Matt joins us on the podcast to talk about why we need to find our 'fits' in our team, position, management skills, and culture. Not only do we foster these to create psychological safety, but we do this so that we actually thrive in our workplace. Matt gives ways to find you fit, what to do with this information, how to embrace your team with this, and so much more.
Where to find Matt:
His Website: https://flipthescript.io
His Email: email@example.com
Full transcription below: (May contain typos...)
Matt: [00:00:00] [00:00:00] sure. so where companies might struggle with the psychological safety is that the feedback loops that kind of need to be built in, throughout the process, saying, Hey, we're. we're diverse. We can measure that it's a metric, it's a quantitative, but the qualitative piece of how do people feel about it, which is that next step into actual inclusion, which is the bedrock of starting any psychological safety.
Keerstyn: [00:00:52] welcome to the podcast, Matt. We're really excited that you're here today to talk a little bit more about what you do and who you are.
Could you please give just like a brief [00:01:00] intro of what you're involved in these days and how you got involved with
Matt: [00:01:04] it?
Sure. my name's Matt Lee, I've worked, for flip the script, coaching consulting actually own it. we're really focused on helping leaders in transition. it's gained confidence and clarity on what they're doing. so that's both through coaching and consulting. As the name says, organizations working on employee engagement, individuals working on that sense of purpose and alignment with that purpose.
Keerstyn: [00:01:32] Yeah. Interesting. So what are some of those pains that oftentimes your clients come to you with? are they really struggling in the employee engagement side or are they just at a loss for what is the problem? And they're just struggling to get over this weird issue that they don't really know what is
Matt: [00:01:50] yeah.
So on the, organizational side, a lot of it is your. They're coming with the symptoms and they're trying to figure out how can we address these? And a lot [00:02:00] of those symptoms come up with either a high turnover rates. That's a pretty big one. and also just employee engagement. If they actually have those surveys, like the scores are low, we just don't understand.
Sometimes it's a. we just went through a catastrophic event, which could be a positive, catastrophic event, like a product launch went awesome. And now we're in the last two years, three times larger than we were before. We didn't know. We just kept promoting people from within and all of a sudden we're at this point where we've got people in roles that don't necessarily align, or we just had to, we purchased another company.
So it's a merger acquisition, or possibly because of. The market we've shrunk in size, and we're trying to figure out where people fit now because everyone's been wearing multiple hats. And so that's, those are a lot of the symptoms that are pretty common, or just you've been doing it for a long period of time.
And people are looking for either a fresh start or they've lost that sense of their why. so coming in and looking at. Yeah. What are the [00:03:00] PhETs than the forfeits that we normally look for are the fit of job? Is the individual aligned with the role that they're doing a fit of the manager at? Does the person managing, have a good sense of the skills needed to do that in general?
And for the specific person team fit team dynamics and then culture fit, has the organization potentially shifted or is the culture. Implicit and not explicit. And so we're missing some alignment. So that's on the organizational side. That's how it works.
Keerstyn: [00:03:31] Yeah, absolutely. That's really interesting. I'm glad that you mentioned those four fits because I think that's a really vital thing that people don't realize that there could be a miscommunication or a problem between one of those fits and you might fit into one bubble, but you might not fit into another.
What are some of the things that, you kind of prescribe or, help with when it comes to that job fit? What. What are some of those things that you do to get them through that and to get them aligned back with their job and aligned [00:04:00] with their why?
Matt: [00:04:02] Sure. one of the biggest ones that, and I think fairly easy is that finding a tool that has a good behavioral assessment match.
and so if you can get a good behavioral assessment, Job target. and the tool that I use most frequently is predictive index. Cause I think it's just a great framework for talent optimization. but there's others there out there. People use Enneagrams or Myers, Briggs. They can do some of that, work or your five voices.
but if you can make a fit between what the job, as a role needs. And then the individuals who were either in those roles or applying for those roles, that's one of your biggest indicators of job success. Like you can also go cognitive people do wonder like a predictive index also has a cognitive assessments.
