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Dr. Pauline Lee is a specialist in teaming. Her PhD looked at trust within leadership teams and how to accelerate the development of same.
She shares;
  • What is trust.
  • How is it different from Psychological Safety?
  • Why is it even important?
  • How to develop trust amongst team members
  • What is different about working in Federal Government teams compared to the private sector.
  • What is immunity to change?
  • How do competing commitments impact new years eve promises!
  • How to self coach out of a slump?


Pod: glad to have you here.

Pauline: Oh, awesome. Delighted to be here part

Pod:  All the way from Cavan in  Ireland via Melbourne . How cool is that?

Pauline: Yeah, it’s a bit of a distance or 10,000 miles, but hey, it doesn’t feel like that far away.

Pod: Not at all. Before we turn on the record button this morning, Pauline, I had a quick look on Amazon and I typed in, into the book section of Amazon, the word trust, just to see how many books will be written there.

And there’s over 50,000 books available on Amazon on trust. And within that group, a large section or within the business section. Now you did a whole PhD looking at trust and looking at trust specifically within teams. So that’s probably fair to say you understand a lot of the science of this whole area.

So maybe let’s start with the real basics. What is trust and why is it important for teams?

Pauline: A great question. And so at a very basic level, trust is the willingness to take a risk. And so there are different factors of trustworthiness. It could be reliance, disclosure, competency, vulnerability, but essentially that the bedrock in which it sits on is this willingness to take a risk in the other person.


Pod: in the other person?. That sounds interesting. So what does that mean…in  the other person?

Pauline: Interestingly, when I was studying trust probably about 20 years ago, I hadn’t come across psychological safety that much, which is used a lot now in terms of teams and Amy Edmondson has done quite a bit of fabulous work on that.

And trust is very much focused on…are willing to  take risks, engage, depend on others?And it’s between, two people, or you can scale that out where it’s within a team where psychological safety is more the willingness to admit a mistake or say what needs to be said without any humiliation or without been being ashamed.

And that’s seen more at a cultural, it’s more than team level or at a cultural level. Okay. is there a willingness to actually say what needs to be said in this group? So that’s trust at a very basic level. It’s used interchangeably with psychological safety, but they are two different concepts.

Pod: So why is trust important in a team setting

Pauline: it’s foundational to almost everything that needs to happen in a team. Many of your listeners will probably be familiar with Lencioni’s work and he puts it at the base of the pyramid. You need to have trust in order to have robust dialogue, creative tension and so on.

But if you think about it, If we were in a team together, we can be very aligned on our goals. We could, be very clear on the strategy in terms of reaching those goals. However, at a personal or interpersonal level. If you have been breaching some expectations we have together in terms of, you can rely on me for this or I’m not being honest in how I’m showing up.

Or, I say I do something, but I don’t do it. So I lack integrity. Then it doesn’t matter how amazing your shared goals are or how clear your priorities are. if that trust is not there, you won’t be able to bring the, the team priorities, the team vision to life. I think it’s at the heart.

Yeah, I think it’s at the heart of high performing teams.

Pod: The way you describe it there, if it feels like it’s a real lubricant for the relationship without the relationship could feel mechanistic, maybe, whereas the trust kind of helps it to minimize the friction or accelerate the relationship.

Pauline: That’s right. And relationships is one of the pillars. rich relationships, deep reports, one of the pillars of high performing teams, but you can have a very transactional relationship. Like you keep it at a very surface level. We’re really only exchanging data, facts and, wants and needs.

But if I can drop into my feelings and appropriately disclose some judgments, that takes the relationship to a whole new level and to actually need a level of trust to do that, you need to be able to take some willingness. To be open to being vulnerable. I’m typically brought in to work with teams that are perceived to have some level of dysfunction.

