Click Here To Listen To The NEGOTIATEx Podcast

Key Takeaways

  • Effective leadership hinges on strategic thinking and strong human relations skills, which allow leaders to guide and coach their teams effectively. Balancing strategic goals with the needs and development of team members fosters collaboration and cohesion, contributing to overall success.
  • Leaders must navigate political dynamics within their organizations to build alliances, avoid offending colleagues, and maintain balance. This can help leaders gain power and influence, ultimately contributing to the organization’s success.
  • Leaders can foster collaboration and cohesion by setting clear goals for the team and adopting a consensus leadership style. This ensures all team members feel involved in the decision-making process. Also, cultivating a welcoming and inclusive environment is crucial for bringing diverse teams together.
  • Human resources practices play a significant role in building a strong organizational culture. Positive work environments with agreeable coworkers, equitable pay, benefits, and flexible work arrangements can contribute to a harmonious workplace and retain employees.
  • Addressing narcissistic and toxic leadership requires direct communication and confrontation. Employees or HR representatives can express respect for positive contributions while pointing out harmful behaviors and encouraging more constructive leadership.
  • Crisis leadership involves a directive approach, collaboration on implementation, and compassion for those affected. Frequent communication and status updates are key to managing crises effectively and maintaining team morale.

Executive Summary:

Hello and welcome, everyone! Thank you for tuning in to a fresh episode of the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We’re excited to have you with us. Our guest today is Andrew DuBrin. Andrew is a Professor Emeritus of Management at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has an extensive background in management, organizational behavior, and leadership. 

Andrew has also authored numerous textbooks, scholarly books, and articles on topics such as negotiation, conflict resolution, leadership, and organizational political behavior. So, with that said, let’s delve into Andrew’s insights in this episode. 

From Industrial Psychology To Industry Insight: A Journey Into Evidence-Based Leadership

Firstly, Nolan asks Andrew about his journey to becoming a business consultant and professor and how his background in industrial psychology has influenced his work.

Andrew responds by sharing that a professor introduced him to psychology during college and guided him towards industrial psychology. Later, his interest in human psychology led him to pursue clinical psychology, including an internship as a clinical psychology officer in the U.S. Army, where he gained valuable insights and mentorship. This experience and his academic background prepared him for consulting in the industry.

Additionally, Andrew highlights the importance of integrating evidence-based approaches with insights into human behavior in leadership and negotiation. He recounts conducting numerous selection interviews, which gave him a foundational understanding of people and informed his writing and consulting work.

The conversation touches on the relationship between studying, practicing, and reflecting in any field. Andrew shares a notable compliment from a former student who felt empowered to become a leader after taking his course. The feedback resonates with Andrew, emphasizing the value of his approach in providing practical, research-based insights into human behavior and leadership.

Insights Into Evidence-Based Leadership And Decision-Making

Aram joins the conversation by asking Andrew about his experiences in corporate America and academia, particularly concerning organizational behavior, leadership, and influence.

In response, Andrew highlights the strengths of academic institutions in conducting research, critically analyzing topics, and questioning common sense. Though sometimes overly critical, this approach helps ensure that decisions are evidence-based and well-considered.

Andrew also praises CEOs and middle managers for their professionalism and ability to weigh evidence before making decisions. He emphasizes the objective nature of many business leaders, suggesting that their balanced decision-making could be valuable even in politics.

Overall, Andrew underscores the shared ability of both academics and business professionals to approach issues objectively and make decisions based on thorough evidence and research.

Evolving Principles For Effective Guidance And Development

Moving on, Nolan asks Andrew about the most critical principles of effective leadership and how these have evolved.

Andrew outlines two key principles: strategic thinking and strong human relations skills. He emphasizes that leaders, whether managing a sports team, a middle management role, or a CEO position, must offer advice and guidance to those they lead. 

