"The most powerful relationship habit that I believe anybody will ever come across in their career is something called positive alacrity. The habit is so simple, yet it can touch any person you ever come across with. So positive alacrity is basically the skill of delivering micro experiences that will have a profoundly positive impact on those people you interact with. It's basically when you think something positive in your brain, and you genuinely believe what you're thinking is true, voice it, say it out loud, bring it out to be heard."
In this episode
Voicing your positive thoughts about someone else could be the most powerful relationship habit.
This is called positive alacrity.
Patrick Ewers is the founder and CEO of Mindmaven, an executive coaching firm that’s worked with 100’s of leaders. Patrick was previously the Director of LinkedIn for Groups & Lead Generation.
On episode 96, Patrick talks about the superpower of fellowship and the importance of taking care of relationships, which is often never urgent on our to-do list.
He also shares the most powerful relationship habit we should all incorporate inside and out of work to have a lasting positive impact on people.
Lastly, we talk about watercooler conversations and how to develop deeper and more meaningful conversations with our colleagues by firing the second dart.
Tune in to hear all about Patrick’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!
Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.
The superpower of fellowship
The most powerful relationship habit
Building deep, meaningful relationships
Firing the second dart
The gift of being heard
Finding common ground
Small improvements at a time
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 00:32
Patrick, welcome to the show.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 03:23
Hey, thanks for having me.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 03:24
Yeah, very excited to do this. I, you know, typically don’t start doing this, but I have a story of how we originally met. And I think it’s going to give everyone a little bit of a background on the sorts of things that you do. It was, I met you, I think, seven years ago, and 2015 at an event. And I had sold my last company, and I was looking to start my next one. And I just, you know, it was one of these events. And we were in the audience. And we were networking. And I was telling you about, like what I wanted to do next. And you gave me this advice, you said that if you’re really looking to figure out what kind of companies should start next or what the topic should be, what you should really do is you should leverage your network. And the way that you do that is you message all the people that might come across interesting ideas or problems that need solving, and you should let them know so that it’s kind of like implanted in them. And then you will be top of mind and things will come up and then they will let you know about it. And so you told me that and I didn’t get your business card. I forgot who what your name was. And the backstory is, of course, like I did exactly what you said. It worked out really, really well. And you know, then we started fellow and obviously like, the rest is history, but and then like seven years later, I met you and you were providing a lot of value as always, to this large group of founders. And I would say I think that’s the same guy. And so once I heard that I said I have to have Patrick on the show every time I speak to him. He’s so great and I feel Like, now we can do that for the audience and managers and leaders. It’s going to be incredible.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 05:04
I do quite a few podcasts. But I think this is the first time where I have a chill go down my back, because of the story just told me, because that’s just so fun. I mean, like, what I do is I try to, with my work, impact people’s life in a positive way. And I do that without a lot of like, what am I getting for it? You know, hence, I probably never gave you a business card or something. Right? And then you telling me that you basically went off and took this little piece of advice, you might have gotten out of a What was it a five minute conversation? Probably not more. And it had some form of an impact on your life. Just, you know, like, if you guys could hear me or see me right now you see me smiling, the big fat smile. So thanks for sharing that.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 05:46
Yeah, it’s very, very interesting. And I think, you know, we’ve had a lot of guests on the show, and we’ve talked about leadership concepts, tactical concepts. But the one thing that we haven’t really, like, really focused on is relationships. And I feel like, if anybody knows about relationships, it’s you and again, like, what is work but you know, forming relationships with others. You know, you I mean, just, you know, for everyone’s background, and of course, people just heard it in the intro, but this is what you do. You work with founders, you work with executives, hundreds of leaders, companies like Roblox, Reddit, thumbtack, you know, the works, and you help them, you know, leverage relationships and just be more effective, and give them superpowers. So, let’s talk about one of the things that you talk about often, which we love, of course, you call it the superpower of fellowship. Fun fact. Well, obviously, company’s name fellow, but also one of our superpower, one of our company values is actually fellowship. So I’m very curious, like, how do you define fellowship?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 06:46
So why don’t we use that word is basically the question. And for that, I probably have to take a step back and really explain a little bit about what we do. We’re an executive coaching organization, and we help leaders, no matter where you are, achieve true greatness. That’s the thing, and we help them achieve true greatness by focusing on relationships. But before I move on, you know, I have to say that this notion of true greatness is a very subjective term, right? For some, it’s people that want to reach the top, career wise, whatever it is, others just want to reach the fullest potential of what they think is within them. Others want to build a legacy others want to, you know, build something that’s bigger than themselves. And then a big chunk of people that we get to work with, and I’m sure you run into them all the time to is people that want to change the world for better with what they’re putting forth, right? So it doesn’t matter what your true greatness is, we’re in the business of helping you actually achieve that. And we do that by focusing on relationships, right? And so the big question is like, Well, why relationships? Why focus on relationships? Right? And the answer is that I don’t think you know, a single person has been able to reach his or her fullest potential, without help from others. It’s a state that doesn’t exist. So no matter who you are, you know, a manager in a 500 people company or a leader of a group of 20, whatever your goal is, you can’t reach it without help from others. It’s almost guaranteed it’s a state that doesn’t exist. And so most people agree with me, I assume you agree to?