And it’s usually starts with Joe. Doesn’t get on with Micah. They don’t trust each other, So it usually starts with exactly. And of course we often know that there’s so many other problems that are contributing to that trust. it’s not just trust in itself, so it’s pivotal to, teams, but also you mean, if you think about family systems, family systems break down because there’s a breach of trust.

So it’s everywhere. in our one-on-ones our family life, our team life.

Pod: So what let’s all, wait, when you’re brought into an organization like that or to a team like that, what are some of the fundamentals you’re looking for to help you understand what the level of trust is or what level of trust is missing?

Pauline: I take a very systemic view to trust and the brief will be. There’s infighting. There is cliques. There’s some sort of, the underbelly of the team is impacting on the performance. And so they’ll say, come in and fix the trust. And so I go, I said to myself, what else is happening at a systemic level that may be either increasing the trust or decreasing the trust.

So one of the first things I do is. Engage in some degree of inquiry and discovery around the factors that are actually impacting them trust levels. And I think going in with just the client’s perception of what they think is the root cause of it is limiting because then often not seeing them full picture.

So that would be my first thing. And, just to get to the practicalities of that, now there’s some grace, psychologically psychological safety trust scans that you can. You said zero in on the level of trust, like the fearless organizational scan by any chance. But I would just look at the whole picture.

what’s happening in the organization in terms of the provision of resources or budget or competing priorities that might be creating friction within the team. So look outside the team and then look within the team. how aligned are they on? What, on what they need to be doing collectively as a team?

What is their approach to dealing with friction? Intention and conflict. And often I find they don’t have one. And so therefore they actually classic at the moment. There’s one team I’m working with and there are suboptimal levels of trust. And. How they have characterized, the low levels of trust is that I find it disrespectful.

If you interfere in my individual line of accountabilities, it’s disrespectful. If you offer me advice, And so there is an implicit norm that’s been created in that team that actually we are not expected. We’re not allowed to actually be acting not only on behalf of the team, but advice on each other’s respective units.

so that’d be the first step. Doing a diagnosis.

Pod: And it sounds like in that process, you’re helping the team to understand the situation that it’s in within the bigger context of the team sits on a wider organization or a wider industry. So they can see how the system might be helping the team. But at the same token, give an example.

You just said there you’re pointing out where here’s some of the norms that you guys have. Is that helpful or is that hindering yours? what do you think about that?

Pauline: That’s right. That’s right. And actually. I find. Starting that process in itself helps to open up conversations at a collective level that the otherwise wouldn’t have.

And so you’re starting the process of building trust

Pod: before you’ve even started the actual process. Correct.

Peter Hawkins from the UK whom you and I both know and love, has a phrase that says, I trust you enough as an I trust that you will do your best. I trust that if the, if you’re not going to complete what you’ll do, then you let me know, but I don’t need to trust you completely because yeah. How many of us trust other people completely.

But what’s your sense of what’s the level of trust needed in a team to move from? Let’s say, okay. Performance to good performance or to very good performance or even high performance. What kind of level of trust is needed for that?

Pauline: No, I don’t think you can. I don’t think you put a number on it, but I think it is it’s in your heart that, you can be fully authentic.

With your team members. And you can say what needs to be said. It’s okay. To actually discuss the tough stuff and not be punished for us. So a team will know when there is sufficient trust in the system for them to be able to do their job well, because think about it. If anyone member. Is holding back for fear of being punished or sideline or, often it’s, I don’t want to be, my, I don’t want it to jeopardize my promotion, so I’m not going to push back on the CEO.

So that is going on in the background. Therefore, there are ideas that are not being heard. There are, challenges that are not being put on the table. And so as result, it’s impacting decision-making, it’s impacting problem solving quality. and overall, I think. Impacts on the degree of energy and passion.

You truly break. Cause when we’re authentic, we bring our full selves. We, our hearts shine. So I think you need full trust. I think you need as much trust as you possibly can. Engender.