It's very similar to wonder. but those are good for jobs success to start out that doesn't move beyond just the job. it doesn't help with the management or the team dynamics. So I really rely on the behavioral [00:05:00] assessment piece. And then when you talk about that why that becomes part of the.
talk the talk and walk the walk and then, make sure you're not walking in circles because I think that third piece is where organizations miss it on culture is figuring out what your culture is, make it explicit. and then on the level of, culture, it's the, the walk, the, walk, the talk, the talk, walk the walk, and then make sure you're walking, not in circles.
And then the talk is making your culture explicit, not implicit. So make sure it's out there and people can find it and read about it. Then making sure that your management is actually living that out. That's walking the walk, and that needs to be something that's done consistently so that people can also see it.
And then having a make sure you're not walking in circles is what are the metrics and measurements. And one of the big ones is. The just employee engagement survey, and you can use a generic ones that come with, packages like predictive index has one, or else you can get very specific to your [00:06:00] specific cultural pillars and align and see what that looks like.
You can work with organizations. I think a fast mirror is one that you can create specific to your particular business engagement surveys.
Keerstyn: [00:06:14] Yeah, absolutely. What should people be looking for in these engagement surveys? I feel like there's 1,000,001 things out there, and you can ask 1,000,001 questions about anything to your employees, but what are some of those specific, either questions or items or even concepts that we really should be asking to our employees?
Matt: [00:06:35] Yeah. And it'll boil back down to the forfeits. that's a good question of engagement of high feel. I understand the direction of the company that might speak to your fit with the culture with the organization. I feel that my voice is heard, or I feel that my position matters in the way the business carries things out.
I feel that I can [00:07:00] take, issues. To my manager to talk about them. And so looking kind of thinking of the forfeits, what are the temperate types of questions that would feel like things are in alignment, and then asking around those.
Keerstyn: [00:07:12] Yeah, that's really interesting. I'm glad that you, the field questions too, because I think those open up a March much larger conversation than just how's it going kind of thing.
what are some of the things that. People in companies should be looking for when it comes to the team fit. so I know that you mentioned culture and then also just simply the job, but the team has a lot of culture within, that is, can be challenging and yeah. What would be your recommendations for those.
Matt: [00:07:43] I would start with psychological safety. That's a big key and my recommendation within that realm, because I think it's pretty actionable is there's the four stages of psychological safety, an organization called leader factor, Timothy R. Clark. Wrote a book called the [00:08:00] four stages of psychological safety that look into that where it's, you start with inclusion safety, then it's learner safety, contributor, safety, and then challenge your safety.
And it's the move from your ability to feel like you're a part of it. And cause I like that you highlighted field because inclusion is a relationship. We both have to create the space for people to feel included and then they also have to feel a safety to accept. That invitation, it's a two-part piece.
So if someone's I don't feel safe except something the invitation, and we're not truly being inclusive, which is the first step. If that's psychological safety, then it's the ability to do. I feel like I can learn in this is a safe place to learn. And then is it a safe place to contribute? And then is it a safe place to challenge the status quo?
Which then can move us into the realm of innovation, which is what's going to be the continued growth of any team or business. So on the team space, which I think is the key unit for psychological safety, because it exists there. It permeates out from there.
Keerstyn: [00:08:58] Yeah. [00:09:00] When you look at teams and companies, where do you feel like they fall down in this psychological safety, cycle?
when I think about it, I might think about like the contribution or even the challenge stage being a really hard one to just simply get over to that innovation. What has been your experience,
Matt: [00:09:16] sure. so where companies might struggle with the psychological safety is that the feedback loops that kind of need to be built in, throughout the process, saying, Hey, we're. we're diverse. We can measure that it's a metric, it's a quantitative, but the qualitative piece of how do people feel about it, which is that next step into actual inclusion, which is the bedrock of starting any psychological safety.