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 08:11
I agree. All right.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 08:13
So most people agree with that statement. But then I would ask them, Well, how good are you at doing that? Right? Are you actually taking care of your relationships in the right way? And what I then get is this really funny, sheepish guilty grin, sort of the same grin you have when you go to your dentist, and he asked me, Did you do your dental flossing? Right? And you’re like, Oh, right. It’s really weird. People basically say, Yes, relationships are important. But what are you doing? You know, you’re in uniform? Like, no, I should be doing more kind of thing. And so we have to ask ourselves, why is that? Because it actually makes no sense. It makes absolutely no sense, right? If you think about it? And the answer is very simple, actually, in I think it is that relationships are important. There’s no question about it. But the things we have to do to take care of them are almost never urgent. And we’re living in urgency driven environments that are just getting increasingly more and more urgent. And so we have to learn how to overcome the urgency versus importance. thing first, for us to be able to do relationships well, and we admire Aiden and I know I’m taking a long winded route to get to your fellowship, promise I’m getting there. But it’s really important as sort of the background. So you have to figure out how to solve that problem of urgency versus important the only two pragmatic solutions one is the superpower, another superpower of intent, by teaching yourself to become more intentional in how you allocate your time towards those things that matter most. That’s typically like productivity and being wise about how you allocate your time or carving out time for being proactive and so on and so forth. So that’s one thing we teach. The other thing we teach is really about getting more leverage, leveraging into the office, you’re leading whatever that might be, by changing the way you work with an EA or chief of staff. And through that process, we’ve been able to Yep, let’s say, eight to 10 hours a week quite consistently for those people that work with us. And that’s a day a week. And then what we say is like, and we call that, by the way, the superpower of leverage. And so those two superpowers are there to free up time. And now we have these 10 hours a week freed up. And basically what we do with our clients, we say, you need to promise to us whatever we free up, you invest into relationships. And then we said, Well, what do we call that? And that’s basically when we said, well, it’s actually fellowship, right? Or the superpower fellowship. And I’m basically finally getting to answering your question. And that is that basically, where we see this notion of fellowship is there basically, without fellowship, you can’t succeed. And fellowship is a perfect word for it, because it includes the people you have to convince, to join your vision, and then follow you and very often through hell and back, because I’ve yet to come across a business that is always smooth sailing, right. And that’s part of what you have to do. If you can’t do that, if you don’t have the skill of doing that really well, including trying to convince the best you can find to join you, you’re not going to get to your fullest potential, by definition, right. So that’s one component of fellowship. And the other component of fellowship is that most people aren’t really good at leveraging their network, their relationships outside of the group that you might have assembled to actually achieve. What you’re going after. And I think you’ve kind of pointed to that is, the beautiful thing about our network is that it’s relationships with a lot of people in them that know and trust you and therefore are willing to feed you with the type of opportunities that could actually represent a breakthrough for whatever you might be working on. Right. And so basically, the fellowship is the skill of making sure that you build relationships with those people that follow you in such a way that they want to follow you through hell and back, great for loyalty, great for low attrition rates. And also basically finding ways to spend enough time on investing, putting energy putting goodwill into your network, so that network tries to carry you with some of the most profoundly valuable things you’ll ever come across throughout your entire career.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 12:08
So I guess one of the questions is, I mean, I’d love for you to talk about maybe some examples of, you know, people who are really effective at managing relationships, what kind of things? You know, can people do that? Maybe if they could free up the eight to 10 hours a week that they would do? Like, what’s an example of things that, you know, people should do that they’re not doing?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 12:29
Well, which way do you want to go? Do you want to go towards external networking? Or do we take a look at what you can do with a team?