This guidance helps build confidence and direction for team members. Additionally, leaders should listen to their team members, gather ideas, and offer feedback and guidance. This coaching aspect is crucial for helping employees improve and develop.

Navigating Leadership, Organizational Politics, And Balanced Decision-Making

Next, the speakers discuss the balance between vision and practicality in leadership. They note that while abstract goals and visions are essential, leaders must also focus on the details that impact their organization. Andrew highlights how Microsoft’s CEO emphasizes empathy and inclusion yet overlooks customer difficulties with their software, demonstrating the need for balanced leadership that attends to both big-picture visions and operational details.

The conversation then shifts to political behavior in organizations. Andrew explains the importance of understanding and navigating political dynamics, which can help individuals gain power, avoid offending colleagues, and build alliances. 

He shares an anecdote about a former student who credited Andrew’s teachings for helping him achieve success in his career. The discussion concludes with reflecting on the importance of balance, avoiding insults, and learning to disagree without being disagreeable.

Strategies For Collaboration, Inclusivity, And Clear Objectives

In the same vein, Nolan asks Andrew about strategies for fostering collaboration and cohesion among team members, especially in diverse and dynamic work environments.

Andrew emphasizes the importance of setting a clear goal that all team members can agree on. This shared objective helps to unify the team. He also suggests adopting a consensus leadership style, where leaders collect opinions from various team members and make decisions based on these inputs. This approach helps foster collaboration and ensures team members feel involved in decision-making.

To address diversity, Andrew advises cultivating a welcoming and inclusive environment, highlighting how this approach has been historically successful in organizations like the military and the federal government. Instead of implementing formal programs, he recommends nurturing an inclusive attitude to ensure all team members feel welcome and can work together harmoniously.

Andrew also discusses the challenge of creating group goals, particularly in more complex or less clear-cut environments. He proposes holding group discussions, either virtually or in person, to outline the general purpose, mission, and objectives of the team. 

According to him, this process can help clarify and agree upon the team’s direction, especially for units with more ambiguous functions, such as human resources or staff groups. 

Building A Strong Culture: HR Practices, Workplace Relationships, And Confronting Toxic Leadership

Aram asks Andrew about human resource management practices that contribute to building a strong organizational culture.

The latter responds by emphasizing the importance of agreeable coworkers in creating a positive work environment. He notes that many employees derive satisfaction from their social interactions at work, which can contribute to a stronger culture. Pleasant colleagues, coupled with equitable pay and benefits, are crucial. 

Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or time off for parental leave, can also attract and retain employees. However, Andrew warns that flexibility must be balanced with limits to prevent employees from taking advantage of the system.

Aram and Andrew also discuss how human resource management practices can affect relationships within an organization. Aram points out that relational conflict is a common issue in workplaces, and adjusting HR policies can influence how team members interact.

The conversation then shifts to toxic leadership. Nolan asks Andrew about the impact of narcissism among leaders on productivity and how to handle destructive behaviors. Andrew advises a “gentle confrontation” approach, where employees or HR representatives address the leader directly, expressing respect for their positive contributions while pointing out behaviors that cause discomfort, such as insults or harsh criticism.  

He strongly believes that this direct communication can help mitigate negative behaviors and encourage more constructive leadership.

Navigating Narcissistic Leadership And Crisis Management

The speakers then discuss the prevalence of narcissism and toxic leadership and whether it’s more common today or simply more discussed.

Andrew suggests a combination of factors: research shows that younger generations are more narcissistic than previous ones, and more narcissistic individuals are entering managerial roles. He references a study that shows significantly higher narcissism scores compared to 15 years ago. 

According to Andrew, the rise in narcissism can lead to more narcissistic leaders in organizations. He also emphasizes the possibility of positive narcissism when balanced with humility, allowing leaders to be confident and effective.

The speakers then discuss the impact of narcissistic leadership, noting that narcissistic CEOs tend to have lower returns on investment, indicating a negative effect on company performance. They emphasize the importance of balancing confidence with humility and focusing on both strategic vision and human relations.