If you don't have the feedback loops built in, that's where people are, we're putting out there, but we're not getting the feedback. And then as you move into learner, Is it actually helping people learn as it's contributor. How do people know? Like how do you define success within your role? How do you define success on your team?
How do we measure that? And how often do we actually give people updates on [00:10:00] that success? Is it once a year on an annual review? Is it once a quarter when the numbers come out for if we've made money or not made money? what, or how do people know as often as possible and the iterative cycle that they're being successful in their contribution?
And then how do you let people know if they challenge the status quo and move forward that's a safe space and that needs to be a lot of culture, similar to culture. It's an accountability of leadership to mirror that and live that out and embody that for people to show that it's okay to challenge, to allow themselves to be challenged.
So it's that feedback loop and creating that space. Yeah,
Keerstyn: [00:10:37] absolutely. I really liked the, thing that you mentioned about consistently having people know where they are. I think oftentimes companies will come up with their, quarterly numbers or, their annual numbers and then you sit there and you're like, what could we.
Could have done to that number. That actually isn't great. I guess what is some of your ideas around how often should these [00:11:00] numbers be displayed? how should we be doing these feedback loops better? Is that through conversations with a one-on-one with your team with each employee, is that, through team meetings?
I think sometimes companies lack the ability to do that, but then also know how to do that well and perfect professional and productively.
Matt: [00:11:21] Yeah. I'd say the two things that you should be having a weekly check in with each of your direct reports. And if you have more than. I would say, specifically like in a management organizational, like office space.
Seven direct reports. You're stepping beyond your sphere of influence of being intentionally involved with people. And that's just to create the space to listen. And those are mostly just listening sessions of where people at what's happening on the ground, so that you, as the manager and people leader, ideally.
Can make the more tactical strategic decision. So that's part of helping people feel successful is understanding the situation [00:12:00] and then having at the very least one, ideally three or so quantifiable metrics that define success, whether it's collecting information or a particular number that your team drives towards, whether it be revenue driven or production driven and finding ways to make that as efficient as possible to make available.
Pretty much in real time. I would invest a significant amount of effort in my opinion, when I'm doing that, to make that thing almost push button, that was very much worth it to allow people to have that access.
Keerstyn: [00:12:37] Yeah, absolutely. I really liked both of those. And I think that one-on-ones or weekly check-ins are so important, but oftentimes people don't feel like they, are either a value be of, Like the time that you have to put into it is just not there.
Or you don't have that. How, what are some things that you would encourage people to do to start having those [00:13:00] conversations? Is it a 15 minute conversation? What does those weekly check-ins look like?
Matt: [00:13:05] that's a really good question. And it pulls up a really important distinction, I think for a lot of people, especially as you move into management for the first time, because if you think of it, normally what happens is someone's an individual contributor.
They are successful at their individual contributor job. They show some signs of leadership, which is the ability to move people from point a to point B,
but to be successful in their role like, Oh, next step is, this is clearly going to be a manager. so we move into a management role and we lose in that process. The two things, one, the understanding that this skill sets that make us successful as managers are different. Every single time from the skills that made us successful as an individual contributor.
And that second piece is you no longer create direct value as a manager. Your job is to create the environment for other people to multiply their value. And managers can actually be a positive or a negative multiplier, but if you were spending all of your time [00:14:00] doing individual contributor work so that you're creating direct value for the company, and that's why you're too busy to have time to meet with your people.
You're advocating. Your responsibilities as a manager. And sometimes the company actually asks us to do that. They're like, okay, you're a manager of people, but really you're a high level, individual contributor with this extra hat that you wear. I think we need to work with companies. And that's what I do to allow their managers that space, because if you're in a management role and you're spending less than 30% of your time, people managing.