Pod: In order to get that discretionary effort, that extra passion, that the collective effort together. I’m interested partly in terms of, if I am sitting on a leadership team and I’m sensing that it’s unsafe for me to vocalize something or in the past I have contributed and I’ve been smacked down in some way or other.

And then we bring in this leadership expert called Pauline Lee to help us. Develop that, what kind of processes would you be asking of me? what kind of questions would I need to be thinking about or what kind of habits or skills would need to be developing in order for me to become more trusting of my colleagues?

Pauline: That’s a great question. And yes, there’s lots of ways in which we can help a team foster higher levels of trust. So after I would have done there, Inquiry tour, reveal that back to the team and got them to decide on what are the most important things that they need to work on to gel and collaborate more as a team we’d go off and do some of that, which is typically is team chartering stuff.

get our heads around why we exist as a team, get our heads around our team strategy and so on. typically a lot of teams without external guidance. Hasn’t done a lot of work around explicitly talking about their values and the behaviors and how do we want to show up with each other collectively?

So we do that piece of work and guess what happens after, a team coach comes in and does that work 70% of the times? That as a team agrees, values and behaviors. Great intentions really wants to commit with that chapter. You were talking about that, has been holding back now commits to stepping forward and speaking his truth.

70% of the times, it actually doesn’t get done once you leave the off site. So here’s what I do then, which gets to the juicy part of trying to build trust, which is. I’ll come back into the team and I’ll say, how have you been traveling with them? Those values and behaviors, which ones of them have you been succeeding on and which ones have you been struggling with?

And usually there will be there’s enough trust in the system. And if it’s not, I will, words the team leader up to step out in front and. Model some vulnerability, but typically the leader, the team will speak to an area that they’re struggling with. So let me give you an example, authenticity, they might say, look, it’s hard sometimes to truly say what we need to be said because of X, Y, and Z.

And they’ll often use time as an excuse or there’s too much stuff in the agenda. And so one of the methodologies that I use then to really help them. Unpack, what is going on in respect to authenticity or some shared of trust is an eclectic community change process. I think that’s one of the most robust.

Methodologies for helping them get past the stickiness of being fearful to trust each other. So that’s one of the ways

Pod: I want to jump to that in a few minutes. Cause the image, the change is. Process designed out of Boston that I’d like is to share a bit more in a few minutes. But before we get to that, it sounds like what you’re doing is you’re holding the team’s feet to the fire and getting them to engage in, into a conversation to try and figure out.

We said, we would do X, we had good intentions about X, but X hasn’t happened. So now how do we really uncover the reasons why it hasn’t happened?

Pauline: And if a team doesn’t have the commitment or the energy or the budget to do. More involved processes like that. I think at a, maybe at a more simple What I’m trying to get more trust in the team, the system, the fabulous technique that I found is working really is say one of, one of the issues is. I’m afraid to speak up. And so I would identify that behaviors that are green, the ones we really want the team to endorse and the ones that are red, like holding back.

Asking each team member to pick red and a green card. And over the course of the next couple of weeks, they are to proactively give their team members feedback on the display of those behaviors, which can be done individually or collectively. And that just starts to move them out off. They’re their safe space, where they don’t want to speak.

And so that’s been quite helpful in getting feedback. Which is a demonstration of trust if it’s done constructively, but also the person speaking about their experience of team members,

Pod: your story of the red and green card. It just reminded me of an experience I had about 10 out years ago, working with the leadership team and the, in the broader, defense industry.

And this particular CEO has come out of the defense industry and therefore was used to leading organizations through the lens of being in the military. And therefore had a very strong Authoritarian sense of the world. And in this particular of team meeting, we had got the team to a place where they were able to vocalize this was their concern.

And more importantly, the concern was that this particular leader lost his temper ferociously on a regular basis, which as you can imagine, led to lower levels of trust, of him by his team. And by the same token, the leader, to be fair to him, was completely oblivious to this. And so  when we got the team to a place to be able to share that with him, he was completely shocked.