The conversation then shifts to crisis leadership. Andrew describes this as an essential component of modern leadership. He highlights the need for directive leadership in crisis situations, collaborating with team members on implementation, and showing compassion for those affected. 

Frequent communication and status updates are key to managing crises effectively. Andrew shares an anecdote from his consulting experience, where a CEO framed a company’s lack of contracts in a positive light, emphasizing the organization’s strengths and potential to overcome the crisis.

Thank you for your time!


Nolan Martin : Hello and welcome to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. I am your co-host, co-founder Nolan Martin, and with me as always, co-host, co-founder Aram Donigian. Aram, how are you doing, sir?

Aram Donigian : I'm great, Nolan. I'm doing really well and how's your day off too?

NM : It is going well and I can't wait to introduce this guest or have you introduce our guest today. Excited for the conversation.

AD : Good. Well, let me get him introduced then. Folks, today we're joined by Andrew DuBrin. He's a Professor Emeritus of Management in the College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he has taught courses and conducts research in management, organizational behavior, leadership and influence processes. He has served the college as chairman of the management department as well.

He received his PhD in industrial psychology from Michigan State University. His business experience is in human resource management and he consults with organizations and with individuals. His specialties include leadership and political behavior in organizations.

Professor DuBrin is an established author of textbooks, scholarly books and trade titles. He has also written for professional journals and magazines. He has written textbooks on negotiation and conflict resolution, leadership, the principles of management, political behavior in organizations, applied psychology and human relations.

His scholarly books include the subjects of crisis leadership and oppression management, narcissism and the proactive personality. His trade titles cover many current issues including coaching and mentoring, team play, office politics, coping with adversity, and humility for leaders.

Andrew, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.

Andrew J DuBrin : Pleasure to be here. This is my first podcast. I've done video cast, telecast, radio cast, but never a podcast, so I want to be modern today.

AD : Well, hey, we're honored to be your first and we're really excited to have you on. Thank you.

NM : Absolutely. So Andrew, I was hoping you could share some insights into your journey and the experiences that led you become both a business consultant and professor to maybe include how your background in industrial psychology influenced your approach to the work you do.

A Journey From Industrial To Clinical Psychology [02:52]

AJD : Wonderful question. I was 19 years old taking a course, an introduction to psychology with a book that sold about two copies and I said to my professor who was a New York City, very direct person of course being from New Yorker, I said, this looks great, but how could you make a living at it? She said, Andrew, you should become an industrial psychologist.

Thank you Professor Stout. And then I went on a straight path except one thing I noticed that I wanted to learn more about the human aspect of psychology because industrial psychology, a lot of it just tends to be a lot of statistics and analytical work. And I minored in clinical psychology and the United States Army and I'll thank them forever, gave me the opportunity to be a clinical psychology officer. And I was young at the time, 25. It was a great opportunity. It was like an internship and they gave me a mentor, a civilian psychologist. And so with my graduate work combined with my army clinical psychology experience, I was all set to become a consultant and work in industry.

And that's how I got started. And the question was how has my background in industrial psychology helped me? Well, one thing I did a lot of was interviewing people for the selection aspect.

One time I estimated maybe I had done 1500 selection interviews and you learn so much talking to people, you get a lot of good insights. And what I think my background and industrial psychology was helpful and it put the emphasis on evidence on looking at data rather than saying wild things. Like so many leadership and negotiation experts, they just say wild things and without any particular, not based on any research or another very important part, psychology is helpful in sensitizing you to the importance of getting insight into people in every situation.

Understanding like in negotiation, obviously having insight into people is very helpful. And some of the, so-called experts, they don't really have much insight into people, but in any situation you have to look beyond the data. The combination of looking for evidence combined with insight into human behavior, it's very helpful.