You're really an individual contributor that's being asked to wear a second hat. and so if you're not, if you're doing that would be my first check gut check as a manager. How much of my time, if I'm being honest, do I spend doing individual direct value creation and how much of it do I do creating space and a proper environment for the people who are creating the value?
once you've done that, then I think 15 minute check-ins, Probably or enough, I would schedule them for 20 to 30 [00:15:00] minutes to try and keep them on point. And if you don't need the time, give it yeah. Back. It's really to check in and it's there for the person so that they can tell you what's happening on the ground.
So you can make better tactical and strategic decisions.
Keerstyn: [00:15:11] Yeah. I really like what you said there about first off, the making sure your time and you're prioritizing your time because I think oftentimes we struggled to prioritize. What's actually important. we do the things that are not necessarily.
Easy per se, but, are the closest to, what we believe is important, even though they might be, a want, but not a current need. and then the other thing I really liked what you said there is that, They shouldn't be wearing that individual contributor hat along with the manager hat. and I know that companies oftentimes do that and that can be, it's really challenging.
I'm really glad that you help companies with that. What are some of those things that you do, start doing in companies to help them get away from, the individual contributor with the hat of the manager to, [00:16:00] a manager that helps inspire individual contributors.
Matt: [00:16:05] two of the things are, I think the biggest blocks to start with are that it's recognizing that's what management does.
And it, a quick analogy I just use with people is if you're in your business, you don't go out and say, Hey, we have eight layers of management. The competitor has five layers of management. You should hire us. no one sells the levels of management they have, because it's not a value add. So you need to recognize what is it that about a manager does.
It creates a better space for people to do their work. then you need to know, understand two things. What type of work are people doing then that becomes process efficiency. Management is about status quo, efficiency, structure, standardization. And so how do you help people do their jobs better? in the either providing the tools, providing the knowledge, providing the process.
so figuring out where their gaps to help make things more efficient. So that'll help people be better at producing their work and then to. [00:17:00] How do you understand people? Portion of people management that's where things like behavioral assessments and understanding people's drives and motivators becomes an exceptionally useful tool.
So if you understand that your person likes to receive praise in a particular way, they don't like to be put up on the board. They would just rather have a handwritten thank you note, understanding how people like to be. Taking care of, what they truly value in the work that they do. Those that's what comes through the conversations and getting to know them.
And the behavioral assessments can help speed that process up by giving you a starting point. Yeah.
Keerstyn: [00:17:36] I really like what you said there. And I think it's really important that people realize that some of their employees might not either a communicate like them or, be accept praise, like thumb or see even work like them.
And I think that's what makes teams really valuable and really important, which is why obviously we have teams. but it can be hard to understand that people are not [00:18:00] identical to us, which can be a big hump. And I'm sure that you experienced that time after time. Absolutely. That's really interesting.
I love that. so I guess that being said the final kind of stage of the forfeits. that we have talked about or the job culture team. How about manager? What would you say about that fit? Yeah,
Matt: [00:18:19] that's a high level idealized future that it will take a long time to get to. We need to create better opportunities for individual contributors to contribute at higher levels that doesn't involve moves into management, in a business, you'll have technical skills and experience. That's your individual contributor work and you'll have people skills and experience.
That's your management level work. I enjoy working with companies that see those as two separate pillars and not a, you go up the individual contributor until you're successful there. And then you move over into management, which is the sensei you've been really great as a sports player at baseball.
So why would you be a really great sports player at [00:19:00] basketball? I get they're both sports. What differences make it still, activities. And so it's asking people to move into almost a totally different realm. And so allowing people to space to recognize. What expertise looks like and these two spaces.
And because sometimes you're. It's not great individual contributors. Oh. While this person isn't really making their numbers on the sales team, I can't move them into, the management because they just haven't proven themselves in the field. They may actually be your best manager because it's a different skill set.
So finding ways to assess management skills versus individual contributor skills, and then creating clear different pathways, allowing people to move in between the two. but yeah, the example on individual contemporary usually have an associate. Let's say analyst than an analyst, senior analyst, and then you're capped, that's it?