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 12:36
I think, yeah, let’s go internally, within the company, I think like most of the audience, obviously does stuff externally. But we really think about the teams that you manage inside of your company.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 12:45
Why would about this? Aiden? What about if I give you like, the most powerful relationship habit that I believe anybody will ever come across in their career? It’s powerful, because it’s so good. It’s so simple.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 12:59
So I mean, if I were you to hype it up like that, and you know, I know you know about relationships. Now, I’m very excited to hear what you have to say.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 13:08
It’s something called positive equity. Right. And I love it, because it’s like, I can give somebody value within like three minutes of talking to him about it. Because the habit is so simple, yet it can touch any person you ever come across with. So positive alacrity is basically the skill of delivering micro experiences, that will have a profoundly positive impact on those people you interact with. Or in a simpler way of saying, this is the simplest way you will ever come across, making other people are happy, right? And so the habit is lately simple. It is just so common sense. It’s basically this, when you think something positive in your brain, and you genuinely believe what you’re thinking is true. Voice it, say it out loud, bring it out to be heard. Right. So the way you want to think about this, if you really want to practice is it’s not about the like amazingly good things, right? Like, I know that you’re running a software company, and you probably have some engineers who sometimes had to pull an all nighter to get something done. Right? I’m not talking about that, because social convention, Aidan would ask you to do that anyway. Right. And if you’re not doing it, you’re probably hurting that particular relationship. Now, it’s about the small stuff that is slang in north of neutral, if you know what I mean, it’s these thoughts that get triggered the thoughts like, Hmm, that’s interesting. Or, Oh, I never thought of it that way. Or I wonder how they came up with this? Or, you know, I could, you know, intriguing, right? These are thoughts that I actually popping up in a curious mind quite frequently, or they know what to ask you. Like, do you think in the last week or so, you’ve at least had five of those thoughts?
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 14:48
I’ve definitely had more than that. Yeah.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 14:51
Okay. So that’s good news. Because basically, I think most of our listeners here have those thoughts as well, you know, and what happens is that these thoughts arise for a very short moment to a conscious level. But then they basically disappear in a sink back into the subconscious level. And we just let it rise and then disappear. And to me, those are assets that you should be using. Because once you have the cognitive of conscious realization that you’re thinking that just test if it’s really true, and then say it, right? Because what you’re going to do is you’re going to actually give people a really powerful experience, one that basically makes them very happy. So examples, do you want me to give you an example? Sure. All right, should we go there? God, you know, do you guys have interns? We do have interns? Yeah, yeah. So from time to time. So let’s make the story up here. So you’re, you know that you guys are about to release 3.0, the big product release. And you know, it’s all hands on deck, everybody’s like, focus on doing this, doing this doing this, right. And you for some reason, either remotely or because you work in the same office, notice that one of your leadership members has taken the time despite the rush to sit down and teach the intern something, let’s say it’s your CFO, right. And you notice that So basically, what you do is at one point, you walk over to that person, or you ask the person to hop on a quick zoom, it doesn’t matter. This works remote just as well as it works in person. And then you start the message by saying other conversation, you start the conversation by saying, Hey, Michael, I don’t have much time, I actually have to hop into a meeting with quick. But I wanted to say that I noticed that you sat down with Peter, our intern, you took the time to teach them how to do pivot tables in Excel. I know how crazy it is right now. But you taking the time is really awesome. I really appreciate that. Because, you know, it’s part of our culture of fellowship, for example, right? And you say that because it’s actually supporting the culture of what we want to build here. But I gotta run, and then you leave, or you hang up, or whatever you do. And so that’s an example of that. But the question I have for you is, why did I say, I don’t have much time? I want to go into meeting and why did i In this example, say you cut it off right away? And leave any ideas?