And I think hurt for what he had caused in terms of  the pain and the potential barriers he was creating. So one of his colleagues said to him, I’ll tell you what, John, you’re a huge soccer fan. How about this? How about we create a series of red cards and every time you’re about to lose your temper

and indeed when you have, we will show you a red card, which is a signal to you just to stop talking so right this minute. So the guy agreed to it.

And the first week he got 26 red cards!

Pauline: Oh,

Pod: in my review and the week that he’s gone, I can’t believe it was 26 rate cards. Like I’d been sent off the field 26 times, but you know what?

within six months he was down to a one card a month. I E the process. A visual feedback. You said, encouraging people to use visual notions of cards or whatever symbol to nudge you to our particular behavior, to nudge you to our project, going to change, then accelerates all this stuff like trust and then, and like leaning in.

And that particular organization transformed themselves over about a four or five year period. Convinced the starting point was the leader, recognizing that I am the barrier to trust. And then therefore I need to shift

I’m guessing 99% of. Articles or books that we read about leadership and leadership teams are in the commercial setting. there’s a PNL, there is a stakeholders. there is a, profit orientation of some kind yet most of the work you do, isn’t a very different sector and an equally important sector.

And that’s federal government and working with leadership teams in federal government. Can you tell us from your experience, what, so what are some of the core differences between being a leadership team in a federal government type environment relative to a commercial setting?

Pauline: There are. Key organizational differences.

So the drivers are different. The stakeholders have different, yes. Minister is taxpayers. They, organizational culture tends to be quite different in that, in the public sector, especially those big departments, thousands and thousands of people in them, very here, hierarchal. there’s a chain of command.

There is. A sense of legacy being attached to what we’ve done before. So we’re going to continue doing it. And they’ll escalate Wayne, crawling to passivity. it’s a kind of dance between the two and the other biggie. That’s different is. Business processes and systems. And so let me explain, like the one that I encounter a lot of is people systems, they approach their tech to hiring, firing, managing, and developing staff is different to what you might see in a Sikh or an ad set because a band one level, which is the SES, very senior leadership level.

Talent development team who sends the team leader, that’s who’s going in your team. And so often they don’t have the same input or decision making rights around

Pod: who on my team.

Pauline: And if you think of, Hackman and Wagman’s. Research around the conditions for high performing team, the right people on the bus is a critical condition.

So that’s often hampered for them. And similarly, I’ve actually supported a couple of transformational programs, in the departments and particularly working with the leadership team in terms of their effectiveness. I don’t know if I could say I saw through any one of them too. It’s completely three years because the leaders move around a loss.

And so that’s why culture change is very challenging. Any form of transformational effort is challenging because they’re not there to see it through. And then another leader your comes in and puts their own. Stamp on it

Pod: for a leader who joins the public sector, say from a private sector background and is brought in to potentially bring a change orientation with them.

They’re going to encounter a very strong historical stable system that may well be in the way of that request.

Pauline: Absolutely. And that’s the STEM wants to maintain equilibrium. And You need a very, typically the leader needs to be fairly high up in the organization and has excellent change leadership skills to, to really.

Engage people into a different way of working and I’ve seen us in places. And just as we’re moving the needle, the leader goes elsewhere is gone too. yeah.

Pod: Yeah. At the same token, I would imagine passion for the service of that department. Passion for what government is trying to do is he as also a key characteristic of the leaders that you

Pauline: work with.

Oh, I mean their commitment and their passion and their love for working in the public sector is next to none. Most of the leaders I work with, they’re not there for the money. They could be making 10 times that in the private sector and they’re often headhunted. Next to none, they’re there for what they’re contributing to the bigger, at the bigger picture in Australia.

and they work extremely hard. The really do, the work ethic is very strong. and the one, one of the things I’ve been working in federal government now for, close to 15 years. And one of the things I’ve noticed is that. It is increasingly getting more sophisticated at developing its people and developing its leaders.