You can't go much beyond that. So if you want more influence and more financial freedom in your own pocket book, you got to move into management. what would it look like if you were a liaison that helped two different departments connect in the [00:20:00] work that they're doing, or you own all of the processes within your particular sphere, you could still impact the business at a much higher level.
And so being creative about how we think about individual contributors. It's a big piece and then creating standardized language and cohorts for managers. As they move into management for the first time. that would be, when that's done well, it can revolutionize and transform an organization because I describe it a lot.
Like parenting, you could have a PhD in child psychology. You do not under the psychology of a child as a parent, until you actually have children. It's a very different thing to psychologically, emotionally feel than to like technically study. And management's the same way you can have an MBA from a prestigious organization or university.
When you actually have to move into that role, it's a very different beast. And especially if you think you've got all the experience, it's much harder to be vulnerable, which is an exceptionally important thing to be when you move into that management to be accessible in human. [00:21:00] Yeah,
Keerstyn: [00:21:00] absolutely. What are some of those traits that, people might have to embody if they are going into those managerial positions and walking away from that individual contributor position?
Matt: [00:21:12] empathetic listening. Like you need to be more of an active listener. someone who's creating space, being a good at. Moderate moderation like of, between individuals as they're talking through pieces, organization or structure, like thinking about how do you organize a meeting, thinking through the steps process.
Thinking strategic thinking, individual contributors very much live at an operational day-to-day and tactical sort of oversight of day-to-day maybe thinking the next week or month, possibly even quarter that's even a stretch. tactical strategic is where management. You're looking at big pictures, you're looking out, not down.
and so you need to be connected to that with your people, but your view changes in the midst of that. And so that's. I'd say those are the big ones is moving to [00:22:00] strategic thinking, being process oriented and then being a good listener, in the midst of what's going on. Yeah,
Keerstyn: [00:22:06] absolutely. And how do you teach people how to first off, be a good listener, but then also to get away from those, the nitty gritties of the daily work into that monthly or weekly, even big picture look that you might need as a manager, you do need as a manager.
Matt: [00:22:25] so two ways, one I described before having an actual course within your organization to talk about management and be explicit about the differences between management and individual contributor work. talk about those skill sets and then create space for people to just gain. The first step is awareness.
You need to understand that it's there and then you need to practice it. So you need a practice field where you can do that vulnerability piece.
You guys are not. And then once you get into the environment, living out some of that vulnerability with your people, as you talk it through, one of the other parts is, the [00:23:00] direct coaching working with an individual, specifically on what. It makes them tick as a manager. You could still get some of that from behavioral assessments.
Emotional intelligence is a good one. I also really like looking at curiosity, cause I think that's a big part. As you move into innovation, looking at what are your blockers for being curious. And as you're a manager, you have to be at some level curious about the people you work with. so working with assessments and coaching to help people focus on what, because one thing I'll say about that is.
80% of management is transferable people's skills from one company to another one role to another. So wherever you go, 80% of what management is going to be the same 20% will be unique to your environment. But within that 80%, there's still unique challenges and gifts that each of us has. And so being able to dig deeper into those is where coaching comes in to help you fill out that 80%.
Keerstyn: [00:23:52] Yeah. I really like what you said there, that it is 80% transferable and that once you learn, you can start really [00:24:00] actually making things happen wherever you are. and I know that sometimes companies are a bit, Not necessarily nervous, but just what does a business coach since that's a new concept?
although it is a booming industry currently, how do you help these companies get over that weird hump of, is a business coach actually gonna help us? Or is it just going to be another contractor that is mediocre?
Matt: [00:24:25] Yeah. And I would say if we're in a situation like that, it would just. Test and trial like would you would do in any business, ideally is, looking at it as an investment being clear on what's an ROI for you.
