know? But, you know, I’m like, I’m running and he’s like, Okay, can you stop running? I’m like, Okay, because they give the park’s closed like, No, it’s not like I’m in it. Look around. There are other people who know part does nobody else exam. I’m like, he’s like, Do you have any idea on you? I’m like, No, I’m running. He goes, What’s your name? I’m like, seriously, like I’m writing you a summons. I’m like you’re writing me a summons for exercising. I just want to clarify that you’re writing music, and sure enough, I wrote me a summons for exercising in Central Park before it opened. The charge was breaking the violating curfew. You know, I’m like I get the concept of the curfew is to keep people out after two a.m. It’s not to prevent them going in early to exercise, to be healthy. I’m like, I’m not carrying, you know, a six pack. I’m not drinking a big gulp. I’m not smoking. I’m you know, I’m doing something healthy, and you’re writing me a summons for it. Um, and I said, you know, I’m gonna have a field day with this. I said I I kind of have some fathers. There’s gonna be a lot of fun. I’m not, You know, I know you’re just doing your job, sir, even though you have the discretion not to, but Okay, so I go back home, take a picture of my ticket, I email it to a friend of mine in New York Post. You know, front page, New York Post. Next day. No running from this ticket. You know for that. Great New York Times covered it. Runner’s world covered. I mean, I went everywhere. Gawker covered it, you know? And And my whole thing was just like, Dude, you have to scratch. Look at me. You know, I’m not I’m not even going super fast, for God’s sake. I’m just I’m just trying to exercise here, you know? And of course, I went to court, and I beat it. But how much money they cost the city for me to go to court, fight this thing? You know, every employee you have to give your employees the power of discretion. The power of empathy to make their own decisions. If you go by the book, bad things will happen.

[00:33:36.14] spk_1:
And again, small shops. So much easier to do. Flat line, flat organizations.

[00:35:10.94] spk_0:
I work with a non profit um, animal rescue nonprofit. Um, a friend of mine was a skydiver and shot him out. No, I can’t, but but there’s a friend of mine was a skydiver, and she was killed in a base jump several years ago. And her husband asked to donate in her memory to this non profit. So I said, I’m a check and about three months later, I get a coffee table book in the mail. And I was living by myself at the time. I didn’t own a coffee table. It was more money to spend on my flat screen. And I remember I call I look at this coffee table book. I throw it, I throw in the corner. I look at it over the next couple of days and pisces me off. And how much How much of my donation did it cost to print? Well, and produce this book to me, And so I called them up. Well, sir, we believe most of our donors are older and probably refer to get a print version as opposed to, like digital. You know where they throw it away and like, you don’t throw digitally, but okay, um, I’m like So So you’ve asked your you’ve done surveys and you’ve asked, you know, we just assume that most of them are older. I’m like, Okay, So I opened my mouth, wound up joining the board, and I spent the next year interviewing customers, interviewing every current and past donor about how they like to get their information and shock of shocks, 94% said online. And so over the following year, we launched Facebook page, Twitter page, uh, Flickr account, YouTube, everything. Ps the following. After that, donations went up 37% in one year In that economy is right around 809. Donations went up 37% in one year, and they saved over $500,000 in printing, mailing and reproduction. Imagine going to your boss. Hey, boss. Revenues up 37%. And we saved a half million dollars. You’re gonna buy a really good beer. You know, all they had to do was listen to their audience, be relevant to the audience you have, and they will tell you what they want. We have tons

[00:35:17.89] spk_1:
of tools for segmentation. My God, you’ve got to listen to what segment that you want to. People want to