Like it’s not. As focused on that corporate page training, where you’re just, adding in some knowledge and skills and things go, they’re doing, they are starting to do more, truly personal transformational work. And that’s very exciting, to see that happen because that’s. That’s where that’s, where leaders need to be doing the work.

Pod: We hope you’re enjoying this episode of the leadership diet. Feel free to hit the subscribe button on whatever podcast player you are listening to this on reviews on iTunes and Spotify. I greatly appreciate it. You talked about passion. You talk about, service to community. Talk about long hours. What have you noticed?

over the last few months as the whole world has been encountering covert and particularly at a federal level, whose job of course is to manage the whole country. As we, as we respond to this environment, what’s been your experience as some of the leadership teams that you’re supporting through this process?


Pauline: I have, I have one client who’s been right on the firing line and, in respect to their handling of some of the issues in COVID-19 and in, and it actually has brought the team, this leadership team closer together, and it is highlighted to them where their deficiencies are as a collective.

And they realized that actually, if we continue just to represent our own individual Eunice, we cannot overcome these challenges that are coming at us. Cause they’re coming at us at, fast and furious. So the upside of that is that they used a bridge done to help them have a team breakthrough.

And so that’s been very helpful, but in terms of email general level, I think. Many of my clients who are typically, a DEP sec level or a band two level band won initially in covert they’re paused. Or the rescheduled and they’ve started to come back now and it’s being totally overwhelmed and working long hours and juggling this juggle between work, working from home and kids 24 seven, how do I actually lead a virtual team as well as all the extra policy stuff they have to do for COVID.

And They truly, and I’m saying this generally, not all, but I’d say the majority of them feel over the, in, over their head, So at a personal level, say a client that might’ve been working on, believe in herself, really. Being able to dial down perfectionism and knowing that, actually I can do this.

I can, I am confident. that just blew up a million times more during this COVID. So that’s been a familiar theme. I think the second theme at a team level is that, there’s a fear by some of the team leaders that some of these teams now that they’ve developed a new working patterns and the more freedom of having to be more self managing, more resilient, less control, less micromanaging, and many clients are talking now about God that there needs to be a reentry.

There needs to be aware of bringing them back after all, this is all over, whatever the new world looks like. And relaunching them because actually they’ve experienced something. And once you’ve seen something, you can’t see it. So

Pod: plastic bags

So I’ve had some exposure to some of the, frontline government departments who are dealing with, code and all its implications. And my overall respect for leaders in partying in the health and policy areas has just gone through the roof. In the sense of, as you said, and not only are they experiencing life in a different way, same as everybody else.

I walk in from home, managing families, managing out of school stuff at the same token, they’re trying to manage a pandemic in a way that we had no one’s ever experienced before. And therefore there’s no playbook. in a department that typically uses best practice as a way to manage stuff and then face up to the media every single morning with, here’s the newest, latest way.

And at the same token have to manage what would be seen as a normal mistake in any other environment. But in the current environment is seen as almost like a punishable process. So I want some of those leaders lead and some of these I’m working with who are working 80, 90, a hundred hours a week doing extraordinary work for society.

And then that’s the piece that keeps getting me it’s for society.

Pauline: Yeah. they’re amazing human beings and I have enormous love and respect for them. And My job is to help them see that if you take the finger off your own development that actually, you’re just doing what you’ve always done before,  gently nudging them to actually use this time to work on your edges because the edges are now very edgy and it’s when the GC work and this started, the there’s many of them starting to do that work.

They’re ready. and they’ve still got a distance to go to. they’ve got a lovely learning lab to practice in.

Pod: Can I take you back to something you said a few minutes ago, you talked about immunity to change. Before we jump into that, I’m sure there’s many folks who are very familiar with the process of a maybe new year’s Eve or new year’s day or the first week of January having a really big plan and a really great intention.