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 17:06
You know, I think like, people probably have a habit of saying something like, it’s nothing. Oh, you know, like, basically diminishing what they did. I think that like, yeah, people genuinely, maybe don’t take the compliment to heart and are busy like saying that, Oh, it wasn’t a big deal, or something of that nature.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 17:25
Yes, exactly. I mean, you nailed this, this is actually quite impressive, because I asked that question every once in a while. And it’s rare that somebody gets it. So the whole point is this, right? Like most people listening now, think about it, have you ever given somebody a compliment, and you’ve noticed how fast people try to diminish it? I don’t know why we humans do it. But it’s like almost part of the human condition. It’s like, what we do is like, Oh, I’m just doing my job, or it’s nothing, just like you said, so yeah, right. And so what you want to do, and this is the key thing is what you want to do is don’t allow that person to say that because by saying that, you take the energy down to half or even less. And it has been scientifically proven when you give somebody a compliment, the person has to digest the compliment actually sees that it’s genuinely delivered, meaning you actually feel that way. There are endorphins that get filled out, right, that gets released, you actually physically are going to make this person feel feel better about themselves. And it basically cost you nothing, because all you have to do is say things you’re already thinking. And so it’s one of the most powerful tools out there. And you know, and that’s something that anybody listening today could actually start right after this podcast.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 18:34
I think that’s super useful. You know, one other thing that I’ve heard very related to this is on the receiving end. So, you know, knowing that people tend to do that, you know, what I’ve also heard is that it’s also good idea that if someone, you know, goes out of their way to, you know, give you some positive feedback, that sometimes instead of like diminishing get, it makes sense to you to take a moment like digests it and then say, you know, thank you, I really appreciate you saying that versus saying, Oh, it’s nothing, and so on and so forth. I think like the reciprocal of it. I don’t know if you would agree. But I think like the reciprocal of it, it works to
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 19:13
our we take it even a step further. I would say, Look, if you want to be skillful in receiving compliments, which is actually something we as humans should learn, but particularly in the in the professional realm, right? What you say is what you feel is positive laxity applied in reverse, you know, like, if somebody says something nice to me, you basically say what is going on? It’s like, Oh, my God, that felt really good. Or, Wow, I actually needed that. Or, you know, just like I did earlier, it’s like, Man, I had a chill go down my back. Right? Like, I’m just realizing I did it without noticing. It’s just who I am. Because this is the powerful thing about this habit. And the more you do it, the more you actually stop knowing that you’re doing it. All of a sudden people basically look at you differently. You think you haven’t changed, but the way they perceive you changes, and it’s one of the most powerful thing you can do if you are on the track of wanting to become a leader that can convince people to follow them, that creates loyalty.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 20:12
Yeah, this is super useful. I think we spend a lot of time it’s funny when we have management conversations, and we often talk about feedback. A lot of times, we just focus on how to give constructive feedback, like that’s a thing that we talk about often. And you know, maybe we talk about positive feedback to the extent that we might say, you know, don’t take good job, say good job on something specific. But we don’t really go into the detail that you just went through to really say, like, how can you take any bit of positive feedback and make sure that you get, like, the full effect of you know, what you’re doing? And I really like what you said, which is, you know, at the end saying something like, I’ve gotta go, and that definitely, like, you know, feels the effect. I feel like, even if it’s not like God ago, it could be something as like, a question, or it’s almost like a redirection. So for example, thank you for doing that for the intern. When did you first learn your own pivot table or something like that, which is like, it kind of has the same effect of like letting it sinking without allowing the person to diminish it, I don’t know if you would agree, or if that makes sense.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 21:16
Of course, you can. But he is something that you’re now taking away that makes makes positive equity, so powerful. So what I would love to do is use as a segue to come to maybe another skill that we can do with with that skill that you basically just brought up, but it’s more at home. And the reason I’m saying that is because part of what makes it so powerful that it’s short, right? Like you are not now spending a lot of time talking to your followers, you know, to your employees, basically, the positive alacrity interaction is a 15 to 22nd conversation, like, it’s so incredibly efficient. And then the amount of positive goodwill you unleash onto that person is like, two orders of magnitude massive compared to the time investment. So I want people do just learn this as a habit, and therefore you want to have the least amount of cost associated to it. And the least amount of friction, and that’s why I’m doing this. And the other thing is, if you basically