NM : You just said that. It sparked something from experience that I had. So when I was actually getting into special operations, I had to go through a bunch of psychology tests and everything like that and at the end of the selection process, I had to sit down with the psychologist and he had said, your test scores kind of show that you're a little crazy. I was thinking like Uh-oh. And he's like, but to be honest, you have to be crazy to jump out of airplanes and do everything that you're doing. So I think you're going to be okay.

So it was interesting you said how all the detail and everything like that definitely plays a piece, especially in your selection stuff in the army. So that's pretty cool.

AJD : And doing all these interviews gave me a base of knowledge that was very helpful for writing because when I was young, I was naive. I thought you had to know something about the field to be an author. If you were going to write a book about law, you should have worked as a lawyer. If you're going to write a book about business strategy management, you should have had some experience. So I wanted the experience working as if it's home full time.

NM : Very cool.

AD : Yeah, we often talk, I love this focus on people. I'm going to gather that you have an interest in maybe even like people. We often talk about this relationship between studying something and then actually practicing that something. And the last piece is the ability to reflect then on those other things. So you got to study, you need to practice, you got to get that experience. And then there's also this piece around reflection if you're going to grow in whatever field you're in.

AJD : If I have a niche, it's looking for useful information that's based on research and insight into people. And the nicest compliment I've ever received was from an ex-student of mine who had taken the course in leadership of mine, and I met him a couple of years later and he said to me, what I liked about your course, you gave me confidence in becoming a leader. That was the best compliment I ever received.

NM : Absolutely. That's a great compliment.

AJD : That is actually useful to this nice young man.

AD : Yeah. Isn't that nice? And building that confidence, Andrew, you've had a foot in both corporate America as well as academia. From where you sit, what do both get right? What do they get wrong when it comes to topics such as organizational behavior, leadership, influence, and what do you think they can learn from each other?

A Balanced Approach To Decision-Making [07:42]

AJD : I think that what academic institutions offer is that they attempt to research topics and think critically about topics. Maybe sometimes being too critical, too negative. But that approach is very positive. The idea to research things, look for evidence before jumping to conclusions, question common sense. And I think the CEOs I've met and also middle managers, I've been so impressed with how professional they are and how they carefully weigh evidence before making a decision. They're very objective people.

That's why I've often thought that a CEO would make a good president of the United States, someone who had CEO experience because you're accustomed to looking at different sides of an issue and coming to a balanced decision. So I think that business people and academics are very good in the sense of weighing evidence and before making a decision.

NM : In your opinion, what are the most critical principles of effective leadership and how have these evolved over the years, perhaps affected by changing trends and challenges in management?

Principles Of Effective Leadership [08:49]

AJD : Some of the most important principles of leadership, and I gave careful thought to that because there's just hundreds of possible principles. But just to start out at a macro level, think strategically and have good human relations skills that, in other words, a leader, whether you are a team leader of a softball team or a middle manager or a CEO, people look to you for advice and guidance, and that's very important. I don't think that's ever changed that the leader, and despite the emphasis on servant leadership and excessive collaboration, still you look up to a leader as someone who has some ideas to point you in the right direction, whatever type of organizational unit it is. That's very important principle.

Another very important principle of leadership, of course, hundreds of principles of leadership is listening to people, listening to people getting their ideas, collaborating with people. And also one study showed that what most people want in a leader that they don't get enough of is guidance, feedback, and guidance.

Here's what I see you could improve. Very helpful for a leader to be a friendly coach. It's a very important principle of leadership.

AD : I love these two that you settled on. I mean, Nolan, I think we could say from our own military experience, these two things. One, the ability to look strategically or even or operationally, big picture, where are we going? Got to provide that for the unit I'm leading. And then also this very tactical piece, which is connection with our people. And we do that through development. We do that through feedback. And it's really easy to sit here and say, Hey, those are, and I love that you said there's hundreds, you sus these two out. Easy to say 'em, hard to do 'em right.

