Episode 148: Transcript
Positive Results with Positive People Treatment
Speaker 0 00:00:04 Make It Right, The manufacturing podcast. Welcome to the maker ride podcast. I’m Janet Eastman. And this week on the show, Kevin snuck and I continue our conversation with Dr. Lew Bayer. She’s an internationally recognized civility expert and she works with manufacturing and other business leaders to help them improve their results with positive people treatment. She was on episode 147, if you want to check it out and here we continue that conversation, picking it up, discussing some of the results she has seen when civility is really at work. I want you to share some success stories where you’ve actually walked into a place and you’ve seen the problem, you know, walk us through that and show us how the success comes about when you finally bring that civility into the workplace or identify that as part of the problem and move it forward.
Speaker 1 00:01:02 Sure. So, um, you know, we would worked in, uh, if I talked about manufacturing, uh, specifically an environment where they were, um, two shifts, a day shift and night shift, and the night shift was not producing the same as the day shift. And, you know, when we start to ask questions and look at things, you know, they spent countless hours working on the processes, you know, checking it every, every point, timestamping all the tasks and whatever else. And, you know, I don’t know, 40 or 50 hours with an independent, very expensive consultant, kind of analyzing the processes and they still didn’t resolve the problem. And so we were asked to come in because there was a growing a morale problem and they, uh, immediately labeled that as instability. And so in our floor tour, um, you know, we just engaged by we, I mean, Christian, because that’s what, that’s what he does.
Speaker 1 00:02:00 He, his habit is to talk to the people who do the job. You know, he has a sense that those are the people who know the equipment and the tasks, and so on, better than anybody else. And sometimes sadly, uh, leadership is a bit out of touch with that, but he just asked a couple of point blank questions. Why do you think Bob that the night shift is not producing the same as the day shift and, uh, because he was cordial and introduce people and, um, you know, what’s not all business from the beginning actually asked people, you know, how they’re doing today and those kinds of general realities. Um, and he did not approach with a, um, clipboard and a pen, which I find makes people nervous. You know, that kind of what he’s here to measure us approach, which is a big mistake from an NLP and a social nuance point of view.
Speaker 1 00:02:55 In any case, he just asked to a couple of people questions and they told him point blank. The problem is that the day shift is too so busy producing. Um, they, yeah, they produced more than they should, but they don’t do the reading at the equipment that they’re actually required to do at the end of the shift. So when we get on shift, we’re behind two hours because we’re doing the cleaning. So of course we can’t meet our quota, you know? So in a matter of six minutes, it was this resolution that it’s a, it’s a very easy fix. We didn’t actually have to do any training there. You know, that’s a case where, um, somebody was just not paying attention, didn’t ask the right questions, didn’t ask the right people. Um, and so a stability solution is not always, um, you know, really complex, although sometimes it can be, I find it’s fresh eyes. That makes a difference. It’s this ability to, um, be humankind. And remember that there’s a person during the job. And, um, you know, usually, um, if, if you can build trust in that initial, um, interaction, people will tell you, um, what they want and what they need. You know, my experience has been that they want to tell you what they need is just a matter of feeling like they’re going to be hurt. Um, and so, I mean, that’s one example, but, uh, you know, there are others. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:04:25 So I’m curious about that because you would have thought and Kevin correct me if I’m wrong, but you would have thought that somebody in that manufacturing company would have asked somebody like, why are you guys always behind? And if, if they did ask and that person on the line, wasn’t able to say, well, the day shift never cleans their machines. And so we have to do it. Why was that question not asked before somebody who does not work for the company came in and asked that question?
Speaker 1 00:05:01 Well, again, I think it’s related to trust and Kevin could probably speak to this too. And sometimes, you know, when you’re living in the culture, you just take things for granted or there’s this kind of code of silence. There’s a workplace culture component that, well, I’m not telling on them or somebody’s benefiting from it. And so they’re not going to open their mouth, right? There’s Oh, I, you know, all kinds of reasons. Um, but at the end of the day, I think most people would do better if they knew better. And you just have to provide an environment where people feel comfortable being their best self, you know, it’s, um, it sounds a bit cheesy, I guess, on the surface, but it really boils down to people treatment.