go and say, I don’t have much time, but you still, like forced to say that, you’re basically giving it more weight. Because you know, like, despite the fact that you are rushing, and you’re really busy leader, as you are right, you thought it was important for you to deliver that message. So that is sort of that. But if you don’t have any problems with establishing a habit or like you have it already, then that question is a really good one, because you can then basically start looking into it. But to me, that points me to sort of another area that basically a leader can work on in terms of building really deep and meaningful relationships with a team and it comes out of a concept we call the watercooler conversation. Again, super simple. And touches on what you basically said, the idea is that, you know, in the world where we’re not all working remotely, we would basically build relationships by running to each other in the water, cooler conversation. And it actually was a very important function of making the organization work well with each other building trust, and so on and so forth. The good news is, in today’s world, there are other ways in which you can do that there is no reason why you can’t do the water cooler conversation, just because you’re not physically walk into the water cooler conversation, that concept is just this hole in the remote world that many of us are now working. And so basically, what you want to do is invest into learning how to go deep fast in these five to six minute conversations. The biggest problem here is that people use the water cooler conversation to basically keep it rather inch deep and very shallow. Right? So you talk about the traffic or the weather lately, right? And it’s not actually meaningful, it’s actually not that connecting, people will walk away looking at Aidan and saying, Well, you know, he seems a nice guy, but not like profoundly moved by your interest in them. Right. And so that’s one of the things we do, right, we teach people how to go deep fast. And one of the tactics there is that you guide the conversations with questions. You start shallow, but then you basically use more questions to go deeper. And that’s exactly Aidan, what you just taught our audience here today. We call it firing the second dart. Right? What that means is, don’t ever dare to ask a question in a single format. Whenever you want to ask a question, be prepared to ask two questions. Why? The first question of anything is almost always guaranteed to get these people to only go shallow, deep. Right? So a classic question will be, hey, what do you do to recuperate? I know you’re working really hard. What are you doing? Right? So if I were to ask you that question eight and you will probably like start thinking about things and you’d probably give me a same set shallow answer about it. Well, I go bike riding or mountain bike riding or like reading a book or something. Yeah, that’s all you give me. Yeah, I was gonna say I go for a run. You go for a run. Exactly. And that’s all you give me a really shallow answer, right. And so So that’s why the second dart is so powerful. You have to now fire. The second dart is almost independent of the first question because it says, Oh, interesting. How did you get into running? Right? Or what do you get out of running?
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 25:14
How long do you run?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 25:16
Yeah, how long do you run? Or something like this? Right? Well, how long do you run is a problematic question. That’s actually a question that don’t want you to ask because you’re gonna say, well, about an hour, right? And then the question is over, and you want to have open ended questions that basically make this person share more about themselves.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 25:32
This is so important, because, you know, one of the topics that you know, every now and then we talked about is, you know, people are doing managers are doing one on one meetings, and, you know, part of this is there supposed to be meaningful conversations, you’re supposed to, you know, establish rapport. And there’s other functions to, you know, feedback alignment, but obviously, the rapport building and going deep is, is a large part of it. And these are like, critical core skills that, you know, I think folks can apply to their conversations, like, in their one on ones this week, it’s super valuable stuff. And, you know, I actually run into this problem a lot, which is, I think I’ve been doing the second dart wrong. So I might say something like, Well, how long do you run? And then like the answer that question, and then I might ask another one, but then that’s another short one, and then all of a sudden sounds like an interview. And it’s not really a conversation,
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 26:24
you have to be worried about your power position, too, right? Because you’re the boss. Basically, those kinds of internal meaning kind of conversation. So you got to basically keep it relatively, you know, like, open ended, and almost like, more curious, and so on, and so forth. But, you know, like, it was really interesting, I love how you basically connected it with basically what you’re working on, you know, making meetings be more meaningful, and helping people actually start loving meetings, which, you know, is a very admirable goal to achieve. And so one of the things I think is really important, especially in a remote world is that you use the meeting time to do this, you know, going deep, fast, right. And every meeting, typically, even the internal ones can have a little bit of a checking in, you know, social small talk phase, right. So, you know, any advice, for example, that I have that we do, my company has been running for 12 years, 100% remote. So we’re probably one of the oldest companies in the country who basically stepped on this bandwagon, way, way, way before the pandemic. And one of the traditions we have is that basically, when I have meetings that are one on ones that are back to back with my team, we always use the last, the first five minutes for the other person to stay on for a little while longer for of the previous meeting, and let the other person that is coming on board, have a little bit of a chit chat with each other. So we’re just like talking about things. And that is a great opportunity to create that spaciousness. Even if you’re not physically in the same room to go and ask those questions to each other, including firing that second dart.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 27:56