Balancing Vision And Practicality In Leadership [10:40]

AJD : And one of my favorite themes is looking at the big picture without forgetting the details that it's so important, the leader who wants to speak in such abstract terms. I'll give you an example. Microsoft is one of the most successful organizations of all time. And the CEO always talks about the empathy he has. Yet he seems to ignore the fact that thousands of people have terrible problems with Microsoft equipped with Microsoft software. And they never mentioned that they should get down in the details. I've heard people say you wouldn't have these problems if you switched to Apple, but I can't. I can't at this stage of my life, I can't switch.

But in other words, they're low, including I'm having a problem today with Microsoft 365 that made me think of it that you listed to the CEO and they talk about we're changing the world, we're focusing on inclusion and diversity, but what about making your software as easy as it was to use two decades ago and a decade ago? So that's what I mean, that finding the balance between a beautiful vision and also working on the details that people down the organization have to.

AD : Yeah, that's a lot of balance. You've looked at political behaviors within organizations and actually you've looked at this quite a bit. Can I ask you how you define and help others navigate the complexities of political behavior in the workplace? And what have you seen as the tangible sort of return on investment when companies successfully take your or apply your advice?

AJD : I think from a company standpoint, successful political behavior, getting the right amount of power that you need, knowing not to insult your enemies, not to insult the people who have to work with as well as insulting enemies, that's very important. The organization will work more smoothly when you're politically sensitive and aware of building alliances, not offending people, but the biggest payoff from an understanding of political behavior is to the individual helping you get along better with colleagues and equally important, getting along with people higher up in the organization. Dying for an anecdote.

One of my financial advisors is a former student of mine, he works at Citizens Financials, his name is Brian Haner. And he became just, there's so many of my ex-students out there having a nice career. And when I met Brian, he said, I want to thank you for one thing. I said, what's that? He said, you taught us how to be successful. And I think he might've taken a seminar political behavior in organizations and the idea that some tips for getting along well with people, how to get some power toward you in an ethical and positive way.

So I think that's what he was responding to that my focus actually the political behavior in organization is kind of like, what's the biggest success in my career? That and leadership. And that's the way this man, this financial wealth managers, they call him these days, interpreted the information as ideas for being successful.

AD : What a compliment though. I mean to see our students become more successful than we've been. I think that's what every teacher hopes for. As you talked about these political behaviors, and again, balance is everything. As we were talking about on a previous answer, it's kind of brought to mind an expression that Roger Fisher used to use, which is, can we learn to disagree without necessarily being disagreeable? So we may have different thoughts about where we're going. That doesn't mean we have to insult or become enemies. There's still power in aligning around key thoughts.

NM : As you work with organizations, what strategies have you found most effective in fostering collaboration and cohesion among team members, especially in diverse and dynamic work environments?

Fostering Teamwork And Inclusivity [14:35]

AJD : I think, in fostering teamwork you say, and collaboration, I think a starting point is to have a goal that people agree on. That's a key point to have a goal that people agree on. And to foster collaboration, it's very helpful to have a consensus leadership style where you collect opinions and you make the decision. It's very helpful to get input from a lot of people. And I think in terms of a diverse environment, the most successful technique is to make people feel welcome and included.

And I think as I look back, historically, the military was really the starting point of being inclusive. You can go way, way, way back, and there were always African-Americans in the military and then also in the federal government. But the idea rather than some kind of program or demanding that people be inclusive, a welcoming attitude helps all the team members work together.

NM : Yeah, absolutely.

AD : This goal that people have to align on, I think some teams find that difficult sometimes to achieve. Do you have approaches you take when it comes to creating group goals? I mean, it feels different than if I sit down and I'm writing goals for myself when I sit down and try to draft these for a cohesive kind of unit of people.

Are there certain approaches that you find to be more efficient when it comes to time and really getting to the essence of what we're aiming for?