And then three weeks later, nothing has really shifted. And that then the repeat that a year later, and a year later,

Pauline: I can

Pod: relate to that. I can relate to that as well. And the, but the whole idea of competing commitments, the idea I’m committed to doing one set of actions and unconsciously, I’m committed to doing something that will actually be the opposite.

And then therefore there’s a neutralizing effect really is the underlying thinking behind this process called immunity to change. Can you, first of all, tell us what is immunity to change and where it came from.

Pauline: Community change is a methodology developed by Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey. And it emerged from years and years of research that Keegan has done on adult development and how to shift from one stage of development to the next.

And in this research, he said, how do I actually make this practical for practitioners to use, with them, with their clients and with themselves. So immunity to change is. Very unique helps to aluminate. What are the invisible barriers? What are those competing commitments as you spoke about that are holding you back from your improvement goal.

So think of it like this, you’ve all, we’ve all got like a biological immune system. So the purpose of your immune system is to keep you safe, but it sometimes gets it wrong. your biological system sometimes rejects antibodies or an organ transmit. It’s not sophisticated enough to know what to accept or reject.

Similarly, we have a psychological immune system that is our form of self protection. It’s there to protect us from dangers from bad things, but it’s also getting it wrong. Sometimes it’s protecting us from dangers that are not there. They’re simply not there. And so your psychological immune system keeps you immune holds you back from your improvement goals.

So if I was to roll with the listening coaching goal, this client, I want to listen more effectively. And when I get through the process, the client realizes actually. My form of sub protection. my competing commitment is I’m committed to being noticed. I’m committed to being seen as the smartest, most valuable person in the room.

So I end up talking more. And if I, it comes from fears and worries of off not being seen as valuable. And so you want to prevent those worries from ever realizing it’s actually, the psychological immune system is very clever because it brilliantly tells us that those dangers are going to happen.

And then it creates the counterproductive behaviors that goes against your improvement goal.

Pod: So that explains why many millions of us, have a regular pattern. Every January in the sense of part of us wants to reach for this new aspiration. And part of it also wants to protect ourselves from changing from the current.

Pauline: The protection is fear based. So it comes from our ego fears and our ego limitations. dieting is a billion dollar industry. And it is a billion dollar industry because I think in part we’re using technical means to solve it. So if you were to run immunity to change on that, my improvement goal is to be healthier and lose weight for whatever reason.

And you go off and you deal with the usual things, sleep better, stop drinking five nights a week, but when you stop there, We’re ignoring the bigger complexity that’s at play that actually causes us to, or not be healthy in the first place. And that’s what the immunity change methodology surfaces, because it says, okay, so imagine you were to say no to your partner’s desertion of Friday nights.

Oh dear or, yeah. And what worry would you have? And he, or she might say, God, am I in sold them? Or actually, I actually enjoy it because it means I don’t have to talk to them. Imagine you didn’t overeat when you felt sad. Ah, I would have to then deal with my own pain. And so on one hand, they want to help your lifestyle, but there could be a competing commitment I’m committed to not actually dealing with the pain.

I’m committed to nominate. I’m committed to not actually have an anonymous conversation with X, Y, and ed. And so until you actually work with what’s going on in terms of your beliefs, your assumptions, your fears. You don’t have the full picture. I

Pod: would imagine pulling that at a human level, forget leadership level, but at a human level pandemic that we’re all sitting in 2020 has unleashed a whole range of fears.

I might’ve been sitting at Bay or cause the environments we’re sitting in either at home or within our work environment or. Some of those fears get prompted louder than we might’ve expected. And then they impact us as a leader. Have you had any experience either for yourself or elsewhere the way you or you’ve noticed and it’s because of just the recent experiences as opposed to an ongoing development for the person.

Pauline: That old saying that, painter’s house is never, the paint is never the paintings never as great. There is.