Speaker 2 00:05:46 I think it’s amazing that how much on this podcast, we talk about listening and trust and relationships and treating people like they’re a human, not a tool to get a job done. And it it’s the same things over and over. And, um, and it, it really goes down to, you know, Janet is a great question. Why hasn’t somebody asked that question before, and, but not only that, why didn’t somebody else speak up before and say, you know, we, you know, we know we’ve got a problem and we want some help with it. And when you’ve, when you’ve spoken out problems two, three, four times, and nobody’s done anything with them, you stop talking. And the biggest challenge that we see in so many different manufacturing companies that people are not talking to each other as humans, that you and I know that with, as power goes up, ego goes up and compassion and empathy go down.
Speaker 2 00:06:40 You know, there’s a lot of studies that show that the negative relationship between power or hierarchy and, and empathy. Um, but I’m always amazed when I go into a place and I’m talking to the boardroom and then I come back in with some insights from the production floor and people are like, how do you know that? Who, who told you that? I’m like, well, the guys that have worked for you for the last 15 years just just told me, they said why? I said, well, because I asked them and I wanted a lesson. So, um, I, it, it’s amazing. I think the difficulty with this, or there’s a couple that come up to me later, and you can, maybe you can say a little bit more about this. What is the companies seem to struggle talking about behavior? It’s almost like behavior is a bad word because we shouldn’t be modifying the behavior of people.
Speaker 2 00:07:30 And the other one is that, that whole gap, that is what I call a communication gap between the front line workers and make the first level of leadership. But there’s a communication gap in between there. And it’s almost like some young managers. And this happened to me when I was a young manager. I was encouraged not to be too close to the frontline workers, because at some point you may have to discipline them. And, you know, there’s, there’s, there’s two issues there that I see repeated over and over again. Is, is there anything you can say about that?
Speaker 1 00:08:04 Um, yes. Yes, definitely. Thank you. I, I, um, my experience has been in not just in manufacturing, but where workplace culture is traditionally hierarchical or where there’s, you know, union environments where there’s these kind of deliberate, um, labeling and, um, you know, categorizing people. Um, I find that that process, that, that culture in and of itself creates instability, but, you know, we’re what we try to do, um, to, to your point is help people understand that, um, whatever power or authority or status they think they have, um, status and power is not the same as influence. And you have to develop trust in order to influence. And when you want people to self-direct and to be accountable, um, to engage continuous learning, to take pride in their personal development and so on, uh, you really do have to, um, we say meet them where they are.
Speaker 1 00:09:06 And by that, I don’t mean, um, lower yourself mentally or whatever. I just mean acknowledge that we’re all human beings doing the best we can with the tools we have at the time. Everybody, you know, for the most part, wants to have a happy stress-free job. And that in fact, our accountability and a leadership role should increase significantly. You know, I think we forget as leaders sometimes that were actually, uh, in service, um, to the people that we think are in service to us as this kind of shifting a mindset, um, and helping people understand that we instability, we call it the four E’s philosophy. That’s that everyone in every situation it’s exactly the same respect and consideration every time. So if I wouldn’t scream and yell at the customer, why would I scream and yell at a production worker? If I wouldn’t swear at my boss, why would I swear at the union steward? If I wouldn’t turn my back and ignore my coworker, why would I turn my back and, and ignore the safety officer? You know, there’s this kind of general understanding that from a human being point of view, where all equal year, um, and we’re kind of having to live and work together in this environment that our day-to-day experience is, um, derived by the way we treat each other. So it’s, it seems simple on the surface, but of course it gets a little messy when there’s people involved. Right.
Speaker 0 00:10:44 I want to bring something up that I think is, is one of the problems. One of the uncivility problems that we currently have just generally in, in our culture right now. And I’d like, Lou, for you to address it. But it’s the cell phone, you know, when you’re talking to somebody and they’re on their phone and they’re going, huh? Uh huh. Uh huh. How has that affected people’s or yet go ahead. Just take it.
Speaker 1 00:11:15 Well, what I can tell you is the research shows that as social intelligence, which is social radar, social knowledge and ability to adapt social style has plummeted by about 65% in the last two decades. Meaning people are just not present. They don’t know how to be present, where, um, Carl Albright, a theorist that I follow closet, abstinent presence. So we’re in the room, but we’re somewhere else in our head. We’re looking at you saying, aha, aha. But doing our grocery shopping in our brain, um, that it’s, it’s become such a habit that this lack of restraint is a problem and work sort of on, you know, it’s almost like when there’s a point where you type. So while you don’t have to look at the keyboard anymore where we’re kind of here and on our phones. And we think that we’re multitasking and all of that, but the fact is we’re not thinking, um, and our inability to think sort of on the fly and in a moment and to be present, um, that’s a trust aspect too.