Clarifying Team Goals For Effective Collaboration [16:03]

AJD : Maybe a good idea would be a group discussion, virtual or in person. Say, here's our general purpose is to suppose you're in a financial unit. I remember a financial manager telling me that he was working at Xerox at the time. He said, my job is to save the company $2 million a year. So he would work with the team, this is what we have to do. But you could have a group discussion, here's where I think we're headed. What do you think? And try to discuss the goal, the purpose, the mission, and then come to some kind of agreement, a reasonable agreement as to where the team is headed, what the team want to accomplish.

Because sometimes the team's mission isn't so clear cut. I mean, if you are in an automobile factory and you know how many units you want to produce in a month, that's easier to agree on. But sometimes a staff group might not be so sure of what it's trying to accomplish. Like many people will say, I don't know what the human resource department does.

So that's an unfortunate wrap, but it's good degree of what are we trying to do for the organization? How are we trying to help people?

AD : You mentioned human resource management just now. I spent time about 18 months as a human resource officer for an airborne battalion when I was in the Army. I got to teach human resource management at West Point as well. And I still dabble and certainly it's a dabble compared to your expertise, given your experience in the research.

When it comes to the wide range from hiring to developing, to building out rewarding, giving feedback, all the activities that we could put into human resource management practices, what do the best companies get right when it comes to human resource management practices that help them create strong culture?

Building A Strong Organizational Culture [17:51]

AJD : I think a good starting point is to have agreeable coworkers, pleasant coworkers. That really helps an organization. One of the reasons people enjoy work is it satisfies their social needs. A lot of people enjoy going to, at least they did before the era of remote work or even with remote work, you can enjoy a little bit liking to work with the guys and the gals in the office. If you have a culture where there are a lot of pleasant people, if you have an organization where there are a lot of pleasant people, it helps build a strong culture.

Also, you have to look at the financial aspects, equitable pay, equitable benefits. People are very insistent or attracted to equitable benefits, such as the big one is flexible working conditions. Well, the company has to decide what can we do? Maybe one, you can work home one day a week or you can have time off for parental leave without a formal policy. You do the afternoon off to take care of your sick parent. You can do that, some kind of flexibility with work. But again, I think people admire a strong organization that sets limits. Many people don't want to see other people goofing off and taking advantage of the system.

So, having flexibility but still being firm, the benefits, flexible working hours, likable coworkers, all very important in terms of building a strong culture.

AD : And those things you're mentioning are levers for managers to pull and adjust. I was reading that conflict comes for many teams and businesses. Task conflict, process conflict and relational conflict. The biggest one in the workplace is relational conflict, which I find interesting. And to your point, as I pull these and adjust these levers of human resource management practices and policies, I can actually affect the way that people within my organization work with each other. I just think that's a real interesting concept.

NM : And Andrew, we just talked about strong cultures, great teams. Want to kind of flip that one on its head. So I know there's been a lot written these days about toxic leadership. How do qualities such as narcissism among leaders affect an organization's ability to maximize employee productivity? And how do you advise both recognizing and dealing with destructive behaviors regardless of whether it's a senior leader, mid-level manager, or just a junior team member?

Gentle Confrontation For Conflict Resolution [20:21]

AJD : I think it's very important to have a gentle, what I call gentle confrontation as a key principle of resolving conflict. For people to speak to the, say it's the manager who or the leader who's toxic and say, here, you're doing a lot of wonderful things for the organization, but here are some things that are making me and some of my colleagues uncomfortable. And discussing that or the human resource manager or the person's boss or couple of one approach takes a little bit of courage to do this.

A few people meet with the leader, a few coworkers, meet with the leader direct reports and discuss, here's what's going on. It's making us a little bit uncomfortable. We respect your leadership, but it makes us uncomfortable when we're in a meeting and you scream at us or when you insult us. Like the other day, you said, you're the most stupid engineer I've ever met and that made me feel uncomfortable. So confronting the person, and there are some leading political candidates who just insult other people, vicious insults, and that doesn't build alliances.