That’s super interesting. I’ve never heard that before. So that’s like, I mean, I guess this happened in a physical office space, right? Like people would leave one meeting room and then obviously bump into people who are just coming in. So walk me through that. So people stay like everybody stays like a few minutes after their meeting time. Is that how it works?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 28:15
Yes, it’s not all the time. It’s just, it feels natural. It’s not like artificial that basically, I have one meeting room in which I meet with all of my one on ones. It’s always the same room. Everybody knows, it’s we call it ISR, as in standard room, you know, very often the meeting you have goes over, the other person shows up, I say, Hey, you can stay around, let’s stick around, I finished the sentence or whatever it is. And they were like, Hey, how you doing? What’s going on? Right, a little bit of chitchat. And then basically, after three, three minutes of thoughts, we just say goodbye to the person who was in the meeting beforehand. And then we kick off our one on one at the time, and that person leaves. It’s an organic way of basically building relationships, when you’re just operating, which a lot, you know, and yes, as you said, that would happen in the physical world almost automatically. And all I’m saying is, there’s no difference between the physical world and the remote world, despite what people might want to tell you. The only difference is, things were easier in the physical world because you didn’t have to manage them, they would happen. Now in the remote world, you just have to come up with methodologies that ensure that the same thing happened that would happen in the physical space. And here’s the powerful thing about that realization, when you do do it that way you are doing it with a lot more intense than you do it in the physical world. And intent is one of the most powerful, powerful skills to develop, right, like I would do in this with intent, we are talking with each other and so on and so forth. Who you are intentional. Yeah, another point, right. Why is the second dot find the second that’s so powerful because you are communicating with the other person? Hey, I’m not just asking this question, because I’m supposed to ask that because I’m a great salesperson. I’m asking that because I’m interested in you, Aiden, I want to know how you got into running. I want to know what you get out of running. is running also for you in some form or the other, like therapeutic or meditative? Is that a big component of it? Right? And when I asked that second question, you all of a sudden, like, whoa, Patrick really wants to know, he’s really interested in this. And then you start talking about your passion. And that means you have a fantastic experience, because I’m giving you the gift of being able to talk about something you’re passionate about, and more. So if more importantly, giving you the gift of being hurt, of being listened to. And that, sadly, especially in the professional worlds we’re living in, especially these days, is something that is getting less and less. So it’s a great way to build relationships just by developing a simple habit of never ask, always ask questions in pairs, never ask a question all alone.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 30:59
Hey, there, just a quick pause on today’s episode to let you know that we’d really appreciate you helping us spread the word about the Supermanagers podcast, if you’re enjoying what you’re hearing so far, dial into your podcast app of choice, whether that’s on Apple or Android or Spotify. And just leave us a quick review. Now, back to the interview. This is so valuable. And you know, beyond just the conversational aspect and the watercooler conversations, like we talked about how you can relate them in in one on one meetings. But I think it also applies, because the thing that you said about it also makes the other person felt heard. I think that’s super powerful, you know, in a lot of whether it’s in a one on one meeting or some other contexts, you know, very often, you know, we might ask that first question. And, you know, maybe in a one on one, a great question to ask is like, what’s the biggest problem in our company right now, like that might be, you know, a good question to ask. And you could take the answer to that question and stay very surface level and say, Oh, that’s, you know, that’s interesting. Or you could say something like, what is it about that, that you think makes it the most important thing? Or what else is not? Like? What is second to what you’re trying to say, are basically just trying to ask these, like more open ended questions, I feel like that just conversational skill is so useful in so many different contexts.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 32:27