Speaker 1 00:12:24 You know, increasingly if somebody says, Lou, let me put my phone down. So I’m not distracted. Let me shut the door and let me like, not even drink coffee, let me just be with you for two minutes. It’s this incredible, you know, some people are actually uncomfortable with that. They don’t know. Now that direct eye contact is not offensive. They’re just not used to it. You know, they don’t know that when someone’s squares their shoulders and, you know, comes to your level, that that nonverbal cue is, you know, I w I want to be present with you and, and it’s meant to build trust, but many people are uncomfortable with that now because of the technology, right?
Speaker 0 00:13:03 you have this, I could talk to you forever about the use of the cell phone and how it’s just like, wow, it’s taken taking the humanity out of us in many ways, but, uh, we’ll move on. You’ve given us this civility culture continuum, brief to share with listeners. I think this is a very cool document. So can you explain what it is and how managers and employers can move their team members through the continuum to develop a more civil work environment?
Speaker 1 00:13:36 Right. So thank you. Uh, first of all, so this is a tool that’s meant for supervisors. Not anyone can use it, but the idea was you don’t always have time to teach people all the theory and the background, you know, in about three days, we could elevate social intelligence to a level where people can navigate on their own, but sometimes we don’t have that. So the tool, um, it takes about 30 minutes to show people how to use it. But what it is is there’s a chart that shows here’s behaviors, just observe your team, go out on the floor and just document, you know, a couple of days in a row. What do you see? You know, what behaviors, peer exhibiting, what’s Monica doing? Just document the behavior. And then after you can look at, when you see a pattern, you can usually categorize people on the continuum in one of these 10 areas.
Speaker 1 00:14:27 Um, and then we, the tool provides a chart that says, if you can categorize people in this section, for example, withdrawal, here’s what the causal effect just for that might be. Here’s how you address it. If that doesn’t work immediately, then here’s some skills. If you decide to do some competency or skill development, here’s the skill that our research shows, um, can address that issue. Um, and there’s some tipping points. You know, what, what we want is to get people to a point where trust is sufficient in that, that they’re curious again, and that they’re interested in learning that they feel empowering self directed. And so, um, as you monitor the behavior and you as a supervisor, redirect your behaviors and interactions, we can see sometimes within days, people move from, you know, anger, withdrawal up the chart, um, into a baby that is more positive.
Speaker 1 00:15:25 And we see direct alignment between these positive behavioral indicators and accountability and trust up and down the levels. So, um, it, yeah, it takes about 30 minutes to review the debrief. Um, but it doesn’t take very long. And what we’ve found is really kind of interesting, as soon as people start to actually observe and pay attention, it’s shocking how quickly they go. Oh yeah. I, he rolls his eyes all the time. I wonder why I never noticed that, you know, where I never paid attention to that. I noticed it, but I didn’t think that it meant anything before, or, um, I mean, you’re building this social intelligence without them even being aware, in addition, you’re adding this sense of I’m valued and somebody cares enough to actually pay attention to me and say, um, you know, when a manager who was never commented before suddenly says, Lou, I noticed you’re kind of favoring your right leg there.
Speaker 1 00:16:28 Um, you know, is there something with the equipment or do you have an injury? Is there something maybe we should look at there? You know, and I’m kind of thinking, Oh, well, thanks for noticing. Yeah. In fact, you know, cause it’s been six weeks. Um, so this, this being present and increasing social radar in and of itself can change trust levels and relationship. But, um, you know, there’s a whole chapter in the book we can get into the tool and how, you know, took five years to develop that. Uh, we did a lot of situps innovations and worked with a panel of experts and so on. But, um, now it’s turned out to be this very, um, easy to use, um, tool that, um, we, we find is very helpful, especially for new supervisors.