AD : No, it doesn't. I won't ask who you're talking about. We can probably all reach those conclusions on our own. I love the expression, gentle confrontation. We know this is a difficult conversation to have. Is narcissism toxic leadership, is it more prevalent in organizations today than it was say 30 years ago? Or are we just willing to engage and talk about it more and shed light on it? It was always, there just wasn't a way to discuss it in the past?

Balancing Narcissism In Leadership [22:00]

AJD : Probably a combination, but many people have commented that the younger generation that's been well documented is much more narcissistic than previous generations. So they get into managerial positions. In fact, she did a great study and she found out she took the narcissism and test scores from 15 years ago compared 'em with the present, and they were significantly different, significantly higher.

So you get more narcissistic people who always think of themselves. My daughter is a project manager in a great information technology company, GSI, and she's pointed out some of the younger people, they just don't care about other people. They just want to come to work sometimes do nothing. So that's a maybe hoot. Who knows? 10%, maybe it's exaggerated, but I think narcissism is on the rise, and so they're more narcissistic leaders. But on the other hand, I do point out about positive narcissist. If you combine narcissism with a little humility, it works. You could be effective as a leader.

AD : Some level of confidence. Leadership is a lonely activity. So at some point I need to be able to be confident in the direction we're going with some humility. When you were saying just as pure narcissism, solely thinking of myself, runs contrary to those two previous leadership nuggets that you shared in terms of providing strategic vision and direction for the organization. That's about us, not me, that hopefully. And then the good human relations skills, obviously that's about you and not about me.

AJD : And someone did a study interesting. Again, given the narcissism tests, they found the most narcissistic CEOs had lower return on investments than their counterparts.

AD : I believe it. I believe it.

AJD : You don't. I interrupted you in a narcissistic way.

AD : Not at all. Not at all. Well, this is fun. This feels like a survey course in leadership and influence. We're going to keep hitting some different topics just because you have such a kind of a wide breadth of background. Andrew, you've done work with crisis leadership. How do you approach the concept of crisis leadership and what insights can you offer on how one might effectively lead through especially trying or challenging situations?

Navigating Crises With Compassion And Clarity [24:20]

AJD : Crisis leadership has become an essential component of leadership in the modern world. And it begins with being a directive leader saying, okay, we're in a mess now. Here's what we're going to do. But later on, collaborating with people in terms of implementation of some of your ideas. But at the same time, you have to take into account the human element showing compassion.

For example, one crisis might be a lot of organizations are laying off people now and to get together and here's our plan to deal with a more limited workforce. Here's what we're going to do. We've had to lay off one third of our department and here's how we're going to deal with this crisis, but understanding the emotions that a lot of people will be disturbed and worried during a crisis, but the showing compassion, providing direction, getting input from other people, and also a very important principle is to have frequent communications status updates of here's what's happening, here's what we're going to do next.

I remember early in my career, I was doing some consulting in the aerospace division of a company, and I met with the CEO at the time, and I said, well, how you're dealing with this? I mean, you don't have contracts. What are you going to do? He said, well, that's our only problem. We've got great operations, we've got great people. The only thing we don't have is business.

He was trying to put things in proper perspective. If we get contracts will be okay that we can deal with the contracts. So that was a good way of looking at the crisis. Yes, it's a crisis, but he framed it in a very positive way.

AD : Yeah, that framing piece is so important, right?

NM : Hey everyone, Nolan here. I have to jump in and end today's podcast for part A of the show. Be sure to rate, review and subscribe to the NEGOTIATEx podcast if you haven't already. And also join us next week for part B of this awesome interview.

Featured EpisodesWe host some of the smartest minds in business

Join The NEGOTIATEx Team.

It is our promise that we will deliver massive value to your inbox in the form of new content notifications, exclusive content and more. Join the team today.

    Contact Us