Absolutely. And I had a first hand experience of all of this, myself this year. So when the first lockdown happened in Melbourne, I was just overwhelmed with. How topsy turvy my life became because the nature of management consultancy work. We’re very much out in the field face to face with our clients.

And, nevermind me that face to face with clients the work stopped or paused, or the cam got kicked down the road and then school came into our. Front sitting room and, kids 24 seven. So it was very overwhelming. And I find my whole mental system being attacked. Like I was. Feeling a lot of stuff that I thought I’d dealt with a decade ago and all of this just got resurfaced and I was feeling quite anxious and, had a lot of self doubt.

And how am I going to survive this? And then I said to myself, what would I advise my clients? What would I do with them? I actually would take an X Ray of what’s going on and I would use an approach like the immunity, she didn’t change. And so I did that on myself. I took out my four column map and actually I was just creating so many assumptions and allowing my inner critic to be in full flight.

And it actually, the beauty of ITC is that it just shines the torch on the nonsense. We can be actually telling ourselves. So it’s so for me, yeah. So for me, column one improvement goal was to believe in myself that. I actually just don’t want to survive. I want to thrive in this pandemic.

And then I realized in my column for my big assumption was that I assume I’m not enough for this moment. I assume that I can’t work. I don’t know how to do all this stuff virtually. And my competing commitment was actually letting go of the past. I loved my working life. I loved my family life pre COVID and I just didn’t.

I was resisting letting go. And so as a result of resisting, I was creating these stories that clients are not going to want my virtual development work. I don’t have the right technology. I don’t have the right office to set it up virtually it was just a hundred mile, a minute reasons for why this wouldn’t work.

And once I saw it, Then I started to run a safe to fail experiments, just taking really small steps. So one particularly around, that I’m not enough for this moment. I’ve just got beautiful clients in Canberra. There. They’re like family. They’re amazing. And I said to them, I run this, a couple of clients there.

I do, I run a program called the leadership breakthrough program and I said, look it up. I have never run this virtually. It’s always been face to face and we’re doing experiential work around a mass and we’re pulling we’re all in this together. Have a crack at converting this content technology into a virtual format.

And, we give you feedback on work. and so I started to do that and, I learned actually it’s working and this is good stuff. I think what was beautiful about that is a couple of things. One is that I think are our ego fears. They’re always with us. I don’t think we ever fully get rid of the stories we have about ourselves that are formed in childhood or in adolescence or reinforced in adolescents.

The arrow was there. There’s always seeds of them. And I think. We always need to be doing the work. So we don’t let those seeds grow into, plants and weeds that just take over our lives and our effectiveness, but we have to be able to see us before we can do anything about it.

Pod: Thank you for sharing this story because it’s a great illustration of a few things of the immunity to change process, but more important, I think right now is a great illustration of, there are so many of them who had worked really hard to develop the life that we wanted suddenly out of nowhere with no permission it’s been taken from us.

And indeed we could look at it like as being taken from us. and that’s where you were sitting at the time yet. Letting go of the picture. We had allows us the ability to create a new picture, which we have to anyway. Cause they, the world is shifting around us any in between is the hard part is when you’re sitting with your feet on the brake, as you said, that’s a lovely thing coming out of.

Most companies I’m having the moment is, are we coming out? And what does calling out actually look like in the sense of COVID, but, what are you starting to notice for leadership teams or leaders in the sense of how they’re getting ready to come out? Or what are they thinking about as they’re trying to emerge from this situation?

Pauline: I think by and large, a lot of them are still in it and. as one, for example, in Canberra, just as the starting to get some breathing space, Victoria’s numbers went through the roof. And so they’re back re trying to support Victoria. So the still feel very much in it.

But they have a greater appreciation how people’s worldviews their teams, world views, the behaviors, what they’ve experienced will change them forever. And I have had a few talk to me about needing to have some sort of, almost like a relaunch, relaunching the team, like some way of reentering it because they know because of this experience that.