[00:37:33.83] spk_0:
be in. You know, someone? Someone asked me that they show what? What’s the best? I knew nothing about the company. What’s the best, uh, social media outlet for me to be on? Should be on Twitter should be on Facebook. I said, I’ll answer that question. If you can answer this this this question to ask you is my favorite type of cheese Gouda or the number six? Yeah, they say, I understand that’s not a real question like neither is yours. Like I can’t tell you where the best place to be your audience can. I said, Go ask your audience. Believe me, they will tell you there’s a gas station in the Midwest. Come and go. Um, I just love the name K U M and G O come and go and they’re tackling the book you can read more about. Their tagline is always something extra. I mean, come on, the jokes just write themselves, for God’s sake. But they don’t take themselves too safe. Really love that Come And just knowing the name of the company gas station. And, um, you know, I remember there in Iowa and I went to visit a friend in Iowa and I was like, You got to get a photo of me in front of come and go inside. And the beauty of this is that some of their employees actually look at their customers when they’re on their phones and the stories go. You know what do use Twitter or Facebook? And they say Oh, yeah, And they record that information and they know it. God, customers will give you so much info if you just ask them, because then they feel invested. They feel invested in your company. They feel like they that you took the time to listen to their nonprofit request for their their their questions. And they feel like they did for Harrow. Every month we have a one question Harrow survey, you know, harrowing question survey. And it was like 1000 people respond, and I spent the entire weekend emailing Everyone responded, thanking them personally took my entire weekend. But it was great, because what wound up happening is that, you know, if we took their advice and launched on Monday with the new thing, they go, Oh, my God. Howard did this. They took my advice. Well, yeah, it was your advice to 800 other people’s advice, but we took it and they’d be like, Oh, my God, this is it. And it just it just made them so much more loyal. And they tell hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people we get I mean, there were days like there are days where I was in Temple one morning, the Garment Center synagogue and my phone. I feel my phone getting really hot in my pocket, which is not normal, and I’m starting to hurt and I look at it. It’s almost on fire. It had frozen because we were mentioned in Seth Godin’s morning blog, and at that time I was getting emails. Every time we get a new subscriber and the phone is actually frozen and was locked and and was like overheating, I take out the battery and reset the entire phone because we just got so many new like 14,000 subscribers in, like, three hours. It’s obscene. Obscene,

[00:37:35.25] spk_1:
you say. Excuse me? You say, uh, that customer service is the new advertising marketing NPR?

[00:40:23.41] spk_0:
Yeah, it really is well again. You know, if we’re moving into that world where so imagine a lava lamp and I love that. I can use this analogy. Imagine a lava lamp. Lava lamp has water, oil and heat source. Right heat source heats the oil. The oil flows through the water. It makes pretty colors. I’ve heard it looks really good when you’re high. Now I’ve heard now imagine if Crystal’s imagine if you are, uh, everyone you meet in your network, okay, is a drop of oil. The water is your network. And what is your world? Everyone you meet in your network from from the guy you’re sitting doing the radio interview with to the guy who serves you ice cream with local deli to the guy who does your dry cleaning to your girlfriend to your wife, too, at the same time to your kid’s second grade teacher to your second grade teacher years ago. Everyone you meet is in your network, you know, right now, when Facebook first started, I would see the same weight from a kid with junior high school with his posted at the same weight as like my current girlfriend, Which is ridiculous. I don’t need to know about everything my friend from junior high schools do. We have to talk to the kid. In 15 years, Facebook’s gotten a lot smarter as Google. Now I see the people I communicate with the most, okay, and if I if I reach out and communicate with new people, they start rising in my feet and my stream. If I don’t they fall. It’s just like a lava lamp. Every person you connect with is a drop of oil. The heat source at the bottom that’s rising. Raising or lowering those drops of oil is relevance. So if you imagine the heat sources relevance and the more I interact with someone, the more the higher they go in my network. And the more I see of them, the more trust level there is. When I’m at a bar and I meet someone at a restaurant or conference, I meet someone. I don’t need to, um, connect them. I don’t need to go on Facebook and friend requested, you know, awkward friend. Requesting is when you stop and think. The last time I friend requested some of the real world was second grade. Will you be my friend? My daughter is doing that because, you know, she goes into like, the cat. Will you be my friend like honey? The cat doesn’t wanna be here, but you know it’s this awkward thing. Who the hell friend request someone anymore? If I’m if I’m hanging out with you to bar and we connect again and we talk and we go out to dinner and we’re having a good time with friends. I don’t need to first request that you, you know, that’s going away Friending following liking and fanning is all going away. What will interact is the actual connection. So if I meet with you and I have a good time with you and we talk again if I use your business, if I go to your non profit, if I donate if I volunteer or whatever the network knows that the more I do that, the more interact with you. The more you have the right to market to me and the more you will be at the top of my stream and the more I will see information about you, the less I will have to, uh, search for you. But if you do something stupid or were no longer friends, yeah, you’re going to fade and unfriend, you just disappear. Unfriending is also awkward. I dated a woman we broke up. It was nine months after we broke up. There was one other friend, the other one, because it’s just awkward. So I woke up in front of me anyway. But you know the concept of not having to do that, just, you know? Okay, I haven’t talked to in a while. I don’t see your posts anymore. It’s the real world. That’s how it should be.