And usually it's a better environment for which people work. looking at things like turnover. if you have a manager that's struggling in a particular aspect of their work. Okay. That's what coaching can help with. let's take that person. And do a six week, 12 week, set of sessions and see where we end up on the back end and let the proof be in the pudding because that's that third piece I mentioned about talk the [00:25:00] talk, walk the walk, and then make sure you're not walking in circles.
you gotta have something that you can come back with an ROI. You have to be able to measure at some level, any business decision. Otherwise, you don't know if it was successful moving forward. So I would just say trial it with, give me your hardest person that you're like, they're just never going to get it and let's see how we do.
That's what I would go.
Keerstyn: [00:25:19] so what are some of the ways that you coach on the day to day? obviously you give these people the tools and the resources, to not only figure out their people, but figure out themselves, but, what is. This coaching look like, is it one-on-one conversations between you and the clients? Is it sitting in a conference room and then how do they go out of that coaching and really actually have a sustainment in their business now with the coaching practices that you give them.
Matt: [00:25:47] No, it's a really great question about a very important distinction, which I would say is between coaching and mentoring. and when you're in these like business coaching and it's actually, I think, a hybrid role and the way I describe [00:26:00] it, is I use an analogy like of a boat in aligning to your true North as a sense of your purpose.
So if life is an ocean, each of us has an identity is our boat. So let's say that our identity that we're talking about is this management role that you're in, A mentor helps you navigate that boat. Like they're like, Hey, I've been in this boat before I can help you be awesome at driving this boat through the ocean.
What a coach does. It says, what is your purpose in having this role? What are you trying to accomplish? What are the things you want to get done? And then how do we align ourselves to that? So the coach access the compass. And so when you're, when I'm doing the one-on-one work, it's mostly about that compass work, when I'm coaching and I'm, once in a while, I'll step into the mentoring piece when I have specific parts to bring.
But what coaching kind of does is create the space for the individual to heat, see and hear themselves based on the feedback from assessments, what they're hearing from their direct reports or their management structure.
act that accountability part as they move forward out of it. And just being curious and present with the individual as they move forward. Because a lot of it is [00:27:00] I say this to companies all the time. It's 95 to 99% of your solutions are already here. They just need to be unlocked. And that's what we need to do is create the space to allow that to happen because your people are already your experts.
We just don't have great feedback mechanisms to unlock that type of information. Coaching is one of those pieces. So in all of these problems, the solution's already inherently there. We just need to find it. So that's what coaching helps us do. Yeah,
Keerstyn: [00:27:27] absolutely. I love that. I think that's really important and I've love that you, you said that 95% of the solutions already there, they're just not present and people don't realize that they have them on.
So what are some links to, your company and yourselves that people can start unlocking these traits and processes that they need to have in their organizations?
Matt: [00:27:48] Sure. So our website is flip the script.io. so you'll find what services we provide up there. A lot of assessments, the consulting work on organizational structure and leadership, and then the particular [00:28:00] coaching and alignment, and then most active on LinkedIn.
So quite a bit of posting about this. So just search for Matt, lay on LinkedIn, and that's where you'll find me. Awesome.
Keerstyn: [00:28:11] thanks so much for being on the podcast today. I learned a ton and I'm sure that our listeners will also learn a ton. Do you have any closing words or parting words before we, leave today?
Matt: [00:28:22] it's a, people take anything away is focusing on the forfeits. Is it just a clear way of looking at it? And then 95 to 99% of the solutions are already there. Part of what coaching and bringing someone in to do is just to help unlock
Keerstyn: [00:28:35] those. Yeah. Awesome. thanks Matt for joining us today.
it was a lot of fun and I'm glad you came on the podcast.
Matt: [00:28:43] Absolutely enjoyed it. Thanks.
Teams also need to get away and have time to think together and reflect together. Be able to spend just an hour to be curious about each other. -Denise Van Eck, Owner of Thought Design