But I do have to give you some feedback on that one question. If I may. Yes, please do? Because? Because that question that you now had was a good example of a great question to ask, but you cannot ask that question as your first question. Why? Because it’s way to steep entry into it. What is wrong with a company? Right? Like the you know, like, it can be jarring for the person you’re asking to, for you. It’s, you know, something you need and look, with the people that are following you. They’re probably used to you on that one. But let’s say you’re doing something with somebody who’s just recently joined, or somebody who’s a partner to you guys or something. They’re gonna like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, why is Aiden asking this? You know, and you’re, the walls go up. So really important part about going deep fast is to not start too fast. But basically, what I would say, for example, in this case, is saying, you know, hey, how long have you been working here? If it’s a really big organization, and you’re the leader of it, and you don’t know anybody? Or you say, what are some of the things you like, about working here? It’s easy to say positive things and negative things, right? And so you’re already like guiding this person, that person answers, you might have one or two second darts to fire around the positive things in saying, okay, but there must also be things you don’t like, what will come to mind by that time, you have already a conversation is now at a deeper level. And you will probably get way better results than this, like diving off the board straight in type of thing. So that’s just my reaction to it. That’s how we teach people is like, like, find this gentle slope down. And once you’re down deep, you know, you can actually move relatively rapidly because people are comfortable with this conversation, and they will probably still perceive this as a really meaningful and intriguing, life enriching experience for them.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 34:13
Yeah, I think that’s super valuable advice. And it goes to show you that I still have a lot to learn. So I love it. You know, Patrick, this has been super awesome. We’ve talked about so many different things, but really just around this topic of relationship building.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 34:28
Before you stop, I need to finish this water cooler things. Yes. Tell me that was listening to it. This is just one small thing, right? So so basically, number one, we teach how to go deep fast, but when you go deep, fast, in five to six minutes, you’re going to have an experience that can almost guarantee you, it’ll happen in most of those conversations. You’ll either find something that is deeply moving, or you will find something that is very connecting, right very bonding very like oh, I have that same thing or I love running as much as you do or whatever it is, right. There’s none Have those things happen, you will find something that you either find interesting or intriguing. And if that doesn’t happen, you will almost guaranteed at least find something that’s very different. And while different isn’t as connecting, if you are a person built on curiosity, which almost everybody I end up working with is because they’re often founders, that you find that very interesting, it’s going to be still really intriguing. It’s like, oh, I have never done rock climbing, what got you into it, right, and then all of a sudden, what is very different becomes, you get introduced to it in a meaningful way, right. And so that’s one of the things that is just so valuable, and it costs you about what five to six minutes, and then you walk away because they have to walk away, but you left that person with a great experience, you have a more on that situation, you found some common ground, and then you do something that’s really, really important. And and that is that you go back to your computer. And if you do what we do, which is we teach you how to work within EA, using dictations, you would dictate a follow up email to that person. And that follow up email you send a week later. Right. So I’ll give you a very simple example of something that happened in real time with the CEO of a company that all of you guys know, guaranteed, person was walking into the office ran that the CEO of that company ran into a 26 year old female data analyst, that person had just joined the company about two weeks ago, he started, you know, a water cooler conversation when deep, relatively fast, and found out that she had, basically before she joined the company taking a year off to take care of an ailing mother, who I you know, I think by that point actually had passed away or something like that. So there were a bunch of emotions that got unleashed in that CEO, one of which is that he was a young, you know, like star entrepreneur. And he said, I could have never done this, I could have never taken a year off. Because I would have been too afraid of what that means for the company as for my career, right. And so what he did is he voiced that that’s like, brave that he felt the feelings of courageousness, and so forth, right? And cetera, you know what, that was really brave. I don’t know if I would have been able to do that. Right. And then he went and dictated a email afterwards, that was to be sent a week later. And that email, Aiden was, and I’m paraphrasing, it roughly was something along the lines of hey, I was thinking about the conversation you and I had last week. First of all, I had to just tell you, again, how courageous I thought you move was, I don’t think I would have done it, or could have done it. And so I think that’s really awesome. But moreover, one of the things you might know is that the one of the pillars of our culture here is that we take care of each other. And you are a living testament to taking care. And so I’m really glad you’re here, and hopefully becomes a representative of that aspect of the culture we’re trying to build here. Right? You can only imagine what happened when she received that email. In fact, what do you think happened?