[00:40:24.73] spk_1:
And if you’re not feeding zombie loyalists, they can start to defect questions. So I want to I want to spend a little time on. If you’re

[00:41:11.71] spk_0:
not talking to them, giving them what they want talking about their information, helping them out, they will gladly go somewhere else to someone who is. You know, if I have a great experience in the restaurant every week for three years and then all of a sudden over time, I’m noticing less and less that restaurants doing less and less to take care of me, you know, and maybe management to change. And I don’t feel that, you know, I’m ripe for being infected by another company. I’m right for someone else to come see. You know, Peter, Because if I tweet something like, Wow, I can’t believe I have to wait 40 minutes for a table that didn’t used to be like that. If someone else is smart restaurant, they’re following me. And they’re gonna get you know there’s no way. No way over here. Why don’t you come to black storms will give you a free drink you know, you know, and that right there, that’s the first sign of infection, and I might become infected by another by another. Company becomes a lot less for them.

[00:41:22.81] spk_1:
And so let’s let’s take. You have a lot of good examples. Let’s take a one on one situation. How can we start to cure that? The simple act of realizing

[00:41:42.21] spk_0:
following your customer’s understanding when they’re not happy and fixing the situation before it escalates. You know you can contain a small out Brett. A small outbreak small viral outbreak. You can contain that by getting the right people finding out what the problem is getting into one room, fixing their problems, healing them.

[00:41:42.84] spk_1:
You have a good united story. Back when it was Continental,

[00:42:40.50] spk_0:
I was a frequent flyer and booked a trip to Paris, and it was very angry because they charged me $400 and looking for you. Remember what it was and I called the CEO just just for the hell of it. I’m like, I’m gonna I’m gonna write a letter or an email. This was before Social wrote an email to the CEO and like this is ridiculous. I’m freaking tired, huh? And, like, 30 minutes on my phone rings. Hello? Peter, can you please hold for Larry Kellner, CEO of Cotton Airlines? I’m like crap, you know, and the guy gets on the phone. He’s like, Peter, How you doing? How you doing? Sorry, Clinton. These fees, their new, um, we send them a note, I’m guessing it and see it. We’re gonna waive them for you. But if you have any more problems, you know, feel free to call me and I end up the phone for the next 40 minutes, sort of staring at it like Holy crab Larry killed or the CEO of United. Everyone just called me and talk to me, and it was like it was like, God coming down and say you now have the power to levitate your cat. It was just ridiculous. And so, you know, I have been faithful to Continental and now united ever since, and and they continue to treat me with respect and and do great things, and they’re they’re improving. They’re getting a lot of crap over the past several years, and they really are starting to improve. It’s nice to see

[00:42:52.50] spk_1:
And not only, of course, your own loyalty. But

[00:42:54.41] spk_0:
you’re my God.

[00:42:55.11] spk_1:
How zombie loyalist for them And how many times how much it’s

[00:42:58.83] spk_0:
unquantifiable qualified. Dr. Drag, So many friends to united. I’ve made so many friends. Uh, my father, you know, uh, he only flies united now, which means he only drag drag my mom Only in United only drag my wife in United States. There’s a lot of a lot of work that way. Yeah.

[00:43:22.80] spk_1:
Are we gonna go away for a couple of minutes when we come back? Of course, Peter. And I’m gonna keep talking about his book Comes out in January. Zombie loyalists. You have some examples of zombie loyalist leaving and mass like dominoes. Netflix. They’re both They’re both in the book. So it’s so one leaving. If you know, if you’re not starting to cure one leaving,

[00:43:59.20] spk_0:
and then that’s the thing. You know that it will expand the internet with the hashtag everything like that. You know, it doesn’t take a long time. Um, for those things to sort of blow up in your face and, uh, you know, the end of the day, everyone say, Oh, you know Twitter is responsible for for us losing. No, they’re not. You’re responsible for you losing, you know, And And if your product isn’t great and you’re your actions, don’t speak well of who you are. Then there’s no reason your customers should stay with you, you know? And it was so social Media is really hurting us. I know you’re hurting yourself. The only difference is that social media makes it easier for the world to know about.