Speaker 2 00:17:16 No, when I was, when I was working through that continuum and I thought the descriptions on there were very simple and very easy to, to understand and follow. Um, when somebody is somewhere on that continuum, do they need to step by step, make their way to a different position? Or is there a way that people can see with, with the race sort of understanding that they can jump kind of a couple of levels because you know, I’ve heard before around, um, th that the happy seat to the very unhappy seats and, you know, if you’ve got customer who’s very unhappy, you have to step them through to the, to the very happy stage. You can’t just jump, but with the, uh, with this continuum, can you jump places somehow
Speaker 1 00:18:02 You, you can jump places. And part of it depends on, um, the social acuity again at the supervisor, because if I note that you are in the, um, let’s say withdrawing, and, but if I note that behavior and I asked the right question, you know, maybe it was that you felt, you know, how come Bob got a parking pass or how come Joe got tickets to the football game? You know, I met my quota to know sometimes just, uh, those kind of, um, slides that seem very personal. Some of those things related to that Massimo bottom level, we see sometimes two or three jumps, like very quick steps up on the continuum when you can address, especially things that tied to somebody’s personal value, you know, that they feel like I’m a human being and I’m not invisible. Sometimes we very quick shifts. Um, in addition, we share the tool with the frontline.
Speaker 1 00:19:01 So we say to them, you know, observe your coworkers. You know, if, if you work on the line with four other guys and three of them are miserable all the time, you don’t pay attention. You know, maybe it’s something in your body language that is suggesting to them that they’re, you know, you’re mad, you know, the more knowledge people have, I think the better in addition, uh, we found that the tool helps when, when somebody, for example, of a different cultural background understands that when they make a face a certain way, that’s a cue to a socially savvy supervisor that they’re feeling a certain way. Then they now have that tool in their toolkit and they can express non-verbally something that maybe they couldn’t express verbally before. And it just opens up this whole new, uh, way of communication. We found all kinds of impacts benefits that we didn’t anticipate, uh, from that tool actually.
Speaker 2 00:20:03 Well, one, one more question for me, because I work a lot internationally and, you know, everywhere from South Korea through Indonesia to South America, and there, there are a lot of diff cultural differences between, um, between the people and, and the, the structures in each different place. Has this been proven also across different geographies?
Speaker 1 00:20:28 Oh yes. Thank you. So we have the benefit of about 500 affiliates all around the world. So including, uh, we did some work in the UK, uh, with the continuum. We did some work in Singapore, um, Australia of it just kind of all around the world, 12 different countries. And we found, um, the way you articulate the word, you know, what the description might be on the continuum, uh, can vary a little bit when we translate to different languages. But for the most part, those 10 categories of attitude or mood were pretty consistent across the board.
Speaker 0 00:21:08 Lou, I have one final question and we usually ask all of our guests this final key takeaway question, but if there are key takeaways that you can leave with the audience, what are a couple that you would leave with people right now?
Speaker 1 00:21:23 Well, the first thing I would say is that as civility is its own reward. So initially we would hope that, uh, whoever, uh, you know, kind of gets interested in stability or whatever would choose to treat people well, just because it’s the right thing to do, you know, no expectation of return that you only now, because I was good to you, you know, just go into it. I’m anticipating that it’s its own reward. And we find that that’s usually true. And then the second thing I would say is to acknowledge the human condition. You know, you’re, we’re all struggling a little bit, depending on the day. And if we acknowledged that, you know, most people really, I truly believe there’s more good than bad in the world and that most people do not get up thinking today. I’m going to be the most miserable, cranky, lazy person I can be. Um, you know, we want to give people the benefit of the doubt. So I would say assume the best of people, you know, don’t hold so tight, you know, forgive a little easier, um, you know, be a little more compassionate and empathetic, but, um, yeah, I would say civility is its own reward and assume the best of people.
Speaker 0 00:22:39 Lou, it’s been fantastic to talk to you. And, uh, I can’t wait to read the book. It’s called manufacturing civility. It’s one of many, but that’s the latest you and Christian have written, correct?
Speaker 3 00:22:52 Yes. Thank you.
Speaker 0 00:22:53 Okay, great to have you on the show. I’m sure we’ll speak again. Uh, Lew, um, is a civility expert. She has written a book with, uh, Christian Masotti actually it’s Dr. Lew Bayer and Christian Masotti. And the book is called manufacturing civility. It is available wherever good books are sold. You can also find Kevin Snook’s book, which is called, Make It Right – Five steps to align your manufacturing business from the front line to the bottom line. And Kevin is a big fan of civility in that book as well. So thank you so much for joining us for the, make it right podcast. You can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and also subscribe and share the podcast through iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and YouTube. Thanks so much for listening to the Make It Right podcast.
Speaker 3 00:23:37 .