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 37:52
I mean, that must feel good to get that kind of an email. So she felt good, but what did she do at her know, what did she do?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 37:59
I could tell you, but I’m making you guess a little I’m gonna go to work for this interview. Yeah, I
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 38:05
mean, if it were me, I would think that I would feel like I am in the right place. Like, this is the maybe I didn’t really like think about that aspect of the company. But it would make me feel at home I beat. And yeah, I would tell all my friends about it, I would think, there you
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 38:23
go, that was what I was looking for. So there are few things that will happen. Right. And this is why this is so powerful for literally every leader who’s listening to this right now, because this can become extremely impactful. And the cost so little, remember, just five to six minutes, and an email. So first of all, what happened, Aidan is of course, when you get an email from somebody, what does social convention say social conventions say you have to reply. So of course, she replies back to the CEO of a foreign people company that she just joined, holy shit, right? Almost every CEO I ever work with tells me they have an open door policy, when I then ask them, well, are people coming? Like, no, they don’t use it. Right? So one of the things you’re doing is you’re basically force opening the door for these people, because people are expected to write back. And then something really interesting happens, you will get one of two messages back and one is the person will write something along the lines of hey, this is amazing. Thank you for sending this I, you know, I can see how your leadership is resonating throughout the entire organization. You’re not the only one with whom I’m having these kinds of experiences. Boom, green light is a leader culture, on the right track, really powerful data, because the other email you could be getting is that oh, man, this was such an amazing email. I wish more people in the organization would be like you. If you ever get an email like that you have to pull the ripcord and call red alert because your culture is off kilter. You think the culture is this but the people on the ground are feeling it like this. It’s extremely powerful because the bigger you grow, right, the more You get insulated from what’s actually going on, because you have your direct reports. Right. So that is, you know, think about that that in itself is extremely valuable. But then something else happened from you said that basically, and that is that, that she will share that story with others and the two groups of people, number one, the family, including the spouse, which is extremely important when the person starts having doubts, because guess who they turn to first, their spouse, and the spouse might be the person who remembers reminds them about who they’re following. And then, of course, and this is even more powerful is that they might share with the peers say, look what happened to me, I got this email, right. The neat thing about this is that you know, what happens when stories get shared over and over and over again, they become legends. Right. And to me, if you are a leader, who wants to achieve legendary leadership, that’s how you do it. You interact with people in a way that creates stories for them, that they want to share. And when they then share it, the stories are based on whole actions, good actions, caring actions, not bolted actions, people will start creating an image of you based on that that is actually going to become a legend. And that’s how we in not only in the tech world, but in the economy at large, are actually starting to tell stories about our teachers, right about our leaders. And that can have a profoundly powerful impact on how good you are going to be in not only attracting the best talent possible, but getting them to follow you through hell and back. Right. And so I wanted to just wrap that up, because I thought that was important, because it’s literally a five minute conversation, and one email, send a week later, and do that to 15% of your staff. And the stories will float about how you might be.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 41:48
Yeah, I mean, that’s amazing. I’m so glad that you did finish that what an incredible ending. Patrick, this has been super useful. We talked about so many different things. But you had the opportunity to talk about relationships, which which at the end of the day, that’s what a company runs on. And so thank you so much for going through all this stuff. So if people want to find you, how do they find you learn more, interact more with you in the team?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 42:16
So yes, my biggest advice is come to mind maven.com and find the blog, don’t look at all of our marketing stuff, find a blog that we write blog posts that are really, really detailed, really thoughtful and always carry value, we will have to read them. They’re not like, you know, one minute reads, but they’re thoughtful, we put a lot of effort into them. So that’s number one. Number two is follow me on Twitter, relatively inactive there. It’s Patrick Evers ew ers one word, Patrick Evers. And if you’re interested in learning more or working with us just reach out, my email address is Patrick at mind maven.com We have a pretty good way of figuring out if you are right, if you are in the right place to basically work with us. Our services, basically classic one on one executive coaching. But also, one thing you should keep us in mind for is that we have a kick ass executive assistant recruiting service that basically focuses on finding Rockstar talent that basically can start working with you in such a way that you are capable of freeing up that time and delivering better experiences like the one we discussed to the people you work with. Yeah,
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 43:30
this is awesome. Into we’re going to include that in the show notes. You know, Patrick, the the final question that we asked all the guests on the show is for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft, any parting words of wisdom or thoughts that you’d leave them with?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 43:47
Oh, my God, I feel stumped right now. About what Give me more.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 43:50
I mean, any tips tricks, you know, just any final words that you think you would leave people with?
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 43:57
One since we talked so much about this notion of relationships? You know, I unfortunately, can’t remember who came up with this quote, was a really awesome woman. But basically, right, it was along the lines of focus your effort of not what you do for people, but how you make them feel, right. And what I hope most people got out of the session today is that it doesn’t have to be hard work. Because I really focus on giving really simple small little tidbits of tactics you can start trying out today if you want to do write that is the biggest piece to focus on. And the other thing when it comes to relationships, I always like quoting John Wooden, who I believe, originally from Germany, so I’m not big into the basketball culture, but I believe he was one of the most successful basketball coaches of all times and he basically said, Look, don’t look for big improvements. When you’re trying to get better. Look at small improvements one step at a time. Really small ones. If you do that, eventually really big changes will occur. And that is, I think the theme of why I believe we have the most successful path for you in terms of being able to achieve your fullest potential and allowing you to achieve true greatness. It is by focusing on small steps at a time.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 45:20
That’s great advice and a great place to end it. Patrick, thanks so much for doing this.
Patrick Ewers (Mindmaven) 45:24
Awesome. All right. Thank you for having me.