It’s a golden opportunity to harvest those learnings. And it’s highly possible that you could go back into some cozy habits that are really not fabulous. like one of the things I’ve noticed clients doing really well is spending time check in at a personal level, not at a task level, So how are you traveling what’s on your mind? What did you love about this week and bring in some feelings into it? Yep. And so you could easily fall back into where we just. Have our sessions together, our meetings that are focused on the task. So I think clients really want to harvest the good stuff that has organically, sometimes emerged, or indeed has been more formally thought about and to hold on to that.

And then also to be thinking about, okay, come next year. And if it’s a hybrid model or whatever it is, What does our stakeholders now need from us? That’s going to be different. And so them to think about, they’re thinking about what’s our team’s brand now, how do we want what’s our team’s identity so that, so there are some of the focus areas at a team level.

and certainly at an individual level, the way pre COVID, there was a lot of talk about VUCA.

Pod: No, it’s that way.

Pauline: Now clients talk about that acronym, a lot of the time it was consultants that were talking about it, and it’s off the charts. Yeah. Volatility uncertainty, all of that is off the charts and so they’re now realizing actually, how do I match it?

How do I, I don’t want to just survive on certainty and volatility. How do I actually be resilient and be a match for that going forward? So the. There’s a huge willingness and appetite to learn and dig into their own development around that.

Pod: We’re coming to the end of our conversations today. And I’m going to link into the show notes. some of the books that you mentioned, the music change and in over our heads, from, Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey. But before we come to the end, it’s two questions I ask everybody is I’d like to throw them at you if I could.

one is what is your favorite song or band?

Pauline: I smile because I listen to a lot of music now with my two daughters, Aaron and Ashleen and we love Taylor Swift. And I have to say, I love her. I love her. I went to see her reputation tour last year, and it was ah, one of the most awesome life. Performances I’ve ever seen. So absolutely loved Tara, what, if I was ready to go back to my origins, which is the Emerald dial, I love the pokes and one of my favorite songs.

Yay. Love the pugs jam go. And he’s a genius. And one of my favorite songs is, if I should fall from grace with God, the tune is amazing, but the lyrics go to my heart because it’s about, campaigning for free Ireland, which is, my family we’re big on, so I love that one.

Pod: Oh, we’ll link that song in the show notes as well. That’s the question poly is, given all of your experience, given all of the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. what would you now tell the 35 year old version of yourself? And I was at your birthday party last year. So I know you no longer 35.

So what would you tell the 35 year old version of yourself?

Pauline: Lots, but the one that does stick in my heart is lean into where the fears are or. Some form of dance that I might have. So I often reflect on roles. I turn, roles. I didn’t put myself forward for or projects. I didn’t put myself forward because I douses.

I doubted myself. And then when I did actually jump into some of these things in life, That’s where the juices, when you’re on the edge out of your comfort zone, you’re leading over the cliff, but there’s a safety net at the bottom. You’d be fine. That’s where it all was. My grant is growth has been, and I think looking back, I would just say my advice to my 35 is golfer is like lean into is, if it’s reasonably safe, that’s, that’s where I can tap into that potential, that gold, that otherwise can take a long time to surface.

Pod: Fantastic. For anyone who wants to find you or what kind of websites should they be looking at?

Pauline: I got my own websites. So WW dot.  dot com and I’m on LinkedIn and the usual. So social media, things like Facebook and so forth.

Pod: the way we’ll have links to all those in the show notes for anyone who wants to reach out to you, Pauline lo lovely to catch up with you again, but thank you so much for sharing, not just your insights into trust and into.

The beautiful work that government teams do that often goes on NewFest and taken for granted, but also your racing experience of your own change and how you used your own work to help you figure out a difficult situation.

Pauline: It’s a pleasure. Thank you pod

Pod: for half a minute. Thank you for listening to another episode of the leadership diets.

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