[00:44:06.14] spk_1:
They’re just telling the story. Yeah, dominoes and Netflix are good examples because they got back, they took responsibility and

[00:44:38.89] spk_0:
they both owned the dominoes, came out and said, You know what? You’re right. Our pizza. We do have a problem. We’re gonna fix this. And they spent millions fixing it. And sure enough, they’re back with a vengeance. Now I’m I’m maybe not even ordered them every once in a while and I live in New York City. That’s that’s a That’s a sacrilege. But, you know, I have the app on my phone from overseas, traveling somewhere I’ll be showing or whatever. And you know what? You’re gonna get it 11. 30 at night when your flight is delayed. You land down. Um, which reminds me I’d probably go exercise. On the flip side, you look at something like Netflix. They they also were screwing up, you know, They were losing their trying to switch between the two. They came up with a new name and everyone’s like, gross public man. And so and again you’re watching the same thing happened with uber right now would be really interesting to see if they’re able to repair themselves.

[00:44:55.39] spk_1:
Listening is important. Both both those. Both those two examples. They listen to their

[00:46:54.48] spk_0:
customers. I think there’s a problem with listening because everyone’s been saying, Listen, listen, listen for months and years and years and years now, But, you know, no one ever says that you have to do more than just listen. You have to listen actually follow up. It’s one thing to listen, you know, I use example, my wife I can sit there and listen to her for hours, you know? But if I don’t actually say anything back, she’s gonna smack me, you know, and go to the other room. And so you really have to. It’s a two way street. Listening is great, but you gotta respond and look, I’ll take it a step further. I was like, Oh, Twitter is so great because someone was complaining on Twitter and we went online, and we we saw the complaint that we fixed the problem and, yeah, how about if the problem don’t exist in the first place? You know, because the great thing about Twitter is that yeah, people complain on Twitter, the bad thing about it is they’re complaining about you on Twitter. So it’s like, What if the problem didn’t exist in the first place? What if What if you empowered your front desk clerk to fix the problem so that I didn’t have to tweet? Hurts is my favorite story about all this? Uh, I used to rent from Hertz religiously. Um, and then I went to, uh, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport this past April, And I gave it. I was giving a speech, and I go and I my name is supposed to be on the board, you know? So I can go out to my car and it wasn’t it’s okay. It happens. I got upstairs. I wait 40 minutes on the v. line. um, after 40 minutes, they finally say? You know, there’s a, uh, only one guy here. A lot of people might have a better chance to go up to the regular line, like Okay. You probably have told us that a little earlier. Go to the regular line. Spent 45 minutes waiting. The regular line, it’s now been. Are you tweeting while this is happening? Well, I had enough. I was actually not only tweeting I had enough time to create a meme that should give you some idea of how long I was online with myself. And I was okay. Enough time. I mean, I get to the counter how I can help you. Yeah, I was downstairs the V i. P does, and they told me Oh, you’re very preservationist downstairs like, Yeah. Okay. Let’s let’s put a pin in that, um They just sent me up here, like right? They have to help you. Well, it’s not really they You guys are the same company. I mean, I can see the reservation on the screen. You you can help me. Sorry, sir, I can’t help. You have to get the V i p. Next. Like you just next to me. Okay, so if you know anything about Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. Um, all of the rental car company in the same place. So I walked 50 ft. It’s a

[00:46:57.76] spk_1:
bus, takes you to the big the Big pavilion, where they’re all

[00:48:53.37] spk_0:
next to each. I walked 50 ft from the cesspool of filth and depravity that was hurt to the the wonderful Zen Garden of Tranquility that was Avis. And in four minutes, I had a nicer, cheaper or nicer, less expensive car given to me a woman named Phyllis, who was 66 and moved to Phoenix from Detroit with her husband for his asthma. I knew this because she told me, um, she smiled at me. She brought her manager out and said, that’s another refugee from Hertz and I said, This happens a lot. They’re like, Yep, I’m like, Wow, you think they have done something about that? And so on the way out in Avis, um, I I thank them. I walked past her as I shoot them. This, you know, sort of look at the look of the beast. I get my Avis car to drive in my hotel. Once I get my hotel, I write a wonderful blog post about my experience called Peter and Hurts and the terrible, Horrible No book. Good, really bad customer experience. Once you have a kid, you find rewriting titles about your blog post that has to do with kids books. Um, I do not like hurt Sam. I am. And and, uh, I included in this blog post the five things I’d rather do than ever, uh, rent from Hertz again. I think number three was was ride a razor blade bus through a lemon juice waterfall. Um, with just, you know, and so. But, of course, the next day hurts reaches out to me. I’m Shannon. Well, this is the head of North American customer service. So your bike I’m like, they’re like, you know, we’d love to have Nick No. Like, you’re not going to fix the problem. Number one of the Navy’s car. I’m never going back to Hertz number two. There are five people. Yesterday five people interacted with all of whom had the chance to save me and keep me as a customer for life. A customer who had been so happy and I would have loved you. five people blew it so don’t waste your time trying to convert me back. You’re not going to. What you want to do is spend some of that energy retraining your staff to have empathy and to give them the ability and the empowerment to fix my problem when it happens. Because five people it takes every single employee to keep your company running. It takes one to kill it. Yeah, PS Avis reached out, um, to thank me personally. And, uh, I am now just this ridiculously huge, loyal fan of Avis and always will be.

[00:49:02.47] spk_1:
You have a pretty touching story about when you worked at a yogurt shop. Really? You’re really young? Um, we have a couple of minutes to

[00:50:39.26] spk_0:
tell that. Tell that story that was on the East Side, which again is yet another reason why I live on the West Side. Nothing good ever happens on Manhattan’s east Side. So I was I was working, and I can’t believe it’s yogurt, which was a store that I think back in the I c b y. No, no TCB. Why was the country’s best yoga The countries I c b i y was a poor? I can’t believe it’s yogurt I can’t believe it’s not. You can’t live yogurt. It was a poor attempt to capitalize on that. And I’m working at this store, and I go in every day and make the yoga to clean the floors. I do. You know, the typical high school job. And, uh, it was during the summer and thousands of people walking by, I think, like 2nd Avenue or something. And there were these brass poles that hung from, you know, there was an awning, right? That’s something that they’re never the brass poles that held the awning up and they were dirty as hell, right? I’m sure they’ve never been polished ever. And I found some. I found some brass polish in the back all the way back in the back. And one afternoon I went outside and I started polishing the polls. My logic was, if the polls were shining and people saw them, maybe they come into the store. Maybe they want to, you know, buy more screenplays. And the manager came out. What the hell are you doing? I told them what I thought. I don’t pay you to think. Get inside. You know, I’m like there’s no customers in there, like, Okay, I’ll make sure the yogurt still pumping it full blast. And I quit. I just quit that job. I mean, I couldn’t even begin to understand why someone would invest. I mean, do you own a franchise by 50 grand to at least to buy that franchise? Why wouldn’t he invest in the two seconds it took a little elbow grease to make the poles clean? That might bring in more customers. What the hell? You know, But

[00:50:40.04] spk_1:
you’re not paid to think

[00:50:49.76] spk_0:
you’re not paid to think my favorite line. Yeah, um, I I just I encourage if any kids are listening to teenagers. If you if you boss says that to you, quit, quit. I will hire you. Just quit. It’s probably the worst thing in the world that you could possibly do because you have customers who you have customers who every day can be helped by people who are paid to think. And that’s the ones you want to hire.

[00:51:00.56] spk_1:
We gotta wrap up. Tell me what you love about the work you do.

[00:51:44.76] spk_0:
I get paid to talk. I mean, my God, this is the same stuff I used to get in trouble for in high school, but on a bigger picture. What I really love about it is being able to open someone’s eyes and have them come back to me. Um, I run a series of masterminds called shank mines Business masterminds shank mines dot com their day long seminars all around the country. And I had someone come to me and, you know, I took your advice about X y Z and I started listening a little more. And I just got the largest retainer client I’ve ever had in my life by a factor of four. She goes, and I just can’t even thank you never sent me a gorgeous bottle of tequila like I can’t even thank you enough. Oh, my God. Being able to help people, you know, at the end of the day, we’re I’ve yet to find another planet suitable for life. I’m looking So we’re all in this together. And if that’s the case, you know, why wouldn’t we want to help people get a little bit more? You know, there really isn’t a need to be, as do she. As as we are as a society, we could probably be a little nicer to each other, and you’d be surprised that will help.

[00:51:54.56] spk_1:
The book is Zombie Loyalists. It’s published by Pal Grave. MacMillan comes out in January. You’ll find Peter at shankman dot com and on Twitter at Peter Shankman. Peter, thank you so much pleasure as Amanda. Oh, thank you

[00:53:05.15] spk_2:
Next week, As I said, No show you’ll have an extra hour. Have fun, have fun with your extra our next week, and we’ll be back on January 3rd. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. A creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez Marc Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty. Be with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 Go out and be great.